Dbytes #389 (14 August 2019)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making


“Australia has and will continue to be a steadfast partner on climate action and on supporting the resilience and health of our Blue Pacific continent.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne in the Government’s announcement of the ‘Stepping up Climate Resilience in the Pacific’

“I certainly hope we do not come to that juncture to say we cannot go on talking about partnerships regardless of whether it is [the Australian government’s Pacific] Step-Up or [New Zealand’s Pacific] Reset, while you keep pouring your coal emissions into the atmosphere that is killing my people and drowning my people into the water.”
Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, in the lead up to the Pacific Islands Forum



In this issue of Dbytes

1. IPCC on Climate Change and Land
2. Beef industry linked to 94% of land clearing in Great Barrier Reef catchments
3. Australia urgently needs real sustainable agriculture policy
4. Marine heatwaves a bigger threat to coral reefs than previously thought
5. Facing the crisis: rethinking economics for the age of environmental breakdown
6. The windscreen phenomenon: anecdata is not scientific evidence
7. Amazon deforestation leads to firing of scientist after President Jair Bolsonaro takes issue with data

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1. IPCC on Climate Change and Land

Climate Change and Land is the second in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Cycle. The report was prepared under the joint scientific leadership of all three IPCC Working Groups in cooperation with the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, with support from the Working Group III Technical Support Unit. The Summary for Policymakers presents the key findings of the Special Report, based on the assessment of the available scientific, technical and socio-economic literature relevant to climate change and land.

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/

And see the WMO response to the IPCC report: “a critical contribution to efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, tackle the impacts of global warming and protect food security”
https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/ipcc-climate-change-and-land-report-marks-critical-contribution-global-effort

And see Mark Howden’s editorial in the Conversation: UN climate change report: land clearing and farming contribute a third of the world’s greenhouse gases
https://theconversation.com/un-climate-change-report-land-clearing-and-farming-contribute-a-third-of-the-worlds-greenhouse-gases-121551

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2. Beef industry linked to 94% of land clearing in Great Barrier Reef catchments

More than 90% of land clearing in Great Barrier Reef catchments over a five-year period was attributable to the beef industry, according to new analysis by The Wilderness Society.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/08/beef-industry-linked-to-94-of-land-clearing-in-great-barrier-reef-catchments

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3. Australia urgently needs real sustainable agriculture policy

Australia has made a global commitment to “sustainable agriculture”, an endeavour seen as increasingly crucial to ending world poverty, halting biodiversity loss, and combating climate change. A recent report from the UN found land use – including food production – is responsible for around one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, Australia has something of a sustainable agriculture policy vacuum, after years of a fragmented, stop-start approach.

https://theconversation.com/australia-urgently-needs-real-sustainable-agriculture-policy-120597

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4. Marine heatwaves a bigger threat to coral reefs than previously thought

Marine heatwaves are a much bigger threat to coral reefs than previously thought, research revealing a previously unrecognized impact of climate change on coral reefs has shown.

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/marine-heatwaves-bigger-threat-coral-reefs-previously-thought-scientists-find

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5. Facing the crisis: rethinking economics for the age of environmental breakdown

Damaging human impacts on the environment go beyond climate breakdown to encompass most other natural systems, from soil to biodiversity. The current economic model in countries around the world drives this breakdown, and many of its underpinning assumptions, policies and narratives act as barriers to change. A new model is needed to rapidly create societies that are more sustainable, just and prepared: bringing human activity to within environmentally sustainable limits while narrowing inequality, improving quality of life, and becoming better prepared for the accelerating consequences of environmental breakdown.

Analysis and Policy Observatory

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6. The windscreen phenomenon: anecdata is not scientific evidence

The windscreen phenomenon refers to people’s perception that there are fewer insects being splattered on their windscreen than they used to see. It is one of the most common anecdotes presented as evidence of global insect decline in the Insectageddon stories. But anecdotes are not scientific evidence. Anecdotes describe local conditions, not globally-relevant facts.

https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2019/07/07/the-windscreen-phenomenon-anecdata-is-not-scientific-evidence/

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7. Amazon deforestation leads to firing of scientist after President Jair Bolsonaro takes issue with data

The head of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has been sacked amid criticism by President Jair Bolsonaro about the agency’s reports on deforestation in the Amazon.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-03/amazon-deforestation-data-angers-brazil-president-bolsonaro/11380976

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. For the past decade Dbytes has been supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to received it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David Salt

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