Climate Change+

1) Cultures of the Pacific                                     PCP BARBEQUE CELEBRATION

The Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) is hosting a “Cultural Exchange Barbeque” for families and friends of PCP.  We are keen to share the unique aspects of Pacific Islander cultures within the Pacific Islander community in Australia, and with the broader Australian community. We seek also to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of neighbouring Pacific Island nations.

When:  Saturday 21st September,  2013
Time:    3pm- 6pm
Where: Edmund Rice Centre, 15 Henley Rd, Homebush North.
Entry:  By donation of $10.00. Children under 12 free.

Come and sample delicious Pacific Islander food ,(we invite you to bring a plate of food to share) socialise and enjoy cultural performances of music and dance.

We look forward to seeing you, your family and your friends for this special celebration and appreciation of Pacific Islander culture.

RSVP: Please give us an indication if you are able to attend.
via email: mariat@erc.org.au or by phone: (02) 8762 4212.

2) Marshall Islands calls for climate leadership                                     Advocacy help needed

As host of the September Pacific Island Forum, the Marshall Islands means to put climate change at the top of the agenda. Marshall Islands senior minister Tony de Brum came to Australia to urge what he calls his country’s “big brother” to stand up for climate action. Without stronger action, Senator de Brum – the equivalent of vice-President of his nation – fears his coral atoll nation could become uninhabitable within decades. “It is very real and it’s happening right now. The countries most vulnerable are the atoll countries: Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives. They’ve already been crying out for help and attention from the bigger powers.”

Australia can use its clout with the United States and China, as well as it’s two-year spot on the United Nations Security Council, to press for greater global action, ensuring global warming is kept to below 2 degrees by the end of the century, rather than the feared scenario of 4 degrees, he says. “If we do not make our 2 degree ambition, if it goes up to 4 degrees, we are condemning small island countries to never-never land, to displacement and non-existence. What happens if 2 million Pacific Islanders need to move? Where are they going to go? Who’s responsible for that?”

Rising sea levels and storm surges have already started to affect the water table in the Marshall Islands, affecting production of traditional food staples and commodities such as copra, taro, lime and melon. Because of drought, coconuts are growing brown and shrivelled, devoid of water, he says. If the trend continues, the Marshall Islands may need assistance transforming the economy – or face displacement. “If there is no water in the coconut, you can’t make copra from it. If there can’t be copra there is no cash income. If there is no cash income, people need to move.”

  • TWEET your Message of support

You can tweet your message of support for Senator Tony de Brum call us to Australia to take strong action on climate change. Follow and support PCP in building up momentum for support of the Marjuro Declaration on Climate Leadership that the Republic of the Marshall Islands country is putting forward at the Pacific Island Forum. Followhttps://twitter.com/Pacificcalling

3) New Vanuatu climate and disaster preparedness animation                           On-line Education Resource

Cloud Nasara is a new animation that integrates climate science and disaster preparedness that was launched in Port Vila last night. Cloud Nasara is a pilot film that focuses on Vanuatu, and last night’s launch followed a very successful premiere of regional film entitled ‘The Pacific Adventures of the Climate Crab at the Pacific’ at the Meteorological Council in Nadi early in July.

It is an exciting new tool to raise awareness of the science and impacts of El Niño and La Niña and encourage the people of Vanuatu to take early action in preparing for these extreme events. Preparedness measures can be simple and low cost. For example the danger of disease outbreaks increases during periods of drought, so focusing on simple measures such as hand washing can go a long way to reducing illness.

El Niño and La Niña events influence rainfall, cyclone risk and sea levels in the Pacific region. These in turn impact Ni-Vanuatu communities in very real ways – for example the 2009 El Niño event brought very dry conditions to Vanuatu, which resulted in water shortages, bush fires, and problems with food crops in many places. However, good quality climate and weather information, warnings and forecasts can help us anticipate and prepare for changing risks.
The film features a reggae-loving parrot, a string band and dancing cloud parties in the sky. The film and tool kit are available on DVD and can be downloaded from: www.pacificclimatechangescience.org/cloudnasara

The film and accompanying resources will be useful for those working in fields that address climate risk such as climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, health, education, food security, community planning, environmental protection, agriculture and natural resource management.

Cloud Nasara is the result of a collaboration between Red Cross and the Australian Government’s Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) Program. The project has been implemented by the Red Cross, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) and the SPC-GIZ Climate Change Program.
For more information, visit www.pacificclimatechangescience.org/cloudnasara

 4) ‘(Australian) Senate panel warns over climate change’ (Guardian, 8.8.13)

Bipartisan report highlights scientific link between severe weather events and dangerous global warming

Oliver MilmanThursday 8 August 2013

theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/08/senate-panel-warns-climate-change

A bipartisan warning over the dangers of climate change has pierced the electioneering, with a Senate committee pointing to the rising threat posed by extreme weather events and former Liberal leader John Hewson forecasting severe financial pain from unchecked carbon emissions.

The Senate committee’s report highlighted scientific evidence showing a link between climate change and more frequent weather events such as heatwaves and storm surges.

The Senate panel, which includes Labor, Coalition and Greens members, recommended that “credible and reliable flood mapping” be introduced, along with better access to insurance and amended building codes, in order to help Australia cope with floods, storms and bushfires. The insurance industry has welcomed its findings.

The Greens called for the committee in the wake of the Queensland floods in 2010 and 2011. Christine Milne, the Greens’ leader, told Guardian Australia that urgent reform was needed to better prepare Australia for extreme weather.

“Local governments aren’t changing planning schemes fast enough to prevent people building on floodplains,” she said. “And we still haven’t got to the point where either of the old parties have a consistent, precautionary approach to climate change.

“Raising one-off levies, like we did for the Queensland floods, reinforces the idea that these are just one-off events that we don’t have to plan for. The human toll and the infrastructure toll shows that it makes sense to spend money up front for mitigation, in order to save money and lives in the long term.

“We’d like to see a resilience advisory group paid for by a levy on thermal coal exports because at the moment when disasters strike, the public pays, not the coal industry.”

Greg Hunt, the shadow climate change minister, said that he “strongly supports” continued research by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO into climate change’s impact on weather.

“On the specific recommendations on insurance and building codes, those need to be examined in more detail and discussed with the states and local government,” he said.

“There needs to be a co-ordinated approach and it is for this reason we were disappointed that the federal government scrapped funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Facility. It’s another example of Labor being all talk but no real action on addressing the challenges.”

The committee’s warning coincides with a new report by the Climate Institute that outlines how Australia’s financial and physical health is at risk from runaway climate change.

The report, called Dangerous Degrees, warned that current warming trends would see a temperature increase of at least four degrees by 2100 – well above the internationally agreed limit of two degrees warming.

This change, the study stated, could significantly affect Australia’s social stability, diminish natural resources such as water and trigger greater sea level rises.

Hewson helped unveil the report and said that climate change could carry an economic cost that would make the global financial crisis seem like a “blip”.

“A failure to change track puts in jeopardy everything for which Australians have worked and their retirement nest eggs,” he said.

“On the other hand, numerous governments and businesses are beginning to invest in clean energy as well as price carbon pollution. Asset owners like superannuation funds are slowly waking up to the climate risks and if they properly manage their investments of our money for these risks, they will help drive investment and innovation in the solutions.”

John Connor, chief executive of the Climate Institute, said Australia was more exposed to climate change risks than any other developed nation.

“There is a big and growing gap between the emissions pathway we’re on and the one we need to be on to avoid unmanageable, costly climate risks,” he said.

“Closing the gap between danger and relative safety is still doable, as long as we start now. Delay only means higher costs and fewer options.”

Article ends.

5) ‘Climate change linked to violent behaviour’ (Guardian, 2.8.13)

The Guardian(Australia/UK): ‘Climate change linked to violent behaviour’

Study shows that even a small increase in average temperatures or unusual weather can spark violent behaviour

Fiona Harvey, environment correspondentFriday 2 August 2013

theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/02/climate-change-violent-behaviour

Bring on the cool weather – climate change is predicted to cause extreme weather, more intense storms, more frequent floods and droughts, but could it also cause us to be more violent with one another?

A new study from scientists in the US controversially draws a link between increased rates of domestic violence, assault and other violent crimes and a warming climate.

That conflict could be a major result of global warming has long been accepted. As climate change makes vulnerable parts of the world more susceptible to weather-related problems, people move from an afflicted region to neighbouring areas, bringing them into conflict with the existing populations. That pattern has been evident around the world, and experts have even posited that conflicts such as Darfur should be regarded as climate related.

But the authors of the study, published in the peer review journal Science, have departed from such examples to look closely at patterns of violence in Brazil, China, Germany and the US.

The authors suggest that even a small increase in average temperatures or unusual weather can spark violent behaviour. They found an increase in reports of domestic violence in India and Australia at times of drought; land invasions in Brazil linked to poor weather; and more controversially, a rise in the number of assaults and murders in the US and Tanzania.

The authors searched historic records as well as examining contemporary statistics. Solomon Hsiang, of University of California Berkeley in the US, who was lead author of the study, said: “What was lacking was a clear picture of what this body of research as a whole was telling us. We collected 60 existing studies containing 45 different data sets and we re-analysed their data and findings using a common statistical framework. The results were striking.”

The study found that conflict, including domestic violence and ethnic violence, was heightened as temperatures rose. The authors said that in all of the 27 studies of modern societies they looked at, higher temperatures showed a correlation with rising rates of violence.

But they could not say why this might be the case. More studies would be needed to confirm the results and explain why such a correlation might exist, they said. The underlying reasons could run from increased economic hardship as harvests fail or droughts bite, to the physiological effects of hot weather.

“The studies showing that high temperature increases violence crime in the US and other wealthy societies seems to suggest that physiological responses are important, too, with very short-run exposure to heat contributing to more aggressive and violent behaviour,” said Marshall Burke, also of Berkeley.

Article ends.

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