Category Archives: Climate Change & Sustainability

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

Saturday salon 14/4

1. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”

Two problems here. The first is that the above quotation is not found in the bible or Shakespeare, it’s a conflation of Ecclesiastes 8:15 and Isaiah 22:13, plus you could throw in Luke 12:19.

The second problem is more serious. It’s true – kind of. Comprehensive research has shown that if you drink more than five drinks a week every extra glass of wine ‘will shorten your life by 30 minutes’. Continue reading Saturday salon 14/4

AGL doubles down on Liddell plan

CEO Andrew Vesey has advised that AGL are ordering the equipment they need to convert Liddell’s turbines to “synchronous condensers” to fim up solar and wind energy. AGL’s plan for a clean energy hub to replace Liddell is going ahead, according to Ben Potter in the AFR.

Beyond tha,t the same edition of the AFR has an article explaining the conundrum of the Liddell fight, making particular reference to what the advice from AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) actually said. This issue was raised in the comments thread of the post Energy crisis? What energy crisis? AEMO boss Audrey Zibelman took exception to an article Malcolm Turnbull’s bid to flog Liddell to Alinta ill-advised: AEMO. Continue reading AGL doubles down on Liddell plan

Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

About a month ago Meridian Australia’s CEO Ed McManus said that while the electricity market can turn on a dime, stability had returned to the market and the trend looks good. They had just concluded a swag of hydro, wind and solar power deals which will deliver cheaper electricity than the company could buy in the wholesale market. So their retail arm Powershop was offering a 5 per cent price cut to consumers.

    Electricity contracts for delivery in 2019 were trading at more than $92 per megawatt hour in Victoria and $108/MWh in South Australia a year ago, when SA and NSW had just suffered power shortages and the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station loomed.

    Contracts for 2019 have since fallen to $82.90 in Victoria and $94.36 in SA, while contracts for delivery in Victoria in 2020 and 2021 are trading at $76/MWh and $69/MWh and contracts for 2020 and 2021 in SA are trading at $86/MWh and $85/MWh.

Continue reading Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

The South Australian election matters for climate change


When this is published SA voters will be lining up to select a new government. That is the hope. I understand the betting market favours a hung parliament. No pundit I’ve heard is willing to pick a winner. Kevin Bonham talks about the difficulty of modelling the outcome, with the entry of SA Best and the redistribution. The ABC has guidance on how we can follow the election and an Online Election Page.

On climate change the election matters. There is coverage at:

. Continue reading The South Australian election matters for climate change

Don’t write Adani off

Adani Australia’s chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj – known in the industry as “JJ” – has done an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review saying that their team at Adani has not wavered in their vision to build the Carmichael mine, rail and port project in Central Queensland. They’ve been working on it for seven years, have spent $3.3 billion to date, have 800 people working right now and have put up arguments to answer their critics.

Hear him out and see what you think. Continue reading Don’t write Adani off

Four Corners: Weather Alert

The Four Corners episode Weather Alert sets out its intent from the beginning:

    How Australia’s warming climate is changing the way we live and work.

    “This is very ‘now’. This isn’t a future problem which is 10 or 20 or 30 years (away).” Climate Risk Expert

    Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now.

Continue reading Four Corners: Weather Alert

Climate refugees in the Central Pacific -the Republic of Kiribati

In this guest post by Geoff Henderson takes us to the heart of how climate change poses a real and present danger to some of our Pacific neighbours.

Kiribati – pron. Keer-i-bas – is perhaps the world’s most immediate victim of climate change. One hundred and ten thousand Kiribatians will likely be the first climate change refugees. It is happening right now, and they will be the first of millions over the next decades. This is a two-part post. Part one explains the people and livelihood of Kiribatians and explains their plight. Continue reading Climate refugees in the Central Pacific -the Republic of Kiribati

New Deputy PM is a climate denier

New Deputy PM Michael McCormack (Mick Mack) is a garden variety climate denier according to Paddy Manning at The Monthly:

    Given he is our new deputy prime minister, it is not surprising that “who is Michael McCormack?” pieces are now popping up everywhere. And yet, they glide over his worst offence: he appears to be just another National Party climate change denier.

Continue reading New Deputy PM is a climate denier

Boosting Transport Capacity by Managing Demand

Most of us would like to be able to travel when, where and how we want to and for the transport system to be managed in such a way that there will always be enough capacity to allow us all these choices. The problem with this  “capacity management” approach is that a lot of money would have to be spent providing capacity that is only used for a very limited time of the day.  Without this extra spending we still have to continue putting up with congested roads and overloaded public transport during peak hours.

Required capacity could be reduced by managing the “when”, “how” and “where” choices. This post looks at some  “demand management” strategies that might be used to reduce peak capacity requirements  These strategies offer rapid, low cost  ways of getting more from the transport infrastructure we already have. It was concluded that a rapid, low cost doubling of capacity is not an impossible dream.

Continue reading Boosting Transport Capacity by Managing Demand

Climate clippings 222

1. Warming could soon exceed 1.5°C

The UK Met Office has warned that temperatures could break through the 1.5°C threshold within five years.

    The 1.5C threshold was set at Paris as an ambitious target because scientists fear that a world warmer than that would be susceptible to ever wilder climactic events that in turn would precipitate greater drought, habitat loss, food insecurity and mass migration.

The UN Environment Program in its annual emissions gap report, published last October, said government commitments were only a third of what was needed. Continue reading Climate clippings 222

Climate clippings 221

I’ve just noticed that last September I followed CC 214 with CC 115. My bad.

1. Solar, wind and hydro could power the world, at lower cost

That is according to an updated study by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and Aalborg University in Denmark summarised by Giles Parkinson.

    it lays out three different methods of not just providing 100 per cent renewables for electricity, but also for heating and cooling, for transportation, and even agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Continue reading Climate clippings 221

Cosmic ray theory strikes again

Last Monday the ‘cosmic ray’ theory of climate change struck again when Amanda Vanstone at ABC RN’s Counterpoint found:

    Climate change may be largely caused by solar events, letting humans off the hook, claims Danish researcher Henrik Svensmark.

It has been a standard myth, debunked at Climate Skeptic. Now Svensmark and others have conducted new research published in Nature, which got this billing at Science News:

    The missing link between exploding stars, clouds, and climate on Earth
    Breakthrough in understanding of how cosmic rays from supernovae can influence Earth’s cloud cover and thereby climate

Continue reading Cosmic ray theory strikes again