- US President Barak Obama during his second inaugural address
As Barak Obama takes on his second term as President of the US he told the world that he intends to tackle climate change. President Obama has identified immigration, equal rights and climate change as key areas of focus in his second term. Let’s hope he can make some changes.
This week, a new report spelt out that greenhouse gas emissions from Australia's coal exports are expected to increase by 720 million tonnes per year by 2020 from 2011 levels. This reported in the same week that The Australian ran a front page story explaining that carbon emissions from the electricity sector have dived since the introduction of the carbon price.
UN boss Ban Ki-moon says he will press world leaders to agree a binding deal against climate warming by 2015; simultaneously IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri said publically that Australia’s heat wave is evidence of climate change.
Still, much discussion is being had about Australia’s heat waves and what they signify. NASA released a map showing the extent of the record breaking heat across Australia. Opinions are riding high about extreme temperatures and how they relate to climate change. Given that we are scorching hot in Australia and need all the help staying cool we can get, what on Earth made us think that having black tiles on our roof was a good idea?
As the planet continues its warming trend, climate scientists say whole marine ecosystems are feeling the heat. The east coast of Australia is now considered one of the fastest warming areas in the region. Meantime more than 30 countries have introduced or are pushing ahead with climate change legislation.
The Senate inquiry into our preparedness for extreme weather events has attracted a lot of attention. Not least of which is a submission from Bushwalking Victoria which says climate change will discourage walkers from venturing out and make things more difficult and hazardous for those who do.
The good news is that solar capacity has broken through the one gigawatt barrier. Spain and Italy have set new records in the production of solar energy. And a village on the Fiji island of Kadavu has become the first in the country to benefit from a Japanese aid program to provide solar power to rural households.
British scientists are trying to find ways to create more efficient forms of solar power by investigating how to mimic the way plants transform sunlight into energy and produce hydrogen to fuel vehicles. Speaking of more efficient vehicles, a hybrid SUV will soon be on sale here in Australia and a solar powered vehicle is in the pipeline.
Our friend Lord Monckton is on the way and will soon address the Press Club. Here are some interesting resources to help with that. And we leave you with the latest piece from author Naomi Oreskes who tells us it is time for a Manhattan Project take on climate change! See you next week.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user joroach – License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0