Author Archives: Peter Sainsbury

Peter Sainsbury

About Peter Sainsbury

Peter Sainsbury is a retired public health worker with a long interest in social policy, particularly social justice, and now focusing on climate change and environmental sustainability. He is extremely pessimistic about the world avoiding catastrophic global warming.

Sunday environmental round up, 28 February 2021

Australia’s rooftop solar is burying coal while chilly Texas provides lessons about the energy transition. Four storey buildings with a courtyard provide the most energy efficient homes. Extinction in six minutes (the facts not the event), and native snails coming … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 21 February 2021

Stories from Guyana, USA and south west Africa illustrate the local dangers of oil and gas developments, while oil companies globally are struggling. Stories from Nicaragua, Cambodia, India and Lizard Island about the effects of climate change on communities and … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday environmental round up, 14 February 2021

Australian coal causes at least 320,000 premature deaths globally every year – six times more people than the industry employs. Coal from a fully operational Galilee Basin will cause approximately 200,000 premature deaths per year. Australia’s whole fossil fuel industry … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up. The bells are tolling for coal. Is Fitzgibbon deaf?

Lots about Australia this week: sharks in greater peril from humans than vice versa; bells tolling, albeit still distantly, for coking coal and more loudly for thermal coal; gas industry captures the WA government; evidence that last year’s bushfires were … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 9 Comments

Taxpayers’ $50m gift to gas in Beetaloo Basin sums up the crisis: Environmental round-up Jan 31

Heat causes climate change and climate change causes humans to produce reports: reports documenting the worsening problem and its causes; reports about the actions needed but not being taken; and reports about actions that should be avoided but are taken … Continue reading

Posted in Climate | 6 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 24 January 2021

The land this week: strategies to reduce agricultural land and habitat loss, and improve human health, even as the global population increases; the massive carbon footprint of dairy products; problems in Asia – slow-onset impacts of climate change to displace … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday environmental round up, 17 January 2021

Some good and some bad news about climate change from 2020, with a focus on the rapidly warming Arctic. Different starting points and scopes for two plans to keep warming under 1.5oC but their strategies share many commonalities. Three-quarters of … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Are surgeons just a little bit less careful when operating on their birthdays?

‘Yes, if you think the op’s necessary, Doc, of course I’ll have it. Just so I know, are there any risks? And how long will I be in hospital? Thanks, see you in theatre. Oh, by the way, you won’t … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 20 December 2020

We finish the year with suggestions for getting the COP process back on track, delays to the federal government’s plans to get the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act off track, confirmation that Australian coal does produce less CO2, and … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 13 December 2020

The Amazon rainforest and Pacific islands are increasingly threatened by climate change but rich nations prefer spending on their military forces rather than climate change. A little-known hero of threatened species protection receives a posthumous tribute but Jeff Bezos’s philanthropy … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday environmental round up, 6 December 2020

There’s a new kid on the block: nature-based solutions. Child prodigy or juvenile delinquent? Fossil fuel producing nations need to show more application. AIHW examines the health effects of last summer’s bushfires and the NSW electricity plan graduates with a … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 29 November 2020

Despite COVID, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise. Does increasing complexity in societies explain the collapse of civilisations? Western Australia is failing to adequately protect sharks and Australia is taking risks with imported flowers. China has an each-way bet … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 6 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 22 November 2020

Wealthy people and wealthy nations cause it but it’s the poor and vulnerable who suffer the most from climate change. Adani is behaving badly in Australia but moving into renewables in India. Recycling plastic recycling. Spotted and striated, pardalotes charmalot.

Posted in Climate, Politics | 3 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 15 November 2020

Sustainable human development eludes almost all nations. Action to prevent virus spill-overs to humans looks like a good investment. Economic growth and emissions cuts can co-exist (IMF says). Environmental suggestions for Biden’s first 100 days. Legged-legless-legged skinks.

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Sunday environmental round up, 8 November 2020

Wind and solar are getting cheaper and cheaper and financial institutions and countries are increasingly turning away from fossil fuels, but 100% renewable energy is a long way off. Protecting wild places and returning agricultural land to nature can prevent … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 4 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 1 November 2020

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing presents a major threat to security and fish stocks. Seagrasses and snow leopards suffering from environmental destruction. Aussie coal companies turning to the Canadian Rockies. Insights into what might be influencing American votes on Tuesday.

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Does anyone really believe we are going to avert a climate catastrophe?

An energy transition is underway but it is too slow to avert a climate catastrophe and it ignores many other environmental and social challenges that need tackling now. Capitalism has got us into this mess but doesn’t have the tools … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics, Top 5 | 22 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 25 October 2020

The absorption of solar energy by the earth is getting faster and faster. This is having dramatic effects on the dynamics, chemistry and life of the oceans, and bringing ‘Hothouse Earth’ closer. Over half of residents of the USA are … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 18 October 2020

Plastics: littering the ocean floor, not being recycled, not easily replaced, may or may not provide oil and gas producers with a prosperous future. Populations of vertebrates have declined by 68% in 50 years.

Posted in Climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 11 October 2020

A look at current figures to see if China going carbon-free will destroy Australia’s coal industry. COVID is bad enough but some people have had COVID and extreme weather events to deal with. Governments have an opportunity to use the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 4 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 4 October 2020

Developing countries need help to avoid the clutches of the fossil fuel industry. Action is needed right now to combat climate change and the UK’s NHS is up for the challenge. 64 world leaders commit to ‘Living in Harmony with … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday environmental round up, 27 September 2020

Despite presidents and SUV drivers doing their bit for oil, the industry is going down the drain. China steps into the global climate action vacuum. Dr Fauci calls for a new relationship with nature to reduce the likelihood of more … Continue reading

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No, Scotty, gas did not choose itself. You chose it.

Morrison claimed that ‘gas chose itself’ to replace the Liddell power station. No, be honest Scotty, you and your mates chose gas.

Posted in Climate, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 20 September 2020

One in four chance that global warming will exceed 1.5oC at least once in next five years, and floods, water scarcity and food insecurity are set to create more displaced persons. Climate change is one of seven factors increasing the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday environmental round up, 13 September 2020

Per head of population Australians produce a lot of greenhouse gases but with the right support household consumption and emissions can be reduced. Unfortunately, governments are currently more enthusiastic about subsidising fossil fuels. Shipping’s emissions continue to rise. The USA’s … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 6 September 2020

COVID is increasing deforestation but the Australian government moves rapidly to put fast-tracked development above the environment. Computer geeks start monitoring the sources of CO2 emissions and Indigenous groups use the law to challenge governments to protect their lands and … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday environmental round up, 30 August 2020

Food may be glorious but the way we produce and consume it can be bad for health and the environment. Unfortunately, we can’t even rely on national dietary guidelines to give us good advice. Shareholders want Whitehaven Coal to exit … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 23 August 2020

A rich man takes some lessons from COVID and a businessman tells us how to correct the failings of the EPBC Act. Scotty has a heatwave named after him. Canada loses an ice shelf and the French say ‘Non’ to … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 16 August 2020

CO2, CO2, and CO2: an oil pipeline in the USA reopens, coal mines and CSG wells in NSW look for approval, Feds give green light to more emissions, gas flaring increases, while Texas ‘mothballs’ its carbon capture and storage poster-child … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 9 August 2020

Renewables may be cheaper and growing faster than fossils but it’s emissions that matter and countries’ Paris agreement ambitions are a long way short of salvation. Maybe Doughnut Economics holds the key to a happier, more sustainable society and maybe … Continue reading

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