Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
7.30 Report -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) Thanks, John. Before we go,

a brief recap of our top story

tonight. The Opposition Leader

Kevin Rudd has repeated his

pledge to scrap the government's industrial

relations legislation, after Mr

Howard accused Labor of being

divided over dumping the laws.

And that's ABC News. Stay with

us now for the 7.30 Report

coming up next. Have a great

weekend. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

CC Tonight, it's even worse

than we thought. The latest bleak assessment on global warming including Australia

from the world's leading

experts. The polar ice caps

have a high probability of

completely disappearing in the

summer by 2050. And the

inspirational doctor facing his

greatest challenge. North

pole, south pole and all the

continents.

Welcome to the program and

the next big global report on

climate change has just been

released in Paris, confirming

the worst. An army of the

world's foremost experts on

climate change has pain

stakingly modelled all the data

from around the world and concluded that the world is

heating faster than earlier

predictions, that ice caps are

melteding faster, that seas

will rise fast r and the

certainty has grown that human

activity is the culprit. This

is the fourth report of the

inter-Governmental panel on

cliching since 1990. The report

also spells out the most likely

scenarios for Australia's

climate over the rest of this

century and that's another

series of grim scenarios for

coastal Australia, the southern

half of the continent,

important pockets like the

snowfields and mixed news at

best for the north. Dr Graham

Pearman has been a pioneering

expert on carbon emissions and

global warming for more than 20

years. As the chief of CSIRO's

atmospheric research until

2002, he has helped compile

previous IPCC reports and as a

leading consultant in the field

today, he's already read the

1200-page draft report, whose

final form is being released

around the world as we speak.

What are the key predictions for Australia from this scprOrt

what are the ramifications of

those predictions? I think the main prediction as far as

Australia's concerned is the

movement south of the storm

tracks across the southern part

of the country. It's

anticipated that these will go

about 3 degrees south and that

leads to a drying of the

southern part of the continent

and when you couple that with

generally warmer temperatures

it means less available

water. What are the temperature

ranges that they're now

predicting that temperatures

will rise within Australia?

Within Australia we're talking

about something of the order of

6 to 7/10s of a degree in the

next 20 yours which is about

the same as the warming we've

had in the last 100 years and

by 2050 between 1 and 2 degrees

and by the ends of the century

between 2 and 4 degrees. What

does that say to you? It says

to me that the top level or top

numbers here are large because they represent a very

significant proportion of the

temperature change that

occurred between full glacial

periods of the planet and the

current interglacial, that was

only about a 5-degree change.

So we're talking about changes

that are of the same magnitude

of the massive changes that

occurred in the natural cycles

of the earth. When you talk

about the storm patterns change

and parts of Australia getting

drier, can you isolate for me

what we might expect to be the

areas where the impact is felt

the most? The areas where the

impact will be felt the most

from that particular change I

think will be south of 30

degrees, so south of the line

roughly joining Perth to

Sydney. So it's the southern

part the continent and the part

that contains a fair amount of

the population. I'd also

mention that we're anticipating

the temperature to rise even

more at lower latitudes, or

nrth north in Australia. That

has impacts on evaporation. The

point about that is we're not

as sure as to what is going to

happen to the precipitation in

those areas. It seems clear

winter precipitation will

increase as we go forth but it

is less clear what will happen

to monsoonal actifrbativity.

Some indication is it will go

strong r and some is that it

won't. Can be look briefly at

sea levels as they might affect

Australia? What does the

latest report tell snus The

latest report fursz tells us

that sea level is rising, as

the temperatures are, and in

fact it's rising at the top end

of the projections that were

made five or six years ago and

that this will affect the whole

of the world, but it will

affect Australia and the way it

affects Australia is by erosion

on sandy beaches, by a higher

standing sea level so that that

interacts when you do have

storms with the degree of

inundation across the north of

the country, inundation of

saltwater in to fresh-water

ecologies, across the northern

part of Australia particularly,

leading to impacts on even

places like cack cue. Australia

of course is -- Kakadu.

Australia of course is mostly

settled around its coastline.

How is residential Australia

likely to be affect by sea rise

s? We talked about loss of

thing for Australia. This is rainfall perhaps being the key

probably the second-most

important thing. We have

developed - Australia is

continuing to develop more and

more towards a coastal

community. In parts of NSW and

Queensland, enormous

developments right near sea

level. Many of them with

building codes that are not

design ed to handle the kinds

of potential inundations we

would get associated with a

higher sea level and higher

storm intensity and certainly

with regard to storm intensity,

many of the buildings not built

necessarily appropriate for the to building codes that are

future. What are the most

disturbing findings for the

rest of the world? What about

the polar ice caps, the

Antarctic? Within this report

they have indicated that for

example the polar ice caps have

a high probability of completely disappearing in the

summer by 2050. We're seeing

currently a demise of the

aerial extent of the Arctic ice

cap at around about 10% per

decade but as I say, this has

indicated it could even be gone

complete Lee by 2050 in the

summer. The thickness of that

ice cap of course has also

decreased over recent decades

by almost half. There is a

massive change to the polar ice

caps but that's consistent also

with very significant changes

in glaciation everywhere. We've

lost glaciation in Tibet, in

the Alps of Europe and in South

America in the Andes and this

is already having consequences

in terms of the dangers of

rapid melting at the ends of

the komed season, but also the

amount of water that's

available in the rivers and in

recent visits to China, they're

very concerned about the rate

which the Tibetan ice sheet is

being lost because it feeds all

of the major rivers of southern

Asia and eastern Asia and there

is some hundreds of millions of

people that are dependent on

that water. Which parts of the

world are going to be most hit

by the scenario reflected in

this report, broadly? I think

the reality is that there are

two parts to that - one is what

will actually happen to the

climate system so what we're

seeing is throughout the world

drying in the middle altitudes as we're predicting for

Australia, that will occur in

the northern hemisphere as well

so those areas are subjected to

the same kind of water stress

issues that we are. The

tropical areas are going to be

warmer but also going to have

more intense tropical storms,

but for some areas of the

northern hemisphere countries

they will have more rainfall.

There may be positive things

out of that. It depends on

which perspective you have. If

you look at an ice-freeze

Arctic, some people who liver

in northern Russia may find

that as a positive thing. It's

part of the problem that

everyone will perceive the

results of this in a different

way. The second aspect is that

everyone on the earth has a

different capacity to respond.

In Australia we have a

relatively strong economy, so

we can adapt to quite

significant changes. But other

people don't have that and

therefore they're subjected

very directly to these changes

and in many cases won't have

the power to respond to them

and that raises the whole issue

of what do they do? Do we leze

lots of people that way? Do

those people start to migrate?

Do they start to be unhappy and

therefore do you get a

disobedience and migrations

that you would not otherwise

have? You're talking

potentially in the hundreds of

millions? I think Al Gore made

that point in his documentary?

That's right. You're talking

about very large numbers. The

indics of how many people are

at risk is still quite

difficult to determine but

they, for water and food,

they're at least in the orders

of tens to hundreds of million.

From a water point of view the

estimates are up to bimmians of

people. One of the arguments of

greenhouse sceptics has been

that it's not yet clear that

the bulk of blame for global

warming can be laid at the door

of human activity rather than

nature taking its course. Does

this report clear up that once

and for all? This report goes

in to a large degree of detail,

remembering this report is

based on published literature.

It doesn't do the research

itself, it accesses published

lichrature. It comes to the

conclusion there is a more nan

90% chance that the warming

we've seen so far is due to

greenhouse gases and less than

5% chance it is due to

variations of the sun or other

natural ability. What about the

argument that Australia is a

relatively small offender

because as a nation we only

contribute 1 to 1.5% to global

emissions so it is not so

urgent for us to reduce

greenhouse gas s? The reality

is if you look at the emissions

of Australia, they're not that

different from the emissions of

the UK or from France or from

Sweden. All of these countries

have emissions that are

approximately the same. So each

of these countries could put up

their hand and say, "We're

going to opt out of doing

anything because no-one else is

doing it." We have to share the

responsibility for doing this

emissions reduction. There's no

doubt that currently the US are

the major contributors and in

the future ever-increasingly

China will become. But at the

same time all of us together

make these missions and I think

we have to -- emissions and I

think swlee to share the

responsibility across the world

otherwise we're not going to

achieve these goals. Australia

is throwing money at technology

to hopefully produce cleaner

coal by a process call

geosequestration. If these

things work, they may not come

in to play for 20 years. Are we

yet doing enough? Australia?

To shoulder our share of the

burden? My opinion is no,

we're not. You make a very good

point, I think, that some of

these options are realistic

options and we should be

considering them but most

options have problems that in

other words there are things we

don't know for sure and the

nuclear option and the

sequesteration option have

issues about the real cost and

how that cost will unfold but

also the rate at which we can

actually build our capacity to

reduce emissions through those

processes. So again it's a

matter of prudence. What do we

do in the meantime? Let's not

wait until we've emitted all

this additional carbon dioxide

in to the atmosphere,

remembering it is going to stay

for a long time. As one of the

leading scientists in this

field over a long period of time, what are the words that

come closest to your mood now

as a result of reading the

report? Alarm? Depression?

Hope? I think it's probably a

degree of depression and I

think it comes out of the fact

that this report, all of us who

have been in this field have

worked in this field hoping

that someone would fine that we

were wrong and that isn't the

case, it's just simply

confirming what we have not

thought was the issue and what

was the problem over a long

period of time and as I say,

secondly, it's the issue of

when human societies - not any

one Government or any one

country but human societies in

general - have the capacity to

respond to a major threat

threat of this kind in a timely

fashion and at the moment I am

not clear we are going to have

that. I'm not clear that

therefore leads to a point

where we're going to respond in

time to avoid very significant

impacts, if not on ourselves,

on other people around the

world. 72 Graham Pearman, thank

you very much for talking to

us. Thank you. With NSW just

weeks away from an election ,

the State's Labor Government is

still scrambling to recover

after a series of scandals

ranging from fallen Minister

facing child sex charges to a

backbencher convicted of

assaulting his girlfriend and

it's not just MPs behaving

badly. After 12 years in office

there's a ground' swell of

voter anger provoked by the

State of basic services -

roads, transport, hospitals.

The man in the hot seat is

Premier Morris Iemma when he

inherited a sizable majority by

replacing Bob Carr but also

inhaired a rolling political 98

mare. The NSW opposition would

need an enormous swing to win

but there is the chance voters

will turn to independents in

unprecedented numbers. This

report from Deborah Cornwall.

It has been an amazingly

rich load of rat bagerry, not

on the periphery of the

Government but inside

Cabinet. It says a lot about

the state of NSW politics when

churning effluent makes for a

golden photo opportunity. Just

seven weeks out from polling

day, Labor's new cleanskin

Premier, Morris Iemma, is on

the back foot over the water

crisis and feeling the heat.

Your jails, your hospitals, and

a number of other major water

uses haven't even put in their

plans. The deadline was March

or June last year thacht just

hopeless, isn't it? And the

job of ensuring that the work

takes place, proceeds... He

does look on occasions

exhausted and a bit over-awed

by the extent of the problems

confronting the State. Despite

a whopping 17-seat majority,

Labor's once unassailable

position is unraveling. Rocked

by scand scpl the charge that

the premiere State has become

the nation's economic basket case. For 10 years the

Treasurer of NSW was obsessed

with driving down debt so NSW

lived on the money that came in

through this massive property

boom but in the process spent

nothing so we're left with that

legacy. Aging infrastructure,

aging schools, hospitals,

roads, trains. A miss. Drafted

in to the leadership after the

sudden departure of Premier Bob

Carr, Morris Iemma cuts an

awkward, sometimes lonely

figure, who clearly struggles

with his media performances. I

don't see that the job is about

performing in that sense. It's

certainly being accountable, accessible and communicating

with the electorate. As I sa,

I'm not the sharpest

communicator but I believe that

is one of the qualities that

the electorate see as a good

thing and it is my style. Well,

I'm not someone who shouts from

the rooftops and there's

certainly no - I've said this

before - there's certainly no

career awaiting Morris Iemma in

the media when he's finished

being Premier. But after more

than a decade of Premier Bob

Carr's spin mastering, Morris

Iemma's style may prove an

asset. Once the scandals

started to hit and the

disasters started to unfold,

people seemed to see Carr as

the architect of desbras r and

Morris Iemma as the poor bloke

shouldering the dramas and try

to fix it. I think that has

evolved and Labor has used it

cleverly. There is a sense

that Carr just did the bolt on

the State and things have come

crashing down around our head

ever since he left. In a

perverse way, that's probably

the best thing Morris Iemma's

got going for him because he's

basically walking around

Sydney, walking around NSW

wearing his metphorical "I'm

not Bob Carr," T-shirt. How

tricky has it been for you,

effectively disowning the man

who led the party for 17

years? The day I became

Premier I assumed

responsibility and said I was

more about driving activity and

I wanted to build up

infrastructure and that's what

we're doing. We've got biggest

infrastructure investment in

NSW history taking place right

now. Not after the election.

It's happening today. Analysts

say Labor has so effectively

sands bagged its majority, even

a huge swing won't unsink them

but with the Liberal leader,

Peter Debenham, still an

unknown quant, the real winners

in the election are likely to

be the Independents. I have

got the suspicion the

electorate is sitting horrified

by the choice they have and

wondering what they're going to

do on March 24. This is going

to be our hardest

fight. Doesn't that tell you

something about the extent to

which Labor is on the nose in

this State? No matter how much

they may think of Morris Iemma,

newly minted Premier. It tells

me this - we've got a tough,

hard fight to win the election.

That's what it tells me. I've

known that from the day I

assumed the premiership. But

behind the white noise of

endless policy launches, the

electorate has yet to see how

he steps up on the big issues.

The very issues State Labor

isseen to have failed on during

12 years of unbroken rule. It

would seem water is going to be

one of THE issues in this

election. Your first response

to Peter Beattie recycling

water was to just say no. Is

this enough? We're investing

in record amounts for

infrastructure for water. We're

undertaking recycling,

accessing groundwater, the deep

water, the infrastructure in

our dams, the infrastructure is

built. We're getting ready to

do desal. I'm not going to let

Sydney run out of water. The

Government says he's got the

vision for the State. I think

it extends to March 25. Media

appearances by the Premier's

wife this week showed he'll be

pushing his family man

credentials hard. Outside the

tightly scripted persona,

voters will still be going to

the polls knowing remarkably

little about him. When he came

to the Cabinet he really wasn't

an unknown quantity. He had

been a strategist all his life

and learned the art of politic at the knee of Graham

Richardson. We knew there was a

backbone there and a glint of

steel but not much more. What

we do know about you, and it's

been like pulling teeth, you

are very private. Yes, very

private. And that's something

that I value because I said on

the first day that I became

Premier that I wasn't resigning

as a father and a husband. I'm

the Premier but I'm also a

father and a husband. I live in

the suburb that I grew up in

and now I'm raising my family

there, my four kids, and my

privacy is important. Is that

realistic for a public figure?

Yes, I believe so. And I have a

very good team around me,

starting with my wife who does

a fantastic job, my parents and

her mother, our families have

rallied round and helped and

they're Team Iemma. They're the

team that enabled me to be

Premier, husband and father.

That report from Deborah

Cornwall. In the near future

we'll also be taking a look at

the ups and downs of an

Opposition that should be

sailing to victory. It's a

seemingly impossible mission, a

wheelchair odyssey from the

north to the south pole, with

every continent in between. The

man about to attempt this world

record is Sydney doctor and

wheelchair athlete William Tan.

The 50-year-old Paralympian is

hoping to raise half a million

dollars for rehabilitation

patients at Sydney's Saint

George hospital where he works.

William Tan will take part in marathons around the world,

clocking up a gruelling 400km

in four months, but the real

journey began 50 years ago.

Lorna Knowles reports. How are

you this morning He is

compassionate. He's selfless.

He's humble, caring, attentive,

just like an angel. And he's

touched our hearts. I don't

have the use of my legs but I

shall make the best of my brain

and my arms that are not

paralysed. It's been a long,

hard road for William Tan. Born

in to poverty and crippled from

infancy, he's turned advrszty

to advantage, pushing himself

to achieve international

acclaim. I think we were all a

bit overwhelmed by what he'd

achieved in his lifetime,

really. The son of a street

vendor in Singapore, William

Tan was just two when he lost

the use of his legs to polio.

I became paralysed from the age

of stwO and I was rehu-- two

and I was rehabilitated in a

hospital for several months. It

was a very, very difficult time

of my childhood. Using crutches

and leg braces he was able to

drag himself short distances

but his early school days were

a struggle. My fellow class

mates were not very accepting.

They called me names. They

bullied me. They came around

and pulled my ears and some of

them were very daring. They

came and hit my head and run

away. I became so furious and I

was not about to just sit there

and do nothing about it! I

caught their hands and bite

them. I have bitten so many

hands that I upset so many

parents. I was expel fraed

umthe kindergarten, became a

kindergarten dropout. His

family fought hard to get him

enrolled in the local primary

school. I wanted to show them

and prove to them I am good

academically. That was my way

of fighting back. He became dux

of the school and went on to

study life sciences at the

national University of

Singapore. After a stint

working that renowned Mayo

clinic in the United States, he

studied medicine at Newcastle

university and won scholarships

to study at Harvard and

Oxford. Many of my classmates

went to Harvard and Oxford and

in my heart I desired to do so

but with my dad being the sole

bread winner, selling fried

bananas along the street, it

was very difficult toafford

me. The 50-year-old doctor now

works at Sydney's Saint George

hospital. Anne Davies is

director of clinical -- - Dr

Davis is director of clin ical

training. With all his extra

needs, he manages to fit in so

well to the hospital

environment. He's also excelled

in his other life's passion -

sport. I was very sheltedered

when I was young. There was

always a concern that William

might fall and hurt

himself. William Tan got his

first taste of wheelchair

athletics when he was 15. I

was like a bird out of a cage.

I went round and round the

strak nonstop. First time

experiencing the sense

affspeed. He went on to

represent Singapore at the

Olympics and then used his

talents to raise money for

people in need. I came up with

an idea - I could use sports,

my passion, for something of a

greater good instead of just

winning medals, trophies,

records. I could use the

wheelchair to raise money, to

raise awareness of the needs of

these people. Since then

William Tan has completed 60

ultramarathon s around the

world, raising almost $60

million for charities. Now he's

set his sights on a new

record. For the forthcoming

challenge t will be the biggest

world record attempt for me.

North pole, south pole and all

the continents. A marathon on

each of them, 42.2km. He plans

to push his wheelchair from one

end of the world to the other

in four months, his aim is to

raise half a million dollars

for the hospital. The

wheelchair odyssey begins in

Morocco and then it's off to

the US, New Zealand, Egypt,

Japan, Antarctica, South

America, Malaysia, Australia,

South Africa, the Arctic and

finalally England. William

Tan's boss says the expedition

took everyone at the hospital

by surprise. The other thing

really that's unavoidable with

William is just this incredibly

indomitable spirit that he's -

in spite of all those things he's just gone straight over

the top of them and confronted

all life's problems

head-on. Whether he makes it or

not, William Tan gives the

impression that he's already

won. It's not just about the

record. It's not just about the

marathon. It's about the people

that I care for and the cause

that I am passionate about,

which is rehabilitation. I

don't think he'll have too many

rivals for his marathon in the

south pole. A fantastic story.

Lorna Knowles with that report.

That's the program for the

night and the week. We'll be back at the same time on

Monday. Until then, goodnight. Closed Captions by

THEME MUSIC We're in the north of New Zealand's North Island. This place is Northland, which is pretty logical when you think about it. Welcome to Northland, Bender. Isolated from the rest of the country.

Laid back? Laid back.

Why do today what you can put off for tomorrow? This place is bountiful in good stuff, mate. It's subtropical, bro. So it's always warm up here. The Winterless North. Sensational. What else happens, mate? Fishing, diving. A bit of surf? Surfing, mate. Both coasts up here, Bender. Is that the Bay of Islands? It's the Bay of Islands. Look at that little peak. There's waves down there, Bender. Let's stop. Check it out... Temperature - extreme. Extreme. Oh, nice, Bender. Chilli sauce, mate. This is like the kiwi Tabasco sauce. Is it? Yes, fo' shizzle, nizzle. See if he's home. Just because you love the stuff. Typical. He's gone surfing. Alright, mate. "Back soon - Gazza". Maybe we can have a little snoop around anyway. Try the window, Mark. Look at this bit. It's ajar. Anything in there? Mate, there's heaps of goodies in here.