Category Archives: Climate Change & Sustainability

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

NEG becomes a farce

Malcolm Turnbull specialises in scapegoating and threatening, while Josh Frydenberg sits there looking vacant, as well he might, until it’s his turn.

Danny Price in an article well worth reading, says Politicians have destroyed the trust needed to make the NEG work.

Kane Thornton CEO of the Clean Energy Council says NEG car is worth buying, even if tyres need pumping up, the flat tyre to him being the 26% emissions reduction target, which will be met by work under way before the NEG starts. If you want to use that analogy, the NEG is like a car without an engine, because it does no work.

David Leitch has two compelling articles – Energy (In)security Board and its modelling spreadsheet and Know your NEM: The ESB is becoming a laughing stock. If, however, you want to read just one article, read Simon Holmes à Court’s NEG promises death of wind and solar, and even battery storage. Continue reading NEG becomes a farce

NEG policy disaster won’t fly

On the weekend Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg gently reminded the Coalsheviks in the LNP Coalition that they should not be flirting with the idea of coal-fired power, because

    we have to factor in a “carbon-constrained future”.

He warns that they may be investing in what will become ‘stranded assets’ before they wear out.

Why doesn’t he tell them like it really is? Tell them to look out the window.

The heatwave in Europe this year has been assessed as ‘five times’ more likely because of climate change. The northern summer’s heat is being recognised as the strongest climate signal yet. Wildfires have raced through neighborhoods in the western United States, Greece and as far north as the Arctic Circle. Drought is threatening food supplies: Continue reading NEG policy disaster won’t fly

Climate scientist with God on her side

Or it may be God with climate scientist on her side. Whichever, Katharine Hayhoe is one smart lady. A New Scientist interview (no doubt pay-walled) caught my interest.

There is a longer interview at Carbon Brief which rewards reading. She’s one of the most informed, balanced and insightful climate scientists I’ve come across. Continue reading Climate scientist with God on her side

BlueScope signs up with 500,000-panel solar farm

In the largest solar power purchasing deal ever by an industrial energy user in Australia BlueScope Steel will take the bulk of the electricity from the 133MW (AC) Finley Solar Farm to be built 100km west of Albury.

There’s more at RenewEconomy: Continue reading BlueScope signs up with 500,000-panel solar farm

Who turned the heat up?

“Emissions increased the chances of seeing a summer as hot as 2017’s by at least a factor of 10”.

According to the New Scientist (pay-walled), that is the kind of information we could soon be getting with our evening weather report.

Better climate models and faster computers will soon give timely information which once took years about the human influence on significant weather events. Climate scientists used to say that it was impossible to attribute any specific weather event to climate change in real time. However, the science of climate attribution has matured. The World Weather Attribution project was able to make the above statement about the weather from June to August in 2017 by the following month in September. Continue reading Who turned the heat up?

Adani will cost jobs

The development of Adani’s Carmichael mine has always been sold as a job-creating venture. In fact it will be a highly automated mine, creating jobs mostly in the cities. A new report has found that the development of Carmichael and the subsequent development of the Galilee basin will cost about 12,500 jobs in existing coal mining regions and replace only two in three workers. Continue reading Adani will cost jobs

EnergyAustralia targets niche created by Liddell closure

EnergyAustralia looks set to sink $400 million into a new peaking gas power station, but have warned that the investment case would collapse if Canberra’s Coalshevik politicians force AGL’s ageing Liddell plant to stay open or if a new coal plant is built.

Their new gas plant will not supply ‘baseload’ power. rater, it will be fast-start and run on demand, operating only at peak times or when other plants suffer outages. This indicates it will mainly operate on the spot market, but in doing so will help prevent spikes up to the maximum $14,000 a megawatt-hour limit. Continue reading EnergyAustralia targets niche created by Liddell closure

‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass

On Wednesday morning Ben Potter’s article in the AFR Coalition fiddles as renewables remake grid told business leaders and politicians what is actually happening before their eyes.

Over at the Oz the headline was:

      Abbott call: Pull out of Paris deal

    and

        NATS DEMAND THREE COAL POWER STATIONS

      So, what is going on? We’ll look at the Nats first, then Abbott, and finally, the real world. Things are coming to a crunch point which will determine how Malcolm Turnbull’s stewardship is seen by future generations. Continue reading ‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass

      Climate clippings 225

      1. Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, by Elisabeth Rush

      A review by Dave Hage at Star Tribune of Elizabeth Rush’s new book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore says it is “a lovely and thoughtful book, so lyrical that you forget how much science it delivers.”

        Rush, who teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University, has chosen to examine climate change through the lens of American places and people devastated by rising seas and higher temperatures. Reading her book is like learning ecology at the feet of a poet rather than a scientist.

      Continue reading Climate clippings 225

      Australians speak: what does the government hear?

      In the Lowy Institute Poll 2018 (interactive version here) respondents were asked to rate 11 threats to Australia’s vital interests as (1) a critical threat, (2) an important but not critical threat, or (3) not an important threat at all. Here’s the result:

      At 58% climate change came third. However, a stubborn 11% thought climate change not a threat at all. Continue reading Australians speak: what does the government hear?

      Antarctic ice loss rates have tripled since 2012

      A new study has found that Antarctic ice loss and sea level rise rates have tripled since 2012.

      This assessment involves 84 scientists from more than 40 institutions, and combines data from 24 satellite surveys. It follows in the footsteps of the first IMBIE (Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise) conducted in 2012, and paints a particularly grim picture of the years between then and 2017. Continue reading Antarctic ice loss rates have tripled since 2012

      National emissions audit shows NSW in some trouble

      The Australia Institute has instituted a National Energy Emissions Audit , which Giles Parkinson wrote about at RenewEconomy.

      The April-May update tells us:

      • The capacity of large-scale solar generation supplying the National Electricity Market tripled between March and early May.
      • South Australia became a net energy exporter for the first time in March, selling the state’s abundant wind-generated power into Victoria.
      • NSW coal-fired power stations have been consistently at 65% capacity despite three closures and speculation over Liddell, with imports switching from Victoria to Queensland post Hazelwood.

      Continue reading National emissions audit shows NSW in some trouble