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By Pita Ligaiula, in Cairns Australia
The Australian Minister for Climate Change says the Australian Government is committed to addressing climate change and reducing Australia’s carbon pollution.
Greg Combet, while opening the Science of Climate Change, GreenHouse 2011 meeting underway in Cairns says human activity is causing carbon pollution which is leading to climate change.
He warned that if action is not taken to reduce emissions, climate is likely to change in ways that present grave risks to our economy, our environment, and our way of life.
He said the Australian Government recognise the contribution that scientists are making in progressing their understanding of climate change.
“Robust science is vital to understanding, and therefore appropriately managing, the impacts of climate change.
“Communicating climate change science accurately and effectively is equally important.
“We must move beyond the baseless attacks on the science of climate change, and enable this fundamental issue to be better understood across our community, he said.
He said uncertainty about the specific nature of future impacts does not undermine certainty about the fundamental conclusions of the climate science, or the need to take action.
To borrow a line from Professor Will Steffen, “The scientific basis and imperative for rapid and vigorous action to reduce emissions is overwhelming”.
“Unfortunately though, the confusion in the community has in part been fuelled by a small number of scientists and commentators – few of whom have relevant credentials – continuing to question the climate change science, even as evidence to the contrary grows in strength”
He said the Australian Government has established the Climate Commission to provide expert independent advice and information on climate change to the Australian community.
“I also extend the invitation to all scientists to help build community consensus on climate change, Combet said.
“In the current circumstances it is perhaps more important than ever that scientists are actively engaged in the public discussion on climate change, by injecting fact-based, rational arguments into the debate.
“I also recognise the frustration that these attempts are often met with. I would like to call on every one of you to continue in your efforts and to communicate climate change science at every opportunity, to refute misinformation and baseless remarks in the popular media.
Combet said an open and fact-based public debate is critical to building the consensus needed to support strong action on climate change.
PACNEWS coverage of the Science of Climate Change, GreenHouse 2011 conference in Cairns, Australia is made possible with funding assistance from CSIRO Australia under the Pacific Climate Change Programme.
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