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May 1, 2009

Scientists speak out: coal-fired power stations are responsible for global warming

Professor David Karoly and six other leading climate scientists have written a letter to the owners of every coal-fired power station in Australia.

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Today, the owners of every coal-fired power station in Australia will receive a letter from myself and six other leading climate scientists. We have made it clear that their emissions are directly responsible, in part, for the impacts of climate change being felt in Australia and abroad. (click on the letter to read in full).

Our intention is to ensure the coal industry is fully accountable for their pollution and the damage it causes.

Debate will continue on the fringes but, within the scientific community, there is wide and deep consensus that climate change is an unprecedented and urgent threat to the planet as we know it. We are at a key point in history and failure to act decisively now will have severe ramifications for generations to come.

Coal-fired power stations are incompatible with action that reflects the urgency of climate change. As such, we have asked the recipients of the letters to have the far-sighted courage to work with our government and us to urgently replace coal-fired power plants with zero-carbon energy sources and energy efficiency programmes.

As scientists, we have refrained in general from proposing policy, but when the direction we continue to take in this country is so clearly at odds with the scientific evidence, we have no choice but to speak out.

The consequences are too severe to do otherwise.

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