This story looks at current environmental degradation and puts into question the survival of the planet, our only home. For over 30 years the world’s leading climate scientists have warned us that climate change is man-made, and that as it progresses, adverse weather patterns will develop and become more intense, last longer and be more disruptive. Such events are now happening all around the world.
Jane Stabb, Community Organising Manager of Environment Victoria, a lobby group, does not want her two-year-old son to grow up in a world which on current indications is headed for run-away climate change.
Environment Victoria says the window of opportunity to delay the rapid onset of unbearably high atmospheric temperature is rapidly closing. It says that the biggest contributor to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in Australia is the burning of coal in the production of electricity.
It proposes that we need to start with removing the dirtiest power station – Yallourn, in Victoria, and within three years, not the 13 years the operator favours.
It says Energy Victoria (Vic Gov), other government departments and the community need to work together to help the transition to clean renewable energy, as well as fostering the introduction of new industries and employment opportunities in the Latrobe Valley, as the Yallourn power plant and its two sister power stations shut down progressively.
Ms Stabb says we are already seeing the effects of climate change around us: more severe droughts, worsening heatwaves and devastating bushfires are impacting communities right now.
“Science tells that these events could trigger amplified feedbacks, leading to a world that that is virtually unrecognisable to the one you and I have grown up in.
To protect my son and all our children from the worst impacts of climate change, all Australian coal-burning power stations need to be closed and replaced with clean energy within the next ten years.”
She adds, “Without urgent action, humanity faces the collapse of life-giving ecosystems such as coral reefs, rainforests and the Arctic, all in my son’s lifetime.”
Note: As we move towards summer following a wet winter and spring in the eastern suburbs, fire authorities are warning that the extra growth generated has increased the potential of severe bushfires.
With these two warnings ringing in our ears, it behoves us to do all we can to make sure that we are not agents in causing bushfires or in contributing to yet more global warming by using air conditioning unnecessarily through summer.
We should also put pressure on the federal government to amplify the inadequate measures it has put in place to combat climate change.
Former editor of Energy Forum magazine for Energy Victoria (Vic. Gov.)