Inspiring stuff: Melbourne a global leader in sustainabilty, creates jobs and a livable city


Permit me to exhibit a bit of home town pride, but the city of Melbourne has recetnly been recognised as a leader in sustainability:

The City of Melbourne has been recognised as a global leader in cultivating green buildings, receiving a prestigious international award.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle was presented with the C40 and Siemens Climate Leadership Award in the category of Energy Efficient Built Environment at a ceremony in London overnight. Berlin and New York were also shortlisted for the award.

“Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world, has now been recognised as having some of the smartest buildings in the world,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We know that sustainability and liveability are inexorably linked. For us to maintain a high standard of living we need to set the highest standards in sustainability.

“Every piece of research tells me that a sustainable city with high quality of life will attract the best and brightest and that’s what drives innovation and economic growth.

“We know that our retrofitting program 1200 Buildings is expected to generate economic uplift of $2 billion and create 8000 jobs. Research  suggests that the Gross Local Product of the City of Melbourne increased from $58 billion in 2008 to $68 billion in 2012. Employment has received a major boost with 50,000 additional jobs created over the same period. The construction and building industries, professional services and downstream real estate services have experienced the largest jobs growth,” he said.

Melbourne’s pioneering efforts to create an energy efficient landscape for retrofitting existing buildings and setting minimum standards for new buildings have led to the highest density of new green buildings in Australia.

“We are providing building owners with the tools and the know-how to reduce energy use, save water and lower carbon emissions. If you need finance to enable a retrofit, we can facilitate it through the Sustainable Melbourne Fund.

“Our unique Environmental Upgrade Finance mechanism, using council rates to provide the security for the loan, has now been replicated in other municipalities in Australia,” the Lord Mayor said.

Environment Portfolio Chair Councillor Arron Wood said the award reflected the commitment Melbourne’s building owners, businesses and residents were making to a sustainable future.

“We couldn’t have received this award without their dedication. Melbourne’s bold and inspirational vision has been recognised internationally and this will spur our innovative businesses to ramp up action for a more sustainable built environment,” Cr Wood said.

“Our work doesn’t stop here. We will continue to work with these key groups to reach new targets and standards to create a truly sustainable Melbourne.”

Other sustainable building initiatives supported by the City of Melbourne include CitySwitch for tenants of office buildings and Smart Blocks for apartment owners.

Who are those people who think the “Green Agenda” is there to destroy the economy and reduce us to living in caves?

Ohhhhh that’s right… the nutters [/wink].

I <heart> Melbounre.

76 thoughts on “Inspiring stuff: Melbourne a global leader in sustainabilty, creates jobs and a livable city

  1. john byatt says:

    Queensland goes in the opposite direction

  2. Bill Jamison says:

    Sounds like Melbourne has some really good green initiatives. Sustainability is definitely a good thing – reducing waste, reducing energy use, recycling, etc.

    • zoot says:

      Sustainability is definitely a good thing …

      Care to tell us why?

      • Bill Jamison says:

        Finite resources.

        • zoot says:

          But Melbourne has only 4.25 million or so people. Anything they do will have no effect compared to the 7 billion or so other people on the planet. Why should they bother?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Because sustainability isn’t about the entire planet. Australia is extremely limited on some resources. But you already knew that.

          But you are right in one respect: nothing Melbourne does will have an impact globally.

        • zoot says:

          Because sustainability isn’t about the entire planet.

          Of course not. It’s never applied to the US – with 5% of the world’s population consuming 80% of the world’s resources who gives a shit about sustainability.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Can you name a single country that was concerned primarily about global issues instead of their own issues?

          Even if the US reduces GHG emissions substantially it will have little impact on global temperature. There are much bigger players today and they are increasing GHG at a much faster pace that other countries are reducing them. No treaty is going to change that assuming one is every agreed upon.

        • zoot says:

          Can you name a single country that was concerned primarily about global issues instead of their own issues?

          Great riposte Bill, truly surrealistic. But I’m sure you thought you were staying on topic didn’t you?
          I’m afraid the only response I have is because its a fish.

          Oh, and who dresses you in the morning?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          That’s all you got zoot? Can’t even attempt to discuss the topic at hand?

  3. lensville says:

    Reblogged this on Welcome to Lensville and commented:
    A guest post care of my good friend Mike, taken from his blog “Watching the Deniers”, which is about combatting the climate change deniers and sceptics, and addressing the misinformation out there.

    The City of Melbourne has been awarded as a leader in sustainability in an awards ceremony in London for its green buildings program.

    This really is great, inspirational stuff. I heart Melbourne too!

  4. john byatt says:

    Australian budget to be $6 billion better off under coalition with $4.5 billion coming out of overseas aid .


    • john byatt says:

      In effect transferring cash from the world’s poor to the Australian polluters and mining industry.

      this is deserving of the international condemnation which it will receive.
      ashamed to be Australian at the moment

      • uknowispeaksense says:

        Click to access 2013%2009%2005%20TABLE.pdf

        Have a look at what’s missing, John. No costings for NBN, refugees, or direct action. They have breached the charter of budget honesty because of this yet they have gone on to mention 2nd round effects with no PBO supporting docs.

        • john byatt says:

          Yes Milne ripped it apart on ABC 24

          and UNICEF

          “And so we are reducing the growth in foreign aid by $4.5 billion over the forward estimates to fund essential infrastructure here in Australia.”

          UNICEF Australia has reacted angrily to the announcement.

          “Mr Hockey may well wish to argue the economy will grow faster under a Coalition but his costings are at the expense of children’s lives,” UNICEF Australia CEO Norman Gillespie said in a media statement.

          Greens leader Christine Milne has also lashed out at the decision, saying supporting infrastructure “at the expense of the world’s poorest people is shocking to behold”.

        • john byatt says:


          @brad_mc_coy : New highway in Sydney to be a toll road. Each trip costs a starving black child. #ausvotes 7

        • Gregory T says:

          Interesting plans for Melbourne’s proposed East/West link. Abbott the great visionary.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          I tweeted at Hockey last night asking if he had an answer for this kid.

  5. Sou says:

    As an ex-Melburnian, congrats to my old stomping ground.

  6. john byatt says:

    Sep. 5, 2013 — Researchers calculate that intense heat like that in the summer of 2012 is up to four times more likely to occur now than in pre-industrial America, when there was much less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    • Bill Jamison says:

      And yet only one state has set a record for the hottest temperature recorded since 2000 – South Dakota – and 33 states set their record before 1950.

      So two-thirds of US states recorded their highest temperature more than 63 years ago. 41 states set it before 1980.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          A link from 2009? Really?

          This year to date the numbers for the US are:
          High Max: 7,663 High Min: 12,366
          Low Max: 12,472 Low Min: 8,720

          Totals: new high temp records: 19,732 low temp records: 21,192


          So how could it possible that this year the record lows outpace the record highs?

          Either way it doesn’t change the fact that the warmest years for most states were a long time ago mostly in the 1930’s and 1940’s. You know the The Grapes of Wrath years when it was hot and dry and dusty. If that same event happened today people like you would be holding it up as unequivocal PROOF of climate change. Turns out even that drought wasn’t that bad historical when looking at paleo evidence for the last 500 years.

        • john byatt says:

          JHS gives a decade long link
          bill replies with a nine month link

          great understanding bill Not ;

        • Bill Jamison says:

          JHS gave a link to 4 year old data and I gave a link to current data. After all shouldn’t we see MORE records broken each year?

          Included in JHS’ link is this statement:

          “The study also found that the two-to-one ratio across the country as a whole could be attributed more to a comparatively small number of record lows than to a large number of record highs. This indicates that much of the nation’s warming is occurring at night, when temperatures are dipping less often to record lows.”

          So it wasn’t that there were an extraordinary number of record highs that caused the imbalance but rather it was the lack of record lows. That has changed recently. Is it ENSO? PDO? Something else?

        • john byatt says:

          “After all shouldn’t we see MORE records broken each year?”

          do you have a link that claims a nine month period is sufficieint

          put it up

          trends as put up by JHS are more important than single nine months periods
          is there any of this you actually understand

          and give us a link to how seawalls mitigate against ocean acidification or do you have another strategy for that billy ?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Do you have a link that says 4 year old data is better than current data?

          Have you looked at the Scripps research into natural oceanic pH variation? It’s amazing how much it changes even day by day and week by week.

          If it’s a serious issue then we have to either deal with it or find a way to mitigate it because we certainly aren’t going to reduce emissions any time soon. Even most dullards could figure that out by now.

  7. john byatt says:

    When it comes to maintaining sea ice in the Arctic, it seems, there are good cyclones and there are bad ones.

    Last year brought the bad kind. In early August 2012, an unusually large and intense storm barrelled into the Arctic from Siberia. The cyclone churned for nearly two weeks at the height of the summer melt season, contributing to the break-up of the ice, which was already thin and weak, owing to a warm, early start to the season. By September, Arctic sea ice had shrunk to a record low of just 3.4 million square kilometres.

  8. john byatt says:

    Some argue that recent temperature trends show that the climate problem is less urgent. One can only hope that this is so, and scientists will continue to probe the matter. But policy-makers would be foolhardy to think that the danger has receded. Although scientists understand the basic physics, nobody can know how the numbers will turn out, as shown by the various temperature projections. Plenty of other lines of evidence, including palaeoclimate data and modern modelling experiments, support the higher end of these.

    Ultimately, the decision over how to characterize climate sensitivity will fall to government officials who will approve — under the watchful eye of scientists — the latest IPCC documents in Stockholm next month. Whatever their decision, the underlying science has not changed.

  9. Dr No says:

    Melbourne is on track to record its warmest ever year. If that continues it will make our winters more comfortable but not our summers. That will be the time for us all to take refuge in Tasmania.

    Ahh – Tasmania – a big retirement village set inside a national park.

    By the way, will Tasmania suffer from the proposed cut to our foreign aid budget? We mainlanders obviously spend squillions subsidising it.


  10. Bill Jamison says:

    Interesting new paper in Nature Climate Change on uncertainty in climate assessment such as the IPCC report:

  11. Agreed. It is interesting.

    Which policy do you recommend for managing uncertainty? Continue as is? Or take steps to mitigate?

    • Bill Jamison says:

      Depends on your definition of “mitigate”. When I say mitigate I’m referring to doing things that will reduce impacts from warming such as building sea walls. I’m guessing you would spend money elsewhere.

      • john byatt says:

        seawalls around docks around bangladesh,? you cannot be serious

      • We’ll have to build, and rebuild, defences. That’s been clear for some time.

        But I fail to understand why we’d not attempt to also reduce the root cause.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          If you only have so much money then you have to choose where you spend that money. We could spend tens of billions of dollars trying to reduce emissions and possibly not have any impact or we can spend some of that money on mitigation. It’s not an either or game. We can reduce emissions and still spend money on mitigation. The key is not wrecking our economy trying to reduce emissions by an amount that will have little to no impact on future climate.

        • No economy would be wrecked. That’s alarmist talk.

        • Gregory T says:

          Jeez Bill, just because it says “In God We Trust” on your currency, doesn’t make it the body of Christ. It only makes it a false idol, which you and your lot kneel down to, with great religious fervour. In fact, according to your bible, Jesus, had quite a bit to say regarding mammon. But, your solution, is to mitigate the affect and not the cause. Perhaps you’ve been promised the sea wall franchise, for the rising ocean levels, or maybe a west coast sunscreen concession. Oh!, I know, you’ve been offered the weatherman, or is it climateman ? slot, for faux news, your god only knows. Any way, as you seem to base your economic model (there’s the dreaded word), on the earth maintaining the Status quo, your in for a disappointing future and even the Donors Trust won’t be able to help.
          I await, your sage reply. Don’t worry, I’ve recovered from your last retort.

  12. john byatt says:

    Web of life unravelling

    It looks green and serene but to Dawe, “It’s a veritable desert here.”

    The loss to the food web is a loss to the web of life, he says, and people are a huge part of that web.

    Indeed, it’s an overabundance of people, perhaps by five-fold, which is driving resource extraction and consumption beyond a sustainable planet, he says.

    “Economic growth is the biggest destroyer of the ecology,” he says. “Those people who think you can have a growing economy and a healthy environment are wrong. “If we don’t reduce our numbers, nature will do it for us.”

    He isn’t hopeful humans will rise to the challenge and save themselves.

    “Everything is worse and we’re still doing the same things,” he says. “Because ecosystems are so resilient, they don’t exact immediate punishment on the stupid.”

    – See more at:

  13. john byatt says:

    more recoveries than expected

    • J Giddeon says:

      Meanwhile, after being told 5 yrs ago that the arctic would by ice-free by now, 2013 turns out to be close to average, the Antarctic continues to set new sea-ice extent records and the planet’s 16 yr temperature pause continues to mock the models.

      • uknowispeaksense says:

        “2013 turns out to be close to average”

        Yes, the average for 2007-2012. The average for 1979-2012? Not even close. Do you even know the significance of 2 standard deviations from the mean?

        “the Antarctic continues to set new sea-ice extent records”

        You are comparing arctic summer to Antarctic winter which is beyond moronic but I’ll play along. Tell me something genius, is the antarctic winter ice extent record caused by colder temperatures? If yes, please provide a reference. If not, what is the cause?

        “planet’s 16 yr temperature pause”

        Is that a global remperaturepause or is it just the land surface temperature? After answering that, how about you enlighten us all with your fantasticmathematicsskill and tellus what percentage of the Earth’s surface that is, what percentage of the volume of the atmosphere it is measuring and then wecan discuss ocean heat content and the SOI.

        This will be fun. Everything I can provide is backed up by peer reviewed science. Your failure to do the same will have you relying on non experts, really old papers or blogs. Of course you could claim its a scam and peer review is corrupt and all that and I’ll happily sell you a tinfoil hat.

        • J Giddeon says:

          Gee, you’re really quite angry about this, aren’t you? I’ve seen this a bit over the last year or two among alarmists. I put it down to a slow realisation that they were wrong followed by an irrational lashing out at anyone who points it out to them.

          “Yes, the average for 2007-2012. The average for 1979-2012? Not even close. Do you even know the significance of 2 standard deviations from the mean?”

          Yes, close to the average for the satellite era.Well within two stdev.

          “You are comparing arctic summer to Antarctic winter which is beyond moronic but I’ll play along. ”

          I wasn’t comparing anything with anything else. Just pointing out that as the arctic sea ice declines, the antarctic increases and (possibly) visa versa. So you’ll have to play with yourself.

          “Is that a global remperaturepause or is it just the land surface temperature?”
          Global – GISS, Hadcrut4, RSS, UAH. I think these data are quite reputable but I can see why you’d want to repudiate them since they don’t provide the answers you want.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          I didn’t think you could back up any of your assertions…sorry, I mean the assertions you read on some non-science blog, with any evidence. For the last part of your reply, thank you for confirming that you don’t understand why those datasets cannot be extrapolated. It’s been fun but I really must go and do something more mentally stimulating than reading your inane comments, like picking the lint out of my navel.

        • J Giddeon says:

          Mr uknowispeaksense,

          I know you THINK yo speak sense but the evidence from your few comments here strong suggest otherwise.
          First you assert that I’m comparing arctic summers to antarctic winters when I’d done no such thing. After I point this out you just move on to the next idiotic assertion without the slightest hint that your original claim was bogus.

          And what was that next assertion? That I somehow thought that the main temperature datasets can be extrapolated. Say what? Nothing in anything I said would give anyone pause to think I thought such a thing. I’d like you to explain how you arrived at such a dunderheaded conclusion but I suspect I’d be waiting a while.

        • john byatt says:

          J Giddeon where are the models being mocked except in your own head?

        • J Giddeon says:

          The models are being mocked by the real world.

          According to the Max Planck institute only 2% of all model runs predict any 15 year period with no temperature increase. Given that we’ve now had more than a 15 yr pause, the models are being mocked by reality.

          Do the computer models with which physicists simulate the future climate ever show the sort of long standstill in temperature change that we’re observing right now?

          Storch: Yes, but only extremely rarely. At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations. The answer was: in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.

          SPIEGEL: How long will it still be possible to reconcile such a pause in global warming with established climate forecasts?

          Storch: If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.

          SPIEGEL: What could be wrong with the models?

          Storch: There are two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us. The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This wouldn’t mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed. The other possibility is that, in our simulations, we have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes

        • john byatt says:

          cannot read a graph i take it?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          “neither is very pleasant for us”

          That statement is telling. It wouldn’t be pleasant for scientists because it means they were wrong. Of course it would also mean that it would be better for mankind since there will be less warming than predicted. But some people – including some scientists – would rather be right than worry about the impact of future warming.

          I don’t remember who it was that said basically that exact thing in one of the climategate emails: they’d rather be right even though the consequences would be devastating.

          What a narcissistic way of thinking!

        • J Giddeon says:

          Yeah Bill, I agree its a pretty strange way of looking at things. But I’ll give Storch a pass on this because I think he’s one of the good guys in the alarmist community, prepared to honestly look at the data and, it’d seem, prepared to admit where they’ve got it wrong. If you look at those in the Hockey team or RC or SkS, you won’t find many who you imagine admitting error if the pause continues for another 5 or 10 years.

          There’s not many like Storch. Too many, I’d agree, are barracking for a hotter world not just because they have reputations and careers at stake but also because they truly believe the de-carbonised world they dream of will be a better world.

      • john byatt says:

        You cannot be this stupid
        The IPCC does not project an ice free Arctic for at least three decades.

        Both Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass

        So you do not believe that the Arctic will be ice free this century?

        it has been the lowest end August ice thickness since records began.

        August 31st ice thickness

        2005: 2.33 (-0.05)
        2006: 2.19 (-0.22)
        2007: 2.11 (-0.04)
        2008: 2.43 (+0.00)
        2009: 2.04 (-0.02)
        2010: 1.43 (-0.14)
        2011: 1.40 (-0.16)
        2012: 1.39 (-0.13)
        2013: 1.34 (-0.14)

        • J Giddeon says:

          “The IPCC does not project an ice free Arctic for at least three decades.”

          Good-oh! Who said they did?

          “So you do not believe that the Arctic will be ice free this century?”

          Don’t I? How did you reach that conclusion?

  14. john byatt says:;jsessionid=7D3C247F53287CDE0C7939F987EAFEF3.d02t03

    Balmaseda et al. (2013) which provides a more in-depth insight. Balmaseda et al suggest that the recent years may not have much effect on the climate sensitivity after all, and according to their analysis, it is the winds blowing over the oceans that may be responsible for the ‘slow-down’

    see RC the answer is blowing in the winds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: