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In Dr Seusss parable, it take all of Whoville to make enough noise to save their planet. How much will it take to save ours?
All of Dr Seusss childrens books or, at least, the best ones are sly, radical humanitarian and environmental parables. Thats why, for example, The Lorax was banned in some Pacific Northwest districts where logging was the chief economy.
Or theres Horton Hears a Who: if you werent a child (or reading to a child) recently, its about an elephant with acute hearing who hears a cry from a dust speck. He comes to realize the dust speck is a planet in need of protection, and does his best for it.Continue reading...
Antarctica poised for record high as figures show Arctic sea ice was millions of square kilometres below long-term average
The extent of sea ice in Antarctica is set to reach a record high, scientists said on Tuesday, as they announced that Arctic sea ice appeared to have shrunk to its sixth lowest level ever.
The NSIDC said that satellite data was expected to shortly confirm whether the maximum extent of sea ice at the opposite pole, in Antarctica, had set a new record.
Barack Obama has welcomed a report finding that reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved at a low cost and with added benefits in the form of a better quality of life for people around the world.
In remarks on Twitter, Obama said: "This study concludes that no one has to choose between fighting climate change and growing the economy." The reaction is significant in advance of key talks next week convened by the United Nations, when world leaders will meet in New York to discuss climate change for the first time since 2009.Continue reading...
Analysis by the Climate Council finds Australia is likely to experience rises of 0.4m to 1m, putting infrastructure at risk
Rising sea levels are a sleeping giant issue that will put at risk coastal infrastructure worth up to $226bn, a new report has found.
Analysis by the Climate Council found Australia was likely to experience a sea level rise of 0.4m to 1m by the end of the century, with a high end scenario of 1.1m possible if the world warmed by about 4C compared with pre-industrial temperatures.Continue reading...
A week before major UN talks on climate change, EPA extends comment period for rule to cut carbon pollution from plants
Barack Obama applied the brakes to the most critical component of his climate change plan on Tuesday, slowing the process of setting new rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants, and casting a shadow over a landmark United Nations summit on global warming.
The proposed power plant rules were meant to be the signature environmental accomplishment of Obamas second term.Continue reading...
2014 is shaping up to be one an exceptionally warm year with May and June also the hottest ever
August 2014 was marginally the warmest August worldwide since records began 130 years ago, according to new data from Nasas Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Temperatures measured by government meteorological offices using land, sea and satellite data suggest this years global global high was very close to those of 2011, 2008, 2006 and 2003. Overall, temperatures were 0.70C above the 1951-1990 baseline temperature average.
350.org is a global climate organisation that has rapidly expanded to become a leading voice across the world for action on climate change. Blair Palese is the Australian CEO of 350.org, and she has enormous experience in fossil fuel and oceans campaigning. 350.org is one of the primary organisers for the people's march on 21 September, and Blair has written this guest blog to explain why tens of thousands of Australians will be marching.
350Australia (@350Australia) September 15, 2014
350Australia (@350Australia) September 16, 2014
350 dot org (@350) September 11, 2014
350 dot org (@350) September 14, 2014
350 dot org (@350) August 22, 2014
Alexander White (@alexanderwhite) September 16, 2014Continue reading...
Analysis of proposed 6th grade texts show they falsely claim scientific disagreement about global warming
Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.
The proposed text books which come up for public hearing at the Texas state board of education on Tuesday were already attracting criticism when it emerged that the science section had been altered to reflect the doctrine of the Heartland Institute, which has been funded by the Koch oil billionaires.Continue reading...
A major new report says the world can tackle climate change without harming economic growth. Heres the digested read
About 80% of the worlds economic output comes from cities, but they also account for 70% of energy use and associated emissions. At least 1bn people are expected to swell the population of developing world cities in the next 15 years, but if that growth is unstructured and unplanned it will incur economic, social and environmental costs a lower quality of life for city residents, and problems for the future in global warming.Continue reading...
Geologist and locals can help NGOs to prepare for an uncertain future for mountain-based communities
This week a landslide in Kashmir killed more than 400 people and left hundreds of thousands stranded by flooding. As the world adjusts to a changing climate, scientists expect to see rising numbers of landslides like this.
Climate change is accelerated in mountain regions, where temperatures and rainfall patterns are already changing. Its hard to predict exactly how rainfall will be affected in any one place, but the lashings of rain that affect monsoon regions are forecast to get stronger. Rainwater clogs up the tiny air gaps in soil, bringing already unstable land closer to the brink of collapse. The loss of snow and ice which binds together loose debris on hill slopes is disappearing, further increasing the chance of dangerous landslides.Continue reading...
The global economy is undergoing a remarkable transformation which is altering our ability to deal with climate change. The growth of emerging economies, rapid urbanisation and new technological advances are making possible a new path of low-carbon growth in ways that were not apparent even five years ago.
We know that if left unchecked, greenhouse gas emissions will cause devastating climate change. What is now becoming clear is that reducing emissions is not only compatible with economic growth and development; if done well, it can actually generate better growth than the old high-carbon model.Continue reading...
The UK has been at the forefront of integrating climate change action into economic decision-making
The link between economic growth and action to reduce the risks of climate change is the focus of the New Climate Economy report issued on Tuesday.
Its credentials are impressive and its findings emphatic.Continue reading...
The world is heating up under the pressure of rising greenhouse gas emissions, and the consequences will be dire: an increase in extreme weather, droughts, floods, a loss of agricultural productivity, people living precarious lives pushed closer to the brink. But it does not have to be so. Halting the rise of carbon emissions is possible not only possible, but achievable at a modest cost that will be more than outweighed by the manifest benefits. We spend a little more now, to recoup in the next few decades in the form of breathable air, drinkable water and an atmosphere that doesn't cook us.
Sounds familiar? The New Climate Economy report, co-authored by Nicholas Stern, is published on Tuesday but it echoes the warnings first set out in stark terms in his landmark review of the economics of climate change in 2006. Then, his findings were revolutionary. Naysayers had argued that climate change was just too big a problem, too expensive to solve, requiring as it does an overhaul of the world's energy systems and economy. Stern proved in language that economists can understand that it could be done, that dealing with climate change need not cost the earth.Continue reading...
The world can still act in time to stave off the worst effects of climate change, and enjoy the fruits of continued economic growth as long as the global economy can be transformed within the next 15 years, a group of the world's leading economists and political leaders will argue on Tuesday.
Tackling climate change can be a boon to prosperity, rather than a brake, according to the study involving a roll-call of the globe's biggest institutions, including the UN, the OECD group of rich countries, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and co-authored by Lord Stern, one of the world's most influential voices on climate economics.Continue reading...
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon calls for bold actions and bold commitments in lead-up to Paris 2015
Australia is under pressure to commit to a bold new post-2020 greenhouse emissions reduction target at next weeks special UN summit, even though it has not yet legislated a policy to meet a minimum pre-2020 target, judged by its own independent adviser to be inadequate.
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, will represent Australia at the New York summit, where the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has called for announcements of bold actions and bold commitments to build momentum towards a successful post-2020 international climate deal at a conference in Paris next year.Continue reading...
Our research points to a widespread tropicalisation of temperate coastlines such as Sydney within the next few decades. This may sound pleasant, but it might not be
Welcome to tropical Sydney, where colourful surgeonfishes and parrotfishes are plentiful, corals have replaced kelp forests, and underwater life seems brighter, more colourful and all-round better. Or is it?
While this vision of a future Sydney is just an embellished cartoon of what climate change would do off the citys coastline, our recent research does point to a widespread tropicalisation of temperate coastlines such as Sydney within the next few decades. This may sound pleasant, but it can lead to unwanted consequences.Continue reading...
News of the deaths of four Peruvian tribal leaders (Illegal loggers blamed for murders in Amazon, 10 September) is especially resonant because their killings should have been avoided. It was well-known that one of the victims, Edwin Chota, a high-profile environmentalist, received numerous death threats from illegal loggers clearing forest on land that he was trying to secure rights to.
Chota was committed to protecting the forest that sustained him and local communities. His death is part of a rising trend in Peru, as our recent report Deadly Environment revealed, with over 58 environmental defenders killed in the country since 2002. Over half of these deaths occurred in the last three years.Continue reading...
New CDP report shows 150 major companies already use an internal price on carbon and many more are calling for clear pricing to help regulate emissions
The progressive corporate sector plans to make a major push at next weeks climate change summit in New York for the introduction of a meaningful global price for carbon, believing it to be one of the most effective measures to keep temperature rises within 2C.
The World Bank is also taking a lead on carbon pricing and will unveil a long list of states, regions and businesses announcing plans to factor in the costs of burning fossil fuels. It will essentially say that when carbon emissions carry a price, that cost creates an incentive for businesses to reduce waste and invest in energy efficiency and cleaner power sources.