Newsletter #19 - September 2008 for the
Crisis Coalition at

What is a Footprint?

Comparison of US and Australian ecological footprints with African. Every Australian puts 26.5 tons of CO2-e into the atmosphere every year, every American puts 23.6 tons and most Africans a lot less than 1 ton each.

For earlier Footprints #13 (June), #14 (June), #15 (July), #16 (July), #17 (August) and #18 (September) and the archive.

The Crisis Coalition aims to raise awareness and to galvanise action.
For the latest information read this fully referenced report.

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Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections - Stefan Rahmstorf
The most recent observed climate trends for C02, air temperature, and sea levels were compared to the projections summarized in the 2001 report of the IPCC. Their projections start in 1990, which is also the base year of the Kyoto protocol, in which almost all industrialized nations accepted a binding commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In spite of that commitment the actual changes have exceeded the estimates.
This is one way to deal with the denial industry.

Bush Declared 422 Major Disasters - NY Times
During his seven and a half years in office, President Bush has declared 422 major disasters — severe storms, tornadoes, wildfires and floods — or more than one a week. That is 11 percent more than President Bill Clinton’s disaster declarations and 130 percent more than President Ronald Reagan during their full two terms in office.
The impact of global warming, and how will it get better?

Australia unveils plans to build 'world's biggest solar plant' – ABC
An Australian engineering firm has announced plans to build what would be the world's biggest solar plant in Australia within three years, costing 1 billion. The study is backed by nine Australian companies including miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Two Large Solar Plants Planned in California – NY Times
Companies will build two solar power plants in California that together will put out more than 12 times as much electricity as the largest such plant today, the latest indication that solar energy is starting to achieve significant scale. The plants will cover 12.5 square miles, and in the middle of a sunny day will generate about 800 megawatts of power, roughly equal to the size of a large coal-burning power plant or a small nuclear plant. A megawatt is enough power to run a large Wal-Mart store.

N.Y. environmental board approves system to cap carbon dioxide emissions
New York became the latest state to take steps to regulate CO2 emissions to combat global warming. The state Environmental Board capped the amount that can be discharged, joining nine other states in the Northeast that have taken similar steps in the absence of any action by the federal government. The permits will hold emissions steady through 2014 and then reduce the total.

Coming clean on climate change - Leon Gettler
London-based Ethical Research Investment Services found that 48% of Australia's largest 200 companies have a high or very high potential impact from climate change. Collectively, these companies account for more than $545 billion in market value.

Rising ocean acidity slows marine fertilisation: study – ABC
Rising acidification of the ocean could reduce fertilisation of marine invertebrates and wipe out colonies of sea urchins, lobsters, mussels and oysters. We know that ocean acidification eats away at the shells of marine animals, but the new study has found that rising acidity hindered marine sperm from swimming to and fertilising eggs. Marine life is far more sensitive to ocean acidification than first suspected, and that means our oceans may be very different places in the not-too-distant future.

Return of the population timebomb – The Guardian
Today's crumbling environment is evidence that we are destroying our life-support system. In ecological terms we are in "overshoot" of Earth's "carrying capacity" as demand exceeds the planet's absorptive and regenerative capacities. To avert catastrophe, we need to reduce both numbers and consumption.
This is a detailed analysis of the issue and well worth a careful read.

Huge sea level rises are coming – unless we act now – New Scientist
Report from James Hansen with maps of Florida and the countries bordering the North Sea. While a mere 2% of the world's land is less than 10 metres above the mid-tide sea level, it is home to 10% of the world's population - 630 million and counting - and much valuable property and vital infrastructure. Without mega-engineering projects to protect them, a 5-metre rise would inundate large parts of many cities - including New York, London, Sydney, Vancouver, Melbourne and Tokyo - and leave surrounding areas vulnerable to storm surges. In Florida, Louisiana, the Netherlands, Bangladesh and elsewhere, whole regions and cities may vanish. China's economic powerhouse, Shanghai, has an average elevation of just 4 metres.

John James

My personal site
Crucible Centre
Crisis Coalition
 Let us together save this precious planet.

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