After a while in the wilderness, this site could see a bit more activity from now on. We start with this little post on renewable energy and the need for deeper cuts to emissions.
The Climate Council has issued a Report that sets out a program to have 60% renewable electricity in Aust by 2030. This, they say, is closer to what we need to do to meet our Paris commitments.
They analyze the NEG (National Energy Guarantee) of the Coalition Government to show it is inadequate.
2,000 scientists recently endorsed an open letter to our Prime Minster Turnbull calling for a halt to coal to save the world’s coral reefs. With 50% of global coral already dead, and a global bleaching event that started in 2014 still underway and ready to hit the Caribbean next, the Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii issued the urgent call for leadership from Australia (see https://www.scribd.com/doc/316753391/Letter-to-Australia-from-13th-International-Coral-Reef-Symposium).
“We call upon the Australian Commonwealth Government to stop endorsing the export of coal and specifically to stop or revoke the approval of new mines…”
“Australia is currently perceived as a laggard compared to other developed countries in pursuing the urgent pathway to a low carbon economy…”
What could be stronger than these words!
Why was climate change not higher on the agenda during this election? If vested interests/money was not involved, we would see the biggest outrage from the media.
This is not and should not be regarded as a ‘green’ issue as it goes to the heart of human survival into the coming centuries. We rely on the services that our environment provides to us – water, air, food, etc. Changes to our climate are already having serious consequences. The impacts we see today were created by our emissions in the 1990’s and we have not yet seen the impacts of the last 20 years of emissions. Inevitably, we will all be affected.
The simple message is, “The more we emit the worse the impacts will be”.
The current commitment to sea level rise has been estimated to be between 1.2m and 2.2m over the long term if we reduce emissions rapidly. If we continue to increase emissions over the next 30 years the commitment will be 9m of sea level rise. This would mean the drowning of coastal cities everywhere.
Those born this century have not experienced a year where the global average temperature was lower than any year in the 20th century except 1998, which was a strong El Nino year.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Australia's emissions, climate change, climate change impacts, coastal erosion, Coral bleaching, Coral Reef Symposium, GBR, global warming, Great Barrier Reef, inundation, Letter to Turnbull, sea level rise
It is now 25 years since the first global reports warned us that greenhouse gas emissions were a serious problem. I have watched the debate these two decades on climate change with increasing levels of concern. This is not some minor issue that will be easy to overcome. It is a massive juggernaut that will careen faster and faster, crashing through human society with drastic consequences. We have already committed our children to a degrading planet with compounding problems. If we don’t stop emitting greenhouse gases (particularly CO2) our children or their children may not have a livable planet at all.
The tragedy of it is that we can do something to stop it. It is very simple – we must give up fossil fuels. We know how to do this. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are feasible and not overly expensive. It is not too late. In fact there is a driving moral duty to reduce emissions (and thus the impacts) as quickly as possible. The longer we wait, the harder it will become; until it is no longer possible to recover the Earth to the condition that have enjoyed through 5000 years of settled civilization. Every additional tonne emitted today will drive further warming over this and later centuries.
Besides what we can do individually to reduce our fossil fuel emissions, it falls on our governments to put in place plans to build new renewable energy plants so that we can close down fossil fuels. Because we have delayed for 25 years, there is now no other way to do this than actively closing down our fossil fuel plants. Our government must:
- Declare a climate emergency.
- Ban any new fossil fuel industry or infrastructure.
- Ban any new coal mines.
- Set in place a plan to build new renewable generation capacity sufficient to close down our coal plants.
- Found and organize our future carbon free industries.
Australia is in a unique position for renewable energy resources. Solar, wind and wave plants are already being constructed around the world. We have wide expanses of open land where solar energy would be ideal and a massive market to our north that needs energy.
Unfortunately, the agreement in Paris is not binding and the voluntary commitments made by all nations are not enough. Our ambition for reducing emissions must be increased in line with the above to avoid the worst possible outcome.
There is no future in those who continue to deny this crisis. We must have leaders who are willing to make the commitment needed to reduce emissions. No-one can expect us to stop emissions immediately, but I believe it is economically possible to replace our electricity system with currently available renewable energy plants in 10 years. Replacement of petrol would likely take longer.
With an election pending this year, we should be asking candidates of all colours how soon they plan to transition to a low carbon economy.
A number of Central Coast organisations were represented at the Climate Change Rally in November 2015. This included CEN and ACF Central Coast branch.
The rally was held to remind governments that real action is needed at the Paris Climate Summit the following week.
The rally was a huge success with an estimated 45,000 attending and more than 750,000 world wide.
The COP21 outcome was encouraged by the show of support. No legally binding wording was included but countries have to review their commitments on a regular basis with a view to increasing cuts.
Climate Change and the Central Coast
Thursday, 20 March, 2014
Philippines delegate Yeb Saño announces hunger strike demanding climate change action
Philippines delegate Naderev (Yeb) Saño, announces his decision to go on hunger strike on the first day of the COP19 Climate Change Summit in Poland, 11 November 2013. Making an impassioned plea for action by the conference, he said that he would be fasting in solidarity with his country-folk until action to prevent climate change is forthcoming. Saño received a standing ovation after describing the hardship suffered by Filipino’s, including members of his own family, due to the “colossal” typhoon Haiyan which recently hit his country
View some of his speech: http://www.goodspeaks.org/media-gallery/detail/1373/5807