Australia’s PM On The Spot

2,000 scientists recently endorsed an open letter to our Prime Minster Turnbull calling for a halt to coal to save the world’s coral reefs. With 50% of global coral already dead, and a global bleaching event that started in 2014 still underway and ready to hit the Caribbean next, the Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii issued the urgent call for leadership from Australia (see

“We call upon the Australian Commonwealth Government to stop endorsing the export of coal and specifically to stop or revoke the approval of new mines…”

“Australia is currently perceived as a laggard compared to other developed countries in pursuing the urgent pathway to a low carbon economy…”

What could be stronger than these words!

Why was climate change not higher on the agenda during this election? If vested interests/money was not involved, we would see the biggest outrage from the media.

This is not and should not be regarded as a ‘green’ issue as it goes to the heart of human survival into the coming centuries. We rely on the services that our environment provides to us – water, air, food, etc. Changes to our climate are already having serious consequences. The impacts we see today were created by our emissions in the 1990’s and we have not yet seen the impacts of the last 20 years of emissions. Inevitably, we will all be affected.

The simple message is, “The more we emit the worse the impacts will be”.

The current commitment to sea level rise has been estimated to be between 1.2m and 2.2m over the long term if we reduce emissions rapidly. If we continue to increase emissions over the next 30 years the commitment will be 9m of sea level rise. This would mean the drowning of coastal cities everywhere.

Those born this century have not experienced a year where the global average temperature was lower than any year in the 20th century except 1998, which was a strong El Nino year.

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