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The Day I Left My KeyBoard & Became A Climate Activist to #StopAdani 

For years I having been using my keyboard to encourage politicians and anyone who would listen to take the threat of climate change seriously.

 In 2007 I supported Kevin Rudd’s words “Climate Change Is Our Greatest Moral Challenge” I joined Jim Turnour’s campaign driving around Cairns with a giant Kevin07 banner. Jim managed a 14 percent swing and joined Rudd in Canberra I thought the battle was won. At last politicians were listening to the scientists, Australia signed the Kyoto agreement & later the Paris agreement. Australia put a price on carbon, we seemed to be heading in the right direction. 

Then along came Tony Abbott shouting “Climate Change is crap!”


 Australia took several steps backwards. I couldn’t understand the fact that Australia was turning its back on science. I feared for the future we were leaving our children.

I completed several online climate courses with Exeter, McQuarie & James Cook universities. The science wasn’t in doubt, I lectured on climate change at U3A Mandurah and started this blog. I became a keyboard warrior encouraging all who would listen to act.

In 2016 & 2017 I watched as the Great Barrier Reef suffer back to back coral bleaching.


I knew my keyboard activities hadn’t changed much, I knew I had to step up & become more active. We were running out of time.

I moved back to Cairns earlier this year, determined to do all I could to make a difference. I joined Stop Adani Cairns & moved from my keyboard to real climate activism.


I over came my fear & attended a meeting where an action was being planned on the Commonwealth Bank in Cairns. I found the Stop Adani group were people just like me. Many protesting for the first time in their lives. I was impressed by their non violence ethic & their passion for change. 

I volunteered to be spokesman for the action, doing interviews with Star Fm, Cairns Post & Win News. We started with a thank you to Westpac for ruling out finance for Adani Coal. We moved to the Commonwealth Bank singing & gathering up bystanders who joined with us to demand Commonwealth Bank stop funding Adani Coal. It was exciting and fun, I had made the next step, gone from my keyboard to join the ranks of Joan Pankhurst, Ghandi & Martin Luther King in non violent action to change the world. 

If,like me you are frustrated and want to be part of real change join us find a Stop Adani Group near you. Leave the keyboard it’s time to take to the streets. Time isn’t on our side we need urgent action now! 
John Pratt

Sea level rise threatens thousands of Melbourne homes. #StopAdani #auspol 

By Adam Carey

How a possible two-metre sea level rise would flood thousands of Melbourne homes
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in Melbourne face a bigger risk of tidal flooding by century’s end, and major roads, tram routes and industrial areas could disappear under water due to future sea level rises, new modelling shows.
The updated modelling of possible sea level rises caused by climate change predicts Victoria’s coastline could be hit by sea level rises of two metres or more by 2100, due to the rapid melting of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.
Streets in Elwood after a flash flood in December.


Streets in Elwood after a flash flood in December. Photo: Wayne Taylor

A two-metre rise would flood several low-lying suburbs in Melbourne including South Melbourne, Albert Park, Port Melbourne, Southbank, Docklands, Altona, Williamstown, Elwood, St Kilda, Seaford, Carrum, Bonbeach and Aspendale.
Large areas in Geelong and the seaside towns of Barwon Heads, Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale would also be heavily inundated at high tide by century’s end, it is predicted.
Sections of major roads including CityLink, Flinders Street, Wurundjeri Way, Footscray Road, Clarendon Street and Queens Parade would go under water at high tide, as would several tram routes in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs.

The Mornington Peninsula Freeway near Frankston would face the same fate.
Industrial areas such as the Port of Melbourne, Fishermans Bend and Coode Island would also be inundated.
The modelling is based on new research by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), which this year released updated projections for sea level rises made in the landmark 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
That report said a 74-centimetre sea level rise by 2100 was a worst-case scenario.
Since then, ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland have been found to be melting more rapidly than thought and projections have been revised so that the 74cm “worst-case scenario” is considered probable, while a rise of two metres to 2.7 metres is now a “plausible worst-case global mean sea level rise scenario”, according to NOAA.

The effect this would have on Australia’s coastline has been mapped by NGIS, using local tidal data and Google mapping technology to overlay a possible two-metre sea level rise on the nation’s cities, towns and beaches.
Nathan Eaton is from NGIS and was co-creator of the Coastal Risk Australia website that shows the projected impacts of sea level rises in Australia.
Mr Eaton said that just as the rate at which the sea level has risen has accelerated in the past few decades, much of the potential rise of two metres would occur in the latter half of this century.
“Anyone can look at these maps and visualise exactly how sea-level rise, driven by climate change, will permanently alter our coastline and neighbourhoods,” Mr Eaton said. “We already knew this was going to be bad news for low-lying areas, but the latest science is telling us to brace for even worse.”
Central Melbourne is no stranger to flash flooding – this is Elizabeth Street in February, 1972. 


Central Melbourne is no stranger to flash flooding – this is Elizabeth Street in February, 1972. Photo: Neville Bowler
Alan Stokes, executive director of the Australian Coastal Councils Association, said the revised modelling was a wake-up call for governments.
“If the sea rises to that level it would be a national disaster,” Mr Stokes said.
He called on the federal government to reverse funding cuts it has made to research to support climate change adaptation.
An online tool for councils called Coast Adapt faces a heavy funding cut from July 1.
“Coastal councils are at the forefront of dealing with these projected impacts but they are really tackling this problem with one arm tied behind their backs because they just don’t have the resources to respond effectively,” Mr Stokes said.  

The global mean sea level has risen by 21 to 24 centimetres since 1880, with about eight centimetres of that rise happening since 1993.
“Scientists expect that [sea levels] will continue to rise throughout the 21st century and beyond, because of global warming that has already occurred and warming that is yet to occur due to the still uncertain level of future emissions,” the NOAA report says.

Press link for more: The Age.com

Low lying areas of Sydney at risk! #ClimateChange #StopAdani #auspol

‘The great unknown’: New climate change data lifts the sea-level threat

By Peter Hannam

The giant ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland are melting faster than scientists previously estimated, raising the prospect of faster sea level rise placing at risk low-lying areas of Sydney and similar exposed cities around the world.
New research, including from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has lifted the “plausible” sea level rise by 2100 to as much as two metres to 2.7 metres.
That has superseded earlier estimates, such as the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that placed the likely top range of sea level rise at about one metre if greenhouse gas emission rises continued unabated.
Those higher forecasts have now been included in new mapping by Coastal Risk Australia that combines the estimates with national high-tide data and the shape of our coastline. 
The resulting maps show airports in Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart will be largely under water by 2100 if that two-metre rise happens.
Other areas at risk in Sydney from such a rise include Circular Quay, Wentworth Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Woolloomooloo and Rose Bay. (See map below of indicative water-level increases.)

“Our worst case scenario [for 2100] is now looking three times worse than it did previously,” said Nathan Eaton, a senior principal with NGIS, a digital mapping consultancy that compiled the maps.
Elsewhere in NSW, at-risk regions include low-lying parts of Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Ballina and Byron Bay.
Among exposed areas of other states are the Port of Melbourne, St Kilda and Docklands in Melbourne, parts of Noosa, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in Queensland, and the WACA ground and Cottesloe beach in Perth, WA.
“Every state has got an area that’s massively different [from previous forecasts for 2100],” Mr Eaton said. “For a lot of low-lying areas, it makes the inundation that much further inland.”
Rising seas

NOAA estimates global mean sea levels have risen about 3.4 millimetres a year since 1993, roughly double the average rate of increase during the 20th century. (See chart below).
Even the last century’s pace of increase was the fastest in at least 2800 years, NOAA said.
Global warming is driving the increase in sea levels by melting land ice – such as glaciers and ice sheets – and from the thermal expansion of the warmer oceans.

John Church, a global sea level expert at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, said other new research indicated Antarctica’s contribution to rising seas appears to particularly sensitive to carbon emissions rates – underscoring the urgency to reduce them.

“With ‘business as usual’ emissions, the questions are when, rather than if, we will cross a two-metre sea-level rise,” Professor Church said. “This scenario would result in major catastrophes and displace many tens of millions of people around the world.” 

Serena Lee, a research fellow and coastal dynamics specialist at Griffith University, said the rate of Antarctic ice melt was “a great unknown”, limited by the relative lack of long-term data and the region’s inaccessibility.
Of particular concern was the melting of the ice sheets from below of ice sheets as they come in contact with warming seas.
The newest studies indicate a two-metre rise by 2100 “would probably be more towards the conservative mean” of outcomes, Dr Lee said.
The mapping tool – which Coastal Risk say should not be relied upon for site specific decision making – may itself underestimate the speed threats will increase for some localities.
Some areas of Australia, particularly the north, are recording much higher rates of sea level increase than the global average, Dr Lee said.
The mapping also doesn’t take into account the impacts of more extreme weather, such as the destructive storm surge triggered by last June’s huge east coast low off NSW.
Cyclone Debbie also caused severe flooding in northern NSW in some of the regions in the state that are also particularly exposed to rising seas. 
Even with those uncertainties, the updated mapping “can’t do anything but help someone’s understanding” of those changing coastal, ocean and flooding processes, Dr Lee said.

Press link for more: SMH.COM

Half the Great Barrier Reef may have died! #StopAdani #Qldpol #auspol

AS MUCH as half the Great Barrier Reef may have died in the back-to-back bleachings over the past two years.
But the head of the authority in charge of the reef says the actual extent of damage is tricky to calculate because some parts are growing well.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority believes about 30 per cent of coral, in the reef’s northern part, died last year in bleaching caused by warmer ocean waters, chairman Russell Reichelt told a Senate committee on Monday.
Surveys after this year’s bleaching are still being done but initial observations suggest 20 per cent of coral — mainly in the central area of the 344,000 sq km reef — is dead.
“Don’t think of these figures as the net amount of coral on the Barrier Reef because there are quite big movements upwards as well as downward,” Dr Reichelt told the senators at an estimates hearing in Canberra.
The southern part of the reef had grown by about 40 per cent in recent years because it hadn’t been hit by cyclones or bleaching — but it was likely it would suffer from those in the future.
Dr Reichelt said the bigger picture question was the coral’s resilience in the face of bleachings, tropical storms and other threats such as the crown of thorns invasions.
“It depends on the frequency of these major impacts and the concern is the frequency could well be increasing and the recovery time will be insufficient,” he said.
“If the recovery time is very short, there won’t be a lot of coral.”
The best science suggests global warming needs to be limited to 1.5 degrees to allow a good survival rate for coral.
There had already been a 0.7 degree warming over the past century, Dr Reichelt said.
“I draw the public’s attention and the committee to the fact the unprecedented back-to-back bleaching we’ve seen is occurring on a fraction of a degree (rise in temperature),” he said.
“The safe levels (of warming) for coral reefs, probably we’ve passed already.”

A diver examines bleaching on a coral reef on Orpheus Island. Picture: Greg Torda/AFPSource:AFP
Dr Reichelt said the authority accepted the need to change its approach.
He said he agreed “more or less” with comments from Professor Ian Chubb, a former national chief scientist and Australian National University vice-chancellor, who told Fairfax the Reef 2050 Plan needed to be redrawn as it did not address the greatest threat facing the reef — climate change.
Prof Chubb is chairman of the independent Expert Panel advising the government on the implementation of the plan to protect the reef. The panel wants the plan revised to include steps to cut emissions and help the reef adapt to global warming that’s already being felt.
Greens senator Larissa Waters told news.com.au there was a clear call for climate change to be better addressed by government in order to save the reef.
“Dr Reichelt made a comment that we had already passed safe levels for the reef,” she said.
“It’s widely understood that with two degrees of warming, we will lose all reefs globally.”
She said limited global warming to 1.5 degrees was essential if the reef was to have any long term future.
Yet, she said the Turnbull Government was bending over backwards to facilitate the development of one of the largest coal mines in the world, potentially providing mining company Adani with a taxpayer-backed concessional loan and environmental approvals.
Adani’s $21 billion Carmicheal coal mine has been hugely controversial among environmental groups which are concerned about the emissions the coal will produce once it is dug up.
Conservative radio announcer Alan Jones has also expressed disbelief about the granting of a water licence to Adani, which will give its mine unlimited access to groundwater for the next 60 years with no government oversight.
RELATED: Is this the worst mistake Australia could make?
It’s also clear that most Australians do not support giving coal mine projects money.
A new ReachTEL poll, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, found just 6.8 per cent of people supported the idea of using public money to support coal mine projects.
The Federal Government is considering providing Adani with a $900 million concessional loan from its Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to help it build a rail line linking the central Queensland mine with Abbot Point port so it can ship the coal overseas.
But in a separate Senate hearing, it was revealed an independent body charged with assessing major projects, Infrastructure Australia, has not done a cost-benefit analysis on the project.
The Abbot Point coal terminal. Picture: Australian Marine Conservation Society.


The Abbot Point coal terminal. Picture: Australian Marine Conservation Society.Source:Supplied
“The fact that the premier infrastructure body that looks at national ideas and ranks them in a priority list has not considered it, clearly indicates that the Adani rail line is not a worthwhile investment,” Senator Waters said.
Federal Labor is also opposed to the loan, saying taxpayers shouldn’t be used as an “ATM for Indian coalmining companies”.
Today, Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad also hosed down suggestions Adani was offered a “royalties holiday” to get its mine off the ground.
Under the mooted deal, Adani could have paid as little as $2 million a year in royalties for the first seven years, before slowly increasing to the full amount.
The estimated shortfall in royalties in the short term was around $350 million.
Talk of such a deal is believed to have caused major divisions in the state Labor cabinet, with the Left faction raising serious concerns. Ms Trad, a member of the Left, told reporters on Monday any such deal would break an election promise.
“We’ve got a pre-election commitment in relation to any subsidisation of Adani, and we made that commitment very clearly at the last state election, that there would be no royalty holiday or subsidisation of taxpayer funds for Adani,” she said.


“Having said that, I am part of a government that has made sure all of Adani’s statutory licensing arrangements have been pursued, so that the mine can get on and open, and employ people.”

Press link for more: News.com.au

Let’s Change The Conversation #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol 

Let’s Change The Conversation From Climate Change To ‘Shared Benefits’

By Max Guinn 

Founder of Kids Eco Club

Max Guinn,16, is the founder of Kids Eco Club (www.kidsecoclub.org), an organization of over 100,000 K-12 students, which raises eco-consciousness through school environmental clubs. 

Max has collaborated with, and been recognized by, organizations such as the United Nations,The Sierra Club, the State of California, the City of San Diego – and even the Dalai Lama – as a leader in youth engagement in environmental stewardship. 

Recently, Max also co-founded Climate Change Is 4 Real (www.ccis4r.com), to virtually connect thought leaders from all academic disciplines with student groups and educators to share facts, inspiration, and scalable solutions, to promote ocean conservation, and combat human-caused climate change and mass animal extinction.
Last September, I emailed President Obama. 

His response helped me to focus on what matters. He wrote,

“Progress doesn’t come easily, and it hasn’t always followed a straight line. 

Keeping our world’s air, water, and land clean and safe takes work from all of us, and voices like yours are sparking the conversations that will help us get to where we need to be.

 I will continue pushing to protect the environment as long as I am President and beyond, and I encourage you to stay engaged as well.”
But I worry that adults will never agree on climate change.

 The issue has become too political. 

The words “climate change” have even been scrubbed from government websites!

 Our current President refers to climate change as “a hoax.” 


Most people have no interest in discussing it.

 Try talking about C02 levels or climate science and see how far you get. 

The reality is that climate change has become a matter of opinion, rather than a matter of scientific fact.

 It has made the opinion of the ordinary person with no scientific background equal to the findings of eminent scientists who have devoted their lives and education to the study of the problem.

Only 27 percent of Americans surveyed in a 2016 Pew study agreed with the statement that, “almost all” climate scientists believe climate change is real and primarily caused by humans.

 Contrast this to multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies finding that 97 percent of climate scientists believe climate change is real and that humans are the main contributor. 

In an age of alternative facts and a distrust of science, how do we talk about climate change and the need for action without turning people off?
Stanford Professor Rob Jackson thinks we should stop arguing over climate change and start talking about the shared benefits of addressing problems, like health, green energy jobs, and safety.

 My experience tells me that he is right.
theguardian.com

Renewable Energy Jobs

Six years ago, just before I turned 10, I started a non-profit called Kids Eco Club to inspire kids to care for the planet, its wildlife and each other.

 It starts and supports environmental clubs in K-12 schools.

 Over 100,000 kids now participate annually in Kids Eco Club activities, learning the skills necessary to lead, and to understand the issues facing our world, including climate change. 

Kids Eco Club is successful because we focus on shared values rather than C02 levels.

 Take a class snorkeling, and everyone becomes interested in protecting coral reefs.

 Bring local wildlife into the classroom, and kids will fight for green energy and clean water to protect their habitat. Passion drives us.

kidsecoclub.org

Porcupine classroom visit

My generation does not have the luxury of addressing human-caused climate change as callously or as passively as the generations before us ― because we are running out of time. 

Agriculture, deforestation, and dependence on fossil fuels release greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere, trapping heat, making the Earth warmer. 

The hottest year on record? 

Last year, 2016.

 A warmer Earth creates major impacts everywhere: on ecosystems, oceans, weather.

 Sea levels are rising because the polar ice caps are melting, and the oceans are warming, which causes them to expand. Severe weather events are created from warmer oceans – warmer water, more evaporation, clouds, and rain―causing greater storm damage, more flooding, and, ironically, larger wildfires and more severe droughts since weather patterns are also changing.

graphics.latimes.com

The morning Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans

Imagine three out of every four animal species you know disappearing off the face of the Earth.

 According to the Center for Biological Diversity, we are currently experiencing the worst species die-off since dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. 

Species are vanishing at a rate roughly 100 times higher than normal. 

While things like asteroids and volcanoes caused past extinctions, humans almost entirely cause the current crisis. 

Global warming caused by climate change, habitat loss from development and agriculture, pesticide use, poaching, unsustainable fishing practices, pollution and disease spread by the introduction of exotic species, are driving the crisis beyond the tipping point. 

Can you picture a world without butterflies, penguins, elephants, rhinos, sea turtles, honeybees, orangutans, salamanders, or sharks?

Getty Images

Mother orangutan and baby

The oceans provide 50% of the earth’s oxygen and 97% of its livable habitat. 

The health of our oceans is vital to our survival and the survival of the over one million types of plants and animals living there. Climate change and fossil fuel reliance raise ocean temperatures, causing extreme weather, coastal flooding, and ocean acidification. 

Ocean acidification is beginning to cause the die-off of calcium-rich species at the base of the ocean’s food chain, like coral, shellfish, and plankton.

 This die-off would trigger a spiral of decline in all sea life – from fish to seabirds to whales – and negatively impact hundreds of millions of people who rely on the oceans for food.

 Other human threats include overfishing, pollution, oil drilling and development. 

We need to act now to create change in our own communities by protecting ocean habitats, promoting conservation, and creating sustainable solutions to nurse our oceans back to health.

mintpressnews.com

Dead sperm whales found with plastic in their stomachs

In a world with over 7 billion people, we cannot continue to divide ourselves into categories like believers and climate change deniers, or Republicans and Democrats. (labor or Liberal) 

The best chance we have of ensuring a world with clean water and clean air is to engage all of us.

 If this takes changing the conversation from “climate change,” to “shared benefits,” then change the conversation. Together all things are possible.

Press link for more: HuffingtonPost

Alaska’s carbon is being released. #StopAdani #ClimateChange

By Dr Joe Romm

“This carbon’ of Alaska’s tundra is being released, speeding up global warming“

This is ancient carbon, thousands and millions of years old.” 

It’s being released “much earlier than we thought.”

NASA’s Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data for April. CREDIT: NASA.

The Alaskan tundra is warming so quickly it has become a net emitter of carbon dioxide ahead of schedule, a new study finds.

Since CO2 is the primary heat-trapping greenhouse gas — and since the permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does today — this means a vicious cycle has begun that will speed up global warming.

“Because it’s getting warmer, there’s more CO2 coming out which means it’s going to get warmer which means there’s more CO2 coming out,” explained Harvard researcher and lead author Roisin Commane.

 Dr. Commane told ThinkProgress that “warming soils will emit more CO2 and this will overwhelm any CO2 uptake” due to an increase in plantlife from “CO2 fertilization and warmer temperatures.”’


The study is the first to report that a major portion of the Arctic is a net source of heat-trapping emissions. 

As a result, Commane warns that our current climate models need to be updated: 

“We’re seeing this much earlier than we thought we would see it.”

Earth’s melting permafrost threatens to unleash a dangerous climate feedback loop
New permafrost study underscores the critical importance of ambitious climate targets, like the Paris agreement.
“We find that Alaska, overall, was a net source of carbon to the atmosphere during 2012–2014,” the study concludes. 

Data from NOAA’s Barrow Alaska station “indicate that October through December emissions of CO2 from surrounding tundra increased by 73 percent since 1975, supporting the view that rising temperatures have made Arctic ecosystems a net source of CO2.”

The permafrost, or tundra, has been a very large carbon freezer. 

For a very long time, it has had a very low decomposition rate for the carbon-rich plant matter.

 But we’ve been leaving the freezer door wide open and are witnessing the permafrost being transformed from a long-term carbon locker to a short-term carbon un-locker.


“This is ancient carbon,” Dr. Commane told Alaska public radio. “The carbon that’s locked in the permafrost in the Arctic is thousands and millions of years old.”

7,000 massive methane gas bubbles under the Russian permafrost could explode anytime
Scorching March brings Arctic temperatures up to 20°F warmer than normal.
Melting permafrost can release not just CO2, but also methane, a much stronger heat-trapping gas.

While most models that include melting permafrost look at CO2, Russian scientists have recently discovered some 7,000 underground bubbles of permafrost-related methane in Siberia.

 Since methane traps heat 86 times more effectively than CO2 over a 20-year span, these findings suggest that the effect of the melting permafrost is even greater than first thought.
Also, a 2008 study, “Accelerated Arctic land warming and permafrost degradation during rapid sea ice loss,” found that rapid sea ice loss — as has been experienced since the study was published — could triple the rate of Arctic warming.

Meanwhile, the rapid Arctic warming that is fueling these emissions continues. On Monday, NASA reported that April 2017 was the second-hottest April on record — only April 2016 was hotter. As the map above shows, Arctic temperatures were blistering, up to 13.5°F (7.5°C) above the 1951–1980 average.

The longer we delay aggressive climate action, the harder it will be to stuff all the toothpaste back into the tube, and the more catastrophic climate impacts we will face.

Press link for more: Think Progress

Another Coral Reef Devasted by Global Warming #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

Scientists just discovered yet another coral reef that has been devastated by global warming
As concerns grow over the condition of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which has endured widespread coral bleaching in the past several years, scientists are finding similar damage on reefs all over the world, including in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. 


Now, a recent expedition to the Chagos Archipelago, a collection of at least 60 small islands in the Indian Ocean, has revealed devastating coral bleaching and coral death there, too.

“In shallow water, above 15 meters and in places down to 20 meters, we’ve seen a lot of coral mortality – probably somewhere in the region of 90 percent,” said John Turner, a professor at Bangor University in Wales, who led the recent expedition.

 “It’s a very upsetting thing to see, when these reefs have developed so well, and to see them being essentially reset, if you’d like.”


The reef is believed to have suffered back-to-back bleaching events in 2015 and 2016, Turner told The Washington Post. These events were brought on by unusually warm conditions, likely influenced by climate change and an unusually severe El Nino effect in 2015. 

Scientists have found that coral reefs all over the world have been affected by these conditions, though not all have fared as badly as those in the Chagos area or the Great Barrier Reef.


Bleaching doesn’t automatically mean death for coral reefs.

 It’s a natural reaction to environmental stress, such as high temperatures, that causes the corals to expel the tiny algae that live inside them and give them their brilliant colors.

 Given enough time, the coral will regrow its algae and return to normal. 

But bleaching events can weaken the reefs, making them more vulnerable to disease.

 And if stressful conditions last long enough, the coral may begin to die.
Before the more recent bleaching event in the Chagos Archipelago, an El Niño effect in 1997 and 1998 caused a severe one.

 It took until about 2012 before the Chagos reef appeared to have recovered.
Now, Turner says, the Chagos area has suffered so much coral death that “the reefs have basically been set back to the ’97-’98 cover levels of coral.”
This raises alarm about the archipelago’s future, especially amid concerns about rising global sea levels. 

“If the reefs begin to die off in any way or erode, then of course these atolls are at risk,” Turner said. “Erosion will begin to exceed growth, and we will see these islands begin to recede. . . . That’s the natural way with atolls.”
The Chagos Archipelago includes a collection of coral atolls. 

One of them, the Great Chagos Bank, is the largest coral atoll in the world. 

It sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean, midway between the eastern coast of Africa and Singapore and about 300 miles south of the Maldives, the closest island nation.
The archipelago’s original inhabitants were expelled in the 1960s and moved to Mauritius and the Seychelles to make way for military bases, and there’s an ongoing sovereignty dispute over the islands between Mauritius and the United Kingdom. Only one island in the archipelago – Diego Garcia, the largest – is inhabited by humans, mostly military personnel and contractors.
Until recently, the area around the Chagos Archipelago was the largest marine protected area in the world.

 (It has since lost the title to other marine reserves designated in the past few years). 

Because of its protected status, Turner said, “one would hope these reefs were pristine.”
In fact, he said, a major part of the archipelago’s scientific significance is the fact that most of the islands are nearly untouched by human influence. 

That makes the site something of a reference point for researchers – a place where the ongoing effects of processes like climate change might be observed without all the extra noise that comes with human activities like fishing or construction.


“But actually, what we have learned is that the big bleaching events that are caused by ocean warming have affected these reefs just like any other,” Turner said.
Coral sampling during the expedition showed that about 90 percent of all the coral in the archipelago’s shallow waters – at depths above 50 feet or so – have died. 

In deeper waters, most of the corals are surviving, although there’s widespread evidence of bleaching, researchers said.
Turner remains optimistic about the reef’s ability to bounce back.
“We’re seeing lots of juvenile corals beginning to grow on these reefs,” he said.

 “So that’s a good sign.”
Still, one point of concern is that many of these young corals are settling down on the frames of dead corals, which may eventually break down, Turner said. 

In the longer term, more bleaching events in the coming years could further devastate an already weakened reef.

 As climate change is expected to cause severe warming events to become more frequent in the future, scientists are beginning to worry that many reefs around the world won’t have adequate time to bounce back between bleaching events.

 This is one of the issues facing the Great Barrier Reef.

Turner noted, however, that because the Chagos Archipelago is so remote and has enjoyed protection over the years, it has been spared some of the other damaging effects of human influence – such as overfishing or damage from boats and divers – that have plagued other reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef. As a result, he said, there’s hope that the coral there may be hardier than in other places.
“We do make the point that this is resilient and there is a good possibility of recovery,” he said.

Press link for more: Bangor Daily News.Com

Coal is blocking Labor’s ears! #StopAdani #Auspol #Qldol #ClimateChange 

Leader of a Sinking Island Admonishes Trump on Climate Change

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, an island nation in the Pacific, is calling out President Donald Trump for his myopic views on coal and climate change.
Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga told Motherboard no country is seriously interested in fossil fuel expansion anymore. 

No one in the US financial community wants to invest in fossil fuels, gas and oil projects are shutting down in the middle East.
“The US is going to be left behind. 

The guy in the White House doesn’t understand that,” Sopoaga said at the UN energy forum in Vienna this week.

There are more than a thousand energy experts and political leaders embracing renewable energy at this moment. 

Just one example: All of India’s lighting will be replaced by LEDs by 2019, saving millions of dollars and reducing CO2 emissions by 18 million tonnes a year, according to Piyush Goyal India’s Minister of Energy. 

This is far ahead of the US and nearly every other country.
Meanwhile, the White House is in the middle of figuring out if it will pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

That agreement was not only about reducing CO2 emissions, but every nation to signed it committed to phasing out the use of fossil fuels.
Climate change is an urgent concern for Tuvalu, the world’s second smallest country, since it is a mere 10 feet above the Pacific ocean at its highest point. 

Rising sea levels, driven by man-made climate change, now regularly swamp these tiny islands.

 Thousands have been forced to move to New Zealand.

 Without drastic reductions in fossil fuel use, the entire nation will drown.

The island of Tuvalu is home to 10,000 people. Image: Wikimedia Commons
If that happens, it would be to the shame of the entire world, he said. “Our islands are already sinking. 

Focusing on more fossil fuels will kill the world. 

What jobs are there on a dead planet?” Sopoaga told me.

It was a 20 year fight for Tuvalu and other small island states to reach the Paris Agreement. 

There was a very strong political consensus and there is no going back, he said. 

Meeting these commitments will bring a wide range of benefits, including lower energy costs, less air pollution, green jobs and more, he said.
Another thing the guy in the White House likely doesn’t know is that it will take the US five years to withdraw from the the agreement, according to its terms. And even then, other countries will have to agree to it.
“I’m glad we negotiated so hard to get that.”

Press link for more: Motherboard.Vice.Com

Poorest nations say Paris Climate Agreement is their “lifeline” #StopAdani #Auspol 

A drought in Guatemala that has drained this lake is being linked to climate change in the region


The world’s poorest nations say the Paris climate agreement is their “lifeline” and must be strengthened.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum, (CVF) representing 48 countries, said the deal was crucial to their survival.


In a swipe at President Trump’s oft-used phrase, they said that “no country would be great again” without swift action.
Thousands of delegates are meeting here in Bonn to develop the rule book for the Paris deal.
Around one billion people live in countries that are part of the CVF.
The group firmly supports the idea, enshrined in the Paris agreement, that countries would do all in their power to keep temperatures from increasing more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.


“Keeping to 1.5 degrees is quite simply a matter of survival,” said Debasu Bayleyegn Eyasu from Ethiopia, which holds the presidency of the CVF.


“For all of us, the Paris agreement is our lifeline.”
Other speakers highlighted the fact that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the current US position on climate change.
President Trump is expected to decide on future US participation in the Paris accord after the G7 summit in Italy next week.
Picking up on Mr Trump’s “make America great again,” election battle-cry, Emmanuel Guzman from the Philippines said: “Without increased climate action, no country will be great again.”
“The measure of greatness is how you are able to increase and enhance your climate action.”
Mr Guzman said he was calling on all world leaders to increase their ambition and not just Mr Trump.
“I would not like to point a finger at someone, but it is a call for action by all big or small.
“If we don’t achieve the goals of the Paris agreement there are irreversible damages and consequences.”


 VietnamGetty Images

Rising sea levels are causing problems for farmers in many climate vulnerable nations including Vietnam

“It’s a grim scenario – that’s really unacceptable to us.”
The group highlighted some of the important differences between keeping temperature rises under 2 degrees or under 1.5.


The Greenland ice sheet would enter irreversible long-term decline, with significant impacts on sea levels at 1.6 degrees one delegate said.
Warming beyond 1.5 would also “appreciably increase the prevalence of extreme storms that have already been capable of large-scale loss of life and cutting a year’s GDP in half for some of our members.”
At the last major conference of negotiators in Marrakech last November, members of the CVF committed themselves to moving towards 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.
“Costa Rica produces 100% renewable energy most of the year,” said William Calvo, the country’s adjunct chief negotiator.
“But we won’t stop there: we are tackling now the transport sector and hope to even export renewable power more widely in the region.”
The idea that other countries are capable of picking up the slack if the Americans pull out of Paris gained support this week with the release of an analysis showing that India and China are likely to overshoot existing targets to cut carbon

.
President Trump’s actions to revitalise the coal industry in the US and to de-regulate oil and gas are unlikely to rapidly increase emissions before 2030 says the study from the Climate Action Tracker.
Between 2013 and 2016 Chin’s coal use declined each year and a continued slow decline is expected. 

India says that planned coal-fired power plants may not be needed if recently announced green policies are effective.



“You have to have the U.S. on board ultimately to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement,” Bill Hare from Climate Analytics told news agencies.
“But if there’s a hiatus for four years it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the game.”

Press link for more: BBC.COM

The Adani mine will kill Millions! #StopAdani #Auspol #Qldpol 

This is not rhetoric: approving the Adani coal mine will kill people.
Rarely have politicians demonstrated better their ignorance of the risks and opportunities confronting Australia than with Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and other ministers’ recent utterances on Adani and Galilee Basin coal, along with their petulant foot-stamping over Westpac’s decision to restrict funding to new coal projects.

 Likewise, Bill Shorten sees no problem in supporting Adani.
The media are no better; discussion instantly defaults to important but secondary issues, such as Adani’s concessional government loan, the project’s importance to the economy, creating jobs for north Queenslanders and so on.
The Adani mine by itself will push global temperatures above the threshold increase of 2 degrees.


The Adani mine by itself will push global temperatures above the threshold increase of 2 degrees. Photo: Robert Rough

Nowhere in the debate is the critical issue even raised: the existential risk of climate change, which such development now implies. 

Existential means a risk posing large negative consequences to humanity that can never be undone.

 One where an adverse outcome would either annihilate life, or permanently and drastically curtail its potential.

This is the risk to which we are now exposed unless we rapidly reduce global carbon emissions.
In Paris in December 2015, the world, Australia included, agreed to hold global average temperature to “well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees”, albeit the emission reduction commitments Australia tabled were laughable in comparison with our peers and with the size of the challenge.

Dangerous climate change, which the Paris agreement and its forerunners seek to avoid, is happening at the 1.2-degree increase already experienced as extreme weather events, and their economic costs, escalate.

 A 1.6-degree increase is already locked in as the full effect of our historic emissions unfolds.
Our current path commits us to a 4 to 5-degree temperature increase.


 This would create a totally disorganised world with a substantial reduction in population, possibly to less than one billion people from 7.5 billion today.
The voluntary emission reduction commitments made in Paris, if implemented, would still result in a 3-degree increase, accelerating social chaos in many parts of the world with rising levels of deprivation, displacement and conflict.
Adani Group founder Gautam Adani with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.


Adani Group founder Gautam Adani with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. 

It is already impossible to stay below the 1.5-degree Paris aspiration.

 To have a realistic chance of staying below even 2 degrees means that no new fossil-fuel projects can be built globally – coal, oil or gas – and that existing operations, particularly coal, must be rapidly replaced with low-carbon alternatives. 

Further, carbon-capture technologies that do not currently exist must be rapidly deployed at scale.
Climate change has moved out of the twilight period of much talk and limited action. 

It is now turning nasty.

 Some regions, often the poorest, have already seen major disasters, as has Australia.


 How long will it take, and how much economic damage must we suffer, particularly in Queensland, before our leaders accept that events like Cyclone Debbie and the collapse of much of the Great Barrier Reef are being intensified by man-made climate change? 

Of that there is no doubt, nor has there been for decades. 


The uncertainties, regularly thrown up as reasons for inaction, relate not to the basic science but to the speed and extent of climate impact, both of which have been badly underestimated.
The most dangerous aspect is that the impact of fossil-fuel investments made today do not manifest themselves for decades to come. 

If we wait for catastrophe to happen, as we are doing, it will be too late to act. 

Time is the most important commodity; to avoid catastrophic outcomes requires emergency action to force the pace of change. 

Australia, along with the Asian regions to our north, is now considered to be “disaster alley”; we are already experiencing the most extreme impacts globally.


In these circumstances, opening up a major new coal province is nothing less than a crime against humanity. 

The Adani mine by itself will push temperatures above 2 degrees; the rest of the Galilee Basin development would ensure global temperatures went way above 3 degrees. 

None of the supporting political arguments, such as poverty alleviation, the inevitability of continued coal use, the superior quality of our coal, or the benefits of opening up northern Australia, have the slightest shred of credibility. 

Such irresponsibility is only possible if you do not accept that man-made climate change is happening, which is the real position of both goverment and opposition.

Nowhere in the debate is the critical issue even raised: the existential risk of climate change.
Likewise with business.

 At the recent Santos annual general meeting, chairman Peter Coates asserted that a 4-degree world was “sensible” to assume for planning purposes, thereby totally abrogating in one word his responsibility as a director to understand and act on the risks of climate change. 

Westpac’s new climate policy is a step forward, but fails to accept that no new coal projects should be financed, high-quality coal or not. 

The noose is tightening around the necks of company directors. 

Personal liability for ignoring climate risk is now real.

Yet politicians assume they can act with impunity. 

As rumours of Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris agreement intensify, right on cue Zed Seselja and Craig Kelly insist we should do likewise, without having the slightest idea of the implications.

The first priority of government, we are told, is to ensure the security of the citizens. 

Having got elected, this seems to be the last item on the politician’s agenda, as climate change is treated as just another issue to be compromised and pork-barrelled, rather than an existential threat.

We deserve better leaders.


 If the incumbency is not prepared to act, the community need to take matters into their own hands.


Ian Dunlop was an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, chairman of the Australian Coal Association and chief executive of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

He is a member of the Club of Rome.

Press link for more: SMH.COM