Shall I order the chicken, or the salmon? What does the science say about reducing pressure on the environment? When you take a big-picture view, the results can be surprising.
The United Nations predicts the world will be home to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 – making global greenhouse emission cuts ever more urgent.
To be clear, I’m not advocating compulsory population control, here or anywhere. But we do need to consider a future with billions more people, many of them aspiring to live as Australians do now.
Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development, rather than the traditional economic concerts of efficiency and growth.
Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development rather than efficiency and growth. Cities, as home to 70-80% of economic activity, are at the heart of the challenge of being sustainable.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Our work represents the first assessment of what social and economic factors are connected to environmental degradation across the entire African continent.
Tiny houses on display in Portland, Oregon in 2017.
Dan David Cook/Wikimedia
Research shows that moving from a larger dwelling to a tiny home can change behavior in surprising ways.
Conspicuous consumption is one of the main ways that China-born migrants come to mirror Australian society.
Australian cities are world-leading – in the worst sense – for resource use and greenhouse emissions. China-born residents have embraced these consumption patterns, which is bad news for the planet.
Are you really making a difference?
You could take the bus to work, or eat less meat. But how do you know if your efforts are making a difference? A new approach aims to break global environmental budgets down into digestible chunks.
chuyuss / shutterstock
Politicians and economists call for emissions cuts while also embracing free trade – they can’t have it both ways.
According to the WWF, we’re living off 1.6 Earths’ worth of resources.
You may have seen reports that humans use more resources than the Earth can produce – but, logically, how is that possible? A bathtub can help explain.
In the era of wearable technology, we live as devices of our own devices.
To be good global citizens, we must stop churning through energy-hungry devices. Earth cannot cope with the burdens, including mountains of e-waste, that electronic consumerism creates.
Our individual happiness, the quality of our relationships and community well-being are closely interconnected.
We now know that we cannot spend our way to happiness nor pursue it as an individual goal. It turns out that happiness is built on the foundations of good relationships and broad well-being.
There’s only one of them.
How can we live within the means of our planet? Almost all environmental literature grossly underestimates what is needed for our civilisation to become sustainable.
The Earth is finite - so are there limits to growth?
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr
“But who do you think’s right, Prof? The optimists or the pessimists?” At the end of my sustainability economics course in 2007, students were challenging me to end 20 years of professional fence-sitting…
Time to get off the economic growth train?
What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy…
Australia’s ecological footprint is unhealthy and unfair; it’s time to talk about it.
As we ponder who will lead our next government we need to ask who will best deal with Australia’s overblown ecological footprint. It’s about seven global hectares per person, which is about the size of…
It is technically possible to supply your own food, energy and shelter, without reliance on the grid.
My old house has never been connected to the electricity supply. It runs on a couple of photo voltaic (solar) panels and is warmed by firewood. All water used is rainwater. I have a vegie garden, fruit…
Australia’s ecological footprint has been downsized slightly, but the devil is in the details.
Amidst all the heat and noise of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the release of WWF’s Ecological Footprint analysis for Australia in May went largely unheralded in the general media…