August 08, 2010 | Ronda Jambe

CO2, phytoplankton and the air we breathe

Let it never be said I am alarmist. Apoplectic, maybe.

Aside from the freeze on wheat exports from Russia, due to their drought and fires, and an iceberg 4 times the size of Manhattan breaking off in Greenland (thank heavens there’s no climate change, imagine what it would be like then!), we now have reports of steady decline in phytoplankton in the oceans.

Like clathrates, phytoplankton are ‘sleepers’ of climate change, but they are waking. Or rather vanishing. They are the bottom of the food chain, and also absorb CO2. Hence, as they diminish, there is less capacity to absorb the bad gas, and also less capacity to emit the good gas: oxygen.

Why is serious policy on climate change, sustainability and our food security not on the policy agency for the two major parties? Why has the campaign slipped into a quasi-celebrity soap opera, as Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott noted at their launch? But they are also not addressing these issues. Instead we hear the word ‘sustainable’ dropped into paragraphs, as if according to a mathematical, poll-driven formula.

It is disappointing that the Labor Environment Activist Network, of which I am now a member, doesn’t have the funds or numbers to make a real voice for the ALP. I have no idea if there is even a quiet polite voice for environmental awareness and action within the Liberal party. You tell me.

 I recommend Bill McKibben’ latest cris de coeur:

Bill McKibben: A Wilted Senate on a Heating Planet
Bill McKibben: We’re going to have to raise our voices

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 10:23 pm | Comments (5) |
Filed under: Environment


  1. Ronda,

    No significant measures will be taken by Australians to reduce the effects of global warming,it’s all just too hard. No government anywhere will move quickly enough to make a significant difference as no country wants to lose an advantage by making virtuous,unilateral efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, until it suits them.
    Liberal party members are not ideologically equipped for broad national efforts,so don’t expect anything from them.
    So until a major First World nation suffers some catastrophe that can be atributed to global warming,it will be business as usual.If the political elite doesn’t have the will to reduce Australia’s high and damaging rate of population growth, with its obvious effects,how can we expect action on AGW?

    Comment by Russell W — August 12, 2010 @ 4:42 am

  2. RussellW,Tell me how a reduction in our pop rate will reduce CO2 levels.Most of our new pop comes in the form of immigration.The CO2 we emit does not just hang around Australia.

    The biggest form of pollution comes from shipping which uses bunker oil a very low grade fuel.The world’s 90,000 ships produce 260 times more sulphur dioxide and other poisons than do the world’s 760 million cars.To transport a kiwi fruit it used 4 times it’s weight in fuel.So why is free trade such a sacred cow?

    Don’t forget that the 1930’s were hotter than now and the Romans grew grapes at much higher latitudes than the present.The science is not settled.The Sun is has the greatest influence on climate and it has it’s own cycles.

    Comment by Arjay — August 14, 2010 @ 3:47 am

  3. sorry, Arjay, your views are at odds with the science. My next blog tells more…

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — August 14, 2010 @ 7:19 am

  4. Arjay,

    My point was that high population growth is a separate issue from climate change and can be easily reduced by government action,unlike global warming.You’re reading far too much into my comments.

    As to references to past warmer climates, there was a ‘Little Ice Age’ in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and the global climate has changed in the past without human intervention,so what? That is not a logical argument against anthropogenic climate change.

    ‘To each his/her own trade’,so I’ll respect the opinions of climatologists on the subjest of AGW,not economists,geologists,lawyers or capitalists with vested interests.So,if climate scientists say the science is settled,it’s settled.

    Comment by Russell W — August 15, 2010 @ 12:10 am

  5. Touche Russell W and 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree with you. Palaeontologists also estimate that four out of five mass extinctions were caused by carbon perturbations including volcanism.

    The major emissions from volcanoes are water and CO2, followed by SO2 etc etc.

    However, scientists estimate that humans now emit 130 times more CO2 than all the volcanoes on the planet.

    Strange how political parties that take donations from tobacco companies and launder big fossil fuel bucks through ‘reputable’ foundations, just don’t get it eh?

    And I’m confident that with all that dirt money, they’ll definitely be the best dressed guests at the Doomsday Ball.

    Comment by Dryblower — August 29, 2010 @ 2:57 am

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