Afforestation

It’s Time For Revolution! #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange #Inequality kills millions!

For years I have begged for change.

I have copied thousands of links to science warning of catastrophic climate change.

Others have shone light on the inequalities built into our current political system.

We are running out of time!

It’s time for a revolution!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xFHXDuVA-dk&t=33s

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Too Terrified to Enter An Arena of Ideas? #Auspol #qldpol #Neoliberalism

Too Terrified to Enter an Arena of Ideas?

The Debate Over Cornel West’s Critique of Ta-Nehisi Coates

Thursday, January 04, 2018

By Ejike Obineme, Truthout | Op-Ed

Cornel West

When the history of resistance to oppression is written, it will be replete with the names of people who, at great personal cost, resolved to tell the truth.

It can be said without uncertainty that the Black community has produced some of the most pioneering minds for social justice and human dignity in the United States since its inception. Furnished and shaped by a need to survive the brutal transatlantic slave trade, Jim Crow and any emerging terrors that awaited Black people in North America, Black politics came about both out of necessity and from a thorough imaginative process whereby hope, prayer and blood willed into existence new possibilities for Black life.

This journey, however, has not come without internal feuds and public disagreements amongst its most prominent thinkers — Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du BoisIda B. Wells and Mary Church TerrellMalcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.James Baldwin and Audre Lorde — and in fact, this dynamic has become a recurring theme and important feature of critical thought in the ongoing fight for Black liberation.

Today, we are in a special time in history where ideological differences are boldly held but rarely discussed.

Anti-intellectualism, camouflaged with civility and politeness, has blocked the means to engage in critical debate.

Contempt for the life of the mind and an obsession with comfort has made public discourse virtually impossible.

And, with the avoidance of critical dialogue, we end up hiding the truth of our understanding from ourselves and each other, which may prove to be the greatest tragedy of all.

The moral growth of a country has been measured by its ability (or failure) to bring into civic consciousness the plight of the silenced, oppressed and unremembered.

The ideological battle between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Cornel West is the most recent example of how our society remains too terrified to enter the arena of ideas to sort out differences and push fellow contemporaries to think deeper about the implications of their work.

Important disputes among public intellectuals, we are told by many in the movement, must be done in private.

To many, it may seem that West’s target, in his article published by the Guardian, “Ta-Nehisi Coates is the Neoliberal Face of the Black Freedom Struggle,” is Coates himself, but upon closer inspection, and in context of West’s political trajectory for the last several decades, it’s evident that his real crosshairs are located squarely on the nucleus of neoliberalism.

Unfortunately, any attempt toward public discussion that involves a direct, ideological confrontation is quickly reinterpreted (mostly by liberals) as nefarious, disruptive and an attempt to self-righteously and selfishly reassert one’s self in the public sphere. And yet it is certain ideas going unchallenged that has led to this new era of neo-fascism and 21st century neoliberalism.

Ideas, however, don’t magically drop down from the sky.

Instead, they are produced and reproduced by culture, systemic structures and people of great influence. Coates is a best-selling author who has on many occasions praised, with much adoration, Barack Obama, former commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military. West’s disagreements with Obama are well-known, and whatever the genealogical makeup of his antagonism, history has certainly offered evidence to suggest that West’s critique of the 44th president may have some merit.

For instance, Obama’s track record, especially in terms of his foreign policy, is clear. The Obama administration has substantially expanded drone warfaredeported more than 2.5 million immigrantsmodernized the surveillance state and enriched multinational financial institutions in ways his predecessors could have only dreamed. He did all this with charismatic smiles and well-timed platitudes loaded with perfunctory, heartfelt promises of progress and diversity. Commemoration and alignment with Obama’s presidency through Coates’s recently published book, We Were Eight Years in Power, is to offer, at least implicitly, an apologia for the crimes committed on his behalf.

Neoliberals encourage the replacement of human values for market values.

Coates’s inability to mount a persistent, forceful critique of Obama is much of West’s gripe with the man who in 2015 became one of the recipients of the MacArthur “Genius Grant” award. The absence of analysis on gender, sexuality, class and the horrors of US imperialism suggests Coates’s politics travel no further than his own identity.

It raises a fundamental question: Why is it suddenly permissible for the head of the US empire to bomb thousands of human beings across the globe just because, as Allan Boesak, author of Pharaohs on Both Sides of the Blood Red-Waters writes, “the pharaoh looks like us”?

The aftermath of West’s article (internet chatter and various hot takes) confirms a theory long suspected: Public intellectual life has yet to recover from the days of McCarthyism and COINTELPRO, and has atrophied to an almost non-existent reality. Historically, the moral growth of a country has been measured by its ability (or failure) to bring into civic consciousness the plight of the silenced, oppressed and unremembered. The raison d’être for the intellectual, as Edward Said puts it in his short book Representations of the Intellectual, is to “publicly … represent all those people and issues that are routinely forgotten and swept under the rug.”

Yet many of West’s detractors have rushed to Coates’s defense, saying that he is just a writer and never asked for the albatross of the public intellectual. While this may be true, when one is catapulted to the heights of public intellectual discourse, one must be mindful of the impact of one’s words and actions, or lack thereof. Useful here is Antonio Gramsci’s conception of the “organic intellectual,” a thought leader, a deputy of culture, an organizer of ideology who crafts and disseminates specific interests of a given sector in society — an emergent personification of class agency. That is to say, Coates cannot simply choose to speak for himself as a private individual. His words have consequences and he has, despite his attempts at abdication, been given the moral and political authority for formulating ideas that have real material impact on the dominant culture.

West also condemned Coates for a failure to categorically repudiate the financial oligarchy and the philosophy of late capitalism.

This silence on capitalism may come from a refusal to acknowledge its devastating effects all around the world. Capitalism has left at its feet impoverished nations, perpetual war, mass wealth inequality and a global climate catastrophe that scientists now believe has led to an ongoing sixth mass extinction.

The latest flavor of capitalism is neoliberalism: an intense wave of economic policies, initiated by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the ’80s, that is marked by deregulation of market economies; acceleration of free enterprise; weakening of trade unions; dismantling of the Keynesian state (income assistance, public housing, health care subsidies, etc.); expansion of the security state (military, prison and surveillance); and erosion of democratic processes and institutions.

However, with this specific political-economic shift came a neoliberal ethos that ushered in a specific cultural formation and gave way for a new set of personal identities and behaviors.

At its core, neoliberalism is a celebration of the free market and a belief that it possesses in itself an elegant way to facilitate human progress.

Neoliberals, although unknowingly, encourage the replacement of human values for market values, including individualism, wealth-accumulation and competition. For Black people, the civil rights movement and its integrationist strategies may have played a role in the embracement of such ideas from a society that not too long ago was heavily invested in the enslavement, and then later, legalized political and social exclusion of African-descended people. After all, with assimilation comes the adoption of cultural and structural values, the most noticeable of which — incessant consumerism and devout entrepreneurship — puts profits before people and individual comfort before social equity.

Neoliberalism, additionally, cultivates an obsession with commoditiesproductivity and disposabilityconsumerist logics that travel far beyond shopping centers and the workplace and find their way into personal relationships, how we craft our social circles and the way we assign value to our peers — appraisals that are often determined by income or expected earning potential. Human values of kindness, love, compassion and the need for communion with others are eventually reduced to mere afterthoughts in the wake of our market-driven culture.

Could this be what West’s critique of Coates ultimately means? Is it possible that anyone who talks only of their oppression while simultaneously memorializing a centrist president — who embraced the ostensible virtues of business supremacy and worked to modernize warfare against Black and Brown bodies internationally — embodies a political individualism that cannot be separated from the neoliberal culture of the day?

No matter what speculations one can posit or ascertain as to West’s intentions for publishing the aforementioned article, it has undoubtedly unleashed a debate that needed to happen in the open. It has provided an opportunity for people to learn new vocabulary not yet firmly planted in the mainstream’s lexicon, and to challenge our politics and those of others in order to develop a shared, more far-reaching analysis. More personally, West comes from a long line of intellectuals from the African diaspora that took up the mantle of resistance, and he now hopes to secure its survival — and its integrity — in the coming generations. For the Black radical tradition is an unrestrained program that, once initiated, quickly moves past the confines of its own anatomy and seeks out international solidarity and commits itself to building a multi-identity, multi-issue social justice coalition for all those who are unjustly treated.

The path to building such a coalition is beset with numerous obstacles: fragmentation and isolation, enticement to hide in the dark shelter of pessimism and despair, or fall prey to the “nihilistic threat” as West himself describes it in his pivotal book, Race Matters. The intervention needed to overcome these obstacles, in this moral winter of rampant misogyny and growing neo-fascism, is a deliberate defiance of oppressive power structures and all their values. To these structures, unity is the most imminent threat; that if those alienated could join hands with people who do not look like them, people thousands of miles away, people with whom they will never break bread, whose names they will never know and whose families they will never meet but who share a deep, unassailable determination for a better world, they would have the power to bring about a radical transformation of society not in some dim, distant, unknowable future but in months, weeks or even in a matter of days.

Although many may consider West’s critique of Coates harsh, it is because West understands that the fight for justice is a rigorous one: It is to wholly reject the infection of violence and conformity, however contagious, and be forever committed to inserting the best of ourselves in every nook and cranny of our movement work, every book, every discussion, every thought, word and deed.

Indeed, West believes that the stakes are too high and the moment too serious for such a talented writer like Coates to do any less.

In this time of peril, we need all people of every race and creed, who are willing and able, to join in the fight for human freedom because, as Audre Lorde tell us, “Without community, there is no liberation.”

Press link for more: Truth Out

Keep Global warming under 1.5C #Desert #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

Keep global warming under 1.5C or ‘quarter of planet could become arid’

A global temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels could see many regions facing an increased threat of drought and wildfires, study suggests

Hannah DevlinLast modified on Wed 3 Jan ‘18 11.35 AEDT

Aridification is a serious threat – as well as leading to droughts and wildfires it can also have an impact on agriculture, water quality, and biodiversity. Photograph: Javier Blasco/EPA

More than a quarter of the planet’s surface could become significantly drier if global temperatures rise 2C above pre-industrial levels, scientists predict.

The study, which is one of the most detailed assessments to date of future aridity, suggests that many regions could face an increased threat of drought and wildfires.

Limiting global warming to under 1.5C would avoid extreme changes for two-thirds of these areas, the study suggested.

Chang-Eui Park, the first author from the Southern University of Science and Technology (Sustech) in Shenzhen China, said: “Aridification is a serious threat because it can critically impact areas such as agriculture, water quality, and biodiversity. It can also lead to more droughts and wildfires similar to those seen raging across California.”

Aridity is a measure of the dryness of the land surface, which can be calculated by combining predictions of precipitation and evaporation.

The scientists studied projections from 27 different global climate models to pinpoint regions where the land is expected to become significantly drier, as global warming reaches 1.5C and 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Manoj Joshi, a co-author of the study from the University of East Anglia (UEA), said: “Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20 to 30% of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2C. But two-thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5C.”

Drought severity has already increased across the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and the eastern coast of Australia during the 20th century, while semi-arid areas of Mexico, Brazil, southern Africa and Australia have started turning into desert as the world warms. The study suggested that equatorial regions and countries at high latitudes could get wetter.

Prof Tim Osborn, also one of the study’s co-authors from UEA, said: “The areas of the world which would most benefit from keeping warming below 1.5C are parts of south-east Asia, southern Europe, southern Africa, Central America and southern Australia where more than 20% of the world’s population live today.”

The findings are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Press link for more: The Guardian

Baba Brinkman makes Climate Rap hot. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Rapper’s Lyrics about Climate Change Are Smart

Baba Brinkman makes climate rap hot

Mark FischettiDecember 27, 2017

Credit: Olivia Sebesky

Want to hear the most cogent scientific, social and political arguments about climate change?

Check out Baba Brinkman’s song “Make It Hot.” Brinkman is a Canadian rapper who has garnered fame for his various collections of work, such as The Rap Guide to Religion.

He’s become a bit of a phenomenon in the science and policy community, first with The Rap Guide to Evolution and his more recent collection of 24 songs called The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos.

He performed what may be his biggest hit, “Make It Hot,” at the COP21 climate meeting in Paris. And I heard him perform that piece last week at the AGU Annual Meeting in New Orleans, a conference of 23,000 earth, climate and space scientists. The audience was spellbound.

The organizers invited Brinkman, who now lives in New York City, to perform the song at the beginning of a major keynote address for the week. Not knowing what to expect, the audience was a little skeptical when Brinkman appeared—a tall, clean cut, well-dressed, middle-aged man who began by talking about climate, not rapping. But the large crowd became thoroughly enthralled after he got about a minute into the song. That’s because the lyrics are smart. Really smart.

I’m not the first to write about Brinkman’s work, but this may be the first time you’ve heard about him. Rather than me say more, just read the lyrics for yourself, below. I’ve highlighted a couple lines in particular that struck me. You can also see Brinkman perform the song on YouTube, below.

Enjoy. And share; the song will make people reflect about the role they, and all of us, play in making the climate issue hot.

“Make It Hot”

Written by D. Brinkman and D. Moross

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Scientists are telling us that we’re standing on a precipice

And we have to convert the global economy and make it emission-less

And those emissions are caused by every single one of our jobs

Every one of us contributing carbon emissions to the smog

For instance, if I write a rhyme tryin’ to describe climate change

And it’s hot, so it catches on, someone’s gonna fly me someplace

To perform it, and the appeal of that is enormous

It’s not an option for me to turn down work for global warming

‘Cause I make it hot, people say my rhymes are dope

I twist words until they’re unrecognizable

I make it hot, make it heezy fa sheezy

So hot even climate change skeptics will believe me

I make it hot, like the temperature it needs to be

Before the tea party will believe the IPCC

I make it hot, I liquefy the Greenland ice sheets

Seven meters of sea level rise, that’ll do nicely

And yeah, humans are adaptable, and we can toughen up

But that response ignores people who feel like it’s already tough enough

Make a list of countries that nobody visits as a tourist
They have low carbon emissions, the richest inflicted this on the poorest

We did it by heating our houses, and feeding our spouses

And flying and driving places and having no patience for power outages

The Pope calls it anthropocentric, he calls it obnoxious

But I got work to do, and work takes energy to accomplish

And I make it hot, I turn up the heat on the crowd

You make it hot too though, so don’t try to be weaseling out

I make it hot like the African sun

Like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

I make it hot, feel that bass when it vibrates

Hot like the permafrost releasing methyl hydrates

I make it hot, like a planet with low albedo

Like me rockin’ a trench coat on a beach instead of a speedo

Hot with no apologies, but still I’m feelin’ a lot grief

For the impact my lifestyle has on the planet’s ecology

My carbon footprint is bigger than crypto-zoology’s

I’m talkin’ Loch Ness monstrous, so I’m not at peace

Because the aggregate effect of every decision I’m makin’ is tragic

But I can’t just quit, they say that we’re “carbon emission addicts”

But that’s just glib, you want me to live in poverty abject

And if I did, what happens to greenhouse gasses on average?

If I quit and you don’t, it’s still hell in a hand-basket

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A traffic jam with no plan of action, fantastic

This is a classic arms race that we’re trapped in, it’s ominous

Self-interested parties stuck in a tragedy of the commons

The problem is caused by our collective emissions of carbon

But the person who emits is not the person emissions are harmin’

So it’s a failure of the market, everyone is incentivized

To pollute as much as they can get away with, and catch a free ride

So it’s no surprise to see emissions on the rise
When the cost of burning fossil fuel is externalized

It’s effectively subsidized, it’s paid for by the victims

Of the eventual climate impacts caused by our emissions

And Bill McKibben and the Guardian have been targeting investments

Like: Dirty energy is the new tobacco, so keep your distance

From anybody makin’ a profit off of fossil fuels

Cool, I’m down with the boycott, I’m just boycotting myself too

‘Cause I make it hot, I cause a heat wave

How about nine degrees hotter than the hottest ones these days?

I make it hot, like climate refugees

Picture a hot hundred million displaced Bangladeshis

I make it hot, split flames, rap metaphors

A five-alarm blaze killing the last redwood forest

I make it hot, I make it six degrees

Causing the extinction of forty percent of species

Hot! So what are we left with?

A speeding train with no brakes, some kind of a death wish?

A scientific consensus that we’re standing on a precipice

And a population with no idea of how to reduce their emissions

Some people do offset their footprint voluntarily

With the milk of human altruism, hope, faith and charity

But that’s not gonna cut it – it’s not counterproductive

But we got a global carbon budget and it’s globally busted

And there are hundreds of gigatons that you would have to offset

You might as well donate your piggy bank to the national debt

I ain’t got no spare change to donate to carbon offsetting

I don’t even want to calculate my footprint, I find it upsetting

It’s like the medieval Catholic church, back when it was indulgence-selling

If you get a big mac and a diet coke, your belly is still swelling

But here’s what I’m willing: I’m willing to pay a tax

A fee that’s calculated against my carbon impacts

And globally harmonized to switch incentives around

And make sure most of that carbon stays safely underground

But I’m not gonna pay it, not unless you all pay it too

That way I can be sure that you’ll do what you say you’ll do

How about everyone has to pay it, no free riders allowed

No international pact with the US or China left out

You can invest it in green R&D, or you can dividend it back to me

But either way I won’t be happy until the day they’re carbon taxing me

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‘Cause then I can make it hot, without ever feelin’ a chill

I’m sick of the guilt trip killin’ my high when I’m feelin’ a thrill

So I make it hot, I get your emotions aroused

If we can’t make those hot, we’re not gonna keep the oceans down

So let’s make it hot, people, let’s turn up the heat

On polluters tryin’ to catch a ride on all the rest of us for free

I make it hot on the mic and in my social life

When I agitate for my friends to agitate for a carbon price

And that’s how you make it hot

From The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos, released September 30, 2016

Written by D. Brinkman and D. Moross

Press link for more: Scientific American

Climate Change Profound impact on public health #StopAdani #Qldvotes

Espinosa is the executive secretary of UN Climate Change and Horton is editor-in-chief of The Lancet
The evidence is growing harder and harder to ignore—climate change is already having a profound and detrimental impact on public health. 

Around the world, warmer temperatures are creating and complicating a whole host of health challenges, many of which have been all too obvious this year.


As over 20,000 delegates from around the world prepare to meet in Bonn, Germany, for the annual UN climate conference, the unnaturally warm surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean have helped produce a historically high run of 10 named hurricanes this season, which have taken lives and destroyed communities from Texas to the Caribbean to Ireland.

Many parts of Europe sweltered this summer under a heat wave that was so bad that it was dubbed “Lucifer.” 

The American Southwest was meanwhile suffering through its own historic heat. 

And then came the wildfires, sparked on drought-scorched lands in Western Europe, the Pacific Northwest, and California.


A report published this week by The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, provides an annual “check up” of how climate change is impacting public health, and how countries’ actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are reducing health risks.

 The research, conducted by a group of leading doctors, academics, and policy professionals found that climate change is already damaging the health of millions worldwide.
How? 

The deaths caused by unnatural disasters like warming-fueled hurricanes and wildfires are obvious, and the threat of extreme heat waves — which can kill outright or cause heat-related illnesses — to public health is clear. 

But there are many other climate impacts that are every bit as sinister, and potentially lethal. 

Changing weather patterns are already altering the transmission patterns of infectious diseases, resulting in unexpected outbreaks of malaria, dengue fever, cholera, tick-born encephalitis, and West Nile virus. 

Allergy season is getting longer and allergen levels higher.

 Lyme disease is spreading, with the number of cases in the United States tripling over the past two decades as deer ticks can carry the disease farther north and as warmer temperatures allow them to Floods, which are increasing in regularity and severity, create even more breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects. 

Uneven, unpredictable precipitation patterns and higher temperatures are also reducing crop yields, causing more widespread malnourishment and nutrition deficiencies.


Tragically, these burdens are being — and will be — borne mostly by children, the elderly and low-income vulnerable populations that have done little to cause climate change and have benefited the least from the burning of fossil fuels. 

But make no mistake, the impacts will be felt by all.
Perhaps most troubling, what we’re experiencing today is just the beginning.

Over the past few decades, the global health community has made great gains in tackling the spread and sources of infectious disease, and in combatting malnutrition and hunger. 

But this progress could be undermined in a warming world that exacerbates such health threats.
It’s a dire diagnosis, but the good news is that we know the cure. 

We simply must stop burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, transitioning to clean, renewable energy resources.

What’s more, many of the steps we take to combat climate change can create immediate benefit public health in other ways. 

Fine particulate matter and other local air pollution in cities — from tailpipes and coal plants, for instance — kills some 2.6 million people annually worldwide, according to the Lancet Countdown. 

Solving the greenhouse gas problem also cleans up the smoggy air that’s polluting lungs.
These longer term and immediate health factors are why the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change called a comprehensive response to climate change “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”


Policymakers recognize climate change as being a massive public health challenge — and not just an environmental one — and act accordingly. 

The Lancet Countdown’s annual reports can help quantify the full costs to the public, and should be utilized to drive more ambitious efforts to transition to a low carbon future.
There are encouraging signs that this is starting to happen. 

The two-week climate conference, opening on November 6, has health among its key priority issues.
For the 25 years that the global community has been working to find a way to collectively combat climate change, not nearly enough has been known about the true risks to public health. 

We can no longer use that ignorance as an excuse for inaction. 

We’re seeing the impacts now, and they are measurable. 

Without aggressive action, the public health problems we’re seeing today risk intensifying to a widespread health emergency.


With ambitious action, however, we can both rein in long term warming and — by cleaning the air of fossil fuel-borne pollution—we can start improving health and saving lives right away.

Press link for more: Time.com

1.5C Climate Change Threshold #StopAdani 

In Defense of the 1.5°C Climate Change Threshold
Loren Legarda Oct 23, 2017


 Steam and exhaust pipes Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

MANILA – The Earth today is more than 1°C hotter than it was in pre-industrial times, and the terrible symptoms of its fever are already showing. 

This year alone, back-to-back hurricanes have devastated Caribbean islands, monsoon flooding has displaced tens of millions in South Asia, and fires have raged on nearly every continent. 

Pulling the planet back from the brink could not be more urgent.

Those of us who live on the front lines of climate change – on archipelagos, small islands, coastal lowlands, and rapidly desertifying plains – can’t afford to wait and see what another degree of warming will bring. 

Already, far too many lives and livelihoods are being lost. 

People are being uprooted, and vital resources are becoming increasingly scarce, while those suffering the most severe consequences of climate change are also among those who have done the least to cause it.


That is why the Philippines used its chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) – an alliance of the 48 countries that stand to bear the brunt of climate change – to fight to ensure that the 2015 Paris climate agreement aimed explicitly to cap global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 

For us, 1.5°C isn’t merely a symbolic or “aspirational” number to be plugged into international agreements; it is an existential limit. 

If global temperatures rise above that level, the places we call home – and many other homes on this planet – will become uninhabitable or even disappear completely.


When we first introduced the 1.5°C target back in 2009, we met substantial resistance. 

Climate-change deniers – those who refuse to believe the science of human-induced global warming – continue to dismiss any such effort to stem the rise in the planet’s temperature as futile and unnecessary. 

But even well-meaning climate advocates and policymakers often opposed the 1.5°C target, arguing that, according to the science, humans had already emitted enough greenhouse gases to make meeting that goal virtually impossible.
Yet, on this front, the science is not as clear-cut as it might have seemed.

 According to a recent paper published in Nature, the world’s remaining “carbon budget” – the amount of carbon-dioxide equivalents we can emit before breaching the 1.5°C threshold – is somewhat larger than was previously thought.
This finding is no reason for complacency, as some commentators (not scientists) seem to think. 

It does not mean that previous climate models were excessively alarmist, or that we can take a more relaxed approach to reining in global warming.

 Instead, the paper should inspire – and, indeed, calls for – more immediate, deliberate, and aggressive action to ensure that greenhouse-gas emissions peak within a few years and net-zero emissions are achieved by mid-century.
 

What would such action look like?

 Global emissions would need to be reduced by 4-6% every year, until they reached zero. 

Meanwhile, forest and agricultural lands would have to be restored, so that they could capture and sequester greater amounts of carbon dioxide. 

Fully decarbonizing our energy and transportation systems in four decades will require a herculean effort, but it is not impossible.

Beyond their environmental consequences, such efforts would generate major economic gains, boosting the middle class in developed countries and pulling hundreds of millions out of poverty in the developing world, including by fueling job creation. 

The energy transition will lead to massive efficiency savings, while improving the resilience of infrastructure, supply chains, and urban services in developing countries, particularly those in vulnerable regions.
According to a report published last year by the United Nations Development Programme, maintaining the 1.5°C threshold and creating a low-carbon economy would add as much as $12 trillion to global GDP, compared to a scenario in which the world sticks to current policies and emissions-reduction pledges.
The paper asserting that the 1.5°C target is achievable was written by well-respected climate experts and published in a top-ranking journal after extensive peer review. 

But it is just one paper; there is still a lot more to learn about our capacity to limit global warming. 

That is why top scientists are already discussing and debating its findings; their responses will also be published in top journals. 

That is how scientific research works, and it is why we can trust climate science – and its urgent warnings.
Next year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish its own meta-analysis of all of the science related to the 1.5°C target, in what promises to be the most comprehensive summary of such research.

 But we cannot afford to wait for that analysis before taking action.
The members of the CVF have already committed to doing our part, pledging at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech to complete the transition to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

 Our emissions are already among the world’s smallest, but our climate targets are the world’s most ambitious.


But whether the world manages to curb climate change ultimately will depend on the willingness of the largest current and historical emitters of greenhouse gases to fulfill their moral and ethical responsibility to take strong action.

 Keeping global temperatures below 1.5°C may not yet be a geophysical impossibility. 

But, to meet the target, we must ensure that it is not treated as a political and economic impossibility, either.

Press link for more: Project-Syndicate

6th Mass Extinction also Threatens Global Food Supplies #StopAdani 

The Sixth Mass Extinction of Wildlife Also Threatens Global Food SuppliesBy Damian Carrington, The Guardian
The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world’s food supplies, according to experts.

Farmers evaluating traits of wheat varieties in Ethiopia.

Credit: Biodiversity International

“Huge proportions of the plant and animal species that form the foundation of our food supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are getting almost no attention,” said Ann Tutwiler, director general of Bioversity International, a research group that published a new report.
“If there is one thing we cannot allow to become extinct, it is the species that provide the food that sustains each and every one of the seven billion people on our planet,” she said in an article for the Guardian.

 “This ‘agrobiodiversity’ is a precious resource that we are losing, and yet it can also help solve or mitigate many challenges the world is facing. 

It has a critical yet overlooked role in helping us improve global nutrition, reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to climate change.”
Three-quarters of the world’s food today comes from just 12 crops and five animal species and this leaves supplies very vulnerable to disease and pests that can sweep through large areas of monocultures, as happened in the Irish potato famine when a million people starved to death. 

Reliance on only a few strains also means the world’s fast changing climate will cut yields just as the demand from a growing global population is rising.
There are tens of thousands of wild or rarely cultivated species that could provide a richly varied range of nutritious foods, resistant to disease and tolerant of the changing environment. But the destruction of wild areas, pollution and overhunting has started a mass extinction of species on Earth. The focus to date has been on wild animals — half of which have been lost in the last 40 years — but the new report reveals that the same pressures are endangering humanity’s food supply, with at least 1,000 cultivated species already endangered.
Tutwiler said saving the world’s agrobiodiversity is also vital in tackling the number one cause of human death and disability in the world — poor diet, which includes both too much and too little food. “We are not winning the battle against obesity and undernutrition,” she said. “Poor diets are in large part because we have very unified diets based on a narrow set of commodities and we are not consuming enough diversity.”
The new report sets out how both governments and companies can protect, enhance and use the huge variety of little-known food crops. It highlights examples including the gac, a fiery red fruit from Vietnam, and the orange-fleshed Asupina banana. Both have extremely high levels of beta-carotene that the body converts to vitamin A and could help the many millions of people suffering deficiency of that vitamin.


Training cows to walk in groups to extract wheat in Koka villge, Ethiopia.

Credit: CIFOR

Quinoa has become popular in some rich nations but only a few of the thousands of varieties native to South America are cultivated. The report shows how support has enabled farmers in Peru to grow a tough, nutritious variety that will protect them from future diseases or extreme weather.
Mainstream crops can also benefit from diversity and earlier in 2017 in Ethiopia researchers found two varieties of durum wheat that produce excellent yields even in dry areas. Fish diversity is also very valuable, with a local Bangladeshi species now shown to be extremely nutritious.
“Food biodiversity is full of superfoods but perhaps even more important is the fact these foods are also readily available and adapted to local farming conditions,” said Tutwiler.
Bioversity International is working with both companies and governments to ramp up investment in agrobiodiversity. The supermarket Sainsbury’s is one, and its head of agriculture, Beth Hart, said: “The world is changing — global warming, extreme weather and volatile prices are making it harder for farmers and growers to produce the foods our customers love. Which is why we are committed to working with our suppliers, farmers and growers around the world to optimise the health benefits, address the impact and biodiversity of these products and secure a sustainable supply.”
Pierfrancesco Sacco, Italy’s permanent representative to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, said: “The latest OECD report rates Italy third lowest in the world for levels of obesity after Japan and Korea. Is it a coincidence that all three countries have long traditions of healthy diets based on local food biodiversity, short food supply chains and celebration of local varieties and dishes?”
He said finding and cultivating a wider range of food is the key: “Unlike conserving pandas or rhinos, the more you use agrobiodiversity and the more you eat it, the better you conserve it.”

Press link for more: Climate Central

Think energy is expensive wait till you get the bill for #ClimateChange #QT #Auspol 

If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen
Dante Disparte June 12, 2017

Jun17-12-128228428

With the Trump Administration’s surprising U-turn on the COP21 Paris Agreement, the U.S. finds itself with some strange bedfellows, joining Nicaragua and Syria in abstaining from this important treaty. 

The White House’s argument for leaving the treaty is based on economic nationalism: President Trump, in his speech announcing the decision, cited primarily the “lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production” that he thought meeting the agreement’s voluntary targets would cause.
This echoes a common political talking point: that fighting climate change is bad for the economy.


I’d like to point out the flip side: that climate change itself is bad for the economy and investing in climate resilience is not only a national security priority, but an enormous economic opportunity.
The share of national GDP at risk from climate change exceeds $1.5 trillion in the 301 major cities around the world. 

Including the impact of human pandemics – which are likely to become more severe as the planet warms — the figure increases to nearly $2.2 trillion in economic output at risk through 2025.

For recent examples of what climate disruptions will look like in practice, consider Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, causing $68 billion in damages, making it the second most costly weather event in the U.S. after Hurricane Katrina.

 Record snowfall in Boston of more than 100 inches in the winter of 2015 shut down transit systems for weeks and made it difficult, if not impossible, for some employees to get to work. 

The “rain bomb” that imperiled the Oroville Dam in California earlier this year threatened the displacement of more than 250,000 downstream residents.

 A similar rain bomb effectively destroyed historic downtown Ellicott City in 2016, just outside of Washington D.C. Air quality and smog red alerts and the complete bans on vehicle traffic in major cities around the world highlight how traditional commerce and supply chains can and do grind to a halt because of climate risks. 

Record flooding in Thailand in 2011 severely impacted air travel, tourism, and one of the major regional airports in Asia.
Climate change is also a critical geostrategic issue over which the prospect of war and social upheaval cannot be ruled out. 


How will the country of Panama be affected by the likelihood of Northern open ocean sea routes? 

How will the undersea land-grab play out under the dwindling polar ice caps, as Arctic nations race to lay claim to untapped natural resources? 

Indeed, the prospects of the Larsen B ice shelf breaking off – a mass of ice roughly the size of Delaware – will profoundly affect global shipping routes, as well as herald a major tipping point in global sea levels, which already plague many low-lying areas of the world, from Louisiana and the Florida panhandle to the Maldives. 

Military leaders in both the U.S. and the UK have argued that climate change is already accelerating instability in some parts of the world, drawing direct links between climate change and the Arab Spring, Syrian civil war, and Boko Haram insurgency. 

The destabilizing migrations caused by the climate and related events will only become more pronounced as the effects of global warming become more severe; climate change refugees already exist in the United States, China, and Africa, among other places.


When people can’t get to work, or goods can’t be shipped to where they need to be, or customers can’t get to stores, the economy suffers. 

Insidiously, already-strained public budgets tend to be the “suppliers of first resort” when absorbing both the acute and attritional economic costs of climate change.

 Unfunded losses, such as post-Katrina repairs in the Gulf region, that ultimately get picked up by tax payers have the consequence of raising the specter of sovereign risk. 

Funding “slow burn” climate impacts, such as the urban heat island effect that is projected to make many urban centers unbearably hot, including the already sweltering Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Dallas areas, risk the dislocation of millions of people, imperiling countless industries over the long range.

 With rising temperatures comes an increase in vector-borne diseases, which have been traditionally relegated as sub-tropical threats. 

Today, mosquito-borne West Nile virus is already endemic in much of the U.S., which does not bode well for containing the risk of Zika.


While the Zika epidemic is over in Puerto Rico, reports that it would affect one in five people on the island hurt the island’s tourism industry – at a time when the local economy is struggling to emerge from a municipal debt crisis. 

The correlation between climate change, human pandemics, and economic and other risks, cannot be isolated; they’re all connected.
That makes the shift away from a carbon-based economy as inexorable as the rising tide and temperature. 

Indeed, the renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing employers in the U.S., with solar alone accounting for nearly 400,000 jobs, proving that investing in climate resilience not only makes for good policy, it makes for good business.

 The business opportunities of investing in climate change, renewable energy, and human adaptation are big enough to create a new generation of billionaires – I call them Climate Robber Barons – regardless of what politicians in Washington or other capitals choose to do.

Climate change and climate resilience are not zero-sum propositions, as evidenced by the near unanimous support for COP21 from more than 190 countries. 

While the U.S. turning its back on climate change is clearly a global policy and diplomatic setback, this is also an opportunity for leaders to prove that values matter most when it is least convenient. 

Indeed, the response from U.S. state and city leaders underscores how many leaders are remaining steadfast to the Paris Agreement notwithstanding the short-term setback. 

Business leaders have also been swift in their rebuke, including Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and very likely the first climate robber baron, and Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, both of whom immediately stepped down from the President’s economic advisory council. 

New York’s former mayor and the renowned business leader, Michael Bloomberg, looks decidedly like a head of state rather than a captain of industry, as he steps into the UN funding breach left behind by the U.S. with a $15 million pledge. 

While the official U.S. seat at the climate change table may have been shorted, parallel leadership can show the world that the U.S. is going long on climate change.

Press link for more: Harvard Business Report

Drastic Impact of #ClimateChange on U.S. #StopAdani #Auspol 

Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.
By LISA FRIEDMANAUG. 7, 2017

A draft report by government scientists concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. Branden Camp/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.


The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. 

It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.


“Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” a draft of the report states. 

A copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.
The authors note that thousands of studies, conducted by tens of thousands of scientists, have documented climate changes on land and in the air. 

“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change,” they wrote.


The report was completed this year and is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years.

 The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.
One government scientist who worked on the report, and who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.
A draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public but was obtained by The New York Times, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now.

The White House and Environmental Protection Agency did not immediately respond to calls and emails requesting comment on Monday night.
The report concludes that even if humans immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world would still feel at least an additional 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit (0.30 degrees Celsius) of warming over this century compared with today. 

The projected actual rise, scientists say, will be as much as 2 degrees Celsius.
A small difference in global temperatures can make a big difference in the climate: The difference between a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius and one of 2 degrees Celsius, for example, could mean longer heat waves, more intense rainstorms and the faster disintegration of coral reefs.

Among the more significant of the study’s findings is that it is possible to attribute some extreme weather to climate change. 

The field known as “attribution science” has advanced rapidly in response to increasing risks from climate change.
The E.P.A. is one of 13 agencies that must approve the report by Aug. 18.

 The agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, has said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.
“It’s a fraught situation,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geoscience and international affairs at Princeton University who was not involved in the study. 

“This is the first case in which an analysis of climate change of this scope has come up in the Trump administration, and scientists will be watching very carefully to see how they handle it.”


Scientists say they fear the Trump administration could change or suppress the report. 

But those who challenge scientific data on human-caused climate change say they are equally worried that the draft report, as well as the larger National Climate Assessment, will be publicly released.
“The National Climate Assessment seems to be on autopilot because there’s no political that has taken control of it,” said Myron Ebell, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He was referring to a lack of political direction from the Trump administration.
The report says significant advances have been made linking human influence to individual extreme weather events since the last National Climate Assessment was produced in 2014. Still, it notes, crucial uncertainties remain.
It cites the European heat wave of 2003 and the record heat in Australia in 2013 as specific episodes where “relatively strong evidence” showed that a man-made factor contributed to the extreme weather.

In the United States, the authors write, the heat wave that broiled Texas in 2011 was more complicated. 

That year was Texas’ driest on record, and one study cited in the report said local weather variability and La Niña were the primary causes, with a “relatively small” warming contribution. Another study had concluded that climate change made extreme events 20 times more likely in Texas.
Based on those and other conflicting studies, the federal draft concludes that there was a medium likelihood that climate change played a role in the Texas heat wave. But it avoids assessing other individual weather events for their link to climate change. Generally, the report described linking recent major droughts in the United States to human activity as “complicated,” saying that while many droughts have been long and severe, they have not been unprecedented in the earth’s hydrologic natural variation.
Worldwide, the draft report finds it “extremely likely” that more than half of the global mean temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to human influence.
In the United States, the report concludes with “very high” confidence that the number and severity of cool nights has decreased since the 1960s, while the frequency and severity of warm days has increased. Extreme cold waves, it says, are less common since the 1980s, while extreme heat waves are more common.
The study examines every corner of the United States and finds that all of it was touched by climate change. The average annual temperature in the United States will continue to rise, the authors write, making recent record-setting years “relatively common” in the near future. It projects increases of 5.0 to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.8 degrees Celsius) by the late century, depending on the level of future emissions.
It says the average annual rainfall across the country has increased by about 4 percent since the beginning of the 20th century. Parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast are drying up, while the Southern Plains and Midwest are getting wetter.
With a medium degree of confidence, the authors linked the contribution of human-caused warming to rising temperatures over the Western and Northern United States. It found no direct link in the Southeast.
Additionally, the government scientists wrote that surface, air and ground temperatures in Alaska and the Arctic are warming at a frighteningly fast rate — twice as fast as the global average.
“It is very likely that the accelerated rate of Arctic warming will have a significant consequence for the United States due to accelerating land and sea ice melting that is driving changes in the ocean including sea level rise threatening our coastal communities,” the report says.
Human activity, the report goes on to say, is a primary culprit.
The study does not make policy recommendations, but it notes that stabilizing the global mean temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius — what scientists have referred to as the guard rail beyond which changes become catastrophic — will require significant reductions in global levels of carbon dioxide.
Nearly 200 nations agreed as part of the Paris accords to limit or cut fossil fuel emissions. If countries make good on those promises, the federal report says, that will be a key step toward keeping global warming at manageable levels.
Mr. Trump this year announced the United States will withdraw from the Paris agreement, saying the deal is bad for America.

Press link for more: nytimes.com

Call All Tree Planters. #ClimateChange #Cairns 

Calling all TREEPLANTERS,

A great way to reduce your carbon foot print is to plant a tree.
Join us in Cairns this Sunday morning 7:30am 9th July 


This is the first activity for our new project recently funded by Qld Government’s Community Sustainability Action Grant!


We need lots of volunteers to help plant 800 native trees this Sunday morning starting at 7.30am.

First up we will be planting 400 as a follow up to our deep stem planting technique trial that we did last year. This means that we have sourced tube trees with very long stems (up to 1 meter) and we will be planting them in deep holes and preferably covering the stem with 30cm (1 foot) of soil. This method is potentially good for flood prone areas to ensure the trees are sturdy in the ground. The last time we did this the growth results were outstanding so we are repeating the trial with all the different species mapped so we can also monitor species success rate.


Then we will have 15 international students join us for planting the next 400 (about 9am), and that is always a bit of fun…followed by supplied morning tea about 10am.

Bring: Sun smart gear, covered shoes, gloves, water & shovel if you have one.

Directions: This site called, Radjirr-radjirr, is behind St. Andrews Catholic College……..On the Redlynch Connection Rd turn left at the second set of lights (opposite Coles at Redlynch Central Shopping Centre. It is a new road to the school). At the T junction, park at the school carpark on the left and follow the signs in. If you follow the power line it also takes you to our site.

When your get there you will see how well all the trees we planted in 2015 & 16 have grown….it is truly amazing. If you are an early bird we always need help placing trees especially this time for our trial (6.30am).

If you can’t make it to this one the next one is soon after…July 16… at the same place with more international students.

More info: Lisa 0435 016 906
Press link for more: Treeforce.org..au