The recent comments by politicians, and more recently their advisers, on the credibility of climate change scientists requires a considered response.
Ongoing climate change is 'a given' from a scientific perspective. It has been affecting the Australian environment in a serious way since the mid-Miocene (15mya). The fact is that Australia has been drying and warming since its separation from Gondwana!! And it will continue to do so as it drifts inexorably northwards into lower latitudes, albeit at 7 cm per year!! So let's not deny natural climate change as a real phenomena. Globally, glacial and inter-glacial periods will continue to affect sea levels worldwide and this will have major impacts on Australian seaside communities. It will not happen overnight, but happen it will. Whether, and to what extent, human activity is now playing a part in the world's climate cycle is a point of conjecture and will remain so for some time to come. We need to stop pollution of the world’s environment for sure. But let’s not think that by doing this that we can stop natural events from taking their course. Neither will ill-founded, politically-based criticism of those who study climate change. Climate change and global warming need to be discussed in an apolitical atmosphere to bring some factual perspective to the debate. Then we can examine potential impacts on communities and possible mitigation measures which won’t come cheaply.
The foregoing are the personal views of BAAM ecological consultant Dr John Stanisic whose background in land snail biogeography has given him insight into past climate change and its effects on the Australian environment.