New figures released by NASA have stunned the world’s climate scientists. The average global temperature for February this year has smashed the previous record. A record set only the month before.
This comes on the back of the warmest year on record 2015, which broke the previous record set in 2014.
And if you’ve been following this story, you’ll know already there are other worrying changes – like the Arctic melting faster than all expectations over the last few years.
So are we seeing a speeding up of climate change? And is the long stretch of warm weather we’ve felt here in Sydney linked to the global picture?
The Environment Show caught up with Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, a leading climate scientist from Germany’s Potsdam University. In this podcast he answers those questions and outlines how his own country is getting on with the job of implementing one of the most important solutions – renewable energy.
Last year I heard a speech by Professor Jeff Sachs which crystalised a lot of things for me. (Sachs is a Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.)
I’m giving a speech myself soon at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. It’s for Design Week and it’s about ‘the importance of creativity for sustainability’. In preparing I’ve found myself coming back to Sachs’s talk at Sydney Uni.
Reason being Sachs puts the whole damn thing in context. He describes how we got to where we are now, how special our time is, and how we are at a watershed moment in human history where we’re going to have to make a fundamental shift to a sustainable economy.
In this post I’ve included a synopsis of the Sach’s speech and links to a podcast of it. I’ve also posted some notes from my proposition that creativity is going to be key in re-thinking and changing how we live.
Earth Hour is on again – tonight 28th March at 8.30pm. The event asks people and businesses to turn off lights and appliances for one hour. It ran for the first time in Sydney only a few years ago. Since then the idea has been picked up by many other major cities around the world.
But looking beyond all the hype, how useful is it really in helping to tackle the problem of climate change?
Just at the time Australia is launching into an emissions trading scheme, the EU one appears to be faltering. Eek. In this post we’ve collected links to articles and videos on the European scheme and the political stoush that’s happening here in Oz. (We predict it’s only a matter of time before the Opposition here cotton on to the European failings.) And of course there’s the question of – what the hell is an emssions trading scheme anyway? Plenty of people wouldn’t have the foggiest. We explain here at the end. Click on.
It’s less than a year until the major UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen – where the nations of the world are meant to settle on an agreement that will take us the next step on from the Kyoto Protocol. In the lead-up to Copenhagen, nations have been meeting at Poznan in Poland to prepare the ground.
It’s estimated governments have collectively found about $5 trillion to rescue banks and galvanize economies. Now the Head of the United Nations Environment Program and the leaders of some European countries are saying the time is right for the world to invest substantially in renewable energy. They’re calling for a “Green New Deal” to tackle our climate, oil and credit crisis together.
Fresh from its gig in Paris, the Bicycle Film Festival is about to start the Australian leg of its world tour. First stop Sydney this Friday and Saturday night, 14 and 15 November. Then onto Melbourne from 21 to 23 November.
Video: Have a sneak peek at ‘Perfect Circle’ – featuring Matthew Modine. (Many of the films in the festival are shorts.)
Theres one person whos been to every beach in Australia – all 12,000 of them. It’s Professor Andy Short, Director of the Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney. In this interview Andy explains how he came to visit every one and why Australia has the world’s best beaches – by far.
Not that long ago, surfing was seen as a renegade sport in Australia. In the early 60’s, surfers were even required to have a license to use some beaches. Just how far things have come can be seen in the establishment of a number of ‘National Surfing Reserves’ in recent years.
Lots of people dream of making a ‘sea change’ to escape the rat race of the city. Some people even do it.
But how many leave with the intention of living sustainably? To live on the land, grow their own food, generate their own power and water, and even restore their new patch closer to its original, natural state. James Woodford and his family are working on just that.