UN meeting failure, so what now?

This is the final version of a post first published on Thursday 26 September. This version contains additional material, and a considerable amount of the earlier version has been pruned.

I hope to do a specific post on the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Meanwhile we have a closing media release from the summit. While it tells us that “77 countries committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, [and] while 70 countries announced they will either boost their national action plans by 2020 or have started the process of doing so”, none of the large emitters were included. Matt McDonald, Associate Professor of International Relations at the The University of Queensland, gives a neat summary with lots of links in Highly touted UN climate summit failed to deliver – and Scott Morrison failed to show up.

One success of the Summit was Greta Thunberg’s amazing speech:

Greta Thunberg “We’ll be watching you!”
Continue reading UN meeting failure, so what now?

Weekly salon 22/9

1. From the sublime to the ridiculous

I loved learning German at university through it’s poets and other great writers. One reason I never mastered colloquial German was it’s practice of borrowing foreign words and then rendering them in a way that just isn’t true to the Sprachgefühl (intuitive feeling for the natural idiom of a language. So we have:

Borrowed from Mark’s Facebook, not sure where he got it from. Continue reading Weekly salon 22/9

The urgency of now

Our country is burning up and the powers-that-be refuse to help, so it’s time to show them we’ve had enough (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

In 1988 James Hansen addressed the US Senate warning of the danger of climate change. Ostensibly the world took notice in the Earth Summit at Rio and the establishment of the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) which meets in the Conference of Parties for two weeks in early December each year. It gave us the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. However, as I indicated in Four graphs that matter in the climate emergency: bonus edition, the effect on rising CO2 emissions is invisible:

    The emissions are increasing and that is the only thing that matters.

This is what was shown for July 01, 2019 at Muana Loa:

Continue reading The urgency of now

Four graphs that matter in the climate emergency: bonus edition

This is an updated version earlier post, slightly shorter, where I have deleted some material in favour of new material, especially towards the end, and sharpening some points along the way.

First graph

Greta Thunberg, the girl who can’t quit, said:

    The emissions are increasing and that is the only thing that matters.

This is what was shown for July 01, 2019 at Muana Loa:

Continue reading Four graphs that matter in the climate emergency: bonus edition

Weekly salon 7/9

1. Storms for Hansen’s grandchildren

(From Hurricane Dorian: devastation and destruction in the Bahamas – in pictures)

John Schwartz at the NYT (posted at Lethal Heating) asks How Has Climate Change Affected Hurricane Dorian?

Michael Mann and Andrew E Dessler respond in Global Heating Made Hurricane Dorian Bigger, Wetter – And More Deadly. With warm seas and more moisture in the atmosphere hurricanes can intensify faster, contain more moisture, more wind power and move slower. This means greater flooding and a increased possibility of coinciding with high tides. Continue reading Weekly salon 7/9

The price of protest in fashion waste

When I was young, we wore clothes until the wore out. I had an elder brother, and got to wear hand-me-downs.

This all changed, possibly in the 1970s and 1980s. Now we have the phenomenon of single-use clothing, ironically often T-shirts worn by people crusading to save the planet. Richard di Natale is, I think, the Australian politician most often seen in T-shirts. During the last election he often looked like this:

Continue reading The price of protest in fashion waste

Weekly salon 1/9

1. Waiting for Godot

Part of my delay in completing this week’s edition was waiting for something that wasn’t ridiculous to happen. There is plenty like Boris Johnson suspending parliament, and Trump attacking Fox News, and Fox News hitting back.

To be honest, I’ve been knocked a bit askew by the David Spratt’s question At 4°C of warming, would a billion people survive? The answer according to some respected scientists is, in brief, probably not, something less than a billion, and 4°C seems to be where we are heading.

That would mean on average more than a million deaths from global warming each week for the next 90 years. Continue reading Weekly salon 1/9

Keeping the lights on

Last week began with a front page article in the AFR Victoria prone to blackouts this summer as grid wilts and ended with an AFR editorial How can Australia have third-world power blackouts?

The answer to that question is easy – we don’t have to avoid third-world blackouts because we don’t have them. The more important question is, why is Michael Stutchbury’s head in such a muddle? Stutchbury is editor in chief of the AFR and appeared on ABC Insiders this morning. Other panelists asked whether he had read “the report”. Continue reading Keeping the lights on

Weekly salon 21/8

1. Adani’s problems mount

The IEEFA has issued a warning that Contracting with Adani Australia entails counterparty risks.

They say self funding is basically impossible, because Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) does not have the capacity to fund it. Adani Mining is already carrying $1.8 billion of debt in Australia. The project would require the coal market to stay robust for decades. Tim Buckley:

    “In IEEFA’s view, Adani’s Carmichael thermal coal proposal is unviable and unbankable on any normal commercial evaluation, absent massive government subsidy support in both India and Australia,” says Buckley.

    “Adani’s suggestion it will self-fund this proposal is a clear acknowledgement of this.”

Continue reading Weekly salon 21/8

Climate change, sustainability, plus sundry other stuff