Category Archives: Environment and climate

DAVID SPRATT: Existential risk, Neoliberalism and UN Climate Policymaking Part 2

International climate policymaking has failed to avoid a path of catastrophic global warming. Two often-overlooked causes of this failure are how climate-science knowledge has been produced and utilised by the United Nation’s twin climate bodies and how those organisations function. … Continue reading

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DAVID SPRATT: Existential risk, Neoliberalism and UN Climate Policymaking Part 1

International climate policymaking has failed to avoid a path of catastrophic global warming. Two often-overlooked causes of this failure are how climate-science knowledge has been produced and utilised by the United Nation’s twin climate bodies and how those organisations function. … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 4 Comments

JULIAN CRIBB. The Rise of Woman. Greta Thunberg.

She’s just turned 16 and is already a world leader with more statespersonlike qualities, clear-eyed goals, plain speaking and sheer guts than almost any national head of today or recent history. Julian Cribb looks at the rise of Greta Thunberg

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ALAN PEARS. Beyond the Climate Chaos

 It seems our politicians live on a different planet from the rest of us. The government’s climate position is untenable and morally irresponsible, while the opposition’s is still marginal. Humanity and the planet are in serious trouble. Strong action is … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 10 March 2019

Water features strongly this week: while Birdlife Australia is being innovative to protect our water birds, the governments and shooters of Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia are wilfully destroying them in the hundreds of thousands; the citizens of Toledo (think … Continue reading

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JEFFREY SACHS. Green New Deal is feasible and affordable. (CNN online, 26.2.2019)

There are three main ideas of the Green New Deal Resolution introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. 

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JOHN MENADUE. Some Coalition legacies that a new government must confront

There are several major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the growing existential  threat of climate change, the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, Economy, Environment and climate, International Affairs, NBN, Refugees, Immigration | 7 Comments

PETER BROOKS. Will teenagers’ involvement in the climate change debate be a ‘game changer’?

March 15 has been flagged as a coordinated day of school strikes by teenagers around the world. Let us hope that they will start a new movement to bring home the urgency for real action around the world, but particularly … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 3 March 2019

To mixed responses, global and Australian mining giant Glencore has announced that it will not be expanding its coal mining operations. Meanwhile politicians squabble in Canberra over Australia’s greenhouse gas emission projections for the next decade. Waters shortages in Australia … Continue reading

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MARTIN WOLF. The US debate on climate change is heating up (Financial Times 21.2.2019)

Might the US move from being a laggard to a leader in tackling global climate change? Two recent announcements — the “economists’ statement on carbon dividends” and the Green New Deal — suggest that it might. Intellectually, these proposals are … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Liberal and National parties have deserted country people on climate change, NBN and more.

Both the Liberal and National parties are taking a drubbing from country voters. A while back it was New England and Lyne. More recently it has been Indi and Wagga Wagga. 

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GILES PARKINSON. Morrison puts lipstick on Tony Abbott’s pig of a climate policy (Renew Economy).

Prime minister Scott Morrison has finally unveiled his climate policy and it is clearly designed to do two things: Placate the core rump of climate deniers and ideologues within his own party and the conservative media, and try to fool … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 24 February 2019

Glaciers, forests and the Great Barrier Reef: today’s round up discusses threats to biodiversity in each of these from global warming or drought or flood or deforestation, or some combination of these. And to finish, a map of Europe that … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. Future national need for a healthy environment.

Since the mid-1980s it has become increasingly established that climate change will impact the lives of Australians, on the economy and the health of environmental assets. The interconnected functioning of natural processes requires us to look beyond the settler view … Continue reading

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OISÍN SWEENEY. Lessons from the Murray-Darling disaster run deeper than water.

Environmental mismanagement runs deeper than the ecological tragedy gripping the Murray-Darling Basin. Recent policy decisions around native forest logging in NSW follow the same pattern of ignoring science and favouring extractive industry over the public interest.

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DAVID WALLACE-WELLS. Time to panic (The New York Times).

The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. And fear may be the only thing that saves us.

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ALAN PEARS. The Politics of Confusion on Achieving the Paris Commitment

Will Australia meet the government’s Paris climate commitment? Experts disagree, while the government avoids explaining exactly how it will achieve its goal. This creates confusion and conflict, which suits the government in the lead-up to the election. Lack of information … Continue reading

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BRUCE LINDSAY. Reflections on the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission

The headline findings of the Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin – unlawfulness, incompetence, regulatory capture – are spectacular. Despite its strong scientific base, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been undermined by the power of vested interests and a … Continue reading

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BOB DEBUS. How close to Armageddon do we have to get?

The 2019 OECD Environmental Performance Review for Australia, launched recently and reported in The Guardian if hardly anywhere else, makes horrible reading. “Australia is home to a 10th of global species and is seen by many as synonymous with pristine … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 February 2019

It may be too slow but the policy environment around climate change is moving. Recently in NSW we have seen a mine proposal refused because of its impact on climate change and the release of a report calling for the … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Imagining the real: Two minutes to mid-night on the Clock of the Atomic Scientists

On January 24, 2019, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stated: “Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past … Continue reading

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JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI. Just Peace: A timely roadmap for Australia or impossible dream? – Part 2

If ‘just peace’ requires peacemaking and peacebuilding to be sensitive to the cries of the poor and the cries of the Earth, how relevant is it to Australia’s present circumstances? If what is proposed is a holistic approach to the … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Indigenous affairs, International Affairs | 1 Comment

NOEL TURNBULL. A climate of hope.

Despite Donald Trump, Scott Morrison and others there is a significant change of opinion on climate change around much of the western world – particularly in the US of all places – for the better. 

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LIZ HANNA. A warming Australia spells serious trouble for human health

Climate change. Global warming. A hotter planet. A hotter Australia. Yet few are asking the difficult question of ‘how hot is too hot?’. We have so many elephants in the room at present that ‘the room’ is getting pretty crowded, … Continue reading

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us. (The Guardian 4.2.2019)

Scott Morrison is trying to scare people about economic policy but seems blithely unaware people are already scared – about climate change.  

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday’s environmental round up, 3 February 2019

A complete focus on climate change this week, starting with a short video by the inspirational Greta Thunberg and finishing with a map of distinctly chilly Iowa. In between, articles about last year’s game-changing IPCC report on warming of 1.5oC, … Continue reading

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RICHARD KINGSFORD. The successive government failures behind the fish kills. (SMH 31.1.2018)

With the NSW election looming, it’s time to make sure the next state government has environmental policy front and centre at the big table of decision making. On nearly every major measure for the environment – numbers of threatened species, … Continue reading

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BOB DOUGLAS. Would Australian politicians contemplate a strategy for human survival?

Why are governments around the world  avoiding the constellation of threats to survival of humans on the planet? 

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PETER SAINSBURY. Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are galloping ahead

The Australian government’s most recent projections indicate that greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 5.4% between now and 2030, when they will be only 7% below the level in 2005. Such a reduction is well below Australia’s Paris Agreement commitment … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday’s environmental round up, 27 January 2019

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s report (summarised here by Sophie Vorrath) into the power failure (caused by a lightning strike) that affected Victoria, NSW and Tasmania in August 2018 illustrates the complexity of maintaining reliable electricity supplies across Australia’s east … Continue reading

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