Category Archives: Environment and climate

GILES PARKINSON. Coalition’s breathtakingly stupid response to IPCC climate report (RenewEconomy, 09.10.18)

It wasn’t too hard to predict what the Coalition government’s responses to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report would be – you just needed to know where they would be making them.

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PAUL BONGIORNO. Political climate uncomfortably hot for Scott Morrison (New Daily 9.10.2018)

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison found himself in a very awkward spot on the day the world’s most authoritative climate science body released its latest report.  

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ROSS GARNAUT. Where Australia’s at 10 years after climate change review. (AFR 8.10.2018)

Energy costs will be lower if there is more investment in renewables capacity.  

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CHRIS MILLS. The next BIG thing: renewable water.

When cattle and sheep are dying in vast number across Eastern Australia, how sane is it for the driest inhabited continent in the world not to capture and redirect wastewater and stormwater from our cities and towns into food and … Continue reading

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DAVID BOOTH, JOHN TURNBULL. The backflip over Sydney’s marine park is a defiance of science.

The New South Wales government’s decision to back away from establishing no-fishing zones in waters around Sydney leaves significant question marks over the plan, which is open for public consultation until September 27.

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH Scott Morrison is either lying about carbon emissions, or just plain ignorant (the New Daily, 02.10.18)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia is on track to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target “in a canter”. But it’s not, and Mr Morrison is either being blindly optimistic or he is an outright liar. More fake news from Scott Morrison.

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STEPHEN LONG. Tesla battery proves a leading source of dispatchable power, AEMO says .

Scott Morrison said it would be about as useful for the electricity system as the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour or the Big Prawn at Ballina in NSW. He has a habit with fake news.

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JOHN ELDER. Gas leak: Government tries to release its greenhouse news on the quiet.

The Morrison government stands accused of trying to sneak-release the latest greenhouse gas emission figures – they’ve gone up, again – by making them public on the eve of the footy grand finals.

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JOHN WOINARSKI, CHRIS DICKMAN, RICHARD KINGSFORD and SARAH LEGGE-We must strengthen, not weaken, environmental protections during drought – or face irreversible loss.

Australian rural communities face hardships during extended drought, and it is generally appropriate that governments then provide special support for affected landholders and communities. However, some politicians and commentators have recently claimed that such circumstances should be addressed by circumventing … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Climate projections.A world on borrowed time.

Current temperature trajectories are on par with or exceed the IPCC’s dangerous projections (Figure 1). Acting as the lungs of the biosphere, over tens of millions of years the atmosphere developed an oxygen-rich carbon-low composition, allowing the flourishing of mammals. … Continue reading

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PETER SMALL. National Party and Climate Change, Part 2.

If we accept the premise that humans are rational beings and have a reason for doing what they do, then in my first article I tried to throw some light on what motivated the National Party, and the Coalition, to … Continue reading

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MAX HAYTON. Climate change policy wins wide support in New Zealand

New Zealand’s coalition government under Jacinda Ardern has made dealing with climate change one of its highest priorities.  It is planning dramatic new legislation and to the surprise of many observers, no doubt including some watching from Canberra, there is … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Action on climate change depends on, but not guaranteed by, a change of government

Greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and the devastating consequences of climate change for the environment and humanity march on. The Morrison government is set to continue Australia’s disgraceful inactivity in combating climate change. The election of a Labor government and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Coalition has 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. Strong Independents are thriving in country electorates.  Outside the … Continue reading

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MARK BUTLER. Coalition exposes its ignorance in anti-renewable stance (The Big Smoke, 21.09.18)

On Tuesday during Parliamentary Question Time, new Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced: “the (RET) target reaches a peak in 2020 and we will not be replacing that with anything.”

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Claim we’re on track to meet emissions targets is false.

Australia’s new energy minister Angus Taylor made a claim about carbon emissions this week that looked on the surface to be fantastic news, but on closer inspection is false.

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ERIN O’DONNELL, AVRIL HORNE. Giving environmental water to drought-stricken farmers sounds straightforward, but it’s a bad idea (The Conversation, 18.09.18)

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack last week suggested the government would look at changing the law to allow water to be taken from the environment and given to farmers struggling with the drought.

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HYLDA ROLFE. Protection v exploitation – Uncertain outlook for National Parks in New South Wales

A common framework for crime fiction builds on the notion of a heavy character leaning on target persons in order to ‘encourage’ them to fund the provision of protection from even heavier characters.  Hoping for security, the targets oblige and … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Human cognitive dissonance and the mass extinction of species.

The history of Earth is marked by at least seven major mass extinctions,  including asteroid impact effects 580 million years ago, the end Ordovician glaciation, late Devonian asteroid impacts, end-Permian volcanism and ocean anoxia, end-Jurassic volcanism and Cretaceous-Tertiary asteroid impact—mostly … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. The Evil You Cannot See.

Concern about air quality in Australia popularly centres around two topics:  exhaust stacks from city road tunnels and climate change.  Neither are as critically important as the effects of small particle pollution.  

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. Lack of climate policy threatens to trip up Australian diplomacy this summit season.

Australia has navigated a somewhat stormy passage through the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru. Scott Morrison’s new-look government faced renewed accusations at the summit about the strength of Australia’s resolve on climate policy.

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JOHN DWYER. How are we going to water the farm now that copious life sustaining rain is but a memory?

The change in the world’s climate is currently on full display with equatorial deluges, hurricanes and typhoons causing destruction and misery while the the rest of the world burns and experiences record temperatures further North than ever recorded before. As … Continue reading

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LUCIANA PORFIRIO, DAVID NEWTH, JOHN FINNIGAN. Climate change will reshape the world’s agricultural trade.

Ending world hunger is a central aspiration of modern society. To address this challenge – along with expanding agricultural land and intensifying crop yields – we rely on global agricultural trade to meet the nutritional demands of a growing world … Continue reading

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ANGUS WHYTE. A farmers’ perspective on the drought.

As someone who is dependent on Mother Nature for a living, climate is very much a “front and centre” issue for all farmers.  I graze livestock on semi-arid, native rangeland pastures in western NSW; the numbers we graze is dependent on … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Business gives up on Coalition, turns to Labor and states on energy, climate.

Here’s the most damning assessment of the Coalition’s energy and climate policy, such as it remains after the crucifixion of Malcolm Turnbull and the elevation of conservatives Scott Morrison as prime minister and Angus Taylor as energy minister:

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NICK KILVERT. Fossil record points to ‘major transformation’ of Australian ecosystems in next 100 years.

If the world continues on a “business-as-usual” trajectory on climate change, global ecosystems including Australia’s will undergo a “major transformation” over the next century.

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Billions wasted on drought aid that’s not helping those who need it most.

Wealthy people are stuffing their kitchen cupboards with donated goods and their sheds with free hay while animal welfare is being ignored and low-paid rural workers go without favours.

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GABRIELLE CHAN. Climate change making drought worse, farmers’ federation chief says.

Fiona Simson says people have been tiptoeing around the subject for too long and it is time for a national strategy. 

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PETER SMALL. National Party and Climate

Why farmers who are at the forefront of the impact from climate change, continue to support the National Party, a party of climate sceptics? After a week of unfathomable machinations in Canberra, a decade of climate wars and the “death” … Continue reading

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Climate change action off the agenda under Morrison government.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has unveiled a new energy policy focused exclusively on reducing electricity prices, in a strong signal the Morrison government will abandon all efforts to lower carbon emissions.

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