Wednesday, February 19, 2014

No Winter Olympics for Australia

Australia isn't always thought of as a snowy place, but it is. In some places. At least for now.

A report by the Climate Institute reminds us the Australian Alps could lose 60% of their snow by 2020, and have almost no snow by 2050.

Apart from the loss to the economy and tourism, it may also mean that it's impossible for Australia to ever host the Games - or even for Australian athletes to train at home for future events.

Australia to lost 60% of snow by 2020, almost no snow by 2050, costing 1.8 bilion dollars and 18,000 tourism jobs

The Climate Institute also points out, that by later this century only 6 of the 19 Winter Olympic host cities would still be able to host another Games.

I guess this is part of the reason 105 Olympic athletes signed a petition for action on climate change. They don't want to lose their sport.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Calculators and Turnips - We should think differently

Loved this video by Hank. In his own weird way, he makes some very good points.

For some reason, we like get confused between what's happening globally (continual temperature rise) and what's happening in our local area on this particular day (like a polar vortex).

As Hank puts it, saying "It's cold here, that means global warming doesn't exist" is like saying "I have a calculator, which is proof that Jean-Claude Van Damme eats turnips". The two things just aren't related.

A couple more degrees of warmth we don't really notice personally. We may just put a fan on. But the amount of energy involved to heat the whole globe by 2 degrees is massive - and it's that energy that drives extreme weather events, and other disasters.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Save 75% on fuel - Go electric

Recently, I showed the increasing sales of electric vehicles. I guess one of the reasons is the savings on fuel costs.

This stat is from America, and would vary slightly from one location to another. But it's still a massive saving.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Renewable Economy

It's good news that renewable sector is doing so well. It can help us move to cleaner source of energy, and also provide a new source of employment.

Australian clean tech employs 53,000 people and has revenue of 29 billion dollars

PS. A bit of sad news is that there is talk of the government 'reviewing' Australia's renewable energy target. Removing the target is projected to halve the number of solar jobs, and make the other climate policy more expensive.

Monday, February 03, 2014

How a Polar Vortex works

There's been a bit of talk about the USA's recent 'polar vortex', but what is it? How does it work? And why does climate change (surprisingly) contribute to making parts of the USA so cold? This video explains it.

It seems this is one of the reasons that people say 'climate change' rather than 'global warming'. It's not just about a bit of heat. It's about more storms, floods, heatwaves - and in this case, the even occasional cold snap in isolated areas for a short time.

However, leaving the cold snap aside, temperatures year-round and worldwide are still getting warmer.