This dramatic video shows the beginnings of Queensland’s “inland tsunami”. This body of water, along with other tributaries, flowed into the Lockyer Valley and killed 14 people last week. From there it went on to inundate Brisbane, the city I grew up in. The worst floods there since 1974.
When I was a kid, they told us the ’74 flood was a once in 100 year event. That was 37 years ago.
Did climate change cause the recent floods here in Australia?
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:
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?
Above is a link to a great video on YouTube. It provides a good, simple explanation of how and why old-fashioned commerce is damaging the planet. (Part 1 is first up. Click on the ‘menu’ to bring up the other parts after that. Each is a few minutes long.)
What’s the answer? Bring on the second (smarter) industrial revolution where business works in a cyclical way like nature. More on this idea in Hawken’s book ‘The Ecology of Commerce’.