Friday, April 28, 2017
Westpac have released their climate change Position statement and 2020 action Plan. This effectively rules out any funding of Adani for the Carmichael coal project.
Westpac becomes the 4th and last of the big 4 Australian banks to rule out financing the Adani project, and makes it the 19th bank globally to have either ruled out funding Galilee Basin coal export projects directly, or through the introduction of a new policy.
Westpac came under intense pressure from community organisations to rule out funding for Adani, with numerous protests outside bank branches, questions at AGMs, and a campaign urging customers to divest. Without this community social pressure Westpac's climate change position may have been much less rigorous.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
About 20 Activists this morning occupied the Melbourne offices of Downer, an infrastructure company, to protest participation in developing the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin of Queensland, widely seen as a climate carbon bomb with no social license.
The Adani Carmichael coal mine is a climate carbon bomb that would push temperatures well past the 2 degrees C limit that countries set in Paris UN climate Conference in 2015 at COP21. Research shows that Australia needs to leave 95 percent of it's coal in the ground unexploited and unburnt to stand a reasonable chance of not exceeding the 2C target.
In January 2015 it was announced that Downer EDI had won a $2 billion contract for works at Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, according to Australian Mining.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
The latest media 'hysteria' about shark attack arises from a tragic fatal bite incident when WA teenager Laeticia Brouwer was mauled by a shark at the popular surf break - Kelp Beds - near Esperance (south coast of Western Australia) just before 4pm on Easter Monday (2017).
The paramedic who was first on the scene said the teenager suffered tremendous blood loss and couldn’t be saved despite quickly receiving first aid.
While sharks are relatively common in coastal waters, attacks are exceptional given the overwhelming presence and numbers of people in the surf zone. You are more likely to be killed in a road accident, riding a horse or a vending machine, than by a shark.
Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg says WA isn’t doing enough to protect people from sharks urging shark culls and drum lines, according to the West Australian. "In light of the recent shark attack, the Commonwealth would welcome any proposal to protect human life first and foremost,” he said. “This could include the newest drum-line technology, shark exclusion nets, culling or other measures which WA sees fit.”
WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has ruled out the idea of a shark cull in response, according to the ABC. "We're not going down the path of a cull because there's no evidence that it actually makes our beaches safer," he said, "...no evidence that that actually reduces the likelihood of future attacks," Kelly said.
Mindless culling of sharks will not actually reduce the risk of shark attack without doing great harm to the ocean ecosystem trophic structure. It is as apex ocean predators that sharks do us the greatest service in maintaining the ocean carbon cycle and help keep carbon sequestered in coastal sea areas (Blue Carbon) to help us mitigate climate change.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Article First published at nofibs.com.au
Adani's coal export terminal at Abbot Point was in the direct path of Category 4 Cyclone Debbie. There was reason to expect a large storm surge, but this did not occurr, but the destructive winds and torrential rain caused Adani to release a large amount of contaminated water into the adjacent wetlands and ocean.
On Sunday April 9 the Mackay Conservation Group published on their facebook page a before and after photo of the Abbot Point export coal terminal owned by Adani, and part of the Caley Valley wetlands adjacent to it.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
At Google HQ in London an ambitious plan was launched by former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres to accelerate climate action and bend the global emissions curve down by 2020.
Figueres outlined six areas where action was needed to make 2020 a real turning point in the global emissions trend. For the last 3 years global emissions have been flat despite rising global GDP, a sign that economies are increasingly becoming disengaged from processes of carbon pollution.
While in Australia the Liberal National Party Federal Government lead by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is keenly supporting the Adani Carmichael coal mine development, supported by the Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Original article published at nofibs.com.au
Those uppity Greens are daring to speak about climate change while severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie beat the shit out of the Whitsunday Islands (Read this report of Hamilton Island), Proserpine and Bowen, and now threatens extensive flooding from torrential rainfall for central and SE coastal Queensland.
The accusatory tone from Malcolm Turnbull and other Liberal government ministers is 'How dare you try to politicise an extreme weather event, when we should all be pulling together.', while they conveniently forget the South Australian storms in September 2016 which resulted in a system black which they conveniently and erroneously immediately blamed on the fault of the wind turbines in South Australia.
They have continued to prosecute an attack on wind energy and South Australia, despite a BOM report blaming the primary cause as the cyclonic storm with 260km per hour wind gusts. AEMO also put the primary cause as the destructive winds destroying transmission towers, but also identified in the final report that automatic wind generator protection settings (since updated) contributed to the System Black event.
No pulling together for South Australia, Queensland, or in fact all of Australia, in it's time of need to resolve the lack of coherence in energy and climate policies.
Is there the taint of hypocrisy here? You bet.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Article originally published at nofibs.com.au
Tropical Cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross Central Queensland coast on Tuesday morning as a Category 4 Severe tropical cyclone. It will bring destructive winds greater than 200km per hour plus a storm surge with a king tide innundating low lying coastal properties, and torrential rain causing flooding. It is also cooling sections of the Great Barrier Reef reducing coral bleaching from an extensive and long lasting marine heatwave.
Update: 25,000 people in Mackay ordered to evacuate due to storm surge threat.
Update: Coal mines and coal ports affected.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie draws heat from the unusually warm waters of the Coral Sea. This will help it increase in intensity to achieve possibly Category 4, and an outside chance as a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone before it strikes land.
It is the first tropical cyclone to strike the north Queensland coast since Cyclone Nathan in March 2015. Although it may not be as strong, it is being compared in size and extent to the Category 5 cyclone Yasi from 2011.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
The focus on boosting renewables in Victoria through the VRET by the Andrews Labor Government is already boosting regional jobs in Portland at the Keppel Prince Engineering wind tower fabrication plant.
The Andrews Labor Government is assisting Portland engineering and manufacturing firm Keppel Prince Engineering with a $1.97 million expansion of the company's wind tower fabrication facility. This will create 50 new jobs to add to the 80 local wind tower manufacturing jobs.
Keppel Prince is Australia’s largest, and Victoria’s only, wind tower manufacturer. The wind tower division currently manufactures 110 wind towers per year, supplying them for wind farm projects across the country.
Friday, March 10, 2017
A special $20 million worker transfer package was announced today for workers affected by the closure of Engie's Hazelwood Power Station. This will allow early retirement for workers at other LaTrobe Power stations creating places for Hazelwood workers that want to continue their careers in power generation.
This transfer package is an important component of a suite of support mechanisms being put into place for the community, a part of a just transition being pioneered by the Victorian government driven by the necessity to move to zero carbon emissions by climate change.
“We will always stand up for the Latrobe Valley and with the worker transfer scheme for Hazelwood workers, we are doing just that. This is great news for jobs and for Hazelwood workers and their families.” said the Premier Daniel Andrews.
This particular scheme will cost $20 million to assist around 150 retrenched Hazelwood workers to remain in the power industry. In the first instance, employment transfer to AGL Energy’s Loy Yang A will be facilitated, but later transfers to Engie's Loy Yang B may be available.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Article first published at nofibs.com.au
To ensure it's clean green reputation of it's agricultural sector, and to guarantee the health of rural farming communities Victoria became the first Australian state officially banning fracking. It was motivated by a strong community lead campaign for a ban on gas exploration from 2011.
Legislation was passed in the Victorian Legislative Council, the upper house of the Victorian parliament, for a permanent legislative ban on fracking. Victoria’s agriculture sector employs more than 190,000 people and relies on it's clean and green reputation.
The legislation was passed without amendment. The Coalition parties and Shooters and Farmers Party sought to amend the legislation regarding the onshore conventional gas exploration moratorium, but were defeated 20 votes to 18. Sex Party MLC Fiona Pattern and Western Region independent MLC James Purcell gave crucial support, along with the Greens, for passage of the bill.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
The minimum Feed-in tariff for solar PV owners in Victoria will more than double due to changes the Dan Andrews Labor Government has made to the regulation of pricing for solar PV owners.
Current minimum feed-in rate is 5 cents per kilowatt hour. Victoria’s independent regulator, the Essential Services Commission (ESC), has determined the new feed-in rate will be 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour and will apply from 1st July.
About 130,000 solar citizens will reap the benefit of this increased Feed-in tarriff.
“With this new feed-in tariff, the Andrews Labor Government is ensuring that households with solar panels are more fairly compensated for the power they send back into the grid.” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.
Monday, February 27, 2017
Great energy and vibrancy at the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne.
Community Energy Congress is in Melbourne talking about the community role in transition to renewable energy. Check out the program.
Keep up with the twitter gossip and commentary from the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne Day 1, Monday 27 February 2017 below:
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Record sea surface temperatures in the coral sea are again threatening massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef for the second year in a row. If sea surface temperatures don't cool in the next few weeks, this will be the first time there has been back to back bleaching on this scale.
“In the last week, divers and scientists have reported bleached corals on popular tourist reefs around Cairns and on reefs near Townsville.” said Imogen Zethoven Australian Marine Conservation Society Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director.
Vast swathes of the Great Barrier Reef have also been placed on red alert (Alert Level 1) for the next four weeks, as an indicator that coral bleaching is likely. Parts of the Far Northern, Northern and Central Reef are on the even higher Alert Level 2, indicating mortality is likely.
Corals south of Cairns, in the Whitsundays and in parts of the Far Northern Reef, that were badly hit last year, are at mortal risk.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Two sets of opinion surveys highlighted how far ahead the Australian population is on climate and energy policy than the Federal Government and Liberal and National party policy.
The opinion polling by Essential Vision provides a national snapshot in areas such as belief in climate change, Labor's 50 per cent by 2030 renewables target, cause of the recent electricity blackouts in South Australia, whether renewables are a solution for our future energy needs, whether the Federal Government is doing enough on clean energy, and attitude to building more coal fired power stations.
The Victorian survey was larger and more nuanced by a private survey consultancy done for Sustainability Victoria. It showed much greater degree of support for climate action, renewables, the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET), and the Victorian zero emissions by 2050 target. There was a high self-efficacy that everyone: individuals, businesses, environment groups, and the 3 levels of government, need to be taking considerable climate action, and that this should preferably be lead by the Federal Government.
It is notable that just last week the Coalition parties in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia all decided to abolish any state imposed renewable energy targets. This action would seems to be at odds with national opinion, but especially so in Victoria where there is much greater awareness and sense of urgency in tackling climate change. Opposition to the VRET appears to be a major backflip for Shadow minister for Renewables David Southwick.
The results should bolster the Federal Labor leadership under Bill Shorten to stick with their 50 per cent renewable energy target and ambitious climate policy that includes introduction of an Energy Intensity Scheme for the electricity generation industry.
For Turnbull, the results show his governments attacks on renewables and talking up 'clean coal' are not cutting through. In fact arguing against public opinion is probably making things worse in lowering public esteem for the Liberal Party.
The Victorian survey was released on the same day the Victorian Climate Change Act passed the Legislative Council (Upper house) and augers well for introduction of a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) through legislation later in the year.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Dear David Southwick
State MP for Caulfield, Parliament of Victoria.
Shadow Minister for Innovation, Energy and Resources, and Renewables.
In February 2016 you said that Liberals really do care and that you will work to get the best outcome on energy and renewables. "Renewables are absolutely crucial to the future of Victoria and Australia." you said. Fast forward by a year and you are playing vicious partisan politics with Victorian climate and energy policy.
On Friday Victoria's Minister for Energy Lily D'Ambrosio announced a public tender for building a 20MW battery as part of the Victorian electricity grid. The grid-scale battery will be constructed either in north-west or south-west Victoria, at a location where the energy market operator has identified it could improve grid reliability.
This is something to be applauded.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
In their summary of the event AEMO outline three main causes for the failure to match generation to demand. They specify that supply was rapidly changing in the period prior to the peak at 18:00, but the problem came down to:
- Demand was higher than forecast
- Wind generation was lower than forecast, and
- Thermal generation capacity was reduced due to forced outages
When you analyse the report it becomes clear there was available capacity (Pelican Point 2) that could have been brought on line to meet the demand, but the market based processes of AEMO failed.
It is important to emphasise here that Adelaide and most of South Australia on Wednesday 8 February was experiencing extreme temperatures in the middle of an exceptional heatwave. Climate scientists have been predicting that heatwaves would get more intense. This sort of extreme heat event is in line with their predictions.
Adding to the extent of the issue, AEMO ordered at the evening peak at 18:03 100MW of load shedding to balance supply versus demand, but it appears SA Power Network shed 300MW, much more than was required.
I reported initially on this event the day after, on February 9: AEMO orders South Australian #heatwave blackout while Gas turbine remains idle.
The Liberal party in three states - Victoria, South Australia and Queensland - vowed to drop state based renewable energy targets if elected. This follows Federal Liberal Party war on renewables and climate policy conducted since Abbott took power in 2013, continued under Prime Minister Turnbull.
While climate action at the Federal level has followed a rollercoast ride in the past two decades, states are increasingly taking more action to protect their citizens.
In the latest round of attacks at the Federal level, Manchester University climate change PhD student Marc Hudson argues that what we are seeing is not actually a policy battle, but a politics battle, and one that has been going on since at least 2000.
With reduction of the federal Renewable Energy Target and no plan as yet to extend it, the Labor states of South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, and the ACT, have all set in motion state renewable energy targets.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Australia is currently the hottest place on the planet with the heatwave in SE Australia according to the Climate Reanalyzer site for Saturday 11 February. And last year (2016) was the hottest year on the planet in recorded history, following two previous years which also set the record.
As heat temperature records tumbled in south east Australia in the heatwave, catastrophic fireweather conditions were being experienced on Sunday over a wide region from Port Stephens in the Hunter Region, Tablelands and the Central West region of New South Wales. These conditions are categorized as a greater danger than the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 which killed 173 people directly in the bushfires and 374 excess deaths due to the heatwave.
Update: Climate scientists calculate that Climate change doubled the likelihood of the New South Wales heatwave (Feb 16, 2017 The Conversation)
We have an energy crisis with load shedding ocurring in South Australia on Wednesday (that needn't have occurred), and load shedding in NSW on Friday and Saturday with the Tomago Aluminium plant being ordered to curtail production and energy use.
But what you will find largely absent in the media and comments by politicians on the heatwave is any reference to climate change which is an essential driving factor of more intense heatwave conditions and catastrophic fireweather.
The mining and burning of coal is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and needs to be phased out in an orderly way to meet our international commitments on climate change. The only but would be if carbon capture and storage (CCS) was developed at scale and at reasonable cost, and I don't see enough research and investment to make this happen in a realistic timeframe.
So the Liberal Party are causing a clean coal controversy and blaming renewables, when AEMO and the energy market needs a thorough overhaul to re-prioritise production to meet consumer demand and social requirements rather than business profits. Just look at AEMO's governance bias for a start.
The Transition road may be rough at times, but we really do need to move to 100 per cent renewables. Prior changes such as the transition from horse and buggy transport to automobiles - about 13 years - at the start of the twentieth century, shows that transition happens relatively quickly. State renewables targets are realistic and already driving the energy transition we need.
Is it so hard to come up with a bipartisan national energy plan?
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Forecast Map produced by Bureau of Meteorology for 5pm 11 February, 2017. Source
I am reflecting on how easy it is for misleading information to be circulated, even with the best of intentions. A UNFCCC tweet on the Australian extreme heatwave published on 10 February was factually misleading.
Let me explain the details.
Friday, February 10, 2017
First published at nofibs.com.au
"This developing heatwave is nothing short of horrifying" said climate scientist Sarah Perkin-Kirkpatrick.
"Much of eastern Australia has seen heatwave after heatwave this summer, with some seasonal records already broken by the start of February. Night-time temperatures have been too hot for adequate sleep and daytime temperatures have been searing."
Sarah Perkin-Kirkpatrick is a climate scientist who has specialised in studying the causes and dynamics of heatwaves. She is an Australian Research Council DECRA fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre, University of NSW. At the annual Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Organisation conference meeting in Canberra this week she was awarded the Early Career Researcher (ECR) award.
"What is particularly concerning about the developing event is the intensity, where many regions will see a string of extremely hot days with little relief. Much of NSW, QLD and northern VIC will suffer the most, where temperatures will be the hottest, and follow little reprieve from the previous heatwaves." she said.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Over 40,000 South Australian households endured a blackout yesterday evening for about half an hour during an extreme heatwave. AEMO ordered the loadshedding, but questions remain why the Pelican Point 2nd gas turbine wasn't fired up.
Quick Summary Wednesday 8 February SA Heatwave Blackouts
10:31am BOM SA advise an extreme heat warning issued by the SES based on BOM heatwave forecasting
1:30pm Briefing for media on heatwave conditions
2:17pm NEM watch reported the lack of online reserve in South Australia.
5:17pm Actual lack of Reserve (Level 1) , Actual Lack of Reserve (Level 2) at 6:17pm.
6:03pm AEMO ordered 100MW of load shedding to last to 7:30pm.
8:32pm SA Power networks tweeted that it was an "upstream generation issue managed by AEMO the Australian Energy Market Operator, not SA Power Networks".
9:16pm SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis says that "Power shedding tonight was avoidable. There was sufficient local generation to meet our demand tonight, but AEMO didn't instruct it on! Why?"
10:23pm Tom Koutsantonis says to a question "Yes gas, South Australian Gas fired generation that should have been told to be on & wasnt!"
11:27pm SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis says that "AEMO have informed the SA Government they got their demand forecast for SA wrong."
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Sarah Rees and Sheree Maris gave two inspiring presentations on science communication in conservation and biodiversity in an afternoon plenary at the Victorian Biodiversity Conference in Melbourne.
Its always nice to discover new natural wonders in our local area. It enhances our sense of place and pride in nature, and is an important motivation for conservation.
Sarah Rees and Sheree Maris bring us the wonders of the ancient Central Highland forests and the extraordinary ecosystems hiding just under the surface of Port Philip. Both of these environments are just on the edge of Melbourne, yet are largely unknown and unexplored by most Melburnians.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Last year during the 2016 Federal election I felt great despair about the Great Barrier Reef. It was clear that Politicians were offering token funding to the Great Barrier Reef already facing extinction. It is already a climate emergency.
The Great Barrier Reef is not going to survive our experiment with global warming. Even if we could magically keep average global temperatures to below two degrees Celsius, it will be very much diminished, such is the great inertias involved in the climate system which we have irrevocably changed.
Professor Kristie L. Ebi, from University of Washington, presented a plenary talk at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) conference in Canberra on Climate and health. An interesting talk even via twitter and speaks to the need for a national climate and health policy in Australia.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Alan Finkel, Australia's chief scientist, has compared Donald Trump to Josef Stalin, in the moves to censor environmental data and climate science at the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and other US Government agencies.
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin exerted an iron control of science in the USSR.
Finkel's statement was made as part of a speech to the Chief Scientists' roundtable discussion at the Australian National University. Also of note in attendance was New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and UK’s former Chief Scientist Professor Sir John Beddington.
In his speech Finkel announced he was "going off topic" as "science is literally under attack".
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Ambassador Suckling at COP22 in Marrakech - Photo John EnglartOriginally published at nofibs.com.au
Australian Ambassador for Climate Change Patrick Suckling is currently visiting Fiji this week to hold bilateral meetings with the Fiji Presidency in regard to the COP23 United Nations climate negotiations (which will be held in Bonn, Germany in November 2017).
Fiji and other Pacific island governments are demanding that polluting nations step up action to reduce emissions.
In conjunction with Suckling's presence for bilateral talks, the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) released an open letter calling for Australia to take further action on emissions reduction and to stop new coal mines and coal mine expansions.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Averaged across the state, Queensland had its 6th warmest January on record. Mean minimum temperatures were the second-warmest on record for January. (see above deciles average map for January)
But the City of Brisbane in the south east just experienced it's warmist January on record. Back to back heatwaves have brought persistent heat to south east Australia, and especially to southern Queensland and New South Wales. The town of Moree has had 36 consecutive days of temperatures over 35C, doubling the previous record of 17 days in 1982.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Abolition of Funding for IPCC, UNFCCC, Green Climate Fund is the target of Bill HR 673 introduced into U.S. Congress on January 24, 2017. Currently the bill is referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Transition advisor Myron Ebell, at a talk of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in the UK, was adamant that Trump wants to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, despite Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying it would be advantageous to have a place at the negotiating table.
Strangley, Ebell has never spoken to President Trump, and now seems to be out of the loop altogether.
He outlined three major ways Trump might withdraw US participation from the Paris climate agreement.
Ebell argued that in the first instance, the president can simply stop any US financial contributions to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and that all US funding to the UNFCCC, including to the Green Climate Fund, represents a violation of US law ever since Palestine was accepted as a UNFCCC member. Secondly, Trump might request the US Congress to reject the Paris agreement on the basis that legally it is a treaty and does not qualify as an executive presidential order. Thirdly, Trump could withdraw the US from the UNFCCC altogether.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Despite the climate denialism in a Trump administration, it will be difficult to stop the zero carbon transition already underway and driven by economic forces, with action by citizens, businesses and states.
As the minutes ticked past midday with Trump's inauguration on January 20, the whitehouse.gov website was swept clean of anything climate related. Obama's record in this area has been officially archived and Trump's pages announce an America First Energy Plan.
- Killing Obama's climate plan not so easy
- Oil pipelines mired in controversy
- Cost of carbon abolition
- Moratorium on coal leasing on Federal land
- Last minute methane and clean water rules under threat
- Arctic and Atlantic Deep sea drilling put off-limits by Obama
- Paris Agreement
- Reasons for optimism
- California Governor Jerry Brown Climate Hero?
- Obama discusses energy transition in Science
- Obama's Parting payment to Green Climate Fund
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Over my last decade of reading on climate change, I have picked up a fact or two on oceans and the marine environment, and written the odd article.
Oceans and the marine biodiversity they encompass are important. Just take a deep breathe and reflect upon the fact that the oxygen we rely upon, every second breathe we take, comes from ocean marine algae. And that's just the start.
Most of us just dabble at the edge of the marine environment with perhaps a visit to the beach. But the oceans are deeply important for providing much of our food, and as a carbon sink and regulator of weather and climate on our planet. From the mangroves and reef ecosystems that border coasts providing many social benefits to us, to the open ocean, and deep seabed with incredible life forms we are still just discovering.
Who could resist an opportunity to detail the many climate change impacts on the oceans and marine ecosystems from marine ecologist, Dr John Bruno, a Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His list, tweeted out using the #100impacts hashtag, comes at a time of the inauguration of the new administration of President Trump. One of the first acts of this new administration was to eliminate all mention of climate change from the Whitehouse website.
The list will build over coming days. Revisit to see the latest posts.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Article first published at nofibs.com.au
Lily D'Ambrosio, the Victorian Energy and Environment Minister, stepped forward today to announce that Melbourne's tram network will be powered by 100 per cent Solar. Not directly of course. But the government will issue a tender for a new 75MW capacity large scale solar farm to supply the equivalent power needed for the tram network to the electricity grid.
The Government will voluntarily surrender renewable energy certificates matching the amount of electricity used by all of Melbourne’s trams.
About 35MW from the solar farm will be allocated for powering the tram network. “We’ve got the biggest tram network in the world and we’re powering it with renewables and creating local jobs.” said Transport Minister Jacinta Allan.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
First published at nofibs.com.au
Cyclists in the Santos Tour Down Under UCI Professional cycling race in South Australia today faced the challenge of riding in temperatures over 40 degrees. Local temperatures on the road are likely to be even higher for the cyclists riding on hot road surfaces. Indeed, Jérémy Maison with the FDJ team measured a local temperature of 50C with their Garmin cycling computer, according to a tweet.
The stage was from the Adelaide suburb of Unley, through the Adelaide Hills to Lyndoch, in the Barossa Valley.
The race length was revised down from 145km to 118km, a reduction of 26.5km, with the finishing circuit reduced from two laps to just one, after cyclists in the peloton complained about the searing conditions.
The real irony though, is the fact that the major race sponsor is the South Australian based Gas and fracking company Santos, whose whole business revolves around fossil fuel extraction which causes climate change and more extreme temperatures.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Life in a post-flying Australia, and why it might actually be ok
Martin Young, Southern Cross University; Francis Markham, Australian National University; James Higham, University of Otago, and John Jenkins, Southern Cross University
In Australia, the amount of aviation fuel consumed per head of population has more than doubled since the 1980s. We now use, on average, 2.2 barrels (or 347 litres) of jet fuel per person per year.
Monday, January 9, 2017
This article by John Englart was first published at Climate Action Moreland.
The official reports are in. 2016 was the hottest year on record according to the European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). In Australia the Bureau of Meteorology declared 2016 the 4th warmest on record, but with record sea surface temperatures around the continent.