Category: Climate Science

Anti-politics 5: Courting conservatives

This is the fifth 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. Part 3 discusses how we should communicate …

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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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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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Cool reaction to IPCC needs a reality check

Last Saturday, two momentous events occurred. Firstly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a globally respected Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning international scientific institution, released a summary, vetted line-by-line by all of the world’s governments, of what may be the most thoroughly researched and meticulously reviewed report ever produced in human history: its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), a …

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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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Australia’s climate-change-denying Cabinet

The Cabinet announced today by Australian Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott says some revealing things about the priorities of the new Liberal/National Coalition government. There will be no minister for climate change, science, energy, resources, banking, housing, tourism, youth, aged care, disability care, multiculturalism, or workplace relations. (Climate change will be included in Environment, while energy, …

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Let’s make this Australia’s climate election

Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’ – Martin Luther King Jr. As Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter, goes to the polls, the window of opportunity for humanity to act on climate change is closing fast. Anthropogenic global warming is the largest and most …

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Australia’s Climate Commission does the maths

US climate activist Bill McKibben recently toured Australia as part of his “Do the Maths” campaign advocating divestment from fossil fuels, based on the arithmetic which shows to avoid dangerous climate change we must leave most fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Of course, the Australian government and businesses scoffed. Now, this reality has been …

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The many faces of climate change denial

There is much debate in Australia, particularly in the political sphere, about who is a climate change denier. To answer that question, we first have to clarify what we mean by climate change denial. The book Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook helpfully distinguishes between several different stages of denial: literal, interpretative, …

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Australia’s angry summer

Figure 1: Examples of extreme weather records broken during Australian summer 2012-13. (Source: Climate Commission) Australia is recovering from its hottest summer on record, dubbed the “Angry Summer” by the Australian government’s independent Climate Commission. Australia has been experiencing record heat since September 2012. Central Australia suffered a spate of heatwaves during spring, culminating in …

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