The last few days has seen some of the worst fires in Australia’s recorded history. That’s in the South East of the country. Meanwhile in the north we’ve had extensive flooding. Not so well covered in the Australian media has been the snow storms enveloping the Northern hemisphere in places like the UK.
So is climate change the cause of these extreme weather events?
A new documentary called ‘The Future Makers’ shows how the answers to our environmental problems are there in nature itself. It includes renewable energy innovations in solar, wave and geothermal. And discusses the application of biomimicry.
2008 – a not so hot year compared to the last few, but ….. it looks like the only way is up! This is the global temperature trend since the industrial revolution.
Maybe we’re so used to hearing about global warming, the 7th warmest year on record doesn’t sound so bad. But remember most of the other warmest years have all occurred since 1998 – as you can see in the chart above.
These figures have been compiled and were released yesterday by NASA’s Goddard Institute and the World Meterological Organisation.
The program for this week is on climate change. And specifically the Garnaut Review and where Australia is headed. We have an interview with Professor Ross Garnaut and comments from leading green and business groups. Check out the show live to air on Thursday 17 July at 9am – streamed live at 2ser or on your wireless at 107.3fm. You can also download segments onto your ipod through the itunes store.
And we have these videos from the Garnaut Forum. In fact you can even rate what he has to say. In this video, the good professor lashes out at the sceptics (in his own gentile way):
Here’s what Ross said when asked why Australia should act when other countries aren’t:
And here’s what Professor Garnaut had to say about compensating the coal industry:
Paul Watson is a man on a mission. He has played a leading role in alerting the world to what he calls the illegal actvities of Japanese whalers. In 2007 I spoke by satellite phone to Paul in the Antarctic, the day after his ship the Farley Mowatt had chased down and collided with a Japanese whaling vessel. Click on the link above to play this podcast.
Following is a link to an emotive video posted by Watson’s organisation Sea Shepherd on YouTube. It explains where he’s coming from:
Wikipedia sums up some opposing views on Watson:
“Paul Watson has been denounced as an ecoterrorist. Some former colleagues in Greenpeace have distanced themselves from him. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Jim Bohlen, one of the founders of Greenpeace, said: ‘I’ve known the guy for 15 years, and he’s absolutely insane’.”
“Thus far, all attempts at prosecuting Watson have failed. Watson defends his actions as falling within international law and Sea Shepherd’s right to enforce maritime regulations against illegal whalers.”
What’s the latest? Well, the new Rudd government in Australia appears to be taking Watson’s outcries more seriously, recently sending a large Australian Customs vessel to monitor the Japanese whalers and gather evidence which may be used in international courts against them.
There’s more on the new Australian government’s stance in this ABC story just prior to Christmas. Click here.
Expect to see Paul’s ship tangling again with the Japanese on a TV screen near you. They’re down there now. How he finds them, I don’t know. Next interview.
Actually, I do have a Commerce degree, and I have worked in the corporate world, but this commercial is pretty good and pretty telling.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. If business worked more like nature (in a cyclical instead of linear way), we’d all be better off. Check out the ‘Ecology of Commerce’ by Paul Hawken for more detail on how and why. And there are businesses which are right now learning from nature. Interface Carpets is probably the most well known.
I intend to feature this kind of new entrepreneurship on The Show this year.
Late last year the Australian government gave the go-ahead to building what will be one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest pulp mills. The Gunns Pulp Miill is planned for the state of Tasmania, the scene of many epic environmental battles due to its pristine nature. Prior to the recent election, both major parties in Australia supported the mill.
The previous Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, emphasized his decision to approve the mill was based on science. What the minister didn’t emphasize was the limited terms of reference of the review by the Commonwealth’s Chief Scientist.
His review concentrated on threatened and migratory animal species and the effect on marine environment. According to critics such as The Wilderness Society, important issues remain untested. These include the impact of the mill on Tasmania’s wild forests (the source of timber for the mill), emissions from the plant and the impact of the mill on local business. And many still have doubts about the mill’s effect on the marine environment
Following is a link to the video ‘Pulp Friction’ which was posted on YouTube. It attempts to address both sides of the argument.
And this is a link to The Wilderness Society video on Gunns, also on YouTube:
All of which begs the question, what will the new environment minister do? (For our international readers, that’s the bald bloke who formerly fronted the band Midnight Oil.) Peter Garrett ‘played the game’ during the recent federal election in order to win power, but now he’s there what will he do with it? The Gunns story has gone quiet now the election is over, but for how long?