Climate Newsletter 8 Oct 2018

This bulletin is a bit late, largely because I held off for the release of the IPCC report on 1.5oC warming today.

Basically, the report says that if we are not to exceed 1.5oC warming over pre-industrial levels, it ‘will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’. With global emissions needing to fall by 45% on 2010 levels by 2030, the clear message is that we have to move away from fossil fuels, particularly coal.

The IPCC report, while seemingly dire, isn’t quite dire enough according to some. For instance, it says we will reach 1.5oC warming by 2040. Melbourne climate scientists, however, say it is more likely in about a decade (2026-2031).

I gather from the Canberra Times today that Australian officials tried to remove this call to phase out coal when the summary was being prepared. The Minister for Environment, Melissa Price, denies this. This is the person who for weeks sat on the report about Australian emissions still rising, only to release it late in the day before Grand Final weekend, so her credibility leaves something to be desired.

Not that Minister Price is necessarily the worst in this government. Take the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, for instance who on Monday said he would not to spend money on climate conferences and “all that nonsense.” Or backbencher Craig Kelly who said: “The climate was always dangerous. We didn’t make it dangerous, [and] it’s fossil fuels that protect us from that climate.” Spare us.

No surprise then, that the CEO of the European Climate Foundation, the respected French diplomat and economist Ms Laurence Tubiana, came to town and said the government’s failure to act on greenhouse gas emissions was ‘anti-science’.

While 1.5oC will be a lot better – both environmentally and socially – than 2oC, nevertheless, it is apparent that even 1.5oC warming is unacceptable given its effect on all coral reefs, but particularly the Great Barrier Reef. It will still lead to inundation of coral atolls and major deltas, and cause a loss in food production. Have a look at the graph at the end of the media release. Without radical action, we are heading for 3 or 4 degrees warming.

The Wentworth by-election will be on 20 October and, should the Liberals lose, the government will lose its majority. A possible winner in Wentworth, former AMA president, Dr Kerryn Phelps, is fairly strong on climate action. She opposes Adani and would ban political donations from fossil-fuel companies. Meanwhile ALP candidate Tim Murray commendably favours a carbon price.

The same day, I shall be representing CAM at the Nature Conservation Council annual conference in Sydney and speaking to the three motions we have put forward. These relate to the separation of Energy and Environment portfolios, Energy Minister Angus Taylor refusing to accept emissions reduction in his brief, and calling on the ALP to make climate an election issue.

CAM participated in two demos in the last week or so: at Tathra making a human sign, and on Friday, bearing sunflowers, outside John Barilaro’s Queanbeyan office calling for a shift to renewable energy.

Finally, if you need a laugh, you may enjoy this First Dog on the Moon cartoon.

World Is Locked into About 1.5°C Warming & Risks Are Rising, New Climate Report Finds

 Earth’s climate monsters could be unleashed as temperatures rise

Graham Readfearn

As a UN panel prepares a report on 1.5C global warming, researchers warn of the risks of ignoring ‘feedback’ effects

Phase out coal to save reef, UN report to say

The Morrison government has denied a claim it sought to have reference to the coal phase-out removed from the final report.

Coal binge puts Paris climate targets further out of reach, study finds

The capacity of the world’s coal-fired power stations would increase by a third if all 1380 plants planned or under development are built, making it tougher to meet Paris climate goals, a leading German non-profit group says.

Against science: Morrison’s climate stance slammed

Architect of the Paris agreement unloads on the Coalition government, lambasting its inaction to tackle climate change.

Phelps would ban fossil fuel firms’ political donations, oppose Adani

The independent candidate for Wentworth released a six-point climate plan highlighting differences with her Liberal Party rival David Sharma.

Scientists say halting deforestation ‘just as urgent’ as reducing emissions

Protecting and restoring forests would reduce 18% of emissions by 2030 and help to avoid global temperature rise beyond 1.5C

How global warming is turbocharging monster storms like Hurricane Florence

The frequency of more potent storms is growing, but the storms are also slowing down in speed, inundating the ground below.


‘This drought is different’: it’s drier and hotter – and getting worse

On the land and in the towns they’re affected to varying degrees; some find it harder to cope. But they all agree something has changed


Tesla big battery claims its first major fossil fuel victim

Elon Musk’s crusade to rid the world of fossil fuels and lead the transition to clean energy took a small but significant step forward this week, when the Australian Energy Market Operator decided to put an end to a market that has been rorted outrageously by fossil fuel generators in recent years.

Newsletter from Jenny Goldie
President Climate Action Monaro

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