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Growing Australian prosperity in a greenhouse age of oil are now forging a new clean industrial revolution which will end our reliance on carbon for good. The Clean Industrial Revolution: Growing Australian Prosperity in a Greenhouse Age [Ben McNeil] on altomar.pt *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Available for document delivery - restrictions apply. It's time, he says, to wake up and see climate change for what it is: On one hand, Australia could choose to persist with its business-as-usual approach of supplying the bulk of its energy needs from fossil fuels, thereby contributing to the irreversible economic, ecological and human disasters that are set to follow.
Or, it could move quickly to de-carbonise its economy and, by , gain massive prosperity from being a clean-energy supplier to the world's 9 billion people. During the decade of the Howard government in Australia Dr McNeil was a young scientist who believed that if senior politicians understood and accepted the science of climate change, then government policy and business investment would shift to limit the nation's overreliance on fossil fuels such as coal and oil for energy.
Then he had an epiphany.
In he was invited to address Federal Cabinet in Canberra about the causal link between carbon emissions and the devastating consequences of climate change. Where were the Treasurer and Foreign Minister? Carbon is deeply embedded in the Australian economy.
Eighty seven per cent of the nation's energy is sourced from fossil fuels, and our "carbon obesity" puts us in a perilous economic situation, says McNeil: Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth and no nation will be more vulnerable to global warming and the climate extremes that will manifest in a hotter climate, drought, higher evaporation, water scarcity, and bushfires, he says. Today the nation's food bowl, the Murray Darling Basin, supplies 40 percent of the nation's food and contributes significantly to export income from beef, livestock, wool, barley, wheat, and canola.
Computer modelling by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics reveals that Australian wheat, beef, dairy and sugar production could decline by up to 20 per cent by mid-century, and agricultural output could fall by up to 80 per cent. As incessant drought shrinks water availability it will further diminish crop production, push up food prices and heighten inflation pressure, a point acknowledged by John Howard during the last federal election campaign: Climate change will also threaten the nation's vast and fragile infrastructure network - the trillions of dollars of roads, railways, bridges, schools, hospitals, ports, electricity lines, and water and sewage pipes.
These infrastructure are the "conduit to a productive and prosperous Australian economy," says McNeil, but most were built in the 20th century and are ill-equipped for rapid climate change.
They will bend, buckle and eventually break, requiring increasing government spending and therefore higher taxes to fix and replace. Banks and insurance companies don't doubt that climate change is increasing the risk and costs of severe weather events.
For example, the Insurance Council of Australia has estimated that , of the nation's homes and buildings are vulnerable to sea-level rise and in its submission to the Prime Minister's Task Force on Emissions Trading, it said: Ben McNeil shows us how we can make the most of our natural advantages and how Australia businesses can benefit economically when adapting to the new environmental realities. He has a Masters of Economics in addition to his scientific training, and is on the executive of the prestigious Federation of Australasian Scientific and Technological Societies FASTS and speaks regularly at corporate and scientific events and to media.
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