Ian Dunlop

on Sunday, 20 May 2012. Posted in Expert Climate Change Panel

Ian Dunlop

Ian Dunlop has wide experience in energy resources, infrastructure, and international business, for many years on the staff of Royal Dutch Shell.  He has worked at senior level in oil, gas and coal exploration and production, in scenario and long-term energy planning, competition reform and privatization.   

He chaired the Australian Coal Association in 1987-88. From 1998-2000 he chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading which, under the Howard government, developed the first emissions trading system design for Australia.  From 1997 to 2001 he was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Ian has a particular interest in the interaction of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.   

An engineer from the University of Cambridge, he is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Energy Institute (UK), and a Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME (USA).    

He is Chairman of Safe Climate Australia, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil, a Director of Australia 21and a Member of The Club of Rome. He advises and writes extensively on governance and sustainability.   

Interview with Ian Dunlop 

Do you believe that Australia's Carbon Tax will enable Australia to have a cleaner future?

The Carbon “Tax” will undoubtedly contribute to achieving a cleaner future for Australia, but it is only a beginning.  If we seriously intend to address global warming, as our leaders claim, action has to be far more extensive and rapid than we are being told. It must go way beyond the government’s current Clean Energy Future package, structured primarily around the latest considered science rather than, at present, on what is thought to be “politically realistic”.   

But the term Carbon “Tax” is itself a misnomer. It is not a tax at all, but the introduction of a price on carbon as a first step in removing the enormous subsidy which the fossil-fuel industries have enjoyed since the Industrial Revolution. Our economic system currently does not require business to pay for the cost of pollution being generated by the use of those fuels, costs which arise from the increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere and the resulting warming, and from other adverse impacts such as deteriorating community health and biodiversity loss.   

The thin greenhouse gas blanket encompassing the Earth is essential for our survival; without it the average temperature would be around -19oC, some 34OC colder than it is today, rendering human life impossible.  CO2 is an essential part of that blanket and its atmospheric concentration has a critical influence on global climate, acting to retain solar radiation and warm the planet.   

Thus atmospheric CO2, in moderation, is a good thing.  However, like most good things in life, you can have too much of it.  If the current atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to escalate, the corresponding warming is likely to render much of the planet uninhabitable.  The challenge is to maintain a sensible balance which can sustain human life.  The empirical evidence has been indicating for some time that, in large part due to excessive CO2 accumulation as a result of human activity, our climatic system is rapidly moving out of balance, and that emergency corrective action is needed.

ExcessiveCO2 is a pollutant. Unless the pollution cost is fully reflected in the price we pay for using fossil-fuels, these fuels enjoy an unfair advantage over alternatives such as renewable energy.  The longer this advantage is maintained, the greater the distortion of the market, and the less likely we are, as consumers, to change our behaviour away from fossil-fuel use.  Economists call this the “internalization of externalities”, where costs previously ignored, or “externalized”, such as the costs of polluting the atmosphere globally, are now brought to account, “internalized”, as a requirement of doing business. 

In 1945, immediately after WW11, global population was around 2 billion.  Today, only 67 years later, it exceeds 7 billion, headed for 9 billion by 2050, all with understandable aspirations to improve their standard of living – a population explosion unprecedented in world history.  In 1945 the world was relatively empty, today it is full; the inevitable result of the exponential increase in both population and consumption colliding with the limitations a finite planet.  As the Club of Rome pointed out 40 years ago in the  “Limits to Growth” [ i], at some point we would hit global limits which could not be avoided.  That point has now been reach.  Humanity today requires on average the biophysical capacity of 1.5 planets to survive [ ii].  If everyone lived at US levels, we would require 5 planets, at Australian levels around 4 planets.  This cannot continue indefinitely as we are fast destroying the global “commons” of clean air, water and the fertile soil and oceans on which we depend for our food supply and life support.

Since it was published in 1972, the “Limits to Growth” has been roundly criticized as an unrealistic and alarmist “prediction”.  But it was not a prediction; rather it was a set of twelve scenarios which pointed out the implications of population and consumption continuing to grow under differing assumptions. The objective was to encourage debate on alternative paths of world development to avoid the worst outcomes. Unfortunately the insights it provided have been largely ignored, and its core “business-as-usual” scenario is almost exactly what has happened over the intervening 40 years [ iii].  The scenario also showed that we would begin to hit global limits about now, which is also happening.

We have hit limits previously, but they were typically at a local or a regional level which were easily circumvented with technology and/or local regulation.  In a relatively empty world, pollution of various kinds was of less concern than in today’s full world, and the ”externalizing “ of its cost was accepted by default, albeit often in ignorance of the real implications.  As population pressure increased, more local and national regulations were introduced to ensure that community standards were maintained or improved – particularly in regard to the national “commons”, the facilities and environment that are enjoyed by all and owned publicly.  For example, we no longer allow sewage to flow in open gutters, or companies to pollute waterways; we expect business to incorporate the costs of maintaining such standards into their activities.   Thus the costs of pollution began to be “internalized”.

Today, if we want to maintain an environment fit for human habitation, in particular to prevent dangerous global warming, we face the much bigger challenge of preserving the global “commons”, which is forcing the full internalization of the costs of fossil-fuel use and other deleterious human activities.  We already have some experience in addressing global “commons” challenges. For example the 1989 Montreal Protocol, to phase out the global use of chlorofluorcarbons to prevent ozone depletion, has been a great success, but it was a relatively easy task, with a limited number of players.  Global warming is far more difficult, given the dominance of fossil-fuels in the global economy, the sweeping implications of the action required and the inevitable resistance from vested interests determined to maintain the status quo - which requires them to deny any possibility of human-induced global warming notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence to the contrary!.

Carbon pricing is an essential step in accounting for the true cost of using fossil-fuels and in encouraging the development of sustainable alternatives.  But it will not be sufficient by itself; to be effective it has to be combined with other regulatory measures.

Addressing global warming is a daunting challenge, but the solutions are available.  They present the greatest opportunity in human history to set world development on a genuinely sustainable path, for our current way-of-life is not sustainable.  What is lacking is honesty about the challenge, and the collective will to implement the solutions.

What aspects of the Tax do you find noteworthy and/or concerning? 

The “Tax” is part of the government’s Clean Energy Future package [ iv]. The merits of that package can only be properly assessed by being honest about the problem we are trying to solve and that is not yet happening in Australia – the real picture is very different from the “official” view:  

The science of climate change is not settled and, on an issue this complex, it is unlikely to be settled for decades to come.  The scientists are issuing increasingly urgent warnings on the need for action. At the same time they rightly point out the uncertainties involved.  But the fundamentals are clear - the uncertainties relate far more to the impact of the warming (ie: there is no doubt warming is occurring, the uncertainty is whether it will be a 40C or a 70C temperature increase).   

This is about risk management, and our risk exposure is becoming extreme – we cannot wait for certainty when there is a high probability of catastrophic outcomes. As Gordon R. Sullivan, former US Army Chief of Staff, put it in a recent US military climate change report, “If you wait for100% certainty on the battlefield, something bad is going to happen” [ v].  It is time we acknowledged that bad things have been happening for some time in the climate arena.     

There is now unprecedented evidence that human carbon emissions from fossil-fuel consumption and land degradation are, on the balance of probabilities, warming the planet at an accelerating rate [ vi] [ vii] [ viii] [ ix] [ x] [ xi]. The impact is clearly seen in record global surface and ocean temperatures [ xii] [ xiii] [ xiv], rapid Arctic and Antarctic ice volume loss [ xv] [ xvi] [ xvii]  [ xviii],  increasing permafrost carbon and methane emissions [ xix] [ xx]  [ xxi]  [ xxii],  ocean acidification [ xxiii] [ xxiv], potential  reversal of carbon sinks into sources, for example in the Amazon [ xxv] and escalating extreme weather events [ xxvi] [ xxvii]. These major changes are happening at the 0.8oC temperature increase we have already experienced relative to pre-industrial conditions. 

The inertia of the climate system, particularly the slow warming of the oceans, means that the results of our emissions today only become evident decades hence.  Paleoclimate analysis suggests that current global average temperature is around 0.60C above the peak temperature of the Holocene period of the last 10,000 years, during which time humanity as we know it developed.  The thermal inertia of historic emissions is likely to translate, in due course, into a 20C mean temperature increase relative to pre-industrial conditions.  Once equilibrium is reached, this will be sufficient for large parts of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to melt, leading to sea level rises of 6-7 metres over time.   Inter alia, this will be disastrous for major cities such as London, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo to name but a few.    

Even if current climate policies, such as the Clean Energy Future package, were to be fully implemented, rather than regarded as “aspirational”, it is likely the temperature increase would be in excess of 40C [ xxviii], sufficient over time to melt all ice sheets, leading to a sea level rise of around 70 metres [ xxix] [ xxx].   It is unclear how rapidly these changes might occur, but the empirical evidence of Arctic sea ice and ice sheet melt suggests it is happening far faster than expected [ xxxi]. Thus unless we take real action now, we may well be locking in irreversible climate change of catastrophic proportions for future generations; indeed we may have already done so [ xxxii] [ xxxiii].

Other scientific analysis notes that the speed of atmospheric CO2 build-up is faster that at any time in recent geological history [ xxxiv], and the risk that climate modelling may have badly underestimated the speed of climate change impact, with current climate policies having virtually no chance of constraining global temperature increase below the “official” United Nations, and Australian [ xxxv], target of 20C, leading to increases in excess of 40C [ xxxvi] [ xxxvii] [ xxxviii]. A particular concern is the triggering of non-linear climatic tipping points, especially the Arctic permafrost, which move global or regional climate to a different equilibrium state, far less favourable to human development [ xxxix]. 

Outside Australia, the world is starting to acknowledge that if catastrophic outcomes and climatic tipping points are to be avoided, on the balance of probabilities the real target to restore a safe climate is to reduce atmospheric carbon concentrations back toward the pre-industrial levels below 350ppm CO2 from the current 392 ppm CO2. This will require emission reductions of the order of 50% by 2020, almost complete de-carbonisation by 2050 and continuing efforts to draw down legacy carbon from the atmosphere [ xl] [ xli] [ xlii] [ xliii]. 

Looked at from a total carbon budget perspective, to have a less than 25% chance of exceeding the 2oC target, the world can only emit a further 800 Gigatonnes CO2 in toto from today, a budget which would be used up in less than 20 years.  Accepting a 50/50 chance allows the budget to increase to 1,200 GtCO2, used up in less than 30 years.  If the temperature target has to be less than 2oC, as now seems likely, the budgets are considerably lower [ xliv].  This requires global emissions to peak in the next year or so, certainly no later than 2020 and then fall in the 4-9% pa range depending on the peak year.  An equitable approach would require developed world emissions to fall rapidly, while developing world emissions continued to rise for a period before also falling. 

Australia’s equitable carbon budget allowance, as one of the highest per capita carbon emitters in the world, would run out in 5-8 years time – in short 100% decarbonisation by 2017-20.  Clearly that is not going to happen if current attitudes prevail, and we have left it far too late technically to achieve this with conventional reform processes. 

Unless there is a radical change in global attitudes toward climate change in the near future, a 40C temperature rise will probably become inevitable. A 4oC world is talked about glibly in policy circles, often to justify greater concentration on the supposedly “politically easier” task of adaptation (managing the unavoidable) as opposed to mitigation (avoiding the unmanageable), but the real implications seem to be little understood outside the scientific community.  The outcome would be catastrophic.  Large parts of the world would be subject to extreme drought, whilst other parts experience intense rainfall [ xlv]. Mean temperature rises around 4OC would mask substantial global variations, with for example far larger increases, 10-16oC, occurring in the Arctic [ xlvi].  Global carrying capacity would probably fall dramatically as food and water availability declines, with a possible reduction in global population to less than 1 billion people from the current 7 billion [ xlvii]. 

As the UK Royal Society put it January 2011, “In such a 4oC world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world” [ xlviii]. 

When asked at the Melbourne 4 Degree Conference in July 2011 to explain the difference between a 2oC and a 4oC world, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and one of the world’s leading climate scientists, replied simply: ”human civilisation”. 

Not a great message to pass on to your grandchildren. If we have any sense of responsibility to current and future generations, a 4oC world is to be avoided at all costs. Against this background, the Clean Energy Future package is woefully inadequate.   

It was always going to be difficult to introduce carbon pricing, and indeed any measures to address global warming, in an economy dominated by fossil-fuel interests.  Those who have fought long and hard to achieve it deserve every credit for giving us a start down that path, but we should not for a moment think that we are anywhere near the real solutions. 

Some of the positive points in the package are: the provision for regular review to adjust targets in the light of emerging science, in part via the establishment of an independent Climate Change Authority; the introduction of the Carbon Farming Initiative to encourage the sequestration of carbon with innovative farming practices; the carbon price ceiling and floor arrangements to provide some level of certainty for business investment; and the recycling of carbon pricing revenue to the community. 

Negatives are: the inadequacy of the emission reduction targets (5% by 2020 instead of the 50% required); the low initial carbon price; the excessive compensation given to emission-intensive companies who have been well-aware for years that carbon pricing was coming; the escape valve which allows companies to buy a substantial part of their emission permits from overseas thereby slowing innovation in Australia; and the exclusion of transport fuels from carbon pricing.  

As the majority of Australians will be compensated for the additional cost associated with production involving carbon, do you see the Tax as creating real behavioural change? 

The fact that Australians will receive compensation for the additional costs of carbon in the products they consume will not stop behavioural change toward non-carbon consumption.  The cost of carbon-intensive products will rise relative to non-carbon alternatives and thus consumers will tend to purchase the latter, whatever the level of compensation, as it is in their economic interests to do so.  Certainly if the carbon price remains low, there will be those who may just prefer to pay the higher price, which is one reason why the price must rise relatively quickly to develop the momentum for change, and why pricing must be combined with regulatory changes. 

It also highlights the need to remove current substantial subsidies for carbon-intensive products.  There is little point in compensating consumers for the additional costs of carbon pricing whilst at the same time artificially reducing the price of carbon-intensive products with subsidies which encourage consumers to use more of them.  

What are the issues you would like addressed regarding investing in Australia's renewable energy sector?

Any fledgling industry such as renewables needs, above all, policy consistency so that investors have confidence to proceed with some degree of certainty in developing innovative products and services.  The track record of both Federal and State government in Australia in this regard has been appalling, with continual changes to policy discouraging innovation and investment.  That continues to be the case, as we have seen with recent changes to legislation for the solar industry. 

In large part this has been due to a lack of commitment by successive governments to address the real climate change challenge.  Carbon pricing will finally begin in July this year; it is a necessary step, but not sufficient to generate the extent and speed of change we need. It must be combined with continuing regulation to force the pace toward low-carbon alternatives (eg tighter vehicle emission standards, building standards, encouragement of public transport and the like).  

At the same time, technology is moving extremely fast and governments must be careful to avoid picking winners.  They should set the market framework to give clear direction toward a low-carbon economy, which means being far more honest about the real emission reductions we have to achieve. The market should then sort out which technologies come to the top of the pile, whether these are renewables, nuclear or other options such as efficiency and conservation of energy – we are going to need them all.  

There is also a need for government, and wealthy individuals, to provide greater seed money for low-carbon technologies in the early stage of development.    

What is the significance of having a carbon tax given that in the coming years China and the US might choose to negotiate sanctions on countries that do not meet global standards on carbon reduction mechanisms? 

Notwithstanding the fire and brimstone around the climate change debate at present, carbon pricing will become the norm globally over the next few years.  Certainly there is a long way to go to get realistic solutions in place, but China and India are already well down the carbon pricing track, and the EU has been there for some time.  But these steps are not just as precautions against climate change; those countries see an enormous economic advantage in becoming leaders in low-carbon technologies.  The US will at some stage follow them in its own economic interests, but that may take some time given the entrenched ideologies dominating US politics. 

As climate-related natural disasters continue to mount, and political and corporate leaders continue to procrastinate on taking real steps to address climate change, we will see increasing legal action to force the pace of change, along with civil disobedience.  Sanctions may well form part of this process.  Having a carbon price in place may be a mitigating factor, but the real test will be the effectiveness and consistency of each countries’ overall carbon reduction plan.   

Australia’s political and corporate leaders who have created our current predicament will be particularly exposed to legal action. The resistance to accepting the implications of climate change is well documented [ xlix] [ l] [ li].  At virtually every turn in the tortuous path of climate reform over the last two decades, vested interests have dominated, determined to slow reform, maximizing compensation and escape clauses, without regard to the longer-term implications.  Gradually, as the evidence has mounted, outright denial has given way publicly to grudging lip service to the need for action [ lii], but with an emphasis on adaptation, whilst lobbyists seek continuing delay [ liii]. 

Successive governments have either not believed the science, or have been brow-beaten into adopting minimalist reform agendas, which are largely meaningless in the context of the real problem. Statesmanship and leadership are notably absent. 

The resource sector is forging ahead with fossil fuel developments, determined to squeeze the last drop of juice out of the “China-boom”. For example tripling coal exports over the next fifteen years, expansion of LNG exports and the establishment of a coal seam gas industry with major investment in mines, railways, ports and processing facilities - but with no proven means of sequestering the associated carbon emissions. These developments will offset many times over any emission reductions through measures such as the Clean Energy Future package. – a case of moral hazard which will come back to bite both governments and proponents err long.

The result is that despite the current boom-time wisdom, from a longer-term perspective Australia has ended up in the worst of all possible worlds.   The science is clearly indicating the need for radical action toward a low-carbon economy. The vested interests ignore these calls, continue to undermine any sensible reform and, by special pleading render ineffective even the minimalist reform proposed in the interests of short-term advantage.  In the process, sound policy instruments such as emissions trading are discredited due to the political horsetrading as governments bow to vested interest pressure.  Lack of certainty on a carbon price has stunted the growth of fledgling alternative energy industries, stifled consumer behavioural change and, combined with conflicting regulatory measures, led to non-optimal short-term decisions, whilst the strong research capability which Australia developed in many low carbon technologies has departed to more fertile investment climates overseas. 

Business demands leadership from government whilst, with a few notable exceptions, showing little itself, and both main political parties lack the stomach to take on the vested interests.  So we fall back into the comfort zone of our dig-it-up and ship-it-out high carbon mindset.  In so doing, we are making arguably the greatest strategic error in Australia’s history. 

 For while Australia is, in effect, moving backwards on climate change reform, the rest of the world is accelerating.  The Chinese, other Asian countries, Europe and the US are all now vying for leadership in the low carbon economy.  A decade hence, with the climate science better understood and mounting extreme weather disasters, it is likely that the incremental demand for our high carbon products will evaporate.  Australia at that point will be left with a large inventory of stranded assets, minimal investment in low carbon alternative energy and little resilience to weather the impact of climate change and other resource shortages such as peak oil.  

The irony is that Australia has some of the best low-carbon resources and opportunities in the world [ liv] [ lv], which we seem determined to ignore.  As Ross Garnaut put it: “: “Australia’s advantages as a low-cost supplier of energy and raw materials are likely to be even greater after a successful transition to a low-carbon economy than they are in a world in which fossil fuels dominate energy supply”. [ lvi]  

 What are the implications of the Durban UNFCCC meeting which took place in December 2011?

Climate change is essentially risk management and recent evidence of its impact around the world, particularly in the Arctic, emphasises as never before, the extreme risks to which humanity is now exposed.   For example, the permafrost contains around 5 times the total amount of carbon emitted by humans since the Industrial Revolution.  If its thawing accelerates, and there are early signs this may be happening, we may have little means of preventing it.  Over time this would be catastrophic, probably leading to global mean temperature increasing well over the 4oC I mentioned earlier, with a dramatic reduction in global population.  

Our inaction today may well be guaranteeing such an outcome.  This highlights the total inadequacy and empty rhetoric of the so-called “ Platform for Enhanced Action” agreed at the Durban UNFCCC Climate Conference last December.  The proposal is to negotiate an agreement by 2015, for implementation from 2020, which means it will have little effect for years afterwards. 

Human emissions are at an all-time high, growing faster than ever, The permafrost thaw is most likely accelerating rapidly and globally there are many other signs of accelerating climate change impact. The human and economic cost of the increasing extreme weather events around the world is mounting inexorably.  We continue to expand the use of fossil-fuels while none of the supposed technological fixes for human emissions, such as carbon capture and storage, are working.  In such circumstances, the only solution, if we seriously intend to address climate change, is to initiate emergency action by adopting a war-footing to accelerate the development of low-carbon economies in the limited time we have available - a view which is gaining increasing traction around the world.    

To wait another decade or two before initiating serious action, which is what Durban effectively represents, is nothing less than suicidal.  

What is the most critical issue in the climate change debate for 2012?

Perhaps the greatest flaw in the climate debate has been our inability, or refusal, to address risk and uncertainty realistically.  

Scientists are giving increasingly urgent warnings on the mounting evidence of human-induced warming and the need for rapid carbon emission reductions.  Officialdom chooses to ignore these warnings, preferring policy based on “political realism”, shorthand for hoping the problem will go away.  Business, supposedly the experts on risk management, should take leadership, but have abrogated any responsibility, given that realistic action will require a fundamental redesign of the economic system, undermining established vested interests.  The result is that nobody is seriously addressing the strategic risks to which we are exposed.      

The history of the last two decades has demonstrated that conventional politics and business are incapable of handling this issue in a realistic manner. Leadership is totally lacking in both arenas; global and national institutions are failing here, just as they are failing to address the financial crisis – on both counts economic growth is the problem, not the solution. Climate change is now a far bigger risk than any financial crisis and yet the real effort devoted to managing it is miniscule in comparison. 

In this context, the critical issue for 2012 is to gain acceptance of the fact that we have no choice, if we are serious about addressing climate change, to move the economy on to the emergency war-footing I mentioned earlier to accelerate the pace of change, and to build coalitions to implement such action.  This must encompass:   

  • broader awareness throughout the community of: the real climate challenge; the inability of conventional reform processes to respond to the extent, and in the time, required; the failure of “official” solutions and hence the need for emergency action. 
  • recognition that these dilemmas present an unprecedented opportunity, economically and socially, to set national and world development on a genuinely sustainable path. 
  • developing new mechanisms to preserve the global “commons” which, with community support, go around conventional politics and vested interests.   
  • consistency in government policy.  It is totally irresponsible to proclaim on the one hand our resolve to tackle climate change, and on the other hand to encourage the dramatic expansion of Australian carbon exports. It is time to acknowledge that those same carbon exports, along with domestic carbon consumption, are contributing to the natural disasters which have cost the Australian community dearly in recent years, as the latest science is demonstrating.

 Leadership by women is essential as the next stage of the climate battle unfolds, particularly in bringing perspectives to the debate other than conventional business and politics, and in highlighting our moral and ethical responsibilities to future generations [ lvii].  

 

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References

 


[ i] “The Limits to Growth”, Club of Rome, 1972.

http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=326

[ ii] “ Living Planet Report 2010”, Global Footprint Network.

http://www.footprintnetwork.org/press/LPR2010.pdf

[ iii] “A Comparison of the Limits to Growth with Thirty Years of Reality”, G Turner, CSIRO, June 2008. http://www.csiro.au/files/files/plje.pdf

[ iv] “Securing a Clean Energy Future”, Australian Federal Government, July 2011.

http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Consolidated-Final.pdf

[ v] “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change”, CNA Corporation, 2007. http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/National%20Security%20and%20the%20Threat%20of%20Climate%20Change%20-%20Print.pdf

[ vi] “The Physical Science Basis”, Fourth Assessment Report, International Panel on Climate Change, 2007: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg1_report_the_physical_science_basis.htm

[ vii] “Synthesis Report”, Richardson et al, Copenhagen Climate Conference March 2009. http://climatecongress.ku.dk/pdf/synthesisreport

[ viii] “The Copenhagen Diagnosis” Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, November 2009. http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.com/

[ ix] “Climate Change – A Summary of the Science”, Royal Society, London, September 2010: http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2010/4294972962.pdf

[ x] “The Critical Decade: Climate Science, Risks, Responses”, Climate Commission Australia,May 2011: http://www.acci.asn.au/getattachment/e9ae9b51-a39b-486d-99dd-f006286f28df/Climate-Commission-Report-23-May-2011.aspx

[ xi] “America’s Climate Choices”, National Academy of Sciences, May 2011: http://dels.nas.edu/Report/Americas-Climate-Choices/12781

[ xii] Goddard Institute for Space Science, NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2010-warmest-year.html

[ xiii] “State of the Climate, Global Analysis 2010”, NOAA, January 2011: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

[ xiv] World Meteorological Organisation,  20th January 2010: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_906_en.html

[ xv] “Is Antarctica Melting?”, NASA, January 2010. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html

[ xvi] Polar Science Centre, University of Washington: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php

[ xvii] “Arctic Report Card”, NOAA, October 2010: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/ArcticReportCard_full_report.pdf

[ xviii] Ice-Sheet Disintegration, Veligcogna/Hansen, 2010. http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/IceSheet/

[ xix] “Modelling Permafrost on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf”, Nickolsky/Shakhova, April 2010. http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/1/015006/fulltext

[ xx] “East Siberian Arctic Shelf De-stabilising and Venting, Climate progress, March 2010. http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/04/science-nsf-tundra-permafrost-methane-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-venting/

[ xxi] “Thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming in decades to come”, US National Snow & Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), 16th February 2011: http://nsidc.org/news/press/20110216_permafrost.html

[ xxii] “Permafrost Carbon-Climate Feedbacks Accelerate Global Warming”, Charles D. Koven et al, PNAS July 2011: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/08/17/1103910108.abstract

[ xxiii] “Oceans are Acidifying Ten Times faster today ----“ Climate Progress: http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/18/ocean-acidification-study-mass-extinction-of-marine-life-nature-geoscience/

[ xxiv] “Effects of Ocean Acidification”, Ridgwell/Schmidt, environment360, February 2010. http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2241

[ xxv] “The 2010 Amazon Drought”, Lewis et al, University of Leeds: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/1466/

[ xxvi] “Natural Catastrophes in 2010”, Munich Re, January 2011. http://www.munichre.com/en/media_relations/press_releases/2011/2011_01_03_press_release.aspx

[ xxviii] “Climate Scoreboard”, Climateinteractive, September 2011: http://climateinteractive.org/scoreboard

[ xxix] “Paleoclimate Implications for Human-made Climate Change”, Hansen & Sato, NASA GISS & Columbia University Earth Institute, July 2011: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1105.0968v3

[ xxx] “Earth Energy Imbalance and Implications”, Hansen, Sato, Kharecha & von Schuckmann, NASA GISS & Columbia University Earth Institute, August 2011: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110826_EnergyImbalancePaper.pdf

[ xxxi] “Arctic Sea Ice Volume”, Neven, Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/09/piomas-august-2011.html

[ xxxii] “Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions”, Solomon et al, NOAA, PNAS December 2008: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/01/28/0812721106.abstract

[ xxxiii] "Rethinking a Safe Climate - have we already gone too far?", David Spratt, 23 January 2011: http://climatecodered.blogspot.com/2011/01/rethinking-safe-climate-have-we-already.html

[ xxxiv] “The Last Great Global Warming”, Lee R Kump, Scientific American, July 2011: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-last-great-global-warming

[ xxxv] ibid “Securing a Clean Energy Future”, Australian Federal Government, July 2011.

http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Consolidated-Final.pdf

[ xxxvi] “Models Guiding Climate Policy are Dangerously Optimistic”, Kevin Anderson, The Guardian, 24th February 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/24/models-climate-policy-optimistic/print

[ xxxvii] “ Reframing the Climate Change Challenge in the Light of Post-2000 emission Trends”, Anderson & Bows, Royal Society UK, 2008: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/366/1882/3863.full.pdf+html

[ xxxviii], "Beyond dangerous climate change: emission scenarios for a new world", Anderson & Bows, Royal Society UK 2011: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934

[ xxxix] “Tipping Elements in the Earth’s Climate System”, Lenton et al., PNAS 2008. http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full.pdf+html

[ xl] “Target Atmospheric CO2 – Where Should Humanity Aim?, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA, December 2008. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_13/

[ xli] Hans Joachin Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, Guardian 15th September 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/15/climatechange.carbonemissions

[ xlii] “Climate Code Red”, 2008. http://www.climatecodered.net/

[ xliii] “Transition Plan Strategic Framework”, Safe Climate Australia, November 2009. http://www.safeclimateaustralia.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/Transition.Framework.01B.pdf

[ xliv] “Greenhouse gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2oC”, Meinhausen et al, Nature, April 2009. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7242/abs/nature08017.html

[ xlv] “Climate Change: Drought may threaten much of globe within decades”, Aiguo Dai, NCAR, October 2010: http://www2.ucar.edu/news/2904/climate-change-drought-may-threaten-much-globe-within-decades

[ xlvi] “4oC Global Warming: regional patterns and timing”, Richard Betts et al, Hadley Centre, UK Met Office, Oxford 4 Deg Conference, September 2009: http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/ppt/1-2betts.pdf

[ xlvii] “4 Degrees Hotter”, Climate Action Centre Primer, David Spratt , 14th February 2011: http://www.climateactioncentre.org/sites/default/files/4-degrees-hotter.pdf

[ xlviii] “Four Degrees and Beyond – the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications”, Royal Society Transactions, January 2011: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934.toc

[ xlix] “High & Dry”, Guy Pearse, 2007. http://www.guypearse.com/index.php?pageid=1703

[ l] “Scorcher”, Clive Hamilton, 2007. http://www.clivehamilton.net.au/cms/index.php?page=scorcher

[ li] “Climate Change and the Australian Reform Agenda”, Dr. Martin Parkinson, Sir Leslie Melville Lecture 28th June 2010, ANU. http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/media/speeches/~/media/publications/media/climate-change-and-the-autralian-reform-agenda.ashx

[ lii] Speech to the Australian British Chamber of Commerce, Marius Kloppers, CEO BHP Billiton, 15th September 2010: http://www.bhpbilliton.com/bbContentRepository/docs/100915AbccBhpBillitonCeoSpeech.pdf

[ liii] Michael Hitchens, AIGN, in “Climate Cuts Must Continue” SMH 7th February 2011: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-cuts-must-continue-garnaut-20110207-1ak98.html

[ liv] “Zero Carbon Australia 2020”, Beyond Zero Emissions, June 2010. http://media.beyondzeroemissions.org/preview-exec-sum14.pdf

[ lv] Desertec Australia. http://www.desertec-australia.org/

[ lvii] “The Case for Young People and Nature: A Path to a Healthy, Natural, Prosperous Future”, James Hansen et al, Columbia University, NY, May 2011. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110505_CaseForYoungPeople.pdf

 

If you are interested in backup information on the content of this interview, you might like to view the following resources:
1. Corporate Governance in the Anthropocene.  Presentation at UTS conference just before Xmas: http://www.ccg.uts.edu.au/pdfs/Dunlop.pdf
My recent paper at the Club of Rome conference on the "Future of Energy and Interconnected Challenges" (Basel, Switzerland Oct 2011) amplifies much of
this presentation.  See: http://mahb.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/2011_Dunlop-Climate-energy.pdf 
2. Arctic permafrost thaw.  American Geophysical Union conference in SanFrancisco in December had some concerning material on the latest Arctic
research.  See the Club of Rome website: http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=3425
3. AMP Amplify Festival June 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwjXEymVPBw
4. Club of Rome Peak Oil animation of one of my presentations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veKNzmh9Mm0