Opinion piece from Dr Johannes Bauer

Who is Prof Schellnhuber and why is what he said important?

Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber –  for twenty years the head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and a senior advisor to Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union.

This is what Prof Schellnhuber had to say August 2018:

“Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.”…. the issue now “is the very survival of our civilisation, where conventional means of analysis may become useless”.

Prof Schellnhuber is neither an alarmist nor a journalist but a very rational scientist who has been one of the leaders of the scientific community for two decades on this.

And what are the latest policy decisions in Australia? We have appointed two climate deniers to important political posts; Angus Taylor as the new Minister for Energy in the Coalition Government and Barnaby Joyce as the new envoy for the government’s drought relief program. One has the power to implement a climate change policy that is in keeping with community expectations and the other has the role of mopping up the issues that arise from a drought that many believe is connected to climate change.

Where do we go with this issue? We have been 10 years on the treadmill and haven’t moved one inch towards an acceptable policy dedicated to minimising CO2 emissions.

Well there are some alternatives. Here is one that was sent to the Institute by a frustrated member:

“This is getting beyond a joke that destroys the future of our children. The politicians here who have created this unbelievable mess, unique in the entire world, should be taken to court and held responsible for their inaction. Currently 1100 cases of class action have been taken around the world (e.g. 21 children are sue-ing the US government, 800 citizens of Netherlands will force their government to take action, and so on). This is quite likely the way to go – as we know money talks. And it would be a very good idea if we, our civil society, scientists and farmers would get together and take them to court. This is serious stuff, and not for future prime ministers to take pieces of coal into parliament for a laugh.”

“If we look ahead 10 years and anticipate that droughts will become a greater feature of the Australian landscape than ever before isn’t it time we started to think less in terms of handouts to farmers and more in terms of creating a Farm Planning Advisory Service to implement a program that
(a) enriches farm soil carbon, and
(b) enables farmers to plan for the lean years.”

“How many Farm Planners would a billion dollars employ! Orange area, for example, could have a farm planning network where the capacity of the region to manage a 1-2 year drought could be developed. In this way the government would know that financial aid would be needed at a point as determined by the size of the feed storage available in a given region. As was pointed out to the AIEA this week there are many farms in NSW that have managed the drought quite well and there are many farms which were overstocked leading up to the drought.”

Dr Johannes Bauer

Join the conversation. Comment and let us know what you think?

  • Contact us
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube