Thursday 25th of April 2019

G20 ....

more chinese whispers .....

Former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery says if the G20 meeting of world leaders in London does not make a decision on further measures to combat climate change, there will be an even bigger economic crisis.

Mr Flannery is one of the key signatories to an open letter from the Copenhagen Climate Council to the G20, calling on the nations involved to invest in green growth or risk handing huge risks to future generations.

"We believe that this year we are at an historic crossroads. Either we establish a new more effective global climate treaty to tackle the climate problem or we jeopardise our common future," the letter said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/02/2533308.htm?section=justin

 

the art of thought...

From the NYT: G-20 Pact Has New Rules and Commitments of $1.1 Trillion

By MARK LANDLER and DAVID E. SANGER

LONDON — Attempting to bridge deep divides in policy and financial philosophy, the leaders of nearly two dozen of the world’s largest economies agreed Thursday to a broad array of new fiscal and regulatory steps, in a desperate effort to revive the paralyzed global economy.

At the conclusion of the first economic summit meeting to rivet world attention in decades, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain announced that the leaders had committed to $1.1 trillion in additional loans and guarantees to finance trade and bail out troubled countries.

But the funds he announced are well short of a direct injection of stimulus into the world’s economic bloodstream — the result of a continuing division between continental Europe and much of the rest of the world over whether to act now or wait see how current spending measures take effect.

“This is the day the world came together to fight against the global recession,” Mr. Brown declared. “Our message today is clear and certain: we believe global problems require global solutions.”

In the end, the daylong conference — which also served as President Obama’s debut on the world stage — yielded what seemed to be a more forceful and detailed blueprint for recovery than a similar gathering in 1933, which failed to fend off the rampant protectionism and misery of the Great Depression.

Among the steps Mr. Brown detailed are strict new regulations on hedge funds and rating agencies, as well as a crackdown on tax havens, which will be publicly named and subject to sanctions if they do not agree to share tax information with the authorities of other countries.

The Group of 20 also agreed on new global rules to cap the pay and bonuses of bankers, as well as a common approach to dealing with the toxic assets on the balance sheets of the world’s banks. That is an issue that has bedeviled the Obama administration and other governments.

Giving teeth to an endorsement of free trade at the last summit in Washington, the countries agreed to “name and shame” countries that erected trade barriers. They also pledged $250 billion in financing for trade.

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No green policy in this mixed bag of platitudes, of sticks and carrots, yet...

Thus another opportunity lost. Despite the worldwide recession, the carbon dioxide emissions are still way up, the degradation of the environment is still happening at speed and, in order to survive, CapitalISM still needs other -ISMS  to survive, such as expansionISM (disguised as growth) which it intends to revive — though with less excessISM...

And please NYT, do not use the world philosophy with the adjective financial. It's demeaning to the art of thought.

pragmatically going down the tube...

from the BBC

The US must balance science with what is politically and technologically achievable on climate change, America's lead negotiator has said.

Speaking at UN talks in Bonn, Jonathan Pershing said the US must not offer more than it could deliver by 2020.

Poor countries said the latest science showed rich states should cut emissions by 40% on 1990 levels by 2020.

President Barack Obama's plan merely to stabilise greenhouse gases at 1990 levels by 2020 is much less ambitious.

Mr Pershing, the US delegation head, previously spent many years promoting clean energy for the International Energy Agency and at the Washington think-tank WRI - World Resources Institute.

'Pragmatic' approach

He told the BBC he was very worried the Earth might already be committed to dangerous climate change.

But he said the US should not make promises for 2020 that it could not keep: "It is not the point in time in 2020 that matters - it is a long-term trajectory against which the science measures cumulative emissions.

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at least the world recession has slowed down the sales of cars and boosted the use of bicycles in rich countries by a few percentage points....

going down the tube, pragmatically...

One Antarctic ice shelf has quickly vanished, another is disappearing and glaciers are melting faster than anyone thought due to climate change, US and British government researchers have reported.

They said the Wordie Ice Shelf, which had been disintegrating since the 1960s, is gone and the northern part of the Larsen Ice Shelf no longer exists.

More than 8,300 square kilometres have broken off from the Larsen shelf since 1986.

Climate change is to blame, according to the report from the US Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey.

In another report published in the journal Geophysical Letters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that ice is melting much more rapidly than expected in the Arctic as well, based on new computer analyses and recent ice measurements.

The UN Climate Panel projects that world atmospheric temperature will rise by between 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Celsius because of emissions of greenhouse gases that could bring floods, droughts, heat waves and more powerful storms.

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see toon at top and other comments on this site regarding climate change... And, please, pass on the message (or links to this site) to as many people as you can... No-no, the end is not nigh. But dramatic climate change is.

cooking oil...

From the NYT: Oil Companies Loath to Follow Obama’s Green Lead

By JAD MOUAWAD

The Obama administration wants to reduce oil consumption, increase renewable energy supplies and cut carbon dioxide emissions in the most ambitious transformation of energy policy in a generation.

But the world’s oil giants are not convinced that it will work. Even as Washington goes into a frenzy over energy, many of the oil companies are staying on the sidelines, balking at investing in new technologies favored by the president, or even straying from commitments they had already made.

Royal Dutch Shell said last month that it would freeze its research and investments in wind, solar and hydrogen power, and focus its alternative energy efforts on biofuels. The company had already sold much of its solar business and pulled out of a project last year to build the largest offshore wind farm, near London.

BP, a company that has spent nine years claiming it was moving “beyond petroleum,” has been getting back to petroleum since 2007, paring back its renewable program. And American oil companies, which all along have been more skeptical of alternative energy than their European counterparts, are studiously ignoring the new messages coming from Washington.

“In my view, nothing has really changed,” Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, said after the election of President Obama. “We don’t oppose alternative energy sources and the development of those. But to hang the future of the country’s energy on those alternatives alone belies reality of their size and scale.”

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see toon at top...

cycletown

VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the Swiss border. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor.

Vauban, completed in 2006, is an example of a growing trend in Europe, the United States and elsewhere to separate suburban life from auto use, a movement called “smart planning.”

Automobiles are the linchpin of suburbs, where middle-class families from Chicago to Shanghai tend to make their homes. And that, experts say, is a huge impediment to current efforts to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes to reduce global warming. Passenger cars are responsible for 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, a proportion that is growing, according to the European Environment Agency, and up to 50 percent in some car intensive areas in the United States.

While there have been efforts in the past two decades to make cities more dense and better for walking, planners are now taking the concept to the suburbs and focusing specifically on environmental benefits like reducing emissions. Vauban, completed in 2006 and home to 5,500 residents within a rectangular square mile, may be the most advanced experiment in low-car suburban life. But its basic precepts are being adopted around the world in attempts to make suburbs more compact and more accessible to public transportation, with fewer parking spaces. In this new approach, stores are placed a walk away, on a main street, rather than in malls along some distant highway.

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There is a small town in Europe where the schemes of bicycle swaps and electric car swaps have been in operation for nearly 40 years and 20 years respectively. These schemes are now slowly being implanted in London and Paris. But the suburb with no cars at all sounds like a winner. All it needs is a few local shops serviced by cart and horse and we have the "village". Add some solar heating and solar energy panels and the place is completely sustainable... like it used to be before mod-cons...

good call, tim...

There is a new split in the climate change debate after a top NASA scientist expressed hope the Copenhagen summit would fail.

James Hansen, who for 20 years has called for urgent action to tackle climate change, said any agreement to emerge from the meeting would be so deeply flawed it would be better to start again.

However, award-winning Australian environmentalist Dr Tim Flannery says this time Dr Hansen has made the "wrong call".

In Britain's Guardian newspaper, Dr Hansen trashes the Copenhagen talks, which are just days away, saying it would be better for future generations to start again from scratch.

But Dr Flannery says nations have to start somewhere.

"I think that we're on track to achieve something quite significant at Copenhagen," Dr Flannery said.

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Good call, Tim.... See toon at top.

Climate deniers are Industrial shock troops.

The Industrial Age has had the effect of changing the climate of our planet.  Plain fact.

 

While we scream murder at the idea of Iran having Nuclear Energy, we watch the Liberals elect a climate change denier and foreign corporation hero Tony Abbott. Struth.

 

If – and that is a little word with a big meaning – the media decides that the “Mad Monk” as he is known in parliamentary circles, is now a completely changed person then we are mad if we believe that.  Leopards don’t ….you know.

 

The real Tony Abbott has clearly shown that he is not a fit leader for anything short of a gang of thugs.  His history is one of non-compliance with the behavior that is expected of Australian representatives in a sometimes crazy world.  He is Neanderthal and still treats women in that fashion.

 

And while the screaming red neck Senator tries to portray him as a “fair dinkum” Australian, I would prefer Gary Humphrey’s politician – Les Patterson.  At least he was funny.

 

We have many times allowed our national identity to be lampooned but, this person and his close allies are no joke.  The issue of Climate Change without cost to the people of this nation is so impossible that it should be ignored by any reasoning person.

 

The Rudd Government and Ian Macfarlane produced a bi-partisan document that I thought was a goer, especially after the Liberal Party agreed to it.

 

Not only did those people break their word, they ousted their Leader.  The Nationals in the Senate followed the “red-neck crazy” and even some Liberals have realized the danger that that man poses.  Howard wanted them defunct and maybe he was right?

 

In the two months before the next sitting of the Parliament, the targets of lies and obfuscations will be us.  We might – and that is a big word with a little meaning – fail to see the dangers in ever believing a Party who crucifies their leaders and breaks their word – even to their own constituents.  Shades of Howard’s “non-core” promises?

 

With action on climate change imperative, we cannot afford to have the foreign Corporations controlling the policies of our nation or any other for that matter.

 

God Bless Australia.  NE OUBLIE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G7 minus G-one = zero...

US President Donald Trump has refused to endorse the Group of Seven leaders' summit statement in retaliation to what he has called "false statements" from the Canadian Prime Minister, despite the communique having already been released to the public.

 

 

After departing from the Quebec summit for Singapore, Mr Trump tweeted that he had asked American representatives not to endorse the joint communique put out by the G7 leaders, which called for a "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism.

Mr Trump made the comments after the communique had already been officially released in response to a press conference held by Justin Trudeau to mark the close of the summit.

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-10/donald-trump-asks-us-reps-to-not-e...

 

Back to the drawing board...

flannery to the fore...

Instead of getting “dismayed and depressed”, he suggests we focus on damage that’s still within our power to avoid. “We have to reduce emissions as hard and fast as possible … [and] develop technologies that will get gigatons of carbon dioxide out of the air by 2050.”

Technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – such as giant seaweed farms and processes to accelerate weathering of silicate rocks – have been a focus of his of late. “We can claw back some of the damage. We will go through 2C, but hopefully come out the other side.”

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/20/tim-flannery-people-...

 

 

Meanwhile:

The Northern Territory has begun the largest mass evacuation since cyclone Tracy in 1974, with Tropical Cyclone Trevor expected to strengthen to a category four or five system as it moves west across the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Key points:
  • NT authorities are evacuating thousands of people in Trevor's path from Groote Eylandt to Borroloola 
  • More than 173 millimetres of rain has fallen over 24 hours at RAAF Base Scherger, near Weipa
  • BOM said wind gusts higher than 130 kilometres per hour could develop between Weipa and Aurukun today

 

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is due to fly more residents from Groote Eylandt to Darwin this morning after flying residents into the city yesterday.

Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services incident controller Hege Burns said local charter companies and Airnorth evacuated about 220 of the island's 1,600 residents yesterday, and the ADF would ramp up those efforts today.

At dawn nine buses were due to bring residents from the coastal community of Numbulwar to Katherine, and buses will continue running throughout the day.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-21/cyclone-trevor-reaches-gulf-but-c...

 

See also:

Aid agencies are scrambling to reach survivors of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique as the full scale of the disaster becomes clear.

Charities say thousands of people are stranded by catastrophic flooding, clinging to roofs or stuck in trees.

In the port city of Beira aid workers say they have only two to three days of clean water left.

About 300 people are confirmed dead in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but the toll is expected to rise.

With shortages of food and clean drinking water the threat of disease is growing, medical agencies warn.

The powerful cyclone swept in to Beira last Thursday, with winds of more than 177 km/h (106 mph). It left a trail of devastation as it moved inland across Zimbabwe and Malawi.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47647804

 

 

10 years down the road and things are not improving. Read from top.