A necessary debate that Tasmania needs to have regarding climate policy is about how we get around.
Our electricity generation mostly being hydro-electric power, it is often mistakenly presumed that the best individual vehicle choice is to ‘go electric’. The chart below demonstrates that unless Tasmania achieves at least 100 percent renewable reliance in its power supply, then this may not be the case.
Below is the latest power generation snapshot facility kindly provided by Nemwatch.
By hovering your cursor over the coloured bars you can now see not only how much power is currently being generated in Tasmania from various sources, you can now also compare this to statewide power demand that’s happening at that same time.
To illustrate that climate change is happening apace, science has told us a lot about melting glaciers, habitat losses, unseasonable weather all over the globe, rising sea temperatures, Arctic melting… all of this with voluminous supporting data.
Yet as we now approach 2018, twenty two meetings of COP (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) the nations of the world have barely come to terms with the global climate change challenge, and in the public arena climate change is relegated well down the public’s concern rankings. Why is this so?
The final report of Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce (set up in the wake of Basslink breakdown) has been released.
Disel generators brought in to prop up Tasmania’s power system during 2016 (ABC photo)
Climate Tasmania is generally pleased with the findings, in particular that it acknowledges and summarises the actual negative impact that climate change is imposing on the state’s hydro-electric system – an issue that has had little public exposure to date.
Below is the extract describing the issue of declining runoff from the Taskforce’s summary report.
The Climate Tasmania group has on several occasions raised this climate-related trend in our submissions.
A decade after An Inconvenient Truth (2006) brought climate change into the heart of popular culture now comes the follow-up film: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017).
Amongst other things it shows what has elapsed in the past ten years and just how close we may be to a real energy revolution.
In Hobart it’s now showing at the State Theatre. See session times here.
Scientists who have analysed data from September 2015 to May 2016 have produced a report on the damaging East Coast hotspot and conclude that as well as it being the most intense, it was the longest recorded off Tasmania’s east coast.
“Through the summer period, at least in the peak of the summer, we would see something like about 16 to 17 degrees Celsius and we saw it up to about 19.5 degrees Celsius,” climatologist Neil Holbrook said.
See full ABC story here.
The Tasmanian state government today launched the long awaited state climate change strategy today – ironically on the same day that the United States announced that it will pull out from the COP 21 Paris global climate pact.
Entitled “Climate Action 21”, the strategy was three years in the writing and purports to set out the Tasmanian government’s policy detail for addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation for the coming four years to 2021.
Climate Tasmania, along with a number of other bodies, submitted to the draft in 2015 and has been awaiting the publication of this document – its publication somewhat delayed owing to Tasmania having being caught up in a series of climate related energy crises during 2016.
In recent months Climate Tasmania has written to all state MPs appealing for them to work together so as to ensure that the climate change issue is dealt with in a less partisan manner.
To download a copy of the state strategy please click here
BOOK REVIEW: By David Hamilton
“What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming ― towards a new psychology of climate action”
I have just finished reading this book by Per Espen Stoknes. The book explores the psychology of climate denial and inaction on climate change, and suggests framing and communication strategies that are less likely to trigger denial responses.
Some of his key points are highlighted here, as they are clearly relevant to how we frame and communicate our messages.
Local councils are expected to play an increasing role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation. To bring greater understanding to this, Climate Tasmania and the Local Government Association (LGAT) hosted an important forum on May 11.
In recent years Tasmanian councils have had to shoulder fallout from a range of severe weather related events such as catastrophic wildfires, coastal erosion and harm to roads and other infrastructure as a result of severe flooding. In parallel, local government also has a critical role to play in carbon pollution mitigation, such as landfill and fleet management.
[The forum was open to both local government personnel and interested members of the public and was well attended by council officers from around the state. See Peter Boyer’s story here.]
In this era we need science and science needs us.
Click on the graphic above to find out more. See media coverage here.