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To save wildlife we’ll need to intensify our resource use to leave space for conservation. Mkimemia/Wikimedia

An ecomodernist’s manifesto: save wildlife by embracing new tech

With increasing human pressure on the environment, how can we save wildlife while lifting people out of poverty? A new manifesto argues for using technology to intensify energy and agriculture.
It’s not always as ostentatious as Dubai, but our coastlines are home to ever-growing numbers of manmade structures. NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Concrete coastlines: it’s time to tackle our marine ‘urban sprawl’

Urban sprawl has spread to the sea, as more and more man-made structures are being built along the world's coastlines. Just as we do on land, we need to think about how to build sustainably at sea.
In most states, the issue of container deposit legislation has festered for decades. Brian Finestone/Shutterstock.com

Spin the bottle: the fraught politics of container deposit schemes

Four decades after South Australia's container deposit scheme began, New South Wales has finally overcome industry resistance and launched its own. Could the rest of the country now follow suit?
Backpackers may have a reputation for over-indulgence, but are more sustainable than you might think. Siim Teller/Flickr

Seven sustainability lessons we can all learn from backpackers

With a reputation in Australia for public drunkenness and antisocial behaviour, backpackers might not seem likely role models for “greener” ways of living. Most backpackers are from upper- or middle-class…
Using urban space for food production makes food easier to transport, not to mention cheaper. littleny/Shutterstock.com

The ‘simple life’ manifesto and how it could save us

The aftermath of Christmas is a good time to think about where consumer-capitalism is getting us. The sad fact is that, with these values, our society can never be ecologically sustainable or just. Accelerating…
The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s climate “hot spots” — vulnerable to rising seas, storms and erosion. Phalinn Ooi/Flickr

Cities could be the secret to fighting climate change

The world’s population could reach almost 10 billion by 2050. Most people will live in cities. To accommodate an additional 3 billion people, we’ll need to build the equivalent of one new city, that can…
Hidden costs of campus life. University of Exeter

Plug the university finance gap by turning teaching greener

As students take to the streets calling for free higher education, a spotlight is being shone again on the sustainability of England’s higher education system. While much of the debate centres around financial…
The scheme aims to make buildings with high energy-efficiency ratings, like this one in Canberra, attractive to potential buyers and renters. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Green building scheme review adds yet more policy uncertainty

Australia’s policies to cut greenhouse emissions have been shrouded in uncertainty over the past few months. The contentious Renewable Energy Target review and the swapping of the carbon price for Direct…
Who needs a big garden when you’ve got this? The Tiny Abode Co.

Move over, McMansions – the tiny house movement is here

A small group of people is gathered around a campfire in a Victorian State Forest. Members of the Tiny Houses Australia community, they’re attending a Spring Camp to talk about how to build a tiny house…
The Earth is finite - so are there limits to growth? NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr

Why uncontrolled climate change may be an ultimate limit to growth

“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…
It should be possible to enjoy your holiday and give the planet a break. lazyllama/Shutterstock

Can you be a sustainable tourist without giving up flying?

Australians love to travel. About 9 million Australians travelled overseas last year, 60% of them on holiday. For most tourists, sustainable development and climate change were probably not high on their…
Australian resources are fueling Asia’s development, but the next challenge is to make that sustainable. EPA/Bagus Indahono

Can ASEAN become the global champion of sustainable growth?

If measured by political will and rhetoric, Australia’s relationship with Southeast Asia would undeniably be in fine shape. Prime ministers as diverse as Paul Keating, Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard have…

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