The Garnaut Review has now come to a concluded its work, back in July the 'supplementary draft' was released and now comes the final report.
The report is an Australian version of the British Stern Review. I only hope that the Australian govornment pay more attention to the letter from its author than our govornment appears to be paying to Nicholas Stern's conclusions.
The letter concludes:
Prime Minister, I have completed my task with the view that there is a solution to thediabolical problem. It is a global solution, to which Australia has much to contribute, andin the achievement of which Australia can make a difference. It is not an easy solution, for Australia or for the rest of the world. There is a chance, just a chance, that humanity will deal with this matter in a way that future generations judge to be satisfactory. Somuch is at stake, that it is worth a large effort to take that chance.
Interested in how the people of this planet attempt to govern there common interests in environmental integrity? Well, it's a complex area for the newcomer. One place to start might be with the MEA (Multilateral Environmental Agreement) bulletin.
The UK govornment are fighting all plans to restrict aviation expansion including the use of the EU ETS , not content with blocking sane climate policies they are also trying to block evidence of the counterarguments to there policies. For example, the SDC and IPPR produced a report calling for a halt to aviation expansion untill the contested evidence was settled and a concencus found, now, thanks to the govornments apparent intransigence they have published a summary report in an attemp to force the issue.
A whole slice of civil society are saying that aviations costs are grossly underestimated and its benefits exagerated; the govornment and aviation say this isn't the case. According to the govornment this dosent constitute controversy.
Climate Change campaigners gave the master of the zany photo-op, Michael O'Leary, a taste of his own medicine when they hijacked Ryanair's AGM to launch a boisterous attack on his environmental record.
The spectacular thing is that i've heard Hillary Benn strongly advocating for this measure...what the hell is going on? Ok,we are working in the old paradigme where climate change isn't the greatest threat to civilisation but a quaint little environmental issue about polar bears and fluffy animals and trees...who care, right?
The best bit is the 'expectation' that aviation will gain 20% of its fuel from renewable energy sources...you know, like corn ethanol, you know, the very thing that started the global food crisis, we need to give that policy wings!
The Change Agency have just completed and published the results of two year research project: Building the Climate Movement Online (PDF). 200 activists were surveyed and they've just put the report up on their website. This report is a first of its kind, a really useful tool for climate activists.
Building the climate movement | Action research project
Climate change is high on the agenda for most environmental and social justice non-government organisations in Australia. Increasing community awareness and political traction present important opportunities to campaign for impact. What kind of social movement will be necessary to bring about a climate-conscious society and avoid dangerous climate change? How will this movement be built and sustained? What will it take?
strengthen the Australian climate movement draw lessons and insights from climate change organising since the 1980s facilitate dialogue, reflection and relationship building bridge the gaps between grassroots and NGO activists, between environmentalists and other citizens concerned about climate change, and between the rebels, reformers, citizens and change agents in this crucial people's movement.
London City Flash Mob - Stop Airport Expansion! Flash Mob!
No Expansion of City Airport
Wednesday 8th October
5.45 pm (on the dot!)
Newham Town Hall
Newham Council will decide whether to give the go-ahead to a 50% increase in the number of flights using City Airport.
Newham has a history of supporting expansion
Flights numbers would jump from 80,000 to 120,000 a year:
· Horrendous noise for local communities · More air pollution · Bad for climate change · All the flights are short-haul flights
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, supports expansion
Join us! We’ll have some t-shirts to give out on the day Or just wear any red t-shirt It will be all over by 6pm when we can go into the meeting or get a drink or snack nearby.
Where we will be.
Where we will be. Outside Newham Town Hall, Barking Road, East Ham. East Ham is very easy to get to: get the District Line to East Ham Underground, turn left down High St North, and after a few minutes walk you reach Barking Road and the Town Hall. For a map see http://tinyurl.com/5ymovm
The idea of Green Jobs or sometimes Green Collar Jobs hasn't been around for that long but is certainly making headway and is starting to become a common phrase for numerous organizations working on climate change. Alliance For Climate Protection:
Please join us this Saturday, September 27 for the Green Jobs Now National Day of Action. Hundreds of events will be held across the country -- free concerts, rallies, teach-ins, house parties and more -- all with the goal to spread the word: we must Repower America with green jobs now.
Creating millions of green jobs: Global financial markets face increasing pressures, but a report released yesterday shows that a new green economy is emerging, creating millions of jobs in the next decades that will help tackle climate change. Whether creating clean-burning fuels, installing solar water heaters, or improving the energy efficiency of homes and offices, new jobs will form a key part of the market for environmental products and services, which is expected to reach $2.7 trillion by 2020.
The landmark study, funded and commissioned by the UN Environment Programme under a joint Green Jobs Initiative with the International Labour Office, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the International Organization of Employers, was produced by the Worldwatch Institute, with technical assistance from Cornell University's Global Labor Institute.
Renewable Energy World: "The green economy is the mother of all economic opportunities," says Lois Quam, Head of Clean Technlogy and Renewable Energy Investments at Piper Jaffray. "This transition presents such a broad and diverse set of challenges for business, it's really remarkable to think about what needs to be done." (link)
On Saturday night, at one of the opening debates of the Labour Party Conference, Malcolm Wicks MP (Energy Minister) found his New Labour Spin was challenged by seven modern day suffragettes. One hundred years ago 'Women's Lib!' rang out in political meetings such as these. Today the cry was 'Climate Action!'
In one of the first talks of the conference Malcolm Wicks placed climate change as his number one energy priority before reassuring the audience that the construction of eight new coal-fired power stations was his number one solution. He congratulated himself for the UK's leadership in the energy and climate debate - "we will lead the world in clean coal technology." Clean coal. Clean coal. CLEAN COAL. Does it seem believable to you?
Only one of the eight new coal-fired power stations will be fitted with carbon capture and storage. The carbon capture and storage technology will only affect 2% of One of the Eight new station's carbon output. The brave new world that Wicks pledges to lead, is a world where two percent of one of eight is enough. A world where climate change is not a problem. A world where Coal is Clean where War is Peace where Freedom is Slavery where Ignorance is Strength.
Seven young women disrupted his 'Energy Question Time' in Manchester yesterday because their futures are in question. They demanded answers and were met by an aging politician shrugging their future from his political agenda - shrugging off responsibility.
Our lives are full of neglected responsibility. But when we make the wrong choice the stakes are not so high. If the UK builds Kingsnorth and seven more coal stations in its wake then the UK has decided not to fight climate change.
Malcolm Wicks hold our future in his hands and dares to speak about leadership. He shows no leadership. Instead he demonstrates the neglectful cowardice of privilege. A neglect that makes me cheer China for every coal-fired power station they build. Each one bringing them nearer to our great example.
Wicks tosses aside his responsibility and chooses a quick-fix and no vision. The Climate Rush begs England and the leaders we have chosen to get real about climate change. Disrupt meetings where politicians lie. Make the government be honest about climate change. Take responsibility. Come out and have fun.
And we know how to have fun... This weekend the Suffragettes also went on the Freewheel ride. We joined thousands of Londoners in the car-free centre of town. It was Beautiful - joyous and exciting and so easy. The ride from the Mall to Tower Bridge was less than fifteen minutes. It's around 20 by car... With long skirts and starched shirts we rode all over town - our red banner catching in the wind:
DEEDS NOT WORDS
The Climate Rush takes place on the 13th October 2008 in Parliament Square - the 100th anniversary of the Suffragette's 'rushing' of Parliament. For more information check out www.climaterush.co.uk.
120 Riders: New York City: to Washington DC: September 20th–24th: 5 Days 300 miles
It's 2008 and a low carbon lobby is starting to emerge. It barely needs mentioning that compared to the existing and enormously entrenched fossil fuels industry we are talking about small dollars right now, still, it is an encouraging sign. In perticular an event called Climate Ride 2008 is sponsored in part by ACORE the American Council On Renewable Energy and they are asking there members to make donations for this cause. Raising climate change on the political agenda at the time of an election is certainly an important thing to do. Check out the ClimateRide08 Blog for regular progress reports.
Normal people really can change the world. 100 years ago the Suffragettes went to Parliament and demanded that their society change. They held a mass rally outside Parliament to which thousands came, before a number of them rushed into Parliament and got everyone's attention. We invite you all to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this world changing event. We invite you to celebrate when women got radical. Enjoy a rally and speeches in Parliament Square. Enjoy social change.
Just a few days ago i finished a book called "Anti-Capitalism". The title really should have been Alter-Globalization because it was a chronology of a global movement against so called neo-liberal economic policies. I have known people who are involved in this movement for some time, but i have been only marginally interested. After my reading however I was keen to find out more about how the movement is developing and how i could get involved. The best place to get involved is probably the World Social Forum (wikipedia), but that is in southamerica and i`d rather not fly. The second most obvious place for a european would be the regional European Social Forum. It turns out that this starts today! So i was a bit late.
A new study in the journal Nature finds old-growth forests are "carbon sinks" and continually absorb carbon dioxide . Australian researchers recently found logging primary forests releases 40 percent of their carbon . These findings discredit decades of thought that primary forests are carbon neutral and only young forests continue to remove carbon.
The Earth's remaining ancient forests need to be fully protected not just because destroying them will release huge stores of greenhouse gases while destroying biodiversity -- but because science now knows what many of us intuited -- they continue in perpetuity to absorb massive amounts of new carbon dioxide. The environmental movement must respond accordingly.
This causes discomfort for groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) that actively support ancient forest logging. They campaign for certified industrial first- time harvest of primary forests, and to establish some protected areas, while acquiescing to ancient forest logging elsewhere. They work to end coal use, but not ancient forest logging. New ecological science indicates their discredited forest campaigns cause climate change and block ecologically sufficient policies.
Thirty percent of global forests are unmanaged primary forests or regenerating ld-growth forests. These ancient forests in Canada, Russia and Alaska alone absorb 1.3 gigatonnes of carbon annually, about ten percent of global emissions. Much of their carbon, including in the soil, "will move back to the atmosphere if these forests are disturbed... Carbon accounting rules for forests should give credit for leaving old-growth forest intact," conclude Oregon State University researchers in Nature.
Greenpeace and RAN -- and virtually every major forest campaign -- continue to focus upon establishing protected areas in some remaining wildernesses, and making first-time industrial logging less damaging elsewhere. After millennia of terrestrial ecosystem destruction by humans, and over a century of failed logging reform, ecologically driven activists question the dominant failed paradigm that logging primeval forests can ever be justified. This has led to a major schism in the forest protection movement, which is not going to go away easily.
Both RAN and Greenpeace recently celebrated Ontario, Canada's promise to protect Boreal Forests in coming decades in exchange for continued industrial development now. Since the announcement, plans to log old-growth forests in Ontario's Temagami region have been fast-tracked, and logging giant AbitibiBowater has taken the agreement as a green light to intensify logging. This occurs with Greenpeace and RAN's blessing, because there may be some protections in 15 years.
Greenpeace activists last week boarded a logging ship in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to prevent Malaysian-owned logging company Rimbunan Hijau from exporting timber to China. "We need to urgently protect these ancient forests to save our climate... Greenpeace is asking the PNG government to establish a moratorium on any new large-scale logging," said campaigner Sam Moko. Given PNG's two earlier, largely Greenpeace inspired, temporary moratoriums in past decades, that led to no changes in forest policy, perhaps Greenpeace should work to END ancient forest logging in PNG and globally, before the forests are gone.
Britain's Prince Charles called yesterday for the world to act with a "sense of wartime urgency" to protect the rainforests, warning they were "umbilically connected" to the phenomenon of climate change. The heir to the British throne says rainforests "are the world's lifebelt", acting as the "world's air conditioning system" and helping store the largest body of flowing water on the planet. Such ambitious, ecologically- based policy is welcome from the nation that unleashed industrialism.
For over a decade, Ecological Internet (EI) -- the world's leading exclusively Internet-based forest and climate campaigners -- has called for an end to all primary and old- growth forest logging as necessary to save the Earth's climate and biodiversity. Active campaigns seek to end ancient forest logging in Tasmania, Australia and British Columbia, Canada. EI has campaigned to have Greenpeace and RAN change their forest policies, and given current science, their hand to continue doing so has been strengthened.
The response has been nearly total silence, with some ridicule and questioning of motives. Yet, there are important discussions regarding how forests relate to global ecological sustainability that must be held, and EI and allies will persevere. Are there enough ancient forests remaining to sustain atmospheric processes? Can first time industrial logging of ancient forests ever be done carefully enough to maintain carbon, species and other values? Is wide-scale industrial development of primary forests acceptable if indigenous peoples so desire? Why are Greenpeace and RAN stonewalling such important questions?
According to EI President, Dr. Glen Barry, "Greenpeace and RAN must engage in public dialogue, and review their forest campaigns, to bring them up to date with ecological science and planetary conditions. Emphasis must be upon requirements to maintain the Earth's atmosphere and all life's habitats -- regardless of difficulty -- and this means leaving old-growth standing. Until all forest defenders embrace full protection for ancient forests, ecologically sufficient forest campaigns cannot succeed. Continued refusal makes Greenpeace and RAN legitimate targets of protest."
 Old-growth forests as global carbon sinks. Nature 455, 213-215 (September 11, 2008).
 Green Carbon: The role of natural forests in carbon storage. ANU E Press (July 2008).
A British jury has aquitted 5 protestors of criminal damage. The protestors where working for greenpeace when they scaled a chimney at Kingsnorth power plant in kent, the started to paint a sign on the chimney. This paint cost £30'000 to remove according to e-on. From the start the defendents accepted that they had caused criminal damage but they claimed justification due to there efforts to change govornment policy on climate change. They won! The 12 person jury, after hearing testimony from climate scientists (james hansen's testimony), the conservative parties climate advisor and an inuit spokesperson, decided that climate change is reaking havoc and that new coal is a no no.
I wonder if this will change the govornments energy policy.
New estimates in the journal Science put climate change induced sea level rise by 2100 at between 80 - 200 cm, and don't rule out the upper limit. The discussions on this at RealClimate fly over my head, but the figures speak for themselves.
For my part i am sypathetic with the reports aims, i see the importance of the discussion and i hope people get involved in developing this sythesis of environmental and racial politics. This non-traditional combination reminded me of a recent post of mine addressing a non to uncommon argument about weather climate change is bein hijacked in the UK by idealogues with an agenda or weather real workable solutions require radical political shifts.
I would broaden my approach to climate change if either: 1. It became apparent that my values, the reasons for which i care about climate change, are substantially effected by other issues. A systemic treatment and an approach that resolved both issues would then make sense. 2. It became apparent that dealing with climate change required dealing with a broader set of issues not for reasons of idealogical concistancy but of pragmatism.
A report connecting race and climate change in the US certainly relates to option 1 for me. I look forward to reading the whole report and finding out what it has to say about option 2. Are there solutions to climate change that ignore the race problem?
Here are three of the report findings which give some hint of the answer:
"Sound global warming policy is also economic and racial justice policy. Successfully adopting a sound global warming policy will do as much to strengthen the economies of low-income communities and communities of color as any other currently plausible stride toward economic justice.
Climate policies that best serve African Americans also best serve a just and strong United States. This paper shows that policies well-designed to benefi t African Americans also provide the most benefi t to all people in the U.S. Climate policies that best serve African Americans and other disproportionately aff ected communities also best serve global economic and environmental justice.
Domestic reductions in global warming pollution and support for such reductions in developing nations fi nancedby polluter-pays principles provide the greatest benefi toAfrican Americans, the peoples of Africa, and people across the Global South."
One of the key ties between green growth and alleviation of the poverty expierianced by african americans is urban development and in perticular green collar jobs.