Australian news, and some related international items

AUDIO: EU wants USA, China, Australia to join global climate agreement

climate-changeflag-EUAUDIO: EU pressures US and China to join global climate agreement ABC Radio, The World Today ,David Mark reported this story on Thursday, February 26, 2015 ELEANOR HALL: The European Union (EU) has ratcheted up pressure on the United States and China to join a global climate agreement.

Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris.
It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.

Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels.

ELEANOR HALL: The European Union (EU) has ratcheted up pressure on the United States and China to join a global climate agreement.

Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris. It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.

Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels……

DAVID MARK: The EU has also thrown down the gauntlet to big emitters – China, the US and the G20, which includes Australia – to make known their targets for Paris early, and once there, commit to a new protocol to cut emissions.

ERWIN JACKSON: Well, I think the momentum is towards having a core agreement in Paris which is legally binding, which does ensure that countries come forward and have national targets………

DAVID MARK: The Australian Government has said it will announce its targets for greenhouse emissions in the lead up to the Paris meeting which is being held in December.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

In Lismore a new political party starts off – to tackle climate change

ballot-boxSmPolitical party forms in Lismore to tackle climate change Darren Coyne, Echo Net Daily, 19 Feb 15,  A new political party focused on tackling climate change is being formed by a group of north coast residents. The Renewable Energy Party plans to stand candidates in every state and territory at the next Federal election in 2016.

Following a meeting at the Lismore Worker’s Club this week, the political hopefuls announced they were in the process of signing up the 500 members required to form the party.

Campaign manager Jim Moylan said membership was not likely to be a problem. ‘Aussies are really passionate about climate change,’ Mr Moylan said.‘Our Facebook page has gone-off like a skyrocket. All we did was set up a news-feed to climate change news – and a big audience appeared.’

Mr Moylan told Echonetdaily that the micro-party would act as ‘better angels’ to The Greens and other left-leaning parties……..

Party founder Peter Breen, a former independent member of the New South Wales Parliament, and a former member of both Labor and the Liberal parties, will be national coordinator of the party. Mr Breen, a resident of Byron Bay, said the party had good prospects.‘Of course they will take us seriously. We are well funded, well organised and mainstream,’ Mr Breen said.

‘We have advertising people, political insiders, fund-raisers, social media specialists and other professionals.

‘The Renewable Energy Party wants science and the public interest to dictate the terms of the climate debate – not coal, gas and oil companies.’


Following the Lismore meeting, the fledging party released the following statement.

‘Renewable energy needs grass roots representation. More than a million households in Australia now use solar energy and we are getting a very bad deal from the major energy companies who all own coal mines.

‘Currently, Australians are paying as much as $1,000 per year for electricity and gas connections – before we even turn on our appliances. On top of that, the major energy companies pay 6 to 8 cents for solar power exported to the grid while charging four times that amount for customers to buy it back”

‘In the UK, politicians are talking seriously about phasing out fossil fuels, but Australian politicians are talking about phasing out renewable energy. The Renewable Energy Party hopes to bring a consumer’s perspective to the debate in Australia.’

‘The Renewable Energy Party will speak on behalf of the many Australians who believe that climate change is simply the most important issue we face. We support the 97 per cent of climate scientists who say man-made climate change is real and we need to do something serious about the predicted global temperature rise.

‘According to the International Monetary Fund, Australia’s implicit subsidies to oil, coal and gas companies are worth 1.8 per cent of GDP, or about $23 billion annually. Subsidies to the renewable energy industry are small beer by comparison.

‘The Renewable Energy Party has been formed to highlight the differences between the favourable treatment given to the fossil fuel industries by government and the difficulties faced by the emerging renewable energy industry.

‘It is also a fact that renewable energy creates more jobs per unit of energy delivered than fossil or nuclear fuels. Action on climate change is our best hope for better present and a more promising future,’ the statement concluded.


February 21, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Dry Future for Adelaide ( very unwise to bring water wasting nuclear industry)

text-cat-question Makes you question the intelligence of South Australia’s businessmen and politicians  – even contemplating the high water use, and high water-polluting industries of nuclear industries, and expanding  uranium mining
Adelaide is facing a dry future – it needs to start planning now , The Conversation Mark Thyer Senior Lecturer, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at University of Adelaide Seth Westra Senior Lecturer, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at University of Adelaide, 19 February 2015,
Imagine a future where the yearly flow into one of the largest water reservoirs of a major Australian city could halve within 70 years. This is a scenario that Adelaide could face if the world continues on its current trajectory of high greenhouse gas emissions, according to the latest reports released this week from the Goyder Institute of which we were the lead authors.

This means Adelaide needs to start planning climate change adaption strategies for its water supply now, in combination with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Declining supply

The finding is based on one of the most detailed modelling efforts that has been conducted into the water security of an Australian city. Based on the outputs of 15 recent global climate models combined with downscaling rainfall to the catchment scale and hydrological modelling, we assessed how changes in rainfall and evaporation and transpiration (water evaporating from plants) will affect runoff in the Onkaparinga Catchment. Historically, this catchment has supplied on average about 50% of Adelaide’s water supply, with the remainder supplemented by pumping from the Murray River.

The findings suggested that a high level of confidence can be placed in projections of a decline in runoff. In fact, 98% of the model simulations suggested a decrease in runoff by the end of the century (the remaining 2% suggest little change).

However, the magnitude of change is highly uncertain – some projections suggest only small levels of change; others as much as 75% or more.

Dealing with the dry

The results paint a bleak future, but there are things we can do. The most obvious solution is to collectively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. By looking at a low-emission trajectory (i.e. one that assumes that society will take active measures to reduce emissions) the reduction of reservoir inflows might only be 25%.

As well as reducing emissions, we need to start preparing to adapt to a drier future…….

February 20, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

Liberals’ panic over climate change put Abbott in a role beyond his abilities

Abbott-firemanRemember, Abbott is the product of the Liberals’ freak-out over climate , Guardian Jason Wilson 10 Feb 15 
“…..Abbott was promoted beyond his abilities in order to obstruct action on climate change.
His decline started in earnest when Obama snubbed him at the G20 …….
The flaws that Abbott has displayed since he took over as opposition leader in 2009 – the meltdowns, the appalling political instincts, the anachronistic attachments, the sexism – have been evident since he entered public life. He has never been popular, and he was only elevated because of a freak-out from the denialist wing of the Liberal party over Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to deal with Labor on an emissions trading scheme.
There has been a lot of analysis in recent weeks of Abbott’s peculiar personality, but not enough recollection of the reason that it’s on such prominent display. He’s the leader because he promised his party’s right wing to make no deals on climate, and to blindly oppose any meaningful policy response.
Ultimately, Abbott and the Coalition have been brought undone by the same failure that has defeated a decade’s worth of Australian national leaders: the failure to generate a credible response to the most pressing global crisis. John Howard dragged his feet in the midst of drought, and was brought low by an ALP leader who promised vigorous action. Kevin Rudd called climate change the “greatest moral challenge of our time”, only to reveal that he wasn’t up to it, which began his fatal slide in the opinion polls. Julia Gillard offered a response she couldn’t readily explain, allowing her carbon price to be framed as a tax, and therefore a lie, by Abbott……

February 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Hotter summers to become ‘normal’ in Australia

Australia To Experience Hotter, Prolonged Heatwaves; Extremely Hot Summers ‘Normal’

IB Times, By   on February 10 2015  

The 2013 heatwave in Australia would be impossible if not for climate change. The scorching heat experienced by Australians in late 2012 and early 2013 had set new temperature records in ever state and territory in the country.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the national average of daily temperatures in 2013 had rise to record-breaking levels for an extended period. NASA had noted that Australia’s extreme temperatures in Jan. 2013 were extended not just days but weeks, The Washington Postreports.

A new report by Australia’s independent Climate Council has found that 2013, the country’s hottest year ever, would be “virtually impossible” without climate change. The summer heatwaves of late 2012 and early 2013 were also enhanced by global warming and increased the chance of reaching extreme temperature levels.

The Climate Council report was written by Will Steffen, a professor at the Australian National University, and based his research on several climate change models. …….

The professor said the report highlighted the importance of developing an action plan to reduce emissions. If something is not done, Steffen warned that an extreme heat event would be a normal occurrence by the middle of the century.

Climate Council chief councillor Professor Tim Flannery said the report allowed scientists to “quantify” the effect of human activities on extreme weather events, reports ABC. He said Australia should reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it wants to achieve a better climate in the future.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Malcolm Turnbull would be no better than Abbott on Climate Change

Map-Abbott-climateCoalition needs a heart transplant, not a facelift, The Age,  . 6 Feb 15 The public has been focused on policy and that’s precisely why the Coalition’s in trouble. “…..the government’s in trouble precisely because we have been focussing on policy.

That was true for Labor, whose collapse in public support occurred the moment Kevin Rudd decided he no longer thought climate change mattered that much, and it is perhaps even truer for Abbott…..”

Here’s how Mark Kenny &  James Massola saw it, writing in The Age 5 February 15 –  “Amid feverish speculation over the leadership, unconfirmed reports also claimed Mr Turnbull had moved to assuage fears in the conservative wing of the party that his return to the leadership would see a reprise of the carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme.

It was claimed Mr Turnbull had promised, in a secret deal, that there would be no such reprise if elected”

Turnbull in climate change shift, West Australian,  Andrew Probyn Federal Political Editor February 5, 2015,  Malcolm Turnbull would make no change to the Government’s climate change policy in a major concession designed to extinguish lingering doubts about a return to him as Liberal leader…..


February 6, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Warming of Southern Oceans

ocean-heatingSouthern oceans play major role in absorbing world’s excess heat, study finds February 3,  Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The world’s oceans are heating at the rate of two trillion 100-watt light bulbs burning continuously, providing a clear signal of global warming, according to new study assessing data from a global fleet of drifting floats.

The research, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used data collected from the array of about 3500 Argo buoys from 2006-13 to show temperatures were warming at about 0.005 degrees a year down to a depth of 500 metres and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres.

Oceans south of the 20-degree latitude accounted for two-thirds to 98 per cent of the heat gain during the period studied, with three giant gyres in the southern Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans largely responsible for drawing down the extra warmth.

“The global ocean heat content right now is the most reliable metric of that radiation imbalance” between the energy received from the sun and what is radiated back to space, said Susan Wijffels, an oceans expert at the CSIRO and one of the report’s authors………..

“The ocean is just vertically transferring the heat away from the surface to the depth,” Dr Wijffels said. “The ‘hiatus’ is not meaningful.”

Even with the relative slowdown in surface temperature increases, 14 of the world’s 15 warmest years on record have been in the 21st century, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Monday.

The United Nations body also confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year, edging out 2010 and 2005. The readings were based in part on United States agencies, including NASA which last month also declared 2014 as its warmest year.

John Church, another of the paper’s authors and also from the CSIRO, said the temperatures in the atmosphere – which accounts for just 1 per cent of the planet’s heat uptake – would rise sharply if oceans absorbed less of the heat……..

As it is, warming oceans are swelling in volume, lifting sea levels, and also affecting ecosystems, he said.

“If we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change then we need to start taking some mitigation action,” Dr Church said. This included cutting carbon emissions and lifting renewable energy targets at home and overseas.

Future Argo missions will extend coverage to higher latitudes, including sea-ice zones, and reach depths of 6000 metres.

However, Dr Wijffels said Australia’s contribution is in doubt with about half of its Argo budget tied up with the Abbott government’s stalled higher education reform bills.  Those funds run out “in a few months”, she said.

The Nature study was led by Dean Roemmich of the California-based Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

February 4, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

CSIRO Report on Climate Change in Australia

climate-changeClimate change in Australia

Penny Whetton

27 January 2015

highly-recommendedCSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have released climate change projections for Australia that provide updated national and regional information on how the climate may change to the end of the 21st century.

The projections are the most comprehensive ever released for Australia and have been prepared with an emphasis on informing impact assessment and planning in the natural resource management sector. Material has been drawn from observations and from simulations based on up to 40 global climate models and four scenarios of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions during the 21st century.

The 2015 projections provide greater levels of detail and confidence compared to previous projections. Findings are consistent with previous projections research and analysis for Australia, and incorporate an increased knowledge base.

The new climate change projections for Australia are funded by the Department of the Environment through the NRM Planning for Climate Change Fund with co-funding from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Technical Report is intended to provide detailed information for researchers and decision makers. It is a comprehensive report outlining the key climate change projection messages for Australia across a range of variables. The report underpins all information found in other products, including this website. It contains an extensive set of figures and descriptions on recent Australian climate trends, global climate change science, climate model evaluation processes, modelling methodologies and downscaling approaches. The report includes a chapter describing how to use climate change data in impact assessment and adaptation planning.

Key findings

Overarching findings

Australia’s climate has already changed.

  1. It has become hotter since 1910, with warming across Australia of 0.9°C
  2. Rainfall has increased in northern Australia since the 1970s and decreased in south-east and south-west Australia
  3. More of Australia’s rain has come from heavy falls and there has been more extreme fire weather in southern and eastern Australia since the 1970s.
  4. Sea levels have risen by approximately 20cm since 1900.

Projections for Australia’s future climate vary regionally and depend on which of the four greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions scenarios is considered. Overarching findings include:

  1. Australia’s average temperature will increase and we will experience more heat extremes and fewer cold extremes.
  2. Extreme rainfall events that lead to flooding are likely to become more intense.
  3. The number of tropical cyclones is projected to decrease but they may be more intense and reach further south.
  4. Southern and eastern Australia is projected to experience harsher fire weather.
  5. Sea levels will continue to rise throughout the 21st century and beyond.
  6. Oceans around Australia will warm and become more acidic.

Additional findings


  1. Australian average temperature has increased by 0.9° C since 1910.
    1. We have seen more hot days and less cold days.
  2. Temperatures will continue to increase over the 21st century.
    1. The extent of those increases will depend on global emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols.
  3. By late in the century (2090), Australian average temperature is projected to increase by 0.6 to 1.7°C for a low emission scenario, or 2.8 to 5.1°C under a high emission scenario.
    1. Hot days are projected to occur more frequently while there will be fewer frost days.


  1. Winter and spring rainfall in southern Australia is projected to decline while changes in other areas are uncertain.
  2. For the rest of Australia, natural climate variability will predominate over rainfall trends caused by increasing greenhouse gases until 2030. By 2090, a winter rainfall decrease is expected in eastern Australia.
  3. Overall, extreme rain events are projected to become more intense.
    1. This finding is consistent across Australia even in areas where average rainfall is projected to decrease or the average direction of change is uncertain. This is largely due to the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more water.
  4. However, the projected reduction in average rainfall in south-west Western Australia may be so strong as to weaken this extreme rainfall tendency.


  1. The time in drought will increase over southern Australia, with a greater frequency of severe droughts.
  2. The time in drought and the frequency of extreme droughts may increase elsewhere in Australia.
  3. A projected increase in evaporation rates will contribute to a reduction in soil moisture across Australia.

Tropical cyclones

  1. Tropical cyclones may occur less often; however they will likely be more intense.


  1. There will be a decrease in snowfall, an increase in snowmelt and thus reduced snow cover.

Fire Weather

  1. Southern and eastern Australia are projected to experience harsher fire weather, including an increase in the number of days with a ‘severe’ fire danger rating.
  2. Projections for fire weather in northern Australia and inland areas are less certain.

Sea level rise

  1. Sea levels will continue to rise throughout the 21st century and beyond.
  2. Projections of sea level rise for the Australian coastline by late in the century (2090) are comparable to, or slightly larger than, the projected global mean sea level rise of up to 82 cm under a high emission scenario.
  3. A collapse in the marine based sectors of the Antarctic ice sheet could make sea level rise projections several tenths of a metre higher by late in the century.

February 2, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

New South Wales distances itself from Abbott govt on Climate Change

climate-changeNSW signs up to global climate group, SMH, Peter Hannam February 1, 2015 The Baird government has moved to burnish its climate change credentials, becoming Australia’s first conservative government to sign up to The Climate Group.

NSW will join South Australia and Tasmania as the only Australian states to be members of the international non-profit organisation, which brings business, governments and communities together to promote renewable energy and cut carbon emissions blamed for global warming. Both SA and Tasmania signed up under Labor-led governments……….
NSW has distanced itself over the past year from conservative counterparts, including the Abbott government, on climate and other issues. It backed leaving the Renewable Energy Target as it is, in contrast to the Abbott government’s efforts to cut the 2020 goal by as much as 40 per cent, and has spent $3 million preparing climate change studies for expected impacts to 2030 and 2070……..
London-based The Climate Group shut its Australian offices in mid-2013, citing an “increasingly challenging political environment for action on climate change” at the time.

Its States & Regions members account for more than 300 million people and 13 per cent of global GDP, said Libby Ferguson, a group director.

NSW was “a forward-thinking state” with “progressive renewable policies”, Ms Ferguson said…..

February 2, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Climate change already impacting Australia’s sports

climate-changeGrassroots sports at risk from heatwaves due to climate change, report warns, Guardian, Oliver Milman  31 Jan 15 Extreme heat policies of sports such as tennis, Aussie rules and cricket will have to find ways to better protect the wellbeing of competitors as temperatures rise Climate change will threaten the viability of grassroots sport in Australia, and elite tournaments will have to adapt to rising temperatures, extreme rainfall and shrinking snow cover, a report has warned.

The extreme heat policies of sports such as tennis, Aussie rules and cricket will have to “dramatically improve” to protect the health of competitors at all levels, the Climate Institute analysis concluded.

The report, featuring a foreword from former AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, warned that while elite sport might be able to adapt to a changing climate, the “ability to respond at local sporting grounds is more questionable”.

The Climate Institute compiled the report in the wake of the blistering heat that affected the Australian Open tennis tournament last year. Players and court staff fainted, water bottles melted and a participant even warned someone might die after temperatures hit 43C.

The Open has since introduced new protocols that require the match referee to consider suspending play if the ambient temperature reaches 40C.

But the Climate Institute warned that the heat policies of other sports were patchy, with a recent AFL match taking place in 38C heat and last year’s Tour Down Under having no heat stipulations, even though cycling races in certain states are normally halted in extremely high temperatures.

“Heat policies are a bit confused and ambiguous between state and national levels,” said John Connor, chief executive of the Climate Institute. ……………

elongated droughts in parts of Australia, coupled with extreme rainfall, will degrade community sporting grounds and even affect large stadiums, such as the Suncorp stadium in Brisbane, which was covered in 1.5m of water during the 2011 Queensland floods.

Some of the most dramatic changes could hit those who enjoy winter sports, with the CSIRO report warning of “very substantial decreases in snowfall, increase in melt and thus reduced snow cover”…….

January 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Scientists warn on climate change – a hotter drier South Australia

climate-AustSouth Australia to get much hotter, drier, new climate change report reveals The Advertiser  KATRINA STOKES JANUARY 27, 2015   SOUTH Australia is only going to get hotter and drier and more prevalent periods of drought and fire-related conditions will continue to increase, a report released today reveals.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology report says what climate change experts have been saying for a long time — climate change is real.

The experts predict Adelaide will experience an increase in the number of days above 35C from 20 in 1995 to 26 in 2030, to between 28 and 47 in 2090.


ey predictions from the report include:

WINTER and spring rainfall in southern Australia is projected to decline, while changes in other areas are uncertain

THE time in drought will increase over southern Australia, with a greater frequency of severe droughts

BY 2090, Australian average temperatures are projected to increase by 0.6 to 1.7C for a low emissions scenario, or 2.8 to 5.1C under a high emission scenario

MORE hot days are like to occur as well as harsher fire weather, including an increase in the number of days with a “severe” fire danger rating

Climate Institute chief executive officer John Connor said the report findings demonstrated why it was in Australia’s best interest to “drive ambitious climate action”.

“This new data reinforces earlier analysis for Treasury (the government) that showed large chunks of the Australian economy will be whacked by global warming … sectors like agriculture, health and ecosystems are hit well beyond their ability to adapt,” he said………

January 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott ‘frozen in time’ as Western Australia sizzles with climate change

heatWA sizzles as scientists reveal 2014 was the hottest in a century JANUARY 18, 2015 NOT even the beach offered respite from the sun’s nuclear intensity as WA sizzled and the mercury approached 40C in Perth on Saturday…….Ambulance officers advised the elderly to stay inside and drink plenty of water and slip, slop, slap was the order of the day as the UV index peaked at 14. Readings of 11 and above are considered “extreme”.

But if you thought Perth was hot, spare a thought for Gascoyne Junction, near Shark Bay 1075km north of Perth, where the temperature was 47C, making it the hottest town in the state…….

New research from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US space agency NASA shows 2014 was the hottest year in more than a century, reviving alarm about global warming.And WA’s top meteorologists agree, saying West Australians face decades of rising temperatures with hotter, drier and more extreme summers as a result of climate change.

Australia in 2014 experienced its third hottest year and hottest decade on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

“It’s climate change. Temps across Australia are warming. There is no getting away from it,” weather bureau spokesman Neil Bennett said.

The NOAA report found that “globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2014 was the highest among all years since record-keeping began in 1880”. The average temperature in 2014 was 0.69C above the 20th century average, beating the previous record-holding years of 2005 and 2010. Russia, Alaska, parts of the US and South America, eastern and western coastal Australia, North Africa and most of Europe all experienced record heat.

Federal Labor environment spokesman Anthony Albanese said in the wake of the NOAA report that Prime Minister Tony Abbott can no longer ignore the evidence on climate change. “Tony Abbott is frozen in time while the world warms around us,” he said……

January 19, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Western Australia | Leave a comment

The Global Catholic Climate Movement launched in Australia

climate-posterCatholics in Australia join global movement to curb climate change, The Age January 15, 2015  Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald Australia’s Catholics are preparing to step up campaigns to address climate change ahead of an expected call to action by Pope Francis.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement, an international coalition of Catholic groups including Catholic Earthcare Australia, was launched on Thursday to bolster support for a global climate treaty at the Paris summit planned for December. That’s going to create real change that’s really needed, and that’s great.

Jacqui Remond, director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, said Catholics numbered one in four Australians and the time is ripe for them to push for greater action on curbing global warming.

“Looking at the leadership and the governance we have in Australia right now, there isn’t a lot of hope coming from the policies and the agenda that’s set,” Ms Remond said.

However, Ms Remond said hope is coming from abroad with Pope Francis expected to release the first encyclical on ecology as soon as March. The doctrinal directive is likely to focus on the damage to humanity and ecosystems caused by climate change.

“[The encyclical] has a significant influence because it sets a benchmark for learning for everyone in the church, which includes the cardinals, the bishops, the clergy, the lay people,” Ms Remond said. “This message will have an incredible ripple effect through the church and beyond.”

Ms Remond said Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI had also spoken out about climate change, with the latter installing solar panels on church buildings in Rome and making the Vatican the world’s first carbon-neutral state…….

January 17, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

The psychology behind climate change denialism, (helped by Murdoch media)

Climate change: Why some of us won’t believe it’s getting hotter, SMH January 11, 2015   Economics Editor, The Age What is it about the temperature that some of us find so hard to accept?

The year just ended was one of the hottest on record. In NSW it was the absolute hottest, in Victoria the second-hottest, and in Australia the third hottest………

when it comes to the slowly rising temperature some of us won’t even accept the readings. And that says something about us, or at least about those of us who won’t accept what’s in front of our faces.

I am not prepared to believe that these people are anti-science. Some of them are engineers, some mining company company executives. Like all of us, they depend on science in their everyday lives.

News-Limited1Nor am I prepared to believe they’ve led sheltered lives, although it’s a popular theory. In the United States a survey of six months of coverage on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel found that 37 of its 40 mentions of climate change were misleading.

The misleading coverage included “broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, disparaging comments about individual scientists, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and cherry-picking of data”.

Fox News called global warming a “fraud”, a “hoax” and “pseudo science”.

Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal fared little better. 39 of its 48 references were misleading.

In Australia it’s not as bad. Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian gives more space to climate change than any other newspaper. Its articles are 47 per cent negative, 44 per cent neutral and 9 per cent positive, according to the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism.

It’s impossible to read The Australian‘s articles without feeling at least a bit curious about climate change.

Another theory is that it’s to do with psychology. Some people are more threatened by bad news than others, making them less able to accept that it’s real.

And now a more sophisticated theory suggests that it’s not about the facts at all. It’s really a debate about the implications, disguised as a debate about the facts. Troy Campbell and Aaron Kay, a researcher and associate professor in neuroscience at Duke University in North Carolina find that belief in temperature forecasts is correlated with beliefs about government regulation and what those forecasts would mean for government regulation……..

January 12, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Three Australian States pushing Fed govt for climate change action

Climate change push as Victoria seeks to join with NSW and South Australia‘ Each state has a responsibility to push the federal government in this area,’ Victorian environment minister Lisa Neville says. Guardian 8 Jan 15, The Victorian government wants to join forces with New South Wales and South Australia to press the federal government for more action on climate change in the wake of record or near-record temperatures in the three states in 2014.

Victoria’s environment minister, Lisa Neville, said she was seeking “urgent” talks with the NSW and SA governments to forge a united front against Tony Abbott’s stance on climate change.

Neville told Guardian Australia the states would seek greater clarity on how the federal Emissions Reduction Fund, which will provide grants to businesses, would work. The federal government’s leadership on climate change would also be questioned.

“I’m looking to have urgent conversations with NSW and South Australia on the role they can play with us,” she said. “We’ll look at whether there’s a shared view on emissions reduction and also national advocacy so we can put climate change back into public debate.

“Each state has a responsibility to push the federal government in this area. National action will have the most impact on climate change, so we need a unified voice to get the federal government, first of all, to acknowledge climate change.

“The Abbott government has, unfortunately, walked away from its responsibility to act on climate change. We’d prefer strong national and international action, but if we have to play a leadership role in Victoria, we will do that.

“We need to put pressure on the federal government as well as build a proper community conversation about climate change again.”

Neville, who will have her first meeting with the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, this month, said the federal Coalition needed to resolve the “mess” surrounding its attempts to cut the national renewable energy target and ensure its ERF grants were spent effectively to bring down emissions……….

South Australia’s renewable energy investment has forged ahead of Victoria and NSW, at a time when all states are experiencing a trend of rising temperatures…….

The NSW government, while keen to not publicly criticise its Coalition counterpart in Canberra, has indicated that it wants stronger action on climate change…….“The NSW government also has a renewable energy action plan to increase the proportion of renewable energy in NSW and has made its position on the renewable energy target clear.”

….Hunt’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

January 10, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 687 other followers