Climate Council warns of wet future for Oz

Climate change, driven by burning fossil fuels, contributing to the Great Deluge, is consigning Australia to escalating climate disasters

Most of Australia’s East Coast from Cape York south to the Victorian border has had over a meter of rain by the end of October — with the rains still continuing. Some of these areas have had more than 2 meters, and a few more than 3 meters! Many rainfall records have been smashed in all of the eastern states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania; leading to almost constant flooding through the whole area that is continuing today. The latest reports from the BOM tell us the rains will continue into summer.

This is clearly a function of global warming. Physical laws dictate that as air temperatures rise, the air can carry more water vapor before it begins to condense as rain. Higher temperatures increase the rate of evaporation of water from soils and standing water – encouraging drought. Seemingly contradictory warmer air can precipitate more water in areas where it is raining. As the water condenses out as rain it also releases its ‘heat of fusion’ — and more heat is available to drive more extreme winds able to carry rain to high elevations before the rain freezes to fall back to Earth in devastating hail storms. Over larger areas there is also more energy available to fuel increasingly powerful cyclones.

Increased water means increased plant growth, increased temperature increases the rate at which soils and vegetation dry out — ensuring ever more catastrophic wildfires.

Ever more floods, fires and tempests cause increasing damage to infrastructure and people’s livelihoods and property until the catastrophes follow one another so closely that there are simply not physical or human resources left to repair the damage from one catastrophe before the next catastrophe causes even more damage. If the warming is not stopped this progression leads inevitably leads to social collapse (as we are already seeing in parts of the world), agricultural collapse (and famines as we are already beginning to see in Africa and the Middle East), ecological collapse (as we are already seeing in marine habitats with coral reef communities, kelp beds, sea grass meadows), and finally, population collapses when the land has literally been swept bare (areas in Africa are already on the edge of the cliff).

With the collapse of society, humans will quickly lose the scientific and engineering capabilities to fight further climate change already dialed into the system, such that there will be little hope of avoiding near-term global mass extinction. Continuing ‘business as usual’ support of the fossil fuel industry more-or-less ensures this grim outcome.

The Climate Council’s report, presented below, presents the facts and explains what they mean here in Australia, and some of the things we can to moderate and mitigate the expected damages. This is a good start, but I would be a silly liar if I said this was all we need to do in order to keep from utterly destroying our future.

Vote Climate One will continue to do whatever we can do to encourage serious government leadership and action to fight climate change. Please do what you can to pressure your representatives to counteract the self-serving special interests who consume our resources and return little or nothing from the super-profits they take overseas.

If we can help get climate savvy governments on the problems that really matter, they may be able to mobilize enough action so we can survive our accidental disruption of Earth’s Climate System so our kids and grandkids inherit a world they can live in….

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured Image: Rainfall and Flooding 2022 – Queensland to Tasmania. Current year data from 1 January to 2 November, sourced from Bureau of Meteorology, 2022. Graphic from Chapter 2, The Great Deluge: Climate Extremes in Action, in the featured article.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Apocalypse will come if global warming is not stopped

Our climate is heading towards Apocalypse. Four factors will probably end humanity if runaway global warming is not stopped by climate action

Thanks to 100 years of extracting burning fossil fuels, the human population has expanded to exploit and control the resources of essentially the entire surface of our planet.

We live on the surface of a sphere of finite size with a fixed surface area, but population growth is almost always exponential (i.e., growth is by multiplication from one generation to the next, rather than addition) — until all the resources are used up. This situation is called ecological overshoot when resources are consumed faster than our world can replace them.

As long as people try to carry on with business as usual the situation gets worse and worse until populations begin to collapse from system breakdown, starvation and disorder in what can become an Apocalypse when the four horsemen come out to play. These situations have occurred locally throughout human history (e.g., in the 14th Century when the Black Death overcame Europe), but now we face a situation that is even more dire.

Not only have we over stretched our limited resources, but the greenhouse gas emissions from our 100-year long frenzy to burn millions of years accumulation of fossil organic carbon has so changed the composition of our planet’s atmosphere that so more solar energy is captured to significantly raise the average temperature of the whole world. In turn, this extra heat has caused changes in the polar regions to capture still more heat — we are now crossing tipping points that lead towards runaway global warming and mass extinction. See my series of posts about David Spratt’s articles on this topic in Climate Code Red for an array of evidence that these tipping points are real.

David Shearman’s article in the political news blog, “The Hill”, featured here, shows a remarkably clear understanding of the ecological aspects of the current apocalyptic crisis I have outlined above. We need to stop the Apocalypse NOW by stopping runaway global warming.

Getty Images (from the article)

by David Shearman, 21/03/2022 in The Hill

The four horsemen of the apocalypse are destroying planet Earth

Climate change and loss of biodiversity are the terrible twins working together to threaten human existence. Unfortunately, their wicked problems are accompanied by two equally important drivers of calamity —population and economic growth. These four horsemen gallop in unison and must be considered together.

Read the complete article….

Stop the Apocalypse? In theory I would say, “Yes we can!”

If it took a much smaller (there were only 3 billion when I was born), and more ignorant population of humans more than 100 years of the industrial revolution using relatively primitive technology to stuff up our atmosphere. If it isn’t already too late….. Given our present population of 8 billion; vastly greater understanding of physics, geology, biology and many other kinds of science; combined with our vastly advanced and powerful technologies we should be able to work out how to recapture our excess emissions and safely put them back into the ground so the Earth can begin to cool.

However, as Shearman’s article shows, society will have to assemble, organize and mobilize a monumentally large and coordinated “global war effort” to have any hope of doing what is needed to avoid total mass extinction and ensure our species’ survival into the future.

In Australia our present LNP COALition Government has made it clear that they will do everything they can to keep shoveling Australian coal on the fire to support and further extend economic growth and business as usual until the very end. Our first step in organizing the war effort to escape the horsemen of the apocalypse must be to replace these puppets of the fossil fuel special interests headed up by Scotty from Marketing.

In Scotty’s own words in one of his pet mediums – something to think about:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is supportive of Australia’s fossil fuel industry – and particularly coal, which he… says will be around for “decades to come”. “When it comes to the coal industry, it’s worth $35 billion to us every year in exports, and that’s money Australia needs to grow our economy,” Mr Morrison said. “What you need in today’s energy economy is you need to continue to run your coal-fired power stations for as long as you possibly can and that is our policy … we want them to run as long as they possibly can.” Coal-fired power stations will continue to run to back up renewable power sources, although Mr Morrison said gas would play a larger role in the energy mix in years to come. Mr Morrison added that building a new coal-fired power station would be difficult because of the state government planning powers, which would “probably never allow them to do it”. For the video see: The Australian, 14/03/2022, Commentary/coal-will-be-around-for-decades-to-come-scott-morrison/video. See also ‘We will keep mining’, says Australian prime minister Scott Morrison about the future of coal.

If that wasn’t enough, here’s a choice of some of Scotty’s thinking about stopping the Apocalypse

We’ll keep mining!
09/09/2021 via the Guardian
We need to get the gas from under our feet. We’ve got to get the gas!
The future of power: What’s behind Australia’s push for gas-fired energy | ABC Four Corners

We need to turn away from the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment WG2 Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact all they doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your preferential votes wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ future.

Our young ones are walking into an unknown future. Give them hope and not the Ukraine.

Featured image: Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. Painted in 1887. / Public domain: The author died in 1926, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 95 years or fewer.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Read this! putting the climate emergency in context

This 50th Anniversary interview with a “Limits to Growth” author puts the work in context and shows more to do than just stopping warming

by Richard Heinberg & Dennis Meadows, 22/02/2022 in
Dennis Meadows on the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Limits to Growth: Only rarely does a book truly change the world. In the nineteenth century, such a book was Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. For the twentieth century, it was The Limits to Growth. Not only did this best-selling 1972 publication help spur the environmental movement, but it showed that the underlying dynamics of the modern industrial world are unsustainable on the timescale of a couple of human lifetimes.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.