Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Still from the French documentary Tomorrow. MOVE MOVIE, FRANCE 2 CINÉMA, MARS FILMS, MELY PRODUCTIONS

French and Australian experts on solving the world’s sustainability challenge

A recent French-Australian roundtable on sustainability identified a range of ways our societies can be greener, from smart solar panels to urban road congestion tolls.
Western Australia’s largest private solar array covers the roof of this food distribution centre in Perth’s south. AAP Image/Bidvest

Five things the east coast can learn from WA about energy

Despite its name, the National Electricity Market doesn't reach WA. But those charged with guiding the eastern states' energy transition should look west once in a while.
Farmers are turning to natural bacteria to improve crops like cane – but they might be getting rubbish. Gavin Fordham/Flickr

Crop probiotics: how more science and less hype can help Australian farmers

Crop probiotics are natural, eco-friendly and could provide huge benefits for Australian farmers. But our loose regulations means genuine products are competing with snake oil.
Humans have burned 420 billion tonnes of carbon since the start of the industrial revolution. Half of it is still in the atmosphere. Reuters/Stringer

We need to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere, not just reduce emissions

Global warming and carbon emissions, left unchecked, could cause rising sea levels and displace almost 200 million people. But we can still prevent the worst case scenario if we act now.
Turtle hatchlings could be released into the Murray River to manage the sudden influx of dead carp. Ricky Spencer

Millions of rotting fish: turtles and crays can save us from Carpageddon

Millions of dead carp will fill the Murray-Darling Basin after the government releases a targeted virus. Scavengers like turtles and crayfish might help – as long as we protect them.
Coal mines, such as this one near Bowen, use water for everything from equipment cooling to dust management. CSIRO

Why does the Carmichael coal mine need to use so much water?

Adani's controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin has been granted an unlimited 60-year water licence. But a range of measures could help the industry use less freshwater.
A man stretches his leg on the bank of the Han River as a ship passes by amid thick haze. Tens of thousands of premature deaths in east Asia every year are caused by shipping pollution. REUTERS/Stringer

Three ways to improve commercial shipping’s environmental footprint

The merchant navy – some 20,000 ships – carries the vast majority of trade goods around the world. Unfortunately, they also spew toxic pollutants that harm people and the environment.
Protesters rally against coal seam gas in Melbourne, February 2016. AAP Image/Caroline Zielinski

Australian gas: between a fracked rock and a socially hard place

The federal government seems keen to usher in a new boom in onshore gas production. But gas firms will need to tread carefully, as past experience in Queensland's fracking heartland shows.
Lismore received a drenching from the tail end of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Northern NSW is no stranger to floods, but this one was different

The record floods of 1954 and 1974 still stand as Lismore's high-water marks. But Tropical Cyclone Debbie delivered her deluge far more abruptly than the rains that triggered those historic floods.
Bowen’s market gardens supply some 13% of Australia’s perishable vegetables.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie has blown a hole in the winter vegetable supply

Sydney, Melbourne and many other areas can expect to pay more for veg from next month, after widespread crop losses in Bowen, a major source of winter vegetables such as tomatoes, beans and capsicum.
Over a period in which the Australian economy saw around 600,000 additional people get jobs, employment in the renewables sector has been going backwards. AAP Image/City of Sydney, Damian Shaw

Three charts on: the incredible shrinking renewable energy job market

Estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest that the number of direct full-time equivalent jobs in renewable energy activities has continued to fall from its 2011-12 peak.