Dbytes #550 (16 November 2022)

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


“the G-20 allocated $3.2 trillion in fossil-fuel support over 2016-20. This quite substantial sum distorted prices, encouraged potentially wasteful use and production of fossil fuels, and resulted in investment into long-lived, emission-intensive equipment and infrastructure”
Climate Policy Factbook: COP27 Edition, Bloomberg NEF


In this issue of Dbytes

1. You are now one of 8 billion humans alive today. Let’s talk overpopulation – and why low income countries aren’t the issue
2. It’s ‘business as usual’, but at least there actually is plenty of business – Senate Budget Estimates November 2022
3. State of the Cryosphere 2022
4. Wins and missed opportunities from the Federal Budget 2022/23
5. As the planet warms, risks of geoengineering the climate mount
6. Ten Essential Climate Science Insights for 2022 presented at COP27 [from the WMO]
7. Climate of the nation 2022

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1. You are now one of 8 billion humans alive today. Let’s talk overpopulation – and why low income countries aren’t the issue

Today is the Day of Eight Billion, according to the United Nations. That’s an incredible number of humans, considering our population was around 2.5 billion in 1950. Watching our numbers tick over milestones can provoke anxiety. Do we have enough food? What does this mean for nature? Are more humans a catastrophe for climate change? The answers are counterintuitive. Because rich countries use vastly more resources and energy, greening and reducing consumption in these countries is more effective and equitable than calling for population control in low income nations. Fertility rates in most of the world have fallen sharply. As countries get richer, they tend to have fewer children. We can choose to adequately and equitably feed a population of 10 billion by 2050 – even as we reduce or eliminate global greenhouse gas emissions and staunch biodiversity loss.

You are now one of 8 billion humans alive today. Let’s talk overpopulation – and why low income countries aren’t the issue (theconversation.com)

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2. It’s ‘business as usual’, but at least there actually is plenty of business – Senate Budget Estimates November 2022

Australia’s environment department has been run down over the past decade. This month’s Estimate hearings reveals that the new Labor Government is putting extra resources towards environmental management. What does that mean? In terms of Indigenous heritage protection it’s a rare example of good news in the environment portfolio. In terms of biodiversity, the new government has made a small down payment, but on a veritable mountain of environmental debt.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/2022/11/16/its-business-as-usual-but-at-least-there-actually-is-plenty-of-business/

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3. State of the Cryosphere 2022

“We cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice.”
The complete loss of Arctic summer sea-ice is now inevitable, even in the lowest emission pathways that see temperatures peaking at 1.6oC

State of the Cryosphere Report 2022 – ICCI – International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (iccinet.org)

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4. Wins and missed opportunities from the Federal Budget 2022/23

Since the Federal Budget dropped in late October, ACF has been busy investigating how the Albanese Government’s first budget stacks up against its election campaign commitments. The good news is the federal budget has backed up some significant nature and climate commitments with the resources needed to deliver them. The bad news is there’s some big, missed opportunities including continuing publicly funded subsidies for gas and other fossil fuel corporations.

Wins and missed opportunities from the Federal Budget 2022/23 – Australian Conservation Foundation (acf.org.au)

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5. As the planet warms, risks of geoengineering the climate mount

Because a climate-disrupted future remains possible, another danger needs our attention. As the impacts of warming become more extreme, countries are more likely to turn to riskier measures to combat them, including geoengineering. Geoengineering can entail modifying local weather conditions (such as seeding clouds to change rainfall), removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (separating it out and storing it) or managing solar radiation (reducing the amount of sunlight that can get trapped as heat in the atmosphere). These options have been discussed in climate circles for many years—at various times considered a last resort, a moral hazard that could delay decarbonisation of economies, or generally a dystopian nightmare.

As the planet warms, risks of geoengineering the climate mount | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au)

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6. Ten Essential Climate Science Insights for 2022 presented at COP27 [from the WMO]

1. Questioning the myth of endless adaptation
2. Vulnerability hotspots cluster in ‘regions at risk’
3. New threats on the horizon from climate-health interactions
4. Climate mobility: From evidence to anticipatory action
5. Human security requires climate security
6. Sustainable land use is essential to meeting climate targets
7. Private sustainable finance practices are failing to catalyse deep transitions
8. Loss and Damage: The urgent planetary imperative
9. Inclusive decision-making for climate-resilient development
10. Breaking down structural barriers and unsustainable lock-ins

Ten Essential Climate Science Insights for 2022 presented at COP27 | World Meteorological Organization (wmo.int)

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7. Climate of the nation 2022

Tracking Australia’s attitudes towards climate change and energy

Climate of the nation 2022 (apo.org.au)

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David Salt
and you can follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

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