Friday, July 4, 2008

Garguat review summary

From Peter Martin and here is Garguat by numbers:

"Climate change is a diabolical policy problem. It is harder than any other
issue of high importance that has come before our polity in living memory.

Climate change presents a new kind of challenge. It is uncertain in its form
and extent, rather than drawn in clear lines. It is insidious rather than directly
confrontational. It is long term rather than immediate, in both its impacts and its
remedies. Any effective remedies lie beyond any act of national will, requiring
international cooperation of unprecedented dimension and complexity.


Australia has a larger interest in a strong mitigation outcome than other
developed countries. Our location makes us already a hot and dry country;
small variations in climate are more damaging to us than to other developed
countries. We live in a region of developing countries, which are in weaker
positions to adapt to climate change than wealthy countries with robust political
and economic institutions. The problems of our neighbours would inevitably
become our problems. And the structure of our economy suggests that our
terms of trade would be damaged more by the effects of climate change than
would those of any other developed country.


The solutions to the climate change challenge must be found in removing the
links between economic activity and greenhouse gas emissions.


No answers to questions as complex and difficult as those introduced in this
chapter would seem right, or palatable, to everyone. Perhaps no answers, with
their many parts, would seem right or palatable to anyone.

Many will disagree with elements or the whole of the conclusions of
this Review. Many will disagree with the policy proposals that flow from the
conclusions. They would prefer cheaper, more certain, later and less disruptive
ways forward, or higher levels and urgency of Australian mitigation ambition.

The Review would prefer cheaper, more certain, later and less disruptive
ways forward, if any were available that were not associated with large risks of
damage from climate change.


By mid century business as usual is likely to see irrigated agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin lose half of its annual output. The Great Barrier Reef will be effectively destroyed.

By the close of the century, business as usual, at the median of the probability distributions of mainstream science’s assessment, is likely to have ended irrigated agriculture in the Murray Darling Basin. Depopulation will be under way.

The increased incidence of heatwaves and hot days is likely to lead to about
4000 more deaths across Queensland annually. The rise in temperatures is
likely to have caused the end of snow-based tourism.


The Review is confident in its advice that Australia will meet its greenhouse gas mitigation goals with least risk and lowest cost if it holds firmly to a comprehensive, market oriented emissions trading system as its main weapon in the fight to contain global warming."

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