So said Australian Member of Parliament David Shoebridge after bureaucrats attending a climate planning and adaptation conference had been advised not to discuss the relationship between climate change and Australia’s bushfire crisis, the Guardian reports.
Yes, there’s more news of wildfires on the rampage, bringing fear and destruction, made worse by many things including climate change. But the latest isn’t from California; it’s happening in Australia and especially hard hit is the territory of New South Wales. Yes, a lot of things are making wildfire/bushfire worse in California/Australia. Nobody denies that. One of those things is climate change. Those who deny that, are climate deniers.
Emissions of methane heat the Earth’s surface for a decade or so before decaying. The rise in the Earth’s temperature causes net heat emissions to space. The long term effect on temperature is small. If keeping Earth’s temperature below a certain threshold is a target, then unless the target is likely in the next decade or so the temporary rise in surface temperature is not important.
“Home buyers are forced into unaffordable, car based lifestyles.”
A plot of land big enough for a house costs roughly £500 at agricultural prices. In the York area, for example, a plot’s value becomes £50,000 once the planners’ give building the go ahead. There is no difference in the land: just its name on a certificate in a council office. This is an unearned bonus to the land owner, which starts the process of building expensive dwellings designed for unsustainable lifestyles.
More often than not, new houses are built with little regard to public transport links or cycle routes to town and with little in the way of local facilities, such as corner shops or local greengrocers, home buyers are forced into un-affordable, car based lifestyles.
The “carbon budget” is an estimate of how much CO2 we can still emit, but still have a good chance to keep global warming from going over the 1.5°C limit into “dangerous” territory. The budget has recently been revised (upward, thank goodness) to about 420 GtCO2 (420 billion tons of carbon dioxide).
Staying within the 1.5°C limit doesn’t make us “safe” — there are still consequences of climate change, dangerous and costly, and we’re already paying the price despite not having hit 1.5°C yet. But going above 1.5°C takes us into what is best described as: nobody wants to go there.