An Airlie Beach letter writer is urging Australia to keep a resolution in relation to climate change this year. Photo: Matthew Sullivan
An Airlie Beach letter writer is urging Australia to keep a resolution in relation to climate change this year. Photo: Matthew Sullivan

‘Hope is not enough to ensure a better future’

Letter to the Editor – Contributed by Tony Fontes, Airlie Beach.

Just about everyone is happy to see the end of 2020 and are hoping for a better 2021.

But when it comes to climate change, hope is not enough to ensure a better future.

Let’s look at some facts recently reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

– 2020 was the second hottest year globally on record despite a cooling La Niña, whereas 2016, the hottest on record, began with a strong warming El Nino event.

– The past decade (2011-2020) was the hottest on record (+0.82C above the 20th century average). This surpassed the previous decadal record (2001–2010) of +0.62C.

– The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.08C per decade since 1880 and over twice that rate (+0.18C) since 1981.

– The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2005.

– 2020 marks the 44th consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th-century average.

More stories:

Reef health project hits final stages in Whitsundays

Clever Whitsunday group named face of Containers for Change

Energy class action claim filed in power compensation bid

What does this all mean for Australia?

As temperatures increase, scientists predict:

– Heatwaves will become hotter, last longer and occur more often

– Drought will become more prolonged and intense

– A longer and dryer bushfire season

– More severe weather events including flooding

– Increase in the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching events

Sounds a lot like 2020. Not a very happy new year.

If you are hoping for a better future, then now is the time to make (and keep) this new year’s resolution: Australia will transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and be carbon-neutral by 2050.

If we can do that, then 2021 will, indeed, be a very happy new year.

Want to share your thoughts on a hot topic? Submit a letter to the Whitsunday Times here.


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