24 December 2013

Reigniting the debate: Climate change is fundamentally a human story

A British group says people's interest in global warming has dwindled, and new ways of telling what is essentially a human story should include talking to those who may be sceptical about climate change.

By Kieran Cooke, via Climate News Network

George Marshall is a co founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN), an organisation based in Oxford in the UK which specialises in climate change communication.

Whenever he can, Marshall tries to engage people in conversation about global warming: he finds it a tough task.

12 December 2013

Naomi Klein: Radical GHG emissions policies need radical social movements to back them

by Gabriel Levy, People and Nature

Naomi Klein
Policies to counter global warming effectively “will only advance if accompanied by radical social movements”, socialist writer and activist Naomi Klein has told the Radical [greenhouse gas] Emissions Reduction conference in London. “Transformative policies…  must be backed by transformative politics.”

Advocates of radical action have to face the fact that pro-market ideology is dominant in mainstream political fora and that “we are the marginal ones”, Klein said yesterday, on a web link from Toronto, Canada.

“It’s not that our ideas [about cutting greenhouse gas emissions] are not popular. But they are not powerful, not dominant. They are not winning.” The movement needs to “turn the popular into the powerful” by creating a “radical, enabling environment in which these policies can flourish”, she said.

10 December 2013

Crunch time for Victorian government on coal exports

Right now, the Victorian  Government is charging forward with plans to develop a major new brown coal export industry in the state.

If these plans go ahead, up to 13 billion tonnes of brown coal could be handed over to coal companies to be dug up, hauled across the state, and shipped to China and India for burning.

The devastating impact would stretch from fertile farmland in Gippsland where the coal is buried, to protected marine zones beside Wilsons Promontory or Philip Island where it would be shipped from major new ports.

03 December 2013

2 degrees hotter not an acceptable climate target but a disaster, say leading scientists

Countries round the world have pledged to try and limit the average global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial figures. That’s way too high and would threaten major dislocations for civilization say a group of prominent scientists.
Lead author James Hansen

by Tim Radford, Climate News Network

Governments have set the wrong target to limit climate change. The goal at present – to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C higher than the average for most of human history – “would have consequences that can be described as disastrous”, say 18 scientists in a review paper in the journal PLOS One.

With a 2°C increase, “sea level rise of several meters could be expected,” they say.  Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8°C warming, would be more severe. Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions, would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise.