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Pages tagged "climate change"

Are we about to witness the end of our coal industry?

A chain with one link made of vegetationLast week a Swedish plant had delivered the world’s first shipment of fossil fuel free steel to the car maker Volvo. Coking (metallurgical) coal in the blast furnace was replaced by hydrogen produced with renewable energy. The Swedish company plans to start delivering commercial quantities of this green steel within five years.

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Gautam Adani wants a renewable future but still supports Carmichael Mine

In a blog published last week, Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, says that renewables are fast becoming the cheapest and best source of energy, especially for countries that currently rely on fossil fuel imports. 

He wrote “Today, as COVID19 challenges the fundamental assumptions of our lives, the urgency of a green revolution in the energy sector gains greater importance. While the immediate economic impact may slow us down, we are presented with an opportunity to pause, rethink, and design a new and faster transition to a low carbon future.”

“The adage that renewables are good for the environment, but bad for business is increasingly a thing of the past. Today, we see an accelerating trend where policies facilitated by governments, public awareness and support for action on climate change, and the economies of scale continue to create massive market demand and job creation through renewables while simultaneously addressing the energy security for countries dependent on energy imports.”

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Selective hearing on science

Every day during the Coronavirus epidemic there has been at least one state or national leader holding a news conference outlining the situation and their plans to keep us all safe. Every one of them was flanked by a senior medical expert to lend scientific credibility to their statements. During this crisis, Australians have trusted scientists, yet when it comes to the climate crisis politicians scoff at the scientific evidence.

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How will climate change affect Mackay?

Mackay Conservation Group community organiser, Maggie Mckeown, recently made a presentation to Mackay Regional Council about the impacts of climate change on the region. Here's what she said.

20170328001301531293-minihighres-1-960x540.jpgMackay city is a low lying coastal city in an part of the world that is frequently threatened by tropical cyclones. Last year the city dodged a bullet when Cyclone Debbie changed course and did not arrive in Mackay. We know that there was an unprecedented level of preparation for the cyclone but all that would have been completely insufficient had Debbie made landfall in Mackay simultaneous with a 5.8 metre tide. Most of the urban area would have been inundated and potentially significant numbers of casualties. We have seen two very large cyclones in Northern Queensland over the past decade, Yasi and Debbie. Predictions are that cyclones will become larger and more destructive as ocean temperatures rise due to global warming. The cost of dealing with major climate related events is significant both locally and globally. Cyclone Debbie cost insurers $1.56 billion by November. That will undoubtedly lead to increased insurance premiums and increased difficulty in obtaining insurance for those in cyclone prone zones. The cost to the Queensland economy has been estimated at over $2 billion with mining, agriculture and tourism industries were severely disrupted by the cyclone.

The Mackay region is not alone in facing climate induced catastrophes. Right now we are witnessing Cape Town in South Africa, a city with a population of 3.7 million about to run out of water, the first city that magnitude to do so. The water supply failure has been blamed on poor city management but without three years of unprecedented drought the city would not be facing a crisis. Closer to home, Pacific Islanders in places such as Kiribati have seen sea level rise make parts of their island nation uninhabitable. Sixteen percent of the land area of India is dependent on glacial fed Himalayan streams. Those glaciers that maintain stream flows during summer and winter are melting. Initially that means more rapid flows and floods but in the long term it means drought and chronic food and water shortages. All these events and many more are inevitable consequences of a hotter climate which in turn is brought about by human burning of fossil fuels.

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