Newsletter #20 - 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 (Aug), #18 (Sept) and #19 (Sept) 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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Global carbon emissions rising rapidly - Reuters
Global carbon emissions rose rapidly in 2007, an annual study says, with developing nations such as China and India now producing more than half of mankind's output of carbon dioxide.
The Global Carbon Project said carbon dioxide emissions are growing about four times faster since 2000 than during the 1990s, despite efforts by a number of nations to rein in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. India would soon overtake Russia to become the world's third largest CO2 emitter.
Original report

Is History So Boring We Keep On Repeating The Same Mistakes? - John James
I will tell you the story of Easter Island. It is a woeful tale, caused by human actions, and a possible scenario for us. The island is now a wind-swept barren wasteland capable of supporting only a couple of thousand people. Yet only a few centuries ago it had ten or twelve times that number. Ninety percent died. Now, why was that?

Money is no object in battle to save planet – SMH
A major survey of Australians' views on climate change has found an overwhelming majority think it is happening and they're prepared to pay to address it. 84% believed global warming was occurring and, of those, 85% said Australia should proceed with an emissions trading scheme irrespective of the actions of other countries, and that it should start in 2010 and not in 2012 as requested by the opposition.

World Geothermal Power Generation Nearing Eruption - Earth Policy Institute
With fossil fuel prices escalating and countries searching for ways to reduce oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions, capturing the earth’s heat for power generation is garnering new attention. First begun in Larderello, Italy, in 1904, electricity generation using geothermal energy is now taking place in 24 countries, 5 of which use it to produce 15% of their electricity. In the first half of 2008, total world installed geothermal power capacity passed 10,000 megawatts and now produces enough electricity to meet the needs of 60 million people, roughly the population of the United Kingdom. In 2010, capacity could increase to 13,500 megawatts across 46 countries—equivalent to 27 coal-fired power plants.

Mass Extinction Underway - The Most Comprehensive Source of Information.
Here you will find references to hundreds of resources on this tragedy that will have a terrible impact on our own species. There is now no backing away from what we are doing. The trend is that within a mere 40 years we will have so plundered the planet that most of the fish will be in museums and the forests deteriorated beyond recognition. Google Earth 'will expire by 2050' for more.

Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048 - Collapse of World Ocean Ecology
Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% -- a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries. The apocalypse has a new date: 2048. That's when the world's oceans will be empty of fish from overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. The study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, -- with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama -- was an effort to understand what this loss of ocean species might mean to the world.

Manufactured Famine: A new wave of food colonialism is snatching food from the mouths of the poor - George Monbiot
70% of the protein eaten by the people of Senegal comes from fish. It sustains a population which ranks close to the bottom of the human development index. One in six of the working population is employed in the fishing industry; some two-thirds of these workers are women. Over the past three decades, their means of subsistence has started to collapse as other nations have plundered Senegal’s stocks.
This process of take-over by Europeans of the third-world food stocks would be unbelievable if it were not true. Is this the picture of the future, where the rich and powerful guarantee their food supplies at the cost of creating famine elsewhere? How do we live with ourselves if this happens?

What can we do – as arguments are failing the forceful actions by groups such as these should inspire us. How much time do we have to just talk? ???????????
The Brits and the Germans are well ahead of the Australians on these public demonstrations, while we just go on mining the coal!

The strategic importance of water in Asia - The Nation
Billions of people in Asia are suffering from the acute water crisis caused by the adverse impact of climate change and China's ambitious hydroengineering projects that divert river water cascading from the Tibetan highland, the source of almost all the major rivers of Asia. Survey warned that the Himalayan glaciers could be reduced by nearly a third by 2050 and up to half by 2090 at the current rate further depleting Tibet's water resources, which are the lifeline to China and India, as well as to Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Quiet carbon revolution on Australian farms - The Land
Thousands of farmers are joining a voluntary soil carbon movement adopting specialised cropping and pasture practices to improve yields and income, while measuring loads of carbon storage on their farms. An Australian senate inquiry that is looking into the impacts of climate change on agriculture heard the results have been largely shunned by the science fraternity because the carbon storage data does not fit into existing carbon models. Yet agricultural soils have the capacity to sequester large volumes of atmospheric carbon by "rebuilding" robust agricultural soils, which would also "enhance the resilience of the Australian landscape to withstand changes to climate.

Oceans On The Precipice Of Mass Extinctions And Rise Of Slime – Sciences
Human activities are driving the health of the world's oceans down a rapid spiral, and only prompt and wholesale changes will slow or perhaps ultimately reverse the catastrophic problems they are facing.
As sentient beings what is wrong with us. We see this happening yet go on over-fishing, over polluting and leave the 200 million people dependent on the sea with nothing to eat or work for. [For more see ABC report in #19, and next item].

Pollution leaves seas to die - The Australian
Aquatic dead zones, stretches of water where little or nothing can survive, have increased across the world by a third in little over a decade. Dead zones suffer from hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, which scientists believe is caused by fertilisers washing off the land. Since the 1960s, when there were 49 dead zones, the number has increased rapidly and from 1995. In the last year it rose from 305 to 405. Among the most alarming outbreaks of hypoxia were in fishing areas of the Baltic, the Black Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the East China Sea. One of the largest was identified at the mouth of the Mississippi River and was 22,000sq km. "Dead zones were once rare. Now they're commonplace. There are more of them in more places," said Robert Diaz, of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.,25197,24186218-2703,00.html

Wildlife populations 'plummeting' - BBC News
Between a quarter and a third of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London. Humans are wiping out about 1% of all species every year, and one of the "great extinction episodes" in the Earth's history is under way. Pollution, farming and urban expansion, over-fishing and hunting are blamed.

Le permafrost sibérien fond et libère son méthane - In English
Researchers have found alarming evidence that the frozen Arctic floor has started to thaw and release long-stored methane gas. The results could be a catastrophic warming of the earth, since methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The carbon content of the ice-and-methane mixture is estimated at 540 billion tons. "This submarine hydrate was considered stable until now. The permafrost has grown porous, and already the shelf sea has become a source of methane." Scientists have estimated that when all the stored gas escapes the methane content of the planet’s atmosphere would increase twelvefold.

John James

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