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Climate Change

Climate change heating up Australia’s federal election

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Australians are heading to the polls in less than 24 hours to decide their next Prime Minister, with environmental concerns expected to be a decisive issue, the incumbent Liberal party is facing significant swings in historically safe seats

As the campaign nears its final hours the candidates have made their final pitches to Australian voters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to change his leadership style, while opposition leader Anthony Albanese has offered his vision for a Labor led government, including the future of the economy and child and aged care services.

Issues such as the economy, cost of living, housing affordability and corruption have been dominating election discussion. But Richie Merzian, a political and environmental expert at the Australian Institute, has told Ticker NEWS he expects global warming to be a decisive issue when voters hit the polls.

He says a big point of difference is how the two parties will “address the climate crisis”, with the Labor Party (ALP) proposing stronger action and greater international engagement on climate change.

Australia votes on climate change

“Polls done in Australia show that climate is one of the top priorities,” Merzian says.

The current Liberal-National government (LNP) under Morrison has received criticism from environmental bodies for its lack of action on climate change.

And Merzian says the government has little ambition to change these targets.

“It’s the same target they’ve had for seven years.” He says.

In 2017, Morrison brought a lump of coal to parliament to demonstrate his support for the fossil fuel industry. PHOTO: Courier Mail

According to Merzian, if all countries set similar targets to Australia, the world would be facing three to four degrees of global warming.

An increase which would be catastrophic for the planet. The goal of the Paris Climate agreement is to limit global warming to below two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.

Instead of increasing emission targets, the LNP is proposing more investment in technology to help combat the climate crisis.

In contrast the opposition “has a stronger target more in line with the U.S and Canada and Japan,” says Merzian.

“They want to see a serious transition in the electricity sector, they want to have over 80% renewable energy, higher EV uptake, and also they want to see Australia host a U.N climate conference.”

Richie Merzian, Australia Institute

Rise of independents and the battle for Kooyong

The current government is locked in a bitter battle to reclaim power in traditionally safe Liberal seats.

Merzian says safe seats the government “has taken for granted” are suddenly being challenged by centrist independents who want greater action on climate change and anti-corruption.

This challenge has been typified by treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s dwindling popularity in the seat of Kooyong.

Historically a LNP stronghold, Kooyong has been held by a member of the Liberal party for the entirety of its 121 year existence, barring a four year interval in the 1920’s. And has been the electorate for significant party figures such as former PM Sir Robert Menzies.

Dr. Monique Ryan is challenging Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the seat of Kooyong

But this year, independent candidate Dr. Monique Ryan has emerged as a genuine contender for the seat.

“That’s the real novel part of this election.” Merzian says.

“If they win, you could see the federal government lose seats that I don’t think it’s ever lost, including its own treasurer and deputy of the Liberal Party.”

Richie Merzian, Australia Institute

And while Merzian concedes the election is still too close to call, he believes it will be “very hard” for Morrison’s LNP to win the 76 seats it needs to form a majority government.

“It’s far more likely that the Labor Party will get closer to their mark and you will probably have Anthony Albanese as prime minister on Monday.” He says

Polls suggest this may be the case. But the outlook was similar in 2019 when Morrison defied expectations to win the election.

Bryan Hoadley contributed to this post.

Climate Change

Why ‘zombie viruses’ could be the next biggest public threat

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A new report reveals the world will see an increase in so-called ‘zombie viruses’ that are emerging beneath us

A new report by scientists at the French National Center for Scientific Research has revealed the global threat of ‘zombie viruses.’ As climate change continues to take effect, the earth is undeniably getter hotter.

Global warming essentially means significant areas of permafrost are now melting. Permafrost is a frozen layer on or under the Earth’s surface, holding beneath it millions of ‘zombie viruses’ not seen in millions of years.

The now melting permafrost means it is lifting the veil on potentially dangerous microbes that human kind isn’t prepared for.

In Siberia, the scientists uncovered a ‘zombie virus’ which they believe is 50,000 years old. This would be the oldest age of a frozen virus returning to life and able to infect.

Researchers are concerned about the global health impact if the earth continues to warm at its current rate.

 

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Climate Change

Australia warned to brace for more extreme weather events

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From wild floods, to raging fires. Australia has experienced it all

And that’s not changing anytime soon.

The country is getting warmer and residents are being warned to prepare for the worst.

From an increasing number of extreme heat days to flash flooding, wild bushfires and rising sea levels – the Bureau of Meteorology says we need to buckle up and brace for impact.

This comes as the New South Wales flood crisis is ranked as the most expensive natural disaster in Australia’s history.

$5.5 billion worth of insurance claims have been lodged right across the state and now residents as residents are being told their policies won’t be renewed.

So is there anything we can do and is there any hope for our environment?

Meanwhile, say goodbye to those cloudy skies – Weatherzone predicts Australia will flip from the current wet La Nina weather system to its hot and dry cousin, El Nino next year.

If this is true, residents can expect a long period of warm conditions, including reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures and less tropical cyclones.

So how likely is this prediction?

But don’t celebrate just yet.

While the weather system means more days to lie by the pool, spare a thought for those living amongst the trees.

As the risk of severe wildfires skyrockets.

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Climate Change

Climate change will force this country to enter the metaverse

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Tuvalu could become the first completely digitised country in the metaverse if climate change inaction continues

The low-lying Pacific nation of Tuvalu is currently experiencing the effects of rising sea levels like no other.

The country is home to nearly 12,000 people but climate change and rising sea levels could force the entire archipelago underwater in a matter of decades.

In fact, Tuvaluan lawmakers believe the country could become completely digitised in the metaverse as they seek to secure a future.

“As a progressive nation, we are excited at the opportunity for Tuvalu to exist in the metaverse—but not to the extent of losing our lands. The tragedy of this outcome cannot be overstated,” said Simon Kofe, who is the nation’s foreign affairs minister.

Mr Kofe addressed delegates of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

He said it is time world leaders looked towards alternative solutions to save his country.

“The world’s inaction means that our pacific region must take greater action and forge our own path as leaders on the international stage, but our action alone cannot stop the current trajectory of climate change.”

SIMON KOFE, FOREIGN MINISTER OF TUVALU


The small island nation has been asking world leaders to act and adhere to commitments made in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“But because the world has not acted, we must. Tuvalu could be the first country in the
world to exist solely in cyberspace – but if global warming continues unchecked, it won’t be the last,” Mr Kofe said.

His speech highlighted the need for digital sovereignty to preserve Tuvalu’s culture, place, identity, and statehood.

A glimpse of what Tuvalu could look like in the metaverse.

The Tuvalu Government will build digital replicas of its nine atolls under the Future Now Project.

It will depict an accurate and virtual model of the real-world environment.

Documents, records of cultural practices, family albums and traditional songs are among those set to enter the metaverse.

The virtual-reality space allows users to interact with a computer-generated environment.

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