Another day, another groundbreaking warning of the oncoming climate apocalypse backed by thousands of experts in the field.
For the first time, 11,000 scientists across 153 countries have signed a BioScience report that, while not peer-reviewed, declares a “climate emergency”.
And while the Morrison government has yet to respond to the report, recent history offers a fairly solid clue as to whether it will.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5 degree study published in October last year found that a 1.5 degree temperature increase was effectively guaranteed and Earth would need radical changes over the next 12 years to keep the increase below 2 degrees.
And, according to the 91 authors reviewing thousands of papers over three years, a 2 degree increase would see the end of all coral reefs.
The Coalition’s response at the time was comical. Scott Morrison wouldn’t put money into climate conferences or be bound by any of the recommendations; deputy PM Michael McCormack wouldn’t be dictated to by “some sort of report”; and former environment minister Melissa Price, despite not having read the report, declared recommendations to phase out coal by 2050 is “drawing a very long bow”.
Other recent, catastrophic calls-to-arms that have failed to produce any change to the Coalition’s five-year emissions plan include:
- “We need to change how we eat and live” — IPCC Special Report on Land, August 2019
- “The economic costs of hotter weather, rising seas and weather extremes is incalculable, but in the trillions” — The National Fourth Climate Assessment, June 2019
- “One million species are threatened with extinction” — Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, May 2019
- “The bugs will go first” — Biological Conservation, February 2019
- “Weather extremes are definitely linked to global heating” — State of the Climate 2018, Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, December, 2018
- “Global heating has a strong evidence link to bushfires and heatwaves; rain and storms catching up” — Climate Council, “Cranking Up The Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events” , February 2017
- “Climate change could make turbulence worse” — Geophysical Research Letters, October 2017.