Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Climate change news from Aotearoa and around the World.

Out of the frying pan...Greens Climate Defence Tour action in Wanganui

The Greens staged street theatre as part of the Climate Defence Tour, which will see Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons speaking in Wanganui tonight. Wanganui Greens spokesperson John Milnes said some people's reaction to the issue of climate change was disappointing. "It's like they don't want to know about, in the hope it will just go away. But the truth is we're frying the planet.

The Greens’ Climate Defence Tour is just about finished and you can view some of the media stories below:

Insurers are set to increase premiums in the face of what they say is increasingly erratic weather.
The Insurance Council estimates this week's storm in Northland will bring $10 million in claims, on top of $8m for tornado damage in Taranaki and millions more for icy conditions down south. It is the second time in three months that Far North townships such as Kaeo have been hit by flooding. Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan says whole communities may choose to move when insurers refuse to provide cover after repeated floods, while others must weigh up if staying on is affordable.
Helen Clark surveyed storm damage in the Far North by helicopter on Wednesday and says the Government will look at how it can help. She says the flooding in the north appears more widespread than previous floods and will need a larger aid package. Miss Clark says local councils will also have to consider the implications of more erratic and extreme weather in future as many areas were settled based on old weather patterns.

New Book out on climate change and New Zealand
Using the latest evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, Gareth Renowden puts climate change into its New Zealand context. He examines how the science suggests NZ’s climate will change, what current and future governments can do to address the problem, and how individuals and businesses can respond to the challenge. Hot Topic explains the science of global warming in a clear and easily understandable way and looks at the options for adaptation and mitigation in a scrupulously non-partisan manner.

Live Earth transmission fails to light up globe
There has been mixed reviews for the global Live Earth pop extravaganza with criticisim of performers greenhouse gas emissions and the low television auddiences which were smaller than the Princess Diana tribute concert a week earlier. The main three-hour American TV broadcast on NBC averaged a meagre 2.7 million viewers, ranking as the least-watched US program on Saturday night. It was the same story in Britain, where BBC1's coverage of the Live Earth climax at London's Wembley Stadium, leading up to Madonna's eagerly awaited finale, averaged 3.1 million viewers, compared with 11.4 million for the Princess Diana tribute.

It appeared the internet was the medium of choice for many. Microsoft's web portal, MSN, said on Saturday that Live Earth concerts generated more than 9 million internet streams, the most ever for an online entertainment event.

Radical vision to halt climate change
The UK could cut carbon emissions to zero in 20 years, but only if people accept a virtual end to air travel and stop using fuel-driven cars, a report by the Centre for Alternative Technology claimed yesterday. Meat would also need to disappear off many menus and an "armada" of wind turbines would be required to be built around the coast to achieve the goal, according to the new research. Money would meanwhile be overtaken in importance by carbon credits traded by everyone using special smart cards.

Meanwhile, walkers from around the world are preparing to embark on what organizers, Christian Aid, believe will be the UK's longest protest march to call for action on climate change. Campaigners will set out from Northern Ireland next Saturday on a 1000-mile trek around the UK taking in 70 towns and cities, finishing at the London Stock Exchange 11 weeks later. An estimated 50,000 people are expected to join the walkers at different points, gathering signatures for a petition calling on Gordon Brown to bring in a new law forcing companies to reveal their carbon dioxide emissions.

Climate to put heat on Australian fish stocks
Climate change is likely to put significant pressure on the nation's fish stocks, with new CSIRO research identifying the eastern and southeast Australian coastlines as the most vulnerable to warming temperatures. The index predicts that sea surface temperatures around Australia will warm by 1-2C by 2030, and by up to 3C by 2070 encouraging fish to move south, threatening marine turtles, and potentially pushing box jellyfish down the east coast.

In Brief

UK Floods cost insurance industry £1.5b, who are calling for more funds to be spent on flood defences

Greenland was green and forested once: Researchers discover ancient DNA from an ice core indicating the presence of trees and insects

World's biggest solar farm planned in California

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