It is a no brainer. Fossil fuels are stored carbon that lived up to 300 million years ago. Burning almost half* of these fuel in the last 50 years (releasing 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere each year) released all these stored carbon in a very short period (50 years is nothing compared with 300 million years) obviously will have a tremendous effect on the environment. You don't need a PhD in Climatology to figure out how bad it would be.
Unfortunately, very unfortunate indeed, one of the independent senator, Steve Fielding, was still "unconvinced* after a 2-hour meeting with our Australia's Chief Scientist that human activity is the main cause of climate change. [source]
I echo strongly with Orion77 the concern of such attitude from our politician. Here is a little background of Senator Steve Fielding (from his own website): He has 15 siblings, an engineering degree from RMIT and has worked mostly in management. Here is the interview from Lateline:
It sounds GOOD for him to say that he was trying to listen to both sides of the argument - including the skeptics. However, as a politician, he should not be so naive to ignore efforts of vested interests to discharge a large volume of mis-information and pseudo-science.
*Everyone has a different opinion on how much of the stored fossil fuel has been burnt. The last major oil field discovered is in 2006 which would supply 2 year worth of consumption for USA alone. I may be over optimistic already!
cross posted to Sustaining Future