Sunday Reads #4: All things climate, environmental and politics

How green spaces could stop cities from overheating

Biophilic cities provide a wealth of services to the local population

Bank won’t fund port expansion due to reef fears

Telling when those in the money business won’t back a business initiative that the Government approves of.

Australia’s road to a low carbon economy

We have the financial position, the otherwise wasted resources, the ingenuity and the moral imperative (noting that Australia already has a harsh climate) and yet, there isn’t the political will to become a world leader.

This made even more important, due to…

China Targets 70 Gigawatts of Solar Power to Cut Coal Reliance

Seems China is weaning itself off of our dirty fuel. A great thing for a number of reasons. Firstly, the sun gives its energy away for free (damned socialist sun!) and secondly, it will go a long way to improving the air quality and thus health of the population.

Achievements of the Abbott Government To Date

And amazing list for less than a year’s effort. The best thing about this list is the links. It actually serves as a great resource for supporting material.

Budget inequality is bad for business

What does more for the economy; one individual hording $20b, or 10 million families with an extra $2000 over a year to put towards their expenses? Social science is conclusive; large amounts of social inequality negatively impacts everyone – including the top end. Japan and Sweden are better places to live that Australia on a measures that matter to people (eg. child mortality, life span, trust, drug abuse, crime etc) and this budget will only take us further away from those examples.

And if you doubt the inequity of the 2014 Budget, Bernard Keane tweeted this image.

budget distribution

Inequality and the Empathy Gap

This might explain the laps in better judgement illustrated in Abbott’s achievements above and discussed in the link above. Moreover, most of the defense I’ve heard on the 2014 Budget would fit into this category. All in all, I see it daily…

Three Cities Demonstrate the Role of Transport in Shaping Public Space

Abbott wants to be known as the “Infrastructure Prime Minister”. I will know him only as the PM who dedicated future generations to servitude; investing heavily on roads while increasing the cost of fuel; at least one road – the Melbourne East-West link – will be a toll road.

People need to move around their urban landscape and this PM wants to help them… at a cost. A cost “that goes up and up and up” (yes, I’m quoting Abbott on his rejection of the carbon price).

Other cities have a more humane approach to this need to move around cities and what’s more, they are making places where people want to stay.

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