Tag Archive | climate change

The Garnaut Report so Far!

The interim Garnaut Report into Climate commissioned by the State and Federal Governments of Australia…. it is possibly the most comprehensive report into the effects and solutions when it comes to our changing climate that we have seen….

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So what has he said to date? This is straight from the media release:

A report by economist Ross Garnaut warns Australia could be among the worst-hit countries if the world does not act to slow the rate of climate change.
Professor Garnaut has handed down his interim report on carbon emissions targets and the creation of an emissions trading scheme today. The report was commissioned by the federal, state and territory governments to help develop major policies on climate change.
Professor Garnaut says Australia’s large agricultural sector and a reliance on trade with developing nations in Asia, that are also put at risk by rising temperatures, makes it one of the most vulnerable countries in the developed world. He says Australia needs to play a lead role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by going beyond its stated target of a 60 per cent cut by 2050.
But Professor Garnaut says Australia is relatively well-placed to convert strong action on climate change into economic opportunity.
The report also sets out an initial guide to the design of an emissions trading scheme.
State and federal leaders have been briefed on the details of the interim report in Adelaide.
South Australian Premier Mike Rann says it paints a very sobering picture for the global community.
“Essentially what I’m sure that you will find out is that in the last five years and certainly since the modelling done by Sir Nicholas Stern, things are much worse for the world in terms of global warming than previously believed,” he said.
Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter says the report has a blunt warning.
“What Ross Garnaut has done is basically tell us, ‘less time than you thought, more action than you thought, maybe in a shorter space of time’,” Mr Carpenter said.  “There needs to be a sense of urgency. This isn’t a matter just for governments, it’s a matter for the ordinary people of the states.”

So thats the report findings to date I will be posting more as it becomes available but get ready Aussies for more drought, floods, storms, etc etc….

can the earths rate of Climate Change be slowed do you think….

or do you think the earth we passed that point long ago?

UPDATE here is a link directly to the Garnaut Review Website for more info from the source

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These are some of the issues raised in the United Nation Summit on Sustainable Development has listed among changes since 1987 that have impacted the environment: To read the full news go to the The Star .

Earth’s human population has grown by 34 per cent, from 5 billion to 6.7 billion. That has led to destruction or depletion of water, soil, forests, species and almost every one of the planet’s resources.

International trade has tripled. Its benefits are offset by its contribution to the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes and almost every other water body.

The world’s average per capita income has risen by 40 per cent, but the gap between rich and poor continues to grow.

Air quality has improved in some places, most noticeably in the rich developed countries, but often because polluting industries have moved to poor nations. Although measures to control ozone-depleting substances are considered a success, the ozone hole continues to grow. And bad indoor or outdoor air is estimated to kill 2 million people each year.

Greenhouse gas emissions have risen by a third, leading to much higher concentrations in the atmosphere and the threat of catastrophic climate change.

The yield from an average hectare of cropland has increased to 2.5 tonnes, from 1.8 tonnes in 1987, but “unsustainable land use is causing degradation, a threat as serious as climate change.”

Intensive ocean fishing is devastating some species very quickly and, increasingly further down the food chain. Worse, the demand for fish is expected to increase by about 1.5 per cent a year.

By 2025, nearly 2 billion people will live in countries faced with absolute shortages of water.

What do you think is climate a done deal, is climate a big hoax, or what can we do to change it?

The latest on the Mill

This is my pet gripe at present. If you haven’t already realised….

In the interests of a reasonable discussion I have tried to find information at various sources to give a balanced and unbias view of this topic…. However apart from the media spin and government bodies telling us how good it will be and that it is up there with worlds best pratice I have yet to find any information which will tell me let alone convince me it is safe in the areas of health, air, water, environment both land and marine….

The Federal Minister for the Environment Malcolm Turnbull has approved this mill with the support of the Federal Labor Government, but his powers only cover a few areas not the full range of environmental issues raised by this development….  

I have included the most recent press release information from The Wilderness Society and a second release which tells you what the problem is.

There are also links and references to learn more….

So please read on for whats really happening down here in Tasmania……

Scientists address unanswered questions from pulp mill assessment

The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc
Media Release
14 OCTOBER 2007

A public meeting held today in Sydney highlighted the failures and unaddressed the issues in the assessment of Gunns’ highly controversial Tasmanian pulp mill. The event featured key scientific experts and climate change campaigners and was the first opportunity for the public to have outstanding questions answered in the wake of the federal government’s approval of the pulp mill.

“This event has proved important in raising public awareness of the inadequacies of the pulp mill’s assessment and having credible scientific experts cut through the spin and highlight the environmental, social and climate change damage associated with this mill,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. 

“The mill’s appetite for native forests and the effects this would have on biodiversity, water and climate change have gone totally unassessed by either the state or federal government.”

Very conservative estimates of the carbon emissions generated by the logging needed to feed the mill indicate over 10 million tonnes of CO2 would be emitted each year. This is equivalent to 2% of Australia’s emissions or an additional 2.3 million cars on the road each year. Once more studies are completed and more understanding is gained about the amount of carbon stored in Tasmania’s forests, net emissions are expected to be found to be 2–3 times higher than this.

“Despite the two government assessments, positive spin, and considerable media coverage, the public are full of questions and outraged at the selective, narrow and inadequate assessment of such a massive industrial project,” continued Mr Bayley.

“The interest in this event demonstrates a high level of community concern and keeps the pressure on both major parties who support this destructive proposal.”

“Both the Prime Minister and opposition leader Kevin Rudd have locked their parties into backing the construction of this pulp mill despite the unaddressed scientific questions and massive community opposition,” said Mr Bayley.

“Both claim to be leading the world with policies that deal with climate change, yet both turn a blind eye to the massive carbon emissions of current logging and the additional carbon emissions that would be generated by this pulp mill.”

“Protecting existing carbon dense forests should be the first step in any credible climate change policy. Approving the pulp mill could shut the door on this option. It will commit future generations to dangerous climate change, causing worsening weather cycles such as drought and extreme fire conditions,” concluded Mr Bayley.
For more information, please contact:

Vica Bayley
Tasmanian Forest Campaigner
<!– document.write(‘Email Vica Bayley’); // –>

Why the proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill would be a disaster

 

Our forests
The pulp mill will initially be 80% based on native forest.1 It will destroy forests in the Great Western Tiers, North-East Highlands and Ben Lomond. Gunns’ woodchip exports will continue from the Hampshire and Triabunna woodchip mills.1 The combined appetites of these mills plus the pulp mill will double the current rate of woodchipping in Tasmania.1

Our ocean and beaches
Experts—including the Tasmanian Government’s own consultant, Sweco Pic—have said that Gunns failed to carry out adequate baseline studies and modelling of the effluents.2 Oceanographers have warned that the effluent will frequently blow back to shore and into the Tamar Estuary.3

Our marine life and fisheries
The 64,000 tonnes of effluent that the pulp mill will discharge into Bass Strait every day contain small quantities of dioxins and furans—some of the deadliest substances known to science.4 These build up over time in the food chain, contaminating fish, shellfish, seals and other marine life. This could damage our export fishing industry, which relies on a clean reputation.

Our wildlife
Scientists have warned that planned logging in Tasmania’s north-east threatens animals and birds with local extinction.5 These include the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, the spotted-tail quoll and the giant freshwater crayfish.

Our water
The pulp mill will consume 26 to 40 billion litres of fresh water each year.1 This is almost as much as the combined use of all water users in Northern Tasmania.6  Research shows that plantations can reduce stream flow by over 50%.7 Meanwhile, north-east Tasmania can expect a forecast reduction in rainfall of 8% over 30 years due to climate change.8 

The air of the Tamar Valley
The pulp mill will stink. ‘Fugitive emissions’ of odour from hundreds of sources within the mill’s complex will drift to homes, businesses, farms and wineries in the vicinity of the mill.9 The Australian Medical Association (Tasmanian branch) says the pulp mill ‘could cause an increase in the already existing morbidity and mortality from atmospheric pollutants’.10

Our climate
Each year the pulp mill will use four million tonnes of wood for pulping and 500,000 tonnes for burning to generate power.1 Logging of native forests to supply the mill over 25 years will produce greenhouse gases equivalent to the CO2 released by all the cars, trucks and buses in Tasmania over 80 years.11

Our economy
Independent economists have warned that the pulp mill could cost Tasmania’s economy $3.3 billion and hundreds of lost jobs in the tourism, fishing and agricultural industries. The mill has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars. If it proceeds, it could cost the taxpayer an additional $800 million.12

53% of voters in Bass oppose the pulp mill while only 35% support it. 70% of Bass voters support a chlorine-free, 100% plantation-based pulp mill at Hampshire.13

Read about the pulp mill rally at Low Head, Tasmania, on 7 October.

REFERENCES

  1. Gunns Ltd, Bell Bay Pulp Mill, Draft Integrated Impact Statement
  2. Assessment of the Gunns Limited Bell Bay Pulp Mill against the Environmental Emission Limit Guidelines, Sweco Pic, June 2007; Miotti Consulting Peer Review of Sweco Pic Report
  3. Dr Stuart Godfrey http://www.cleantamar.com.au/pulp_mill_press_release.html
  4. Gunns’ referral under the EPBC Act, April 2007
  5. University of Melbourne and Forestry Tasmania 2003; Bekessy transcripts, Wielangta court case 2006
  6. Annual Reports, Esk Water and Cradle Coast Water
  7. Trading water for carbon with biological carbon sequestration, Jackson et al. 23 December 2005 Vol 310 Science.
  8. Tasmanian Government Draft Climate Change Strategy 2006
  9. Dr Warwick Raverty
  10. Australian Medical Association Tasmania, position statements, http://www.amatas.com.au/issues/
  11. Trees—the Forgotten Solution to Climate Change, The Wilderness Society 2006
  12. Business Round Table for Economic Sustainability, http://www.lec.org.au/
  13. Newspoll 27–28 August 2007, 400 respondents

There is always a NATURAL WAY

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Ever since I was a small child I have been surrounded by animals,
creatures in all shapes and sizes and I guess this started me on the
road to understanding or trying to understand the world around us. 
My Grandfather had a huge Vegetable Garden in the backyard and
trees and flowers everywhere, people would ask him to help them in
their yards and for hints and tips on keeping it healthy.  The yard was
a magical place to grow up, with lizards, snails, worms, snakes, spiders,
cicardas, and all manner of bugs.
I remember asking him when I was about 6 yrs old, why he had so many
bugs in the garden when my friends had so few and what they did? he told me:
“The lady bugs eat the Afides on his prize winning roses, the flowers keep the
cabbage moths busy, the worms made food for the plants to eat, the mulch kept
the soil nice and damp and the cicardas help keep the pests and wasps of the fruit.”
He would always tell me never use chemicals, there is always a natural way….
This was nearly 40 years ago.  He would companion plant, pull up weeds, dig in
mulch and generally use the tools nature gave him to grow the vegetables that
we would eat all year round.
My parents had cats, dogs, birds, and fish so I was always in company of some
creature or another, we never had mice or rats, issues with tomcats or spiders in
the house. The cats kept the mice away, the Tomcats and Prowlers where kept
away by the Dogs and the Spiders eaten by the birds…..
It was a very natural and wonderful thing to learn about our symbiotic relationship to world around us.
This lifestyle was in the city, with all normal issues of work and school that go along
with it.
In recent times I have tried to raise my children in the same spirit,
we would take them camping, exploring, swimming in the rivers, rock climbing, caving,etc. 
They have visited some of the most beautiful places this country has
to offer and it has paid dividends for all of us.

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One day driving home from a shopping trip, we decided to visit a friend who
lived just off the main road, having not called in for a while. 
On the way to her house  we drove past what had been terrific bushland
but now it flaterned not a tree was left standing.
My daughter was in the back seat, she was about 3 years old,
she started to scream and sob, as if great pain, it was so bad we had to stop,
thinking she had injured herself in someway. 
We took her out of the car, asked her what was the matter,
all the while looking for some indication of what had caused this. 
All she could do was point at the trees. 
So we calmed her down and took her for a walk through the devastation
of what had been beautiful bushland, you could almost hear her heart breaking
when we found a dead possom.  She asked
“where are the other animals?”, “where are they living?”,
“why are all the trees gone?”, “it isnt fair they didn’t do anything!”

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How do answer such question from a child, So the truth was the only answer
and I explained the reason for this was a new housing estate, and shopping centre,
her reaction shocked even me and thats not easy,
she said nothing just walked back to car sat down put her belt on and that was it,
she was CROSS!
When we arrived home, not stopping at the friends house,
she took out our travel book and looking at the pictures
she used her pencil to mark all the places there were no trees,
then she marked all the places there were homes and shopping centres,
drew a line between them all and then gave it to me.
I said to her what is this you had better explain, so she did:
“These places have no trees and no bush and no animals live here,
so here is where the houses go.
These are the shops for the people to go shopping,
and these lines are the roads to take them there.
Look I didn’t cut down ONE Tree. Can I send my map to the
Tree choppers so they can see where to build their houses?”
So this Blog is my hopefully my way of showing the Treechoppers for her,
and a Tribute to my Gandfathers inspirational teachings.

There is always a NATURAL WAY

Hello world!

Well Hello World!

Yes I am the Original Aussie Cynic.

I have decided to create an all seeing, all powerful Blog, a site for everything interesting.

This is my Environmentalist Blog.

We need a site to allow the truth about the Environment to be freely viewed, read and exposed, feel free to contact me with your suggestions, photos, scoopes etc…. Tell us whats happening in your part of the world.

So together we might be able fix the world, save the planet, or at least our little parts of it.