typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Posts Tagged ‘kyoto

Climate Change – we’re f@$%ed… and we’ve killed Santa

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For the first time in recorded human history, the North Pole is an island - courtesy of climate change.

For the first time in recorded human history, the North Pole is an island - courtesy of climate change.

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.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

September 8, 2008 at 1:36 pm

New Australian book: planet doomed.

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Due to be released shortly, a book from CSIRO Publishing promises to put the climate change debate in Australia back on track. Ten Commitments: Reshaping the Lucky Country’s Environment is divided into three categories – ecosystems (desert, marine, etc.), sectors (forestry, fisheries), and cross-sectoral and cross-ecosystem themes.

Leading environmental scientists write within these sections, using each chapter to address the question: “What are the 10 key things that must be urgently addressed to improve Australia’s environment?”.

Appearing on ABC’s Science program in early June, lead editor and author David Lindenmayer added weight to the argument that time is beyond short. He detailed how at even a minimal level of carbon taxation – $19 a tonne – logging operators in the remaining wet forests of Victoria should be paying $80 billion to that state’s government. Which would be well beyond the half billion dollars in logging royalties they currently pay annually.

He also detailed how, globally, destructive species – such as the mountain pine beetle of Canada – are thriving as winters become more mild. Rather than being wiped out or diminished seasonally, these beetles have now destroyed more than eleven million hectares of previously permanent forest, making way for logging operations and farming to move in.

According to Lindenmayer, the latest research, ongoing delays to real action, and these emerging new paradigms point to a future atmospheric carbon mass of 700-750 parts per million, with all the unimaginable consequences that will surely entail.

Atmospheric carbon is currently at 385 parts per million.

And visionless politicians want us to worry about the price of gas.

Written by typingisnotactivism

June 16, 2008 at 10:23 pm

New climate group to drive Australian policy change

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In early March Sydney University’s Faculty of Law launched a new multidisciplinary initiative – the Climate Law & Policy Group.

In line with recent developments – the UK’s Stern Report in 2006, reevaluation of the Kyoto Protocol during 2007 and Australia’s current review process under Professor Ross Garnaut – the initiative aims to fill critical voids within current thinking and activity, both locally and internationally.

Key organisers Professor Gillian Triggs, Dean of Law at Sydney University, and Dr. Rosemary Lyster, an internationally respected teacher and practitioner of environmental law, spoke briefly of the new group’s reason for existence.

They identified the need to transverse various branches of law – administrative, environmental, international, trade, migration, taxation, corporate, criminal and public health – in making way for the emerging field of climate law and preparing legal infrastructure for an all-embracing response to the growing challenge of climate change.

With Australia’s emission trading scheme due to launch in 2010 and with Kyoto having so far failed to adequately engage developing countries, this first-of-its-kind initiative will work with individuals and governments to develop research projects and policy.

Keynote speaker John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, addressed the lawyers, academics, NGOs, Justices and students who came to hear his insider’s account of last year’s Bali negotiations and their implications for Australia. Though unsurprisingly absent, environmental barrister extraordinaire, Chris McGrath, did receive an honourable mention as the legal frontiersman keeping the Australian government falling over its legislative toes.

Connor signalled that there are powerful undercurrents building within global negotiations. Developed nations may yet group together to go beyond currently tentative Kyoto targets to cut their carbon emissions by between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020. He identified 2020 as the proving ground, the year by which bold initiatives must be taken and, if successful, replicated on a grand scale.

He said China and South Africa were leading the negotiations to build bridges with the developed world, while Australia is crossing a bridge of her own. The American position of controlled stalling has been rejected, traded for the quantum leap of the Garnaut Review and its broader consideration of the national interest in responding to climate change.

The way forward mapped out by these pragmatists seems to be a multi-layered paradigm shift already set in motion, from changes taking place in local planning laws and research financing to regional partnerships and global transparency and accountability.

The Climate Law & Policy Group’s first conference will be held on August 8.

 

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm

America The Stupid: prejudge this outcome.

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WHAT THE F#$K??!!!!! The United States effort to again derail climate change negotiations utterly defies any possibility of undamaged brain tissue.

Here are the two mantras for the little piggy cumsacks of the US delegation at the UN’s Bali conference.

– Including any detail regarding emission reduction targets for the wealthiest emitters of greenhouse gases is unacceptable, because it would be “to prejudge the outcome“.

– “All options are on the table

Now you may remember “all options are on the table” from such diplomatic triumphs as the overturning of the Geneva Convention, the invasion of Iraq, the hastened descent of the US into a complete police state, the 2008 aerial bombardment of Iran, climate change denial, and going down on Laura Bush. Obviously, the policy needs rewriting.

US delegations should instead declare that “all options are on crack“. That would at least be plausible.

But as for this new line of razor-edged anal beads, that committing to the minimum level of response necessary to marginally reduce the acceleration of global warming would be “to prejudge the outcome” of negotiations…. How goddamned brain damaged are you Nazi-bait bucket-c&%ted fist-whores in the Bush Administration that come up with this shit?

“Prejudge the outcome”? Is this the antithesis of “preemptive defence”? Which is itself analogous to “let’s rape and pillage that country before they get a chance to look at us funny”.

Preemptive defence – a nonsensical doctrine dreamed up by balding middle-aged neofascists who sniffed their mother’s panty-drawer hard enough to produce a lavender-infused psychotic aneurysm – is the military equivalent of stabbing cancer patients to death with a stick to reduce their risk of dying from a stroke.

Now the same genii who came up with this piece of diplomatic HIV have sent their new big gun to the review of Kyoto. Wouldn’t setting binding targets of at least 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 be a step toward producing, rather than ‘prejudging’ the outcome?

It doesn’t even make fucking sense. Look at it: “we don’t want to prejudge the outcome”? From the same fucking stupid assholes who brought the English language “embolden”, “enhanced interrogation techniques”, “they hate our freedom” and “flip-flopper”.

“Oh America, you look so hot in the red glow of this simmering planet tonight. The way the blood drips thickly from your clenched, trembling fist just gets me so… oohhhhh. And the sweat steaming off your chest, just caught in shards of moonlight, as you pause briefly to breathe… panting heavily from the exertion of kicking in the doors, faces, and genitals of a Columbian mountain village… Spit runs down your stubbly man-chin and your eye squint hard against the barrage of piss the world rains down upon you, but you raise your face up and bask in the spray as if it’s the winner’s-podium champagne. Oh God, America, I tremble with excitement as you loudly shit your pants, scoop a handful of the brown stain into your twisted mouth and proclaim it to be milk chocolate. Oh America, I just want to pull out one of your ribs and beat your stupid, fat, fucking skull with it until you promise to liberate me! Liberate me America! Feed me a big, nutritious bowl of your piss-champagne shit-chocolate acid-junk AIDS-blood Liberty!!”

“Sorry baby, not tonight.”

“Why America? Oh why? Why? Why not here? Why not now? Why not yet?”

“Because, baby, that would be to prejudge the outcome”. 

Written by typingisnotactivism

December 14, 2007 at 6:56 pm

GDP – a Growing Destructive Problem

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 Here’s an excerpt from a piece by George Monbiot which I just read at Celsias. Celsias, by the way, is one of the best global warming-focussed websites I know of and I’d welcome suggestions for any that you think are as useful. It’s certainly an excellent resource for following Bali-related developments as efforts mount to create Kyoto+.

Point being – remember that riddle from when you were little about how a frog is in the middle of a pond. On the first jump, the frog gets halfway to the edge, and on each successive jump the frog goes half as far as the jump before. How many jumps until the frog reaches the edge of the pond?

Well guess who’s the frog now?

Underlying the immediate problem is a much greater one. In a lecture to the Royal Academy of Engineering in May, Professor Rod Smith of Imperial College explained that a growth rate of 3% means economic activity doubles in 23 years(24). At 10% it takes just 7 years. This we knew. But Smith takes it further. With a series of equations he shows that “each successive doubling period consumes as much resource as all the previous doubling periods combined.” In other words, if our economy grows at 3% between now and 2030, we will consume in that period economic resources equivalent to all those we have consumed since humans first stood on two legs. Then, between 2030 and 2053, we must double our total consumption again. Reading that paper I realised for the first time what we are up against.

 – read the article in full

Written by typingisnotactivism

December 5, 2007 at 2:35 am

Australia ratifies Kyoto – now the real fun begins!

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Not much time to write this up at the moment, but WOW!!! Shortly after being sworn in, along with his new government, as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd took the bold step of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Making this his first official act as Prime Minister, having already indicated last week that Aboriginal Australians – particularly the Stolen Generations – can expect an apology in this federal term, Rudd is really shaking expectations in the most pleasing manner imaginable.

Michelle Grattan – one analyst and writer worth far more than her bodyweight in water (unlike many other mainstream journos named elsewhere in these screens) – writes in today’s Age that

Its Kyoto pledge was one of the policies that helped Labor to victory. Rudd’s instant move is saying Labor will keep faith with its voters. It also emphasises the new PM wants to hit the ground at full tilt on this issue but on others as well.

While I would expect that many of the new government’s supporters didn’t swallow the “me-too” and “Howard lite” bollocks spouted by media for months before the election, I doubt that such decisive and progressive commitments were expected before the year was out.

Symmetrically, these are two big commitments – one domestic with international implications and the other international with big domestic implications – which neatly and responsibly tends to two festering wounds that have only been repeatedly salted and gouged over the last 12 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by typingisnotactivism

December 4, 2007 at 1:09 am

New climate of opportunity for Australia behind PM Rudd

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From the first Monday of December – nine days after his victory – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali. 11 days, 198 countries, and 10,000 delegates; thanks to 3,000 journalists in attendance, the whole world actually will be watching.

Forecasting change from a third of a world away the UK’s Guardian newspaper last week ran two lengthy feature stories – one aptly titled ‘It’s the environment, John’, the other characterizing “the world’s first climate change election”.

Most Australians are keenly aware of pressured environments and impacts of climate change. Yet for many who wonder what they can do to actively help, answers such as ‘buy a Prius’ or ‘use a washing line’ have offered little real incentive. Their collective vote, however, must surely be one of the single biggest acts of grassroots environmentalism in Australian history.

Thanks perhaps to a distracted or tentative media, many Australians don’t yet realize what a dramatic climate change U-turn this country has just taken. But it puts the country on course to joining Kyoto and, more immediately, the far-from-ordinary climate conference in Bali.

It is expected that our representatives will deposit a letter with the peak body, signed by Rudd and committing to fully ratify Kyoto. Australia will be joining a global community in crisis, rather than complaining from the sidelines and, perhaps more significantly, America will be left as the sole developed nation opposed to ratification – an outright pariah at last. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by typingisnotactivism

November 27, 2007 at 2:58 pm