Category Archives: Environment and climate

LobbyLand. Fossil Fuel Lobbyists: Modus Operandi, Impact, Solutions

In Australia, denial mounts. The recent “Gas-Led Recovery” and “Technological Roadmap” announcements of the  Morrison government confirm the continued influence of the fossil fuel industry and its lobbyists.

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Angus Taylor’s energy roadmap: national interest second

At least the latest energy plan – the coalition’s 22nd, and counting – is not all about gas.

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When climate risks are so high,  short term actions matter most

Many carbon budgets are based on an under-estimation of warming to date, and the path of future warming. And all such budgets either ignore, or underplay, the loss of carbon from long-term stores — such as the melting of permafrost … Continue reading

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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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How SUVs conquered the world – at the expense of its climate (The Guardian Sep 1, 2020)

Exclusive new emissions analysis shows how much more dangerous for the climate SUVs are than smaller vehicles, and how embedded they have become in our lives.

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Some Good News at Last?

The recent announcement that the World Economic Forum will be holding a unique twin summit in January 2021 on what is termed “The Great Reset “is the best news I have read for some time.

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Morrison’s choice: blimps and gas-fired power

If Scott Morrison ever went back to his old job of promoting tourism and needed to ramp up the travel industry, he would put his money on blimps. So gas is obviously the go. A sensible middle course, obviously the … 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 Environment and climate, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Scientists and capitalists agree on climate. When will governments act?

Time again for Australia’s political leaders to ignore the regular cycle of reports that highlight the failure to deal with the coming climate disaster. The pandemic might provide a “look over there” opportunity to distract citizens, but the recent climate … Continue reading

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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

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Scott Morrison’s gas plan is an arrogant, irresponsible disaster (Canberra Times Sep 17, 2020)

The only rival to the arrogance of Morrison’s gas-led recovery strategy is its irresponsibility. 

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A Government Program to lock-in Fossil Fuels

The federal government’s “Next Generation Energy Technologies Investment Package” is designed to lock-in fossil fuels.

Posted in Environment and climate | 3 Comments

It’s a gas, gas, gas.

With the Federal Government announcement of a gas-lead recovery (and as a potential centrepiece having the large coal-fired power station, Liddell in NSW, replaced by gas generation) Australians can now have both lower emissions and lower energy prices. High fives … Continue reading

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Review: TOAST – the new Australian primer on climate change

Toast describes the huge threat climate change poses to the world and to Australia in particular. It explains why this is so difficult to perceive. It sets out evidence that the climate scientists, not the denialists, are right.

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Radical hope in the time of climate crisis

As ice melts, bushfires, heatwaves and cyclones intensify, many grapple with the question of “what kind of hope, if any, can I hold as climate catastrophe deepens?” To answer this question, we need to not only accept the realities of … Continue reading

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How Australia’s climate policy fell victim to the conservatives (SMH Sep 11, 2020)

It took one lunch with George W. Bush in 2001 for John Howard to agree to dropping ratification of Kyoto, without a word to his ministers. We became the president’s closest friend in resisting climate change.

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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

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Ross Garnaut’s ‘Superpower’ case … is not impressive

The book tells us we can run everything on renewable energy and get rich exporting it. Unsurprisingly it has been met with much fanfare and enthusiasm. But on the crucial issues it either provides flimsy and unconvincing analyses or fails … Continue reading

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Research reveals shocking detail on how Australia’s environmental scientists are being silenced (The Conversation Sep 9, 2020)

Ecologists and conservation experts in government, industry and universities are routinely constrained in communicating scientific evidence on threatened species, mining, logging and other threats to the environment, our new research has found.

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Ecological Conversion

Are there shy signs of a new era emerging as humanity faces this pandemic? Could we be moving towards a more ‘woke’ state, leaving behind something of our 2019 ‘zombie’ selves, heads cowed over smartphones?

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The EPBC Review says good-bye to environmental and human health on Planet A

The Samuel Report and its rejection of an independent regulator by the Minister have ‘grave’ implications for the health of countless communities around Australia.

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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

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Joe Biden’s bold climate policies would leave Australia behind (The Guardian Sep 2, 2020)

Australia may be sailing perilously close to being cast by Biden’s team with other climate resisters Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

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Air pollution from coal blights young lives, even before birth

Air pollution from Australia’s dirty coal-burning power stations needlessly causes 850 cases of low birth weight and at least 800 premature deaths per year. Coal is also the number one cause of the climate crisis. Clean renewable technology is available … Continue reading

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Environmental values remain threatened

Environmental legislation now before federal parliament offers an opportunity to go beyond that of removing “green tape”. Devolution to the states of federal responsibilities without an independent regulator and funding support will ensure our environmental trajectory remains unsustainable.

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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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The Coal Curse – A Review

Governments are abrogating their first responsibility, which is to safeguard the people and their future well-being. The first part of historian Judith Brett’s Quarterly Essay, The Coal Curse – Resources, Climate and Australia’s Future, is a masterly dissection of Australian … 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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40 Years of Climate Warnings Ignored by Australian Politicians  

Coronavirus will have a temporary effect on much of humanity but global warming will have a permanent impact on the whole of humanity. Our current federal government relies heavily on science to deal with the former but largely rejects it … Continue reading

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130 Degrees (NYRB August 20, 2020 )

With the climate crisis…no one is going to produce a vaccine.

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