Tag: Politics

Abbott stacks RET review panel

As Australia suffers through a drought which Prime Minister Tony Abbott insists is entirely natural, the Liberal/National Coalition government has announced a review of the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET), which “a senior Liberal” told the ABC is “cover” for “let’s kill the RET”. Australia’s current target is 45 terawatt-hours (TWh) of new renewable energy …

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New legislation tries to criminalize protest

In the Australian state of Victoria, the Napthine Liberal government is pushing draconian legislation to restrict citizens’ right to protest. The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill would expand police powers to order people to “move on” from a public place. It introduces new circumstances in which move-on orders can be issued, including some which …

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Book Review: Scorcher by Clive Hamilton

Note: This book review is more measured in tone than my typical blog post, because it was originally written as a university essay. Clive Hamilton, Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change, 2007, Black Inc. Agenda, Melbourne, 266 pp, ISBN 9 780977 594900. The 2007 classic Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change, by Australian …

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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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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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