Category Archives: Environment and climate

JULIAN CRIBB. When ‘oil’ spells murder.

A worldwide spate of legal actions against governments and fossil fuel companies is changing the political context of the climate debate more profoundly than anything yet. Yet it may still not be enough to rescue humanity from the other nine … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. South Australia’s renewable energy future hangs by a thread.

It’s an election that is impossible to call. And too important to ignore.

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LAURIE PATTON. It’s not about the size of the population, it’s about where we’re all going to live

This week the ABC’s Four Corners and Q and A programs are focussing attention on an important issue facing 21st Century Australia – the size of the population. As is commonly the case with this subject, the debate is creating … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. US Republicans advocate (smoke and black holes) plan on climate change.

Eight prominent US Republicans are advocating that the Republican Party should lead action on climate change by introducing a carbon tax, with distribution of the revenue raised to all Americans (a Carbon Dividend). While this may move the debate forward … Continue reading

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SAMANTHA HEPBURN. Why aren’t Australia’s environment laws preventing widespread land clearing?

Australia has national environment laws – the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). Yet given the staggering rates of land clearing taking place, resulting in the extinction and endangerment of plants and animals in Australia, these laws are clearly … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE   The impotent and the pure!

In the Batman bi election the Greens have correctly directed criticism at the cruel policies of the ALP and the Coalition on refugees in Manus and Nauru.But the Greens do not have clean hands either.  

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 11 Comments

HYLDA ROLFE. Summer of our disconnect .

Hurrah-words don’t disguise the reality of the steady creep of business into our National Parks. When a world-status Park is involved, all sorts of phoney justifications for commercial incursions are trotted out. The pity of it is that so many … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LAMBERT. Revisiting the South Australian Electricity Market.

In the context of the current South Australian election campaign, it is opportune to revisit the state of play with the South Australian electricity market which in 2016 and 2017 was used at the national level as an ill-informed or, … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Adani.

Bill Shorten has finally taken a firm position on the Adani coal mine: procrastination.

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BOB DOUGLAS. Time for Australia to lead in building a safer future

A combination of hazards threatens the continued survival of human civilization on Planet Earth. They are all man-made – and most are being systematically ignored or under-rated by political decision makers everywhere and especially, here in Australia.

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The onset of climate tipping points

 As extreme temperatures, sea ice melt rates, collapse of Greenland glaciers, thawing of Siberian and Canadian permafrost, increased evaporation in the Arctic and intrusion of cold fronts into Europe and North America are rising, analogies with geological hyperthermal methane-release events … Continue reading

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MARC HUDSON. The Nationals have changed their leader but kept the same climate story

After Barnaby Joyce’s demise as Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader, and his replacement by Michael McCormack, we might wonder what the junior Coalition partner’s leadership change means for Australia’s climate policy.

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The ABC and the climate impasse.

“Half-truth is much worse than a whole lie because it makes it even harder to tell the difference between the two.” (Gene Ruyle) For many weeks the Australian parliament, paralyzed by the antiquated legalistic of Section 44 and pre-occupied with … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION—A LOSS OF MOMENTUM

Over the past 10 years, there has been a range of initiatives by federal and state governments that aim to improve the nation’s capacity to meet the challenges of climate change. Considerable attention has been directed at reducing emissions, or … Continue reading

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HYLDA ROLFE. Summer of our disconnect. (Part 1 of 2)

Some National Parks in New South Wales are taking a beating. On occasion, it’s difficult to distinguish the businesses that are officially sanctioned in them from the activities usually undertaken in normal commercial venues. Should they be there at all? … Continue reading

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DAVID NICHOLLS. We are the lobster

An increasing feeling of unreality is pervading the social environment. It has an almost dreamlike feel to it. Or perhaps one should say should say, “nightmare-like”.

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ROSS GITTINS. Self-interest standing in the way of a fix for the Murray-Darling

Genelle Haldane, my desk calendar tells me, has said that “only until all of mankind lives in harmony with nature can we truly decree ourselves to be an intelligent species”. I’ve no idea who Haldane is or was, but she’s … Continue reading

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QUENTIN GRAFTON and JOHN WILLIAMS. States’ dummy-spit over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan clouds the real facts

Given the outraged reaction from some state water ministers to the disallowance of an amendment to the Murray Darling Basin Plan, you would be forgiven for thinking that a heinous crime had been committed against farmers in upstream states.

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The price of the Earth.

“Dear Caesar, Keep burning, raping and killing, but please, please spare us your obscene poetry and ugly music” (From Seneca’s last letter to Nero).   Astrophysicist Greg Laughlin came up with a figure of €3000 trillion for the worth of planet … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Weatherill: Why state election will be a referendum on renewables.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill might not be able to see much daylight between his Labor Party and the rival Liberals and SA Best, but he’s certainly making sure there is a big difference between his energy policy and those … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. SA Labor shoots for 75% renewables, 25% storage target

South Australia’s Labor government has doubled down on its commitment to renewable energy, promising to increase the share of renewables to 75 per cent by 2025 if re-elected at next month’s state poll, and announcing plans to install 750MW of “renewable … Continue reading

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MARC HUDSON. It’s 20 years since privatisation lit the spark under South Australia’s livewire energy politics

February 17, 2018, marks the 20th anniversary of a momentous day in South Australian energy politics. The then premier, John Olsen, announced that, despite repeated promises during the previous year’s state election campaign, his Liberal government would be putting the … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Battery storage leaves fossil fuels and regulators in state of intertia

The brain cells are working overtime at the headquarters of network owners, grid operators, generators, and regulators. Australia’s electricity grid is about to make the leap from analogue to digital, and everyone is scrambling to keep up.

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RICHARD ECKERSLEY. Closing the gap between the science and politics of progress (Part 1 of 2)

Global politics is based on an outmoded and increasingly destructive model of human progress and development. In the first of two parts, RICHARD ECKERSLEY examines what is wrong with the model with respect to sustainability and quality of life.

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RICHARD KINGSFORD. The Darling River – up the creek without a political paddle.

Once again, the Senate is poised this week to decide the future policy course of the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin. The critical decision for senators is whether or not to accede to the recommendation by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority … Continue reading

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JOSHUA GILBERT- Partnerships in Agriculture- the time for mutual collaboration and respect

Farmers have a natural affinity with their land. The farm is the home of their family’s dreams and aspirations; the page upon which they write their stories of passion and love; their life; their livelihood; their heart.

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BOB DEBUS. Restoring integrity in nature conservation. Part 2 of 2

‘There is a limit to what laws can achieve, but they are an essential part of any robust system of environmental governance. Environmental laws should effectively enable the protection, conservation, management and, where needed, restoration of our national heritage. The … Continue reading

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QUENTIN GRAFTON, ET. AL. The Murray Darling Basin Plan is not delivering – there’s no more time to waste

More than five years after the Murray Darling Basin Plan was implemented, it’s clear that it is not delivering on its key objectives.

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GILES PARKINSON. Shorten hails cheap wind and solar, but will he stop Adani.

You would have missed it, if you were relying on mainstream media, but Labor leader Bill Shorten did actually mention clean energy and climate policies in his scene-setting speech for 2018, which may well turn out to be an election … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. King tides and extreme events

Summer has been awash with extreme ocean water levels reaching positions rarely seen in the past along the NSW coastline. On two occasions the tide gauge at Fort Denison reached levels only exceeded three times since the more accurate self-recording … Continue reading

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