Archive for the ‘environmental law’ Category
Senator Stephen ‘Peaked in Pre-School’ Fielding truly is the pubic hair stuck in the throat of Australian democracy. Imposed on us by a Labor Party too control-hungry to preference Greens, he has probably cost the country $7B in compensation to heavily polluting industries – such as coal, electricity, and aluminium production – and ensured the creation and imposition of a weak, flawed, messy, and ineffective Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – more accurately referred to by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert as the Coal Profits Retention Scheme.
Without Fielding, the timid and thumb-twiddling government could negotiate with a crossbench more likely made up of progressives with sufficient votes to secure a majority, rather than having to target a confused and even more visionless opposition, knowing that any possibility for a crossbench majority is stymied by the presence of Lord Effwit.
Speaking to the Senate just now about the proposed bundle of carbon legislation, Fielding has again emphasized his credentials as an engineer, and therefore a scientist in much the same way that an abattoir-worker might claim accreditation as a surgeon. He attributed the hysteria surrounding climate change to the brutal and self-interested ostracisation of all those brilliant scientists who argue that climate change has nothing to do with carbon, if it is even happening at all. Furthermore, he blamed that vicious piece of propaganda by Al Gore – The Innocent Truth. Oops. Duh.
At least Fielding called for sanity. We have been all carried away by this notion that exponential carbon emissions since 1995 are impacting global warming, when it hasn’t been increasingly hot every single year. After all, in Australia we have only had 8 of this country’s 10 hottest years since 2000, as have many countries around the planet.
But then again, Fielding is the only person in the Australian Parliament who realizes that Copenhagen is best pronounced as two words (Copen *pause 2 3 4* Hagen).
These idiots who think that lack of absolute proof is proof of absolute lack understand not even the slightest portion of the incredibly complex and ever-growing body of climate science. Even in the early ‘90s, scientists were clear in the fact that part of the model’s predictability must necessarily be its unpredictability. Idiot mouthpieces who triumphantly proclaim that the climate’s refusal to behave as uniformly predictably as Lego somehow disproves 2500 of the world’s leading climate scientists’ conservative predictions would perhaps better serve humanity as involuntary organ donors.
I’m looking at you, Fielding… Abetz… etc.
Then again, climate opportunist George Monbiot has chosen to expose the entire Global Warming Conspiracy today, so I should probably just shut up and enjoy the climatic mundanity.
Great opinion piece in today’s copy of The Age out of Melbourne. Worthwhile reading for anybody interested in biodiversity in Australia, old growth forests, or climate politics.
In a Government report based on threatened species studies at Brown Mountain conducted earlier this year, it is stated that ”neither DSE or VicForests routinely undertake pre-logging coupe surveys”.
Most of their information on threatened species comes from reports dating back to the early ’80s. This was at a time when we only just started to learn about species such as the long-footed potoroo and when management plans for endangered species simply did not exist.
Experts in their field produced these older reports, but the research areas were so large, and resources so limited, that many forests were not even surveyed. Brown Mountain is one of the areas that fell through the cracks.
Along with other forests at Ada River, Yalmy River, the upper Bonang catchment and the Bungywarr forests, the ecological values of these old-growth forests have simply never been documented.
Environment East Gippsland are taking VicForests – the corporate arm of logging regulation in Victoria – to court to try to force protection, rather than mere ‘consideration’ for endangered species and unique forests on Brown Mountain threatened by unnecessary logging.
An awesome eco-loony is planning to spend up to 5 months in a solar-powered shark cage swimming for 8 hours a day in order to complete the 2300km length of the Great Barrier Reef – the Earth’s largest living organism. It is his intention to donate money raised to Australian clubs and community centres for them to buy and install solar power on a massive scale.
It’s a great story and an inspiring idea – check out the full story here in Canadian media.
It’s just ashame that Rio Tinto and BHP will probably buy up all that good work as carbon offsets to increase their aluminium and coal output, thanks to the Federal Government’s utterly fecal 5% carbon pollution maintenance target.
Sea Shepherd have just reported their first encounter of the “season”, locating a Japanese harpoon boat inside Australian waters off Antarctica. Obviously, some people will take the notion of ‘Australian waters’ off Antarctica to task. The economic exclusion zones off Antarctica are recognized by a relatively small number of nations, but they are also well established and well known to Japan, whose whaling fleet has been deemed to have a legal case to answer in Australia for killing whales there previously.
Will Peter Garrett break into his holidays (which began in November 2007) to register his official concern with the Japanese government, or, more strongly still, will he ask them to order their government-sponsored whaling fleet to stop breaking Australian law? Or, even strongerer (!? yeah, sure) will he go with the plan that he announced when he was simply trying to win votes and send Australian naval vessels to intercept returning whaling vessels and board them for the purpose of documenting evidence of their illegal whaling activities.
Time will tell, but don’t hold your breath. At most, it’s likely that he will aim to deliver 5% of a rebuff by 2020, with the possibility of demanding 15% of an apology if whales can be heard dying from marginal electorates.
From Sea Shepherd
Captain Paul Watson
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin now has the entire Japanese whaling fleet on the run.
At 2345 G.M.T. the Steve Irwin intercepted the Japanese harpoon vessel Yusshin Maru #2 inside the Australian Antarctic Economic Exclusion Zone at 64°26 South and 132° 40’ East.
The encounter took place in dense fog and in dangerous ice conditions. The Steve Irwin launched a Delta boat with a crew to attack the Yusshin Maru #2 with rotten butter bombs. Unfortunately the wind increased to fifty knots with blizzard conditions. Captain Paul Watson called the small boat crew back for safety reasons when they were halfway to their target some three miles away.
The Yusshin Maru #2 then headed due North to lead the Steve Irwin away from the whaling fleet. The decoy did not work. The Steve Irwin is now in pursuit of the whaling fleet.
They have ceased whaling operations and they are now running from the Sea Shepherd crew.
The Yusshin Maru #2 was the same vessel that the Steve Irwin crew boarded in January 2007. This year the crew observed that the Yusshin Maru #2 has set up large netting to be run along the side of the ship to prevent boarding parties from going over the side. When the whalers realized that the Steve Irwin was onto them, they immediately ran on deck to deploy the netting.
“It looks like Whale Wars, season #2 is officially underway.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “We’ve got them on the run. They are not in the Ross Sea where they said they would be. They are in Australian waters. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is officially calling on Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith to order the Japanese fleet to comply with the orders of the Australian Federal Court and to cease and desist from killing to whales in Australian waters.”
Captain Paul Watson
Master – The Steve Irwin
Master – The Farley Mowat
Founder and President of the
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Massive extinctions warned about by academics over the last decade seem set to start within the next. Updated science since the diplomatically framed IPCC reports of this year and last indicate that the planet has already begun processes that are almost too grand to halt, let alone reverse.
The escalating scale of human emissions could not have come at a worse time, as scientists have discovered that the Earth’s forests and oceans could be losing their ability to soak up carbon pollution. Most climate projections assume that about half of all carbon emissions are reabsorbed in these natural sinks.
Computer models predict that this effect will weaken as the world warms, and a string of recent studies suggests this is happening already.
The Southern Ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide has weakened by about 15% a decade since 1981, while in the North Atlantic, scientists at the University of East Anglia also found a dramatic decline in the CO2 sink between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.
A separate study published this year showed the ability of forests to soak up anthropogenic carbon dioxide – that caused by human activity – was weakening, because the changing length of the seasons alters the time when trees switch from being a sink of carbon to a source.
Soils could also be giving up their carbon stores: evidence emerged in 2005 that a vast expanse of western Siberia was undergoing an unprecedented thaw.
The region, the largest frozen peat bog in the world, had begun to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago. Scientists believe the bog could begin to release billions of tonnes of methane locked up in the soils, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The World Meteorological Organisation recently reported the largest annual rise of methane levels in the atmosphere for a decade.
Which means you can take your 5% carbon reduction and your 2 degrees of manageable warming and stick them up your arse. We’re headed to a place that will make Children of Men look like comedy.
It is now almost impossible to believe that the first official act of the Rudd Labor Government was to sign Kyoto. Barely a year after that act, now reduced to almost empty symbolism, Kevin Rudd and his climate change and environment ministers – Penny Wong and Peter Garrett – must own responsibility for a complete surrender on Australia’s carbon reduction. Against all economic, scientific, and even best political advice, Australia has announced a target of 5% carbon emission reductions by 2020, with the possibility of aiming for 15% reductions if other nations work harder.
With this 5% target, Australia has very deliberately given a gift to cloistered anti-action interests the world over. Up until 2007, the argument by opponents of climate action was that to move without commitments from China, India and America would be unproductive and disadvantageous. Now, forced into action globally, major corporations and lobby groups will certainly resist credible targets of 20% or more by pointing to Australia.
Professor Ross Garnaut has consistently described climate change as one of the most diabolical policy problems possible. Australia, however, even after clear warnings about disappearance of water sources, destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, and economic impacts on crops and ecosystems has just created a similarly diabolical problem for the world. We have not just waved a white flag on massive biodiversity loss and global suffering. We have ensured that those who think nothing of worsening the situation will be well-armed at post-Kyoto negotiations in Copenhagen next year.
The only reason to create the possibility of a 15% target barely makes any sense. It does mean that the Rudd Government can aim to come through the financial crisis and their first election as incumbents before doing something that will upset corporate lobbyists. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t have that long. The major climate talks ate the end of next year will certainly be distorted by this inept move. And to think that any developed economy will try to move toward a 25% target in order to get Australia to aim for far less than that is simply narcissistic.
Disgusted. And angry. And ashamed. The most energy-resource rich nation on Earth has just thrown the planet in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Amazingly, business groups are already complaining that the target is too high!!!
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Peter Anderson says reducing emissions by 5 per cent will be difficult for the business community when it is also dealing with a financial crisis.
“There are transition costs involved, there is a need for investment in technology and all of that involves costs, particularly at a time when the focus of the business community is on trying to get through the storm that we have around us,” he said.
These greedy sociopathic pigs don’t grasp the fact that chemistry and ecology don’t stop because their Christmas bonus is a bit light. To think, the Rudd Government has copped out on climate change to keep people like this happy is to wonder when democracy became the tool of the few rather than the servant of the many.
A real bloody disgrace.