Climate clippings 230

1. NSW Labor pledges state-owned renewable energy company to power three million homes

    A New South Wales Labor government would establish a state-owned renewable energy company to support the rollout of enough renewable energy to power more than three million homes across the state in the next decade.

    On Monday the NSW opposition leader, Michael Daley, announced that if elected on 23 March, Labor would deliver seven gigawatts of extra renewable energy by 2030.

Continue reading Climate clippings 230

Weekly salon 16/2

1. Political follies

To me the most staggering political event of the past week was PM Scott Morrison’s announcement that he had ordered the re-opening of the Christmas Island detention facility. What for? Does he expect that suddenly the navy will be unable to intercept and turn back boats? The facility is quite large:

Christmas Island Shire CEO Gordon Thomson told Patricia Karvelas the announcement was stunning and made no practical sense. The centre was already on 72-hour standby. Continue reading Weekly salon 16/2

Cashing in on refugees at Manus Island

As the crossbench celebrated passing a vote to medivac refugees from offshore detention camps at doctors discretion:

Scott Morrison did not seem to be unduly perturbed:

I am sure he likes having refugees mired at Manus and Nauru, so he can scare Australian voters about the danger of letting Bill Shorten anywhere near The Lodge and the treasury benches. There are some other people who also cash in big time – for example Paladin Group, one of the biggest government contractors in Australia, having won tenders worth $423 million for its 22 months work on Manus. Continue reading Cashing in on refugees at Manus Island

Blackouts are not increasing, keep calm and carry on!

A myth has been vigorously stoked by Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg that an irrational frolic with renewables has made the electricity grid unreliable, as demonstrated conclusively by the state blackout in South Australia in 2016. This is now being taken into actual policy by Angus Taylor and Scott Morrison with “big stick” penalties and government intervention to produce “fair dinkum 24/7” power.

This myth has now been thoroughly debunked by a Grattan Institute report Keep calm and carry on: Managing electricity reliability. Blaming renewables for reliability issues is “wrong and dangerous”. Continue reading Blackouts are not increasing, keep calm and carry on!

Weekly salon 9/2

1. Judge rejects coal mine

Here’s an image of a cow paddock that was going to be dug up for coal mining at Gloucester in the mid north coast of NSW::

The very picture of rural tranquility, this Gloucester paddock will remain safe for cows – not home to earth-gouging machines. Photo: ABC

Perhaps the most important thing that happened in Australia in the last week was that Chief Judge Brian Preston of the NSW Land Court rejected Rocky Hill mine near Gloucester, NSW, because of its impact on the town and ‘dire consequences’ of increasing emissions: Continue reading Weekly salon 9/2

Angus Taylor is trying to steal the electricity system

When I logged on Tuesday there was an alert from John Davidson of a lead article at RenewEconomy Coalition energy plan “unworkable”, as Taylor charges into coal. It sent shivers up my spine.

There is PM Scott Morrison, shallow, ignorant and complacent, when first asked about climate change he admitted he’d never really thought about it.

There is Angus Taylor, bull-headed, supremely confident, and just plain wrong.

While Taylor’s “big stick” Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018 is the subject of Senate Standing Committee on Economics hearings (see submissions here) he is pressing on with establishing tenders for “24/7” reliable power in what appears to be a mad rush to lock in contracts before the expected “caretaker” period begins in mid April, ahead of the anticipated mid-May poll. Continue reading Angus Taylor is trying to steal the electricity system

Weekly salon 1/2

1. How does ScoMo intend to face up to parliament?

You will recall that back in December ScoMo closed parliament and scarpered rather than face up to a bill promoted by Kerryn Phelps on setting some rules which would see doctors’ assessments of health matters being taken seriously in relation to medical evacuations from Nauru and Manus Island.

Continue reading Weekly salon 1/2

Too good to be true? Is green flying really possible?

This is a long post, around 5,000 words, wherein I go down many rabbit holes. Perhaps at the end, though, there is a little pot of genuine climate gold.

At any given time there are more than half a million people in the sky, a veritable city about 11 kilometres up, strapped into seats in pressurised tubes atop gigantic flying tanks of kerosene. Looking forward, numbers of air travellers are increasing by 5% each year. Continue reading Too good to be true? Is green flying really possible?

Feeding the 10 billion

Suggested topic for discussion:

This report looks at ways of feeding future world populations without trashing the planet even further.

It’s no secret that the course we’re on with food production and consumption is in need of serious correcting, but a major new report from a global team of scientists has laid out the kind of maneuvering needed to set us on a sustainable path. Billed as a planetary health diet for both the Earth and its people, the set of guidelines put forward by the EAT-Lancet Commission gun for nothing short of a “Great Food Transformation,” something they say would feed 10 billion people, save lives and avoid large-scale environmental destruction.

The team’s proposed diet allows for the consumption of no more than 98 g (3.45 oz) of red meat a week, 203 g (7.1 oz) of chicken and 196 g (6.1 oz) of fish. Meanwhile, the diet suggests consuming at least 500 g (17.6 oz) of fruits and vegetables, 125 g of dry beans, lentils, peas and other nuts and legumes each day. While this presents a massive shift for many, it won’t appear all that foreign to folks in some parts of the world.

Apart from diet issues that need to be discussed include water consumption, more efficient use of fertilizers and land and what can be done to produce food in very arid areas.

 

 

Weekly salon 13/1

1. Saudi teen feared for life while waiting on Australia refugee ruling

Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun had applied to come to Australia.

But she told SBS News the process was taking too long and she feared for her life because her father and brother were in Thailand.

“Yes, toooooo long,” she responded to SBS News, when asked about the length of time. Continue reading Weekly salon 13/1

Climate change by the numbers

In 1999 NASA lost its $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter because spacecraft engineers failed to convert from Imperial to metric measurements when exchanging vital data before the craft was launched. Numbers are important!

When Michael Le Page attempts to sort out the numbers in climate science (probably pay-walled) it’s not as straight forward as you might think. For starters we are given this image:

When ice melts, sea level rises – but how much, and how fast? Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative

Sorry, when floating ice melts the sea level does not rise. The caption is misleading. Continue reading Climate change by the numbers

Climate change, sustainability, plus sundry other stuff