Climate

The latest State of the Climate report by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO was launched at a weather monitoring station on remote Cape Grim in Tasmania. The location was an apt choice for a report that has very bad news about Australia's continuing failure to respond adequately to the climate change crisis.
The gas industry is fond of saying that burning gas for energy will help tackle climate change. Australian energy company AGL says burning coal seam gas (CSG) results in 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than coal. Industry advertising campaigns bump up that figure to 70%.
Climate activists like Newcastle group Rising Tide have labelled December’s draft Energy White Paper (EWP), which charts the federal government’s plan for Australia’s future energy mix, a “black” paper. The group says the paper “plans to further expand fossil fuel extraction (both domestically and for exports) at the expense of renewable [energy]”.
A public forum “Beyond the Carbon Price” will take place at NSW Parliament House on April 27 to open the fourth Climate Action Summit, to be held at the University of Western Sydney over April 27-29. A diverse panel of speakers will engage with the question of how Australia should tackle climate change now that the carbon price has been adopted.
Sometimes it takes a truly dramatic event to really make you face up to a serious threat. It was not that I was unaware of the danger of already occurring climate change, but it was still a shock when the Essendon Football Club had to cancel its game against St Kilda, scheduled for Wangaratta on March 3, when the team's plane couldn't land in the extreme weather. As a result, the Bombers forfeited four points in the NAB Cup. I just thanked Christ it was only the pre-season. See also:
It was a week which started with federal treasurer Wayne Swan having a go at the mining billionaires for distorting our democracy, but which soon entered a new phase whereby the Labor party illustrated the rather narrow range within which our two party system has room to move.
I remember Grong Grong; my aunt and uncle had a store there in the 1960s. Floods are not common in this stretch of the NSW Riverina, but they happen in odd years when the Murrumbidgee River further south rises and breaks its banks. For runoff from the often-parched paddocks around Grong Grong to cause flooding is almost unheard of.
Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor announced a plan in early February to convince the government to count native forest wood-fired power stations as a renewable energy source. Their plan would mean wood-fired power would qualify for renewable energy subsidies. Below is an “open letter of concern” to Oakeshott from 16 Australian scientists about his support for “incentives for native forest biomass burning”. * * * Dear Mr Oakeshott,
Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet Kendra Pierre-Louis IG Publishing, 216 pages Radical German poet Hans Magnus Enzenberger once compared mainstream environmentalism to a Sunday sermon that terrifies parishioners with dire warnings of eternal damnation, but concludes weakly by promising salvation to any sinner who performs a simple act of penance. “The horror of the predicted catastrophe,” he wrote, “contrasts sharply with the mildness of the admonition with which we are allowed to escape.”
When the paramilitaries of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) arrived in San Onofre in northern Colombia in the late 1990s, they came after dark, dragging people from their homes and disappearing into the night. Soon, they did not need the cover of darkness. People were executed in public plazas in broad daylight. Women and young girls were openly raped and abused.

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