[CLIMATIC ROOT TREATMENT] is a series of blogposts seeking to uncover and understand the deeper roots of society’s problems with taking appropriate action on the climate emergency, and to explore the advantages we could see once the action sets in.
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity”
The failure of the climate action movement during the last decade highlights that in order to address the threats of catastrophic climate disruption and create safety for ourselves, our children, and their children, it is no longer enough to stand outside parliament waving protest banners. The climate movement urgently needs to enter the central circles of politics itself, to step inside parliament and gain real influence on the democratic decision-making process.
Greed and stupidity both rules and ruins our world – but that doesn’t mean that we have to put up with it. We can grow our food locally without poisonous pesticides that kill the bees and pollute our water, we can consume more wisely and caring, we can recycle and build a circular economy, and, in particular, we can stop polluting the air – the latter being the most destructive greed-and-stupidity crime of them all, as the introduction in this short film by James Cameron, produced for the US Democratic Party Convention in July 2016, explains pretty well:
“We all know it is happening. It is real. It is happening now. The draughts. The storms. The floods. The fires. The record heat waves. This is not something we have seen before. (…) Crops are failing. Food prices are rising. Communities are threatened. Our children are at risk.”
Speaker in James Cameron’s five-minute video
“There is a wake-up call here. There is a reality that has been existing for a long time that we have been blind to.”
Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor
We will eventually make these positive and necessary changes – food- and energy wise – because they make common sense. Energy efficiency, for a start, saves us money. And the smoke from fossil fuels, for instance, impacts on the health and wellbeing of us all. When we have better, cheaper ways of handling our energy consumption than something that burns, smokes and pollutes, of course we will stop that costly burning of coal, oil and gas.
Just like with the digitalisation of photos, videos and music – the question really is not whether we will do this. The question is only how soon – or how late.
The small but extremely wealthy minority of people on this planet who have put their money in the fossil fuels would not like to see their industry die. As a direct result of their lobbying, campaigning and bribery (when done in public, the bribery is called ‘donations’), our governments and many in the media currently remain wilfully resistant to stop the dangerous digging, drilling, selling and burning of coal, oil and gas – obviously because they themselves are an integrated part of this century’s most chocking greed crime.
Political leaders know how easy it is to keep people in doubt about what is going on, simply by saying whatever suits them and claiming that it is a fact. They know that one way to get votes is to appeal to people’s fear of change, and they lie about the ‘disadvantages’ of clean, modern energy technologies because of the flow of economic benefits which the so-called cheap fossil fuels currently generate.
I write ‘so-called’ because sadly the truth is that fossil fuel based energy is only “cheap” because its environmental damage is not accounted for. Which in itself is another significant element of the greed crime.
Source: NASA GISS, derived
As the videos and graphs on this page illustrate (below), the rising global temperatures are an unmistakably clear sign of where we are currently heading on this planet. It doesn’t look good, and reportedly the Great Barrier Reef in Australia doesn’t either. The first half of 2016 was the warmest on record, again.
“Our planet is at a crossroads. The ecosystems that underpin our economies and provide us food and water are collapsing. Species are becoming extinct at unprecedented rates. Our climate is in crisis. This is all happening on our watch. So what is the world doing about it? The answer is: a whole lot, but not enough and not nearly fast enough. Our window of opportunity is closing.”
Inger Andersen, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Ignoring the climate threat
The current government in Australia can barely utter the words ‘climate change’, let alone be straight with its constituents about where we are heading.
Too many of our elected leaders, who were actually sworn in to protect us the people, are collectively committing a very cruel crime by totally ignoring this dangerous development. How weird and absurd is it that they manage to get elected on promises to ‘stop the boats’ and keep refugees out, while their policies in reality are increasing the climate refugee-problems of the next decades tremendously.
And still today, governments are happily subsidising fossil fuel projects, opening new coal-fired power plants, cutting funding to climate science and cleantech innovation, regulating against renewable energy investments and implementation.
The big banks are no different. Australia’s four biggest banks have poured almost four times as much money into the fossil fuel industry as the renewable energy sector since the landmark Paris climate accord in December 2015, according to campaign group Market Forces. The four banks have lent $5.6 billion to the fossil fuel industry since the Paris summit, compared with $1.5 billion for renewables, the group found. ANZ is Australia’s biggest lender to the fossil fuel sector. Since it proclaimed its support for the two degree global warming limit it has loaned over $2 billion to coal, oil and gas – 10 times as much as it’s renewable energy lending. » Read more
In Pope Francis’ words, it is a suicidal crusade against plain common sense in an attempt to keep the wheels of the fossil fuel industry turning as long as possible. Greed over morality and sanity.
“When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. (…) In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears. (…) Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction.”
Pope Francis, June 2015
“Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word I would say that we are at the limits of suicide.”
Pope Francis, November 2015
“We are living in a world where greed has become – for the wealthiest people – their own religion. And they make no apologies for it.”
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
Stepping up to the challenge
No matter how hard our current leaders resist, however, clean renewable energy, carbon-neutral food production and transport will inevitably take over – just like digital music distribution replaced CDs, quickly, because the new way of listening to music is simply better and cheaper too. It is all going to happen in the air pollution space too – the only question is when. Timing is such a big issue now, as the graphs on this page illustrate. Vested interests caused humanity to procrastinate on this issue over the last five decades – far too long.
When our leaders don’t get it, we can replace them with new leaders who do get it. When our media outlets don’t get it, we can turn to those which do.
And this is what will happen.
Already, we have numerous politicians who fight for opening up the path to a different society in harmony with our environment: the Australian Greens and Save the Planet Party in Australia, for instance, Alternativet in Denmark, and so on. However, until this point, neither of them are getting the votes that they need to be able to make an impact in parliament. This won’t happen unless enough people understand the importance of their agenda and also understands the way democracy works: that politics actually is the most efficient way to create real change at fast speed.
So, for a start: the existing climate action parties need your encouragement, backing, support – and not just your vote at the next election, but votes of all those with whom you have engaged and had conversations.
Climate movement talk fest
When the climate crisis gets a lot worse – which it unfortunately will, according to our scientists – it is likely that climate action will become a completely non-partisan issue just as war, terror, floodings and other emergencies often are. But as we speak, in 2016, the kind of climate action which has real impact on the climate is, unfortunately, generally highly political.
It looks as the so-called ‘climate movement’, consisting of thousands of volunteers, a handful of professional NGOs supported very quietly by climate scientists, which tries to create change from various non-political platforms, will have to come to terms with that in measurable terms anno 2016 it has failed. It has failed because none of its efforts are in any way visible on the rising temperature graphs. All that has happened til today has been a talk fest with no real-life results to show. No figures to show an effect of all the talk and all the pledges. On the contrary: Global temperatures keep rising as the global fossil fuel consumption keeps rising. In 2015, for instance, humanity polluted our atmosphere with more carbon than ever before. Currently there are no signs that humanity’s CO2 emissions is going to slow down and decrease any time soon.
Strikingly, even after ALL this talk there has been in the world about reducing emissions, since the UN Climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 and onwards, we, humanity, still consumed more fossil fuels in 2015 than ever before.
BP’s Statistical Review revealed an ugly truth about our fossil fuel consumption, which grew 0.6 percent since last year. While coal production went down one percent, petroleum and natural gas production went up. The seemingly small percentage increase is actually a big one when considering it amounts to 127 million metric tons of fossil fuels.
Even if we by some miracle were able to stop all air pollution tomorrow, we would still be seeing melting ice poles, summer heat waves, storms, ocean acidification and the rest for decades to come. As John explains, there is a delay in how the climate responds to our pollution emissions.
The future doesn’t look all that bright at all. We are not responding to the scientific warnings as we should be responding. A new report from NOAA, ‘State of the Climate’, delivers the data to confirm this.
So, if we are being truthful about the situation we would acknowledge that this IS a planetary emergency and act accordingly. Which is what the Climate Emergency Declaration is all about for me.
Regardless of the scientific details, actually, about whether the ocean will rise centimetres or metres or whether the Great Barrier Reef will die in five years or in 20 years. Predicting the future is hard, and people tend to focus on discussing the various figures and whether they ‘believe’ in them or not, instead of focusing on action that can solve the problem.
The details in the figures doesn’t make any difference, actually. We have already heard and seen enough to know that humanity has put itself in a life-threatening mess, and things need to change in very fundamental ways. The current lack of engagement and leadership response is simply not good enough – in particular from our elected leaders who were sworn in promising to “protect the people”.
“Our view is the government shouldn’t do anything unless Brazil, Russia, India, China, US are all doing something, then little Australia should join in for trade reasons. But, until that occurs, it’s pointless sending our industries, making our industries uncompetitive by high electricity prices when the rest of the world is not doing the same thing.”
David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrat senator, on whether to tax carbon dioxide emissions
» The Guardian – 6 August 2016:
Scientists warn world will miss key climate target
» The Guardian – 2 August 2016:
Environmental records shattered as climate change ‘plays out before us’
Training the youth
When, or if, we acknowledge this failure – the failure that the entire climate movement until this point not has been able to get anywhere near its goals to limit the danger of a climate catastrophe – what is important to observe, then, is that climate action is very much a ‘generational thing’. In short: young people understand, old people don’t.
But, Houston!, this is where we have a problem: Most young people are disillusioned about entering politics. For good reasons. They see this corrupt power-for-the-sake-of-greed game which takes place in parliament and they feel no desire to become a part of it.
This is what needs to change, because we don’t have decades to sit around and wait for the ageing-process to start the natural process of generational take-over. Eventually the climate movement itself will have to enter the political arena, because politics – and democracy – is the framework we have for decision-making in societies such as ours – that system is not likely to change any time soon.
What it means is that in order to speed up the transition to a zero-carbon society, we need speed up the natural process of generational take-overs in the politic sphere. The climate action movement must roll out a long-term strategy which assists, trains, mentors and even finances aspirational young leaders to have success in politics, and to increase their influence on decision-making at all levels.
Looking back, this was exactly how the fossil fuel industry managed to infiltrate and take over our democracy. Is is urgent now that we start the process of taking it back.
Below are some links to news stories and videos I’d recommend you to spend some time on exploring – for your inspiration and to update your knowledge in this area.
The 2015 data is in: Grim state of our climate
• Greenhouse gases highest on record
• Global surface temperature highest on record
• Sea surface temperatures highest on record
• Global upper ocean heat content highest on record
• Global sea level highest on record
• Extremes observed in the water cycle and precipitation
• The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low
• Arctic animals and fish impacted by changing climate
• Widespread harmful algal bloom impacts northeast Pacific
• Antarctic temperatures colder than average; sea ice extent was highly variable
• Global ice and snow cover decline
• Tropical cyclones well above average overall
The ‘State of the Climate’ report series is the authoritative annual summary of the global climate. Published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the report is edited by scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
The 2015 report is based on contributions from more than 450 scientists from 62 countries, drawing on tens of thousands of measurements of Earth’s climate.
Browse the articles to learn more about our changing planet.
» National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society:
BAMS State of the Climate – International report confirms 2015 was Earth’s warmest year on record
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The carbon budget, CO2 concentrations and global-mean concentrations since 1850 with line graphs.
Source: NASA Giss Get the data
» Read more
The climate emergency is upon us
“It’s a climate emergency. The whole world is watching as global temperature records are shattered, and one of the Earth’s true natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef, bleaches and dies. The climate emergency we’ve been talking about for 30 years is upon us. We really have entered the phase of now or never. Our actions now determine the world our children and grandchildren will live in. We’ll need to be strong to hold our state and federal governments to account and ensure they rise to the crisis.”
Mark Wakeham, CEO, Environment Victoria, Australia
The media largely relegate the greatest challenge facing humanity to footnotes as industry and politicians hurtle us towards systemic collapse of the planet.
» The Guardian – 3 August 2016:
The climate crisis is already here – but no one’s telling us
Enough ice to raise sea levels by 60 metres
“Sea level is expected to rise by up to a meter by the end of the century. Even if global warming is stopped at 2°C, sea levels will probably keep rising by several meters in subsequent centuries in a delayed response. There is enough ice on earth to raise sea levels by over 60 meters. Many coastal cities and low-lying islands will probably be lost.”
Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
The atmosphere as a free dumping ground
“I think the conclusion is clear. We are in a position of potentially causing irreparable harm to our children, grandchildren and future generations. This is a tragic situation – because it is unnecessary. We could already be phasing out fossil fuel emissions if only we stopped allowing the fossil fuel industry to use the atmosphere as a free dumping ground for their waste.”
Climate Change: Hansen Paper: Multimeter Sea Level Rise by 2075?
Published on youtube.com on 2 April 2016
Dr James Hansen and an international group of 18 premier climate scientists published a new study titled, ‘Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise & Superstorms’, warning that popular climate change projections vastly underestimate the speed at which humanity could be faced with fast-developing, catastrophic effects driven by climate change. Those effects include near-term superstorms and multimeter sea-level rise within 60 years even if global warming peaks at 2°C over preindustrial levels. In other words, we’re in a lot of trouble.
» Learn more on www.carbon-freeze.org
Like death: inevitable but few of us accept it
“Climate change is a lot like death. We all understand it’s inevitable, but few of us truly accept it.”
Brian McDermott, 18 years old – in Common Dreams on 21 July 2016
The will to act depends on the amount of disruption
As things develop, it has gradually been established that humanity – the sum total of seven, soon eight billion individuals – is unable to respond to a disaster that only very slowly sneaks up on us. We are fully capable of responding to danger, disasters and injuries, when they occur in front of our own eyes. But not on beforehand.
Evidence suggests that we – and with us the global climate activist movement – will have to look the beast in the eyes and realise that this is our reality. At this point, in 2016, almost every election and every news outlet is ignoring the threat of climate disruption caused by our air pollution. The will to take sufficient action is not present. A small percentage of the population is taking the kind of small steps they can. Some are installing solar on the roof, others are divesting their pension funds. But no matter how much the climate movement and the scientists are shouting ‘wolf’, the procrastination and manipulation continues, driven by greed and cynical vested interests.
In this light, as strange as it may seem, it is not a bad thing that the measurable changes and visible elements of a tangible climate catastrophe gradually has started to occur. It is a good thing in the sense that the incidents gradually make an increasing number of citizens and decision-makers realise that something is terribly wrong and that we actually quite acutely and subversively have to change the way we do things. That we for a start very quickly – that is, within a few years, not decades – must stop polluting the atmosphere. Which is to say: to make it costly to pollute the atmosphere, and then eventually completely ban any pollution the atmosphere, like we ban littering on our beaches. It will have to happen much faster than science and politicians until now have been talking about.
Additionally, there are many other things we need to stop doing or find other ways to do. We can do all this – but it requires that the will is present. When things begin to go wrong.
The term ‘we need to see bodies on the table first’ sounds nasty and cynical. But in this case it’s the world’s oil gas and coal-greased barons who are the worst and most heinous cynics. They are prepared to let mankind walk the plank for personal gain.
A crime against humanity
“The world’s major carbon emitters will increasingly face legal action as climate impact intensifies, particularly where they and their industry associations continue to deny the science and evidence and/or deliberately misrepresent it. It is difficult to succeed with these cases, but fairly soon there will be a big one where directors are found personally liable for such practices. Denial and obfuscation has now reached the stage of being a crime against humanity.”
» The Guardian – 27 July 2016:
World’s largest carbon producers face landmark human rights case
Loss of freedom
“Our local parliamentarians are either nowhere to be found on this issue (State) or still in a state of denial (Federal). It is hardly comforting to know that the laws of physics and the course of events will eventually force momentous changes. Aside from the inevitable loss of life our freedom will probably be amongst the early casualties.”
Leadership and climate change
» Peter Gardner – 27 July 2016:
Leadership and climate change
Air pollution increased by eight percent since 2011
On 29 June 2016, Stephen Hawking – one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers, and a man who rarely gives interviews – joined Larry King to discuss the greatest issues facing the planet.
Larry King: “Stephen, when we last spoke six years ago, you said that mankind was in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. Have things gotten better or worse since then?”
Stephen Hawking: “We certainly have not become less greedy or less stupid. Six years ago I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have gotten worse since then. The population has grown by half a billion since our last meeting with no end in sight. At this rate, it will be 11 billion by 2100. Air pollution has increased by 8 percent over the past five years.”
“What’s the biggest problem facing humanity today?”
“The increase in air pollution and increasing emissions of carbon dioxide. Will we be too late to avoid dangerous levels of global warming?”
» Larry King Now: A conversation with Stephen Hawking
Breaking record after record
Numerous reports indicate that we are heading straight for a climate catastrophe. Some examples:
Japan’s Meteorological Department has released global data for June 2016, which shows the same temperature as the record last June. There had been a slight drop from May 2015 to May 2016, but this tendency is thus wiped out in June. This year is still heading for a new record.
“Unpleasant to be witnessing,” commented one of Denmark’s leading meteorologists, Jesper Theilgaard from DR.
» ds.data.jma.go.jp: Monthly Anomalies of Global Average Surface Temperature in June
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» Climate Central: Antarctic CO2 Hit 400 PPM For First Time in 4 Million Years
» Scientific American: Warming May Mean Major Thaw for Alaskan Permafrost
Continued warming is melting down frozen ground, surprising scientists
Carbon permafrost ‘bomb’ of 100 gigatons
“Amid blowout warm temperatures in the Arctic this year, two new studies have amplified concerns about one of the wild cards of a warming planet — how quickly warming Arctic soils could become major contributors of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, causing still greater warming.” (…)
“Precisely how much carbon permafrost can emit and how fast that can happen remain big uncertainties. But given current scientific understanding, it could easily be well over 100 gigatons of carbon dioxide by the end of the century.”
» Washington Post – 23 March 2016:
The Arctic is thawing much faster than expected, scientists warn
» BBC: Permafrost warming in parts of Alaska ‘is accelerating’
» Inhabitat: CO2 levels likely to stay above 400ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows
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Finding each other
“This is a pivotal moment in history. The climate crisis intensifies every day, and the country at large is still awash in denial, minimization, and false optimism. The real hope for the future is us – all of us pushing for a reality- and morality-based response to the global climate emergency. If we hadn’t found each other and pushed very hard together for a WWII-scale mobilization for the past (nearly) two years, the Democratic Party platform would not have included, in the words of Joe Romm, “the strongest statement about the urgent need for climate action ever issued by a major party in this country.”
Margaret Klein Salamon, Founder and Director of The Climate Mobilization
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World Meteorological Organization:
Pressure from citizens needed
“The world leaders making serious commitments to tackle climate change are currently few and far between. However, action at the government level will only happen with pressure from citizens themselves,” said director of the World Meteorological Organization’s climate research program, David Carlson. The program is called World Climate Research Programme.
“We must speed up the shift to low carbon economies and renewable energy,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“The rapid changes in the Arctic are of particular concern. What happens in the Arctic affects the rest of the globe. The question is will the rate of change continue? Will it accelerate? We are in uncharted territory,” said David Carlson.
Climate emergency declaration petition
Join in the petitionSTORM asking the Australian Parliament for a climate emergency declaration and mobilisation
» Sign one of the online petitions at www.ClimateEmergencyDeclaration.org
» Ask your favourite climate-related group to join in and promote one or other of the existing online or on-paper petitions. Or, better yet, ask them to launch their own climate emergency petition and submit it as part of the ‘storm’ once the total number of signatures across all the petitions is high enough to make an impact.
» Details at www.ClimateEmergencyDeclaration.org/petition
#ClimateEmergency #petitionSTORM #peoplepower #actonclimate
Exposing the web of climate denial
American Senator Sheldon Whitehouse leads Senate Democrats to expose web of denial blocking action on climate. Published on youtube.com on 13 July 2016.
Senator Whitehouse calls out the interconnected groups funded by the Koch brothers and major fossil fuel companies that are blocking action of climate change.
“Why did they do this? Well, to do their best to fool the public about the risk of climate change, to provide talking points to right-wing talk radio, to take advantage of a lazy media’s impulse to offer both sides of the story even when one is false, and of course to hide the hands of the fossil fuel protagonists who are behind the scenes. So it’s long past time that we shed some light on the perpetrators of this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political process. It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this as a dirty time in America’s political history because of their work.”
Sheldon Whitehouse, American Senator
“This web reaches Canberra – we must unite to counteract this evil.”
Howard Witt, volunteer, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia
Senator Tim Kaine, Virginia – Part 1 – 10 mins
Senator Tim Kaine, Virginia – Part 2 – 6 mins
Tactics of the fossil fuel industry
The tactics of the fossil fuel industry cannot simply be understood as its exercise of free speech. The disinformation campaigns tactics have included:
1. Lying or reckless disregard for the truth about mainstream climate change science.
2. Cherry-picking mainstream climate science by focusing on an issue about which there may be some scientific uncertainty while ignoring a vast body of climate science which is well-settled.
3. Manufacturing non peer-reviewed climate change science claims.
4. The creating think tanks, front groups, and Astroturf groups which widely have disseminated untruthful claims about mainstream climate science and which were created to hide the real parties in interest, members of the fossil fuel industry.
5. Publishing and widely disseminating dubious manufactured climate change scientific claims that have not been subjected to peer-review.
6. Widely attacking mainstream climate scientist and journalists who have called for action on climate change.
7. Cyber-bullying mainstream climate scientists and journalists.
» Ethics and Climate – 29 July 2016:
Why Exxon’s and Other Fossil Fuel Companies’ Funding of the Climate Change Disinformation Campaign Cannot be Excused As an Exercise in Free Speech but Must be Understood as Morally Reprehensible Disinformation
“The major parties in Australia are missing in action when it comes to protecting the health of the population from threats of climate change. With climate change recognised as the biggest threat to global public health of this century, the failure of the Liberal and National parties to announce any policies to reduce these risks means a future Liberal-National government will profoundly fail its duty of care to protect its citizens from a serious threat.”
Dr Liz Hanna, President, Climate and Health Alliance
Leadership morally and ethically bankrupt
Ignoring Voters on Coal & Climate
“Sarah Gill gives an excellent summary of why mainstream politics is irrelevant to addressing our climate and energy dilemma:
» The Age: Turnbull and Shorten ignoring voters on coal and climate
– and David Holmes on how fossil fuel money ensures that will not change without the community taking direct action (no pun intended):
» The Conversation: The fossil-fuelled political economy of Australian elections
We are already seeing dangerous climate change at the 1°C temperature increase already experienced relative to pre-industrial levels, never mind the 2°C so beloved of UN Climate Change negotiations. We have no carbon budget left to have a realistic chance, say 90%, of staying below even 2°C. So every tonne of carbon put into the atmosphere from now on will have to be drawn down using technologies that as yet are non-existent.
In the Arctic there are clear signs tipping points are being passed as sea ice shrinks, ice sheets melt and methane emissions from the permafrost escalate. Similar signs in Antarctica, with other extreme events around the world – not least extreme heat in the Indian subcontinent – as the jet stream falters. The assembled brains trust of the Coalition assure us we have a “moral responsibility” to supply India with even more coal by allowing
Adani to build the world’s biggest coal mine – the ALP are slightly less brazen, but equally complicit by their tacit support for the Queensland labour government’s approval of Adani. Far from alleviating poverty, this would create it on a massive scale.
The small-minded, parochial debate we have had to endure through this election campaign is coming from leadership which is morally and ethically bankrupt. A climate emergency needs to be declared post-election with the formation of a government of national unity:
» Facebook-post by Ian Dunlop
The economic and social costs of misinformation
You’d think we’d know better by now, but no: in 2015, human beings polluted the atmosphere with more fossil fuel smoke than ever before. In that same year, 2015, The British government introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas that will cost the UK taxpayer billions between 2015 and 2020, and at the same time they’ve cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency.
Meanwhile, the German government is introducing new mechanisms that provide payment to power companies for their ability to provide a constant supply of electricity, even if they are polluting forms, such as diesel and coal. In other words, yet another direct subsidy to the fossil fuel industry – in 2016.
One of the most irresponsible aspects of the recent Australian election campaign has been the continuing misinformation disseminated by fossil fuel interests to justify the expansion of the industry via projects such as the Adani and Shenhua coal mines. This is regurgitated by ill-informed ministers with potentially disastrous consequences for the Australian community.
In the United States regulators have taken action to prevent similar misleading conduct. It is high time for Australian regulators to follow their US counterparts.
» The Guardian – 18 July 2016:
UN criticises UK and Germany for betraying Paris climate deal
» The Guardian – 1 July 2016:
Stop spreading misinformation on coal demand
» Facebook-post by Ian Dunlop
“The idea there are now new anti-protest laws that may send people to jail for four, five, six, seven years, simply for repeating what scientists have said, simply for rising to the occasion, simply for being the conscience of Australia: that’s a sign. That’s a pretty sick sign of how addicted to fossil fuel wealth our politicians have become.”
Bill McKibben in Lateline on 3 June 2016
“Bill McKibben, the founder of global climate campaign group, 350.org is correct!
» ABC: American environmentalist and author gives his ‘report card’ on Australia’s environmental record
Our Coalition of Dinosaurs is behaving worse than drug dealers, they:
Know the incredibly severe impact our extension of coal mining and Coal Seam Gas has on prime farm land productivity and environmental degradation,
But – still push these industries to make money – just as the drug dealer does selling misery.
Know the destruction these actions have on our natural wonders and hence tourism,
But sack the scientists informing us, to cover-up this devastation from voters.
Know there is No Planet “B” and that action is critical and urgent,
But act recklessly as if the Laws of Nature do not exist & rather than act they try to pass the responsibility to others.
Know caring people of conscience are saying “Enough is Enough”,
But try to discredit and shut them down.
Know the real danger to the economy of their delaying action policies,
But pretend that Coal and CSG give more jobs and growth than switching to renewables.
Know we could lead the world in the switch to renewables,
But just keep pushing outmoded industries owned by their mates.
This IS UNFORGIVABLE”
» Facebook-post by Howard Witt
“Despite the slowdown in emissions, the level of carbon emissions continues to grow, increasing by 20% by 2035”
» BP: Carbon emissions – more to do
“Yet here we are. The fact is, on our current trajectory, in the absence of substantial new climate policy, we are heading for up to 4°C and maybe higher by the end of the century. That will be, on any clear reading of the available evidence, catastrophic. We are headed for disaster — slowly, yes, but surely.”
» Vox – 15 May 2015:
The awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit
“We see the climate change taking the planet apart right in front of our eyes. We also clearly see, right in front of us, what urgently needs to done to stave off global disaster on an unprecedented scale. We need carbon taxes and the reconversion of industry and energy towards zero CO2 emissions systems. This route is without any doubt technically and economically feasible, but politically it seems to be permanently locked. If we do not unlock it, the future looks bleak, not to say hopeless, for humankind.”
“The key to addressing climate change is to win elections and break the deadlock of corporate power.”
Will Denayer, Flassbeck Economics International, 20 July 2016
Scientist blames inertia and democracy for lack of action
“Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change,” James Lovelock told The Guardian in 2010.
“One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is ‘modern democracy’. Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while,” James Lovelock, 90, said.
Lovelock said only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica, such as the Pine Island glacier, which would immediately push up sea level.
“That would be the sort of event that would change public opinion,” he said. “Or a return of the dust bowl in the mid-west. Another Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report won’t be enough. We’ll just argue over it like now.”
» The Guardian – 29 March 2010:
James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change
Greenpeace, 350.org, Greenfaith, Sierra Club and civil society to Prime Minister Turnbull: Go 100% Renewable
“We are deeply concerned that your existing climate change policies are inadequate to the task. 57 eminent scientific experts have outlined essential elements of the necessary disaster response, which are priorities among the actions you must take to address climate change:
1) Cease all new coal mine and coal mine expansion approvals, and prohibit any new gas or oil developments.
2) Announce the rapid phase out of polluting coal-burning power stations, with a just transition plan for workers and communities.
3) Put Australia on the path to 100% renewable energy with the utmost urgency.
4) Restore the funds that you stripped from Australia’s commitment to fighting poverty and climate change internationally to realise a world powered by 100% renewables.”
» The Huffington Post – 29 June 2016:
Civil Society To Prime Minister Turnbull: Go 100% Renewable To Save The Reef
Climate emergency – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Event – Dr Janice Kirsch – 17 minutes
Published on 2 July 2016
Dr. Janice Kirsch opens Sunday afternoon’s proceedings by declaring that climate change is the greatest public health emergency that humankind has ever faced. And it is happening now.
Making Sense of New Sea Level Rise Study
PBS News Hour interview with Ben Strouss from Climate Central – 11.05 minutes
Published on 1 April 2016
Leading insecticide cuts bee sperm by almost 40%, study shows
Bees and other insects are vital for pollinating three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in significant decline.
Lagos’ (Nigeria) Battle Against Rising Sea Level Rise – 4:39 minutes
Climate, health and well-being
A report released by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) warns Australia will fail to fulfil its obligations under the Paris climate change agreement if the Federal Government continues to ignore the health risks associated with climate change.
Leading health and medical experts say successive Australian governments have overlooked the health implications of climate change, leaving Australians vulnerable and the health sector underprepared.
Nobel Laureate for Medicine Professor Peter Doherty says the inclusion of health in the Paris Agreement now obliges the federal Health Minister and Department to get involved with climate change mitigation policies, as world health agencies name climate change as the “greatest threat to global health of the 21st century.”
» Tune in to listen to: Professor Doherty on ABC Radio National.
» Read the article: ‘Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being’ published in The Conversation by CAHA Executive Director Fiona Armstrong and Professor Peter Doherty
A recent global survey shows Australia lags behind comparable countries like the USA and UK when it comes to addressing the health impacts of climate change.
Climate and health researcher and CAHA president Dr Liz Hanna said: “Deaths attributable to climate change are estimated at 250,000-400,000 globally each year already. Australia will be responsible for unnecessary deaths if it doesn’t take strong climate action now.”
In an Australian first, CAHA is leading a national discussion with 300 healthcare stakeholders, academics, researchers and interested parties regarding the urgent need for the Federal Government to develop and implement a national strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing for Australia to assist Australia is meeting its commitments to health.
The Climate and Health Alliance is calling on the federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, to support the development of a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being.
» Read the letter from CAHA to the Health Minister, Sussan Ley
» To download a copy of the Discussion Paper: Towards a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing for Australia
, visit www.caha.org.au
CAHA urges its members, partners, and supporters, to share the news of this initiative via email, Facebook and Twitter.
» Media Release: Time for Health Minister to address climate change as major threat to health
» Want to support a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being? Click here to send an e-mail to your local MP and Senators
A #climatehealthstrategy will help turn climate action into an opportunity for better health @sussanley
Heatwaves, floods & droughts affect thousands of Australians every year @sussanley we need a #climatehealthstrategy
#COP21 acknowledged public health relies on climate action – Australia must use a health lens on climate policy #climatehealthstrategy
Australia is falling behind the UK and US in addressing the health impacts of climate change #climatehealthstrategy http://buff.ly/29NyLCg
Australian political parties and the climate
» Climate Justice Election Vision
» Climate and Health Alliance’s scorecard
» How to vote for renewable energy in Saturday’s election
“The [fossil fuel] industry thinks we are all fools, so all I can say is dig deep, find the facts, knowledge is power.”
~ Damian Marchant from Frack Free Moriac