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Category Archives: Environment and climate
The articles this week provide follow-ups to previously reported items: the NSW government changes legislation to promote climate change; the world’s largest reinsurer models the risks posed by climate change and walks away from coal; melting glaciers are but one … Continue reading
CRISTY CLARK. Clean ocean win shows it’s worth dreaming big. In a time when bad news abounds, it is welcome that someone’s audacious plan to tackle a seemingly insurmountable environmental problem is having success
In 1997, oceanographer and boat captain Charles Moore made a shocking discovery. After deciding to cut through the North Pacific Gyre on his way back to California from Hawaii, Moore gazed into the ocean and, instead of pristine waters, found … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. The National Party has deserted country people on Climate Change, NBN, Health Services and more.
The Nationals have a serious problem. It is not just a problem of Michael McCormack’s beige leadership and being pushed aside by Scott Morrison on key country issues like the drought. It has failed on numerous policy fronts.
While local drought-affected communities are declaring a climate emergency, present proposals to mitigate the impacts of drought fail to address the real crisis. They do not recognise that this drought is not just another variation on ‘normal’ conditions, but a … Continue reading
LUCY ROBINSON. Climate protests have roots that go deep into the rich history of British social change (The Guardian 13-10-19)
Extinction Rebellion draws on a radical lineage that brings together a range of beliefs and ages.
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has changed the conversation about global heating. Her passionate concern and emphasis on its likely impact on people her age has stirred public concern in a fresh way. How dare we, she asks of us older … Continue reading
A report on levels of peace around the world demonstrates that climate change is associated with conflict and forced migration. On-demand bus services and electric vehicles are proving popular, economical and good for the environment. Is social collapse arising from … Continue reading
It is said that little is certain in life except death and taxes. In contemporary Australian public policy debate we can add another inevitability: that during terrible droughts governments will spend large amounts of taxpayer resources to address farmers’ legitimate … Continue reading
The current Coalition response to just another drought is pathetic,short term, divisive and dishonest. All it is doing is managing the drought politically.
LINDA BOTTERILL. A national drought policy should be an easy, bipartisan fix. So why has it taken so long to enact a new one? (The Conversation 10-10-19)
In a country as dry as Australia, surely it is a no-brainer that we have in place a coordinated, national drought response that can be rolled out the same way that the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements are triggered when … Continue reading
Investments in renewables are increasing but not fast enough. Oil and gas companies continue investing to produce yet more greenhouse gases, including burning coal underground to produce gas in SA. On current trends Australia’s economy is going to take a … Continue reading
MARYANNE SLATTERY. The only thing as certain as drought in Australia is the stupid call to build new dams (The Guardian, 15 October 2019)
In Australia, the only thing as certain as drought is the subsequent calls by politicians to build new dams. Right on cue, the prime minister announced a $1bn commitment for new dams on Sunday.
This week’s articles all have visual cues. Climate change is already affecting people’s lives and it’s not always the environment itself that causes the harm. In various ways though people are resisting, as demonstrated in three short videos from around … Continue reading
Hurricanes, floods, and wildfires aside, climate change is delivering another threat: a remaking of geopolitics that stands to empower some of America’s adversaries and rivals.
Synopses of two books: why climate change is happening quicker than expected and why civilisation will look very different soon. Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing problem, not helped by spraying antibiotics on citrus trees in the USA. Microplastics … Continue reading
Global concern about climate change has now reached a remarkable level, thanks in large part to Greta Thunberg and her team. There is however, in my view, little understanding of what the underlying problem is or how to solve it. … Continue reading
Not only Donald Trump in the USA and Boris Johnson in the UK struggling to bluff and bluster their way out of their self-inflicted problems, but even the previously untouchable Canadian Justin Trudeau was embroiled in decades old controversies over … Continue reading
Six deep transformations in the structure of society will be required to meet the SDGs and the Paris goals – but are the proposals deep enough? Net zero emissions is ‘Mission Possible’ though for the hard-to-reduce industrial and transport sectors … Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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