A single graphic that shows why our school kids are on a climate strike.


As school kids are on their climate strike today, this chart from the climate action tracker website is a simple reminder why.

The chart shows us:

  1. Where we are at present. The world has already warmed, on average, by 1° since pre-industrial times.
  2. Where current policies and commitments, if met, will get us by 2100 – warming of somewhere between 2.4° and 4.3°
  3. Where the pledges and targets adopted to date, if met, will get us by 2100 – warming somewhere between 2.3° and 3.7°.

The Government’s official position is that it accepts the science of climate change and recognises that the failure to constrain warming is having and will have devastating impacts. The Prime Minister keeps arguing that Australia will meet its Paris commitments to reduce emissions by 26-28% compared to 2005 levels “in a canter”. Yet

  1. no-one outside the Government seems to believe this.
  2. our emissions (by the government’s own reporting) have risen every year since Tony Abbot abolished the fledgling Emissions Trading Scheme.
  3. while in power the Coalition has rejected almost every emissions reduction proposal brought to it by its own leaders.
  4. the Government has given no indication it plans to participate in the Paris agreement call to countries to keep upgrading their targets until pledges are sufficient to get us to a 1.5° world;
  5. the unabashed support for new coal mines across the Coalition is nothing less than a declaration of either climate skepticism or a bet that the world will fail to reach the necessary climate goals (the only way new coal mines can be profitable is if they continue to produce coal beyond the date at which we need to have stopped burning fossil fuels).

Any wonder that our kids are striking over climate change?

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John ChurchScottScottSonia PowellStephen Nicholson Recent comment authors
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John Church
John Church

I struggle with what the children mean. It seems to be all emotion and no real costed projections if they understand the science they should be able to illustrate the rest in full . Slogans are nothing more than meaningless words

Sonia Powell
Sonia Powell

Hello John, I agree that the children are primarily expressing their emotions, especially fear, anger and frustration. However, it’s not children that I turn to when I need costed projections of response options, as I do not expect them to have completed their education in such matters yet. Instead, as an actuary, I look at the work done by experienced business people, economists, engineers and scientists. The dispassionate analysis of these objective adults points to the compelling need to shift our economy, communities, habits, businesses and households aware from our current unsustainable practices. Actually making this change requires us to… Read more »

David Cooper
David Cooper

Excellent, thanks Scott

Stephen Nicholson
Stephen Nicholson

Another way to view is as risk management – we take precautions to prevent or mitigate undesirable outcomes: house and car insurance, safer cars and roads, not speeding, etc. When 98+% of climate scientists say climate change is real, and the implications threaten the viability of human existence, it is prudent to take actions to reduce the degree of warming, and to mitigate the consequences. Risk the outcome on the basis that you don’t believe it, or take drastic action to avoid it? As trustees of God’s creation, we have a duty to pass on to future generations a world… Read more »

John Church
John Church

Where is the consistent science ? It seems to change with every report. No-one is able to coherently say what it means putting children in this equation without any coherent policy advanced is dishonest .

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