Media is missing climate in heatwave story

By Simon Divecha, University of Adelaide

As Australia stares at “a once-in-20 or 30-year heatwave”, with temperatures over 40 degrees, it is likely that more extreme weather events similar to this are in store for us. The probability of this occurring is well researched. (For example, Professor Barry Brook has previously outlined Adelaide’s situation.)

Australia’s media largely fails to link climate change to the heat. There have been more than 800 articles in the last five days covering the heatwave. Fewer than ten of these also discuss “climate change”, “greenhouse gas”, carbon or “global warming” (from a 3 -7 January 2013 Factiva news source search conducted on 7 January at 4pm). Continue reading “Media is missing climate in heatwave story”

Scientists predict US$2trn cost to ocean economies

Siliconrepublic.com, March 22, 2012.  Scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) have released a new study that has placed the effects of climate change on the world’s ocean ecosystems under the spotlight. They predict climate change alone could reduce the economic value of key ocean services by up to US$2trn a year by 2100.

The scientists are now calling for a global, integrated approach to protect oceans from converging threats.
Continue reading “Scientists predict US$2trn cost to ocean economies”

Pacific leaders identify climate change as a major priority.

AUCKLAND (AFP) – Pacific leaders identified climate change as the greatest threat to the region, ordering officials to start work on plans to help people forced to relocate by rising sea levels.

The 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday said the impact of climate change was already apparent in countries such as Kiribati, where some villagers have had to abandon their homes as the seas rise, and finance was needed to help them. Continue reading “Pacific leaders identify climate change as a major priority.”

Jim Hansen’s Conservative Climate Plan

I found this post by Jim Dipeso (shown), from almost a year ago (October 2010).  It reminds us that the carbon tax is not a left-leaning proposition, and in fact is much more consistent with conservative ideology.  Here in Australia, we have it quite back-to-front in a spectacular way.  Opposition Leader Tony Abbott from our conservative Liberal National Party coalition supports direct action (Government intervention), while Prime Minister Julia Gillard is pushing a carbon tax, which depends on the dynamics of business markets to solve the problem.  Maybe they should elect for a re-start, shake hands and swap policies.  It is too confusing otherwise!

There is what Jim Dipeso said on a Republican website in the United States:

As a climate change activist, climatologist Jim Hansen takes his activism a step beyond where most would be willing to go.  Continue reading “Jim Hansen’s Conservative Climate Plan”

Hoodwinking the public with faulty information

By Hans Hoegh-Guldberg, Economic Strategies, Australia.

A few months ago on this blog I reviewed the current alarming state of climate change denial pushed by big business interests,  which scientists need to debate vigorously beyond uttering the evident truth that climate change is real. The Australian government, supported by the Greens and independent members, has “committed” itself to a carbon tax, or what Treasurer Wayne Swan now calls an interim price on carbon as a step towards a future emissions trading scheme. Scientists need to help support, explain and strengthen this initiative.

The proposal is good news but there is still a long way to go, with the opposition promising to fight “the great big tax on everything” all the way. The Coalition fails to mention that the proposed price on carbon will be combined with measures to support lower-income groups, small businesses, and renewable energy.  Voters need to understand that structural change in the taxation and subsidy system is part and parcel of what must happen. Estimates of a $300 electricity price hike, petrol  costs rising by 6.5 cents a litre, and $150 increases in the annual gas bill that have been canvassed by Coalition members such as Greg Hunt are premature when nothing has yet been decided on the carbon price, or the associated reforms. An extensive consultative process will follow, in which scientists have an evident role.

Continue reading “Hoodwinking the public with faulty information”

Why was it so cold in Europe and North America if climate change is meant to be real?

We have seen record cold weather over the past few months in Europe and North America.  I keep getting asked:  why is this so if climate change is meant to be happening?  Our inept denialist ‘friends’ continue to trumpet this as evidence that climate change is not happening.  The experts, however, think very differently.  Here … Continue reading Why was it so cold in Europe and North America if climate change is meant to be real?