Tasmanian Times

Environment

Reports from the end of the Stupidocene 15NOV09

With just a little over a months till the end of the Copenhagen Round pf negotiation on the UN Framework Climate Convention what is the likelihood of a successful outcome looking like.

The EU is considering opting for a 95% reduction in their Carbon emissions indicating how seriously this serious coal burning economic union sees the impacts of climate instability on the environment upon which it depends, on the lives of its people and its economy.

Meanwhile in sleepy hollow a huge 60% cut is offered below even the national target of 80% below 2000 levels.

One must of course ask what is the impact on this goals of a 75% increase in population in the time when per head targets will have to fall not from the previous 28tonnes of CO2 to 5.6t but to 1.9t, more in line with third world levels.

Where is the government’s plan to transform the Australian economy from that of fossil fools fuelled by fossil fuels to one where the population grows by 66% in a drier continent where the cities need complete transformation to cope with such growth and become low carbon sustainable places of living without an adverse impact on the biodiversity within their footprint.

And just when you thought we understood the way the GHG behave here is another curl

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091030100020.htm

If you take this to out to a point where methane release from natural sources increases the magnification of the gases already large warming power is better understood. Its what they failed to clearly state in the article.

You can see hear how the Rudd government has failed to allow open debate about its ETS. Right or wrong its been peer reviewed, lets see it sans massage.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26297102-2702,00.html

The Climate section in the Australian has disappeared like it did from CNN several years ago. Why is that Rupert?. Readying us for something at Copenhagen?.

In a Media Release “Welcome support for King Island renewable grid” Senator Christine Milne drew attention to an experiment for Tasmania’s future, real innovation, not political games by a government of bumbling backdoor backflippers.

An essentially simple way of storing surplus solar, wave and wind energy is to put it into the batteries of electric cars.

Whilst better storage systems for surplus power are coming, this system can be implemented immediately, as it will be rare for all vehicles to be on the road at any one time. All that is needed is to send the island electric with a diesel backup generator on each vehicle just in case.

KI could also grow and process its own bidiesel. It may reduce milk and meat production by altering land use ratios, but think of the savings even with paying the excise. The excise remains the same even regardless of fuel import costs.

And then there is the solution to the blood and guts waste from the slaughterhouse, put that waste stream with the sewage, dewater, digest and burn the methane [electicity generation] and thencompost the waste through a worm farm and return to whence it came to grow the biodiesel.

Simple, no global treaty required just do it and jobs for all on KI.

Think of the positioning of the KI Brand and product, the copycats would have a great deal of effort matching that really clean, green and clever niche.

The above is an application to the Innovation Fund that Sturgo will not have a brain snap and make. It is beyond Labor to adopt such a concept but not the Liberals given their recent performance in energy policy offerings playing catch up to the Greens.

More good news, this time on the failure of the nitrogen cycle as aridity spreads

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091106145308.htm

The dust storm of several months ago will pale as vegetation declines across the landscape because the nitrogen cycle will be less active everywhere it is warmer and if you look at the Bureau of Meteorology site that includes vast areas of arid Australia.

And a little more on the complex interactions between the atmospheric gasses the climate and the biosphere that regulate our climate’s stability.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109121117.htm

It’s a pity Senator Joyce cannot grasp this complexity.

Why has the amount of CO2 absorbed by forests fallen.? . Because as a % of the total emitted it has fallen as the emissions from coal fired power station have ramped up.

http://www.kennislink.nl/publicaties/bijdrage-ontbossing-aan-co2-uitstoot-overschat

Not good news for Rudd because it means that only real emission reductions will impact on greenhouse gas growth. Offsetting against tropical forests is only a short term measure.

Here is an article citing the effectiveness of natural systems to absorb CO2 emissions.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110141842.htm

Looking at emissions over 15 decades the data shows that as CO2 emissions have grown the absorption of CO2s has almost kept pace, keeping the CO2 growth rate low.

Some researchers believe that the natural sinks are reaching saturation and it is dangerous to assume they can be depended on to continue to balance the emissions.

As emissions continue to ramp up atmospheric CO2 increases, forcing more heating. As the gas accumulates, even if natural absorption keeps pace, it longevity ensures we have a problem with climate stability.

Adelaide’s unprecedented November heat wave must have South Australians asking what planet Senators Fielding, Joyce and indeed their own Minchin are from and on the eastern seaboard the cyclonic depression that dropped rain over Tasmania on Tuesday night [06NOV09] went on eastwards and ended up over the NSW mid – north coast where it delivered flooding rains in the Coffs Harbour region..

This addressed the four month deficit since the last floods on the northern coast of NSW. To date it’s the wettest Australian region in November. And it is ranking with Cairns and the Tasmanian West Coast for the Year to Date.

The WWF has ranked Asian cities for climate vulnerability. On a scale of 10, Dhaka rated a 9 and Manila, where recent flooding disrupted the city and Jakarta rated 8. Its no wonder Indonesia has come on board for the Copenhagen agreement.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20091112/tsc-major-asian-cities-face-climate-disa-c2ff8aa.html

Anyone with an understanding of the international implications of the impacts of vulnerability on the cities of our nearest Asian neighbour will have some idea of why Australian must be seen to be doing something serious even if it is at an economic cost. Thank the cabal of deniers and their influence of the Howard government for the additional costs and wasted investment that ten years of delay have brought.

Investment in alternative energy is costed at $10.5 trillion out of a total of $36.5t to have any chance of avoiding a 6dC temperature rise according to the International Energy Authority. They are optimistic such a disaster can be avoided by investing in existing alternative technologies.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/lowcarbon-energy-sources-need-105trn-investment-warns-iea-1818246.html

We have had the experience, at least for those who have seen the ABC’s 4 Corners, of the Liberal Party showing its internal division over climate policy matching the division that tears the coalition apart.

Turnbull looks warn and haggard even though he appears to be clawing back some semblance of credibility following the Oz Car gaffe. Negotiations with the Government will conclude this week and by the end of the month the fate of the CPRS and emissions trading in the Senate should be known.

With the Oceanic Viking asylum seeker refugee issue likely to be resolved soon and Rudd remaining popular a double dissolution election is likely to be determined by the result of the Copenhagen negotiations.

Yes the Liberals may get a second chance to pass an ETS, even a second go at negotiations. But all this is clever politics because when the reforms to Health Care, that Minister Roxon will again put to the Senate in February, are rejected a second time recalcitrance by the coalition is likely to see a double dissolution pre-budget election, giving another mandate and making it 5 and a half years for Labor to bed down its changes.

phill Parsons next report will be around the end of the next Senate sitting, once the position is clear.

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