Monday 20th of May 2024



Emmanuel Hantobolo is standing on the barren field behind his farmstead, looking resignedly at the corn stalks lying on the hard, dust-dry ground. "The last harvest was a catastrophe," says the small farmer. "The corn is normally two-and-a-half meters (8 feet) tall, but this time, the biggest plants only reached my waist. Most withered."

Hantobolo only harvested a wheelbarrow full. "A single wheelbarrow, ridiculous!" he says. The few kilograms he managed to yield aren't even enough to feed his large family. 

The rail-thin 52-year-old farms 8 hectares (20 acres) he inherited from his father in 1984. At first, things went well: He had four cows, two bulls, a small herd of goats and chickens, and he cultivated corn, soybeans, peanuts and vegetables. But then, he recalls, came 1995, a cursed year with almost no rainfall.

Few Agricultural Products Left To Sell

Things got even worse at the end of the last season. Hantobolo sowed his fields in November, but there were only a few drops of rain during the year and all the crops died. "We're experiencing the most horrible drought in memory," he says.

Hantobolo lives in Kanchomba, a poor, underdeveloped and scattered settlement in southern Zambia. Detailed meteorological information about the region is available from the branch office of the Agricultural Ministry in the provincial capital of Choma, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. "Our annual average is 800 to 1,000 millimeters of precipitation. This season, from November to April, it was 327 millimeters (13 inches)," says Zandonda Tembo, 38. 

The official, who is wearing a shepherd's plaid blazer with a velvet collar, is responsible for the regional marketing of agricultural products, but there isn't much left to promote. "Ten years ago, we produced about 60,000 tons of corn. In 2019, it is only a measly 5,000 tons," he explains.

Tembo blames the continuous decrease in precipitation over the past six or seven years on climate change. He attributes the most recent weather phenomena to the Cyclone Idai, which struck the country in March, and believes that its offshoots blew away the humid fronts above Zambia. 

With the support of international aid organizations, the ministry is trying to help the farmers adapt to the new situation and to strengthen their abilities to withstand it. They are learning organic farming, sustainable cultivation and fertilization and how to sell their products using e-commerce. They are being advised on the construction of additional dams and can even purchase insurance to protect them against failed harvests in the future. "But the adaptation is going too slow, we lack the necessary resources," Tembo says. 

An Entire Country in Dire Need of Water

Right now, during the southern winter, the temperatures in the savannah are tolerable. The problem is the widespread drought. The bush looks almost bleached, the dry leaves rustle like parchment and there's no green far and wide. Most of the streams and rivers are dried out, and the level of the Kariba Reservoir on the border to neighboring Zimbabwe has dropped by 3 meters. The entire country is in dire need of water. 

The situation has become critical across all of southern Africa because the subcontinent is located in a largely arid or semi-arid zone that is particularly vulnerable. Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa are all feeling the effects of climate change with increasing severity -- the heatwaves are bigger, there's less precipitation and droughts last longer.

A study by South Africa's Environment Ministry found that the subcontinent is at the frontlines of global climate change.

  • In the interior of South Africa, the study found, the temperature is already 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was 100 years ago. 
  • In neighboring Botswana, the temperature is even 3 degrees Celsius higher -- the greatest change that has been registered in the southern hemisphere. 

Only straw-like grasses can be found in the pastures of southern Zambia, and the lack of food has left cows emaciated. This is leading many ranchers to move their herds into the few regions that haven't been as strongly affected by the drought. The uncontrolled movement is in turn causing the spread of plagues among the cattle. 

The Highest Rate of Deforestation in the World

Hantobolo says that most small farmers in Kanchomba have never even heard of climate change and that it's also an abstract term for him. He believes the crisis is largely the product of homegrown problems, including the increasing felling of trees for firewood and the setting of fires to create more farmland, which have all resulted in accelerated erosion. Once the already nutrient-poor soil has been leached out and is no longer capable of sustaining anything, the production of wood charcoal provides an alternative source of income. Zambia has the highest per capita rate of deforestation -- an overexploitation that is exacerbating the effects of climate change. 

Hantobolo is standing in front of a granary, a basket-like container on stilts, covered with a cone-shaped thatched roof. The granary is empty, the severity of the situation having led his large family (he has 10 children) to use up even the seeds. A dozen tin dishes are drying on a wooden shelf. They use the dishes each day to eat nshima, a porridge made from corn meal that is a food staple in Zambia. Hantobolo has sold a few goats, but he hasn't been able to raise much money with them because all farmers are selling their animals at the moment, fueling a glut in the market and a drop in prices. Meanwhile, the failed harvest has led to higher corn prices. A 25-kilogram (55 pound) bag has gone from 45 to 115 kwachas, equivalent to an increase of about 3 to 8 euros. 

The drought, which has lasted four years now, is causing small farmers to slide ever deeper into poverty. A lack of rain in the next growing season could even lead to famine. "Then people will die," Hantobolo says, "and there is nothing we can do to stop it. We can only hope for help from our Dear Lord."


This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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countries exposed to natural trauma...



Note this chart does not include exposure to "direct human impact trauma on nature" such as deforestation, land clearing and the likes.

dear vladimir... Уважаемый Владимир ...

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has earned accolades from world leaders for her emotional speeches. While cheering her as a person, Vladimir Putin still stayed cautious, saying he doesn’t “share the common excitement.”

Thunberg’s passionate speech before world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last week cemented her as probably the world’s most famous climate change activist and media darling. 

How dare you!, the 16-year-old campaigner scolded world leaders. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money, and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”

Thunberg’s lecture earned her praise from politicians and the media, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is not among them.

I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg, he told an energy forum in Moscow on Wednesday.

No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different and ... people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden, he continued. 

Of course, emotions are inevitable, but still if we want to be effective, we must stay professional.

Thunberg’s eco-activism has been criticized before for focusing on the Western world, while ignoring the damage being done to the environment by less wealthy countries going through their own industrial revolutions.

While young environmentalists should be supported, when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned,” the leader argued.

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Dear Vladimir...


Do the sums. Greta Thunberg, whether she is a kid or not, knows that the position of world leaders, including yourself, on global warming is unsustainable. She also knows that people in Africa are suffering, not because they want to have "the same level of comforts as Swedish people", but they are suffering because global warming is robbing them of their present livelihood. 

"Less wealthy countries" can go through their own "industrial revolution" style — catering for a happy life — without generated one molecule of CO2. They don't need pesticides and other poisons, they don't need fertilisers. They need the water that global warming has stolen from them. And it's not going to improve in many areas, while in other "Less wealthy countries" the rain becomes so fierce that floods take away their livelihood as well. 


Like other leaders of the world, you need to take stock of what has changed in your own country due to global warming, including the opening of the Arctic north-east passage, the defrosting of the permafrost and other signs pointing to a possible sudden, without any other warnings, major catastrophic change in weather patterns.


And Moscow, like Dubbo, NSW, Australia, can see a 3 degrees increase in average temperatures sooner that you may think.


The average annual temperature in European Russia currently rises at a rate of 0.4-0.5 °C every 10 years. Summertime warming detected in the Moscow region in recent decades is not solely due to an increase in the number of hot days (by 5% per decade since the mid 1970s), but also due to a decrease in the number of cold days (by 6% per decade since the mid 1970s). In 1981–2012 the number of summer seasons with extremely hot days has doubled with respect to earlier period (1949–1980). No statistically significant systematic changes have been found in duration of the extreme events: the long-lasting hot events of 2010 and 2011 appear to stand alone rather than being manifestations of a general trend. 

According to observations provided by the meteorological network of Roshydromet, the warming in Russia was 1.29°C for the last 100 years (1907–2006), whereas global warming for the same period was 0.74°C according to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Furthermore, the mean warming in the country was 1.33°C for the period 1976–2006. The annual maxima and minima of daily surface air temperature increased, and the difference between them decreased (minima grew faster than maxima). The number of frosty days decreased.


Note: a rate of 0.4-0.5 °C every 10 years, means about 5 to 6 degrees Celsius increase in average temperature in 2100. This is a 99.9 per cent possibility. Such temperature increase might be beneficial for the next 10 or 20 years, but could soon change the prospects of growing crops in Russia. 


Greta Thunberg has the right to tell you so. Her warning is not that of an ignorant little girl but she is the voice of the future — a future you should be caring about, beyond industrial factors. 


Yours sincerely


Gus Leonisky






Уважаемый Владимир ...


Делай суммы. Грета Тунберг, независимо от того, является ли она ребенком или нет, знает, что позиция мировых лидеров, включая вас, в отношении глобального потепления является неустойчивой. Она также знает, что люди в Африке страдают не потому, что хотят иметь «такой же уровень комфорта, как шведские люди», а потому, что они страдают, потому что глобальное потепление лишает их нынешних средств к существованию.


«Менее богатые страны» могут пройти свой собственный стиль «промышленной революции» - обеспечение счастливой жизни - без образования одной молекулы CO2. Им не нужны пестициды и другие яды, им не нужны удобрения. Им нужна вода, которую у них похитило глобальное потепление. И это не улучшится во многих областях, в то время как в других «менее богатых странах» дожди становятся настолько сильными, что наводнения лишают их средств к существованию.


Как и другим мировым лидерам, вам необходимо проанализировать, что изменилось в вашей стране в результате глобального потепления, включая открытие северо-восточного прохода в Арктике, разморозку вечной мерзлоты и другие признаки, указывающие на возможное внезапное без каких-либо предупреждений произошли серьезные катастрофические изменения в погодных условиях.


А в Москве, как и в Даббо, штат Новый Южный Уэльс, Австралия, средняя температура может увеличиться на 3 градуса раньше, чем вы думаете.


Среднегодовая температура в европейской части России в настоящее время повышается со скоростью 0,4-0,5 ° С каждые 10 лет. Летнее потепление, выявленное в Московском регионе в последние десятилетия, связано не только с увеличением количества жарких дней (на 5% за десятилетие с середины 1970-х годов), но также с уменьшением количества холодных дней (на 6 % за десятилетие с середины 1970-х годов). В 1981–2012 гг. Число летних сезонов с чрезвычайно жаркими днями удвоилось по сравнению с более ранним периодом (1949–1980 гг.). Статистически значимых систематических изменений в продолжительности экстремальных явлений обнаружено не было: длительные жаркие события 2010 и 2011 годов, по-видимому, стоят отдельно, а не являются проявлением общей тенденции.


Согласно наблюдениям, предоставленным метеорологической сетью Росгидромета, потепление в России за последние 100 лет (1907–2006 гг.) Составило 1,29 ° C, в то время как глобальное потепление за тот же период составило 0,74 ° C, согласно Четвертому оценочному отчету МГЭИК. Кроме того, среднее потепление в стране составило 1,33 ° C за период 1976–2006 гг. Годовые максимумы и минимумы суточной приземной температуры воздуха увеличивались, а разница между ними уменьшалась (минимумы росли быстрее, чем максимумы). Количество морозных дней уменьшилось.


Примечание: скорость 0,4-0,5 ° C каждые 10 лет означает увеличение средней температуры примерно на 5-6 градусов Цельсия в 2100 году. Это вероятность 99,9%. Такое повышение температуры может быть полезным в течение следующих 10 или 20 лет, но вскоре может изменить перспективы выращивания сельскохозяйственных культур в России.


Грета Тунберг имеет право сказать тебе об этом. Она предупреждает не о невежественной маленькой девочке, а о голосе будущего - будущего, о котором вам следует позаботиться, помимо промышленных факторов.


Искренне Ваш


Гус Леониский



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We need your help, not your gently patronising scorn, Vladimir...


See also:


Update:Days after changing her Twitter bio to mock remarks by US President Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg has once again updated her profile – this time with a sarcastic adaptation of comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The latest Greta-related war of words began on Wednesday, after Putin described the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist as a “kind and very sincere girl” who doesn’t understand that the “world is complex.” He added that efforts to safeguard the environment should be supported, but that using “children and teenagers” to push agendas is wrong and should be condemned.

The criticism apparently didn’t sit well with the Swedish teen, who responded with her new weapon of choice: her Twitter bio.

“A kind but poorly informed teenager,” Thunberg’s Twitter bio now reads.


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making a few marx out of the global warming theory...

Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the “grassroots” decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond.

Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?

Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.


Several years before Al Gore and others decided to use a young Swedish school girl to be the poster child for climate action urgency, or in the USA the call of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a complete reorganization of the economy around a Green New Deal, the giants of finance began devising schemes for steering hundreds of billions of future funds to investments in often worthless “climate” companies.

In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate “Green Bond.” They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. 

In November 2013 Elon Musk’s problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding.

The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in “climate friendly” projects.


Back in 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer:

… one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.”

Since then the economic policy strategy has become far more developed.

Originally published at Global Research

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Picky... Now who wudda thought (from the mostly denialist OffGuardian)... In a world where capitalism, empire-colonialism is king, some people object to the pseudo-Marxist redistribution of wealth (which for all intent and purposes is own by the "one per cent" that we often object to), WHILE SAVING THE PLANET FROM COOKING in a global warming situation — at the same time. As usual, the poor countries that have not contributed to global warming AND THAT HAVE BEEN KEPT IN A STATE OF SLAVERY under colonialism, are at the rough-end of the pineapple. The views expressed by Dr Otmar Edenhofer, chosen in this article by F. William Engdahl, are thus out of context. Yes, Dr Otmar Edenhofer has been influenced by socialistic ideals, while Frederick William Engdahl is an American conspiracy theorist based in Germany.


Engdahl is a contributor to the website of the anti-globalisation and conspiracy theorist Centre for Research on Globalisation, the Russian website New Eastern Outlook, the Voltaire Network (this site will publish a variety of opposing views), and Veterans Today. He has been described by James Kirchick in Time magazine as being a "crank 'historian'."


Regarding climate change Dr Otmar Edenhofer says: "Denying out and out that climate change is a problem for humanity, as some cynics do, is an unethical, unacceptable position."


As often expressed on this yourdemocracy site, there will be some good and some useless actions on global warming. That some people profit of the changeover from fossil fuels to green energy is the nature of the beast... But we cannot deny that the anthropogenic global warming is a problem for the planet and it has to be solved by whatever means. If the "Green New Deal" is one of the ways, so be it.



financial competition in reducing carbon emissions...

Global financial markets are using applied science to measure, and to guide investments in response to, phenomena attributed to climate change, which influence supply chains, production capacity, and fundamental aspects of supply and demand. Such science and technology, and their integration into markets, are critical for shaping behavior and extending discipline over carbon consumption and excessive risk-taking. There is thus a technology arms race among climate services providers to develop capacity for understanding market, transition, and physical risks across a broad spectrum of asset classes. But the lack of transparent scientific validation and public oversight over rapidly advancing, and often proprietary, “black box” technologies are causes of concern, both for the integrity of science and for the potential impacts on consumer behavior and public policy. This paper explores potential pathways for public-sector consumers to extend review authority over such products and services that may be operating outside of the bounds of scientific merit, to balance demands for public transparency, scientific integrity, intellectual property, and commercial enterprise in the broader adaptation of market economies.

Market participants, primarily insurance and reinsurance firms, have long relied on catastrophe (CAT) modeling to focus on exposure to physical risk and to evaluate near-term loss (e.g., return frequency of losses from flooding to an insured factory). But more recently, climate services firms have been developing advanced technology focused more broadly on evaluating vulnerability (i.e., exposure, but also sensitivity and adaptive capacity) across a broader range of time horizons and climate stresses and shocks (e.g., hazards). For instance, exposure of physical assets to sea level rise, and corresponding estimated declines in local economic output, are used to underwrite commercial real estate loans where income-producing collateral may be impaired within the term of the loan. Beyond physical risks, many firms also seek to analyze transition risks accrued in the course of decarbonization.


Whether it is market efficiency or consumer transparency, both the private and public sectors are incentivized to disclose climate risks in the long term, even if doing so is painful in the short term. Standardizing the process across asset classes will rely on publicly available data and proprietary technology that, in some cases, is subject to the rigors of scientific review and public scrutiny. CST offers many hopes but may also create maladaptive path dependencies based on poor-quality science and negligent professional services (15). It is critical that policy-makers and public-sector consumers assert a claim to the fundamental principles of the public domain—of science and data—to advance society's collective mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.


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Science  20 Sep 2019:

Vol. 365, Issue 6459, pp. 1240-1243



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go bury yourselves...

But one person who wasn’t impressed with the 16-year-old is former Today show host Karl Stefanovic, who let loose at the teenager on 2GB on Wednesday afternoon.

“I really do feel for her in the respect that she’s not being looked after, she’s got a lot of pressure on her, and I mean everyone can say, if that was my kid, she wouldn’t be in that situation but the problem is, whoever is behind her, the parents who are behind her or whoever’s managing her, she is being managed and her stance is being used by activists,” the 45-year-old TV presenter said.

He went on to say that she does have an impact on other children and “we’re seeing our kids very distressed about the prospective changes to climate and that only adds to their burden and adds to their stress.”

The This Time Next Year host isn’t the only prominent personality to slam Greta’s impassioned UN speech, with former AFL player, Sam Newman, also getting riled up about it on Twitter.

This annoying little brat addressed the UN on the so-called climate crisis. WHO lets this s**t have a platform? Mendacious, inbred sycophants, that who. #ClimateChangeHoax,” he wrote.

Karl Stefanovic is as inspiring as a turd-sniffing dog that is off the leach for five minutes while its owner carries a poopbag at the other side of the park, keeping an eye for rangers. Of course "climate change" is a hoax! What is not is global warming. I believe Sam Newman lost a few too many neurones while playing footy, though he did not have many to start with. These white males are insular in their petty fame for telling bad jokes and/or swilling beer — and being proud of their scientific knowledge arrested at boiling milk overshooting the saucepan.
Why do I pay attention to these uncultured morons? Because they have popular low-brow gigs on TV where they influence a lot of be people to be moronic at their stupid level — so they don’t feel lonely. Did I say fuck off, Karl? or Sam? I meant to say go bury yourselves… Here’s a shovel.
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the coldest weather in 30 years...

Researchers from University College London are forecasting an average temperature in the UK of just 3.9ºC (39ºF) for January to February in what is expected to be “the coldest weather in 30 years.”

Yahoo News reported Saturday that temperatures in Great Britain could reach as low as -14C with “snow event after snow event” expected to hit various parts of the territory.


Forecasters expect the lasting cold spell to begin sometime this month and to continue at least through March.


“October is now looking like it will turn out to be colder than average with more of a chance of something wintery setting in through the second half of the month,” according to Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden.
“There is a strong chance of widespread frosts and the chance of snowfall which will set the scene for November,” Madden said. “This will pave the way for what is shaping up to be a colder than average winter with some extreme cold weather events.
Snow events have been few and far between in recent years, but this winter is looking favourable to bring snow event after snow event as weather systems from the Atlantic clash with cold stagnated air over the UK,” he said.

Current sea temperatures combined with a weather system over the north Atlantic suggest that “a freezing vortex of Arctic air could hit the country” later this month, Yahoo’s Victoria Bell reported. The system will presumably descend from the North Pole ushering in a swath of low pressure spanning from Greenland to the northwest coast of Ireland.
In the estimation of some meteorologists, the 2019-2020 cold spell will rival the bitter winter of 1963, believed to have been the coldest in 200 years.
Other weather-watchers are less confident that this winter will be a record-breaker. Mark Saunders, for example, Professor of Climate Prediction at UCL, claims that there is only a 57 percent probability that this winter will be colder than last year’s.

Late last month, a group of over 500 scientists and climate professionals sent a “European Climate Declaration” to the Secretary-General of the United Nations appealing for an open debate on climate change.
“Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific,” the declaration stated. “Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.”
“There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent,” they continued.
The declaration’s signers insisted that public policy must respect scientific and economic realities and not just reflect the most fashionable trend of the day.
“There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm,” they noted. “We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050.”

No matter what the winter shapes up to be, there is a 100 percent probability that climate alarmists will find some way to attribute the weather to global warming and carbon dioxide emissions.

YES! Oh yes! Yes,  there is [only] a 90 percent probability that climate alarmists will find some way to attribute the [cold] weather [of the UK] to global warming and carbon dioxide emissions. It has been written about, in global warming forecast made in the 1980s: the UK is likely to experience colder winter due to global warming. The equation is simple. 

Global warming computer models showed that the Gulf Stream, the warm water current that gives the UK a much warmer winter than Canada, though being on similar latitudes, would slow down and weave in a way that could and would make winters in the UK colder [until global warming is so fierce that the Gulf Stream effect won’t be happening one way or the other]. That the UK gets a cold winter does not negate the overall warming of the planet under CO2, methane and NOx anthropogenic emissions. 

The morons at Breitbart have one speed on this subject: ignorance. On a few subjects they hit the mark [by chance?], but most of the time, they drive on a tank of deceit.

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the warmest october on record?

The Bureau of Meteorology says an unseasonal heatwave hitting western and north-western New South Wales could demolish October heat records and place large swathes of the state at bushfire risk.

While Sydney’s top temperature was expected to reach a mild 23C on Sunday, Bourke and Brewarrina braced for their first 40C day since March.

Wilcannia, Cobar and Dubbo were also set to exceed 37C while dust was forecast for most parts west of Griffith and Bourke.

The BoM warned the fire danger rating in almost every NSW/ACT region was high or very high for Sunday, prompted by heat, high winds and low humidity.

By early afternoon, no bushfires were rated higher than “advice” alert level.

Meteorologist Jake Phillips said the bureau was particularly concerned by conditions to the west of the Great Dividing Range. “It’s quite unusual to see temperatures this warm,” Phillips said.

“In large areas of the state we’re seeing daytime temperatures between 8C and 12C above average for this time of the year, and in some places more.

“As we move into tomorrow, it’s quite likely we will see some places getting pretty close to or maybe breaking October records, the most likely areas being the northern tablelands and north-west slopes.”

Very high fire danger was forecast in ACT and 10 NSW regions: greater Hunter, central ranges, southern ranges, Monaro alpine, lower central west plains, upper central west plains, far western, New England, northern slopes and north western. On Sunday afternoon none were yet subject to total fire bans.

All other regions except eastern Riverina had a high fire danger rating.

Phillips said conditions would deteriorate on Monday, making the declaration of fire weather warnings likely for the northern NSW inland. But cooler winds would reduce the fire risk on Tuesday.


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wasting money and praying for a cyclone...

Since 2015 the Australian government has committed more than $1.5bn of taxpayer funds to climate change projects that plant or protect native habitat. Over a slightly longer period it has also spent nearly $62m on a policy to plant 20 million trees promised under Tony Abbott.

At the same time the country has significantly stepped up land-clearing programs in several states, bulldozing hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests, mostly for agriculture.

Official data allows an estimate of the scale of the contrast: little more than two years of land clearing will effectively cancel out what the public is spending to avoid 125 million tonnes of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. The equivalent to what has been planted over several years in the 20 million trees program is wiped out in just six months of land clearing.


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Relying on prayers for rain is politically and theologically irresponsible

Scott Morrison told a farming audience that he was praying for rain in drought-affected areas. As a supplement to a coherent climate change action, it can hardly do any harm — but as a substitute for policy, it's politically irresponsible, writes Philip C Almond.


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government organised vandalism...

A former minister in the Berejiklian government is alleged to have told farmers in his north-west rural New South Wales seat that they could clear native vegetation with impunity because the government was planning to change the law and they would not be prosecuted.

At least that is the message farmers say they took away from numerous meetings and conversations with the former member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries.

At least two farmers who were later prosecuted for illegal land clearing have raised conversations with Humphries during sentencing hearings in the NSW land and environment court in the last four months – and the judges hearing the cases have included the accounts in their judgments.


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