Category Archives: Climate

Sunday environmental round up, 28 February 2021

Australia’s rooftop solar is burying coal while chilly Texas provides lessons about the energy transition. Four storey buildings with a courtyard provide the most energy efficient homes. Extinction in six minutes (the facts not the event), and native snails coming … Continue reading

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‘Existential threat to our survival’: 19 Australian ecosystems already collapsing

This is not a warning but a dire wake-up call. Current changes across the continent, and their potential outcomes, pose an existential threat to our survival. But there are actions we can take to help protect or restore ecosystems. 

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Snow storms in North America and Europe: real-time consequences of climate change

Snow storms in North America and Europe may give the impression that “global cooling” is taking place. Nothing is further from the truth. The cooling is a consequence of the weakening of the Arctic jet stream boundary, allowing freezing air … Continue reading

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Australia’s plans for a $2 billion airstrip in the Antarctic is environmental vandalism

While Australia criticises other countries for their supposed expansionist policies, Australia is the most brazen of any country in asserting ownership of territory that doesn’t belong to it. And while Australia claims to be staunchly committed to the environmental protection … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Top 5 | 14 Comments

The light on the hill could soon be solar powered

Global warming runs amok thanks to our coal, cities are unsustainable, more roads means more trucks, more anti-China Cold War rhetoric, and all undoing the many positive features of Australia and its diverse population.

Posted in Climate | 9 Comments

The frightening cost of Morrison’s climate inaction

Scott Morrison loves saying he won’t take action on climate change without knowing what it will cost. Joel Fitzgibbon takes the same tack when defending his coal mining constituents. But now we have a clear idea of the cost of … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 21 February 2021

Stories from Guyana, USA and south west Africa illustrate the local dangers of oil and gas developments, while oil companies globally are struggling. Stories from Nicaragua, Cambodia, India and Lizard Island about the effects of climate change on communities and … Continue reading

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Santos changes tack: rugby charm offensive replaces lobbying efforts

The issue of gas extraction in the Pilliga, in north-west NSW, has caused conflict. Early this month, mining company Santos tried to win hearts and minds in the town of Narrabri by sponsoring a rugby carnival. This charm offensive was … Continue reading

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The pandemic is climate change on fast forward

The think tank idea that the world can still make a gradual transition to a low-carbon world by tweaking neoliberalism is totally unrealistic. We need to undertake a massive risk management task, the first step of which must be a … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Top 5 | 9 Comments

National water policy: outdated, unfair and not fit for climate challenges

The findings of a report by the Productivity Commission National Water Reform 2020 matter to all Australians, whether you live in a city or a drought-ravaged town. If governments don’t manage water better then entire communities may disappear. Agriculture will … Continue reading

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Peter Garrett gives Labor a free pass on climate action

Peter Garrett’s essay in ‘Upturn: A better normal’, edited by Tanya Plibersek, rightly castigates the federal government’s continuing support for fossil fuels and its failure to implement effective climate mitigation policies. But he doesn’t address Labor’s reluctance to take the … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 14 February 2021

Australian coal causes at least 320,000 premature deaths globally every year – six times more people than the industry employs. Coal from a fully operational Galilee Basin will cause approximately 200,000 premature deaths per year. Australia’s whole fossil fuel industry … Continue reading

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Does the desire for power over-ride saving lives by acting on climate change adaptation?

A key role of government is to save lives. It has done this admirably for Covid-19 at huge expense. It will  need to do the same regarding climate change adaptation if we are to protect human health and lives.

Posted in Climate | 7 Comments

Just a sliver of a chance: the uncomfortable truth of insufficient climate action

We must stop celebrating trivial wins in this war of cataclysmic consequences. The pretence that we are making a significant difference may make us feel better but it lets us settle into the complacent delusion that one day someone will … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up. The bells are tolling for coal. Is Fitzgibbon deaf?

Lots about Australia this week: sharks in greater peril from humans than vice versa; bells tolling, albeit still distantly, for coking coal and more loudly for thermal coal; gas industry captures the WA government; evidence that last year’s bushfires were … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 9 Comments

Coalition government’s climate change policy too successful for its deniers?

Scott Morrison’s rationale for using the market to keep power costs as low as possible should make him a devotee of renewable energy. Meanwhile, the Nationals denialism is so absurd that it is pushing for a coal-fired power plant whose … Continue reading

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Death by a thousand cuts – EPBC Act needs a powerful cop on the beat

A bill to change the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversation Act focuses on streamlining the approvals process and devolving federal powers to the states and territories. But the Act already fails to capture most impacts of development because it doesn’t … Continue reading

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Taxpayers’ $50m gift to gas in Beetaloo Basin sums up the crisis: Environmental round-up Jan 31

Heat causes climate change and climate change causes humans to produce reports: reports documenting the worsening problem and its causes; reports about the actions needed but not being taken; and reports about actions that should be avoided but are taken … Continue reading

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Coalition’s political games don’t mix well with existential threat

We could secure a spectacular future for ourselves and help the planet. Instead the federal government dodges the hard decisions; passes the buck. Fortunately, state and territory governments are stepping up to the plate.

Posted in Climate, Top 5 | Tagged | 19 Comments

A “gas-led recovery” leads to dangerous atmospheric methane

A US study showed that children born within a mile or two of a gas well were likely to be smaller and less healthy. High levels of methane reduce the amount of oxygen breathed from the air, with health consequences. … Continue reading

Posted in Climate | 12 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 24 January 2021

The land this week: strategies to reduce agricultural land and habitat loss, and improve human health, even as the global population increases; the massive carbon footprint of dairy products; problems in Asia – slow-onset impacts of climate change to displace … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 17 January 2021

Some good and some bad news about climate change from 2020, with a focus on the rapidly warming Arctic. Different starting points and scopes for two plans to keep warming under 1.5oC but their strategies share many commonalities. Three-quarters of … Continue reading

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Simple illustration of how our climate has changed

Climate change sceptics and doubters might be beyond persuasion but the Bureau of Meteorology has a plain bar chart that shows how our climate has changed

Posted in Climate | 3 Comments

Preparing for a 3°C warmer future: the ideological shift and institutional response Australia will need.

Three things are obvious. The collective emission reduction efforts of nations will not avoid 3oC global warming by the century’s end. Therefore, national adaptation actions will need prepare for the worse than expected scale and impact from the effects of … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Top 5 | 6 Comments

You don’t want to imagine an ocean without coral reefs, but you might have to

With a recent report titled “Projections of Future Coral Bleaching Conditions,” published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in November, Leticia Carvalho—head of the Marine and Freshwater Branch of UNEP—said on December 21 that coral reefs are the “canary in the … Continue reading

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Research reveals shocking detail on how Australia’s environmental scientists are being silenced

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.

Posted in Climate | 8 Comments

Governments everywhere are ignoring the fact that climate change is just one of 10 human-made threats to our survival

Human extinction in coming decades looks increasingly certain, unless we can somehow, quickly engineer, radical transformative change in the way humans everywhere, live and relate to the planet.

Posted in Climate | 5 Comments

The public has no realistic idea of what to do about climate change – and nor does the environmental-progressive movement

Yes, the public is way ahead of the government re climate change.

Posted in Climate | 6 Comments

The economic conductor of the catastrophes of climate change and biodiversity loss

The human brain seems unable to grasp the magnitude of the global problems we face in moving to ways of sustainable living and governance systems which can deliver a secure future for our children.

Posted in Climate, Economy | 5 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 20 December 2020

We finish the year with suggestions for getting the COP process back on track, delays to the federal government’s plans to get the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act off track, confirmation that Australian coal does produce less CO2, and … Continue reading

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