Climate Council warns of wet future for Oz

Climate change, driven by burning fossil fuels, contributing to the Great Deluge, is consigning Australia to escalating climate disasters

Most of Australia’s East Coast from Cape York south to the Victorian border has had over a meter of rain by the end of October — with the rains still continuing. Some of these areas have had more than 2 meters, and a few more than 3 meters! Many rainfall records have been smashed in all of the eastern states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania; leading to almost constant flooding through the whole area that is continuing today. The latest reports from the BOM tell us the rains will continue into summer.

This is clearly a function of global warming. Physical laws dictate that as air temperatures rise, the air can carry more water vapor before it begins to condense as rain. Higher temperatures increase the rate of evaporation of water from soils and standing water – encouraging drought. Seemingly contradictory warmer air can precipitate more water in areas where it is raining. As the water condenses out as rain it also releases its ‘heat of fusion’ — and more heat is available to drive more extreme winds able to carry rain to high elevations before the rain freezes to fall back to Earth in devastating hail storms. Over larger areas there is also more energy available to fuel increasingly powerful cyclones.

Increased water means increased plant growth, increased temperature increases the rate at which soils and vegetation dry out — ensuring ever more catastrophic wildfires.

Ever more floods, fires and tempests cause increasing damage to infrastructure and people’s livelihoods and property until the catastrophes follow one another so closely that there are simply not physical or human resources left to repair the damage from one catastrophe before the next catastrophe causes even more damage. If the warming is not stopped this progression leads inevitably leads to social collapse (as we are already seeing in parts of the world), agricultural collapse (and famines as we are already beginning to see in Africa and the Middle East), ecological collapse (as we are already seeing in marine habitats with coral reef communities, kelp beds, sea grass meadows), and finally, population collapses when the land has literally been swept bare (areas in Africa are already on the edge of the cliff).

With the collapse of society, humans will quickly lose the scientific and engineering capabilities to fight further climate change already dialed into the system, such that there will be little hope of avoiding near-term global mass extinction. Continuing ‘business as usual’ support of the fossil fuel industry more-or-less ensures this grim outcome.

The Climate Council’s report, presented below, presents the facts and explains what they mean here in Australia, and some of the things we can to moderate and mitigate the expected damages. This is a good start, but I would be a silly liar if I said this was all we need to do in order to keep from utterly destroying our future.

Vote Climate One will continue to do whatever we can do to encourage serious government leadership and action to fight climate change. Please do what you can to pressure your representatives to counteract the self-serving special interests who consume our resources and return little or nothing from the super-profits they take overseas.

If we can help get climate savvy governments on the problems that really matter, they may be able to mobilize enough action so we can survive our accidental disruption of Earth’s Climate System so our kids and grandkids inherit a world they can live in….

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured Image: Rainfall and Flooding 2022 – Queensland to Tasmania. Current year data from 1 January to 2 November, sourced from Bureau of Meteorology, 2022. Graphic from Chapter 2, The Great Deluge: Climate Extremes in Action, in the featured article.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

We don’t want majority governments!

If single parties can pass legislation on their own, it’s hard to stop them from becoming puppets of obscenely wealthy special interests

The climate scientist, Bill McKibben in his Critical Years blog article, “Big Oil is addicted, but it’s killing the rest of us“, explains that fossil fuel industry is ‘addicted’ to the super-profits it can generate by continuing to increase its production of products and their lethal greenhouse gas emissions. The industry will do anything it can to stay in this business, including using its vast wealth to corrupt government.

The Sacramento working group of Third Act held a die-in this weekend outside the fossil-fueled Chase Bank. For them it was powerful guerilla theater; for millions around the world it is reality / From the article

By Bill McKibben, 26/10/2022 in The Crucial Years

Big Oil is addicted, but it’s killing the rest of us

A shocking new summary of fossil fuel’s assault on public health

Yesterday afternoon, the British medical journal The Lancet published a vast and remarkable assessment of the health impacts of climate change. (Produced in Britain, the Lancet is among the world’s most venerable journals—it’s where Joseph Lister published his plan for antiseptic surgery in 1867.) Assembled by a team of more than a hundred researchers, the report found that

“Because of the rapidly increasing temperatures, vulnerable populations (adults older than 65 years, and children younger than one year of age) were exposed to 3.7 billion more heatwave days in 2021 than annually in 1986–2005, and heat-related deaths increased by 68% between 2000–04 and 2017–21.”

and also that

“the number of months suitable for malaria transmission increased by 31.3% in the highland areas of the Americas and 13.8% in the highland areas of Africa from 1951–60 to 2012–21, and the likelihood of dengue transmission rose by 12% in the same period. The coexistence of dengue outbreaks with the COVID-19 pandemic led to aggravated pressure on health systems, misdiagnosis, and difficulties in management of both diseases in many regions of South America, Asia, and Africa.”…

…[T]he fossil fuel industry has spent decades blocking the way—a massive three-decade campaign of deceit, denial and disinformation; an ongoing lobbying effort against renewables that the industry boasts will get even more powerful if the GOP wins the midterms; endless support for rightwing lawmakers to make sure that lobbying will work.

I think the question I get asked the most may be: why do these vast oil companies not simply convert to energy companies? Why don’t Exxon and Chevron decide to own the renewable future, instead of investing at most a few percent of their research budgets on clean tech?

And the answer is, if you think about it, sadly logical. You can make some money putting solar panels on people’s roofs—there will be solar billionaires. But you can’t make Exxon money, because once the panel is up there, the sun delivers the energy for free every day when it rises above the horizon. From Exxon’s point of view, this is the stupidest business model ever: they made their fortune by selling you more energy, every week for your entire life. They are hooked.

Read the complete article….

Because the fossil fuel producers are hooked, they will use their immense financial power in any way they can to ensure that governments make life easier for them to feed their daily addictions for their ever growing fortunes. This is irrespective of how many people are killed and the biosphere is damaged in other ways. The craving for the daily fix is more important than any concern about the future of life on Earth.

Majority governments are easy pickings. Political parties are addicted to power and will do almost anything to stay in power. Fossil fuel interests can do a lot (‘ethically’ or unethically) to help a party to gain majority power or (especially) to stay in power. Climate Sentinel News has given many examples of how Fossil Fuel subverts governments to feed emission producing addiction. Here are three:

It is much harder to corrupt a minority government that depends on the cooperation of several independent (and often shifting) entities to pass legislation. Probably the most difficult government of all to corrupt is one where the balance of power is held by community independents ethically representing the community of voters that selected and elected them. Such independents will work for the interests of those who voted for them rather than a party line representing special interests of major patrons working to keep the party in power.

Vote Climate One is working to provide Australian (and Victorian) voters with the information you need to elect representatives who will work for you rather than for the lethal addictions of the fossil fuel industry. See our Voting Guides – Vic for the upcoming Victorian State Election on 26 November 2022.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Proof that humans caused rapid global warming

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency summarizes evidence that humans are responsible for huge CO₂ emissions driving rapid global warming.

Rock solid evidence leaves no other explanations able to explain the observations. Humans caused the problem. Humans should be able to do something about it!

By Rebecca Lindsey, October 12, 2022 on Climate Q&A

How do we know the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused by humans?

The most basic reason is that fossil fuels—the equivalent of millions of years of plant growth—are the only source of carbon dioxide large enough to raise atmospheric carbon dioxide amounts as high and as quickly as they have risen. The increase between the year 1800 and today is 70% larger than the increase that occurred when Earth climbed out of the last ice age between 17,500 and 11,500 years ago, and it occurred 100-200 times faster.

In addition, fossil fuels are the only source of carbon consistent with the isotopic fingerprint of the carbon present in today’s atmosphere. That analysis indicates it must be coming from terrestrial plant matter, and it must be very, very old. These and other lines of evidence leave no doubt that fossil fuels are the primary source of the carbon dioxide building up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Read the complete article….

Carbon dioxide over 800,000 years

The featured image is from the article above. It shows the variation in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last 800,000 years of time. The caption explains:

Global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in parts per million (ppm) for the past 800,000 years based on ice-core data (purple line) compared to 2021 concentration (dark purple dot). The peaks and valleys in the line track ice ages (low CO2) and warmer interglacials (higher CO2). Throughout that time, CO2 was never higher than 300 ppm (light purple dot, between 300,000 and 400,000 years ago). The increase over the last 60 years is 100 times faster than previous natural increases. [my emphasis] In fact, on the geologic time scale, the increase from the end of the last ice age to the present looks virtually instantaneous. Graph by NOAA Climate.gov based on data from Lüthi, et al., 2008, via NOAA NCEI Paleoclimatology Program.

Also from Climate Q&A, see two related articles: What evidence exists that Earth is warming and that humans are the main cause?; and Which emits more carbon dioxide: volcanoes or human activities?


Why is this important?

Many articles on Climate Sentinel News provide evidence that global temperatures are already reaching very dangerous thresholds. If we do not stop human generated/activated carbon emissions, positive feedbacks driven by the increasing temperatures will increase natural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fast enough to keep temperatures rising even if we completely stop human GHG emissions (e.g., the warming process will run away – see Climate Crisis! The only issue that matters, Tripping down the road to Earth’s Hothouse Hell and Global Mass Extinction, and Apocalypse will come if global warming is not stopped.

If we do not stop global warming, there is probably enough carbon readily available for emissions in soil, permafrost, and biomass to drive temperatures high enough to exterminate most complex life on Earth (the 6th global mass extinction).

What can we do about it?

Because the climate crisis is a global threat for the whole of humanity, there is very little a single human can do in isolation to stop and turn around the warming process. Effective action has to be guided and managed at international, national and state levels before individual actions become effective. Consequently, the single most effective things individual people can do is to elect representatives to government who will respond actively and seriously to ensure that our governments are taking appropriate and effective actions.

Where governments are concerned, state governments probably have the most power to directly manage and control responses to climate change through their controls of environmental regulations, planning and permitting. In Australia, Victorians will have an opportunity around a month from now (on on 26 November 2022) to elect members for the next Parliament of Victoria. All 88 seats in the Legislative Assembly (lower house) and all 40 seats in the Legislative Council (upper house) will be up for election. The most important thing you can do to respond to the climate crisis is to elect upper and lower house representatives committed to effective action on the climate crisis.

Voting in Australia’s preferential voting system requires careful consideration if you care about the result.

Applying your decision to preferential voting on the ballot

If you believe that our present Victorian Labor government will govern in your interests rather than their corporate and union patrons in the fossil fuel and related industries, then go with the flow and don’t concern yourself with the likely consequences of going down their fossil fueled road towards runaway global warming. On the other hand, if you think it is better to work for a sustainable future where your children and their children can hope for long and happy lives, Vote Climate One can help you elect a government that will actively lead and support this work.

In general, we think a minority government led by Labor, where the balance of power is held by Greens and pro-climate community independents will give us the parliamentary representation that will give us the best outcome.

The trouble with party led majority governments is that the large parties are all disciplined to follow a party line. All too often super wealthy special interest patrons including non-citizen overseas entities strongly influence parties via large ‘donations’ and campaign support. Far better to give the last word on parliamentary decisions to MPs owing allegiance to the citizens who elected them than to people constrained to follow party disciplines..

Vote Climate One was formed for the specific purpose of studying and ranking all political parties and independent candidates on their policies and promises relating to climate and related environmental issues. What are they committed to do, and can you trust them to keep to their commitments. This is expressed in our Climate Lens Traffic Light Assessment process. (The results and their presentation are still being processed for the Victorian Election as this is being written).

Questionnaire used along with other kinds of evidence in our evaluation of candidates.

Our Climate Sentinel News provides access to factual evidence about the growing climate crisis to support your thinking; and our Traffic Light Voting System gives you easy to use factual evidence developed through our assessment process about where each candidate in your electorate ranks in relation to their commitment to prioritize action on the climate emergency. This should make it easier to decide your voting preferences before confronting a long ballot paper in the voting booth. We do the work so you can easily cope with Victoria’s complex party-based preferencing to plan your voting before you enter the booth.

We need to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words: Wake up! Smell the smoke! See the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future. As individuals, our most effective fire axe is to elect the right people to government who can lead and coordinate the fire fight.

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Climate Crisis! The only issue that matters

We live in dangerous times. Our state and federal parliaments will make life and death decisions about the climate crisis

Global warming is real. It was triggered by the ‘greenhouse effects’ in the atmosphere of exponentially increasing amounts of CO₂ emitted by humanity’s prodigious burning of fossil carbon beginning with the Industrial Revolution. The rate of warming is also slowly accelerating to a point of crisis, where positive feedbacks driving further acceleration may be unstoppable by anything humans can do. If the warming runs away, there is no evidence that natural processes will stop heating before the ensuing Hothouse Earth condition causes global mass extinction – including our own species.

These statements are real world facts substantiated by a vast array of scientific evidence. We deny the reality at our own peril.

Here is a tiny bit of the evidence:

Plot of global average temperature superimposed on plot of CO2 concentration
Estimated changes in annual global mean surface temperatures (°C, color bars) and CO2 concentrations (thick black line) over the past 150 years relative to twentieth century average values. Carbon dioxide concentrations since 1957 are from direct measurements at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, while earlier estimates are derived from ice core records. The scale for CO2 concentrations is in parts per million by volume (ppm), relative to the twentieth century mean of 333.7 ppm, while the temperature anomalies are relative to a mean of 14 °C. Also given as dashed values are the preindustrial estimated values, where the value is 280 ppm, with the scale in orange at right for carbon dioxide. From Trenbarth & Cheng (2022), A perspective on climate change from Earth’s energy imbalance. Environ. Res.: Climate 1 013001 (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license)

Berkeley Earth corroborates Trenbarth & Cheng’s temperature observations above in great detail.

The rising concentrations of CO2 and other important greenhouse gases (GHGs) in our atmosphere are meticulously plotted by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Monitoring Laboratory’s Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases project’s Trends pages:

The Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases – Trends pages show the most up to date measurements and rates of changes of the three most important greenhouse gases. Links to the individual graphs are: (1) Atmospheric CO2; (2) Annual Increase of CO2; (3) Global Monthly Mean CH₄ / Annual Global Increase of CH₄; and (4) Global Monthly Mean N₂O / Annual Global Increase of N₂O. These links also explain how the data were collected and analyzed to produce the graphs.

The ‘pump handle’ graph below begins by showing monthly readings from the various sampling sites around the world on the left (with the distance from the equator – S to N plotted on the horizontal axis), and the global averages on the graph to the right.

The northern (right) end of the plot of monthly readings jumps up and down showing the marked annual variation in the atmospheric CO2 as the gas is consumed by plants’ photosynthesis in the spring and released by dead and decaying vegetation in the fall. More CO2 is released into the atmosphere in each year than plants can use, causing the average to ratchet upward each year. The excess CO2 is mostly from the burning of fossil fuels that has exceeded the biosphere’s capacity to use it to support plant growth.

The inset map shows the the location of each site from which the CO2 in each month.

When the present time is reached the graph begins looking backwards in time. The different colors represent the different sources of information for the older readings back into the Ice Age.

History of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago until the end of the most recent GLOBALVIEW+ CO2 collection. From NOAA’s Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases / Trends in CO2.

As shown by the first series of graphs, CO2 is currently the dominant GHG because of its high concentration, but on a molecule-by-molecule basis methane (CH₄) and oxides of nitrogen (mainly N20) are much more powerful. At the rate methane is being released compared to the other gases, it will soon replace CO2 as the dominant GHG. Because permafrost and frozen soil above and below sea level presently holds vast amounts of methane inertly as ice-like hydrates, a warming Arctic has the capacity to release many times the present volume of atmospheric methane.

All three gases are released from natural sources at a greater rates as the ambient temperature rises. This causes positive feedbacks on global average temperatures that are effectively beyond human control. To slow the natural emissions we must reduce those GHG emissions we can control FASTER than positive feedbacks are driving them higher or reduce the strength of the greenhouse either by actively removing and safely sequestering GHGs or by actively cooling the WHOLE PLANET by some kind of geoengineering process(es) that reflects solar energy before it is trapped in the Earth System. The point beyond which we cannot stop the warming process is literally a point of no return on the road to runaway global warming.

The observations show that there is actually a very real and very high risk of near term human extinction (i.e., an EXISTENTIAL RISK) if we do not act to stop global warming

Ample evidence shows there is enough carbon readily available for release in a runaway warming scenario in the Earth System to to raise global average temperatures by 5-10 °C within a century or so of passing the point of no return.

I have reviewed the scientific evidence supporting this scenario at some length in two detailed presentations: (2021) Portents for the Future – 2020 Wildfires on the Siberian Permafrost; (2022) Some fundamental issues relating to the science underlying climate policy: The IPCC and COP26 couldn’t help but get it wrong. And then, even the hyper-conservative UN is beginning to understand the risks despite all the pressures to downplay or ignore the all too likely consequence of runaway warming and the urgency with which governments need to act to stop and reverse global warming. But even then they avoid stating the all too likely reality — GLOBAL MASS EXTINCTION – INCLUDING HUMANS.

The truth is so dire and scary that even most scientists fear (consciously or subconsciously) to use the EXTINCTION word

As I argued in my 2022 presentation, linked above, this is especially the case of academic modelers with training in physics (rather than, say, systems engineering). Three issues likely have significant influences:

  • Scientific reticence – you don’t win grants or tenure or get promoted if you work too far outside the boundaries of your academic furrows (i.e., what your academic peers expect of you) – and this is especially true of you come to scary or unpopular conclusions,
  • Failure to understand how to deal with risks associated with non-linear feedbacks and mathematical chaos in complex dynamical systems: e.g., discarding models that sporadically ‘blow up’ and break, rather than accepting that these are more likely valuable indicators of how such system can behave in the real world. Systems engineers know systems break, and observe/test them until they do break (preferably many times in many different ways), and even have a discipline dedicated to that approach: ‘Failure Modes and Effects (Criticality) Analysis‘. Mathematical modelers work very hard to remove real-world chaos from their models because the underlying belief of most physicists is that physical processes should be exactly repeatable.
  • Failure to accept that an ‘existential’ risk is actually actually a factual statement that personal, species, and global mass extinction is a very real and even likely result if a runaway situation occurs. Physics happens irrespective of what any human might wish.

Mathematical models are useful for understanding possible behaviors of complex climate systems, but should not be accepted and acted on as accurate representations of how probable or costly a particular event or excursion might be. If an existential event occurs, its cost to humans will literally be infinite, because the denominator will be zero. The cost to society will huge in that no society will be left to pay it…..

However, even the prestigious science journal Proceedings of the (US) National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) does not take the consequences of civilization’s collapse in the face of runaway warming to the logical conclusion. Nevertheless, it follows from the substantial array of evidence on Climate Sentinel News and covered in the presentations linked above that we are already trending towards collapse. It follows from these considerations that:

  1. Only mobilization of a massive and coordinated effort to stop ongoing human carbon emissions will suffice to stop the feedbacks from running away.
  2. As temperatures continue rising increasing ecological changes will begin debilitating an increasing percentage of the human population, making areas of our planet effectively uninhabitable; and lead to the effective extinction of keystone species in natural and agricultural ecosystems – leading to their effective collapses.
  3. Human organizations, economies, nation states, civilizations will be increasingly stressed until they too begin to collapse as a consequence of mass disablements and deaths from heat stress, famine, social disruption, disorder and lethal conflicts probably including nuclear warfare over dwindling resources.
  4. As 3 progresses, at some (probably relatively early point in the process), humanity would no longer have the resources, coordination or physical capacity to mount the massive and coordinated effort to stop and reverse the accelerating warming process.
  5. Given that surviving humans are no longer capable of stopping the warming process, the planet will continue to strengthen greenhouse warming until
    • the feedback is slowed as most of the readily available inert carbon in the Earth System has been burned and converted into greenhouse gases; or
    • some currently unknown process will kick in at some point on the temperature scale that allows Earth to shift its radiation balance from absorbing more solar energy than it can emit to emitting as much or more heat energy than the solar energy it is absorbing.
  6. Earth’s geological record shows several heat spikes occurred over an ‘instant’ of geological time (e.g., the End Permian is the most obvious case) where global temperatures peaked so fast that most life on the planet could not adapt genetically fast enough to survive when their physiological limits were exceeded — resulting in global mass extinction events. Given the exponential nature of feedback-driven processes, runaway warming could easily raise global temperatures by 10 or more degrees within a century or two, that large, slowly reproducing organisms like humans simply could not adapt to genetically in 5 or 10 generations. This is because the knowledge for genetic engineering and the capacity to make the very sophisticated high technology required would be lost in the very early stages of societal collapse.
  7. Thus, if humans fail to stop and reverse global warming very soon, human extinction within a century or two is highly probable. At the very best a few subsistence hunters and gathers might survive along with a few other remnant species in far polar regions. However, their chance of surviving with an intact knowledge base, infrastructure, and resources for any kind of industrial or high technology would seem to be nil. Fossil fuels will have been burned up into greenhouse gases even assuming other mineral resources could be found within the still livable areas of the planet.

The truth is….

As grim and frightening as this prospect should be to anyone facing the future reality with a family of loved ones, humans as we know ourselves would be fully extinct with no progeny, or at best our heritage would be no more than a few implausible myths and fairy tales told around camp fires in a few tribes of hunters and gatherers……

The truth also is we have a choice…. If humans can start working together with enough determination and effort, we probably still can stop and reverse the warming…

Personally, I do not think we have passed the point of no return, but that we are already close enough to it that by implementing world-war scale global mobilization of people and industry, and the expenditure of massive resources we, still have the capacity to turn the warming process around. Human efforts might seem to be too piddling to have any effect on planetary scale processes. However, consider this…. Accidentally, without thinking, human activities have managed to increase atmospheric CO₂ concentration from around 316 ppm to 416 ppm since (around 30%) since controlled measurements began to be made in 1958; or from an inferred 280 ppm (around 49%) since the beginning of the industrial revolution as shown in the Featured Image – a snapshot showing growth since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution that began around 1750.

Given that humans were able to have this degree of impact on Earth’s atmosphere more or less by accident, to me it is reasonable to believe that with total mobilization of human and modern technological resource we have enough knowledge to stop and reverse the warming. If the alternative to doing nothing is extinction, there is a strong business case for doing whatever it takes to stop extinction, however much it costs.

Unavoidably an intensely political process will be required to achieve the necessary mobilization and expenditure of resources.

How can this mobilization be achieved?

We have to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is truly the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.

In our present situation where most of our governments are still supporting and even funding fossil fuel production and use, the most effective actions we can take as individuals is to change our governments to prioritize action on climate change above all other things. Nothing else matters if we have no future….

States are probably even more important than the Federal Government where climate action is concerned

States permit, enable and regulate mining and production of fossil fuels, and many of the important sources of emissions. Planning, industrial, rural, public safety and others are all primarily state concerns where political and administrative decisions may have considerable impact on regulating carbon emissions. Thus, if you are concerned to influence how your state acts in relation to the climate emergency, you need to elect representatives who will do this rather than bow down to wealthy patrons and vested interests who want to protect their short-term profits rather than humanity’s longer-term future.

The Victorian state election on 26 November is our next opportunity to begin focusing our state parliaments on the need to prioritize climate action. For Victorian voters, this may be the most important vote you ever make: Do you support major parties in their business as usual financial and regulatory support of the fossil fuel industry, or will you vote for a minor party or independent who is clearly focused on promoting and facilitating climate action?

Applying your decision to preferential voting on the ballot

If you believe that our present Labor government or the Liberals will govern in your interests rather than protecting and supporting their patrons in the fossil fuel and related industries, then go with the flow and don’t concern yourself with the likely consequences of going down their fossil fueled road towards runaway global warming. On the other hand, if you think it is better to work for a sustainable future where your children and their children can hope for a happy life, Vote Climate One can help you elect a government that will actively lead and support this effort.

Our Climate Lens Traffic Light Assessment process will help you to do this most effectively in both houses of Parliament. Also, our Climate Sentinel News provides access to factual evidence about the growing climate crisis to support your thinking, In the May Federal Election, our Traffic Light Voting System made it easy to use factual evidence about where each candidate in your electorate ranks in relation to their commitment to prioritize action on the climate emergency. We have modified this for the Victorian State Election in November. Part of our assessment process asks independent candidates the following questions:

Peter Trusler’s Self Portrait: Reduction

If we can get climate savvy governments in power soon enough, we may be able to mobilize enough action to survive our accidental disruption of Earth’s Climate System so our kids and grandkids inherit a world they can live in…

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured Image. Annotated snapshot from the from the Trends in CO2 video above. The pre 1958 measurements in orange were made from trapped air bubbles in precisely dated ice cores cut from the Law Dome in Antarctica as explained on the Trends in CO2 website.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

VC1’s submission to UN’s First Global Stocktake

Vote Climate One submitted Dr Andrew Norton’s 22 Aug. paper, “Recipe for disaster: ‘We are only responsible for our domestic emissions’” to the UNFCCC’s First Global Stocktake.

Dr Norton is a specialist in theoretical physics and applied mathematics who has applied his analytical mind to issues relating to climate change and its dangers to humanity.

The UNFCCC is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – The intergovernmental body responsible for COP and IPCC processes relating to the understanding of and acting on the ongoing process of climate change.

The Global Stocktake established in the Paris Agreement (GST) is a process for taking stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement with the aim to assess the world’s collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and its long-term goals (Article 14).Decision 19/CMA.1 outlines the modalities and sources of input for the GST.

The Vote Climate One submission states:

3.1 Best available science shows that supply-side action is required [Q5a]


The Paris Agreement has been relying on demand-side action (via emission reduction NDCs) to reduce the global GHG pollution rate. The world’s governments have been too slow to respond. Best available science shows that supply-side action to reduce fossil fuel (FF) production is now also urgently required: it is now physically impossible for reductions in GHG emission rates to alone suffice in preventing the climate chaos and catastrophic environmental losses that will ensue if warming is not limited to 1.5◦C.


3.1.1 Planned over-production of fossil fuels [Q1, Q4]


The Production Gap Report [1] — first launched in 2019 — tracks the discrepancy between governments’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5◦C or 2◦C. Key findings of the 2021 report (page 4) include,

• “the world’s governments plan to produce more than twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030
than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5◦C”
• “Global fossil fuel production must start declining immediately and steeply to be consistent
with limiting long-term warming to 1.5◦C”


The question of which countries need to take action on fossil fuel production is answered in the report (March 2022), Phaseout pathways for fossil fuel production within Paris-compliant carbon budgets [2].


From the Headline Finding on page 6: Based on a 50:50 chance of not exceeding 1.5◦C,


• “The report makes absolutely clear that there is no capacity in the carbon budget for opening
up new production facilities of any kind, whether coal mines, oil wells or gas terminals.”
• “A transition based on principles of equity requires wealthy, high-emitting nations to phase
out all oil and gas production by 2034 while the poorest nations have until 2050 to end
production.”

Read the complete submission…..

The bottom line is that:

the Federal Government is still planning to rapidly expand Australia’s FF production and FF exports:

• There are 114 fossil fuel major projects in the Australian Government’s approvals pipeline [4]
• The report (May 2022), “Carbon Bombs” – Mapping key fossil fuel projects [5], finds that Australia is planning 23 of the world’s 425 carbon bomb projects (each exceeding 1Gt CO2).


When Prime Minister Albanese was recently asked why Labor would not consider the Greens policy of “no new FF mines”, the final point he made to terminate the discussion was that the UN, “measure emissions based upon where they occur, not where the product comes from” [6].
Similarly, when Australia’s new Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, was asked if the fastest way to reduce emissions wasn’t simply to say “right, no more coal mines”, she was obliged to reiterate Labor’s position [7]:

“We are responsible for the carbon pollution that we emit here in Australia.” [i.e. Our governments have no responsibility for Australian produced carbon that is burned overseas….]

Read the complete submission…..

Both Federal and State governments have many levers available to them that could stop or reduce the production of fossil fuels, irrespective of their claims (or not) to be working to reduce or eliminate fossil fuel emissions that are driving the climate towards lethal runaway global warming. Clearly, both major political parties are still working hand in glove with the special interests to keep the fossil fuel industry growing through subsidies and permitting activities.

This is likely to continue as long as the special interests’ supporters are comfortable that they can work for their patrons and still get re-elected. This cozy connection between Parliamentarians and the fossil fuel industry will continue until the puppets are replaced by genuine representatives of voters who care about the future of our climate and the world their children and grandchildren will live (or die) in.

Stopping and reversing global warming is the only issue that really matters

There is a vast array of scientific and observational evidence showing that not only is the world growing ever warmer (thanks to the profligate burning of fossil carbon beginning with the Industrial Revolution), but that we have now warmed our planet enough that we are beginning to cross ‘tipping points’ for a number of positive feedback processes in the Earth System that will continue driving temperatures still higher even without further human intervention. Once positive feedback takes control of the thermostat, Earth’s temperatures will continue rising at an accelerating rate in a runaway global warming process until semi-stable ‘Hothouse Earth’ temperatures are reached. These temperatures will like be too hot and be reached too fast for large slowly reproducing organisms like humans to survive. The result will be our planet’s 6th global mass extinction event. At least two or three of the previous mass extinction events in our fossil record also seem to have been the result of runaway global warming.

Note: Straightforward laws of physics will produce this result unless humans can stop and reverse the process – and we are approaching a point of no return where no conceivable human intervention will be able to stop the feedback process before the fuel is exhausted or the system self-destructs.

Given that we are major users and producers of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels, we have to take the responsibility to do something about this….

We need to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing cosy relationships with fossil fuel producers and consumers.

In our present situation where most of our governments are still supporting and even funding fossil fuel production and use, the most effective actions we can take as individuals is to change our governments to prioritize action on climate change above all other things. Nothing else matters if we have no future….

States are probably even more important than the Federal Government where climate action is concerned

States enable and regulate mining and production of fossil fuels, and many of the important sources of emissions. Planning, industrial, rural, public safety and others are all primarily state concerns where political and administrative decisions may have considerable impact on regulating carbon emissions. Thus, if you are concerned to influence how your state acts in relation to the climate emergency, you need to elect representatives who will do this rather than bow down to wealthy patrons and vested interests who want to protect their short-term profits rather than humanity’s longer-term future.

The Victorian state election on 26 November is our next opportunity to begin focusing our state parliaments on the need to prioritize climate action. For Victorian voters, this may be the most important vote you ever make: Do you support major parties in their business as usual financial and regulatory support of the fossil fuel industry, or will you vote for a party or independent who is clearly focused on promoting and facilitating climate action?

Applying your decision to preferential voting on the ballot

If you believe that our present Labor government will govern in your interests rather than protecting and supporting their patrons in the fossil fuel and related industries, then go with the flow and don’t concern yourself with the likely consequences of going down their fossil fueled road towards runaway global warming. On the other hand, if you think it is better to work for a sustainable future where your children and their children can hope for a happy future, Vote Climate One can help you elect a government that will actively lead and support this effort.

Our Climate Lens Traffic Light Assessment process will help you to do this most effectively in both houses of Parliament. Also, our Climate Sentinel News provides access to factual evidence about the growing climate crisis to support your thinking, In the May Federal Election, our Traffic Light Voting System made it easy to use factual evidence about where each candidate in your electorate ranks in relation to their commitment to prioritize action on the climate emergency. We have modified this for the Victorian State Election in November.

Peter Trusler’s Self Portrait: Reduction

Featured Image Fig. 1 from Dr Norton’s submission to the UN’s Global Stocktake for the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27, etc.). Shows that when a country like Australia produces fossil fuel, the carbon emissions from that fuel end up in the atmosphere, wherever in the world

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Hurricane damage: Not Florida… Canada!

Global warming gives extreme weather more energy to play with. Unless global warming is stopped and reversed, economies will begin collapsing.

More areas will suffer more extreme damage more frequently, effecting more people…. Until economies can no longer repair the damage from the last catastrophe before the next catastrophe strikes, and begin to collapse into anarchy and chaos…. The same extremes will also begin collapsing whole natural and agricultural ecosystems, eventually leading to mass extinction as the process accelerates.

For example:

Structures and debris float near the shore in the aftermath of ex Hurricane Fiona in Rose Blanche, Newfoundland, on September 25. (John Morris / Reuters / via the Atlantic)

By Alan Taylor, 26/09/2022 in The Atlantic

Photos: The Aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Eastern Canada

After causing heavy damage across parts of the Caribbean and Bermuda last week, Hurricane Fiona moved north toward Eastern Canada, making landfall this weekend as a post-tropical cyclone. The downgraded storm still packed heavy rain and winds, gusting up to 110 mph, driving storm surges and knocking down trees and power lines. Hundreds of thousands remain without power as emergency crews and utility workers work to clear debris and rebuild lines. Below is a collection of recent images from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.

For all the pictures, see the complete article….

After striking Puerto Rico and wiping out the entire electrical distribution network for the population of 3 million people on the island, Fiona sideswiped Bermuda, then its storm clouds smashed through the Canadian Maritime Provinces, and ended up as a pool of hot air and rain that melted a record lot of ice in southern Greenland:

With continued global warming these catastrophes can only get worse — as demonstrated last week by Category 3 Hurricane Ian that smashed through Cuba, Florida, and North Carolina, killing at least 125 people as confirmed by body count. I’ve seen no statement of how many are still missing (many victims may have been washed away by the storm surges). This case will be discussed in more detail in another article under preparation.

…And then there is the continuing deluge in eastern Australia, where every river in NSW west of the Dividing Range is in flood as I write this.

THESE OBSERVATIONS ARE IMPORTANT!

Stopping and reversing global warming is the only issue that really matters

There is a vast array of scientific and observational evidence showing that not only is the world growing ever warmer (thanks to the profligate burning of fossil carbon beginning with the Industrial Revolution), but that we have now warmed our planet enough that we are beginning to cross ‘tipping points’ for a number of positive feedback processes in the Earth System that will continue driving temperatures still higher even without further human intervention. Once positive feedback takes control of the thermostat, Earth’s temperatures will continue rising at an accelerating rate in a runaway global warming process until semi-stable ‘Hothouse Earth’ temperatures are reached. These temperatures will like be too hot and be reached too fast for large slowly reproducing organisms like humans to survive. The result will be our planet’s 6th global mass extinction event. At least two or three of the previous mass extinction events in our fossil record also seem to have been the result of runaway global warming.

Note: Straightforward laws of physics will produce this result unless humans can stop and reverse the process – and we are approaching a point of no return where no conceivable human intervention will be able to stop the feedback process before the fuel is exhausted or the system self-destructs.

Given that we are major users and producers of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels, we have to take the responsibility to do something about this….

We need to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.

In our present situation where most of our governments are still supporting and even funding fossil fuel production and use, the most effective actions we can take as individuals is to change our governments to prioritize action on climate change above all other things. Nothing else matters if we have no future….

States are probably even more important than the Federal Government where climate action is concerned

States enable and regulate mining and production of fossil fuels, and many of the important sources of emissions. Planning, industrial, rural, public safety and others are all primarily state concerns where political and administrative decisions may have considerable impact on regulating carbon emissions. Thus, if you are concerned to influence how your state acts in relation to the climate emergency, you need to elect representatives who will do this rather than bow down to wealthy patrons and vested interests who want to protect their short-term profits rather than humanity’s longer-term future.

Applying your decision to preferential voting on the ballot

If you believe that our present COALition government will govern in your interests rather than their patrons in the fossil fuel and related industries, then go with the flow and don’t concern yourself with the likely consequences of going down their fossil fueled road towards runaway global warming. On the other hand, if you think it is better to work for a sustainable future where your children and their children can hope for a happy future, Vote Climate One can help you elect a government that will actively lead and support this effort.

Our Climate Sentinel News provides access to factual evidence about the growing climate crisis to support your thinking, In the May Federal Election, our Traffic Light Voting System made it easy to use factual evidence about where each candidate in your electorate ranks in relation to their commitment to prioritize action on the climate emergency. We have modified this for the Victorian State Election in November.

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured image: Debris surrounds storm-damaged houses in Port aux Basques on September 26. # (John Morris / Reuters — from the featured article)

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Small birds underline reality of climate crisis

The rate our green(ish) planet is warming is still rising due to humanity’s carbon emissions. Many species are dying to pay the price.

Nothing humans have done so far seems to have slowed the rate of increase, let alone stopping and reversing the rise. Most animal and plant species, including humans. have genetically determined thermal maximums, i.e., environmental temperature limits above which they cannot survive. The featured article here describes field studies that show what happens when these lethal limits are reached in the environments of some reasonably well known Australian birds.

Without stretching the metaphor, these birds are ‘canaries in the mine’ together with all kinds of other species dying out to warn us that we, too, are at risk of extinction if we fail to stop the process that is progressively warming our globe.

Sadly, many birds at the study site died on hot days. Author provided (from the article)

by Janet Gardiner & Suzanne Prober, 29/9/2022 in The Conversation

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

Our new study set out to fill this knowledge gap by examining Australian birds. Alarmingly, we found birds at our study sites died at a rate three times greater during a very hot summer compared to a mild summer.

And the news gets worse. Under a pessimistic emissions scenario, just 11% of birds at the sites would survive.

The findings have profound implications for our bird life in a warming world – and underscore the urgent need to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help animals find cool places to shelter.

Read the complete article….

Continued emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the production and burning of fossil fuel is driving all complex life on Earth (including humans) towards extinction

Climate Sentinel News has published several articles that explain how rising temperatures driven by anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions are triggering further GHG emissions from warming soil, melting permafrost, burning forests and tundra and a variety of other sources. These emissions are making the weather more extreme. But, also, the additional heating from these sources drives global temperatures still higher through positive feedbacks. This will result in what is called ‘runaway warming’. The nature of positive feedback is that it accelerates the rate of change until the driving force is exhausted (i.e., the fuel runs out) or stopped by stronger external forces; or the system itself self-destructs.

Even if we stop all human GHG emissions immediately, it is probably too late to stop the positive feedback processes driving us towards near-term extinction. … However, removing the human contribution will give us more time to work out how to remove GHGs from the atmosphere faster than they are being added by the feedback process — thus providing the external force needed to stop the runaway process. However, if we don’t mobilize effective action very soon, the accelerating feedbacks will likely exceed anything humans can do to stop them.

THIS IS AN EXISTENTIAL CLIMATE EMERGENCY, REQUIRING EMERGENCY MOBILIZATION FOR ACTION TO STOP EMISSIONS AND RECAPTURE A RESPECTABLE FRACTION OF PAST EMISSIONS.

It is clear that our present governments are reluctant or are even refusing to take effective action to stop fossil fuel emissions. Even Labor governments at state and federal levels are committed to supporting new fossil fuel production projects, to say nothing of protecting the ‘rights’ of existing projects to continue their emissions.

We need to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.

Victorian Labor with a majority in Parliament is still supporting the petrochemical industry and gas guzzling private transport; and a Liberal Government in power would be even worse! What we need is to have a minority government where climate friendly greens and independents have the balance of power to ensure that effective climate action is prioritized and mobilized.

How can we ensure this to respond effectively to the climate crisis?

Individual actions can help a bit, but real solutions demand concerted actions at all government levels (global, national, state, and local).

The UN through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and COP process is trying to provide the science basis and coordination. But is hampered by major nations such as the USA, China, Russia, and Brazil.

With the April Federal Election, Australia has made significant progress towards taking the climate seriously as enabled by the Teals and Greens decimation of the science denying Liberal Government to put Labor in power. But labor still supports continuing (and even expanding) fossil fuel production.

In Australia, the states actually have the most direct power over industry and environmental protection, but most are still working to protect the fossil fuel industries from from being harmed by environmental regulations, etc. as might be required to stop GHG emissions.

Even local governments can play a role in climate and environmental protection through zoning and development controls, but generally they work for the developers rather than citizens.

As shown Federally, voters can make major changes in governmental composition and behavior.

Victorians go to the polls on 26 November. All seats will be up for election/re-election. Voters have the possibility to completely change the government if they so desire. If you are a Victorian concerned about our future in a warming environment, assuming anyone is running on this issue, you can use your vote to help elect a candidate in your electorate who will work for action on the climate emergency. However, where the parties can heavily fund their candidates, and several independents and minor party candidates trying to be all things for all people, it is very hard to know how you should vote to have the maximum chance of electing a climate ‘friendly’ candidate.

Vote Climate One will help you make your choices for the upper and lower houses with our Traffic Light Voting Guides under preparation for the Victorian election (see our Climate Lens Traffic Light Assessment page for a foretaste). Voting for the Legislative Council is important, and we advise you to vote below the line to maximize your chances to elect a climate friend, but as Anthony Green explains, Victoria’s Group Voting Ticket makes it very difficult to ensure that some ‘preference harvesting’ deal doesn’t apply your vote to someone you wouldn’t want to elect on a bet. Our voting guides for the Legislative Council contests will be designed to make voting below the line as safe and easy to use as possible based on our analyses of each candidate’s climate credentials.

Featured image: A Jacky Winter at the study site showing signs of dehydration on the morning following a 47℃ day. Author provided (from the article)

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Victorian Election Reminder – Vote Climate One

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization warns us that we have done nothing to slow the global warming caused by our carbon emissions.

Message from the UN’s Secretary-General in the article

Geneva, 13 September 2022 (WMO) – Climate science is clear: we are heading in the wrong direction, according to a new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which highlights the huge gap between aspirations and reality. Without much more ambitious action, the physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change will be increasingly devastating, it warns.

The report, United in Science, shows that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs. Fossil fuel emission rates are now above pre-pandemic levels after a temporary drop due to lockdowns. The ambition of emissions reduction pledges for 2030 needs to be seven times higher to be in line with the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement….

Read the complete article….

If you are concerned about this visibly escalating climate emergency, but think there is nothing you can do about it, think again!

Major political parties primarily represent the vested interests who fund their candidates and election campaigns and work hard to protect their patrons. Many of these include rich fossil fuel and related industries (many based overseas) who would be harmed by climate action. As single individuals, we have been powerless to change the world against the political might of the ‘patrons’ and their government puppets…. But where your local communities and governments can coordinate together with a common goal to elect governments responsive to their citizens, we CAN change the world.

This has been demonstrated by the amazing exponential growth in the number of ‘community independent’ MPs working in our Federal Parliament since 2013: 1 house seat in 2013, 2 seats in 2016, 3 in 2019, and 10 + David Pocock in the Senate, following on from this year’s federal election that decimated the Liberal Party, giving a House majority to the Labor Party (a “Teal Tsunami).

However, even with Greens support, Labor is still one short of a majority in the Senate. This gives Pocock, a community independent, the deciding vote. As an immigrant rugby player from New Zealand, arguably he has become the most important senator in the Australian Parliament where climate action and integrity are concerned — selected, supported and endorsed by the Climate Change the local ACT community independently from the discipline of any political party.

Let David tell you in his own words:

ABC Australian Story, 13 Sept 2022
In the Australian Senate – 2 Aug 2022

As demonstrated, Labor’s climate climate change bill passed last week (8 Sept) with David Pocock’s ‘teal’ vote.


If you and your local community are unhappy with the way your sitting state or federal parliamentarians are representing your interests, the teal community independents can show you how to empower your communities to change that.

Work with your friends and neighbors to decide what you want from your representative(s) in government, select someone from your community to stand for election, support their campaign, and then vote them into office. My research as Editor of Climate Sentinel News, documents in detail how this works, and introduces the fabulous support network that the the successful teal community independents have developed to help empower other communities to become independent of the special interests supporting major party candidates:

Transforming Australia’s Parliament to act on climate (12 Sept 2022)

A rising tsunami of teal independents is transforming our democracy representing special interests to a participatory democracy of community representatives.

As noted in my many posts to Climate Sentinel News, it is becoming increasingly evident that humanity on our only planet faces near term extinction if we don’t manage to stop and reverse the global warming process we have started through our profligate burning of fossil fuels. Their emissions are preventing the Earth from radiating away excess solar energy. This imbalance between incoming and outgoing heat energy causes the world to grow warmer. Unfortunately the problem is global and can only be solved on a global scale through the cooperation of governments – which makes it unavoidably political.

The difficulty of solution is only compounded by the fact that the unimaginably rich global fossil fuel industry has been fighting for decades to disrupt and stop effective actions against global warming/climate change to protect their sources of income from the burning of fossil fuels causing the emissions. Even the supposedly most ‘democratic’ governments have been corrupted so they represent the patrons and special interests (mostly fossil fuel industry related) who support and fund major political parties. This influence is so strong that I have been deeply pessimistic that our governments would ever be able to work effectively to combat climate change and stop our progress along the runaway warming road to extinction.

However, the results of Australia’s May 21 Federal Election provide evidence that Australia has begun to transform its government into one truly representing the substantial majority of voters who want action on climate change to be prioritized above any other issue. Finally there is scope for some genuine optimism that our government(s) will actually work seriously to resolve the climate issues….

Read the complete article and see the embedded presentation…. or download the presentation directly: “The Teal Tsunami started in Indi

Our changes to Earth’s atmosphere are driving us down the slippery road to mass extinction in ‘Hothouse Earth

The featured image heading this post and the video below show the most recent and best documented evidence that nothing humans have done to date has significantly slowed the accelerating rise in global temperatures driving by rising greenhouse gas concentrations from or directly triggered by human activities. If nothing is actively done on a global scale to stop and reverse these increases, it is inevitable that within a few more decades that our planet will have become uninhabitable to humans and the other living resources we need for our survival.

The graphs above and the video here are pretty clear. Objective measures of our planetary atmosphere show that we have done nothing yet in the world that is changing this prediction.

The video from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Monitoring Laboratory shows the historical fluctuations in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere we breathe over the last 800,000 years. It begins in 1979 when detailed daily tracking of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations began in a serious way across the globe using both physical sampling and measurements combined with satellite remote sensing. The inset map shows sampling locations, the fluctuating line plots CO2 concentrations by distance of the location south or north of the Equator and the graph shows annual fluctuations and the year-by-year rise in the average concentration for the year up through 2021.

When the present is reached, the x-axis of the graph is extended backwards in time from 1979 using a variety of measurement tools, mostly the CO2 concentration in bubbles of atmospheric gas trapped in bubbles of gas frozen into glacial ice from Antarctica. (The modern and ice-core measurements overlapped for long enough to demonstrate that the different sampling technologies were giving the same results.)

Until now I have been quite pessimistic that adequate action would ever be taken to reverse the trends shown on these graphs as our governments will continue greasing the downhill slide into the death and chaos of global mass extinction.

Community independents and Greens know how to change that, and have shown that they actually have the knowledge and ability to cancel remove the power of major political parties to block effective action.


Action is required! Simply voting for a Party may not ensure our survival (or may even speed our demise). Learn how to Vote Climate One!

I am now decidedly optimistic that humans have the knowledge and power to stop the ultimately lethal processes we have accidentally triggered in our profligate burning of Earth’s carbon resources. All it takes is a willingness for communities to be come fully involved in their own interests in avoiding the extinction of their families and heritage.

If you don’t think a major party you have voted for in the past truly represents your interests (rather than those of their immensely wealthy patrons — who may not even be Australian), Vote Climate One will show you how to maximize the chances that your vote will help to elect someone who will actually represent your community interests. See our Vote Climate One page on Voting Guides. At the moment this reflects the past Federal Election, but it will give the idea of the kind of analysis and information we will provide for the Victorian state election in November. The Victorian State Election guide will not be finalized before Sunday Nov.13th when the Victorian Electoral Commission releases the final list of candidates for each electorate. Prepolling starts on Monday Nov. 14th. We should have draft versions of the Victorian guides on-line around the beginning of November.

If you want to maximize the chances that your vote will actually count towards electing a government that will prioritize acting on climate first, we’ll do the work to make it easy for you to vote effectively.


greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, before you cast your ballot: Wake up! Smell the smoke! See the grimly frightful reality; and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process. To do this our governments must accept the reality, and work effectively to plan and coordinate the necessary mobilization and action. YOUR VOTE IN THE VICTORIAN ELECTION CAN HELP ENSURE THAT THIS HAPPENS: Vote Climate One in November!


Featured Image: Temperature data – Berkeley Earth; CO2 data – NOAA Global Monitoring Lab Trends in CO2; Trends in CH4; Trends in N2O

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Urgent action needed now to stop warming!

Aside from some flooding Australia has had it fairly easy compared to increasing frequency, extent, and severity of climate catastrophes in other parts of the world.

Don’t let our cooler La Nina and Indian Ocean dipole conditions fool you. The rest of the world really suffering!

Bill McKibben, is an American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming and and leads the climate campaign group 350.org. Here he summarizes evidence from increasingly frequent, extensive, and ferocious climate catastrophes in the Northern Hemisphere that shows global warming is continuing to accelerate.

As many articles posted on Climate Sentinel News in the run-up to Australia’s May 21 federal election also show, nothing we have done to date has measurably slowed the acceleration of global warming that may well lead to runaway warming and global mass extinction of humans and most other complex life on Earth. To stop this process while we can, our nations need to actively mobilize now to stop all carbon emissions and begin rapidly ramping up research and pilot projects to recapture and safely sequester some of the excess carbon already in our atmosphere.

Removing our COALition Government and electing several more ‘teal’ community independents to Parliament in the election just passed has finally given us a Labor Government that might be able to prioritize real climate action. However, because Labor continues to have its share of special interest puppet masters in the fossil fuel industry, pressure still needs to be applied by voters and their teal representatives in Parliament to speed climate action.

As the featured article here shows, we are already seeing the kinds of climate catastrophes able to cause mass human die-off events directly from the climate extremes themselves or famines resulting from associated crop failures.

A buoy rests on the cracked mud of Lake Mead in Nevada, in normal times America’s biggest reservoir (from the article)

by Bill McKibben, 23/08/2022 in the Crucial Years

Water, Water Nowhere – Except the spots that are flooding

China is enduring a truly remarkable heatwave—by some accounts “the worst heatwave known in world climatic history.” (Its main competitor for the title may be last year’s insane ‘heat dome’ that ran Canadian temperatures up to 121 Fahrenheit). The heat just never lets up over some of the most densely populated land on planet earth: It hit 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Chongqing Thursday, the highest temperature ever recorded in the country outside of desert Xinjiang. It hit 110 in Sichuan, which is a province of…80 million people, or two Californias. When it gets that hot, water just evaporates—Sichuan is 80 percent dependent on hydropower, but the reservoirs behind the great dams like Three Gorges are falling nearly as fast as Lake Mead and Lake Powell. The province has cut power day after day, including to Tesla and Toyota factories, and to many of the firms that supply the planet’s auto parts; the EV revolution is being held up by the effects of the problem it is trying to solve.

Read the complete article….

Featured Image: Own resources.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

August 2022 Greenhouse Gas Report

No evidence here that humans have done anything yet to stop and reverse GHG emissions to get us off the road to Hothouse Earth and global mass extinction.

As the ocean ice around Antarctic approaches its maximum spread for the year, on 19 August 2022 Antarctic sea-ice extent is the second lowest ever as recorded in the satellite era as recorded by the US National Snow & Ice Data Center. As sunlight again begins to shine on the antarctic polar region more of the ocean surface is exposed to solar heating that will warm the waters surrounding the ice cap to speed glacial melting and slow the formation of more sea-ice next winter.

July’s trends in global warming continue in August. Heatwaves, fires, and droughts in the Northern Hemisphere continue, e.g:

In the run-up to Australia’s May 22 Federal Election many articles on our Climate Sentinel News documented the reality, mechanisms and dangers humans face if global warming is allowed to continue. If global warming runs away due to already documented feedback mechanisms heating will continue at an accelerating rate that will soon rise beyond the capacity anything humans can do to stop it.

Critical time is wasting. It is time for all of our politicians, new and old to lead our country in massive mobilization to stop carbon emissions and start implementing carbon capture and sequestration processes able to extract excess amounts from the atmosphere. Biological processes are likely to scale up a lot more successfully than engineering solutions. Geoengineering to increase Earth’s reflectivity (i.e., albedo reduction) may also help. We know how to stop emissions, but sequestration and albedo reduction will require significant research that needs to start now.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, AND THE URGENCY GROWS WITH EVERY DAY OF DELAY!

Featured image: See July’s report for details.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.