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Articles on Sustainability

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Take the offer: sharing cuts waste and builds communities but we have our reasons for not always being comfortable with it. Flickr/Zervas

Sharing: if it’s so good, why don’t we do more of it?

Sharing is a good thing right? We are told it is good for the environment by cutting waste and needless consumption; we encourage it in our children for their moral growth; we see it used in advertising…
A simple step towards saving the environment may lead to more environment action … or not. Department of Energy Solar Decathalon

Simple steps to save the environment may not make much difference

Many environmental organisations, governments and businesses rely on “positive spillover strategies” to drive pro-environmental behaviour change. These strategies rest on the assumption once someone has…
Questions of planetary power: a mere 0.3% of transnational corporations control 40% of global revenue. Flickr/paul (dex)

Planet under Pressure 2012: here’s the wrap

The Planet Under Pressure 2012 Conference was held in London a fortnight back and released the first State of the Planet Declaration. The conference aim was to set out the science (in a broad sense) in…
Fad fashion has never had it so good… but the fast fashion trend comes at a cost. AAP

Counting the cost of fast fashion

There’s a polyester mullet skirt gracing a derrière near you. It’s short at the front, long at the back, and it’s also known as the hi-lo skirt. Like fads that preceded it, the mullet skirt has a short…
Will the UN recommendations pull people out of poverty and reduce pressure on the environment? The Advocacy Project

UN sustainability panel says put a price on the environment

A recent cartoon (below) extrapolates the use of the word “sustainable”. It predicts that in 50 years each sentence will on average contain the word at least once. The cartoon is clever, and “sustainable…
Indigenous Australians systematically burnt grasslands to reduce fuel and stop fires raging out of control. Flickr/pietroizzo

The biggest estate on earth: how Aborigines made Australia

Aboriginal people worked hard to make plants and animals abundant, convenient and predictable. By distributing plants and associating them in mosaics, then using these to lure and locate animals, Aborigines…
Sir Rod Eddington: unless the rail networks are right, Australia’s cities won’t work properly. Supplied

Sir Rod Eddington: ‘The infrastructure challenges are real’

Welcome to In Conversation; an ongoing series in which leading academics interview prominent public figures. In today’s instalment, Dr Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University, sits…
The world’s population is racing ahead compared to growth in the rest of the world. AAP/Dean Lewins

Sustaining 7 billion: Australia’s part in planning for population growth

SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE: As the global population passed the seven billion mark yesterday (give or take a few months – the data aren’t exact), Australia’s resident population will reach about 22.75 million…
Responses to climate change are becoming a crucial part of business strategy. AAP/Google

Google goes green … and others may follow

In early September, Google publicly disclosed details of its carbon footprint for the first time, launching the Google Green website in the process. The search giant revealed a carbon footprint of 1.5…
Melbourne and Sydney are set to become mega-cities, but there hasn’t been a coherent discussion about our population. AAP/Torsten Blackwood

A country in search of a policy: the case for an Australian population target

The national debate about Australia’s population has been hijacked. It has been dominated by fears that we don’t have the infrastructure to cope with an influx of people, and differing views about migrants…
Sea levels are expected to rise between 0.5m and 1m by 2100, potentially at great cost to coastal infrastructure. AAP

Fix climate by 2020 or face huge costs

Governments and communities must take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this decade or face enormous social and economic costs in future, according a report by the Australian government’s…

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