ENVIRONMENT

Summer forecast: scorching heat and heightened bushfire risk

Queenslanders have taken to the water in the face of record-breaking heat. GLENN HUNT/AAP Large parts of Australia are facing a hotter and drier summer than average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s summer outlook. Drier than average conditions are likely for much of northern Australia. Most of the country has at least an 80% chance of experiencing warmer than average day...

What would a fair energy transition look like?

Minimising the economic and social impacts on fossil fuel communities. AAP Image/Julian Smith Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced last week that a federal Labor government would create a Just Transition Authority to oversee Australia’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This echoes community calls for a “fast and fair” energy transition to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Read more: Labor’s...

Labor’s battery plan – good policy, or just good politics?

With the right settings, Labor’s new scheme could benefit householders as well as the grid itself. Shutterstock.com Federal Labor obviously likes the politics of giving rebates of up to A$2,000 each to 100,000 households of prospective voters so they can install domestic batteries. But is this good policy that will support Australia’s transition to a reliable, affordable, low-emissions energy system, or is it just...

Fresh thinking: the carbon tax that would leave households better off

The UNSW climate dividend proposal was launched on Wednesday by the Member for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps.Shutterstock Yesterday, as part of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Inequality, we release a study entitled A Climate Dividend for Australians that offers a practical solution to the twin problems of climate change and energy affordability. It’s a serious, market-based approach to address climate change through...

Logging must stop in Melbourne’s biggest water supply catchment

Clearfell logging in the Thomson Catchment with the Thomson Reservoir in the background. Chris Taylor Continued logging in Melbourne’s water catchments could reduce the city’s water supply by the equivalent of 600,000 people’s annual water use every year by 2050, according to our analysis. We calculated water lost due to logging in the Thomson Catchment, which is the city’s largest and...

Climate change will make QLD’s ecosystems unrecognisable – it’s up to us if we want to stop that

It’s not just about the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland’s rainforests - particularly in the mountains - will also change thanks to a warming climate. Shutterstock Climate change and those whose job it is to talk about current and future climate impacts are often classed as the “harbingers of doom”. For the world’s biodiversity, the predictions are grim - loss of species, loss...

7 Smart Ways For An Eco-Friendly Business

Business going green is the hottest trend we have today. If before, all that matters is the revenue and fame your company gets, all changed after many realized just how bad is the condition of the Earth now. By greening your business, you can help save Mother Earth and enjoy the benefits of being eco-friendly. According to Greenpeace Australia Pacific,...

Mānuka honey: who really owns the name and the knowledge

In the case of mānuka honey, there are serious questions about what authenticity actually means. from www.shutterstock.com Adulterated honey and fake mānuka honey have repeatedly made headlines in recent years. The arguments around adulterated honey are relatively simple. These honeys are diluted with cheaper syrups and their lack of authenticity is unquestionable. The discourse around mānuka honey is different, as there are serious questions...

Why do vegans have such bad reputations?

  Shock tactics - such as those used by these vegan activists in Spain - can cause people to switch off. Andrew Daimau More and more people are adopting plant-based diets in Australia and other western nations. But also seemingly on the rise is resentment towards vegans and vegetarians. This can range from ridicule on social media sites (“Nobody likes a vegetarian”) to bumper...

Stringybark is tough as boots (and gave us the word ‘Eucalyptus’

The Eucalyptus obliqua as seen in Merthyr Park,Tasmania Cowirrie/Flickr, CC Few eucalypts are as versatile, varied and valuable as messmate stringybark. It was the first eucalypt to be scientifically named, and in fact gives us the name “Eucalyptus”. Gum trees had been seen and collected on earlier expeditions, but a specimen collected on James Cook’s third expedition to Bruny Island off...