ENVIRONMENT

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...

The new electric vehicle highway is a welcome gear shift, but other countries are still streets ahead

Motorists and governments have each been waiting for the other to take the plunge on electric cars. Shutterstock.com Perhaps buoyed by a 67% increase in the sale of electric cars in Australia last year – albeit coming off a low base – the federal government this month announced a A$6 million funding injection for a network of ultra-fast electric vehicle recharging stations. Eighteen stations will...

How a near-perfect rectangular iceberg formed

Aerial shot shot of the rectangular iceberg found off the Larsen 3 ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck/AAP NASA scientist Jeremy Harbeck was on a surveying flight over the Antarctic Peninsula earlier this month when he spotted an iceberg that looked like no other. It was almost perfectly rectangular, with square sides and a flat top that made it look more human-made...