Breaking Waves: Ocean News

08/22/2019 - 00:00
Members cited concerns over changing party rules and opening the door for a flood of single-issue events The Democratic National Committee has rejected mounting calls for a party-sponsored debate on the climate crisis, voting down a resolution that would have dedicated one of the 12 Democratic debates entirely to the issue. Calls for a DNC-sanctioned climate debate have been building for months. In poll after poll, climate has been one of the most important issues to likely Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential election. But little time has been devoted to the topic in debates to date: a scant 15 minutes in the first set of debates, and just over 20 in the most recent two. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 22:55
Queensland Labor gearing up to criminalise activism is only a taste of the kind of intimidation that’s likely to come “Even though I was the one who had been assaulted, I was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. […] I will never forgive or forget what came next. I was ‘verballed’ by the police who manufactured the most incredible statements about the whole thing.” That was Peter Beattie, who would later become ALP premier of Queensland, detailing his treatment by police during anti-apartheid protests against the South African rugby team in July 1971. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 20:49
Democrat who had built his campaign around tackling climate crisis says it was clear he would not win Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington and a 2020 Democratic hopeful, has dropped out of the presidential race. Inslee, who launched his campaign in March with a singular focus on fighting climate change, announced he was suspending his campaign during an appearance on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 20:29
Michael McCormack offers qualified apology after remarks about climate change and seasonal workers caused outrage Michael McCormack has apologised to Pacific Island nations for his comments that they will survive the climate crisis – in part – “because many of their workers come here to pick our fruit”. The deputy prime minister offered a qualified apology at a doorstop in Brisbane, six days after the remarks which further soured a bitter experience at the Pacific Islands Forum, where Australia was roundly criticised for watering down a communique on the climate crisis. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 18:30
Resources minister defends his extraordinary spray accusing engineering firm of being ‘weak as piss’ and giving in to anti-coal ‘bullies’ The resources minister Matt Canavan has defended an extraordinary spray against engineering firm Aurecon over its decision to sever ties with Indian energy company Adani. Canavan had labelled Aurecon’s decision “weak as piss”, and on Thursday rejected claims from the Greens that he is a hypocrite for using public pressure to bully the company while criticising anti-coal activists. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 18:01
Experts find no proof minuscule particles are a threat to health but say more research is needed Microplastics are increasingly found in drinking water, but there is no evidence so far that this poses a risk to humans, according to a new assessment by the World Health Organization. However, the United Nations body warned against complacency because more research is needed to fully understand how plastic spreads into the environment and works its way through human bodies. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 13:00
A sense of futility haunts us all, so I sought to distill in as few words as possible what could be done by us as a people. Writing them, I felt my despair lift Support our independent journalism with a one-off or recurring contribution In 1971, the Liberal Billy McMahon – routinely judged the worst Australian prime minister ever, an achievement not to be underestimated in a nation where the worst routinely rule – created a new portfolio: Environment, Arts and Aboriginal Affairs. Nobody wanted the job: given it, Peter Howson observed that he was responsible for “trees, boongs and poofters.” What’s changed with our conservative rulers over the last half century? On the evidence of the shame the prime minister, Scott Morrison, visited on all Australians last week at the Pacific Islands Forum, not very much. There he tried to pressure Pacific leaders to remove from the final forum communique and climate change statement all references to coal, to limiting warming to less than 1.5C, and to setting out a plan for net zero emissions by 2050. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 13:00
Frank assessment by Aemo says it has been taking ‘reactive action’ to prevent summer blackouts, but that has come at a high cost The energy market operator has used its latest 10-year forecast of reliability in Australia’s power supply to highlight the urgent need for more investment in dispatchable energy and in transmission infrastructure. In a frank assessment, the chief executive of Aemo, Audrey Zibelman, says the energy market operator has been engaged in “reactive action” to ensure the risks of blackouts are reduced during the summer peaks. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 12:11
Brazilian president blames green groups for rise in blazes, but offers no evidence for claim The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has accused environmental groups of setting fires in the Amazon as he tries to deflect growing international criticism of his failure to protect the world’s biggest rainforest. A surge of fires in several Amazonian states this month followed reports that farmers were feeling emboldened to clear land for crop fields and cattle ranches because the new Brazilian government was keen to open up the region to economic activity. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 11:00
198 had an increase in the average number of days each year that felt 90F or hotter and 106 cities had an increase in ‘danger’ days that felt 105F or hotter Nearly 200 US cities have seen an increase in the number of days each year that soar beyond a heat index of 90F (32.2C) or higher, according to an analysis of the last four decades. Related: How US cities are scrambling to protect people from extreme heat Continue reading...