Scientist 'out to save the world'
By WILL JACKSON
YOU can help save the world, says Tim Flannery.
If everybody takes a few simple measures to limit how much energy we use, then we have a chance of saving the planet, the South Australian scientist and author told the assembled greenies, skeptics and devotees during a presentation at Byron Bay High School.
The extended dry conditions being experienced on the North Coast are not simply an extended drought, Dr Flannery said on Tuesday night.
We are actually experiencing a fundamental change to a climate that features less rain, he says, and the problems in our area are just the start.
Over the next 40 years we can expect increasingly extreme weather conditions, along with rising sea levels and species extinctions as the average global temperature rises.
The problem, he said, was increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which were trappping heat.
The author of several best-selling books, including a text on Australia's environmental history, The Future Eaters, Dr Flannery is a respected although controversial expert on conservation and the environment.
He said that while he had always been interested in the way climate change effected evolution, it had only been in the past three or four years that he had realised how serious and immediate the global warming problem had become.
His speech, 'And you thought God created the weather?', focused on humanity's role in changing the global climate.
Dr Flannery painted a desperate picture for the future, saying that if we fail to massively reduce our carbon emissions within the next 40 years, we may reach a point where the planet is no longer able to support life.
He said there was hope, but immediate action was required.
He said people should stop wasting power by switching to solar hot water systems, buying the smallest practical car and asking their electricity company to switch them to 'green power'.