My speech today will be about the concerning topic of Climate Change. Climate change is a serious global challenge. Temperature increases, which many scientists attribute to human activity, are likely to bring widespread and unpredictable changes around the world. Climate change is the gradual increase of the temperature of earth’s atmosphere and oceans. It occurs when greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane trap heat inside the earth’s atmosphere. Australia is vulnerable to climate change. We occupy the driest inhabited continent with a highly variable climate and great vulnerability to drought. There is little doubt that the planet is warming. Over the last century, the nation has experienced an increase of nearly 1°C in average annual temperatures, with warming occurring at twice the rate over the past 50 years than in the previous 50 years. The United Nations panel on climate change projects that the global temperatures will rise 3-10 degrees Celsius by the century’s end – enough to have the polar caps all but melted.
If the ice caps melt, a vast majority of our states shorelines will be under water. Monuments and great buildings, as well as homes and lives will be under water. Essentially my views will focus on the government action currently on climate change and its effects taking place in Australia. The federal government and all state governments have recognised that climate change is significantly being caused by greenhouse gas emissions with Australia’s carbon footprint rated 12th in the world, this being considerably large bearing in mind the small population of our country.
Evidently Australia has taken action in the past to reduce the effects taking place as the carbon tax was introduced by Gillard government in 2011, despite the major criticism it has reduced Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions, with coal generation down 11% since 2008, since its repeal Prime minister Tony Abbott, insists that action should be taken but shouldn’t be done with policies that “clobber the economy”. All in all, the savage heat waves that struck summer last year were a direct correlation with man-made greenhouse gases. 5 groups of studies were conducted out of 12,500 simulated years, only one result in the latter group produced temperatures higher than those seen in Australia in 2005 – the hottest year before 2013 – and none as hot as 2013. With heat waves like these, 2014 has already had its few stints of extreme weather with September and October.