Newsletter #29 - January 2009 for the
Crisis Coalition at

What is a Footprint?

Comparison of US and Australian ecological footprints with African. Every Australian puts 26.5 tons of CO2-e into the atmosphere every year, every American puts 23.6 tons and most Africans a lot less than 1 ton each.

For earlier Footprints visit the the archive.

The Crisis Coalition aims to raise awareness and to galvanise action.
For the latest information read this fully referenced report.

Dear Friends

A Climate Action Summit is being planned in Canberra for the end of January. The purpose is to devise the most effective political and popular actions to galvanise real change.

I wish to present our argument at the Summit, and to do so it is important for me to have your response to these seven questions. As you have all been followers of Footprints, I don't have to belabour the issues or repeat the scientific research - a few references to past issues are given in [square brackets]. The following summary should be enough:

  • 2.5°C is now inevitable, and could be achieved over the next two decades.
    [See Footprints-11, 14, 17, 18, 23];

  • For every one degree rise in average global temperature we should anticipate a minimum of 4 metres rise in sea levels, meaning that 10 metre sea-level rise is now inevitable, and with storm-surges any house or any infrastructure below 20 meters (65 feet) above high tide is likely to be affected.
    [Read The Truth about Rising Seas in www. See Footprints-18, 19, 27];

  • In the history of the earth these sea-level fluctuations have occurred very quickly, at times within a decade as the great ice sheets of Greenland and the Western Antarctic crumble.
    [See Footprints-21, 23];

  • Carbon off-sets will not mitigate the situation because sea and forests are absorbing less carbon and in some cases are now becoming sources and returning their carbon to the atmosphere.
    [See Footprints-13, 20, 27, 28];

  • We are already triggering the release of methane, a gas embedded in peat bos and permafrost, that is 21 times more powerful than C02, and will make the warming trajectory worse.
    [See Footprints-16, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28].

With these terrifying events coming fairly soon, and not all at once, but incrementally year by year over the next few decades, how do we get through denial and self-delusion to galvanise millions of people to take action? That is the problem……

It will be your response to these questions that will affect my submission to the Summit. Please think them through and email me the answers before January 20 to

  1. Do you live within 20 meters (65 feet) of high-tide? Or does anyone in your family, or a close friend? Google Earth will give you your elevation.
  2. If you are affected directly where will you move to? Do you know someone who will take you in?
    Would you expect any insurance to be available as the seas flood in?
  3. Where will you safeguard your furniture and things? How will you repay your mortgage? Would the loss of personal value seriously affect whatever you could do next? How would you overcome that?
  4. As most docks and airports would be unusable long before this happens, check out
            a. Where does your food come from, how much is imported?
                Do you have the skills to grow your own?
            b. Would you still have an income?
            c. Is your petrol delivered by ship? Would the docks and processing plant be under water?
               How would you get to work, to the shops and school without petrol?
            d. Can you guarantee that basic supplies like clothes and hardware will get to your local store?
                Its worth thinking a lot about this one!
            e. What essential equipment may no longer be available because its made in China?
  5. As there will be refugees (local as well as a billion others) how would you handle immigration and your own security? Would you expect government or charities to have sufficient resources?
  6. How would you like your government to prepare for the inevitable?
  7. How might you change your plans for the future from here on?

You can see how important these questions are. If you, as a committed person, find them too hard, then how will you be able to galvanise anyone else? All environmentalists need to face these questions.

Please send me your answers by January 20 and I will share the responses with you all.

John James
For the Crisis Coalition Inc, at

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