Archive for the ‘global ecology’ Category
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.
June 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOP HEADLINE: WORLD LEADERS SIGN PACT TO AVERT CLIMATE DISASTER
Newspaper Ignites Hope, Announces “Civil Disobedience Database”
* Civil-disobedience database: http://BeyondTalk.net
* PDF of printed newspaper: http://iht.greenpeace.org/todays-paper/
– Online version: http://www.iht-se.com/
* Video: http://iht.greenpeace.org/video/ (coming soon)
In a front-page ad in today’s International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December.
“It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies…. To those who were arrested, we
There was only one catch: the paper was fake.
Looking exactly like the real thing, but dated December 19th, 2009, a million copies of the fake paper were distributed worldwide by thousands of volunteers in order to show what could be achieved at the Copenhagen climate conference that is scheduled for Dec. 7-18, 2009.
At the moment, the conference is aiming for much more modest cuts, dismissed by leading climate scientists as too little, too late to stave off runaway processes that will lead to millions or even billions of casualties.
The paper describes in detail a powerful (and entirely possible) new treaty to bring carbon levels down below 350 parts per million – the
level climate scientists say we need to achieve to avoid climate catastrophe.
One article describes how a website, http://BeyondTalk.net, mobilized thousands of people to put their bodies on the line to
confront climate change policies – ever since way back in June, 2009.
Although the newspaper is a fake (its production and launch were coordinated by Greenpeace), the website is real. Beyondtalk.net is part of a growing network of websites calling for direct action on climate change, building on statements made in recent months by noted political
For example, in September Nobel laureate Al Gore asserted that “we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to
prevent the construction of new coal plants.”
Leading American environmentalist Bill McKibben was enthusiastic about the newspaper’s message and the methods BeyondTalk.net calls for.
“We need a political solution grounded in reality – grounded in physics and chemistry. That will only come if we can muster a wide variety of political tactics, including civil disobedience.”
“Non-violent civil disobedience has been at the forefront of almost every successful campaign for change,” said Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes
Men, who helped write and edit the newspaper and are furnishing the technology for BeyondTalk.net. “Especially in America, and especially today, we need to push our leaders hard to stand up to industry lobbyists and make the sorts of changes we need.”
“Roosevelt would never have been able to push through the New Deal if people hadn’t taken to the streets, occupied factories, and demanded
it,” noted newspaper writer/editor and University of California professor Lawrence Bogad.
“Segregation, British rule in India, and apartheid wouldn’t have ended without a lot of people being creatively uncooperative – even if that meant getting arrested. Nonviolent civil
disobedience is the bread and butter of progress.”
The fake newspaper also has an ad for “Action Offsets,” whereby those who aren’t willing to risk arrest can help those who are.
A HOPEFUL NEWS PANDEMIC?
Today’s fake International Herald Tribune is part of a rash of recent publications which mimic prominent newspapers. Last November, a fake edition of the New York Times announced that the Iraq War was over. A few days earlier, a hoax USA Today featured the US presidential election result: “Capitalism Wins at the Polls: Anarchy Brewing in the Streets.”
And this April 1st, a spoof edition of Germany’s Zeit newspaper triumphantly announced the end of “casino capitalism” and the abolition
of poor-country debt.
The rash of fakes is likely to continue. “People are going to keep finding ways to get the word out about common-sense solutions those in
power say are impossible,” said Kelli Anderson, one of the designers of the fake International Herald Tribune and co-designer (with Daniel
Dunnam) of BeyondTalk.net.
“We already know what we need to do about climate change,” said Agnes de Rooij of Greenpeace International. “It’s a no-brainer. Reduce carbon emissions, or put the survival of billions of people at risk. If the political will isn’t there now, it’s our duty to inspire it.”
– The Yes Men, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
– Mark Breddy (Greenpeace), mailto:email@example.com,
(+32) (0)2 2741 903, (+32) (0)496 15 62 29 (mob.)
– Lawrence Bogad, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org,
+1-212 300 7943
Of course it’s not just Wayne. Kevin Rudd will have disciplined all of his ministers to sing from the same hymn sheet, and it’s a shame that Labor lacks the spine needed to produce, let alone tolerate, vocally dissenting backbenchers. They might listen to arguments made within the party, because the only other people they are listening to are utter knobs like Heather Ridout, Peter Hendy, and anybody with a mining company or aluminium smelter.
Mr Swan said the minimum 5 per cent target announced on Monday “struck the right balance”, adding that it would equate to a 34 per cent reduction in per capita emissions by 2020.
“If we were to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in that timeframe, that would be a 41 per cent reduction in per capita terms,” Mr Swan told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
So this is the T-r-e-a-s-u-r-e-r using m-a-t-h. Scarey, huh? The federal government is very happy with this particular set of numbers because it makes the absence of commitment somehow sound like firm action. But think about it – 5% equals a 34% reduction, yet 15% only equals a 41% reduction.
Somebody’s been taking lessons in logic from Julie Bishop.
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 strange that Fairfax, the publisher of Sydney Morning Herald, puts out a far better paper in Melbourne – The Age – than they do in Sydney. It could perhaps be because the Sydney editor is a nonce. But that doesn’t explain why the hell Fairfax employ a conservative editor in what continually tries to be a progressive society. Perhaps they would rather we resist that impulse.
Or they think we are idiots, which would explain why they keep on their stable of narcissistic pundits-of-no-merit. Like Miranda Devine. Like Gerard Henderson (could somebody pleeeease tell him that John Howard is gone already). Like Michael Duffy.
Duffy is like a tumour that masquerades as a boil. His bio is hilarious – he relaunched his image at the Herald lately by presenting himself as aged cool like a turd with chocolate sprinkles, making special efforts to emphasize that he has been on the dole, AND played in bands. I would bet Madonna’s left nut that they were horrible pieces of shit who largely played or ripped off other people’s songs that sucked way before they even lost all relevance.. Because this feels like the kind of guy that Duffy is, and it’s exactly the way that he manages information. He’s like some second rate Christopher Pyne trying to present as a first rate Shaun Micallef, thereby coming across quite a bit like a skid mark from Peter Costello’s underpants but without the charisma.
In the tradition of ripping off shit that need never have been exuded in the first place, skunkjunk has just run an op ed in the Herald Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored. Wow! Genius! Who would have ever thought to use the title of an increasingly old movie ironically in pursuit of climate change denial? Never. Seen. That. Done. A. Million. Times. Already.
And what a piece of crap it is.
Someone else who’s looked closely at scientific journals (although not specifically those dealing with climate science) is epidemiologist John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication. (Lest he be dismissed as some eccentric, I note that the Economist recently said Ioannidis has made his case “quite convincingly”.)
So, one of Duffy’s convincing sources reads magazines that aren’t anything to do with climate science, and has found inconsistencies in those non-climate findings which a non-climate magazine has apparently once agreed add up to some kind of non-climate argument, and therefore climate change is bogus? I’m so convinced, I must read further. Read the rest of this entry »
Quoting Auslan Cramb from article reposted here at Tassie Times
THE NORTH POLE has become an island for the first time in human history as climate change has made it possible to circumnavigate the Arctic ice cap. The historic development was revealed by satellite images taken last week showing that both the north-west and north-east passages have been opened by melting ice. Prof Mark Serreze, a sea ice specialist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in the US said the images suggested the Arctic may have entered a “death spiral” caused by global warming.
Now, before you let some idiot journalist, politician, or economist screw this piece of understanding up for you, try this analogy on for size: the planet is a track, the global climate is its engine, this amounts to a cracked engine block. So don’t expect the motor to explode right away, don’t feel calmed just because the world doesn’t end by Friday. But do expect some ugly noises, reductions in power, and increased bumpiness very soon. Pre-2010 soon.
In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court today slashed the damages bill against Exxon for the 11 million gallons of oil their drunken captain poured into a pristine Alaskan ecosystem just 20 years ago. Deciding that “the people” – as in of the, by the, and for the – of the original jury were brain damaged for originally awarding $5 billion in punitive damages against the company, Justice David Souter today pissed mightily in the faces of victimized communities, environments, and species for generations to come.
He found that Exxon should only have to pay $500 million in punitive damages, seeing as the company had already paid $507 million in damages to directly compensate communities of Prince William Sound for economic losses.
$500 million totals about $15 000 for each of the 33 000 claimants, and 4 days worth of Exxon’s profits last year, Read the rest of this entry »