Sunday, January 22, 2017

Resistance in face of a Trump climate denial agenda


Photo by Charlie Furman/twitter @DigitalCharlie


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.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

100 climate impacts on oceans and marine ecosystems


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

Solar to power Melbourne's trams as Australia's GHG emissions continue to rise


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

Santos Tour Down Under stage shortened due to extreme heat, after riders raise heat health concern


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

Guest Post: Arguments for abandoning Commercial Flight in Australia



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

2016 hottest year on record globally, 4th warmest for Australia



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.