In 2004 Tim Flannery predicted a water shortage doomed Perth to be Australia's first "ghost metropolis". He admits he was wrong but claims he was right:
Australian of the Year Tim Flannery is sticking by his warning that Perth could become the first ghost metropolis of the 21st century.Yes, if.
But the outspoken environmental scientist says it's our addiction to coal, not just water, that is jeopardising our future.
Dr Flannery said he originally made the dire prediction about Perth based on its scarce water supply.
"When I said Perth could become the first ghost metropolis, that was true, but the Government acted and got a desalination plant going,'' he said. "The city could have run out of water if it wasn't for the desal plant.''
Asked this week if he was being alarmist, an unrepentant Dr Flannery said it was time to put WA's abundant sunshine and wind to good use by developing renewable energy such as solar and wind power.In the cosmic scheme of things, the coal consumed in Western Australia wouldn't amount to a drop in a bucket yet we can solve the climate change "problem" by switching to renewable energy sources. Amazing. It's no wonder Flannery charges a speaker's fee of up to $50,000. Money well spent, I say.
"We know that coal is the single largest polluter, so we've got to move on to a new energy future,'' he said. ``The Australia I grew up in rode on the sheep's back, but we've moved on _ it's the same with coal.''