Letter: Drought, Rocky Hill, Canberra

Recently the big news for me has been the drought and the Rocky Hill Mine appeal.

Oh, and Canberra!

Our property at Tibbuc has received less than 70 millimetres of rain over the past four months.

Low rainfall is predicted for spring and if this happens drought records are likely to be broken in Gloucester.

When the Rocky Hill court appeal came to our town I noted 13 year old Anita Jackson pointing out it is her generation that will feel the worst effects of climate change whilst Naomi Kilby warned the low river levels are already making canoeing on the Barrington a rarer event.

I travelled to Sydney to listen to the experts give evidence at the court case and the usual background murmurings of the courtroom ceased when Prof Will Steffen, the climate change expert, gave his evidence.

You could have heard a pin drop as he described we only have 20 years left to cease our carbon emissions if we are to keep to the Paris Agreement and keep our world from too catastrophic change. We reached a 1 degree Celsius rise last year and are currently warming at 0.2 degrees Celsius each decade. Australia is heading for extreme droughts and heatwaves.

Only urgent international cooperation will contain the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius which is still just achievable and much less likely to cause disastrous food and water shortages than 2 degrees Celsius. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) will be releasing a report in October detailing the differences between the two scenarios.

We all need to pour ice-cold water on our Canberra politicians to force them to engage responsibly with world climate planning.

Steve Robinson