Tag: News

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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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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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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Continuing trade talks secrecy threatens sovereignty

In what is ironically Global Transparency Week, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has uninvited a journalist from a briefing on the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations. The agreement is expected to be signed before the end of the year and could mean a radical transfer of power from governments to …

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CCA Targets Review releases daft draft report

Today Australia’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) released the Targets and Progress Review Draft Report. (The word “Caps” has been removed from the Review’s name, presumably to dissociate it from the former government’s emissions trading scheme.) The new Liberal government plans to abolish the CCA, and the legal requirement to set an emissions target, as …

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Tony Abbott and the politicization of tragedy

While I was blogging about anti-politics, unseasonal bushfires were raging through New South Wales. This has happened as Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Liberal/National Coalition prepare to scrap the meagre climate policies of the previous government. On 16 October, Greens MP Adam Bandt wrote in the Guardian: Abbott is failing in what …

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Climate change a laughing matter to coal industry

In public, the coal industry proclaims that it accepts the mountain of scientific evidence that humans’ burning of fossil fuels are warming the planet. But a secretly recorded conversation at an American coal industry conference between Arch Coal executive Matt Ferguson and lobbyist Lauri Hennessey revealed that in private, they believe climate change is not …

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Cool reaction to IPCC needs a reality check

Last Saturday, two momentous events occurred. Firstly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a globally respected Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning international scientific institution, released a summary, vetted line-by-line by all of the world’s governments, of what may be the most thoroughly researched and meticulously reviewed report ever produced in human history: its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), a …

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IPCC AR5: global warming more evident than ever

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first (and primary) instalment of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Its key conclusions include: The Earth is accumulating heat. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases are rising: Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have reached levels unprecedented in at least 800,000 years because …

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Abbott can run, but can’t hide from climate

So far it’s been all bad news on climate change from Australia’s new Liberal/National Coalition government. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in the process of tearing down Australia’s climate policy regime at a hectic pace. The first casualty has been the Climate Commission, an independent government-funded body set up by the previous government to communicate …

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