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Category Archives: Environment and climate
DAVID SHEARMAN. After Covid-19 the ‘New Normal’ must have ‘Real Universities’ acting on the Climate Crisis
The Market Forces UniSuper divest campaign details continuing UniSuper investments in fossil fuels despite many concerns expressed by academics and despite the progressive climate change crisis. Do the Universities have responsibilities?
In recent domestic policy and international engagement Australia is demonstrating two contrasting personalities. One is demonstrated through our response to COVID 19 and the other through our troubled inability to form responsible climate and energy policy. Why do we have … Continue reading
It is five years this week since Pope Francis published perhaps the most radical and important papal encyclical ever issued, Laudato si’, mi’ Signore (‘Praise be to you, my Lord’) on ‘care for our common home.’
In 2008 David Michaels’ published a book – Doubt is their Product. How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens your Health – which was instrumental in the subsequent exposure of the systematic efforts of various industries to raise doubt about the … Continue reading
Reflecting on when the Prime Minister rang to ask him head the Government’s COVID-19 Task Force Nev Power said he couldn’t refuse the PM – reacting as any responsible citizen would.
A guide to the Australian government’s plans for the post-COVID recovery and bureaucrats and scientists talk with feeling about Australia’s Climate Wars. Cyclone Amphan hits India and Bangladesh, providing a current example of the increasing frequency of strong tropical storms. … Continue reading
The economics of our energy supply are being turned upside-down but, as the Federal Government’s acceptance of the recent King Review shows, our decision-makers seem unable to comprehend.
Can we deal with a pandemic and global warming at once – both urgent, one an immediate hit, the other a decade-long burn? Well, yes, because – even with front pages dominated by COVID-19 – last month saw an astonishing … Continue reading
Good climate reporting informs us about the complex consequences of a heating planet. In order to also act as a catalyst for change, climate campaigners need to acknowledge the complex emotional responses their stories stir while highlighting avenues for personal … Continue reading
In the absence of urgent climate action, rising temperatures over the next 50 years will render much of the globe uninhabitable for humans and trees. But global fossil fuel consumption is still rising and a NSW coal company has repeatedly … Continue reading
While net-zero carbon needs our nation-wide commitment, an older national ambition competes for primacy – Big Australia. CSIRO reports have plans for our future, but can’t please everyone.
Australians think they have it tough with bushfires, coronavirus and bleaching of the Reef but the people of Pacific and African nations have a multitude of other problems to cope with as well – few of which they caused. Are … Continue reading
A key lesson from Covid-19 is that markets cannot manage major risks and that strategic planning is necessary.
Major cities and their birds are breathing easier. Across China, smog has given way to the colour blue. Even the snow-capped Himalayas are visible from parts of Northern India for the first time in local’s memories.
DAVID SHEARMAN and MELISSA HASWELL; The EPBC Act Review is a once in a decade chance to prioritise our Environment, our Health and our Future
After COVID 19, many of us have a flicker of hope that our government will apply some of its demonstrated sense of responsibility on medical advice to the larger health emergency on our doorstep.
Two stories from India: creating environmentally sustainable, healthy cities for the post-COVID world and the installation of cheap solar energy signals the end of coal. Plus, Joseph Stiglitz summarises some principles the Australian government should adopt post-COVID, a literary interlude … Continue reading
Australia handled the COVID-19 pandemic exceptionally well. Our success gives us confidence that our political leaders and institutions are capable of addressing other serious issues, such as climate change, the refugee crisis, redefining work, and setting a high international standard.
Ecosystems are likely to collapse sooner and more abruptly than previously thought, which is not surprising considering Trump continues to destroy the environmental in the USA. We can do better: the post-COVID recovery can be used to promote environmental sustainability … Continue reading
As the novel coronavirus engulfs the world’s attention, the Great Barrier Reef is still suffering from coral bleaching and the government is pursuing a novel approach to its protection, without confronting the main threat.
IAN DUNLOP. Fatal Calculations: How Economics has Underestimated Climate Damage and Encouraged Inaction
A rational response from Australia’s leaders to the unprecedented and disastrous 2019-20 megafires would have recognised, first, that they are another warning— and the strongest yet — that the catastrophic impacts of human-induced climate change are here now as lives … Continue reading
In Part 1 I explored seven myths about coronavirus that are being used to obscure the truth, shift responsibility and perpetuate existing power and privilege. In Part 2 I examine the failure over the last twenty years of governments and … Continue reading
The pandemic has shown that the world is quickly able to organise against crisis. Can this new-found ability be carried through into responses to climate change? Pandemic action and climate action have much in common.
Biodiversity features heavily this week: a distressing update on bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef but good news that the right action now could restore the Earth’s oceans to good health by 2050; the Tasmanian government hellbent on logging native … Continue reading
The COVID-19 crisis tells us some important things. The flaws in the neo-liberal model have been exposed. Democratic politics have been stressed to breaking point. The shocks to the economic, social and fiscal systems required to stop global warming are … Continue reading
As nearly everybody now understands, the changes that have occurred in public policy in the last few weeks are without precedent, at least since the Second World War. They tell us in the most straightforward possible way that only government … Continue reading
The Covid-19 pandemic is a window into the future and our response is a template for future action. The Coronavirus can provide us with many lessons for climate policy.
Coronavirus is yet another serious disruption to daily life in Africa, while the Brazilian President prefers clearing the Amazon to managing the epidemic. Two reports from WWF highlight the contributions that nature-based solutions can make to solving global problems but … Continue reading
While the Covid-19 crisis threatens our lives today, the climate crisis threatens our lives today and for hundreds of years to come. As we mitigate the Covid-19 crisis, can we mitigate the climate crisis as well?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. How will a coronavirus-led recession affect CO2 emissions? Will health improve from cleaner air with fewer vehicles on the road? How can governments use stimulus packages to protect the vulnerable and hasten the … Continue reading
Marine and coastal environments are the focus this week: how ‘The Blue Acceleration’ poses threats to natural environments, economies, lives and homes through ocean warming, melting ice caps, changes in ocean currents, sea level rise and even bushfires. And some … Continue reading