Australian news, and some related international items

The death of the Great Barrier Reef – due to Australia’s carbon exports

coral bleachingGreenpeace: Australia’s Carbon Exports Are Killing The Reef, New Matilda, By  on April 21, 2016  On Friday the Australian Government will be in New York presenting itself as a world-leader in the race to reduce carbon emissions, at the official signing of the Paris agreement.

But on the eve of this historic hippodrome, Greenpeace Australia has released a new report which it says puts the lie to the Government’s posturing.

It notes that while Australia’s emissions have remained relatively stagnant since 1990, coal exports have exploded a staggering 253 per cent, and now represent almost twice as much carbon as total domestic emissions of carbon dioxide.

Greenpeace says that this year Australia will “export” one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, through coal alone. That’s more than it plans to cut down through reducing domestic emissions using the Direct Action in the decade to 2030, according to the report.

It’s a carbon trade that the United Nations process takes no stock of: emissions are counted at the national level. Conversely, the fossil fuels nations export are treated as the responsibility of the importer country where they’re burned.

Greenpeace maintains that in reality – outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – “Australia’s overall contribution to global climate change is getting worse, not better”.

The report argues Australia has taken advantage of the international framework around climate change by “growing its coal exports and disowning the consequences”. “This has helped to suppress coal prices, making the dirtiest option more competitive for longer in electricity generation and in steelmaking.” And the iconic environmental group points out the government has no plans to stop.

According to government projections, coal exports will continue to grow nearly two thirds more by 2030. It’s an ambition this government, and the Labor governments before it, have made little secret of………

April 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Changes to CSIRO may mean loss of international grant money

Map Turnbull climateCSIRO changes risk losing millions of dollars in international grants, leading scientists say, ABC  Lateline  By political correspondent David Lipson, 20 Apr 16  Some of Australia’s leading scientists say the CSIRO is at risk of losing millions of dollars in international grants due to changes being implemented under CEO Larry Marshall.

Key points:

  • CSIRO staff fear they will lose grants due to new CEO
  • CEO rejects claims, says valuable research will continue
  • Former manager says CSIRO at risk of breaching Paris climate agreements

Lateline has obtained unofficial minutes of a CSIRO staff meeting last month, where one researcher directly raised the United Nations Development Program’s concerns about funding the organisation in future.  “The UN told him that in their view, the new CEO was not reliable,” retired CSIRO fellow Dr Nick Abel said.

“And they were frightened that if they did hand over a lot of money to CSIRO under contract, there was a danger that he might cancel those contracts and leave them with the ultimate embarrassment for the UN, which is millions of dollars of unspent money.”

Billions of dollars worth of grants were pledged for climate research and mitigation at the Paris climate talks last year.

Lateline has spoken to a number of scientists who fear the CSIRO’s new innovation and industry focus is leading to a “dramatic reduction” in “public good” science………

Australia ‘reneging’ on Paris agreement, ex-CSIRO manager says

Research manager Dr Peter Craig retired from the CSIRO just over two weeks ago.  He believes as well as the loss of reputation and capacity, Australia is also at risk of breaching commitments made at last year’s climate talks in Paris.

“The COP21 agreement actually requires an increase in climate science, not a decrease in climate science,” he said……

April 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Coral bleaching: Taskforce says 93 per cent of Great Barrier Reef affected

April 20, 2016. FEDERAL Environment Minister Greg Hunt held an ­urgent phone hook-up with Palaszczuk Government ministers last night to discuss revelations that more than 90 per cent of the iconic Great Barrier Reef has been affected by coral bleaching. …

Queensland’s Environment Minister Steven Miles yesterday called on Mr Hunt to convene an urgent meeting of the country’s environment ministers in Cairns in a bid to address the latest shocking survey. He said the Commonwealth needed to form a climate policy that would help tackle the problem.

April 22, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment