The negative approach to carbon reduction emanating from sections of Australian industry and political structure is to say the least short sighted and disappointing, particularly given the devastating floods and cyclones of the last year or two. These local changes have been repeated by tornados, hurricanes and floods around the world.
For anyone to suggest the climate is not changing is simply ignoring the facts. Defining the cause of change may be more debatable. Correlation is not causation! From a pragmatic viewpoint man made carbon pollution may be causing the change in the climate, contributing to the change or simply polluting the atmosphere without any effect.
Depending on which of the three options is correct, cleaning up our carbon footprint to levels the natural systems can absorb will either, solve the climate change problem, reduce the climate change problem or merely reduce our contamination of the environment we live in.
However, not taking appropriate and immediate action on carbon pollution will either, push the climate change problem to greater extremes, increase the effect of climate change or simply continue to contaminate the environment we live in.
From a risk management perspective, doing nothing or minimal change is not really a sensible option until there is conclusive proof that carbon has no effect on the weather and sea levels. That proof has not been demonstrated by anyone, and whilst proof that carbon is adding to the climate change problem is far from conclusive, the strong weight of evidence is trending to support the view carbon is either the cause of the change or a major contributor to the change.
The very short term arguments raised by miners, industry and some politicians that doing anything is too expensive ignores the long term costs to every industry in favour of the next quarterly profit statement –ignoring the impact of floods, cyclones and rising sea levels on profits and value generation.
Outside of Australia, practical action is being taken by a wide range of organisations. The Chartered Institute of Building – CIOB – has launched Carbon Action 2050, a free interactive online tool that provides key guidance on every facet of a building’s lifecycle from design through construction to end use and beyond.
There is advice on education, skills and leadership and how to move those agendas towards a low carbon built environment. The portal has been developed over the last twelve months by CIOB members who work in design, building control, education, project management, facilities management, conservation and sustainability. Its overall aim is to focus on innovation and best practice that will make an immediate difference on the ground. To find out more visit: http://www.carbonaction2050.com/
Locally, we need to start taking similar actions, as a minimum we will start cleaning up our mess, more likely we will contribute to saving the planet (or at least reducing the impact of climate change)!