Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

just in case you missed it: the grinch keeps up his annual tradition of hiding his climate deceitful failures...

grinch   The Federal Government has kept up its annual tradition of trying to hide its many climate failures by announcing—two days before Christmas and in the middle of a national bushfire emergency—that it will underwrite two new gas-fired power stations.

The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor has given initial support for a 130-megawatt gas plant in Queensland, and a 220-MW project in Victoria. The government has also signalled it could fund more coal and gas projects down the track.

Professor Will Steffen, Climate Councillor and Emeritus Professor, ANU Fenner School of Environment & Society, said: “As many Australians choke through an unprecedented bushfire crisis, the Federal Government is supporting new fossil fuel projects that will drive further climate change, worsening bushfires and other extreme weather events.”

“People have lost their lives and homes; much of our irreplaceable natural heritage has been destroyed, and communities are suffering serious economic losses because of these unprecedented bushfires. But the government is still failing to tackle the root cause of this worsening problem.

“Federal politicians have finally acknowledged the influence of climate change on this crisis, but this acknowledgement is meaningless if they keep backing fossil fuel projects instead of delivering the urgent and significant emissions cuts we need,” said Steffen.

Dr Martin Rice, Head of Research, Climate Council, added: “The Federal Government has a shameful track record of attempting to fly under the radar and avoid scrutiny by making climate-related announcements before major holidays. Announcing its support for new fossil fuel projects at Christmas is more of the same tactic.


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in your dreams...

4. Government action on climate change, the key driver of worsening fire and extreme weather risks.
  • ELCA members have observed with mounting concern the escalation in extreme weather and natural disaster risks over recent decades. Our observations are fully explained by empirical data and peer reviewed, irrefutable scientific findings. The increasing risk and changes are directly driven by a warming climate. To protect Australians from worsening bushfire conditions and natural disaster risks, Australia must accelerate and increase measures to tackle the root cause, climate change. More substantial national action is required to reduce Australia’s emissions quickly and deeply to protect future generations, to safeguard our economy, and to protect Australians from the escalating risks of extreme weather. Australia is a significant player worldwide. We are the 16th largest emitter of CO2 out of more than 200 countries, and our per capita emissions are in the top 10 globally. When our exported fossil fuels are included – we would rank 5th in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. This means we bear significant international responsibility in the global effort needed to mitigate the escalating climate driven risks.


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    With Scumbagdenialson, this won't happen, will it?

compliments of the season...





2019: The year that was 


“How good’s Australia? Pretty bloody good, unless it’s burning or parched or you’re in aged care. Or if you’re Indigenous, or a child in offshore detention, or a journalist investigating war crimes.”


Martin McKenzie-Murray  


In a year when we reckoned with climate catastrophe, hypocritical world leaders and the increasing erosion of our privacy, we also witnessed the resistance of the Hong Kong protesters and the triumph of Ash Barty.

a nasty new year present...

A string of emergency-level fires are threatening lives and homes along the New South Wales South Coast. 

Key points:
  • Fires are burning at emergency level across the New South Wales South Coast
  • Residents are being urged to move towards urban areas, or to seek shelter on the beach
  • Roads are closed up and down the South Coast in response to the fires


The fires currently at emergency warning level include a fire at Badja Forest Road, Countegany, north of Bega; a fire on the Clyde Mountain, near the Kings Highway; and the massive Currowan fire, which has burned through hundreds of thousands of hectares north of Batemans Bay over the past month.

Another two fires joined up west of Tuross Head at Dampier, with the combined blaze also burning at emergency level.


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and the rain never comes...

From David Marr

We know the sight by heart: corrugated iron on a low pile of ash with a chimney left standing. Another house gone. And the pattern of bushfires is part of our lives too. They burn until a cold wind blows up the coast when it buckets down dousing the flames.

But that’s not the pattern now. The downpour has been postponed officially until late January. Things are looking up: it was April. Either way the experts are saying the weeks ahead are looking dry, tinder dry.

As that news sank in this summer an unfamiliar emotion took hold in Australia: not fear so much as dread. These fires are not going out.

We know the language of fires. All our lives we’ve waited to hear a blaze is “under control”. Sweet words. But these days they come with a caveat: only for a few days until the wind shifts and the fire jumps the lines.

And the rain never comes.


 We know this disaster is unprecedented – no amount of Scott Morrison spin can hide itLenore Taylor 
We’re used to seeing the bush growing back quickly, green shoots appearing within days on burnt trunks. Eucalypt forests have amazing regenerative powers. But these fires are tearing through ancient forests that have never burnt before. They are done for. And the burnt gums are waiting for rain.

We’re taught not to look at the sun. Every child on earth is given the same warning. But in Australia these days you can stare all you like. Take a good long look at that pink disc sinking in the murk. It can’t do you much harm. It’s been tamed by smoke.

The smoke is new too: cities suffocating. We’re used to a day or two in town when there’s a bit of smoke about and the light turns a horrible yellow. That’s every summer. But this is different. Deep in cities, miles from the fire front, the smoke is so thick you can’t see to the end of the street.

Yet we’ve never seen so much before. Everyone is a photographer now. And until the transmission towers burn and batteries flatten extraordinary images are making their way to the media. We’re seeing these horrors in all their detail.

On the beach at Mallacoota, families sat in the smoke under a sky of flame. It’s all on camera. The scene was repeated up and down the coast. At Malua Bay in New South Wales, children, their parents and grandparents were trapped for a day and night between fires and the sea. They’re safe now but it was a close call.

Already, these scenes are part of the national imagination. Among Australians of a certain age, they stir memories of a Hollywood potboiler about the end of the world filmed 60 years ago in Melbourne. On the Beach starred Ava Gardener, Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire. The remake stars us.


Darkness at noon: Australia's bushfire day of terror Read more


One of the duties of a leader is to find the words in times like these. So many have died. So much has been destroyed. But how can Scott Morrison speak to the experience of the country if he can’t admit we are living through unique times? He says instead: “We have faced these disasters before.”

Watch and act, Prime Minister. Watch and act.

If Morrison could face the truth, he might speak not only to his country but the world. If Australia were taking effective action against climate change, this catastrophe would give us the right to demand better of the great rogue states on climate, China and the USA.

We’re doing our bit, he says as the country burns and the world looks on with a mix of pity and scorn.

For empathy, we turn to the plain speech of fire chiefs as they count the toll, giving long lists day after day of destruction, bravery, death and lucky escape in the face of fires these men and women have never seen before.

And on television every night, with looks of professional apology, weathermen and women standing in front of scarlet maps of Australia tell us over and over again the news that makes sense of all these woes: according to the best forecasts, we have at least weeks to wait for rain.


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burning something isn't the way to do it...

As Australia continues to battle horrific bushfires, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a renewed focus on gas-fired electricity to reduce emissions and lower energy prices. This is a dangerous and completely unnecessary route.

In a speech to the National Press Club last week, Morrison claimed:

There is no credible energy transition plan, for an economy like Australia in particular, that does not involve the greater use of gas as an important transition fuel.

This statement is completely untrue, even among the “official” transition plans.

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s draft Integrated System Plan, used to plan future infrastructure needs in Australia’s largest grid, contains multiple scenarios for the coming decades. Several of these, including the “central” scenario – representing entirely neutral assumptions about the future – see no substantial increase in gas consumption over the coming decades.

But with Morrison now pursuing bilateral agreements with the states to open up more gas reserves, it is vitally important to interrogate the logic of gas as a transition fuel.

The strong case against gas

Gas is, of course, a fossil fuel and a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions occur during extraction and transport as well as when it is burned to produce energy.

Nonetheless, since the 1990s it has been touted as a “transition fuel” – that is as a resource that might be drawn upon temporarily while the world switches from coal-fired power to renewables.

Proponents say gas is less emissions-intensive than coal and as such, offers a better fossil fuel alternative as renewables are constructed and energy-efficiency improvements are implemented. (This benefit is overstated: more on this later.)

But in the 30-odd years since gas was first talked up as a transition fuel, humans have added more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than they did in all of human history before that point. We are twice as far from stable global temperatures now as we were when the the concept of a transition fuel was born, and emissions are accelerating in the wrong direction.

Last year a consortium of major international organisations including the United Nations Environment Programme released a landmark report which showed planned global production of coal, oil and gas would see the world far exceed the Paris Agreement targets. There is no room for further expansion.


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