Monday 30 December 2019

Stanford Researchers Have an Exciting Plan to Tackle The Climate Emergency Worldwide: Science Alert

Things are pretty dire right now. Giant swaths of my country are burning as I write this, at a scale unlike anything we've ever seen. Countless animals, including koalas, are perishing along with our life-supporting greenery. People are losing homes and loved ones.
These catastrophes are being replicated around the globe ever more frequently, and we know exactly what is exacerbating them. We know we need to rapidly make some drastic changes - and Stanford researchers have come up with a plan

Using the latest data available, they have outlined how 143 countries around the world can switch to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050. 

This plan could not only contribute towards stabilising our dangerously increasing global temperatures, but also reduce the 7 million deaths caused by pollution every year and create millions more jobs than keeping our current systems.

The plan would require a hefty investment of around US$73 trillion. But the researchers' calculations show the jobs and savings it would earn would pay this back in as little as seven years.
"Based on previous calculations we have performed, we believe this will avoid 1.5 degree global warming," environmental engineer and lead author Mark Jacobson told ScienceAlert.

"The timeline is more aggressive than any IPCC scenario - we concluded in 2009 that a 100 percent transition by 2030 was technically and economically possible - but for social and political reasons, a 2050 date is more practical."

Here's how it would work. The plan involves transitioning all our energy sectors, including electricity, transport, industry, agriculture, fishing, forestry and the military to work entirely with renewable energy.

Jacobson believes we have 95 percent of the technology we need already, with only solutions for long distance and ocean travel still to be commercialised.

"By electrifying everything with clean, renewable energy, we reduce power demand by about 57 percent," Jacobson explained.
He and colleagues show it is possible to meet demand and maintain stable electricity grids using only wind, water, solar and storage, across all 143 countries.

These technologies are already available, reliable and respond much faster than natural gas, so they are already cheaper. There's also no need for nuclear which takes 10-19 years between planning and operation, biofuels that cause more air pollution, or the invention of new technologies.

"'Clean coal' just doesn't exist and never will," Jacobson says, "because the technology does not work and only increases mining and emissions of air pollutants while reducing little carbon, and their is no guarantee at all the carbon that is captured will stay captured."

The team found that electrifying all energy sectors makes the demand for energy more flexible and the combination of renewable energy and storage is better suited to meet this flexibility than our current system. 
This plan "creates 28.6 million more full-time jobs in the long term than business as usual and only needs approximately 0.17 percent and approximately 0.48 percent land for new footprint and distance respectively," the researchers write in their report.

Building the infrastructure necessary for this transition would, of course, create CO2 emissions. The researchers calculated that the necessary steel and concrete would require about 0.914 percent of current CO2 emissions. But switching to renewables to produce the concrete would reduce this.

With plans this big there are plenty of uncertainties, and some inconsistencies between databases. The team takes these into account by modelling several scenarios with different levels of costs and climate damage.

"You're probably not going to predict exactly what's going to happen," said Jacobson. "But there are many solutions and many scenarios that could work."

Technology writer Michael Barnard believes the study's estimates are quite conservative - skewing towards the more expensive technologies and scenarios.
"Storage is a solved problem," he writes for CleanTechnica. "Even the most expensive and conservative projections as used by Jacobson are much, much cheaper than business as usual, and there are many more solutions in play."

The authors of the report stress that while implementing such an energy transition, it is also crucial that we simultaneously tackle emissions coming from other sources like fertilisers and deforestation.

This proposal could earn push-back from industries and politicians that have the most to lose, especially those with a track record of throwing massive resources at delaying our progress towards a more sustainable future. Criticisms of the team's previous work have already been linked back to these exact groups

But "the costs of transitioning have dropped so low, transitions are occurring even in places without policies," said Jacobson. "For example, in the US, 9 out of the 10 states with the most wind power installed are Republican-voting states with few or no policies promoting wind power."

Over 60 countries have already passed laws to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by between 2020 and 2050. This guide can give them and other countries an example of how this can practically be done.

"There's really no downside to making this transition," Jacobson explained to Bloomberg. "Most people are afraid it will be too expensive. Hopefully this will allay some of those fears."

At least 11 independent research groups agree this type of transition is possible, including energy researchers Mark Diesendorf and Ben Elliston from University of New South Wales, Australia.

They reviewed major criticisms of 100 percent renewable energy transition plans and concluded "the principal barriers to [100 percent renewable electricity systems] are neither technological nor economic, but instead are primarily political, institutional and cultural."

So, multiple lines of evidence insist we have the technology, resources and knowledge to make this possible. The only question is, can enough of us put aside our fears and ideologies to make it happen?

"The biggest risk is that the plans are not implemented quickly enough," Jacobson said. "I hope people will take these plans to their policymakers in their country to help solve these problems."
The report has been published in the journal One Earth; more details for individual countries can be found here.

27 DEC 2019

#jailclimate criminals 

See also:

Sick of compromises and wary of those who suggest compromise

Sunday 29 December 2019

Sick of compromises and wary of those who suggest compromise

Soft words

Softly, softly approaches
Compromises, are fit for negotiating colour schemes, diets, games,
Not when talking of the need for crisis climate action
When the science is clear
When you can’t compromise on facts.
When human existence is at stake.

Can we cease our headlong, headstrong rush to species annihilation
Prevent the greedy destruction of our only planet, and
Call out those who trust in prayers and loving thoughts to clean up a man-made catastrophe.

Sick of compromises and wary of those who suggest compromise
And ‘sweet’ pieces of research that nudge us towards a gentle, soothing, less challenging way to swing opinions?
Have the advocates of compromise been duped, dudded, diddled or paid off in some way?

Let’s act NOW.

If I have no hope for the planet, why am I so determined to have this baby?

I wonder if my child will ever have the innocence I had two months ago, of not having to think about whether the air will kill you

Sitting, nauseous with morning sickness, on a park bench in the bright heat of an unusually hot spring day my partner and I watch children march past us, striking from school:
“What’s the point of an education if we have no future,” their signs say.

My heart relocates itself, sinking down somewhere around my ankles. They have 10 more years of habitable planet than the baby I am carrying.

In early summer of the same year, after a miscarriage, I find myself pregnant again in the week that megafires tear through the state. 

There are 70-metre flames producing their own weather systems, driving them further on across the countryside, through the bushland that relies on fire to stimulate new life, on to forests that have never before burnt.

Read he Guardian


Climate change deniers’ new battle front attacked : The Guardian

Saturday 28 December 2019

Hope for the Holidays: 101 Good Environmental News Stories in 2019 : Green Market Oracle

There is reason to hope as we teeter on the cusp of an apocalypse, even as emissions keep rising and ecosystems are collapsing all around us. The ignorance and inaction of national leaderships and the old energy industry can make us feel as though we are doomed.

However, there are also many good news stories that show progress is possible. Here are a hundred and one good news stories from 2019. These stories run the gamut from plastic, energy and the green economy to food, agriculture, trees, wildlife and habitat conservation. The rising tide of protest and changing attitudes even in some conservative politics give us a glimmer of hope in the darkness.

Go to original site


1. Single-use plastics are being phased out more rapidly building on the 51 plastic-pollution-related legislative victories worldwide.

2. The EU's comprehensive plastics-ban agreement will outlaw ten separate products from straws to plastic cutlery to plastic Q-tip sticks.

3. Some major corporations are also phasing out plastics, this includes McDonalds, Pepsi and Walmart all of which say their packaging be recyclable or biodegradable by 2025.

4. A young UK designer has created plastic alternative called MarinaTex from fish waste and algae.

5. Scientists in Mexico have created a form of biodegradable plastic made from cactus.

6. Thailand supermarkets are replacing plastic wrap with banana leaves.

7. Bangor University researchers are working with leftover farming materials to create trays for fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs.

8. A French startup has developed a new process that uses enzymes to break down the most problematic PET plastics that can be used to make clear water bottles to replace those made from petroleum.

9. A Silicon Valley startup has developed a process to replace plastic in clothing with biodegradable biopolymers.

10. A biologist and amateur beekeeper discovered plastic-eating caterpillars.

11. Scientists discovered a plastic eating mushroom.

12. In Rome, Italy a program to pay for Metro train tickets with plastic bottles has recycled hundreds of thousands of bottles.

13. In Lagos, Nigeria a recycle pay project allows kids to pay for their school fees by recycling plastic waste.


14. Millions of jobs have been created by the green economy

15. A new report says there are trillions of dollars of savings associated with climate action.

16. Led by renewable energy the green economy is growing.

17. Led by wind and solar renewable energy investments keep growing

18. Declining battery storage costs are contributing to the growth of renewable energy.


19. New research supports the viability of 100 percent renewable energy

20. Renewable energy is leading a green jobs boom.

21. We are transitioning away from fossil fuels towards clean energy

22. Clean energy growth is outpacing fossil fuels.

23. There are now more jobs in renewable energy than there are in the fossil fuel sector

24. Renewable energy now accounts for around a third of global power capacity.

25. Cities are ready for 100 percent renewable energy.

26. The MENA region is showing renewable energy leadership.

27. Norway decides not to drill for oil leaving 53 billion Euros worth of oil in the ground near Lofoton Islands.

28. Sweden is committed to 100 percent renewable energy.

29. Canada to make clean, affordable power available in every Canadian community.

30. AfDBs solar project in Africa aims to give 90 million people access to electricity.

31. IKEA emerged as a dominant leader in corporate renewables and efficiency. 

32. Major fossil fuel companies have endorsed a carbon tax.


33. There is a rising appetite for plant-based meat

34. Rice farmers around the world are using ducks instead of pesticides

35. South Korea now recycles 95 percent of its food waste


36. All around the world we are seeing trees being planted at record levels.

37. A man in India planted a tree in India every day for 35 years and created a green space larger than Manhattan.

38. A village in India is planting 111 trees for every girl born in the village. So far they have planted 350,000 trees.

39. Peru has committed to ending palm oil deforestation by 2021.

40.  Canada has promised to plant two billion trees


41. Sea turtles are making a huge comeback.

42. Conservation efforts have helped Humpback whales rebound from the brink of extinction.

43. Galapagos iguana makes a return to the island after almost 200 years. 

44. An effort to save the white rhino from extinction got underway with the fertilization of seven eggs from the world's remaining white rhinos.

45. German circuses now use holograms instead of real animals.

46. Baby African elephants will no longer be taken from Africa and sold to circuses or zoos.

47. Canada passes a bill that makes it illegal to keep porpoises, dolphins, whales in captivity for entertainment purposes.

48. Scientists in Finland have developed the world's first bee vaccine designed to help reduce bee mortality.


49. Canada has increased the amount of land and marine protection zones to 25 percent.

50. Montreal is creating one of the largest city parks in the world.

51. London is creating a seven mile bee corridor that will have plant life that sustains insects.

52. Holland covers hundreds of bus stops with green roofs that support bees.

53. Netherlands built five artificial islands to support wildlife, in 2019 it was reported that these islands are now home to 20,000 birds and 127 plant species.

54, Tim Sweeney, the creator of fortnight is buying and conserving thousands of acres of forest.

55. The world is getting greener according to NASA satellite images.

56. A robot called larvalBot is planting coral to try to revive the Great Barrier Reef.

57. The Natural Resources Management Act was passed in the U.S. creating 1.3 million acres of wilderness and six new national-park units and reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


58. Greta Thunberg's climate advocacy including school strikes for climate.

59. Youth climate change uprising as part of a diverse protest movement.

60. The biggest climate mobilization in history in September.

61. The largest single climate march in human history took place in Montreal.

62. Extinction Rebellion launched civil disobedience campaigns in the centers of power. 

63. Ende Gelände (End of Story) blockaded German coal facilities in June.

64. Both businesses and employees support the climate strikes.

65. A growing number of people have realized that protesting Trump is essential to the survival of life on the Earth.

66. There has been a major increase in the number of climate emergency declarations around the world.


67. The far-right in France is getting greener. Only a few years ago, France's far-right National Front derided international climate cooperation as a "communist project." In April, the party (rebranded as National Rally) called for European nations to use trade barriers as a cudgel against "rogue states that abandon the fight against climate change."

68. Despite Trump's abdication on the climate issue, some Republicans are now pushing for modest action. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has ridiculed Trump's climate denial and is urging the party to finally "cross the Rubicon." Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) wants "a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy." Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), released a plan called the Green Real Deal, which he bills as a market-based alternative to the Green New Deal.

69. The incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, from Germany's center-right party has put climate policy at the top of her agenda for Europe, ahead of even economic policy.

70. Only a few years ago, France's far-right National Front derided international climate cooperation as a "communist project." In April, the party (rebranded as National Rally) called for European nations to use trade barriers as a cudgel against "rogue states that abandon the fight against climate change."

71. In the Canadian province of PEI Conservatives support environmental protections and climate action.

72. Conservatives in the Canadian province of New Brunswick support climate action.


73. Democrats took the House and welcomed science back to the chamber. 

74. Democrats are united in their resolve to cut emissions and combat climate change.

75. Democrats have pledged to support responsible climate policies if they win in 2020.

76. All ten Democratic presidential contenders seeking the party nomination have unveiled climate plans.

77. Women are leading a Democratic wave in the U.S.


78. Green party surged in European elections with its best performance ever (third in France and second in Germany). 

79. Swedish climate leadership.

80. Germany unveils $60 billion plan to fight the climate crisis.

81. Both Ireland and Norway have made significant climate action pledges.

82. The UK, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, has reduced its carbon emissions for the sixth year in a row (the last time emissions were this low was 1888).

83. The UK announces a net zero carbon plan.

84. All of Canada's major parties support climate action.

85.  Canadians elect a Liberal minority government that supports climate action.

86. Canada to prioritize climate and environmental action.

87.  Canada to make energy efficient homes more affordable.

88.  Canada to incentivize the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.

89.  Canada to support the development of clean technology businesses.

90. The Canadian province of Nova Scotia puts an end to waste dumping in Boat Harbour.


91.  Polls reveal unprecedented support for climate action in Canada.

92.  Polls reveal an increased acceptance of climate change in the United States.


93. The courts are overturning the Trump administration’s attempts to weaken environmental protections.

94. The Trump administration has won only two of 39 environmental-regulation cases.

95. In April a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration failed to consider the environmental impacts of coal mined on federal lands which is not in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

96. A ruling in March blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to expand offshore drilling in Alaska and off the northeastern coast.

97. A tribe in the Amazon wins its legal battle against oil companies, preventing drilling.

98. Indigenous rights groups in Ecuador win a legal victory protecting parts of the Amazon from gold mining.


99. Researchers create a roadmap for saving the Earth from climate change.   

100. On World Environment Day the UN published guides for businesses, cities, governments, schools & universities and individuals.

101. Tiny, hollow silica microbeads are being tested on Arctic ice as a reflective shield against the sun to diminish ice melt. 

Conservation Success Stories are Shining Light into the Darkness
Wildlife Success Stories

Thursday 26 December 2019

If the Climate Change Crisis were World War II, it’s 1939: Medium

"The question is really, as Superchunk observed, “how fast?” Can we make this transition in time to prevent clathrate collapse or the popping of Yellowstone park? How many billions will die from famine, disease, water-shortages and toxic air pollution before we clean up the place? How many need to die before head-in-the-sand deniers get out of the way of those of us trying to make a difference?

To me a “climate emergency” means a war footing; and that means waging war against the deniers first, as they are the real obstacle. I’d be very happy to see a lot of our current senior political and corporate leaders hauled up in The Hague and charged with crimes against humanity, and I’d regard that as entirely appropriate. But that’s a fantasy and is, alas, unlikely to happen.

In various countries citizens are resorting to the courts to force their governments into action, and that’s certainly a pathway to progress in places where laws are designed to enforce the rights of ordinary people, rather than simply there to block action against climate change.

The sad truth is that almost no-one really believes that global warming, and the myriad other issues that stem from humanity’s abuse of the planet, are truly anything to get too worried about.

Most people I know, even those who completely accept that climate change is real and happening, continue to act as if they believe, deep-down, despite what they say, that the risks are overstated and, if impacts are going to be felt, they’ll be felt by other people and way in the distant, to them, future.

People may say that they accept the science, but they act as if they
don’t. A lot of people subscribe to a kind of magical thinking, wherein some hitherto undreamed of technological fix will just make the whole problem go away, so we can just continue polluting.

The emergency is upon us. We must urgently and radically change the way we generate power, fuel, and food, while putting in place adaptation measures to deal with the global warming already locked into the planetary system. If we do hit the runaway global warming tipping point, then no amount of adaptation will be possible. But simply explaining the facts clearly is usually written off as being alarmist. And that’s the core of the climate crisis."

See also

Climate change is a health emergency, RACGP declares: News GP

Climate change could end mortgages as we know them: CBS

Read the CBS article

Climate change could end mortgages as we know them

Climate change could punch a hole through the financial system by making 30-year home mortgages — the lifeblood of the American housing market — effectively unobtainable in entire regions across parts of the U.S. 

That's what the future could look like without policy to address climate change, according to the latest research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The bank is considering these and other risks on Friday in an unprecedented conference on the economics of climate change.

For the financial sector, adapting to climate change isn't just an issue of improving their market share. "It is a function of where there will be a market at all," wrote Jesse Keenan, a scholar who studies climate adaptation, in the Fed's introduction.

No more mortgages?.....

Read the CBS article 


How the Political Right Uses Fossil Fuels to Galvanize Opposition to Climate Action : Green Market Oracle

#criminalesclimáticosdelacárcel  #jailclimatecriminals  #gaolclimatecriminals

#buyfromthebush  #berejiklianbushfires

Climate change deniers’ new battle front attacked : The Guardian

The battle between climate change deniers and the environment movement has entered a new, pernicious phase. That is the stark warning of one of the world’s leading climate experts, Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

Mann told the Observer that although flat rejection of global warming was becoming increasingly hard to maintain in the face of mounting evidence, this did not mean climate change deniers were giving up the fight.

“First of all, there is an attempt being made by them to deflect attention away from finding policy solutions to global warming towards promoting individual behaviour changes that affect people’s diets, travel choices and other personal behaviour,” said Mann. “This is a deflection campaign and a lot of well-meaning people have been taken in by it.”

Read The Guardian article 

See also: 

435 people died in an 1896 heatwave — but scientists say the extreme heat events of today are still hotter: ABC


#criminales climáticos de la cárcel   #criminalesclimáticosdelacárcel  #jailclimatecriminals

#gaolclimatecriminals  #buyfromthebush

How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong: NYT

For decades, most scientists saw climate change as a distant prospect. We now know that thinking was wrong. This summer, for instance, a heat wave in Europe penetrated the Arctic, pushing temperatures into the 80s across much of the Far North and, according to the Belgian climate scientist Xavier Fettweis, melting some 40 billion tons of Greenland’s ice sheet.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Climate change is a health emergency, RACGP declares: News GP

..... ‘There is a substantive and compelling body of medical and scientific evidence supporting the position that this is a health emergency,’ she said.

‘In Australia, strong voices are calling for the mitigation of climate impacts on the health of current and future generations, including in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, rural and remote communities.

‘We acknowledge the serious threats posed to the health of children, older Australians and those in rural and remote communities. Climate change disproportionately affects the health of Australians with asthma, respiratory conditions and heart disease. The research demonstrates that women are at higher risk of death from climate change, in particular from climate-change-linked natural disasters.’

Dr Roeske said more deaths from heatwaves can be expected, with young generations likely to have their mental health affected.

Health impacts in Australia are also likely to include more deaths from the spread of infectious disease such as malaria and dengue, with diarrheal illnesses also expected to grow.

‘This is a signal to our members and to our patients and communities that GPs recognise climate change as a health emergency and are ready to respond to the multiple health challenges ahead,’ Dr Roeske said.

‘We believe the Australian Government should recognise and help address the health impacts of climate change.’

Read the original News GP article 

#criminales climáticos de la cárcel  #criminalesclimáticosdelacárcel

#jailclimatecriminals  #gaolclimatecriminals


Air pollution is much more harmful than you know: ...

You Can't Say You Haven't Been Warned: Green Market Oracle

Despite an unremitting stream of warnings and studies we still are not doing what we must to protect the natural world and keep temperatures from warming beyond critical upper temperature limits. We were warned about our impact on nature seven years ago in the GEO-5 report. Undeterred we continued to perpetrate genocide against nature.  In 2012 scientists warned us that our oceans are dying but we did not respond.  We have now decimated entire aquatic ecosystems and all around the world coral reefs are dead or dying.
We were warned not to surpass 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial norms. We ignored these warnings and we keep pumping climate change causing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at record breaking rates. We are now at 1 degree C above preindustrial norms, two thirds of the way to the point of no return.

Everyone from Stephen Hawkings to President Obama have warned us of the urgent need to act on climate change. The world's leading scientific organizations have also repeatedly warned us about climate change. This includes the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society, the Royal Institution, NASA, the US National Academy of Sciences, the US Geological Survey, and the national science bodies of dozens of countries.

We have amassed an unparalleled body of research that convincingly demonstrates we are on the cusp of an apocalypse. "By now, we know all we need to know" Anne Olhoff said recently. Olhoff is the head of strategy, climate and planning and policy for the UNEP DTU (Technical University of Denmark) Partnership. "The science is pretty clear, and very frightening," she said. 

Read the original article
These warnings are not new. A half century ago climate models accurately predicted global warming. A brief review of climate science shows us that we have known about the dangers of a warming planet since the 1950s. In the last couple of decades scientists have added to these warnings. In 2006 the Stern Review warned us that we had to urgently reduce our emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. By 2012 dozens of studies made the case for anthropogenic climate change including a report from UNEP that warned that we are on the brink of a climate catastrophe. In 2013 The U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) report and an IPCC study reaffirmed that anthropogenic climate change is a real and growing problem.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued a climate warning in 2012 and so did the World Bank. We have seen countless scientific warnings including reports from PwC, AGU and the WMO, all of which have told us that we are are running out of time. Seven years ago the IEA and the WRI warned that we need to stop burning fossil fuels. Investors are continually being warned about the dangers of hydrocarbons and even oil companies have issued their own climate warnings. In fact, in the 1960s the fossil fuel industry's own science revealed that they are causing global warming.

We fail to act despite the preponderance of economic evidence indicating that the benefits of climate action far outweigh the costs. According to the Global Energy Transformation report, there are 160 trillion dollars worth of savings from climate action. Five years ago the wisdom of action was explained in the Risky Business Report.  Climate change has also been the hot topic at the World Economic Forum (WED) in Davos Switzerland.

In 2017 two scientific warnings stand out, the U.S. Global Change Research Program's fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) and an open letter from the Alliance of World Scientists. The letter is titled "Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice" and it was published in BioScience. It was signed by more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries. It warned humanity about the dangers of climate change. The warning specifically said that humanity must change its ways in order to protect the planet. It specifically points to rising greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

A 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study reaffirmed that we are teetering on the cusp of a man-made climate calamity. The  IPCC report warned that governments must take urgent action to avoid "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". The report warned that by 2030 we will will breech the upper threshold limit (1.5 C). A 2019 IPCC report warned that we are seeing accelerated ice melt and sea level rise. 

Read the original article
In 2019, more than 10,000 scientists from 153 countries declared a "climate emergency". The study is called "World scientists' warning of a climate emergency". The seriousness of the threat was addressed by biologist Jesse Bellemare who said "the climate crisis is real, and is a major, even existential, threat to human societies." Bellemare is an associate professor of biology at Smith College who is a signatory of the study’s emergency declaration.

Researchers have warned us that we are facing the end of civilization. The well documented effects of catastrophic warming includes cataclysmic flooding from sea level rise, more frequent and devastating extreme weather, massive wildfires, and chronic food shortages. But there may be an even worse fate awaiting us in a world ravaged by runaway climate change. Simply put, if we fail to act we are headed for a horrific disaster that will adversely impact life on Earth.

Climate change is here and the only question that remains is just how bad it will get. That is still up to us, but with each passing year we ebb ever closer to tipping points from which we may not be able to recover.  The window of opportunity to act is closing  and the longer we wait the harder it will be. 

Read the original article

Sunday 22 December 2019

435 people died in an 1896 heatwave — but scientists say the extreme heat events of today are still hotter: ABC

"Newspaper reports describe temperatures in Bourke reaching 48.9 degrees Celsius on three occasions, and the maximum temperature remaining above 38C for 24 consecutive days.

As Australia endures a series of intense and record-breaking heatwaves this summer, the 1896 event is sometimes viewed as evidence that Australia has always experienced extraordinary heat, and that the effects of climate change are overblown.

But climate scientists say that is an oversimplification, and the heatwaves we experience today are significantly hotter than those in the past."

"The temperature recording methods used in 1896 were flawed

Methods of recording temperature were not standardised until the early 1900s, leading to inflated temperature readings before then.
The global standard for temperature measurement includes the use of a Stevenson screen, which is a white louvred box allowing ventilation and ensuring thermometers inside are never exposed to the sun. 

A Stevenson screen was not installed in Bourke until August 1908, meaning temperature readings from before that could be inflated by as much as 2C.

University of Melbourne climate researcher Linden Ashcroft said thermometers in Bourke were likely placed in sub-standard conditions in 1896.

"Some thermometers were under verandahs, or they were against stone buildings," she said."

Read the complete ABC article


#jail climate criminals


How the Political Right Uses Fossil Fuels to Galvanize Opposition to Climate Action : Green Market Oracle

Thursday 19 December 2019

How the Political Right Uses Fossil Fuels to Galvanize Opposition to Climate Action : Green Market Oracle

It is widely understood that in the main, conservative far-right political movements support fossil fuels and oppose the veracity of climate change and climate action. In the U.S. Republicans have worked with the old energy industry to subvert the facts for many years. Thanks to insidious disinformation campaigns 73 percent of Republican voters have been hoodwinked into believing that climate change is not a serious threat and 70 percent do not believe that humans are the cause. The resistance to climate action does not stop at disinformation. Republicans have actively thwarted the democratic process through redistricting (gerrymandering) and voter suppression. In Oregon Republican lawmakers refused to appear in the state legislature to avoid passing a sweeping climate change bill by the Democratic majority.
No individual has done more harm to global climate action that Donald Trump. He has dismissed climate change as a "hoax" and his administration's resistance to science is unprecedented. This president and his Republican minions actively support the expansion of fossil fuels and wanton deregulation. The Trump administration's raft of anti-environmental policy positions including withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Trump has helped to pave the way for climate denial from far-right politicians in Brazil, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands. They have stoked opposition to climate action to build support for anti-science policy.  The result is the right wing leaderships in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Estonia have all killed their net-zero emissions plans this year.

The key to resistance to science-based climate action can be found in marrying opposition to fossil fuel tax hikes and resistance to climate action. The so called yellow vest protests in France and other parts of Europe illustrate this point. Opposing increases in gas prices serves as both a mustering point of resistance and a segue to oppose climate action. However, this is a manufactured crisis as gas taxes were already high.

In a play on Trump's nationalistic "make America great again" French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to "make our planet great again". French right wing political leaders have seized on Macron's climate leadership to galvanize opposition to climate action. As one slogan put it, "Macron is concerned with the end of the world. We are concerned with the end of the month."

Similar contrarian sentiments can be found in other countries that support climate action including Sweden which is widely recognized as one of the most climate forward nations on the planet. Resistance to gas tax hikes in Sweden are called Bensinupproret. The leader of the movement's 600,000 Facebook members is Peder Blohm Bokenhielm he dismisses climate action as "hysteria". In climate friendly Finland, opposition to climate action is also being used by the right for partisan purposes. Finns Party chairman Jussi Halla-aho also dismisses climate action as "hysteria".

However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore climate science, even for right wing politicians whose policy agendas are commonly rooted in obfuscation and outright deception. The new center-right European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, placed climate policy at the top of her "agenda for Europe," ahead of even economic policy. "I want the European Green Deal to become Europe's hallmark," she explained.

From Green Market Oracle 

#jail climate criminals  #gaol climate criminals 

See also:

The Madrid climate talks failed spectacularly. Here's what went down: The Conversation

Wednesday 18 December 2019

New study: changes in climate since 2000 have cut Australian farm profits 22%: The Conversation

The current drought across much of eastern Australia has demonstrated the dramatic effects climate variability can have on farm businesses and households. 

The drought has also renewed longstanding discussions around the emerging effects of climate change on agriculture, and how governments can best help farmers to manage drought risk.

A new study released this morning by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences offers fresh insight on these issues by quantifying the impacts of recent climate variability on the profits of Australian broadacre farms. 

Read more: Droughts, extreme weather and empowered consumers mean tough choices for farmers

The results show that changes in temperature and rainfall over the past 20 years have had a negative effect on average farm profits while also increasing risk. 

The findings demonstrate the importance of adaptation, innovation and adjustment to the agriculture sector, and the need for policy responses which promote – and don’t unnecessarily inhibit – such progress.

Measuring the effects of climate on farms

Measuring the effects of climate on farms is difficult given the many other factors that also influence farm performance, including commodity prices. 

Further, the effects of rainfall and temperature on farm production and profit can be complex and highly location and farm specific.
To address this complexity, ABARES has developed a model based on more than 30 years of historical farm and climate data—farmpredict — which can identify effects of climate variability, input and output prices, and other factors on different types of farms.

Cropping farms most exposed

The model finds that cropping farms generally face greater climate risk than beef farms, but also generate higher average returns.
Cropping farm revenue and profits are lower in dry years, with large reductions in crop yields and only small savings in input costs. 

Read the complete article on The Conversation

Tuesday 17 December 2019

The Madrid climate talks failed spectacularly. Here's what went down: The Conversation

Low ambition from polluting nations derailed the COP25 climate talks. Supplied by author
Kate Dooley, University of Melbourne
The United Nations’ COP25 climate talks concluded on Sunday morning in Madrid, almost 40 hours overtime. After two weeks of protracted talks meant to address the planetary warming emergency, world leaders spectacularly failed to reach any real outcomes.

The degree to which wealthy nations, including Australia, blocked progress on critical points of debate incensed both observers and country delegates.

These points included robust rules for the global trading of carbon credits, increased commitments for finance to help developing nations tackle climate change, and most importantly, raising ambition to a level consistent with averting catastrophic climate impacts.
Australia’s Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor, far left, with other delegates to the COP 25. JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO

High hopes

COP25 was a conference of “parties”, or nations, signed up to the Paris Agreement, which takes effect in 2021. I attended the conference as an observer. 

Emissions reduction targets of nations signed up to Paris put Earth on track for a 3.2℃ temperature increase this century. However the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says warming must be kept below 1.5℃ to avoid the most devastating climate impacts.
Much was riding on the outcome in Madrid. However, it failed to deliver.

Read more: Earth has a couple more chances to avoid catastrophic climate change. This week is one of them

One of the key agenda items was Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, involving international carbon trading between nations.
The previous COP in Poland failed to reach consensus on these trading rules, and after this latest meeting, many contentious issues remained unresolved. These include:

  • how to ensure that an overall reduction in global emissions is achieved and that the rules prevent double counting (or emissions reduction units being counted by both the buying and selling nation)
  • whether a levy would be applied to proceeds from carbon trading to finance adaptation in developing nations
  • the recognition of human and indigenous peoples’ rights, and social and environmental safeguards, given the harms caused by previous carbon trading mechanisms
  • critically for Australia, whether countries could use “carryover” carbon credits from the Kyoto Protocol to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement.
An indigenous woman from Amazon reacts during COP25, which largely failed to deliver. JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO/EPA

The question of Kyoto credits

Australia was pushing to allow use of Kyoto Protocol units, for which it drew scathing criticism from other nations, international media and observers. It plans to meet more than half its Paris target via this accounting loophole.
Brazil, India, South Korea and China also want to carry over credits earned under the Clean Development Mechanism, a trading scheme under Kyoto.

Read more: Now Australian cities are choking on smoke, will we finally talk about climate change?

No consensus was reached. The negotiations for rules for carbon markets will now continue at COP26 in Glasgow next year, just weeks out from the Paris Agreement’s start date. 

The argument will not be easily resolved. Five of the last seven COP meetings failed to reach a decision on carbon market rules, indicating the extent of international divisions, and calling into question the disproportionate focus on carbon trading, given its limited ability to address climate change.

In Madrid, 31 nations signed up to the San Jose principles, seeking to ensure environmental integrity in carbon markets. Upholding these principles would mean emissions must go down, not up as a result of trading carbon.
Steam rises a German coal-fired power plant. The COP25 failed to make progress on cutting emissions from coal and other sources. EPA/FRIEDEMANN VOGEL

Other failures

The conference also discussed measures to strengthen the governance and finance arrangements of the Warsaw International Mechanism, a measure designed to compensate poor nations for climate damage.

Little progress was made on mobilising finance from developed nations. The US, which will soon exit the Paris Agreement, played a key role in stymieing progress. It resisted efforts for broad governance arrangements, and pushed for language in the rulebook which would exclude high-emittiong nations from liability for the loss and damage experienced by vulnerable countries under climate change.

Read more: Global emissions to hit 36.8 billion tonnes, beating last year's record high

At Glasgow, all nations under Paris are required to submit new emissions reduction commitments. It was widely expected that the Madrid meeting would strongly urge nations to ensure these targets were more ambitious than the last. Instead, the final text only “reminds” parties to “communicate” their commitments in 2020.

President of COP25, Carolina Schmidt (right), and UN official Ovais Sarmad. EPA/MAST IRHAM

‘Crime against humanity’

When the COP finally closed on Sunday morning, the meeting had failed to reach consensus on increasing emissions reduction ambition to the level required.

The results are disheartening. The world has let another chance slip by to tackle the climate crisis, and time is fast running out.
The implications of this were perhaps summed up best by the low-lying Pacific island state of Tuvalu, whose representative Ian Fry said of the outcome:
There are millions of people all around the world who are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. Denying this fact could be interpreted by some to be a crime against humanity.The Conversation
Kate Dooley, Research Fellow, Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.