Category Archives: Environment and climate

As warming approaches 1.5°C, a carbon budget for the Paris targets is delusional

There’s a lot of talk about how much “carbon budget” (new emissions) are allowable to  keep global heating to the Paris target of 1.5°C. The reality is that over the last year, global average warming was already close to 1.5°C, … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 12 July 2020

A physical trip to the USA looks unlikely in the foreseeable future so I’m taking you on a virtual tour this week. Stories about the effects of warming on life in the largest and smallest states, the harmful effects of … Continue reading

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The really big and tough issue is the environment says Ken Henry

In last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald, Jessica Irvine quizzed Ken Henry on his preferences for tax reform. Ken emphasised the critical importance of a clear, settled allocation of roles between the Commonwealth and the States.

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Sunday environmental round up, 5 July 2020

Disgraceful behaviour at home and in the United Nations allows Australia to meet its Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions targets, while our overall environmental performance scores high and low. Corruption and money laundering exposed at the root of the illegal trade … Continue reading

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“The Emperor has no clothes!” – should we invest in CCS?

The federal government will shortly vote on whether to significantly increase taxpayer funding of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in order to support ‘business as usual’ for the fossil fuel industry. Would this be a wise public investment?

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Time for a “Green New Deal” in Australia?

Is the current political economic situation an opportunity for some progressive policies?  ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’ is a theme more familiar on the political right, but a “Green New Deal” could play well for the left … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 28 June 2020

Stories from the USA, Britain and Australia about the links between Black Lives Matter, climate change and inequality. Investment in renewable energy continues to climb but it remains woefully inadequate to head off a climate catastrophe. Abandoned oil and gas … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 21 June 2020

Three graphs to stimulate the little grey cells: Norway’s domestic and exported greenhouse gas emissions, global electric car sales and changes in CO2 emissions during COVID. Plus, India plans to become a global renewable energy powerhouse (with Gautam Adani’s support) … Continue reading

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Thriving in a Mega-threatened World

The threats from climate change and pandemics to human well-being and even human survival, have recently become apparent to us all. There is growing recognition, that we must change our expectations and the way we live, in order to ensure … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 14 June 2020

What do organisations’ green promises mean and are they keeping them? Contrasting fortunes for insects: the locust plague in Africa and Asia is set to grow massively but overall insects are in serious decline globally. And they are not alone: … Continue reading

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The Climate Tide roars in, yet leaders fail to understand and act

Climate change is a massively complex ‘wicked’ problem hence solutions require human capacities of logic and imagination guiding action. Our leaders appear bereft of science-based logic, acknowledging neither magnitude nor urgency of climate change.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 7 June 2020

The ‘politics of prevarication and inadequate action’ from Rio in 1992 to Paris in 2015 is followed by stories of the ongoing investment in fossil fuels rather than renewables by G20 governments and major oil and gas companies. China has … Continue reading

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TIM BUCKLEY & PRAVEEN GUPTA. Energy is pivotal to India’s economic development and sustainability goals. Part 2 of 2.

In Part 1, Tim Buckley and Praveen Gupta discussed the influences on India’s economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability. In Part 2 they explore the Indian government’s energy strategies and possible ways forward.

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TIM BUCKLEY & PRAVEEN GUPTA. Energy is pivotal to India’s economic development and sustainability goals. Part 1 of 2.

In Part 1, Tim Buckley and Praveen Gupta explore the factors influencing India’s economic growth, energy and water security, natural resources, air pollution and environmental sustainability.

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. There’s no doubt Morrison is swimming against a tidal wave Part 3

The Morrison Government is adopting the newest form of doubting climate change by arguing that yes it does exist but that it can all be fixed by some unproven technological developments such as carbon capture or hydrogen both of which … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 31 May 2020

It’s not difficult knowing what to do to prevent an environmental and human catastrophe. What’s difficult is making it happen and starting it now, especially in Australia. Today’s articles highlight some recommendations for governments. Finally, a couple of wins in … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. Australia’s two personalities-pandemic and climate change

In recent domestic policy and international engagement Australia is demonstrating two contrasting personalities. One is demonstrated through our response to COVID 19 and the other through our troubled inability to form responsible climate and energy policy. Why do we have … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. After Covid-19 the ‘New Normal’ must have ‘Real Universities’ acting on the Climate Crisis

The Market Forces UniSuper divest campaign details continuing UniSuper investments in fossil fuels despite many concerns expressed by academics and despite the progressive climate change crisis. Do the Universities have responsibilities?

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PAUL COLLINS. Back to Nature

It is five years this week since Pope Francis published perhaps the most radical and important papal encyclical ever issued, Laudato si’, mi’ Signore (‘Praise be to you, my Lord’) on ‘care for our common home.’

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NOEL TURNBULL. Nev Power’s fossil mates still pushing doubt – Part 2

In 2008 David Michaels’ published a book – Doubt is their Product. How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens your Health – which was instrumental in the subsequent exposure of the systematic efforts of various industries to raise doubt about the … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Nev is never in doubt

Reflecting on when the Prime Minister rang to ask him head the Government’s COVID-19 Task Force Nev Power said he couldn’t refuse the PM – reacting as any responsible citizen would.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 24 May 2020

A guide to the Australian government’s plans for the post-COVID recovery and bureaucrats and scientists talk with feeling about Australia’s Climate Wars. Cyclone Amphan hits India and Bangladesh, providing a current example of the increasing frequency of strong tropical storms. … Continue reading

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RORY McGUIRE. The curious case of our energy myopia

The economics of our energy supply are being turned upside-down but, as the Federal Government’s acceptance of the recent King Review shows, our decision-makers seem unable to comprehend.

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BOB CARR. While the world looked the other way, corporate giants abandoned coal (SMH 15.5.20)

Can we deal with a pandemic and global warming at once – both urgent, one an immediate hit, the other a decade-long burn? Well, yes, because – even with front pages dominated by COVID-19 – last month saw an astonishing … Continue reading

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SALLY GILLESPIE. Energising Climate Conversations

Good climate reporting informs us about the complex consequences of a heating planet. In order to also act as a catalyst for change, climate campaigners need to acknowledge the complex emotional responses their stories stir while highlighting avenues for personal … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 May 2020

In the absence of urgent climate action, rising temperatures over the next 50 years will render much of the globe uninhabitable for humans and trees. But global fossil fuel consumption is still rising and a NSW coal company has repeatedly … Continue reading

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OLIVER HOWES. Net-zero carbon, CSIRO and Big Australia

While net-zero carbon needs our nation-wide commitment, an older national ambition competes for primacy – Big Australia. CSIRO reports have plans for our future, but can’t please everyone.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 10 May 2020

Australians think they have it tough with bushfires, coronavirus and bleaching of the Reef but the people of Pacific and African nations have a multitude of other problems to cope with as well – few of which they caused. Are … Continue reading

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MARK DIESENDORF. Lessons from Covid-19: Strategic Planning for Future Risks

A key lesson from Covid-19 is that markets cannot manage major risks and that strategic planning is necessary.

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TONI HASSAN. The earth is breathing easier.

 Major cities and their birds are breathing easier. Across China, smog has given way to the colour blue. Even the snow-capped Himalayas are visible from parts of Northern India for the first time in local’s memories.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments