Category Archives: Climate Change & Sustainability

Posts on aspects of climate science, climate action and climate policy & planning.

Weekly salon 10/10

1. Stimulus budget wildly off target

Laura Tingle summed up the Frydenberg budget strategy in an article that in the AFR was titled Frydenberg stimulus shot veers wildly off target:


    The Government has punted everything on a private sector-led recovery out of recession; one that will happen both really, really quickly and dramatically enough to offset the huge disruption just about to start as businesses lose JobKeeper support for their workforce, run out of rent and bank payment holidays, and decide to close their doors.

Frydenberg spoke of:

    “providing a helping hand to those who need it”, yet so much of the Budget is actually directed at people, and sectors, who don’t need it.

    The most obviously perplexing political decision is that the Government has not only abandoned such a large swathe of its own small business base, but it has constrained the chances of it taking part in the promised recovery.

Continue reading Weekly salon 10/10

Two faces of America: the VP debate

Listening mostly on radio, I thought Mike Pence won the debate by a fair margin, if what he said was true. However, he sounded as though he was stretching the truth, again by a fair margin. His problem was that he had to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, or defend the indefensible. This can stretch his credibility, which to me it did.

However, what I think does not matter to the election outcome.

Do VP debates matter? The conventional wisdom is that on balance they mostly don’t by election day.

Except this debate did matter as an opportunity to stop the drift against Trump. Pence needed a knockout. He did not get it, so he failed. Continue reading Two faces of America: the VP debate

Weekly salon 8/10

1. Trump in travail

POTUS Donald Trump who has contracted COVID-19. This US Today report has a video of him telling us he is doing well. I saw the same on SBS news the other night, and he looked very ill indeed.

We must not make fun of a sick man, but Trump has a way of turning things into a joke himself. Seriously! His Sunday motorcade drive-by was described an an act of insanity: Continue reading Weekly salon 8/10

Weekly salon 21/9

1. What is going on with Brexit?

Bloomberg tells us that Boris Johnson is engulfed by chaos over his plan to renege on a treaty with the European Union by rewriting the Brexit deal with the EU, by breaking his promise and international law in selling the Irish down the river.

What he did was to promise the Democratic Unionist party there would be no border down the Irish Sea, then signed a withdrawal agreement that entails exactly that, and now proposes a bill that would break the very treaty he had signed. Continue reading Weekly salon 21/9

COVID-19: Time is of the essence

During the last week the most interesting piece of information I heard about dealing with the coronavirus was not who is to blame for the mess in nursing homes, or who let the passengers off the Ruby Princess, it was a short interview of Professor Michael Toole, epidemiologist at Burnet Institute, by Patricia Karvelas – Unknown COVID sources have experts worried.

Toole lays down some markers for effective testing, tracing and isolating.

He said that after a test, the results should come back and 90% of the contacts should be traced and found within 48 hours at a maximum. Continue reading COVID-19: Time is of the essence

Rudd shunted 10 years ago: reflections and reappraisals

It was 24 June 2010. I was the dentist chair watching Kevin Rudd giving his tearful exit speech, played on the TV in the ceiling. Rudd recounted the achievements of his term. Quite a long list, it was.

Peter Brent tries to make sense of what happened after that in Regrets? We’ve had a few.

To leave aside for a moment whether shunting Rudd was a good idea, and how all that worked out, Brent thinks the reason for our quick turnover of PMs is the Senate and our propensity to elect third party senators.

Currently the Coalition needs three out of five from One Nation’s two, Centre Alliance’s two and Jacqui Lambie’s one.

A lot of the time One Nation lines up, after some histrionics, with the Coalition. Which then leaves it up to Jacqui Lambie. I find that just a bit terrifying. Continue reading Rudd shunted 10 years ago: reflections and reappraisals

Do we really want to save the Great Barrier Reef? Reprise

Bleached coral at Magnetic Island 2020

This post started as a Climate clippings which last appeared in August 30 last year. This post outgrew the CC format and ended up asking again Do we seriously want to save the great Barrier Reef?

Coral bleaching is becoming the new normal

From the New ScientistThe Great Barrier Reef has suffered its most widespread bleaching yet:

Sad, angry, guilty, some hope – climate scientists reveal their feelings

As a weather attribution study finds that climate change made the weather that drove the devastating Australian fires 30% more likely, Joe Duggan, a science communicator at ANU returned to his project of asking climate scientists how they feel about climate change.

Graham Readfern explains that Duggan was bowled over when he first started the project in 2014. Continue reading Sad, angry, guilty, some hope – climate scientists reveal their feelings

Weekly salon 15/2

1. Rupert gets his just deserts

The New Daily has an article News Corp in ‘dangerous times’ as audience and revenues drop in print and digital:

    Audiences deserted Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp mastheads in 2019 with its tabloid tub-thumper The Daily Telegraph losing a massive 15.5 per cent of its readership across both print and digital editions, according to research house Roy Morgan.

Continue reading Weekly salon 15/2

Scientists, bushfires and climate change

The Orroral Fire on the outskirts of Canberra on Tuesday 28th January 2020. Photograph taken by Prof. Eelco Rohling.

On Monday 3 February ABC’s Media Watch examined how News Corp’s loudest voices denied or downplayed the role of climate change. Those voices included Peta Credlin, Chris Kenny and Alan Jones:

    Passionate denial that the bushfires should make us act on climate change runs right across the Murdoch media in this country reaching an audience of millions.

    But it’s also echoed by Murdoch’s Fox News in the US…

Continue reading Scientists, bushfires and climate change

Weekly salon 20/1

1. Trump’s trade deal will make us collateral damage

Kevin Rudd’s AFR article Trade deal will not stop US and China drifting apart gives us the lowdown. From the URL his heading was probably Trade war truce a symbol of the US unhinged. Seems Trump banged on for an hour about incoherent nonsense at the announcement while the head Chinese trade negotiator stood patiently by.

Rudd says intellectual property theft will be criminalised in China for the first time. Good in principle, but you will need to make your case in Chinese courts. Continue reading Weekly salon 20/1