Water injustice runs deep in Australia. Fixing it means handing control to First Nations

It’s widely understood that rivers, wetlands and other waterways hold particular significance for First Nations people. It’s less well understood that Indigenous peoples are denied effective rights in Australia’s water economy. Australia’s laws and policies prevent First Nations from fully participating in, and benefiting from, decisions about water. In fact, Indigenous peoples hold less than […]

How big is your carbon? What one government agency did to measure its impact

Organisations are increasingly developing their own carbon and ecological footprint calculators to measure their impacts. While there are plenty of generic footprint calculators out there, many organisations’ activities are specific to them and it is more appropriate for them to develop bespoke solutions. The Drivers Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), part of the UK government’s Department […]

WATER: How does NSW make sure it doesn’t get so close to Day Zero again?

According to one of the authors of a new report the focus on water in NSW has traditionally been on centralised infrastructure that utilities want to build rather than water efficiency. But what saved us during the Millennium Drought was the citizens, not utilities. Nor was it the winding back the BASIX sustainability index that some quarters advocate.

Coal’s deadly legacy in Australia and the US

Australia, like the US is trying to stick to the coal agenda despite cleaner sources of energy making the fossil fuel irrelevant to our futures. COVID is now a known airborne killer but there’s another one at large that also attacks through the air we breathe: coal. A recent Greenpeace report found that in Australia […]

Finding the most adaptable urban trees for a changing climate

Researchers from the Which Plant Where project at Western Sydney University are taking a deep look at how urban trees can adapt to drought conditions to help keep cities green in the face of a changing climate.

To restore our cities’ rivers, we need to decolonise the law reform process

The Yarra Birrarung’s bicultural model recognises the Yarra (Birrarung) corridor in Melbourne as a “living” natural entity of bicultural character: both traditional owner and settler-Australia. But although it offers a pathway to decolonise rivers and landscapes, we need to see real shifts in cultural and power dynamics in Australia’s reconciliation processes. The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act is a remarkable piece […]

The glimmer of hope that is clean air

In recent months we’ve unexpectedly had to reflect on our lives, work and health, our relationships, travel, neighbourhoods and our cities.

Carbon pricing works: the largest-ever study puts it beyond doubt

Putting a price on carbon should reduce emissions, because it makes dirty production processes more expensive than clean ones, right?

Here’s an idea: Let’s plant our way out of the Covid crisis

There’s never been more love and appreciation of green spaces from the community. So how can we achieve an environmental, economic and health “triple point score” by delivering more and better green space as part of the post COVID-19 recovery?

Environmental protections on shaky ground as review for EPBC Act looms

At a time when there’s mounting evidence that Australia’s environmental planning laws are “fundamentally broken”, this very same legislation is under threat from a federal government intent on fast-tracking projects as part of its pandemic recovery plan. “Green tape” has been in the firing line of the Covid recovery agenda at least since earlier this […]

On myopic split systems thinking – and environmentalism’s struggle with racism

News from the front desk, Issue 484: According to the social scientists it can take a good 10 years for society to forget a collective trauma and move on.  Even after the actual danger has passed, the fear lives on. We’re wondering if it’s this kind of fear that is making the PM Scott Morrison […]

7 ways to rebuild Australian resilience

The flipside of crisis is opportunity. The past six months have seen two extraordinary stressor events play out across Australia with devastating impacts – the eastern Australian drought and bushfires, closely followed by Covid-19. The good news is that as we move into recovery mode, we have the ability and opportunity to enact a series […]

On so many ways to not waste a good crisis

News from the front desk No 478: There’s no shortage of optimistic commentary coming out urging us not to waste this crisis. Suddenly, we have hours to kill in self isolation to reconsider existing economic, environmental and social policy, and ponder over better options. With any luck, we’ll seize the opportunity to embark on economic […]

Cities can be their own water catchments, says CRCWSC

After more than seven years as chief executive officer Professor Tony Wong has stepped down from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and its Water Sensitive Cities Institute.

The bee buzz is growing nationally and commercially

Bees help pollinate around one in three food plants world-wide, but in recent months Australian colonies have copped a beating with drought, fire, flood and smoke.

Why our driest state leads the way on water

OXYGEN FILES: South Australian Water is collaborating with Sydney Water, researchers and the NSW Smart Sensing Network on water saving technologies. Funny that the driest place in the country, South Australia, is pretty savvy on H2O.