Sections

Services

Information

AU Australia

Environment + Energy — Analysis and Comment

Economic reforms such as a national carbon price could usher in dramatic changes on China’s energy landscape. Vmenkov/Wikimedia Commons

China heads for price on carbon; energy market overhaul is next

In the lead-up to the UN leaders’ summit on climate change, China is shifting up a gear in its drive towards national emissions trading. Yet for carbon pricing to be effective, market reform in China’s…
Economic growth is incompatible with the rapid emissions reductions that are now necessary. AAP Image/David Crosling

We need economic ‘degrowth’ to stop a carbon budget blowout

A newly released report called Better Growth, Better Climate draws the seductive conclusion that “we can create lasting economic growth while also tackling the immense risks of climate change”. But while…
Some people think that dingo control programs are harming Australia’s native wildlife. New research suggests this isn’t the case. Benjamin Allen

Dingo control doesn’t hurt native wildlife: largest Australian study

Does dingo control harm Australia’s environment? Results from the largest Australian experiment on dingoes – published this week in Frontiers in Zoology – shows the answer to that question is a convincing…
It’s not funny when it actually happens. Wessel du Plooy/Shutterstock

Why do we still hear people joke about hitting cyclists?

As a community, we are increasingly vigilant about many forms of abuse. Online trolling, school bullying, domestic violence, workplace harassment, racism in sport – all are rightly condemned because of…
Australia’s coast is famous around the world - but rising sea levels are poised to make things a lot less fun. Adam J.W.C./Wikimedia Commons

Climate Council: without action, rising seas will cost us billions

“I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside” holds true for many Australians who live on or near the coast. On top of the many lifestyle amenities coastal living offers, much of the country’s crucial infrastructure…
US students have led a nationwide campaign to persuade universities to ditch fossil fuel companies from their endowment funds. James Ennis/Wikimedia Commons

Fossil-free superannuation is an idea that’s going to snowball

The launch of Future Super, which claims to be the first super fund in Australia to exclude fossil fuels and their major supporting companies from its investment portfolio, has drawn significant attention…
There are numerous methods for maintaining electricity supply when renewables are in the grid. Johan Douma/Flickr

How to get renewable energy into the grid — without losing power

The recent review of the Australian Renewable Energy Target has once again raised the issue of the “unreliability” of some renewable power sources such as wind and solar power. Their variability, which…
Australia does have the capacity to produce more electricity than it needs - but that’s not a reason to scale back the Renewable Energy Target. Indigo Skies Photography/Flickr

FactCheck: does Australia have too much electricity?

We have 9,000 megawatts (nine big power stations equivalent) of excess capacity in electricity generation … We have more than 15% overcapacity in generation in Australia - Industry minister Ian Macfarlane…
The AAL Fremantle, borne along by a meteotsunami, hits the rail bridge next to Fremantle Harbour. ‏@Mattiegeesu via Twitter

Explainer: how weather can trigger dangerous tsunamis

At around 10pm on Sunday 17 August 2014, the container ship AAL Fremantle was being unloaded after arriving in Western Australia’s Fremantle Harbour, when it broke away from its mooring and collided with…
Japan’s whaling program was defeated in The Hague, but that might not stop more whales being taken in the future. EPA/Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia/AAP

Japan could resume whaling – this time with The Hague’s blessing

Japan is reportedly set to release plans to resume killing whales in the Southern Ocean in the 2015-16 season. It seems like a defiant move, coming just six months after the International Court of Justice…
The blaze was eventually extinguished 45 days after it was sparked by a grassfire. Country Fire Authority/AAP

The Hazelwood mine disaster could easily have been avoided

The Hazelwood coalmine fire, which burned for 45 days earlier this year, was a catastrophe for the town of Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. Homes were blanketed in smoke and ash, many residents were…
Renewable energy is an excellent way to hedge against the impacts of climate policies. Indigo Skies Photography/Flickr

Finally, some light relief for the Renewable Energy Target

The Australian government has just received a vitally important report to guide their decisions on the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). But it’s not the RET review report of the Coalition-appointed…
Annual show: each spring, thousands of people make the road trip north from Perth to see the wildflowers. Supplied

Drought and fire threaten WA’s famous spring wildflowers

Spring has sprung. This time of year is peak wildflower season in the area around Perth, and the display is a major tourism draw card. People flock to places like Lesueur National Park and the Eneabba…
A new study finds overwhelming odds that humans have contributed to higher global temperatures – so how much are we willing to gamble that it’s wrong? Kraevski Vitaly/Shutterstock

99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming: new study

There is less than 1 chance in 100,000 that global average temperature over the past 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, our new research shows. Published in…
Temperature data is freely available online - why not investigate. Flickr/Luis Ramirez

How to become a citizen climate sleuth

There has been much media commentary recently about the Bureau of Meteorology’s efforts to use historical weather records to gauge how Australia’s climate is changing. Climate scientists have rejected…
Australia’s weather records need careful analysis to correct any introduced errors. Photographic Collection from Australia/Wikimedia Commons

No, the Bureau of Meteorology is not fiddling its weather data

Over the past week or so, the Bureau of Meteorology has stood accused of fudging its temperature data records to emphasise warming, in a series of articles in The Australian. The accusation hinges on the…