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Talanoa Dialogue Builds Momentum #auspol #qldpol #nswpol #StopAdani Demand #climateaction #NEG #ClimateChange

TALANOA

TALANOA DIALOGUE

The Talanoa Dialogue is building momentum as more and more stakeholders begin to participate in this new approach to urgently increasing the ambition of countries’ , known as “NDCs.”

Through its leadership of the COP23 Presidency, Fiji is taking a Pacific concept of grassroots storytelling, consensus building and decision making to the world.

The Talanoa Dialogue represents a radical departure from the formal negotiating process by creating an open space where countries, cities, businesses, civil society, faith-based organisations, indigenous communities, youth groups and others can share their ideas and experiences and learn from each other without fear of finger pointing or recrimination.

Speaking at the second Climate Action Pacific Partnership Conference, COP23 President Frank Bainimarama said, “More and more people are opening their minds to the possibility that talanoa might be a better way of deciding what we can all deliver under the Paris Agreement than pointing the finger at someone else or engaging in self-defeating arguments.”

The Talanoa Dialogue is carried out in two phases: the preparatory phase, which runs until the beginning of COP24 in December, and the political phase, which will take place during COP24 amongst political leaders.

During the preparatory phase, all stakeholders are invited to submit written inputs that respond to one of the three central questions that guide the Talanoa:

• Where are we now?

• Where do we want to go?

• How do we get there?

To date, more than a thousand stories have been shared as part of the formal process. There are already 33 published inputs from Parties and 240 published inputs from Non-Party stakeholders, with the Presidencies encouraging everyone, especially the Parties, to provide written submissions. On top of these, more than 700 stories were shared during the Talanoas at the May Sessions.

But beyond the written submissions, the Presidencies have also called on stakeholders to organise events in support of the Talanoa Dialogue, to help prepare their submissions and to approach these important questions in the spirit of talanoa. In other words, share your stories in an inclusive and positive atmosphere focused on finding common solutions rather than laying blame. The ultimate goal is to share your story, listen to the stories of others and, hopefully, inspire greater ambition and action on the ground.

The Fijian Presidency is very pleased by the amount of Talanoa activity already taking place around the globe. Important multilateral events such as the  European Union Talanoa,  and African Climate Week have been convened, with other regional talanoas, such as the African Climate Talks, the EU-Serbia Talanoa, the Asia-Pacific Climate Week Talanoa  and the Pacific Leaders’ Talanoa, taking place worldwide.

Other important alliances and networks have also readily embraced the concept. The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues, coordinated by ICLEI, are taking place in more than 40 countries around the globe. And the Global Adaptation Forum met earlier in the year to help shape its contribution.

At the national level, talanoas have already taken place in France, Serbia, Estonia and many other countries. A number of very productive discussions have also taken place as part of larger gatherings, such as ICC Talanoa Dialogue Roundtable held on the margins of SB48 in Bonn, the Talanoa on gender at CBA12 in Malawi, and the Talanoa Dialogue at the World Farmers Organization General Assembly, to give but a few examples.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, with many others holding talanoas within their sectors, within their professional networks, and even with their clients.*

As this momentum continues to grow, we encourage anyone with a stake in the global campaign against climate change to consider how they can participate in a Talanoa of their own, whether it is within your own organisation, within your network, with your local or national government, within your local community, or even informally with your friends.

The Talanoa Dialogue is ultimately based on the notion that no single actor can solve the climate challenge on their own – that the whole world must join together in a collective effort to make the transition to net-zero emissions as quickly as possible. This will only work with a solid foundation of trust and cooperation between all stakeholders, and we believe that the Talanoa Dialogue is how we start building this foundation.

Press link for more: COP23

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You can’t help farmers if you won’t tackle #climatechange #auspol #qldpol #nswpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal @SciNate #Drought #Wildfires #Heatwave #NEG

You can’t help farmers if you won’t tackle climate change, farmer tells government.

By Ben Potter

Goondiwindi grain and cattle producer Peter Mailler says heat and inconsistent rain have made farming so tough he thinks his parents’ five MW solar farm could be a better bet. Wayne Pratt

Peter Mailler, a third-generation grain and cattle grower who sent pregnant cows for slaughter this week because he can’t feed them all, has a message from drought-stricken northern NSW to the Turnbull government.

It is aimed especially at the Nationals and their former leader Barnaby Joyce – against whom Mr Mailler ran in last December’s byelection – as well as ex-PM Tony Abbott and other coal power-friendly Coalition figures.

First, don’t pretend to champion drought-struck farmers if you’re not prepared to tackle climate change – because the increasing frequency of extremely hot, dry weather is compounding the effects of drought by impairing crops’ ability to use what rain they do get.

Second, don’t talk about giving coal-fired power “a free kick” in the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) when a full accounting of its environmental costs will tell you not that we can’t afford to close coal plants but that “we can’t afford to run one tomorrow”.

Peter Mailler says agriculture is working towards becoming carbon neutral but it is a challenge because it uses so much diesel fuel for machinery and transport. Wayne Pratt

Third, don’t lean on high-risk, struggling industries like agriculture for deeper carbon emissions cuts when the stable, regulated electricity industry can obviously bear a larger share of the burden.

Last, the impacts of climate change on farming families threaten the survival of the Nationals’ support base in rural and regional Australia, so it is time for the Coalition to dispense with “undermining science” and have an honest debate about climate change.

“In a normal year we produce enough grain to feed about 7000 families and I am flat out educating my kids,” Mr Mailler tells The Australian Financial Review from his near 2420-hectare property near Goondiwindi on the NSW-Queensland border.

“I actually don’t see a pathway for my kids to come back – and some of them want to.” His parents built a five-megawatt solar farm on their property when they retired and he thinks this could be a better bet.

Mr Mailler says the conversation needs to be more robust. “If Turnbull and his cohort are nor prepared to diligently install some truth in the debate then what’s the point?” he says.

Coal-friendly coailtion MPs Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and Kevin Andrews are doing farmers no favours, Peter Mailler says. Alex Ellinghausen

First, “you cannot fix the energy problem if you are going to ignore climate … because you are working on the wrong set of assumptions”, says Mr Mailler, who trained as an agricultural scientist before returning to his parents’ farm and then striking out on his own.

A ‘free kick’ for electricity

That makes it “disingenuous” and “hypocritical” for Mr Joyce to stand shoulder to shoulder with farmers and say “we have got to do something about the drought and not say we have got to do something about climate change”.

Mr Mailler says politicians have the resources to find out the truth “yet we have politicians who spend all their time trying to undermine science and create doubt”.

Moree in northern NSW sweated through an unprecedented heatwave in January and February of 2017. Supplied

“The science [of man-made global warming] is pretty unequivocal and the idea that you can subvert it and create doubt is not just irresponsible, it’s diabolical,” he says.

“They are talking about trying to claw back more emissions from agriculture and they are talking about giving electricity a free kick. It’s ridiculous.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will propose a “coal-friendly” side deal for the NEG at Tuesday’s party room meeting to try to win over climate change sceptics.

Critics say the NEG is already too coal-friendly because it only requires a pro rata 26 per cent carbon emissions cut from the electricity sector. CSIRO advised the government that grid emissions would have to be cut by 52 per cent to 70 per cent for Australia to meet the government’s Paris pledge for an economy-wide 26 per cent cut because it is much more costly to cut emissions in other industries.

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will try to win backbench sceptics over the NEG with a coal-friendly side-deal. Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Mailler says agriculture is itself working towards becoming carbon neutral but it is a challenge because agriculture uses so much diesel fuel for machinery and transport.

“The hardest thing to solve is transport. The simplest thing to change is static electricity. If you look at it, coal-fired power generators are coming to the end of their life. The idea that you could have politicians effectively saying we should build more of them and have them for another 50 years is absurd.”

Heat and rain: Double whammy

Mr Mailler’s position is influenced by bitter experience as well as science. In January 2014, the nearest Bureau of Meteorology station at Moree recorded a record high of 47.3 degrees Celsius, and everyone said it was “a one-in-a-hundred year event”.

Yallourn coal-fired power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. Carla Gottgens

That one day wiped out crops and cost the region hundreds of millions of dollars in production, he says. But it didn’t get the same attention as losses from cyclones, which are more visible.

In February last year the one-in-a-hundred year event happened again, only this time it came with a record run of days over 35 degrees.

Biochemical reactions like photosynthesis are optimised at 37-38 degrees. But at extreme high temperatures plants go into shock and the photosynthesis process is degraded.

As well, rain is increasingly coming in big dumps followed by dry spells, which make it harder for young plants to get going than if less rain falls more frequently.

“In some of those scenarios we have adequate moisture but we can’t handle the heat. People are unable to get ahead. Even though some of those years before we have had significant rainfall, the way it’s fallen in big dumps has been problematic and the heat has meant we are not able to use that rainfall as effectively as we have in the past.”

Recent analysis in the McIntyre Valley indicates that irrigators’ water use efficiency is down 30 per cent, and for dryland farmers 60 per cent, Mr Mailler says. Another measure is the inability to get consecutive good years or even one in five – the minimum to build resilience – for more than 20 years.

The last really good year in his region was 1996, Mr Mailler says – which gave him the confidence to strike out on his own.

“I have no doubt that in my lifetime weather patterns have shifted significantly. I don’t know many farmers who would dispute that the climate has changed,” he says.

“And it’s obviously going to get worse.”

Press link for more: AFR.COM

#ClimateChange denial won’t even benefit oil companies. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal

Climate change denial won’t even benefit oil companies soon | Phil McDuff

Phil McDuffTue 31 Jul 2018 18.00 AEST

The year 2018 is on track to be the fourth warmest on record, beaten only by 2016, 2015 and 2017. In other words, we have had the warmest four-year run since we started measuring.

According to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), June 2018 is the 402nd consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.

The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee has warned that we could see summer temperatures reaching 38C by the 2040s, leading to a potential 7,000 heat-related deaths a year.

One hot summer does not a changing climate make, but the trend in the global data is now irrefutable.

When Michael Mann published the “hockey stick” graph back in 1998, there was vociferous public pushback, yet the observed temperature rises match what Mann had predicted.

Today’s hockey stick graph isn’t a forward projection but a historical record.

The world has been getting hotter, and it will continue to do so.

The only question now is how much hotter it gets.

The mechanisms behind this are not difficult to understand.

Over a period of millions of years, carbon became trapped in deposits under the Earth’s crust, as coal, oil and natural gas. As the great engines of industrialisation came online across the planet, humanity developed an insatiable hunger for this trapped carbon. Burning it powered the machines that drove economic growth and development, which in turn raised the demand for more machines and more carbon. Carbon that took millions of years to trap has been released into the atmosphere at a rate that is, in geological terms, almost instantaneous.

Climate change isn’t happening, they said, and even if it is happening it’s nothing to do with us

We have known about the probable impact that this sudden release of carbon into the atmosphere would have on the Earth’s climate since the middle of the last century.

However, we have been unable and unwilling to do anything about it.

To pull that carbon out of the ground we created giant corporations whose sole role was to find it, mine it and sell it.

Our demand led to vast profits for these companies, and unfathomable riches for the people running them.

This meant that when the research showed that our insatiable carbon demand needed to be curbed for the good of the planet, there was a very powerful interest group in place with a vested interest in keeping it going.

We know now that the fossil fuel extraction industry has known about climate change since at least 1977, when James L Black, a scientist at Exxon, gave a presentation to the company’s board detailing his research into global warming.

A year later, in 1978, Black would write a memo saying: “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”

But by the time this 10-year window closed in 1988, the energy companies had been pouring money not into reducing carbon but into denying the reality of climate change.

Through well-orchestrated media campaigns and lobbying efforts, a standard narrative of denial had been firmly entrenched as common knowledge.

Climate change isn’t happening, they said, and even if it is happening it’s nothing to do with us, and even if it is something to do with us it would be too expensive to change it.

The fossil fuel lobby managed to convince lawmakers and huge swaths of the broader public that this was a battle between “business” on the one hand, and a coalition of corrupt scientists and hippies on the other.

A fracking site in California: energy companies have poured money not into reducing carbon but into denying the reality of climate change. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images

But not all businesses are energy companies.

Every business and every person lives on the planet now, where costs will rise because of climate change.

A study by the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) working group found that losses due to climate change could reach up to 19% of GDP in some parts of the world by 2030.

For all our talk of climate denial being the “business” position, we’ve strangely ignored the insurance industry, especially the climate research branches of the major reinsurance firms.

Swiss Re is part of the ECA working group, and Munich Re’s geo risks research department has been in place since 1973, four years before Black wrote his memo.

This is not because reinsurance is some enclave of liberal hippies nestled in the bosom of capitalism, but because their industry, by definition, can’t rely on kicking the can down the road and letting someone else pick up the pieces.

If we get floods, famines and droughts leading to mass migration events, they’ll be among the ones paying out.

It was easy to let ourselves believe that what was good for energy companies would be good for us all, because the immediate upsides of the cheap carbon windfall were so compelling.

There was no problem that couldn’t be solved by throwing more fossil fuels at it, and the reality of climate change threatened to tell us what it cost.

The fossil fuel industry told us that we could take out an interest-only mortgage against the future of the planet and prices would always go up, interest rates would always go down and there would never be a reckoning.

We now find ourselves facing repayments on the scale of trillions of dollars. That does not even cover the human costs that these dry figures obscure: the lives lost, the homes flooded, the farms wasted away to drought.

It is impossible to map the path not taken.

Perhaps a commitment to reducing carbon consumption could have spurred innovation in alternative sources of energy. Or maybe the path we are on is an inevitable result of an economic system that cannot stop unless it crashes. We’ve seen the “Minsky cycle” of speculation leading to crash play out time and again in the financial sector; perhaps climate change is a centuries-long Minsky cycle we could never hope to stop. Maybe we are destined to become the civilisational equivalent of Monty Python’s Mr Creosote, a man who gorged himself until he literally exploded.

Regardless of the alternative histories and the might-have-beens, it may be too late to stop it, but we still need to learn an important lesson. If a CEO tells us that it would be bad for business if they weren’t allowed to pump poison into the air and water, then that’s too bad for them: one business is not an economy, and it certainly isn’t a biosphere.

We’d have survived the crisis of an oil CEO missing out on his fifth yacht, but many won’t survive the consequences of letting them lead us by the nose into disaster.

• Phil McDuff writes on economics and social policy

Press link for more: The Guardian

Young People Convincing Politicians to Stop Taking Fossil Fuel Money #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #Heatweek #NEG #Divest

Sunrise Movement rally in Philadelphia.

Photo: Dave Levitan

PHILADELPHIA—The temperature reached a sticky 92 degrees on Wednesday, and hadn’t cooled much by the time the climate action rally started at 5 o’clock. About 50 people gathered in the inner courtyard of City Hall, holding “No Fossil Fuel Money” and “Our Time to Lead” signs. The leaders of the rally, from a youth-led climate group known as the Sunrise Movement, still sported the City Hall visitors stickers they wore to drop off a petition to Mayor Jim Kenney’s office.

“I heard Mayor Kenney was a climate champion,” said Madison Roberts from the makeshift stage. “As of right now, all he has made are promises.”

Roberts, a 2017 Virginia Tech graduate who acted as the rally’s emcee, was one of several Sunrise fellows in attendance.

The petition they brought to the Mayor urged him to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, a promise to not accept contributions of over $200 from fossil fuel interests.

The pledge has over 800 signres at this point, including numerous local, state, and national-level candidates, as well as current office holders such as Bernie Sanders and House members Tulsi Gabbard and Barbara Lee.

The Sunrise Movement is a national organization aimed at “building an army of young people” with the goal of stopping climate change.

Founded in 2017, they are focused on a grassroots effort to get the fossil fuel money out of politics, through local organizing and supporting candidates committed to the massive shifts required to stave off warming’s worst effects.

This particular event was part of #HeatWeek, a set of rallies, sit-ins, and other actions across the country.

“If you aren’t going to stand up for our health and safety then we’re going to vote you out of office.”

Along with lawsuits against the federal government and a recent series of youth climate marches, the Sunrise Movement reflects the growing engagement of young people in the climate fight.

They didn’t make this mess, but they seem more inclined than anyone else to try and clean it up.

And the youth-led climate movement doesn’t seem to care which party it takes aim at. Kenney, a Democrat in a thoroughly blue city, has signed Philadelphia on to a pledge to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, but hasn’t offered a response to the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge just yet. According to Sunrise’s media liaison, a recent Swarthmore College graduate named Sophia Zaia, Mayor Kenney has not responded to numerous requests for meetings. On Wednesday, Zaia said the door to his office was closed on the group until eventually a representative emerged to listen and accept the petition.

Though Sunrise is specifically geared toward climate action, the rallies and events often have a local angle that grounds it more firmly in the community. At City Hall, along with the fossil fuel money pledge, the rally-goers were there to oppose a proposed natural gas combined heat and power plant, slated for construction in North Philadelphia’s Nicetown neighborhood.

Activists say the plant, which will be built by SEPTA, the Philly transit authority, isn’t necessary and will worsen air quality in the area. Nicetown is a predominantly African-American neighborhood, with asthma rates already well above both city and national averages. SEPTA has claimed the plant will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by generating their own power for rail and bus needs rather than pulling from the grid, but its local emissions could pose more of a problem. In a May 2017 filing, SEPTA estimated nitrous oxides emissions of almost 22 tons per year for the new project, placing it just shy of a “major” source of this ozone precursor. Ozone can make asthma worse, among other harmful effects.

In an emailed statement, a representative from the Mayor’s office said said the city’s Department of Public Health, Air Management Services has “completed a thorough review” of the plant, and determined it would comply with emissions requirements. Still, the statement said that the department is “aware of, and sensitive to, the community’s concerns,” and that stringent monitoring and emissions testing will be required once the plant is completed. (The city directed questions regarding the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge to the Mayor’s campaign; we will update if the campaign responds.)

Zaia called the proposed gas plant a clear example of environmental racism — a position that has found its way to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s opinion pages, as well. From the stage, Roberts got her biggest cheer with this line: “A zip code should not determine any citizen’s right to breathe clean air!”

Photo: Dave Levitan

Other local activist groups, including the Center for Returning Citizens and 350 Philadelphia, joined in the rally, and the show was stolen by a crew of adorable preschoolers from a neighborhood adjacent to Nicetown who showed up carrying their own set of clean air-related signs.

Zaia, who is originally from Austin, Texas, said she first started learning about climate change as a teenager living through increasingly intense droughts. “I thought, ‘why aren’t more people talking about this?’” she said. At Swarthmore, she joined the fossil fuel divestment movement, and has kept up the fight after college.

“Youth are really tired of seeing politicians answer to the money from the NRA, or Wall Street, or fossil fuel billionaires, and [we are] standing up to say enough is enough,” she said, noting that Pennsylvania has outpaced every other state with a huge increase in millennial voter registrations since the Parkland shooting in February. “If you aren’t going to stand up for our health and safety then we’re going to vote you out of office.”

The group seems unafraid of the fight, no matter how entrenched the opponent. Several Sunrise members were arrested during a sit-in at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office this week, another Democrat who has had trouble distancing himself from fossil fuel money. His opponent in the governor’s race, Cynthia Nixon, has signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. Sunrise has endorsed a range of candidates in the 2018 midterms, as part of “phase 2” of its founding four-year plan. Along with Nixon these include Randy Bryce, running for Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin; Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous; and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As the rally wrapped up, the organizers steered people toward a few volunteers to lead a brief canvassing expedition. One of the volunteers sported a particularly relevant t-shirt: “Who Says Youth Don’t Vote?”

Dave Levitan is a journalist, and author of the 2017 book Not A Scientist: How politicians mistake, misrepresent, and utterly mangle science. Find him on Twitter and at his website.

Press link for more: Earthen.gizmodo.com

Cognitive Dissonance in the Big Dry #auspol #qldpol #nswpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #NEG #ClimateChange #Drought

LESLEY HUGHES. Cognitive Dissonance in the Big Dry

8 August 2018

Climate change is worsening the drought now affecting huge swathes of the continent, bringing gut-wrenching misery for farmers and the communities they support. And what have some of the parliamentary representatives of those regions been up to? They have been trying to convince the Japanese to invest in more coal-fired power generation in Australia.

Drought has now been declared over 99 percent of NSW, and over almost two thirds of Qld. Soil moisture levels are also below or very much below average across the eastern half of Victoria, significant pastoral areas in South Australia, southern coastal Western Australia and the Kimberley. Last July was the second warmest on record for daytime temperatures and the driest since 2002, with overall rainfall only half the average. Australia’s food bowl, the Murray Darling Basin, received about a third of its average rainfall, NSW received about 20 percent, and QLD 30 percent. The outlook for spring is no more optimistic, with below average rainfall predicted for most of eastern Australia, along with above average temperatures.

And all this is happening in a non-El Niño year, but perhaps not for long – the Bureau has indicated there is about a 50 percent chance of an El Niño event developing by late spring.

There remains extraordinary reluctance, bordering on refusal, of many in the government to link the worsening drought conditions to anthropogenic climate change. The Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, for example, claimed on Q&A this week that such a link was “a big call” and that he does not “give a rats if it’s man-made or not”.

But the science is clear –  warming has contributed to a southward shift in weather fronts from the Southern Ocean, which typically bring rain to southern Australia during winter and spring. As these weather fronts have shifted, rainfall in southern Australia has declined, increasing the risk of drought conditions, including in agricultural heartlands such as the Murray Darling Basin and the Western Australian wheat belt. These regions have also experienced increasing intensity and frequency of hot days and heatwaves over the past 50 years, in turn increasing drought severity. In summary, climate change is likely making drought conditions in southwest and southeast Australia worse.

Sceptics often point to the “droughts and flooding rains” argument – that Australia has always had droughts. But recent analysis by a team at the University of Melbourne indicates that the most severe droughts since the late 1800s, the Federation Drought (1895–1903), the World War II drought (1939–1945) and the Millennium Drought (1996–2010), are without precedent in at least the past 400 years in terms of their concurrent spatial extent.

Looking ahead, CSIRO and the Bureau project that by 2030, winter and spring rainfall could decrease up to about 15 percent across southern Australia. Later in the century, rainfall is projected to decline by 20–30 percent, depending on the greenhouse pollution scenario, with some important regional exceptions. Drying is projected to be most pronounced over southwest WA, with total reductions in autumn and winter precipitation potentially as high as 50 percent by the end of the century. The combined effect of increasing temperatures and declining rainfall mean that without deep and rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, there is high confidence that the time spent in drought will increase in coming decades in southern Australia.

These ideas are not new – scientists have been bleating on about climate change increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events for decades now. And it seems everywhere we look, predictions are now observations, whether it be the deadly heatwaves across Africa, the Middle East, the US, Europe, Canada and Japan, or the wildfires ravaging Sweden, Greece and California.

Meanwhile, back home, we have been treated to the recent spectacle of a delegation of politicians to Japan, seeking investment in new coal-fired power stations.  Among the group was the whip-cracking George Christensen, like a latter-day imperial emissary bearing letters from his Emperor, the Minister for Clinging-To-Coal-With-His-Fingernails Matt Canavan. The letters were to be hand-delivered to the heads of Japan Oil, the Gas and Metals National Corporation, and the director of the coal division of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The Japan trip was funded by the Minerals Council-linked organisation Coal 21, which according to their website, is dedicated to building community confidence in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. Top of the list of excursions for the pollies was an inspection of the so called High Energy Low Emissions (HELE) Isogo Thermal Power Station in Yokohama, operated by J Power. Isogo has been lauded as the most advanced commercial coal-fired power station in the world.

So how “clean” is this plant? According to the company’s website, by using “ultra-super-critical” (USC) technology that operates at temperatures of 600 – 620oC, Isogo emits 17% less carbon dioxide than it did using the older technology. 17%! Is that the definition of “clean” these days? It’s like hiring someone to clean your house and being satisfied if they vacuum one bedroom and give the kitchen bench a bit of a wipe.

Christensen is keen that the Japanese invest in HELE coal-fired power stations in Collinsville, Mackay, Townsville, and the Burdekin. Together with four other government backbenchers, Tony Pasin, John Williams, Craig Kelly and Ken O’Dowd, he has criticised the latest report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for having “an ideological worldview” that favours renewables. The electorates represented by three of these lower house members, Dawson (Christensen), Barker (Pasin), and Flynn (O’Dowd) contain substantial rural areas currently drought-declared, and John Williams, a NSW Senator, represents a state that is almost entirely parched.

Setting aside the breathtaking irony of the use of the word “ideological” by this gang of five, it’s remarkable that they have such a poor grasp of simple economics. Bloomberg New Energy Finance research has found the cost of energy from a new HELE coal-fired power station would be more than double that of new wind or solar, with a build time of about 6-8 years. And despite hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars that have been thrown at “clean coal” technology in Australia over the past two decades, no commercially viable project has been developed.

The woefully poor representation of farmers’ interests by the Nationals in particular, at least with respect to climate change impacts, has not been lost on their constituents.  In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, NSW farmer Robert Lee wrote of his astonishment that resistance to climate action was coming from the party purporting to represent rural and regional communities. “The Nationals obviously don’t understand the implications of climate change and what it is doing to Australian farmers right now”.

Lee is not the only farmer at the frontline of climate change impacts dissatisfied with his political representation. In 2016, the Farmers for Climate Action Group commissioned a survey of farmers attitudes to climate change and renewables. Ninety percent of the 1300 farmers surveyed indicated their concern about the changing climate, and 88% wanted their political representatives to do more. Eighty percent supported Australia moving towards 100% renewables.

Life on the land in Australia is hard, and climate change is making it harder. Any politician representing a rural or regional electorate who is continuing to pursue the oxymoronic absurdity of “clean coal” and/or attempting to slow the transition to renewables, is actively working against the interests of their principal constituents.

Our farmers and their communities deserve, and should demand, so much more.

Lesley Hughes is Distinguished Professor of Biology at Macquarie University and a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia.

Press link for more: John Menadue

Reef Handout raises murky questions #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #SaveTheReef from #ClimateChange #CoralnotCoal

Look who’s in the Australian newspaper today!

THE AUSTRALIAN

Surprise reef handout raises murky questions

JARED OWENS

In Queensland’s north, where more than 24,000 full-time jobs depend on the Great Barrier Reef, the imbroglio over the Turnbull government’s record allocation to a charity founded by corporate leaders is about more than partisan pointscoring.

Cairns scuba-diving instructor Tanya Murphy said reef workers were “shocked and disappointed” that Canberra would consider granting any charity $443.8 million without a competitive process, let alone one whose major benefactors included companies blamed for degrading the reef.

“It’s fantastic to see money being allocated to the reef, but it would be a better outcome for the reef if the government had gone through the correct tender process so that other organisations could have applied for the money,” said Ms Murphy, 32. “I’m just questioning why the government has done it like that. It seems a bit shady.”

Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden has said the charity drew on the “unique expertise” of its major benefactors, including firms such as Rio Tinto and BHP, but those companies had “absolutely no influence” in selecting or designing the group’s programs.

“We are the lead fundraisers for the Great Barrier Reef and over 18 years have raised over $90m for the reef,” Ms Marsden said.

“We also strive to keep our administration and fundraising costs low — 80c in every dollar goes to reef projects.”

Ms Marsden famously described the grant as like having “just won lotto” with her organisation then having only six fulltime and five part-time staff.

Ms Murphy, the founder of the Reef Divers for Conservation advocacy group, said the government’s own Reef 2050 plan acknowledged climate change was the single biggest threat to the reef.

“While funds to tackle other issues like poor water quality and plagues of coral-eating crown-ofthorns starfish are certainly welcome, that investment will be for nothing if the government doesn’t take serious action on climate change,” she said.

Australia needed to sharply cut its domestic greenhouse gas emissions and accept greater responsibility for emissions from fuels exported overseas, such as coal.

“We can’t just ship it off and say it’s someone else’s problem, because whether it’s burned here or overseas, it still contributes to global climate change which is threatening to kill the Great Barrier Reef in less than a century,” she said.

The foundation repeatedly said climate change was the reef’s greatest challenge. But environmentalists note this appears to be inconsistent with a recent call by board member Grant King — the Business Council of Australia president and former Origin Energy chief executive — to expand coalmining and increase shipping of coal exports from Gladstone. — with Tanya Murphy.

In Queensland’s north, where more than 24,000 full-time jobs depend on the Great Barrier Reef, the imbroglio over the Turnbull government’s record allocation to a charity founded by corporate leaders is about more than partisan pointscoring.

Cairns scuba-diving instructor Tanya Murphy said reef workers were “shocked and disappointed” that Canberra would consider granting any charity $443.8 million without a competitive process, let alone one whose major benefactors included companies blamed for degrading the reef.

“It’s fantastic to see money being allocated to the reef, but it would be a better outcome for the reef if the government had gone through the correct tender process so that other organisations could have applied for the money,” said Ms Murphy, 32. “I’m just questioning why the government has done it like that. It seems a bit shady.”

Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden has said the charity drew on the “unique expertise” of its major benefactors, including firms such as Rio Tinto and BHP, but those companies had “absolutely no influence” in selecting or designing the group’s programs.

“We are the lead fundraisers for the Great Barrier Reef and over 18 years have raised over $90m for the reef,” Ms Marsden said.

“We also strive to keep our administration and fundraising costs low — 80c in every dollar goes to reef projects.”

Ms Marsden famously described the grant as like having “just won lotto” with her organisation then having only six fulltime and five part-time staff.

Ms Murphy, the founder of the Reef Divers for Conservation advocacy group, said the government’s own Reef 2050 plan acknowledged climate change was the single biggest threat to the reef.

“While funds to tackle other issues like poor water quality and plagues of coral-eating crown-ofthorns starfish are certainly welcome, that investment will be for nothing if the government doesn’t take serious action on climate change,” she said.

Tanya Murphy a Cairns Climate Warrior

Australia needed to sharply cut its domestic greenhouse gas emissions and accept greater responsibility for emissions from fuels exported overseas, such as coal.

“We can’t just ship it off and say it’s someone else’s problem, because whether it’s burned here or overseas, it still contributes to global climate change which is threatening to kill the Great Barrier Reef in less than a century,” she said.

The foundation repeatedly said climate change was the reef’s greatest challenge. But environmentalists note this appears to be inconsistent with a recent call by board member Grant King — the Business Council of Australia president and former Origin Energy chief executive — to expand coalmining and increase shipping of coal exports from Gladstone. — with Tanya Murphy.

#Drought: On climate inaction, it is time to say enough #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #nswpol @SciNate

I feel so sorry for the dire situation many farmers are in because of the drought.

I wish it were not so, but when I look back, it has been all so predictable.

When I saw a map on TV news showing the drought area covering a huge proportion of south-east Australia, I was struck by the similarity to a map I was shown 26 years ago when I visited CSIRO’s Atmospheric Research Division.

The 1992 map showed modelling of changing rainfall pattern over a 30-year cycle.

I was shocked at the time, but even more so when I was told that the modelling included a delay factor – an increase in carbon dioxide takes 20 years or so to show an effect on climate patterns.

The implication is that the current drought may be the worst ever, but we can expect it to become the norm.

Then I find myself reflecting on the distractions that prevented action.

The denial, the arguments about cost, clinging to the old ways; the political failure to act, trashing the carbon tax to satisfy one man’s ambitions.

The National Party, supported by many farmers, fought valiantly against conservationist policies.

We were told climate action in Australia could wait.

How much longer will it be before we say, “Enough” – stop fooling with Adani and get on with de-carboning our energy industries and our transport systems?

David Lamb, Kew East

We’ll just use the desal plants … oh right

So there’s another predictable dreadful Australian drought?

Just wait a moment and all those coastal desalination plants, built by the federal government, will be turned on and all the drought areas will be irrigated.

That’s what intelligent government is all about.

It’s called planning.

Paul Drakeford, Kew

You can’t grow crops in cement

Understandably we are all concerned about the plight of farmers who are suffering in the drought-ravaged country as a consequence of the real effects of climate change.

However, successive governments of all persuasions are allowing developers to buy up vast tracks of arable land upon which to build houses.

Surely there are better solutions to solving housing shortages than plonking these buildings on land that could be used to grow food.

After all it is very hard to prepare an evening meal using bricks and mortar.

Ian Gray, Benalla

George Goyder, come back

In 1865, George Goyder, the assistant surveyor-general of South Australia, drew a line across the state north of Adelaide that became known as the Goyder Line.

After extensive surveys, Goyder claimed that because of consistent patterns of low rainfall farming would not be viable above the line.

However, over the next few years there was a higher than usual rainfall across South Australia.

Ignoring Goyder’s warning settlement grew and farms were established north of the line.

The problem was that after several years the rainfall returned to its past figures of little more than four inches a year.

Farmers went bankrupt and whole towns were deserted as anyone who has visited the Flinders Rangers can attest.

I wonder what would have happened if Goyder were the surveyor-general for the commonwealth?

Perhaps large tracts of the country would have been set aside for other purposes than agriculture.

By all means we must assist the drought-affected farmers, but with the effects of climate change already biting perhaps we need another Goyder Line.

Lance Sterling, Burwood

Salvation is in the pipeline

Instead of tax cuts, the government should start drought proofing Australia by installing a network of pipelines from desalination plants. Farming is essential to the economy and the drought is driving people off farms.

Zona Severn, Mount Martha

Little soil renewal

Suggestions that the drought in NSW may mean that the viability of agriculture is being affected by climate change are nothing new.

However, seldom said is the fact that agriculture in Australia is fundamentally unsustainable regardless of technological improvement.

Australian soils have experienced negligible renewal for 300 million years, whereas most soils in Europe, East Asia and the Americas are constantly renewed by the weathering of rising mountains and their glaciers.

Australian soils are thus a non-renewable resource, and thus agriculture in Australia should be treated like fossil fuels – something whose phase-out is a requisite for sustainability.

Although many Australian farmers would suffer from mass revegetation, many more in Eurasia and the Americas would gain opportunities for a new potentially sustainable livelihood that is now uneconomic, and many ancient Australian species threatened by land clearing and climate change would recover.

Julien Benney, Carlton

Press link for more: The Age

Think It’s Hot Now? Wait Until We Reach Hothouse Earth #auspol #qldpol #heatwave #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #ClimateChange now #ClimateCrisis @SciNate

Think It’s Hot Now? Wait Until We Reach Hothouse Earth

Steven Salzberg7:30 am

The river bed of the Rhine is dried on August 8, 2018 in Duesseldorf, western Germany, as the heatwave goes on. (Photo credit: PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s getting hotter all over the planet.

This week the temperature in Bar Harbor, Maine, reached 91° F (32.8° C).

In my 20 years vacationing here, this is easily the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced.

Up and down the U.S. east coast, cities are sweltering, and temperatures out west are even hotter, with California seeing all-time high temperatures, including the hottest July on record in some areas, which has fed damaging fires across the state. Death Valley is always hot, but this week has been crazy, with temperatures on August 7 reaching 122° F (50° C).

At the same time, Europe is baking under a “heat dome” that has brought unprecedented high temperatures, including 45° C (113° F.) in Portugal. It’s so hot that people aren’t even going to the beach.

Global warming is here, folks.

I know we’re supposed to call it “climate change,” because it’s much more complex than simply warming, but warming is one of the most obvious consequences.

And yes, a single heat wave doesn’t prove anything, and weather is not the same as climate. I know. But a just-released study from Oxford University found that climate change made this summer’s heat wave in Europe twice as likely.

And now, a new study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says it could get much, much hotter if we don’t do something about it.

In this paper, an international team of climate scientists led by Will Steffen and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber explain that, thanks to human activities, the planet is well on its way to a “Hothouse Earth” scenario.

In a Hothouse Earth, global average temperatures would rise 4–5° C (7–9° F) and sea levels will rise 10–60 meters (33–200 feet) above today’s levels.

This would be catastrophic for many aspects of modern civilization.

Many agricultural regions would become too hot and arid to sustain crops, making it impossible to feed large swaths of humanity.

Low-lying coastal areas would disappear or become uninhabitable without massive engineering efforts, displacing hundreds of millions of people. As Steffen et al. put it:

“The impacts of a Hothouse Earth pathway on human societies would likely be massive, sometimes abrupt, and undoubtedly disruptive.”

That’s putting it mildly.

One reason this scenario is happening, as the study explains, is that we are very close to “tipping points” beyond which certain changes cannot be stopped. (We may have already passed some of them.)

These include losing the Arctic ice cap in the summer, and losing the Greenland ice sheet permanently: because they are basically white, these massive expanses of ice serve as giant reflectors to send much of the sun’s heat back into space. Without the ice, the darker planet surface absorbs far more heat, creating a positive feedback effect. Another example is the melting of the permafrost, land that has been frozen for thousands of years and that contains a great deal of carbon in the form of methane. Once that methane is released, it will create further warming.

We are also likely to lose the Amazon rainforest, all of our coral reefs, and huge swaths of boreal forests. (See here for a global map of these tipping points.)

If this seems grim, Steffen and colleagues point out that we still have time to avoid it. They propose that societies must act collectively to create a “Stabilized Earth” at no more than 2° C above pre-industrial levels, which is possible but not easy:

“Stabilized Earth will require deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, protection and enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, efforts to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, possibly solar radiation management, and adaptation to unavoidable impacts of the warming already occurring.”

None of this is beyond our abilities.

We know what we need to do, but it requires large-scale, coordinated action that many governments must agree on if it’s to have an impact.

Unfortunately, humans (and our governments) tend to do nothing until faced with an emergency, and the tipping points leading to a Hothouse Earth may not look like emergencies, not at first. For example, Arctic sea ice has been declining steadily for 25 years or more, but because few people are aware of this (and even fewer experience it first hand), it doesn’t seem urgent.

Yet it is.

So perhaps this summer’s heat wave can serve as a wake-up call that we need to pay more attention to our planet’s health. Otherwise it’s going to get a lot hotter.

Steven Salzberg is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University.

I’m the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University. From 2005-2011 I was the Horvitz…MORE

Press link for more: Forbes

$444 Million Grant to Great Barrier Reef Foundation won’t save the reef from #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal might.

Great Barrier Reef grant likely to get messy for Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull |

The West Australian

By Paul Murray

I’ve spent the best part of a week trying to find the method behind Malcolm Turnbull’s madness in giving nearly half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money to a six-person private charity.

Prime Minister Turnbull

The underlying ideology seems to be an attempt to use public funds to leverage a massive effort by corporate Australia into a noble task: saving the Great Barrier Reef.

But that is obscured by the ham-fisted, naive and potentially dangerous way the Prime Minister personally went about the biggest single grant in Australian history.

You’ve got to be completely cack-handed politically to turn the ultimate environmental motherhood statement into something that looks so dodgy.

But that’s Turnbull for you.

One of the peculiarities of this saga is that the Government announced the $444 million donation to the privately run Great Barrier Reef Foundation weeks before the Federal Budget to no criticism.

“As a highly respected philanthropic organisation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has a strong fundraising track record, and will seek corporate contributions to further enhance this work,” Turnbull said on April 29.

The grant would fund:

$201 million improving water quality with changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use, and adopting new technologies and land management practices.

$100 million harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration and funding science that supports reef resilience and adaptation.

$58 million expanding the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.

$45 million supporting other work, particularly increasing community engagement such as indigenous knowledge for sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising.

$40 million for reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management.

(But ignores Climate Change the number one threat to the reef)

Even when it appeared as one of the newsworthy items in the Budget there were only muted concerns from some conservation bodies which would obviously have preferred the funding went to them.

But since then, the protests have grown progressively and the matter has been split wide open under scrutiny in the Senate’s environment and communications committee.

The origins of the foundation in 1999 by five captains of business who came up with the idea while waiting for a plane, and its links to some of Australia’s biggest companies, have been intensely scrutinised.

Among the revelations were that the grant came as a shock to the foundation which had not applied for any funds, it was offered to the chairman John Schubert at a meeting with Turnbull and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg on April 9 with no public servants attending, and the usual tender process was waived.

Josh Frydenberg with Malcolm Turnbull

Labor senator Kristina Keneally has been adopting the time-honoured “follow the money” line of inquiry, revealing that the whole $444 million was paid to the foundation in one lump sum.

One of the witnesses last week was the Australian Conservation Foundation’s economist Matthew Rose, a former Treasury official, who noted the ACF with 70 staff was more than 10 times the size of the Government’s preferred agent for saving the reef.

Kristina Keneally

“Do you accept the key premise for the allocation and the partnership program, which was that the foundation has a track record over the last 10 years of attracting co-investment funds from the private sector and can therefore leverage this $444 million with increased private sector investment in public-good science,” Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson asked Rose.

“They have links, obviously, to the business community,” Rose said. “They’re business-founded and they have leveraged private investment. I think that is the term that’s used. That’s fine.

“We’re not saying that government and NGOs know best and that we can’t learn something from the business community.”

But then Keneally got to the nub of the issue, asking Rose to draw on his Treasury experience to explain why the money was paid in a lump sum, when it was intended to be spent over six years.

Rose disclosed that the Turnbull Government had promised the World Heritage Committee it would spend $716 million between 2015 and 2020 on the reef when evaluating whether it should be placed on the international endangered list, but was way behind.

Whish-Wilson: “Could you tell us what the implications would be for the Government if the reef were classified by the World Heritage Committee as World Heritage in Danger.

Rose: “I think there are implications for the Government and implications for the country. Obviously, it’s a terrible look for the Government with this iconic marine park that they’ve neglected to look after.

“The World Heritage Committee is quite a powerful committee in terms of the publicity it can generate in instructing or letting people know that it has been listed as in danger.

“There are ramifications for the country with that listing, as well, in terms of tourism and our role as a player in the international diplomacy. It’s a very big deal.

“So the Government does have that imperative to try and spend the money and show that it’s trying to do something about the reef.”

Whish-Wilson: “To try to head off a World Heritage in Danger listing?”

Rose: “Yes.”

The economist said that even with the one-off grant to be spent progressively, the Government would still be $34 million short of its promise at the end of 2020 when the committee reviewed the endangered listings.

“My understanding is that the environment department and the Government had to do a lot of lobbying around the World Heritage Committee in 2016 to avoid any endangered listing,” Rose said.

“So, if we haven’t met our promise, I’m not sure how fondly the World Heritage Committee will look upon us not being listed as in danger when they meet again in 2020.”

The Senate committee inquiry has provided mountains of ammunition for Labor to attack the coalition when Parliament resumes next week. Labor is demanding the Government withdraw the grant because of the lack of transparency and accountability in the process.

This is likely to get very messy for Turnbull.

Press Link For More The West

$444 Million Grant to Great Barrier Reef Foundation won’t save the reef from #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal might.

Great Barrier Reef grant likely to get messy for Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull |

The West Australian

By Paul Murray

I’ve spent the best part of a week trying to find the method behind Malcolm Turnbull’s madness in giving nearly half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money to a six-person private charity.

Prime Minister Turnbull

The underlying ideology seems to be an attempt to use public funds to leverage a massive effort by corporate Australia into a noble task: saving the Great Barrier Reef.

But that is obscured by the ham-fisted, naive and potentially dangerous way the Prime Minister personally went about the biggest single grant in Australian history.

You’ve got to be completely cack-handed politically to turn the ultimate environmental motherhood statement into something that looks so dodgy.

But that’s Turnbull for you.

One of the peculiarities of this saga is that the Government announced the $444 million donation to the privately run Great Barrier Reef Foundation weeks before the Federal Budget to no criticism.

“As a highly respected philanthropic organisation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has a strong fundraising track record, and will seek corporate contributions to further enhance this work,” Turnbull said on April 29.

The grant would fund:

$201 million improving water quality with changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use, and adopting new technologies and land management practices.

$100 million harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration and funding science that supports reef resilience and adaptation.

$58 million expanding the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.

$45 million supporting other work, particularly increasing community engagement such as indigenous knowledge for sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising.

$40 million for reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management.

(But ignores Climate Change the number one threat to the reef)

Even when it appeared as one of the newsworthy items in the Budget there were only muted concerns from some conservation bodies which would obviously have preferred the funding went to them.

But since then, the protests have grown progressively and the matter has been split wide open under scrutiny in the Senate’s environment and communications committee.

The origins of the foundation in 1999 by five captains of business who came up with the idea while waiting for a plane, and its links to some of Australia’s biggest companies, have been intensely scrutinised.

Among the revelations were that the grant came as a shock to the foundation which had not applied for any funds, it was offered to the chairman John Schubert at a meeting with Turnbull and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg on April 9 with no public servants attending, and the usual tender process was waived.

Josh Frydenberg with Malcolm Turnbull

Labor senator Kristina Keneally has been adopting the time-honoured “follow the money” line of inquiry, revealing that the whole $444 million was paid to the foundation in one lump sum.

One of the witnesses last week was the Australian Conservation Foundation’s economist Matthew Rose, a former Treasury official, who noted the ACF with 70 staff was more than 10 times the size of the Government’s preferred agent for saving the reef.

Kristina Keneally

“Do you accept the key premise for the allocation and the partnership program, which was that the foundation has a track record over the last 10 years of attracting co-investment funds from the private sector and can therefore leverage this $444 million with increased private sector investment in public-good science,” Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson asked Rose.

“They have links, obviously, to the business community,” Rose said. “They’re business-founded and they have leveraged private investment. I think that is the term that’s used. That’s fine.

“We’re not saying that government and NGOs know best and that we can’t learn something from the business community.”

But then Keneally got to the nub of the issue, asking Rose to draw on his Treasury experience to explain why the money was paid in a lump sum, when it was intended to be spent over six years.

Rose disclosed that the Turnbull Government had promised the World Heritage Committee it would spend $716 million between 2015 and 2020 on the reef when evaluating whether it should be placed on the international endangered list, but was way behind.

Whish-Wilson: “Could you tell us what the implications would be for the Government if the reef were classified by the World Heritage Committee as World Heritage in Danger.

Rose: “I think there are implications for the Government and implications for the country. Obviously, it’s a terrible look for the Government with this iconic marine park that they’ve neglected to look after.

“The World Heritage Committee is quite a powerful committee in terms of the publicity it can generate in instructing or letting people know that it has been listed as in danger.

“There are ramifications for the country with that listing, as well, in terms of tourism and our role as a player in the international diplomacy. It’s a very big deal.

“So the Government does have that imperative to try and spend the money and show that it’s trying to do something about the reef.”

Whish-Wilson: “To try to head off a World Heritage in Danger listing?”

Rose: “Yes.”

The economist said that even with the one-off grant to be spent progressively, the Government would still be $34 million short of its promise at the end of 2020 when the committee reviewed the endangered listings.

“My understanding is that the environment department and the Government had to do a lot of lobbying around the World Heritage Committee in 2016 to avoid any endangered listing,” Rose said.

“So, if we haven’t met our promise, I’m not sure how fondly the World Heritage Committee will look upon us not being listed as in danger when they meet again in 2020.”

The Senate committee inquiry has provided mountains of ammunition for Labor to attack the coalition when Parliament resumes next week. Labor is demanding the Government withdraw the grant because of the lack of transparency and accountability in the process.

This is likely to get very messy for Turnbull.

Press Link For More The West