Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

From MIT Technology Review, 25 April 2019: The Blue Mountains are burning. I stand in the doorway of our home and take a long look around: the handmade rugs, the jumble of artworks, the shelves crammed with books, the scattered toys. The house is a tinderbox: wooden walls, doors, balcony, window frames, all built into Continue reading Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing

From Nature News, 15 March 2019: Nearly four hundred Australian scientists have signed a letter protesting against a steep rise in land clearing over the past decade. They have called on national and state governments to legislate to protect native vegetation. The letter describes Australia as a ‘global deforestation hotspot’, following the relaxation of laws Continue reading Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing

Landmark Australian ruling rejects coal mine over global warming

From Nature News, 12 February 2019: An Australian court has rejected an application for an open-cut coal mine because of its potential contribution to greenhouse-gas emissions and global warming. The New South Wales Land and Environment Court turned down an appeal by mining company Gloucester Resources, which had sought to overturn a previous government decision Continue reading Landmark Australian ruling rejects coal mine over global warming

Management of Australia’s Murray–Darling basin deemed ‘negligent’

From Nature News, 1 February 2019: An independent inquiry into the management of Australia’s troubled Murray–Darling Basin river system has delivered a scathing report, accusing the agency responsible of mismanagement and negligence. A royal commission was established last year by the state of South Australia, where the Murray River ends, to review the state and Continue reading Management of Australia’s Murray–Darling basin deemed ‘negligent’

Mass fish deaths in Australia set to continue

From Nature News, 15 January 2019: Hundreds of thousands of native fish in Australia’s Darling River have died following a major outbreak of blue–green algae and some severe weather. Two mass die-offs have been reported near Menindee in western New South Wales — the first was late last year, and the second last week. Read Continue reading Mass fish deaths in Australia set to continue

From German trains to South Korean buses, hydrogen fuel is back in the picture

From Ensia magazine, 8 November 2018: Jorgo Chatzimarkakis was refueling his hydrogen fuel-cell car at one of the 50-plus refueling stations scattered around Germany when a Tesla driver, who was recharging his own car, approached. The man was excited to see a hydrogen-powered car in action, and was brimming with questions. Chatzimarkakis, who is secretary Continue reading From German trains to South Korean buses, hydrogen fuel is back in the picture

As Australia’s mining boom wanes, rehabilitation of abandoned mines offers lessons for the world

From Ensia magazine, 11 October 2018: The 1986 Australian film Crocodile Dundee brought global fame to its leading man Paul Hogan, but the real star of the show was the vast, ancient landscape of the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Kakadu is the jewel in the crown of Australia’s national parks, but this unique wilderness Continue reading As Australia’s mining boom wanes, rehabilitation of abandoned mines offers lessons for the world

Australian fur-seal pups in decline for first time in three decades

From Nature News, 5 September 2018: Numbers of Australian fur-seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) pups have declined for the first time in more than three decades, according to a study published on 5 September. Researchers compared the latest count, collected in 2013-14, with an overall trend in the population since monitoring began in 1986. Pup numbers Continue reading Australian fur-seal pups in decline for first time in three decades

In Australia’s Snowy Mountains, a battle over brumbies

From Undark magazine, 25 July 2018: The peatlands that drape the high, treeless slopes surrounding Australia’s tallest peak form a natural archive. “They are unusual bits of landscape in that they actually record their own history,” says Geoffrey Hope, an environmental historian at the Australian National University, who has been studying these unique bogs for Continue reading In Australia’s Snowy Mountains, a battle over brumbies