Weekly salon 21/8

1. Adani’s problems mount

The IEEFA has issued a warning that Contracting with Adani Australia entails counterparty risks.

They say self funding is basically impossible, because Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) does not have the capacity to fund it. Adani Mining is already carrying $1.8 billion of debt in Australia. The project would require the coal market to stay robust for decades. Tim Buckley:

    “In IEEFA’s view, Adani’s Carmichael thermal coal proposal is unviable and unbankable on any normal commercial evaluation, absent massive government subsidy support in both India and Australia,” says Buckley.

    “Adani’s suggestion it will self-fund this proposal is a clear acknowledgement of this.”

Continue reading Weekly salon 21/8

Australia’s climate credibility shredded in Pacific ‘step up’ disaster

In the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) climate change is seen as an existential threat. ‘Existential’ in the sense that life for the Pacific islanders is embedded in community and place. Shifting to higher ground somewhere else is not a solution. (See Geoff Henderson’s excellent guest post Climate refugees in the Central Pacific -the Republic of Kiribati)

To put the best construction on what happened, Pacific leaders and Australia agreed to disagree about action on climate change.

PIF chair, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, said to Australian PM Scott Morrison:

    “You are concerned about saving your economy in Australia … I am concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu.”

Continue reading Australia’s climate credibility shredded in Pacific ‘step up’ disaster

Water from thin air

As I reported recently, ten towns in northern NSW and the Southern Downs in Qld are at high risk of running out of water. Indeed news.com reports that Stanthorpe could be dry by Christmas, with nearby Warwick at risk of running out in 17 months’ time.

Nature worked out how to extract water from desert air with the evolution of the Namibian fog beetle (above). The image is from my files, so I’ve posted about it before, I reckon about 10 years ago. I googled and found this article: Continue reading Water from thin air

Weekly salon 11/8

1. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, PM

Martin Fletcher in the New Statesman says that Brits have given a con man the keys to the kingdom:

    Boris Johnson’s arrival in Downing Street as prime minister signals the end of the UK as a serious country.

Continue reading Weekly salon 11/8

Weekly salon 6/8

1. Tears in the rain

I don’t often note the passing of famous people, because there are so many. Recently I was touched by news of the passing of Rutger Hauer, who played the replicant Roy Batty who was meant to be hunted down and killed Harrison Ford’s character Rick Deckard in Bladerunner. See the final part of the scene in “I Saw the Future”: Rutger Hauer (RIP) Remembers His Most Memorable Role in Blade Runner. Continue reading Weekly salon 6/8

How to lose an election

Typically the media describe Labor’s loss as a drubbing, which it wasn’t. Leaving Qld aside, Labor won 62 of 121 seats, the LNP 54, and the crossbench 5. Qld was the shocker, losing 4.34% TPP to land on 58-42 to the LNP, which is nearly wipe-out territory.

So there was a story about what happened in Queensland, yet as Anthony Albanese told Katharine Murphy in a podcast, Labor’s primary vote was an all time low. Labor now has to convince about 1.2 million people to change their vote. So he for one understands that Labor needs to appeal to a wide variety of people. Continue reading How to lose an election

Weekly salon 1/8

1. Will they ever learn?

ABC’s 7.30 Report on Monday looked at Centrelink still operating it’s robo debt scam, where taxation records are matched with Centrelink payments. The program starts with an example where a citizen in Hobart received a demand from a debt collector for $7,000 to be paid immediately. Her wages would be garnisheed if she didn’t pay, they said.

The process then is that the victim has to prove her innocence by showing pay slips etc, bank records etc. In this case more than 7 years had passed, so the bank no longer kept records. Continue reading Weekly salon 1/8

Climate action: a doddle or deep adaptation?

Again, this post started as an edition of Climate clippings.

Where I ended up after a series of happenings as described below, is concluding that we need a paradigm shift in our climate change aspirations. Instead of trying to limit warming to a point where we can avoid dangerous climate change, we need to recognize that we’ve already gone too far, that the climate is already dangerous, so we should aim to ratchet down GHG concentrations in the atmosphere to attain a safe climate.

1. Germans look to 7.4 trillion tons of fake snow to save the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Continue reading Climate action: a doddle or deep adaptation?

Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day occurred on Monday 29 July this year.  It  is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.

We went to a local church to ring the church bell in alarm and sorrow that this day had occurred so early this year.

The ringing of the bell made me wonder how long it will take before there is no sickness or sorrow because there is no-one left to be sick or sorrowful.

The ringing made me wonder how long it will take before there is no joy because there is no-one left who can feel joy.

In my darkest moment I wondered whether the last human to die has already been born.

Saudis throw a spanner

Climate science was buried at a meeting in Bonn. Meanwhile diplomats planted trees to symbolise their intention to combat desertification (Photo: UNFCCC)

At a mid-year meeting of UNFCCC in Bonn this year in June a small group of countries led by Saudi Arabia have put the kybosh on any formal consideration of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C in the UNFCCC forum. Continue reading Saudis throw a spanner

Weekly salon 15/7

1. It is untenable for the Coalition to reject the Uluru statement twice

That’s what Paddy Manning says:

    It makes no sense whatsoever for the prime minister to appoint Ken Wyatt as the first Indigenous minister for Indigenous Australians, give him his head on a bipartisan approach to a referendum in a major speech at the National Press Club, then, within 48 hours, veto the one position about which those who devised the Uluru Statement from the Heart feel most strongly about – namely, a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament.

Continue reading Weekly salon 15/7

Climate change, sustainability, plus sundry other stuff