Sand for use in hydraulic fracturing operations at a processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 2011.
AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
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.
The climate crisis demands not only green technologies, but a completely different approach to economic development.
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.
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
Even supposedly "green" technologies such as renewable energy require materials, land and solar exposure and cannot grow indefinitely on this planet.
Victoria’s mountain ash ecosystem is vulnerable to collapse.
From fisheries to forestry, there's a pattern to collapsing ecosystems and industries. If we can predict them, maybe we can avoid the damage.
Mexico has a lot of natural beauty to save – or squander.
The government has decided to protect vast new expanses of land and sea. But bad planning and lax regulations are likely to limit, or even undermine, this conservation effort.
Think of all the resources needed to transform Shenzhen, a fishing town 35 years ago, into a megacity of more than 10 million people.
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.
Hundreds of small-scale miners are scraping out tiny quantities of increasingly precious gold in El Corpus, southern Honduras.
Are high levels of violence and displacement in Central America and Mexico caused by natural resource exploitation?
There’s too much focus on the footprint of large businesses on the environment, leaving small businesses out.
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.
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.
Many developing countries are highly urbanised but lack large industrial sectors.
Developing countries, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, are urbanising without industrialising, a trajectory that leaves them with relatively higher poverty rates and share of slums.
The need for a solution to e-waste disposal is more urgent than ever.
Excavators and drillers at work in a copper and cobalt mine near Lubumbashi. Mineral resources are a big part of the DRC’s economy.
The fall in commodity prices has hit the DRC hard. This is a lesson to resources-dependent countries in Africa that they need to diversify their economies.
In 1991 Iraq forces set fire to Kuwait oil fields.
By Jonas Jordan, United States Army Corps of Engineers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Acts perpetrated during the course of warfare have, through the ages, led to significant environmental destruction.
An oil worker stands on the deck of a tanker at Bonga off-shore oil field outside Lagos. Africa’s extractive industries are committed to local content but universities aren’t producing the right kind of graduates.
Huge investments have been made to develop Africa's extractive industry. The challenge now is to forge collaboration between the industry and institutions of higher education to build a skills base.
What goes around comes around –
New circular thinking, access to abundant solar energy and supporting new technology could provide a competitive advantage for Australian industries.
Flickr/Beyond Zero Emissions
Australia’s relative share of global economic opportunity derived from smarter use of materials, energy and water could be $26 billion each year by 2025. Here are four ways Australia could make the most of the circular economy boom.
The Queensland town of Chinchilla is now home to a coal seam gas processing plant.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Residents in Queensland’s Western Downs region have mixed feelings towards coal seam gas (CSG) development taking place in their midst, according to our CSIRO survey. More than two-thirds of locals described…
Putting a price on things you can’t even put words to.
Journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot recently wrote a powerful polemic against the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital, arguing that they were leading us on a neoliberal “road…
Are Queensland’s cassowaries being let down by Canberra’s officialdom?.
Dave Kimble/Wikimedia Commons
What do school chaplains and cassowaries have in common? Both highlight the degree to which federal governments struggle to devolve quality public decision-making to the right level. Our schools and our…
New technology will allow extracted gas to be
processed, liquefied and stored on a floating facility, opening up access to remote offshore resources.
Natural gas has been extracted from Australia’s North West Shelf and exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) for almost 30 years. It is Australia’s fastest growing resource export. But the recent introduction…