Category Archives: Environment and climate

KEVIN RUDD. Australia destroys its own reputation in the Pacific (East Asia Forum 9-9-19)

The dust-up at the Pacific Islands Forum was not simply a zero-sum game between the Pacific and Australia over coal. While this may have been the tip of the spear, it went to a far deeper divide over climate and … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. Climate change diplomacy, one big step for humanity

As fire, flood and drought ravage swathes of the Earth, communities around the world are realising that climate change is accelerating and climate emergencies are declared. Many governments fail to act and quibble about fulfilling the meagre responsibilities of the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 22 September 2019

The world’s rich countries continue to pump US$64 billion per year into coal companies, with Japan leading the charge internationally and domestically. Unhealthy environments are responsible for almost a quarter of deaths globally, but maybe if your community is in … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The ALP and the great moral challenge of our generation

There was a time when leaders fell on their sword if they were defeated in battle or lost their core beliefs. Nowadays they would not resign their privileged positions to take a stand against even the existential danger posed to … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 6 Comments

Chris Mills: When the Wind Blows, Water Flows

This is the paradox: as towns run out of potable water, our livestock and crops die, and water to fight infernos dries up, how can a Nation ‘girt by sea’ use unlimited volumes of sea water to slake a parched … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 15 September 2019

A focus on the economic aspects of climate change this week: business-as-usual will reduce global GDP but climate action is blocked by potential financial losers; the Adani mine is viable only because of massive government subsidies, while in India investment … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

TROY BAISDEN. New Zealand launches plan to revive the health of lakes and rivers (The Conversation 6 Sep)

New Zealand’s government released a plan to reverse the decline of iconic lakes and rivers this week. It proposes higher standards for water quality, interim controls on land intensification and a higher bar on ecosystem health.

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ANDREW GLIKSON. From climate denial to planetary arson. The planetary consequences of injecting >910 billion tons CO2 into the atmosphere

Last night (6 September) as fires were raging through the desiccated granite belt of southern Queensland, not a single reporter, politician or anyone else had the “temerity” of pointing out the inevitable relation between coal mining, carbon emissions, global and … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 8 September 2019

An update on the Adani mine to start and on Sydney’s Sea-eagle chicks to close. In the middle of the sandwich is evidence demonstrating the lethal effects of air pollution and the health benefits of reducing even apparently low levels … Continue reading

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HÉCTOR ABAD FACIOLINCE. Gifts of Quebradona

The Colombian wilderness has been protected from mining by the 50 years civil war with the FARC guerrillas. No investor was prepared to take the risk of its infostructure being blown up and its personnel assassinated. Now that the civil … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The global significance of the Amazon and Siberian fires

As fires rage across tens of thousands of square kilometers of the Amazon forest, dubbed the Planet’s lungs as it produces some 20 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere, some 72,843 fires are burning in Brazil this year. Fires … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 1 September 2019

Ship owners start to clean up their highly polluting fuel; forests are being felled and burned around the world but ordinary Brazilians want more done to prevent the loss of their iconic rainforest; and the fashion industry starts walking the … Continue reading

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TED TRAINER. “Green Growth” and “De-Coupling” Resource Use From GDP Growth … Can’t Be Done.

Another heavy report confirms that efforts to achieve GDP growth while reducing resource and ecological impacts have failed and will continue to do so. The implications for sustainability are profound … but will be ignored. The finding means that unless … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 25 August 2019

Ocean scientists express the need for urgent action in eight policy areas to restore the health of the world’s oceans, while an article in the BMJ highlights the links between ocean health and human health. Australia’s current review of air … Continue reading

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RALPH REGENVANU. Vanuatu will host the next Pacific Islands Forum. We want to know if Australia really wants a seat at the table (The Guardian, 20 August 2019)   

Last week at the close of the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu I described the leaders’ discussions as frank and fierce. It is now well-known that the leaders debated the text of the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change … Continue reading

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BRUCE ROBERTSON. Federal government needs to stop the magical gas merry go round (Renew Economy 19-8-19)

Hearing the New South Wales government rush through two import gas terminals approvals is like revisiting the fantasy world of Mary Poppins.

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MUNGO MACCALUM. Scott Morrison voted off the Pacific islands

The Great White Father has arrived the far flung atolls of the Pacific. And, like the missionaries before him Scott Morrison is delivering the bringing of the light — a gospel of hope and salvation. Well, up to a point. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate, International Affairs | 1 Comment

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 18 August 2019

A new report from the IPCC focusing on land and climate change draws together many threads from the environmental and social crises facing the world. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are of course the major cause of global warming but … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health, Politics | 3 Comments

IAN DUNLOP.  Time for the Coal Industry to Face Reality

The first priority of any government is the security of its people. The greatest threat to that security today is human-induced climate change. Because of the refusal of political and corporate leaders over the last two decades to take climate … Continue reading

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SOPHIE VORRATH. Clean Energy Regulator slams Murdoch solar scare campaign (Renew Economy 12-8-19)

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has called out the Murdoch media for “inaccurate” reporting on the standard and safety of rooftop solar installations, following the release of its latest national data on solar panel inspections in 2018.

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BRUCE DUNCAN. No issue matters as much as climate change

What will it take before the Morrison government recognises the great peril from climate change? Is the overwhelming consensus of scientists not enough, as they track the record-breaking heat waves globally? And why are religious leaders not echoing Pope Francis … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The changing face of planet Earth

With atmospheric CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas concentrations now above 500 ppm and average global warming approaching 1.5oC, there is a clear shift in the world’s climate zones, displayed for example on maps of the expanding wet tropical zones, drying sub-tropical latitudes and polar-ward … Continue reading

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ANDREA GERMANOS. ‘July Has Re-Written Climate History’: Month Could Go Down as Planet’s Hottest Ever (Common Dreams)

“As temperatures rise, so will we,” says 350.org.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 11 August 2019

Last week we were deep in the oceans. This week we’re high in the sky: the global warming effect of air travel and ways of reducing it: technology, government intervention, industry initiatives, personal behaviour change and buying carbon offsets. And … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP, DAVID SPRATT. Australia’s climate stance is inflicting criminal damage on humanity (The Guardian)

The government opts for conflict rather than change, while suppressing details on the implications of its climate inaction

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MICHAEL WEST. The Ultimate Gouge: why Australia, the world’s #1 exporter, now imports gas (Michael West)

What an outrage it is that the Northern Territory doesn’t lift its grape production, instead of importing wine from South Australia! And what about those lazy Tasmanians; rather than growing their own mangoes and pineapples they import them from Queensland! … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 4 August 2019

With apologies for the anthropomorphism, Sydney’s newly-hatched Sea-Eagles would like this week’s round up as it focuses on their future habitats: land and marine environments (with good news about soil carbon and regenerative farming and not good news about deforestation … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. $trillion space games and false prophecies by billionaires while Rome burns

History testifies to powerful rulers’ aspirations for the position of gods, including the Pharaohs and Roman Emperors such as Caligula or Nero, nowadays mimicked by false messianic prophecies of “intergalactic civilization” made by billionaires and their followers in public and … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Technology, start-ups and new media | 5 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 28 July 2019

Hunger is on the increase again and the world will need yet more food over the next three decades. How can we properly feed 10 billion people and save the planet? Do the solutions lie in technology, behaviour change or … Continue reading

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SARAH ANN WHEELER, EMMA CARMODY. Was the Government’s irrigation cash splash worth it? (The Advertiser)

One of us was born on a fifth-generation irrigated dairy farm in NSW; the other in a country town in the Murray-Darling Basin.

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