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Climate change community grants

By johnboy 27 June 2011 24

Simon Corbell has announced the lucky winners of his ACT Climate Change Grants which he says “were introduced in response to the continued interest from the community in generating awareness and action on climate change.”

And if some in the community are interested in doing things Simon wants to be seen to be helping then they get the money!

The winners are:




The Living Green Festival (ACT) Inc

Living Green Festival (ACT)


SEE-Change Inc

A festival of young ideas – reducing Canberra‘s Carbon emissions by 40% by 2020


Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Carbon Advantage Landscapes


Canberra Electric Vehicle Festival Inc

2011 Canberra International Electric Vehicle Festival


ACT Sustainable Systems

Residential Greenhouse Gas Reduction Awards


Canberra Environment Centre

Step Outside the Greenhouse – Canberra’s Carbon Challenge


SEE-Change Inc

SEE-Change brokered solar community consortium – feasibility and preliminary implementation of Canberra’s first community solar farm


Canberra Loves 40%

Champions of the 40% target


What’s Your opinion?

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Climate change community grants
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fragge 12:32 pm 01 Jul 11

pajs said :

Fragge, my apologies for not taking your early post seriously and responding as I did. My impression of your post was that it was an example of concern-trolling, which is behaviour that really gets my goat.

That’s quite alright pajs, I’m also sorry for the snarky comments in my response, it was the end of the day and I was quite unimpressed with the reply, but that’s certainly no excuse and I apologise.

Whilst I don’t have time to respond to everything (and in most cases I don’t need to, the facts you state are for the most part accurate), I’ll respond to the only problems I see with a couple of your conclusions:

2. Climate is constantly changing. Climate science does not deny this. There have been warm and cool periods in the past, caused by a variety of factors, including solar activity and variations in the Earth’s orbit. These factors are known to climate science and taken seriously. The directly-observed (ie not model-dependent) warming of recent times cannot be explained by these alternative factors.

I agree that the current variations in temperature cannot be explained by “solar activity and variations in the Earth’s orbit”. But why can the directly-observed warming (0.7-0.8 deg C since 1900) not be explained by anything other than CO2 pollution? This is perhaps linked to the conclusions drawn by the IPCC when their (incomplete) models were unable to predict the kind of warming we are seeing this century – as I have already said, the models used neither fully understand or reliably replicate real-world climate conditions. Furthermore, the data used to generate the results of the models (that were unable to show a warming of this scale using the data available), as I have explained, was and IS incomplete. We have a much more accurate idea of global temperatures in 2011 than we did in 1998 (due to satellites, improved standards and coverage), however our historical records of temperature are very very very incomplete and are generalised from proxies once you get past 200-400 years. Using an incomplete picture of world temperatures to generate results in a model, and then proclaiming those results to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen when you’ve only observed and recorded 100 years of precise and global temperature readings, is extremely short-sighted and a clear example of “jumping the gun”. To say that the current warming cannot be explained by anything other than CO2 pollution is to say that we fully understand the climate (despite any climate scientist telling you otherwise), that we have an accurate, globally covered record of surface and sea temperatures past the 18th century (we don’t) and that the increase of 0.7 degrees is unheard of in recent times (it isn’t). In fact this ties in with another point of yours:

pajs said :

3. There is a long record of past temperature available to science from observations in the field, including the caapcity to use records of air trapped in glacial ice to understand temperatures and the composition of the atmosphere back 800,000 years (eg

I am very well aware of the ice-core temperature record and certainly don’t dispute the science behind proxy temperature readings – in fact, this is how I know that we have indeed had fluctuations of more than 0.7 degrees celcius on the time-scale of hundreds, not thousands of years. As part of their 1990 report, the IPCC included a graph ( – taken from “Climate Change; The IPCC Scientific Assessment”. 1990 . Cambridge University Press, p.202) that illustrates the temperature anomalies that occured between 900 AD and 1850 AD, showing first an excessive warming (Medieval Warm Period) followed by the Little Ice Age. We came out of the Little Ice Age at the end of the 18th century and have been normalising ever since. As you can see, we have had much larger fluctuations in our very recent history. As you can also see, we are about 150 years out of a little ice age – it makes perfect sense to me that the planet would have nowhere to go but up after an atmospheric event such as that. I could agree that this conclusion is conjecture and is probably not reliably testable (linking an observable effect with a probable cause) due to lack of other observable examples (due to our gaps in the temperature record. But for that argument to be true, I would then have to posit that the same is true of anthropogenic climate change – we do not have a clear enough picture of Earth’s long-term climate to claim a VERY short-term (less than 40 years) warming period is caused entirely by man-made pollution.

That’s a view supported by Dr. John R. Christy (a climate scientist of the Department of Atmospheric Science and Earth System Science Laboratory at the University of Alabama) in his 10 July 1997 written response to the Committee on Environmental and Public Works –

The observational evidence for enhanced greenhouse global warming is also less than clearly defined. While all surface-based global temperature data sets indicated warming of 0.3 to 0.6 degrees C since the last century, the complete source of this warming is still unknown. First, the Earth was evidently coming out of a relatively cold period in the 1800’s so that warming in the past century may be part of this natural recovery. Data sparseness and reliability are somewhat suspect in the early years of the thermometer climate record and remain a concern even today when the shrinking network of stations is attempting to capture relatively small variations. Local land use changes may also have added additional warming not connected with greenhouse gases.

With this background, scientists recognized that we did not have an observing system in place with adequate means to truly monitor the health of the planet or to provide the data needed to validate and improve the models of the Earth System. One obvious limitation of information about the atmosphere was the lack of true global coverage.

Your point about NASA saying that temperatures have not risen so rapidly since the Ice Ages is also seemingly contradicted by the IPCC’s own findings, though unlike NASA I will not hazard “guesses” as to short-term temperature variations in the long-term proxy temperature record. Sure they are able to see trends across thousands of years, but this whole climate change debate started over data from a mere HUNDRED years. I can’t say this enough times – global temperature records for a prolonged period of time are required to draw any kind of accurate conclusion about long term climate-variations on this planet. The fact that we have climatic cycles as long as 100,000 years (ice ages) and as short as 15-60 years (oscillation) should be enough to re-assure us that our laughable record of global temperatures is terribly inadequate to project future variation.

The only other point I’d like to address is your assertion that we are “on track to raise global temperatures by between 2 and 6 degrees” – that is complete nonsense. Rather than go through and explain the concept of positive versus negative feedbacks in climate science, as well as the flawed climate sensitivity publicised by the IPCC, I’ll allow Dr Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics at MIT, co-author/editor of Chapter 7 in the 2001 IPCC report) to do it for me – he’s clearly more knowledgable on the subject than I. One of his public presentation slide arrangements can be found here:

It outlines his methods for deriving actual climate sensitivity from real-world, recent satellite data – it is a very interesting read.

Chop71 8:41 am 30 Jun 11

I remember growing up my grandfather telling me how everyone bought gas masks in 1910 as Halleys Comet was passing close to earth. The scientists of the day were saying that the tail was passing through the earths atmosphere and everyone would die.

Don’t get me wrong I am not bashing scientists, but is it really in their interest to say nothing is wrong. Personally if I was after science funding, I would come up with the world is going to end…..give me money.

shadow boxer 8:35 am 30 Jun 11

@ fragge, yeh sorry I did read that wrong.

doesn’t really change my point about the impacts though, the survey quoted on the radio this morning showed 40% of people don’t want to pay anything to stop climate change.

In my opinion if the Carbon tax supporters are serious about bringing the community along with them on this they need to start focussing on

a.The effects of climate change (at the moment it all seems really trivial to me, it may not be but you need to produce real life scenarios on the impacts of global warming and what effect our minscule effort will have on the 1 degree of warming expected over the next 40 years. If it is a token effort then be honest); and the compensation for the tax will be fairly distributed and the measures in place to stop it just being raised and raised in the future. (something like the GST needing al states would work, you can’t just compensate some people, it just pisses peoiple off, that said if you compensate everyone you may as well not have bothered). Dont even get me started on linking it to Family tax benefit part a having sneakily capped that for 5 years in the last budget or the profiteering that will go on in industry or the exemptions to “favoured” industries..

Until the real life issues are adressed I think this tax will remain unpopular, no matter how well intentioned.

Diggety 12:31 am 30 Jun 11

Not even deposed Arab dictators were as blatant in public revenue siphoning as this. And they had the Arab Spring.

What an odd ‘democracy’ we live in.

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