Here’s Donald Trump’s “100 day action plan” for energy and climate change. He wants to pull out of the UN Paris agreement.

trump-100-day-action-plan
Donald Trump’s “100 day action plan” for climate and energy

So Donald Trump won.

I’m not going to add right now to the mountain of hastily-written “think” pieces about what went wrong, who’s to blame and how roughly half of America’s voting public thought he was an OK option.

What’s important to remember, though, is that last bit. Roughly half of Americans who voted chose Donald Trump above Hillary Clinton.

But what’s also important, is how the issue of climate change was barely mentioned by either candidate.

In a few days, I’m heading to Morocco for the United Nations climate talks.

What will a Trump administration mean for climate change policy?

I wrote on The Guardian how the election would be a distraction for the first week of the talks, particularly if Trump was to win.  I think that was probably an understatement.

Why?

Continue reading “Here’s Donald Trump’s “100 day action plan” for energy and climate change. He wants to pull out of the UN Paris agreement.”

Share

Great Barrier Beer – when three planets align

James Grugeon and me, with a Great Barrier Beer. You should have one.
James Grugeon and me, with a Great Barrier Beer. You should have one.

Sometimes you feel like all your planets have suddenly aligned — like the cogs of chaos have finally locked themselves into place to give you a bit of purchase on life’s unsealed road.

This seems like an overly loquacious and ornate start to this post, but screw it. I’m having an attack of enthusiasm.

Anyway, a few weeks back I was invited to a Mexican place called Zambreros for a mini-launch of a beverage called Great Barrier Beer.

This is where the aligning of the planets took place. And when I say planets, I actually mean three planets, one of which is beer.

To understand my enthusiasm here, I should explain a few things. Continue reading “Great Barrier Beer – when three planets align”

Share

Introducing Alex Jones, the rage machine who thinks Hillary Clinton “Smells of Sulphur” and global warming is a total hoax

alex-jonesIn case you didn’t know, there are people on Hillary Clinton’s security detail who think that she’s a “demon possessed” because she “smells like sulphur”.

President Obama smells like sulphur too and, apparently, the internet is awash with photographs and images of the president in crowded rooms where he is the only person to have flies land on him.

“We are dealing with demons here.”

Welcome, ladies and gentleman of the internet, to the scratch n’ sniff world according to Alex Jones, the walking and almost always yelling one-stop shop for all your New World Order global government conspiracy needs.

Jones runs a US media site called infowars.com and is commonly referred to as a “conspiracy theorist”, because he is one. Rolling Stone magazine has described him as “the most paranoid man in America”. Continue reading “Introducing Alex Jones, the rage machine who thinks Hillary Clinton “Smells of Sulphur” and global warming is a total hoax”

Share

When Senator Malcolm Roberts thanked 9/11 truthers and New World Order conspiracists for their science guidance

 

Unless you’ve either been living under a massive rock or in Mars-like isolation, you would have struggled to miss the recent exploits of Malcolm Roberts.

But if you have, here’s a very brief summary.

Roberts is a climate science denialist from Queensland who has been elected to the Australian Senate to represent the far-right One Nation party, led by Pauline Hanson.

He thinks climate science is a fraud being pushed by the United Nations, which wants to instill a world government.

His odd views have been irresistible to media outlets around the world and back home in Australia.

He had an argument with British Professor Brian Cox on Q&A that made international headlines.

He seems to be enjoying all the attention.

But back when Roberts was regarded by some as little more than a serial pest — haranguing politicians, journalists, scientists and government agencies for their endorsement of “climate fraud” — Roberts made a list.

The list, from February 2013, was an appendix to one of his many reports that “proved” human-caused climate change was a scam.  Continue reading “When Senator Malcolm Roberts thanked 9/11 truthers and New World Order conspiracists for their science guidance”

Share

Column in The Australian calls climate denialist Malcolm Roberts a “complete nutter”. A glitch in the matrix?

I’ve written plenty of stories over the years having a go at the way Rupert Murdoch’s loss-making newspaper The Australian covers climate science.

So it would be a bit churlish if I didn’t point out when its coverage is, shall we say, a little more mainstream.

But first, some context. Continue reading “Column in The Australian calls climate denialist Malcolm Roberts a “complete nutter”. A glitch in the matrix?”

Share

Media Watch challenges The Australian’s misreporting on coral science

mediawatch grab lloydThe ABC’s Media Watch program ran a segment earlier this week lambasting The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd for recent stories on coral science.

Much of the segment covered the same ground, and raised the same questions, as I had done here a few weeks ago.

For newcomers, a very quick catch-up.  Lloyd has a history of what I consider poor reporting on climate change science where his pieces are “balanced” by the views of non-experts. Continue reading “Media Watch challenges The Australian’s misreporting on coral science”

Share

Spot the difference between climate policies of Pauline Hanson and denialist group the Galileo Movement?

So I wrote a piece on my Guardian blog yesterday pointing out how climate science denialist Malcolm Roberts could be in line for a seat in Australia’s Senate.

Others have had a crack at the story too, with the likes of Fairfax and News Ltd also publishing pieces on Roberts’ “wacky” beliefs.

Roberts is running for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party, which is best known for its matriarch Pauline Hanson and her anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Her party wants to “ban the burqa” and install surveillance cameras in Muslim schools and mosques.

In short, Roberts thinks there’s an international cabal of bankers and socialists cutting across the United Nations, science institutions and the financial institutions, including the US Federal Reserve, who have conspired in some way to push “climate fraud” on the world.

Anyway, in my story I pointed out how it appeared that Roberts, the project manager for the Galileo Movement, had been behind One Nation’s climate policy.

Now rather than explain why I think this, you should instead play this little game of Spot the Difference and then decide for yourself!

hanson galileo

 

Share

More sophistry from The Australian on coral reef science in wake of Great Barrier Reef bleaching

Lizard071 - May 2016
Bleached and algae covered coral at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, May 2016: Credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

If you’ve been reading The Australian recently, you might think that coral reef science is in some kind of crisis.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper has been attempting to spin the worst coral bleaching event in the reef’s recorded history as a beat-up by environmentalists and high-profile scientists.

It isn’t.

The latest instalment came earlier today from the newspaper’s environment editor Graham Lloyd, under the print headline “The bleaching of parts of the reef is dividing the scientific world” and online under the headline “Great barrier battleground over coral bleaching.”

Lloyd seems to be trying to construct a narrative that the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and the subsequent death of about a quarter of all the corals has opened some sort of schism among scientists.

The bleaching, writes Lloyd, has “unleashed long-simmering tensions over the quality of reef research.”

This is, in my view, bollocks [sorry kids].

Lloyd includes three individuals to back up his claims. They have two things in common. Continue reading “More sophistry from The Australian on coral reef science in wake of Great Barrier Reef bleaching”

Share

Were historical pictures of reef degradation really misused, as The Australian newspaper claimed?

Coral death at Lizard island after the 2016 mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef: Credit XL Catlin Seaview Survey
Coral death at Lizard island after the 2016 mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef: Credit XL Catlin Seaview Survey

The Australian published a convoluted story this weekend about the Great Barrier Reef and the claims of a scientist over some old pictures.

Remembering for a minute the reef has just gone through its worst bleaching event on record leading to the death of a quarter of the corals – a huge and historic deal that will impact the reef for the rest of our lifetimes.

I’ve written a few stories about that recently – including this piece looking at a recent dodgy editorial in The Australian.

But anyway, over the weekend The Australian published a story about Professor Peter Ridd, of James Cook University, who had apparently been disciplined for criticising colleagues and the the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) for using some old pictures of reef near Stone Island to show how coral cover had declined over time.

According to Graham Lloyd, The Australian’s environment editor, Ridd said the pictures – from between 1890 and 2012 – didn’t show for sure the reefs were declining. Scientists needed to be more sceptical, he said.

For kicking up a stink, Ridd was reportedly almost fired.

The Australian also reported that Ridd had sent scientists out to check on the reef in question – valiantly displaying the kind of scientific skepticism that was so lacking in others. Some areas were OK, The Australian said.

But the story seems to me to be built on two supremely flaky arguments. Continue reading “Were historical pictures of reef degradation really misused, as The Australian newspaper claimed?”

Share

How the 2016 coral bleaching unfolded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

dhd14dayleg-n-20160330 (1)There’s some genuine anxiety and anger among coral scientists in Australia right now, as the Great Barrier Reef suffers probably its worst coral bleaching event in recorded history.

I’ve written about that on my Planet Oz Guardian blog, where I tried to explain the clear link between fossil fuel burning, global warming and bleaching.

The bleaching event coincides with record warm sea surface temperatures (SST) for the summer just gone.

When SST go above a long term average for too long, this causes a stress reaction in the corals.  There’s a separation between the coral skeleton and the algae that gives the animal all that amazing colour (and also gives it the nutrient it needs to survive).

Just like in many other parts of the world, SST have been on the rise.

The Burea of Meteorology’s ReefTemp site sorts the SST data to give an indication of the risk of coral bleaching – a measure known as Degree Heating Days (one DHD is one degree above the long-term average temperature for one day).

I’ve made a GIF of the recent readings off the Coral Sea. The picture tells its own story, as you see the thermal stress on the corals build from the end of February to the end of March.

2016 great barrier reef bleaching

For a technical explanation of the data, go here.

Share