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100 ideas for climate activists

Climate ChangeAround the world there are many climate change activists passionately committed to effective world action over the worsening threat from man-made climate change to species, ecosystems, the Biosphere and Humanity. However those who are scientifically trained despair over the huge gap between the dire reality of worsening climate change as perceived by scientists and the short-term, business as usual (BAU) policies of populist politicians and their largely ignorant and wishful thinking electorates [1].

Thus the recent pre-election decision in Australia of Labor Prime Minister Kevin “I love coal” Rudd to terminate the Carbon Tax, slashing the Carbon Price from $25 per tonne CO2-e to an EU $6 per tonne CO2-e, found immediate electoral approval.  

In contrast,  a risk avoidance-based estimate of $7.6 million for the value of a statistical life, Australian annual subsidies of $11 billion for fossil fuel burning, 9,600 annual Australian carbon pollution-related deaths and Australia’s annual Domestic GHG pollution (2009) of 552 million tonnes CO2-e  yield a Carbon Price of $7.6 million x 9,600 annual deaths = $73 billion + $11 billion = $84 billion / 552 million tonnes CO2-e  = $152/tonne CO2-e ( = $562 /tonne C) [2, 3]. Climate economist Dr Chris Hope (the University of Cambridge, UK) argues for a Carbon Price of $150 per tonne CO2-e [4].

Both the WBGU (which advises the German Government on climate change) and  the Australian Climate Commission (which advises the Australian Government)  both estimate that  for a 75% chance of avoiding a disastrous 2 degree Centigrade  temperature rise the World can now emit no more than 0.6 trillion tonnes of CO2 before reaching zero emissions in about 2050 [5,6].  At current rates of pollution this terminal GHG pollution budget will be exceeded in 16 years according to the Australian Climate Commission [6]. However, using the latest data from the World Bank, the US Energy Information Administration and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space studies, I have estimated that the world has only 5 years left before this terminal budget is exceeded [7].

The acute seriousness of the present situation is revealed by the following dire estimations. The atmospheric consequence of 2 centuries of fossil fuel burning has been the increase in atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to a current 400 ppm. Top climate scientists and biologists argue that for a safe and sustainable planet there must be a return of atmospheric CO2 concentration to about 300 ppm CO2.  The major means of doing this are through cessation of greenhouse gas pollution,  re-afforestation and conversion of agricultural and forestry cellulosic biomass waste  to biochar (charcoal, carbon) through anaerobic pyrolysis (heating at 500-700C  in the absence of oxygen). The atmosphere contains  about 700 billion tonnes of CO2 and hence reducing the CO2 from 400 ppm to 300 ppm means removing one quarter of the atmospheric  CO2 i.e. removal of 175 billion tonnes CO2.   The cost of  removal of 175 billion tonnes CO2 as biochar has been estimated at $13 trillion to $53 trillion (US dollars)  or 15-62% of the current world annual GDP of $85 trillion [8]. There is no indication (except from some warming-threatened island states and some prescient countries e.g. Denmark, Germany, Scotland, and China) that the world is prepared to take serious action [1, 9] .  

However it gets even worse.  Methane (CH4) has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 105 times greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2) on a 20 year time frame and taking aerosol impacts into account. Accordingly, the 50 billion tonnes of CH4 predicted to be released from the Arctic Ocean seabed in coming decades [10] is equivalent  to 50 x 105 = 5,250 billion tonnes CO2-equivalent (CO2-e ) and the cost of $13 trillion to $53 trillion for 175 billion tonnes CO2 translates conservatively to $390 trillion to $1,590 trillion for conversion of 5,250 billion tonnes of CO2-e via CO2  to biochar . This estimate represents about 5 to 20 years of  world GDP and tells even the most optimistic person that we are doomed unless radical action is taken now to stop Arctic warming immediately [8].

We are badly running out of time to tackle the steadily worsening climate crisis. The worsening climate crisis appears daunting but while there is life there is hope, but what can decent people do individually or collectively?  Below in 23 Sections is a collection of about 100 useful ideas for climate change campaigners trying to save the Biosphere.

1. Big Picture

1.1. The Climate Emergency actions urgently required include:

 (a). Change of societal philosophy to one of scientific risk management and biological sustainability with complete cessation of species extinctions and zero tolerance for lying.

(b). Urgent reduction of atmospheric CO2 to a safe level of about 300 ppm as recommended by leading climate and biological scientists.

(c). Rapid switch to the best non-carbon and renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tide and hydro options that are currently roughly the same market price as coal burning-based power) and to energy efficiency, public transport, needs-based production, re-afforestation and return of carbon as biochar to soils coupled with correspondingly rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning, unsustainable deforestation, methanogenic livestock production and population growth. [11].

2. ABC of climate change activism - Activism bottom-line

2.1 Successful –isms and –ists have an ABC strategy involving Accountability (negative feedback for non-adherence), Badge (symbol) and Credo (brief statement of position). Environmental-ism requires (A) accountability e.g. holding people, politicians, countries and corporations accountable by boycotts, divestment, sanctions, exposure and scorn, (B) wearing a badge at all times (e.g., as I do, “300 ppm CO2”) and (C) a simple credo e.g. “For a safe planet for all peoples and all species we must urgently return the atmospheric CO2 from the present 400 ppm CO2 to the safe and sustainable pre-industrial 300 ppm CO2”.

3. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

3.1 Cessation of species extinction, unsustainable deforestation and fossil fuel burning means climate activists should urge and apply where practicable Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all  people, politicians, parties, candidates, corporations and countries involved in destruction of the Biosphere – indeed, anything less makes one complicit in ecocide and terracide.

4. Business

4.1 Climate campaigners must document and inform business about the short term unsustainability of the carbon economy and a mounting Carbon Debt.

4.2. Climate campaigners must spread the message “No jobs on a dead planet”.

4.3 Climate activists are obliged to be honest with business over deficient market-based government interventions that are evidently about being seen to do something rather than actually tackling climate change (e.g. in Australia a Carbon Tax that taxes industrial and domestic consumers and then returns most of the receipts in what is known in biochemistry as a “:futile cycle”; an EU ETS that has not been shown to be effective and has a Carbon Price of $6 per tonne CO2-e  as compared to estimates of a required $150 per tonne CO2-e; the Coalition Direct Action plan in Australia that is too little too late and amounts to intervening in the market to subsidize polluters).

4.4 Climate campaigners should maker common cause with business that is positive towards climate action (e.g. superannuation and managed funds, renewable energy industry, agri-business that will compete with fossil fuel burners for allowable GHG pollution).  

5. Children

Hundreds of millions of children are already the victims of the worsening climate crisis and it is estimated that 6 billion under-5 year old infants will die avoidably this century due to unaddressed climate change. All children are acutely threatened by man-made climate change. Some ideas for climate action re children:

5.1 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed (e.g. Climate Commission-informed), clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all primary school children as a booklet, book mark, and refrigerator magnet.

5.2 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed, clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all secondary school children as a booklet, book mark, and refrigerator magnet.

5.3 Green apparel as a badge of environmental concern (children can declare themselves for their future; make every day St Patrick’s Day).

5.4 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed, clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all parents, school teachers, clergy, sports coaches, music teachers and indeed all those involved with children activities.

5.5 Smart ways of explaining to children that we have just One Planet and that any species extinction is unacceptable.

5.6 Awards to children (from badges to books) for good works for the Biosphere.

5.7. Local, state, national and global awards for outstanding environmentalism by children.

5.8 Children must be ethically encouraged to boycott ecocidal and terracidal products and services.

5.9 Children should be ethically encouraged to ask what their elders are doing in the War on the Planet. and instructed about the terms intergenerational equity, intergenerational justice, intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice.

5.10 Climate activists must educate and mobilize children who have the time and energy to help save their world.

5.11 Children and young people in general instructed about intergenerational equity, intergenerational justice, intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice.

5.12 Just as a children were ethically instructed about the consequences of nuclear war in “When the wind blows” by Raymond Briggs (1982), so they should be similarly made aware of the consequences of climate change inaction.  

 6. Churches (from Agnosticism to Zoroastrianism)

 Religious and other philosophical organizations   (e.g. the Humanists) have a moral message and according to Australian PM Kevin “I love coal” Rudd “climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time”. Some ideas for climate action re religious organizations:

6.1 Religious and related organizations should be sensibly appraised in all kinds of ways about the climate emergency and solutions.

6.2 Religious and related organizations should be encouraged to divest from anti-Biosphere enterprises (e.g. a number of mainline Protestant churches in New England, USA, are divesting from coal and gas companies).

6.3. Religious and related organizations must be strongly encouraged to publicly address the immense moral failure of ecocide and terracide.

6.4 Churches and other organizations should be encouraged to publicly declare for the Biosphere (just as St Paul’s Cathedral at one of the Melbourne CBD’s busiest intersections draped itself with a huge sign for Australian Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks saying “Bring David Hicks Home”).

6.5 Churches and other organizations must be made to appreciate that for (a) atheists the closest one gets to any notion of “purpose” is defiance - through preservation of the Biosphere and creation of Beauty and Truth - of the Second Law of Thermodynamics that states that disorder (entropy, S) inevitably increases, and (b) for theists destruction of the Biosphere in whole or in part is Blasphemy.

6.6 Climate activists must present the argument that “Go forth and multiply” and remorseless exploitation of nature were sensible strategies for warring Bronze Age tribes but suicidal in a crowed world.

6.7 Climate activists should document how Business As Usual (BAU) by rich, high footprint polluters is violating the human rights of threatened, low footprint Developing World people (e.g. Islands States, mega-Delta states).

6.8 “Thou shalt not kill” but 18 million die avoidably each year on Spaceship Earth with the First World in charge of the flight deck (see Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, now available for free perusal on the web) with 5 million dying each year from carbon burning pollutants (4.5 million) or from climate change (0.5 million).

6.9 Religious ideas of an approach to “equity” are grossly violated when one considers wealth distribution as reflected in annual per capita GHG pollution e.g. (in tonnes CO2-e per person per year): 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), less than 3 (many African and Island countries), 3.2 (the Developing World), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 16 (the Developed World), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 74 in 2010 if Australia’s huge Exported GHG pollution is included).

6.10 Religion is about just human interactions yet estimates from Dr. James Lovelock FRS and Professor Kevin Anderson of only 0.5 billion survivors of climate change inaction this century translate to a climate genocide involving avoidable deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis [12].  

7. Economy

7.1 Climate campaigners must inform everyone about the unsustainability of the carbon economy.

7.2. Climate campaigners must argue and disseminate spread the message “No jobs on a dead planet”.

7.3 Climate activists must document and educate about the need for 100% renewable energy with energy storage for 24/7 baseload operation.

7.4 Climate campaign must lead a public discussion about rich social humanist alternatives to the currently dominant Gadarene neoliberal approach of remorseless resource exploitation to extinction.

7.5  While it is important for a country to have high technology industry (e.g. a car industry) for skills, economic security and strategic security reasons, climate change activists must argue that fossil-fuelled vehicles are an environmental and health disaster and that alternatives in highly urbanized, developed  countries like Australia are renewable energy-powered electric vehicles, renewable energy-powered  rail mass transit of goods and people, cessation of highway construction, shifting of high technology industry from indulgent cars to manufacture of renewable energy units, and housing growth upwards rather than the existing remorseless spread of individual homes into well-watered agricultural lands.

8. Education

Rational risk management crucial for societal safety successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses), and (c) systemic change to minimize risk. Education and accurate informing are accordingly crucial for rational risk management in general and in particular for saving the Biosphere, of which most is severely threatened by man-made climate change.

8.1 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed (e.g. Climate Commission-informed), clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all primary school, secondary school and tertiary students and teachers.

8.2  Where practicable and reasonable, Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) should be applied against all  schools,  teachers, academics, media, politicians, people, parties and corporations giving false instruction about the worsening climate crisis and otherwise involved in destruction of the Biosphere.

8.3 Climate campaigners must insist that false instruction of children on the climate crisis is intellectual child abuse.

8.4 Climate campaigners should be actively involved in public education about the worsening climate crisis via talks and distribution of carefully-designed literature to schools, universities, political parties, community organizations and businesses.

9. Elderly

Older people are frailer and more susceptible to heat stress and dehydration through decreased effectiveness of internal warning systems.

9.1 Climate campaigners should inform elderly people and organizations for older people of the 3 Ds for why older people should be   climate change activists: (1) Depreciation of their assets and superannuation in an unsustainable carbon economy, (2) Death of elderly people from heat stress and dehydration, and (3) their Descendants will hate them for what they have done to the planet.

9.2 Climate campaigners must inform older people about intergenerational equity, intergenerational justice, intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice in which they are complicit in relation to present children.

9.3 Climate activists must educate and mobilize everyone they can include retired people with time to do likewise.

10. Farmers

World Bank analysts have recently re-assessed annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution as 64 Gt CO2-e, about 50% bigger than the 42 Gt CO2-e hitherto thought and that the livestock contribution is over 51% of the bigger figure (major element: 20 year time frame considered for CH4 GWP) [13]. Conversely, landowners have potentially a major source of income from biochar production using agricultural and forestry waste [14].

10.1 Climate campaigners should make common cause with farmers who are in essence in competition with the fossil fuel industry for allowable GHG pollution of the atmosphere (100% renewable energy is cheap and achievable but a vegan economy while desirable is culturally very difficult).

10.2 Climate activists should recognize that they generate GHGs by driving cars while livestock farmers generate GHGs through stock belching (eructation) – we are all in this together and particular groups cannot be singled out for carrying a “green” burden.

10.3 Climate campaigners should argue for landowner involvement in the massive biochar production from agricultural and forestry waste that is crucial for lowering atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm.

10.4 Climate campaigners must make common cause with farmers and landowners opposed to destruction of agricultural land, bush and aquifers for coal and gas production.

10.5 Climate campaigners must insist on retention of sufficient water for sustainable sustenance of wild ecosystems and encourage farmers to grow low water-demand crops including novel high-value crops (e.g. arid region sandalwood; see the huge pharmacological reference text, Gideon Polya, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects” [15]).

10.6 Climate activists must oppose the food-for-fuel obscenity if mandated biofuel that is driving up food prices and thus causing malnourishment and starvation in impoverished countries [16].

10.7 Climate campaigners should inform society of the huge carbon debt associated with most crop-based biofuel production.

10.8 Climate activism on a crowded planet implies efficient food production but 7 kg grain is required to generate 1 kg of beef as compared to 2 for fish aquaculture.

11. Forestry

11.1 Climate campaigners should argue for landowner involvement in the massive biochar production from agricultural and forestry waste that potentially can equal annual industrial carbon output and is required for lowering atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm.

11.2 Climate campaigners must oppose non-sustainable deforestation and ecosystem destruction.

11.3 Climate campaigners must insist on ethical environmental timber production and certification.

11.4 Climate campaigners must oppose destruction of endangered forest systems.

11.5 Climate campaigners must oppose destruction of South East Australian Eucalyptus regnans-dominated forests that are the best forest carbon sinks in the world.

12. Health

It is estimated that 5 million people die avoidably each year from climate change (0.5 million) and carbon burning pollutants (4.5 million) [17]. It is estimated that about 10,000 Australians die each from carbon burning pollutants (excluding bush fires), the breakdown being 5,000 (coal burning for power), 2,000 (vehicle exhaust) and 3,000 (other burning) [2]. The climate criminals and carbon criminals are killing their fellow citizens and fellow human beings. Indeed Professor David Shearman (Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide) has put it very succinctly: “Community concerns over unconventional gas (shale and coal seam) mining in Australia are increasing. These concerns relate to water and air pollution, land usage, fugitive emissions and to inadequate assessment and regulation. The environmental impacts have potentially serious human health consequences… The International Energy Agency has expressed concern about gas replacing renewable energy sources. This would delay any chance of early curtailment of greenhouse emissions. Climate change is accepted as a huge threat to health world wide” [19].

12.1 Climate campaigners must inform all medical practitioners, specialists, nurses and paramedical professionals and their organizations about the worsening climate crisis and the severe health implications.

12.2 Climate activists must educate and mobilize all health professionals to inform their patients, staff and associates of the worsening climate crisis.

12.3 Climate campaigners must document and demand immediate action on carbon burning-related mortality and morbidity.

13. Indigenous people

13.1 Climate campaigners must demand major involvement of Indigenous people in preservation of what remains of wild nature.

13.2 Climate campaigners should argue for Indigenous employment in the biochar-based removal of damaging introduced plant pests (e.g. the introduced acacia Mimosa pigra and Gamba grass, Andropogon gayanus, in the Northern Territory of Australia).

13.3 The massive and continuing species extinctions in North America and Australia in particular argue for a philosophic accommodation with conservation and sustainability values of the Indigenous Peoples under whom species complexity and ecosystems survived happily for thousands of years before European invasion.

14. Landowners

14.1 Climate campaigners should argue for landowner involvement in the massive biochar production from agricultural and forestry waste that potentially can equal annual industrial carbon output and is required for lowering atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm.

14.2 Climate campaigners should argue for biochar-based removal of damaging introduced plant pests (e.g. the thorny Giant Sensitive Tree, Mimosa pigra, and Gamba grass, Andropogon gayanus, in the Northern Territory of Australia).

14.3  Climate activists  should make common cause with Indigenous Australians for animal and plant species retention, ecosystem retention, and biochar-based removal of pest plant species (e.g. Mimosa pigra and Gamba grass, Andropogon gayanus, in the Northern Territory if Australia) (as opposed to CO2-releasing burn-off).

15. Law

15.1 While climate change campaigners can merely correct false Mainstream media and politician assertions, such incorrect assertions by corporations (e.g. about “clean gas” and “clean coal”) can violate laws dictating that corporate advertising must not “mislead” and should be subject to formal complaints by climate change activists.

15.2 Expert climate change campaigners should assist anti-gas and anti-coal community groups with authoritative information and expert witness assistance (e.g. see [20]).

15.3 Carbon polluting economic activity directly or indirectly threatening endangered species should be prohibited and exposed by climate change campaigners (e.g. Australia as a leader in annual per capita GHG pollution disproportionately contributes to the successive threats to Antarctic sea ice, phytoplankton, krill and krill-eating species like whales. Australia had already by 2011 exceeded its “fair share” of the world’s terminal GHG pollution budget that must not be exceeded if we are to have a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2C temperature rise [7].

15.4 Climate change campaigners must expose the horrendous intergenerational equity, intergenerational justice, intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice implicit in the huge GHG pollution debt that will have to be met by future generations (which may, one supposes, consider looking to carbon economy-based superannuation funds and accumulated assets as sources of revenue to pay the debt [8].

16. Market-based solutions

Market-based approaches to tackling climate change via various Carbon Price mechanisms can be seriously flawed exercises in corporate and political spin. Climate change campaigners must avoid being sucked into flawed proposals of dishonest corporatist politicians.

16.1 Climate change campaigners can comfortably support the Fee-and-Dividend Carbon Tax approach that imposes a tax on fossil fuels at the mine gate and then hands the receipts to the citizenry. Suitable tweaking of the tax can allow a societally comfortable transition to clean energy.

16.2 Many Australian climate change activists have been compromised by accepting a dodgy Carbon Tax on the basis that “something is better than nothing”. The Australian Labor Government’s Carbon Tax exempts coal and gas producers except for transport (already highly subsidized) and fugitive emissions.  However the Government understates gas leakage as 0.12% (rather than the science-based estimates of 3.3%-7.9% of gas produced) and under-estimates the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane (CH4, the bulk of natural gas) as 21 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2) (whereas it is actually 105 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas (GHG) on a 20 year time frame and considering aerosol impacts). This leads to an immense Carbon Tax Scandal in which a pro-gas Labor Government understates the Carbon Tax obligations of the corporate gas producers by a factor of 137-329, collecting a mere $21 million annually rather than the science-indicated  Carbon Tax obligation of about $3-7 billion each year from leakage of natural gas (fugitive emissions) [21]. Further, the Carbon Tax ($23 per tonne CO2-e) is applied to industrial and domestic consumers, and collects about $10 billion which is then mostly returned to these consumers in a “futile cycle”. The Australian Carbon Tax was cynical spin for political reasons.

16.3 Climate change activists must recognize that it is estimated that an Australian  Carbon Tax of circa $23/tonne CO2-e will encourage gas-fired power, $70/tonne CO2-e will encourage wind and about $200/tonne CO2-e will encourage concentrated solar thermal installation - indeed the Australian Government hopes  for a Carbon Tax-driven coal to gas transition but (a)  gas can be dirtier  than coal GHG-wise depending upon the degree of CH4 leakage and (b) the Australian Government has decided to slash the Carbon Price in 2014 from $25 per tonne CO2-e to about $6 per tonne CO2-e.

16.4 Climate change campaigners should recognize the true cost of fossil fuel-based power taking environmental impacts and human mortality into account. Thus in Ontario, Canada, the market price of coal burning-based power was estimated at 4-5 times lower than this true price. The Australian Carbon Price based on fossil fuel subsidies and carbon burning-related deaths is about $150 per tonne CO2-e - a risk avoidance-based  estimate of $7.6 million for the value of a statistical life, Australian annual subsidies of $11 billion for fossil fuel burning, 9,600 annual Australian carbon pollution-related deaths and Australia’s annual Domestic GHG pollution (2009) of 552 million tonnes CO2-e  yields a Carbon Price of $7.6 million x 9,600 annual deaths = $73 billion + $11 billion = $84 billion / 552 million tonnes CO2-e  = $152/tonne CO2-e ( = $562 /tonne C) [2]. 

16.5 Australian PM Kevin “I love coal” Rudd slashed the Carbon Price in 2014 from $25 per tonne CO2-e to about $6 per tonne CO2-e. However Dr. Chris Hope (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK) has estimated that a Carbon Price of $150 per tonne CO2-e is required for effective climate change action [4].

16.6 Climate change activists must recognize that the ETS approach involves setting a Cap on pollution and establishing a "market" for licenses to pollute. However this is seen as an immense political confidence trick because (1) the ETS approach has not been empirically shown to reduce GHG pollution, (2) this approach is accordingly counterproductive, and (3) it involves a national government, e.g. the Australian Government, fraudulently selling licenses to pollute the one common atmosphere of all countries in the world.  

17. Media

Under the dominant neoliberal agenda, the Western democracies have become Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies in which Big Money trumps science, perverts rational risk management and  buys people, politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality, votes and political power. Rational risk management crucial for societal safety successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses), and (c) systemic change to minimize risk. However Corporatocracy has perverted this to (a) lies, “received wisdom”, censorship, self-censorship, and intimidation, (b) anti-science spin involving selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) blame and shame to the exclusion of rational systemic change.

17.1 Climate change campaigners should urge the boycott of anti-science, climate change denialist Murdoch media (e.g. claims that a new Ice Age is approaching [22]) [23].

17.2 Climate change activists need public fact-checking compendia to publicly deal with anti-science malreportage purveyed by Mainstream media (e.g. for such compilations see [24, 25]).

17.3 Climate change campaigners need an alternative to lying Mainstream media e.g. a very cheap option of a daily on-line newspaper that briefly summarizes the daily national and international news and then gives authoritative, science-informed  reportage of climate and environment news together with related articles contributed pro bono publico by scientists and science-informed  economics and other experts e.g. a news summary and climate- and environment-oriented version of respectable Alternative Media such as New Matilda and Green Left Weekly (Australia), MWC News (Canada), Counterpunch and Democracy Now (US), Bellaciao (Europe) and Countercurrents (India).  .

17.4  Climate change activists need a well-archived and accessible repository for authoritative, science-informed  accounts relating to the worsening climate crisis and the species extinction disaster (simpler examples include the 300.org and Yarra Valley Climate Action Group websites; the  Australian Climate Emergency Network (CEN) has an e-mail-linked daily updating system for its climate activist  membership).

17.5 Climate change campaigners should present the science-based reality without self-censorship and not run scared of neoliberal Mainstream media, politician and corporate predilections.

18. Politics

18.1 Climate change campaigners should try to be politically neutral but when political parties have ecocidal and terracidal policies they should say so. Thus in Australia, one of the world’s worst annual per capita GHG polluters, the 2 major parties, the Liberal Party-National Party Coalition and the Australian Labor Party, have essentially the same disastrous policy of “5% off Domestic GHG pollution by 2020” coupled with unlimited coal, gas and iron ore exports – climate change activists should be honest in their condemnation of this neoliberal climate change inaction.

18.2 Conversely, the ethical pro-environment positions of the Greens and the often marginal Socialists in the West deserve frank approval from climate change campaigners.   

19. Publicity

19.1 A well-indexed, high quality, science-informed, environment-oriented, on-line newspaper would be a crucial aid to climate action campaigners and might even be quoted by the Mainstream media.  

19.2 Climate change campaigners should contribute their science-informed opinions to Mainstream and Alternative media blogs.

19.3 Climate change campaigners should contribute their science-informed analyses and opinions as articles to Mainstream and Alternative media hard-copy and on-line magazines.

19.4 Publicity gold for climate change campaigners are powerful quotations from eminent scientists that should be collected in alphabetical on-line compendia (e.g. see [1, 26]).

19.5 Climate change campaigners can “bear witness”: to their science-based moral position by wearing a badge (e.g. “300 ppm CO2”) (see points #1 and #2 above; [26]).

19.6. Climate change campaigners should seek to get genuine (as opposed to “greenwash”) celebrity, politician, organizational and corporate public backing for urgent climate change action.

20. Species extinction

The species extinction rate is now 100-1,000 times greater than normal [27]. This mass extinction event is due to human impact that now includes a worsening climate change component as species move polewards. .

19.1 Climate change campaigners must expose this disaster of the Anthropocene Era.

19.2 Climate change campaigners must be resolute in opposing any threats to critical ecosystems and endangered species.

19.3 Climate change campaigners can cogently argue that in addition to aesthetic and “do not destroy what you cannot replace” arguments, animals, plant, fungi and bacteria represent sources of biologically active compounds of actual or potential utility to humanity (see my huge pharmacological reference text, Gideon Polya, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects”).

21. Subsidies

21.1 The Australian Conservation Foundation has very properly reported $12 billion in annual subsidies for fossil fuel burning in Australia [28]. Climate change campaigners must expose all such abuses that give the lie to governments claiming to be “tackling climate change”.

21.2  Climate change campaigners must expose and protest huge hidden subsidies for fossil  fuel and carbon burning implicit in associated mortality totalling 4.5 million such deaths annually worldwide [17, 18] and about 10,000 annually in Australia [2].

22. Transitions from coal burning

22.1 Climate change campaigners must expose the reality that gas is not clean, it is dirty, 1 tonne of methane (CH4) generating 2.8 tonnes CO2 on combustion. Gas burning is cleaner than coal burning in terms of twice the MWh/tonne CO2  emitted and less health damaging pollutants but gas is not necessarily cleaner than coal burning GHG-wise.  Thus methane (CH4) leaks (3.3% in the US; 7.9% from fracking shale deposits) and is 105 times worse than CO2 as a GHG on a 20 year time frame taking aerosol impacts into account, this meaning that a Carbon Tax-driven coal to gas transition could double electric power industry-derived GHG pollution (if shale gas is used). A coal-to-gas transition is contraindicated [29].  

22.2 Climate change campaigners must expose the reality missing from much public discussion of the nuclear option that is non-renewable and in the context of a carbon economy is a major CO2 polluter. The overall nuclear cycle produces CO2 from mining, transport, processing and enrichment, cement production for power station construction, disposal of waste and ultimately decommissioning of power stations. Further, when limited high quality uranium oxide reserves are used up, use of low grade ores may mean that a new nuclear power station could release the same CO2/MWh as a new gas-fired power station. Thorium-based nuclear power is cleaner and safer than uranium-based power. Fast breeder reactors have been advocated as a highly efficient option but there are major fears relating to expense, security, nuclear terrorism and predicted severe human rights impacts of a plutonium economy. A former proponent, Dr. James Lovelock FRS, now argues that we have run out of time for the nuclear stop-gap solution and he now advocates the biochar option for drawing down atmospheric CO2.

22.3 Climate change campaigners must back the proof of principle Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) plan for 100% renewable stationary energy for Australia by 2020 (Zero Carbon Australia by 2020, ZCA 2020) which involves 40% wind energy, 60% concentrated solar thermal (CST) with molten salts energy storage for 24/7 baseload power, biomass and hydroelectric backup (for days of no wind and low sunshine) and a HV DC and HC AC national power grid. The BZE scheme was costed at $370 billion over 10 years, with roughly half spent on CST, one quarter on wind and one quarter on the national electricity grid [30].  

22.4 Climate change campaigners must also advance as a proof of principle the scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia that has been set out by top electrical engineer Professor Peter Seligman (a major player in development of the bionic ear). Professor Seligman’s scheme, set out in his book “Australian sustainable energy  - by the numbers”, involves wind, solar thermal, other back-up energy sources, hydrological energy storage (in dams on the Nullabor Plain in Southern Australia), an HV AC and HV DC electricity transmission grid and a cost over 20 years of $253 billion [31].

22.5 Climate change campaigners must back wind power and oppose anti-science attacks on this vital, mature technology. Ignoring cost-increasing energy storage and transmission grid costs and cost-decreasing economies of scale for a 2- to 10-fold size increase, here are 2 similar cost estimates for installation of wind power for 80% of Australia’s projected 325,000 GWh of annual electrical energy by 2020: (1) 90,000 MW capacity, 260,000 GWh/year, $200 billion/10 years (10-fold scale-up from GL Garrad Hassan) and (2) 96,000 MW, 260,000 GWh/year, $144 billion (2-fold scale up from BZE ) [29].

22.6 Climate change campaigners must expose the reality that science-demanded  reduction  of atmospheric CO2 from current 400 ppm to 300 ppm requires “negative GHG emissions that can be achieved by cessation of GHG pollution ASAP and CO2 reduction though re-afforestation, renewable energy-driven CO2 trapping in alkaline solutions, and biochar (as much as 12 billion tonnes carbon  as biochar can be fixed annually globally from renewable energy-driven anaerobic pyrolysis  of existing agricultural and forestry cellulosic waste).

22.7 Climate change campaigners must back massive re-afforestation (SE Australian native forests are the World’s best forest carbon sinks; 14 M ha, 25.5 Gt CO2, 460 Mt CO2/yr avoided for next 100 years if retained). Sir Nicholas Stern: only $20 billion pa to halve annual global deforestation.

23. Wildlife and wild nature.

23.1 Wildlife is hugely threatened by increasing human impact, introduced feral pests and worsening climate change [27]. Climate change campaigners must insist on wildlife protection from all malignant agencies.

23.2 Climate change campaigners should educate the public about the surprising and important finding by Dr. Andrew Balmford and numerous colleagues in a key paper in Science entitled “Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature” (2002) that: “Evidence has been accumulating that such [wild nature] systems generate marked economic benefits, which the available data suggest exceed those obtained from continued habitat conversion. We estimate that the overall benefit: cost ratio of an effective global program for the conservation of remaining wild nature is at least 100:1” [32].

Summary

The World is badly running out of time to deal with man-made climate change. Decent people are obliged to act before it is too late. People around the world who care for their children, their grandchildren, intergenerational equity and intergenerational justice must do what they can as suggested above and, most importantly, tell everyone they can.   

References

[1]. “Are we doomed? Too late to save earth?”

[2]. Gideon Polya, “Australian carbon burning-related deaths and carbon burning subsidies => minimum Carbon Price of A$562 per tonne carbon (C) or A$152 per tonne CO2-e ”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group .  

[3]. Section E, “2011 Climate Change Course”.

[4]. Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011 .

[5]. WBGU, “Solving the climate dilemma: the budget approach”.

[6]. Australian Climate Commission, “The critical decade 2013: a summary of climate change science, risks and responses”, 2013.  

[7]. Gideon Polya, "Doha climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act", MWC News, 9 December 2012.

[8]. Gideon Polya,”Gigantic cost of requisite climate change action threatens massive intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice”, Countercurrents, 1 August 2013.

[9]. “100% renewable energy by 2020” .

[10]. Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope and Peter Wadhams, “Vast costs of Arctic change”, Nature, 499, 25 July 2013.

[11]. “Climate emergency facts and required actions”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group.

[12]. “Climate genocide”.

[13]. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009 .

[14]. “Forest biomass-derived Biochar can profitably reduce global warming and bushfire risk”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group .

[15]. Gideon Polya, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects” (Taylor & Franccis, CRC Press, London & New York, 2003).

[16].  “Biofuel genocide” .

[17]. DARA, “Climate Vulnerability Monitor. A guide to the cold callus of a hot planet”, 2012 .

[18]. Reuters, ”100 mln to die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate”, 28 September 2012 .

[19]. David Shearman, “Dealing with the health risks of unconventional gas”, The Conversation, 28 November 2012.

[20]. Gideon Polya, “Expert witness testimony to stop gas-fired power plant installation, Countercurrents, 14 June 2013.

[21]. Gideon Polya, “Australia’s Carbon Tax scandal”, MWC News, 23 November 2012.

[22]. “Sorry to ruin the fun but an ice age cometh”, The Australian, 23 April 2008.  

[23]. “Boycott Murdoch Media”.

[24]. “ABC Fact-checking Unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC”.

[25]. “ABC censorship & malreportage”.  .

[26]. “300.org – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm”, 300.org .

[27]. Phillip Levin, Donald Levin, “The real biodiversity crisis”, American Scientist, January-February 2002.  

[28]. Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), “Australia spends $11 billion more encouraging pollution than cleaning it up”, 1 March 2011.

[29]. “2011 climate change course”.

[30]. Beyond Zero Emissions Zero (BZE), Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 Report (BZE ZCA2020 Report), 2010.

[31]. Peter Seligman, “Australian sustainable energy – by the numbers”, Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne, 2010.

[32]. A. Balmford, A. Bruner, P. Cooper, R. Costanza, S. Farber, R. E. Green, M. Jenkins, P. Jefferiss, V. Jessamy, J. Madden, K. Munro, N. Myers, S. Naeem, J. Paavola, M. Rayment, S. Trumper and R. K. Turner. 2002. Economic reasons for conserving wild nature. Science 297: 950-953.


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