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Canberra Today 9°/13° | Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

We need clear and honest solutions, not more confusion 

Former Liberal politician GREG CORNWELL has been trying to get through the mixed messages and confusion around climate change…

LOCKDOWN has given me time to think about the confusing issue of climate change. And what confusion there is! 

Greg Cornwell.

Words that regularly pop up such as carbon neutrality, carbon emissions, net zero targets, greenhouse gases, renewable energy and fossil fuels. Dates, too: 2050, 2030 and “half by 2030”. Not that these years will worry me, but they certainly worry others, concerned about their children and grandchildren.

What does the world, not just Australia, have to do to avoid environmental Armageddon? 

Will the solutions proposed to address climate change, carbon emissions etcetera work? Indeed, are there solutions and, if there are, are they so draconian we, the people, cannot be told?

Will our standard of living fall to a degree only the most fanatical environmentalist or greenie will find acceptable?

Has anyone considered the effect of the alternative lifestyle these worldwide changes might have upon our societies? Will the advances in say, science and technology, be impeded by climate-change adjustments?

How long will the corrections take and at what human cost during the transition?

For example, take the question of phasing out fossil fuels and particularly coal. I understand coking coal is not a problem but the rest is.

So these other coal mines across the country are closed down. How many miners are unemployed and how much more significant would be the figure if their families and their communities also were taken into account?

What about the transport drivers collecting and delivering this commodity locally and to ports? To those in our own industries and the seamen sailing the bulk product overseas and finally, to the people in the countries receiving and converting this black gold into essentials to improve national living standards?

How do we re-employ this army of global workers and how quickly?

Granted, there are alternative renewable-energy methods, but these appear limited in application, such as solar and wind power, unless upon such a massive scale around the world as to destroy or irreparably damage the very environment we seek to protect.

Nuclear has been suggested, but to many this as a cure is worse than the disease. Population reduction also would help, but is unpopular for social, cultural and financial reasons and short of a pandemic or a big war difficult to enforce.

To a puzzled me, criticism of current practices is not enough, we need clear and honest solutions to this existing global problem.

Greg Cornwell is a former Liberal MLA and Legislative Assembly Speaker. 

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