Tuesday, 15 March 2011

We must face the facts

West Australian
Tuesday 8/3/2011, Page: 22

At first it seemed like a parody, but then it became clear that the letters published in The Weekend West (5/3) were from people who really believe in what they write. I agree on one point: the carbon tax in its current form is not really adequate to address all the issues we are facing globally This should not detract from the science behind global warming it is anthropogenic.

The only thing that nature has done is to throw in the occasional spanner in the form of a volcanic eruption which reduced the temperatures briefly The carbon emitted from volcanoes is ridiculously little when compared with human production. Volcanoes have always erupted, but the level of CO₂ increase in the atmosphere has been almost exponential since we started industrialisation.

All the letters have one common theme: let's put our head in the sand, ignore the science, hold on to the status quo for as long as we can because we hate change. And people in WA in particular have shown that we would really like things to continue on for ever, just the way they are, so we don't have to change.

It appalls me that people will ignore what is staring them in the face until it hits them and then there will be complaints about why nothing was done sooner. To say that our contribution to the problem is small is, to some extent, correct; but finger pointing has never led to change and in reality is an argument used to avoid necessary change we'll do something if the great polluters do something.

We are facing catastrophic changes. Have people not seen the news about flooding in Queensland? Have people not heard about the driest winter on record? The longest period of high temperatures which we just had? Are we really that ignorant or do we just don't want to know because it would force us to do something about it?

Let's face the facts: climate change is happening whether we like it or not. We can try to ignore it, but it is still happening and our actions today will determine how we are going to live in this country over the next generations. If a tax is required to force people to change their energy consumption habits and to force people to invest in renewable energy, then this is something that in the long run will benefit all of us.

Karsten Winter, Nollamara.