Australia’s recycling crisis bites, but there’s an easy fix

James Plested Australia’s recycling system is on the brink of collapse. Around the country, recyclers are holding giant stockpiles of paper, cardboard and plastic collected from kerbsides. Much of this is destined for landfill. The immediate cause of the crisis was China’s decision to ban imports of 24...CONTINUE READING

BP slip-up says it all about big business and the environment

James Plested It’s like something from satirical website the Onion or Australia’s Betoota Advocate. In a draft 2016 environment plan, slated for submission to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority as part of its bid to begin oil drilling in the Great Australian Bi...CONTINUE READING

Recycling crisis is capitalist business as usual

James Plested Recycling isn’t complicated. Households and businesses separate their recyclables from the rest of their rubbish and put them out for collection. This material then is supposed to be sorted and made into new products – a small but important contribution to sustainability in a world awash w...CONTINUE READING

How to solve the climate crisis (while we still can)

James Plested The Arctic is melting. In the last week of February, in what should have been among the coldest days of a long, dark winter, the temperature at the North Pole rose above freezing. The Arctic sea ice, which should be expanding south for another month, is already in retreat. A weather statio...CONTINUE READING

Note to Emma Alberici: This is how you meet ABC editorial standards

James Plested They couldn’t have done it better if they’d aimed for parody. “The surprisingly frugal habits of the super rich”, read the headline. Perhaps we were supposed to be tantalised. For most people who clicked through to the article, however, it was likely more a case of, “No, they wouldn’t real...CONTINUE READING

Capitalism is costing the Earth

James Plested Today’s environmental crisis is neatly summed up by New Yorker cartoonist Tom Toro. Three children and a man in a tattered suit are sitting around a small fire in a post-apocalyptic urban landscape. The man says to the children: “Yes, the planet got destroyed, but for a beautiful moment in...CONTINUE READING

Government funds miners at environment’s expense

James Plested A report by the Australian Conservation Foundation shows just how committed the government is to giving a “hand up” to one of Australia’s most profitable, and environmentally destructive, industries. According to the ACF analysis, the mining industry is set to receive $2.5 billion in fuel...CONTINUE READING

Government’s fake news on climate exposed

James Plested Australia is among the world’s worst climate criminals. Out of 35 OECD countries, Australia is second only to Estonia in emissions intensity – the amount of greenhouse gases pumped out per dollar of economic output. Yet the vast majority of Australians think that the country should play a...CONTINUE READING

Media lies on port dispute

James Plested “Is that the truth, or did you read it in the Herald Sun?” – asks a bumper sticker commonly seen around Melbourne. When Rupert Murdoch’s paid-up scribes aren’t railing, usually to an audience of millions, about how their “free speech” is being undermined by political correctness, there’s n...CONTINUE READING