On World Environment Day.
Very good news from Radio New Zealand – RNZ.
‘In a landmark decision, Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered by a court in The Hague to drastically reduce its global carbon emissions. The oil giant was told it has a duty of care, and that the level of its emission reductions should be brought in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Shell now needs to cut emissions by 45 percent – compared to its 2019 levels – by the end of 2030.’
‘David Tong is a former litigator and a Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International. He joins the show to discuss the case and its wider implications.’
Just as the Australian Prime Minister goes to the meeting in Cornwall with his gas-fired power house, and the ground water he gave to the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland for possibly 30 years, he is saying this is the ‘Australian’ way, but there are so many of us saying, “No, it is not. Definitely not. We want renewable energy and a clear policy for climate change.”
New Zealand and Canada, both with clear climate change policies, do not have the Murdoch media! They do not have to fight its deleterious impact.
However – in Australia, our Coalition government is being fought in law.
Our Federal Court has told the Federal Minister for the Environment that she, currently Sussan Ley, has a duty of care to the children who are the most vulnerable in the future for the actions that governments take, too often in the interest of the profit-first few, in our name and on our behalf. Decisions she makes – like possibly supporting the Whitehaven coal mine extension – should take into account the future impact on the young.
“The court considered evidence in the case from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, and globally renowned ANU climate scientist Will Steffen.
In a tear-jerking moment during the Federal Court’s live-streamed summary, the court found that one million of today’s Australian children are expected to be hospitalised because of a heat-stress episode, that substantial economic loss will be experienced, and that the Great Barrier Reef and most of Australia’s eucalypt forest won’t exist when they grow up.‘ And Australia is a developed country! Why are we letting this happen?
And the Coalition government is being challenged by so many non-government groups – to be threatened with prison for protesting for climate change if their legislation is passed by the Senate.
‘WE ARE A NETWORK THAT SUPPORTS OUR MEMBERS AND THEIR ALLIES TO TAKE ACTIONS TO PROTECT PEOPLE AT HOME AND ABROAD FROM CLIMATE CHANGE, TO SAFEGUARD OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, AND TO BUILD A FAIR, CLEAN, HEALTHY AUSTRALIA FOR EVERYONE.’
The CANA Annual Report for 2019-20 details how our network members support each other to build a powerful, connected, diverse and innovative climate movement. To view all our Annual Reports, click here.
The decline of koalas in NSW and Queensland is due to habitat loss – more loss is intended by the NSW government with the removal of an important corridor.
However – Good news from the northern hemisphere.
Australia has been told we can develop lithium batteries. Ross Garnaut said it in his book Super Power. Elon Musk has reinforced it. See how solar power, wind power and his Tesla batteries have taken South Australia to the forefront of renewable energy across the Nation. However, Australia’s national grid is inadequate. There’s little effort by government to make it fit for this century?
In America, President Biden is investing in clean energy for his country. He has recognised the positive financial role of government for the future. Here is one of the results of investment in the future in research and development at Harvard. Long lasting lithium batteries
The following research is published in Nature.
‘Long-lasting, quick-charging batteries are essential to the expansion of the electric vehicle market, but today’s lithium-ion batteries fall short of what’s needed — they’re too heavy, too expensive and take too long to charge. . . . . .
A lithium-metal battery is considered the holy grail for battery chemistry because of its high capacity and energy density,” said Xin Li, associate professor of materials science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). “But the stability of these batteries has always been poor.”
Now, Li and his team have designed a stable, lithium-metal, solid-state battery that can be charged and discharged at least 10,000 times — far more cycles than have been previously demonstrated — at a high current density. The researchers paired the new design with a commercial high energy density cathode material.
This battery technology could increase the lifetime of electric vehicles to that of the gasoline cars — 10 to 15 years — without the need to replace the battery. With its high current density, the battery could pave the way for electric vehicles that can fully charge within 10 to 20 minutes.
“Our research shows that the solid-state battery could be fundamentally different from the commercial liquid electrolyte lithium-ion battery,” said Li. “By studying their fundamental thermodynamics, we can unlock superior performance and harness their abundant opportunities.” Such good news!
But, on this World Environment Day, this warning from the northern hemisphere.
Struggling Seabirds Are Red Flag for Ocean Health
These sentinels of marine ecosystems point to the damage climate change, overfishing and other human pressures are causing
Northern gannet birds. Credit: Getty Image
‘Seabirds are “sentinels” of ocean health. If marine ecosystems are suffering, the birds will be among the first to show it.
Now a major study finds that seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere are already struggling. And without extra precautions, those in the Southern Hemisphere might be next.
The findings point to broader patterns of environmental change across the world’s oceans. Climate change, combined with pollution, overfishing and other human activities, is steadily altering marine food webs. Food sources are shifting. Some fish populations are dwindling or migrating to new areas.
As a result, seafaring birds perched at the top of the food chain are struggling to breed and raise their young. They’re canaries in the coal mine, so to speak—clear indicators that something is wrong with the entire ecosystem.
“Seabirds travel long distances—some going from one hemisphere to the other—chasing their food in the ocean,” P. Dee Boersma, a biologist at the University of Washington and one of the study’s authors, said in a statement. “This makes them very sensitive to changes in things like ocean productivity, often over a large area.” See Andrew Darby’s Flight Lines on migratory birds.
The new study, published yesterday in the journal Science, examines 50 years of data on 66 seabird species worldwide.
Back in Australia on World Environment Day
The Coalition avoids responding to the Graeme Samuel Report on the 1999 (2000) Environmental and Bio-diversity legislation. It is ‘not fit for purpose.’
‘There is real fear that the changes this Coalition intends to make will weaken it further.’ And we are being governed by legislation drawn up in a way that set out to protect ‘the carbon club’ in 1999. See Marian Wilkinson’s book.
Go to today’s ABC RN’s Science Show with Robyn Williams covering so much for World Environment Day, Take in what we are facing 12 years on!
‘Despite five vertebrate extinctions in 1999, critics say proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act will weaken existing legislation.’
Are our citizens, as voters, going to let that happen?
In a democracy citizens, as voters, set the directions for the future.