Category: News

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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Jan 06 2014

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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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 17 2013

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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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 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 08 2013

Tony Abbott cuts out Australia’s brain

Australia’s new Liberal/National Coalition Government, led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, today announced an immediate freeze on recruitment and contract renewal across almost all areas of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the nation’s main scientific research agency. Because CSIRO has a large proportion of “non-ongoing” staff, the freeze threatens to cut 1,400 …

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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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