CategoryEnvironmental Ethics

We Need a Reality Check on Energy Prices

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Rising energy prices have become a cause of widespread complaint and are cited as a reason we need to cling coal-powered electricity.   As far as I can tell all the anxiety around rising electricity prices is way out of proportion to reality. First, our electricity costs are only a small proportion of our household budgets. A 2012 ABS survey found that the households with the lowest 10% of income...

I’ve Just Published A Book. This is What It’s About.

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I released a short book today, A Beautiful World. Reframing our Relationship to Creation.  It’s just four chapters and 70 pages long, plus a study guide at the back. The aim is for it to be short enough that a pastor could  comfortably  build a sermon around each chapter; that those who don’t regularly read books may find it surprisingly manageable to read a chapter a week and then...

Going, going, gone…the tragic story of the decline of life on earth

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Over the course of my life I’ve had the thrill of seeing some of the amazing forms of life on this earth. I have dived with great white sharks off the coast of South Australia; been delighted by fairy penguins making their way en masse from the ocean to their burrows in the sands of Phillip Island; been mesmerised by the giant sea turtles that haul themselves across the sandy beach of...

So it turns out that pause in global warming was really no pause at all

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One of the most repeated claims of climate  change sceptics is that over the past decade or so warming has either paused or  the rate of warming slowed dramatically.  It’s often their killer argument in their case against climate change “alarmism”. Take this from Andrew Bolt The facts: i have pointed out that satellite measurements show no statistically significant warming of...

On Leaving Lord Howe

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Today we fly home from Lord Howe Island. It has been a wonderful experience. The views are spectacular, the snorkelling a glorious kaleidoscope of colourful corals and fish, the people friendly and the food delicious. Yet the thing that I will carry strongest in my heart is the way this community preserves its sense of community. Two of the greatest threats to the community are isolation and the...

My day at IKEA, a symbol of hope or a sign of doom?

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I am surrounded by a wall of sound. The low rumble of trolleys laden with meals, like whispered thunder. The chinking of cutlery on crockery. A cacophony of voices. Crying babies. Excited five-year-olds. Wearied parents. Lovestruck couples. Welcome to IKEA, where consumerism has become a form of recreation. It seems that for many going to IKEA is an experience to be enjoyed, an outing to look...

My Hometown is the World’s Biggest Exporter of Coal, But I Believe the Industry Must End

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One of the arguments commonly used to defend Australia’s minimal efforts to combat climate change is that Australia is responsible for only 1.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is claimed, there is little Australia can do to make a difference. There is however another way to consider this. The primary driver of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil...

A Coal Festival? Really?

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In 2012 Rolling Stone magazine published an article by Bill McKibben that’s become famous. McKibben showed that when we burn through all known fossil fuel reserves in the world we will emit 2795 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The problem is, to have a one in five chance of keeping global warming below 2° we can’t afford to burn more than 565 gigatons. Since McKibbin’s...

It Turns Out that Christian Attitudes to the Environment are Not So Christian

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In 1967 a history professor from the University of California delivered a paper in which he argued the world’s environmental degradation had its roots in the Judeo-Christian notion of dominion. When the biblical text declared that humankind was to “rule” and “subdue” the earth it was mandating a view that creation exists to serve our interests. Lyn White was surely...

Face to face with a great white shark

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Today I found myself face to face with one of the greatest predators on earth: the great white shark. I was there by choice. All my life I have been fascinated by sharks, and I have dreamt for years of joining in a great white shark dive. So I found myself in Port Lincoln South Australia, aboard the Calypso Star, heading for the Neptune Islands where great whites feast on seals. Upon arrival the...

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