Colorado counties sue Exxon, Suncor over climate change #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Colorado counties sue Exxon, Suncor over climate change

Alexa Lardieri Published 9 Hours Ago

Boulder and San Miguel counties in Colorado are suing ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy for their effects on the environment and their negative contributions to climate change.

Up until this point climate change lawsuits have been limited to coastal cities worried about sea level rise.

However, these Colorado cities say they are feeling the negative effects of climate change, too, namely when it comes to snow loss.

“These impacts have already harmed Plaintiffs’ property and impacted the health, safety and welfare [of] their residents. The damages will only multiply as climate change worsens,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit claims “that fossil fuel combustion was causing a dramatic rise in the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere,” which causes “significant temperature changes” and “dramatic climatic changes.” Because of the increase in temperature, there is dwindling snowpack in the state, which is vital for Colorado’s agriculture, water supply and $5 billion ski industry.

The snowpack in the southern Colorado mountains was less than 50 percent of normal this month, InsideClimate News reported.

The rise in temperature increases the risk of wildfires, extreme summertime heat and droughts.

The dwindling snow also raises concerns about water flow to the Colorado river.

In the lawsuit, the Colorado plaintiffs claim Exxon and the Canadian oil sands company Suncor “substantially contributed to and exacerbated the impacts of human-caused climate change, thereby substantially contributing to Plaintiffs’ injuries.”

The counties also claim the companies violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, claiming the companies engaged in “deceptive trade practices.”

The lawsuit’s goal is not to stop or regulate the production of fossil fuels in Colorado. The plaintiffs are asking the companies “help remediate the nuisance caused by their intentional, reckless and negligent conduct, specifically by paying their share of the Plaintiffs’ abatement costs.”

These include costs related to damages from wildfires, flood control efforts, healthcare expenses and loss of land value.

“The costs should be shared by the Suncor and Exxon defendants because they knowingly and substantially contributed to the climate crisis by producing, promoting and selling a substantial portion of the fossil fuels that are causing and exacerbating climate change, while concealing and misrepresenting the dangers associated with their intended use,” the lawsuit states.

Suncor Energy did not respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg. However, Exxon spokesman Scott Silvestri told Bloomberg reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global concern that requires worldwide cooperation.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions,” Silvestri said. “Lawsuits like this — filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life — simply do not do that.”

Press Link for more: CNBC.COM


Climate Change in the American Mind #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Climate Change in the American Mind: March 2018

Executive Summary

This report documents an upward trend in Americans’ concern about global warming, as reflected in several key indicators tracked since 2008, including substantial increases in Americans’ certainty that global warming is happening and harming people in the United States now.

The proportion of Americans who are very worried about global warming has more than doubled since its lowest point in 2011. Increasing numbers of Americans say they have personally experienced global warming and that the issue is personally important to them.

Details on these and other measures of global warming beliefs and attitudes are described below:

• Seven in ten Americans (70%) think global warming is happening, an increase of seven percentage points since March 2015. Only about one in seven Americans (14%) think global warming is not happening. Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it is not by a 5 to 1 ratio.

• Americans are also becoming increasingly certain that global warming is happening – 49% are “extremely” or “very” sure it is happening, an increase of 12 percentage points since March 2015. By contrast, far fewer – 7% – are “extremely” or “very sure” global warming is not happening.

• Over half of Americans (58%) understand that global warming is mostly human-caused. By contrast, about three in ten (28%) say it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment.

• Only about one in seven Americans (15%) understand that nearly all climate scientists (more than 90%) have concluded that human-caused global warming is happening.

• About six in ten Americans (62%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. About one in five (21%) are “very worried” about it – nearly twice the proportion that were “very worried” in March 2015.

• Six in ten Americans are “interested” in global warming (62%). Fewer feel “disgusted” (47%) or “helpless” (45%). Only about four in ten are “hopeful” (41%).

• About six in ten Americans (61%) think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and three in ten think weather is being affected “a lot” (29%).

• Four in ten Americans (41%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming, an increase of 10 percentage points since March 2015.

• About four in ten Americans (39%) think people in the United States are being harmed by global warming “right now.” The proportion that believes people are being harmed “right now” has increased by seven percentage points since March 2015.

• Four in ten or more Americans think they (42%) or their family (47%) will be harmed by global warming. Even more think global warming will harm people in the U.S. (58%), people in developing countries (62%), the world’s poor (63%), future generations of people (71%) and/or plant and animal species (71%).

• About six in ten Americans (63%) say the issue of global warming is either “extremely” (10%), “very” (18%), or “somewhat” (35%) important to them personally, while more than one in three (37%) say it is either “not too” (22%) or “not at all” (15%) important personally. The proportion who say it is personally important has increased by seven percentage points since March 2015.

. Only about one in three Americans (35%) say they discuss global warming with family and friends “often” or “occasionally,” although this is an increase of nine percentage points since March 2015. However, more say they “rarely” or “never” discuss it (65%). Additionally, about one in four Americans (43%) say they hear about global warming in the media at least once a month, and one in five (20%) say they hear people they know talk about global warming at least once a month.

• Americans say there are many reasons why they don’t talk about global warming with their family and friends. About one in three say that they don’t talk about it because it never comes up in conversation (35%) and/or because they already all agree about global warming (33%). Fewer say they don’t know enough to talk about it (28%), their family and friends are not interested in it (27%), it is too political (26%), and/or it has never occurred to them to talk about it (25%).

• Half of Americans (50%) say they have thought “a lot” (20%) or “some” (30%) about global warming. The other half have thought about global warming just “a little” (34%) or “not at all” (16%).

• Few Americans are confident that humans will reduce global warming. About half (49%) say humans could reduce global warming, but it’s unclear at this point whether we will do what is necessary, and about one in five (22%) say we won’t reduce global warming because people are unwilling to change their behavior. Only 6% say humans can and will successfully reduce global warming.

• The most common reason why Americans want to reduce global warming is to provide a better life for our children and grandchildren – a reason selected by one in four Americans (24%). The next most common reasons are preventing the destruction of most life on the planet (16%) and protecting God’s creation (12%).

• Large majorities of Americans think of global warming as an environmental (74%), scientific (68%), agricultural (62%), severe weather (61%), health (60%), political (58%), and/or economic issue (57%). Fewer think it is a moral (41%), social justice (29%), poverty (28%), national security (25%), and/or religious issue (13%).

• A majority of Americans are worried about harm from extreme events in their local area including extreme heat (64%), droughts (61%), flooding (60%), and/or water shortages (52%).

Press link for more: Climate Change Communication

QLD Govt “rock solid” on 50% renewable target by 2030. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #NEG #ClimateChange

Palaszczuk Government wants Canberra’s energy cards on the table

The Palaszczuk Government wants to know the detailed impact of a proposed National Energy Guarantee — including on power prices and carbon emissions — before it will back it.

Speaking after today’s meeting of all state, territory and federal energy ministers in Melbourne, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Queensland supported the concept of an integrated climate and energy policy but had not been provided the information it needed to make a call.

“We support an end game of lower prices, lower emissions, an energy market that works for industry, and other Australians having the reliability of supply Queenslanders enjoy,” he said.

“But we still don’t have the detailed game plan to decide if the NEG is the way to get there.

“Queensland has agreed today to progress the NEG work so everyone can know the potential impact.

“The Palaszczuk Government will be carefully considering the additional information provided in advance of COAG in August, but remains concerned about the tight timeframes to finalise this framework.

“Importantly, we remain rock-solid in our commitment to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 and any NEG cannot impact on our target.”

Dr Lynham said other key matters were:

• mechanisms for future governments to fulfil their mandates to increase the national emissions target

• reassessment of the 2030 emissions reduction target for the electricity industry, as existing renewable energy growth means the industry will soon pass that target anyway and the energy sector remains best placed to deliver reductions in the carbon emissions for the broader economy

• with a tight August deadline for ministers to next meet and consider a complete proposal,  state, for Commonwealth and territory officials to meet regularly to flesh out missing details.

• More detail on the emissions target, impacts on emissions-intensive, trade-exposed export industries, offsets, state additionality, the setting of the reliability standard, market power mitigation and other technical matters.

The Queensland Government’s concerns about the NEG reflect input from key groups including the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Clean Energy Council, the Queensland Council of Social Services and environmental groups.

Dr Lynham said Queensland was in a solid position under a Labor government compared to other states.

“We have Australia’s youngest coal fired powered generators delivering reliable baseload power, coupled with a renewable energy boom, with more than $4 billion worth of renewable projects financially committed or under construction,” he said.

“Queensland has had the lowest wholesale electricity prices on the east coast for the past five months and our policies continue to place downward pressure on electricity prices.”


Media inquiries: Jan Martin 0439 341 314

Press link for more: Statements Qld Gov

With the Great Barrier Reef already dying due to climate change the 26% target put forward by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg seems pathetically inadequate.

It’s time we acted to protect our world heritage listed areas from global warming

The reality is Australian greenhouse gas emissions are rising under this do nothing government


Cane farmers should keep an eye on #StopAdani campaign. #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange

Why cane farmers should keep an eye on #StopAdani campaign

Troy Kippen

If the international environmentalist community focused on the Great Barrier Reef as a beacon for the impact of climate change, then cane growers could get caught up in that activism, a leading energy scientist has warned. WWF-Aus / Christian Miller

A LEADING energy scientist has sent a dire warning to cane growers, and it had nothing to do with electricity prices.

Farmers could be caught up in social activism, similar to the Stop Adani campaigns gripping the country, Professor Chris Grieg said.

Prof Grieg, who specialises in energy systems, was a keynote speaker at the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Conference in Mackay yesterday.

He said a short-term risk with climate change, for industry, is ‘snowballing activism’.

“The Adani case is a classic – where we’ve seen an absolutely intense focus on one company as the face of environmental activism.

If the international environmentalist community focused on the Great Barrier Reef as a beacon for the impact of climate change, then cane growers could get caught up in that activism, he warned.

“They have become extremely sophisticated, extremely powerful when they have a cause in mind.

“The Great Barrier Reef will be a target, especially as climate change affects the reef. You have to be aware of the sugar industry getting caught up in that.”

Prof Grieg said while there were models, there were many unknowns about the consequences of CO2 emissions and climate change, including social-economic impacts.

“(When the) OECD report came out it put a lot of pressure on us from the government and the community.

“At the moment the sugar industry is on the side of it, the coal industry is bearing the brunt of it (activism).

“Eventually it could be tagged to the sugar industry.”

The sugar industry had to be proactive and engaged to deal with activism if it arose, Prof Grieg said.

It had been seen before in the energy sector in the United States, with shale gas and coal.

The Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists annual conference will be at the MECC until Friday.

Press link for more: Daily Mercury

The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of Fish Diversity. #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange

The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of Fish Diversity After Bleaching Strikes

Scientists in Australia have documented how the composition of coral species affects the survival of fish populations following bleaching events.

As small fish key to coral health disappear, reefs’ resilience to future catastrophes could decline.

By Todd Woody

April 10, 2018

Todd Woody is executive editor for environment at News Deeply.

A veteran environmental journalist based in California, Todd previously served as editorial director for environment at TakePart, a digital magazine owned by Participant Media.

He formerly was the environment editor at Forbes magazine, a senior editor at Fortune magazine, an assistant managing editor at Business 2.0 magazine and the business editor of the San Jose Mercury News.

He has been a frequent contributor on environmental issues to The New York Times, The Atlantic, Quartz and other publications.

Clown fish at Lizard Island during the 2016 coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef.ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/Laura Richardson

When coral reefs turn deathly white as ocean temperatures spike, the kaleidoscope of marine life surrounding them dims, as well, becoming more functionally monochromatic and less ecologically diverse, according to researchers who studied a section of the Great Barrier Reef before, during and after a catastrophic coral bleaching event in 2016.

This “biotic homogenization” of fish populations could make coral reefs even less resilient as the frequency of climate change-induced coral bleaching accelerates, said Laura Richardson, lead author of the study published Thursday in the journal Global Change Biology.

Phd Students James Cook University Laura Richardson & Edmond Sacre

“In the case of our study, what we found was that prior to bleaching the fish communities among these different coral habitats varied quite substantially,” said Richardson, who conducted the research as a PhD student at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. “But by six months after the bleaching, the variation among these communities was almost entirely lost. If the abundance of particular species declines, you have less of these fishes carrying out important ecosystem functions.”

For instance, Richardson – now a postdoc at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom – and her colleagues documented declines in populations of damselfish and other small herbivorous fish following a bleaching event in February 2016. Water temperatures rose to 32.8 C (91 F) that month and the marine heat wave persisted for more than eight weeks. Damselfish and similar species are coral cleaners, removing algae and seaweed so that corals can thrive and then revive after a bleaching event.

“If a reef has fewer fishes carrying out particular functional roles or particular tasks in the ecosystem, then when there is ongoing disturbances such as bleaching events or storms, the ecosystem as a whole will be less resilient as they have less insurance to play with,” noted Richardson.

The study is the first to document biotic homogenization on coral reefs. Previous studies have shown that the apparent richness of wildlife in any given ecological community can mask a loss of diversity among ecosystems as species are shuffled due to various pressures, including climate change; this is sometimes called a hidden biodiversity crisis. In research published in 2015, scientists analyzed 29 years of surveys for North Atlantic groundfish that had begun in 1985. The researchers discovered that, off Scotland, “the species identity of colder northern localities increasingly resembles that of warmer southern localities.” The changing composition of fish communities tracked rising ocean temperatures, they noted.

Branching corals and small‐bodied reef fish are often more affected by coral bleaching. Pictured here, a bleached branching acroporid colony with associated reef fish, right next to a healthy (or yet to bleached) Porites colony, on Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef, in January 2016. (ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/ Laura Richardson)

“As long as species are not globally extinct this homogenization is potentially reversible,” the researchers wrote. “However, this crisis is largely unrecognized, and adds to the challenges already facing marine biodiversity.”

So to the casual snorkeler, even a bleached coral reef might look alive with an abundance of fish. But the numbers hide a uniformity. It’s like walking into a crowded cafe in San Francisco once patronized by artists, activists and surfers. It’s still packed but now everyone works for Twitter and is staring at a MacBook Air.

Richardson and her colleagues’ research has also has broken new ground on how the bleaching of specific species of coral affects the composition of fish populations.

She did not set out to study coral bleaching impacts when she began surveying fish populations or “assemblages” in September 2015 at 16 reef sites surrounding Lizard Island off Australia’s far northeast coast. “I went out to the island to look at how the different communities of coral influence the structure of different habitats,” Richardson said.

She and a colleague would jump in the water and establish survey transacts by attaching yellow tape at one end of a reef. “As the tape rolls out, the person who counts the fish goes first and counts all the fish within a 5m [16ft] belt along that transact,” Richardson said. “And the second person follows and counts the corals along the tape.”

Shortly after the team completed the surveys, scientists issued a warning of a coming bleaching event at the Great Barrier Reef. Richardson returned to Lizard Island in April 2016 to survey the same sites as the bleaching was in full swing.

As waters warm, corals expel their zooxanthellae, the symbiotic single-cell algae that provide them with nutrition and their eye-popping color in exchange for shelter in the coral polyp. Zooxanthellae can turn toxic to corals when water temperatures rise by as little as 1 C (1.8 F).

Bleaching at Lizard Island in 2016. Some species decline and others survive severe bleaching events. (ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/ Laura Richardson)

Six months after the bleaching episode ended, Richardson made a third trip to Lizard Island in October 2016 for another round of surveys at the 16 sites.

The scientists’ analysis concluded that the types of corals affected by bleaching had more consequence for certain fish species than the percentage of coral cover lost. The surveys from April 2016 showed that bleaching affected 51 percent of coral cover, but that branching corals were particularly hit hard.

“The fishes that we specifically noted that declined were the small-bodied reef fishes like the damselfishes and cardinal fishes that are really dependent on live branching coral for habitat – and they use those live branching coral as refuge from predation by larger reef fishes and also from environmental stresses like sunlight and strong currents,” said Richardson. “The loss of these live branching specialists meant that other fishes were able to take their place and use the reef space.”

The fish that disappeared tended to be small specialist species that filled a specific ecological niche. They were replaced by generalist species that could tolerate the coral ruin left by bleaching.

Richardson cautioned that the Lizard Island surveys offer a “short-term snapshot” of the impact of coral bleaching on fish populations. “Corals are highly dynamic systems and they can change a lot.” Still, she said, “In the paper we advise that managers will benefit by taking note of coral species composition as that’s likely to affect the fishes that you find there and that’s likely to affect the overall resilience of those coral reef ecosystems.”

Press link for more: News Deeply

95% of worlds population breathe dangerous air! #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

More than 95% of world’s population breathe dangerous air, major study finds

Poorest are hardest hit with many developing countries falling behind on cleaning up toxic air pollution

Fiona HarveyLast modified on Wed 18 Apr 2018 04.24 AEST

More than 95% of the world’s population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly, a comprehensive study of global air pollution has found.

Cities are home to an increasing majority of the world’s people, exposing billions to unsafe air, particularly in developing countries, but in rural areas the risk of indoor air pollution is often caused by burning solid fuels. One in three people worldwide faces the double whammy of unsafe air both indoors and out.

The report by the Health Effects Institute used new findings such as satellite data and better monitoring to estimate the numbers of people exposed to air polluted above the levels deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. This exposure has made air pollution the fourth highest cause of death globally, after high blood pressure, diet and smoking, and the greatest environmental health risk.

Experts estimate that exposure to air pollution contributed to more than 6m deaths worldwide last year, playing a role in increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, lung cancer and chronic lung disease. China and India accounted for more than half of the death toll.

Burning solid fuel such as coal or biomass in their homes for cooking or heating exposed 2.6 billion people to indoor air pollution in 2016, the report found. Indoor air pollution can also affect air quality in the surrounding area, with this effect contributing to one in four pollution deaths in India and nearly one in five in China.

Bob O’Keefe, vice-president of the institute, said the gap between the most polluted air on the planet and the least polluted was striking. While developed countries have made moves to clean up, many developing countries have fallen further behind while seeking economic growth.

He said there was now an 11-fold gap between the most polluted and least polluted areas, compared with a six-fold gap in 1990. “Air pollution control systems still lag behind economic development [in poorer nations],” he said.

But he added: “There are reasons for optimism, though there is a long way to go. China seems to be now moving pretty aggressively, for instance in cutting coal and on stronger controls. India has really begun to step up on indoor air pollution, for instance through the provision of LPG [liquefied petroleum gas] as a cooking fuel, and through electrification.”

The number of people exposed to indoor air pollution from burning solid fuels has fallen from an estimated 3.6 billion around the world in 1990 to about 2.4 billion today, despite a rising population.

Emissions from transport are a growing concern, however, as road traffic increases. Diesel fuel is a leading cause of air pollution in some rich countries, including the UK, but in poorer countries the often decrepit state of many vehicles means petrol-driven engines can be just as bad in their outputs, especially of the fine particulate matter blamed for millions of deaths a year.

O’Keefe said governments were under increasing pressure to deal with the problems through regulation and controls, and hailed internet access as having a significant impact.

“Social media has been very important, as a growing number of people have access to it and to data and discussions [on air pollution]. People now have the ability to worry about not just the food they eat and a roof over the head, but they have the means to discuss [issues] in public,” he said.

Tuesday’s report reinforces an increasing volume of data in recent years that has shown how air pollution is increasing and causing deaths. More data has become available in the past decade from satellites and on-the-ground monitoring, while large-scale studies have revealed more of the health risks arising from breathing dirty air, which rarely kills people directly but is now known to contribute to other causes of death.

Press link for more: The Guardian

Dear Mr Adani “Invest in Solar not Coal. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange


For our common home

Dear Mr Adani,

We are leaders from many faith traditions and communities across Australia. We are writing to you to ask you to abandon your proposed mine and instead use the same money to invest in solar energy in North Queensland.

Our common home, the Earth, is now in great danger due to the effects of our actions as human beings on the climate. On this point the scientific community is united. Today, we too are united as people of faith.

Let us be clear. We are not merely opposed to this one mine. We are opposed to all new coal development in the Galilee Basin. We are at a crossroads. One way lies destruction; the other way, sanity. We need to turn immediately in the direction of a stable and compassionate future based on ambitious investment in renewable energy.

We wish to stress that we strongly support good local jobs. Yet people need jobs with a realistic future. Grasping at short-term profits from a thermal coal industry in worldwide structural decline will not provide this. Meanwhile, investment in renewables is booming. And the evidence shows that investment in renewable energy creates far more jobs per dollar than coal does. Coal communities need serious investment to make the transition from the dirty energy of the past to the clean energy of the future.

This mine would also create far fewer than the 10,000 jobs you have claimed. Your own economist stated under oath in the Queensland Land Court that the average number of new jobs per year would be around 1464. Likewise, your Australian CEO has said that “everything will be autonomous from mine to port”. This is no recipe for jobs.

We are very concerned that there is nothing approaching a broad acceptance of the use of the land for the mine from the indigenous peoples in the area. This is abundantly clear from the longstanding legal opposition on the part of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council.

We know that this mine would use huge volumes of scarce water from the Great Artesian Basin. This ‘Pearl of Great Price’ is an ancient and precious source of water and must not be squandered. The effects on farmers and on our ecosystems would be too great.

For thousands of years, our traditions have taught us to care for the Earth. This responsibility is now extremely urgent. And it is those least responsible for this threat that suffer the greatest impacts of a warming climate.

Here in Australia this moral responsibility is inescapable. By itself, the amount of carbon dioxide from burning the coal in the Galilee Basin would be one tenth of what the whole world can ever emit if we are to avoid the safe upper limit in temperature before many island nations and coastal cities start to disappear (1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels). This is already starting to happen. Australians in the Torres Strait Islands are already suffering serious inundation as are our close neighbours in Kiribati and Tuvalu. It would lead to many more bushfires, droughts, cyclones and floods both here and all over the world. Already we see the impending loss of the famous Great Barrier Reef, a place of magnificent beauty, full of life and astonishing colour, which has experienced back-to-back yearly coral bleaching. The single largest and overriding cause of this is climate change. The reef is World Heritage listed – and the world is watching. Such an increase in temperature also poses serious security risks as world civilisation starts to feel the strain of so many natural disasters.

Your own mine would emit a staggering five billion tonnes of CO2.

Our love and concern for the wellbeing of people, other forms of life and our planet leaves us convinced that building this mine would be a giant leap in a very dangerous direction. We therefore call on you to abandon it and to work instead with state and federal governments to invest in good local jobs in solar and wind. You have the capacity to do enormous good.

Protecting our common home and all those who live here is an essential part of each of our faiths. We each ask the faith communities to which we belong to join us in creating this future. An easy first step is to support the Sun Powered Queensland campaign for an ambitious target for solar energy. We also ask our communities to contact the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, who have organised this letter, to help them in their work.

Yours in peace,

Bishop Philip Huggins, Anglican Church, President, National Council of Churches, Australia

Dr Rateb Jneid, President, Muslims Australia

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane

Jeffrey B. Kamins OAM, Senior Rabbi, Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra

Sheik Riad Galil OAM, Senior Imam, West Heidelberg Mosque

Bhante Sujato, Project Leader, Sutta Central

Reverend Dr Denis Edwards, Professorial Fellow, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, Adelaide Campus

The Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Jewish Ecological Coalition, Board member, ARRCC

The Reverend Dr Jo Inkpin, Lecturer in Theology & Senior Tutor and Anglican Priest, St Francis College, Brisbane

The Reverend Dr Patrick McInerney, Columban Coordinator NSW

Professor Gerard Moore, Academic Dean, United Theological College, Associate Head of School of Theology, Charles Sturt University

Rev Brian Vale, Regional Director, Missionary Society of St Columban, ANZ Region

Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp, Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia (ISRA)

Reverend Dr Jason John, Uniting Earth Ministry, Uniting Church NSWACT

Reverend Dr Ormond Rush, Associate Professor and Reader, Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Dr Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Father Claude Mostowik MSC, President, Pax Christi Australia, Director, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre (Australia)

Pastor Darren Cronshaw, Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership, Australian College of Ministries, Pastor, Auburn Life Baptist Church

Reverend Alex Sangster, Uniting Church Minister, Fairfield

Reverend Rex Graham, Uniting Church Minister, Wollongong

Pastor Jarrod McKenna, Cornerstone Church, Perth

Reverend John Brentnall, Chairperson, Uniting Eco Group

Sister Barbara Daniel PBVM, Presentation Sisters

Sister Elizabeth Young RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Elaine Wainwright RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Caroline Vaitkunas RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Claudette Cusack RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Mary Tinney RSM, Sisters of Mercy, Earth Link

Sister Marie Britza RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Veronica Lawson RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Julie O’Brien RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Barbara Bolster RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Tricia Nugent RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Ruth Wyatte RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Ana Freeman, Rahahim Ecology Centre

Dharmachari Arthacarya, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Buddhankapali, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Dantachitta, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Dharmalata, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Dharmamati, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Dharmamodini, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Dharmananda, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Hrdayaja, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Khemayogini, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Maitripala, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Nagasuri, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Nandavani, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Prakashika, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Saddhavijaya, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Samacitta, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Shubhavyuha, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Siladasa, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Sudaya, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Tejopala, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Vimoksalehi, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Vimuttinandi, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Moksavajra, Triratna Buddhist Order

Ms Thea Ormerod, President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)

The public is invited to contribute to ARRCC’s current fund-raiser. Click here to view the video and donation page.


Climate Change must be part of the #Energy debate. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

At some point, climate change must be injected into the energy debate

Peter Hannam16 April 2018 — 12:01am

Even before the weekend heatwave and the unseasonable Sydney bushfires in mid-April, the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate experts had clearly seen enough.

The bureau broke with tradition at the end of last week and released a Special Climate Statement, before the remarkable autumn heatwave of 2018 had fully subsided.

With more records since, an update is likely within days.

Notable numbers include Australia beat its previous hottest April day by more than 0.6 degrees, with the whole country averaging just a tad under 35 degrees on April 9.

During the event, Victoria broke its April record for heat and set its 10 hottest April day-time temperatures at various sites.

For NSW, it was six out of the top 10 hottest April days, including the state’s first two readings in April above 40 degrees.

Sydney not only had its hottest April day with 35.4 degrees on April 9, but backed it up with a trio of days above 30 degrees. The last of the three coincided with the ignition of a dangerous fire that threatened south-western suburbs and the Holsworthy army base.

Record heat has seared much of southern Australia since the start of April.

Photo: Nick Moir

Given the heatwave unfolded during days when Australia’s energy future is being widely thrashed out in the media and by politicians, it’s surprising that climate change has barely earned a mention.

That included during Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s mid-week speech to the National Press Club in Canberra to promote his National Energy Guarantee. Debate is likely to continue through this week too, ahead of the meeting of Council of Australian Governments’ energy ministers in Melbourne on Friday.

And yet, Frydenberg has largely avoided talking about climate change of late at all, and nor is he asked.

Wind whips up the dust over a dry farm in the Deniliquin region – a region that baked again on Wednesday.

Photo: Nick Moir

To be sure, determining the precise link between individual extreme weather events and climate change is complex, including this bizarre weather of late.

But attribution studies are advancing and heat events are among the clearest signals of global warming’s human hand we have.

And it’s not as though there is a paucity of climate change news elsewhere.

Last week, we learned of research showing warmer temperatures are melting snow during summer in some Alaskan mountains at 60 times the rate compared with 150 years ago.

Marine heatwaves are increasing at an accelerated pace, and there is more evidence the Gulf Stream that helps keep northern Europe’s climate relatively mild is weakening, losing about 15 per cent since the mid-20th century.

This week, there will likely be more news about the threats facing our coral reefs.

It should not be an outlandish question to ask Tony Abbott and other conservative politicians, when they call for “pensioners over Paris”, why our commitment to the 2015 climate agreement signed in France should be shed like a suit of lycra at the first hint of a cost to consumers.

Similarly, any leader calling for the extension of an ailing coal-fired power station (and Australia has more than its share of inefficient clunkers), or the opening of a giant new coal mine or coal seam gas province, should have to explain how that helps get Australia get to net zero emissions by 2050.

That’s not just the implied target from Paris, but also the legislated goal of Victoria and even the notional one of Coalition-led NSW.

Peter Hannam is Environment Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald. He covers broad environmental issues ranging from climate change to renewable energy for Fairfax Media.

Press link for more: SMH.COM

Time to abandon economic growth #auspol #qldpol

It’s Time To Abandon Economic Growth As The Only Indicator Of Success

Instead, we need systems that focus on regenerating our planet, and equitably distributing its resources.

The story of mankind that we most like to tell ourselves is one of growth, says economist Kate Raworth at TED 2018 in Vancouver.

We’re all used to that image of the silhouettes, marching forward from ape to fully-upright human. “

“We readily believe that economic progress will take the same shape–an ever-rising line of growth,” Raworth says.


That, she says, will be a difficult shift to bring about. “We’re financially, politically, and socially addicted to growth,” Raworth says.

Perhaps no one better enshrined our dependence on GDP than the economist Walter Rostow, whose 1960 book, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto outlined the “ideal” trajectory for a country’s development, using a rather blunt airplane metaphor.

Countries prepare for takeoff by building up institutions and banks, which continue to grow until the country truly takes off and reaches peak prosperity and mass consumption. “But this plane is never allowed to land,” Raworth says. “Rostow left us flying into the sunset of mass consumerism.”

In other words, Rostow left no space to imagine a country driven to succeed by any metric other than that of continual growth.

That, Raworth says, has created a system that prioritizes GDP over the health of the planet and the well-being of the people who inhabit it, and that, she says, is fundamentally unsustainable.

“Humanity’s 21st-century challenge is clear: To meet the needs of all people,” Raworth says. “Progress on this goal is not going to be measured by money–we need a dashboard of indicators.”

When Raworth drew up a diagram of how those indicators might interact, it ended up looking like a donut (she wrote a book last year called Donut Economics, explaining her theory).

On the inner ring of this donut are things that are crucial to our survival and our societies: water, energy, food, health, housing, social equity, education, income, and work.

At the outer edge are the potential consequences of achieving these things: climate change, freshwater withdrawals, biodiversity loss, air pollution, ocean acidification, land conversion, nitrogen and phosphorous loading.

Between the two border rings, though, Raworth draws a middle ground she calls “the safe and just space for humanity.”

That safe space falls right between our social foundation (the base layer of resources we need to survive) and our ecological ceiling (the amount of resources we can extract from the world while still allowing it to regenerate).

Currently, we’re overtaxing the Earth’s resources: We’re already seeing the effects of climate change, nitrogen and phosphorous loading, land conversion, and biodiversity loss. Yet at the same time, we’re failing to meet the needs that keep our foundation strong, because our economy is structured in such a way as to funnel resources and wealth toward people who already possess it. Our current growth-driven strategy will only exacerbate this dynamic.

What Raworth is calling for is an “economy that tackles this shortfall and overshoot together, by design.” She imagines implementing regenerative systems at scale–things like universal basic income and renewable energy–while ensuring that our systems and governments prioritizing distributing resources, rather than hoarding them in the name of growth. “If we can harness today’s technology in service of distributive design, we can ensure that healthcare, political voice, financial resources reach and empower people,” she says.

Why is it, Raworth wonders, that we understand that when another human tells us, “I have a growth,” we know that indicates a health failure? “When something tries to grow forever within a healthy, thriving system, it’s a threat to the whole,” she says. “Why do we imagine our economies can buck this trend and grow forever?”

Press link for more Fast Company.com

Doughnut Economics with Kate Raworth #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani A vision for a sustainable economy. #SDGs

Doughnut Economics with Kate Raworth

On Nightlife with Philip Clark

Looking around today you might wonder whether just how much dissent there is in the field of economics?

Economists seem mostly convinced, that economic growth is king and that dampening growth will have devastating consequences for us all: the link between jobs and growth and a high standard of living is apparently unbreakable.

But is there another way to think about the economy?

Kate Raworth joined us from the BBC Studios in Oxford –

She’s the author of a book called Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist and she’s developed the idea of ‘doughnut economics’ now being talked about around the world.

Duration: 50min 49sec

Broadcast: Tue 20 Mar 2018, 10:00pm

Press link for more: ABC.NET.AU