We’re almost out of time to save our species!

The Guardian article shows we’re perilously close to the point of no return where global warming will be unstoppable. The UN says act now! Victoria needs to have a successful climate election as this is the only issue that really matters.

The featured image (from the Guardian article) shows no hint that the rising greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming have even slowed, let alone begun to reverse. In fact, as evidenced over the last three years (shown in the circle) methane emissions are currently accelerating. Over 100 years methane has more than 30 times the greenhouse potential than CO₂ (more than 80 X over 20 years!). Accelerating methane release from soils and permafrost is a highly dangerous source of temperature related positive feedback capable of driving temperatures higher than humans can possibly stop – to produce ‘runaway’ feedbacks forcing Earth’s climates into the ‘Hothouse Earth‘ state within a century or so that would most probably cause human extinction.

We face a real and existentially stark climate emergency. For humanity to have a future, WE MUST STOP AND REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING. Because this is a global phenomenon to have any hope of success, governments must coordinate and lead actions.

The UN environment agency’s report found there was ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’ amid ‘woefully inadequate’ progress on cutting carbon emissions. / Photo Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

by Damian Carrington, 28/10/2022 in the Guardian

World close to ‘irreversible’ climate breakdown, warn major studies

Key UN reports published in last two days warn urgent and collective action needed – as oil firms report astronomical profits

The climate crisis has reached a “really bleak moment”, one of the world’s leading climate scientists has said, after a slew of major reports laid bare how close the planet is to catastrophe.

Collective action is needed by the world’s nations more now than at any point since the second world war to avoid climate tipping points, Prof Johan Rockström said, but geopolitical tensions are at a high.

He said the world was coming “very, very close to irreversible changes … time is really running out very, very fast”.

All three of the key UN agencies have produced damning reports in the last two days. The UN environment agency’s report found there was “no credible pathway to 1.5C in place” and that “woefully inadequate” progress on cutting carbon emissions means the only way to limit the worst impacts of the climate crisis is a “rapid transformation of societies”.

Read the complete article….

However, as dire as the UN’s predictions are, they almost certainly understate the magnitude of the risks. Government action is essential and urgently needed! Where Victoria is concerned we can elect such a government in less than three weeks.

In Australia, state governments probably have the most power to control and stop human sourced greenhouse gas emissions (CO₂ and methane) through licensing, permitting, and regulating (environmental and development). Even though the Andrews Labor Government in Victoria is doing a lot to act on the climate emergency, the voting record and its campaigning shows that Labor continues to support fossil fuel developments that will continue adding yet more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This will keep pushing us ever closer to the point of no return beyond which warming will run away to a Hothouse Earth and likely human extinction. This is a very real climate emergency!

Thus, the upcoming State Election gives Victorian voters a chance to shift our government towards prioritizing action on climate change. What we need to do is to elect enough climate friendly independent, minor party and Green representatives in present Labor seats to put climate activists into the balance of power. As demonstrated federally, fossil fuel puppets and other losers will undoubtedly shout to the rafters that a hung parliament is a recipe for chaos and disaster, but recall that in terms of passing legislation the Gillard Minority Government was arguably one of the most successful governments in Australian history.

Vote Climate One shows Victorians how you can use your preferential voting system to maximize the power of your vote to elect a climate friendly representative.

Our Climate Lens Traffic Light Assessment process has determined where every candidate in every electorate stands on climate issues and ranks them in one of three classes: Green Light – trustworthy supporter of a strong climate policy; Red Light – bad climate policy, voting record or other history suggests can’t be trusted to support a good strong climate policy, or position on climate cannot be determined; Orange Light – weak climate policy and/or record but definitely better than those ranked Red Light.

For the Victorian Election, our Voting Guides for each electorate do not tell you who to vote for. However, if you want to elect a climate friendly government, we provide information about every candidate’s climate policies and an easy to follow voting strategy to maximize the chance to elect a person with a good policy.

Posted by William P. Hall

Some call me a 'climate scientist'. I'm not. What I am is an 'Earth systems generalist'. Born in 1939, I grew up with passionate interests in both science and engineering. I learned to read from my father's university textbooks in geology and paleontology, and dreamed of building nuclear powered starships. Living on a yacht in Southern California I grew up surrounded by (and often immersed in) marine and estuarine ecosystems while my father worked in the aerospace engineering industry. After studying university physics for three years, dyslexia with numbers convinced me to change my focus to biology. I completed university as an evolutionary biologist (PhD Harvard, 1973). My principal research project involved understanding how species' genetic systems regulated the evolution and speciation of North America's largest and most widespread lizard genus. Then for several years as an academic biologist I taught a range of university subjects as diverse as systematics, biogeography, cytogenetics, comparative anatomy and marine biology. In Australia, from 1980, I was involved in various activities around the emerging and rapidly evolving microcomputing technologies culminating in 2 years involvement in the computerization of the emerging Bank of Melbourne. In 1990 I joined a startup engineering company that had just won the contract to build a new generation of 10 frigates for Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 I retired from the head office of Tenix Defence, then Australia's largest defence engineering contractor, after a 17½ year career as a documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer. At Tenix I reported to the R&D manager under the GM Engineering, and worked closely with support and systems engineers on the ANZAC Ship Project to solve documentation and engineering change management issues that risked the project 100s of millions of dollars in cost and years of schedule overruns. All 10 ships had been delivered on time, on budget to happy customers against the fixed-price and fixed schedule contract. Before, during, and after these two main gigs I also did a lot of other things that contribute to my general understanding of complex dynamical systems involving multiple components with non-linear and sometimes chaotically interacting components; e.g., 'Earth systems'. Earth's Climate System is the global heat engine driven by the transport and conversions of energy between the incoming solar radiation striking the planet, and the infrared radiation of heat away from the planet to the cold dark universe. As Climate Sentinel News Editor, my task is to identify and understand quirks and problems in the operation of this complex heat engine that threaten human existence, and explain to our readers how they can help to solve some of the critical issues that are threatening their own existence.

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