New coalmines approved in NSW food bowl

Three new coalmines have been approved by the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission, just weeks before the state election.

The new coalmines will be in Bengalla, near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, the Watermark Coal Project, near Gunnedah on the Liverpool Plains and Moolarben, north-east of Mudgee.

Fossil fuel divestment week

In the lead-up to the first global divestment day on February 14, the University of Sydney announced it will reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 20% within three years by divesting from heavy polluters.

But it has shied away from divesting from fossil fuels altogether.

The decision follows a sustained student-led campaign, with support from Greenpeace, that has been urging the university to completely divest its investments in fossil fuels.

Climate news: Australian sport feels the heat, and more

Climate change will threaten the viability of grassroots sport in Australia, and elite tournaments will have to adapt to rising temperatures, extreme rainfall and shrinking snow cover, a report has warned.

Climate bombshell: East Antarctica’s glaciers are melting too

Scientists had long thought the giant East Antarctic ice sheet was barely affected by global warming and that its glaciers were stable. It turns out those assumptions were wrong.

A team of scientists returned on January 26 from a 7-week expedition to East Antarctica with the bad news: warm ocean water is melting the huge Totten glacier from below.

Global Divestment Day: Break Up with Fossil Fuels - Perth

Market Square Park, cnr Hadyn Bunton Dr and Roberts Rd, Subiaco.

14th February, 10am.

This Valentine’s day, join us for Perth’s Big Fossil Fuel Break Up with speeches from inspiring divestment leaders, a colourful surprise creative “break up with fossil fuels” action and more!

Part of a global day of action.

rsvp online:

Event date: 
Sat, 14/02/2015 - 10:00am
Event time: 
Sat, 14/02/2015 - 10:00am

Climate warnings coming true in Australia

Planetary boundaries are those considered crucial to maintaining an environment in which humanity can safely exist.

Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, US climatologist James Hansen and Johan Rockstrom from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, developed an analysis of nine of these boundaries some years ago.

Alongside climate change, they include ocean acidification, ozone depletion, fresh water use, change in land use, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, atmospheric aerosol loading and the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles.


Queensland elections: a recipe for instability

As the Queensland election campaign enters its final days, a Labor victory seems unlikely.

Labor and the Liberal-National Party (LNP) say they will not do deals with minor parties. Recent opinion polls indicate the LNP will be re-elected with a clear majority.

However, Campbell Newman could still be replaced as premier. Opinion polls are predicting between 10% and 11% swings to Labor. It needs a swing of 5.4% to unseat Newman in his electorate of Ashgrove.

Liberal-National victory would devastate Queensland

The Socialist Alliance released this statement on January 23 on the Queensland election.

* * *

The re-election of the Liberal-National Party (LNP) for a second term on January 31 — with or without Premier Campbell Newman — would be devastating. A re-elected LNP would claim a mandate to complete the sale of public assets, begun by the previous Labor government and extended during the first three years of LNP.

Adelaide bushfire shows need for climate action

A bushfire that swept through the Adelaide Hills in early January has destroyed 27 homes, ravaged the local environment and killed many pets and animals.

Large smoke plumes were visible from the Adelaide CBD and several Adelaide suburbs were evacuated.

It is similar to other severe fires, such as in the Blue Mountains in NSW last year and the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in 2009, which climate scientists say will occur more frequently.

Climate change comes to the Torres Strait

Joseph Elu, chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, told Radio National’s PM on January 5 that the islands that have been home to Indigenous people for thousands of years are “being inundated”, right now because of climate change.

“A couple of our islands, the tide rises over the sea walls of the beachfront and it flows under the houses and out the other end ... They’re predicting that in 100 years, then they’ll go under.”

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