We can ‘rewild’ swathes of Australia by focusing on what makes it unique

Eastern quolls have been introduced in Booderee Nation Park as part of a rewilding project. Oisin Sweeney Since colonisation, a dizzying array of Australia’s native species and ecosystems have been altered or removed altogether. It therefore seems natural to consider the idea of restoring...

The government’s $2bn climate fund: a rebadged rehash of old mistakes

Scott Morrison has given a new name to an old policy. AAP/David Crosling Australia’s new flagship Climate Solutions Fund, announced this week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, will spend more than A$2 billion on cutting greenhouse emissions by 2030. While action on climate change is welcomed, this...

How Australia made poisoning animals normal

Colonial graziers found it more effective to poison dingoes than rely on convict shepherds to protect their flocks.  Justine Philip/AMMRIC 2017, Author provided One of the many difficulties faced by the pioneers of Australia’s sheep industry was finding a reliable shepherd. Among the convict labour available, for...

Melting Himalayan glaciers: a big drop in a bucket that’s already full

The source of the Yamuna River, one of the major rivers draining the Himalayas.  Anthony Dosseto, Author provided (No reuse) A new report has warned that even if global warming is held at 1.5℃, we will still lose a third of the glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH)...

Our ‘bee-eye camera’ helps us support bees, grow food and protect the environment

To help draw bees’ attention, flowers that are pollinated by bees have typically evolved to send very strong colour signals.  Shutterstock Walking through our gardens in Australia, we may not realise that buzzing around us is one of our greatest natural resources. Bees are responsible...

Queensland’s floods are so huge the only way to track them is from space

Monitoring the whereabouts of floodwaters is vital for protecting infrastructure. AAP Image/Andrew Rankin Many parts of Queensland have been declared disaster zones and thousands of residents evacuated due to a 1-in-100-year flood. Townsville is at the epicentre of the “unprecedented” monsoonal downpour that brought more than a...

Damning royal commission report leaves no doubt that we all lose if the Murray-Darling Basin Plan fails

The Menindee fish kills are a clear sign that ecosystems are losing resilience. AAP Image In the wake of revelations of water theft, fish kills, and towns running out of water, the South Australian Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin has reported that the Basin Plan must...

Australia is counting on cooking the books to meet its climate targets

The solar boom continues, but not necessarily because of government policy settings. AAP Image/UNSW A new OECD report has warned that Australia risks falling short of its 2030 emissions target unless it implements “a major effort to move to a low-carbon model”. This view is consistent both with...

Here’s what happens to our plastic recycling when it goes offshore

Migrant workers break apart blocks of pressed plastic bottles at a recycling plant in Thailand. EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL Last year many Australians were surprised to learn that around half of our plastic waste collected for recycling is exported, and up to 70% was going to China....

Recycling is not enough. Zero-packaging stores show we can kick our plastic addiction

Frenco, a zero-waste store in Montreal.  Benoit Daoust/Shutterstock.com Wrapped, sealed, boxed, cling-filmed and vacuum packed. We have become used to consumables being packaged in every way imaginable. The history of “packaging” goes back to the first human settlements. First leaves, gourds and animals skins were used. Then...