global warming

Global warming of 1.5°C is imminent, likely in just a decade from now. David Spratt reviews several recent studies that point to this alarming conclusion.

So how does hitting warming of 1.5°C one decade from now square with the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”?

In two words, it doesn’t.

Extreme weather across the globe should prompt some serious rethinking on policies to mitigate dangerous global warming.

The major parties’ line that they support the Paris Accord is not good enough. The Paris Agreement, although well supported, is voluntary. More importantly, the goal of limiting global warming to between 1.5° and 2°C is still far from safe.

There is a joke in Australia that there will be a high-speed rail service linking the major cities on the Eastern seaboard that will run about once in every three years — whenever there is an election looming. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has, like the previous Labor government, again floated the idea.

This year the Earth's climate scored the global warming trifecta: it passed the milestone of 1°C of warming since pre-industrial times; it is set to be the hottest year on record; and it will be the first year in which the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is over 400 parts per million (ppm) on average due to the continued burning of fossil fuels.

This is uncharted territory for the Earth. It came as world leaders met in Paris for Climate talks on how to keep warming below 2°C.

More than 2000 People's Climate Marches were held over the weekend of November 27 to 29. In Australia more than 140,000 people took to the streets to show they care, passionately, about climate change. They are also angry at government inaction, as illustrated by the many homemade placards and props.

These marches were the biggest national anti-government mobilisations for many years. The Melbourne march — a huge 60,000 people — was the biggest street march there since the anti-Work Choices protests of 2005.

Visiting Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein believes she owes PM Tony Abbott “a debt of thanks”.

In Sydney to promote her new book Capitalism versus the Climate: This Changes Everything, Klein said the conflict between what the planet needs and what capitalism needs is exemplified in Australia.


Tropical storms are increasing in frequency and strength. City of Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines, after Super Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest tropical storm to make landfall in history, struck in November 2013. Photo: Partido Lakas ng Masa.

A Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) meeting was planned in La Paz, Bolivia on November 10, for ALBA’s Latin American nation members to advocate for a common position on the defence of the rights of Mother Earth.

ALBA is an anti-imperialist bloc of eight nations led by Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Bolivian environment minister Maria Esther Udaeta said the meeting would discuss the position of ALBA nations at the next United Nations climate summit at Cancun in December.

The following statement was adopted by the Trade Union Climate Change Conference held in Melbourne on October 9.

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This conference of Victorian union activists and local climate activists commends the report by Beyond Zero Emissions and Melbourne University’s Energy Research Centre. The report outlines a technically feasible and economically viable way for Australia to transition to 100% renewable energy within 10 years.

Not so long ago, the polar ice sheet made it almost impossible to circle the North Pole by sea.

But in June, two boats set off to do just that. By mid October, both returned to port successful — the first ships to sail around the pole in a single summer season.

It’s likely the feat greatly tested the crews’ skill and endurance. But their achievement is no cause for celebration.

The Arctic is often called the “planet’s refrigerator” because of the role it plays in regulating the Earth’s climate. Now, it’s clear the refrigerator is breaking down due to global warming.

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