Climate

Capitalism is killing the planet — but we can stop it

A growing number of local councils and universities are divesting from financial institutions that invest in fossil fuel extraction. This is a great credit to climate change campaigners around the country. It points the way forward towards the even greater shift in investment priorities that we will need to make if we are to stop catastrophic runaway global warming.

Victoria's renewables target: a shift towards clean energy

The Victorian Labor government has announced an “ambitious and achievable” Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET). This target will commit the state to generating 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, and 40% by 2025.

Climate protest calls out 'Fizza' Turnbull

"How do you exaggerate the greatest bleaching event on the planet? How do you exaggerate that one quarter of the world's largest reef is dead? You don't," Tony Fontes, a prominent Great Barrier Reef diver and tourism operator, told a crowd of up to 2000 at Steyne Park, Double Bay, in the heart of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's electorate of Wentworth on June 26.

The rally was organised by a coalition of groups, including GetUp, Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society and the Nature Conservation Council.

Prominent Australians call for emergency climate action

More than 20 prominent Australians have called for emergency-scale action on climate change in an open letter to the new parliament, published in The Age on June 23. Signatories include business leaders, scientists, a former Australian of the Year and a Nobel Laureate.

The open letter and associated website and petition are part of a growing campaign by a coalition of more than 20 grassroots climate action groups to pressure political leaders to step up and do what is needed to address the climate crisis.

Poem: When the climate comes for you

Past sick sadistic tyrants made each victim dig their grave,
Mowed them down without mercy, in wave after wave.
But now heat is the trigger set for the many by the few
Will you be ready when the climate comes for you?

In Karachi they'll be ready when the tide of death rolls in
When the poor and frail fall prey to the oil barons' sin.

Voters want strong action on climate change

Galaxy polling commissioned by the Climate Institute shows support for strong action on climate change is at its highest level since 2008, with uncommitted voters showing the strongest support.

Voters were dissatisfied with both Labor and Coalition climate policies, with only 17% saying the Coalition had a credible climate plan and 20% saying Labor did.

Coalition raids CEFC to fund Sustainable Cities

The proposed Sustainable Cities Investment Fund, unveiled by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on June 20, would take up to $100 million a year from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to stimulate private sector investment in renewable energy and clean technology in Australia's major cities.

But industry groups say it means nearly one-third of the supposedly independent CEFC's budget has been corralled by the government for “pet projects” announced during the lead up to the election campaign.

Catholics to divest from fossil fuels

A year after Pope Francis called for action to protect the environment, four Australian Catholic organisations have announced they are completely divesting from coal, oil and gas in what they say is the first joint Catholic divestment in the world.

The move comes as prominent religious leaders call on the government to protect the Great Barrier Reef, stop approving coalmines and remove subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Fracking: bad in USA, worse in Western Australia

I moved to Perth in June last year from a small, rural town in central Pennsylvania. There I witnessed first-hand the impact of the “fracking” boom — the rapid exploitation of the unconventional gas resources in the Marcellus shale play.

It hit rural Pennsylvania particularly hard because it is economically depressed, struggling to make ends meet by farming and what's left of manufacturing that has not been outsourced to China, Mexico, and other exploitable labour pools.

Australia asks to be removed from UN climate change report

All references to Australia were removed from the final version of a major UN report on climate change after the Australian government intervened, arguing that the information could harm tourism.

The report World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate, initially had a key chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as small sections on Kakadu and Tasmanian forests.

But when the Department of Environment saw a draft of the report, it objected, and every mention of Australia was removed.

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