Thursday, May 31, 2007

Global warming terrorism will see more exploding trees

What's summer without a bushfire or two? Indeed, some of our plant life has evolved to germinate as a result of bushfire, but bushfires all year round would be an entirely different thing.

Overseas readers may not know this, but the eucalyptus tree has a such a high oil content that they virtually explode in the path of an approaching bushfire that has reached such an intensity it is crowning.

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Unless action is taken now to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Australia will be unable to manage future catastrophic bushfires, leading climate scientists have warned.

The co-director of the University of NSW's climate change research centre, Andy Pitman, says there will be a 100 to 200 per cent increase in bushfire risk by 2100 if Australia continues on
its path of high emissions.

Professor Pitman said the nation's governments would be at a loss to adapt to such a scenario.

But if Australia was able to meet the low emission guidelines set by the inter-governmental panel on climate change, the increase in bushfire risk would be just 20 to 30 per cent by 2100, he said.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Take out a global warming denialist

If you seriously want to take the global warming sceptic to task, here is your ammunition. And why shouldn't you? The sooner they are extinct, the sooner the rest of us can concentrate on our survival.

h/t Fallenmonk has done a great job in compiling a list of the 26 great misconceptions about Global Warming and climate change. This is an amazingly complex subject and the naysayers have endless arguments disclaiming the facts about how our world is changing for the worst. Now with the resources at NewScientist you can find a link to a specific article that in turn link to original research that will help you understand the details and refute arguments against Global Warming.

For those who are not sure what to believe, here is the NewScientist round-up of the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions.

There is also a guide to assessing the evidence. In the articles they've included lots of links to primary research and major reports for those who want to follow through to the original sources.

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Costa Rica to be carbon neutral by 2030

In the early 1893 New Zealand was the first nation in the world to enfranchise women. Look at the revolution this started. Can you conceive that women shouldn't have the vote?

Nobody can take that away from the Kiwis (Even though the Aussies came a close second in 1901). If Costa Rica does achieve their ambition to become the first carbon neutral country, nobody will be able take that from them either. Our future lies in a world where we cannot conceive of not striving to be carbon neutral.

Green trail-blazer Costa Rica is drawing up plans to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero before 2030, the government says.

Environment Minister Roberto Dobles says the tiny, jungle-cloaked Central American nation aims to be the first nation to offset all its carbon.

He says the country plans to clean up its fossil fuel-fired power plants, promote hybrid vehicles and increase tree planting to balance its emissions.

"The goal is to be carbon neutral," Mr Dobles told Reuters news agency on Thursday.

"We'd like to do it in the next 20 years."

He said Costa Rica will also eliminate net emissions of other greenhouse gases.

Costa Rica is a leader on green issues, with protected areas like national parks and biological reserves covering more than a quarter of its territory.

The country generates 78 per cent of its energy with hydroelectric power and another 18 per cent by wind or geothermally.

It now plans to cut emissions from transport, farming and industry.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

US to sink G8 Summit climate change deal, not CO2

What to make of the Luddite-like obstructionism the US is deploying into the proposed G8 Summit climate change deal mooted for next month in Germany? The deal is wanted by G7 of the other G8 countries, and being pushed very hard by the hosts. :::[Suburban Guerilla]

The US has rejected any prospect of a deal on climate change at the G8 summit in Germany next month, according to a leaked document.

Despite Tony Blair’s declaration on Thursday that Washington would sign up to “at least the beginnings” of action to cut carbon emissions, a note attached to a draft document circulated by Germany says the US is “fundamentally opposed” to the proposals.

The note, written in red ink, says the deal “runs counter to our overall position and crosses multiple ‘red lines’ in terms of what we simply cannot agree to”. …

The tone is blunt, with whole pages of the draft crossed out and even the mildest statements about confirming previous agreements rejected. “The proposals within the sections titled ‘Fighting Climate Change’ and ‘Carbon Markets’ are fundamentally incompatible with the President’s approach to climate change,” says another red-ink comment.

It's medieval in vision. I hope for Bush's legacy, and everyone else's future, that he has something better than a backrub for Angela Merkel, this time. There is two weeks for him to change his mind. Every thinking, acting American should email their senator and congressman, and the Whitehouse, and their media editors, and make it known that they strongly disagree with the concept of polluting the climate in order to maintain dependence on ever-diminishing, cheap-for-now, finite and foreign reserves of energy. It's not right for our kids to pick up the tab just to maintain a very narrowly-served dependence on festy fossil fuel.

:::[Online petition - America, join the G8 Climate Deal]

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100 things YOU can do to save the environment

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Conserve Energy
Reduce Toxicity
If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket.
Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.
Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label; old refrigerators, for example, use up to 50 more electricity than newer models.
Use an electric lawn- mower instead of a gas-powered one.
Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
Burn seasoned wood - it burns cleaner than green wood.
Use solar power for home and water heating.
Ignite charcoal barbecues with an electric probe or other alternative to lighter fluid.
Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.

Compost your vegetable scraps.

Create Less Trash

Climate change will bring menu change

Please, not lamb or chicken!
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Dietary guidelines should take into account the levels of nutrients needed for optimal health while maintaining the natural environmental systems required to produce our food, according to expert advice.

The recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that in the next 20 years, crop yields could decrease by up to 30 per cent in some parts of Asia.

"We can't just assume that the world is going to continue to produce the types of food that are the preferred sources of nutrients for practising dietitians," Professor McMichael said.

He said there was a growing global interest in finding ways to achieve nutritionally sound diets, based on locally-produced food.

"We have been kidding ourselves for a long time that the costs of carting food around the world are negligible when in fact …that is a true environmental cost that the world cannot afford," he

Professor Tony McMichael is the director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University.

Are recent zoo breakouts a climate change warning?

After last week's gorilla escape from a Northern European zoo, we see listed next to BBC News Video reports on the harbingers of climate change, more primates breaking out of zoos.

Given that animal instinct is far more alert to impending natural disaster than ours is, could the recent behaviour also be a harbinger? A forewarning? Perhaps not as dramatic as the dolphins leaving the planet after failing to warn us humans of impending planetary demolition and leaving us with a polite, "So long and thanks for all the fish." in Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but the unseasonal European spring is dramatic enough in it's own rite.
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Home of BBC News on the Internet



  1. Warm spring 'affects wildlife'
    A warm spring has brought about the early arrival of some UK wildlife, according to the Springwatch survey.
  2. Britain's gardens 'vanishing'
    Environmentalists have warned that a fall in the number of suburban gardens is damaging wildlife.
  3. Escaped orangutan runs riot

Manhattan ice island found 50 kms offshore

The first major ice-shelf calving in 25 years, in 2005, from the Ayles Ice Shelf in the Arctic, is slightly thicker than anticipated; Between 42-45m (138-148ft) - the equivalent of the height of a 10-storey building.

That's the good news.
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Scientists in the Arctic have just carried out the first research on a huge iceberg the size of Manhattan.
Some 16km long and 5km wide (10x3 miles), Ayles Ice Island broke away from the Canadian Arctic coast in 2005, but has only recently been identified.

Researchers have now landed on the giant berg with a BBC team and planted a tracking beacon on its surface. This will allow the island's progress to be monitored as currents push it around the Arctic Ocean.

Ice drill (BBC)

The team wants to know why this Ice Island formed

For 3,000 years, this colossal block of ice was securely fixed to the coast as part of the Ayles Ice Shelf - but now it is drifting free.

Its current location is about 600km (400 miles) from the North Pole, in what is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Low flow for $10 billion Murray-Darling river rescue

'twas a plan hatched on back of the envelope that crossed no squinting Treasury eyes, so why shouldn't the States look askance at the Federal Government's Murray-Darling River offer? Today's water allocation is tomorrow's pork barrel, if yesterday is any guide.
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The Federal Government will alter aspects of its $10 billion Murray-Darling Basin rescue plan after more states today joined Victoria in expressing concern about the proposal.

Victoria remained steadfast in its rejection of the plan after a meeting of water ministers from basin states and the Federal Government in Adelaide today.

South Australia and Queensland, while remaining supportive of the federal plan, voiced concern at aspects to rejuvenate the ailing basin.

Federal Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Canberra was willing to tinker with the plan's legislation.

"We are seeking input and we are making changes to the legislation all the time," Mr Turnbull said.

"We recognise that we are not the sole repository of wisdom on water, nobody is.

"We all benefit from input from others and we are seeking that input, receiving it, and where there is a consensus that it can make an improvement, we are applying it."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

David Hicks converts to new green religion

I can just imagine the headline of opinion writers like Andrew Bolt, "Hicks rejects Islam for environmentalism", or "Hicks trained in Greenpeace tactics - is nine months enough?" "Trrrist or Envirmntallist, what's the difference?". The glee with which they will wield that tarred brush will be unrestrained.

Hicks was described as the "worst-of-the-worst" during times of high political sensitivity, but his new interest in environmentalism seems to concur with previous evidence that he is an adventurer who takes up causes. Granted, some more misguided than others, but that is not a justification for holding and torturing someone for five years without laying charges until the end, like some pawn in the propaganda war.
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Convicted terrorist supporter David Hicks was "overjoyed" when he landed in Australia this morning after a 24-hour trip from thenotorious Guantanamo Bay prison to his home town of Adelaide, his lawyer says.
Hicks was friendly and in good spirits but was more reflective than talkative. He spent long hours looking out the window at the outside world, something he has not been able to do for years and enjoyed getting on and off the plane - the first time, Mr McLeod said, he'd been able to walk in a straight line for more than 10 metres in years.
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Hicks' US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, was also on hand at Guantanamo to farewell his most famous client.
Flying back into his home town of Adelaide, Hicks remarked that he was pleased to see the city so green - he had heard tales of Australia's drought and feared conditions would be worse. Environmentalism is a newfound interest and one he hopes to nurture from his cell as he serves the remainder of his nine-month sentence.


As if on cue, Andrew Bolt proves how boringly predictable denialists are in their tactics, and that he is better at writing headlines than me:

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Trained to kill people, but wants to save trees

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 21, 07 (06:41 am)

Once criminals sought redemption by announcing they’d found religion.

Convicted al Qaida recruit David Hicks is no different:

(Hicks’ lawyer David) McLeod said Hicks had reached Year 11 in his studies and now wanted to work towards becoming an ecologist.

He has an interest in ecology, zoology and the environment, and he hopes to make a contribution in some way.”

A symbol of our times.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One billion climate refugees in our lifetimes

But, don't worry, Howard's proven Pacific solution will deter them from coming to Australia.
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A BILLION people - one in seven people on Earth today - could be forced to leave their homes over the next 50 years as the effects of climate change worsen an already serious migration crisis, a new report from Christian Aid predicts.

The report, based on the latest United Nations population and climate-change figures, says conflict, large-scale development projects and widespread environmental deterioration will combine to make life unsupportable for hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the Sahara belt, South Asia and the Middle East.

About 155 million people are known to be displaced now by conflict, natural disaster and development projects. This figure could be augmented by as many as 850 million, as more people are expected to be affected by water shortages, sea level crises, deteriorating pasture land, conflicts and famine, the report says.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Washington wishes world would fry

Still panting after undermining the Kyoto Agreement, the American Government is now attacking the draft agreement of next month's G8 summit, watering down clauses agreeing to keep temperature rises under 2C this century.

As anyone who has been following global warming knows, when the world average temperature tips over 2 degrees Celsius from what it is today, we engage runaway climate change. Ciao to this benign climate that as seen the exponential growth of humans since the last ice age - it sure has been fun, especially inventing the Internet.

Something has to happen. We have to save the Internet.
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The US is trying to block sections of a draft agreement on climate change prepared for next month's G8 summit, according to documents seen by the BBC.
Washington objects to the draft's targets to keep the global temperature rise below 2C this century and halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

A clause saying "climate change is speeding up and will seriously damage our common natural environment and severely weaken (the) global economy... resolute action is urgently needed in order to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions" is struck out.

They are trying to lay landmines under a post-Kyoto agreement after they leave office
Philip Clapp

So are a statement that "we are deeply concerned about the latest findings confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)", and a commitment to send a "clear message" on international efforts to combat global warming at the next round of UN climate talks in December.