Greenhouse strategies in the north


Greenhouse strategies in the north

The Greenhouse Effect: Science and Policy in the Northern Territory
By Ian Moffat
North Australia Research Unit, 1992
95 pp. $15 pb
Reviewed by Yvonne Sorensen

According to Ian Moffat, the key aim of this publication is to get Territorians to "plan now and act soon" to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. In just 95 pages (13 of which contain more than 200 references) Moffat presents some compelling reasons why the greenhouse effect "forces us to think globally and act locally".

Although initially designed to inform decision makers involved in examining the greenhouse effect in the Northern Territory, the book contains enough general information to satisfy non-Territorians. Moffat holds the reader's attention with a controlled mix of scientific fact and personal observation. The lists of figures and tables are easy to follow, and his sources are clearly indicated.

As a reader with little prior scientific knowledge of the greenhouse effect, I found the book to be full of useful information. Its small size encourages re-reading.

The book explains what the greenhouse effect is all about; offers theories and evidence on it; discusses Atmospheric Global Circulation Models and their results; and acknowledges and discusses uncertainties in those results. It presents possible impacts on Australia and the Northern Territory, and offers specific policy recommendations for the NT.

Moffat briefly looks at some of the major problems which will have to be attended to scientifically and politically, and stresses the need for more research into the impact that an enhanced greenhouse effect will have on the NT. His conclusion is cautiously optimistic, with emphasis on the need for careful monitoring to check whatever policies are implemented.

Ian Moffat has expressed the hope that this book will be useful to scientists, policy makers and all those with an interest in the future of the NT. As a Territorian I share that hope, and look forward to reading his follow-up publication, Conservation and Development Issues in North Australia, which is currently being printed.

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