Science & Environment

Kevin Rudd takes on George Pell over climate change

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has launched a sweeping attack on Cardinal George Pell for his dismissive stance on climate change and accused him of inconsistency in criticising Pope Francis' own call for action on the issue.

Greenhouse gases continue 'relentless rise'

by AAP
World Meteorological Organization's annual greenhouse gas bulletin says time is running out to keep global warming to 'manageable levels'.

Australia's new emissions rules will put yet another bump in the road for diesels

Diesel vehicle sales have surged in Australia in recent years. Yet as the Volkswagen scandal reveals - controlling their harmful pollutants is challenging. The move to tougher pollution standards requires diesel makers to make compromises in other attributes that could blunt this new found popularity.

A year of records: the human role in 2014's wild weather

As part of the annual extreme weather issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society released today, five papers by Australian authors including us, investigate the role of climate change in extreme weather in 2014.

Negotiations to phase out potent global warming gases fall short

An international meeting convened at short notice to agree on phasing out refrigerant gases that have potent global warming effects fell short of its lofty goals last night. But all is not lost.

Study: Australians can be sustainable without sacrificing lifestyle or economy

A CSIRO economic and physical modelling study finds that it is possible to address environmental challenges without rejecting continued economic growth and returning to the 'simple life'. But it requires government policies that make environmentally friendly technology cheaper and easier to use than the environmentally damaging alternatives.

It’s just common sense - the depressing charts behind global warming stupidity

A four-year CSIRO study of Australians’ attitudes to climate change shows a society that rates itself rather highly on matters of atmospheric physics when in fact it is pretty clueless.

UNSW Energy Institute: Nuclear route to imports not exports

by AAP
Professor says nuclear power requires Australia to import all the equipment and expertise, while other energy options could drive exports.

UN: Paris pledges keep ‘door open’ to limiting warming to 2 degrees

United Nations climate body says nations pledges form good basis for further improvement, although more effort required.

Climate change will stretch Australian defence capability

by AAP
Former defence force chief says Australian defence lacks sufficient resources to cope with climate change produced crises.

Heat and humidity could make parts of Middle East 'unbearable' by 2100

Due to climate change conditions in the Middle East could become so hot and humid by the end of the century that they occasionally exceed the threshold for human survival in some of the region’s major cities, such as Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, researchers say.

Australian Academy of Science President: why we divested ourselves of fossil fuel investments

The Australian Academy of Science has been explaining the significant climatic impacts from continued burning of fossil fuels for four decades. It was only rational that the Academy put its money where the science suggested made sense.

Disconnecting from the grid via batteries – a sobering tale

Every bloke in the street wants to talk about how battery systems like Tesla’s Powerwall could drive mass disconnection from the grid. Yet the painfully slow progress of rolling this out by a utility in a place where it makes great economic sense provides a sobering tale.

Lomborg centre gone, but not the errors of his favourite economist

More major errors have crept into the work of Lomborg's go to economist, Professor Richard Tol, who has been attempting to convince the world that the economic impacts of global warming beyond 2 degrees would be small, and perhaps even positive overall.

A reality check for Origin Energy’s green commitments

A review of the seven initiatives Origin Energy has just signed up to under the global Carbon Disclosure Project's ‘We Mean Business Coalition’ shows that five involve almost no change to its business practices, while there are serious question marks over how it will deliver on the remaining two.

FactCheck: Will China have a 150% increase in carbon emissions on 2005 levels by 2030?

Coalition government MPs such as Barnaby Joyce are keen to cite that China's emissions will rise by 150% by 2030 in order to make their own 26-28% emission reduction target look more impressive. Yet it's not true.

Lomborg's favourite economist reheats his flawed analysis

Richard Tol, who is Bjorn's go to man on climate change economics, is at it again making confident predictions that we'll be better off as a result of climate change, with the World Economic Forum helping promote them. Yet these claims have had to be corrected not once but several times once peer reviewed.

WWF claims tree clearing 'panic' in Queensland

Says areas approved for land clearing will produce 11.7m tonnes CO2 emissions.

Can we save the planet by looking to the moon?

In 1962, President Kennedy delivered one of history's most inspiring speeches asking his people to each sacrifice 50 cents per week in order to achieve an amazing scientific and engineering feat that they weren't even sure was possible, requiring technologies that didn't yet exist. We sorely need that same leadership today, not to reach the moon but to save our planet.

Leaders of business, science & economics: Let's make renewables cheaper than coal

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We face an immense threat from climate change, yet renewable energy receives less than 2% of publicly funded R&D. A concentrated global technological research effort like the Apollo Program to make renewable energy as reliable and cheap as coal is required.