Kirsty is studying environmental science in Melbourne but will always be a Tassie girl at heart. Beautiful places and intriguing creatures keep her inspired, people who say “but, climate change won’t effect me” bewilder her. She loves fossicking in rock pools, exploring museums and is always up for a board game.
...recent posts by kirsty
A study released by ANU last year estimated that if we were to leave the native forests of South-east Australia and allow them to reach their full carbon storing potential, they would absorb enough carbon dioxide to offset the equivalent of 24% of Australia’s 2005 emissions per year for the next 100 years. Despite this, the Victorian government has released a draft strategy for the future of the Forestry industry which includes lifting the current ban on burning native forests for sale as renewable energy and increasing timber contracts from ten to twenty years. These measures would undermine efforts to transform the forestry industry into a climate-positive, value-adding, innovative, job-creating industry say the Wilderness Society.
VicForests, the Victorian state government Forestry department, is currently selling the native forest timber of Gippsland for $2.50 to $6 per tonne - a large portion of which is being sold as low grade woodchips for Japanese paper companies. Hardwood plantation growers cannot survive on less than $38 per tonne, so VicForests has been accused of undercutting plantation growers by selling native forests so cheaply, as well as undermining their own native forest policies.
President Obama has invited sixteen of the world’s major economies, including Australia, to the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. The prepatory conference is to be held in Washington, this April, with the Forum being hosted by Italy in July. The aim of the forum is to “help generate the political leadership necessary” to develop an international pact on reducing global emissions.
Earth Hour: an hour where everyone turns out the lights, began in Sydney in March 2007 and inspired more than 50 million people across 35 countries to participate in March 2008. This year organisers are asking people to “VOTE EARTH” by turning off your lights from 8:30-9:30pm 28 March 2009, a worldwide election where it is not about which country you are from, but which planet. There have been concerns that Australia’s capital cities haven’t been showing as much support as last year, but with 80 countries registered and hopes for 1 billion participants worldwide, it is sure to be the biggest Earth Hour yet.
Sydney Morning Herald
Over 2000 scientists from around the world have come together for the International Scientific Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen - their message: Climate change is real and is occurring with such rapidity that the worst-case scenario of the IPCC (or worse) are being realised. Beyond the effects of climate change on our environment, societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk.
Their plea was to governments around the world to reduce “the influence of vested interests” and dramatically cut emissions now: “Inaction is inexcusable”. They recommend a 25-40% reduction in emissions by 2020, showing the inadequacy of the Rudd government’s proposed 5% emission reduction by 2020.
NASA is launching the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), Earth’s first carbon dioxide tracking satellite. The OCO will measure greenhouse gas concentrations throughout the Earth’s atmosphere, at a rate of 8 million measurements every sixteen days, for at least two years. Scientists hope this will help us to understand where these emissions come from, where greenhouse gases are concentrated and what “sinks” are absorbing greenhouse gases. This knowledge is valuable in modelling climate change and in assisting policy makers to set targets and monitor greenhouse gas emissions.
UPDATE: NASA’s planned Orbiting Carbon Observatory has crashed into waters near Antarctica after a failed launch.
China recently overtook the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, however, new research has found that half of the recent rise in carbon dioxide emissions is due to the manufacturing of goods for export, especially to developed countries.
Currently, under the Kyoto Protocol, emissions are allocated to the country where they are released, not where the products are consumed. Under this system, many developed countries clearly have an advantage. For example, the UK can claim to have reduced emissions by 18% since 1990, but if imports and international transport are taken into consideration, the Stolkhom Environment Institute has estimated the UK has actually increased emissions by 20%. By comparison, 15% of China’s total emissions comes from mafacturing goods exported to Europe and the US.
It is widely viewed that, in order to mitigate dangerous climate change, China must commit binding emission cuts at the upcoming Copenhagen negotiations, which may be difficult if these unfair discrepencies continue to exist.
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