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Analysis and Comment (14)

A dead coral reef in the Caribbean. Coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification. A dead coral reef in the Caribbean. Coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification. superqq/Flickr

In Conversation with environment journalist Elizabeth Kolbert

Scientists are coming to the conclusion that we are on the brink of a mass extinction — the sixth known in the history of the Earth, and the latest since an asteroid killed off the dinosaurs 65 million…
Extreme fire is part of life in places like San Diego, USA, pictured earlier this month. But local fire captain Richard Cordova says it’s “very odd for the month of May to have these types of fires”. Extreme fire is part of life in places like San Diego, USA, pictured earlier this month. But local fire captain Richard Cordova says it’s “very odd for the month of May to have these types of fires”. Michael Nelson/EPA

Forget ‘saving the Earth’ – it’s an angry beast that we’ve awoken

Environmentalism is undergoing a radical transformation. New science has shown how long-held notions about trying to “save the planet” and preserve the life we have today no longer apply. Instead, a growing…
Beautiful one day … a quarry the next? Beautiful one day … a quarry the next? Underwater Earth / Catlin Seaview Survey - www.catlinseaviewsurvey.com

Great Barrier Reef decision is a U-turn to an inglorious past

Few of us remember that the declaration of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and its subsequent World Heritage status was born out a 12-year popular struggle to prevent the most wondrous coral reef in…
Research shows the environment usually comes off second best when companies are forced to compromise between sustainability and profit. Research shows the environment usually comes off second best when companies are forced to compromise between sustainability and profit. Mohammad Rhaman/Flickr

In the corporate fight club, the environment usually loses

A commitment to sustainability has become a typical component of any modern-day corporation’s public face. Visit the homepages of major organisations in any sector, from coal-mining to cola-making, and…
The not just cold, but troubled waters of the Russian Arctic. The not just cold, but troubled waters of the Russian Arctic. Will Rose/Greenpeace

Jailing Greenpeace activists will harden attitudes to Russia

Russia’s overreaction in prosecuting Greenpeace protesters, including the two journalists, is set to unfold into an international scandal that will seriously damage country’s global reputation. So far…
It is possible to be a Christian and to reject the idea humans are at the centre of creation. It is possible to be a Christian and to reject the idea humans are at the centre of creation. Justin Brown

Can Christianity and population control co-exist?

Despite the views of some church leaders - such as George Pell - who deny global warming, most Christians understand the need to care for the natural world and have embraced the scientific consensus on…
Hands up for the environment. Hands up for the environment. Cathal McNaughton/PA

Green NGOs cannot take big business cash and save planet

When she wrote recently that “big green groups” are doing more harm than good when it comes to saving the planet, Naomi Klein was was right to be concerned. In recent years the environmental agenda has…
Green shoots, or cash? Green shoots, or cash? Lewis Whyld/PA

Green Conservatism shriveled after banks went to the wall

As Conservatives head to Manchester for their annual party conference this weekend, it seems a very long time since David Cameron, then newly-elected party leader, urged the electorate to “Vote Blue, Go…
Two’s company, three’s a crowd, one is the entire Green Party. Two’s company, three’s a crowd, one is the entire Green Party. Chris Radburn/PA

What’s the point of the Green Party?

Comparatively speaking, these are successful times for Britain’s Green Party. They have their first elected MP at Westminster, two Members of the European Parliament, two Members of the London Assembly…
Oil on the water: Russian environmental problems are commonplace, but who’s watching? Oil on the water: Russian environmental problems are commonplace, but who’s watching? Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace

Russia’s crumbling environmental safeguards

The Russian state’s engagement with environmental concerns is complicated, carrying as it does a heavy legacy from Soviet times. From the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster (in what is Ukraine…
Sendai, Japan after the 2011 tsunami: imagine nature’s destruction at the push of a button. Sendai, Japan after the 2011 tsunami: imagine nature’s destruction at the push of a button. US Navy

The strange military origins of environmentalism

The words “environmentalism” and “military” are not typically found in the same sentence. Yet ideas about our vulnerability to environmental change are directly linked to military plans for a third world…
On thin ice? On thin ice? Alan D. Wilson/naturespicsonline.com

All eyes turn to the prize as the Arctic opens for business

Foundation essay: This article on the future of the Arctic by Tavis Potts, Senior Lecturer in Oceans Governance at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, is part of a series marking the launch of…
Heavy smog is descending on Beijing again, a week after record air pollution choked China’s capital and much of northern China. Heavy smog is descending on Beijing again, a week after record air pollution choked China’s capital and much of northern China. AAP/EPA/Adrian Bradshaw

Deadly air: the smog shrouding China’s future

Beijing has been smothered by a dense and dangerous smog this month, which has set new air pollution records over several days. The World Health Organization advises that the acceptable level of fine particles…
Queue for iPad 2 in Sydney: green activists targeting companies and governments should realise that those ‘enemies’ reflect the values of the money and consumption-hungry populace. Queue for iPad 2 in Sydney: green activists targeting companies and governments should realise that those ‘enemies’ reflect the values of the money and consumption-hungry populace. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Why the global environmental movement is failing

The recent news out of the RIO+20 summit is dire. No collective pre-agreement, no institutional change, no investment. The difference between RIO+20 and Kyoto was that at least Kyoto created an agreement…

Research Briefs (1)