Sea Turtles

UNESCO: Coral reefs likely to disappear by 2100 #StopAdani 

Coral reefs likely to disappear by 2100 unless CO2 emissions drastically reduce.

Today, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre released the first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs. 

Soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Papahānaumokuākea (USA), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France) and Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). 


The analysis predicts that all 29 coral-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.
Bleaching is a stress response that causes coral animals to expel the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) whose photosynthesis provides the energy needed to build three-dimensional reef structures. 

Mass bleaching is caused by rising water temperatures associated with climate change.

 It only takes a spike of 1-2°C to cause bleaching, and carbon emissions have caused a 1°C increase in global surface temperature since pre-industrial times. 

This effect has been magnified by strong El Niño and La Niña events.

 Ocean acidification caused by dissolved atmospheric CO2 weakens corals further.

“ The 29 globally significant coral reefs on UNESCO’s World Heritage List are facing existential threats, and their loss would be devastating ecologically and economically,” said Dr. Mechtild Rossler, Director of the World Heritage Centre. 

“These rainforests of the sea protect coastal communities from flooding and erosion, sustain fishing and tourism businesses, and host a stunning array of marine life.”


The social, cultural and economic value of coral reefs is estimated at US$1 trillion.

 Recent projections indicate that climate-related loss of reef ecosystem services will total US$500 billion per year or more by 2100, with the greatest impacts felt by people who rely on reefs for day-to-day subsistence.
Widespread coral bleaching was first documented in 1983, but the frequency and severity is increasing.

 The last three years were the hottest on record, and they caused a global bleaching event that reached 72% of World Heritage-listed reefs.
“We know the frequency and intensity of coral bleaching events will continue to increase as temperatures rise,” said Dr. Scott Heron, NOAA Coral Reef Watch and lead author of the assessment. 

“Our goal was to document climate impacts on World Heritage-listed coral reefs to date, and examine what the future may hold.

 The fate of these treasures matters to all humankind, and nations around the world are bound by the 1972 World Heritage Convention to support their survival.”


Coral communities typically take 15 to 25 years to recover from mass bleaching. 

The assessment looked at the frequency with which World Heritage reefs have been subjected to stress that exceeds best-case rates of recovery. 

It also examined future impacts to World Heritage reefs under two emissions scenarios. 

The results were sobering and concluded that delivering on the Paris Agreement target of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” offers the only opportunity to prevent coral reef decline globally, and across all 29 reef-containing natural World Heritage sites.
The assessment was developed with satellite data from the United States National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch and received the support from the French Agency for Biodiversity (Agency Française pour la Biodiversité).

Press link for full report: WHC.UNESCO.ORG

We have radically underestimated #ClimateChange #StopAdani

Australia warned it has radically underestimated climate change security threat
Fijian girl walks over flooded land in her village.


As the Senate launches an inquiry into the national security ramifications of climate change, a new report has warned global warming will cause increasingly regular and severe humanitarian crises across the Asia-Pacific.


Press link for full report: Breakthrough

Disaster Alley, written by the Breakthrough Centre for Climate Restoration, forecasts climate change could potentially displace tens of millions from swamped cities, drive fragile states to failure, cause intractable political instability, and spark military conflict.
Report co-author Ian Dunlop argues Australia’s political and corporate leaders, by refusing to accept the need for urgent climate action now, are “putting the Australian community in extreme danger”.
“Global warming will drive increasingly severe humanitarian crises, forced migration, political instability and conflict. 

The Asia Pacific region, including Australia, is considered to be ‘disaster alley’ where some of the worst impacts will be experienced,” the report, released this morning, says.
“Australia’s political, bureaucratic and corporate leaders are abrogating their fiduciary responsibilities to safeguard the people and their future wellbeing. 

They are ill-prepared for the real risks of climate change at home and abroad.”
On Friday, the Senate passed a motion for an inquiry into the threats and long-term risks posed by climate change to national and international security, and Australia’s readiness to mitigate and respond to climate-related crises in our region.
Dunlop, a former chairman of the Australian Coal Association and chief executive of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, told the Guardian the security impacts of climate change were not far-distant future concerns, but happening now.
The ongoing Syrian civil war – which has killed 450,000 and forced an estimated 5.5 million people to flee the country over six years of conflict – is attributed, in significant part, to an extended drought, exacerbated by climate change, that left millions without food or livelihoods.
“Once these effects start, then they unfold right the way through the system as an accelerant,” Dunlop said. 

“Natural disasters lead to social pressures, to increasing conflicts, competing claims for scarce resources. 

These fuel extremist positions, which could be religious, tribal, or political, which can lead to mass migrations.

We are going to see a lot of people start moving, in our region especially, and to think we stop that by finessing things like ‘stop the boats’, is frankly naive.”
Dunlop said the global nature of the climate change challenge should force countries to cooperate.


“Climate change has to become seen as a reason for far greater levels of global cooperation than we’ve seen before. 

If we don’t see it that way, then we’re going to be in big trouble. 

This problem is bigger than any of us, it’s bigger than any nation state, any political party.
“We’re going to be steamrolled by this stuff unless we take serious action now.”

The security implications of climate change have been identified by thinktanks, governments, and militaries across the world.


A decade ago, Alan Dupont and Graeme Pearman wrote for the Lowy Institute that the security threat posed by climate change had been largely ignored and seriously underestimated.
In 2013 the commander of US Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, said the greatest long-term threat in the Asia-Pacific was not military ambitions of another state, or the threat of nuclear weapons, but climate change.
In 2015, the US Department of Defense commissioned a report, examining the security implications of disrupted climate, and current secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, has said climate change is a clear and current threat to US troops.
Australia’s 2016 defence white paper said climate change would contribute to state fragility, which it identified as one of the six key drivers that will “shape the development of Australia’s security environment to 2035”.

“Climate change will be a major challenge for countries in Australia’s immediate region. 

Climate change will see higher temperatures, increased sea-level rise and will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. 

These effects will exacerbate the challenges of population growth and environmental degradation, and will contribute to food shortages and undermine economic development.”
“Instability in our immediate region could have strategic consequences for Australia should it lead to increasing influence by actors from outside the region with interests inimical to ours. 

It is crucial that Australia help support the development of national resilience in the region to reduce the likelihood of instability.”
The Senate inquiry into the national security threats of climate change will report in December. 

But the issue remains politically charged.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam, in putting the motion before the Senate said the government had failed to apprehend the global security risk posed by climate change.
“As one of the highest per-capita emitters on the planet, Australia must play a constructive role as our region responds to climate change. 

The government won’t listen to the scientists, and it won’t listen to the renewable energy sector. 

Maybe it will listen to defence and security experts and the personnel on the frontline.”
But assistant minister to the prime minister, Senator James McGrath, said the inquiry was unnecessary.
He told the Senate a defence climate security adviser had been established within the office of the vice chief of the defence force group. 

As well, an environmental planning and advisory cell has been established within headquarters joint operations command, and defence is represented at the government’s disaster and climate resilience reference group.
Press link for more: The Guardian

Existential Risk! #StopAdani 

EXISTENTIAL RISK

An existential risk is an adverse outcome that would either annihilate intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential (Bostrom 2013).

 For example, a big meteor impact or large-scale nuclear war.

Existential risks are not amenable to the reactive (learn from failure) approach of conventional risk management, and we cannot necessarily rely on the institutions, moral norms, or social attitudes developed from our experience with managing other sorts of risks. 

Because the consequences are so severe – perhaps the end of human global civilisation as we know
it – “even for an honest, truth-seeking, and well-intentioned investigator it is difficult to think and act rationally in regard to… existential risks” (Bostrom and Cirkovic 2008).

Yet the evidence is clear that climate change already poses an existential risk to global stability and to human civilisation that requires an emergency response.

 Temperature rises that are now in prospect could reduce the global human population by 80% or 90%. 

But this conversation is taboo, and the few who speak out are admonished as being overly alarmist.

Prof. Kevin Anderson considers that “a 4°C future [relative to pre-industrial levels] is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable” (Anderson 2011). 

He says: “If you have got
a population of nine billion by 2050 and you hit 4°C, 5°C or 6°C, you might have half a billion people surviving” (Fyall 2009).

Asked at a 2011 conference in Melbourne about the difference between a 2°C world and a 4°C world, Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber replied in two words: “Human civilisation”. 

The World Bank reports: “There is no certainty that adaptation to
a 4°C world is possible” (World Bank 2012). 

Amongst other impacts, a 4°C warming would trigger the loss of both polar ice caps, eventually resulting, at equilibrium, in a 70-metre rise in sea level.


The present path of greenhouse gas emissions commits us
to a 4–5°C temperature increase relative to pre-industrial levels. 

Even at 3°C of warming we could face “outright chaos” and “nuclear war is possible”, according to the 2007 Age of Consequences report by two US think tanks (see page 10).

Yet this is the world we are now entering. 

The Paris climate agreement voluntary emission reduction commitments, if implemented, would result in the planet warming by 3°C, with a 50% chance of exceeding that amount.


This does not take into account “longer-term” carbon-cycle feedbacks – such as permafrost thaw and declining
efficency of ocean and terrestrial carbon sinks, which are now becoming relevant. 

If these are considered, the Paris emissions path has more than a 50% chance of exceeding 4°C warming. 

(Technically, accounting for these feedbacks means using a higher gure for the system’s “climate sensitivity” – which is a measure of the temperature increase resulting from a doubling of the level of greenhouse gases – to calculate the warming.

A median figure often used for climate sensitivity is ~3°C, but research from MIT shows that with a higher climate sensitivity gure of 4.5°C, which would account for feedbacks, the Paris path would lead to around 5°C of warming (Reilly et al. 2015).)

So we are looking at a greater than one-in-two chance of either annihilating intelligent life, or permanently and drastically curtailing its potential development.

 Clearly these end-of-civilisation scenarios are not being considered even by risk-conscious leaders in politics and business, which is an epic failure of imagination.

The world hopes to do a great deal better than Paris, but it may do far worse. 

A recent survey of 656 participants involved in international climate policy-making showed only half considered the Paris climate negotiations were useful, and 70% did not expect that the majority of countries would fulfill their promises (Dannenberg et al. 2017)

Human civilisation faces unacceptably high chances of
being brought undone by climate change’s existential risks yet, extraordinarily, this conversation is rarely heard. 

The Global Challenges Foundation (GCF) says that despite scientific evidence that risks associated with tipping points “increase disproportionately as temperature increases from 1°C to 2°C, and become high above 3°C”, political negotiations have consistently disregarded the high-end scenarios that could lead to abrupt or irreversible climate change. 

In its Global Catastrophic Risks 2017 report, it concludes that “the world is currently completely unprepared to envisage, and even less deal with, the consequences of catastrophic climate change”. (GCF 2017) 

PRess link for full report: Disaster Alley

Climate Change promises a frightening future. #StopAdani

Are the Effects of Global Warming Really that Bad?

The Missouri River encroaches on homes in Sioux City, Iowa, during a 2011 flood Stocktrek Images/Media Bakery

Eight degrees Fahrenheit. It may not sound like much—perhaps the difference between wearing a sweater and not wearing one on an early-spring day. But for the world in which we live, which climate experts project will be at least eight degrees warmer by 2100 should global emissions continue on their current path, this small rise will have grave consequences, ones that are already becoming apparent, for every ecosystem and living thing—including us.

According to the National Climate Assessment, human influences are the number one cause of global warming, especially the carbon pollution we cause by burning fossil fuels and the pollution-capturing we prevent by destroying forests. 

The carbon dioxide, methane, soot, and other pollutants we release into the atmosphere act like a blanket, trapping the sun’s heat and causing the planet to warm. 

Evidence shows that 2000 to 2009 was hotter than any other decade in at least the past 1,300 years. This warming is altering the earth’s climate system, including its land, atmosphere, oceans, and ice, in far-reaching ways.
More frequent and severe weather

Higher temperatures are worsening many types of disasters, including storms, heat waves, floods, and droughts.

A warmer climate creates an atmosphere that can collect, retain, and drop more water, changing weather patterns in such a way that wet areas become wetter and dry areas drier. “Extreme weather events are costing more and more,” says Aliya Haq, deputy director of NRDC’s Clean Power Plan initiative. 

“The number of billion-dollar weather disasters is expected to rise.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in 2015 there were 10 weather and climate disaster events in the United States—including severe storms, floods, drought, and wildfires—that caused at least $1 billion in losses.

 For context, each year from 1980 to 2015 averaged $5.2 billion in disasters (adjusted for inflation). 

If you zero in on the years between 2011 and 2015, you see an annual average cost of $10.8 billion.
The increasing number of droughts, intense storms, and floods we’re seeing as our warming atmosphere holds—and then dumps—more moisture poses risks to public health and safety, too. 

Prolonged dry spells mean more than just scorched lawns. Drought conditions jeopardize access to clean drinking water, fuel out-of-control wildfires, and result in dust storms, extreme heat events, and flash flooding in the States. 

Elsewhere around the world, lack of water is a leading cause of death and serious disease. At the opposite end of the spectrum, heavier rains cause streams, rivers, and lakes to overflow, which damages life and property, contaminates drinking water, creates hazardous-material spills, and promotes mold infestation and unhealthy air. A warmer, wetter world is also a boon for food-borne and waterborne illnesses and disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.
Higher death rates

Today’s scientists point to climate change as “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” 

It’s a threat that impacts all of us—especially children, the elderly, low-income communities, and minorities—and in a variety of direct and indirect ways. 

As temperatures spike, so does the incidence of illness, emergency room visits, and death.
“There are more hot days in places where people aren’t used to it,” Haq says. “They don’t have air-conditioning or can’t afford it. 

One or two days isn’t a big deal. 

But four days straight where temperatures don’t go down, even at night, leads to severe health consequences.” 

In the United States, hundreds of heat-related deaths occur each year due to direct impacts and the indirect effects of heat-exacerbated, life-threatening illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and cardiovascular and kidney diseases. 

Indeed, extreme heat kills more Americans each year, on average, than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and lightning combined.
Dirtier air

Rising temperatures also worsen air pollution by increasing ground level ozone, which is created when pollution from cars, factories, and other sources react to sunlight and heat. 

Ground-level ozone is the main component of smog, and the hotter things get, the more of it we have. Dirtier air is linked to higher hospital admission rates and higher death rates for asthmatics. 

It worsens the health of people suffering from cardiac or pulmonary disease. And warmer temperatures also significantly increase airborne pollen, which is bad news for those who suffer from hay fever and other allergies.
Higher wildlife extinction rates

As humans, we face a host of challenges, but we’re certainly not the only ones catching heat. 

As land and sea undergo rapid changes, the animals that inhabit them are doomed to disappear if they don’t adapt quickly enough. 

Some will make it, and some won’t. 

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 assessment, many land, freshwater, and ocean species are shifting their geographic ranges to cooler climes or higher altitudes, in an attempt to escape warming. 

They’re changing seasonal behaviors and traditional migration patterns, too. And yet many still face “increased extinction risk due to climate change.”

 Indeed, a 2015 study showed that vertebrate species—animals with backbones, like fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles—are disappearing 114 times faster than they should be, a phenomenon that has been linked to climate change, pollution, and deforestation.
More acidic oceans

The earth’s marine ecosystems are under pressure as a result of climate change. Oceans are becoming more acidic, due in large part to their absorption of some of our excess emissions. 

As this acidification accelerates, it poses a serious threat to underwater life, particularly creatures with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons, including mollusks, crabs, and corals. 

This can have a huge impact on shellfisheries. 

Indeed, as of 2015, acidification is believed to have cost the Pacific Northwest oyster industry nearly $110 million. 

Coastal communities in 15 states that depend on the $1 billion nationwide annual harvest of oysters, clams, and other shelled mollusks face similar long-term economic risks.
Higher sea levels


The polar regions are particularly vulnerable to a warming atmosphere. 

Average temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere on earth, and the world’s ice sheets are melting fast. 

This not only has grave consequences for the region’s people, wildlife, and plants; its most serious impact may be on rising sea levels. 

By 2100, it’s estimated our oceans will be one to four feet higher, threatening coastal systems and low-lying areas, including entire island nations and the world’s largest cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Miami as well as Mumbai, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro.
There’s no question: Climate change promises a frightening future, and it’s too late to turn back the clock. 

We’ve already taken care of that by pumping a century’s worth of pollution into the air nearly unchecked. 

“Even if we stopped all carbon dioxide emissions tomorrow, we’d still see some effects,” Haq says. 

That, of course, is the bad news. 

But there’s also good news. 

By aggressively reducing our global emissions now, “we can avoid a lot of the severe consequences that climate change would otherwise bring,” says Haq.
Press link for more: NRDC.org

All Nations Agree to Restore Ocean Health #StopAdani 

All Nations Agree to Restore Ocean Health
By Suzanne Maxx
NEW YORK, New York, June 12, 2017 (ENS) – The 193 Member States of the United Nations agreed by consensus to a 14 point Call for Action that will begin the reversal of the decline of the ocean’s health at the conclusion of the first-ever United Nations Oceans Conference. The week-long conference, which closed Friday, addressed key topics for our common future with the oceans.
The Call for Action states, “We are particularly alarmed by the adverse impacts of climate change on the ocean, including the rise in ocean temperatures, ocean and coastal acidification, deoxygenation, sea-level rise, the decrease in polar ice coverage, coastal erosion and extreme weather events. 

We acknowledge the need to address the adverse impacts that impair the crucial ability of the ocean to act as climate regulator, source of marine biodiversity, and as key provider of food and nutrition, tourism and ecosystem services, and as an engine for sustainable economic development and growth. 

We recognise, in this regard, the particular importance of the Paris Agreement adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”
UN


The first-ever UN Oceans Conference in session, June 5, 2017 (Photo © Suzanne Maxx)

The oceans generate employment for over 200 million people, and are the primary source of protein for three billion people. 

The Earth is mostly water, and 97 percent of our planet’s water is in the oceans, which cover the majority of the planet’s surface.
At the opening of the conference President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson of Fiji who co-organized this conference with support from Sweden, began with the unifying words, “We the people of the world…”
“In small island states like Fiji, trash will outweigh fish by 2050,” he told the 6,000 conference participants from governments, small island nations, civil societies, nongovernmental organizations, corporations and scientists.
Fijians set the stage using the native ceremonial kava ritual, and from opening to the closing the barriers that usually divide those in suits from bare chested or Hawaiian shirt-clad participants were broken down.
The barriers between those living island life with the primal intimacy of the ocean and nature, and those living in the concrete sea of urban areas seemed to melt away in a common concern for the health of the oceans.
fish on reef


Schooling fairy basslets on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef, now threatened by climate-induced coral bleaching and industrial development. 2007 (Photo by GreensMPs)

The Ocean Conference unpacked the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) #14, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine life.”
Goal 14’s targets were explored through concept papers and side events on: marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, ocean acidification, biodiversity, overfishing, marine preserves, illegal, fishing industry subsidies and the World Trade Organization, small scale artisanal fishing and economic benefits to Small Island Developing States, ocean energy, shipping, the Law of Area Boundaries of National Jurisdiction, and the Law of the Sea.
All of these topics play into the equation of ocean stewardship.
Thomson commented, “Human induced problems need human induced solutions.”
Many solutions were presented in a myriad of side events. Solutions ranged from innovative ways to clean up ocean plastics on a large scale, to re-planting coral at reef scale, to tracking whale migration using drones to better understand their needs.
A solutions panel was held every day during the conference in the media zone.
Runit Dome


Aerial view of the Runit Dome located in the crater created by the Cactus nuclear weapons test in 1958. Runit Island, Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands (Photo by U.S. Defense Special Weapons Agency)

One of the most challenging issues, the cutting of fishing subsidies, was left in the hands of the World Trade Organization.
The conference bustled with news of problems, like the Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands that is leaking radioactive nuclear waste into the South Pacific waters, a result of nuclear testing by the United States.
There were many solutions proposed such as the Seychelles no plastic law banning the use of plastic bags, bottles, plates and cutlery, and solutions from island regions who shared their approach to creating and policing Marine Protected Areas.
The Outcome document, and 1,328 Voluntary pledges registered as the conference closed create an arena for the words to take shape in actions.
The hashtag #SavetheOceans allowed the Oceans Conference to have a presence on social media.
Attention to the humanity’s role in the oceans crisis to become aware of the problems and learn about solutions was achieved. Instagram alone showed more than 56,000 ocean posts, a tide that changes the landscape of traditional media. The commitment to the SDG14 is open on-line, and all are encouraged to participate.
“Governments can’t do it alone” was stated throughout the conference by various prime ministers. This “Multi-stakeholder Partnerships” approach to allow governments to team up is a formula devised to make the UN’s efforts more effective.
It was noted in the Plenary that just half of the global military expenditure of governments would be enough to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ocean icons like Dr. Sylvia Earle shared a panel with Trammell Crow. They offered their insights into the degradation of the oceans over the years.
Fabien Cousteau described the state of the oceans in which 90 percent of large fish species have disappeared due to overexploitation, 50 percent of corals have died where there is ever increasing acidification.
Necker Island based Sir Richard Branson explained, “While this gathering of the new [solutions] might be a tiny blip in the history of our planet, our task is to make it the world oceans day where we change our destiny.”
Thomson Maxx


UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson with ENS reporter Suzanne Maxx, June 9, 2017 (Photo by Tomas Pico / UN)

In an interview with ENS about the financial mechanisms needed to turn proposals into solutions, such as the Green Climate Fund, green bonds or carbon offsets, Thomson expressed optimism.
“It looks good,” he said. “I was in a meeting this morning with the four largest financial houses in the world actually, “The Economist” brought us together, and we were discussing that green bonds that were nonexistent not so long ago – zero. 

In 2013 there was 11 billion worth of green bonds issued. 

The bond market now is around 20 billion in bonds. The estimate for the bonds this years is 130 billion.”
He explained this exponential growth, saying, “It had to do with humanity carrying on the way they are going, ignoring sustainability, and that has changed.” 

Ocean-related bonds are on the horizon, he said. “If that is good for green bonds, then it has to be good for blue bonds.”
Brought up with no electricity until the age of 26, Thomson said, “If you are off grid, you’ve got so many renewable energy resources. In fact, if you’re off-grid it is preferable to go with all the renewable energy options, especially with the ocean.”
“There is a huge amount of off-the-grid action for rural islands, and the ocean will provide energy as well. In Fiji, we don’t have the technology or financial resources for that, but we are interested in partnerships [to generate energy] with tidal, wave action, and the gradient of ocean temperature differences.”
“I am confident that with the broad support from member states and other stakeholders with concrete actions we can save our oceans,” Thomson said.
Thomson explained, “That is basically our work plan going forward, not just us, but everybody. The next step is for the General Assembly to endorse, at its 71st session, the call for action as adopted by the Conference.”

Press link for more: ens-newswire.com

Let’s expose climate denial. #DailyClimateDenial #auspol 

Let’s expose everyday climate denial. Here’s how

A woman wearing a protective pollution mask walks past a billboard in Beijing

You know things are bad when it takes Donald Trump pulling the US out of the Paris agreement for climate change to be discussed during the UK election.

 His climate denial is of the extreme and obvious variety: pages were removed from the Environmental Protection Agency website explaining its causes and consequences when he came into office.


Equally if not more damaging, however, is the daily climate denial that passes mostly unremarked all around us. 

The Institute of Directors recently proposed not one, but two new airport runways for London in a report called Let’s push things forward.

It made no mention of the effect on rising emissions and a better title might have been “Let’s push things over the edge”. 

The oil company BP’s irony free sponsorship of the British Museum’s Sunken Cities exhibition merely highlighted how removed climate now is from our everyday cultural imagination.


Sometimes the denial is about failing to join the dots. 

Such as when Richard Branson rightly complained about how our “everyday actions are gravely hurting the planet”, but remained a fervent advocate of both space tourism and aviation expansion.

 Then there are the companies who know the problem only too well, but still plan their business without regard for internationally agreed climate targets.

Pick up almost any magazine and you’ll see page after page of adverts for huge SUVs and luxury cars, all with emissions unashamedly far above what is comfortably technologically possible, and with no mention of climate.

 Even the travel sections of progressive newspapers see no issue in promoting a culture of guilt-free flying.

How do you change a culture that is so embedded? 

The first step is making people aware that it’s even there. 

That can be done by calling it out whenever it’s spotted using the simple device of social media.

The idea was triggered by an invitation to address the Climate Psychology Alliance which explores issues of action and denial, and owes a debt to the campaign against everyday sexism and that to halt the phenomenon of all male panels at conferences through social shaming.
From this weekend I’ll endeavour to collect and share examples, hashtagged #DailyClimateDenial, through the Twitter account @EverydayDenial and, for now, through my thinktank’s website. 

We can be spellbound by social norms into behaving in ways that can be damaging and self-destructive.

 Yet we’ve seen radical shifts in short periods of time in attitudes to smoking, drink driving, and intolerance toward different sexual identities.
In the age of social media ideas diffuse ever more rapidly, especially when they draw attention to an accumulating and ignored wrong.

 Sometimes all it can take to break the spell is for someone to start pointing things out.

 So, the next time you see a patio heater outside a pub warming thin air and not much else, or other such acts of egregious daily climate denial, snap it, hashtag it, and share it. 

If we call out denial and change attitudes, better policy and action will surely follow.

Press link for more: The Guardian

Richard Branson petitions UN for ocean protection #StopAdani 

Richard Branson petitions UN for oceans protection

Richard Branson.© Rex Images Richard Branson.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson handed over a petition with more than a million signatures to the UN, urging governments to protect at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030.

Speaking to reporters after the first Ocean Conference convened by the United Nations, Branson reiterated his criticism of US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, saying it didn’t make sense.


“I think this is where the American President Donald Trump was so naive,” Branson said.
“Clean energy can be massively cheaper than dirty energy and everybody can benefit from it.
“If we can manage our oceans properly and create marine reserves… within these reserves, fish can replenish.”
The petition contained 1,021,874 names. 


Noting a goal to make the world carbon neutral “for our grandchildren” by 2050, Branson also drew attention to the erosion of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
“The Great Barrier Reef is disappearing,” he said.
“It is related to the sea heating up and to lose one of the biggest wonders of the world is to cry for.”

Press link for more: MSN.COM

#StopAdani coal is the single biggest driver of #ClimateChange 

About The Proposed Adani Carmichael Coal Mine.
The single biggest driver of global warming
Pollution from burning coal is the single biggest driver of global warming – threatening life, health and the environment worldwide.
The worlds’s biggest living ecosystem under threat.


Two thirds of the Great Barrier Reef have now suffered unprecedented bleaching, a phenomenon caused by global warming with associated rises in sea surface temperatures.
The Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed, natural inspiration and the world’s biggest living ecosystem.
Scientists state that the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem is threatened by climate change, waste water, fishing and coastal developments including the use of nearby ports to export coal.

Coal dust released from Adani’s Queensland existing coal port after the Cyclone Debbie in April 2017 has already caused massive contamination of fragile wetlands in the Caley Valley. 

This demonstrates clearly the environmental stress a new coal mine would cause in such a fragile and at the same time precious natural environment.
People are actually dying from pollution.

Urban Pollution

In addition to the direct environmental impacts, the health impact of burning coal is well documented.
It is estimated pollution causes 3 million deaths each year worldwide – predominantly heart and lung diseases. Most of these deaths occur in developing countries with China and India at the top of the list.
Renewable energy, not coal, is the future.

China, one Australia’s biggest customers for coal, has closed its last coal-fired power station.
The Indian government is determined to move away from coal as fast as possible, the Indian Minister for Energy said in 2016 that India intended to import no more coal within 2-3 years!
The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine doesn’t make economic sense!

China and India are still two of Australia’s biggest customers for coal and both countries together with the rest of the world are moving away from its use rapidly.
Furthermore, there is now a great deal of information indicating that economically Adani’s proposal does not add up. 

 The Institute For Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recently concluded:
“Adani Enterprises has a weak balance sheet and excessive debt. 

With a market capitalization of just US$1.9 billion, net debt of US$2.5 billion, and a wide range of expansion projects across multiple industry sectors, Adani Enterprises is not in a strong financial position. 

Without a major new equity raising for the project, Adani may attempt to finance the Carmichael mine entirely by debt, a high-risk option for shareholders and lenders alike.

 A further debt raising would seriously over-stretch the company’s already leveraged balance sheet.” http://ieefa.org/ieefa-update-increasingly-cursed-australian-coal-project/
What is so special about the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine?
The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine would be the biggest coal mine in Australia.

The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine, if established, would have a lifespan of 60 years.
The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine would mine the dirtiest type of coal in a remote, environmentally beautiful and fragile location, including the Great Barrier Reef, worthy and in dire need of protection rather than the destruction that comes with mining.
Westpac, the country’s second-largest bank, released a new climate policy on Friday, saying it would limit lending for new thermal coal projects to “only existing coal producing basins”.

 The coal mined must also have energy content “in at least the top 15% globally”, meaning at least 6,300 kilocalories per kg, according to the Westpac policy. Adani’s Carmichael mine would be the first in the Galilee basin and the coal would have only 4,950 kilocalories per kg, the miner told the Queensland land court in 2014. The Guardian, Australian Edition, 28/04/2017.
The Adani Carmichael Mine has been granted an unlimited water licence by the Queensland Government for 60 years at a time when farmers and many others believe such large-scale depletion of public water resources is unsustainable.
Water is one of the most precious and problematic resources in Australia and worldwide.
Opposition to the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine
For all of the above reasons there has been an avalanche of opposition against the Carmichael Coal Mine expressed through public demonstrations, open and private letters to the Chairman of Adani, financial institutions, would be suppliers, politicians and others involved with the decision making process.
In addition to representatives of organisations, a significant number of private individuals have made their opposition known by showing up, donating to fighting funds, writing letters at a scale rarely seen before including war veterans and cricketers. High profile people from all walks of life added their voice to campaigns organised by environmental protection organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation, GetUp and others.
Ms Vaishali Patil, an Indian activist with direct experience of Adani’s environmental, human rights, bribery and corruption record in her own country, has spoken out publicly and warned the Australian public about the many negative impacts of this project. Read her considered view here: Exposing Adani Vaishali Patil
The Role of the Australian Government.

When it comes to business and human rights, corporate and social responsibility – Governments are lagging behind around the world. Read more here.
In this particular case, it is worse. 

The Australian Government is not just lagging behind but acting as the primary enabler of the proposed environmental and health disaster offering subsidies and royalty holidays to Adani – a private, foreign company.
Governments should make decisions in the interest of the future.
It is hard to understand why the Australian Government is taking this position against the advice of scientists, wishes of its voters and taxpayers and despite economists and financial institutions judging the mine as a bad investment.

Party politics, lack of integrity and expertise.

The current Australian Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, traveled to India and met with the Indian Prime Minister as well as the Chairman of Adani to affirm his (not Australia’s) commitment to the mine. Apparently he informed the Indian Prime Minister that the main reason for meeting him was to demonstrate his support for the Adani Mine. As stated above, it is a well known fact that India is phasing coal out and is very successful at that.
While the Federal Opposition has distanced itself from the mine of late due to increasing pressure – only in regard to paying Government subsidies – the current Labour Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk has been courting Adani arguing short-sighted and short-lived economic advantages for Queensland all the while ignoring the realities described above.
“What we know about this project is that it is vital for regional jobs,” she said.
“For the Queensland Premier and the Prime Minister to suggest that this project helps Australia economically and in the context of employment is just an outright lie.” Geoff Cousins, President, Australian Conservation Foundation.
During the last election campaign, Queensland Labour promised no taxpayer funds would go towards Government subsidies for the rail line linking the Carmichael mine to the port of Abbot Point. Ms Palaszczuk, then the Opposition leader, slammed the Campbell Newman government for offering Adani a subsidy, accusing the LNP of “throwing a bucket of taxpayers’ cash” at the company.
Now the Queensland Premier together with her Treasurer has even attempted to offer the Adani Carmichael Mine royalty holidays which could cost Queensland up to $1.2bn. The Climate Council this provides further evidence the project did not stack up financially.
“It appears the only possible way this may go forward is with very big subsidies from the Commonwealth and the QLD Government,” the Council’s Professor Will Steffen said.
The intentions to mine coal in the Galilee Basin doesn’t meet the needs of Queensland nor Australia nor the rest of the world. On the contrary.
Conserving and preserving the natural environment meets the needs of everybody, now and in the future.
And that is worth fighting for.
Take Action

There are many ways to get involved. If you can, organise your own or participate in the many activites or donate :
https://www.acf.org.au/stop_adani

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/great-barrier-reef–3/adani/dont-trust-this-company-with-our-great-barrier-reef

Sources and Further Reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/18/adani-offered-320m-deferment-of-carmichael-coal-export-royalties

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/09/australia-doesnt-need-adanis-carmichael-coalmine-westpac-chief-says

A world heritage listed, natural inspiration, the Great Barrier Reef.

https://envirojustice.org.au/sites/default/files/files/envirojustice_adani_environmental_report.pdf

http://www.stopadani.com/stop_the_money

https://www.westpac.com.au/docs/pdf/aw/sustainability/human_rights_framework.pdf

http://www.equator-principles.com/resources/equator_principles_III.pdf

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf

https://www.edoqld.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Legal-implications-of-the-declarations-of-Adanis-Carmichael-Combined-Project-October-2016.pdf

http://climatesafety.info/timbuckley/ 17-minute radio interview with Tim Buckley, director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, about the Adani megamine – about what is happening in India at the moment, about clean coal, and about the obligations of a government to create confidence among investors.

Royalty holiday for Adani could cost Queensland nearly $1.2bn: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-18/queensland-government-gives-adani-royalties-holiday/8536560

All you need to know about plans for the http://galileebasin.org/ and the various coal mining licences and their potential impact on the environment.

http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/renewable-energy-coal-power-em6058/

Press link for more: Momentum Partnerships

UN wants the world to be more ambitious on Climate Change. #StopAdani 

As US weighs climate pullout, UN wants world to be more ambitious

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the world to raise its ambition in implementing the Paris climate agreement as the United States weighed pulling out of the landmark emissions-cutting deal.
Making his first address on climate since taking the UN helm five months ago, Guterres said it was “absolutely essential” that the world implements the 2015 agreement “with increased ambition.”

The United States is among the 147 countries and parties that have ratified the agreement but President Donald Trump has voiced concerns that the deal signed by the previous US administration could harm the US economy.
“We believe that it would be important for the US not to leave the Paris agreement,” Guterres said in response to a question following his address at New York University.
“But even if the government decides to leave the Paris agreement, it’s very important for US society as a whole — the cities, the states, the companies, the businesses — to remain engaged.”
“It is very clear that governments aren’t everything.”
At a summit meeting of the G7 group of leading economies over the weekend, Trump refused to join the other six leaders in pledging to implement the Paris accord and said he would announce the US position this week.


Guterres said the United Nations was engaged with the US administration and Congress to try to convince them to abide by the agreement.
His appeal suggested that if the United States, the world’s biggest carbon emitter after China, were to quit the deal, the onus would be on other key players like China, India and the European Union to do more to fight global warming.
The Paris agreement’s commitment to curb carbon emissions and limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees “do not nearly go far enough,” he said.
“So we must do our utmost to increase ambition and action until we can bend the emissions curve and slow down global warming,” he said.

– Betting on the green economy –
Describing the agreement as a “remarkable moment in the history of humankind,” the UN chief stressed that private corporations including oil and gas companies were not awaiting government policy and joining the green economy.
“Some may seek to portray the response to climate change as a fundamental threat to the economy,” said Guterres. 

“Yet what we are witnessing in these early years of a systemic response is the opposite.”
“Those who fail to bet on the green economy will be living in a grey future,” he warned.


“On the other hand, those who embrace green technologies will set the gold standard for economic leadership in the 21st century.”
Guterres pointed to growth in the clean energy sector, saying solar power grew 50 percent last year and that more new jobs were being created in renewable energy than in oil and gas.


He argued that climate action was a sound security policy, warning of mass displacement from natural disasters or from refugees whose lands become unlivable.
The UN chief vowed to mobilize governments, the energy industry, investors and civil society to “raise the bar on climate action.”
As a first step, Guterres said he would press for ratification of an agreement reached last year on phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Guterres announced plans for a summit in 2019 to review progress in implementing the Paris agreement.

Press link for more: UK News

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