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03 November 2015 |
Environmental justice will be part of the discussion in Paris this month. The principle of justice says each person is of equal value no matter which nation or ethnic group they belong to. Each Australian contributes 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, while each Bangladeshi contributes a little more than a third of a tonne. If the principle of justice is applied, Australia will have to move from 16 tonnes per person to about a third of a tonne, roughly equivalent to what a Bangladeshi emits now.
01 November 2015 |
When Chinchilla farmer George Bender took his own life, it ended a ten year struggle with the coal seam gas industry that has wreaked havoc on his property and that of his neighbours. Despite mountains of paper regulations, despite a well-resourced Gasfield Commission and Gasfield Compliance Unit, people in the region feel abandoned. It seems that government bodies are enablers and facilitators of the industry rather than regulators and protectors of the people, the soil and the water.
10 February 2015 |
Better infrastructure such as dedicated bike lanes helps to avoid cyclists being injured. But the road is not a battleground and increased armoury is not the answer to our need for safer roads. A more gracious attitude to each other on the part of both motorists and cyclists is just as important.
26 January 2015 |
It is no coincidence that Pope Francis chose to visit the Philippines before he releases his encyclical on the environment, and that he made a point of visiting Tacloban, which was ground zero for super typhoon Haiyan. This follows the recent UN climate talks in Lima, where Australian negotiators so regularly blocked consensus that they won us the 'colossal fossil' award for 2014 from environmental observers.
11 August 2014 |
We're keenly aware of aviation safety in a way we were not just one month ago. But the real concern is not surface to air missiles fired by hostile armies and paramilitaries. It is the huge contribution airlines make to global emissions and the resulting calamitous situation faced by human civilisation. Why do we continue to idolise air travel?
29 July 2014 |
I am a grandmother of six, a practising Catholic and for some years was our local Catholic youth group mum. I was drawn to protest actions because other ways of protecting the future for my grandchildren were proving fruitless. Having stayed with the protesters and seen them in action, I have been impressed with their disciplined dedication to an ethic of peaceful non-violence. It is not 'violence' to frustrate mine workers and annoy the police.
11 June 2014 |
As Obama took steps to deal with carbon emissions, Abbott walked away from them. Beneath the complex political considerations in these responses stir deep passions. Human flourishing requires that we recognise the interdependence of human beings and our common interdependence with the environment. That recognition marks out the boundaries of the field within which our autonomy and initiative should play.
05 June 2014 |
During Abbott's forthcoming visit to Obama he will find a president not only willing to take strong action in relation to climate change, but doing so with the public support of the US Catholic bishops. This is not a situation he will find comfortable given that in the Australian context he has always previously been able to count on the support of Cardinal Pell to muddy the waters on climate change.
15 April 2014 |
A review of competition laws is allowing the Government and industry groups to push for a ban on environmental boycotts. It is a strange protectionism that portrays industries as victims, defenceless against the barrage of readily available information. It appears the free flow of information cannot be so free as to disrupt capital, and the only legitimate choices within a free market are ones unimpeded by ethics or conscience.
01 April 2014 |
Just a few days after we marked the annual observance of Earth Hour, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, emphasising the likelihood of an increase in extreme and irreversible damage. In light of this, the fact that we deem Earth Hour to even be necessary seems akin to prompting a dog to notice its kennel is on fire. Unless the dog is in very bad health, it would do what it needs to do to save itself.
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