Category Archives: Environment and climate

CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. It’s time for Australia to scale up its energy diplomacy

A huge transformation of global energy production and consumption is underway but sorely needs international governance.

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RICHARD KINGSFORD. Current economic modelling dudding the environment and future generations

With the Federal election verdict widely attributed to ‘quiet Australians’ favouring the economy over the environment, one key point has been missed in the wash-up analysis. Rather than supposedly avoiding a gaping economic hole required to fix the environment through … Continue reading

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CHRIS MILLS. Truthslaying The Environment.

In the Australia in Wonderland in which we are now living, things are getting curiouser and curiouser. Like the time-travel budget surplus arriving in 2019 from the 2020 budget, the Prime Minister has declared that Australia will meet its Paris … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. Obligations to the World’s children in the climate emergency.

This government is not fit to govern on the climate change emergency because of its incapacity to grasp the imminent danger to Australia, our neighbours and indeed the world. Today science strongly indicates we have only a few decades to … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Human Rights | 1 Comment

LINDSAY HUGHES. Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Plans: The Regional Danger (Future Directions International)

Saudi Arabia remains one of the largest oil producers (it produced 9.8 million barrels of oil a day in April this year) and the largest oil exporter in the world, despite the fact that Venezuela has larger proven oil reserves … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MIKE SCRAFTON. The new national security – protection from global warming

Ian Dunlop has argued persuasively that global warming now represents an emergency situation ‘akin to wartime’. The alarmingly obstinate year-on-year increase in the levels of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere has brought this about and will ensure the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 9 June 2019

The fossil fuel industries don’t survive by chance or benign government neglect. Two recent reports expose the massive subsidies the industries receive from governments globally, including in Australia, and the multiple very close and enduring links between high-ranking personnel in … Continue reading

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JOHN QUIGGIN. Explaining Adani: why would a billionaire persist with a mine that will probably lose money? (The Conversation)

The road to Adani. There are more hurdles to overcome, and Gautam Adani might have to put up his own money.

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GEORGE BROWNING. Democratise Energy: Reform Taxation: Save the Planet.

Stuck in a traffic jam every day on the way to work do you imagine this is the way it is always going to be – only a little worse? If your livelihood is agriculture, like your father and his … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 3 Comments

IAN DUNLOP.  Parliament must treat Climate Change as an Emergency

A year ago, discussion of climate change as an existential threat, and the corresponding need for emergency action, was anathema to those leading debate on climate policy in the political, corporate and NGO incumbencies globally. Incremental change remained the order … Continue reading

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KATE FINLAYSON and TIM BUCKLEY. Queensland government about to make poor economic decision on Adani mine.

Following the Labor party’s defeat in May’s general election, the Queensland Labor government seems keen to approve the development of the Adani thermal coal mine as quickly as possible. However, a report released this week by the Institute for Energy … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 6 Comments

GAIA VINCE. The consequences of 4 degree warming. Only radical measures will work (The Guardian)

Experts agree that global heating of 4C by 2100 is a real possibility. The effects of such a rise will be extreme and require a drastic shift in the way we live

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Another climate change warning and the return of a Pentagon prophecy the new government might take seriously.

Richard Butler recently made the point on this site that, in relation to foreign policy,  the Australian Government finds the disposition and pose of the ostrich to be  to its liking: a futile self-absorption in reality denial. To this I would … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 2 June 2019

Where is the drive that is urgently needed to transition to a zero carbon, environmentally sustainable world going to come from? A European group thinks Community-Led Initiatives can provide a kick-start. Climate change is affecting animals and plants, and the … Continue reading

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TIM BUCKLEY. The Global Energy Transformation is Well Underway

Improved technology and economies of scale are driving rapidly falling costs of renewable energy. As a result financial institutions and energy corporates are fleeing coal and coal facilities are becoming stranded assets. Government policies in China and India and other … Continue reading

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DAVID MACILWAIN. Of Miracles, Mice and Men.

Following the disastrous failure to change the Australian government to one offering effective action on climate change, I take a scientific and personal look at just what lies ahead.

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BILL MOYERS. Telling the truth. What if we covered the climate crisis like we did the start of the second world war? (The Guardian 22 May 2019)

In the war, the purpose of journalism was to awaken the world to the catastrophe looming ahead of it. We must approach our climate crisis the same way. 

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 26 May 2019

Some pieces this week relevant to the causes of Labor’s problems last Saturday. Was their environmental message wrong? – not according to a recent report suggesting sea level rise of up to two metres by 2100, or the forced migrations … Continue reading

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CHRIS MILLS. Australians’ Electricity Transition Plan: Coal to Renewables.

Climate scientist across the world have proven beyond reasonable doubt that anthropometric heating of the planet is a grave and imminent danger to humanity, often described as an existential threat.  In Australia, our politicians have dithered for decades while the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 19 May 2019

The shocking loss of biodiversity and the threat it poses for human welfare have been highlighted recently with reports on the global crisis and New Zealand’s parlous record. Threatened by climate change, Torres Strait Islanders have challenged the Australian government … Continue reading

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ANNIKA DEAN. We cannot afford inaction on climate change

There has been a lot of recent speculation in the media about the economic costs of each party’s climate policies. But so far, there has been little talk of the costs of inaction.  

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The Newspeak road to four degrees Celsius warming.

While a price placed on the Earth, estimated at $5000 trillion (New Formula Values Earth), belongs to the unthinkable, the haggle by conservatives over the price of mitigation of climate change underpins the reality of the Faustian Bargain.  

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MICHAEL MAZENGARB. Global fossil fuel subsidies reach $5.2 trillion, and $29 billion in Australia (Renew Economy)

New analysis commissioned by the International Monetary Fund has shown that global fossil fuel subsidies continue to grow, despite the growing urgency of the need to decarbonise the global economy.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

BELINDA KINKEAD. Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Australia is experiencing a remarkable renewable energy transition – not that you would know if you listen to some federal politicians. The Coalition consistently tells us that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are “coming down” and that we’re on track to … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. How do the parties’ environmental policies compare?

If climate change is going to influence your vote this Saturday you may want to know how the three main political parties’ environment policies shape up. Here are three scorecards to help you decide who to favour with your vote.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 12 May 2019

A new petrochemical and plastics hub is being developed in the USA based on locally mined unconventional gas, while the carbon dioxide produced by Australia’s exports of coal and natural gas greatly exceed our domestic carbon dioxide emissions. In better … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SLEZAK. Climate change a bigger threat to Australia’s interests than terrorism, Lowy Institute poll suggests (ABC 8.5.2019)

Climate change is a “critical threat” to Australia’s interests according to almost two-thirds of Australians — ranked as a more serious concern than international terrorism, North Korea’s nuclear program or cyber attacks from other countries.  

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FIONA ARMSTRONG. Health groups release climate policy scorecard: Coalition earns 0/8

The national coalition of health groups working for climate action, Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), has released a Federal Election Scorecard after analysing the parties’ policies on climate change and health. 

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MIKE SCRAFTON. IPBES and IPCC: Calamity cannot be averted

The key messages contained Intergovernmental Science- Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Summary For Policymakers are not surprising. The trends have been well known for a long time, perhaps only the current scale of the crisis might be … Continue reading

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CHRIS TURNEY. UK becomes first country to declare a ‘climate emergency’. Why not Australia?

Last Wednesday night a bipartisan UK Parliament passed an extraordinary measure: a national declaration of an Environment and Climate Emergency. The UK is the first national government to declare such an emergency. The decision marks a renewed sense of urgency … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, International Affairs | 2 Comments