The Bramble Cay melomys is the first mammal species whose demise can be attributed directly to climate change. Rising global temperatures will have grim outcomes for many living things. DEA's National Chair Professor Kingsley Faulkner, who was interviewed for this article, highlights that human health will be a major cost.
Professor Faulkner lists some of the costs.
First, heatwaves-- over the past 100 years, more people have died of heat-related causes than any other natural problem.
Then, changes in disease patterns (malaria, dengue, Ross River virus will likely move south with increasing temperatures), the effects on air quality and the emissions from fossil fuels, and the many mental health costs associated with the increased incidence of “natural” disasters.
“No party should be elected without a credible climate policy,” Professor Faulkner says.
“The latest IPCC report shows the absolute urgency of the issue. We wasted a decade, and this report says the next decade will be absolutely crucial. Unfortunately, in spite of the Wentworth result, this lot don’t seem to have learnt. They are still talking about subsidising coal, and having no strong emissions policy. They are appallingly inept.”
And the current sloganeering around “fair dinkum” power amounts to “stupidity”.
“We are playing around with the lives of our children and grandchildren – we really are,” Professor Faulkner says.
Read the full article in The Saturday Paper, 27 October to 2 November.
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