Category Archives: Environment and climate

BOB DOUGLAS. How will we change the human story?

What do we need to do to make it likely that our children and theirs will inherit a flourishing, rather than a collapsing human world? Our politicians must surely be starting to realise that large numbers of Australians are thoroughly … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The need for national water reform

According to the Productivity Commission’s draft report on National Water Reform, Australia is now viewed internationally as a world leader in water management. Nevertheless, these reforms continue to be challenged by special interests. In particular, the history of poor investment … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

IAN DUNLOP. The Coal and CSG Delusion

Energy policy is the issue to trump them all.  We have already lost several Prime Ministers in its cause, and more will likely walk the plank before commonsense prevails.  But the last few weeks have set new standards for national … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

OISÍN SWEENEY: Will the Coalition degazette the Murray Valley National Park and cement its anti- environment reputation?

Up to now, Australian Governments of both sides have largely honoured national park declarations made by each other. However, it’s now official National Party policy to degazette the Murray Valley National Park which would be a low point in Australian … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE The new squatters in our National Parks

 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. By deliberately  underfunding National Parks commercial friendly governments are putting commercial interests ahead of the public … Continue reading

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JOHN BENSON. Biodiversity is threatened in New South Wales

The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) was the first of its type in Australia. Established by a Liberal government, its lyrebird emblem became world-renowned. But the Service is not valued by the present Government and now … Continue reading

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PETER FLINN. The brave new world of fire services in Victoria: is it go or woe?

The Country Fire Authority (CFA)in Victoria has long been recognised as one of the world’s leading volunteer fire-fighting organisations, but its boundaries with Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB),which  comprises career fire-fighters, have not changed since 1945.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

BRIAN TOOHEY. PM walks with energy dinosaurs

The person known as Malcolm Turnbull who took over as Prime Minister is gone. That’s the one who declared immediately after getting the job that Australians have a wonderfully exciting future provided they recognise “change is our friend, if we … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. An energy emergency after ten years!

Malcolm Turnbull assures us that he is concentrating on energy and its three pillars – cost, security and environment. Well, at least the first two; it must be said that the environment has not had much of a look in … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Infrastructure, Politics | 5 Comments

IAN DUNLOP. Hostage to myopic self-interest: climate science is watered down under political scrutiny

Scientific reticence allows politicians to neglect the real dangers we face. But waiting for perfect information means it will be too late to act.

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MICHAEL LAMBERT. Australia’s electricity markets policy: The shambles continues.

Over the last week we have been treated to the depressing spectacle of the Prime Minister and his government reacting in a knee jerk, wrong-headed manner to two sensible and useful reports that have been released by the Australian Energy … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Infrastructure | 3 Comments

BRUCE THOM. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and their implications for Australia

 Massive losses in Texas, Florida and across the Caribbean in recent days reminds us again of the capacity of tropical cyclones to wreak havoc.

Posted in Environment and climate | 3 Comments

ALAN KOHLER. Coalition’s retreat back to coal-fired power stations and the loony fog

In 2015 Australia’s businesses made the mistake of thinking the Coalition government was serious about tackling climate change, and solemnly lined up to support it….There won’t be any new coal power stations and the lives of existing ones won’d be … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 2 Comments

GILES PARKINSON. AGL bought Liddell for nothing – what will it cost Turnbull?

One of the late billionaire Kerry Packer’s famous quotes about business was that you only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, a reference to his ability to sell the Nine Network to the late entrepreneur for a small fortune and … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Abbott and Turnbull are the real culprits on the energy policy mess. (repost)

This is a repost of an article that was originally posted on 14 June 2017. I have reposted this in light of current controversy on  extending the life of coal fired generators. In his journal, The Constant Investor, Alan Kohler … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Turnbull’s abject capitulation to the coal lobby is now complete

The kindest thing to say about prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s absurd proposal to extend the life of the country’s oldest coal generator is that he is playing politics.

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GILES PARKINSON. AEMO says fossil fuel failures, renewable delays biggest threat to grid

The Australian Energy Market Operator has cited climate change, and the potential for large fossil fuel generators to fail in the summer heat-wave as the biggest threat to Australia’s electricity supplies in the coming years. 

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

EMMA CARMODY. Murray, Darling, what’s all this 4 Corners fuss about?

This article examines the contents of a recently aired 4 Corners episode, Pumped, which included allegations of water theft, corruption and regulatory capture in the Murray-Darling Basin.

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GILES PARKINSON. Super cheap solar – and why that’s good for Australia’s mining sector

Australia’s most pre-eminent solar researcher, Dr Martin Green, says the cost of solar PV technology will fall substantially in coming years, and while bad for the country’s thermal coal industry it will spell good news for other Australian mineral and … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LAMBERT. The shambles of Australia’s national electricity policy.

Australia has rich energy resources, both fossil and renewable, and a well considered electricity market design, as evidenced by the National Electricity Market (NEM), so why is our electricity market policy overall in such a shambolic state?  Successive national governments … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Infrastructure | 6 Comments

BOB DOUGLAS An algal industry ready to bloom

A high level Roundtable held in Canberra in November 2017 concluded that  algal technology can help to  protect the Great Barrier Reef and create new jobs and growth  for regional areas.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

DAVID KING AND PETER BROOKS. Coal is the new tobacco.

Coal is the new tobacco in terms of the harms it has on our health.  No hospital would think of lending its logo to support the marketing of cigarettes or allowing any of its key decision makers to have strong … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB: When optimism spells disaster…

One of the most dangerous threats to the human future in this, the Age of Perils, is … optimism.

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

BOB DOUGLAS. Minimising Existential Threats of our own making.

Events that could permanently and drastically curtail humanity’s potential or even cause human extinction are often referred to as existential threats.   A moderate sized asteroid hitting our planet is a prime example.  It could wipe us all out in a … Continue reading

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JOAN STAPLES. Environmental NGOs, Public Advocacy and Government

Environmental NGOs fear the Federal Government is moving to limit their public’ advocacy by requiring them to spend 50% of their income on practical environmental tasks such as tree planting.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

LESLEY HUGHES. Solving the climate crisis: one city at a time

Although Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, many cities in the US (and in Australia) are taking climate change matters into their own hands, thumbing their collective noses at ideological-driven policy paralysis at the federal level.

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GILES PARKINSON. How the far Right have hijacked Australia’s energy policy

If you ever wondered just how comprehensively the Far Right has hijacked the Coalition’s energy policy, it’s worth reading the speech by NSW energy minister Don Harwin we reported on last week.

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GILES PARKINSON. Garnaut: CET may be useless without higher emission targets

Leading economist professor Ross Garnaut says the clean energy target recommended by the Finkel Review could be useless in meeting current emission reduction targets, because technology change and coal retirements will get us there in any case.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

GILES PARKINSON. Coal on limited lifespan as CCS hopes go up in smoke

The coal industry is facing a new crisis point as a group of leading scientists call for the construction of new coal generators to cease within three years, and as the industry’s flagship “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage project went … Continue reading

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TONY MAHER. Energy future debate needs to put people first

Without bipartisan support for the key planks of energy policy, we will continue to have electricity shortages, higher than necessary prices and investment decisions being made by governments based on populism. Workers shouldn’t be used as a pawn in a … Continue reading

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