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Australia out of step with Pope's climate action mission

26 January 2015 | Thea Ormerod

Pope FrancisIt 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. 




We must reconsider our need to fly

11 August 2014 | Thea Ormerod

Airliner emitting CO2We'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?

The truth about Jonathan Moylan

29 July 2014 | Thea Ormerod

'Big Coal: Australia's Dirtiest Habit' by Guy Pearse et al.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.

Understanding the climate change battle of attitudes

11 June 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Overview of earthAs 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.

The Pope, the President and our pro-coal PM

05 June 2014 | Neil Ormerod

Hand clutching coalDuring 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.

Push for boycott ban reveals economic double standard

15 April 2014 | Fatima Measham

Young man hold's a placard that declares 'Don't buy'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.

Be selfish, save the planet

01 April 2014 | Megan Graham

Earth Hour artwork featuring half-lit planet earthJust 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.

Religious rebels rattle Big Coal's cage

18 March 2014 | Thea Ormerod

Uniting Church and Catholic ministers at the Maules Creek protestThe arrest last week of three identifiably religious people drew attention again to Whitehaven's new coal mine site at Maules Creek, in northern NSW. Why did these people of faith feel it was time to put their bodies on the line? Simply put, when the law is fully harnessed to keep in place a system that many consider to be immoral, the most ethical action is peaceful, non-violent disobedience.

How to cope with climate change grief

02 March 2014 | Lyn Bender

'Climate change grief' by Chris Johnson shows a small boy pointing in wonder at a smiling planet Earth, not seeing that the far side looks monstrous and decayed.I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust and have spent years in therapy coming to terms with the murder of my relatives and the destruction my parents' world. I now find myself confronting a future potential holocaust of gigantic proportions. Al Gore has warned us of the danger of moving from denial to despair, while omitting hopeful or determined action. Our only hope is to face the reality.

Coal hard facts for religious investors

10 February 2014 | Neil Ormerod

Wad of Australian $50 bills weighed down by a lump of coalThe international movement to divest from investment in fossil fuels is gathering momentum. Investors are starting to realise that as governments act to restrain fossil fuel consumption, fossil fuel companies will find their assets being written down. This is particularly pertinent to Australia, the second largest coal exporter. And it raises questions for Australian religious bodies about the prudent and moral use of their resources.

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