Search Results: Greg Foyster

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Forecast: political storm over energy

    • Greg Foyster
    • 07 December 2017
    1 Comment

    Summer is here, and so is the political spin about blackouts. This year, with a record November heatwave in Victoria and a press gallery hypersensitised to energy politics, the blame game started early - well before anything has actually gone wrong.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    How artists can rewrite the climate story

    • Greg Foyster
    • 07 November 2017
    8 Comments

    Much artistic response to the environmental crisis is negative , either criticising the excesses of the present, or predicting destruction in the future. Where are the positive stories of a new, sustainable culture? This is the greatest contribution art can make, yet for every vision of a better world there are a hundred bleak dystopias.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    In the 'climate wars' Tony Abbott is Hiroo Onoda

    • Greg Foyster
    • 11 October 2017
    10 Comments

    The conflict has finished, but a stubborn and deluded band of stragglers, led by their belligerent General, Tony Abbott, don't want to believe it. Abbott is behaving like the infamous Imperial Japanese officer Hiroo Onoda, who refused to accept his country's surrender in 1945 and spent a further 29 years fighting phantom enemies in a remote tropical jungle.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Electric carmaggedon

    • Greg Foyster
    • 13 September 2017
    6 Comments

    There are lots of reasons why China wants to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles. It desperately needs to curb air pollution, which the World Health Organization estimates kills more than a million of its citizens each year. It also wants to reduce dependence on imported oil, and help meet climate change targets. Most crucial, however, is China's intention to dominate the global market for electric vehicles and the technology that powers them, lithium-ion batteries.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The renewables debate is won, but we may still lose the war

    • Greg Foyster
    • 16 August 2017
    9 Comments

    In the last few years, vested interests have changed their strategy for opposing action on climate change. Where they once focused on denying the problem, they’re now putting their efforts into sabotaging the solutions. Instead of funding fake experts to say the ‘science isn’t settled’, fossil fuel companies and their political backers have been running a smear campaign against renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, solar panels and batteries.

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  • PODCAST

    ChatterSquare: Greg Foyster on conservative arguments for climate action

    • Podcast
    • 24 July 2017

    Climate change continues to be politically charged in Australia, even as other countries ramp up their renewable energy investments. It raises questions around salesmanship. Evidence and expertise seem to only be part of the argument for action – so how can we build momentum? Do conservatives in fact have a role? Greg Foyster walks us through the language and approaches that have fallen short, and the conservative arguments that could potentially lead to breakthroughs.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Electricity market for dummies (i.e. politicians)

    • Greg Foyster
    • 19 July 2017
    11 Comments

    After months of very silly debate about clean energy, one thing is abundantly clear: the electricity market is evolving much faster than most politicians and commentators can understand it. The story underneath all the distraction is that wind and solar have already changed the game. As that big Finkel report no one read made clear, 'there is no going back from the massive industrial, technological and economic changes facing our electricity system'.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Finkel and the climate theatre of the absurd

    • Greg Foyster
    • 21 June 2017
    6 Comments

    If politics is theatre, climate politics is a family drama. For the last decade we've watched two rival households having the same endless argument. Political journos call it the 'climate wars' and mostly focus on the lead actors standing in the spotlight - in the Western narrative tradition, characters drive events. Almost no one has noticed the scenery change. Stagehands dismantled the backdrop years ago, but politicians have carried on as if the same circumstances existed when they started this charade.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Getting off gas not so easy for renters

    • Greg Foyster
    • 25 May 2017
    4 Comments

    Standard electric heaters turn roughly one unit of electricity into one unit of heat. A reverse cycle air conditioner, however, uses electricity to 'pump' heat from one place to another and is incredibly efficient. Using electricity from the grid creates more pollution than burning gas, but the electric reverse cycle air conditioner is so efficient it's still less damaging overall. That's great news for households with air con, but galling for anyone who can't afford one, or isn't allowed to install it.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Why we will never give up flying

    • Greg Foyster
    • 26 April 2017
    14 Comments

    I haven't flown for six years. I didn't feel a pressing need to travel, but most of all I didn't want to make such an enormous contribution to climate change. A return flight from Melbourne to London pumps about 1.8 tonnes of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, wiping out other efforts to reduce emissions at home. But now here I am on a Jetstar flight to Sydney for a climate change conference. As the plane takes off, I squirm with a sense of hypocrisy: I've broken my vow for the same reason I made it.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate pipe dreams

    • Greg Foyster
    • 30 March 2017
    5 Comments

    About 40km from Warrnambool in south-western Victoria is Australia's first demonstration site for storing carbon dioxide pollution deep underground. In photos, it doesn't look like much - a few water tanks, sheds and pipes in a brown paddock - and yet plans to meet the internationally agreed climate change target are betting on the success of projects like this. This isn't a fringe strategy anymore. It is a big part of the mainstream, politically preferred approach to address global warming.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Turnbull's coal pitch is a Trojan Horse for gas

    • Greg Foyster
    • 22 February 2017
    10 Comments

    Australia's most politically contentious rock is back in the limelight after Prime Minister Turnbull spruiked 'clean coal' power stations in early February, and Scott Morrison brought a lump of the stuff to parliament. It was a juvenile act, but an effective one: here we are again, still talking about coal weeks later, when the real energy policy battle is over gas. But that's how it goes - a pitch for a new coal-fired power station in Australia is actually a clever exercise in repositioning gas as a greener fuel.

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