Category Archives: Environment and climate

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 24 March 2019

In Europe ExxonMobil is spending billions of Euros every year to hold back climate action in the EU, while in Asia communities living in the sixteen downstream countries of the ten rivers that rise in the Hindu Kush region of … Continue reading

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ISABELLA HARDING. How would I sum up the youth climate strike in Melbourne last Friday ?

If I had to sum up the youth climate strike in Melbourne last Friday in one word, it would be empowering. If I had to sum it up in three words, they would be empowering, inspiring and disappointing.

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ANDREW GLIKSON. At a climate tipping point

According to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chief climate advisor to the European Union, “We’re simply talking about the very life support system of this planet”. As fascism and the horror of murderous hate crimes are spreading around the world, governments are … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Students’ strike for climate action – and good on them for it.

The conservatives have got themselves into a terrible lather about last week’s climate change protest.  

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GREG BAILEY. An oldie at the climate march.

After travelling for an hour from outside of Melbourne, I reached the Treasury Gardens at about 12.05pm to concerted cheering from thousands of young voices. On the train teenage boys and girls from various local high schools in the northeast … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 March 2019

The Reserve Bank of Australia issues its first statement on climate change – it’s highly likely to disrupt the productivity and stability and they now include it with the other factors they consider when managing the economy – while schools … Continue reading

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LOUISA MENADUE. Striking For Our Future.

On the 15th of March, I was one of the thousands of students from Australia who participated in school strikes for climate. Students from 105 countries worldwide are striking for climate because climate action is imperative. So many seem to … Continue reading

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RICHARD KINGSFORD. Policy holes drain the life out of Murray-Darling rivers.

This press statement by Professor Richard Kingsford outlines what needs to be done to protect the Murray-Darling rivers and the communities that rely on them in the lead up to the NSW state election.  

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IAN DUNLOP. The Elephant in the Election Room. The Immediate Existential Threat of Climate Change.(SMH 14.2.2019)

Human-induced climate change is happening faster than officially acknowledged. Extreme events intensify, particularly in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Victoria and Tasmania are ablaze again. Queensland needs a decade to recover from recent floods. Much of SE Australia has become … Continue reading

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MARC HUDSON. Game over for the Nationals on climate change? Spruiking for miners instead?

The National Party’s battles over climate policy are becoming ever louder, ever more ludicrous. The consequences of thirty years of climate denial and spruiking for mining may finally tear the party apart. 

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TONY SMITH. The environment – top issue for New South Wales voters

Traditionally, New South Wales election campaigns are tightly controlled affairs. Perhaps because the major party planners think that most elections will be close, they concentrate on one or two key statewide issues and hope that local campaigning will see them … Continue reading

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DAVID SPRATT: Existential risk, Neoliberalism and UN Climate Policymaking Part 2

International climate policymaking has failed to avoid a path of catastrophic global warming. Two often-overlooked causes of this failure are how climate-science knowledge has been produced and utilised by the United Nation’s twin climate bodies and how those organisations function. … Continue reading

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DAVID SPRATT: Existential risk, Neoliberalism and UN Climate Policymaking Part 1

International climate policymaking has failed to avoid a path of catastrophic global warming. Two often-overlooked causes of this failure are how climate-science knowledge has been produced and utilised by the United Nation’s twin climate bodies and how those organisations function. … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB. The Rise of Woman. Greta Thunberg.

She’s just turned 16 and is already a world leader with more statespersonlike qualities, clear-eyed goals, plain speaking and sheer guts than almost any national head of today or recent history. Julian Cribb looks at the rise of Greta Thunberg

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ALAN PEARS. Beyond the Climate Chaos

 It seems our politicians live on a different planet from the rest of us. The government’s climate position is untenable and morally irresponsible, while the opposition’s is still marginal. Humanity and the planet are in serious trouble. Strong action is … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 10 March 2019

Water features strongly this week: while Birdlife Australia is being innovative to protect our water birds, the governments and shooters of Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia are wilfully destroying them in the hundreds of thousands; the citizens of Toledo (think … Continue reading

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JEFFREY SACHS. Green New Deal is feasible and affordable. (CNN online, 26.2.2019)

There are three main ideas of the Green New Deal Resolution introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. 

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JOHN MENADUE. Some Coalition legacies that a new government must confront

There are several major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the growing existential  threat of climate change, the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing … Continue reading

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PETER BROOKS. Will teenagers’ involvement in the climate change debate be a ‘game changer’?

March 15 has been flagged as a coordinated day of school strikes by teenagers around the world. Let us hope that they will start a new movement to bring home the urgency for real action around the world, but particularly … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 3 March 2019

To mixed responses, global and Australian mining giant Glencore has announced that it will not be expanding its coal mining operations. Meanwhile politicians squabble in Canberra over Australia’s greenhouse gas emission projections for the next decade. Waters shortages in Australia … Continue reading

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MARTIN WOLF. The US debate on climate change is heating up (Financial Times 21.2.2019)

Might the US move from being a laggard to a leader in tackling global climate change? Two recent announcements — the “economists’ statement on carbon dividends” and the Green New Deal — suggest that it might. Intellectually, these proposals are … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Liberal and National parties have deserted country people on climate change, NBN and more.

Both the Liberal and National parties are taking a drubbing from country voters. A while back it was New England and Lyne. More recently it has been Indi and Wagga Wagga. 

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GILES PARKINSON. Morrison puts lipstick on Tony Abbott’s pig of a climate policy (Renew Economy).

Prime minister Scott Morrison has finally unveiled his climate policy and it is clearly designed to do two things: Placate the core rump of climate deniers and ideologues within his own party and the conservative media, and try to fool … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 24 February 2019

Glaciers, forests and the Great Barrier Reef: today’s round up discusses threats to biodiversity in each of these from global warming or drought or flood or deforestation, or some combination of these. And to finish, a map of Europe that … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. Future national need for a healthy environment.

Since the mid-1980s it has become increasingly established that climate change will impact the lives of Australians, on the economy and the health of environmental assets. The interconnected functioning of natural processes requires us to look beyond the settler view … Continue reading

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OISÍN SWEENEY. Lessons from the Murray-Darling disaster run deeper than water.

Environmental mismanagement runs deeper than the ecological tragedy gripping the Murray-Darling Basin. Recent policy decisions around native forest logging in NSW follow the same pattern of ignoring science and favouring extractive industry over the public interest.

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DAVID WALLACE-WELLS. Time to panic (The New York Times).

The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. And fear may be the only thing that saves us.

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ALAN PEARS. The Politics of Confusion on Achieving the Paris Commitment

Will Australia meet the government’s Paris climate commitment? Experts disagree, while the government avoids explaining exactly how it will achieve its goal. This creates confusion and conflict, which suits the government in the lead-up to the election. Lack of information … Continue reading

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BRUCE LINDSAY. Reflections on the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission

The headline findings of the Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin – unlawfulness, incompetence, regulatory capture – are spectacular. Despite its strong scientific base, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been undermined by the power of vested interests and a … Continue reading

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BOB DEBUS. How close to Armageddon do we have to get?

The 2019 OECD Environmental Performance Review for Australia, launched recently and reported in The Guardian if hardly anywhere else, makes horrible reading. “Australia is home to a 10th of global species and is seen by many as synonymous with pristine … Continue reading

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