Category: Climate

Labor should ignore business lobby’s whining

Yesterday, ABC Breakfast host Fran Kelly berated Climate Change Minister Greg Combet for not accepting the ridiculous complaint by business that Australia’s carbon price is somehow “too high”. This is the fossil fuel lobby’s latest excuse, an argument they have been making for months now. Credit where it’s due: I am pleased to say Labor …

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A dreadful week for the climate

This week’s events illustrate Australia’s rush to expand the fossil fuel industry is matched only by its rush to cut climate change and renewable energy policies. In Saturday’s Queensland state election, a major issue was coal seam gas. Both of the two major parties, Labor and the Liberal National Party (LNP), seem happy to let …

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The real coal export scandal

The recent leak of a Greenpeace anti-coal strategy document has diverted attention from the real scandal: the mining industry is gearing up for an exponential increase in Australia’s already massive fossil fuel exports. The centre of activity is the Galilee Basin in Queensland, where companies are planning “mega-mines” and infrastructure to extract nearly a billion …

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China could cap coal consumption

China is expected to announce in the first half of this year a national cap on coal consumption. If the reports are accurate, the cap will begin in 2015 at 4.1 gigatonnes (Gt), with budgets for each individual province. This would be the world’s first direct cap on a fossil fuel. Policies China is already …

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An unsurprising anti-coal campaign plan

The Australian Financial Review today revealed a leaked Greenpeace document containing the startling revelation that environmentalists oppose the coal industry. The document, entitled Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom, seeks to raise millions of dollars for a campaign against the expansion of the Australian coal industry. This isn’t particularly surprising: it is only logical that …

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Rudd’s political tantrum must be opposed

Yesterday in Australia, a politician I once believed in, Kevin Rudd, challenged our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party. I responded by doing something I never thought I would do: I emailed every Labor MP and Senator urging them to oppose Rudd’s attempt to regain the Prime Ministership. Although …

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US energy sources could be mostly renewable by 2030

A US government agency has found renewable energy could become the country’s major energy source in two decades. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) compared the geography of electricity demand with potential supply from solar and wind resources. They concluded 70% of US electricity demand in 2030 could be met by wind …

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Get ready for the carbon bubble

Remember the sub-prime mortgage bubble? The next economic bubble could be caused by investing in the unsustainable fossil fuel industry. The idea might sound incredible, but it results from our failure to seriously address the science of climate change. The science tells us we can’t burn all fossil fuels Fossil fuels formed over millions of …

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Real-world measurements confirm gas is no cleaner than coal

Figure 1: Methane emissions from natural gas fields are much larger than the industry claims. (Nature, 2012) I have written before about why natural gas is not, as is fashionably believed, a bridge fuel to a zero-carbon economy. Even if gas were cleaner than coal, it’s still a fossil fuel and switching to it would …

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Australia’s real climate policy

If you live in Australia you’ve no doubt heard of the Gillard Government’s climate and energy policy: a carbon price branded as the way to a “Clean Energy Future”. But just as a magician misdirects an audience’s attention, the Clean Energy Future diverts attention from Labor’s real energy policy. The Draft Energy White Paper (EWP), …

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