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Run for your lives, climate campaigners are sophisticated and can tie their own shoelaces

Guardian climate change - 3 hours 10 min ago

Coal lobbyists think Australians should be shocked that climate campaigners have strategies and are coordinated

Before I reveal some chilling truths about environmental campaigners, you’d best grab your nearest cuddly toy and take refuge behind the sofa.

As government ministers, conservative commentators and coal lobbyists have warned us in recent days, the greenies are coming.

What’s good for the coal industry is bad for the world. Who could sit back and let the coal industry do even more damage to our world when cleaner, safer and better alternatives exist?

After Greg Hunt and Adani both admitted to the federal court that the decision approving the Carmichael mine was illegal, the approval was set aside. A reasonable industry and government would acknowledge they had made a mistake and calmly go back and follow the law.

But the coal industry, behaving like the spoilt brat of Australian society, is demanding that the law be changed so that advice on how to protect endangered species can be ignored.

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Nasa: sea levels rising as a result of human-caused climate change – video

Guardian climate change - 5 hours 15 min ago

Josh Willis of Nasa explains the space agency’s announcement that a long-term satellite imaging study has shown a dramatic rise in sea levels due to climate change. He says the findings that sea levels worldwide rose an average of nearly 3 inches (8 cm) since 1992 could indicate how strongly impacted coastal populations will be in the coming century

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Extreme Arctic sea ice melt forces thousands of walruses ashore in Alaska

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 9:51pm

Survival of walruses threatened as they wash ashore on a remote barrier island just before Obama is due to visit region to draw attention to climate change

The extreme loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is forcing thousands of walruses to crowd ashore on a remote barrier island off Alaska, and threatening their survival.

Barack Obama will be the first US president to visit the Alaskan Arctic on 31 August on a three-day tour to draw attention to the drastic consequences of climate change for the Arctic, such as warming winters and the rapid retreat of sea ice.

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Nasa says sea levels have risen faster than thought due to climate change

Independent climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 4:49pm

Seas levels have risen 8cms in the past 20 years because of climate change, according to Nasa research.

Categories: News

The day we stopped Europe’s biggest polluter in its tracks | John Jordan

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 4:43pm
Earlier this month, 1,500 protesters forced the temporary closure of a vast lignite mine in Germany. It was terrifiyng, exhilarating – and direct action at its best

This month, I broke the law. I wasn’t alone; I was with 1,500 others, many of whom had never broken any law for their beliefs before. Together we managed to shut down Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions: RWE’s lignite mines in the Rhineland in Germany.

In total, around 800 of us were arrested, and hundreds of us refused to cooperate with the authorities by withholding our names and IDs. This hampered the bureaucracy so badly that we were released without charge. It was the world’s largest act of disobedience against the mining of fossil fuels – and it might be the spark that ignites a rising, cross-border movement of disobedience for climate justice.

I saw truncheons flailing: one hit me, but the adrenaline cut out the pain. Pepper spray was aimed at our eyes

Related: Activists target Europe’s biggest source of carbon emissions, in Germany – big picture

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European ‘extreme weather belt’ linked to worst drought since 2003

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 4:34pm

Severe droughts that stretched across a central European band this summer are consistent with climate models for a warming continent, experts say

A swathe of central Europe has suffered the most severe drought since 2003 in what EU climate experts see as a harbinger of climate changes to come.

Rainless weeks and relentless heat desiccated a vast tract of central European land separating the continent’s drier south from its wetter north between 1 April and 31 July, according to a report by the European drought observatory (EDO).

Related: Middle East faces water shortages for the next 25 years, study says

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Gabon: protecting vital forests, and communities

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 4:11pm

The west African nation is working to balance competing demands of retaining biodiversity and mitigating climate change with the immediate needs of its people

Anne-Marie Ndong Obiang has a machete attached to her belt, which she assures us is “for cutting off poachers’ fingers”. In her spotless forest-green camouflage uniform she does not appear to be joking. Working for Gabon’s National Parks Agency (ANPN) she has firsthand experience of the harsh conditions in the big reserves in the north of the country, some almost impenetrable. Gold prospectors, often from neighbouring Cameroon, have been known to leave craters 40 metres deep in the middle of the woods.

Obiang is head of the Raponda Walker Arboretum close to the capital Libreville, which is on the Atlantic coast. Her priority here is to combat uncontrolled urban sprawl. “My fellow eco-wardens and myself can’t look the other way for a moment without someone starting to build beside the track,” she says. True enough quite substantial houses are springing up, with no planning permission, jeopardising the exceptional forest ecosystem that is bordered by a few sandy creeks – miraculously spared so far. To the south, the city is spreading unchecked. “We have about 40 endemic plant species here and we’re still identifying new ones, despite the airport being only 15 minutes away,” she says. Her favourite natural landmark is an Aleppo pine, 57 metres tall, which she likes showing to visiting schoolchildren.

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Middle East faces water shortages for the next 25 years, study says

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 3:51pm

Rising population and dwindling water supplies will affect millions of people and exacerbate conflict in the region

Water supplies across the Middle East will deteriorate over 25 years, threatening economic growth and national security and forcing more people to move to already overcrowded cities, a new analysis suggests.

As the region, which is home to over 350 million people, begins to recover from a series of deadly heatwaves which have seen temperatures rise to record levels for weeks at a time, the World Resources Institute (WRI) claims water shortages were a key factor in the 2011 Syria civil war.

Related: European ‘extreme weather belt’ linked to worst drought since 2003

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Ocean warming and acidification needs more attention, argues US

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 2:37pm
  • Concern growing over climate change-induced warming on marine life
  • US to raise issue in Paris climate talks and call for more research

The US government has urged the international community to focus more on the impact of climate change on the oceans, amid growing concern over changes affecting corals, shellfish and other marine life.

Related: Naomi Klein on climate change: 'I thought it best to write about my own raw terror'

Related: Experts puzzled as 30 whales stranded in 'unusual mortality event' in Alaska

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Taking the fun out of it: should climate campaigns give hedonism a free pass?

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 12:13pm

Environmental campaigns targeting fun things like holidays and Christmas lights are doomed to fail. For now, enjoyment should be exempt from the carbon audit

I remember the worst idea for a climate change campaign I’ve ever heard.

It was November 2008, and a well-meaning friend – having just discovered how much household energy bills can rise at Christmas with all the extra lighting in use – suggested that the wastefulness of the festive season could be a great “hook” for getting people thinking about energy consumption.

Related: The protest movement is failing: it's fighting the same old battles with the same poor results

Related: Greenpeace: why we're asking Shell staff to face the music over Arctic drilling

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Global sea levels have climbed 8cm since 1992, Nasa research shows

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 4:13am

Scientists say warming waters and melting ice were to blame for levels rising faster than 50 years ago and ‘it’s very likely to get worse’

Sea levels worldwide have risen an average of nearly eight centimetres (three inches) since 1992 because of warming waters and melting ice, a panel of Nasa scientists said on Wednesday.

In 2013 a United Nations panel predicted sea levels would rise from between 0.3 and 0.9 metres by the end of the century. The new research shows that sea level rise would probably be at the high end of that, said a University of Colorado geophysicist, Steve Nerem.

Related: Sea levels rising faster than previously thought says new study

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Naomi Klein on climate change: 'I thought it best to write about my own raw terror'

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2015/08/26 - 11:57pm

A Q&A with the bestselling author before her visits to Melbourne and Sydney

Naomi Klein, the Canadian author, film-maker and social activist, will arrive in Australia this month for a series of events. The author of No Logo and the Shock Doctrine – a self-confessed fan of avocado on toast – will be discussing climate change and capitalism, the key topics in her new bestselling book This Changes Everything. She spoke to Guardian Australia’s Oliver Milman.

Oliver Milman: You write in the book that you were a “climate denier”, not in that you denied the science but that you just didn’t want to engage on the subject. Why did you, and others, do this, do you think?

There are moments where the deep moral crisis of climate change breaks through

My book is an argument for a deep ideological shift … the pendulum has swung so far in favour of market fundamentalism

As sea levels rise that this mean streak and open racism is going to become more extreme

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New Orleans launches resilience roadmap to tackle climate and social challenges

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2015/08/26 - 10:26am

As well as focusing on climate-related catastrophes, the 41-step resilience strategy addresses social issues such as poverty, racial inequality and crime

In the week that marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans officials have launched a comprehensive “resilience strategy” aiming to secure the city’s future.

As well as seeking ways for the city to both prevent and survive more climate-related catastrophes, it treats social challenges such as poverty, racial inequality and crime as disasters that must be addressed if New Orleans is to become truly “resilient”. In the strategy’s parlance, it tackles both “shocks” and “stresses”.

Related: Our strategy to rebuild New Orleans for the threats it will face in 50 years' time

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Lord Stern hits out at claims about cost of climate cuts

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2015/08/26 - 10:00am

There is no conflict between economic growth and action on climate change, ambassadors told in Paris

The eminent climate economist Nicholas Stern has condemned the counterposing of economic growth with climate action as a false and diversionary tactic that could damage prospects for agreement at the Paris climate talks in December.

Several business groups have complained about the costs of climate mitigation and Andrzej Duda, the Polish prime minister, recently said that EU plans for ambitious emissions cuts would be costly and “bad for Poland”.

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Top campaigners call for mass climate action ahead of Paris conference

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2015/08/26 - 9:00am

Noam Chomsky, Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein and Vivienne Westwood among group calling for mass mobilisation on the scale of slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements

Desmond Tutu, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of prolific figures who will issue a mass call to action on Thursday ahead of the UN’s crunch climate change conference in Paris in December.

They call for mass mobilisation on the scale of the slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements to trigger “a great historical shift”.

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