Author Archives: Sainsbury Peter

ANDREW GLIKSON. Portents of continental-scale fires

The effects of encroaching deserts and of fire storms on terrestrial forests, originally developed under moderate conditions distinct from those emerging under rapid global warming and extreme weather events, may have been underestimated. Average global temperatures do not tell the … Continue reading

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KATE LAPPIN and MICHELLE HIGELIN. Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership spells danger for 1.1 billion women.

Australia is about to sign on to a new mega-trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). But what does this mean for the rights of 1.1 billion women and girls who live in the 15 countries involved in the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 November 2019

Fire chiefs and health professionals stand up for action on climate change. Fly ash from coal burning causes major problems in Indonesia. The International Energy Agency identifies the main trends influencing energy supply over the next 20 years.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 10 November 2019

Nearly all about climate change this week: 20 fossil fuel companies responsible for producing 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions and confusing the public and politicians about the causes of climate change; the USA starts the formal process of withdrawal … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. CO2 is rising at the fastest rate since 66 million years ago.

As the CO2 level rises to 408 ppm and the total greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, including CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, reaches about 500 parts per million CO2-equivalent, the stability threshold of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, currently melting at an accelerated … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 3 November 2019

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 27 October 2019

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 20 October 2019

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 13 October 2019

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 6 October 2019

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 29 September 2019

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

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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

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

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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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PETER SAINSBURY. Revolving doors and roulette wheels

CBD is the daily scuttlebutt column in the Sydney Morning Herald. Monday’s offerings included a piece that provided examples of the revolving door for staff between the inaptly named Responsible Wagering Australia and the ALP. I strongly recommend it.

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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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NATASHA STOTT DESPOJA. Celebrating Women Humanitarians

On 19th  August, World Humanitarian Day, events around the world paid tribute to the women who serve on the frontline of humanitarian responses to disasters. They are often the first to respond and the last to leave, and yet their … 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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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

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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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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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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 DAVIDSON. Multiplication’s the name of the game: infrastructure and Newstart trump tax cuts as an economic stimulus

When growth is slowing and interest rates are falling, the evidence indicates that a timely investment in social housing and an increase in Newstart are more likely to boost growth in jobs and incomes and provide better value than tax … Continue reading

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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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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 21 July 2019

The close connection between climate change and loss of biodiversity is finally receiving the attention it deserves, particularly the need to halt deforestation and begin massive programs of reforestation. Vales Point power station in NSW provides an indication of the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 14 July 2019

The ALP supports the Adani mine in the Senate, assisting Australia’s exported carbon emissions to increase greatly. The USA’s coal industry continues to decline but not without first screwing the workers and the environment to maximise short term rewards at … Continue reading

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