Category Archives: Environment and climate

LAURIE PATTON. Barbarians at the gate – don’t let them destroy Murray Valley national park

The New South Wales deputy premier wants to allow logging in a national park in the state’s Riverina. John Barilaro says he intends removing statutory protection of the 42,000 hectare Murray Valley National Park – either by de-gazetting the entire area or reducing its size.

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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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JOHN QUIGGIN. The Murray-Darling Basin scandal: economists have seen it coming for decades (The Conversation, 9 July, 2019)

Nations behave wisely, Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban observed five decades ago, “once they have exhausted all other alternatives”. One can only hope that proves the case with water policy in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, the nation’s largest river system and … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 30 June 2019

In the USA young people are trying to lodge a legal case against the federal government for failing to protect their constitutional rights, and health professionals are supporting them strongly. Indeed, frustrated at government inaction, health people are getting increasingly … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Beyond climate tipping points: greenhouse gas levels exceed the stability limit of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets

The pace of global warming has been grossly underestimated. As the world keeps increasing its carbon emissions, rising in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion ton CO2 per year, the atmospheric greenhouse gas level has now exceeded 560 ppm (parts … Continue reading

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JOHN WILLOUGHBY. Reflections on the average health of average people

I’m writing this, in the concluding years of a career in neurology and neuroscience, concerned for humanity. What do I conclude about the human condition at this time? In a nutshell: we are what we are: overbreeding mammals headed for … Continue reading

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JO KHAN. We still have time to act on climate change — but records will tumble for next 20 years regardless of emissions: study (ABC News)

Our last summer was the hottest on record in Australia, and we can expect the record breaking weather to continue for at least the next 20 years, new climate change research has found.

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Flat earthers and ‘The Australian’.

About sixty years ago, as an undergraduate of Sydney University, I met a flat earther on the campus.  

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 23 June 2019

Poor planning seems to be endemic in the gas industry. Despite clear evidence that gas is not low in emissions, not needed for grid reliability, not a viable transition fuel and not cheap, governments and gas producers continue to peddle … Continue reading

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GAY ALCORN. Call to arms: how can Australia avoid a slow and painful decline? (The Guardian)

Australia has been warned it risks ‘drifting into the future’ if it fails to respond to challenges in a fast-changing world

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 16 June 2019

A strong emphasis on economic, ethical and equity issues associated with climate change this week. Global warming has increased inequalities between rich and poor nations; tackling climate change and reducing inequalities must occur simultaneously but only rich and powerful nations … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM.  Federal election and coasts

I am not sure how many Australians appreciated promises made about coastal issues during the recent federal election. Perhaps very few. This despite the fact that so much of our national well-being and livelihoods are dependent on healthy coasts and … Continue reading

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. It’s time for Australia to scale up its energy diplomacy

A huge transformation of global energy production and consumption is underway but sorely needs international governance.

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RICHARD KINGSFORD. Current economic modelling dudding the environment and future generations

With the Federal election verdict widely attributed to ‘quiet Australians’ favouring the economy over the environment, one key point has been missed in the wash-up analysis. Rather than supposedly avoiding a gaping economic hole required to fix the environment through … Continue reading

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CHRIS MILLS. Truthslaying The Environment.

In the Australia in Wonderland in which we are now living, things are getting curiouser and curiouser. Like the time-travel budget surplus arriving in 2019 from the 2020 budget, the Prime Minister has declared that Australia will meet its Paris … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. Obligations to the World’s children in the climate emergency.

This government is not fit to govern on the climate change emergency because of its incapacity to grasp the imminent danger to Australia, our neighbours and indeed the world. Today science strongly indicates we have only a few decades to … Continue reading

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LINDSAY HUGHES. Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Plans: The Regional Danger (Future Directions International)

Saudi Arabia remains one of the largest oil producers (it produced 9.8 million barrels of oil a day in April this year) and the largest oil exporter in the world, despite the fact that Venezuela has larger proven oil reserves … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. The new national security – protection from global warming

Ian Dunlop has argued persuasively that global warming now represents an emergency situation ‘akin to wartime’. The alarmingly obstinate year-on-year increase in the levels of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere has brought this about and will ensure the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 9 June 2019

The fossil fuel industries don’t survive by chance or benign government neglect. Two recent reports expose the massive subsidies the industries receive from governments globally, including in Australia, and the multiple very close and enduring links between high-ranking personnel in … Continue reading

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JOHN QUIGGIN. Explaining Adani: why would a billionaire persist with a mine that will probably lose money? (The Conversation)

The road to Adani. There are more hurdles to overcome, and Gautam Adani might have to put up his own money.

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GEORGE BROWNING. Democratise Energy: Reform Taxation: Save the Planet.

Stuck in a traffic jam every day on the way to work do you imagine this is the way it is always going to be – only a little worse? If your livelihood is agriculture, like your father and his … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP.  Parliament must treat Climate Change as an Emergency

A year ago, discussion of climate change as an existential threat, and the corresponding need for emergency action, was anathema to those leading debate on climate policy in the political, corporate and NGO incumbencies globally. Incremental change remained the order … Continue reading

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KATE FINLAYSON and TIM BUCKLEY. Queensland government about to make poor economic decision on Adani mine.

Following the Labor party’s defeat in May’s general election, the Queensland Labor government seems keen to approve the development of the Adani thermal coal mine as quickly as possible. However, a report released this week by the Institute for Energy … Continue reading

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GAIA VINCE. The consequences of 4 degree warming. Only radical measures will work (The Guardian)

Experts agree that global heating of 4C by 2100 is a real possibility. The effects of such a rise will be extreme and require a drastic shift in the way we live

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Another climate change warning and the return of a Pentagon prophecy the new government might take seriously.

Richard Butler recently made the point on this site that, in relation to foreign policy,  the Australian Government finds the disposition and pose of the ostrich to be  to its liking: a futile self-absorption in reality denial. To this I would … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 2 June 2019

Where is the drive that is urgently needed to transition to a zero carbon, environmentally sustainable world going to come from? A European group thinks Community-Led Initiatives can provide a kick-start. Climate change is affecting animals and plants, and the … Continue reading

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TIM BUCKLEY. The Global Energy Transformation is Well Underway

Improved technology and economies of scale are driving rapidly falling costs of renewable energy. As a result financial institutions and energy corporates are fleeing coal and coal facilities are becoming stranded assets. Government policies in China and India and other … Continue reading

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DAVID MACILWAIN. Of Miracles, Mice and Men.

Following the disastrous failure to change the Australian government to one offering effective action on climate change, I take a scientific and personal look at just what lies ahead.

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BILL MOYERS. Telling the truth. What if we covered the climate crisis like we did the start of the second world war? (The Guardian 22 May 2019)

In the war, the purpose of journalism was to awaken the world to the catastrophe looming ahead of it. We must approach our climate crisis the same way. 

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 26 May 2019

Some pieces this week relevant to the causes of Labor’s problems last Saturday. Was their environmental message wrong? – not according to a recent report suggesting sea level rise of up to two metres by 2100, or the forced migrations … Continue reading

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