DOHA is over, the Kyoto Protocol has been extended to 2020, there is some rare good news about the Great Barrier Reef, the IPCC tells us that we are warming at the rate they had warned us about and giant fish that can live for 70 years have found a new home. All this and more this week …
“If cyclone Yasi had hit Hay Point, we would have lost that facility … so it is a recognition that as these cyclones become more severe, we need to have facilities that are more able to withstand them.”
- Marcus Randolph, BHP executive
Despite the fact that the world’s largest mining firm seems to agree that extreme weather is happening, BHP’s reaction to this realisation is slightly disheartening. In tandem, our own Peter Christoff writes in the The Age that we should look at the way we sell coal – and consider putting it on the list of harmful substances.
Well, the talks at Doha are done and dusted. Some laws have been strengthened but the agreement is weak. The talks did deliver a new Kyoto Protocol – or Kyoto 2 as it has been dubbed, but no major cuts to emission targets have been made.
So the important stuff is being discussed, like, what life would be like if we let the global temperature rise go to four degrees Celsius, and more – in this interesting piece about the possibility of six degrees of warming. As depressing as this is, it is important that it is being published in the mainstream press, not in The Australian, interestingly, but they do offer this, rightly or wrongly…
And we are told that all of the predictions about projected levels of warming, contained in the work released by IPCC, have been met. This is interesting information to have, as we slide into the last few weeks when submissions can still be made to the Senate Inquiry into Australia’s preparedness for extreme weather.
And for the good news, there may be a silver lining for the Great Barrier Reef. Or maybe it’s a green lining, as the ANU reports that a thin film of aglae may protect the reef from the damaging effects of ocean acidity. And, to add to that – we are told that experts think the Reef should attract a billion dollar relief package to protect it.
And a hybrid engine factory has opened its doors in Australia, in the west of Melbourne, which is the first of its kind outside of Japan. Meantime in South Melbourne, the first community based large scale solar project is underway.
If you need to know more about coal seam gas - this background briefing might be interesting reading for you. And still with the ABC, Unleashed tells us that the next big issue for us to deal with is the wave of environmental refugees who will need our help.
We thought we had lost them, but there have been some sightings of the giant friendly fish who are hopefully still swimming in Australian waters.
And as the holiday season approaches, if you get a chance to see a movie – apparently this is a good one. Here is hoping it will make it to a cinema near you. 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