Saving the planet

At the Paris climate conference a surprise result was for the world to aim to hold “the increase in … temperature to well below 2°C … and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”.

Fred Pearce in the New Scientist now takes a look at what some are saying needs to be done. Continue reading Saving the planet

Saturday salon 27/2

1. Trump trumps the rest

Trump looks unstoppable. In South Carolina he scored 32.5% to Rubio’s 22.5 and Cruz’s 22.3. The rest were in single figures and Jeb Busch dropped out. Never has anyone spent so much to achieve so little in preselection politics as Jeb did.

In Nevada Trump aced them with 45.9% ahead of Rubio with 23.9 and Cruz with 21.4.

It looks as though the Republicans are going to serve up the dipstick outsider for the election. Continue reading Saturday salon 27/2

Slowing Gulf Stream brings blizzard(s): extreme weather and climate change

IR-2015Z-1.22.16_250This time last year Cyclone Marcia destroyed 350 homes in Central Queensland (pictures here). This year Cyclone Winston, said to be the strongest ever in the Southern Hemisphere, ripped through Fiji. I think no-one is claiming these cyclones were caused by climate change, although their intensity could be linked.

In January, however, there was a huge blizzard that dumped record amounts of snow on the east coast of North America. Blizzard Jonas, said to be the fourth largest in history, is being linked to climate change in ways that are quite specific. Continue reading Slowing Gulf Stream brings blizzard(s): extreme weather and climate change

A July election to clear out the unrepresentative swill?

It’s been simmering below the surface for weeks, but has now burst forth. A plan to rid the Senate of the pesky cross bench and make government safe for the major parties.

Lenore Taylor was onto it last Friday. The LNP government have plotted with the Greens and Nick Xenophon to change the senate voting system, presumably to their advantage. I suspect the real winner may be Xenophon, having turned himself into a party and able to pull from left and right. He may end up controlling the balance of power in the senate no matter who wins the Reps. Certainly the micro parties are up for the chop. Continue reading A July election to clear out the unrepresentative swill?

Negative gearing

5776592-3x2-340x227_250There are a few things we need to bear in mind when discussing the effects of proposed changes to negative gearing.

According to the AFR median weekly incomes in Sydney have increased by 17 per cent in the past eight years, while house prices have nearly doubled from $546,000 to more than $1 million. In Melbourne over the past six years median incomes have increased by 10 per cent while house prices have risen by 70 per cent, from $442,000 to $749,999. Prices are high and are due for a correction. Continue reading Negative gearing

Saturday salon 20/2

1. Morrison muffs his lines and Turnbull in trouble

Laura Tingle talking to Phillip Adams gave Scott Morrison 3 out of 10 for his speech to the National Press Club. We were promised vision and leadership when they turfed out Tony, now it looks like tinkering at the edges.

Teflon Turnbull had a bad week. Continue reading Saturday salon 20/2

Australia’s greenhouse emissions to peak after 2030

    Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions have increased for the first time in 10 years and are not expected to peak until after 2030, according to a new report.

By 2020 emissions will grow by 6%, leaving Australia 4% above 2000 levels compared with our official target of -5%. Not to worry, we will use carry-over credits under the Kyoto Protocol to formally meet our international commitments. Continue reading Australia’s greenhouse emissions to peak after 2030

SA keeps the nuclear dream alive

The key tentative finding of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission is:

    Taking account of future demand and anticipated costs of nuclear power under the existing electricity market structure, it would not be commercially viable to generate electricity from a nuclear power plant in South Australia in the foreseeable future.

However they think nuclear power may be necessary in the future to meet emission reduction targets, so:

    It would be wise to plan now to ensure that nuclear power would be available should it be required.

Continue reading SA keeps the nuclear dream alive

More asset stripping of the aged

Carnell_c5fd8e72dc32fd006b3f0401f5998fda_220Kate Carnell, wearing her Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hat, recently called for budget cuts to what it calls “runaway spending” on the aged pension, family tax benefits and childcare, lest we become an economic basket case like Greece. It contained this little gem:

A key part of the ACCI submission is to review the aged pension and to force retirees who own homes to transform the pension into a loan that would be repaid when the home is sold. Continue reading More asset stripping of the aged

Climate clippings 163

1. Tesla Powerwall explained

    The Powerwall is a 7 kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion-battery system that stores electricity generated from rooftop solar panels (or PV panels) during the day so that electricity can be used at night during the peak-usage times.

Most existing solar panel owners will need to obtain a new inverter to connect with the grid. Continue reading Climate clippings 163