Thursday, December 30, 2010

Global warming a potent brew for coffee and tea drinkers

Okay, climate change is now getting serious with global warming set to impact on the enjoyment of a nice strong cup of Assam tea or a good brew of Columbian coffee. Already the subtle flavors of Assam tea are starting to change. For the tea and coffee connoisseurs in the developed world we might find the price increasing on that skinny latte or cup of tea.

While we might bemoan tea or coffee price rises from the comfort of our street cafes and comfortable dwellings, the real hardship will be felt by the thousands of small growers in the developing world who are dependent on tea or coffee as a major cash crop and boost to their local economies facing the problems of increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.

Coffee and Conservation | Oxfam Fairtrade coffee campaign | FairTrade Tea | Youtube videos: Two degrees up - Part One: Columbia | Sri Lanka Tea and Drought

Perspectives on COP16 the Cancun Negotiations

World vs Bank

The last day in Cancun campaigners feared the worst, especially relating to the REDD agreement which actvists labeled as flawed and potentially planet-wrecking scam. The early hours of the morning saw the Adoption of Copenhagen Accord II Without Consensus - Bolivia was the dissenting state. While some NGOs like the WWF and Centre for Biological Diversity said tentative groundwork for a global agreement to fight climate change was made, the agreement fell far short of progress toward science based emission reduction targets.

Friends of the Earth summarised the Cancun meeting and final agreement or listen to the Radio Ecoshock summary on whether the talks were a step forward or fraud.

The 16th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or better known as COP16, was held in Cancun Mexico from November 29th to December 10th. A Last minute agreement based on the Copenhagen accord resulted over the objections of one country - Bolivia.

The grassroots global climate justice movement attended Gearing up for Cancun with official negotiations initially teetering at the edge of a "legitimation crisis." On December 7 Protest Erupted at UN Climate Negotiations with Youth Delegates Ejected, but there were several grassroots actions including shutting down the tar sands, respect for indigenous peoples rights, and actions organised by La Via Campesina.

Flickr Photos: FOE COP16 Cancun | Adopt a Negotiator | Tcktcktck | Oxfam: Demonstration in Cancun

2010 second hottest year on record - JMO



Caption: Long-term change in annual mean surface temperature anomalies over the globe. The bars indicate anomalies of surface temperature in each year. The blue line indicates five-year running mean, and the red line indicates a long-term linear trend. Anomalies are deviations from the normal (1971-2000 average).

2010 was hot. According to the Japan Meteorological Organisation (JMO) it was the second warmest year on record since 1891, when comprehensive data first started being kept.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scientist warns against global warming complacency due to cold spells, floods



An Australian scientist has warned against misinterpreting the cold spells in Europe and North America and the heavy rains and flooding in Australia as climate change not occurring. Barrie Hunt, an Honorary Research Fellow with the CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, said that seasonal cold spells will still be expected under enhanced greenhouse conditions and that the long term trend is that the global climate is warming.

“Despite 2010 being a very warm year globally, the severity of the 2009-2010 northern winter and a wetter and cooler Australia in 2010 relative to the past few years have been misinterpreted by some to imply that climate change is not occurring,” said Mr Hunt.

“Recent wet conditions in eastern Australia mainly reflect short-term climate variability and weather events, not longer-term climate change trends. Conclusions that climate is not changing are based on a misunderstanding of the roles of climatic change caused by increasing greenhouse gases and climatic variability due to natural processes in the climatic system."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Activists opposing coal seam gas appear in Brisbane court

Two activists who unfurled a banner off the roof of the Quennsland Parliament House opposing coal seam gas are to appear in Brisbane Magistrate's Court today (December 20). Dr Bradley Smith (27) and Dhruva Horsfall (21), from Friends of the Earth were able to access the roof and unfurl a banner from the Parliament House facade that said "Don't undermine our farms" to the cheers of Farmers and conservations protesting against new coal mines and Coal Seam Gas expansion.

Smith and Horsfall are both charged with engaging in an unregulated high-risk activity and failure to comply with the direction of the speaker of the house and face up to $6000 in fines or 1 year imprisonment.