February 2020

Scott Morrison talks big about pressure on gas prices but says nothing about flooding markets with coal

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 05 February 2020] If you think the quality of debate about climate change and bushfires is bad, allow me to give you a glimpse into the debate over the link between the supply and demand of fossil fuels and their price. Spoiler alert – according to the Morrison

January 2020

No one job is worth saving at the expense of climate catastrophe. Not even Scott Morrison’s

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 22 January 2020] Would the prime minister rule out protecting Australians from terrorism if it cost a single job? Would he promise that no nurse, teacher or other public servant would be sacked in pursuit of a budget surplus? Of course not. But when it comes to preventing

Most conservatives know prevention is better than cure – except when it comes to climate change

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia] If only Scott Morrison was as willing to spend money preventing climate change as he is to spend it on disaster repair. The idea that a “stitch in time saves nine” and “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” was once central to the conservative approach

Fund fire recovery with climate tax

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 07 Jan 2020] If Australia and other countries meet their current emission reduction targets bushfires are still going to get much, much worse. Over the past century, humans have caused the world to warm by one degree, but if Australia and the rest of the world

November 2019

Australia’s dirty great secret

by Fergus Green & Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 26 November 2019] The amount of fossil fuels that companies and governments around the world expect to extract over the coming decade is startlingly out of kilter with the imperative to maintain a stable climate system – and Australia is a large part

I was there for the 2003 fires. Let’s not let the same thing happen again

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 18 November 2019] I was a cub reporter working in the press gallery for the Sydney Morning Herald when bushfires engulfed Canberra in 2003, claiming four lives and almost 500 homes. It’s seared in my memory, as I’m sure it is for a lot of Canberrans. I’ve been thinking

Climate change makes bushfires worse. Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 13 November 2019] It’s not just climate protesters who powerful voices are trying to silence in Australia, it’s anyone who wants to talk about the bigger-picture causes to the problems Australia is facing. In modern Australia it has become “inappropriate” to talk about why our rivers are

The Prime Minister needs to get real on climate

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Financial Review, 11 November 2019] Despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s best efforts, Australia has a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 31 years’ time. His suggestions that Labor’s renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030 is an economic “wrecking ball” is as pointless and wrong

October 2019

August 2019

Australia can no longer dodge responsibility for its fossil fuel exports

by Richie Merzian in The Canberra Times

by Richie Merzian[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 24 August 2019] If fuelling global carbon pollution with fossil fuel exports was an Olympic sport, Australia would get a podium place. New Australia Institute research shows Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world – behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia. This expansive

When it comes to coal, Australia has transitioned away from economics and common sense

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on The Guardian Australia, 21 Augustr 2019] Australia isn’t transitioning away from extracting fossil fuels, it is doubling down on them. That’s right – even though Australia is already the third largest fossil fuel exporter in the world, the federal government still wants to double our coal exports, drill for oil in

A condescending Pacific step down

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 20 August 2019] Short-term thinking is often a feature of Australian domestic politics but when it comes to foreign policy, we’ve usually played the long game. Not any more. The Morrison Government is placing 1000 potential coal jobs ahead of its ‘Pacific Step Up’, announced in 2017 to

We’re wasting too much energy on nuclear talk

by Richie Merzian in The Canberra Times

by Richie Merzian[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 10 August 2019] Late last Friday – a timeslot where ministers are known to announce policies they are most proud of – the Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor, ordered a parliamentary inquiry into nuclear energy.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus

July 2019

Problems with the Murray-Darling Basin can’t be skimmed over

by Maryanne Slattery[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 13 July 2019] The Murray-Darling Basin is broken. Literally. As in its parts aren’t joined up anymore – the Darling River/Barka hasn’t flowed into the Murray since 2017. The Murrumbidgee isn’t flowing into the Murray either and will be disconnected from the rest of the basin more

June 2019

Adani mine approval shows climate change debate reaches new level of lunacy

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 15 June 2019] Australia’s debate on the climate crisis reached a new level of lunacy this past week. Almost nowhere else in the world is the climate debate so divorced from reality. Firstly, Adani’s groundwater plan was approved by the Queensland government in a rushed process. This

May 2019

What’s ‘left’ and ‘right’ in Australian politics today? The lines are shifting

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally Published on Guardian Australia, 29 May 2019] While Australian political debate has never seemed more sharply divided, the philosophical lines between left and right have never seemed more blurred. The economy is always in transition, and people are always losing and finding jobs, but – after decades of the right being contemptuous

Fossil fuel’s win may be Coalition’s loss

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 27 May 2019] There’s no doubt the Adani coal mine helped the Liberal National Party win votes in North Queensland but there’s also no doubt it helped them lose a lot of votes – and economic credibility – in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. And while the triumphalism of

Bob Hawke leaves behind an important environmental legacy

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 17 May 2019] Bob Hawke is perhaps credited most often for his economic reforms, but he also leaves a tremendous legacy of protecting Earth’s wilderness. Without Bob Hawke, Antarctica would be a quarry, Tasmania’s iconic Franklin River would be flooded and Queensland’s Daintree rainforest would be a

March 2019

Coalition’s coal virtue signalling

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in The Australian Financial Review, 5 March 2019] Cultural symbols have replaced price signals at the heart of conservative politics. There’s now no better way for Australian conservatives to virtue signal than to support the construction of new coal mines. The Coalition is no longer neo, nor liberal – it simply

February 2019

Coal, conservatives, and craziness

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Financial Review, 19 Feb 2019] Millions of people in developing countries jumped straight from having no phone to having a mobile phone and so too will thousands of villages in developing countries jump from having no grid electricity to their own renewable energy. Leapfrogging old technologies can save billions.

January 2019

Australia, we have bigger issues to tackle than boardies and thongs

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 26.01.19] Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and forcing 537 councils to conduct citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day. And it’s stinking hot. What could be more Australian than a nationwide ban on shorts and thongs as we confer citizenship on our newest Aussies during

September 2018

November 2017

The political cost of backing Adani

he Adani coal mine is the most divisive resource project since the proposal to dam Tasmania’s Franklin River in 1983. The debate over whether to subsidise it even more so. But thanks to Annastasia Palaszczuk’s last-minute decision to veto any Commonwealth loan to the project, the voters of Queensland are now being offered a full range of policy positions

October 2017

February 2017

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