Category Archives: Environment

JOHN MENADUE. The new squatters on public land.

The new squatters on public land are being given a leg-up as they were in the 19th Century to seize and occupy public land.  

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WALTER HAMILTON. Rex Tillerson and Australia’s national interest

President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks are being cross-examined in public for the first time. Here begins the real business of assessing how a Trump administration might behave––in more than 140 characters. The indications so far suggest the need for an … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. Agonies of an American scientist under Trump.

A truly great nation must be compassionate, loving, kind, rational and celebrate diversity. 

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IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 2 – The response of those left behind

It would be hasty to attribute the Brexit and Trump votes to a “swing to the right”, or to an ill-informed electorate. The most compelling explanations are in terms of protest votes. People’s anger of electorates has given an opening … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 3 – Globalization takes the rap, unfairly

Globalization has been only one of the developments that has led to widening inequality and social exclusion. Countries that have globalized have also introduced a raft of neoliberal domestic policies, against which people are reacting.

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JON STANFORD. Australia’s climate change policy mess: quo vadis?

Make no mistake: Malcolm Turnbull’s pusillanimous refusal even to consider the option of an emissions intensity scheme (EIS) for electricity generation represents a massive abdication of responsibility to the Australian community.

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull blaming everyone but himself.

The constant refrain of economists who get it wrong is that we should never rely on just one set of figures.

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FRANK JOTZO. Trump and Climate – but new opportunities for China.

The Trump Presidency is a fork in the road for climate action. While it may set back global climate efforts, an inward-looking US government that ignores climate change provides new opportunities for leadership elsewhere, Frank Jotzo writes.

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GILES PARKINSON. Turnbull leads attack on wind as Coalition readies carbon price backflip.

A rebadged carbon tax! In its review of its climate change policies, the government will try to dance its way through internal politics, the demands of the fossil fuel lobby and comparisons with Labor’s proposals. Turnbull and Frydenberg appear to … Continue reading

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VINCENT MAHON. China ready to step up and lead on climate change.

  Vincent Mahon contends that China is poised to promote global leadership on climate change should the US under Trump walk away from its Paris commitments.                  

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. Why China and Europe should form the world’s most powerful ‘climate bloc’.

  Filling the void created by Donald Trump! It seems almost certain that US President-elect Donald Trump will walk away from the Paris climate agreement next year. In the absence of US leadership, the question is: who will step up? … Continue reading

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SAM HURLEY, TRAVERS McLEOD, JOHN WISEMAN. Company directors can be held legally liable for ignoring the risks from climate change.

  Company directors who don’t properly consider climate related risks could be liable for breaching their duty of due care and diligence, a new legal opinion has found. Although the alarm for business leaders has been sounding for some time, … Continue reading

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ROSS GARNAUT. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Part 2.

The Challenge of Globalisation. This is the second of a two-part series of extracts from an address which Professor Ross Garnaut gave to the Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney, 7 September 2016.  The full text of his address can be … Continue reading

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PETER CHRISTOFF. The Paris climate deal has come into force – what next for Australia?

  The Paris climate agreement comes into legal force today, just 11 months after it was concluded and 30 days after it met its ratification threshold of 55 parties accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By … Continue reading

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ROSS GARNAUT. The economics of the future energy system.

  How can we provide a high degree of energy security in Australia at the lowest possible cost, while contributing our fair share to the global effort to contain the costs of climate change? I take as my starting point … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Coalition’s stunning hypocrisy – and ignorance – on renewable energy.

  The Coalition appears to have abandoned all pretence that it supports renewable energy, now contradicting assurances by the grid owner and market operator – and now the biggest generator in the country – that the source of energy was not at … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Dumb politics means we may be stuck with an even dumber grid

  It was just six years ago when Malcolm Turnbull, then deposed Liberal Party leader, attended the launch of the Beyond Zero Emissions Zero Carbon plan for 2020, which suggested Australia should and could attain 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020. … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Uhlmann’s bizarre prediction of “national blackout” if we pursue wind and solar

  The ABC is supposed to have a ban on advertising. But even if it was allowed, money couldn’t buy the sort of advocacy the fossil fuel industry and incumbent energy interests are receiving this week from the network’s chief … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Malcolm Turnbull – the last straw on climate change and renewables.

  Let’s be clear. All the experts tell us that the power blackout in SA had nothing to do with the energy mix – coal, gas, solar or wind. They all tell us that the blackout was due to the … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Coalition launches fierce attack against wind and solar after blackout.

  The Coalition government launched a ferocious attack against wind and solar energy after the major South Australian blackout, even though energy minister Josh Frydenberg and the grid operators admit that the source of energy had nothing to do with catastrophic … Continue reading

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DYLAN McCONNELL. Was the SA blackout caused by wind or wind turbines?

  It has everything to do with wind – because that’s what blew over the transmission lines. But it has nothing to do with South Australia’s wind turbines. Transmission lines are large power lines that take electricity from generators to … Continue reading

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Anti-global backlash is realigning politics across the West.

In the WorldPost, Nouriel Roubini writes “Across the West establishment parties of the Right and the Left are being disrupted – if not destroyed from the inside.  Within such parties, the losers from globalisation are finding champions of anti-globalisation that … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. Olympics and oil – a tale of two South American countries.

  Back in 2009, the International Olympic Committee made a bold decision. It decided the 2016 Games would be held for the first time in South America, a continent not noted for its political, economic or social stability. Rio de … Continue reading

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JACQUELINE PEEL. Are the Coalition and Labor on the same page for emissions trading?

Climate change policy has been a noticeable absentee from political debate in the current Australian federal election campaign. Recent news reports, however, suggest this silence masks secret bipartisanship on the need for an emissions trading scheme – or ETS – … Continue reading

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE, HOWARD BAMSEY. Election 2016: do we need to re-establish a department of climate change?

With a federal election looming, Australia’s top mandarins will once again be turning their minds to the incoming government briefs, the so-called blue book if the Coalition is returned and the red book if Labor is elected. High on the … Continue reading

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JOHN KEANE. Money, Capitalism and the Slow Death of Social Democracy.

In this article, John Keane speaks of the slow death of social democracy but suggests that there may be possibilities that social democracy could embrace Green movements, intellectuals and parties that have common interests. See extracts from article below and … Continue reading

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Warwick Elsche. If words were deeds.

If words were deeds – or even credible policies – Malcolm Turnbull might already have joined the company of Australia’s pre-eminent Prime Ministers. All three of Malcolm’s pre-politics callings, journalism, law and banking, have involved the extensive used of the … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Are conservatives better economic managers?

Are conservatives better economic managers? Part 1 In my blog of 3 May 2016, I queried the claim by Malcolm Turnbull and apparently supported by many media commentators and also by the public, that conservatives are better economic managers. The … Continue reading

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John Austen and Luke Fraser. Urbane transport policy. Part 1 of 3.

Prime Minister Turnbull made a splash on urban transport recently. He sketched a vision of ‘30 minute cities’ where residents spend on average just one hour a day travelling to regular activities like work and shopping. He also considered mass … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Budget ignores growing inequality

Scott Morrison’s Commonwealth budget aims to be politically balanced but, like the Hockey budgets, neglects struggle street. The budget still labours under the neoliberal belief in minimal taxes, small government and maximum freedom for private enterprise. Morrison’s mantra is that … Continue reading

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