Saturday, January 14, 2006

Australia: Climate management 'must allow growth'

It is unrealistic to expect nations to sacrifice economic growth to halt global climate change, Prime Minister John Howard has said. Mr Howard told a conference of Asia-Pacific nations and corporations that growth was the only way many nations could reduce poverty levels among their populations. "The idea that we can address climate change matters successfully at the expense of economic growth is not only unrealistic but it also unacceptable to the population of Australia which I represent," he said. "(It's also) I'm sure unacceptable to the populations of all the other countries that are represented around this table."

Mr Howard, whose government has joined the US in refusing to sign the UN's Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, said economic growth and climate solutions need not be mutually exclusive. "Our societies require of us that we find solutions to these issues that maintain the momentum of economic growth," he said, adding that new technologies could find a solution to the problem. "New technologies are therefore a credible and essential part of any suite of measures needed to reduce global emissions growth," he said.

Mr Howard said private enterprise must perform the bulk of the work needed to deal with climate change, reiterating a position that has become a central theme of this week's Asia-Pacific Clean Development and Climate Partnership. "Without the active partnership with the business community we are not going to achieve our goal," he said, The partnership, known as AP6, brings together ministers from US, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia with corporate giants such as Exxon Mobil, Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy and American Electric Power. Mr Howard pledged an extra $100 million for environmental projects in the next five years.



It looks like Martin Ferguson is an old-fashioned Leftist who actually cares about the welfare of the workers

Labor's left-wing powerbroker Martin Ferguson has urged the party to renounce the Greens and support the Howard Government's Asia-Pacific climate partnership. The Opposition resources spokesman said it was time to abandon the "political correctness" of the environmental movement and recognise the role of Australian business in providing jobs. "It is extraordinary that the Greens could place the economic security and jobs of their constituents at risk," Mr Ferguson said. "Let's be real - without getting business on board we cannot achieve anything."

Mr Ferguson, who also reiterated his support for nuclear power, opened a split in the party and the Left after acting Labor leader Jenny Macklin yesterday criticised the six-nation Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate talks in Sydney.

Ms Macklin attacked the conference's failure to set emission reduction targets and called for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, under which industrial nations agreed to collectively reduce their greenhouse gases by at least 5 per cent, compared with 1990 levels, by 2012....

Labor environment spokesman Anthony Albanese joined green groups yesterday in warning that the AP6 was no substitute for ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

But after attending the talks yesterday, Mr Ferguson hailed the AP6 as "vital" to delivering cleaner, greener technologies and warned nothing could be achieved without getting business on board. "This is essential to overcome the problem of simply shifting emissions from one country to another and at the same time shifting Australian manufacturing jobs and prosperity offshore," Mr Ferguson said. "If the environmental movement got their way they'd close down the coal industry. It's time to abandon the political correctness espoused by the Green movement."

More here


There has been a huge flap as a result of this research report in "Nature", so I thought I might reproduce the Abstract of the original report:

Methane emissions from terrestrial plants under aerobic conditions

By Frank Keppler et al. (2005)

Methane is an important greenhouse gas and its atmospheric concentration has almost tripled since pre-industrial times. It plays a central role in atmospheric oxidation chemistry and affects stratospheric ozone and water vapour levels. Most of the methane from natural sources in Earth's atmosphere is thought to originate from biological processes in anoxic environments. Here we demonstrate using stable carbon isotopes that methane is readily formed in situ in terrestrial plants under oxic conditions by a hitherto unrecognized process. Significant methane emissions from both intact plants and detached leaves were observed during incubation experiments in the laboratory and in the field. If our measurements are typical for short-lived biomass and scaled on a global basis, we estimate a methane source strength of 62-236 Tg yr-1 for living plants and 1-7 Tg yr-1 for plant litter (1 Tg = 1012 g). We suggest that this newly identified source may have important implications for the global methane budget and may call for a reconsideration of the role of natural methane sources in past climate change.


Excerpts from David C. Lowe in "Nature" 439, 148-149 (12 January 2006)

The implications of Keppler and colleagues' work for the Kyoto Protocol include how reforestation and ruminant animals are treated in methane budgets. Under the Kyoto rules, reforestation since 1990 may be used as a CO2 sink to offset greenhouse-gas emissions from other sources; we now have the spectre that new forests might increase greenhouse warming through methane emissions rather than decrease it by sequestering CO2.

And in certain countries with large numbers of sheep, cattle and other ruminant livestock, methane constitutes a significant fraction of total greenhouse-gas emissions. In such countries - Ireland and New Zealand, for example - ruminant animals graze on pastures that were originally forested. Given the findings of Keppler et al., it is possible that the forests that once occupied pasture may have produced as much methane as ruminants and grasses on the same land.

The new work will also influence studies of the history of Earth's climate. Indications of past climate are often deduced from analyses of the concentration and isotopic composition of greenhouse gases in tiny air bubbles trapped in polar ice cores. Keppler and colleagues' study shows that, in pre-industrial times, the relative contribution of methane to the atmosphere by direct emissions from plants could have been much larger than it is today.

Measurements of isotopic values in methane derived from Antarctic ice cores show a signal between AD 0 and 1200 that is inconsistent with theories of methane budgets being dominated by wetland sources. A pre-industrial atmosphere containing large contributions of methane derived from vegetation can account for the observed isotopic signal. One of the further avenues of research will centre on the role of methane and vegetation in glacial- interglacial transitions.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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