Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Winter ramble - Exploring Galada Tamboore grasslands in Campbellfield

Merri Creek Gorge - Galada Tamboore Grasslands, Campbellfield


Sunny winter day...to good to spend inside. Stop reading the latest scientific reports on accelerating climate change, or arguments over the carbon tax. Quickly hang up the washing and it was time to head out exploring the bike paths of Melbourne's northern suburbs and the magic of Merri Creek. I wanted to visit the Galada Tamboore grasslands up in Campbellfield.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Solartopia - Pete Seeger sings a vision of a wind and solar powered world



A friend sent me the link to this youtube video song - Solartopia - produced in 2010. It was good to see Pete Seeger still singing such topical and empowering songs. Songs easy to sing along with and be motivated by. An positive climate change anthem with a vision for a better future for ourselves and our children.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oceans at high risk of unprecedented Marine extinction scientists warn

A report issued last week from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) has strongly warned of the damage to the health of the world's oceans and marine life and that if the current business as usual trajectory of damage continues "that the world's ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history."


Dr. Alex Rogers, Scientific Director of IPSO and Professor of Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, gives the overview of the main problems affecting the ocean — and some suggested solutions.

Related: International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) | The Ocean in a high CO2 world | Frontline - World's oceans in crisis: What can be done?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Climate change blamed in extreme shift from drought to flood in China



An extreme shift in weather in June across much of southern and eastern China has been put down to the effects of global warming and climate change. Usually light rains start in June in the middle and lower Yangtze valley leading in to the summer monsoonal rains and typhoon season, but this year torrential rains and storms struck on June 3 and have continued unleashing devastating floods, the worst in over 50 years.

Chen Zhenghong, senior engineer at the Meteorological Bureau of Central China's Hubei province, said the sharp shift between drought and flood in East and Central China was a result of global warming, according to a Xinhua News Agency report in China Daily on 17 June.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ferguson and Gillard feeding HRL's coal gasification technology in Melbourne



Just as Australia is about to get a price on carbon, the Federal Government is funding a new coal fired power station for Victoria. On Monday a little bit of street theatre for the media was enacted in Treasury Place outside the Prime Minister's Melbourne offices.

Report from Indymedia: Look at Fergo and Gillard did!

Afforestation no substitute for reducing CO2 emissions



A new scientific study published in Nature Geoscience says that major afforestation will have little impact on slowing global warming and that "afforestation is not a substitute for reduced greenhouse-gas emissions".

Cape Grim Greenhouse gas website launched by CSIRO



The CSIRO and Australian Bureau of Meteorology have launched a website showing the monthly data for greenhouse gases measured at the windswept Cape Grim Station located in the path of the roaring forties on the west coast of Tasmania. Cape Grim is one of three important baseline atmospheric stations for measuring background greenhouse gases, the other two being Mauna Loa in the middle of the Pacific and Alert Weather Station on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. About 15 other stations around the world also collect and track atmospheric emissions data.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Missouri River floods endanger nuclear power plants



Large parts of the US midwest are experiencing heavy rainfall and flooding, not unlike what Queenslanders saw in December and January this year when Brisbane was inundated. A major problem with urban infrastructure on flood plains is the risk of innundation during flood events, flood events likely to become more frequent with climate change. In Nebraska two nuclear power Stations are threatened by floodwaters.

The Climate Show 14



An engaging radio show from New Zealand discussing the latest on climate change. This episode discusses the latest Christchurch earthquakes, ash clouds from Volcanoes in Chile and Eritrea disrupting flights, extreme weather in the US and the impact of La Nina, massive flooding in the Mississippi, drought impacts on France's nuclear plants most of which are located next to drought affected rivers, warmest May on record for New Zealand, new UN report on black carbon and how a reduction could cut future warming, Australian climate scientists cearing up the climate debate, Summer predictions for Arctic sea ice, John Cook from Skeptical Science on John Christy's climate crocks and an interactive history of climate science and large reductions in the cost of solar panels in the USA to the point where solar may be cheaper than fossil fuels in the next few years much more.

Read more at the Climate Show website.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bonn Talks Conclude: "You Can't Negotiate with Science"

carbon markets 1
Guest post from the Daily Kos

As the Bonn Climate Talks sputtered and choked past the finish line today, the general consensus was that immediate high level political intervention on the part of Northern developed countries is mandatory to the success of international climate negotiations tasked with cutting GHG emissions to less than 2 degrees by 2020.

Related: Ambassador of Bolivia on UN climate talks in Germany | Bonn: World Bank dirty investments fueling climate change claims report | Oxfam - Developing countries pledge bigger climate emissions cuts than world's richest nations

'Drawing that line in the Arctic ice' - Greenpeace CEO arrested on Arctic oil rig

In the chilly waters of Iceberg Alley off the Greenland coast a little drama played itself out today between Greenpeace and oil explorer Cairn Energy over deep sea oil exploration in the pristine Arctic environment rapidly warming through climate change. Greenpeace are demanding the oil spill response plan for the rig should be made public. Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace, personally boarded the oil rig Leiv Eiriksson today with another Greenpeace activist, Ulvar Arnkvaern to deliver this message, with both being arrested.

Related: Arctic Deep sea oil: Cairn Energy oil spill response plan missing | Greenpeace: Help us protect the Arctic

Friday, June 17, 2011

Judge rules in favour of Hunter Valley coal protesters

Charges were dismissed against 49 climate activists under a section 10 ruling by an East Maitland Court magistrate yesterday. The protesters had committed non-violent civil disobedience at a climate camp against a new coal fired power station being built in the Hunter Valley in December 2010. The section 10 ruling means they have no conviction recorded, no criminal record and their fines dropped.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Major drop in solar activity will slow global warming minimally



Image: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


The latest buzz by global warming skeptics is the announcement of a Major drop in solar activity predicted at the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division conference. But the effect of a weakenng sun would hardly slow global warming according to modelling by climate scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Their research shows global warming may be reduced by only about 0.3 degrees Celsius by 2100 by a new period of extensive solar inactivity.


You can read the best of the climate skeptic analysis and reporting of the press release and images and further analysis on Anthony Watt's Watt's Up With That blog. There is mainstream media coverage of this in National Geographic and the Sydney Morning Herald, Science Magazine or read other climate blogs on this at Climate Denial Crock of the Week and Climate Progress.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Italians reject nuclear power, water privatisation

Ragionevolmente non possiamo proprio permetterci il nucleare in Italia!

In a referendum over the weekend Italians have rejected plans by conservative Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for nuclear power and water privatisation. More than 50% of the electorate needed to vote, including the estimated 3 million Italians living overseas, for the referendums to be binding. About 57% are estimated to have participated with official projections showing that 95% rejected water privatisation and 90% rejected Berlusconi's plans to build 4 nuclear power plants.

Monday, June 13, 2011

World Bank dirty investments fueling climate change claims Friends of the Earth report

World vs Bank


Amid the latest UN climate talks taking place in Bonn Germany Friends of the Earth International have released a report highly critical of the role of the World Bank in continuing to fund dirty energy investment in developing countries and continuing to push carbon markets and offset programs which essentially privatise developing country forests in the process of generating carbon offsets.


The World Bank was made interim trustee of the new Green Climate Fund in December 2010 in Cancun. The Fund was established to assist developing countries to adapt to the impacts of global warming.


Related: Interview with Sarah-Jayne Clifton, coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy Program of Friends of the Earth International | Follow the Bonn climate talks: Adopt a Negotiator Project; Climate Action Network; Friends of the Earth.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Arctic Deep sea oil: Cairn Energy oil spill response plan missing




Activists from Greenpeace have been harassing the drilling program of Cairn Energy in the Arctic off the Greenland coast citing the lack of a publicly available oil spill response plan for drilling in the sensitive Arctic environment. Cairn Energy, an Edinburgh registered company, is presently involved in exploratory deep sea oil drilling in the Arctic in the Davis Strait (Iceberg Alley).

Greenpeace targets BHP Billiton over Carbon Pollution



A Busy week for the activists of Greenpeace Australia who did a banner drop outside BHP Billiton headquarters in Melbourne on Monday and followed it up midweek with erecting a Pollution Tax Collection Point at BHP’s Mount Arthur Mine in the Hunter Valley holding up a BHP coal train temporarily.

According to Greenpeace BHP Billiton is one of the top ten polluters in Australia. In 2009 BHP produced nearly 13 million tonnes of carbon pollution. The company operates some of the most polluting coalmines in Australia. The pollution from its coal mining is set to increase by 100% by 2020 - wiping out any carbon cuts Australia makes with the introduction of a carbon tax from July 1st 2012.

Read more from Greenpeace Australia on these actions:

* BHP Billiton – time to pay up

* Coal Train stopped in tracks

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Legal Challenge to Xstrata Ulan Coal mine expansion

An expansion of the Xstrata owned Ulan coal mine near Mudgee in the upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales is being challenged partly based upon it's long term impact of exacerbating global anthropogenic climate change.

Xstrata has applied for a doubling in coal production to 20MT/annum and a 21 year lease but is being challenged in the NSW Land and Environment Court by the Hunter Environment Lobby with assistance from the Environmental Defenders Office. The appeal was lodged in January 2011 citing that the former NSW Government approved the Part 3A development without conducting a Planning Assessment Commission to independently assess the effect of the mine expansion.

Update: 8 Dec 2011 - Xstrata Ulan coal mine expansion required to offset greenhouse gas emissions

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thousands rally to price carbon on World Environment Day



An estimated 10,000 people packed the lawns of the State Library on Swanston street Melbourne on World Environment Day to Say yes to a safe climate and support the introduction of a carbon price by the Gillard Federal Labor Government. About 8000 people also gathered in Sydney, 5000 people rallied in Adelaide's Victoria Square, 5000 in Brisbane, 3000 in Perth, 3000 in Hobart, and 2000 in Canberra. Organisors estimate up to 45000 may have attended rallies across Australia today to support climate action and pricing carbon.

Flickr photos: Melbourne | Adelaide | Canberra | Sydney

Friday, June 3, 2011

World Environment Day Rallies to say YES to a safe climate



Time to say Yes: to start the ball rolling on taxing the major carbon polluters. The Say Yes Australia campaign and rallies have been organised by a broad coalition of groups in Australia in support of the Federal Government Interim carbon tax to tackle carbon pollution to start on July 1st 2012. The campaign brings together the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Coservation Foundation, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Climate Action Network Australia, The Climate Institute, Environment Victoria, GetUp!, World Wildlife Fund Australia and many more (Read PDF statement and signatores)


Come along to one of the family-friendly YES events this Sunday. Here are the locations:


* Sydney: Prince Alfred Park, 11 am

* Melb: Outside the State Library, 11 am

* Adelaide: Victoria Square, 11 am

* Brisbane: Riverstage, 1pm

* Perth: Perth Cultural centre - Wetlands stage, 11am

* Hobart: Franklin Square, 11am

* Canberra: Regatta Point (near the bridge), 1.30pm


More details about the YES campaign can be found at: http://www.sayyesaustralia.org.au/