CALL TO ARMS: GLOBAL WARMING ACCELERATING

Over 200 of Australia's leading climate scientists and environment activists have issued a "call to arms" in the battle against global warming, saying that the effects of climate change are accelerating more rapidly than predicted.

Over 200 of Australia's leading climate scientists and environment activists have issued a "call to arms" in the battle against global warming, saying that the effects of climate change are accelerating more rapidly than predicted.


In a joint statement released by delegates attending the 2008 Manning Clark House Conference on Climate Change in Canberra, scientists warned that neglecting energy efficiency and failing to invest in renewable energy solutions like wind and solar technology will "risk huge human and societal costs and perhaps even the effective end of industrial civilisation."

Professor Barry Brook from the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability at the Adelaide University, helped draft the statement and said climate change will soon become irreversible unless dramatic action is taken now.

"The first key message is we really haven't got much longer to go before the problem is taken out of our hands," he said.

"One good example is the arctic ice in the summer, it continues to melt at a record rate, the arctic is getting hotter. Now once that happens on a large scale then there will be nothing we can do to stop the warming continuing."

The statement also says that the obstacles to change are not technical or economic, that they are political and social.

"We mean that the technologies to do this are available. The technologies to implement energy efficiency and also to really scale up rapidly our use for renewable energy such as solar and wind," he said.

It was frustrating to see such inaction on renewable power sources given the dire consequences climate change will wreak on society. "They're (solar energy sources and wind power) available, so the technical know-how is there. It's not even an economic argument," Professor Brooks said.

He urged the federal government to implement a carbon trading scheme, which would force polluting industries to innovate and lower the cost of renewable energy.

Australia's solar industry been seriously damaged recently by changes to the solar panel rebate. The federal government is now considering monitoring its decision to means test rebates for home solar systems, after lobbying from the renewable energy industry and solar advocates.

Please visit www.energymatters.com.au for more information, or call +61 3 9697 1900

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