Category Archives: Climate

Biden’s Most Daunting Adversary (NYBooks Oct 31, 2020)

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, he will be faced with a hundred pressing problems and a thousand things to repair from the Trump years. Nevertheless, he will have little choice but to concentrate on the climate crisis.

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Sunday environmental round up, 1 November 2020

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing presents a major threat to security and fish stocks. Seagrasses and snow leopards suffering from environmental destruction. Aussie coal companies turning to the Canadian Rockies. Insights into what might be influencing American votes on Tuesday.

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Bruce Mountain and Steven Percy. Pumped hydro isn’t our energy future, it’s our past (The Conversation 29.10.20)

It’s now beyond dispute that — for new electricity generation — solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy are cheaper than anything else: cheaper than new coal fired power stations, cheaper than new gas-fired stations and cheaper than new … Continue reading

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Does anyone really believe we are going to avert a climate catastrophe?

An energy transition is underway but it is too slow to avert a climate catastrophe and it ignores many other environmental and social challenges that need tackling now. Capitalism has got us into this mess but doesn’t have the tools … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics, Top 5 | 22 Comments

Morrison: How to market denialism on climate change

Scotty from marketing may now be the common Scott Morrison descriptor.  When it comes to climate change it is more and more spin.

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Sunday environmental round up, 25 October 2020

The absorption of solar energy by the earth is getting faster and faster. This is having dramatic effects on the dynamics, chemistry and life of the oceans, and bringing ‘Hothouse Earth’ closer. Over half of residents of the USA are … Continue reading

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IMF on global warming: impractical, naive and important

The response to global warming has to be at the same time political, science-based, and economically informed. Reading the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 2020 World economic outlook: a long and difficult ascent, is instructive on this point.

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China is not the urgent threat; climate change is

Spending priorities by the federal government are increasingly questionable, if not indefensible; they raise fundamental questions about the competence and intelligence of our policymaking elites.

Posted in Climate, Defence and Security, Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 18 October 2020

Plastics: littering the ocean floor, not being recycled, not easily replaced, may or may not provide oil and gas producers with a prosperous future. Populations of vertebrates have declined by 68% in 50 years.

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Interests, Not Altruism, Drive China’s New Climate Ambition (Seirra Club Oct 5, 2020)

In a surprising and widely praised statement, President Xi recently announced that China would significantly increase its carbon reduction goals.

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What must climate and energy policy really achieve?

The Australian Government is dangerously out-of-touch as climate change accelerates and a cascade of tipping points risks unstoppable global warming.

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2020 Budget: a missed opportunity to prepare the economy for climate change

It is clear from this week’s budget that the Federal government will continue to delay the decarbonisation of our economy and appears determined to extend the life of declining fossil fuel industries.

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Sunday environmental round up, 11 October 2020

A look at current figures to see if China going carbon-free will destroy Australia’s coal industry. COVID is bad enough but some people have had COVID and extreme weather events to deal with. Governments have an opportunity to use the … Continue reading

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LobbyLand: An Analysis of Australian Industry Associations’ Influence on Climate Policy

This analysis identified five lobbying organisations that stood out as the ‘most obstructive, negative and influential’ in refusing to address climate change. They were the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NSW Minerals Council, the … Continue reading

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Hydrogen, but not for the Hindenburg

In Mafia folklore, when faced with an existential crisis, the mobsters would “go to the mattresses” a euphemism for dropping everything to engage in a life and death struggle with their enemies.

Posted in Climate, Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 4 October 2020

Developing countries need help to avoid the clutches of the fossil fuel industry. Action is needed right now to combat climate change and the UK’s NHS is up for the challenge. 64 world leaders commit to ‘Living in Harmony with … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and Poverty

That health and illness are close associates of wealth and poverty is well known. This dictum applies to covid-19 both within and among nations.

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Phantom Peril in the Arctic (Foreign Affairs Sep 29, 2020)

Russia Doesn’t Threaten the United States in the Far North—But Climate Change Does.

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The bathtub is nearly full: Australia’s extraordinary energy plan

The Coalition government’s energy plan ensures the emissions tap will continue to flow. While economic recovery following the pandemic is an important objective, to ignore the consequences of persisting with fossil fuels is incomprehensible.

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LobbyLand. Fossil Fuel Lobbyists: Modus Operandi, Impact, Solutions

In Australia, denial mounts. The recent “Gas-Led Recovery” and “Technological Roadmap” announcements of the  Morrison government confirm the continued influence of the fossil fuel industry and its lobbyists.

Posted in Climate, Lobbyland, Top 5 | 2 Comments

Angus Taylor’s energy roadmap: national interest second

At least the latest energy plan – the coalition’s 22nd, and counting – is not all about gas.

Posted in Climate, Politics | 6 Comments

When climate risks are so high,  short term actions matter most

Many carbon budgets are based on an under-estimation of warming to date, and the path of future warming. And all such budgets either ignore, or underplay, the loss of carbon from long-term stores — such as the melting of permafrost … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 7 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 27 September 2020

Despite presidents and SUV drivers doing their bit for oil, the industry is going down the drain. China steps into the global climate action vacuum. Dr Fauci calls for a new relationship with nature to reduce the likelihood of more … Continue reading

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How SUVs conquered the world – at the expense of its climate (The Guardian Sep 1, 2020)

Exclusive new emissions analysis shows how much more dangerous for the climate SUVs are than smaller vehicles, and how embedded they have become in our lives.

Posted in Climate, Politics | 8 Comments

Some Good News at Last?

The recent announcement that the World Economic Forum will be holding a unique twin summit in January 2021 on what is termed “The Great Reset “is the best news I have read for some time.

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Morrison’s choice: blimps and gas-fired power

If Scott Morrison ever went back to his old job of promoting tourism and needed to ramp up the travel industry, he would put his money on blimps. So gas is obviously the go. A sensible middle course, obviously the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics, Top 5 | 4 Comments

No, Scotty, gas did not choose itself. You chose it.

Morrison claimed that ‘gas chose itself’ to replace the Liddell power station. No, be honest Scotty, you and your mates chose gas.

Posted in Climate, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Scientists and capitalists agree on climate. When will governments act?

Time again for Australia’s political leaders to ignore the regular cycle of reports that highlight the failure to deal with the coming climate disaster. The pandemic might provide a “look over there” opportunity to distract citizens, but the recent climate … Continue reading

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Sunday environmental round up, 20 September 2020

One in four chance that global warming will exceed 1.5oC at least once in next five years, and floods, water scarcity and food insecurity are set to create more displaced persons. Climate change is one of seven factors increasing the … Continue reading

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Scott Morrison’s gas plan is an arrogant, irresponsible disaster (Canberra Times Sep 17, 2020)

The only rival to the arrogance of Morrison’s gas-led recovery strategy is its irresponsibility. 

Posted in Climate, Politics | 5 Comments