Energy Security Taskforce report now public.

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.

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An Inconvenient Sequel – now showing

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.

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Heat wave off Tasmania coast persists

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.

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Tasmanian government launches state climate strategy

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

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How to communicate climate change

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.

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Local Government Forum: May 11

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.]

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March for Science: April 22

In this era we need science and science needs us.

Click on the graphic above to find out more. See media coverage here.

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Psychology of climate change denial

It’s the 64 million dollar question that climate scientists ask. When presented with stark information on the rate of climate change that is happening why are so many people and governments all over the world so prepared to look the other way?

A number of commentators, including George Marshall, have written about this phenomenon to better inform how we communicate climate change but professor of psychology, Daniel Gilbert, perhaps nails the denial problem better than any other. Click here to see the video clip.

Gilbert’s original TED talk has had some 8 million views since 2014.

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Open letter to parliamentary leaders

Mel FitzAn open letter has been sent to the three party leaders in the House of Assembly drawing attention to the Tasmanian Parliament’s inability to address the now-urgent issue of climate change.

Signatory, Dr Fitzpatrick, is a climate scientist and member of Climate Tasmania. Copies of the letter have also been sent to all MPs in both Houses. Climate Tasmania is now approaching community leaders to join in this appeal for a unified approach.

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Financial regulator warns business on climate risk

Australia’s financial regulator (APRA) has warned that climate change poses a material risk to the entire financial system, and has urged companies to start seriously adapting.

Geoff Summerhayes, from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, says it is unsafe for companies to ignore the risks of climate change just because there is some uncertainty, or “even some controversy”, about the policy outlook. (See story here.)

How will Tasmanian businesses be affected by climate change?

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