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Australia: 1/25 of 45
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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...
About half the world's coal is being produced at a loss, as buyers turn away. ALCOA Anglesea coal mine, Australia. Photo: Takver via Flickr.

Tide turning against global coal industry

Chris Rose / DeSmogBlog

2nd October 2014

King Coal's reign is coming to an end, writes Chris Rose, at least as a fuel for generating electricity. Following a price collapse half of all production is being sold at a loss - and major coal users like China are still moving away from the high-carbon fuel. more...
Much of Australia's coal is too high in ash, sulphur, or both, to meet China's new environmental standards. Will it be able to find the new customers it needs? Photo: Stephen Codrington / Wikimedia Commons.

China's war on pollution could leave Australia's dirty coal out in the cold

Shabbir Ahmad

25th September 2014

To tackle its serious air pollution, China is imposing stringent restrictions on dirty coal high in ash or sulphur, writes Shabbir Ahmad. One result: half of Australia's coal exports to China face exclusion, or extra 'washing' costs. But Australia's response is not to raise environmental quality. Instead, it's increasing production. more...
A male Onthophagus vacca, the species of dung beetle being released this week in Western Australia. Photo: CSIRO.

Australia - exotic beetles fly in to clean up the cattle dung

Jane Wright

5th October 2014

After rabbits, foxes, brambles and the cane toad, you would have thought Australia would have had enough of invasive exotic species, writes Jane Wright. Wrong! CSIRO scientists are introducing a French dung beetle, in the hope it will lead to fewer flies, improved soil fertility and structure, and greater carbon sequestration. more...
Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

While governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom

Paul Brown

6th September 2014

Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless. more...
Western pygmy possums use tree hollows that take decades to develop in mallee ecosystems. Photo: Lauren Brown.

Over-burning could be damaging Australia's wildlife for 100 years

Dale Nimmo, Andrew Bennett & Michael Clarke

29th August 2014

We know that Australia's dry bush has co-evolved with fire, so that means regular planned burning is a good thing? Up to a point ... some increasingly rare species depend on 'old growth' bush up to 100 years old, and over-frequent burning is putting them under long-term threat. more...
Unionists protest at RT's labour practices in Cape Town, South Africa, February 2014. Photo: IndustriALL.

Rio Tinto's 'sustainable mining' claims exposed

Kemal Özkan

30th July 2014

Global mining giant Rio Tinto markets itself as a 'sustainable company', writes Kemal Özkan. But serious failures in its reporting, and its attempt to hold an Australian indigenous group to ransom, reveal a very different truth: the company is driven by a reckless pursuit of profit at any cost. more...
Even in the 19th century, lead from Broken Hill smelters was polluting Antarctica. NSW Records Office, CC BY.

Lead pollution beat Amundsen and Scott to the South Pole - and it's still pouring down today

Joe McConnell

2nd August 2014

Ice core analysis shows that lead pollution in Antarctica took off in the 1880s as mining at Broken Hill, Australia, took off. Lead residues have fallen from their late 20th century peak, writes Joe McConnell - but they are still four times higher than in pre-industrial times. more...
Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change

Tim Radford

18th July 2014

Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse. more...
Muckaty traditional owners Doris Kelly, Gladys Brown and Elaine Peckham celebrate victory in their battle to stop the imposition of a nuclear waste dump. Photo via Friends of the Earth Australia.

The nuclear war against Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green

14th July 2014

Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! more...

Australia: 1/25 of 45
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Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. Photo: Neerav Bhatt via Flickr.

Tasmania's forests will remain World Heritage

Tom Fairman & Rod Keenan

27th June 2014

UNESCO has refused to 'de-list' 74,000 hectares of the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area as requested by the Tasmanian and Australian governments, following a 'feeble' presentation. more...
The Navarre Plains are one of the areas under debate, and are an important site of glacial geology. Photo: Kevin Kiernan.

Tasmania's World Heritage debate must look beyond the trees

Kevin Kiernan

23rd June 2014

With Australia's still trying to 'de-list' 74,000 hectares of forest from the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area, Kevin Kierman reminds us that it's not just about the trees. No less important are the area's unique geology, and ancient Aboriginal cultural sites. more...
Snow on Mountain Pinkberry (Leptecophylla) in the Tasmanian Wilderness. Photo: Tatters ❀ via Flickr.

UNESCO, protect Tasmanian wilderness

Jess Abrahams

18th June 2014

74,000 hectares of Tasmania's native forest wilderness will be opened up to industrial logging, writes Jess Abrahams - if Australia's government succeeds in removing its World Heritage status at a UNESCO meeting now under way in Doha. more...
Beware wolves in sheep's clothing! Photo: public domain.

Beware environmental wolves in sheep's clothing!

William Laurance

9th June 2014

What do the Australian Environment Foundation, the Renewable Energy Foundation and the Global Warming Policy Foundation have in common? They are all fiercely anti-environment, writes William Laurance - and we must beware their 'eco-doublespeak'. more...
Among potential 'stranded assets', this open pit coal mine in Indonesia Borneo. Photo: Parolan Harahap via Flickr.

China's coal burn 'down 40% by 2020'

Alex Kirby

6th June 2014

Coal consumption in China is likely to dwindle rapidly, writes Alex Kirby, leaving its own mining sector and foreign coal exporters in serious trouble. Australia and Indonesia are at greatest risk as China may soon stop importing any coal at all. more...
The drought-stricken Chowilla floodplain in South Australia, Changing wind patterns are bringing cold and snow to Antarctica, while Australia gets hotter and drier. Photo: Gary Sauer-Thompson via Flickr.

Strong winds keep Antarctica cold - while Australia bakes

Tim Radford

16th May 2014

Rising greenhouse gas levels are causing stronger winds over the Southern Ocean. It's good news for Antarctica, writes Tim Radford, as the circumpolar winds are keeping its ice caps cold. But Australia is getting hotter and drier - and its problems will only increase. more...
Port Pirie, South Australia: the lights at the city's vast smelting plant are pretty, but not the lead contamination. Photo: Imre Hillenbrand www.universalfocus.com.au, CC BY-ND.

Australia's dirty secret: who's breathing toxic air?

Donna Green, Jayajit Chakraborty & Mark Patrick Taylor

16th April 2014

Australia's poorer communities, with lower employment and education levels, and those with a high proportion of Indigenous people, are significantly more likely to suffer high levels of toxic air pollution. Children are at particular risk from rising levels of lead. more...
Should she go to jail? The Last Stand crew serve notice on Harvey Norman in Preston, Australia. Photo: The Last Stand via Flickr.com.

Boycotts are an essential democratic right

William Laurance

7th April 2014

In a radical departure from it's 'pro free speech' rhetoric, Australia's 'Liberal' government wants to ban environmental boycotts. But as Bill Laurance writes, eco-boycotts are not only an effective tool for reining in corporate excesses - they are also a key democratic right. more...
A clear-felled area of Mountain Ash, with David Lindenmayer.

A Great Forest National Park for SE Australia

Professor David Lindenmayer

1st April 2014

A few hours from Melbourne lies one of Australia's natural wonders - a soaring forest of Mountain Ash trees up to 90 metres tall, with a host of endangered species. David Lindenmayer demands a halt to the logging, and the creation of a new National Park. more...
Galiwin'ku children - Gawirrin, Lakarriny and Dharrangguralil, Elcho Island August 1971. Photo: Boobook48 via Flickr.com.

Once again, Australia is stealing Its indigenous children

John Pilger

6th April 2014

Australia is still stealing Aboriginal children from their families, reports John Pilger. The 'lost generation' policies were meant to have ended in 1969, but a new wave of child thefts is under way - 2013 figures show that 13,914 Aboriginal children were in 'out of home care'. more...

Warming climate will bring more extreme 'El Nino' events

Tim Radford

2nd January 2014

Rising global temperatures are likely to double the frequency of the most severe El Niños - the periodic atmospheric disruptions which affect weather across the globe. Tim Radford reports more...
Mulan wind farm, 170km NE of Harbin City in Heilongiang, is one of the first wind farms to be built in China. Photo: Land Rover Our Planet via Flickr.com.

China roars ahead with renewables

John Mathews and Hao Tan

4th January 2014

Reports of China opening a huge new coal fired power station every week belie the reality - China is the new global powerhouse for renewable energy. As John Mathews and Hao Tan report, the world must follow its example. more...
Another long empty coal train heads back to coal mines, Maitland, NSW, Australia. Photo: Nomad Tales via Flickr.com.

Australia facing slump as China 'goes green'

Kieran Cooke

24th December 2013

Australia has been growing rich from exporting coal to China. But as Kieran Cooke reports, China's renewable energy revolution may soon bring the 'good times' to an end. more...

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