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Obama ushers in a climate of hope

Here is one of my favourite parts of President Obama's inauguration speech this morning:

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

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World Watch Institute report backs Greens' zero emissions target

The Australian Greens' policy to put Australia on a trajectory towards zero net emissions was backed up overnight by the release of a report calling for global greenhouse emissions to fall below zero after 2050.

The highly respected World Watch Institute State of the Planet report, with a foreword by IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri, sets out a clear scientific case for cutting global emissions as fast as is technically feasible in order to prevent global catastrophe.

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Rudd Carbon Plan Unravelling: Urgent Review Needed

The Australian Greens say the growing discontent over the Government's carbon trading scheme - including the Government's own advisor Professor Ross Garnaut - now means it's imperative that an immediate review be held of the scheme's targets and design.

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Some are more equal than others - what does the emissions target mean?

This post was published originally this morning at ABC Online

One of the most important numbers in Australia's history was revealed yesterday - a number that carries with it the hopes and fears of millions of people and embodies our priorities as a nation, our balancing of the relative worth of human beings.

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Greens to initiate Senate Inquiry into inadequacy of 5% target

The Australian Greens today released draft terms of reference for a Senate Inquiry into the 5% emissions reduction target announced by Prime Minister Rudd yesterday.

The Inquiry, to be moved in the first sitting week of the new year, will examine the scientific adequacy of the 5% target in avoiding catastrophic climate change of more than 2 degrees warming, and whether the target does enough to play a fair and responsible part in global climate action.

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Rudd raises white flag of surrender on climate change

Greens campaign for 40% target

The Australian Greens will campaign for a 40 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to save the planet from catastrophic climate change.

"Prime Minister Rudd's 5% target is a global embarrassment and a recipe for global catastrophe," Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The Rudd target of 5 per cent will anger voters. It is exactly where John Howard would have placed Australia in 2009 - a spoiler as the Copenhagen conference on climate change reaches for a much higher goal.

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Business-as-usual cannot trump the laws of science on climate change

The Australian Greens today warned the Rudd Government that its emissions trading scheme must be based on science.

"Prime Minister Rudd must recognise that he cannot negotiate with the laws of physics and chemistry. Speeding up already announced renewable energy funding will not compensate for weak targets," Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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So what just happened with the National Academy of Music?

Yesterday, after a whirlwind six week campaign, Melbourne Uni and the National Academy of Music put out a statement the upshot of which is that the full 2009 program that the Academy had planned to run will now be run, with Brett Dean as Artistic Director, staying in its existing location, key staff remaining the same, and places to be offered to existing students. A new independent board will be appointed with a view to determining the Academy's long-term programming.

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