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Tag Archives: environment

The big yellow grader, one last time

Adani is getting on with the job of building its Carmichael coal mine as opponents prepare for a renewed campaign of protests. That’s the lead in this SMH story about the Carmichael mine. But the picture released is the same yellow grader that’s been there for months. This is a puzzle. On the one hand, Adani’s pronouncements exude confidence that the mine will be shipping coal within a couple of years. That was reinforced in a recent interview with Gautam Adani himself. On the...

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Adani again

In pointing out that Adani’s Carmichael mine wasn’t viable without government help, I focused on the possibility of a concessional loan from Australia’s Export Finance Insurance Corporation. As commenters have pointed out, Adani (a prominent crony of Indian PM Modi) looks like being able to charge above-market prices for electricity in India. I’m not clear whether this helps much to make the Carmichael project viable. Over the fold, an exchange I had with Charles Worringham. In...

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Why would a billionaire persist with Adani when it will probably lose money?

That’s the title of my latest piece in The Conversation, republished on the ABC website. Possible answers So what could be going on? Perhaps Gautam Adani is willing to lose a large share of his wealth simply to show he can’t be pushed around. Alternatively, as on numerous previous occasions, his promises of an imminent start to work may prove to be baseless.The third, and most worrying, possibility is that the political pressure to deliver the promised Adani jobs will lead to...

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Australia isn’t doing its part for the global climate …

… Sooner or later we’ll have to pay our share. That’s the headline for my latest piece in The Guardian. The more important message is in the “standfirst” text that runs before the article proper. The cost of responding to climate change is trivial compared with the benefits To spell this out, here are the concluding paras of the article The good news is that the cost of an emergency response, while large compared with an efficient policy, will be very small in relation to...

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Coal finance drying up, one country at a time

In the wake of last Saturday’s defeat, it’s important to remember that Australian politics is just one of many fronts in the struggle to stabilize the global climate and, in particular, to decarbonize electricity supply as rapidly as possible. An important step in this process has been the push for financial institutions of all kinds: banks (public and private), pension funds, insurers and insurance brokers, corporate financial advisors and so on, to break with fossil fuels,...

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Adani’s moment of truth

The political campaign against Adani’s Carmichael mine has failed. That’s a big shift from the last Queensland state election, where the state government gained support in the south-east and held on to it in North Queensland. Obviously, Bob Brown’s convoy was counter-productive, perhaps disastrously so, and this failure will undermine any future direct action campaign in the region. Given the election outcome, the approvals made by the Federal government will stay in place, and...

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How much will it cost to deal with climate change? Not much at all

That’s the headline for my latest piece in Inside Story, along with the short version of my answer. The long answer is that, even with dubious modelling choices and extreme parameter assumptions, Brian Fisher of BAEcon* comes up with estimates of about 2 per cent of GDP, trivial compared to the potential cost. So, he uses the same presentational trick he’s been using since the first ABARE modelling exercise back in 1996, turning an annual flow into a present value over ten years to...

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Pinker polymathic

The New York Times has a piece pushing the idea that nuclear power is the solution to our environmental problems. It’s familiar stuff, citing the French success in the 1970s, the promise of Gen IV and small modular reactors, and so on. Indeed, two of the authors had an almost identical piece in the Wall Street Journal in January. What’s most interesting is that the set of authors[1] this time includes Steven Pinker, who seems to be spreading his claims to expertise yet more...

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Rebalancing rights

That’s the title of a collection of papers published by the Green Institute, including one I posted here a little while ago. Lots of people were involved but Tim Hollo was the prime mover on this one. Like this:Like Loading...

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Return of Adani’s big yellow grader

Adani’s chief executive Lucas Dow is yet again claiming that the company is “ready to go” with the Carmichael mine, as soon as the government approves it. As usual, we get a picture of Adani’s fleet of heavy earthmoving equipment, consisting of one big yellow grader. Adani’s $2 billion at workAt least the journalist visiting the site shows a bit of scepticism this time, noting that Dow’s claims that he could start today, made while standing next to a 5-metre wide strip of cleared...

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