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Category Archives: Environment and climate
On January 24, 2019, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stated: “Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past … Continue reading
If ‘just peace’ requires peacemaking and peacebuilding to be sensitive to the cries of the poor and the cries of the Earth, how relevant is it to Australia’s present circumstances? If what is proposed is a holistic approach to the … Continue reading
Despite Donald Trump, Scott Morrison and others there is a significant change of opinion on climate change around much of the western world – particularly in the US of all places – for the better.
Climate change. Global warming. A hotter planet. A hotter Australia. Yet few are asking the difficult question of ‘how hot is too hot?’. We have so many elephants in the room at present that ‘the room’ is getting pretty crowded, … Continue reading
RICHARD FLANAGAN. Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us. (The Guardian 4.2.2019)
Scott Morrison is trying to scare people about economic policy but seems blithely unaware people are already scared – about climate change.
A complete focus on climate change this week, starting with a short video by the inspirational Greta Thunberg and finishing with a map of distinctly chilly Iowa. In between, articles about last year’s game-changing IPCC report on warming of 1.5oC, … Continue reading
With the NSW election looming, it’s time to make sure the next state government has environmental policy front and centre at the big table of decision making. On nearly every major measure for the environment – numbers of threatened species, … Continue reading
Why are governments around the world avoiding the constellation of threats to survival of humans on the planet?
The Australian government’s most recent projections indicate that greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 5.4% between now and 2030, when they will be only 7% below the level in 2005. Such a reduction is well below Australia’s Paris Agreement commitment … Continue reading
The Australian Energy Market Operator’s report (summarised here by Sophie Vorrath) into the power failure (caused by a lightning strike) that affected Victoria, NSW and Tasmania in August 2018 illustrates the complexity of maintaining reliable electricity supplies across Australia’s east … Continue reading
One of the Trump administration’s talking points about global warming is that we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while the countries that remain in the Paris accord are not. Well, the first part of this story is clearly not true, as … Continue reading
In response to an excellent article by Michelle Pini “Something stinks in the Coalition and its not dead fish” Pearls and irritations 18/01, I posted a comment. “Yes a Royal Commission with forensic capacity to peel away each layer of … Continue reading
Environmental issues, particularly but not only climate change, are once again prominent in the public eye and their importance has been reflected in frequent posts over the years in Pearls & Irritations. We can also be certain that a range … Continue reading
MICHELLE PINI. Something stinks in the Coalition and it’s not just dead fish (Independent Australia 17.01.2019)
The sight of close to a million dead fish in one of Australia’s most important waterways may herald the end for the Morrison Government. For this is hardly the first time this Coalition Government, under its various iterations, has spat in … Continue reading
The plight of the Darling River shocked the nation last week, when up to a million fish were killed by lack of oxygen, accompanying the disruption of a blue-green algal bloom on a forty kilometre stretch of the river near … Continue reading
The (Northern) summer of 2018 was intense: deadly wildfires, persistent drought, killer floods and record-breaking heat. Although scientists exercise great care before linking individual weather events to climate change, the rise in global temperatures caused by human activities has been … Continue reading
“Earth is now substantially out of energy balance. The amount of solar energy that Earth absorbs exceeds the energy radiated back to space. The principal manifestations of this energy imbalance are continued global warming on decadal time scales and continued … Continue reading
Climate change is worsening the drought now affecting huge swathes of the continent, bringing gut-wrenching misery for farmers and the communities they support. And what have some of the parliamentary representatives of those regions been up to? They have been … Continue reading
The Mission of the Australian Defence Force is to defend Australia and its national interests. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018 Report assesses that climate change presents a global ‘risk to heath, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security … Continue reading
The federal Coalition government has achieved what most would have assumed impossible at the start of 2018: its position on climate and energy policies has worsened and shifted even further to the right.
More frequent extreme heat events and marine heatwaves, an increase in extreme fire weather, and declining rainfall in the southeast and southwest of the continent are some of the key observations showing Australia’s changing climate, as detailed in the latest … Continue reading
“Dear Caesar Keep Burning, raping, killing But please, please Spare us your obscene poetry And ugly music ” (From Seneca’s last letter to Nero)
It takes only a spark, from a lightning or human ignition, to start a fire, but it involves high temperatures, a period of drought, a build-up of dry vegetation and strong winds to start a bush fire, such as is … Continue reading
In so far as it may have been assumed that the growing manifestations of global warming through extreme weather events will cause people to realize the reality and the implications of carbon emissions, this is only partly happening, due to … Continue reading
In Australia, little attention has been given to the concept of “energy diplomacy”, including the way in which it might interact with foreign policy objectives.
ALEXANDER KAUFMAN, CHRIS D’ANGELO. Federal Climate Report Predicts At Least 3 Degrees Of Warming By 2100 (Huff Post).
The White House’s decision to release the report over the holiday weekend is likely to bury the sobering new findings.
FRANK JOTZO. Labor’s policy can smooth the energy transition, but much more will be needed to tackle emissions (The Conversation).
The Labor party’s energy policy platform, released last week, is politically clever and would likely be effective. It includes plans to underwrite renewable energy and storage, and other elements that would help the energy transition along. Its approach to the … Continue reading
The federal government’s non-response to climate change has run its course and events are rapidly overtaking its startled members. And now, after years of resistance, Woodside, BHP and Rio Tinto have done an about face and are calling for a … Continue reading
While extreme weather events are being reported almost daily on news bulletins, only rarely is it conveyed that these events constitute the manifestation of advanced global warming and a fundamental shift in the state of the atmosphere. Rarely do major … Continue reading
GILES PARKINSON. Lazard hails “inflection point” as wind, solar costs beat new and old fossils (Renew Economy).
Lazard hails “inflection point” as wind, solar costs beat new and old fossils.