Thursday 25th of July 2024

in search of optimism....

I can not think of a greater tragedy in existence than to allow the greed of a few to destroy all life on earth.

“What is it going to take?”

It’s the question I whisper as I do the dishes. It’s the question that ticks along in my mind with the indicator at traffic lights. It’s the question that I settle into my pillow with at night.

“What’s it going to take?”

This is the question pounding in the mind of everyone who comprehends the current trajectory of our planet.

We ask this question because we know how much we personally would give to avert climate collapse.



Full spectrum resistance: we need militant teams who are willing to destroy the death machine    By Violet Coco


I can not think of a greater tragedy in existence than to allow, in any capacity, the greed of a few to destroy all life on earth. I would give everything to avert climate collapse.

This is what those of us who see the reality of our situation are doing. We surrender everything – as the late and great activist Zoe Hulme-Peake said, “it takes all of us, it takes it all from us.”

But with every report of a flood, a fire, a famine, a new border wall, a new oilfield, and with every accompanying rush of rage and grief, we hear the silence of our leaders, and the grinding machinery of business as usual. We fear that our everything will not be enough.

Looking back, moving forward

I’ve been engaging in direct action for climate justice full-time for the last five years. In that time we’ve seen the explosion of multiple global mass civil disobedience movements, from School Strike for Climate to Extinction Rebellion and its offshoots. The tradition of non-violent direct action to protect forests and shut down destructive operations has remained strong, and acts of property destruction and sabotage have become more common. I have engaged in all of these spheres of action.

As the crisis escalates, so do attacks on people like me who are sounding the alarm, as governments collude with their corporate masters to erode our hard-won democratic rights. Peaceful protestors are labelled terrorists and given hefty jail sentences, like the 15-month sentence I received for disrupting a single lane of traffic for 25 minutes. The climate movement around the world is facing difficult questions – questions about communication, strategy and tactics, about escalation and repression, about organising and collaboration, and ultimately about our political system as a whole.

I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I can give some reflections on the five years that I’ve been living them.

What is this, some kind of joke?

After the mega fires of 2018-2019, I watched a comedy duo in Bega set a whole room laughing as they described their climate apocalypse plan of killing their neighbour for the last can of beans. I was struck by the irony that the climate movement frets over whether property destruction is an appropriate tactic, while also laughing about our seemingly inevitable trajectory towards starvation-driven murder.

I knew they weren’t exaggerating, even if they didn’t realise that. If you and your family were starving, and there was a way to make sure you all survived, I am sure you would lie, cheat, steal, smash and burn anything in the way of keeping yourself and the ones you love from slipping into a painful death of starvation – if the fires and floods don’t get you and yours first.

Understanding this – really understanding it and feeling deeply what it means – means being regularly confronted with moments of deep confusion and frustration. How is it that these people – a room of well-informed, well-intentioned lefties – were unable to draw the connection between what they know about our future with what that means for our present.

What is it going to take?

What’s in a word?

A couple of years later, while I was sitting in Silverwater prison after blocking the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the name of climate justice, I made a phone call to my media team asking them to contact Emeritus Professor Will Steffen, whom I had met with previously, to help me amend a quote he had given me.

We had met at a café in Canberra shortly before we famously burnt a pram outside Parliament House.

We were contemplating making the tactical move from mild disruption of roads, to destruction of property. Will had given us an hour of his time to explain the threat, so we could be certain we had our information on good authority and could show our response was appropriate.

He told us in no uncertain terms that on our current trajectory we face a “precipitous drop in human population” and “hell on earth”.

While sitting in prison a year later, having done my best to platform these words by splashing paint, setting things on fire and blockading the Harbour Bridge, I suddenly became worried that “precipitous” was not speaking to enough people, so I asked if we could change it to “rapid.”

It seems surreal that such a minor point can have such gravity, but having witnessed apathetic and cynical responses time and time again, these things feel like life and death questions – how do we communicate to the public that billions of lives will be lost if we keep burning fossil fuels, allowing our biodiversity to perish through land clearing, and the polluting of water? Could an overly academic word be the difference between 200 and 200,000 people on the streets? Maybe I should have asked if the expert opinion could be “We are all going to die!!”.

Nature-based solutions

We are using more resources than the world has to offer. We are chewing up the life of our planet and spitting it out in fidget spinners and billionaires flying around the world. Our whole system is based on the idea that we have complete domination over nature. This egotistical mindset could kill us all. It is not until we are humbled by our position in nature, as a part of, and responsible for, the health of the rest of the living world that we will be able to save ourselves.

The full quote from Professor Steffen was this:

“Massive floods, fires and heatwaves are sending us a clear message. On our present trajectory, we risk heading into a collapse of our globalised civilisation and a precipitous [rapid!] drop in human population — put simply, hell on earth. But we can avoid this disastrous future if we change the way we think, live our lives and interact with the rest of the living world. This means listening to and respecting the wisdom of indigenous cultures and moving away from rampant consumerism.”

What is strategic? There are two arms of how to think about averting climate collapse, one is the practical levers that need to be pulled to avert breakdown. The other is gaining the social and political will to organise society into doing them.

One of the most interesting things about joining the fight to protect the planet is the pressure to suddenly understand natural sciences, social sciences, political sciences and historical examples of change. With a background in theatre and philosophy, suffice to say that I am not a scientist.

However, I’ve realised that there is no carbon budget, every tree is sacred in a climate emergency and we are past the point where just zeroing out emissions will be enough. We need to engage in drawdown and repair of ecosystems if we have a chance of surviving the latent warming and destruction that is already locked into the system.

There is no time left

We had decades of warnings, negotiation and broken promises. We are now in our final hour. As Prof Hans Shellenhuber says “Climate change is now reaching the endgame, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accept that it has been left too late and bear the consequences” (p. 3). That was in 2018.

We have a huge responsibility as this continent is the third largest exporter of carbon emissions in the world.

Outrageously, despite all the warnings there are 116 new fossil fuel projects currently on Federal Government’s annual Resource & Energy Major Project list.

There have been decades of warnings, of negotiations, of lobbying (on both sides with a considerable difference in resource capacity), of promises and broken promises. Andreas Malm notes that more carbon stocks have been released since the first COP where the United Nations met to address global warming, than in the 75 years before it (p. 7).

So we are back where we started, “What is it going to take?”

I know your job seems important right now, I know your ‘clean record’ so you can still fly overseas seems important now (not that it actually stops anyone from travelling, so far), I know that police are scary, the state is scary. I know, I have been arrested 33 times now, and let me tell you, it sucks. First Nations people have been telling us about the atrocities of the state’s “justice” system since colonisation. I will share why I think we should be doing it anyway.

How civil resistance creates political will

Historically, civil resistance has created extraordinary breakthroughs in social, political and economic issues. When freedom, resources or power is hoarded, and asking nicely hasn’t worked, ‘the people’ have risen up as a collective, to demand better. This is an important part of democracy. It is a phenomenon that occurs when the structures of co-operation in society have failed so much, and are causing so much suffering, that people make extraordinary personal sacrifices, and are supported by peers to do so, in order to highlight an issue that needs to change.

Thanks to these people, we have made great leaps and bounds (although there is still much work to do) with issues like workers rights; thank you for the eight hour working day, women’s liberation; thank you for the vote, queer rights; thank you for marriage equality; refugee justice; thank you for supporting freedom and safety, First Nations’ justice; thank you for supporting justice and Country.

Civil resistance can not be ignored. It is a disruption of ‘business as usual’. Petitions and lobbying can be ignored, but civil resistance, when done properly, can not be ignored.

Civil resistance has a purpose, it is to change the trajectory of society to be more just. It pulls on certain leverages to achieve this.

Leverages like, drawing attention to an issue that the political class want to keep quiet. Or can target economic leverage; like costing money to power structures. This can trigger them to seek negotiation where previously they have ignored the issue. Another leverage is engaging public sympathy for the activists themselves, through facing repression.

In the campaign to save the Franklin River, the organising activists held a survey of what motivated people to come and protect that ecosystem. The number one motivating factor for people turning up was seeing other people get arrestedby police.

We motivate each other by demonstrating the appropriate response, which takes courage.

Civil Resistance is broadly supported when it is non-violent, in both a strategic and moral framework. Briefly, engaging in violence, including property damage, causes an escalation of political and therefore police violence. The state typically has more tools and capacity to engage in a violent fight, and therefore it is not strategic to engage might vs. might.

That is not to say that violence is not an important strategic player in civil resistance. Non-violent resistance exposes the violence inherent in the system. Grass roots organisers weaponise the state’s violence against itself, with non violence, to achieve sympathy and outrage – the backfire effect.

While broad support of civil resistance goes to the non-violent parts of the movement, there are great examples of a ‘radical flank’ working successfully within the ecosystem of a movement. In the civil rights movement there were armed protectors of the community. Some wings of the suffragettes blew up empty buildings, threw rocks through windows and slashed paintings.

A local example of this was when our team in Canberra started to throw real paint around The Department for Environment, people were outraged. The movement was largely challenged by the property damage, saying, “We agree with the cause, but we don’t like the methods.”

Three Extinction Rebellion members were charged with defacing public property at the Department of Agriculture. Two were sentenced while one had his charge dismissed.

Yet there were also some who said that it felt like the appropriate response to the damage being done to the planet. This opened a conversation about proportionate damage being done to the planet. Difficult conversations, but necessary ones. If parts of the movement are so concerned and outraged about the damage of a little bit of paint, you better be literally up in arms about the destruction of our livable planet.

These types of actions often engage the public’s acceptable response to an issue. They open up a debate on the seriousness of an issue vs the action taken, also known as the appropriate response.

When I burnt the pram, destroying the tiles under the pram with melted plastic, people felt it was justified because of the message – you are killing our children’s future.

Note: Sometimes groups accept that actions will be largely unpopular at the time, but still be effective at platforming the message, or deemed a necessary intervention to prevent a greater injustice. Being liked is not the same as being effective as an activist, we are not trying to get elected, we are trying to engage a point.

Disruption to destruction

In our final hour, where all else has failed, is there a strategic way to physically stop the death machine? Or, are we relying on them agreeing with us and shutting themselves down?

In the dark cells of Canberra police station, my friend and I were playing charades through the glass windows of our enclosures.

She was miming, I was guessing.

It’s a book…

First word “How”

… then she is making explosive gestures.

I excitedly, without thinking about where I was, yelled out the book title my comrade was alluding to – “How to Blow up a Pipeline!!!” – I enthusiastically called from my cell.

When I realised what she had tricked me into screaming out, while under police surveillance, I could not help but laugh and appreciate her audacity.

The obtusely vibrant orange book by Andreas Malm, which does not include instructions on how to blow up a pipeline, instead, explores the philosophy of property destruction in the context of non violent direct action.

It is very persuasive.

The book quotes R.H Lossin, one of the finest contemporary scholars in the field, “Sabotage is a sort of prefigurative, if temporary, seizure of property. It is – in reference to the climate emergency – both a logical, justifiable and effective form of resistance and a direct affront to the sanctity of capitalist ownership.” (p. 68).

Ultimately, we need to shift the appropriate response to the omnicide of our planet from polite dissent, to unignorable and effective action.

We need a calm and focused panic.

That’s what it feels like to ask “What is it going to take?”

Everyday, constantly looking for the most impactful thing to work with people on.

It seems so easy, no chainsaws, way less trees cut down.

No mining equipment, no mines.

We all want a mass movement to shut the system down, and achieve change. We are working very hard to mobilise as many people as possible. Unfortunately, mass movements are hard to engage, and take a lot of resources. In between waves of mass momentum, small and direct groups can get a lot done.

The challenge when engaging in sabotage, is that reactions can be very aggressive. The repressive and aggressive backlash from it can collapse a campaign’s momentum. For example, the loggers of our beautiful and sacred forests are capable of incredible acts of violence in retaliation for their tonka toys being touched, meaning those in forestry campaigns often steer away from damage, for how it can collapse a functional blockade.

Another prominent example of sabotage is Jessica Reznicek, who did in fact sabotage a pipeline, then openly took responsibility for it. She is now serving eight years in prison.

Jessica’s confession was a powerful and inspiring act that has moved many around the world, including myself, to be brave enough to face prison. However, some have argued to me that if all the key organisers put themself in prison for years, then it would leave the movement very shy of competent people in the very short time we have left to do something.

Also, how many times could Jessica have stopped that pipeline in the six years she has since served? Conversely, how many people have taken action because they have been inspired by her bravery. *raises hand*

It is of no doubt that mass participation in disruption is needed to shift this system – thousands of people on the streets. I propose that we also need militant teams who are willing to destroy the death machine. Teams that have a degree of separation from the mass participation organisers, but supported within the movement – keeping the mass organisers untainted. This protects mass organisers, whom often have to be publicly accountable, from the dissent and bad optics that sabotage has from the broader public, and the legal consequences. Unless it’s symbolic damage, like the burning pram or spray paint.

The important thing is that we function as an ecosystem of effective tactics.

Working together

It means nothing unless we are doing things together. Relationship building and working together are the most important things. The people and organisations around us now, these are the ones we are going through this with. I’ll admit, sometimes I meet people, and tactics, that just rub me the wrong way. However, I recognise that now is the time and if anyone is working on this stuff, then they have a seat at my dinner table and a serve of whatever I have to share. They are kin and deserve my respect. We need an ecosystem of tactics and I remain humbled by the fact that nothing anyone is doing has worked… because emissions continue to rise.

Aric McBay’s brilliant Full Spectrum Resistance (2019) explores the tension between small radical groups and larger parts of the movement. It puts forward the idea of the ratchet as an analogy of how “smaller militant organisations push progress forward” while “larger moderate ones hold and consolidate gains.”

“It is unfortunate that some resistors do not grasp that. I have written about the myopia of liberals who don’t understand the key role of militants. But there are plenty of militants who fail to grasp the important role that moderate organisations can play in radical change” (p. 191).

This was evident in my case for the Harbour Bridge. The new anti-protest laws were rushed through parliament, hardly anyone knew it had happened. I blocked the bridge a week or so later, and got put in prison. This stirs an outrage and brings attention to the concerning laws, giving more momentum for larger organisations, like Unions and Human Rights Watch to express concern at the anti-protest laws, and challenge them with the larger resources at their disposal.

Larger parts of the movement, especially those working on consensus, have slower decision making capacity. Smaller autonomous groups can form out of these larger groups for rapid response under different more radical banners.

A healthy movement consists of small decentralised radical groups and key organisers engaging mass participation co-ordination

So yes, everyone’s job is valid, and thank you for all the work you are doing, no matter who you are. However, there was recently a study released by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, where the case is made that protest movements are more effective than the best charities (NGOs). They observe that for the amount of money protest movements function off, they show a lot more results. So, protest movements are a good investment for the philanthropist who doesn’t want civilisation to collapse.

I think of my job in the movement to be a node in the mycelium. I try to connect, and build relationships with as many people working on this stuff as possible. I call myself a cross pollinator as I build relationships with Disrupt Burrup Hub, in Perth, who are fighting the largest gas expansion project on the continent, while also working with XR Sydney on a zombie march at Town Hall. I speak at The Greens events, in cinemas, in backyards. I try to hold hands with people across as much of the spectrum of resistance as I can. I invite you to this vision, of one big diverse movement, doing as much as we can.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Be healers – because this work is hard.

We must learn to work together.


If their greatest weapon is to keep us apart.

Our greatest strength is to stay connected.

The police have been taking on a robo-cop-esque mentality with some punitive behaviour, they call strategic incapacitation. I thought it was the court’s job to deliver punishment, however, the police use their powers to enact their own justice. One way they do this is with bail conditions, like house arrest, or non-association conditions, another way is with actual violence, sound cannons and chemical warfare (pepper spray).

Being on the frontline is tough. The police use intimidation to make us fear using our voice, or talking to our community. Fear is a powerful weapon and it leaves lasting scars. In non-violent direct action training we have a saying, “The action isn’t over till the last fine is paid.” But maybe it should say “Till the last wound is healed.”

The political system is working hard to clamp down on any activism. Laws are changing around the country in response to the rising determination of protesters. We win when we have the strength and courage to keep taking meaningful action together. They win when we fear sitting in our seat of power, or are fighting amongst ourselves. Whatever you do, don’t fight each other in the public domain. Have the respect to have direct conversations and build relationships within the movement.

Remember, repression is activating. If we can demonstrate the injustice of the repression, it mobilises more people. We just need to summon the courage to face it, and we don’t do it alone.

Reform vs Revolution

If there is one thing a functioning government should be ticking off its list of accomplishments it is – not kill everyone. We can argue till the cows come home (go vegan.) how our government should be keeping us alive. But essentially every one of the citizens should be in agreement that a good government should not collapse civilisation. Especially not with this much notice and research about how not to do that.

After delivering a talk at Swinburne University on the climate crisis and activism called, “Heading for Extinction and What to do About it.” A lecturer came up to me and said, “The most frustrating thing is that we have all the solutions we need to heal the planet, we just are not implementing them.”

This government is lying and withholding information on the risk of climate breakdown. The Office of National Intelligence (ONI) released a report for the Labour Government on how the climate crisis will fuel national security threats. They refuse to release the report and its findings.

How can people make informed decisions on how (and who) they want to govern the country without all the information? What right does a government have to hide the risks from us? They know the risks though, they have the brief, and yet they are still approving logging, coal and gas projects like Woodside.

Woodside’s estimate of the annual emissions from the project suggest about 4bn of carbon dioxide equivalent could be released – equivalent to about 10 years of Australia’s total carbon pollution.”

That makes them murderers. This two party system has failed us. It has become a pantomime of theatrics while this land is pillaged for its resources, regardless of the safety of the people.

We need something new.

There is hope in citizens assemblies, there is hope in handing land back. When First Nations people care for Country, biodiversity is protected.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life

Whatever the answers may be, I’m still certain that only people power can save us. Governments and elites have proven time and again that they’d rather murder us all than accept the truth of this crisis – they will not change until we stand up and make them.

What is it going to take? All of us, and everything, courage and commitment. It will take unignorable and effective action from small autonomous teams to mass mobilisation – all working together in a calm and focused panic. It will take strategic damage, and NGOs as one big ecosystem. It will take being healers of each other, and connectors too.

It will also give. It will give purpose, and hope. It will give you a community of the bravest of hearts. The best kind of people, those willing to set aside comfort and luxury, to fight for life.


Republished from GREEN AGENDA, November 3, 2023


carbon stores.....

Old trees are good trees    By Peter Sainsbury  

Big old trees are few in number but store lots of carbon. Loopholes found in Victoria’s ban on native tree logging. Great Barrier Reef bleaches for fifth time in eight years.

Which trees hold the most carbon?

The somewhat complicated figure below illustrates a very important point: the few, older, larger trees in primary forests store at least half of the carbon in the forest.

Let me try to explain by talking you through the figure, which is based on data from naturally regenerated European forests that contain native tree species of various ages and no evidence of human activities. Such ‘primary forests’ have the highest level of ecosystem integrity and store the largest amount of carbon.

The light green shaded area (scale on the left) represents the distribution of tree density by tree diameter (horizontal axis). Most of the trees in the forests are small diameter trees (less than 30cm, say) and there are very few, very large diameter trees (over 90cm, say).

The dark green columns represent the carbon stored in all the above- and below-ground living biomass of trees of various diameters. Most of the biomass is associated with the moderate number of large trees in the 50-80cm diameter range and the very few trees larger than this.

The red curve represents the cumulative biomass over the range of tree sizes, with the blue line demonstrating that half of the total biomass is associated with the 15% of trees with diameters above 60cm, although this varied across broadleaf, conifer and mixed forests.

The article from which this figure is taken makes some other important points:

  • Not all the carbon in the forest is contained in the above-ground trunks, branches, leaves, etc. The roots and dead biomass (e.g., dead trees, fallen branches and leaf litter) together contain approximately 40% as much carbon as the visible parts of the trees.
  • The carbon stocks in primary forests have been underestimated by about 50%.
  • Forests are being maintained at below their maximum carbon stocks. This represents a lost opportunity for drawing down and storing more CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Forests managed for commercial purposes rarely contain any large old trees.
  • The protection and restoration of primary forests is a critical action for climate mitigation.

Has Victoria really stopped logging native trees?

There’s been much celebration among conservations about Victoria’s decision to stop the logging of native forests from January 1st this year. However, David Lindenmayer and colleagues, what would we do without them?, have identified three kinds of logging that haven’t stopped and look set to continue for many years:

  1. Fuel breaks – claimed to assist with fire prevention and management. The felled trees, some over 200 years old, go to timber mills.
  2. Salvage logging – where logs damaged by natural disturbances such as windstorms and fires are sent to sawmills and firewood yards. The authors describe this as ‘the most destructive form of logging, worse than high-intensity clearfelling’ as it hinders soil recovery and removes habitat for plants and animals for decades.
  3. Logging on private land – where there is weak if any regulation.

Whether these continued forms of logging are designed to protect human life and habitations, the forests or the logging industry is open to debate.

Great Barrier Reef bleaches yet again

In the first few months of 2024, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has experienced its fifth mass bleaching event in the past eight years. Such events were extremely uncommon but global warming and higher ocean temperatures mean that this is no longer the case.

The white suns indicate localised bleaching at Lizard Island at the northern end of the GBR. Red suns are mass bleachings. The red arrow was the first global mass bleaching event.

For the first time this year, the southern, middle and northern sectors of the GBR have all been affected, as clearly visible in the map below which shows the temperature anomaly (the amount by which the water is colder or hotter than usual) on March 4th. The water temperature has been dropping recently but this week it is still hovering just below 27oC.

The extended period of high water temperature around Lizard Island has caused coral death rates of up to 80% this year. The photo below was taken by Lyle Vail, co-director of the Lizard Island Research Station, on April 21st. The dull brown corals are dead and almost all the others are bleached.

If you have 30 minutes and a wish to learn more about coral bleaching on the GBR and how the reef has responded in recent years, I thoroughly recommend watching the 2023 Talbot Oration by Ann Hoggett, also a co-director of the Research Station.

Unfortunately, the media mostly reports the bleachings as one-off events and the seriousness of recurrent bleaching is not getting through to the public:

‘The real message from the 2024 global bleaching event is NOT that corals are once again bleaching around the world. The reef science community has been doing its best to get the seriousness of the situation out there. BUT, the media are NOT conveying that message. They are stuck on bleaching events as a series of one-off events that are terribly sad, but just another nature story.’ Professor Peter Sale.

Paris Agreement’s next big test

It is doubtful whether the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change has delivered much over the last 8 years in terms of actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally. It is, however, important to recognise three things:

  1. How bad things were before December 2015: there was no international agreement to limit global warming.
  2. The Agreement committed the nations of the world to limit global warming to no more than 2oC (considered at the time to be reasonably ‘safe’) and to strive for less than 1.5o
  3. The Agreement established a process for encouraging each nation to make a fair contribution to achieving the 2oC goal and for monitoring progress. (It would be nice to be able to say ‘ensuring’ rather than ‘encouraging’ but the agreement lacks any mechanism for forcing nations to act to reduce their emissions.)

The core of the implementation process is that nations agreed to submit every five years targets and commitments (Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) for reducing their emissions and that each round of commitments will be stronger than the last. Nations are required to submit their next round of NDCs which cover the period to 2035 by early 2025.

The NDCs submitted to date have been woefully lacking in ambition. Based on current commitments, the most realistic estimate is that the world is currently heading for global warming in the very risky 2.5-2.9oC range.

While many nations have committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and the carbon budget for keeping warming under 1.5oC will be exhausted in the next 3-6 years – i.e. well before 2035, let alone 2050. It is clear that the targets and commitments submitted in this coming round of NDCs need to be much more ambitious than in the past.

The World Resources Institute has suggested to the governments of the world a five-point plan for greater ambition and success in combating climate change:

  1. Set national 2035 targets and revise 2030 targets to align with the goals of net zero emissions and limiting warming to 1.5o For instance, reduce current CO2 emissions levels by 60% by 2035 and commit to reducing all greenhouse gases, not just CO2. Needless to say, wealthy countries should be even more ambitious.
  2. Accelerate just transitions across all public and private sectors, including ambitious time-bound targets for each sector of the economy. Shifting to resilient food systems that halt deforestation and reduce emissions is particularly important.
  3. Build resilience to the increasing impacts of climate change (heatwaves, wildfires, storms, droughts, sea level rise, etc.) across all aspects of society.
  4. Spur investment in environmental sustainability to ensure targets are met and strengthen governance, transparency and accountability in all levels of government and the private sector.
  5. Put people’s health, jobs, education, communities, security, etc. at the centre of climate action.

The WRI baldly states that ‘By 2035, the world needs to be on a radically different pathway if we have any hope of overcoming the climate crisis. The NDCs that countries submit next year will show in black and white which countries are committed to slash emissions and accelerate adaptation quickly enough to get there.’

What’s the chance of Australia’s next NDCs demonstrating commitment to slashing emissions and accelerating adaptation quickly enough?

Muscle, coal and oil

There is much discussion of energy transition these days but, of course, this is not the first time that there has been one – although it may be the first time that one has been planned centrally rather than being imposed on communities out of the blue, so to speak, by inventors, entrepreneurs and robber barons, and it is certainly the first time one has been planned on a global scale.

The Trent and Mersey Canal was built in the 1770s to link the two English rivers and provide a safer and smoother mode of transport for, amongst other things, Josiah Wedgewood’s pottery. I took the photograph below at Stone, about an hour south of Manchester, six weeks ago (note the early morning frost).







The ugly truth of the native forest logging warsBy David Lindenmayer and Michael Lester 

Despite industry and political spin, our Australian native forests continue to be destroyed. The many mythologies put forward in defence of continued logging are contradicted in detail by the facts and evidence.

In this podcast, David Lindemayer, AO, distinguished professor, forest ecology, Australian National University (ANU) and author of the book ‘The Forest Wars: the Ugly Truth About What’s Happening in our Tall Forests’ (Allen & Unwin 2024) puts forward a positive vision for our forests that can provide sustainable benefits to our economy and our ecosystems.

Listen to the podcast...................