Saturday, May 25, 2019

Let’s Pretend Climate Change Isn’t Real

“Yeah, but it won’t be that bad.”

“Yeah, but it won’t affect us.”

“Yeah, but we’ll adapt.”

For many people, climate change just doesn’t feel like a big issue. Unless you happen to have experienced a wildfire, a drought or a flood, it still seems quite far off. We can spend a lot of time talking through chains of cause and effect but if someonebe they a member of a public, a businessperson or a political figurehas decided for themselves that climate change isn’t a big deal, it can be pretty difficult to convince them otherwise.

So maybe a different tactic is required. What if we just pretend climate change isn’t real? What if we pretend that sea levels aren’t rising, that oceans aren’t acidifying, that global temperature isn’t creeping upwards? This might seem perverse at firstthe fundamental science is, after all, unequivocally robustbut as we have seen, people often just don’t respond to problems unless they have an obvious or immediate effect. This explains a lot of life: it’s why we drink alcohol, eat cake, and spend way too much time on social media. People are great at discountingthat is to say, going for short-term gains even if they incur long-term losses. If we accept this as an unavoidable truth, the only way to prompt action is to focus on the short term. How could we make lives betternow?

Read the story from Medium by Jacob Ashton - “Let’s Pretend Climate Change Isn’t Real.”

‘Becoming a green, sustainable society:’ Shorter work weeks is one of several strategies

A new study conducted by Autonomy, an independent, progressive think tank focusing on work, concluded that citizens throughout Europe needed to shorten their work weeks to avoid global warming, unless each country drastically reduces their carbon emissions.

Workers in the U.K., Sweden and Germany all need to reduce their work hours to somewhere around nine hours a week to avoid the planet from heating to more than 2 degrees Celsius research concluded.

“Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them,” Will Stronge, the director of Autonomy, said. “This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like.”

Read the starry from Nation of Change by Ashley Curtin - “‘Becoming a green, sustainable society:’ Shorter work weeks is one of several strategies.”

With the LNP returned to power, is there anything left in Adani’s way?

After months of “start” and “stop” Adani campaigning, the coalmine is poised to go ahead following the surprise success of the Coalition government at the federal election.
The habitat of the endangered black-throated finch must be protected.
So is anything still stopping the coalmine from being built?

Australia has a federal system of government, but states own coal. This means the Queensland Labor government is responsible for issuing the Adani mining licence.

Read the story from The Conversation by the Director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law from the Deakin Law School at Deakin University, Samatha Hepburn - “With the LNP returned to power, is there anything left in Adani’s way?

It’s not entirely up to school students to save the world

In the past several months, people around the world have watched in awe as school students, led by the Swedish teen-ager Greta Thunberg, have taken their concerns about the climate crisis to a new level, with a series of one-day strikes. The latest took place on Friday, and drew what is estimated as more than a million participants in a hundred and twenty-five countries. The strikes have been the biggest boost yet for the global climate movement, galvanizing public attention by reminding people just who will have to deal with the mess that older generations have created. Thunberg has spoken to the Pope and to the British and European parliaments—and this week she and her fellow student leaders are speaking to everyone else who’s older than them. On Thursday, they issued an appeal to adults to take up the same tactic, and on Friday a number of them responded, with a letter pledging to organize the first of a series of all-ages, one-day climate strikes, on Friday, September 20th. (I was among them and helped draft the letter.) The initial list of signees is composed of a wide array of, well, adults, from around the world. Some have spent their lives trying to make change from within the system, such as Christiana Figueres, the United Nations diplomat who served as the lead negotiator of the Paris climate accords. Others are writers (Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver), scientists (Tim Flannery, of the University of Melbourne; Katharine Hayhoe, of Texas Tech), trade-union leaders (Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation), and indigenous leaders from Australia (Anne Poelina) to America (Tom B. K. Goldtooth) and the Arctic (Jenni Laiti).
Young people have used strikes to call attention to the
climate disaster. Now they’ve challenged adults to do the same.
What all of these people have in common is a strong sense that business as usual has become the problem, and that it needs to be interrupted, if only for a day. The climate crisis is a perplexing one because, mostly, we just get up each day and do what we did the day before, as if an enormous emergency weren’t unfolding around us. That hasn’t been true of past crises: during the Second World War, oceans may have separated American civilians from the fighting, but every day they were aware of the need to change their ways of life: to conserve resources, buy bonds, black out their windows at night if they lived on the coast.

Read the story from The New Yorker by Bill McKibben - “It’s not entirely up to school students to save the world.”

Schoolchildren go on strike across world over climate crisis

Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren across the world have gone on strike in protest at the escalating climate crisis.
Teenage protesters in Warsaw, Poland, hold up placards
calling on politicians to address climate crisis. 
Students from 1,800 towns and cities in more than 110 countries stretching from India to Australia and the UK to South Africa, walked out of lessons on Friday, the organisers of the action said.

This is the latest school climate strike, inspired by teenager Greta Thunberg, who has become a global figurehead since protesting outside Sweden’s parliament in 2018. The young people are demanding politicians take urgent action to avoid catastrophic ecological breakdown.

In London, thousands gathered in the sunshine in Parliament Square chanting, “Where the fuck is the government”, and “This is what democracy looks like”, before staging a sit-down protest outside the department of education.

Read the story from The Guardian by Matthew Tayor - “Schoolchildren go on strike across world over climate crisis.”

Australia is a global leader in species extinctions.

Australia is unfortunately a global leader when it comes to extinction, with 29 mammal species becoming extinct since the arrival of Europeans — that's a third of the world's total mammal extinctions in that time.
Australia is a global leader with regard to the extinction of its mammal species.
Now scientists say a further 1,800 species are at risk of extinction from a range of threats.

Martine Maron, a Professor in the University of Queensland's school of Earth and Environmental Sciences, told PM that the biggest threat to species in Australia are habitat destruction, over-extraction and introduce species.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Explained: Adani’s continuously changing jobs figures

When it comes to the Adani coal mine, Adani has put out so many different job creation numbers, at different times and for different audiences, it’s hard to know what’s what.
The proposed Adani mine has brought many protests.
Adani comes up with different jobs figures depending on who it is talking to.

· Adani told investors the whole project would be automated from mine to port (meaning robot driven trucks to reduce on labour costs i.e. jobs)

· Adani promised politicians 10,000 jobs

· In court Adani was forced to admit it would create just 1,464 new jobs direct and indirect jobs for the mine and railway, because it would negatively impact other industries.

Read the story from Medium by The Australia Institute - “Explained: Adani’s continuously changing jobs figures.”