Articles on natural resources

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A dilapidated house in the northern Ontario First Nation of Attawapiskat is seen in April 2016. The parliamentary budget officer says it will cost more than $3 billion to bring First Nations water infrastructure up to standards seen in comparable non-Indigenous communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

How Canada can, and must, empower Indigenous communities

If we continue to shut Indigenous communities out of the modern economy, critical infrastructure projects will continue to be delayed and natural resources will remain stuck in the ground.
Purse seiner fishing in the Indian Ocean. Footprint estimates do not assess how sustainably resources such as fisheries are managed. Jiri Rezac

Yes, humans are depleting Earth’s resources, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell the full story

August 1, 2018 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates actually understate the problem.
The Iguazu Falls in Brazil are part of the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s major underground reserves of fresh water. The 8th World Water Forum, part of 2018 World Water Day, is being held in Brazil, home to the most fresh water on Earth. (Shutterstock)

Why every day should be World Water Day

Water is one of our most precious resources, yet it's in danger. World Water Day reminds us of the need to develop policies and governance to avoid squandering water.
Images created by NASA with satellite data helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture analyze outbreak patterns for southern pine beetles in Alabama, in spring 2016. NASA

Can scientists learn to make ‘nature forecasts’ just as we forecast the weather?

Big data open-access publishing and other advances offer ecologists the ability to forecast events like pest outbreaks over days and seasons rather than decades. But scholars need to seize this opportunity.
Since 1800, the world’s population has multiplied seven and a half times. Shutterstock

Is the Earth over-populated?

The world’s population has reached 7.5 billion and is expected to climb to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Why will population growth inevitably continue? Should we try to reduce or stop this growth?
Sand for use in hydraulic fracturing operations at a processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 2011. AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

The world is facing a global sand crisis

Overuse of sand for construction and industry is harming the environment and fueling violence around the world. Scientists explain why we need international rules to regulate sand mining and use.
Environmental destruction is a negative externality to be isolated and managed. Here, Native Americans at Standing Rock defend sacred land from a proposed oil pipeline. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Globalisation isn’t dead, it’s just shed its slick cover story

Today's ugly politics are not a backlash against global capitalism, they're an open embrace of the racism and greed that has always underpinned so-called global governance.
No matter how hard we dig, the Earth’s resources are ultimately finite. Mining image from www.shutterstock.com

The decoupling delusion: rethinking growth and sustainability

Even supposedly "green" technologies such as renewable energy require materials, land and solar exposure and cannot grow indefinitely on this planet.
Think of all the resources needed to transform Shenzhen, a fishing town 35 years ago, into a megacity of more than 10 million people. Wikimedia Commons

Our cities need to go on a resource diet

Our cities need to become much more efficient not just to conserve precious resources but to improve the economy, wellbeing and resilience to environmental change and disasters.
There’s too much focus on the footprint of large businesses on the environment, leaving small businesses out. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

How small businesses can manage their impact on the environment

The impact of small businesses on the environment has largely been ignored, but getting them to implement environmental management systems won't be easy. This is because of their culture of resisting red tape and the way they operate.
While politicians like Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce do the traditional photo-ops, fewer people than ever are taking on farming, which can no longer support vibrant rural and regional communities on its own. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Election 2016: the issues in non-metropolitan Australia

What are the issues facing rural and regional Australia? The challenges are many and varied – and only some have made the national political agenda – but these areas deserve better than neglect.

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