Posts tagged ‘Melbourne’
Don’t be fooled by the cool January we have experienced, temperatures are warming up. Melbourne experienced it’s coldest January in 10 years despite the initial couple of extreme heat days at the start of the month. Although Melbourne’s average maximum temperature of 25.9 degrees was the same as the long term average, the average minimum temperature was 1.6 degrees higher than the long term average.
In previous years the average maximum temperature for Melbourne was 28.6 degrees in 2014, 27.3 in 2013 and 27.4 in 2012. The January average minimum temperature was 15.9 degrees, the lowest since 2005, and above the long-term average of 14.3 degrees.
As January maximum temperatures spike into the high 30s and low 40s (degrees Celsius) and minimum overnight temperatures approach 30 degrees, we have had our first Heat Health alert issued by the Victorian Department of Health for 2015.
On Friday 2 January 2015 heatwave conditions enveloped much of southeast Australia with temperatures reaching 43.3C in Adelaide and 38.7C in Melbourne.
Overnight temperatures on Friday night (2 January) hovered about 30 degrees in Melbourne and 24.5C in Adelaide. These minimum temperatures are more than enough to disrupt sleep adding to heat stress and associated heat-related health emergencies. (see Grunstein, Too Hot to Sleep? Here’s why, The Conversation, 8 January 2013).
Although Melbourne was predicted to exceed 40C on Saturday (3 January) the temperature only reached 37.7C at 3.30pm. That afternoon a storm front brought some rain and relief, a cool change plunging the mercury just before 6pm.
Our climate is heating up
Australia’s climate is getting hotter and more extreme. Big bushfires and Melbourne’s scorching January heatwave are disturbing glimpses of our future unless we make a sharp change of direction.
Over the last 30 years, Melbourne heatwaves have occurred 17 days earlier, have become 1.5 degrees hotter, and the maximum temperature of the hottest day is 2 degrees higher, compared to 1950-1980. Extreme, over- 40 degree heatwaves in 2009 and 2014 resulted in 500 additional deaths from heat stress and related conditions. Melbourne will become less and less liveable as escalating global warming takes us to a new climate that humans have never before experienced, with tremendous pressure on water supplies and food security.
Make the ‘big switch’ to renewable energy
We need a ‘big switch’ away from fossil fuels to a clean, renewable energy future. Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – must be kept in the ground. But building the East-West Tunnel is like building a new coal-fired power station, and a huge step in the wrong direction. We do not need this immensely costly ($8-$15 billion) and destructive road. Melbourne needs a big program to renew and expand our public transport infrastructure: a comprehensive network of trains, trams and buses, all running on emissions-free renewable energy.
We can do it! People power can stop the tunnel
Denis Napthine and the corporate interests behind him are determined to build the tunnel. Labor says it is against the project, but its ‘opposition’ is not worth very much while it says it will not break the contracts if they are signed before the election. Labor should step up, or face a backlash.
Most Melbournians oppose the tunnel. We need a big grassroots campaign to make the political cost of proceeding unacceptable. Stopping the tunnel is a vital part of the fight for a climate-safe future.
Get involved in Climate Action Moreland
Climate Action Moreland is affiliated to the Moreland Campaign Against the East-West Tunnel (MCAT) and is involved in a range of other activities to build support for serious climate action. Find out more about Climate Action Moreland and get involved.
And we continue our special series on the Labor Party’s 2010 climate policies. Part one is here, and part 2 here. This edition, we discuss rewarding businesses for being responsible, chopping down trees that according to Labor don’t really exist, and we look at where we’re headed under Labor and where we need to go.
(hopefully they’ll turn off some lights too)
A one-off bonus tax deduction for businesses that undertake energy-efficiency capital works, starting from mid-2011. Cost of $180 million over four years, and $1 billion over a decade. Plus, in the meantime an extra $30 million for the Green Building Fund, which provides grants for retrofitting buildings. This is sensible, and could go even further. Wonder how long it will be before they start taking funding away from this one?
Rewarding business by freezing time
The government will keep emissions baselines frozen in time, rewarding businesses that reduce or constrain emissions before an ETS is introduced. If only we could freeze the entire world in time until Labor is ready to implement meaningful climate policies.
(another embarrassing name change)
This policy replaces the Greens Loans Scheme, which offered interest-free loans to improve household energy efficiency, another scheme which had… issues. To make a fresh start (see what they did there?) Green Start scrapped the loans part and now offers energy assessments and some other vague unspecified energy efficiency help. Nobody knows, basically.
Native forest logging and logging and logging
Labor is arguing in international forums that emissions created from native forest logging should not be counted. Even though Victoria’s native forests are the most carbon rich in the world. And even though deforestation of native forests accounts for 20% of Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions. Labor also says it is committed to a ‛net increase’ in Australia’s ‛vegetation cover’. Oooh, goody, more pine tree plantations where there used to be native forests!
Emissions target shooting
(too little, too late)
Just to recap. The IPCC is a group of scientists who issue comprehensive assessments on climate science. Their report states that to keep global warming at under 2 degrees celsius, Australia as a developed country needs to reduce emissions 40% lower than 1990 levels by 2020. HOWEVER, the IPCCs reports are always on the conservative side because it is a U.N. body and the world’s governments must approve their contents.
So here comes the really hard to take bit. Don’t worry, we’ll get through it together. (more…)
Climate Action Moreland were super active in the lead up to the Climate Emergency Rally on June 13. It was a successful event. 5 000 people rallied in Melbourne, and there were protests in all other major other capital cities.