A message from Gideon Polya – Climate Change

Message From:
Dr Gideon Polya

Dear Sir/Madam,
The Australian Climate Commission has estimated that at present rates of pollution the world has only 15 years before it exceeds the remaining terminal pollution budget of 600 billion tonnes of CO2 that must not be exceeded if we are to have a 75% probability of avoiding a catastrophic 2C temperature rise (see The Climate Commission, ”The Critical Decade”:
<a href=”http://climatecommission.gov.au/report/the-critical-decade-2013/” target=”_blank”>http://climatecommission.gov.au/report/the-critical-decade-2013/</a>
Using revised NASA, World Bank and US Energy Information Administration data, I have estimated that we have only 5 years left at current rates of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution before this remaining terminal budget of 600 billion tonnes CO2-e is exceeded (see Gideon Polya, “Dohar climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act”, MWC News, 9 December 2012:
<a href=”http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html” target=”_blank”>http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html</a>
We should be urgently ceasing GHG pollution. We should be urgently installing renewable energy systems and not building new fossil fuel power plants that will pollute for the next 40 years.

I have been involved as a much-published, 5-decade career biological chemist acting as an Expert Witness (free of charge of course) for concerned citizens in giving carefully researched evidence in court against the imposition on rural town residents of hugely polluting gas-fired power generation. I have published a detailed, documented
account of science-based arguments that can be used either by environmental activists lobbying politicians or by Expert Witnesses giving evidence in relevant Courts or Inquiries against the imposition of gas-fired power stations or fossil fuel-based power generation in
general. The article is Gideon Polya, “Expert Witness Testimony To Stop Gas-Fired Power Plant Installation”,
Countercurrents 14 June 2013:
<a href=”http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140613.htm” target=”_blank”>http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140613.htm</a> ,
the summary of which is given below.
1. The fundamental reason why gas-fired power plants (GFPPs) should
not be built is that in view of the worsening climate crisis the world
should be decreasing and not increasing fossil fuel burning and other
greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. Building a GFPP with a lifetime of 40
years simply locks society into more fossil fuel burning and
correspondingly blocks the uptake of renewable energy. Further,
methane (CH4) has a Global Warming Potential (GWP)
105 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2) on a 20 year time frame and
considering aerosol impacts, this meaning that, depending upon the
degree of gas leakage, burning gas for power can be dirtier GHG-wise than
burning coal.
2. A GFPP located near a town will impact (A) human health, (B) human
amenity and (C) the environment in the many ways outlined in the
article for the benefit of environmental activists, legal counsel and
Expert Witnesses involved in GFPP-related legal
proceedings. Critically, while gas-fired power plants produce a
huge amount of toxic pollutants, notably carbon monoxide (CO),
nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), there is an
extraordinary deficiency of hard empirical data about ground-level
concentrations of such pollutants in the locality of GFPPs. Science says
that pollutant dispersion modelling is no substitute for hard
data. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “no threshold
for PM has been identified below which no damage to health is
3. It must be appreciated that the political and
legal debate about fossil fuel burning is conducted with a background
of extraordinary, anti-science Mainstream media misinformation in
the Western Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies.

4. The bottom line of any analysis of public
policy is avoidable death as described in detail in my book “Body Count.
Global avoidable mortality since 1950” that is now available for
free perusal on the web:
<a href=”http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality_05.html” target=”_blank”>http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality_05.html</a>
. It is estimated that already about 5 million people die annually
worldwide from climate change (0.5 million) and from carbon burning
pollutants (4.5 million) with this carnage set to total 100 million by
2030 in the absence of climate change action, and that 10 billion
people will perish this century if climate change is not addressed
(see “Are we doomed?”:
<a href=”https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed” target=”_blank”>https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed</a>
) .
5. Ultimately for societal safety we must seriously consider the
expert views of scientists. Thus in relation to climate change action,
a 2010 Open Letter from 255 eminent scientists of the prestigious US
National Academy of Sciences (including 11 Nobel Prize winners)
concluded: “Delay is not an option” and the Synthesis Report of
the 2,500-delegate 2009 scientific Copenhagen Climate Change
Conference concluded: “Inaction is
inexcusable”. Investing huge amounts of scarce resources into burning more fossil fuels like gas flies in the face of expert scientific evidence that we should be
urgently engaged in cessation of fossil fuel burning in the interests
of Humanity and the Biosphere. Indeed atmospheric CO2 recently reached
400 ppm and is increasing at about 2.5 ppm per year, yet top climate
scientists and biologists demand that we should reduce atmospheric CO2
back to about 300 ppm CO2 for a safe planet for all peoples and all
species, noting that before the current Industrial Era (or
Anthropocene Era) atmospheric CO2 had not exceeded
300 ppm for about 1
million years (see “<a href=”http://300.org/” target=”_blank”>300.org</a> – return
atmospheric CO2 to 300
<a href=”https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org—return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm” target=”_blank”>https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org—return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm</a>
) Professor David Shearman (emeritus professor of
Medicine at the
University of Adelaide, Adelaide , South Australia
) has succinctly
stated: “The International Energy Agency has
expressed concern about
gas replacing renewable energy sources. This would
delay any chance of
early curtailment of greenhouse emissions. Climate
change is accepted
as a huge threat to health world wide”.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne
Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students
at a major
Australian university for 4 decades. He published
some 130 works in a
5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge
reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant
Bioactive Compounds” (CRC
Press/Taylor &amp; Francis, New York &amp; London , 2003).
He has published
“Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since
1950” (G.M. Polya,
Melbourne, 2007:
<a href=”http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”>http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/</a> ); see also
contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq
mass mortality” in
“Lies, Deep Fries &amp; Statistics” (edited by
Robyn Williams, ABC
Books, Sydney, 2007:
<a href=”http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm” target=”_blank”>http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm</a>
) and
“Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The
Plight of the
Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave
Macmillan, London,
<a href=”http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html” target=”_blank”>http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html</a>
). He has published a revised and updated 2008
version of his 1998
book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British
History” (see:
<a href=”http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”>http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/</a> ) as biofuel-,
globalization- and
climate-driven global food price increases
threaten a greater famine
catastrophe than the man-made famine in
British-ruled India that
killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten”
World War 2 Bengal
Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr
Polya, Economics Nobel
Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:
<a href=”http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine” target=”_blank”>http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine</a>
). When words fail one can say it in pictures –
for images of Gideon
Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace,
Mother and Child see:
<a href=”http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/” target=”_blank”>http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/</a>
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/” target=”_blank”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/</a> .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top