Climate

2014: The hottest year since records began

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has declared 2014 the hottest year ever recorded. Other meteorology organisations around the world are on track to confirm this as they process their records over the next few weeks.

This means that 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century.

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Climate disaster subsided by billions from G20

Despite pledging in 2009 to phase out public subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, G20 countries have disregarded those promises and are now spending US$88 billion a year to fund the discovery of new gas, coal, and oil deposits around the world, according to a new report published last month by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International.

Canada: New win in tar sands pipeline fight

Trans Canada Pipelines announced on December 2 it would stop work on building an oilshipping terminal on the St Lawrence River at Cacouna, Quebec.

The immediate reason is that the project will threaten the beluga whale population in the river. Another, unreported, reason is that a broad citizens’ movement in Quebec fiercely opposes the project.

Climate action needs global justice

The world's top climate scientists issued their latest warning in November that the climate crisis is rapidly worsening on several fronts — and that we must stop our climate-polluting way of producing energy if we are to stand a chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

Abbott’s ‘win’ cannot hide shambles

As parliament wound up for the year, the Coalition government was desperate to salvage a symbolic “win” in the Senate to save some face. It was reeling from the defeat of the one-term Liberal government in Victoria, which was seen as a vote against Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the second most populous state in Australia.

Why Direct Action won’t make the cuts we need

The Coalition government’s Direct Action policy has become law after passing the lower house on November 23.

The centrepiece of Direct Action is the Emissions Reduction Fund. Under this scheme, the government will pay for projects that will reduce CO2 emissions "at least cost".

Businesses, farmers, community organisations, local councils and individuals will be able to compete for $2.55 billion in government funding for projects to reduce their emissions.

Capitalism is failing the planet

Climate change is the biggest and most urgent threat facing humanity today.

We are seeing global temperatures rise at an unprecedented rate, with 13 of the 14 warmest years on record having occurred in the past 14 years.

In fact, if you are under 37 years of age, you have never seen a year of below average temperature.

Last year in Australia, over 150 weather records were broken, including experiencing our hottest day, week, month and year on record. It is likely that these records will not be long-standing, with all signs indicating they will be broken again this coming summer.

Qld government funds coal rail line

The G20 barriers were still in place, the interstate police contingents had not left Brisbane, and US President Barack Obama’s “Brisbane” speech calling for protection for the Great Barrier Reef was still resonating when Premier Campbell Newman announced he had brokered a deal with Indian mining company Adani.

China-US deal more likely to wreck planet than save it

United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping of China have signed a bilateral climate agreement.

Much of the US and British media, and many US Democrats, have hailed the deal as a key step forward. Many US Republicans have attacked it as going much too far.

Anything the Republicans attack has to be good. Right? No. In fact it is an appalling deal.

Let's look at the numbers.

Westpac still backs Great Barrier Reef destruction

Fifty protesters, and a larger-than life Nemo, protested outside Westpac's Sydney office on November 9.

Organised by Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), the protesters handed more than 15,000 postcards to the bank calling on it not to fund the massive coalmining expansion at Galilee Basin, which would lead to the Great Barrier Reef being dredged to facilitate coal transport. The reef was put on the World Heritage List in 1981.

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