Category Archive: Extreme Weather

Feb 26 2014

Abbott has no long-term drought policy

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced a $320 million drought relief package, but it fails to account for the long-term climate change that is drying out Australia. Many rural areas of Australia have been in drought for 16-22 months. 70% of Queensland is now in drought; much of northern NSW and southwest WA is …

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Feb 21 2014

We need to politicize climate change

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We’ve all heard the laments: the public has gone cold on climate action because the issue has become so “politicized”. Someone has to say it: we need to politicize climate change. What does it mean to “politicize” something? It means to put it on the political agenda, propel it into the headlines, make it a …

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Feb 11 2014

Global warming not slowing – it’s speeding up

IPCC cartoon

The Earth is gaining heat faster than ever In 2013 the Earth’s oceans accumulated energy at a rate of 12 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second, according to global ocean heat content records from the US National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). This rapid heating in 2013 compares to an average of 4 Hiroshima bombs per second …

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Jan 25 2014

How Labor lost the climate debate

These two videos go a long way toward explaining why the Australian Labor Party won the 2007 election and lost in 2013. They show how Labor changed the way it framed climate change. In 2007 they correctly identified it as the most important issue of our time: By 2012 (when Labor were already in an …

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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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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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Nov 13 2013

Why “Typhoon Tony” Abbott should read Harry Potter

Today, on the first day of Australia’s 44th Parliament, new Prime Minister Tony Abbott introduced legislation to repeal the carbon tax. Meanwhile at the COP19 climate talks in Warsaw, snubbed by Australian ministers, Filipino delegate Yeb Sano made an emotional plea for action: It was barely 11 months ago in Doha when my delegation made …

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Nov 07 2013

Ex-PM’s climate speech reveals deniers run Australia

Australian ex-Prime-Minister John Howard yesterday addressed the “Global Warming Policy Foundation”, a British climate change denialist group. He described global warming as “a substitute religion” and himself as “an agnostic”. Like all deniers he objects to the term “denier”. In reality, there is overwhelming evidence that humans are warming the planet, and if you don’t …

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Oct 28 2013

Tony Abbott and the politicization of tragedy

Tony Abbott bushfires coherent argument

While I was blogging about anti-politics, unseasonal bushfires were raging through New South Wales. This has happened as Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Liberal/National Coalition prepare to scrap the meagre climate policies of the previous government. On 16 October, Greens MP Adam Bandt wrote in the Guardian: Abbott is failing in what …

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Oct 01 2013

IPCC AR5: global warming more evident than ever

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first (and primary) instalment of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Its key conclusions include: The Earth is accumulating heat. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases are rising: Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have reached levels unprecedented in at least 800,000 years because …

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