John Gibbons: Our politicians need to catch up fast with the reality of climate science

Extreme weather events this year have shown the dangers of climate change, but our government has already given in to the agri-industrial lobby, leaving our 2030 targets dead in the water

Panagiota Ritsopi, 81, leaves her home threatened by wildfire in the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia on Sunday, August 8. The World Meteorological Organisation said that the fires in Greece are part of a chain of extreme weather caused by climate change as a result of human behaviour. Picture: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg

The scientific community has long understood that heating up the global atmosphere with greenhouse gases would, in time, lead to potentially dangerous consequences for the Earth’s climate system.

This is uncontroversial. The real enigma that science is ill-equipped to address is that most elusive of variables: how humanity chooses to respond.

In the 30 years since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was first established to manage this emerging crisis, global greenhouse gas emissions ...