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 […]

“Humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”: Pope Francis’s Call to Arms

Pope Francis did not speak lightly when he said that protecting God’s creation is a service that “the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out”. And so his encyclical “Laudato Si’, on care for our common home”, released yesterday, reflects his deeply held convictions. While the encyclical’s message will require careful study to appreciate […]

The Lomborg Ruse

No one in Australia has more relentlessly attacked environmentalists, climate science, carbon taxes and the aspirations of the United Nations than Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt. So what does it mean when Bolt sings the praises of a man who is a declared environmentalist, accepts the body of evidence for climate change, supports a carbon tax […]

The Delusion of the “Good Anthropocene”: Reply to Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin Dot Earth blog New York Times Dear Andy Thanks for sending the link to your talk on “Charting Paths to a ‘Good’ Anthropocene”. Since you ask for responses let me express my view bluntly. In short, I think those who argue for the “good Anthropocene” are unscientific and live in a fantasy world […]

The Dirty Dozen: Australia’s biggest climate foes

Who are the 12 people doing the most to block action on climate change in Australia? With a new government in place, and Australia’s emissions stubbornly high, we name and shame a fresh Dirty Dozen …  Who has been most responsible in recent times for preventing progress in the reduction of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions? […]

Climate and vaccine deniers are the same: beyond persuasion

Governments are worried. Vaccination rates are falling under the influence of a campaign of misinformation by a small minority of fanatics. Scientifically there is no debate about immunisation, with every relevant health authority strongly endorsing vaccination. But anti-vaccination activists refuse to accept the evidence, claiming that “every issue has two sides”. They believe vaccination is […]

The power of the fragment: why politicians have turned their backs on climate

A recent Vote Compass poll shows 61% of Australian adults want the federal government to do more to tackle climate change; 18% want it to do less. This figure, consistent with many polls over the years, squares with various developments in Australian politics but contradicts others. The Howard Government lost the 2007 election in part […]

Abbott and co can’t ignore climate change forever

Published on The Drum, ABC, 26 August 2013 Six years ago, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was 90 per cent certain that human activity was the main cause of climate change. That percentage has since risen to 95, according to a new draft report leaked last week. Try as climate deniers might, they can’t […]

Suspending democracy: who says?

I have never called for democracy to be suspended. So why is this meme prevalent on the Internet? Why is it that whenever I write anything about climate change some commenters feel obliged to wheel it out as if it invalidates everything I say? Here is the explanation. For many years I have been giving […]

Science Under Siege

When the denial machine goes after climate scientists it is, as one of them said, like the marines going into battle against boy scouts. The brutality of the attacks has once again been confirmed by the release of some of the emails sent to Phil Jones, the University of East Anglia climate scientist at the […]