The Ecologist


Australia: 1/25 of 68
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Donald Shadforth, a traditional owner, at the dilapidated Redbank mine tailings storage. Photo: P. Taplin.

Australia: Indigenous communities must take centre stage in 'development'

Seán Kerins

7th September 2015

Indigenous Australians are systematically deprived of the benefits of mining and other developments, writes Seán Kerins, and being left to suffer their environmental impacts. As Abbott's government prepares a bonfire of 'red tape', it's time to put Indigenous interests first, and place their communities at the centre of decision making. more...
Surfing at Noosa Beach, Australia. To avoid shark attack, keep out of the water at dawn and dusk, and avoid turbid estuaries. Even sharks can make mistakes. Photo: m.maddo via Flickr (CC BY).

Culling sharks doesn't work - here's what we can do instead

Jane Williamson

26th August 2015

Following six shark attacks this year on the beaches of New South Wales, Australia, the press are demanding a shark cull as a 'permanent solution' to the problem, writes Jane Williamson. Trouble is, culling is indiscriminate, ineffective, disrupts ocean ecosystems, and diverts resources from more effective responses. more...
China has chosen its energy future - and it will be renewable. A huge windfarm in Xinjiang. Photo: Mike Locke via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

China's climate pledge for green growth spells doom for coal exporters

John Mathews

3rd July 2015

Renewable energy is all go in China, as set out in its climate pledge this week, writes John Mathews, with huge growth planned for wind and solar. The one big loser - coal exporters who can expect falling sales volumes in coming years. Wake up Australia! more...
Canunda wind farm, near Millicent, south-eastern South Australia. A composite of three photos, combined using Photomatix Pro. Early morning. Photo: David Clarke via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Coal closures give South Australia the chance to go 100% renewable

Mark Diesendorf

18th July 2015

Moving to 100% clean, renewable energy is a win-win option for South Australia, writes Mark Diesendorf. First of all it's highly doable over a 25-year transition period. It will also bring lower power prices, more employment, better health and a cleaner environment. What's not to like? more...
A rainy night in Hiroshima, March 2012. After the US's nuclear strike on 6th August 1945, 'back rain' carried out uranium nanoparticles that caused cancer among those ingesting them. Photo: Freedom II Andres via Flickr (CC BY).

Radiation in court: landmark success for Australia's nuclear veterans

Chris Busby

24th June 2015

A legal judgment in Australia has fatally damaged the 'official' ICRP model of health damage by nuclear radiation, writes Chris Busby - reflecting the fact that cancer originates through the mutation of individual cells, not whole organs or organisms. The ruling is good news for Britain's bomb test veterans whose day in court is coming up; and for all who suffer radiation induced cancers. more...
Australian charities that advocate for the environment could lose their tax privileges under proposed federal measures. Photo: protest rally for Great Barrier Reef, August 2013, Brisbane, by Stephen Hass via Flickr (CC BY).

Australia prepares tax penalty attack on environmental advocacy groups

Susan Laurance & Bill Laurance

13th June 2014

It's fine for 'green' groups to plant trees, or rescue baby flying foxes, write Susan & Bill Laurance. But when they campaign for the environment, right wing politicians see red, Moves are now afoot to strip advocacy groups of their charitable status, reflecting a broader clamp down on eco-activism across the Asia Pacific region in China, Cambodia, Lao and India. more...
Speaking out against Black deaths in custody, November 2011. Photo: Kate Ausburn via Flickr (CC BY).

Australia must abandon plans to ditch legal protection for Indigenous people in custody

Eugene Schofield-Georgeson

20th June 2015

A successful, low-cost scheme in New South Wales to safeguard indigenous Australians in police custody is to lose federal funding, writes Eugene Schofield-Georgeson, even though it is demonstrably saving lives. Rather than cut funding, the government should be financing similar schemes across the country. more...
In danger? Apparently not. Under threat? For sure. A Red-spotted Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) on anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reef #3, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UNESCO decides: Great Barrier Reef is not 'in danger'

Emily Lindsay Brown

2nd June 2015

Australia's government can breathe a sigh of relief as UNESCO keeps the Great Barrier Reef off its 'World Heritage in danger' list, writes Emily Lindsay Brown. But in return, it has committed to protect the reef from farm run-off and dredgings, and to implement its 'Reef 2050' sustainability plan. If Australia fails, the Reef could be officially 'in danger' as soon as 2020. more...
Divest London protestors at last week's action at CommBank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Photo: Divest London via Facebook.

CommBank must ditch its plans to fund Great Barrier Reef destruction

Hal Rhoades

26th May 2015

As part of a global week of action campaigners from Divest London have gathered to ‘Raise the Heat' on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, writes Hal Rhoades - protesting its plan to invest in a ‘carbon bomb' coal project that endangers global climate and threatens to finish off the Great Barrier Reef. more...
Sydney Action to Save the Reef, February 2013. Photo: Kate Ausburn via Flickr (CC BY).

Coal and climate change: a death sentence for the Great Barrier Reef

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

21st May 2015

Over the Great Barrier Reef's coral has already been lost, writes Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, and UNESCO is expected to add the site to its 'World Heritage in danger' list. The reef's survival will depend on the world's ability to control carbon emissions. So why is Australia planning to open vast new coal mines in the Galilee Basin? more...
Culling feral cats on Tasmania, similar to this one by the Rufus River in NSW - actually made them more abundant, not less. Photo: sunphlo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Cullers beware - killing 'pest' animals can increase their abundance

Christopher Johnson

8th May 2015

A study of feral cats in Tasmania shows that culling them to reduce their impact on native wildlife had a paradoxical effect - their population went up! If you can't take 'pest' animals out faster than they can reproduce and move in from nearby areas, writes Christopher Johnson, you're better off not bothering at all. more...
An accidental bush fire at Captain Creek in Central Queensland that started on a nearby farm. But most of the bush clearance is deliberate - and it's taking place on a huge scale. Photo: 80 trading 24 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Why is Australia topping WWF's world deforestation league?

Martine Maron & Bill Laurance

30th April 2015

A new WWF report puts eastern Australia among the world's deforestation hotspots, write Martine Maron & Bill Laurance - estimating that 3-6 million hectares of native forest will be cleared there over the next 15 years. Queensland's new Labor government could reverse the destructive policies - but will it turn a new leaf? more...

Australia: 1/25 of 68
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What future for Australia's Aboriginal People as they are forcibly evicted from their homelands, their human rights denied by a fanatically right wing government. Photo: Johanna Alexis via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Forced evictions are Australia's latest racist assault on Aboriginal People

John Pilger

28th April 2015

Australia's deliberate and calculated attacks on its indigenous population carry many of the hallmarks of genocide, writes John Pilger. And things are getting worse, not better, as states that have grown rich by exploiting Aboriginal land evict and demolish remote Aboriginal communities. more...
If the Adami mine goes ahead, the Abbot Point port will be in line for a massive upgrade. But the Queensland Government is paying nothing towards the cost. Photo: Greenpeace.

Money dries up for Great Barrier Reef coal project

Marina Lou & Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th March 2015

Indian coal firm Adani is struggling to finance its proposed mega coal mine in Australia's Galilee Basin, write Marina Lou & Christine Ottery, as promised government support evaporates and a major investor looks set to pull out. more...
Indigenous rangers like Yugul Mangi senior women (from left to right) Edna Nelson, Cherry Daniels and Julie Roy, are crucial guardians of the outback environment. Photo: Emilie Ens, Author provided.

Remote Indigenous communities are vital for our fragile ecosystems

Craig Moritz, Emilie-Jane Ens & Jon Altman

23rd March 2015

Australia's aboriginal communities inhabit remote Outback regions of enormous importance for wildlife conservation, write Craig Moritz, Emilie-Jane Ens & Jon Altman - and they, and the land management services they provide, are essential to maintain both biodiversity and ancient indigenous knowledge. So why is Prime Minister Tony Abbott putting all that at risk? more...
A Coral Cod (Cephalopholis miniata) at Lighthouse Bommie, Ribbon Reef #10, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

US tax dollars must not finance $1bn Great Barrier Reef destruction!

The Ecologist

20th February 2015

A powerful call has gone out the the US Export-Import Bank not to finance a massive coal mine, railway, port terminal and dredged 'canal' through Australia's Great Barrier Reef with $1 billion in loans and guarantees. more...
Coal mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Photo: Stephen Codrington via Wikimedia Commons.

Legal challenge puts coal mining's climate blame on trial

Samantha Hepburn

21st January 2015

A legal challenge has been launched against what would be Australia's biggest coal mine, writes Samantha Hepburn. If it succeeds, all future coal mine assessments will have to include the impacts of the resulting CO2 emissions on Australia's most important nature sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef. more...
Grieving families are unlikely ever to know who really shot down MH17, as geopolitics rules out an open and impartial investigation. Memorials at Schiphol airport, Netherlands. Photo:  Patrick Rasenberg via Flickr CC-BY.

MH17 investigation - geopolitics triumphs over truth and justice

James O'Neill

25th December 2014

The official investigation into the downing of MH17 is without precedent in the history of aviation, writes James O'Neill, as it gives one of the prime suspects, Ukraine, a veto power over publication of the report. Grieving families of the victims may never know know the truth, as geopolitics triumphs over justice. more...
Protestors halt the first test train load of coal coming from the controversial Maules Creek coal mine on its way to Newcastle’s Kooragang Island coal export terminals. Photo: Frontline Action on Coal.

Train crash - Australia 'heading backwards' on emissions

Kieran Cooke & Oliver Tickell

19th December 2014

Despite record heat and drought Australia's emissions and coal exports are soaring, says a new report, and both are increasing as a matter of government policy. But a homegrown climate action movement is putting a spanner in the works - and just stopped its first coal train. more...
The original heads in sand salute at Sydney's Bondi Beach. Photo: unknown.

Bottoms up! 'Head in sand salute' is the new climate protest

Maxine Newlands

10th December 2013

A planned 'head in sand' salute had to be abandoned at COP20 in Peru this week, writes Maxine Newlands - called off due to lack of sand on Lima's stony shores. But climate campaigners in Australia and New Zealand made up for it with dozens of their own 'bums up' actions on sandy Antipodean beaches ... more...
Gnarled old trees with hollows are a vital habitat for marsupials. Photo: David Blair, Author provided.

Labor's election win opens the way to save Victoria's Central Highlands

Emma Burns, David Lindenmayer & Heather Keith

1st December 2014

Australia's Labor scored a big win in Victoria's election this weekend - and with the party's 'green' policies that's potentially good news for the state's exploited forests. Now's the time to keep campaigning for the early creation of a Great Forest National Park. more...
Australia’s official forecasts for expanding fossil fuel exports don’t match up with what’s needed to avoid severe climate change. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr, CC BY.

Wake up Australia! Your coal exports are being left stranded

Stephen Bygrave

30th November 2014

Australia is betting the farm on huge increases in coal exports, writes Stephen Bygrave - just as key markets in China, India, Korea and Japan are drying up, with rising tariffs and huge renewable energy and efficiency programs. The policy is totally out of touch with reality - and will lead to revenue shortfalls in the AU$100 billions. more...
At risk from climate change: a turtle on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Marc Füeg via Flickr.

Obama 'shirtfronts' Abbott: protect Barrier Reef from climate change

Michelle Grattan

17th November 2014

In a blunt rebuke to Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott, US President Obama stated that 'every nation has the responsibility to do its part' on climate change, writes Michelle Grattan - in a clear reference to the G20 host's backsliding on climate promises. more...
In 2011 Philip Morris Asia 'sued' Australia for 'losses' suffered due to the country's anti-smoking policies, including severely off-putting cigarette packaging. Under TTIP, US corporations could do the same to European governments. Photo: Eli Duke / Flic

TTIP threatens EU nations with corporate weapons of mass destruction

Kevin Albertson

10th November 2014

Far from creating a 'level playing field' for business, TTIP favours foreign corporations over domestic ones - while undermining governments' right to legislate for public health, safety and wellbeing. Australia got the message in 2011 after being sued for its anti-smoking policies - now Europe must catch up! more...
Indigenous land-owners living comfortably in a land of fire in Arnhem Land. Photo: John Woinarski.

Australia's outback is globally important for its biodiversity - and its people

John Woinarski

20th October 2014

Almost three quarters of Australia's landmass is 'outback', writes John Woinarski, making it one of our planet's greatest natural areas. Yet it has many of the hallmarks of a 'failed state': its native peoples live on the margins, and its biodiversity is under threat. Now a new conservation model shows a way forward for both: Indigenous Protected Areas. more...


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