The Australian Geoscience Council places special emphasis on the need for widespread community understanding of the vital role of geoscience in the management of natural resources. Within the following key areas, the AGC supports the promotion of:
- geoscience is the foundation for exploration, discovery, evaluation, development and management of mineral and energy deposits. These resources provide the raw materials that underpin almost all economic development and improvements in living standards and only occur as economic deposits where there has been a rare combination of geological processes and events;
- the importance of the interface of geoscience with the other physical sciences and mathematics to economic development, which also relies on the application of a range of related disciplines which include geophysics, geochemistry, geostatistics, geomechanics and the application of computational engineering for the development of geoscience-based software tools;
Sustainable Development and the Environment
- the major role which geoscience plays in the understanding of human interactions with the environment and in the sustainable use of the Earth’s resources;
- the importance of geoscience in continuing to revolutionise our thinking on non-renewable earth resources and our understanding of the Earth’s surface and the management of its environmental problems;
- the special responsibility that geoscientists have in making us aware of environmental issues, of the need to conduct their work in an environmentally responsible manner, and to educate others in these areas as appropriate;
- the role of geoscientists in needing to be aware of their workplace responsibilities for environment, health and safety issues in all aspects of their professional activities.
Global Environmental Issues
- the importance of geoscience in addressing international and community concerns about global environmental issues;
- the significant contribution which geoscience can make to predicting the impact of any greenhouse-climatic or sea level changes in helping us decipher climatic records contained in the rocks and sediments which for example, indicate CO2 levels over much of the past 300 million years were up to five times existing levels and that sea levels have fluctuated enormously over geological time; and
- the significance of applying geoscientific principles to provide an understanding of the cause and effect relationships associated with natural hazards, such as floods, earthquakes, coastal erosion, volcanoes and landslips. Improvements in flood and earthquake prediction and of future coastal erosion are based on knowledge of modern active processes supported by statistically-based geological records of past hazard events and their frequency and magnitude.