a bargain at $40 billion

Australia could move to 100 per cent renewable energy within a decade if it spent heavily on cutting-edge solar thermal and wind technology, according to an analysis released as part of a community bid to redirect the flailing climate policy debate.

The shift would require the annual investment of up to $40 billion – roughly 3.5 per cent of national GDP – with the largest chunk going towards solar thermal power plants that used molten-salt heat storage to allow power generation to continue without sunlight.

Sydney Morning Herald, 15 Feb 2010

Public transportation takes us there!

There are many different measures that we all can take to reduce global warming, however the most popular method that we can do this is to take public transportation.

In recent studies, conclusive evidence indicates that transportation by way of personal vehicles accounts for well over one fourth of all of the emissions of carbon dioxide in the country today. However, public transportation has resulted in many different types of savings.

These savings include just over one billion gallons of fuel, as well as one and a half million tons of the dangerous emissions of carbon dioxide on a yearly basis.

Green Life,1 May 2009

VisitBritain gets a boost

Climate change could “dramatically” change the face of British tourism in the next 20 years, with European tourists flocking to the UK to escape unbearably hot continental summers, experts say.

Research shows that European tourists may choose to holiday in Britain as resorts nearer to home become too hot. Weather changes may provide revival opportunities for northern seaside towns such as Blackpool and put new strains on roads and development in southern coastal resorts, a study in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism said.

Academic David Viner, a researcher at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in Norwich, produced the report after analysing the work of experts around the globe.

“The likelihood [is] that Mediterranean summers may be too hot for tourists after 2020, as a result of too much heat and water shortages,” the study said.

There were “opportunities for the revival of northern European resorts, including Blackpool, in the next 20 years, as climate change and rising transport costs offer new holiday opportunities,” it said.

The Guardian, 29 Jul 2006

less call for call girls

Global warming and increasing temperatures will cause decreasing birthrates and lower paychecks for prostitutes. Researchers have released a study that suggests that higher temperatures make for lower sex drives.

The study, conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that birth rates have had a tremendous decline nine months after a particularly hot day, going down as much as 0.7% as cooler days.

From this they drew two conclusions: either heat reduces fertility or less desire to have sex.

The team also found that days with temperatures exceeding 80 degrees result in a significant decline in birth rate 8-10 months later, though they rebound after a few months.

Clapway, 6 Nov 2015

choosy cattle

Most climate models paint a bleak picture of the Great Plains a century from now as a hot region besieged by heavy rainstorms and flooding.

And new studies suggest that climate change may bring farmers another headache: more invasive plants. And they can’t count on cattle to gobble them up. Depending on the plant, most cattle either don’t want to eat it or could get sick if they do.

“You kinda have to teach them about a new plant,” says Ellen Nelson, a rancher in north-central Colorado who has a weed problem. “I’ve gotten some of them to eat some, but in general, that’s a hard one.” npr.org, 25 Mar 2014

destruction by thirds

Global warming presents the gravest threat to life on Earth in all of human history.

The planet is warming to a degree beyond what many species can handle, altering or eliminating habitat, reducing food sources, causing drought and other species-harming severe weather events, and even directly killing species that simply can’t stand the heat.

In fact, scientists predict that if we keep going along our current greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, climate change will cause more than a third of the Earth’s animal and plant species to face extinction by 2050 — and up to 70 percent by the end of the century.

Center for Biological Diversity, 20 Dec 2008

nuclear on the march

Nuclear power is back on the march. Reviled and rejected for 25 years as man’s most dangerous and unsustainable fuel source, its friends are now billing nuclear power as the only practical way of countering climate change, oil shocks and landscape destruction in the west.

So, is it possible that public opinion is wrong, and that nuclear should be the fuel of choice of the future? Absolutely, says Tony Blair, who last month told MPs that America was pressing Britain to re-examine the case for building a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Nuclear must stay on the agenda “if you are serious about the issue of climate change”.

Definitely, says the independent scientist James Lovelock, who has repeated his lifelong support for nuclear energy and recently argued that civilisation is in “imminent danger” from global warming and must use nuclear power – “the one safe, available, energy source” – to avoid catastrophe.

Perhaps, say some of Britain’s leading environmental thinkers, who are calling for a debate about whether nuclear needs to be reassessed, and whether it should even be compared to other forms of renewable energy.

The Guardian, 12/8/04

tsunami to hit Britain!

It was not just the warming of the sea that was the problem, added Professor Mark Maslin of UCL.

As the ice around Greenland and Antarctica melted, sediments would pour off land masses and cliffs would crumble, triggering underwater landslides that would break open more hydrate reserves on the sea-bed. Again there would be a jump in global warming.

“These are key issues that we will have to investigate over the next few years,” he said.

There is also a danger of earthquakes, triggered by disintegrating glaciers, causing tsunamis off Chile, New Zealand and Newfoundland in Canada, Nasa scientist Tony Song will tell the conference.

The last on this list could even send a tsunami across the Atlantic, one that might reach British shores.

The Guardian, 6 Sep 2009

see also – just plain scary

early bird

Allen Hurlbert and Zhongfei Liang used more than 48 million observations from amateur birdwatchers to conclude that every 1.8-degree rise in temperature makes birds reach their migration milestones 0.8 days earlier on average (though much more for some species in some locations).

That’s less than 11 hours per degree, so who gives a titmouse’s mouse tit? Well, birds do, or would if they had brains big enough to contain a large-scale self-preservation instinct.

Says Hurlbert: Timing of bird migration is something critical for the overall health of bird species. They have to time it right so they can balance arriving on breeding grounds after there’s no longer a risk of severe winter conditions.

If they get it wrong, they may die or may not produce as many young. A change in migration could begin to contribute to population decline, putting many species at risk for extinction.

CounterCurrents.org, 4 Mar 2012

Why a duck?

The gradual warming of the Upper Midwest could cut the duck population in half as early as 2050, according to a new study published in the journal BioScience.

The study looked at how climate change could affect the Upper Midwest, where North America’s best duck breeding grounds are, over the next 50 to 100 years.

The study’s predictions left Duluth conservationist Dave Zentner dumbfounded. Zentner coordinated a rally for ducks, wetlands and clean water in April that drew an estimated 4,000 people to the state Capitol.

He said wetland losses should concern hunters and anyone else who cares about trumpeter swans, gulls, terns, bitterns, night herons and other wildlife that depend on wetlands. I would hope that duck hunters would take this seriously and realize that this is not far-fetched theory, he said.

“This is a real threat and the country needs to develop policies for it.”

USA Today, 29 Nov 2005

ban outdoor heaters!

A call for a ban on outdoor heaters has been backed by the European Parliament. MEPs voted to endorse a report that says a timetable should be set to phase out patio heaters, as well as standby modes on televisions.

Report author Fiona Hall – a British MEP – says significant steps have to be taken to cut CO2 emissions, and a ban should at least be considered.

Many people are already aware that patio heaters produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide, she said. It’s important that we at least look into taking them off the market.

BBCNews, 31 Jan 2008

build in wood!

Wood and Green Building. Promotion of wood products can act as a greener alternative to more fossel-fuel intensive materials. Substituting a cubic metre of wood for other construction materials (concrete, blocks or bricks) results in the significant average of 075 to 1 tonne of CO2 savings.

International Institute for Environment and Development, Using Wood products to mitigate climate change, 2004, Canadian Wood Council download, 23 Aug 2007

take your pick

But there are some who literally worry themselves sick over the environment, and those people have what is known as eco-anxiety.

These people obsess over the environmental impact of everything they do, to the extent that they lay awake at night worrying about that jar they accidentally threw away instead of recycling, or what sorts of environmental catastrophes their unborn grandchildren will be dealing with.

As you can imagine, there are some people who believe eco-anxiety is ridiculous. It would be easy to write it off as the “disease du jour,” nothing more than an excuse people could use to seek attention.

While that’s certainly possible, I’m inclined to take it a bit more seriously — after all, anxiety is a common and serious affliction, and there’s plenty out there to overwhelm any of us.

The Greenists, 4 May 2009

save the camels!

The world’s association of camel scientists fought back angrily over Australian plans to kill wild dromedaries on the grounds that their flatulence adds to global warming.

The idea is “false and stupid… a scientific aberration”, the International Society of Camelid Research and Development (ISOCARD) said yesterday, adding the animals were being made culprits for a man-made problem.

We believe that the good-hearted people and innovating nation of Australia can come up with better and smarter solutions than eradicating camels in inhumane ways, it said.

The kill-a-camel suggestion is floated in a paper distributed by Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, as part of consultations for reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

The scheme is the brainchild of an Adelaide-based commercial company, Northwest Carbon, a land and animal management consultancy, which proposes whacking feral camels in exchange for carbon credits. The Herald Sun, 5 Jul 2011

people in …

As the country faces acute power shortage and the global warming debate hots up, energy conservationists caution against growing number of buildings with glass facades dotting the landscapes of cities as being responsible for energy consumption much in excess that a normal structure would do.

If you see the structures that have come up recently, they are all mostly made with glass. Right from top to below, you can see huge shinning glass.

Though these buildings look very contemporary and stylish, they are the biggest culprit when it comes to energy consumption, says Harsh Narang, director, Modern India Architects.

Glass building are a very European concept because they don’t get much of sunlight. Hence, their main aim is to get maximum sunlight. But, in our country where temperatures at times go as high as 50 degrees Celcius, these glasses take in more of sunlight.

Hence, the offices use more air-conditioners directly resulting in higher consumption of electricity and also in the form of carbon-dioxide emission and also CFCs that air-conditioners generate causing damage to the ozone layer, he adds.

According to a study conducted by Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, London, a complete glass building consumes four times more electricity than a normal building.

Rediff India Abroad, 12 Jun 2007

eco-discount

A Berlin brothel is claiming the title of Germany’s first “green” sex establishment after offering clients eco-discounts if they can prove they arrived by bicycle or public transport.

The concept has been dreamed up by the Maison d’Envie (House of Desire) brothel in the city’s fashionable Prenzlauer Berg district where Germany’s Green party won 46 per cent of the vote in last month’s general election.

Regina Goetz, the former prostitute who runs the establishment, explained yesterday: “The environment is on everyone’s lips around here and it’s pretty hard to find a parking space, so we came up with the idea of an eco-discount of €5 (£4.60) for anyone who leaves the car at home.”

The Independent, 16 Oct 2009

Arthur or Martha?

Temperature, that is to say, the weather, can affect the determination of sex in insect offspring, says new research out of the University of Montreal in Canada.

According to a study led by Joffrey Moiroux and Jacques Brodeur of the school’s Department of Biological Sciences, and published in the May issue of the journal Animal Behaviour, an insect will either have a male or female offspring depending on how hot or cold the climate happens to be.

“We know that climate affects the reproductive behavior of insects. But we never clearly demonstrated the effects of climate change on sex allocation in parasitoids,” Moiroux said in a news release.

Heat Is Online, 23 May 2014 – The Latin Post

bicycle spectacle

Wearing nothing but their causes, 30 naked cyclists hit Newcastle streets yesterday in a very visual protest.

Some found them appalling, others appealing, but whatever the personal impressions of the naturists activists, it was their messages splashed across their brightly painted bodies that gained the most attention.

Newcastle’s staging of the World Naked Bike Ride, dubbed Nudecastle 2008, was a huge success organiser Marte Kinder said. The group protested for environmental accountability, climate change action and anti-war causes.

Clothing was optional with some riders preferring to keep sensitive areas covered, while for others body paint did the trick, organiser Mr Kinder said.

Newcastle Herald (Australia), 10 Mar 2008 – screen copy held by this website

thinner shellfish shells

The number of shelled creatures in the ocean is truly dizzying. And we need them — they are keystone species for everything from building coral reefs to anchoring the ocean food chain to making a killer linguine and clam sauce.

But as carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere, ocean water becomes more acidic. And shellfish have trouble growing their shells.

Scientists have worried for years about ocean acidification affecting shelled creatures in the future, but according to a new study, it’s already happening, and has been for over a hundred years.

Led by Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University in New York, a team of researchers grew Northern quahog clams and Atlantic bay scallops under varying CO2 concentrations. What was surprising was how sensitive the animals were to increasing CO2.

In the researchers’ experiment, that was already enough to stunt shellfishes’ growth and make their shells thinner.

Heat Is Online, 1 Oct 2010 – Discovery.com

red squirrels jump the gun

University of Alberta researchers recently concluded a 10-year study showing that red squirrels in the Yukon are reproducing earlier in the year in response to global warming and thus being genetically affected by it.

The researchers, who studied the mating habits and DNA of more than 5,000 female red squirrels, found that litters were being born an average of three weeks earlier than they historically had been.

We’ve been the first to show that this is a genetic change … and not just behavioral change, professor Stan Boutin, who led the team that conducted the study, told a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter. Heat Is Online – originally Discover.com, July 23 2003

global catastrophe!

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters.

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.

The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents. An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is ‘plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately’, they conclude.

As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

The Guardian, 22 Feb 2004

putting the squeeze on Salamanders

Wild salamanders that live in the Appalachian Mountains are shrinking because they must burn more energy as the local climate gets hotter and drier, according to a new study.

Researchers found that the salamanders they collected between 1980 and 2012 were 8 percent smaller than those collected in earlier decades, starting in 1957.

The findings confirm predictions that some species will shrink in response to climate change. The climate where the salamanders live has gotten warmer and drier, researchers said.

We compared the size of the museum specimens to the current animals and we were surprised to see that, in fact, many species has become smaller over just a 50- to 60-year period, said study author Karen Lips, a biologist at the University of Maryland.

Heat Is Online, 11 Apr 2014 – Livescience.com

stay-at-home brants

Scientists have documented that increasing numbers of black brant are skipping that far southern migration and staying in Alaska instead.

Fewer than 3,000 wintered in Alaska before 1977. In recent years, however, more than 40,000 have remained north, with as many as 50,000 staying there last year, during the most ice-free winter that the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge had seen in more than a decade.

The temperatures now in winter are much warmer, said David Ward, a researcher at U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center, who conducted the research along with scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“In years past you’d often have ice that would build up in these lagoons, and the eelgrass would be unavailable for the winter period. But now that’s changing.”

Heat Is Online, 30 Oct 2014 – Environmental Health News

cool shades

A proposal to reverse climate change by placing mirrors in the sky to reflect sunlight away from Earth won’t give us back the same climate we had before we started emitting so much carbon dioxide, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom applied state-of-the-art global climate models to predict the effect of using reflective sunshades to send a fraction of the sunlight that enters Earth’s atmosphere back into space before it can heat things up.

Although we managed to cancel out warming on a global average, what you end up with is some areas that warm up and some that cool down, said Dan Lunt, who led the study, published in Geophysical Research Letters. Heat Is Online – originally Discovery.com, July 8, 2008

drawing the line

In Sydney’s Elanora Heights, Dick Clarke, 50, a building designer, lives with his wife, Bronwyn, and two of his three sons (Peter, 20, and Tim, 17) in an environmentally friendly house.

Clarke’s upstairs home office, perched among gently swaying melaleucas, is a kind of nest for the sustainable man. “A sustainabe lifestyle guides so much of what I do,” says Clarke. “But it’s a journey with no end point.

You have to come to grips with where you want to draw the line. we have water tanks, solar power, but we don’t grow any food, which is a priority if you want to live sustainably. But I can’t do a vege patch, I work 18 hours a day.”

Clarke seems to have an involuntary reflex that switches off lights and computers a he moves through his house.

“Things seem to magically turn on as the kids walk past,” he says, shaking his head.

“They call me an eco-nazi. Sometimes I lose it and hide the amp lead, take lights away from them. But sometimes you have to turn a blind eye to a 20-minute shower.”

The Sun Herald (Sydney), 29 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

take a train today!

Greenpeace propelled airline travel into the headlines as a climate change issue when it offered airline passengers free train tickets if they would give up their seats in Britain in June.

The lobby group argued that the main problem with flying was the growth in short-haul flights. It predicted that by 2050 emissions from aviation could wipe out emissions savings made by every other industry combined. Sydney Morning Herald, 17 Oct 2007

not all bad news!

Belgian scientists have identified a hitherto unsuspected benefit of global warming – more time for all of us. They say increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will slow the Earth’s rotation.

One of the team, Dr Olivier de Viron, told BBC News Online: “When you increase the amount of CO2, you perturb the atmosphere’s dynamics, the winds and so on. We know that globally the wind blowing from West to East will increase, so the Earth’s rotation will decrease. “The days will be longer – and the nights won’t be shorter to compensate.”

“It means 24 hours won’t be 24 hours any more. It will be something a little bit more.”

BBC News, 12 Feb 2002

delving into deep frames

Communicating the climate message to inform, but also engage and influence behaviour has proven intensely difficult. Over a decade of research on this issue has highlighted the need for communication to engage with people’s “deep frames” – beliefs formed over a lifetime, which are mostly subconscious.

My research paper, recently published in WIRES Climate Change draws upon cognitive science, evolutionary psychology and philosophy, among other fields, to explore the emerging idea that global warming exceeds modern humans’ cognitive and sensory abilities. To overcome this impasse, climate communication needs to engage people at a philosophical, sensory and feeling level.

People need to be able to feel and touch the new climate reality; to explore unfamiliar emotional terrain and be helped to conceive their existence differently. How is this to be done? The world must turn to its artists: storytellers, film-makers; musicians; painters and multi-media wizards, to name a few.

Under the global Future Earth initiative, a team of around 60,000 scientists and social scientists has been assembled to understand and report on the physical, tangible dimensions of the problem.

I argue we need 60,000 arts and humanities experts to focus upon the intangibles – the communication, engagement and meaning-making aspects of the problem.

Elizabeth Boulton, PhD Candidate, cross-disciplinary approaches to climate and environmental risk, Australian National University, Conversation, 8 Jun 2016

window closing

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose wording was agreed in Brussels only yesterday after all-night disputes between scientists and governments and last-minute objections from the US, China and Saudi Arabia over wording and graphics, bluntly says: “Unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt.”

In a sobering assessment, the report finds this warming would mean “approximately 20 per cent to 30 per cent of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction”.

It also warns of malnutrition, water shortages, disease and injury from predicted increases in heatwaves, droughts, storms and other severe weather events. Professor Terry Hughes, of James Cook University, who contributed to the report, said time was running out for coral reefs.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity – no more than 20 years to achieve decisive cuts in greenhouse gases – to protect coral reefs from massive degradation,” he said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Apr 2007

bye, bye…

Populations of the rusty blackbird, a once-abundant North American species, have declined drastically in recent years, and Auburn University researchers say climate change is to blame.

That’s the finding of graduate students Chris McClure, Brian Rolek and Kenneth McDonald published recently in the scientific journal Ecology and Evolution.

Under the direction of ornithology professor Geoffrey Hill, McClure, Rolek and McDonald studied the blackbird decline and wrote the paper “Climate change and the decline of a once common bird.”

“Changing climate is affecting everything,” McClure said. “These birds used to be everywhere and usually when people are talking about climate change, you look at the effects on an isolated species, such as some rare bird on a mountaintop somewhere.”

“But our research proved that it has a much wider effect. These birds literally span an entire continent, living in different climates, and yet they are affected just as much as anything else.”

Phys Org, 20 Feb 2012

invasion – blood sucking moths!

Global warming is bringing more warmer-climate creatures to Finland, including moths that feast on human blood, according to nature researchers.

Insect-watchers are spotting more and more calpe moths in the Nordic country, which used to be considered too cold for the insects from southeast Asia, Finnish nature magazine “Suomen Luonto” reported in its June edition.

The journal published what it said were the first pictures showing the moths — calyptra thalictri — sucking human blood. The species was first sighted in Finland in 2000, but more than 100 of them have been counted since then, the journal said.

Reuters, 4 Jun 2007

global warming explained

The current situation – the Poles glaciers’ melting is accelerating. The climate and geological changes will be increased because the planet Eris/ Nibiru hasn’t even been close to Pluto, its nearest point to Earth is supposed to happen between 2010 and 2012.

At present identical phenomena (global warming, volcanoes activation, etc.) also take place on other planets from our solar system because of Eris/ Nibiru.

Few examples: The Neptune’s moon, Triton is warming (BBC Science & Technology News, July 25, 1999), The Neptune’s moon, Triton is warming (BBC Science & Technology News, July 25, 1999), Pluto experiences an extraordinary heating (Massachusetts Institute of Technology News, October 9, 2002), Volcanic eruption on Jupiter’s satellite Io (Icarus Astronomy, November 2002), The warming of Mars (ABC News, December 7, 2002), The warming of Saturn.

Scientists of the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) – physics and astronomy department and those at the University of Boston have noticed that the temperature of the superior atmosphere of Saturn is higher that estimated.

Thus, professor Alan Aylward at UCLA considers necessary the reexamination of the main hypotheses regarding the planetary atmosphere and establishing the cause of the respective heating.

He also noticed a similar process on Mars, concluding: “Studying the aspects within other planetary atmospheres will help us to find out clues of the Terra’s future.”

UFO Digest, 30 May 2007

beavers blamed!

Beavers are contributing to climate change, adding an estimated 800 million kg of methane to the atmosphere every year, scientists have found.

In their work published in the Springer journal AMBIO, experts note that carbon builds up in oxygen-poor pond bottoms like those created by beavers, and methane is generated. The gas cannot be dissolved and is released into the atmosphere.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada have found this methane release from beaver ponds is now 200 times higher than it was a century ago.

Lead author Colin J Whitfield and his team estimated the size of the current global beaver population and the area covered by their ponds to work out the methane release.

Whitfield said: “The dynamic nature of beaver-mediated methane emissions in recent years may portend the potential for future changes in this component of the global methane budget. Continued range expansion, coupled with changes in population and pond densities, may dramatically increase the amount of water impounded by the beaver.”

“This, in combination with anticipated increases in surface water temperatures, and likely effects on rates of methanogenesis, suggests that the contribution of beaver activity to global methane emissions may continue to grow.” International Business Times, 17 Dec 2014

rainbow faces cut-throat competition

Montana’s Flathead Basin has long been a spawning haven for the westslope cutthroat trout. But as waters in the region warm, rainbow trout have swum up from the western lakes where they were introduced decades ago to cutthroat native grounds.

As rainbow trout meet and interbreed with dwindling cutthroat trout populations, the survival of cutthroat trout is at risk. Instead, a hybrid species is taking its place.

“It’s a major cause of species extinction—lots of species are now disappearing because they are being genetically swamped by other, commoner ones,” said Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University.

In some cases, hybridization can lead to reduced genetic diversity in animals, according to David Tallmon, an associate professor of biology at the University of Alaska. “Rather than growing a new branch on the [genetic] tree, you have two branches growing together,” he said.

In the case of cutthroat-rainbow trout hybrids, the hybrids are less genetically fit, with offspring of the hybrids struggling to survive, a study led by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey found.

Scientific American, 1 Jun 2015

glass for a day

Given that Australia produces the second highest greenhouse gas emissions per person in the world after the US, will the average urban Australian come on board? Giselle Wilkinson, 53, admits it’s sometimes a struggle.

As we talk, Wilkinson, who lives in Heidelberg Heights in Melbourne, with her daughters, Mereki, 20, and Hannah, 19, stirs a neat bunch of garden fresh lemon balm in the teapot.

Stuck on a cabinet above her is a note – “Choose your glass for the day” – to save on washing up. The Sun Herald (Sydney), 29 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

escape corridor

Australia will create a wildlife corridor spanning the continent to allow animals and plants to flee the effects of global warming, scientists say.

The 2,800-kilometre climate “spine”, approved by state and national governments, will link the country’s entire east coast, from the snow-capped Australian alps in the south to the tropical north – the distance from London to Romania.

The corridor, under discussion since the 1990s as the argument in support of climate change strengthened, will link national parks, state forests and government land. It will help preserve scores of endangered species.

The Age (Australia), 9 Jul 2007

new culprit identified!

In the charge against global warming, carbon dioxide has long held sway as public enemy number one. But now, less-recognized molecules are entering the fray as significant agents of global warming.

Aerosols emitted from smokestacks, exhaust pipes and domestic cooking fires consist of substances such as sulphates and nitrates that scatter light and have a local cooling effect; they also contain black carbon — or soot — a byproduct of incomplete combustion, which absorbs light.

In a study published recently in Nature2, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, an atmospheric scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and colleagues, report that aerosols locked up in brown clouds over Asia are significant contributors to regional warming.

“Brown clouds from the United States cover the Atlantic, the European brown cloud goes over central Asia, and China’s brown cloud crosses the Pacific over to us,” says Ramanathan. “We are each a back yard to someone else, and we’re polluting every other person’s back yard.”

Nature Reports, 9 Jul 2007

industrial civilisaton to collapse!

New scientific models supported by the British government’s Foreign Office show that if we don’t change course, in less than three decades industrial civilisation will essentially collapse due to catastrophic food shortages, triggered by a combination of climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability.

The new models are being developed at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), through a project called the ‘Global Resource Observatory’ (GRO).

Last year, Dr. Graham Turner updated his CSIRO research at the University of Melbourne, concluding that:

“… the general onset of collapse first appears at about 2015 when per capita industrial output begins a sharp decline. Given this imminent timing, a further issue this paper raises is whether the current economic difficulties of the global financial crisis are potentially related to mechanisms of breakdown in the Limits to Growth BAU [business-as-usual] scenario.”

Clean Technica, 25 Jun 2015

back to the …

Here’s a simple solution to global warming: vacuum carbon dioxide out of the air.

Klaus Lackner, a physicist at Columbia University, said placing enough carbon filters around the planet could reel the world’s atmosphere back toward the 18th century, like a climatic time machine.

He estimates that sucking up the current stream of emissions would require about 67 million boxcar-sized filters at a cost of trillions of dollars a year.

The orchards of filters would have to be powered by complexes of new nuclear plants, dams, solar farms or other clean-energy sources to avoid adding more pollution to the atmosphere. LA Times, 29 Apr 2008

clam-gobbling rays reach Japan!

Warming tied to spread of clam-gobbling ray. A species of ray that is usually found in tropical and subtropical waters has been seen in waters around Japan in recent years and is believed to be responsible for damaging the local shellfish habitat.

The long-headed eagle ray, whose scientific name is Aetobatus flagellum, has been spotted in the Ariake Sea and Seto Inland Sea in western Japan.

Scientists believe that a rise in sea temperature is responsible for the expansion of the creature’s habitat.

While a theory has it that sea temperature rises in the Pacific Ocean are part of long-term temperature fluctuations, many scientists believe that global warming is responsible for the phenomenon.

Nature In Japan, 26 May 2008

save the bread basket!

But the area known as the cradle of civilization is now under serious threat.

Before the end of this century, the Middle East’s legendary bread basket could dry up as a result of global warming, to the extent that it is no longer suitable for traditional rain-fed agriculture — destroying its existence as an agrarian landscape.

However, Pinhas Alpert, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Tel Aviv University believes the Fertile Crescent can still be saved.

“It depends very much on how the world will react, whether the world will really take serious action as is needed (against climate change),” he says.

Spiegel Online, 16 Apr 2008

locusts on the wane

It’s not often we can report on some good news associated with climate change. But it seems that warming temperatures could give welcome respite to farmers – in China, at least – by suppressing locust plagues.

Zhibin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and colleagues found that the Oriental migratory locust (Locusta migratoria manilensis), which has been named as one of the most damaging agricultural pests in Chinese history, operates on a climate-driven cycle.

Every 160 to 170 years, the swarms get bigger then subside again.

New Scientist, 26 Nov 2008

wolves speak!

Scientists studying grey wolves in Yellowstone national park have developed a method to predict how animals will respond to climate change.

“We now have the tools to determine how wolves would react to climate change,” said Tim Coulson, a professor of life sciences at Imperial College London, who led the study. “With any luck, in the future we can apply the methods developed from the wolves down to small mites or to large herbivores.”

The study used data that is already routinely collected on radio-collared wolves to get a glimpse of some basic responses to a changing environment – population numbers, genetics, body size, and the timing of key events in the wolf life cycle, such as when they first have pups.

Some animals will be constantly on the move, up hill and to cooler locations at a rate of about a quarter of a mile a year according to one study, in search of suitable homes. Other animals will run out of space, and die out. Still others may successfully adapt, growing bigger or smaller to suit their new conditions. The Guardian, 2 Dec 2011

plant trees!

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Whether you plant trees around your home and property, in your community, or in our national forests, they help fight climate change.
Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 and other pollutant particulates, then store the carbon and emit pure oxygen.
See how planting trees helps fight climate change.

arborday.org, 22 Aug 2007

don’t plant trees!

A new study, however, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that forests’ other climatic effects can cancel out their carbon cleaning advantage in some parts of the world.

Using a three-dimensional climate model, the research team mimicked full global deforestation and also studied the effects of clear-cutting in different regions of latitude, such as the tropics and boreal zones.

Apparently, these natural carbon sinks only do their job effectively in tropical regions; in other areas, they have either no impact or actually contribute to warming the planet. In fact, according to this model, by the year 2100, if all the forests were cut and left to rot, the annual global mean temperature would decrease by more than 0.5 degree Fahrenheit.

“I’m not sure the slight amount of cooling is necessarily significant, but that removing all the forest produced little change” on temperature is, says study co-author Ken Caldeira, an ecologist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, Calif.

“I think what’s interesting is this global cancellation was a product of very different responses at different latitudes.”

Scientific American, 10 Apr 2007

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warning against light green

Some 35 million Americans regularly buy products that claim to be earth-friendly, according to one report, everything from organic beeswax lipstick from the west Zambian rain forest to Toyota Priuses.

With baby steps, more and more shoppers browse among the 60,000 products available under Home Depot’s new Eco Options program. But even at this moment of high visibility and impact for environmental activists, a splinter wing of the movement has begun to critique what it sometimes calls “light greens.”

“There is a very common mind-set right now which holds that all that we’re going to need to do to avert the large-scale planetary catastrophes upon us is make slightly different shopping decisions,” said Alex Steffen, the executive editor of Worldchanging.com, a Web site devoted to sustainability issues.

The genuine solution, he and other critics say, is to significantly reduce one’s consumption of goods and resources. It’s not enough to build a vacation home of recycled lumber; the real way to reduce one’s carbon footprint is to only own one home.

The New York Times, 1 Jul 2007

Venice opens and shuts

Will Venice really disappear within 100 years? If nothing is done to stop the encroaching sea, then yes.

The problem that Venice faces is familiar to anyone living along the Thames estuary – the land is sinking while, thanks to global climate change, the sea is rising.

“It’s a city that lies at sea level so it’s very vulnerable to changes,” says Caroline Fletcher, an environmental chemist and the Venice research fellow at Cambridge University, who is running the conference. Without any action, she warns, the city will be uninhabitable by 2100.

Fortunately, the Italian government has marked Venice as a priority for action and is trialling one possible solution. The city is at one end of a lagoon with three openings to the Adriatic sea.

The Italian scientists are testing a mobile barrier that could move into place in these openings at high tide, thereby blocking out any surges of water during storms.
The Guardian, 18 Sep 2003

gardeners to the rescue!

As gardeners, we are both guardians and stewards of our environment, says Patty Glick, author of the report and Global Warming Specialist for the National Wildlife Federation. “There are many simple and thoughtful ways we can manage our gardens that can make an enormous difference in reducing the impacts of global warming.”

Gardeners can play an important role in minimizing the threat of invasive species expansion by removing invasive plants from the garden and choosing an array of native alternatives. Establish a “green roof” and plant trees around your house.

Planting rooftop gardens and planting trees near your home can significantly shield your home from the elements, reducing energy use for air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. There are a number of ways to reduce water consumption in your garden, which will be particularly important when water resources become scarce.

Actions that can help include mulching, installing rain barrels, watering only in the morning and evening to avoid mid-day evaporation and using drip irrigation.

National Wildlife Federation, 18 Apr 2007

(Don’t) Feed The Man Meat!

A report by Chatham House, “Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption,” released in late November, identifies the world’s appetite for meat as a major driver of climate change and concludes that a worldwide shift to healthier, more plant-based diets could bring about a 25% reduction in the gap between current global emissions plans and what is needed to prevent “dangerous” climate change.

“As governments look for strategies to close the Paris emissions gap quickly and cheaply, dietary change should be high on the list,” says Laura Wellesley, an author of the seminal report.

Newsweek, 8 Dec 2015

ban clean air!

It may seem counterintuitive, but cleaner air could actually be exacerbating global warming trends. The soot and other particles that make up air pollution tend to scatter light back out into space.

As countries around the globe have cleaned up their act, there are fewer particles to reflect light, meaning more sunlight is reaching the Earth’s surface and warming it, Martin Wild, a researcher at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, said Tuesday (Dec. 15) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Yahoo News, 29 Dec 2015

weeds on the move!

A recent CSIRO report for the Australian Government’s Land and Water Australia looked at what effects climate changes anticipated for 2030 and 2070 might have on the distribution of 41 weeds that pose a threat to agriculture (“sleeper” species) and the natural environment (“alert” species).

“We found that climate change will cause most of these weeds to shift south, with wet tropical species making the greatest move – over 1000km,” CSIRO researcher, Dr John Scott said.

“The predicted move south by both native and introduced plants would produce a ‘vacuum’ in northern Australia so, to prevent lurking species from invading, a new list of alert and sleeper weeds for this region needs to be developed,” Dr Scott said. Science Daily, 16 Apr 2009

but I thought….

The world’s dams are contributing millions of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gases and spurring on global warming, according to a US environmental agency.

International Rivers Network executive director Patrick McCully told Brisbane’s Riversymposium rotting vegetation and fish found in dams produced surprising amounts of methane – 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

Often it’s accepted that hydropower is a climate friendly technology but in fact probably all reservoirs around the world emit greenhouse gases and some of them, especially some of the ones in the tropics, emit very high quantities of greenhouse gases even comparable to, in some cases even much worse than, fossil fuels like coal and gas,” Mr McCully said.

The Age (Australia), 4 Sep 2007

head for the hills! – soon!

A study done by non-profit research organization Climate Central shows that even a seemingly minor temperature rise – 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit – on Earth will result in submerged cities around the world, and they’ve got the pictures to prove it.

“Two degrees Celsius warming will pose a long-term, existential danger to many great coastal cities and regions,” lead author Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, told AFP and explains that a four-degree spike would double the danger.

Although the increase in temperature would take place over the course of 200 years, the group’s research says it’s more likely that these striking scenes wouldn’t actually occur for another 2,000 years.
New York Post, 9 Nov 2015

nature refuses to co-operate!

Global warming activists stormed Washington Monday for what was billed as the nation’s largest act of civil disobedience to fight climate change — only to see the nation’s capital virtually shut down by a major winter storm.

Schools and businesses were shuttered, lawmakers cancelled numerous appearances and the city came to a virtual standstill as Washington was blasted with its heaviest snowfall of the winter.

One protester named Kat had planned to get arrested and be bailed out Monday but decided to stay put and donate her money to a good cause instead.

“I don’t want to travel in the snow today. However, I am donating my bail money to fight mountaintop removal,” she wrote to the Climate Action Web site.

Foxnews, 2 Mar 2009

The South is not going to rise again!

Seventy miles south of New Orleans, on the eastern end of Grand Isle, a small tide gauge records the Gulf of Mexico rising against the surrounding land.

The monthly increases are microscopic, narrower than a single strand of hair. Climate scientists recording those results think they add up to something huge.

The gauge, they say, may be quietly writing one of the first big stories in the age of global warming: the obituary for much of southeast Louisiana.

In 50 to 100 years, the numbers tell them, rising seas caused by global warming, combined with the steady subsidence of Louisiana’s coast, will lift the Gulf of Mexico two to six feet higher in many areas surrounding New Orleans.

“This area is facing big trouble from climate change. I think there’s consensus on that point,” said Virginia Burkett, a senior researcher at the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette and one of the nation’s foremost experts on climate change.

The Times-Picayune, 13 Dec 2008

flying squirrels team up!

Many species have responded to contemporary climate change through shifts in their geographic range. This could lead to increased sympatry between recently diverged species; likely increasing the potential for hybridization.

Recently, following a series of warm winters, southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Ontario, Canada rapidly expanded their northern range limit resulting in increased sympatry with the closely related northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus).

To our knowledge, this is the first report of hybrid zone formation following a range expansion induced by contemporary climate change. This is also the first report of hybridization between North American flying squirrel species.

“Global Change Biology, Volume 16, Issue 1 January 2010 Pages 113–121

moving mountains

The erosion caused by rainfall directly affects the movement of continental plates beneath mountain ranges, says a University of Toronto geophysicist — the first time science has raised the possibility that human-induced climate change could affect the deep workings of the planet.

“In geology, we have this idea that erosion’s going to affect merely the surface,” says Russell Pysklywec, a professor of geology who creates computer models where he can control how a range of natural processes can create and modify mountains over millions of years.

“These are tiny, tiny changes on the surface, but integrating them over geologic time scales affects the roots of the mountains, as opposed to just the top of them,” says Pysklywec. “It goes right down to the mantle thermal engine — the thing that’s actually driving plate tectonics. It’s fairly surprising — it hasn’t been shown before.”

Eureka Alert, 20 Apr 2006

Comment – two recent developments

Two recent items have been underreported in the media but in our opinion have significance.

A recent paper by scientists, many of whom are associated with the IPCC, acknowledges the pause in the rise of global temperatures and the inaccuracy of the computer models on which the climate change movement is largely based.

The main effect of the acknowledgment is that it is no longer possible to maintain there is a direct link between man-made carbon dioxide and a rise in global temperature.

The second is a speech by President Trump on 29 June 2017 at the Dept of Energy.

Some features of the speech were an encouragement for the development of coal and natural gas as well as expansion of the nuclear energy sector, reference to the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and the repeal of numerous regulations that hindered the development of energy resources.

In summary, the goal is for the US  to be not only energy independent but also an energy exporter.

For us, this raises questions for our country, Australia. How long will we be stuck in past with phony scares about climate change and unnecessary laws, regulations and targets that restrict development and raise power prices?

black-capped chickadees turn up their noses

In yet another example of the far-reaching impact of global warming, a University of Rhode Island student found evidence that suggests some songbirds may avoid eating insects that consume leaves exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide.

URI senior Martina Miller of Kingston, working in cooperation with Associate Professor Scott McWilliams, Ph.D. candidate David Podlesak and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, studied the food preferences exhibited by black-capped chickadees.

“It was clear that the birds could tell the difference between the different caterpillars and they had strong preferences,” Miller said. “They’re intelligent birds with a keen capacity to learn.” medical news today, 27 Jan 2004

thousand year run

The Australian of the Year, the scientist Tim Flannery, said the highest temperature forecasts could spell disaster for many species.

“[It] lays out a sort of middle-of-the road trajectory, which is alarming enough, I can tell you, for this century,” Professor Flannery said. “Three degrees will be a disaster for all life on Earth. We will lose somewhere between two out of every 10 and six out of every 10 species living on the planet at that level of warming.”

“It will set in train a series of climate consequences that will run for a thousand years.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Feb 2007

clean energy for eternity!

Living in a coastal community and having young children has spurred Matthew Nott into action on climate change.

The orthopedic surgeon from the tiny community of Tathra on the NSW far south coast is the driving force behind a move to introduce clean energy to the Bega Valley.

The movement started out relatively small – raising $20,000 to install a wind turbine and solar panel on the roof of a surf club.

But now, under the banner of Clean Energy for Eternity, the group’s aims have grown and Nott says the next step is raising about $8 million to build a community-owned solar energy farm. Nott wants wants to establish a model other communities can follow.

“We want to set ourselves up as a centre for excellence for renewable energy,” he says.

Sun Herald (Australia), 23 Nov 2008 – screen copy held by this website

researcher fails to avoid overused cliché!

Twenty-first century disasters such as killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States, droughts in Australia and deadly flooding in Mozambique, Thailand and Pakistan highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather, says a massive new report from a Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists released early Monday.

The dangers are going to worsen as the climate changes even more, the report’s authors say, adding that no one is immune. “We’re all sitting ducks,” Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the main authors of the 32-volume report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said in an interview. theblaze, 31 Mar 2014

new field of study provides solution to climate change!

Simply stated Exopolitics is a new and emerging field of study that examines the implications of possible contact between humans and extraterrestrial civilizations.

Exopolitics also attempts to provide a political framework in which human beings and extraterrestrials could interact. Exopolitics also seeks to examine the disclosure process that governments may be required to use to inform citizens of the authentic nature of an extraterrestrial presence.

It must be assumed that any civilization that has mastered interstellar voyages has somehow mastered light speed travel or a form of interstellar or inter-dimensional travel we as yet do not comprehend.

These civilizations must have developed technologies that utilize arcane energy sources that our scientists and physics cannot explain. Could contact with off-world civilizations be the answer?

If the use of fossil fuels were to stop today and be replaced by energy sources obtained from a developing contact and relationship with off-world civilizations, would the planet enter a new era of environmental design?

The Exopolitical Disclosure Movement provides a unique forum of enquiry that may address and possibly answer the multiplicity of questions presented here.

The only missing piece of the puzzle is the cultural and political will to examine the extraterrestrial phenomenon with the vigor the media examines issues such as child and spousal abuse, political patronage, corporate fraud and who the Canadian Idol is this month.

Exopolitics and Global Warming, 12 May 2006

wracked with guilt

Magazine editor Alison Potter, 34, who lives with her husband Joe Ferrara, 35, and their two-year-old son Milo, in Sydney’s Rozelle, was spurred on to do her bit when she became pregnant with their second child.

She decided to view global warming as “an opportunity to change our values and standards of living.” Despite the spin, Potter says climate change is also her biggest fear. “I wonder what the future holds for my kids.”

And she struggles with guilt – when she flies (because the aviation industry’s contribution to greenhouse gases) and when she’s idling at traffic lights (fuelling the skies with carbon dioxide).

“I see everyone else beetling round in cars and I wonder how we’ll all make the transition to less car dependence,” says Potter “Having said that my husband and I splashed out on a Toyota Prius [a hybrid petrol-electric car] and that does make me feel less guilty.” And she’s planted hardy native plants.

“I water once a week and avoid putting things in pots so they can sort themselves out with water from the ground,” says Potter.

The Sun Herald (Sydney) 29 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

water world

The real greenhouse gas index (GGI) that we must measure is the concentration of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and we must be able to see that we are lowering the emissions at a global level.

It is the GGI that will be far more important than the Dow Jones or the all Ordinaries and we will need to watch it come down every year.

The Hunter Region in particular will be hit hard by increased heat stress and disease in humans and other animals, worse droughts and water shortages, severe storms and flash flooding and sea-level rise that will inundate all the land many metres above the current shoreline.

The expensive waterfront property, port infrastructure and our beaches will become water world. All these huge costly changes will occur within the lifetime of the current and next generation of Novocastrians; that is 50 to 100 years from now. Dr Glenn Albrecht, associate professor in environmental studies at the University of Newcastle in the Newcastle Herald, (Australia) 25 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

look for the signs

Australians will begin to see the stark impacts of climate change within the next few years, not the coming decades, a leading Australian scientist warned yesterday after releasing a new report presenting evidence that global warming has dramatically increased in the past 12 months.

Dr Graeme Pearman, the former head of CSIRO’s atmospheric research unit, said: “if you think climate change is on the agenda just wait another couple of years.”

“Every day the media are going to be reporting people seeing changes as a result of things we have already done and the implications of these all over the world: like the breeding patterns and migration paterns of birds and animals, the flowering times, the production capacity of farms and the impact of coastal erosion. We are going to get more of them, not in the next few decades but the next few years.”

The Age (Australia), 15 Nov 2007 – screen copy held by this website

Dartford Warbler declines

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The heavy snow in February may have had a devastating affect on the Dartford warbler in some of its UK’s strongholds.

Initial reports suggest Dartford warbler numbers on important heathland sites in Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire are down by around 80 to 90 per cent from 2008 due to this year’s snow.

Sam Dawes, conservation manager in the RSPB’s South East region, said: “The impact of this winter’s snow shows what a fine balance there is for these birds between success and failure. Dartford warblers have generally been doing well on the Thames Basin and Wealden Heaths in recent years due to milder winters and better protection of the sites.”

“The Thames Basin and Wealden Heaths, and the special birds they support, have never been so important but it’s a rare habitat that desperately needs protecting.”

“Climate change could also see Dartford warblers ousted from their traditional grounds in Europe and north-west Africa, and if the birds can’t find refuge here, on our heaths, the future for them could be very bleak indeed.”

Surfbirds.com, 6 Jul 2009

Dartford Warbler doesn’t decline

The scratchy mechanical song of the Dartford Warbler is one of the rarest sounds in the English countryside.

But according to a new report it could become more frequent as global warming turns Britain into an ideal habitat for the endangered songbird. A new report by Natural England found that many species will benefit from climate change, including the warbler, the emperor dragonfly, wasps, bees and ants.

Dr Tim Hill, Chief Scientist for Natural England, said: “Our climate is changing fundamentally. There is already evidence of it affecting the habitat of some species, forcing them to live elsewhere. As temperatures rise, the consequences of future climate change for England’s wildlife are likely to be substantial, resulting in wholesale changes in the distribution of our wild animals and plants.”

Dr Richard Bradbury, Head of Environmental Research at the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science said: “The nature we know and love will change, with some warmth-loving species becoming more familiar, while we risk saying goodbye to some of England’s colder-adapted species.”

“It is imperative that we minimise the risks, by reducing carbon emissions, while redoubling our efforts to reduce the threats to vulnerable species and provide safe homes for nature, both in nature reserves and other protected areas, and in the wider landscapes in which wildlife should thrive.”

The Telegraph, 22 Jul 2015
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not all beer and skittles

According to Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the warming globe will likely cause a decline in the production of malting barley, which, when combined with the scarcity of hops right now, stands to have a profound and negative impact on the world’s beer supply starting now, and for decades to come.

“It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up,” Salinger told the Institute of Brewing and Distilling convention. He said climate change could cause a drop in beer production within 30 years, especially in parts of Australia, as dry areas become drier and water shortages worsen.

Treehugger, 10 Apr 2008

don’t snow on my parade!

World leaders flying into Copenhagen today to discuss a solution to global warming will first face freezing weather as a blizzard dumped 10 centimeters (4 inches) of snow on the Danish capital overnight.

“Temperatures will stay low at least the next three days,” Henning Gisseloe, an official at Denmark’s Meteorological Institute, said today by telephone, forecasting more snow in coming days. “There’s a good chance of a white Christmas.”

Delegates from 193 countries have been in Copenhagen since Dec. 7 to discuss how to fund global greenhouse gas emission cuts. U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive before the summit is scheduled to end tomorrow.

Bloomberg News, 17 Dec 2009

ban short nosed dogs!

You thought penguins were in gravest danger of extinction from global warming.

Now bulldogs, boxers, Pekinese, pugs and French mastiffs are among the breeds of dogs that may not see out many more Australian summers, experts say. Rising temperatures could also cast aside Persian cats in favour of fuller-faced felines.

Citing Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, RSPCA chief veterinarian Chris Thurgood said forecasts of frequent 40 degree days would gradually deplete local stocks of short-nosed dogs and cats, which typically suffer from respiratory problems and heat stress.

“Darwin’s theory will take care of them,” he said. “They won’t be around in the future; they won’t last.”

The director of Melbourne University’s veterinary teaching hospital, Mark Davis, said dog owners should act responsibly by opting for long-nosed or long-tongued breeds such as greyhounds or golden retrievers.

Dogs cool themselves by panting, which makes summer more difficult for breeds like bulldogs and pugs, which typically have squashed airways.

The Age (Australia), 20 Jan 2008

can’t see this idea catching on

But when American utilities and other major emitters are simply given free permits to emit greenhouse gases, the effect of the carbon cap is dulled.

That’s why the first carbon auction in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a pact by 10 northeastern states to cut carbon emissions jointly — was so important.

Utilities in the region bid $38.5 million for the right for emit 12.5 million tons of CO2, generating revenue that the states will be able to put toward climate change action.

More important, by forcing utilities to buy emission allowances, the government sends a signal that their carbon caps will have teeth — something to consider when Obama takes his run at national cap-and-trade legislation in 2009.

Time, 3 Nov 2008