Tag Archive: History

Aug 30 2013

Memories of John Howard are rose-coloured

“Do you really want three more years like the last six?” Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott constantly repeats. Although my answer is no, I have even less desire for three more years like the twelve which preceded the last six. Abbott likes to hark back to the last time his Liberal/National Coalition were in government, …

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Aug 14 2013

Australia’s major parties plan 20 years of climate inaction

Australian emission trajectories 1990-2030

Australia’s two major political parties – the incumbent Labor government led by Kevin Rudd and Liberal-National Coalition opposition led by Tony Abbott – present themselves as having quite different policies on climate change. Labor, together with the Greens, has legislated a fixed carbon price soon to morph into an internationally-linked emissions trading scheme (ETS). The …

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Feb 27 2013

Reassessing the Greens’ pragmatic strategy

This is the first part of a two-part series about the Greens’ pragmatic strategy on climate action. I’ve previously criticized the strategy of the Australian climate movement, but stopped short of criticizing the strategy of the Greens. Now I think it is time to reassess that too. (I should clarify this post has been in the …

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Jan 27 2013

Liberals Part 4: Australia has a legitimate government

Both sides

This is the fourth part of a series examining the Liberal Party of Australia. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 examine the party’s climate policies. This part debunks their allegations that the incumbent government is illegitimate. Illustration: Stephen Wight There has been a persistent campaign by the conservative Coalition, led by Tony Abbott and …

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Dec 31 2012

2012: The year the world snoozed

The Guardian described 2006 as “The year the world woke up” to climate change. If that’s the case then I guess 2007 was the year we rolled over and went back to sleep. Our alarm clock has continued to ring ever more loudly and clearly, but we just keep on hitting the snooze button – …

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Dec 03 2012

Doha climate talks: history

Representatives are gathering in Doha, Qatar for the second week of the 18th Conference of Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – global climate talks to us laypeople. As the world’s highest per capita emitter, Qatar seems a strange place to hold a climate conference, but that is where …

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Aug 17 2012

Gillard’s policy slammed by… younger Gillard

Charles Berger from the Australian Conservation Foundation has unearthed a very interesting episode in our Prime Minister’s past. In 1999, then-backbencher Julia Gillard criticized the Howard government for trying to delegate to the state government its decision-making power on a proposed toxic waste dump in her electorate: I rise to speak to this legislation because …

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Jul 10 2012

Yes, the Greens do compromise

Representatives of the Australian Labor Party have repeatedly accused the Australian Greens of being unwilling to compromise. Though this is obviously a self-serving argument designed to shore up Labor’s own support, it is so blatantly false that I felt compelled to set the record straight. In negotiations with the Gillard Labor Government over climate policy, …

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Jun 05 2012

It’s time to stop saying yes

This is the first in a series of posts about the Australian climate movement. The Australian climate change action movement (which I will call the “climate movement”) has, in recent years, made an error of strategy. In the hope of winning a victory, however small, activists have become extremely pragmatic and “politically realistic”. This culminated …

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Apr 15 2012

Titanic and Global Warming

After the RMS Titanic’s collision with an iceberg a century ago today, the passengers did not believe the ocean liner would sink. The ship was so gargantuan and stably designed it showed few outward signs of being in imminent danger, and took 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink. But sink it did. The Earth’s …

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