Tuesday, June 28, 2016
This is an abridged version focussed on climate change scorecards, of an article at nofibs.com.au detailing 39 election scorecards across multiple issues.
Still undecided after several weeks of the election campaign? Are you confused on policies? Do you have a pet issue that may influence your vote? I might have just the election issue scorecard to help you decide.
I have always been more interested in party policies than voting for the personality of a candidate or leader. Ultimately policies are what really count, although there is evidence that many electors are more influenced by appearance than policies, according to psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson in New Matilda.
Friday, June 24, 2016
On Thursday 23rd June a host of eminent Australians called on the next Australian Government to declare a climate emergency. The call was made in an open letter published as a half page advertisement in The Age Newspaper.
Yet the open letter produced just two news stories at the ABC (here and here)
There was no other coverage. No comment by political leaders. Just a political silence. In the middle of an election campaign.
The issue being raised is a fundamental one which affects us all and future generations, yet political silence reigned.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
A powerful song by singer songwriter Ruth Mundy - Love in the Time of Coral Reefs
Thank you Ruth. It made me cry, and it made me angry.
Human induced Ocean warming and ocean acidification have doomed coral reef ecosystems and the Great Barrier Reef.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Climate activists invaded the campaign office of Energy and Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg on Burke Rd, Camberwell in Melbourne. The climate campaign organisation 350.org have listed Josh Frydenberg as a 'Climate Blocker' on their website.
About fifty people turned up around 9.30 this morning with 12 people aged from 19 to 76 occupying the office, while others decorated the outside of the office with Climate crime scene tape, draped climate emergency banners, and signs about global warming impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
Monday, June 20, 2016
The High Court has found there is an implied right of political speech in the Australian Constitution, but that doesn't stop the Liberal Party putting pressure for an inconvenient election billboard to be taken down.
Environment Victoria paid for a Billboard opposite and a bit down the road from the Liberal Party campaign headquarters in the marginal seat of Deakin in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.
The billboard was up for about 72 hours on the busiest intersection in Deakin. Environment Victoria say the local branch of the Liberal Party made a complaint to the owner of the site, who then had the billboard taken down.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
From April 2015 to May 2016 each month has been a new record for global average temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is an unprecedented series of broken global temperature records. And scientists are warning now that we are in unprecedented territory facing the start of a climate emergency.
May 2016 was 0.87°C above the 20th century average according to NOAA. Each month from December to April was at least 1°C or more over the 20th Century average.
According to Climate Central, The average global temperature change for the first three months of 2016 was 1.48°C, essentially equaling the 1.5°C warming threshold agreed to by COP 21 negotiators in Paris last December.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
79 per cent of voters who read the Sydney Morning Herald either "strongly agree" or "agree" that the health of the Great Barrier Reef should be prioritised over coal mining.
Analysis of Fairfax Media's YourVote tool, which is similar to Votecompass in gauging online readers' beliefs to determine their political leanings, shows that out of about 63,000 responses, about 79 per cent either "strongly agree" or "agree" that the health of the Great Barrier Reef should be prioritised over coal mining. Yet both the Labor and Coalition parties have prioritised coal over coral.
- The Conversation (June 2016): Survey: more Australians want climate action now than before the carbon tax
- Climate Citizen (June 2016): Support for carbon pricing increases to 63 percent: VoteCompass
- Climate Citizen (May 2016): Opinion Poll: Support for 45 per cent climate targets and emissions trading
- Climate Citizen (Nov 2015): Lowy Institute Survey: climate now a pressing problem, Australians say lift targets
- Climate Citizen (July 2015): Renewables firmly favoured by Australian Public says poll
- Climate Citizen (Nov 2013): Australian Public opinion on carbon pricing and climate change
Image: Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt, Ewen Jones travelling to Magnetic Island. Photo: Greg Hunt/twitter. Article first published using storify at nofibs.com.au
A promise by the Prime Minister to divert $1 billion in Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) funding to improve reef catchment water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been soundly criticised as legally problematic, inefficient and far below the funding scientists say is required to Save the Reef.
This video, published on 2nd June 2016 from the Climate Council, articulates the climate change threat facing the reef, with statements from tourism operators, marine scientists and climate scientists.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
This article was originally published at nofibs.com.au
During a tour of flood affected areas in Tasmania on Thursday 9 June, the Prime Minister was asked a question (See SMH report) relating to extreme weather events and climate change:
Article originally posted at nofibs.com.au
The Prime Minister's electorate of Wentworth in Sydney played host to a Solar Citizens forum at Paddington Town Hall: the Wentworth 100 percent renewables forum. Former MP for Wentworth John Hewson turned up and gave the keynote address.
Wentworth is one of the wealthiest electorates in Australia, but it also has the second lowest uptake of solar PV in Australia.
The Paddington Town Hall was used for the forum and had a packed audience. Though Malcolm Turnbull, the member for Wentworth, couldn't make it, the organisers kept a chair vacant on stage with his name on it.
The Prime Minister was invited to a peoples forum up in Brisbane with Bill Shorten, but declined. Instead he appeared on the ABC 7.30 Report interviewed by Leigh Sales, that proved to be a bit of a trainwreck. He probably would have been far better attending the Paddington Town Hall meeting.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Updated: 10 June 2016: Details of climate attribution of French extreme rainfall and flood event
Over the last week we have seen extensive flooding around central France and southern Germany, and the impact of an East coast Low on Australia. They are different weather events but they share a certain commonality in being disastrous intensive rainfall and flood events resulting in death and damage.
The French extreme rain and flood event has recently been attributed to climate change, while the extreme nature of the East Coast Low has not yet been studied for event attribution. Attributing single events to climate change can be statistically difficult due to the range of climate variability. The damage and destruction of both events are consistent with increasing climate trends of greater intensity of rainfall and flood events around the world due to climate change.
While Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition leader Shorten stayed well clear of mentioning climate change with regards to the extreme rainfall and flooding event in Australia, the French President was far less circumspect, exclaiming (fr) at a press conference that the extreme rainfall and flooding event in France emphasized the importance of the fight against global warming.
"When there are climatic phenomena of this severity, we must all be aware that it is across the world that we must act," he added. "The weather of this magnitude, with people who have been forcibly displaced with emergency relief interventions necessary, is not just a phenomenon that affects only France. It also concerns victims in Germany and Poland," he noted during a press statement with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
Friday, June 3, 2016
The latest Vote Compass data on carbon pricing and climate change shows that Australians want more action on climate change and back carbon pricing. Some 63 per cent of Australians want carbon pricing back and 74 per cent support more government action on climate change. But Coalition voters remain split on carbon pricing.
Support for carbon pricing has increased from 50 percent at the votecompass survey in 2013 to 63 percent in 2016.
For the question on more action on climate change the results also incresed by 13 percent from 61 percent in 2013 to 74 percent in 2016.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Guest Post: As India cuts aerosol air pollution, extreme temperatures may spike making heat health adaptation plans crucial
An insightful article into India's situation with regards to the air pollution problem and extreme heatwave temperatures. This year temperatures spiked to 51C in north western India: Wet Bulb Near 35 C — Heatwave Mass Casualties Strike India Amidst Never-Before-Seen High Temperatures.
The researchers argue that aerosols from air pollution are likely to have a substantial cooling impact at the moment, even as India experiences record temperatures. With roll out of renewables and the push to electrify vehicle transport, air pollution will likely be reduced increasing health outcomes. But it may be at the expense of a spike in temperatures at this time of year which will have a large heat health impact on the population, especially poorer people who cannot afford technological adaptation measures such as air-conditioning. It is another reason why recently implemented adaptation plans in India for heat health are so important, as well as taking effective and rapid emissions reduction on a global level in accordance with the UNFCCC Paris Agreement.
What is going on with India's weather?Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, UNSW Australia; Andrew King, University of Melbourne, and Geert Jan van Oldenborgh
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The latest Climate Council report has outlined that Australia has set new record temperatures for Autumn 2016. This is to be expected given the strong El Nino this year, but it comes on escalating yearly global average temperatures from climate change.
Climate Council report, Australia experienced its warmest March, second warmest April and second warmest May on record.
The Bureau of Meteorology said that autumn 2016 is the warmest autumn on record for Australia with the mean temperature anomaly exceeding 1.86 °C - the largest anomaly for any season since spring 2014 when it was 1.67 °C. They argue that while El Niño and other climate drivers were a factor in warmer temperatures, "it is the background trend which now largely explains the more frequent high temperature records."