About GroundSwell Bass Coast

Escalator500We’re a community group concerned with understanding the many dimensions of climate change, located 120km SE of Melbourne. We meet at San Remo pub, at 7.30PM on alternate Tuesdays, everybody welcome. Please click Climate Emergency Petition to help make climate a big election issue.

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Australia blowing carbon budget

untitledcarbonclockAustralia has emitted about twice what is allowed by CCA’s carbon budget since 2013. In the three years and nine months to September 2016, the country emitted 19.8% of its share of what the world can emit between 2013 and 2050 if it intends to maintain a good chance of keeping warming to below 2C.

If Australia continues to emit carbon pollution at the average rate of the past year, it will spend its entire carbon budget by 2031. Projected to the current second, the graphic shows how much of the carbon budget has been spent.

The government has failed to report its emissions since the quarter ending December 2015. Last year it released data on Christmas Eve, when it reported a jump in emissions.

>more> TheGuardian

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Australia isolated carryover credits cancelled by developed nations from Kyoto

Note – early Christmas media gap has COALition “emptying its garbage” on climate change claiming, over and over, that targets are already met, not revealing deceitful accounting:

Five nations announce they will not use emission reduction credits they are entitled to, and on which Australia relies to meet its 2020 targets

Malcolm Turnbull delivering a speech at the heads of states’ statements ceremony of the COP21 world climate change conference in Paris.
 Malcolm Turnbull speech about Australia’s emissions achievements at heads of states’ statements ceremony COP21 world climate change conference in Paris. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Australia, in stark contrast, is banking 128m tonnes of carryover from overshooting its lenient target in the first Kyoto commitment period and using it to be able to claim – as the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, did in his speech to the Paris summit – that it is already on track to meet its second pledge…“By cancelling surplus units we hope to send a strong positive signal of support for an ambitious global climate agreement here in Paris,” the European nations said in a joint statement.

>more> TheGuardian

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Why Australia growing emissions and electricity demand : here’s why

Note – from The Conversation, this is just part showing emissions growth because of pumping, compressing and refrigerating  LNG:
To understand why demand is increasing we can look at the three major consumer groups – industry, business and households – as you can see in the figure below.

Victoria excluded because differences in timing of industry reporting to AER mean most recent data not available. Exclusion of Victoria does not change overall picture,  shown same trends as other NEM regions. Hugh Saddler using data from AER and AEMOAuthor provided

After growing until 2012, industry demand fell sharply because of closures of several major establishments, most notably aluminium smelters in New South Wales and Victoria.

Since 2015 very rapid growth has occurred in Queensland, driven by the coal seam gas industry. Extraction of coal seam gas requires the use of enormous numbers of pumps, compressors and related equipment, to first extract the gas from underground and then to compress it for pipeline transport to the LNG plants at Gladstone.

Initially, the industry used gas engines to power this equipment, but then realised that electric motor drive would cost less. The government-owned Queensland electricity transmission business, Powerlink Queensland, is making major investments (paid for by the gas producers) in new transmission lines and substations to meet this new demand.

By the end of 2017-18, electricity demand could increase by 20% in Queensland and by 5% for Australia overall. All of this demand, at least initially, will be supplied by coal-fired power stations, increasing Australia’s total emissions by about 8 million tonnes, or roughly 1.5%.

As a side note, the LNG plants in Queensland will not themselves use electricity from the grid, but will use about 120 petajoules of gas each by 2017-18, adding another 6 million tonnes to national greenhouse gas emissions.

>more> TheConversation

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Native forests worth more unlogged, so why are we still cutting them down?

VicForests, which isn’t in the plantation business, made a modest profit of $4.7 million in the 2015 financial year, but this is not consistent across the state. In 2015 leaked documents revealed the East Gippsland logging operations lost up to $5.5 million a year. Meanwhile, Forestry Tasmania went from being tens of millions of dollars in the red at end of 2014 to a profit the following year. But this was mainly because it decided its forests had gained $37.9 million in value, then reported that as revenue. The profit also included $14.4 million in direct government subsidy. The Tasmanian Liberal government made an election promise to end $95 million in subsidies to the logging industry, but it’s struggling to follow through.


Let’s be clear – “forest waste” is not truly leftovers. It can sometimes be up to 80 per cent of the forest harvest. It gets worse. Thanks to changes to RET (Renewable Energy Target), burning native forests can now count as renewable energy, even though it takes 80 years of regrowth to replace the carbon store. The problem is especially politically vexed in that state because Tasmanians think the forestry industry is more important than it is. In fact, native forestry only generates about 1 per cent of the gross state product and provides 1000 jobs, less than 0.5 per cent of total employment for the state, according to a 2013 report for the Australia Institute.

Tasmania’s tourism sector and aquaculture are worth far more in the long term, and both rely on the state’s clean, green image. By the way, the report was authored by Andrew Macintosh, the person appointed by the Abbott government to oversee the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The truth is – and Macintosh has written on this too – native forests are worth more unlogged. One way for state forestry organisations to convert that to actual money would be to accept carbon credits from the federal government for not logging forests. This is payment for sequestering carbon under the ERF. Last year’s ERF white paper explicitly states that local and state government entities can apply. There are already private landholders in Tasmania earning good money from the ERF for not logging their forests, but no state forestry corporations so far.

>more> The Age

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Frydenberg news CCS

As he returns from COP22 climate talks in Morocco, Minister Frydenberg is boasting other countries impressed by projects making progress with CCS, “one of the biggest in the world being Gorgon LNG”.  If you look, you find “it’s a whole 3.4 to 4 Million tonnes of CO2 planned to be stored each year”. It’s compulsory to separate CO2   from methane, out of gas wells, to match fuel compliance standard, before it can be sold. CO2 concentration can be 15% or more, filtered out using membrane technology.  Unfortunately total annual emissions for Australia are now rising towards 600Million tonne/year. Most emissions are from combustion in power stations, vehicles etc, measured in ppm(parts per million), so carbon capture and then storage is not so easy and there’s no indication that Frydenberg has any intention of making CCS compulsory. How can this scale of problem be ignored by Australian government, not even pretending they need to mitigate against risk of collapse. They may not care about environment but do they really not care about the precious economy?

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LNG $Billions tax avoidance

Australia is giving away 85.5 million tonnes of LNG a year for free. Well, to be sold by fossil fuel companies to Japan, ...While government agonises over 2 bob taxation for backpacker fruit pickers, PRRT receipts are in freefall and any meaningful contribution from the industry could be decades away, according to briefings to the government of Western Australia. The numbers begged not to be ignored by Canberra.

LNG revenue was set to mushroom from $5 billion to $60 billion over a decade but PRRT returns would sink from a paltry $1.2 billion to a frankly embarrassing $800 million. Currently, the only PRRT payments are coming from mature oil rig operations in Bass Strait. Effectively, Australia is giving away 85.5 million tonnes of LNG a year for free. Well, to be sold by fossil fuel companies to Japan, Korea and China.

By 2021 Australia will eclipse the Persian Gulf state of Qatar to become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Malcolm Turnbull approved the massive LNG project in 2007 – but it won’t pay the Commonwealth a cent for another two decades. In that year, when both countries are forecast to pump and ship roughly 100 billion cubic metres of LNG each, Qatar’s government will receive $26.6 Billion in royalties from the multinational companies exploiting its offshore gasfields. According to Treasury estimates, Australia will receive just $800 Million for the same volume of gas leaving its shores.

Should this kind of arithmetic be reviewed in Primary Schools? Who are our pollies working for? Surely it can only be major corruption feeding on this kind of disparity?

>more> TheAge

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Close All Coal Fired Power Stations by 2030 by Government Report

The Retirement of coal fired power stations inquiry report, due to be tabled in the Senate on Monday afternoon, has recommended that coal fired power stations be retired and no new stations built, to make way for lower-emissions sources of power such as renewable energy…“The question is not if coal fired power stations will close, but how quickly and orderly these closures will occur, and what supporting policies need to be in place to help manage the process,”…The report’s recommendations include creating a comprehensive energy transition plan, reform of the National Electricity Market rules, a pollution reduction target, a plan for workers and communities, and an energy transition authority with powers…The committee cited economic factors as the main reason for government intervention to phase out coal fired power stations and meeting obligations for less than 2degC warming.

>more> BuzzFeed

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Direct Action out of steam carbon reduction policy

Erwin Jackson, deputy chief executive of the Climate Institute said ERF only effectively addressing emissions in land sector, “tiny fraction of Australia’s contribution to climate change”. “Emissions from burning coal, oil and gas are real drivers of escalating climate change impacts,” he said…“As world switches to clean energy, global emissions from fossil fuels have now been flat for last few years, falling in major economies like China and the United States. But rising in Australia, because no national strategy to replace our ageing coal plants with clean energy…“This highlights how crucial it is that next year’s federal policy review produces credible/scalable decarbonisation strategy Australia to net zero emissions.”

>more> TheGuardian

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Betting the farm

…strongly recommended read or listen from ABC web site… about climate change, sobering, hands on points of view of farmers, who need help from science, because sympathy now amounts to insult. Mainstream media confuses us, representing interests of monster, dirty, energy corporations; also undermining both climate scientists and business of renewable energy. Here’s convincing and not so confusing climate change facts from down to earth farmers:

• farming can tolerate changing average but is destroyed by ferocious extremes, frequency and ferocity of floods, droughts, wildfires, heat, even cold snaps

• current seasons can stop raining in September and not really rain again through to following June.This spring it’s the other extreme. It won’t stop raining. But at least the lambs are in clover.

• number of days above 35 degrees, and changes in winter rainfall, have arrived 15 years ahead of schedule.

• rainfall zones shifting south by up to 400 kilometres since turn of millennium. They found winter rain had decreased by up to 30% and summer rain spiked by 40%

• predicted by climate model simulations for a long time, what it means is soaking winter rains miss land and fall in ocean. And rain in summer? Well, it vanishes before it can recharge groundwater.

• pleading for a lot more scientific work unpacking drivers of extremity…requires a deeper understanding of mechanics of mysterious Earth system. And that requires more research and more money.

• grapes ripening faster and much shorter timeframe for picking. So instead of taking 100 days, the vast majority of vintages are ripening within 60 days, harvest Jan instead March, much reduced picking time

• changed our calving pattern from spring, from August back until mid May to make most of winter pasture growth rate. Farmers have their hands in the dirt, their bums on tractor seats, and their eyes on their stock.

• In a wilder world, they need seed stocks and bloodlines that can be relied on to survive. And they want the science to develop enough to give them a chance to see the weather coming before it hits, not just to clean up the mess afterwards.

• Greg Hunt, instructed CSIRO to renew its focus on climate science. But there’s little clarity about what this means, and how much, if any, real, new money will go into climate modelling programs.

• Well, it makes farming more of a gamble than it ever was. It is a gamble. Which should be a complete concern to everyone who eats on this planet. And most people eat, or want to eat. Because the whole world is going to be gambling on food production.

Don’t we need to let our politicians know we’re concerned they’re doing too little, too late? Sooner or later, they’ll obviously backflip. They must make appropriate emission reduction action, no more delays. In other jurisdictions, they’d be charged with crimes against humanity and/or criminal negligence, Time to let them know,

>more> ABC RN Background Briefing – audio and transcript

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Plea Trump not to ditch Paris treaty-Climate Summit Chief


The climate march at the COP22 climate conference in in Marrakech, MoroccoMarch at COP22 climate conference Marrakech.Photo J Sutton Hibbert/Greenpeace
 …Crucially, just $165m of new money was pledged by advanced economies for Global Climate Fund which enabled poorer countries to sign up to the Paris agreement. UN source insisted that the $100bn target would be met by 2020, but said trillions would be needed to make development more sustainable.
 “If you have to make agriculture resilient, build a sea wall or ensure that diseases don’t spread, there is no money-making rationale behind it. So public money is needed…“Unfortunately, it’s all about climate finance which is calculated using creative accounting, and methodologies that were not agreed upon and are not conducive to building trust.” ..OECD projections suggest that developed countries will have stumped up just one fifth of the initial funds needed for adapting to climate change of a $100bn-a-year global climate fund which is due to launch in 2020.


150 years of global warming in a minute-long symphony

>more> The Guardian

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