Save Earth Now ~ 2014/15


On this Page:

What Harrison Ford says about climate change

11 Dec 2015
At 73, well traveled, and obviously intelligent gauging by his insightful comments, Harrison Ford has succinctly said what all of us who love Earth and life have been thinking for a long time, he hopes world leaders can “finally do something” about climate change.”

“Nature will take care of itself — nature doesn’t need people, people need nature to survive,” Ford told presenter Leigh Sales.

I like how he put our dilemma into context. Have a read….
[Return to Contents]

We are natural born killers
our rubbish kills the smallest to the largest creature

AFP: Marine Biology and Cetacean Research Centre of National Cheng-Kung University

26 Oct 2015 – Here again the data revealed in the 2014 report, Marine Pollution Bulletin, is sadly substantiated by the death of another magnificent creature. This massive beast had roamed the world’s ocean for many years giving birth or fathering many. The ingestion of trash documented in 56 percent of cetacean species, was found by Taiwanese marine biologists who discovered a mass of plastic bags and fishing net in the stomach of the dead whale.

The 15-metre mature sperm whale was spotted stranded off the southern town of Tongshi on October 15.

Coastguards and scientists returned it to the ocean but three days later it was found dead around 20 km away.

Marine biologists from a local university conducted an autopsy over the weekend and found a mass of plastic bags and fishing net enough to fill an excavator bucket. Professor Wang Chien-ping, head of the Whale Research Centre at National Cheng-Kung University, said the garbage was a major factor in the death.

The large amount of man-made garbage in the stomach could reduce its appetite and cause malnutrition. It was likely a critical cause of death,” he said.

The Society of Wilderness said the case highlighted the growing threat from ocean trash.
[Return to Contents]

Analysis of climate change suggests marine food chain collapse

by Andrew Darby, SMH environment reporter  – 12 Oct 2015

“There will be a species collapse from the top of the food chain down,” said Professor Ivan Nagelkerken said in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, drawing on the results of 632 experiments on the direction and magnitude of ecological change forced by greenhouse gases.

The work, with fellow University of Adelaide marine ecologist Sean Connell, is aimed at filling a knowledge gap on how climate change will more broadly affect the marine environment.

Professor Nagelkerken found that only the smallest plankton was likely to benefit from warmer waters. He said researchers were a little surprised to find much the same impacts when they modelled short-term stressors and longer-term ones.

“We didn’t expect that longer-term studies would show equally detrimental effects,” he said.

Ocean acidification meant secondary production of zooplankton and smaller fish would not follow plankton’s food gains. Instead warmer waters would raise these fishes’ metabolism, the rate at which they burn calories, and therefore increase their demand for food.

the costs of this mis-match would rise up the food chain, with much less food available for carnivores such as the tuna, sharks and gropers upon which industrial fishing relies, Associate Professor Nagelkerken said.

The analysis also showed that species limited to specific habitats, such as corals, oysters and mussels, would be able to deal only poorly with climate change.

“The future simplification of our oceans has profound consequences for our current way of life, particularly for coastal populations and those that rely on oceans for food and trade,” he said.

One way to help manage the problem was to limit other stressors on marine life.

“If we reduce over-fishing we can slow down the effects of climate change,” he said.

Tuna catches may be fewer under climate change

Tuna catches may be fewer under climate change. Photo: CSIRO Marine Research

[Return to Contents]

Queensland Cobia fish farm wins top show medal

ABC Rural By Michael Condon 24 July 2015

Cobia – a fine tasting fish with firm flesh.

Queensland aquaculture company Pacific Reef Fisheries has beaten a field of more than 5,650 entries from around Australia to win the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal. The President’s Medal is open to all agriculturally-based businesses in Australia and carries a prize of $10,000.

Pacific Reef Fisheries was nominated for its sashimi grade Pacific Reef North Queensland cobia.

The Pacific Reef cobia is a little known saltwater finfish, weighing about five to seven kilograms fully grown. It is a relatively new aquaculture species in Australia.

Fantastic News
Pacific Reef Fisheries, based at Ayr in north Queensland, uses groundbreaking, innovative land-based seawater pond system fed by a constant flow of Coral Sea water. Man-made mangrove wetlands form part of a world-first water treatment technique used to clean the water leaving the farm.

Read more here.
[Return to Contents]

Farmers urge the Liberal Party to take strong action on climate change

Producers of beef cattle, dairy, grain, lambs and vegetables signed the open letter to the conference in Melbourne, urging the Federal Government to take a strong policy of emission cut to climate change talks in Paris this year. In an open letter to the Liberal Party ahead of this weekend’s national conference, a group of farmers say climate change is real and happening on their farms.

The letter says: “We as Aussie farmers call on the Liberal Party conference to reject the motion put by the regional and rural committee of the Liberal Party questioning the basis of climate science, and instead call for post-2020 targets to cut carbon pollution that are in line with scientists’ recommendations of at least 40 per cent by 2025, and at least 60 per cent by 2030 over 2000 pollution levels.”
[Return to Contents]

We Are Killing Our Best Loved Marine Mammals
Marine Debris Deadly to Whales, Dolphins

Nature World News. By Jenna Iacurci.

You might think twice before tossing a piece of plastic into the garbage rather than a recycling bin when you hear how deadly marine debris, such as floating plastic, is to whales, dolphins and other sea creatures.

According to a 2014 report published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, ingestion of trash has been documented in
56 percent of cetacean species, with rates of ingestion as high as 31 percent in some populations. Bottlenose dolphins and various species of whales are also common victims of marine debris.
[Return to Contents]

European Carp numbers are still increasing

24 May 2014 – Despite all efforts to control them, European Carp make up a staggering 90 percent of fish in the Murray Darling basin. Carp cause significant damage to aquatic plants and increase water turbidity, negatively impacting native aquatic fauna, habitat and ecosystems.

Nature isn’t always pretty. This brute was fine when it lived in a few streams. Now widespread throughout the world it devours everything, multiples voraciously, and undermines river banks. In plague proportions in Australia’s Murray River Basin, scientist hope they have a specie specific herpes that will destroy it. Meanwhile it has replaced 90% of all the other creatures, and who’s to know if the cure might not be worse than the brute were attacking. 

Maybe if we farm these creatures in mud free habitats, they can replace the Bigeye Tuna that are rapidly racing to extinction……
Food for Thought,  or is that Thought for Food.
[Return to Contents]

Pacific fishing multi-nation talks end in stalemate

6 Dec 2014 – The effectiveness of the fishing watchdog in lucrative Pacific island waters was under scrutiny Saturday after talks aimed at protecting the region’s valuable tuna stocks ended in a stalemate.

A group of island nations including Samoa and Palau want the commission, which polices fishing in the region, to establish strict catch limits for bigeye tuna, one of the most sought after species for sushi restaurants in Asia, America and Europe.

However, despite reports indicating bigeye stocks were down to 16 per cent of their historic high, conservation measures appear to have been blocked by the so-called “distant water nations” from as far afield as Europe, China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

Related story:
Tuna Stocks on Brink of Disaster
[Return to Contents]

He just doesn’t get it!

PM Tony Abbott wants Earth to be scorched by burning fossil fuels till end of century.

  • China installed more renewable energy capacity than fossil fuels in 2013.
  • USA also exploiting global shift to renewable energy, second to China for renewable.
  • In the past year, Australian investment in renewables has dropped 70%.
under Abbott Australia is going backwards!

Australia is going backwards!

While our two largest trading partners are ramping up renewable energy research and manufacture, Tony Abbott has brought in a 70% reduction in Australian development. He’s a dinosaur who wants Earth to be scorched by burning fossil fuels till the end of the century. He just doesn’t understand that changing emphasis to renewables would create a massive number of new jobs in addition to helping planet Earth and secure a future for our grandchildren. Crikey! Can’t imagine what another 86 years of burning coal for power will do to the CO2 levels – I can only imagine in his drive for export dollars, Abbott must think we’ll either bury the climate change gases, or we’ll find a miracle cure. Talk about bad risk management. Standing on the precipice of huge climate change, he’s willing to gamble our children future, when the alternative would develop a whole new industry.

The good news story globally is that China consolidated its position as the world’s renewable energy powerhouse in the past year with 2.6 million people employed in renewable energy jobs and renewables providing nearly one fifth of China’s annual electricity generation.

China installed more renewable energy capacity than fossil fuels in 2013.
It also retired 77 gigawatts (GW) of coal power stations between 2006 and 2010 and aims to retire a further 20 GW by 2015.

Read the Report
The Climate Council has issued a report comparing Australia’s action on climate change to the rest of the world in regard to reducing emissions and renewable energy, including the actions taken by some of the world’s largest economies such as China, the US and EU.
[Return to Contents]

Plenty of news about Climate Change recently:

* IPCC – Greenhouse gas highest in 800,000 years
* IPCC report on fossil fuels ‘too conservative’
* Calls to close worst-polluting power stations
* Coal ‘good for humanity’, says PM Tony Abbott

The world’s top scientists have given their clearest warning yet of the severe and irreversible impacts of climate change.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns greenhouse gas levels are at their highest they have been in 800,000 years, with recent increases mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels.

“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report said.

Too Conservative –
Dr Terry Leahy, a University of Newcastle sociologist, has criticised the latest global report on the threat of climate change for not doing enough to highlight the problem.

“The statement that we have to eliminate coal by the end of the century is a massively conservative statement and really understates the problem.”

Dr Leahy said 86 more years of coal is a very unrealistic estimate, and the Hunter region’s economy needs to transition. “It’s a huge problem for residents of the Hunter who have jobs in the coal industry,” he said.

Close Worst Polluting Power Plants –
Australia’s energy system is using more coal than ever. While demand for electricity is falling, the carbon emissions from its generation have been steadily rising since June.

In the electricity market, Victoria’s brown coal power stations are back on top, reaping the rewards of higher gas prices, an end to the carbon tax and the subsequent fall in hydro-electricity production.

PM Abbott,  An Enemy of the Environment? –
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says coal is “good for humanity” and will be the “world’s main energy source for decades to come” as he opened a new $3.9 billion coal mine in central Queensland.

The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) said the new mine, the company’s eighth in the region, would produce about 5.5 million tonnes of coal each year.

Speaking at the mine’s opening, Mr Abbott said coal should not be demonised. “Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world,” he said. “Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world.”

It’s hard to pin down exactly what prime minister Tony Abbott really believes on climate change, but his policies could only have been developed by someone who believes global warming is a hoax. In October 2009 he said, “The argument [on climate change] is absolute crap… however, the politics of this are tough for us. 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

Abbott still vacillates between repeating denialist talking points and more moderate statements accepting the reality of climate change. For example after meeting with Barack Obama on 13 June, Abbott said in an ABC radio interview that “I regard myself as a conservationist”, yet later that day he fronted an audience in Texas to laud the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels. “Australia should be an affordable energy superpower, using nature’s gifts to the benefit of our own people and the wider world…. we don’t believe in ostracizing any particular fuel and we don’t believe in harming economic growth. Energy consumption defines prosperity.”
[Return to Contents]

Sea Change:
The Ecological Disaster That Nobody Sees

18 Sep 2014 – Jack and Jude have been witnessing this ecological disaster increase rapidly during our lifetime afloat upon the world’s oceans. Now experts warn that we are currently facing an extinction event in the oceans which may rival the “Great Death” of the Permian age 250 million years ago, when 95 percent of marine species died out due to a combination of warming, acidification, loss of oxygen and habitat – all conditions that are rife today.

Within the past half century the oceans have been transformed from the planet’s most productive bioregion into arguably its most abused and critically endangered. That is the conclusion of a report issued earlier this summer by the Global Ocean Commission, a private think tank consisting of marine scientists, diplomats and business people, which makes policy recommendations to governments.

The report catalogues a grim laundry list of environmental ills. Commercial fish stocks worldwide are being overexploited and are close to collapse; coral reefs are dying due to ocean acidification – and may be gone by midcentury; vast dead zones are proliferating in the Baltic and the Gulf of Mexico caused by an influx of nitrogen and phosphorous from petroleum-based fertilizers; non-biodegradable plastic trash – everything from tiny micro-plastic beads to plastic bags and discarded fishing gear – is choking many coastal nurseries where fish spawn; and increased oil and gas drilling in deep waters is spewing pollution and posing the risk of catastrophic spills like the Deepwater Horizon disaster which dumped an estimated 4.2 million barrels of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico during a five-month period in 2010.

Yet these worrying trends have failed to spark public indignation. It may be a matter of “out of sight, out of mind.” [More]
[Return to Contents]

New Population Projections Shatter Earlier Estimates 11 Billion by 2100

New UN population estimate

New UN population estimate

10 Oct 2014 – In a paper published Thursday in Science, demographers from several universities and the United Nations Population Division conclude that instead of leveling off in the second half of the 21st century, as the UN predicted less than a decade ago, the world’s population will continue to grow beyond 2100.

Jack and Jude say that this is by far the most disturbing report in all of the news. Our population generates all the wastes presently endangering Earth, it accounts for the immense decline in species, and our burgeoning need for resources is stripping the wild kingdom, replacing it with highways and larger cities. Tackling our population explosion is by far our greatest challenge ever.
[Return to Contents]

Counting the Costs of Climate Change

6 November 2014

  1. Sea level has already risen and continues to rise due to climate change. Climate change exacerbates coastal flooding from a storm surge as the storm rides on higher sea levels.
  2. Australia is highly vulnerable to increasing coastal flooding because our cities, towns and critical infrastructure are mainly located on the coast. Australia’s infrastructure has been built for the climate of the 20th century and is unprepared for rising sea level.
  3. Coastal flooding is a sleeping giant. If the threat of sea level rise is ignored, the projected increases in economic damage caused by coastal flooding are massive.
  4. Rising sea levels pose risks for many of Australia’s species and iconic natural places, such as Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.
  5. Rising sea level is eroding the viability of coastal communities on islands in the Torres Strait and the Pacific, and in low-lying areas of Asia, increasing the likelihood of migration and resettlement.
  6. We need deep and urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions this decade and beyond if we are to avoid the most serious risks from rising sea levels and coastal flooding.

[Return to Contents]

Tuna Stocks on Brink of Disaster
states head of fishery management

At Risk – Bluefin swim off Australia – Photo Kerstin Fritsches AAP

1 Sept 2014 – Professor Glenn Hurry said bluefin and bigeye tuna should no longer be harvested as stocks were dangerously depleted. He also warned “serious action” needed to be taken to reduce the yellowfin tuna catch.

Jack and Jude have fished the oceans of the world since 1974 and know first hand that our fish stocks have been severely depleted. “Quite simply there are too many mouths to feed,” says Jack. “Today we are far too advanced in technology for the fish to hid from our factory ships.”  Professor Hurry has warned an international agreement is urgently needed to avert disaster for the tuna industry.

“Yellowfin tuna’s down to about 38 per cent of its original spawning biomass,” said Professor Hurry. “Bigeye tuna’s down now to about 16 per cent…. in a well-managed fishery you’d actually stop fishing on that and begin to rebuild the stocks.”

Even More Dire
Professor Hurry said the situation for bluefin tuna was even more dire with the Pacific population at “3 or 4 per cent of its original spawning biomass.”

Human need, helped by human greed and the fact that we are not a cohesive unit with sensible regulations in place is decimating the wild kingdom is what Jack and Jude think. You can help. Talk to your children and explain why we are out of control for it is their future that is in jeopardy.
[Return to Contents]

Algae Blooms Driven by Climate Change

1 Sept 2014 – A massive algae bloom in 2011 turned Lake Erie into pea soup. PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER ESSICK, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie that provoked last weekend’s tap water ban in Toledo, Ohio—where nearly half a million people were told not to use water for drinking, cooking, or bathing—is a preview of similar problems to come around the world, scientists say, thanks in part to climate change.

Northwest Ohio’s water ban was lifted Monday morning, but experts say harmful algal blooms that can turn tap water toxic and kill wildlife are becoming more common in coastal oceans and in freshwater across the United States and around the globe.

A toxic algae bloom killed record numbers of manatees in Florida early last year. Another bloom put a record number of marine mammals into California rehabilitation centers earlier this year. (See”Record Number of Seals and Sea Lions Rescued in California.”) They can also result in massive fish kills.

[Return to Contents]

Beijing to ban coal use to curb pollution

5 Aug 2014 – Beijing will ban coal use in its six main districts by the end of 2020, state media cited the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau as saying, as the Chinese capital steps up efforts to combat air pollution.

Beijing and the surrounding area in China’s northeast is often wreathed in noxious smog, which has been cited as a factor in high rates of lung cancer.

Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan districts will all stop using coal and coal products and shut down coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

In 2012, coal made up one-quarter of the city’s total energy consumption, Xinhua quoted official statistics as saying.

Fuel oil, petroleum coke, combustible waste and some biomass fuels will also be prohibited as part of the effort to fight pollution, Xinhua said.
[Return to Contents]

Stories that deserve more media coverage in the USA

According to Christian Christensen – 6 Feb 2014

Professor of Journalism, Stockholm University, Sweden.

  • Iraq: Since 2008, over 37,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq. That’s just over twelve 9/11 attacks, or the equivalent of 370,000 civilians dying in the US (Iraq’s population is 10 times smaller of that of the US).
  • Global warming/climate change: The US remains the home of more political climate change sceptics than any other country in the so-called “developed world”
  • Guantanamo: Many inmates, in violation of the US Constitution, remain incarcerated without charge, denied of their basic right of habeas corpus.
  • Military spending: In 2011, of the 14 leading countries in the world when it came to spending on national defense, the US was, of course, first with an offensive $711bn budget. Even more offensive, te fact that the 13 countries underneath the US spent $695bn on national defense…combined. And, this US budget did not include the estimated $6tn (that’s $6,000,000,000,000) the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will likely wind up costing the US taxpayers.

[Return to Contents]

Science Shot: Fire Is Blackening ‘Earth’s Lungs’

6 February 2014 3:00 pm

The vast expanses of rainforest that make up the Amazon Basin have been called the lungs of the planet, as they breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Now, findings from biweekly airplane flights over the jungle show how a severe drought choked these lungs, constricting the uptake of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Worse, fires released tremendous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming.

ScienceShot: Fire Is Blackening ‘Earth’s Lungs’
[Return to Contents]

Galilee Basin Coal


Not just one of the greatest ever environmental threats to Australia,

Its climate implications are global.

Advanced plans are in place to build nine mega mines in one region of Queensland, Australia. Located in the Galilee Basin, five of these projects would each be larger than any coal mine currently operating in the country. The Galilee Basin coal mines will produce more coal than Australia currently exports, equating to 700 million tonnes of carbon pollution a year. This is greater than the total emissions from the United Kingdom.

A very good report to read:
Cooking the Climate – Wrecking the Reef
[Return to Contents]

[ SAVE EARTH NOW continued page 6]