Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Video from last night's Moreland climate event

I'll be writing more on this event shortly, but for now here's the video of presentations by Climate Code Red co-author, David Spratt, and Kelvin Thomson MP, Labor MP for Wills. David has also published an extensive post on the event at his Climate Code Red blog. This excellent and well-attended event was organised by the Moreland Climate Group.


  1. This talk by Kevin Thompson would appear to be inconsistent with Labor Party policy. I'm assuming therefore that it must be just spin?

    I'm assuming the inconsistency was pointed out at the time?

  2. Thanks for your comment, Simon. Re the inconsistency, it was pointed out on the night - in particular, the 2050 target, but also the fact that, working backwards, it would seem to imply a greater 2020 target than the government has committed to. I think, however, there has been some fudging in the position Thomson has put forward in terms of the baseline used to calculate his proposed 80% 2050 reduction.

    Curiously, criticism of his position by Senator Christine Milne is included in a newspaper report reproduced in copies of Thomson's 'Wills Report' distributed on the night by his media minder, and available on The Age website.

    I actually think Thomson appreciates the importance of the issue, but that the inaction of the Rudd government provided a serious constraint on what he could say. During questions after the presentation, he stated that the link between climate and the Victorian bushfires was 'blindingly obvious', and that he was considering making a submission to the royal commission himself. If he does, I'd be interested to read it.

    Unfortunately, the terms of reference for the royal commission leave it to the discretion of the commissioners to examine the contribution of more effective climate policy to bushfire prevention, and to make recommendations upon it. It will therefore be interesting to see if any climate recommendations are made that might influence the Australian government's position in the lead-up to Copenhagen.

    Please feel welcome to elaborate on the inconsistency between the presentation and the Rudd government's stated policy.

  3. The first half of Kelvin Thompson's speech was appropriate to a scientist or naturalist for which he claims some credentials. it is gratifying to have an MP who appears to well understand the matter at hand. I contrast this with many in politics who believe that if we can save the planet for the needs of humanity it's enough.
    However he was probably invited as a politician and devoted less than half his time to what he could and would do in parliament. I agree with Simon that he appears well ahead of the pack and I think he should be encouraged. We are watching an enormous community shift and K Thompsom MP is starting from a solid base and pointing the right direction. I hope he has the determination and vigour to see his/our goals reached.

  4. Apologies that I misspelt Kelvin Thompson's first name. I have since heard from others that he is one of good people in the Labor Party but unable to break ranks.

  5. Since I last commented, I've watched the tape again, and I agree that Kelvin clearly understands the problem, but there was undeniable avoidance of what the 2020 target should be, and vagueness on the baseline.

    From the footage, it appears the 80% cut by 2050 he proposes would be on levels stabilised today. This is consistent with Senator Milne's critique, and compares poorly with David Spratt's statement that, for a 2/3 chance holding to 2 degrees warming, Australia needs a 2050 cut of more than 95% on 1990 levels. If Kelvin would like to restate his treaties committee proposal in terms of 2020 and 2050 targets on a 1990 baseline, he's very welcome to do so here.

    Finally, I agree he should be encouraged, and his well mannered and informed contribution sets a standard I hope other federal members will follow, should they agree to engage with their constituents in open debate of this kind.

  6. I should have added that David Spratt sees 2 degrees of warming as an inadequate 'target of convenience' at which severe impacts will already be well and truly in play, and that we should be aiming at returning to 0 degrees, and therefore halting our emissions and drawing down existing C02 from the atmosphere to achieve 280ppm. See his post via the link above, or watch his presentation, for the exact formulation.


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