Tag: Energy

Government has a double standard on entitlements

This is a longer version of an article published at Independent Australia. Last week, Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey refused to provide $25 million of government assistance to struggling local tinned fruit cannery SPC Ardmona. Hockey says “the age of entitlement is over, and the age of personal responsibility has begun”. This opposition to “entitlement” is …

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Great Barren Reef: the cost of coal exports

On Friday the Abbott government approved the dumping of three million cubic metres of dredged seabed in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. That’s enough waste to fill 150,000 dump trucks. This outrage is occurring because of a planned coal export boom. Environment Minister Greg Hunt quietly approved the dredging in December while you were …

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21 flaws in Tony Abbott’s climate policy

Australia’s new Abbott Government intends to replace the former government’s climate policies with a “Direct Action Plan”, consisting mainly of an “Emissions Reduction Fund”. This post will examine the flaws of the proposals outlined in the recently released Green Paper. They should have just called it the “Paper”, because it contains very little that is …

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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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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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