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How to Think About 1.5 Degrees


Astonishment was universal last December when the Paris Agreement on climate change included the aspiration to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, a much tougher target than the standard of 2 degrees, now seen as too risky. It was a remarkable triumph for a long campaign by the small island states, proving that […]

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Climate Policy’s House of Cards


There are the pragmatists willing to compromise to get at least something, and then there are the idealists who stick to their principles and end up with nothing. Or so the argument goes. This tired old binary has been used by various pundits to frame the division within the Climate Change Authority that saw the […]

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The Climate Change Authority report: a minority view


Clive Hamilton and David Karoly As Members of the Climate Change Authority who have participated fully in the Special Review of Australia’s Climate Goals and Policies, we reached the conclusion, after much consideration, that in good conscience we could not lend our names to its report, published last week. Rather than resign we decided to […]

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The Anthropocene Belongs to Earth System Science


The idea of the Anthropocene was conceived by Earth System scientists to capture the very recent rupture in Earth history arising from the impact of human activity on the Earth System as a whole. (1,2) Stop. Read that again. Take special note of the phrases “very recent rupture” and “the Earth System as a whole”. […]

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