clear the air


Australia’s Carbon Emissions Timetable

As reported by Mike Preston in Smart Company today, by the end of this year, business should have a clear idea about the extra costs they will face under a carbon emissions trading scheme after a timetable was released by the Government yesterday.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said she will release a green paper setting out what a carbon trading system will look like by July 2008, to be followed by draft legislation in December.

That will be followed in 2009 by a round of intensive consultation with business and community groups, Wong says, before the legislation is passed – although it will require independent support in the Senate – in mid-2009, wuth the carbon trading scheme commencing early in 2010.

“The introduction of emissions trading will constitute the most significant economic and structural reform undertaken in Australia since the trade liberalisation of the 1980s,” Wong said.



Facebook’s (Lil) Green Patch

By planting fruit with your friends you can help us all make the world a greener place! As well, we’ll shortly be launching some fun gaming features to constantly keep you entertained while doing good!

Our sponsors contribute money to save the Rainforests as you use this application. After expenses we will donate revenue to funding a portfolio of reforestation projects. Thanks for joining us in this mission! We hope you have fun!

The most recent donation was made March 1, 2008 to the Adopt An Acre program of the Nature Conservancy.

The (Lil) Green Patch community, working together, was able to save 8,368,026 Sqft of Rainforest so far! We are very excited about our progress and are confident we can make an even larger impact in the future!

To learn more about this program, please visiting HERE



Antarctica: The Ticking Time Bomb

antarctica.jpgEven if a fraction melted, Antarctica could damage nations from Bangladesh to Tuvalu in the Pacific and cities from Shanghai to New York. It has enough ice to raise sea levels by 57 meters (187 ft) if it melted, over thousands of years.

A year after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected sea level rises by 2100 of about 20 to 80 cms (8-32 inches), a Reuters poll of 10 of the world’s top climatologists showed none think that range is alarmist.

Six experts stuck by the projections, saying the response of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland was still unclear, and four other experts, including one of the authors of the IPCC report, projected gains could be 1 or even 2 meters by 2100.

Some island nations, such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, are building defenses costing millions of dollars and want to know how high to build. 

Antarctica may accumulate more ice this century because of warming, blamed by the IPCC mainly on human use of fossil fuels, rather than slide faster into the sea.The crux of this problem is that we are moving into an era where we are observing changes in the climate system that have never before been seen in human history.  Ice sheets fall into that category.

Quite simply, at this time we don’t have a good upper-range estimate of ‘how much sea- level rise and how fast’. Among worrying scenarios is the chance Antarctica will slide faster into the sea, perhaps if a ring of sea ice melts away in warmer oceans. Or melt water might flow under the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, and act a lubricant to speed a slide.But glaciers can slow down as well as speed up.

Most of the projected sea-level rise by 2100 will be because water in the oceans expands as it warms, with little being added by the ice sheets.

Simon Turner  simon@marquetteturner.com.au



The effect of climate change on Australia

red-earth.jpg Ongoing water shortages, notably in southern and eastern Australia, are likely to get worse by 2030.

Ecologically important regions such as the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu National Park are likely to lose a significant part of their wildlife before then, by 2020.

Some coastal communities are very likely to see an increased risk of coastal storms and flooding. Temperature rises of 1C-2C are likely to bring benefits to cooler areas, such as New Zealand, in the form of longer growing seasons and reduced energy demand.

Greater warming is likely to bring a net negative impact – such as increased risk of drought and fire.Ongoing water shortages, notably in southern and eastern Australia, are likely to get worse by 2030.

Ecologically important regions such as the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu National Park are likely to lose a significant part of their wildlife before then, by 2020. Some coastal communities are very likely to see an increased risk of coastal storms and flooding.

Temperature rises of 1C-2C are likely to bring benefits to cooler areas, such as New Zealand, in the form of longer growing seasons and reduced energy demand. Greater warming is likely to bring a net negative impact – such as increased risk of drought and fire.

Simon Turner  simon@marquetteturner.com.au



Face the Facts: Where the Water Flows

§  30% of water use in the home is in the shower.

§  Having a bath can use twice as much water as a shower.

§  Leave the tap running and you will waste 15 litres of water a minute.

§  Retro showerheads use about 20 litres of water per minute.

 §  AAA rated showerheads use about 11 litres of water per minute.

Simon Turner



What Does Your iPod & Kyoto Have in Common?

iPod To understand the deadlock in the debate on global climate change, look no further than your iPod.

The vast majority of the world’s MP3 players are made in China, where the main power source is coal. Manufacturing a single MP3 player releases about 7.7kg of planet-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

iPods, along with thousands of other goods churned out by Chinese factories, from toys to rolled steel, pose a question that is becoming an issue in the climate-change debate. If a gadget is made in China by an American company and exported and used by consumers from Stockholm to São Paulo should the Chinese government be held responsible for the carbon released in manufacturing it? Present agreements such as Kyoto look at emissions on a country-by-country basis, requiring participating nations to reduce greenhouse gases released within their borders.

In other words, the manufacturing nation pays for the pollution. Many are arguing, however, that the next global climate treaty should take into account a nation’s emissions “consumption.”  

Experts, environmentalists and scientists argue that the emissions are embedded in goods that move around the world through trade.  Therefore if Australia imports iPods from China, Australian’s should share some responsibility for the pollution produced in making them.

In other words, judgment should be based on a “consumer pays” criteria.

Simon Turner



Where Your Water Goes

Here is a simple breakdown of the average Australian household’s water consumption.

Australian Household Water Consumption