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Action Alert: Severe Australian Drought Caused by Climate Change, Leave Your Coal in the Ground!

Dramatic efforts required with coal and forests to ensure Australia's well-being and planetary survival

By Climate Ark, a project of EcoInternet - October 24, 2006

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Additional Background

Australia is currently experiencing extreme drought as a result of abrupt climate change, and the nation is undergoing unprecedented discussion of global heating reminiscent of America's own post-Katrina reckoning. Half of arable agricultural land is becoming wasteland and farmers have received some $2 billion in drought assistance hand-outs since 2001. A report released recently by the conservation group WWF puts Australia's consumption habits among the 10 worst in the world, with 6.6 hectares of land and water required to support each person. Unsustainable Australian lifestyles including native forest clearing and wasteful water use threaten their continent's fragile ecosystems, and the drought is a precursor of Australian and global ecosystem collapse to come. Further, Australia's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest in the world. And Australia's economy is based heavily upon the deadly coal fossil fuel industry which exerts undue political influence.

Temperatures in Australia are now expected to rise by as much as 8°C (15°F) in the next century with cataclysmic results. Over the coming decades these soaring temperatures will result in water supplies for millions failing, agriculture becoming unviable over huge areas, rising sea levels destroying substantial coastal areas, powerful extreme weather events including super cyclones and bushfires, and countless environmental refugees overwhelming Australia's ability to cope. Indeed this and more is happening now. While the government has within the past week announced major expenditures in renewable energy and coal carbon sequestration, these measures are still too little too late. The Australian government is failing to establish and implement a rigorous climate change policy adequate to respond to the global climate emergency. And sadly, Australia is the only industrialized nation to join the United States in turning their back upon Kyoto.

To address their current climate caused drought emergency, Australia simply must ratify the Kyoto Protocol immediately and engage seriously in negotiations to further establish global mandatory emissions cuts for all nations that are equitable and adequate to achieve what climate science indicates is necessary to conserve the global climatic system. The best estimate is that emissions must be cut as soon as possible by 60-75%, a level which requires Australia forgoing the burning of their coal resources. Though clearly imperfect and inadequate, Kyoto represents mechanisms for establishing, implementing, monitoring and extending emission reductions globally. Difficult international negotiations lie ahead, to achieve equitable reductions in emissions by all countries sufficient to stabilize the global atmosphere. Australia must stop its obstruction of international climate policies. Allowing Australia to continue jeopardizing decades of negotiations which establish an emissions regulation framework is unacceptable. Tell them so below!

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Climate change caused bushfire in Australia
Australians has much to lose from abrupt, run-away climate change - including their lives from severe drought and raging bushfires  (link)

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