[Tweet “How the words have changed! Climate Change in Five Phrases #IPCC Report 2014”]
At what point is something certain? The science model is based on consistency and likelihood. And, whilst the scientists agree (and have for a decade or more) that climate change is being caused by human activity they are still loathe to say 100%. In this report they are now saying 95%. At what point should we take action?
Source: Jake Sturmer, IPCC report warns greenhouse gas levels at highest point in 800,000 years, identifies fossil fuels as cause of recent increases, ABC.net.au, 2 November 2014.
Our Reaction to Climate Change
[Update December 2021]
Seven years later, the question of what is causing climate change is no longer an issue. It’s happening and we’re causing it.
In hindsight, this was also a furphy – a misdirect by those with vested interests in not changing to delay the inevitable confrontation with the damage we are causing to the planet we call home.
Even in our current situation, we still have delaying tactics as politicians try to satisfy those who don’t want to change with those that know we must.
While there are many positive signs, such as the adoption of renewable energy, the interesting split is that most of this is being driven by private enterprise with governments helping and hindering in subtle ways.
The Australian Embarrassment
In Australia, successive governments have embarrassingly been a handbrake for change. The lack of policy frameworks provides uncertainty in the marketplace and stalls financial and emotional investment in change.
This is a function of a thinly held majority and a selfish desire by politicians to keep their jobs rather than build the future for the good of all. It reflects our ongoing historical dependence on digging things up out of the ground for our prosperity (iron ore, coal, gas). But it also fails to reflect that the Australian landscape is one of the most fragile and vulnerable of all to the effects of climate change.