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Posts Tagged ‘Australia

New fossil fuel projects doom hope for a liveable planet

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A new report commissioned by Greenpeace warns that currently planned fossil fuel extraction mega-projects would commit the planet to a 20% rise in carbon emissions and 5-6 degrees of warming.


5-6 degrees of warming would mean absolutely massive changes to the biosphere including the potential to trigger positive feedback loops that accelerate and magnify the damage. This means devastating storms and droughts, and sea level rise of between 5 and ten metres.

The Australian Government’s Climate Change department has mapped the impacts of a 1.1 metre maximum sea level rise by 2100.

“The projects in the Point of No Return report include the expansion of Indonesian and Australian coal exports, a tripling of production from the Canadian tar sands and extensive offshore drilling in Brazilian waters.”

“In 2020, the emissions from the 14 projects showcased in this report – if they all were to go ahead – would raise global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 20% and keep the world on a path towards 5°C to 6°C of warming,”

The way I see it these sorts of developments show that capital and governance are utterly incapable of reigning in carbon emissions.

If we want a liveable planet we must be the monkey wrench in the machine of global finance, industrial war and resource extraction.

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 24, 2013 at 06:12

Australia’s Heatwave: Officially Brought To You By Climate Change | The Global Mail

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At the weekend — as roads melted in parts of Queensland, trains crawled on heat-buckled tracks and long-standing temperature records disintegrated in the outback — Australia’s climate change agency slipped out a report confirming that the warming of the planet is behind our record-breaking heatwave and severe bushfires.

It is unlike the Climate Commission — headed by Professor Tim Flannery, a scientist notably not unwilling to share his opinion on the doom of climate change — to mask its reports. But no press release announcing the report appears on the commission’s website; unhappily the commission’s report, Off the Charts: Extreme Australian Summer Heat, received only the barest media attention when it was released early on Saturday morning, an odd hour for any attention seeking.

We think it worth a fuller account — especially as another recent study shows that Australia’s media has largely failed to connect the January heatwave to climate change. Simon Divecha is the business manager at the Environment Institute of the University of Adelaide. A week ago the website The Conversation published his study which showed that fewer than 10 of the 800 articles published in the previous five days about the heatwave had mentioned climate change, global warning or greenhouse gas.

<p>Mike Bowers/The Global Mail</p>


September 2012 to January 2013 were the hottest four months in recorded Australian history, according to the Climate Commission’s report.

Off the Charts: Extreme Australian Summer Heat [From This Heatwave: Officially Brought To You By Climate Change | The Global Mail]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 21, 2013 at 14:34

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The terrorism lurk | Overland literary journal

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This intelligent article from the Overland literary journal discusses ‘terrorism creep’.

After twelve years of the War on Terror, US authorities are using the ‘terrorism’ label to attack animal rights activists, Occupiers, hobby scientists, hacktivists and Wikileakers.


In Australia, Melbourne’s Age newspaper branded a recent activist’s hoax press release ‘financial terrorism’ after it (briefly) devalued a coal company’s shares upwards of $300 million.

But as Edward Abbey is quoted in the piece, ‘Terrorism’ means violence or death used to coerce or influence. Not economic inconvenience or political protest.

“Besides, who can say with certainty that downloading academic papers has not crossed that terrorist line?”

[From The terrorism lurk | Overland literary journal]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 21, 2013 at 14:28

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Extremism: So Hot Right Now | The Global Mail

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More on the ANZ coal investment hoax, this time from the Global Mail. MIke Seccombe puts perspective to the ridiculous statements made by Liberal Eric Abetz, calling the Greens extremists and communists for congratulating Moylan on his protest against the rape and pillage of state forests in NSW.

Extremism: So Hot Right Now | The Global Mail:

By Mike Seccombe January 10, 2013

According to Liberal frontbencher Eric Abetz, the Australian Greens Party is the ‘epitome of extremism’. Talk about the pot calling the kettle extremist.

Abetz was inspired to his alliterative epithet because a couple of Greens Senators, notably party leader Christine Milne, refused to condemn the anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan, over a hoax which — for about 90 minutes, until it was discovered — decreased the value of Whitehaven Coal by more than $300 million on Monday.

It was the simplest of hoaxes. Moylan dummied up a press release, purporting to be from the ANZ Bank, saying it had withdrawn a $1.2 billion loan for a new coal mine.

(The trick, we might add, would not have had its effect if members of the financial media had bothered to check the veracity of Moylan’s fake press release before publishing stories.)

Milne described the hoax as being part of ‘a long and proud history of civil disobedience’ in Australia.

This was, when you parse it, a pretty mild endorsement, more a statement of the bleeding obvious, really.


“Nobody who is under 28 has lived through a month of global temperatures that fell below the 20th-century average, because the last such month was February 1985,” it reported.

Got that? Nobody. In the world.

And here in Australia we have two major political groups: the Coalition parties which don’t know whether they believe in climate change or not, and the Labor Party, which pays lip service to the need to do something but is intent on extracting more fossil fuels as fast as possible.

And then there are the Greens, who accept there is a crisis, and actually have the temerity to suggest it is unethical to mine ever-increasing amounts of the stuff which is causing the crisis.

Is this extremist? Or just logical?

Read More: Extremism: So Hot Right Now | The Global Mail

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 12, 2013 at 03:25