Category Archives: Climate Change & Sustainability

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

Labor needs to rethink the climate emergency

I pinched that cartoon from the Townsville Bulletin from Facebook, where it was doing the rounds. I think it’s tragic rather than funny, but may go some way to explain why Labor, in Queensland and federally, is over-reacting to the ‘message’ that was sent on Adani, and the prospect of jobs flowing from the resources industry as against climate change and saving the planet. Both Queensland and federal Labor appear to be caving in to coal interests, and both appear to be clueless about the urgency of the climate emergency. Continue reading Labor needs to rethink the climate emergency

Election follies 6: home run

1. Newspoll

The latest Newspoll, according to Twitter, so it must be right, was Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 38 (-1) ALP 37 (0) GRN 9 (0) UAP 4 (0) ON 3 (-1). Seriously, Kevin Bonham said on Twitter, that with those numbers, Labor would be unlucky to lose. The Newspoll site has Labor in front 51.5-48.5.

Bludger Track has Labor gaining 11 since 2016 to land on 80, with the LNP on 65 and Others on 6.

The suggestion is that the LNP’s primary vote of 38 going into the election is the lowest ever on Newspoll.

I think we should wait for the count. Continue reading Election follies 6: home run

Election 2019 follies 5: sundry stuff

1. Update

From Buzzfeed:

    Tony Abbott has said in a newspaper interview that Labor has a much better climate change policy than the Coalition

    – The Liberal party is releasing its costings tomorrow, two days before the election

    – Supporters of Liberal senator Jim Molan are causing waves within the Coalition as he tries to overcome his unfavourable position on the party ticket

    – Bob Hawke has written a letter praising Bill Shorten’s leadership and saying he is ready to be prime minister

    – The Clive Palmer advertising blitz continues as the ad blackout looms

    – Around three million people have already voted. (Emphasis added)

Continue reading Election 2019 follies 5: sundry stuff

What does Clive Palmer want? – Election 2019 follies 3

Clive Palmer wants balance of power in the senate. Why? He wants a future for coal mining, and the development of his Galilee Basin tenement. Simple as that.

So I’ll take a look at Palmer’s impact on the campaign and how the senate is likely to turn out.

Continue reading What does Clive Palmer want? – Election 2019 follies 3

Weekly salon 4/5

1. Thailand is ‘least miserable’ country in the world again

Thailand is happy about being the least miserable country in the world in the in the Bloomberg Misery Index, which is an economic indicator devised by Arthur Okun, and is derived by simply adding the forecasts of unemployment and inflation for the following year.

However, Thailand’s performance in the index is due to the Thai government’s unique way of tallying unemployment. More noteworthy are the performances of Switzerland, Japan and Singapore. For what it’s worth, here are the 10 least miserable: Continue reading Weekly salon 4/5

Election 2019: follies 1

The Grattan Institute found that providing tax cuts in the never-never while reducing government expenditure from 24.9% of GDP in 2018-19 to 23.6% during the next decade will necessitate cutting existing programs by more than A$40 billion a year in 2029-30. That should have been the story of the week, but somehow it wasn’t.

That’s Scott Morrison saying the claim is “absolute complete rubbish”. I’ll come back to that. Worse was to come. By the end of the week Bill Shorten was accusing the Liberal Party of running a “low-rent, American-style fake news” campaign on a “ridiculous death tax scare”. Continue reading Election 2019: follies 1

Labor’s climate action plan 2019 – a “dog’s breakfast?”

While Labor’s 2019 Climate Acton Plan has been completely rewritten compared to the plan they took to the 2016 election the target of 45% emissions reductions (from 2005) by 2030 remains the same. I can’t recall whether they espoused zero emissions by 2050, as they do now, I think it may have been 90%. Their overall strategy is, I think, based on six considerations.

Firstly, Labor acknowledges the cost of doing nothing:

    Failure to act on climate change will expose the Australian people and environment to devastating costs for our economy, society, security, health and environment. Experts at the ANU, University of Melbourne and CSIRO estimate failing to keep global warming to below two degrees will eventually cost the average Australian household $14,000 per year.

Secondly, they say:

    Labor accepts the science of climate change and endorses the Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below two degrees Celsius as well as a more qualified commitment around a 1.5 degree threshold.

Continue reading Labor’s climate action plan 2019 – a “dog’s breakfast?”

The original Brexit

The first Brexit happened a very long time ago. According to Richard Webb in Brexit, 10,000 BC: The untold story of how Britain first left Europe (New Scientist), the white cliffs of Dover did not exist 450,000 years ago, just rolling hills. However, as usual, there was an ice age, and a glacial lake was formed in what is now the North Sea:

Continue reading The original Brexit

Cloud tipping point could yield a cataclysmic 14°C warming

Clouds could trigger a feedback effect. Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

Commonly 2°C has been seen as the threshold for dangerous climate change, although last year the IPCC report on 1.5°C revealed that at that lower level we enter a zone where tipping points may take us to 4°C and beyond.

Levels of 4°C threaten civilisation as we know it. At 6°C we worry about the survival of the human race. However, at that point Tapio Schneider and his team at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, have found that there may be a further tipping point which heats the planet another 8°C to make it 14°C above pre-industrial levels (New Scientist, so probably pay-walled.)

How is this so? Continue reading Cloud tipping point could yield a cataclysmic 14°C warming

What would give hope to Greta Thunberg, the girl who can’t quit?

Greta Thunberg … ‘I have always been that girl in the back who doesn’t say anything.’ Photograph: Michael Campanella/The Guardian

Photo and story from The Guardian.

She was asked to talk to the billionaire entrepreneurs in Davos.

    “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act,” she told them.

Continue reading What would give hope to Greta Thunberg, the girl who can’t quit?

School strike 4 climate

That image is from the School strike 4 climate Facebook page. On Friday the School Strike 4 Climate website invites people to Join school students to strike for a safe climate!. It’s part of a Global #ClimateStrike which will involve action in over 90 countries.

    Pupils from hundreds of schools in over 55 cities and towns across Australia are using the action to call on all politicians to stop Adani’s coal mine, say no to all new fossil fuels and power Australia with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Continue reading School strike 4 climate

Climate clippings 231

1. ‘Time is Running Out’

According to Sharon Kelly at Desmog, that is a quote from a speech in 1965:

    “The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world’s peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.”

The speaker was concerned that by the year 2000 the heat balance would be so modified as to possibly cause marked changes in the climate. Continue reading Climate clippings 231