Category Archives: Climate Change & Sustainability

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

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

Adani casts a long shadow over Batman

Bill Shorten probably knows Labor can’t win the byelection in the Melbourne seat Batman while supporting the far-away Adani coal mining project at Carmichael in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland. So he looks set to oppose the mine.

However, Queensland LNP senators Matt Canavan and Ian Macdonald and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry have invited Shorten to come to Townsville to explain his position there, and ultimately that is what he must do. Continue reading Adani casts a long shadow over Batman

Turnbull future proofs the Reef!

Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $60 million package to rescue the Great Barrier Reef. If you believe him!

Here are two headlines, the first from an article from last year by scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science:

The second is from the New Scientist (probably pay-walled):

Continue reading Turnbull future proofs the Reef!

Oceans heading for mass extinction

    a 2015 study found there is no techno-fix to prevent a catastrophic collapse of ocean life for centuries if not millennia if we continue current CO2 emissions trends through 2050.

A study published in May 2017 tells us that oxygen is depleting in the oceans two or three times faster than expected.

From Think Progress:

    by combining oxygen loss with ever-worsening ocean warming and acidification, humans are re-creating the conditions that led to the worst-ever extinction, which killed over 90 percent of marine life 252 million years ago.

Continue reading Oceans heading for mass extinction

Sizzling summers presage a global future

Back in 2003 a heatwave centred in France killed over 70,000 people. Another which struck Moscow in 2010 killed 10,000. During the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria 173 people tragically lost their lives from the fire. However, health authorities believe Victoria’s record-breaking heatwave may have contributed to the deaths of about another 374 people with the state’s death toll 62% higher than at same time in the previous year.

The elderly were worst affected, but the very young and those in frail health are also typically affected in events like this. Continue reading Sizzling summers presage a global future