Week ending 15 July 2012
PICKS OF THE WEEK
The bush is dying, yet still we deny it
Canberra Times Editorial, July 13, 2012
Australian politicos’ focus on Whyalla earlier this month – will or won’t the carbon tax wipe it ”off the map”? – summed up just how low the national climate change debate has sunk
Must-See Videos: ABC Interviews Climatologist Michael Mann
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, July 12, 2012
ABC’s Bill Blakemore has a 5-part interview of the most vindicated climate scientist in America, Michael Mann. All 5 videos are posted below with links to their transcripts.
Scientists attribute extreme weather to man-made climate change
Fiona Harvey, Guardian, 10 July 2012
Researchers have for the first time attributed recent floods, droughts and heatwaves, to human-induced climate change
How global warming is driving our weather wild.
New Scientist, 9 July 2012
Climate scientists have long warned that global warming will lead to more heatwaves, droughts and floods. Yet some of these recent extremes, such as the summer in March, are way beyond the predictions of our climate models.
NOAA releases comprehensive 2011 State of the Climate report
Matt Daniel, Earth Sky, 12 July 2012
Major cooling factor globally in 2011 was La Nina. At the same time, the report identified “human fingerprints” in more than two dozen climate indicators.
2011 State of the Climate report
Continental U.S. breaks heat record in first half of 2012
The World’s Most Visited Newspaper Website Continues to Regurgitate Nonsense from Climate Change ‘Sceptics’
Bob Ward, Huffington Post, 11 July 2012
The website of the Daily Mail, one of the UK’s most popular daily newspapers, has proved once again that some parts of the Press are apparently oblivious to the scrutiny they are receiving from the Leveson Inquiry into their culture and practices following the phone hacking scandal.
Sea Level Rise: It Could Be Worse than We Think
Michael D. Lemonick, Climate Central, July 12, 2012
A new analysis released Thursday in the journal Science implies that the seas could rise dramatically higher over the next few centuries than scientists previously thought — somewhere between 18-to-29 feet above current levels, rather than the 13-to-20 feet they were talking about just a few years ago
ENERGY AND INNOVATION
How big utilities propose to kill solar PV
Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy, 9 July 2012
A couple of nasty figures have been produced in recent weeks that will give energy companies – retailers, generators and distributors – cause to reflect on how they will manage to satisfy their shareholders’ insatiable appetite for increased profits in coming years.
Climate risks heat up as world switches on to air conditioning
Stan Cox, Yale Environment 360, 10 July 2012
The US has long used more energy for air conditioning than all other nations combined – but that’s about to change
A history of solar – an essential timeline
Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy, 5 July 2012
Solar power has undoubtedly come in leaps and bounds from nothing more than a laughable, sci-fi concept to a viable energy source. This terrific Timeline below shows some of the most momentous occasions in the history of solar power, right back to the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in 1839.
Collapse in coal demand claims a US Patriot
Glenn Dyer, Crikey, 11 July 2012
America’s natural gas boom has claimed its biggest victim so far with Patriot Coal — one of the country’s biggest miners of thermal and coking coal — collapsing with assets of $US3.5 billion. St. Louis-based Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation on Monday, US time. The collapse shows the pressures building in the huge US coal industry from changes being wrought by the shale gas boom.
How a community solar scheme is turning sunshine into dollars
Kelly Vaughn, Rocky Mountain Institute, 11 July 2012
Years ago, a Basalt native Paul Spencer set out to build an off-grid home not far from RMI’s Snowmass office. Through the process of designing and building his house, he developed a passion for real estate, and became well versed in renewable energy technologies. He began looking into the option of a green development in the Roaring Fork Valley: super-efficient homes powered by renewable energy.
The World Bank’s Chance to Clean Up Its Coal Act
Michael Brune and Andrew S Kanter, Huffington Post, 5 July 2012
Coal kills. Don’t take it from us; that’s what International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde told a Washington, D.C., audience recently, noting that coal pollution is responsible for 70,000 premature deaths each year in India alone. Shockingly, that is only the tip of the iceberg.
China finding ways to cut back on coal
Peter Cai, Philip Wen, The Age, 12 July 2012
CHINA’S hunger for Australian coal is likely to wane as it moves to a more energy-efficient economy, says Australia’s leading climate change and China expert
POLITICS AND POLICY
L.A. braces for hellish heat waves while world leaders diddle
Greg Hanscom, Grist, 12 July 2012
Two summers ago, the National Weather Service’s thermometer in downtown Los Angeles cracked 113 degrees F for the first time ever. Then it broke, leaving weather geeks to wonder if the city’s record high was actually even hotter than their tools were able to handle
Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers
Paul G. Bain et al, Nature Climate Change, 04 July 2012
A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change1, 2. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally
Why it would be a mistake to drop the price floor
Tristan Edis,Climate Spectator, 11 July 2012
As discussed yesterday in Climate Spectator and on Friday, the media has been rife with conjecture and opinion about the government dropping the three-year fixed price period and the subsequent floor for the carbon price.
Temperatures climbing, weather more unstable, a majority says in poll
Juliet Eilperin and Peyton M. Craighill, Washington Post, July 13, 2012
Most Americans say they believe temperatures around the world are going up and that weather patterns have become more unstable in the past few years, according to a new poll from The Washington Post and Stanford University.
Vote Climate website and analysis for Melbourne by-election on 21 July.
Our climate is getting hotter and more extreme. Victoria needs clean, renewable energy to replace our dirty coal-fired power stations such as Hazelwood. But Ted Baillieu’s government is doing the opposite, trashing solar and wind programmes and supporting new coal power stations and exports.
Heatwave in the US turns climate sceptics
Ben Cubby, SMH, July 10, 2012
THE tide of opinion is turning against climate change sceptics in North America, according to the head of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Lake Macquarie’s sea level notations locked in
David Quick, Lakes Mail, 12 July 2012
Unlike Gosford City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council is legally unable to remove controversial sea level rise notations from its s149 (2) certificates, even if it wanted to.
Donna Laframboise and The Delinquent Think Tank
Canadian blogger and climate science sceptic Donna Laframboise has flown off for a tour of Australia to tell anyone willing to listen that the world’s foremost body on climate change, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is something resembling a shambling mess
Terry McCrann’s outdated carbon tax attack
Tristan Edis,Climate Spectator, 12 July 2012
Terry McCrann, business writer for the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph, is like a lot of those railing against the carbon tax who fail to realise that their knowledge and training is desperately out of date.
SCIENCE AND IMPACTS
Two key reports highlight man’s influence on climate
Andrew Freedman, Renew Economy, 11 July 2012
The influence of manmade global warming on the climate system continues to grow, with human fingerprints identified in more than two dozen climate “indicators” examined by an international research team — from air temperatures to ocean acidity — for a comprehensive annual “State of the Climate” report released Tuesday.
Scientists warn reefs at danger due to global warming
ABC PM, 9 July 2012
A new report has found that more than 85 per cent of coral reefs in the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and East Timor are threatened by local human activities.
Rate of Climate Change’s ‘Evil Twin’ Has Scientists Worried
Common Dreams, July 9, 2012
Ocean acidification is moving at a rate faster than scientists had expected
Rising Acidity Brings an Ocean of Trouble
Is sea level risk rising?
Michael D Lemonick, Climate Central, 13 July 2012
A new analysis released Thursday in the journal Science implies that the seas could rise dramatically higher over the next few centuries than scientists previously thought – somewhere between 18-to-29 feet above current levels, rather than the 13-to-20 feet they were talking about just a few years ago
Great Ocean Road assets at risk from sea level rise
ABC News, July 10, 2012
A study reveals more than $150 million of public and privately-owned assets on the Great Ocean Road are at risk of erosion and sea level rise
2012 Heat Wave is Historic, if not Unprecedented
Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, July 8th, 2012
Now that the heat wave has finally subsided, we can begin to take stock of how unusual it really was. There is no question that it was extraordinary in its intensity and geographical scope for so early in the summer season. But was it unprecedented in American history?
Climate Change May Lead to Fewer but More Violent Thunderstorms
ScienceDaily, July 10, 2012
Researchers are working to identify exactly how a changing climate will impact specific elements of weather, such as clouds, rainfall, and lightning. A Tel Aviv University researcher has predicted that for every one degree Celsius of warming, there will be approximately a 10 percent increase in lightning activity.