Category Archives: Environment and climate

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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Our political processes have failed us on climate change and the environment.

The Covid crisis will be controlled in a few years with new pharmaceuticals, vaccination or gradual human attenuation or immunity. Its lasting impact may well be from its distraction from addressing the crises eating away our life support systems.

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Sunday environmental round up, 2 August 2020

Sombre statistics about the murder of environmental activists but better news about the economic as well as environmental and human benefits of protecting large areas of land and sea. Ongoing coal consumption may incinerate the Paris Agreement targets but that … Continue reading

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The mystery of the Top End’s vanishing wildlife, and the unexpected culprits (The Conversation, July 29 2020)

Only a few decades ago, encountering a bandicoot or quoll around your campsite in the evening was a common and delightful experience across the Top End. Sadly, our campsites are now far less lively.

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Population ‘Bomb’ Already exploded

Like many commentators before him, Kevin Bain’s ‘Prospects for refugees and migrants if the population bomb goes bust’ (Pearls and Irritations, 23/7/20) assumes that population is a future problem, ignoring the fact that the world is already over-populated.

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An obituary for our native flora,fauna and habitat.

The essential reform…the appointment of “an independent cop on the beat” to remove politics from a system infested by donors and lobbyists, mainly miners and developers.

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Sunday environmental round up, 26 July 2020

The NT’s moratorium on seabed mining expires soon. Invasive animals and plants are a serious and growing threat to the environment and humans. Japan moves away from funding overseas coal-fired power but inadequate climate action renders CO2 removal from the … Continue reading

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Confronting global warming: do democracies have the expertise?

Global warming, ecological collapse, biodiversity loss, and social injustice are complex, technical challenges. Understanding them and their relationship to each other requires high levels of expertise, and solutions will demand political leadership. Confidence that democracies can meet these challenges isn’t … Continue reading

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How climate has changed the world

The Morrison Government’s attitude to our history is that it started with Captain Cook and then – as if transported by the DeLorean car – arrived at the era of John Howard, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman.

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Who will save Blinky?

It has been 20 years since the last comprehensive reform of our national environment law, why the sudden need to preempt independent review findings with fast-track amendments?  Blinky Bill and a lot more is at stake

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Kosciusko, myths, alternative facts and facts

The Kosciuszko area is inundated with myths, views and alternative facts about land management sponsored for political advantage and by vested interests and never for the benefit of the iconic Kosciuszko National Park.

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Could ‘corporate clean conversion’ save the economy and the planet?

The recent second wave outbreak of Covid-19 at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, NSW creates an apt metaphor for the climate crossroads at which nations globally now find themselves.

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We now know gas is far from the clean fuel it’s claimed to be (SMH 16.7.20)

Australia’s recovery will be driven by gas says the prime minister. A task force headed by Andrew Liveris- a business figure with career doused in carbon- recommends subsidies to ramp up the industry.

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Sunday environmental round up, 19 July 2020

Australia becomes the world’s largest exporter of coal and gas and joins other rich countries pouring billions into supporting fossil fuels during the COVID pandemic. Time magazine wants rapid action on climate change and doesn’t think a re-elected Trump will … Continue reading

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The last chance to stabilise Earth’s climate

The aspirational Paris target of 1.5ºC maximum warming will be beyond our reach if the economy returns to pre-Covid ‘normal’. Technological solutions, although necessary, are not sufficient.

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GARY MOORHEAD. Cheap renewable energy and the future of manufacturing.

Whether it’s economic recovery post COVID, enhancing our future defence capabilities or even helping deal with climate change, manufacturing has become the new black. But before we can see any lift in manufacturing performance, a truly wicked problem must be … Continue reading

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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.

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

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