Monday , December 9 2019
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Tag Archives: environment

Rights of Nature, but not natural rights ?

There’s an interesting article by Anna Grear in Aeon, criticising the idea that Nature should have human-style rights, and linking to the website of the Centre for Humans and Nature, which has lots more interesting discussion. I’ve recently written a contribution to a forthcoming book by Tim Hollo, in which I take the opposite view. My central point is that corporations are routinely treated as persons for legal purposes, and that the effect is frequently harmful to Nature. There is...

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The student strike and the social compact

Large numbers of school students have gone on strike today to protest about global inaction on climate change. This action has been met with a lot of huffing and puffing to the effect that students should stay in school and leave politics to adults. Ideally, this would be the correct view. Part of the social compact of democracy is that the adult voting population should take account not only of their own interests but those of children who currently can’t vote and of future...

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Is Queensland different?

It seems to be taken for granted in political commentary, particularly on the political right, that the Liberal and National Parties face a geographical problem in which pro-coal policies are an electoral loser in wealthy city seats in Sydney and Melbourne, but a winner in Queensland, and particularly in regional Queensland. The key issues are the proposed Adani coal mine and the idea of a publicly-funded coal-fired power station. No one seems to have mentioned an obvious problem...

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Coal, cronyism and corruption

The latest issue of Coalwire, a weekly newsletter covering the transition away from coal list three separate corruption cases involving coal: in Indonesia, South Africa and Bangladesh. These aren’t isolated instances: in just about every jurisdiction that isn’t moving away from coal at a rapid rate, the industry is associated with cronyism at best, and outright corruption at worst. In Australia, for example, the push to develop the Galilee Basin is being driven by a set of...

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Adani Mailing List

In addition to my regular mailing list, I’m offering one specifically devoted to the campaign against Adani’s Carmichael mine project, and, more generally, in support of a transition to an economy based on renewable energy. You can subscribe at http://eepurl.com/ghBN0n Like this:Like Loading...

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Ten Year Plans

The Morrison government has just announced what it calls a climate policy, promising expenditure of $2 billion. I’ll have more to say about this later, but I want first to point out that the promised expenditure is to be allocated over ten years, at an average rate of $200 million a year. That’s only marginally more than the government spent on advertising in 2017-18, which is appropriate, I suppose, for what is basically a PR exercise. The big problem here is the new practice of...

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Al Capone was done for tax evasion

It now looks possible that the fate of the Adani Carmichael mine will be sealed by an adverse assessment of the mine’s impact on the black-throated finch. That’s a far less satisfactory outcome than if the Queensland Land and Environment Court had accepted, as its NSW counterpart has done, that the climate (and health) damage from burning the coal produced by the mine was relevant in assessing the costs and benefits. That reasoning leads to the conclusion that no new mines should...

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A small piece of good news for the global climate

The market price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is plummeting, having dropped by 10 per cent just today, and 50 per cent over the past month. The bubble that reached maximum expansion a year ago is gradually deflating. The good news is that a lower Bitcoin price makes the energy-wasting process of Bitcoin mining unprofitable for many, so lots of miners are turning off their servers.  Most estimates of the marginal cost of mining are around $4500 per coin, but the market price has...

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Adani update

A week ago, I was speaking at a Royal Society of NSW Forum on the topic “Getting climate policy back on track” when the news came through that Adani had announced a start to the Carmichael mine “before Christmas”, funded from the company’s own reserves.  With Christmas now less than three weeks away, where do things stand? It’s evident that, as with previous construction starts, this one won’t be on a large scale. Adani has just posted its first job opening for a year, on the portal it...

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Adani

Adani Mining announced today that its scaled-down Carmichael mine project would proceed without any external funding. Before considering reactions, it’s important to recall causes for scepticism. First, Adani has repeatedly announced the imminent start of the project, while doing little or nothing. It is possible that this announcement will be followed by months, or even years, of “pre-construction activity” during which the project is kept alive with minimal expenditure from Adani....

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