Assembly of Australian scientists explain human role in climate change to citizens.

A report by the Australian Academy of Science affirms that the world is warming, that carbon emissions is driving change, that these emissions arise from human activity, and that if we do not reduce emissions, significant impacts on our society and environment will result.

The failure of some politicians to accept the reality of human-induced climate change stalls decisions on what substantive actions Australia must take to reduce emissions says Prof. Ray Wills, Chief Executive of the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), and Adjunct Professor with The University of Western Australia.


‘While the rest of the world is making bold changes, Australia's actions remain comparatively small despite clear public support for sustainable energy solutions to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions,' says Prof Wills.

Meanwhile, a new report released on Monday by the Australian Academy of Science - an eminent collective of over 400 of Australia's top scientists - affirms that the world is warming, that carbon emissions is driving change, that these emissions arise from human activity, and that if we do not reduce emissions, significant impacts on our society and environment will result.

"The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers" has a stated aim to address confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain. It sets out to explain the current situation in climate science, including where there is consensus in the scientific community and where uncertainties exist. The report was prepared by a Working Group and Oversight Committee made up of Academy Fellows and other Australian scientists with internationally recognised expertise in climate science.

This follows an earlier report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that lists 10 indicators that global warming is happening: rising humidity; rising sea-surface temperature as well as heat stored in deeper waters; shrinking sea ice, glacier and springtime snow cover; rising temperatures over land and sea; and rising sea levels. All point to a rapidly warming world.

‘These reports reiterate what every qualified scientific body in the world - including the Royal Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Chinese Academy of Science - is saying unequivocally: that global warming is a reality and that warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions,' says Prof Wills.

While some politicians try to downplay the importance of climate change and sustainability as an election issue, a poll jointly commissioned by the ACF and WWF conducted by respected Auspoll shows climate policies will affect the votes of most Australians.

The poll revealed that ‘Pollution and climate change' will influence the votes of 78 per cent of the 2,200 voters surveyed.

WA SEA, Australia's largest energy chamber, prepared a comprehensive list of cost effective and practical actions that can be taken across all sectors of the economy that will boost national productivity, reduce inflation and ensure continued strong growth within the Australian sustainable energy industry and across Australia's economy for decades to come.

This document consolidated a raft of commentary released by WA SEA aimed at improving Australia's energy efficiency and take up of renewable energy generation, including measures that remove barriers to business entry and deliver incentives to ensure a more sustainable economy.

WA SEA then prepared an election score chart to document how well election commitments from all major parties are tracking against WA SEA's action list.

The Greens received the highest score with 73, Labor scored 32, and the Coalition scored 11 out of 100.

‘We must fundamentally change the way we think about energy and how we do business. And we must act,' says WA SEA Chief Executive Prof Wills.

WA SEA urges voters to highlight WA SEA's policies to whichever party or candidate they choose to support in the Federal election, and to seek commitments from those they vote into the next Federal Parliament to push a more sustainable Australia through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

‘Climate change is real, the impacts are already proving dire and will only get worse, humans are causing it, and we need to stop,' says Prof Wills.

WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) Media Release - 19 August 2010

Editors notes:
1. The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers http://www.science.org.au/policy/climatechange.html
2. NOAA ten key indicators show global warming "undeniable"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/01/AR2010080102850.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ten-key-indicators-global-warming
3. What the world is doing - United Nations Environment Programme report http://www.uneptie.org/energy/
4. ACF/WWF poll result http://www.wwf.org.au/news/voters-want-more-funding-for-environment/
5. WA SEA Policy framework via WA SEA website www.wasea.com.au including Australian Federal election scorechart http://www.wasea.com.au/files/media/2010/1008016_mr_waseafedscore.pdf
6. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of enterprises has a growing membership of over 360 industry members from a diversity of businesses. WA SEA is the largest energy industry body in Australia. www.wasea.com.au.
7. WA SEA bringing you the Energising SE Asia Conference 23-26 March 2011, Perth.

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