Category: Energy

Feb 02 2014

Great Barren Reef: the cost of coal exports

On Friday the Abbott government approved the dumping of three million cubic metres of dredged seabed in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. That’s enough waste to fill 150,000 dump trucks. This outrage is occurring because of a planned coal export boom. Environment Minister Greg Hunt quietly approved the dredging in December while you were …

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Jan 29 2014

21 flaws in Tony Abbott’s climate policy

Australia’s new Abbott Government intends to replace the former government’s climate policies with a “Direct Action Plan”, consisting mainly of an “Emissions Reduction Fund”. This post will examine the flaws of the proposals outlined in the recently released Green Paper. They should have just called it the “Paper”, because it contains very little that is …

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Jan 16 2014

Tennis heat just the beginning

The Australian Open is currently subjecting tennis players and spectators to extreme heat, a striking reminder of human-caused global warming. Tennis players are no strangers to Melbourne heat. During the 2007 Open, Maria Sharapova described conditions as “inhuman”. The 2009 Open broke heat records with an average daily temperature of 34.7°C. Several players including Novak …

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Jan 14 2014

Activists blockade new coal mine

As Australia bakes in a summer heatwave, protestors are blocking construction at Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek Coal Mine in northwest NSW’s Leard State Forest. About 30 activists are blockading the entrance to the forest, chaining themselves to bulldozers seeking to clear trees for an access route. Maules Creek is the largest new coal mine currently …

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Jan 09 2014

The Xmas attack on the climate

“Happy is the country which is more interested in sport than in politics.” – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott You might think the big news story of the Xmas break was that Australia won the Ashes. But in the same month you were relaxing and watching the cricket, the new Liberal/National Government quietly continued attacking …

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Dec 01 2013

Warsaw climate talks: Roadmap to nowhere?

The COP19 Warsaw climate talks reached agreement a week ago. Governments claim they have agreed a roadmap to solving global warming by 2015. In reality, delegates again ignored the urgent warnings from scientists and merely agreed to keep talking. In my earlier post about COP19, I talked about the close involvement of the coal industry. …

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Nov 16 2013

Climate talks more farcical than ever

Wisdom from the official website of the COP19 climate talks. Delegates of the world’s governments are currently gathered in Warsaw, Poland for the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – global climate talks to us laypeople. During previous COPs, I’ve examined the negotiating positions and outcomes …

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Nov 15 2013

We need real direct action on global warming

Note: Regular readers may notice this post goes over ground I’ve covered before. It was originally intended to be published elsewhere, but that didn’t pan out so I’m posting it here. The tragic unseasonal bushfires which ravaged NSW in October are a striking reminder human-caused global warming hasn’t disappeared just because politicians don’t consider it …

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Oct 22 2013

Anti-politics 3: Time to demand a real climate policy

This is the third part of a series about the Australian “anti-politics” attitude and how the green left should respond to it. Part 1 lays out evidence for the attitude and speculates on its causes. Part 2 argues the green left needs to distance itself from political elites. This part discusses how we should communicate …

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Oct 15 2013

Climate change a laughing matter to coal industry

In public, the coal industry proclaims that it accepts the mountain of scientific evidence that humans’ burning of fossil fuels are warming the planet. But a secretly recorded conversation at an American coal industry conference between Arch Coal executive Matt Ferguson and lobbyist Lauri Hennessey revealed that in private, they believe climate change is not …

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