CategoryEnvironmental Ethics

A single graphic that shows why our school kids are on a climate strike.

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As school kids are on their climate strike today, this chart from the climate action tracker website is a simple reminder why. The chart shows us: Where we are at present. The world has already warmed, on average, by 1° since pre-industrial times.Where current policies and commitments, if met, will get us by 2100 – warming of somewhere between 2.4° and 4.3°Where the pledges and targets...

Is there a way through the poisoned politics of climate?

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Last week the Federal Government released the latest quarterly update on Australia’s greenhouse emissions. It is not pretty reading, for rather than breaking south and following a downward trend, our emissions are climbing, and have been ever since the Abbot government abolished the carbon pricing scheme and replaced it with its direct action approach. Under the Paris agreement Australia...

That lump of coal stunt looks even more lame now

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Last year Scott Morrison, then the Treasurer, carried a lump of coal into Parliament during Question Time, where he brandished it about, saying “This is coal. Don’t be scared. It won’t hurt you…It’s coal that has ensured Australia has for over one hundred years enjoyed an energy advantage that has delivered prosperity”. He went on to describe the Opposition as...

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...

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