On 19 Feb I read that the Renewable Energy Target (RET) should be scrapped; that the carbon tax is still to blame for Alcoa’s closure and that the appointment of self-proclaimed climate change sceptic, Dick Warburton, as head of the Renewable Energy Target review was a good thing.
The Fairfax papers tell a different story. In The Age, “Carbon tax not to blame” says Alcoa, and this pithy summary from a reader “Putting Dick Warburton in charge of the renewable energy targets’ review is like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.” The Australian Financial Review published a piece on the Climate Change Authority which is the expert body the Government has promised to abolish. They support the current RET recommendation and that we increase our 2020 emissions reduction target to 19 per cent below 2000 levels.
Anyone reading a little wider than the dailies will know the RET and the carbon tax have actually been successful in beginning to address climate change in a serious way. They will also know more needs to be done.
The Climate Council recently released their report on heatwaves which confirms what many of us may suspect after this summer; climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of heatwaves in Australia. This month the IPCC will release their report on the impacts of climate change. It is likely to conclude that delaying action on global warming will only increase the costs and reduce the options for dealing with the worst effects of climate change.
‘Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story’ appears to be the mantra of the current federal government and their supporters in the media. However, the best of times will only be ahead of us when we acknowledge that climate change is an issue that needs serious action, not wishful thinking.