Philip Sutton calls for a campaign to end all further climate damaging investments.
Did anyone see the recent ABC Catalyst program on Coral Bleaching?
“This summer, large parts of the Great Barrier Reef saw the hottest sea temperatures and the most severe coral bleaching ever recorded – so before the next impact hits, scientists are racing against time to understand the demise of reefs and the prospects for their recovery.”
The coral scientist said that bleaching events are hitting the Reef about every six years. But healthy reefs need 10 to 15 years to recover from bleaching events. They need that time for all the species that have been killed locally to recolonise from other reefs. And non-healthy reefs need up to 30 years to recover.
Bleaching events are occurring much faster than reefs systems can recover from. So the current temperature of the Earth is wiping out reef systems. This means that there is no budget left for burning any fossil fuels. Every addition of greenhouse gases is making an unacceptable situation worse.
But just because we have a zero greenhouse gas budget that doesn’t mean we can turn of the use of fossil fuels instantly. We clearly need some time to phase out the use of fossil fuels. But how much time? It depends on how we approach the phase out.
If we made a World War II level commitment then we could probably phase out fossil fuels in six years. Beyond Zero Emissions have shown how to do it in 10 years.
The amount of fossil fuels burned during the transition is not our budget. It is just the ecological price for taking the time we take to complete the phase out. The longer the phase out, the higher the price.
Personally, I think it’s time to campaign to end all further climate damaging investment. Environment Justice Australia – the Victorian Environment Defenders’ Office – is currently preparing for RSTI a model Act to ban all further investment in climate damaging projects.
If the climate movement as a whole would take up this concept of ‘no new bad investment’ we could move on to campaign for the systematic closure of all current sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Philip Sutton is co-author of ‘Climate Code Red’ and Strategist, RSTI. Read more on www.green-innovations.asn.au
Previous posts by Philip Sutton:
» 30 May 2016: Our approach to climate and reef campaigning is a dead parrot
» 18 May 2016: What can we do with the reefs’ death spiral? Start with the ethics!
» Sign the climate emergency declaration petition:
» Share on Facebook:
» Naomi Klein: Climate change is intergenerational theft. That’s why my son is part of this story
“The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.”
“No one knows if a serious effort at the time could have saved the reef, but it is clear that no such effort was made.”
“It’s one of the greatest environmental catastrophes our country has ever seen… and yet somehow, it’s fallen off the political agenda!
The Climate Council: “Can you help us #RaiseTheReef?”
“Watch and share our new video:”
» The Independent – 14 October 2016:
New pictures show Great Barrier Reef is not repairing itself as it should
» The Guardian – 1 November 2016:
Great Barrier Reef: why are government and business perpetuating the big lie?
“Despite the government’s protests, it’s not possible to save the Great Barrier Reef without tackling global warming first.”
“We can and must save the Great Barrier Reef ― it supports 70,000 jobs in reef tourism, large sections of it [the southern half] escaped from the 2016 bleaching, and are in reasonable shape. The message should be that it isn’t too late for Australia to lift its game and better protect the Great Barrier Reef, not we should all give up because the Great Barrier Reef is supposedly dead.”
Russell Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
World Animal News – 14 October 2016:
Scientists Have Confirmed That The Great Barrier Reef Is Approaching Extinction
“A new report from Oil Change International found that if we want to stay below 1.5°C of global warming, no new fossil fuel extraction or transportation infrastructure can be built. But our government isn’t listening to the science. That’s why people all over the world are standing up and saying no more! No more pipelines! No more fracking! No more putting fossil fuel profits over public health and the health of our planet!”
~ Solutions Grassroots, United States
“Oil Change International’s calculations demand no new drilling, no new fracking, and definitely no new coal mines. It also means no new pipelines or other construction to facilitate fossil-fuel production, beyond repairing old, faulty infrastructure.”
~ The Nation
» See the report
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