Volcanic eruptions may have contributed to war in ancient Egypt

From ABC Science, Wednesday 18 October, 2017: Distant volcanic eruptions may have indirectly triggered a series of revolts by the people of ancient Egypt against their despised Ptolemaic overlords. The eruptions, which took place between 305-30BC far from Egypt itself, may have altered the climate enough to reduce the annual Nile flooding. The resulting crop Continue reading Volcanic eruptions may have contributed to war in ancient Egypt

Can business save the world from climate change?

From Ensia magazine, 16 August 2017: “We are still in.” On June 5, 2017, with these four words a group of U.S. businesses and investors with a combined annual revenue of US$1.4 trillion sent a powerful message to the world: U.S. president Donald Trump may have withdrawn from the Paris agreement on climate change four Continue reading Can business save the world from climate change?

Securing Australia’s agricultural future

From KnowHow magazine: The ever-growing importance of plant biosecurity in Australia can be seen from the gradual evolution of the Cooperative Research Centres dedicated to it. What began as the Tropical Plant Pathology CRC in 1992 morphed into the CRC for Tropical Plant Protection in 1999, then into the CRC for National Plant Biosecurity in Continue reading Securing Australia’s agricultural future

No more business as usual: the corporates stepping up to save the planet

From The Guardian, 30 June 2017: When the US president, Donald Trump, announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, one might have anticipated a hearty cheer from industry around the world relieved that business as usual could continue. Instead the opposite has happened. Across the United States, the business community is taking Continue reading No more business as usual: the corporates stepping up to save the planet

Arctic peatlands may release potent greenhouse gas as permafrost thaws

From ABC Science, 30 May 2017: Arctic peatlands may become a substantial source of a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide when they thaw, a new study suggests. The study by a team of Scandinavian scientists indicated that thawing permafrost could release nitrous oxide (N2O) — also known as ‘laughing gas’ — Continue reading Arctic peatlands may release potent greenhouse gas as permafrost thaws

Smart city: using technology to tackle traffic and social isolation in Melbourne

From The Guardian, 19 June 2017: Traffic congestion and social isolation are two concepts that don’t immediately appear to be connected. But in 2012, the Grattan Institute’s Social Cities report drew a direct line between inefficient urban transport and less time spent with friends and family. One estimate suggested every 10 minutes of commuting equates Continue reading Smart city: using technology to tackle traffic and social isolation in Melbourne

Battery storage and rooftop solar could mean new life post-grid for consumers

From The Guardian, 13 June 2017: To illustrate the impact of battery storage on the electricity network in Australia, Prof Guoxiu Wang likes to compare it to the invention of refrigeration. “Before people invented the fridge, we produced food, we consumed food immediately,” says Wang, director of the Centre for Clean Energy Technology at the Continue reading Battery storage and rooftop solar could mean new life post-grid for consumers

How Australia can use hydrogen to export its solar power around the world

From The Guardian, 19 May 2017: Nearly a century ago, British scientist JB Haldane saw an energy future in which wind power would be used to generate hydrogen; a fuel he described as, weight-for-weight, the most efficient known method of storing energy. He thought this future was four hundred years away, but the so-called “hydrogen Continue reading How Australia can use hydrogen to export its solar power around the world

Age discrimination: older Australian workers viewed as slow to learn

From The Guardian, 20 April 2017: The trope of the older worker thrust back into the hurly-burly of working life made for great comedy in the 2015 film The Intern. But in reality this scenario isn’t always such a laughing matter. Older workers face unique hardships. Hampered by unfair stereotypes about their abilities, their role Continue reading Age discrimination: older Australian workers viewed as slow to learn

Food security: the gene banks future-proofing Australian agriculture

From The Guardian, 27 April 2017: n February 2018 the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the remote Norwegian Arctic will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Among the gifts it will receive are two collections of precious seeds and grains from the Australian Pastures Genebank and the Australian Grains Genebank, to be deposited into the vault as Continue reading Food security: the gene banks future-proofing Australian agriculture