Category Archives: Environment and climate

PETER SAINSBURY. Health professionals stepping up to support action on climate change

Climate change is already causing injuries, illness and premature death. This is only going to get worse. Health professionals, individually and collectively, are taking action to highlight the health problems, including being arrested for blocking development of the Adani mine.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 1 December 2019

How much can we trust the certification system for palm oil? Not much according to two reports over the last 4 years. Air pollution kills 3,000 Australians each year – there’s an opportunity to put pressure on ministers to enact … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Global warming – we’re screwed!

In 2018, the IPCC warned with high confidence that ‘Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if [the rate of emissions] continues to increase at the current rate’. The World Meteorological Organisation reported this week that … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Problems with and for achieving the Paris climate accord

Since its inception the Paris climate accord has been in question due, among other factors, to (1) its broad definition, intended to keep mean global temperature rise this century to below +2oC above the pre-industrial level and efforts to limit the temperature … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. The Earth gets its day in court

Last month the Earth got its first day in court in cases against ExxonMobil lodged in New York and Massachusetts in which it was alleged, among other things, that the company misled the public about its product.

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GREG BAILEY. Climate Change Politics in Theory and Practice (3). The Liberal National Party

It is really the LNP government over the last six years that should have been making the run on climate change mitigation, but it has done nothing apart from giving handouts-Direct Action–to certain favoured recipients. Any efforts it might have … Continue reading

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RICHARD FLANAGAN.  Scott Morrison and the big lie about climate change: does he think we’re that stupid?  (The Guardian, 24 November 2019)

Of all the horrors that might befall the burnt out, the flooded, the cyclone ravaged and the drought stricken Australian this summer, perhaps none could be viewed with more dread than turning from their devastated home to see advancing on … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The Greens cruelled Australia’s last best chance for climate action ten years ago

Ten years ago, on 23 November, PM Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull had worked together to draft a compromise environmental policy for Australia that both could live with. That fleeting moment of bipartisan unity was sabotaged by Andrew … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Climate Change Politics in Theory and Practice (2). The ALP

Arguably the ALP since its election loss in 2013 has not been able to legislate for climate change mitigation though it was able to make some contribution when the National Energy Guarantee was proposed in 2017–only to be defeated by … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Climate Change Politics in Theory and Practice (1).

Given the centrality of the problem of an emerging climate catastrophe in the consciousness of many Australians now, it is timely to canvas the progress of the two main parties in conceptualizing and dealing with climate change. Not just because … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 24 November 2019

A very strong international flavour this week. Land degradation problems and encouragement to shift to renewables in India; Bangladesh planning to massively increase its coal-fired power generation; California fighting back against Trump and car makers on fuel efficiency standards; Germany … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER- Global Change and Us

Recent fires in Australia and California have provoked discussion about the effects of climate change. These extreme events, not unknown in times past, seem to be more frequent now and suggest that the recorded changes in global temperature may be … Continue reading

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GEOFF DAVIES. The Independent path to effective democracy, and survival.

A way to break us out of the ossified and toxic parliamentary culture and the fearful stupor of the electorate. A way to restore fluid and functional governance.  

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Portents of continental-scale fires

The effects of encroaching deserts and of fire storms on terrestrial forests, originally developed under moderate conditions distinct from those emerging under rapid global warming and extreme weather events, may have been underestimated. Average global temperatures do not tell the … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Now is not the time for keeping mum about Scott

The Canberra bushfire of January 2003 burnt, in an afternoon, nearly three times as many houses as have been consumed in NSW in this terrible week of 2019 as fires have raged in north-eastern NSW.

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LESLEY HUGHES. If not now, when?

We don’t need name calling. But we do need to talk about climate change and bushfires.

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TRENT PENMAN, KATE PARKINS, SARAH McCOLL-GAUSDEN. A surprising answer to a hot question: controlled burns often fail to slow a bushfire (The Conversation 15-11-19)

As sure as night follows day, this week’s bushfires prompted inevitable debate about whether fire authorities should have carried out more hazard reduction burning, and whether opposition from conservationists prevented this.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 November 2019

Fire chiefs and health professionals stand up for action on climate change. Fly ash from coal burning causes major problems in Indonesia. The International Energy Agency identifies the main trends influencing energy supply over the next 20 years.

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GILES PARKINSON. South Australia’s stunning renewable energy transition, and what comes next (Renew Economy 5-11-19)

The eyes of the energy world are upon it, but the renewable energy transition in South Australia is probably one of the misunderstood, misreported and under-appreciated achievements of our time.

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DAVID ROWE. Pocketing science but offering thoughts and prayers. (AFR 11.11.2019)

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BOB DOUGLAS. Responding to Greta’s Challenge

“How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? …You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon … Continue reading

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CÉSAR RODRÍGUEZ GARAVITO. The Solution to the Climate Crisis

Homo sapiens suffers from a cognitive defect in that we have evolved to deal with immediate and concrete threats, but not ones that happen to us slowly over time, like climate change. Those with Asperger’s syndrome see the world differently, … Continue reading

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JOHN KERIN: The Latest Commonwealth Government Drought Package.

The latest ad hoc response to the current drought cannot be criticised in terms of the politics of the situation we are now in. If it rains in, say, by March, or in the first six months of 2020, then … Continue reading

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LIN CRASE. Australia’s drought relief package hits the political spot but misses the bigger point (The Conversation 7-11-19)

There are two basic components to the Morrison government’s latest A$1 billion package response to the drought affecting large parts eastern Australia. One part involves extra subsidies to farmers and farm-related business. The other involves measures to create or upgrade … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 10 November 2019

Nearly all about climate change this week: 20 fossil fuel companies responsible for producing 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions and confusing the public and politicians about the causes of climate change; the USA starts the formal process of withdrawal … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. CO2 is rising at the fastest rate since 66 million years ago.

As the CO2 level rises to 408 ppm and the total greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, including CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, reaches about 500 parts per million CO2-equivalent, the stability threshold of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, currently melting at an accelerated … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. Australia is defenceless against an advancing foe (Croakey, 05 November 2019)

Our Government maintains the primacy of the economy in all its deliberations. Even when mental health gets attention through the Productivity Commission it is with a view to “improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic … Continue reading

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ROSS GARNAUT. Australia could fall apart under climate change. But there’s a way to avoid it (The Conversation, 06 November 2019)

Four years ago in December 2015, every member of the United Nations met in Paris and agreed to hold global temperature increases to 2°C, and as close as possible to 1.5°C. The bad news is that four years on the … Continue reading

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ANDREA HAMBLIN. More than 11,000 scientists endorse a global ‘climate emergency’ declaration (New Daily, 06 November 2019)

The Australian parliament voted against it. But now 11,000 people who might know one or two more facts than a bubble of politicians have confirmed it is, indeed, happening: the whole world is in the midst of a climate emergency.

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TOM SWANN. Morrison’s claim of an Australian gold in per capita renewables is not true (Renew Economy 27-10-19)

Despite promises to cut emissions, Australia’s emissions are still rising. But at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, prime minister Scott Morrison rejected criticism by claiming that “Australia now has the highest per capita investment in … Continue reading

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