CategoryEnvironmental Ethics

A Coal Festival? Really?

A

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

I

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

F

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...

Creating Mordor When We Could Be Building Rivendell. Our Dismal Performance on Renewables

C

The first time Sandy and I drove across Kooragang Island we were confronted by a large swamp devoid of any vegetation other than string of dead trees poking up out of the water. We turned to each other and simultaneously exclaimed “Mordor!”. Kooragang Island is home to Newcastle’s coal loader and such destruction had been unleashed that it truly resembled a barren wasteland from...

“Scientists are not agreed that humans are causing climate change”. What a load of bollocks.

&

We human beings have an amazing ability to believe what is patently false. One of the more stubborn falsehoods is the idea that scientists don’t agree on climate change. It’s often argued that either the very fact of climate change is disputed by scientists and/or that scientists agree climate change is happening but are divided as to whether it is being caused by human action. The...

Backward Steps on Climate

B

Hot on the heels of the appointment of a businessman who doesn’t think climate change is induced by humans to head up a review of the Renewable Energy Targets (Gee, I wonder where that might go?), comes the Abbott Government’s redefining of Australia’s objectives for international climate negotiations. This is what the 2013-4 budget portfolio statement said when the previous...

No Tony, economic growth is not the answer to everything

N

In his speech to the World Economic Forum  last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot made this incredible statement: As always, stronger economic growth is the key to addressing almost every global problem. It summed up the direction of the speech, which was a plea for small government and freer markets. But if the two greatest global problems of our time are extreme poverty and...

Why We Should Respectfully Ignore the Climate Sceptics

W

Climate sceptics are entitled to their opinions but they are not entitled to pretend there is a scientific debate going on. They should be given the same accord in public debate and policy making that we give to those who argue children should not be vaccinated. I respect their right to their opinion but at the end of the day it is misinformed and dangerous nonsense that should be ignored by...

Watching the Reef Die

W

The Great Barrier Reef is dying. It’s hard to believe but we are witnessing the decline of one of the great natural wonders of the world. Yesterday, the Queensland Government released a report that shows the health of the reef is now “poor”. A panel of independent scientists appointed to survey the evidence said: Globally, reefs and other coastal marine ecosystems are exposed to...

Like Lemmings to the Sea…On Our Sheer Climate Stupidity

L

Somewhat unfairly, the small Arctic rodent, the lemming, has been thought prone to bouts of mass suicide. The same can now be said of humankind, although in our case the charge seems more accurate. Last month the World Bank released a report, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided. In the formal tones of a bank report it shows the world is on track to be four degrees warmer by...

Never miss a post

Subscribers receive an email once a week alerting them of new posts

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest