Senate debates

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Climate Change

3:44 pm

Photo of Lyn AllisonLyn Allison (Victoria, Australian Democrats) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—
notes that on 11 June and 12 June 2008 citizens and scientists came together in Canberra for the 2008 Manning Clark House Conference ‘Imagining the Real Life on a Greenhouse Earth’, in honour of former federal Minister, the Honourable Dr Barry Jones, AO, and concluded that:
global warming is accelerating,
the Arctic summer sea ice is expected to melt entirely within the next 5 years, decades earlier than predicted in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007),
scientists judge the risks to humanity of dangerous global warming to be high,
the loss of the Great Barrier Reef now seems likely,
extreme weather events, such as storm surges adding to rising sea levels and threatening coastal cities, will become more frequent,
there is a real danger that we have reached or will soon reach critical tipping points and the future will be taken out of our hands – the melting Arctic sea ice could be the first such tipping point,
beyond 2ºC of warming seems inevitable, unless greenhouse gas reduction targets are tightened, and we risk huge human and societal costs, and perhaps even the effective end of industrial civilisation,
we need to cease our assault on our own life support system and that of millions of species, and that global warming is only one of many symptoms of that assault,
peak oil, global warming and long-term sustainability pressures all require that we reduce energy needs and switch to renewable energy sources and many credible studies show that Australia can quickly and cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions through dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and by increasing Australia’s investment in solar, wind and other renewable sources,
the need for action is extremely urgent and the window of opportunity for avoiding severe impacts is rapidly closing, yet the obstacles to change are not technical or economic, they are political and social, and
democratic societies have responded successfully to dire and immediate threats, as was demonstrated in World War II and this is a last call for an effective response to global warming;
thanks the delegates of this conference, including Professor Barry Brook, Sir Hubert Wilkins, Dr Geoff Davies, Dr Andrew Glikson and Mr Sebastian Clark for their efforts in drawing this warning to the Senate’s attention; and
urges the Government to act on these conclusions.

Question put.