Australian Climate Scientist Measures Efforts To Curb Climate Change: What Works?

1 11 2015

Sunday November 01, 2015

Australian climate scientist Tim Flannery: “The Great Barrier Reef is doomed.”Tim Flannery, the best-selling Australian author, scientist and activist.

Tim Flannery, the best-selling Australian author, scientist and activist. (Credit: ANOEK DE GROOT/AFP/Getty Image)

 Listen 27:38

From November 30th to December 11th thousands of diplomats, scientists, negotiators, activists, government officials and heads of state who will converge on Paris. They will be there for the most pivotal United Nations climate talks in years. Their goal: To keep the Earth from getting more than 2 degrees warmer than it was in the pre-industrial era.

The UN climate talks will be one of the first major challenges facing Justin Trudeau. He will have been prime minister for only a few weeks when he arrives in Paris. He will have to convince a skeptical world that Canada is not a dinosaur — which has been our reputation at climate conferences for the past decade. He will also have to play catch up.

Canada has an unenviable reputation as an obstacle to progress on climate change. Justin Trudeau has vowed to change that. Tim Flannery, the best-selling Australian author, scientist and activist, gives us a climate change report card as the world prepares for the Paris conference at the end of November.

Flannery says many changes due to warming of the earth’s surface are irreversible, including damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. And, he says most of Alberta’s bitumen must stay in the ground.

But he remains hopeful.

Demonstration to save Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Protesters hold banners outside the headquarters of the Commonwealth Bank to say no to coal expansion on the Great Barrier Reef as part of ‘Global Divestment Day’ in Sydney on February 13, 2015. (Credit: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images))

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