Category Archives: Environment and climate

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday’s environment round up

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

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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

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RICHARD KINGSFORD. The catastrophic fish kill on the Darling River– decades in the making

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

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LORRAINE CHOW. Ten grim climate scenarios if global temperatures rise above 1.5 degrees celsius.

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

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The gathering climate storm: the media cover-up.

“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

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LESLEY HUGHES. The Best of 2018: Cognitive Dissonance in the Big Dry.

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

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CHRIS MILLS. Australian Defence Organisation Combats Climate Change Effects in Australia.

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

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GILES PARKINSON. Coalition energy and climate policies hit rock bottom at year’s end.

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. 

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CSIRO and BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY. Climate report 2018 shows continued warming of climate and oceans.

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

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Crimes against the Earth: a deep time perspective.

“Dear Caesar  Keep Burning, raping, killing  But please, please  Spare us your obscene poetry  And ugly music ”  (From Seneca’s last letter to Nero) 

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The 2018 Queensland and California firestorms: there is no Planet B.

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

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Climate cover-up and Orwellian newspeak.

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

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. Australian Energy Diplomacy.

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.

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. Australian Energy Diplomacy.

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.

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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

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ROD MITCHELL. A carbon price that curbs polluters and reduces inequality.

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

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Which planet is the media living on?

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

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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. 

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PETER SAINSBURY. IPCC’s 1.5oC report makes Paris Agreement redundant.

The report ‘Global Warming of 1.5oC’ was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2018. Although the report does not say so, the evidence it presents renders the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change redundant. It … Continue reading

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SOPHIE VORRATH. Surge in renewables delivering cheaper power, says TAI report.

As ScoMo sets off in his big blue autographed campaign bus to Drive Down Electricity Prices in Queensland, the good news is that most of the hard work looks to have been already done for him. This article was published … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Health professionals condemn Australian Government’s contemptuous response to IPCC 1.5oC report .

In a letter to The Lancet twenty-two health professionals have condemned the Australian government’s contemptuous responses to the report ‘Global Warming of 1.5oC’ prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The letter includes a call for action covering … Continue reading

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RICHARD ECKERSLEY. The ghosts of past political failures haunt environmental challenges.

We will not solve climate change and other pressing global threats until we admit, and learn from, the repeated failures of past proclamations and promises. 

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ANDREW GLIKSON. High sea level rise and the IPCC.

In a key paper titled “Scientific reticence and sea level rise” (https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha01210n.html) (2007)  James Hansen, the renowned climate scientist, is critical of what he regards as major underestimates of the magnitude and pace of global warming, as further elaborated in … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. World growth a toxic danger for the environment. (SMH 27.10.2018)

If the world’s population keeps growing, and the poor world’s living standards keep catching up with the rich world’s, how on earth will the environment cope with the huge increase in extraction, processing and disposal of material resources?  

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NASSIM KHADEM. Why Australian company directors have started caring about climate change.

For the first time Australian company directors have nominated climate change as the number one issue they want the federal government to address in the long term, according to a survey of more than 1,200 company directors. 

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JOHN KERIN. Droughts and Drought Policy

Drought policy has always been marked by the near impossibility to satisfactorily match efficiency, preparedness, risk management and resource base (environmental) management with welfare measures once large areas of the continent are declared to be in drought by State Government … Continue reading

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OLIVER YATES. Scott Morrison needs to realise Liberals are prepared to lose the election over climate change.

After Wentworth the government should know how passionate Liberal party members are about the environment.  This article was published by The Guardian on the 23rd of October 2018. 

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MARTIN HIRST. Who’s got the energy mix to win the Victorian state election?

As the Victorian election looms, energy prices are a critical issue for voters. The Liberals espouse scrapping the renewable energy target and lifting the ban on onshore gas extraction. Labor has its program for expanding wind and solar. Voters have … Continue reading

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GEORGE MONBIOT. As the fracking protesters show, a people’s rebellion is the only way to fight climate breakdown.

Our politicians, under the influence of big business, have failed us. As they take the planet to the brink, it’s time for disruptive, nonviolent disobedience.  This article was published by The Guardian on the 18th of October 2018. 

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SOPHIE VORRATH. Coalition backing “big coal” over climate, says Sachs: “Unbelievably irresponsible”.

US economics professor Jeffrey Sachs has slammed the Australian federal government as “unbelievably irresponsible” for its inaction on climate change, and suggested that policy progress in the Coalition – alongside the current US Trump administration – has been held hostage … Continue reading

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