Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s coastal communities already vulnerable to climate change

Flooding proved how vulnerable Coast is to climate change, Sunshine Coast Daily, Bill Hoffman | 26th Aug 2017 THE Sunshine Coast received a taste Monday night of the future normal for low-lying coastal communities everywhere when, in the middle of a drought-like winter, water flooded through storm water outlets and over the top of revetment walls and onto key streets across the region.

 

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August 26, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Bundaberg MP insists that coastal communities must prepare for climate change.

MP says preparing for climate change is vital for the Bundaberg region https://www.news-mail.com.au/news/mp-says-preparing-for-climate-change-is-vital-for-/3216829/, Jim Alouat | 26th Aug 2017 LOWER house insurance premiums could be on the cards if Bundaberg home owners take steps to embrace climate and weather-resilient designs.

August 26, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

A band of right-wing religious politicians are stopping climate action in Australia

The fact is that the great majority of religious leaders – from the Pope to the Dalai Lama – share Pickard’s views about the urgency of addressing climate change.

Yet in this country the resistance to any meaningful action to ameliorate climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases is led to a substantial degree by those politicians who claim Christian faith.

Last year 350.org released a list of the most implacable opponents to climate change action. At or near the top of the list were the following names: Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, Kevin Andrews, Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz, George Christensen and Zed Seselja. These politicians are bound together by their strong and frequently touted religious belief.

How the religious right stall climate actionWhile most religious leaders accept climate change, the Christian right in Australia and the US make scepticism a tenet of their politics. Saturday Paper, By Mike Seccombe. 26 Aug 17  It has been more than three years now since Stephen Pickard penned his letter to the religious believers among our federal parliamentarians, arguing the case for action on climate change. Continue reading

August 26, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

As climate change intensifies, Australia’s farmers will be hard hit

Climate change will hit our farmers harder and hotter https://www.qt.com.au/news/climate-change-will-hit-our-farmers-harder-and-hot/3216205/ Geoff Egan | 25th Aug 2017 A LEADING commodity trader has warned increasingly common extreme and volatile weather conditions will cause havoc for Queensland’s agricultural producers.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia’s religious leaders unite to oppose Adani coal mine expansion

The Adani coalmine will hasten a climate catastrophe. As faith leaders, we must act
A Buddhist leader has told environment minister Josh Frydenberg he would stand in front of machinery if digging started. All people of faith should join him,
Guardian,   Jonathan Keren-Black and Tejopala Rawls, 23 Aug 17 
  Earlier in August, six faith leaders met Australia’s environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg. Our group included Bishop Philip Huggins, the president of the National Council of Churches, a Uniting Church reverend, a rabbi, a Catholic nun and an ordained Buddhist. This is not the start of a joke, but a polite and serious exchange.

It might seem that religion has little to do with the environment or energy. Yet each of us at the meeting wanted to raise a matter that, when we consider the deepest values of our respective traditions, is of grave moral concern: the proposed Adani coalmine. We were there to ask the minister to revoke its environmental licence.

The delegation reminded the minister that a number of faith leaders from across Australia wrote him an open letter about it on 5 May, to which he had not yet replied.

Around the world a great many people of faith are deeply concerned about the climate crisis. Continue reading

August 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Coal in decline: an industry on life support. Where does this leave Adani project?

Australia now exports about 200m tonnes. Adani project is, by any measure, a massive expansion that could push the world measurably closer to breaching the goals of the Paris climate agreement……

“The [Adani Carmichael coal] project is not on the radar, not expected to happen, immaterial for India’s energy plans given the progressive move away from imported thermal coal and just unbankable for Indian banks given excessive Adani group debt.”

Coal in decline: Adani in question and Australia out of step  Special report: India and China are shifting away from coal imports and coal-fired power while a mega-mine is planned for Queensland. Where does this leave coal in Australia?

Coal in decline: an industry on life support, Guardian, by Adam Morton , 24 Aug 17,   The Paris-based International Energy Agency ……suggested investment in new coal power across the globe has peaked and is on the verge of a steep decline. In a coinciding media briefing, the IEA chief economist, Laszlo Varro, declared the “century of coal” that started in 2000 – evident in the extraordinary wave of investment by emerging Asian nations – may already be over.

It is becoming clear that Chinese coal demand has peaked,” he went on. “The outlook for imports [to] India and other countries is uncertain.”

What does this mean for Australia, producer of about 30% of the world’s coal, as it plans a vast expansion in production in outback Queensland?……

Market analysts at Citi Research last month warned investors that the outlook for coal stocks was pessimistic: major banks were financing fewer projects; Donald Trump’s much-vaunted pro-coal and anti-climate change stance was having little impact in the US…..

In a report for the Australian Conservation Foundation, consultants ACIL Allenagreed. “At present, there is considerable pessimism regarding the long-term outlook for prices of thermal coal in international markets,” it said. “This is reflected in forecasts by credible Australian and international agencies.” Continue reading

August 25, 2017 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Dryness of vegetation in Sydney area adds risk to coming bushfire season

Dry winter primes Sydney Basin for early start of bushfire season The Conversation, Matthias Boer, Associate Professor, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Rachael Helene Nolan, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Technology Sydney. Ross Bradstock, Professor, Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, University of Wollongong, August 21, 2017        It might feel like the depths of winter, but Australian fire services are preparing for an early start to the bushfire season. Sydney has been covered with smoke from hazard reduction burns, and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service has forecast a “horrific” season.

Predicting the severity of a bushfire season isn’t easy, and – much like the near-annual announcements of the “worst flu season on record” – repeated warnings can diminish their urgency.

However, new modelling that combines Bureau of Meteorology data with NASA satellite imaging has found that record-setting July warmth and low rainfall have created conditions very similar to 2013, when highly destructive bushfires burned across NSW and Victoria.

Crucially, this research has found we’re approaching a crucial dryness threshold, past which fires are historically far more dangerous……..https://theconversation.com/dry-winter-primes-sydney-basin-for-early-start-of-bushfire-season-82641?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20August%2021%202017%20-%2081136562&utm_content=Latest%

August 21, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Australia failing in migration and humanitarian help for Pacific Islanders in their drowning islands

Pacific Islanders forced to leave, The Saturday Paper, Chris Woods 18 Aug 17,    “Last month,” Ursula Rakova says, “when I returned home just to visit family and talk to the islanders about the situation, it was really, really hard to see a lot of the land being lost to the sea.”

Rakova is from the Carteret Islands, commonly known as Tulun, the horseshoe-shaped scattering of low-lying coral atolls 86 kilometres north-east of Bougainville. “More and more, palm trees are falling, the scarcity of food is becoming a real issue, and the schools close, and close for long periods,” she says.

With an indigenous population of 2700 on seven small islands with a maximum elevation of just 1.5 metres above sea level, there are few other places on Earth where the injustice of global warming is more apparent than on the Carteret Islands.

The Carterets have been on the front line of climate change for decades: one of the islands, Huene, was cut in half by shoreline erosion about 1984. While seawalls and mangroves had been holding the ocean back until this period, further seawater inundation and storm surges over the past few decades had salinated crops and water supplies, intermittently shut down the island’s five schools due to childhood malnutrition, and destroyed homes.

Part of the reason the area is so vulnerable is that, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported a global sea level rise of about three millimetres per year from 1993 to 2012, the fact that water expands exponentially as heat is applied means that bodies of water that are already hot rise more swiftly. For the western Pacific Ocean, this has meant an increase of about eight to 10 millimetres a year.

“The western Pacific is a lot hotter than the water is in the eastern Pacific – hotter by about five or six degrees – and where the islands are is amongst the hottest ocean water in the world,” says Ian Simmonds, professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne. “Hence a warming of one degree there gives you just so much more of a sea level rise.”
Simmonds notes that the same is true for the severity of storms in the region: a warmer planet means more moisture, and, therefore, stronger and more frequent storms.

In response to increasingly severe events, Carteret elders initiated a voluntary relocation program in 2006, named Tulele Peisa, or “Sailing the Waves on Our Own” – outwardly a response to failed talks with neighbouring governments dating back to 2001. The group contacted Ursula Rakova, a Huene expatriate who had gone on to direct a Bougainville-based non-government organisation, to lead the initiative. After unsuccessfully applying for land through official channels, she was given four different locations by the Catholic Church in 2007, and relocation to the first of the abandoned plantation sites started that year.

Now, after more than a decade of leading the first recorded example of forced displacement due to global warming, Rakova has almost completed housing for the first group of 10 families. She has successfully established food gardens and a mini food forest, rehabilitated plantations and begun selling crops of cocoa. New education and management facilities have been set up, and both funding and food relief arranged to be sent back to the Carterets.

But the plight of the Carterets is not unique. Three other atolls within the Bougainville area are facing similar challenges with rising sea levels, and extreme weather events have caused internal displacement everywhere from Bangladesh to Syria to Australia.

The Australian government does not, broadly speaking, have the greatest track record on the issue. Not only did then prime minister Tony Abbott refuse to meet a call from Pacific Island leaders in 2015 to reduce emissions – indirectly resulting in Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s infamous “water lapping at their doors” quip – but the current budget offers the lowest foreign aid in eight years, at $3.82 billion over 2016-17.

Yet Australia has offered a range of targeted, if less publicised, initiatives in the region, largely funnelled through the Autonomous Bougainville Government, in consultation with Papua New Guinea……..

Australia was also a member of the Nansen Initiative, a program launched in 2012 by Switzerland and Norway intended to strengthen the protection of people displaced across borders by disasters and the effects of climate change. Along with 108 other countries, Australia endorsed its Protection Agenda in 2015, leading to a range of partnerships between policymakers, practitioners and researchers as part of the follow-up Platform on Disaster Displacement.

The director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Jane McAdam, has worked with Nansen and similar initiatives for more than a decade, and advocates Nansen’s “toolbox approach”. Solutions range from better supporting disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, to developing humanitarian visas in the immediate aftermath of disasters and offering new migration opportunities such as “labour visas, educational visas, bilateral free movements agreements”.

While forced climate migrants are often incorrectly referred to as “climate refugees” – a term that would require persecution – the issues are distinct in a legal sense. The first person to seek asylum on the grounds of climate change, Ioane Teitiota, of Kiribati, lost his New Zealand application in 2015.

McAdam says there is no political appetite to change the United Nations’ refugee convention definition. While there is scope to expand the definition of refoulement, governments are better suited to developing new migration opportunities.

“It’s interesting that both the Lowy Institute and the Menzies Research Centre – two think tanks, one more conservative, the other less conservative – along with the World Bank, all in the last six months or so, have each recommended that Australia enhance migration opportunities from the Pacific,” she says.

“They say this would really make a huge difference to development and assistance generally, livelihoods generally, than would humanitarian assistance – it would cost us a lot less, and it would yield a lot more.”

While Labor offered more overt leadership on the issue while in opposition in 2006, specifically in terms of training islanders for skilled migration programs, neither Coalition nor Labor governments have since restructured our migration system to the extent McAdam recommends……..

Despite Rakova’s work, which led to a Pride of PNG award in 2008, the Carteret group is struggling to fund homes for the final two families, who are sharing houses, let alone start resettling the remaining 1700 volunteers meant to migrate over the next five years. She says the delay, exacerbated by intercultural challenges and the emotional toll of abandoning ancestral homes, is causing anxiety……..https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/immigration/2017/08/19/pacific-islanders-forced-leave/15030648005088

August 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Climate Denial in Australia and USA: the Differences

The Madhouse Effect: this is how climate denial in Australia and the US compares, The Conversation, Professor of Environmental Politics and Co-Director Sydney Environment Institute, University,  August 14, 2017 Michael Mann is well known for his classic “hockey stick” work on global warming, for the attacks he has long endured from climate denialists, and for the good fight of communicating the environmental and political realities of climate change.

Mann’s work, including his recent book The Madhouse Effect, has helped me, as a dual US-Australian citizen, think about the similarities and differences between the US and Australia as we respond to what has been called the climate change denial machine.

In both countries, the denialists and distortionists have undermined public knowledge, public policy, new economic development opportunities, and the very value of the environment. Climate policy is being built upon alternative facts, fake news, outright lies, PR spin and industry-written talking points.

From the carbon industry capture of the two major parties, to the Abbott-Turnbull government parroting industry talking points, to coal industry lobbyists as government energy advisers, to the outright idiotic conspiracy pronouncements of senators funded and advised by the US- based denial machine, the Madhouse Effect is in full force in Australia.

How we can expose and counter this denialist machine? To partly lay out the task, I will discuss three points of contrast between the US and Australia.

Political culture

There is a key difference between the two countries’ political cultures. As much as the denialists have determined Australian energy and climate policy, they have not been as successful, yet, at undermining deep-seeded respect in Australian culture for the common good, for science, for expertise and knowledge…….

Last year, when the government fired climate scientists at CSIRO, there was another huge public backlash. The government had to step back a bit, both on the actual science to be done and the radical agenda change away from science for the public good.

And again, when the government wanted to support the dubious work of Bjorn Lomborg, that caused an outcry from both the university sector and the public. Even though the government wound up paying more than A$600,000 on what The Australian called his “vanity book project”, they couldn’t import him and plant him at any Australian university.

As Mann says, the main issue in implementing good, sound climate policy is no longer simply the science. The main issue is the cultural understanding of, and respect for the role of science in informing political decisions.

That’s not to say there are no attacks on science – clearly, these continue (such as the recent challenges to normal Bureau of Meteorology practices). But, overall, climate denialists and their enablers are outnumbered outliers in Australia, rather the norm.

The power of the carbon industry

My second point of comparison is not quite as positive.

The problem in Australia is less a culture turning against the Enlightenment, and more the direct political power and influence of the carbon industry. ……

even here I think there is some hope. We have seen, over the last few years, an incredible coalition grow – one focused on the end of carbon mining, on protecting communities, on creating real jobs, and on supporting renewables.

Once-unthinkable coalitions of farmers and Aboriginal communities are fighting new mines, new attacks on sacred and fertile land and water.

We have intensive household investment in rooftop solar – and as the feed-in tariffs are undermined, those folks will increasingly invest in battery storage. And we’re finally seeing states move in this direction, with increasing development of utility-scale renewable and storage projects. As hard as the federal government and its allies resist, renewables are growing and the public supports this – even conservative voters. https://theconversation.com/the-madhouse-effect-this-is-how-climate-denial-in-australia-and-the-us-compares-81822

August 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Parliament passes Bill accusing government of failing to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef

Australian government can’t be trusted with Great Barrier Reef, says parliament
Climate Home, 15/08/2017,  Government loses vote on bill noting the government’s ‘failure to protect’ reef on day of chaos in Canberra, By Karl Mathiesen

Australia’s parliament has passed a bill admonishing the government for failing to protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.

In a rare event in Australia’s ultra-partisan parliament, the government failed to vote down its own bill on Tuesday evening, after the opposition Labor party attached the amendment.

Labor’s amendment read:

“…the House notes that:

(1) the Government is failing to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef by:

(a) failing to act on climate change;

(b) supporting the Liberal National Party in Queensland in blocking reef protections aimed at halting the broad scale clearing of trees and remnant vegetation; and

(c) winding back ocean protection, put in place by Labor, around Australia and specifically in the Coral Sea; and

(2) this Government cannot be trusted to protect the Great Barrier Reef and fight for Australia’s unique environment.”

The original bill, to which Labor attached the highly-politicised language, was a technical amendment to the act that established the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The reef, which stretches 2,300km down the northeastern coastline of the continent, has been severely damaged by consecutive bleaching events in the past two years. The death of 22% of corals in 2016 was followed this year by a second bleach, leaving scientists questioning the survival of the wonder.

Coral bleaching is caused by elevated water temperatures, which is why climate change is seen as an existential threat to coral reef systems around the world. But the recovery of bleached reefs can be assisted by management of other pressures, including overfishing and pollution.

The Australian and Queensland governments have been criticised by Unesco, the UN body that oversees the World Heritage site, for failing to stop agricultural runoff from impacting the ecosystem. A draft report released in June noted with “serious concern” that “progress toward achieving water quality targets has been slow”.

The Department of Environment and Energy press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Labor amendment…….http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/08/15/australian-government-cant-trusted-protect-great-barrier-reef-says-parliament/

August 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

In India, Customs Department accuses Adani of fraud, as Adani bids forAustralian coal loan

If true, one effect of the alleged scheme would have been to move vast sums of money from the Adani Group’s domestic accounts into offshore bank accounts where it could no longer be taxed or accounted for.

Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan, Exclusive: Allegations by Indian customs of huge sums being siphoned off to tax havens from projects are contained in legal documents but denied by company, Guardian, Michael Safi in Delhi, 16 Aug 17, A global mining giant seeking public funds to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.

Indian conglomerate the Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.

The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) file, compiled in 2014, maps out a complex money trail from India through South Korea and Dubai, and eventually to an offshore company in Mauritius allegedly controlled by Vinod Shantilal Adani, the older brother of the billionaire Adani Group chief executive, Gautam Adani.

Vinod Adani is the director of four companies proposing to build a railway line and expand a coal port attached to Queensland’s vast Carmichael mine project.

The proposed mine, which would be Australia’s largest, has been the source of years of intense controversy, legal challenges and protests over its possible environmental impact.

Expanding the coal port to accommodate the mine will require dredging an estimated 1.1m cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Coal from the mine will also produce annual emissions equivalent to those of Malaysia or Austria according to one study.

One of the few remaining hurdles for the Adani Group is to raise finance to build the mine as well as a railway line to transport coal from the site to a port at Abbot Point on the Queensland coast.

To finance the railway Adani hopes to persuade the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif), an Australian government-backed investment fund, to loan the Adani Group or a related entity about US$700m (A$900m) in public money.

While it awaits the decision on the loan, in Delhi the company is also expecting the judgment of a legal authority appointed under Indian financial crime laws in connection to allegations it siphoned borrowed money overseas.

The Adani Group fully denies the accusations, which it has challenged in submissions to the authority.

The investigation

News of the investigation was first reported in India three years ago, but the full customs intelligence document reveals forensic details of the workings of the alleged fraud which have not been publicly revealed.

The 97-page file accuses the Adani Group of ordering hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment for an electricity project in western India’s Maharashtra state using a front company in Dubai.

To read the pdf click here. Continue reading

August 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

World first: shareholders sue Commonwealth Bank of Australia for misleading shareholders over climate risks

Climate change is a financial risk, according to a lawsuit against the CBA The Conversation, August 16, 2017 , Anita Foerster, Senior Research Fellow, University of Tasmania, Jacqueline Peel, Professor of Environmental and Climate Law, University of Melbourne The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been in the headlines lately for all the wrong reasons. Beyond money-laundering allegations and the announcement that CEO Ian Narev will retire early, the CBA is now also being sued in the Australian Federal Court for misleading shareholders over the risks climate change poses to their business interests.

This case is the first in the world to pursue a bank over failing to report climate change risks. However, it’s building on a trend of similar actions against energy companies in the United States and United Kingdom.

  1. The CBA case was filed on August 8, 2017 by advocacy group Environmental Justice Australia on behalf of two longstanding Commonwealth Bank shareholders. The case argues that climate change creates material financial risks to the bank, its business and customers, and they failed in their duty to disclose those risks to investors.

    This represents an important shift. Conventionally, climate change has been treated by reporting companies merely as a matter of corporate social responsibility; now it’s affecting the financial bottom line.

    What do banks need to disclose?

    When banks invest in projects or lend money to businesses, they have an obligation to investigate and report to shareholders potential problems that may prevent financial success. (Opening a resort in a war zone, for example, is not an attractive proposition.)

    However, banks may now have to take into account the risks posed by climate change. Australia’s top four banks are heavily involved in fossil-fuel intensive projects, but as the world moves towards renewable energy those projects may begin to look dubious.

  2. As the G20’s Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures recently reported, climate risks can be physical (for instance, when extreme weather events affect property or business operations) or transition risks (the effect of new laws and policies designed to mitigate climate change, or market changes as economies transition to renewable and low-emission technology).

    For example, restrictions on coal mining may result in these assets being “stranded,” meaning they become liabilities rather than assets on company balance sheets. Similarly, the rise of renewable energy may reduce the life span, and consequently the value, of conventional power generation assets.

    Companies who rely on the exploitation of fossil fuels face increasing transition risks. So too do the banks that lend money to, and invest in, these projects. It is these types of risks that are at issue in the case against CBA………https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-a-financial-risk-according-to-a-lawsuit-against-the-cba-82505

August 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment

Australia’s national security impacted by climate change: Senate investigation

Senate investigates climate change’s impact on national security http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/4849605/climate-change-security-impacts/, Michelle Wisbey@MichelleWisbey1, 13 Aug 2017,Climate change could become a “driver of poverty and inequality” and a threat to Australia’s security if it is not addressed, a senate committee was told. 

The call came as submissions closed for an inquiry examining the implications of climate change on national security. Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie sits on the committee and said defence had been proactive in the area, but needed to be better.  “Defence needs to work more productively with local government and businesses in terms of defence procurement to ensure everyone is meeting environmental standards,” she said.   “I would like to see voluntary national service implemented to ensure when natural disasters strike, we have the numbers to support SES and the communities affected.”

The inquiry will also investigate the capacity of national security agencies to respond to the risks of climate change, as well as the role of climate mitigation policies.

The Climate Council said in its submission to the inquiry that climate change posed a growing threat to human well-being, and would go on to put the Australian Defence Force under significant pressure. “These events affect individuals and societies through the displacement of people, damage to critical infrastructure, and damage to health and livelihoods,” it said. “The ADF will increasingly be called upon to deliver humanitarian assistance in response to extreme weather and its impacts both at home and overseas.”

Former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie said urgent action was needed to mitigate the “potentially disastrous consequences” of not taking action. “We are approaching a time soon when there will be a serious possibility that no amount of effort in deploying the limited resources we have available will be able to ameliorate the national security problems and challenges we are confronting,” Admiral Barrie said.

World Vision Australia recommended that a Climate Change Strategy for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade be developed and implemented.“The impact of climate change on vulnerable communities in the Asia-Pacific region is of concern to Australia, and left unaddressed will likely become a driver of poverty and inequality,” it said. “Over time, this will have implications for the security and stability of Australia’s region.”

August 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Rising sea levels endanger Australia’s surf life-saving clubs

OUR FUTURE | Rescuers may need saving from climate changes, Bendigo Advertiser 13 Aug 2017, Rising sea levels and warming oceans are putting Australian surf life-saving clubs under increasing pressure, creating dangerous surf conditions and hindering the ability of life-savers to provide supervision and safety to beachgoers.

Life-saving clubs provide a valuable community service, yet their coastal position renders them vulnerable to the effects of intensifying climate change………

changing wave and tidal patterns are already eroding the sand dunes in front of our club house. This is due to rising sea levels, driven by worsening climate change.

This creates an aquatic environment that is increasingly difficult to contend with, creating deeper troughs, shallower sandbars and faster-forming rips.

Climate change is also driving hotter summers, with the Bureau of Meteorology showing January’s average temperature to be 0.78 degrees above average. This creates scorching conditions more often, prompting many Australians to flock to the beach to seek relief.

Lifesavers and lifeguards are becoming busier with a greater number of beachgoers. Hotter temperatures are increasing the incidence rates of sunburn and heatstroke, and more people in the water will likely result in more aquatic rescues.

Sophie Welsh is cadet co-ordinator of Point Leo Surf Lifesaving Club, Victoria. http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/4847484/rescuers-may-need-saving-from-climate-changes/

August 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Legal case – a world first – against the Commonwealth Bank, over its failure to disclose climate risks

New CBA case a warning: Step up on climate change, or we’ll see you incourt https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/11/new-cba-case-a-warning-step-up-on-climate-change-or-well-see-you-in-court. John Hewson, Despite the scale and urgency of the climate crisis and popular support for action, governments and financiers are failing to act. This will have to change  John Hewson is a professor at ANU and a former Liberal leader, In a global first, Australian mum-and-dad shareholders Guy and Kim Abrahams have launched a case against the Commonwealth Bank, arguing that the bank has breached the law by not disclosing the risks climate change poses to its business. Continue reading

August 12, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment