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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 15 February 2010
Exposed: Paul Sheehan's mix of fact and fiction echoing Cardinal Pell
Mood:  sad
Topic: globalWarming

 


 

Today's opinion piece by Paul Sheehan (Fairfax Sydney) - who it has to be said has major credibility/ethical problems for urging the Israeli war on Gaza without declaring secret Israeli funding, promoting a shonky bottled water product - has again got it badly wrong today.

The drum beat of misconceived non sequiturs and egotistical posturing by science gumbies marches on.

Here is Professor James Hansen of NASA responding to all the fakes and phonies on 9th Dec 2009 on our ABC Lateline show just prior to Copenhagen debacle. We highlight in bold the section on heat island effect and the NASA sourcing of global temperature metrics:

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Now to our interview. Dr James Hansen heads NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Science. The institute has been publishing global temperature data since 1987 and is now one of the key sources of data for climate scientists.

Hansen's own testimony to the US Congress in 1988 brought world attention to global warming. His latest book Storms of my Grandchildren carries the subtitle, "The truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity".

He joins us from New York. Professor James Hansen, thanks for joining us.

JAMES HANSEN, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, NASA: Sure, glad to be with you.

TONY JONES: Now you're accusing governments of lying through their teeth even as they sign up to large emission reduction targets for Copenhagen. Why so pessimistic?

JAMES HANSEN: Well it's very easy to show that they are either lying or kidding themselves because all you have to do is look at the geophysical data. You know, the governments all around the world now agree that we're going to have to stabilise atmospheric composition, carbon dioxide in particular, at a relatively low level.

And if you look at how much carbon there is in oil, gas and coal, what you quickly realise is that oil and gas is already going to be enough to get us up to approximately the dangerous level. The only way we can solve the problem is by phasing out coal emissions and prohibiting unconventional fossil fuels like tar sands and oil shale.

But in fact, if you look at what's happening, the United States just signed an agreement with Canada to make a pipeline to carry oil from tar sands to the United States, and Australia is expanding its port facilities to export more coal.

And coal fired power plants are built all around the world. Oil is even being squeezed out of coal. So there's absolutely no way that the world can meet the kind of targets that they're talking about for future decades. So they're just putting out numbers, you know, goals which absolutely cannot be met.

If you're going to use that coal, then you would have to tell Russia to leave its gas in the ground and tell Saudi Arabia to leave its oil in the ground but nobody's proposing that and you know they wouldn't do it anyhow.

TONY JONES: You've also described the whole Copenhagen approach as fraudulent because of its, quote, "ineffectual cap and trade mechanism". Now why do you say global emissions trading won't work?

JAMES HANSEN: Well we can prove very easily that cap and trade with offsets is not going to work. We tried that with Kyoto and the global emissions actually accelerated, even the rate of growth increased after the Kyoto Protocol.

A few countries cut their emissions a bit but as long as the price of fossil fuels is the cheapest energy, then they're going to be used by somebody. So this cap in trade and offsets, that's, basically what this is, it's like the indulgences of the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church would sell forgiveness for sins.

This was great for the bishops, they collected a lot of moolah, and it was great for the sinners, because they got forgiven and they could still go to heaven or at least they thought they could.

That's what's happening in Copenhagen. Developed countries are coming and they're looking for these offsets so they can continue business as usual, they can continue their sinning, but developing countries, well they're happy to go along with that if the developed countries give them some money, you know, for climate adaptation or for the offset mechanisms if that will result in some money going to developing countries.

So that's what's happening. You've got both parties making this kind of a deal, and who's getting the short end of the stick? Our children and grandchildren, because the emissions are not going to decline. In fact, they'll continue to increase. That's as plain as you can see that very easily.

TONY JONES: There's been a huge debate in Australia over emissions trading. Are you saying that even with the best will in the world an emissions trading scheme in Australia will be ineffectual.

JAMES HANSEN: Absolutely. These cap and trade trading schemes are a terrible idea. You can see what they do. They are a way to continue business as usual because they include these offsets, for example. They're not attacking the fundamental problem. Who they're good for is the big banks. In the United States it's going to be Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, the trading companies.

They have trading groups within their bank who are very skilled and they're going to make money, and where does the money come from? It comes from the public. There will be increased energy prices, big banks will make money, but the problem will not be solved.

There will be little reduction in emissions. Unless you attack the fundamental problem, you cannot solve the problem. And the fundamental issue is that fossil fuels are the cheapest energy. You must put a price on carbon emissions.

And the way to do that, and to make it acceptable to the public and actually very beneficial to the public, is to return the money that's collected from a carbon tax, and that tax needs to be applied at the source, at the mine or the port of entry.

You then distribute that money to the public, so that they will have the money to invest in more efficient vehicles, in insulating their homes, and that would encourage innovations, innovators would develop carbon free or low carbon energy sources.

That's the way that you can drive the system to slowly phase out fossil fuels, but the cap and trade doesn't do that at all, and it's impossible. As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, you're not going to phase them out.

TONY JONES: Now you've proposed what you call a uniform rising price on carbon; effectively a global carbon tax. Now it's a simple approach but it would require carbon tariffs to be levied against those who refuse to put a price on carbon. But isn't that a serious problem? Won't it lead to trade wars?

JAMES HANSEN: No, in fact it is far simpler. As we saw in the Kyoto Protocol, you cannot get all the countries to agree, you have to bribe them one by one to try to get them to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol or a Copenhagen follow up.

But, in the case of a carbon price, which is simple and honest, it's a much easier task. All you need to do is get the major players to agree to put a carbon price on. And then if any countries don't want to do it, well then you put a tariff on the products that you import from those countries that are made with fossil fuels.

In effect, most countries would then decide, well, we would rather have our internal carbon tax because then we get to collect the money rather than the other country. That is much simpler than cap and trade.

TONY JONES: Can we talk about the science of global warming and climate change now, because as we've gotten closer to Copenhagen, the sceptics have become much louder. There's been a fierce backlash against the science. What do you think is going on here?

JAMES HANSEN: Well, the science, as you know, has become very clear. The evidence for climate change around the world is widespread.
The Arctic Sea ice melting, glaciers receding all around the world, climate zones are shifting, the subtropics are expanding, and that's affecting Australia, by the way, as well as the south-west United States and the Mediterranean region, and that's a reason why we have more extremes, including heatwaves and fires.

But also, when we have rain, it is heavier, because warmer atmosphere holds more water vapour. We see the climate change all over the planet, there's no question about that.

TONY JONES: But why do you think there's been a revival of scepticism against the science? You must have been disturbed yourself recently by the leaked email exchanges between your fellow scientists at Britain's climate research unit.

Now sceptics are using these emails to support their case that scientists are trying to hoodwink us, that scientists are falsifying data or hiding away evidence that disproves their arguments.

JAMES HANSEN: Yeah, these are very desperate efforts by the contrarians and those who are supporting the business community that wants to continue business as usual. But, you know, the data that is used to determine the temperature change over the last century or so, that data is available to everybody.

If there was anything wrong with the analyses that showed the magnitude of this warming, don't you think that these contrarians would quickly show, do their own analysis and show that there really wasn't any warming? Of course not because they know very well.

You know, they've tried to examine or data and they did find one flaw, which turned out to be 3/100ths of a degree and was an easily explained mistake, but that's the kind of thing, they're looking for nitpicking. They try to find small things and then they question the integrity of the scientists.

But in fact, there's the evidence for climate change, and the analyses is very strong. It's true that in some of these email exchanges that some of the scientists did some things which I think they probably regret.

For example, we should always make our input data available to the community, to anybody, so that they can check our analysis. But, in fact, we've been doing that for many years, and as I say, nobody can find anything that disproves proves our analysis.

TONY JONES: Okay well one of the published emails we're talking about goes to the key part of the sceptics argument that since 1998, the hottest year on record, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere kept going up, but the temperature didn't keep going up with it.

Now you've been bombarded, I understand, with scores of messages along those lines from people who want you to repent and admit that global warming is a hoax. So how do you respond to them?

JAMES HANSEN:
You know, if you look at this global temperature curve and smooth it over a few years you'll see that it's continued to increase over the last decade. And in fact, it's not true that 1998 was the warmest year. 2005 was the warmest year.

The British analysis shows 1998 as the warmest year because they exclude polar regions, because there are no weather stations there or very few. But there are other ways to estimate the temperature in the polar regions and in fact, because of the decreased sea ice in the Arctic it has been warmer and warmer in the Arctic.

And when you include these polar regions, it turns out that 2005 was the warmest year. And when you average over a few years you'll find that the temperature curve has continued up. And besides, you don't expect the temperature to go up every year.

There's a lot of natural variability in the system primarily due to the tropical El Nino/La Nina cycle. And now we are moving into the El Nino phase, so it's a pretty good bet that, first of all, this year is going to be one of the warmest years, 2009, and 2010 will probably be the warmest year on the record.

TONY JONES: Is there already evidence for that? I mean are you seeing early data from your global temperature recordings?

JAMES HANSEN: Yeah, we see the data up to now, and we know that the global temperature tends to lag a few months behind the tropical temperature. So it's because the El Nino started a few months ago, it's likely to have its greatest effect on 2010, but it's already having an effect this year making this year some place between the second and the fifth warmest, it depends on the November and December data, which we don't have yet.

TONY JONES:
Okay, can you tell us how the Goddard Institute takes and adjusts these global temperatures because sceptics claim that urban heat centres make a huge difference; that they distort global temperatures and they make it appear hotter that it really is.

So do you adjust, in your figures, for the urban heat zone effects?

JAMES HANSEN: We get data from three different sources and we now, in order to avoid criticisms from contrarians, we no longer make an adjustment. Even if we see there are eight stations in Alaska and seven of them have temperatures in the minus 30s and one of them says plus 35, which pretty obvious what happens, someone didn't put the minus sign there, we just, we don't correct that.

Instead we send an email or letter or a letter to the organisation that produces the data and say, you'd better check the Alaska temperatures, because we don't want to be blamed for changing anything. But as far as adjusting for urban effects, we have a very simple procedure.

We exclude urban locations, use rural locations to establish a trend, and that does eliminate - though urban stations do have more warming than the rural stations, and so we eliminate that effect simply by eliminating those stations, but it's very clear that the warming that we see is not urban, it's largest in Siberia, and in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and there aren't any cities there, and there's warming over the oceans, there are no cities there. So it's not urban warming that's just nonsense.

TONY JONES: Well if I understand you correctly your biggest fear now is that these built in temperature rises will trigger what you call feedback mechanisms. Can you explaining how they work, and what are the implications of them?

JAMES HANSEN: Yeah, well that's what makes climate a really dangerous situation, because of the inertia of the system. It takes the ocean a long time to warm up, it's four kilometres deep, and it takes icesheets a long time to get started to move, they're very thick and have a lot of inertia.

The problem is that as these changes begin to occur, and they are beginning to occur - Greenland is losing ice faster and faster and Antarctica is beginning to lose ice at a rate of about 150 cubic kilometres per year - as you get to a certain point, you can get to a point where the dynamics of the system begins to take over.

If the icesheets begin to collapse, by that time it's too late. You've passed the tipping point and the icesheet is going to end up in the ocean. So, that's one of the tipping points. Another one is methane hydrates. We're beginning to see methane bubble out of the tundra as it's melting.

There's a lot more methane hydrates on continental shelves. As the ocean warms that methane hydrate can also begin to release methane, which is a very strong greenhouse gas and can cause amplifying feedback which makes the global warming much larger.

And this is not idle speculation, because we can look at the history of the earth. And in past global warming events we have seen those kind of amplifying feedbacks which then make the change extremely large.

TONY JONES: Okay, well you're talking about what you find from the examination of ice core data. Is there a comparable period in history, the history of the planet that is, where warming accelerates due to these feedback mechanisms, and do you get much more rapid sea level rises during that period?

JAMES HANSEN: Yeah, well, in the relatively recent paleoclimate, coming from the last ice age to the present interglacial period that we've been living in for 10,000 years, when that icesheet, the big icesheet on North America began to disintegrate, sea level went up five metres per century. That's one meter every 20 years for several centuries. So once an icesheet begins to melt and begins to disintegrate, things can move very rapidly.

TONY JONES: Okay let's go quickly through a couple of the other key arguments put forward by the sceptics. Why worry about carbon dioxide when water vapour is a stronger greenhouse gas and actually occurs naturally?

JAMES HANSEN: Yeah, that's the screwiest argument which keeps being made again and again and again. The amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is determined by the atmosphere's temperature, everyone should know that. Look at the difference between winter and summer.

As you go to a warmer climate the atmosphere holds more water vapour because at the places where the humidity reaches 100 per cent the water vapour falls out as water or snow. And therefore, as the planet becomes warmer, the atmosphere holds more water vapour.

That's why we get heavier rain falls as the planet gets warmer. So this water vapour is an amplifying feedback. It makes the greenhouse effect much stronger. But it's not something that just changes on its own accord; it changes in response to the temperature changes.

TONY JONES: Okay, if I understand it correctly your argument is that climate change is not only about droughts, but that effect you're talking about will cause much more frequent and much more severe storms; is that correct?

JAMES HANSEN: Yeah, the, both extremes of the hydrologic cycle must increase, become more intense as the planet becomes warmer. At the times and places where it's dry, the increased heating of the surface makes it hotter and drier.

On the other hand, the oceans, the places where you have water, the increased heating evaporates more water, so the atmosphere holds more water vapour and at the times when you get rainfall you will get heavier rainfall and greater floods, so the extremes of the climate increase, the extremes of the hydrologic cycle.

Now as far as storms are concerned, the storms that are driven by latent heat - that means thunderstorms, tornados, tropical storms - the strongest ones will get stronger because there's more fuel. The water vapour provides the fuel for those types of storms.

Not all of them will be stronger, but the strongest ones will be stronger than the strongest ones now. But in addition to that, and one thing I talk about in my book, Storms of my Grandchildren, I'm talking about the mid-latitude storms, the fact that as the icesheets on Greenland and Antarctica begin to melt more rapidly than they are now, they will discharge ice fast enough that it will cool the surface of the ocean, nearby ocean, in the North Atlantic and in the circum Antarctic Ocean.

That will cause the temperature gradient between low latitudes and high latitudes to increase, so the storms that are driven by horizontal temperature gradients will become stronger, and these can be very damaging storms, this is like the storms that hit the Netherlands and England in the 1950.

They can do enormous damage. So, yes, it's true that all the storms that we can think of will become stronger as the climate becomes warmer.

TONY JONES: James Hansen, one final question: what's your estimate; how long do we have before the planet reaches one of those tipping points that you're talking about and global warming is irreversible? And if that happens, what are the consequences?

JAMES HANSEN: Well, you know, we are probably, we're already into the dangerous level of carbon dioxide and it's going to increase more. If we would phase out the coal emissions over the next 20 years, then CO2 would peak at something like 425ppm.

Doesn't look like we're starting to phase out coal though, so it may go higher than that. We're going to go well into the dangerous zone, and some things are going to happen out of our control. But that doesn't mean we should give up, because whether we get a sea level rise of one metre, or 25 metres makes a huge difference.

What we will need to do once people really see what's happening, is we're going to need to restore the planet's energy balance, or make it negative, and you do that by reducing the amount of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and so the planet begins to cool off a bit.

And then, even though we're going to get some icesheet disintegration anyhow and we're going to lose some species because we're already pushing some of them, we're putting a lot of stress on many species, but we don't, that doesn't mean we should give up and decide we're willing to give up all of them.

TONY JONES: James Hansen, we're going to have to leave it there. We thank you very much for coming to join us right on the eve of the Copenhagen conference.

JAMES HANSEN: Thank you for listening. Thanks.


Posted by editor at 8:30 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 15 February 2010 8:48 AM EADT
Monday, 25 January 2010
Monckton twit polluting the airwaves, like a true whingeing pom
Mood:  irritated
Topic: globalWarming

Lord Twit is here to 'teach' us about the science of global warming.

Hello, we have our own Nobel prize winners and world class scientits. Lord Muck apparently is a mathematician.

Hello, we are talking about the geological record and climatology led by NASA's Professor James Hansen. You know the guys who do rocket science, not puzzle games for a living.

The ABC gave the twit a platform earlier this morning on Sydney radio and he oozed sophistry and dishonesty about glacier melt - given Kilimanjaro is disappearing yearly. All cheap shots about a typo in the IPCC report.

Monckton makes Prince William, son of an avowed greenie, look like an angel of sunlight and truth, and this twit a slippery cur from the other place.


Posted by editor at 9:31 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 25 January 2010 10:53 AM EADT
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Prof Hansen's call for honest solution after Cop15 global 'failure' to date
Mood:  special
Topic: globalWarming

Here it is, reprinted in total in the public interest courtesy of UK The Guardian, because scientific leadership is likely a better option for a scientific problem. (Note SAM here despite google adverts is essentially non profit - we haven't received one payment from Google in over a year):

Copenhagen has given us the chance to face climate change with honesty

James Hansen, The Guardian (UK) 27th December 2009

 A carbon-use dividend for everybody must replace the old, ineffectual 'cap-and-trade' scheme

Chart showing emission trends.

Last weekend's minimalist Copenhagen global climate accord provides a great opportunity. The old deceitful, ineffectual approach is severely wounded and must die. Now there is a chance for the world to get on to an honest, effective path to an agreement.

The centrepiece of the old approach was a "cap-and-trade" scheme, festooned with offsets and bribes – bribes that purportedly, but hardly, reduced carbon emissions. It was analogous to the indulgences scheme of the Middle Ages, whereby sinners paid the Church for forgiveness.

In today's indulgences the sinners, developed countries, buy off developing countries by paying for "offsets" to their own emissions and providing reparation money for adaptation to climate change. But such hush money won't work. Yes, some developing country leaders salivated over the proffered $100 billion per year. But by buying in, they would cheat their children and ours. Besides, even the $100 billion hush money is fugacious. The US, based on its proportion of the fossil fuel carbon in the air today, would owe $27 billion per year. Chance of Congress providing that: dead zero. Maybe the UK will cough up its $6 billion per year and Germany its $7 billion per year. But who will collect Russia's $7 billion per year?

Most purchased "offsets" to fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions are hokey. But there is no need to flagellate the details of this modern indulgences scheme. Science provides an unambiguous fact that our leaders continue to ignore: carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning remains in the climate system for millennia. The only solution is to move promptly to a clean energy future.

The difficulty is that fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, if the price does not include the damage they do to human health, the planet, and the future of our children. "Goals" for future emission reductions, whether "legally binding" or not, are utter nonsense as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy. The Kyoto Protocol illustrates the deceit of our governments, which have not screwed up their courage to face down the fossil fuel industry. As the graph here shows, global fossil fuel emissions were increasing 1.5% per year prior to the 1997 Kyoto accord. After "Kyoto" emission growth accelerated to 3% per year. A few developed countries reduced their fossil fuel use. The only important effect of that was to slightly reduce demand for fuel, helping to keep its price down. The fuel was burned in other places, and products made were shipped back to developed countries.

As far as the planet is concerned, agreements to "cap" emissions, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the imagined Copenhagen Protocol, are worthless scraps of paper. As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will be burned somewhere. This fact helps define a solution to the climate problem. Yes, people must make changes in the way they live. Countries must cooperate. Matters as intractable as population must be included. Technology improvements are required. Changes must be economically efficient. The climate solution necessarily will increase the price of fossil fuel energy. We must admit that. But in the end, energy efficiency and carbon-free energy can be made less expensive than fossil fuels, if fossil fuels' cost to society is included. The solution must have honesty, backbone and a fair international framework. We need a rising price on carbon applied at the source (the mine, wellhead, or port of entry). The fee will affect all activities that use fossil fuels, directly or indirectly. The entire fee collected from fossil fuel companies should be distributed to the public. In this fee-and-dividend approach people maintaining a carbon footprint smaller than average will receive more in the dividend than they pay via increased energy costs. The monthly dividend, deposited electronically in their bank account or on their debit card, will stimulate the economy and provide people with the means to increase their carbon efficiency. All that governments need do is divide the collected revenue by the number of shares, with half-shares for children, up to two children per family.

Some economists prefer a payroll tax deduction over a dividend, because taxes depress the economy. The problem is that about half of the public are not on payrolls, because of retirement or involuntary unemployment. I suggest that at most 50% of the collected carbon fee should be used for payroll tax deduction.

Cap-and-trade is the antithesis of this simple system. Cap-and-trade is a hidden tax, increasing energy costs, but with no public dividend. Its infrastructure costs the public, who also fund the profits of the resulting big banks and speculators. Cap-and-trade is advantageous only to energy companies with strong lobbyists and government officials who dole out proceeds from pollution certificates to favoured industries.

Fee-and-dividend, in contrast, is a non-tax – on average it is revenue-neutral. The public will probably accept a rise in the carbon fee rate, because their monthly dividend will increase correspondingly. As fee-and-dividend causes fossil fuel energy prices to rise, a series of points will be reached at which various carbon-free energies and carbon-saving technologies are cheaper than fossil fuels plus the fee. The market place will choose the best technology. As time goes on, fossil fuel use will collapse, coal will be left in the ground, and we will have arrived at a clean energy future. A rising carbon fee is essential for a climate solution. But how to achieve a fair international framework?

The critical requirement is that the United States and China agree to apply across-the-board carbon fees, at a relative rate to be negotiated. Why would China agree to a carbon fee? China does not want to be saddled with the problems that attend fossil fuel addiction such as those that plague the United States. Besides, China would be hit extraordinarily hard by climate change. A uniform rising carbon fee is the most economically efficient way for China to limit its fossil fuel dependence.

 

Copenhagen discussions showed that China and the United States can work together. Europe, Japan, and most developed countries would very probably agree to a similar status to that of the United States. Countries refusing to levy an across-the-board carbon fee can be dealt with via an import duty collected on products from that nation in accord with the amount of fossil fuel that goes into producing the product. The World Trade Organisation already has rules permitting such duties.

The international framework must define how proceeds from import duties are used to assure fairness. Duties on products from developing countries will probably dwarf present foreign aid to those countries. These funds should be returned to developing countries, but distributed so as to encourage best practices, for example, improved women's rights and education that helps control population growth. Fairness also requires that distribution of the funds takes account of the ongoing impacts of climate change. Successful efforts in limiting deforestation and other best practices could also be rewarded.

 

James Hansen was the first scientist to warn the US Congress of the dangers of climate change. The ideas discussed in this article are expanded on in his new book "Storms of My Grandchildren".

 

 


Posted by editor at 7:51 AM EADT
Monday, 21 December 2009
Direct action on coal port in Newcastle, Australia
Mood:  energetic
Topic: globalWarming
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 10:30 AM
Subject: [chipstop] big ups 2 newy crew

Forty climate activists have closed down the rail line into the world's
biggest coal port this morning, protesting the failure of the UN climate
talks in Copenhagen to produce a just, effective, and legally binding
treaty.
 
Twenty five of the diverse group - aged from 19 to 86 years and including
a Buddhist priest, and an elected local councillor - are occupying a rail
bridge in Newcastle, Australia, and refusing to leave. They have hung
large banners reading "Greed wrecked Copenhagen: Now it's up to us all",
and "You could have done something great."

 

Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 12:06 PM
Subject: [chipstop] great pics

There are five activists suspended on ropes from train under bridge, there
are three or so Dlocked onto train and one on tripod. there are two or
three sitting in front and two or three sitting behind - the train aint
goin nowhere. police rescue have turned up - two of them, without a ladder.

 

Here is the big media via Newcastle Herald today:


 

 


Posted by editor at 9:53 AM EADT
Sunday, 20 December 2009
USA healthcare arm wrestle trumps planet's health?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: globalWarming

We noticed the Washington Post web front page for 20 Dec 09 (our time, 19 Dec 09 over there) goes with healthcare and a record snow storm, with Copenhagen climate conference nearly a footnote:


 

Similar with New York Times only their 'global edition' (inset) has climate change as the lead:

It sure looks like global warming just got crunched by Obama's domestic political imperatives. 


Posted by editor at 12:45 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 20 December 2009 12:52 PM EADT
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Green Senators email solidarity campaign via Copenhagen for the AOSIS
Mood:  hug me
Topic: globalWarming

The primary vote in the latest polling in NSW has The Green Party here at 17% up from around 11%.

Similarly the federal Green Party reps are busy in solidarity with the Association of Small Island States at Copenhagen as per this email just in 6 hours ago by the magic of the intertubes. We would have posted more on the Austalian interface with the UN conference but we've been at the NSW Supreme Court on a charity mission for a colleague for 3 days:

..........................................

Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 12:42 AM
Subject: Send Island leaders a message of support for their climate stand
Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne

A message from Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne

Join the campaign online

Dear friend,

I am writing to you again from Copenhagen, where the conference has been reverberating for days with the brave voices of island leaders.

The island leaders, from Tuvalu to the Maldives, Grenada to Kiribati, are pleading for serious climate action from developed and developing countries alike. They rightly point out that the kind of weak deal that rich countries like Australia have on offer is a suicide pact for them and they will not sign it.

Support the island leaders now!

But Kevin Rudd responded to this heartfelt plea from the world's most vulnerable people by trying to bully them into submission. He picked up the phone and started to call Pacific leaders, berating them for what he called their "unproductive stance". You can read about it in my blogs from Copenhagen on our website.

These island leaders will be coming under immense pressure from the world's largest and richest countries in the next few days. Those who want a political outcome more than they want a meaningful safe climate outcome are pressuring the islands to pull back and accept a weak deal.

Island leaders need our support now!

Stand with Tuvalu impromptu protest pic

All Australians who support the brave stand taken by island leaders should get behind them now.

We need to tell them not to listen to Mr Rudd, and reassure them that many Australians stand with the islands in their call for survival.

Please take a few minutes to email these leaders to give them your support.

Yours in hope,

Christine

 

Meanwhile ironic that the right wing shock jocks are whining about police resources over this banner below when literally millions of Australians agree with this Greenpeace message. The people's house? We paid for it (literally).

Also notice how pathetic The Sydney Daily Telegraph are not publishing the unfurled banner in their press edition yesterday, while the Sydney Morning Herald did. What would owner Rupert 'give the planet the benefit of the doubt' Murdoch think of their News Limited (literally) values, let alone common sense? Here is the Greenpeace blog posting, with link to a short video:


 We've just noticed this blog site from New Matilda here http://newmatilda.com/copthis/

and no doubt there is plenty more at www.crikey.com.au

and public broadcaste www.abc.net.au


Posted by editor at 5:44 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 December 2009 6:20 AM EADT
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Walk Against Warming event in Sydney at 1pm today at Martin Place
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: globalWarming

More info at this link on the image:

In relation to forest protection issues notice:

* This display will be attending regarding South Coast of NSW opposed to a forest biomass furnace for energy production

 A recent letter in Bega District News about this reads as follows:

Burning issue.

 

The response from SEFE [South East Fibre Exports, formerly Daishowa Woodchip Mill at Eden] to being denied exhibition space in the Clean Energy Expo highlights some interesting points.

It is clearly beyond the scope of the Corporate Affairs Manager to understand that burning native forests to create electricity is neither clean, green, or alternative.

Rather, it shows a lack of understanding for ecology and the basic life systems of this world in which we live.

Explained simply, cutting down forests has a negative impact on our soils and on water quality and availability.

It releases carbon into the atmosphere and destroys the habitats and therefore lives of numerous species.

The unmanaged regrowth forests further suck up vast quantities of our limited ground water supplies, robbing streams, rivers and catchments of the water needed to sustain life.

The current practice of chipping 90 per cent of these forests and exporting them as woodchips is another big carbon footprint.

But the proposal to burn these forests as waste wood and produce electricity somehow makes the industry see it as an alternative energy source.

Vince Phillips and others may try and wear a green hat, but I don’t think so and congratulations to the Clean Energy committee for drawing the line.

(Even knowing the change of mind) my comments stand, but my question is where do we stand on forests, what value do we place on our ecological systems?

Maybe SEFE should set up in the street with their information for direct questioning and feedback from the community.

I think the discussion about this issue needs to be had and has only just begun.

The Forest Forum on Saturday afternoon at 1pm might provide a starting point for some directions into our common forested future.

Skye Etherington

Wallagoot

 

* In Tasmania

The Wilderness Society - Tasmania Updates

Tasmania Updates - The Wilderness Society


Dear Tom,

Walk Against Warming
Timbs Track, Upper Florentine Valley
12 noon Saturday 12 December

Walk Against Warming logo

I am writing to you from Copenhagen, where I am representing Tasmania's ancient forests at the international climate talks.

I will show images and video of the Walk Against Warming to world leaders attending the climate talks. By being part of the Walk, you will be showing them that you want strong urgent action and the protection of the world's forests.

Come along and join the call for a strong international deal at the Copenhagen climate talks.

Walk Against Warming
Timbs Track, Upper Florentine Valley
12 noon Saturday 12 December

Special guest: Peter Cundall

I've just heard that Australian folk-music legend Xavier Rudd will be attending the Walk Against Warming. I'm sure he'll be inspired to sing you a song or two.

Timbs Track in the Upper Florentine is off the Gordon River Road, about 90 minutes drive from Hobart. Click here for driving directions to Timbs Track.

We are encouraging everyone to use sustainable transport to go to the Walk Against Warming.

Buses from Hobart - tickets are $20 return. Buy your tickets from the Wilderness Society Shop in Salamanca, phone 03 6234 9370.

Carpool - don't travel with empty seats in your car. Register as a driver or a passenger at www.coolpooltas.com.au  First-time users should read 'How it works' under the 'About the Cool Pool' tab.

Thank you for your support of Tasmania's ancient forests. Please help me convince world leaders to protect the world's forests and secure a safe climate for our future.

Gemma Tillack
Climate Change and Forests Campaigner

PS: Keep up-to-date with what's going on in Copenhagen through my twitter feeds and daily blog. Go to wilderness.org.au/copenhagen

 * In Copenhagen

Our chance to protect the world's forests


Dear Tom,

Luke Chamberlain
Forest Campaigner Luke Chamberlain gives an update on what we'll be doing at the Copenhagen climate summit

The Copenhagen climate summit, from 7 - 18 December, is the deadline for committing to a successor to the Kyoto protocol - which Australia joined in late 2007.

Those present will be discussing the degree to which developed and developing countries should reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Wilderness Society has been at the forefront promoting the role nature can play in safeguarding our climate.

Find out more about the role we'll be playing in Copenhagen »

25% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by logging and degrading forests and bushland - so protecting forests makes climate sense.

Stopping deforestation is, in principle, cheap and simple - don’t cut them down.

But it gets more complex when countries are asked to regulate the problem. Finding a solution to these issues is one of the strongest hopes for the Copenhagen summit.

Our special Copenhagen page has the latest from our Climate Change Campaigner Gemma Tillack via daily blogs from the climate summit, and you'll be able to get the latest climate tweets on our Twitter page.

Get the latest at our special Copenhagen page »

Thanks for your support - stay tuned in the coming days for more updates.

The team at the Wilderness Society


 

 


Posted by editor at 8:00 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 12 December 2009 9:10 AM EADT
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Prof James Hansen of NASA Goddard Institute talks to ABC Lateline
Mood:  special
Topic: globalWarming


 

This interview last night was beautifully expressed and profoundly scary as the choir assembles in Copenhagen. Hansen says global cap and trade is a BIG mistake. Hansen makes our own esteemed Tim Flannery look like a dilettante (dabbler).

The interview, still to be posted on the ABC Australia website will appear here in due course http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/ for 7 December 2009

Note especially the references to methane tipping points from frozen tundra and ocean continental shelf. Grim.


Posted by editor at 9:22 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 December 2009 12:03 PM EADT
Monday, 30 November 2009
ALP shedding it's base, Howard still running Libs to refight 2007 loss
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: globalWarming

Our comment based on fairly comprehensive political watching, including stint at 2 question times in the public gallery last week:

Academic and big media writer Peter Van Onselen is surely wrong today to say a reform of the Liberal Party is not overdue. Turnbull is the man to do it, while Hockey is not nearly strong enough and would be destroyed, just like Peter Garrett has been bent out of all shape by the ALP. Hock would be captured and leader in name only.

Fact is Howard having been thrashed in the 2007 election especially on climate is trying to re fight that election, as per recent conservative press images.


 

Like Thing from The Swamp he is trying to drag the Liberal Party back down there with him in a link chain with Tony Abbott. Big mistake.


 

PR veteran Gavin Kortlang on Sydney ABC radio last week made the point from the NSW 1989 victory against Barry Unsworth ALP - 'there were rusted on Libs who preferred to lose against the ALP back then than change and win under Greiner'.  How pathetic is that?

Same in November 2009.

If Joe Hockey wants a good outcome for Australia and the Libs in the medium to long term he ought to let matters take their course in the way of capitalist creative destruction. Don't be the sacrificial peacemaker. As Turnbull has said 'the climate war' will continue until it is resolved. The current CPRS is no resolution as everyone knows. Let Abbott run win or lose. Let Minchin block support in the Senate for the current CPRS and cross the floor etc.

This CPRS has lost the critical support of the Australian Conservation Foundation last week - hardly reported in big media - forcing a desperate adjustment with 45,000 ha national park in East Gippsland to get them back. The sunrise Green Party are right to say the CPRS is a formula for failure on climate safety, regardless of bias of Insiders compere Barry Cassidy.

The Construction Union within the CFMEU has disaffiliated from the ALP as you know from last Wednesday's question time. In other words the ALP are shedding their base as much as anyone. 

Let Howard and Co lose the next election on climate with bigger Green representation in the Senate following and make your run then. It's not just about your career Joe, or current discomfort, it's about your patriotism, and good policy outcomes. The current CPRS is a rabid dog.

Conversely a change in policy is gaining support according Mark Neeham, NSW Liberal Director, to quote "After the events of the last 48 hours you may be interested to know that the number of voters calling offices asking to join the party, as a result of Malcolm's and the party-room decision on our approach in tackling climate change, is more than double the members who have resigned" (Sydney The Sun Herald, p7 29 Nov 2009).


 

 


Posted by editor at 8:36 AM EADT
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Eco intervention at tax payer funded logger industry conference
Mood:  energetic
Topic: globalWarming


 

 

As indicated in recent posts on this micro news blog, a logger industry conference has been hosted by the federal government in the form of a QANGO called Forest Works in Canberra.

Here is their self referential back slap at taxpayer funded expense:

And notice this image from John Howard's time as Prime Minister in the newsletter of the Australian conservatives funding the redneck loggers and unionists in the native forest woodchip sector:

We can report that the industry conference received some special attention from ecological activists earlier this week. It started with ALP national executive member Michael OConnor, chief of the Forestry Union within CFMEU, choking on his morning coffee at a Manuka Bakery Cafe to see this writer's laptop with anti woodchip graphic.

(And note the C namely Construction Union in CFMEU announced disaffiliation from the ALP according PM Rudd in question time.) 

 The 'conversation' went something like this 7.15 am:

SAM editor - Ain't democracy grand? This is definitely a workers cafe.  Swiss neutrality in the bakery cafe, eh?

O'Connor - bleary eyed, blinking silence, then nervous uncomfortable laugh.

Picture: Michael O'Connor, ALP national executive member and logger unionist and apologist for forest woodchipping, leaving Manuka cafe in Canberra 24 Nov. 2009.

Later that morning we attended the Hyatt Hotel with Forest Climate Mobile Billboard display where the industry conference was based. The giant sign was funded and organised by ChipStop based in Bega of which this writer is a supporter since foundation, and South East Region Conservation Alliance.

At the Hyatt we met up with regional, Canberra and Sydney environmentalists, some peak groups, some grassroots. In particular Winiata Puru attended as custodian of the long running Aboriginal Tent Embassy in front of Old Parliament House. At the time we were in Parliament House watching question time so here is a picture of Winiata in 2006:

 Puru is a gifted singer and a veteran of the successful blockade saving habitat of three rare owl species (Sooty, Masked, Barking Owls) at Croobyar State Forest in November 1994 leveraging sensitive pre election politics. He is also a legend in Canberra with real clout in social networks.  

 It is with his permission we carried the Aboriginal Flag in Canberra at the rally and on our vehicle as here on busy Belconnen Way:


 

Some images are on recent posts on SAM and here is another by Lorraine Bower first above, and one following:

canberra forest futures conf 029 by lozzab2003.

Local WIN TV attended and ran a story on the nightly news.

Later that night we returned to Parliament House to display the mobile billboard and forest-to-woodchip-to-energy smoke stack display given this egregious proposal back for the NSW South Coast forests. This was also the location of the formal conference dinner in the main hall of Parliament. Noel Plumb all suited up of Sydney affinity group ChipBusters, feisty Michelle Slater of the Dandenongs, Mal Fisher of Sydney office of The Wilderness Society in charcoal suit and lithe activist Frederica in glamour frock infiltrated the $300 a head dinner.

Plumb then regaled the dinner attended by 30 federal MPs for fully 12 minutes at first with the microphone on the main platform and then with his own lungs when this was turned off, House rules!

Here he is being escorted off the New House forecourt in high spirits:

 

And the climate criminals at the dinner? A list might start like this (?) off the dinner brochure circulated, balanced by another unauthorised brochure:

 

The following brochure front and back was circulated to every table at the dinner. Way to go Michelle!

 


Posted by editor at 9:57 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 30 November 2009 8:00 AM EADT

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