Category: Climate

We need to rethink national interests

On this blog I talk a lot about how Australian and other governments have allowed the fossil fuel lobby to systematically sabotage their climate policies, and give voters a highly misleading impression as to what those policies will achieve. The blame for the lack of action ultimately lies with the fossil fuel industry. But this …

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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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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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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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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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Unofficial deputy PM attacks climate science

Last week the Bureau of Meteorology announced 2013 was Australia’s warmest year on record, yet Australian newspapers published (at least) two opinion pieces denying the science of climate change. The first opinion piece was by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief business advisor Maurice Newman and published in News Corp’s The Australian. Newman founded the neoliberal …

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Climate debate is an ideological war

I considered writing a wrapup of climate events in 2013, but it’d be much the same as my 2012 wrapup: more scientific warnings, more political backsliding, more public apathy (though there are some encouraging signs that Australians may be finally starting to wake up). So instead I thought I’d reflect on one of the key …

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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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60,000 Australians rally for climate action

Today 60,000 Australians gathered in 130 rallies around the nation, to call on the Australian Government to act on climate change. 30,000 rallied in Melbourne alone (more than ever appeared at an anti-carbon tax rally). They say a picture says a thousand words, so I’ll tell this story in photos.

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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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