Reports on Climate Change

Are we keeping up with Green Technological Innovation?

After the shock and depression of Copenhagen some good news is starting to appear. The President of the Maldives has advised that the argument in favour of emission control should be reborn in economics and security. His country, at sea level, is in danger of inundation. The President has said that switching to wind and solar power makes good economic sense and he has pledged his country to become carbon neutral by 2020, so we might ask what is being done within the confines of the Copenhagen Accord before the next summit in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29 to December 1

As of today, a total of 73 countries — 40 developed countries and 33 developing countries have submitted targets or actions to the UN Secretariat Click here   You can read about this further here It is a good start after the disagreements in Copenhagen

The Greenpeace Report on Climate Change Denial

"Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Industry and Climate Science" is an excellent report from Greenpeace.(article here) The analysis chronicles climate change denial over 20 years funded with $23m from Exxon Mobil in the past 12 years.
 Funds from the coal, oil and car industries were channeled through think tanks such the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The fundamental aim was to discredit the work of the IPCC based initially on the science of global warming and moving more recently to direct attack on contributing IPCC scientists. Names and mechanisms are detailed.

Climategate and shooting the messenger, by Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty, Nobel Prize winning scientist – is author of  “A Light History of Hot Air”  and member of the DEA Scientific Advisory Committee.
– We acknowledge that this article appeared in the Australian Financial Review February 11 2010. The article provides an important perspective from a world expert in science.

Climategate and shooting the messenger, by Peter Doherty

Back in November 2009, just before the Copenhagen Climate Congress, we suddenly saw the release of about 1,000 e-mails pirated from a server used by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of Britain’s University of East Anglia. The police are still investigating, but what was in a few of these e-mails has been exploited to discredit both the integrity of the climate science community and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Leading CRU investigators and their correspondents were among the thousands of scientists who contributed to the fourth (and latest) IPCC report that summarizes what is happening globally with this enormously complex and difficult situation and speculates about possible outcomes.

REDD: An introduction

It is important that we understand REDD because many Western governments including that of Australia are relying on this mechanism to set-off their own emissions. There is no evidence that REDD will succeed and many feel that its supposed promise is being used to dodge the need for emission reduction at source.  This article by Chis Lang was published in REDD Monitor prior to Copenhagen. All of us need to understand REDD so read on

REDD, or reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is one of the most controversial new issues in the climate change debate. The basic concept is simple: governments, companies or forest owners in the South should be rewarded for keeping their forests instead of cutting them down. The devil, as always, is in the details.

The Green Anaesthetist

A significant proportion of DEA members work in hospitals. This article by DEA members  Forbes McGain, Eugenie Kayak and David Story  provides an important blue print for sustainability in one specialty, anaesthetics. It should be an inspiration to all working in hospitals.

The reference for the article is McGain F, Kayak E, Story D. The Green Anaesthetist. In Riley R.H. (ed). Australasian Anaesthesia 2009. (pp.67-75). Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, 2009. ISSN 1032-2515. We are grateful to the Editor of this College for permission to publish.

Climate Change, an Analysis of Advocacy and the Public Silence

Perhaps climate change was a bad dream! Those expressing anxiety about its impacts and the future of humanity before the meeting in Copenhagen have awakened after the meeting and prefer not talk about their bad experience. The clamour of environmental groups has ceased like that of birds in a solar eclipse, scientists and their organisations are left reeling from fearsome attacks on their integrity, and governments are rapidly backsliding in response to polls showing that the public is increasingly disinterested in the topic.

The meagre commitments from nations in response to the Copenhagen Compact will result in a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees and if inadequately delivered will lead to a 4 degree rise. How can we be silent when emissions continue to slowly accelerate and virtually all scientific data demonstrate increasing effects on the physical and biological status of the planet?

Energy Policy for Australia by Mark Diesendorf

We thank Mark Diesendorf for writing this article for us. Mark has become a well respected authority on Energy. He will advise us on policy and we are very grateful.

Mark is Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies' University of New South Wales.

I draw your attention to two of Mark's books referred to in his article "Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy" reviews the energy technologies (including coal with carbon capture and storage and nuclear) that have been proposed for cutting GHG emissions. It then goes on to discuss the policies needed to implement the genuinely sustainable technologies, namely energy efficiency and renewable energy. Bookshop price is $49.95.

The second book, "Climate Action", starts from the situation where most governments have failed to implement effective policies to cut GHG emissions and then proposes strategies and tactics for the climate action movement to overcome the political barriers to change. There is pertinent advice for those visiting politicians who are challenged with statements like-renewable energy cannot provide base load power. I strongly recommend this book. Bookshop price is $34.95

Click here to read the article Energy Policy for Australia.

Uncharted Voyage: the Science and consequences of Ocean Acidification.

By Paul Roth FRACGP

Executive Summary 

Ocean acidification has been called “the other CO2 problem” and even “global warming’s evil twin”. It occurs when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, producing carbonic acid (H2CO3).

Carbonic acid rapidly dissociates to produce hydrogen (H+) and bicarbonate ions (HCO3-). The hydrogen ions so produced combine with carbonate ions (CO3), sourced from calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to form more bicarbonate. This reduces the amount of available calcium carbonate.

“Climate Science on Thin Ice”- an analysis

“Climate Science on thin ice” was the title of an article placed prominently in “The Australian” on January 18. The report stated

THE prediction, if true, was an apocalyptic one. The "rapid melting" of thousands of glaciers across the Himalayas would lead to deadly floods, followed by severe long-term water shortages across the food bowl of central Asia.
 
The melting glaciers would cause havoc to water supplies feeding Asia's nine largest rivers, including the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow rivers, affecting hundreds of millions of people.The result, according to a 2005 report by environmental group WWF, would be "massive eco and environmental problems for people in western China, Nepal and northern India"

An Analysis of our Predicament on Climate Change

David Shearman

We are struggling through a labyrinth of ideas and pressures in our search for progress. However long we wander in this maze there is only one way out and the exit sign says “economic reform”. Free market liberalism which has ruled our lives for several decades is on the nose, it failed on the promise it could regulate itself and brought misery to millions. The views of discarded economic theories of JM Keynes are making a come back; they are apparent in the pleadings and cajoling of some governments but not as yet in the actions of bankers and financiers who continue on their merry way.

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