Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coal train delayed for 6 hours due to #leardblockade civil-disobedience


Photo: Frontline Action on Coal/Twitter

The Leardblockade continues with more coal trains being stopped from transporting coal from Whitehaven and Idemitsu mines to Newcastle port for export in an act of peaceful civil disobedience. Original story published at nofibs.com.au

Environment Officer Anisa Rogers (23), student Linah Winoto (20) and Horticulturalist Jim Kremar (33) occupied a coal train locomotive, stopping all coal trains from reaching the port of Newcastle, shutting down the coal transport line for 6 hours.

Front Line Action on Coal spokesperson, Jason McLean, said of the action that “civil disobedience would not stop until the Government puts the well-­being of its citizens ahead of that of big business.”

Shenhua coal mine doomed by China energy transition


Photo by Kate Ausburn, Creative Commons License.

The proposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains has been widely opposed by farmers and environmentalists, but it appears the energy transition of China and the economics of coal have ultimately doomed the project. Original article for Nofibs.com.au

The fact is China ‘Is Getting Serious’ About Scaling Back Coal. A rapid transition is taking place in China transitioning to renewable energy and scaling back coal power. Part of this is the concern over chronic air pollution problems.

According to Tim Buckley from IEEFA, "New data shows China’s electricity-sector transformation accelerating in the first two months of 2016. While electricity consumption was up just 0.3% year on year (yoy) to 870TWh for the January-February period, coal imports fell 10.2%i and coal production declined 6.4%."

"China’s absolute use of coal likely peaked in 2013. The subsequent data certainly supports this position. China’s coal consumption declined 2.9% yoy in 2014, with a further decline of 3.7% yoy in 2015 that accelerated in the first two months of 2016. As a guide, production year to date was -6.4% yoy." reported IEEFA

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Orleans: You Can't wash us away. Protest disrupts BOEM Gulf of Mexico oil lease auction


Hundreds of climate change protesters disrupted a US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) auction of offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday 23 March, 2016. What was once a supportive community for the oil industry is now demanding they stop new oil projects and invest in cleaning up the coastal degradation and damage they have caused and continue to inflict on coastal communities.

It was an historic event of Gulf Residents and environmentalists rallying at the New Orleans Superdome in an historic ‘Keep It in the Ground’ Action.

Related: Indybay - WTUL News reports from the New Lease on Life 23rd March at the Louisiana Superdome

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Massive coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef while Environment Minister applies bandaid funding

There have been many reports of extensive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Here are the sea surface temperature anomaly for the 14 day period to 1st March 2016, as provided by BOM's Reeftemp application. Unusual and extensive ocean warming has extended down the eastern Australian coast.



Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Tyrone Ridgway in an article at The Conversation identify that "The bleaching is currently focused on the pristine reefs north of Cooktown, driven by water temperatures that have persisted at 1.0-1.5℃ above seasonal averages since mid to late January 2016, and calm and still weather conditions over recent weeks."

Balmy Sea Surface Temperatures off south east Australia


It is not only warm temperatures over land that have been abnormally high. Sea Surface Temperatures of eastern and south eastern Australian coast have also been above average for this time of year.

The ENSO wrap up from the BOM for February describes:
"The SST (sea surface temperature) anomaly map for February 2016 shows warm SST anomalies extending across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. Compared to January, warm anomalies have decreased along the equator, but have increased to the east of Australia and near the South American coast."

For the week ending 13 March 2016 it describes:
"Warm anomalies continue to surround most of the Australian continent, with large regions greater than +1 °C to the north and south. Strong anomalies occur near Tasmania, with values of +2 °C surrounding much of the island. Warm anomalies continue to cover much of the Indian Ocean."

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Is poor funding of climate and health research by NHMRC political bias?


This was an Original article published at nofibs.com.au

Is there a funding bias with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) when it comes to climate change and health? and particularly extreme heat and population health?

Some climate and health researchers say there is a definite bias, over a number of years, against funding health and climate change related research projects. One result of this wide-spread perception, is that researchers self-censor their funding proposals to avoid mentioning climate change to stand a much better chance of grant approval.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Storify: The Silent Killer: climate change and Public Health. The #HeatHealth report launch


An original article published at nofibs.com.au

The Climate Council released it's new report on climate change and heat health, on the impacts of extreme heat on public health. Nofibs reporter and climate activist John Englart was there at the Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital to document the occasion.

Key findings of the report include that:
  • 1. Climate change is a serious health threat for many Australians.
  • 2. As extreme heat events worsen, the risk of adverse human health impacts is increasing.
  • 3. Heatwaves can put intense pressure on health services.
  • 4. While the health sector has made significant steps in improving resilience to heatwave events, more needs to be done.
  • 5. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions rapidly and deeply is the best way to protect Australians from worsening extreme heat events.

Follow the presentations on twitter in my Storify curation of the launch of the report by public health researcher Dr Elizabeth Hanna, Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes, Australian epidemiologist and public health researcher Professor Fiona Stanley, and Dr Stephen Parnis, an emergency medical doctor and Vice President of the AMA.