Facts matter, but stories can persuade us to change our world | Brigid Delaney’s diary

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Without the cooperation of our imaginations, we cannot tell stories about what is happening to our planet. This may be why we’ve been so slow to act

The most terrifying read of my year so far (amid stiff competition) goes to New York magazine’s piece this week on climate change.

It’s all there, all the gruesome ways our planet is going to die, sooner than we think, and that people who are children now will, in their lifetime, face the unbearable misery of rising temperatures. Crops destroyed, ancient diseases trapped in icebergs, farm workers whose kidneys will cook as they work the tundras of our warming world.

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Slow earthquakes occur continuously in the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone

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Seismologists studying earthquakes in the seismically and volcanically active Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone have found that ‘slow earthquakes’ are occurring continuously, and could encourage damaging earthquakes. Slow earthquakes are quiet, can be as large as magnitude 7, and last days to years. Taking place mainly at the boundary between tectonic plates, they happen so slowly that people don’t feel them.

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Factory contamination of medical device likely source of M. chimaera infection in patients in multiple countries

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The first full report using whole genome sequencing has identified contaminated heater-cooler units produced by LivaNova in a factory in Germany as the likely source of Mycobacterium chimaera infection in 21 open-heart surgery patients in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, and a further 12 in the USA and Australia, according to a study.

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Clean energy target: how the states might make it work

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Victoria and South Australia have suggested a states-led initiative if the federal government continues to stall on a clean energy target. Could it work?

Australian states exasperated by federal government inaction on the key Finkel review recommendation of a clean energy target have indicated they might band together and go it alone if the federal Coalition does not provide the required leadership.

Before Friday’s meeting of energy ministers, for which the federal government refused to put a CET on the agenda, Labor-led Victoria and South Australia called for consideration of a linked-up state-based scheme, and urged Coalition-led NSW to join up. Given recent comments by the NSW energy minister, Don Harwin, who indicated support for the CET, such a move seems plausible.

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The cynical and dishonest denial of climate change has to end: it’s time for leadership | Gerry Hueston

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Absence of climate and energy policy has left Australia lagging dangerously behind, missing out on investment and facing major electricity disruptions.

  • Gerry Hueston is chairperson of the Climate Council and former BP president

Australia has enough renewable energy to power the country 500 times over. With South Australia a step closer to unveiling the largest lithium ion battery storage facility in the world, it is clear just how fast we can make the transition to large-scale renewables when the right policy settings are in place and investors have certainty.

More than a decade ago, as the head of BP Australasia I pushed for action on climate change.

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Biofuels need ‘to be improved for battle against climate change’

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Royal Academy of Engineering report backs increased use of biofuels but warns that some have been as polluting as fossil fuels

Biofuel use needs to increase to help fight climate change as liquid fuels will be needed by aircraft and ships for many decades to come, finds a new report requested by the UK government.

The Royal Academy of Engineering report says, however, that some biofuels, such as diesel made from food crops, have led to more emissions than those produced by the fossil fuels they were meant to replace. Instead, the report says, rising biofuel production should make more use of waste, such as used cooking oil and timber.

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