February 05, 2013 | Ronda Jambe

A different dialogue on climate change

This morning the ABC Radio National was talking to someone from local councils in Queensland. I only heard the end of it, but he was making the case for longer term approaches to the problems created by severe weather events. He said Queensland (or his part of it) has had 4 severe events in 4 years, and that it is not sensible to just rebuild in the same places over and over (Isn’t that what a head banger would do?)

He also said that federal funds don’t cover recreational facilities. As I enjoyed the beach facilities at Moruya, admiring the barbeque area, the covered pergola, the showers (long since turned off), and the playground, I wondered what Australia would be like if we let these public benefits fall into rack and ruin. Lucky no more?

This discussion on national public radio in the US offers what I consider a more sophisticated view of what is happening and the wider context. But you can judge for yourselves, here is the link and the participants, who I hope you find more credible than me. It covers China and India, economic implications, possible directions. These people don’t all agree, except that non of them have their heads in the sand:


Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University

John Ashton, Former climate change ambassador for the United Kingdom, Co-founder of E3G

Eileen Claussen, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking member, House Energy and Commerce Committee


After that, just to make sure we are all talking the same language, I suggest this report on fuel and energy, in case anyone doubts the economic changes that lie ahead. Interesting, this second report makes no reference to climate change, so there are dots to connect:

this report from a London finance policy group identifies
the inexorable procession of EROEI to the point of global economic


Posted by Ronda Jambe at 12:46 pm | Comments (4) |


  1. catastrophic climate change is real and scientists have continually stated that sea levels can rise by up to 100m. The only way to address this is to reduce the 2 biggest contributors. Replace coal with wind and renewables and abolish the consumption for meat and then redirect defence spending to a sustainable herbicultural industry. Not only will we address climate change but we can live in a more peaceful society. These are policies that we are currently discussing and will be on the fore with the next election (hopefully when I get preselected)

    Comment by Sarah Bath — February 6, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

  2. Good on you, Sarah, I wish you all the best. Won’t even ask which party you are with, they all need realistic people like yourself.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — February 6, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

  3. The core of the reconstruction is accepting that natural events can, do and will happen. And that when we rebuild, it is done in such a way that they will resist destruction from recognized future natural events. Sarah, if the climate change actually happens to the extent that the pessimists are articulating, Australia will need to invest in significant upgrades in all of our military defence systems. Even the state government here in Qld accepted, but didn’t publicise the point that for every part of the state that would be adversely affected by climate change, there would be a part that would become more suitable for utilization. It’s not all bad news.

    Comment by Campbell — February 6, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

  4. If we’re fair dinkum about replacing coal, Sarah, we’ll need nuclear in addition to wind and other renewables. No country is coming within a bull’s roar of decarbonising using only the latter and none of the former.

    Comment by Mark Duffett — February 6, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

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