Climate change and global warming headlines June 2007

June 30 - Gore calls for 90% emissions reduction by 2050
Former US Vice-President and a major driving force behind global warming awareness, Al Gore has called for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from developed nations by 2050. Gore made reference to research from U.S. climate scientists who state the world has only a decade to make major changes to avoid worst case scenario climate change disaster. Read more

June 30 - 2007 the second warmest year on record
2007 is set to be the second warmest year globally since records started being kept in the 1860. The recent flooding, freak storms and heatwaves in many countries are harbingers of worse global warming related events in store warn experts. Read more.

June 29 - Desertification - 50 million refugees
A new report from the United Nations warns that desertification poses one of the "greatest environmental challenge of our times" and 50 million people could be forced from their homes over the next decade. Read more.

June 29 - Greece swelters and burns in record heatwave
Greece's worst heatwave in over 100 year has killed at least 10 people, nine dying from heatstroke. Authorities are battling to gain control over many fires caused by the high temperatures that have destroyed extensive areas of forest, killed two people and incinerated many homes.  Read more

June 28 - Carbon taxes not curbing coal usage
Europe carbon emissions taxing system has not discouraged electricity generators from using coal as the fossil fuel is so cheap, there's still plenty of profit to be made. In fact, more investment into coal products than into renewable energy development. Read more

June 28 - Red tide sparks shellfishing closure
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services authorities have banned the taking of shellfish from Atlantic coastal waters due to elevated levels of PSP toxicity caused by a "red tide" algal bloom. Red tide conditions are thought to be often caused by human generated water pollution in conjunction with an increase in sea water temperature. Read more

June 27 - Missing lake due to global warming?
A lake in southern Chile that vanished within a space of 2 months could have been a victim of global warming, according to a glaciologist at the Center for Scientific Studies commenting on the disappearance of the 5 acre, 130 foot deep body of water. Read more

June 27 - Global warming calls for military planning - UK 
The UK's Chief of the Defence Staff has stated that global warming poses such a high security risk that it must be factored in to military forward planning. Read more

June 26 - Runaway climate change warning from NASA
The planet is on the brink of runaway climate change according to a new study from NASA's chief climatologist. He warns that global warming conditions currently considered "serious" are likely to escalate to "dangerous" over the next decade. Read more

June 25 - Big Oil CEO plays down renewable energy potential
The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell has stated that contrary to popular opinion, renewable energy is not the answer to our problems and that even with major breakthroughs in technology, renewable energy may only account for 30 per cent of supply by the middle of the century. Read more

June 24 - Canada's oil sands exploitation a disaster
Exploitation of Canada's oil sands deposits, which are  behind only Saudi Arabia in terms of petroleum resources, are having a massive impact on Canadian forests and will double Canda's CO2 emissions by 2015. Al Gore states that for every barrel of oil extracted, four tonnes of landscape is dug up. Read more

June 23 - Tropical rainforest carbon sink rethink
New research has found that the tropical rainforests of South East Asia may be a far more effective carbon dioxide emissions sponge than previously thought; even more so that the temperate forests of the northern hemisphere. Read more

June 23 - Drought raises spectre of war
The dire situation is Darfur, Africa, is an early warning to the rest of the world regarding increased tensions in regions afflicted by global warming related drought that may lead to increased armed conflicts around the world in the near future. Read more

June 22 - UN says that renewable revolution has arrived.
A flurry of investment and interest in renewable energy over the last year and a half has prompted the United Nations to predict in their Global Trends in Sustainable Development annual review that clean energy might provide almost 25% of the world's electricity by 2030. Read more

June 22 - China bails up West on CO2 hypocrisy
After the announcement that China is now the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, A Chinese government representative has lashed out stating that much of those emissions are the result of creating products for the West. Read more

June 21 - US & EU collaborate on aircraft emission reduction
U.S. and European Union officials have announced a collaborative action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, which includes optimizing flight paths and reduced engine approaches which have been demonstrated to provide substantial savings in fuel and reduced carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Read more.

June 21 - Scientist says sea level rises underestimated
A group of scientists, headed NASA's top climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, who recently accused the Bush administration of trying to silence him on the impact of global warming, states that  a UN panel on climate change has underestimated  predicted sea rise levels and believes the sea level will rise several metres by the end of this century. Read more

June 20 - World's largest desalination plant for Australia
After years of catastrophic drought and the prospect of more in the near future due to climate change, Australia's Victorian Government has planned to to build the world's largest desalination plant - this will see water bills for Victorians double over the next 5 years. Read more.

June 20 - China now largest carbon dioxide emitter
According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, China is now the nation emitting the largest amount of carbon dioxide in terms of gross output, not per capita. This was not expected to occur until late this year or early next year. Read more.

June 19 - Oil industry scaling back refinery expansions
Major oil companies don't foresee a demand for gasoline over the next decade needed to justify major refinery expansions. They state that this is due to the push for renewable fuels, but others have suggested that it's more likely that Big Oil has accepted that the era of Peak Oil has arrived - that most of the oil that is relatively cheap to extract is running out. Read more.

June 19 - Nuclear may not be the answer
In order to curb global warming, 14 nuclear power plants would need to be built each year for the next 50 years, according to a comprehensive report "Nuclear Power Joint Fact-Finding." To store the waste from such a rapid expansion, 10 facilities the size of Yucca Mountain would be needed.Read the 108 page report (PDF)

June 18 - Tuvalu to disappear under the waves?
Tuvalu, a nation consisting of nine low-lying coral atolls, no more than 4m above sea level is at risk of disappearing by 2050 due to global warming related sea level rises according to a campaigner fighting for his country's survival. Read more.

June 18 - Britain lashed by torrential rains
Many areas of England have received a month of rainfall in 24 hours, causing extensive flooding and raising fears that climate change is responsible and that flooding may become more prevalent in the near future. Read more.

June 17 - India's Ganges river drying up
The Gangotri glacier, which provides the majority of the water for India's Ganges river during the dry season is shrinking at double the rate of twenty years ago according to scientists; and all the Himalayan glaciers provide water for the Ganges could disappear by 2030 as a result of global warming. Read more

June 17 - Exxon claims it never doubted climate change
In an effort to bolster its rather tarnished, perhaps non-existent green street cred, oil Goliath Exxon Mobil corp. is stating that it has never past decade doubted the risk from global warming and its understanding has been simply evolving. Read more

June 16 - EU falling behind on Kyoto emission targets
While Britain, Finland, France and Sweden have reached or exceeded their Kyoto targets, the same can't be said for other EU countries that ratified the protocol.  The European Union has only achieved a 2 per cent emissions reduction since 1997, making the overall 8 percent reduction target by 2012 a seemingly impossible task. Read more

June 15 - Nuclear enrichment facility for Australia?
The problems posed by coal fired power generation in terms of global warming induced climate change have the nuclear industry in Australia seizing upon the opportunity to push for enrichment facilities in the country for the purposes of nuclear generated electricitiy. An Australian company states it will make a submission to the Federal Government for such a facility, reportedly to be established in either Queensland or South Australia. Read more

June 15 - Schwarzenegger warns EPA re: tailpipe emissions.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued a warning to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that legal action over California's stringent automobile greenhouse gas emissions standards will proceed unless the EPA stops stonewalling tailpipe emissions regulation.

June 14 - Toxic moth hits England thanks to global warming
Emergency actions have been instigated in the famed Kew Gardens of West London after the discovery of Oak Processionary Moths in the area. Usually confined to the Mediterranean; its appearance further north is thought to be due to warmer weather connected to climate change. Aside from damage to vegetation, the Oak Moth caterpillar can cause severe allergic reactions in humans. Read more

June 13 - 62% of China cities experience air pollution
On a day when a section of a Beijing county was experiencing 8x the normal level of air pollutants, China's State Environmental Protection Agency released a report stating that the majority of Chinese cities suffered from air pollution - Read more

June 12 - Dengue fever spreading and increasing
Instances and distribution of dengue fever is increasing in some parts of the world due to longer wet seasons and increasing temperatures; thought to be the result of global warming. Read more.

June 12 - Dirty snow contributing to global warming
U.S. scientists have discovered that "dirty snow" is accelerating global warming. Snow containing carbon particles from exhausts and forest fires are absorbing the sun's heat. Read more

June 11 - Glacier National Park glacier-less by 2030
124 of  50 glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park have disappeared in the 150 years due to global warming and park officials predict that all glaciers will have vanished from the park by around 2030. Read more

June 11 - Computers generate 35 million tons of CO2 in UK
A new study has found that the production and use of computers generate an estimated 35 million tons of carbon dioxide each year in the UK and the production process itself is responsible for 1.8 tons of emissions per unit. Read more

June 10 - China & India unite on carbon reduction resistance
China and India are becoming more united in their resistance to emission caps and Beijing states it should not be pressured to reduce carbon dioxide emissions drastically when their country's emissions per capita are 20% of America's. Read more

June 10 - Jellyfish invade beaches - global warming culprit?
Jellyfish in huge numbers are becoming a more frequent sight on Spanish beaches and global warming is thought to be in part to blame. Read more

June 9 - Ethiopia to plant 1.5 million trees
The Ethiopian government has announced plans to plant 1.5 million tree seedlings over the next couple of months as part of a goal to plant 52 million trees by the end of September. Read more.

June 9 - Oregon to have 25% renewable energy by 2025
With the signing of a legislation yesterday, Oregon has become the 24th state in the USA to have set firm targets for the utilization of renewable energy. Read more

June 8 - GreenPeace condemns G8 Leaders
The Climate Accord brokered at the G8 summit is not enough according to GreenPeace after the failure of G8 leaders to commit to mean temperature rises being kept below 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. The deal struck will not "prevent dangerous climate change" says Daniel Mittler, climate policy advisor of Greenpeace International. Read more

June 8 - Majority of Chinese & Indians agree to carbon cuts
62% of Chinese and 63% of people surveyed recently stated that they agreed that their own countries should be restricting carbon dioxide emissions. In the same survey which was conducted globally, 18% of the 14,000+ people polled believed that USA policy posed the biggest threat to the world's climate. Read more.

June 7 2007 - Vietnam under threat from rising oceans
Over 12% of the land area of Vietnam, including a sizeable chunk of its most productive agricultural land will be submerged if sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, attendees of a meeting in Da Nang have been told by a UN representative. Read more.

June 6 2007 - 42% want action on emissions of companies
According to the results of a recent survey by Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, concerns about climate change have increased dramatically amongst consumers over the last six months, with two in five stating that governments need to force a decrease of companies’ emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. Read more (PDF)

June 5 2007 - Dutch to heavily tax carbon spewing cars
In an effort to stem the purchase of cars that emit high levels of carbon dioxide, the Dutch government is applying an increased tax of US$100+ per CO2 gram on models that generate over 240 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Read more

June 4 2007 - Canada calls for China and India to step up
Canada is backing the view of some other nations that any climate-change action settled upon during the G8 summit will need the active participation of developing countries such as China and India. Read more

June 4 2007 - Britain, Germany pressures USA
Germany and the UK, while recognizing recent steps by the USA to finally act on global warming, is pressuring the USA to do a lot more and sooner. The USA is vigorously opposing plans by Germany to call for a reduction by greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before 2050. Read more

June 3 2007 - Malaysian fish species disappearing
Global warming, changing tide and currents combined with a variety of other human activities have impacted heavily on the Malaysian marine ecosystem, resulting in the possibility of some favored table species being extinct within a short time. Read more

June 3 2007 - Canadians support Kyoto
60% of 4000 Canadians surveyed feel that achieving Canada's Kyoto targets soon will have positive economic effects in the long term - but the majority also weren't prepared to pay more for gasoline. Read more

June 1 2007 - Bush, Howard's global warming initiatives
In separate, but related news stories, USA president George Bush urged major nations to arrive at an agreement on a global target for reducing greenhouse gases by the end of 2008. Read more

Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is expected to announce further details regarding the setting up of a national carbon emissions trading scheme by 2012, but the main opposition party calls it "foot dragging". Read more

Editor's note on the above entry - it always amazes me how our own Prime Minister, John Howard, rarely falls out of step with George Bush on global warming related issues. It's almost like echo - Bush announces something, Howard announces similar steps in the same direction. Howard is very hesitant to leap ahead of the USA. Both these leaders have been far too ignorant of global warming, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emission issues - squawking the "it will damage our economy line". They are doing their best to drag positive action out for as long as possible, instilling fear into people of negative economic impact.

Australia and the USA have refused to ratify the Kyoto protocol based on this false argument. This is the problem with many political leaders, they can only see as far as the next election. In order to have a healthy economy, a healthy environment is needed. The responsible Greening of the West will bring economic prosperity, not doom.

 Both of these men have been well aware of the dangers posed by global warming for many years. They are slowly moving in the right direction, but slowly just isn't good enough. A Marshall type plan is needed - now. Australia needs to follow another leader on climate change issues; not the USA. Better still, we should become a leader ourselves.