Tuesday, 28 July 2009
On Sunday Sept 13, people from across Victoria will gather to protest the extension of life given to Australia's most greenhouse polluting power station.
More information on how to join the protest is here: http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/
The organisers are also looking for the action to be endorsed by more goups . . . http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/endorsements.
Monday, 27 July 2009
- climate change believers include the 2,500 scientists in the IPCC, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada, and the editor-in-chief of Science magazine;
- University of California, San Diego science historian Dr. Naomi Oreskes had published an analysis in Science in which she had combed through 928 peer-reviewed climate studies published between 1993 and 2003 and found not a single one that disagreed with the general scientific consensus.
- the environmental movement isn't blameless either: 'You could also criticize environmentalists, whose tendency has been to stray too far in the other direction, extrapolating scientific assumptions to create scare stories so dispiriting that they create apathy rather than activism. These, in turn, have made easy targets for the energy industry's climate change deniers.'
Read the rest of this post.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Syndication for these blogs:
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
As for funding - the climate and energy bill that recently passed through the US House of Representatives did not include research dollars. Unfortunately, while the development of technologies like photovoltaics requires continuing funding, "politics is about building short-term coalitions by satisfying demands presented by influential players, from coal companies to unions". We may not be able to do it without the scientists and engineers, but we can't do it without politicians either - although some may disagree there.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
The Wilderness Society aims for at least 3,000 signatures to it's latest online campaign petitioning Mr Brumby to stop the logging of our water catchments. Please add your name.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Financial packages for wind and wave energy and changes to planning procedures are among key components of the Low Carbon Transition Plan.
"Smart" meters are to be deployed in 26 million homes by 2020. The government says the plan will create up to 400,000 "green jobs" without a major hike in energy prices. Hope Kevin and Penny read the rest of this story from the BBC Science & Environment web site. How about some targets, guys?
And a follow-up commentary on the LCTP containing a useful overview of the plan - introduction of special interest to cyclists!
Monday, 13 July 2009
Residents of rural Bundanoon, a picturesque, tourist destination 150 kms (93 miles) southwest of Sydney, voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to rid the town of bottled water to combat the carbon footprint from bottling and transporting it.
Local businesses in the town of 2,500 people have agreed to replace all single-use bottles with reusable bottles that can be filled from water fountains and to bear the loss of sales.
"Bottled water has a role to play in various parts of Australia and many parts of the world but we don't really need it as we have a wonderful municipal water supply," local businessman Huw Kingston, who led the campaign, told Reuters.
"We're not a bunch of raving greenies but this is us showing we can work together as a community for sustainability."
Belinda Goldsmith, Reuters.
Friday, 10 July 2009
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Low Diversity = High Disease
The researchers made the connection between increased mammal diversity and lower infection rates among deer mice after conducting field work in Portland's parks for the past four years. In place where mammal diversity was lowest infection levels increased dramatically.' Read the rest of this post from Treehugger. Good to have some (more) positive consequences of successfully limiting climate change to point to.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
'The vast majority of mainstream media items about science are related to new hot-off-the-press studies, often in high profile journals, that report a new breakthrough, or that purportedly overturn previous ideas. However, while these are exciting news items, this preponderance of coverage given to these state-of-the-art studies compared to assessments such as from the National Academies, can give a misleading impression about the state of a scientific knowledge. The more mature and solid a field, the less controversy there is, and thus the fewer news stories. Ironically, this means the public is told the least about the most solid aspects of science.One effect of this tendency is that quite often news stories are focused on claims that turn out to be wrong, or if not actually wrong, heavily reduced in importance by the time the dust settles.' Rest of the story at RealClimate blog.
Researchers at James Cook University concluded the tropics had widened by up to 500 kilometres (310 miles) in the past 25 years after examining 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles.
They looked at findings from long-term satellite measurements, weather balloon data, climate models and sea temperature studies to determine how global warming was impacting on the tropical zone.
The findings showed it now extended well beyond the traditional definition of the tropics, the equatorial band circling the Earth between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.' Read the rest of this story at Grist blog. Ironic that I'm reading about an Australian research study (James Cook University) from an American blog; they got it from Agence France-Presse.
Zeobond, a company established and owned by the family of University of Melbourne professor Jannie van Deventer, has developed a product called E-crete. It claims 80 per cent less emissions are produced than conventional cement. E-crete is created by using geopolymers and a less emission-intensive chemical reaction than conventional cement, which releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide -- one tonne of carbon for every tonne of cement -- mostly when limestone is broken down using extreme temperatures. It is estimated that three tonnes of cement are produced per person, per year. It is now estimated as the third-largest human contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Professor van Deventer's concern with the proposed ETS is that the cement industry has convinced the government there are no low-emission alternatives, and because it is treated as an emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industry, it will get 94.5 per cent compensation through free permits.
Read the rest of this story from The Australian. Further story about Zeobond from Ecos magazine (NB .pdf file). Thanks Julia for forwarding these.
Monday, 6 July 2009
Safe Climate Australia and the Safe Climate Transition Plan will encompass an all-sector approach including stationary energy, energy efficiency, housing and commercial buildings, transport, industrial and extraction processes, land use and agriculture. The plan will be developed with the intention of protecting and enhancing the key economic, social and environmental parameters of Australian society, including the maintenance of a high standard of living, security of energy and food supply, access to mobility and comfort and well-being for all.
Saturday, 4 July 2009
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) will be busting the big polluters’ myths about climate change and the economy this weekend, taking out full page advertising space in some of the country’s largest newspapers.
ACF will place ads in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Courier Mail and The Canberra Times tomorrow, Saturday 4 July.
“Leading scientists and economists agree that strong and immediate action on climate change will create jobs for Australians and help secure our economic prosperity,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.
“Big polluters are making mythical claims of financial disaster as a consequence of action on climate change in an attempt to weaken Australia’s response to the climate crisis.
“Big polluters are loading the problem of climate change onto the rest of us, instead of doing their fair share.
“We’re placing these ads to expose the big polluter myths and tell them it’s time to stop holding up progress and do their share,” Mr Henry said.
The advertisements follow the historic passing of climate legislation in the US House of Representatives, placing increasing pressure on the Australian Government to strengthen its climate legislation.
“Our politicians need to stand up to the plate and reduce assistance to polluters and put more money towards clean energy jobs,” Mr Henry said.
“We need investment in energy efficient production and effective climate legislation to cut greenhouse pollution, so Australia can have a credible voice at climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.”
Friday, 3 July 2009
'We can't simply plan to cut our own impacts down to a level that could be shared by everyone over the next four or five decades. Even if we had that long a time to reduce our impacts -- and we don't -- there is no way the rest of the word can get stable and sustainably prosperous in that time frame unless we lead the way right now. Anything less than an all-out effort now is morally inexcusable. Small steps, incremental reductions, slow plans -- unless these are tied to big, systemic and quick solutions, they will not be enough. We need a bright green future, right now.
All that is the bad news.
Here's the good news: We can build that bright green future. We have the technological prowess, the design insight and even many of the working examples we need to transform our systems and reinvent our cities. We have the money. We may even be gaining the most needed components, vision and political will.
Here's the better news: Not only can we build it, but we'll be better off when we live in it.'
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Why couldn't we have put aside a few billion for energy efficiency, retraining or green industry in Australia instead of giving everyone $900 to pay off their mortgage or buy a plasma screen TV! Someone please tell me I've missed an important announcement & I'm just an old whinger (OK, middle-aged).