The climate this week – 11 Aug 2021

The climate this week – 11 Aug 2021

A weekly report on the politics, economics and science of climate action

By Jenny Goldie, CCL member from the electorate of Eden Monaro, NSW.

Featured image: One of many fires ravaging Turkey’s mountains and forests sending thousands fleeing from their homes. Credit: Kadıköylü (cc).

Ongoing denialism…

It has been a torrid summer in Europe. Wildfires have been burning across Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey amid one of the most severe heatwaves in decades. In several places temperatures have been rising above 40°C.

New Intergovernmental Reports for Climate Change

Given the on-going climate-related disasters, perhaps it is appropriate that on Monday the 9th of August we finally get the first of three parts of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the first since 2013-14. I suspect it will make for grim reading so steel yourself!

Mining no more in the Gardens of Stone

It’s always pleasing when coal mining gets shut down, in turn preserving local ecosystems. Here in NSW there was a significant victory recently. Centennial Coal cancelled its Angus Place coal mine application this week, saving five threatened wetlands in the Gardens of Stone near Lithgow. The coal that will now be kept safely in the ground is equivalent to two years of NSW’s total emissions. We will save the atmosphere a bit of heat from this project.

Carbon Capture Investments Plans

In Federal Parliament this week, Labor and the Greens failed to remove the ability of ARENA to allow investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen made with fossil-fuels. Nevertheless, ARENA can still make its own investment decisions based on merit. CCS, of course, is yet to prove itself at scale. We can only hope that the $1.9b package allocated to ARENA last year will be spent wisely.

First Florida, now the North Atlantic Ocean

Last week I mentioned that, in one day, meltwater from Greenland would have covered the state of Florida in two inches of water. It is no surprise then that climate scientists have detected warning signs of potential collapse of the Gulf Stream from too much freshwater in the North Atlantic. They found “an almost complete loss of stability over the last century” of the currents known as Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). New analysis shows the currents may be nearing a shutdown.

Hey Liberal Party, 2050 is too late!

One wonders where Scott Morrison is and why he does not care about the state of Australia’s climate, now or in the future. It’s quite tragic. The Federal Government is being dragged kicking and screaming to adopt a Net Zero Emissions target by 2050, not that they have as yet. Scientists have indicated that 2050 might be too late to stay within the targets of the Paris Climate Agreeement, and that the date must come forward by at least ten years. A new report this week for the Breakthrough Institute by Ian Dunlop says NZE by 2050 is a “dangerous illusion”.

Further reading


The views and wishes expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and not necessarily of CCL Australia.

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