Climate Newsletter 16 April 2018

Newsletter from Jenny Goldie

President Climate Action Monaro

A massive bushfire to the south-west of Sydney with a 60km front should be concentrating the minds of everyone on climate change. While it may have been deliberately lit, its size is a function of Sydney experiencing its hottest April ever with little rain, which in turn is most likely related to climate change.

The #StopAdani campaign reports that Turnbull’s government is still considering giving Adani up to $1 billion of taxpayer money from Efic (provides finance for Australian exporters). Labor still supports Adani’s dirty coal mine ‘if it stacks up’. So from 30 April  to 13 May local politicians will be confronted with #StopAdani materials everywhere they go. And from 14-27 May there will be posters saying No Money for Adani Actions at Liberal National MP offices. And in Labor electorates (such as ours), watch for Politics in the Pub events.

As you know, COAG meets this week to discuss the National Energy Guarantee. There have been some concessions made, and South Australia under the new Liberal government is weakening in its opposition, so unfortunately it may go through. Fortunately, though, Victoria and Queensland are insisting on strong renewable targets being included. Meanwhile, the ever-splendid Climate Council has released a new briefing paper, “What are Stakeholders Saying About the National Energy Guarantee?”

Don’t forget the great climate activist Bill McKibben will be speaking in Canberra on 2 May at 6pm at the QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit. It costs $28/$20 and you can book here.

The Victorian and federal governments have promised to pump $50 million each into a near $496 million project to gassify brown coal in Victoria and produce just three tonnes of hydrogen. While hydrogen has some virtues as an alternative fuel, ReNew Economy’s Giles Parkinson rightly asks “Has the world gone completely mad

Some of us went to an excellent talk at ANU last week by climate scientist Dr Joëlle Gergis who spoke to her new book “Sunburnt Country” which is about the history and future of climate change in Australia. I commend it to you.

On the international scene, it appears that the Gulf Stream is weakening significantly, probably caused by the intrusion of cold fresh water from melting Greenland glaciers. This weakening will have a cooling effect on western Europe, though the cooling ultimately may be balanced out by overall global warming.


Out-of-control bushfire still threatening homes in Sydney as inferno changes direction

Firefighters have been working frantically to protect properties in Sydney’s south-west, where an out-of-control blaze has burnt through the Holsworthy army base and left a 500-hectare trail of destruction.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-14/bushfire-in-south-west-sydney-prompts-emergency-alert/9659310

Voters split on whether Coalition should build new coal plants or stop closures

Poll shows strong support for energy efficiency measures despite divide on generators
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/16/voters-split-on-whether-coalition-should-build-new-coal-plants-or-stop-closures

Energy guarantee talks in ACT this week

The federal government’s National Energy Guarantee may meet resistance from states and territories which are investing in cutting their carbon emissions.
https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/04/16/06/20/energy-guarantee-talks-in-act-this-week

States threaten to call off energy deal if renewables undermined

Queensland and Victoria hedge bets about national energy guarantee, saying they won’t compromise on keeping strong renewables targets
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/12/states-threaten-to-call-off-energy-deal-if-renewables-undermined

Victoria renewables auction attracts 3,500MW of bids, as state warns on NEG

Victoria says its renewables auction six-times over-subscribed, and warns it won’t accept NEG in current form.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-renewables-auction-attracts-3500mw-of-bids-as-state-warns-on-neg-15132/

At some point, climate change must be injected into the energy debate

Peter Hannam
It is past time the state of the climate actually got a look-in when it comes to debating what path our energy system should take.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/at-some-point-climate-change-must-be-injected-into-the-energy-debate-20180411-p4z8yl.html

Reality check on a half-billion-dollar brown coal hydrogen project

Is the brown coal to hydrogen plant a carbon-emitting white elephant, or can it make Australia a new energy world leader?
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/reality-check-on-a-half-billion-dollar-brown-coal-hydrogen-project-20180412-p4z98n.html

Turnbull’s brown coal hydrogen horror show: $500m for 3 tonnes

Giles Parkinson
Turnbull hails half a billion dollar, year long project that will turn Victoria brown coal into just three tonnes of hydrogen fuel. Has the world gone completely mad?
https://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbulls-brown-coal-hydrogen-horror-show-500m-for-3-tonnes-70932/

Climate change and extreme weather: Science is proving the link

Pinning down blame for complex weather events isn’t straightforward. But cutting-edge science is rapidly shrinking the space to argue that the crazy weather we’re experiencing isn’t due to greenhouse gas emissions.
http://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-and-extreme-weather-science-is-proving-the-link/a-43323706

Gulf Stream current at its weakest in 1,600 years

Warm current that has historically caused dramatic changes in climate is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown and may be less stable than thought – with potentially severe consequences
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/11/critical-gulf-stream-current-weakest-for-1600-years-research-finds

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