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.

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.

More wildfires in sub-arctic forests heat up our Earth

conditions conducive to higher frequency fires. In the coniferous boreal forest, the world’s largest terrestrial biome, fires are historically common but relatively infrequent. Post-fire, regenerating forests are generally resistant to burning (strong fire self-regulation), favoring millennial coniferous resilience. However, short intervals between fires are associated with rapid, threshold-like losses of resilience and changes to broadleaf or shrub communities, impacting carbon content, habitat, and other ecosystem services.

by Buma et al., 22/03/2022 in Scientific Reports

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

Wildfire smoke drives global temperatures higher

Brown carbon’ from burning forests, tundra, and peat soils drives temperatures higher in positive feedback loop with increasing global temps

Taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite on January 4, 2021, this image shows smoke from fires burning in southeastern Australia. NASA says it is likely that some of the white patches above the smoke are pyrocumulonimbus clouds, which resemble violent thunderstorms and can form above intense fires. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens. Picture via Australia’s “firenadoes” summon images of Hiroshima, atomic bombs By Dawn Stover | January 14, 2020 in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Source: Cell Press, 18/03/2022 in Science News

Wildfires devastate the land they burn, and they are also warming the planet: The 2021 wildfire season broke records globally, leaving land charred from California to Siberia. The risk of fire is growing, and a recent report warned that wildfires are on track to increase 50% by 2050. These fires destroy homes, plant life, and animals as they burn, but the risk doesn’t stop there. Researchers detail how the brown carbon released by burning biomass in the northern hemisphere is accelerating warming in the Arctic and warn that this could lead to even more wildfires in the future.

Editor’s note: the source article, by Yue et al., 18/03/2022, Brown carbon from biomass burning imposes strong circum-Arctic warming can be downloaded from One Earth.

Featured Image: Several wildfires in the Sakha Republic, in and around the Arctic Circle, Russia (Lat: 66.88913, Long: 150.72075) – July 20, 2020 – Enhanced natural colors with IR overlay – Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2020], processed by Pierre Markuse – Image is about 77 km wide. / Downloaded from Flikr

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

Gov’t gives fossil fuel free pass for excess emissions

A fifth of Australia’s fossil fuel facilities emit more more GHGs than approved – with no penalties/costs applied for excess emissions

by Adam Morton, 24/02/2022 in The Guardian
A fifth of Australia’s fossil fuel facilities emit more greenhouse gas than originally estimated, report says: Australian Conservation Foundation says blowouts show government’s safeguard mechanism is ‘failing’ to control industrial emissions.

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

Look out! More and worse wildfires are coming for us

UN’s “Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires” warns positive feedbacks will accelerate warming and impacts

by Bob Berwyn, 23/02/2022 in Inside Climate News
Global Wildfire Activity to Surge in Coming Years: A new U.N. report says communities need to prepare for the growing threat by refocusing on prevention, rather than just reacting to fires as they happen.

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

Huge plumes of methane leakage from fossil fuel industry (including Australia) are mapped by satellite — stop them to slow global warming

by Georgina Rannard, 05/02/2022 in BBC News Science
Climate change: Satellites map huge methane plumes from oil and gas: Huge plumes of the warming gas methane have been mapped globally for the first time from oil and gas fields using satellites.

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

IPCC’s guidance downplays risks in climate emergency

IPCC’s guidance is dangerous in rapidly evolving climate emergency due to time lost for peer review between observing and reporting reality

Introduction: Year by year we are seeing increases in both the basic readings for global warming and in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events attributed to the warming that show we are in the midst of a climate emergency. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is considered by many scientists (and politicians claiming to be guided by the science) to be the ultimate authority on the likely evolution of global warming and the future risks we face from it. However, the IPCC’s guidance in forecasts and predictions has consistently ignored or underestimated the rising levels of catastrophic and existential risk associated with the accelerating increases.

I don’t dispute the IPCC’s science, as the work leading to it is usually meticulous. But, at the same time, their processes add years of bureaucratic and political delay between the observations of reality and the eventually publications of conclusions from those observations. This means that any guidance offered in IPCC reports and assessments is likely to considerably understate the risks, impacts and rates of global warming. The peer review process and sociological factors in the academic/institutional environments most IPCC authors work in lead authors to minimize dramatic and scary risks irrespective of minimal they might be. These thoughts and their implications are detailed in a January 2022 presentation of mine, “Some fundamental issues relating to the science underlying climate policy: The IPCC and COP26 couldn’t help but get it wrong” on the Researchgate repository .

Slide 3 from my January 2022 presentation exploring issues with the reliability of the IPCC's too conservative forecasts for the future evolution of global warming and why it shouldn't be trusted.
Slide 3 from my January 2022 presentation.

The article discussed here is an example of recent observations that should greatly change many presumptions in even the most recent IPCC AR6 report.

Carbonate rocks (e.g., limestone, dolomite) in permafrost zones may be global warming time-bombs for methane release.

The article linked here describes an unexpected observation from satellite scans of methane gas concentrations in the atmosphere over Siberia. As the frozen land warms in spring and summer remarkably high concentrations of methane are associated with geological outcroppings of common calcium carbonate rocks such as limestone and dolomite. Carbon is a significant component of these kinds of rock. Ordinarily this carbon is considered to be quite inert in relationship to short-term climate change. The authors were surprised to discover that largest releases of methane (~ 85 times the greenhouse potential of CO₂ over 20 years) in Siberia — not associated with fossil fuel production — were from these rocky areas. The observed behavior of the methane releases suggests these areas represented a risk of becoming global warming time bombs.

Methane release from carbonate rock formations in the Siberian permafrost area during and after the 2020 heat wave

by Froitzheim et al., PNAS August 10, 2021

ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic global warming may be accelerated by a positive feedback from the mobilization of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost. There are large uncertainties about the size of carbon stocks and the magnitude of possible methane emissions. … Two elongated areas of increased atmospheric methane concentration that appeared during summer coincide with two stripes of Paleozoic carbonates exposed at the southern and northern borders of the Yenisey-Khatanga Basin, a hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basin between the Siberian Craton to the south and the Taymyr Fold Belt to the north. [see featured image above] Over the carbonates, soils are thin to nonexistent and wetlands are scarce. The maxima are thus unlikely to be caused by microbial methane from soils or wetlands. We suggest that gas hydrates in fractures and pockets of the carbonate rocks in the permafrost zone became unstable due to warming from the surface. This process may add unknown quantities of methane to the atmosphere in the near future [my emphasis].

Read the complete article….

When the IPCC’s AR6 was being drafted its authors never encountered or even contemplated many of the discoveries made like the above, or the kinds of NB4 extreme weather events observed over the last 4-6 years (they were “unknown unknowns”)

The IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 6th Assessment Report that informed COP26 totally missed this risk — the abrupt release of prodigious amounts of greenhouse methane gas from permafrost. They also missed or downplayed many other risks that have only begun to appear as the climate emergency accelerates. My graphical essay, “Some fundamental issues relating to the science underlying climate policy: The IPCC and COP26 couldn’t help but get it wrong“, documents the fact that the IPCC’s claim to provide the best and most stringently peer reviewed scientific understanding of basic physics of Earth’s Climate System is true. However, their scientific methodology is deeply flawed when applied to predicting the rapidly evolving and changing behavior of the large and complexly dynamical Climate System:

  • By the time the IPCC’s deeply bureaucratic and political review processes result in publication, the work is based on the reality of a world that existed several years ago, not the reality of today’s increasingly rapidly changing world
  • Research and publishing in academic and institutional environments are deeply (but most subliminally) constrained from publishing novel ideas and scary stuff. This is called “scientific reticence” — a situation that can only be amplified by the requirements that publications are approved by their political sponsors.
  • Finally, the Climate System involves non-linear and often chaotic feedback interactions of many variables – some of them not at all well understood. Many climatologists come from backgrounds in physics and mathematical modeling is very helpful for understanding the behaviors of mostly linear systems. Climate behavior in the antithesis to this kind of system. Where climate is concerned, modeling is useful for understand what can happen under specific circumstances where most of the variables are controlled. It is inappropriate for long term forecasting.

However, even taking the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report at face value: “The best peer-reviewed science we have” shows unambiguously that if we don’t stop and reverse global warming very soon, human life on the planet will be faced with a growing crescendo of extreme weather events and climate hell within a few decades at the most.

Today, we are already seeing the beginnings of this crescendo! But there is only one mention of a few sentences in the entire 3949 pages of the full IPCC report of the realistic possibility that if we fail to stop the warming, that runaway global warming will lead to the global mass extinction of most complex life.

The point raised here is that the scientific methodology underlying IPCC reports cannot help but underestimate and down play the full range and magnitudes of risks humans face from the rapidly accelerating climate emergency. This also provides great cover for the fossil fuel industry special interests, the humbugging puppets in our governments that keep spruiking the message that we shouldn’t look up, because there is noting there to see, and the much too compliant press.

To conclude, if we are to find and execute any way to stop and reverse the still accelerating warming of our only planet, we have to begin by replacing all the humbugging puppets in our Federal Government with people able to rationally understand the risks we face who also have the gumption to put acting on the climate emergency as their first order of business if elected to Parliament.

Our Vote Climate One Traffic Light Voting Guide will help you elect candidates in your electorate who are most likely to meet these critria, and equally identify LNP Coalition Members and fellow travelers and those whose preferences might flow in a way that would elect/reelect one of the humbuggers.

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