Environment and Climate Change

More fish, more fishing: why strategic marine park placement is a win-win

Australia has some of the most spectacular marine ecosystems on the planet – including, of course, the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Authors: The Conversation Many of these places are safe in protected areas, and support a myriad of leisure activities such as recreational fishing, diving and surfing. No wonder eight in ten Aussies live near the beach. Yet threats to marine ecosystems are becoming more intense and widespread the world over. New maps show that only 13% of the oceans ... Read More »

Mongolia: A toxic warning to the world

All over the world cities are grappling with apocalyptic air pollution but the small capital of Mongolia is suffering from some of the worst in the world. BBC And the problem is intrinsically linked to climate change. The country has already warmed by 2.2 degrees, forcing thousands of people to abandon the countryside and the traditional herding lifestyle every year for the smog-choked city where 90% of children are breathing toxic air every day. Population Reporter Stephanie Hegarty finds out ... Read More »

David McWilliams: Europe is glued to energy-rich Russia

As Putin marks 20 years in power, he knows how much the world needs his country David McWilliams The Irish Times As the train screeches to a halt, the young man, in his slim-fit Tom Ford suit, alights energetically. This is Revolution Square station, deep beneath Moscow’s congested boulevards. Built in 1938, the station is one of the gems of the Moscow metro system, itself one of the finest pieces of public transport infrastructure in the world. Stalin understood symbols. ... Read More »

Regulations Rescue: How to Save Natural Gas

Natural gas is one of the great energy success stories, but if it is to sustain that success, then it will have to improve its environmental record. Henry Lee The National Interest An unprecedented change in U.S. electricity generation is taking place as natural gas is replacing oil and coal, and in some instances, nuclear power. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts U.S. natural gas production approaching thirty-three trillion cubic feet in 2019 and fueling approximately 36 percent of electricity ... Read More »

Huge fish found washed up along the Coorong near mouth of the Murray River

A sunfish has been found washed ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia over the weekend, and one expert believes it is the Mola mola species. By Camron Slessor ABC The gigantic fish is known for its sheer size and odd body shape, often distinguished by its flattened body and fins. A photo of the creature was posted on social media on Monday, with two fishermen standing over it on the sand. Linette Grzelak, who posted the ... Read More »

‘I can’t go to school, I have to save the planet’

Children and teens across Australia are joining a global strike today against leaders’ inaction on climate change. Here’s what they’re saying. School strike 4 climate By Laura Chung and Charlotte Grieve The Sydney Morning Herald A16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl called Greta Thunberg started a global campaign for student action that led to today’s worldwide protests against inaction on climate change. Children and teenagers in Australia have taken to the streets to add their voices to calls for change. As Finnish educator ... Read More »

Drought-hit Toowoomba eyes Brisbane water

A drought-affected Queensland city may be forced to take millions of litres from Brisbane’s water supply via a yet-to-be-used pipeline. Brisbane Times AAP Toowoomba’s three dams were at 35.7 per cent on Thursday – the lowest level since before the 2011 floods. When the level falls below 40 per cent, the Regional Council is permitted to take water from Wivenhoe Dam – the main reservoir for Brisbane and Ipswich – via the $187 million Toowoomba Pipeline. While the council has ... Read More »

‘Consumers must act’: Jane Goodall’s plea to avoid a ‘bleak’ future

Individuals everywhere must make different choices if humanity – and many of the world’s other species – are to avoid a “bleak” future, leading environmental campaigner Jane Goodall says. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Dr Goodall, who is heading to Australia in May for a series of talks dubbed Rewind the Future, said “the consumer must take responsibility”, adding “the accumulation of millions of ethical choices will certainly make a… The renowned naturalist, who turns 85 next month, said the increase in ... Read More »

‘No More Winter’: How Hot Your Home Town Will Be In 30 Years

Do you hate winter? Well, you may soon not have one. And a new tool developed by the Australian National University shows exactly how warm things are going to get. Victoria Quested 10daily Your Climate 2050 — developed by academics from ANU’s SoA&D and the Climate Change Institute —  shows how many degrees the average temperature will rise in more than 4,000 locations by the year 2050. It’s a tool designed to communicate the impacts of climate change to the average ... Read More »

Surging water use, falling dam levels, spark warning to cut down

South-east Queensland’s drinking water usage has reached the highest level since before the 2000s drought, as authorities predict combined dam levels will fall below 70 per cent in the coming days. Lucy Stone Brisbane Times Seqwater, the organisation responsible for 3.1 million Queenslanders’ drinking water supply, has issued a warning asking people to cut down on water use ahead of a warm, dry autumn. The organisation is relaunching its community campaign Water Wise to give people ideas on how to reduce water ... Read More »

Flirting With Disaster: the Return of Offshore Drilling

It’s been decades since a fisherman out of Montauk on Long Island told me about seeing a ship in the Atlantic Ocean east of Long Island similar to those he had seen searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico when he was a shrimper there. Karl Grossman CounterPunch I telephoned oil company after company and each gave a firm denial about having any interest in looking for petroleum off Long Island. That was until a PR man from Gulf ... Read More »

A chimpanzee cultural collapse is underway, and it’s driven by humans

Language, music, and art often vary between adjacent groups of people, and help us identify not only ourselves but also others. Authors: The Conversation And in recent years rich debates have emerged and spawned research into culture in non-human animals. Scientists first observed chimpanzees using tools more than half a century ago. As this complex behaviour appeared to differ across different populations, researchers concluded that tool use in apes was socially learned and therefore a cultural behaviour. This was the ... Read More »

After years of vicious culture wars, hope may yet triumph over hate in Australian politics

For a generation, politics has been wearying for those of good heart and outright damaging to those targeted in the culture wars unleashed in the 1990s. How this happened, and whether it will continue, are… Chris Wallace The Conversation The traditional post-war political struggle pitted class and concerns about inequality, opportunity and redistribution against capital and concerns about profits, property rights and the shoring up of… Over the past two decades, the moorings of this “left” versus “right” paradigm of ... Read More »

It’s time for a Green Lent

Many churchgoers have yet to seriously engage with the topic of climate change Tomas Buitendijk The Irish Times Imagine a second global flood, occurring tomorrow. A modern Noah, having spent weeks aimlessly drifting across the world’s oceans, releases a dove in search of land. To his surprise, the animal returns within two minutes and has found something. It is carrying a slightly faded, but otherwise completely intact, soaking wet Tesco shopping bag. On its side, Noah reads: “Use me again!” You’ll know ... Read More »

It took scientists seven days and a ‘global collaboration’ to figure out what fish this is

A rare hoodwinker sunfish that washed ashore at a Californian beach left scientists baffled when they could not identify it. Alexis Moran ABC An intern at the University of California had spotted the 2.1-metre fish at the Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve. Researchers turned to social media for help to identify the creature through a series of photos posted on the Coal Oil Point Facebook page in late February. It was there that the sunfish was identified by marine scientist ... Read More »

Climate change: narrate a history beyond the ‘triumph of humanity’ to find imaginative solutions

One reason why people find it difficult to think about climate change and the future may be their understanding of human history. Amanda Power The Conversation The present day is believed to be the product of centuries of development. These developments have led to a globalised world of complex states, in which daily life for most people is highly urbanised, consumerist and competitive. By this account, humanity has triumphed over the dangers and uncertainties of the natural world, and this ... Read More »