Monday 8th of March 2021

global warming impact will make the westCONnex obsolete, but not before 2032...

on yer bikes

The second Morrison ministry contains no one with nominal responsibility for “climate” in any sense, despite the fact that it is the greatest threat facing the country. Angus Taylor, who spent much of his pre-parliamentary career fighting wind farms, claiming repeatedly that there is “too much wind and solar” in the system, is now minister for energy and emissions reduction. No mention of climate here, despite the fact that climate is what it is all about, or should be.

Sussan Ley has been made the environment minister but more intriguing, David Littleproud is minister for water resources, drought, rural finance, natural disaster and emergency management. Let’s take another look at this: water (or lack thereof) … drought … disaster … emergency management.

Is it possible that someone is starting to join the dots – a tacit admission of an escalating climate emergency? In the National Party, where competition to develop sensible climate policy is non-existent, Littleproud has at least pushed for serious policy to address climate impacts on farmers. His title, truth be known, should be the minister for the rural climate emergency.But when he gets a briefing from disaster management officials, he may be in for a shock. During the 2017-2018 Senate inquiry on the Implications of Climate Change for Australia’s National Security the most compelling evidence was led by Mark Crosweller, the head of a resilience taskforce in the Department of Home Affairs, who used to be the director general of Emergency Management Australia.

He described potential worst-case climate scenarios as being of an “existential nature”. This analysis was taken up in the inquiry’s final report.

In contrast, the submission to the Senate inquiry by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade downplayed concerns about the impact on Australia’s economy of climate security threats, noting our dependence on strong international trade and investment and stating that:


Climate-related costs have the potential to be a disruptive economic force, albeit accompanied by opportunities presented by global transition to a lower emissions, more climate-resilient economy.” 


This rather misses the point. By mid-century, a plausible scenario is one of escalating extreme weather events, related conflict and migration, so affecting the international order and global trade that Australia itself would face dramatic political, economic, social and human security consequences in an increasingly chaotic world overwhelmed by climate impact.

If Littleproud is to take his rural climate emergency duties seriously, he needs to understand why that might be so.


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Picture of what should be a growing business at top by Gus Leonisky


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The United States is the world's largest oil consumer. In 2017, the US oil consumption was 913 million tons of oil equivalent (19.9 million barrels per day), accounting for 20 percent of the world oil consumption. The US per capita oil consumption peaked at 3.32 tons of oil equivalent in 2004 and declined to 2.73 tons of oil equivalent by 2012. Since then, the US per capita oil consumption has slowly recovered, reaching 2.81 tons of oil equivalent by 2017.

The European Union is the world's second largest oil consumer. In 2017, the EU oil consumption was 645 million tons of oil equivalent (13.2 million barrels per day), accounting for 14 percent of the world oil consumption. The EU per capita oil consumption peaked at 1.51 tons of oil equivalent in 1998. The EU per capita oil consumption stabilized around 1.5 tons of oil equivalent from 1999 to 2016 before falling sharply to 1.21 tons of oil equivalent by 2012. In 2017, the EU per capita oil consumption recovered to 1.26 tons of oil equivalent.

China is the world's third largest oil consumer. In 2017, China's oil consumption reached 608 million tons of oil equivalent (12.8 million barrels per day), accounting for 13 percent of the world oil consumption. From 1990 to 2017, China's per capita oil consumption surged from 101 kilograms of oil equivalent to 439 kilograms of oil equivalent, which is still substantially below the per capita oil consumption levels of advanced capitalist economies.

If China's per capita oil consumption continues to follow its historical trend in relation to per capita GDP, China's per capita oil consumption will rise to 972 kilograms of oil equivalent by 2050 (when China's per capita GDP is projected to rise to about 50,000 dollars). China's population is expected to peak before 2030 and decline to 1.36 billion by 2050. Given these projections, China's oil demand will exceed 1,300 million tons of oil equivalent by 2050.

India is the world's fourth largest oil consumer. In 2017, India's oil consumption reached 222 million tons of oil equivalent (4.7 million barrels per day), accounting for 4.8 percent of the world oil consumption. From 1990 to 2017, India's per capita oil consumption increased from 69 kilograms of oil equivalent to 166 kilograms of oil equivalent. If India's per capita oil consumption continues to follow its historical trend in relation to per capita GDP, India's per capita oil consumption will rise to 335 kilograms of oil equivalent by 2050 (when India's per capita GDP is projected to rise to about 19,000 dollars). India's population is expected to grow to 1.72 billion by 2050. Given these projections, India's oil demand will rise to about 580 million tons of oil equivalent by 2050.

Japan is the world's fifth largest oil consumer. In 2017, Japan's oil consumption was 188 million tons of oil equivalent (4.0 million barrels per day), accounting for 4.1 percent of the world oil consumption. Japan's per capita oil consumption peaked at 2.22 tons of oil equivalent in 1996. Since then, Japan's per capita oil consumption has tended to decline. By 2017, Japan's per capita oil consumption fell to 1.48 tons of oil equivalent.

Saudi Arabia is the world's sixth largest oil consumer. In 2017, Saudi Arabia's oil consumption was 172 million tons of oil equivalent (3.9 million barrels per day), accounting for 3.7 percent of the world oil consumption. The Saudi per capita oil consumption increased from 3.21 tons of oil equivalent in 1990 to 5.49 tons of oil equivalent in 2015. As the Saudi economy declined in 2016 and 2017, the per capita oil consumption fell to 5.22 tons of oil equivalent by 2017.

The Russian Federation is the world's seventh largest oil consumer. In 2017, the Russian Federation's oil consumption was 153 million tons of oil equivalent (3.2 million barrels per day), accounting for 3.2 percent of the world oil consumption. Russia' per capita oil consumption was 1.73 tons of oil equivalent in 1990, when Russia was a part of the Soviet Union. By 1998, Russia's per capita oil consumption collapsed to 852 kilograms of oil equivalent. Since then, Russia's oil consumption has slowly recovered. In 2017, Russia's per capita oil consumption was 1.06 tons of oil equivalent.


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Our comforts are going to kill the planet in a SUDDEN big dive (2032): Wars, resources — including water — scarcity, global warming and weather extremes, extinction, insanity of the rich, revolution of the poor, incomprehension of the bourgeois... Planet of the mad humanoid becoming a sad sight. Can we avoid it? Not at the rate we're travelling...

dealing with gas...

BP to pay billions for suspicious Senegal gas deal

BP has agreed to pay around $10bn (£8bn) to a businessman involved in a suspicious energy deal. 

The energy giant bought Frank Timis' stake in a gas field off the coast of Senegal for $250 million in 2017. 

But documents obtained by BBC Panorama and Africa Eye reveal that BP will also pay his company between $9bn and $12bn in royalties. 

Both BP and Mr Timis deny any wrongdoing.

Read the full statement from Mr Timis here.


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angus failure...

Labor and the Greens have demanded the government immediately release national greenhouse emissions data, and have warned the new emissions reduction minister could be in contempt of parliament for missing the deadline to publish the figures.

Angus Taylor’s first act in his new role was to miss a Senate-set deadline on Friday for the publication of Australia’s emissions data for the December 2018 quarter.

The Senate passed an order last year that requires the minister to publish the quarterly greenhouse gas inventory no later than five months after the end of each quarter.

For the December quarter that date was 31 May.

The government, via a statement from the environment department, said late on Friday: “We anticipate the quarterly update of Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory: December 2018 will be released soon.”

But Labor’s climate and energy spokesman, Mark Butler, said Taylor “must immediately release the latest emissions data”.

“Angus Taylor has failed his first task as new emissions reduction minister,” Butler said. “This is a disgrace and shows total disregard to the Australian people and Senate process.

“But really it’s no surprise considering Angus Taylor has continually argued against climate action and is part of a government that has continually lied about what their emissions data actually shows, which is that emissions are rising and we’re not on track to meet our international climate commitments.”

The government has been under pressure because its climate policy has been failing to stall Australia’s emissions, which have been increasing every year for the past four years.

The Senate passed the order for rolling quarterly deadlines last year to address delays in the publication of national carbon pollution figures.

The Greens climate spokesman, Adam Bandt, said the minister could be in contempt of parliament.


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Expect dodgy figures, increased emisions or fake results... as fiddled by the Scummo government.

the pentagon gets wet feet...

Without the American Midwest, the world would not have Aretha, the Jacksons, Motown, or the road trip.

The Midwest stretches across sprawling plains and rolling hills and is home to states such as Kansas, Michigan, Indiana and the Dakotas. 

While the region has given birth to many of the world's reference points for American popular culture, it is also a reference point in the development and history of nuclear weapons. 

Across its sprawling prairie lands, various points in the Midwest house the infrastructure and real estate that has enabled America to define the nuclear age.

Key points: 
  • Over a half of US bases worldwide will suffer from climate change-related weather extremes
  • Sites across the Indian and Pacific oceans might not be saved if the threats are too high 
  • Pentagon officials are adapting to climate change despite President Trump's denials

One such place is Omaha, Nebraska — a town of just over 400,000 people — home to the Offutt Air Force Base, the place which manufactured the first aircraft in history to drop an atomic bomb, the Enola Gay. 

In the decades since, the base has been central to America's nuclear umbrella, and it currently houses the United States Strategic Command, part of the elaborate continental network that gives the Pentagon nuclear first-strike capability. 

But earlier this year, a bomb-cyclone — a storm where cold and warm air meet, triggering a rapid drop in pressure at its centre — brought blizzards and thunderstorms across the Midwest in spring.

This caused the region's waterways to swell across various states, including the Missouri River, the longest in the country.

Offutt sits adjacent to the river and was flooded, with water disabling parts of its airstrip and inundating several buildings — prompting 3,000 staff to be relocated.

wet feet

Last year, a Pentagon report found over half of the military's bases worldwide would suffer from climate change-related weather extremes, such as drought, flooding and high winds.

Another Pentagon report released to Congress in January found two-thirds of installations on the US continent are vulnerable to flooding, over a half are vulnerable to drought, and half are vulnerable to wildfires.

Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project, does not believe the US political establishment is prepared for the extreme weather events of a warming climate.

"Since the George W Bush administration, they haven't really allocated the funds to improve their infrastructure to withstand the effects of climate change," Mr Cheney says.

"We've known about this for decades."

Climate change might trigger more 'sacrifice zones'

American author Jeff Goodell detailed some of the threats posed by sea level rise in his book The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilised World.

He wrote that "virtually all" of the Pentagon's real estate portfolio of 555,000 facilities stretched across 11.1 million hectares of land "will be impacted by climate change in some way".

"In some places, these impacts are little more than expensive nuisances. But in others, the future of entire bases is in question. And many of these bases are virtually irreplaceable because of their geography and strategic location," Mr Goodell wrote.

This portfolio includes bases that guarantee the security of US allies — including Australia.

One such site is the US naval base on Diego Garcia — a territory leased from Britain that sits in the Indian ocean near the Maldives.

It houses the equipment used to control the Global Positioning System (GPS), plus the critical logistics infrastructure that supplies defence material to fronts in the Middle East.

"The atoll is so low-lying that, like the nearby Maldives, it is sure to vanish unless the navy wants to spend billions of dollars turning it into a fortress in the middle of the Indian Ocean," wrote Mr Goodell.

To Australia's North-East are bases in Guam and the Marshall Islands — territories that both face the threat of sea level rise in the near future.

In February, the Marshall Islands Chief Secretary Ben Graham told the ABC they might have to raise the islands to fight the country's "extinction" by sea level rise.

During the Obama administration, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged that increasing sea and air temperatures, rising sea levels and the increased acidity of seawater would exacerbate Guam's extreme weather events. 

Guam is a US territory home to over 167,000 people that has been central to the US's projection of military power in the Asia Pacific since the end of the Second World War. About a third of the island's landmass is under the control of the US military. 

But if Guam or the Marshall Islands face the threat of being wiped out by sea level rise, it's unclear if the US would save them, according to Daniel Immerwahr from Northwestern University. 

"There's a history of the US treating some of its overseas parts as sacrifice zones," Dr Immerwahr says.

He notes that Guam was one of these zones during the Second World War, and says US history suggests that Washington "wouldn't always fully bat" for the countries and overseas US territories that host military bases.

"The base system's history is not static — there has been a lot of expansion and contraction — and that suggests the United States is not required to protect individual sites at all costs," Dr Immerwahr says. 

This assessment is shared by Pacific studies scholar Dr Sylvia Frain, who notes that Washington has prioritised the defence of the continental United States first.

"It really seems like the [overseas US] local populations, even the local governments are always an afterthought."

A spokesperson for the US Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) said nobody in the command has "any details or knowledge of climate change or threats to military infrastructure". 

However a US Department of Defence spokesperson told the ABC they could not discuss climate change contingency plans "for operations security reasons".

Adaptation in the age of Trump requires doublespeak

Within the Pentagon, planning for climate change has technically been in the works for decades. 

Its January climate change risk report laid bare the threat to defence.

"The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defence missions, operational plans, and installations," the report read. 

But the Pentagon's assessment runs contrary to the agenda of the Trump administration, which has sought to downplay climate change's threat to global security.

Despite this conflict between the White House and the Pentagon, defence planners have usually found a workaround to the roadblocks presented — and that's because of doublespeak. 

"You will not find the words climate change in any [Defence] document or budget submission, instead they talk about adapting to catastrophic weather or sea level rise but they can't say why it was caused," Mr Cheney says. 

"It's an absolute joke. It just boggles your mind."

For Mr Goodell, the Pentagon's logic is considered, and he notes the Pentagon's history of practicality. 

"Military leaders embraced desegregation long before the rest of the nation, in part because they wanted the best people they could find, no matter what colour," Mr Goodell wrote.

He explains that the Pentagon has learned how to get climate change adaptation past politicians, by talking about "climate in much the way eighth graders talk about sex — with code words and winks and suggestive language". 

"They know better than to talk about [climate change] directly and forcefully, lest they anger the elected officials who fund their projects and who believe that climate change is not a problem." 

So while it appears as though the Trump administration is steadfastly sticking to a world where a warming climate presents hardly any threats, those who have been charged with projecting American power and security for over a century are working to a different view. 

"Many military commanders don't need to read a scientific report to figure this out — they are seeing the impacts of climate change with their own eyes," Mr Goodell wrote.



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impacting the bottom line...

WASHINGTON — Many of the world’s biggest companies, from Silicon Valley tech firms to large European banks, are bracing for the prospect that climate change could substantially affect their bottom lines within the next five years, according to a new analysis of corporate disclosures.

Under pressure from shareholders and regulators, companies are increasingly disclosing the specific financial impacts they could face as the planet warms, such as extreme weather that could disrupt their supply chains or stricter climate regulations that could hurt the value of coal, oil and gas investments. Early estimates suggest that trillions of dollars may ultimately be at stake.

Even so, analysts warn that many companies are still lagging in accounting for all of the plausible financial risks from global warming.

“The numbers that we’re seeing are already huge, but it’s clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Bruno Sarda, the North America president for CDP, an international nonprofit that wrote the new report and works with companies around the world to publicly disclose the risks and opportunities that climate change could create for their businesses.


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bloomberg to the rescue...

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he will contribute $US500 million ($715 million) toward closing coal-fired power plants across the United States, in a clash with White House efforts to revive a fossil fuel blamed for climate change.

Key points:
  • The pledge has been deemed the largest philanthropic effort to combat climate change in history
  • Bloomberg was last year the UN Secretary General's special envoy on climate change
  • The billionaire's initiative will push for a transition to natural gas plants rather than coal


The billionaire's foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, said its Beyond Carbon initiative would lobby to close about 250 coal-fired power plants by 2030 and make the country fully reliant on clean energy.



Read more:$us500-million-to-climate-change/11193712


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See also: more moronics at the offguardian that do not check... in dear donald...

pedal naked to save the planet...

Some of the campaigners had messages written on their bodies, such as "Less cars, more bikes" or "We are here to embarrass our children," and wore fancy X-rated costumes.

Thousands of cyclists have pedalled through British cities in the buff over the weekend in a bid to raise awareness about the joys of cycling, promote environmental causes and celebrate body positivity.

The cheeky rides are part of an international campaign called the World Naked Nike Ride. Events of this movement are scheduled on different dates, but are usually clustered in March for the Southern Hemisphere and in June for the Northern Hemisphere.


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Read also: the skin and bone of philosophical downsizing...


polar bears on bicycles...

The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the global average, causing massive melting of sea ice. But while we know climate change is warming the Arctic air, there is a lot more happening under the ice that we don't fully understand.


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This melting of the Arctic ice is thus hiding the full-on warming effect of global warming, like "adding cold to our whisky"... as the whole lot is warming fast in geological terms. Shoud we blame the religious mobs? "Why not" would say my friend Jules... I think he saw some polar bears on bicycles in a dream...