Tag: bushfires

As bushfires ravage Australia, activists target Australian missions & Siemens globally to highlight climate emergency

Climate-2 final
Photo- Supplied.

By SAT News Desk

January 16th, 2020 – As Australia suffers devastating bushfires, Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate activists in over 35 countries are holding solidarity actions with Extinction Rebellion Australia’s Bushfire Rebellion outside Australian embassies and consulates for the second week in a row. Countries, including Nigeria, Zambia, Netherlands, Argentina, Uganda and Spain. Extinction Rebellion India, meanwhile, has been warned by local police not to protest.

The borderless, nonviolent rebellion comes in response to the Australian government’s climate inaction and exacerbation of the climate crisis which has led to the catastrophic bushfire crisis.

The catastrophic mega blaze has already led to what scientists are describing as an ecosystem and species apocalypse in Australia. Some estimates state that up to 700 animal species have had their populations decimated – with many species likely to be pushed to extinction including the Long-footed potaroo, the Greater glider, the Kangaroo Island dunnart, and the Black-tailed dusky antechinus, being obliterated from the face of the Earth.

“It would seem the only people willing to dismiss the scientific correlation between the bushfire crisis and the climate crisis are those massaged by the fossil fuel industry in the Australian government and those who believe the propaganda of fossil fuel-interested media,” said Extinction Rebellion Sydney spokesperson Larissa Payne.

While we are on the verge of triggering a climatic point of no return, German company Siemens agreed to participate in the development of the world’s largest coal mine. Siemens will supply the signage technology for the railway line of the Carmichael coal mine in Galilee Basin, Australia, quite literally signaling the way to the destruction of life on the Planet.

“Instead of demonstrating climate leadership and turning its back on one of the many culprits, it chooses to of quite literally fuel fires around the world, despite warnings from several environmental groups, ongoing protests, and over 60 companies pulling out of the project. Siemens undoubtedly places profit over the planet,” explains XR Germany spokesperson Annemarie Botski.

Meanwhile, companies from around the world display similar callousness for life on Earth, even as the island continent’s species go extinct, “In the same line, the Adani business group has obtained approvals for extracting coal from the Carmichael coal mines in Australia. Fighting to saving our planet has rightly turned global because of the impact of forest fires in Brazil, floods in Indonesia or fires in Australia are already being felt all across our Earth. Such tragedies will only increase in intensity and in terms of numbers,” says Extinction Rebellion India’s Jeevesh Gupta.

“It is believed several animal and plant species have been rendered extinct in the past few weeks. An estimated over half a billion animals have died in this disaster. Much of the severity of conditions in the southern parts of Australia can be attributed to massive amounts of land clearing in the past century, leading to loss of rainfall, and no consultation or respect by governments of the original Australians’ intact knowledge of caring for and maintaining the land,” laments Australian First Nation spiritual leader Nick Tree.

The fires sweeping the country have also pumped out an estimated 400 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, further fueling climate change that has already intensified Australia’s devastating fires. This is equivalent to the total combined annual emissions of 116 low-emitting countries and nine times the amount of carbon produced during California’s record-setting 2018 fire season.

“The climate crisis cares nothing for borders. We need coordinated, international action to combat this mess. The Bushfire Rebellion is only the beginning. Two-thirds of Australians want the government to declare a climate emergency and mobilize at the World-war scale. We are living through the tipping point that the scientists have been warning us about – anything less than an emergency response condemns out children to an unlivable future,” concludes XR Australia spokesperson Jane Morton

Actions will be held on the 16th and 17th January as a continuation of actions on the 10th of January in the following countries:

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany – Berlin, Hamburg, Hungary, India, Indonesia – Bali, Italy, Japan, Nigeria,
Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand – Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Poland, Portugal,
Scotland, Spain – Asturias, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, South Africa, Sweden,
Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom – Bristol, London, Lambeth, United States – Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC. and Zambia.

Source of information & photos: Extinction Rebellion, Australia.

Periods of extreme heat in 2019 bookend Australia’s warmest and driest year on record

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 9 January: The year 2019 was Australia’s warmest and driest year on record. This is revealed in the Annual Climate Statement 2019 of the Bureau of Metrology released today. The revelations are a big cause of concern amidst Australia’s drought and worst bushfires which have spilled into 2020. It’s connection to climate change remains potent.

Environmentalists have been warning of the dangers of climate change which continues to be denied at the highest levels. What tragedies are in the offing for humans and other living beings in the near future can be anybody’s guess.

The Statement details the Bureau’s official summary of the previous year and includes information on temperature, rainfall and significant weather.

The Statement reveals, “Australia’s mean temperature in 2019 was 1.52 °C above average, making it the warmest on record since consistent national temperature records began in 1910 and surpassing the previous record of 1.33 °C above average set in 2013.

Meanwhile the national average rainfall total in 2019 was 277 mm, the lowest since consistent national records began in 1900. The previous record low was 314 mm set during the Federation drought in 1902.”

Australia’s mean temperature in 2019 was 1.52 °C above average, making it the warmest on record since consistent national temperature records began in 1910 and surpassing the previous record of 1.33 °C above average set in 2013.

Meanwhile the national average rainfall total in 2019 was 277 mm, the lowest since consistent national records began in 1900. The previous record low was 314 mm set during the Federation drought in 1902.

“Most of this year, Australia’s climate has been dominated by a very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which acted to both warm and dry Australia’s landscape, particularly from around the middle of the year.

“We also saw the influence of a rare Sudden Stratospheric Warming event high above the south pole, which acted to push our weather systems northward and compound the warmer and drier than average conditions over southern Queensland and New South Wales during spring, amplifying the fire weather.

“The other key factor at play is that Australia’s climate has warmed by more than a degree since 1910, which means very warm years like 2019 are now more likely to occur, while the trend in recent decades has been for drier winter and spring seasons in the south.”

Last year also saw some periods of significant rain in northern Queensland and northwest Western Australia.

“In January and February, we saw exceptional rainfall have a major impact on communities in northern Queensland, particularly around Townsville.

“The floodwaters were so significant they eventually made their way to South Australia, where we saw one of the largest fillings of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre in many years.”

In recent weeks, some of the key drivers of the recent warm and dry patterns over Australia have eased. As a result, rainfall for the coming months is expected to be average to below average in the east, while wetter than average conditions are possible for much of Western Australia and South Australia. However, temperatures are likely to remain warmer than average over the rest of summer.

“Unfortunately the outlook is not indicating a widespread return to wetter than average conditions over drought and fire-affected parts of eastern Australia. But with the likely return of the monsoon by mid-January for northern Australia, it raises the chance that we could see some periods of higher rainfall move south in the coming months,” Dr Braganza said.

“It’s important the community remains vigilant to the risk of more heat and fire days this summer, particularly given how dry the country has been over the past 12 months.”

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‘Bushfire recovery must include climate action’

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Photo: Seamns Daniel, Twitter

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 7 January: Australia’s bushfire recovery effort is incomplete without the inclusion of a strong climate policy that rapidly and significantly cuts our greenhouse gas emissions, according to Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, a coalition of 30 former fire and emergency chiefs from every state and territory.

The former chiefs welcomed the establishment of a $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund but called on the Federal Government to show the same level of urgency in addressing climate change, which has clearly exacerbated the extent and ferocity of bushfires which have destroyed at least 7 times more homes than in NSW’s previous worst bushfire disaster (1994).

Greg Mullins, the former Commissioner of Fire & Rescue NSW, said: “The unprecedented, horrific conditions of this bushfire season have been aggravated by climate change driven by the burning of coal, oil, and gas.”

“The welcome funding for disaster recovery is essential to help affected communities rebuild after the fires, and it is also good to see our calls for additional resourcing for firefighters and access to defense capabilities being addressed.”

“But the government’s continued refusal to consider a credible climate policy that phases out fossil fuels and achieves deep cuts to emissions means that we and future generations will continue to face worsening extreme weather that drives disasters such as what we are facing now,” said Mr. Mullins.

ELCA’s full list of recommendations to the Federal Government includes developing a structured national approach to deal with climate-fuelled worsening extreme weather, funding certainty for national bushfire and natural hazards research, new building and planning standards, and developing funding benchmarks to help fire and land management agencies to better manage fuel loads.

“It is pointless to help with one hand and cause harm with the other. The Federal Government should be learning from this bushfire crisis and seek bipartisan support for real climate action so that Australia can influence other high emitting countries,” said Mr. Mullins.

- Medianet
- Cover photo- Twitter