Image for Kingston Bypass: A poor Nation Building project

Displaying overtones of the “Concorde Fallacy”, the Federal and State government have lined up to fund the Kingston Bypass at a time when the raging climate debate in Copenhagen and around the globe would suggest that something else is happening.

The problem with the Kingston Bypass is that its justification is traffic growth based on historic trends.  Historic traffic growth means historic emissions growth.  Historic emissions growth means the end of the world as we know it, so the climate science tells us.

Climate change impact goes to the very justification of the Kingston Bypass project and, for that matter, many other Rudd Government Nation Building projects with high carbon implications.  Highways such as the Kingston Bypass intended for peak hour single occupant car commuters are poor Nation Building investments.

As recently as 29 July 2009, the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Public Works consisting of Messrs Harriss, Hall, Green, Best and Mrs Napier heard; “The traffic volumes within the existing KETS model were factored up to reflect the 2007 traffic volumes based on historic traffic volume growth rates” 

The committee dutifully asked questions regarding environmental impact but the hearing did not touch on climate change impact even though a Climate Change Impact Statement was required for all submissions to Cabinet after 1 July 2009.

In my lifetime (56 years), atmospheric CO2 has risen by 25% under business as usual.  By 2020, atmospheric CO2 will have risen by 33%.  Now, atmospheric CO2 is just under 390ppm and rising by about 2ppm per year.  It is currently more that 100 ppm higher than for any time in the past 420,000 years.

Is this a problem?  DIER does not think so.  What do you think?

Link to the latest on the Kingston Bypass: HERE

Light rail plan: HERE