Subscribe to pearls and irritations (we have had some issues, now fixed, so please subscribe again)
Most viewed recently
- EMMA ALBERICI. There’s no case for a corporate tax cut when one in five of Australia’s top companies don’t pay it.
- STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Issues of Integrity, Not Sex.
- BERNARD KEANE. Joyce has always been a dud and should never have been deputy PM.
- QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Has the ABC buckled to PM Malcolm Turnbull by removing critical ‘analysis’ of the claimed benefits of corporate tax cuts?
- MICHAEL KEATING. Trickle down economics and the Emma Alberici article.
- BOB CARR. Whitlam had it easier on China policy 22 February 2018
- JOHN DWYER. The curse of political mediocrity; The informed, bold, courageous policies that Australia needs in health are nowhere to be seen. (Part 2 of 3) 22 February 2018
- GREGORY MCCARTHY. Australia’s iron(ic) curtain hurting China ties 22 February 2018
- GARY JOHNSTON. The Future Submarine: a technical problem 22 February 2018
- RANALD MACDONALD. Stop the presses. 21 February 2018
- Arts and Reviews (35)
- Defence/Security (709)
- Economy (928)
- Education (176)
- Environment and climate (257)
- Health (439)
- Housing (53)
- Human Rights (376)
- Indigenous affairs (54)
- Industrial relations (32)
- Infrastructure (125)
- International Affairs (1,217)
- Asia (64)
- Links (8)
- Media (458)
- NBN (71)
- Politics (2,185)
- Refugees, Immigration (511)
- Religion and Faith (434)
- SERIES: Freedom, opportunity and security (58)
- SERIES: Making housing affordable (15)
- Sport (43)
- Technology, start-ups and new media (1)
- Tributes (35)
- Uncategorized (115)
Category Archives: Environment and climate
CO2 levels reached 403.64 ppm in October 2017, a rise of 2.07 ppm above October 2016. This has triggered amplifying feedbacks from land and oceans. It is becoming clear the only way to avert environmental and nuclear catastrophes is to … Continue reading
The current chaos around climate and energy policy brings to mind George Santayana’s caution that: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. That is exactly what we are witnessing, albeit with far more profound implications even … Continue reading
We are often told by some politicians and irrigation lobbyists not to worry about our rivers – Australia is a land of droughts and flooding rains – and ever it was thus. After all, Murray-Darling rivers surely fixed themselves when … Continue reading
A new analysis of the energy policies presented by the major and smaller parties contesting the Queensland state election shows that the Greens would deliver the biggest electricity savings, Labor would also push prices down, while One Nation and the … Continue reading
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has made $6 billion worth of new loans to coal, oil and gas projects in the 20 months since committing to the Paris climate agreement, a new document has shown – more than four times … Continue reading
As humans progressively kill off the living creatures which inhabit the planet, do we risk at the same time killing off ourselves?
On the 27 January, 2017, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the arms of its doomsday clock to 2.5 min to midnight, the closest it has been since 1953, with enormous implications for humanity and nature. A book titled … Continue reading
Scientific exploration of the solar system planets constitutes one of the most exciting achievements of the human race. However, the idea of colonizing Mars may prove to be one of the most misleading, creating an impression that an alternative exists … Continue reading
South Australia is already being hailed – or in some quarters demonised – for its leadership on renewable energy technology. A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator highlights how far out in front it is in the transition … Continue reading
Leading economist Ross Garnaut has delivered a critical appraisal of the federal government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee, warning that it will unlikely deliver lower prices or investment certainty, and could simply lock in the power of the big incumbent generators.
How weakened laws in Qld and NSW are failing our wildlife and how the Australian Government is doing little to prevent it.
As extreme hurricanes and extensive wildfires proliferate around the globe, an internet search suggests that, in reporting these events, the words “climate change” have almost disappeared from much of the mainstream media. Some exceptions include the SMH and the Guardian. … Continue reading
The Snowy 2.0 project, if it is to realise its contribution to lowering carbon emissions, should proceed hand in hand with a program of environmental restoration of alpine ecosystems which have not recovered from past and present alpine grazing and … Continue reading
BRUCE MOUNTAIN. Energy prices are high because consumers are paying for useless, profit-boosting infrastructure
The preliminary report on energy prices released last week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) suggests that the consumer watchdog is concerned about almost every aspect of Australia’s electricity industry. It quotes customer groups who say electricity is … Continue reading
Without swift action climate change stands to further cement the health deficit experienced in rural and remote populations. Conversely, taking action to build the climate-resilience of rural and remote communities, and the health care services that support them, could lead … Continue reading
This open letter was initiated by Dr Andrew Glikson (Earth and Paleo-climate science, ANU School of Anthropology and Archeology) and signed by over 200 Australian scientists, including those in the medical, environmental and physical disciplines, as well as scholars in the … Continue reading
While the focus of public debate about energy has been on monetary costs, it has almost entirely ignored the larger issue of human life, health and wellbeing. Julian Cribb sets the record straight.
OISIN SWEENEY. Let’s take the opportunity to put the wellbeing of people at the heart of forest protection.
Any Australian under the age of 30 is unlikely to have heard of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs). The RFAs, signed in the late 1990s and lasting for 20 years, were designed to facilitate multiple uses of public native forests including … Continue reading
Malcolm Turnbull crows that his National Energy Guarantee is a game changer – and so it is, but that doesn’t mean much. The energy game has been changing for well over the last decade, and in all likelihood will go … Continue reading
The Commonwealth’s proposed National Energy Guarantee is vague and confusing, and is based on dated engineering and economic ideas. But it may allow an economically responsible government, if we elect one, to reshape it into a set of policies that … Continue reading
After a progression of schemes, such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), The Carbon Pollution Tax (CPT), Direct Action, including the Renewable Energy Target (RET) as well as dabbling with the Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS) and the Clean Energy Target … Continue reading
The dispute over the Adani Group’s proposed Carmichael mine and the associated port at Abbot Point has long been cast as a choice between jobs and the environment. Climate change is already well on the way to destroying the Great … Continue reading
Amid all the debate about energy policy – about security, affordability, and carbon emissions – there is one critical issue that has barely rated a mention: human health. Coal is hazardous to our health; renewables are not. In any discussion … Continue reading
Pearls and Irritations provides the following links for weekend reading:
Australian politicians have next to no qualifications or skills when it comes to deciding the focal issues of our time. No wonder the decision making of recent years has been so poor. Julian Cribb argues that a continued political bias … Continue reading
The constant refrain from the Commonwealth of reliable, secure and affordable power appears to dismiss the other objective of clean energy. This is reinforced by the failure to endorse the Clean Energy Target recommendation of the Finkel report. However, clean … Continue reading
In this blog on 20 September 2017 I (John Menadue) described how ‘the new squatters in our National Parks’ are being given commercial access to our ‘public commons’. In NSW and elsewhere National Parks are being deliberately under funded, resulting … Continue reading
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
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
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