Friday, November 29, 2019

Scientists warn climate tipping points may be close, endorse need for climate emergency action


Two peer reviewed statements by scientists just prior to the UN climate conference COP25 to be held in Madrid, Spain from December 2 to 13, have made clear the existential crsis humanity now faces with climate change and the dire need to ramp up climate action at the climate conference.

The first statement, authored by 5 eminent scientists, but signed by some 11,000 climate scientists, warns "clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency."

The second statement highlights that we may be very close, or perhaps have even initiated, climate tipping points that could push earth into a hothouse state. Our time for action to have some control over future climate may be limited, action now is of the essence, we have a climate emergency. Australian scientist Will Steffen was one of the eminent scientists who authored this statement.

European Parliament declares a climate and environmental emergency before COP25


A few hours ago the European parliament declared a climate emergency by a reasonably wide margin.

The nonbinding resolution said the European Commission must :
  • ensure all proposals are aligned with 1.5 °C target
  • EU should cut emissions by 55% by 2030 (on 1990 baseline) to become climate neutral by 2050
  • Calls to reduce global emissions from shipping and aviation

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

UN Emissions Gap report says 7.6% emissions reduction per year required to meet 1.5C Climate Target, Australia marked as a climate laggard



Global greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030 or the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, warns the latest UN Environment Emissions Gap report. It is clear we have a global climate emergency.

If current committed actions are all undertaken, the world is on target to heat at least 3.2C degrees by 2100 warns the report.

G20 nations account for 78 per cent of all emissions, but 15 G20 members, including Australia, have not committed to a timeline for net-zero emissions.

At the moment Australian total emissions are currently rising, and projected to keep rising past 2030. This is unsustainable. Australia proposes to keep current low targets and no substantial ambition coming into the UN climate conference COP25 in Madrid this December. Indeed, the Australian Government want to negotiate a 'deal' to use an accounting trick to halve our already low 2030 Paris Agreement Target, by arguing Kyoto Protocol credits can be used to meet Paris Agreemnet targets. No other country is proposing similar use of these credits. They are two spearate agreements.

The Australian Government is sending Energy and Emissions reduction Minister Angus Taylor to attempt to bluster a deal for Australia. His overtures are likely to be rebuffed by the global community, especially given the UN Environment emissions Gap report which advises ALL countries need to be reducing emissions, but especially the industrialised nations like Australia.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bushfires and climate change: Australian Prime Minister denies the evidence



With highest per capita emissions, Australia needs to reduce emissions faster for reducing extreme event risk including Bushfires. Source: The Australia Institute


The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says no evidence links Australia's carbon emissions to bushfires, yet he has been strongly contradicted on link between emissions and bushfires.

The scientific evidence is clear that Climate change is driving catastrophic mega fires.

Australia is not prepared - fire authorities and scientists have been warning governments for years and they haven't acted to reduce bushfire risk by implementing a strong climate and energy policy.

Governments have failed to properly equip and resource our firefighters to deal with a longer fire weather period, much hotter and more intense bushfires.

As part of it's duty of protection of public safety, the Federal Government should be honest with the community about their role.

Australian bushfires so intense smoke crosses the Pacific to South America



The extent of Australia's November Bushfires are massive, and the smoke cloud has gone global.

NASA have tracked the smoke cloud lofted 12-13 kilometres into the atmosphere from the hundreds of fires along the east coast of Australia. This smoke has drifted across the Pacific and South America, and even been detected over the southern Atlantic.

The fires are all the more concerning given this is in Spring season in November, long before the major bushfire season expected during January-February. This is very far from normal.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Serrano Glacier retreating. This is global warming, a climate emergency



A visit to Serrano Glacier in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in Chile. The Glacier is retreating 10-20 metres per year, according to a Park Ranger when I asked about the current rate of glacial retreat. The Grey Glacier that discharges ice from the south Patagonian ice field is retreating at 5-10 metres per year.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Chile marches for Dignity and social justice in this time of climate crisis and social crisis


Mass gathering calling for social justice in Plaza Italia, re-christened Plaza De la Dignidad, in Santiago


My friday activity was joining the hundreds of thousands of Chileans demanding dignity, after 3 weeks of protest and social upheaval.

There can be no climate justice without social justice.

East Coast of Australia literally on fire, #bushfires driven by global heating



The east coast of Australia is literally on fire, in early November, with bushfires spread up and down the east coast of Australia, particularly New South Wales. This is not normal for early November.

Fire conditions are exacerbated by the rising temperatures of global heating and change in rainfall patterns, and higher evaporation rates.

Professor David Bowman, a bushfire expert, commented "As a society we are running out of time to adapt to climate change driven bushfires, and policy failure will lead to escalating disasters that have the capacity to eclipse the worst disasters we have experienced."

Friday, November 8, 2019

Santiago walking tour and why just transition important for addressing social crisis and ecological crisis



November 7: Today I did a 3 hour walking tour of Santiago with Marcela from Tour4Tips. They are only running walking tours in the morning due to the social protests.

Many of the museums are closed due to workers being on strike as part of the protest demanding a new constitution and the government address the social crisis with meaningful progress.

Marcela knows her city, and also it’s travails, it’s problems. She is part of the movement for change, but she told people these were her views, to ask other Chilean people. Yes it was a little bit of social and political history combined with culture and food.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

New Zealand zero carbon Bill shows bipartisan leadership



Historic moment for New Zealand as the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern calls near unanimous support for a Zero Carbon bill as acting on the biggest challenge of our time.

"I continue to stand by the statement that #ClimateChange is the biggest challenge of our time and for us here in Aotearoa New Zealand that means for this generation, this is our nuclear [free] moment."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Reflections on memory, human rights, the Chile Coup, and implication for climate action



So today I went along to Todas las Mujeres Contra todas las Violencia (All women against all violence) Hosted by Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of memory and human rights) in Santiago, Chile. It made me reflect on the human rights of all the people that will obliterated by accelerating climate change, unless we all act, and act fast.

Friday, November 1, 2019

COP25 to be hosted in Madrid, Spain under presidency of Chile

It seems the merry-go-round with the UN climate conference COP25 continues.

It appears the Spanish government has offered Madrid as the venue for the next COP 25 climate change summit. This was announced on Thursday by the president of Chile , Sebastián Piñera. The conference would retain the same dates of December 2 to 13.

"Yesterday I spoke with the president of Spain , Pedro Sánchez , who made a generous offer to organize the COP 25 summit in Madrid, Spain, on the same days it was scheduled to take place in Chile; that is, between on December 2 and 13, " Piñera said in a statement at La Moneda presidential palace.

Update 1 November: It is confirmed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Bureau has met and decided to hold COP25 in Madrid, Spain between December 2 to December 13.