Category Archives: Climate Change & Sustainability

Posts on aspects of climate science, climate action and climate policy & planning.

Our legacy to the children

Last week school children of Australia marked the card of the Morrison government on climate change and gave it a fail. Was this too harsh?

On Q&A last Monday a Melbourne boy called Marco asked the panel:

    “I’m greatly concerned about my future and the future of children all around the world who will suffer the consequences of climate change more than anyone else,” Marco said.

    “A few days ago thousands of students from around Australia, like me, went on strike from school to demand that the Government acts on climate change.

    “When will the Government start to care about my future and children around the world by acting on climate change and create a strong climate policy?”

Continue reading Our legacy to the children

Suffer the children

Perth College student Bella Caruso, 11, is going on strike in support of action on climate change.

ScoMo didn’t get the message:

    whoso shall offend one of these little ones … it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Continue reading Suffer the children

ScoMo makes it personal

PM Scott Morrison’s government has just been rated by voters polled in Newspoll at 45-55 TPP against Labor, which would translate to a 20-seat loss if an election were held today.

You can’t beat Labor on policy, that’s the lesson Michael Kroger took from Victoria, so ScoMo has decided to make it personal, telling Bill Shorten the election is ‘between you and me’:

Continue reading ScoMo makes it personal

Climate clippings 228

1. Unsubsidised wind and solar now cheapest form of bulk energy

That is the case in all major economies except Japan, according to BNEF. From RenewEconomy:

    The latest report says the biggest news comes in the two fastest growing energy markets, China and India, where it notes that “not so long ago coal was king”. Not any more.

    “In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants,” the report says, and this is despite the recent imposition of import tariffs on solar cells and modules. Continue reading Climate clippings 228

Big investors slam ‘big stick’ approach

Today’s AFR carries an article Investors warn of consequences of cutting electricity retailer margins (the print version was “‘Crazy’ to target energy retail margins, warn big investors”):

    Big investors have slammed the Morrison government’s “big stick” approach to the electricity sector, saying any move to force companies to cut prices will have a major impact on profits, future investment and result in less competition in the long term. Continue reading Big investors slam ‘big stick’ approach

Sovereign risk is now real

Energy industry warns Morrison power plans would disrupt market was the story to begin the week in the AFR. Meridian Energy Australia chief executive Ed McManus said that the government intervention risked crowding out investors from the energy market and creating a “spiral effect”:

    “The more the government do things, the more private investors hold back. The more private investors hold back, the more there is a need for government to do things,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

    “You get in a position where, looking out several years, the market as we know it disintegrates. When that happens you need very, very deep pockets to fill the gap.”

Continue reading Sovereign risk is now real

Climate clippings 227

1. Bill Ferris: Coalition can’t stop energy shift

That was the headline in the dead tree version of the AFR. Bill Ferris is the outgoing Science and Innovation Australia chair. He says he didn’t find the Coalition government’s rewriting of the ACCC report to support coal-fired power a helpful signal, but:

    what I am seeing – and you see it in the US as well – is that business and state governments are getting on with alternative energy sources, mainly renewables and storage,” said Mr Ferris, a veteran venture capitalist.

    “That ain’t going to stop and it won’t stop because a government is concerned about the electoral impact. Continue reading Climate clippings 227

Climate clippings 226

The last Climate clippings was on July 2. Time to get back on the bike. Unfortunately this edition is not full of good news, apart from the prospect of eating the carcasses and droppings of bacteria feeding on hydrogen (see # 5). Next time I’ll try to catch up with some climate action.

1. Global Temperature in 2017

How warm is it now? The simple answer is that it is warmer than the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C told us, and it’s looking a bit like a fix. The Arctic News post IPCC keeps feeding the addiction tells how the baseline point for measuring warming has been cherry-picked and altered. And queries why they stopped at 2015, when the 2016 and 2017 temperatures were known. Continue reading Climate clippings 226

Moving to a Venezuelan energy policy

Scott Morrison put in a fine effort to stop the votes that would have retained Wentworth for the Liberals. And he succeeded. Now he seems intent on stopping the $200 billion worth of investment that will be needed to transform the electricity sector.

Craig Emerson in his weekly column for the AFR on Monday drew attention the Venezuelan comparison. On 22 November 2017 they passed a law:

    Known as the Constitutional Law of Agreed Prices, the law authorizes regulatory authorities to reach agreements with industry representatives on maximum sale prices for key staples.

Continue reading Moving to a Venezuelan energy policy

Brazil election climate alert

    In Brazil’s first-round election on October 7, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro outperformed what polls predicted to win 46% of the vote — less than 5 points short of an outright victory. His top rival, left-leaning Fernando Haddad, earned 29%. The two will face each other in an October 28 runoff.

That’s from AS/COA Poll Tracker.

According to Megan Darcy at Climate Home News, Bolsonaro plans to gut forest protections and open the Amazon to exploitation, while Haddad is promising to install half a million solar rooftops a year. Continue reading Brazil election climate alert

Wentworth a tipping point?

Cartoonist Mark David shows how Scott Morrison applied his proven skills in the Wentworth by-election:

Many commentators including Laura Tingle, talking to Phillip Adams, said the numerous own goals from the Coalition prior to the election turned enough votes away from the Liberal candidate David Sharma and towards Kerryn Phelps for the latter to win. The latest count shows Phelps ahead 51/49 two party preferred, with Phelps coming from a first preference count of 29.1% as against Sharma of 43.2%. Continue reading Wentworth a tipping point?