Category Archives: Environment and climate

MARYANNE SLATTERY.  The only thing as certain as drought in Australia is the stupid call to build new dams (The Guardian, 15 October 2019)

In Australia, the only thing as certain as drought is the subsequent calls by politicians to build new dams. Right on cue, the prime minister announced a $1bn commitment for new dams on Sunday.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 13 October 2019

This week’s articles all have visual cues. Climate change is already affecting people’s lives and it’s not always the environment itself that causes the harm. In various ways though people are resisting, as demonstrated in three short videos from around … Continue reading

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DAVID ROWE. It’s a miracle! (AFR 7.10.2019)

David Rowe

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LUIZA CH. SAVAGE. How Russia and China are preparing to exploit a warming planet

Hurricanes, floods, and wildfires aside, climate change is delivering another threat: a remaking of geopolitics that stands to empower some of America’s adversaries and rivals.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 6 October 2019

Synopses of two books: why climate change is happening quicker than expected and why civilisation will look very different soon. Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing problem, not helped by spraying antibiotics on citrus trees in the USA. Microplastics … Continue reading

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TED TRAINER. Greta, climate, affluence and growth …when will they join the dots?

Global concern about climate change has now reached a remarkable level, thanks in large part to Greta Thunberg and her team. There is however, in my view, little understanding of what the underlying problem is or how to solve it. … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALUM. Morrison shock troops chase Greta

Not only Donald Trump in the USA and Boris Johnson in the UK struggling to bluff and bluster their way out of their self-inflicted problems, but even the previously untouchable Canadian Justin Trudeau was embroiled in decades old controversies over … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 29 September 2019

Six deep transformations in the structure of society will be required to meet the SDGs and the Paris goals – but are the proposals deep enough? Net zero emissions is ‘Mission Possible’ though for the hard-to-reduce industrial and transport sectors … Continue reading

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KEVIN RUDD. Australia destroys its own reputation in the Pacific (East Asia Forum 9-9-19)

The dust-up at the Pacific Islands Forum was not simply a zero-sum game between the Pacific and Australia over coal. While this may have been the tip of the spear, it went to a far deeper divide over climate and … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. Climate change diplomacy, one big step for humanity

As fire, flood and drought ravage swathes of the Earth, communities around the world are realising that climate change is accelerating and climate emergencies are declared. Many governments fail to act and quibble about fulfilling the meagre responsibilities of the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 22 September 2019

The world’s rich countries continue to pump US$64 billion per year into coal companies, with Japan leading the charge internationally and domestically. Unhealthy environments are responsible for almost a quarter of deaths globally, but maybe if your community is in … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The ALP and the great moral challenge of our generation

There was a time when leaders fell on their sword if they were defeated in battle or lost their core beliefs. Nowadays they would not resign their privileged positions to take a stand against even the existential danger posed to … Continue reading

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Chris Mills: When the Wind Blows, Water Flows

This is the paradox: as towns run out of potable water, our livestock and crops die, and water to fight infernos dries up, how can a Nation ‘girt by sea’ use unlimited volumes of sea water to slake a parched … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 15 September 2019

A focus on the economic aspects of climate change this week: business-as-usual will reduce global GDP but climate action is blocked by potential financial losers; the Adani mine is viable only because of massive government subsidies, while in India investment … Continue reading

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TROY BAISDEN. New Zealand launches plan to revive the health of lakes and rivers (The Conversation 6 Sep)

New Zealand’s government released a plan to reverse the decline of iconic lakes and rivers this week. It proposes higher standards for water quality, interim controls on land intensification and a higher bar on ecosystem health.

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ANDREW GLIKSON. From climate denial to planetary arson. The planetary consequences of injecting >910 billion tons CO2 into the atmosphere

Last night (6 September) as fires were raging through the desiccated granite belt of southern Queensland, not a single reporter, politician or anyone else had the “temerity” of pointing out the inevitable relation between coal mining, carbon emissions, global and … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 8 September 2019

An update on the Adani mine to start and on Sydney’s Sea-eagle chicks to close. In the middle of the sandwich is evidence demonstrating the lethal effects of air pollution and the health benefits of reducing even apparently low levels … Continue reading

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HÉCTOR ABAD FACIOLINCE. Gifts of Quebradona

The Colombian wilderness has been protected from mining by the 50 years civil war with the FARC guerrillas. No investor was prepared to take the risk of its infostructure being blown up and its personnel assassinated. Now that the civil … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The global significance of the Amazon and Siberian fires

As fires rage across tens of thousands of square kilometers of the Amazon forest, dubbed the Planet’s lungs as it produces some 20 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere, some 72,843 fires are burning in Brazil this year. Fires … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 1 September 2019

Ship owners start to clean up their highly polluting fuel; forests are being felled and burned around the world but ordinary Brazilians want more done to prevent the loss of their iconic rainforest; and the fashion industry starts walking the … Continue reading

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TED TRAINER. “Green Growth” and “De-Coupling” Resource Use From GDP Growth … Can’t Be Done.

Another heavy report confirms that efforts to achieve GDP growth while reducing resource and ecological impacts have failed and will continue to do so. The implications for sustainability are profound … but will be ignored. The finding means that unless … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 25 August 2019

Ocean scientists express the need for urgent action in eight policy areas to restore the health of the world’s oceans, while an article in the BMJ highlights the links between ocean health and human health. Australia’s current review of air … Continue reading

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RALPH REGENVANU. Vanuatu will host the next Pacific Islands Forum. We want to know if Australia really wants a seat at the table (The Guardian, 20 August 2019)   

Last week at the close of the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu I described the leaders’ discussions as frank and fierce. It is now well-known that the leaders debated the text of the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change … Continue reading

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BRUCE ROBERTSON. Federal government needs to stop the magical gas merry go round (Renew Economy 19-8-19)

Hearing the New South Wales government rush through two import gas terminals approvals is like revisiting the fantasy world of Mary Poppins.

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MUNGO MACCALUM. Scott Morrison voted off the Pacific islands

The Great White Father has arrived the far flung atolls of the Pacific. And, like the missionaries before him Scott Morrison is delivering the bringing of the light — a gospel of hope and salvation. Well, up to a point. … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 18 August 2019

A new report from the IPCC focusing on land and climate change draws together many threads from the environmental and social crises facing the world. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are of course the major cause of global warming but … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP.  Time for the Coal Industry to Face Reality

The first priority of any government is the security of its people. The greatest threat to that security today is human-induced climate change. Because of the refusal of political and corporate leaders over the last two decades to take climate … Continue reading

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SOPHIE VORRATH. Clean Energy Regulator slams Murdoch solar scare campaign (Renew Economy 12-8-19)

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has called out the Murdoch media for “inaccurate” reporting on the standard and safety of rooftop solar installations, following the release of its latest national data on solar panel inspections in 2018.

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BRUCE DUNCAN. No issue matters as much as climate change

What will it take before the Morrison government recognises the great peril from climate change? Is the overwhelming consensus of scientists not enough, as they track the record-breaking heat waves globally? And why are religious leaders not echoing Pope Francis … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The changing face of planet Earth

With atmospheric CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas concentrations now above 500 ppm and average global warming approaching 1.5oC, there is a clear shift in the world’s climate zones, displayed for example on maps of the expanding wet tropical zones, drying sub-tropical latitudes and polar-ward … Continue reading

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