Climate science debate has cost precious time, expert warns | World news | guardian.co.uk
Floods, bushfires and this year's scorching summer heatwave have raised awareness of the dangers of climate change, but an "infantile" debate over the validity of the science has cost Australia precious time, according to a key Climate Commission expert.
The commission's updated analysis states that evidence of a "rapidly changing climate has continued to strengthen over the last two years", including, importantly, the link between climate change and extreme weather events.
Steffen said that Australia had made progress in its bid to reduce emissions but that vital time has been wasted in the questioning of the validity of climate science.
"I'd love for us to be at the point where Nordic countries are, where the science is accepted in a bipartisan way and the debate is around how to get emissions down," he said.
"I think we've lost valuable time with an infantile debate over the science, which has delayed the inevitable work of getting to the solution. There have been attempts to undermine the science. The science has been attacked and scrutinised and it's stood up."