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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.

A reading list for climate change deniers

29 July 2013 | Greg Foyster

Blackboard featuring the words Climate Change and associated termsWith the release of some frightening reports over the last 12 months, those who deny the scientific consensus on climate change will have to expand their list of 'alarmists' to include some unlikely suspects — the World Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the International Energy Agency. When accountancy firms start sounding like environmental campaigners, the future looks very alarming indeed.

Tony Burke versus the invisible worm

09 April 2013 | Barry Breen

Illustration of a worm in a roseIf poetry is the pulse of our cultural life, so too can it be seen as the pulse of our public decisions. Our poetry loving Minister for the Environment may find wisdom in the words of some of his favourite poets when it comes to decisions about the Murray Darling basin, Tarkine wilderness and Great Barrier Reef.

Does mining cost more than it's worth?

11 February 2013 | Justin Glyn

Truck at coal mineWhile mining is a source of great wealth for Australia, its socio-ecological benefits are mixed. Yet the sheer power of the industry means a balanced conversation on these issues is yet to start. Both major parties are beholden to the industry and fear the advertising power its money can buy. Two examples demonstrate the problem.

Climate change and Australia's weather on steroids

03 February 2013 | Paul Collins

Muscular arm

Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said that, coming from Australia where climate change denial 'fills the air', he finds it significant that world leaders see climate change as the world's most important concern, even more than the economy. Recent extreme weather events, including the floods in Queensland, are symptoms of long-term climate change.

Climate view from a nation doomed to drown

13 December 2012 | Paul Collins

Caroline Atoll (Kiribati), channel between west side of Long Island and Nake Island (in background)Kiribati, situated in the central Pacific Ocean and home to 101,998 people — more than half of them Catholic — will be the first country to be drowned by global warming. While we wring our hands and climate sceptics pretend there is no problem, on Kiribati people are already in the midst of a climate change disaster. 

Practical solutions to climate despair

12 December 2012 | Lyn Bender

Doha climate conference logoThe Doha climate talks have come and gone, and it is all business as usual. Actually, it is full steam ahead with coal, despite dire warnings from the World Bank that if we don't turn down the heat we face clear threats to our great god, The Economy. While denial and despair are tempting options at this point, there are healthier ways to respond.

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