Metung Science Forum Newsletter Editorial by Tom Moore

Excerpts from July Newsletter *

It’s so cold in East Gippsland at this time of the year, one could be forgiven for thinking that global warming has taken a break. But of course, it hasn’t! We only need to look at the incredible heatwaves in British Columbia to negate any such thoughts. Lou and I have fond memories of our days skiing in BC often in deep powder snow, so it is hard to imagine that the record temperatures (some days rivalling the hottest ever recorded in Australia) have resulted in the deaths of over 100 people from heat related causes. And almost daily there are reports of tragedies happening around the world which are directly or indirectly linked with Climate Change eg. landslides in Japan, forest fires in California etc. etc.

Nice to know that in some areas “we” are starting to act. Bloomberg recently broke the news that China’s biggest bank has dumped a plan to finance a $3 billion Coal fired power station in Zimbabwe, the first time a Chinese bank has pro-actively walked away from a coal powered project. In addition, the Baihetan hydropower dam went into operation a week ago in south western China. Its 16 x one gigawatt generators will in total generate 62 terawatt hours of electricity per year saving almost 20 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Whilst on China, their planned emissions trading scheme has been delayed but it appears that it will still go ahead once the bugs are removed. So, it would seem that the Chinese government are moving on their plans to be carbon neutral by 2060, despite some concerns regarding their continued interest in coal.

Contrast that with Australia. There is some good news in that the Senate delivered a critical blow to the Federal Government by voting to cancel the new regulations issued to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency that would have opened up the agency’s funds (which were provided strictly for green energy projects) to carbon capture and storage projects, fossil hydrogen production and a range of non-renewable technologies. Of course, Angus Taylor is busily researching another way around the Senate’s decision.

Meanwhile the proposal from UNESCO to list our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef as endangered “stunned” Susan Ley (where has she been for the past 20 years that she didn’t know this was coming?) but not enough to prevent her from blocking the development of 26 GW of solar and wind power to produce green hydrogen in Western Australia at the proposed massive Asian Renewable Energy Hub. And not enough to prevent her challenging the Federal Court on its decision that the Federal Environment Minister has a duty to protect young people from the climate crisis.

There is, of course, so much more going on and it’s hard to keep up with it all…So please keep the communications coming.

*The Metung Science Forum is a forum for progressive science and evidence-based discussion of climate change and related issues for the people of Metung and surrounds.