Climate Newsletter 28 April 2018

Newsletter from Jenny Goldie
President Climate Action Monaro

The great climate activist Bill McKibben  will be in Canberra on Wednesday 2 May and you can book here if you wish to go. I have included two articles by him below.

While the federal government assumes that the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) will be passed by COAG in August, nevertheless, on Monday, the Smart Energy Council (SEC) launched a $500,000 campaign to fight it. The SEC is concerned about NEG’s totally inadequate emission reduction targets. It believes NEG is essentially anti-renewables and could be worse than doing nothing at all as it still allows for the use of coal long past the point it should be kept in the ground.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been in the US and made an impressive speech to Congress on the need for action on climate change. His speech was interrupted frequently by standing ovations. He hopes the US will rejoin the Paris Agreement. Macron will be in Australia shortly.

With the support of Climate Action Monaro, the regional conference of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW is happening in Queanbeyan, on the 26 and 27 of May with the twin subjects of renewable energy and forests.  You can register here. More information is available on their website which will be updated with the program shortly.

The Climate Council has issued yet another report, this time on land-clearing in Queensland and the implications for climate change. The Queensland government is hoping to curb the excessive land-clearing with legislation, but is meeting with stiff opposition, not least from the federal government who is concerned about its effect on farmers (but clearly not concerned about climate change).

I commend the long two-part article by one of Australia’s leading climate activists, Ian Dunlop, below. He argues that our federal politicians and bureaucracy, by failing to act on climate change, are not fulfilling their fiduciary duties to the public.

There’s another article below about social scientist Mayer Hillman who claims that, because of climate change, we’re all doomed. Because it’s a bit grim, the remaining articles are essentially good news stories so you don’t get too depressed.

 


Climate Change: The fiduciary responsibility of politicians & bureaucrats
Ian Dunlop
After three decades of global inaction, none more so than in Australia, human-induced climate change is now an existential risk to humanity.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/climate-change-fiduciary-responsibility-politicians-bureaucrats-59891/


Hiroshima, Kyoto, and the bombs of climate change
Bill McKibben
The Japanese cities are symbols of the greatest threats that humanity has ever faced: nuclear weapons and global warming. What makes those threats different?
https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/hiroshima-kyoto-and-the-bombs-of-climate-change


Pay up fossil fuel industry – your free ride to pollute is over
Bill McKibben
One of the largest environmental campaigns in history is unfolding in Australia.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/fossil-fuel-industry-free-ride-pollution-mckibben-20180424-p4zbbl.html


‘We’re doomed’: Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention
The 86-year-old social scientist says accepting the impending end of most life on Earth might be the very thing needed to help us prolong it
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention


The world needs to store billions of tons of carbon. It could start in a surprising place.
The ethanol industry is environmentally controversial, but now it may have a big opportunity to cut its emissions.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/23/the-world-needs-to-store-billions-of-tons-of-carbon-it-could-start-off-in-a-surprising-place/


How windmills as wide as jumbo jets are making clean energy mainstream
The global wind turbine industry has transformed from a collection of small companies in Denmark to corporations pulling off enormous feats of engineering.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/04/23/business/energy-environment/big-windmills.html


Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5m to cover US Paris climate commitment
Former NYC mayor criticises Trump for pulling out of deal
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/michael-bloomberg-paris-climate-pact


Grassland plants react unexpectedly to high levels of carbon dioxide
Plants are responding in unexpected ways to increased carbon dioxide in the air, according to a 20-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uom-rbg042018.php


As United States looks to coal, China invests in renewable energy
At least one country is rising to the occasion.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/united-states-looks-coal-china-invests-renewable-energy-33858/


The world needs to store billions of tons of carbon. It could start in a surprising place.
The ethanol industry is environmentally controversial, but now it may have a big opportunity to cut its emissions.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/23/the-world-needs-to-store-billions-of-tons-of-carbon-it-could-start-off-in-a-surprising-place/


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