This week, Gina Rinehart is ensconced, three newspaper editors are out. Tony Abbott is scaring cats and dogs while the good news is the Clean Energy Finance Corporation becomes law and of course the moment we have all been waiting for - the carbon price actually arrives!
`Presumably tomorrow he will be out trying to scare Skippy the bush kangaroo and the day after he'll be trying to scare Puff the magic dragon'
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Carbon price is in this weekend. Will the sky fall on your head?
Of course Mr Abbott is keeping calm, cool and collected – see the flyer he has circulated. In response, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Council of Small Business Australia and legal advice from the firm Hall and Wilcox all concur that businesses displaying the flyer may well be making misleading claims about price rises – putting themselves at risk of a one million dollar fine.
Fearless climate campaigner Claire Maries writes for the ACF President and scientist Ian Lowe that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is law – and expands on all of the exciting changes which that will entail. It is definitely a game changer and we should all take a moment to take in the magnitude of this announcement. You Presenters will be getting a set of slides on this soon…
The Federal Government has announced $42 million worth of grants for community energy efficiency programs. Have a look and see if you live near any of these successful grant recipients. And the Climate Change Authority has appointed its board – including economist Dr Lynne Williams, climate scientist Prof David Karoly, business woman Heather Ridout and Prof Clive Hamilton.
So having had the good news first, we can’t ignore the very large bad news. Gina R is still buying the news. On the eve of the release of her biography, in her written responses in lieu of an actual appearance on the Four Corners program she says her mission is “to lessen the fear the media have caused over these issues, the media should also permit to be published that climate change has been occurring naturally since the earth began, not just the views of the climate extremists.’’
At the same time Peter Voser the CEO of oil behemoth Shell, says he and his company are very much looking forward to the carbon price in Australia, and have been budgeting for a $40 a tonne price.
And multinational GE releases a survey which shows that of the 136 executives surveyed, nearly three-quarters believe the carbon price scheme would remain despite the Coalition's pledge to repeal it if elected.
Are we getting closer to an index which factors in well-being? Could be! And in the meantime the message for employers and employees in Australia is that for everyone’s future well-being, we would rather Australia did not get any hotter.
Abroad, a US federal court of appeals has upheld the right of environmental regulators to curb harmful carbon emissions via clean car standards and limiting industrial pollution from new power plants. In parallel the U.S. Geological Survey says the East Coast is in the line of fire. Watch out Manhattan. New modelling shows that if global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, global-mean sea level could continue to rise, reaching between 1.5 and 4 metres above present-day levels by the year 2300.
Back home, for a really sobering reality check have a look at the Reader’s Digest list of Australia’s most trusted people. Hmmm … see you next week!
This Week in Climate Change (formally The Week That Was), a weekly review of climate change politics, policy, innovation and science from Climate Reality Leader Andrew Woodward. @climatecomm