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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.

It's time to heatproof our cities

09 February 2014 | Greg Foyster

Thermometer tops 45 degrees celsiusClimate change has loaded the dice towards hotter days and more frequent heat spells. Heatwaves are only going to get worse, and air conditioning isn't the godsend it seems. We need to start retrofitting our cities, suburbs and homes to withstand the sweltering summers to come. Any new houses that perform poorly in the heat are going to be a tremendous burden on the next generation.

Imaginative connections between Haiyan and climate change

20 November 2013 | Andrew Hamilton

Panel at Climate Conference in WarsawThe confluence of the Climate Conference in Warsaw and the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has been confronting. If they are treated separately there is little problem in finding words and symbolic gestures to recognise the importance or lack of it placed on each. But it is hard to find words to hold together climate change and the death of so many people in natural catastrophes, let alone to act as if they might be related.

Climate change foes need to adapt

03 November 2013 | Fatima Measham

Wind power turbine in waterThe bases of our arguments over climate change have been trodden so much that a moat has formed around us, leaving us stuck in our little island fortresses. We know thoroughly by now the content of our disagreement. But what are the things that do not require persuasion? Is it possible that we have values and interests that intersect? Adaptation may be that intersection.

Climate denial tide is turning

03 November 2013 | Neil Ormerod

Image of sun through bushfiresWith the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Los Angeles Times made the bold decision to no longer publish letters from climate change denialists saying climate change is a matter of fact, not opinion. While this might seem like a small victory, the more substantial issue on the horizon is the global campaign for divestment in the fossil fuel industry. As it gains momentum and fossil fuel companies will be forced to reassess the value of their assets.

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