Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hansen's Eerie Forecast: one year on

Nearly one full year ago, Professor James Hansen tried to explain the risks facing Australia. Check out just the first two paragraphs:

AUSTRALIA will suffer if fossil fuel use continues unabated. Climate extremes will increase. Poleward expansion of the subtropics will make Australia often hotter and drier, with stronger droughts and hotter fires, as the jet stream retreats southward.

But when ocean temperature patterns bring rain, the warmer air will dump much more water, causing damaging floods. Storms will become more devastating as the ice sheets on Antarctica and Greenland begin to disintegrate and cool the neighbouring ocean, as I describe in [my book] Storms of My Grandchildren. Ice discharge from Antarctica has already doubled in the past five years.

Those who focus on short term profit, the retention of material wealth and work to kill a carbon tax approach to atmospheric CO2 reduction will likely be proven to be penny-wise, pound foolish - assuming you don't believe they are already.

Those who seek to capitalize on a carbon tax for the sake of special government programs, pose a similar risk to our collective future and that of our children and grandchildren.

Carbon fee with full dividend: effective and fair.

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