Hot desking in heatwaves: The workplace in a climate emergency

As global average temperatures continue to rise with increasingly disastrous effects, Sydney-based architect Don Albert considers where and how Australians will work in the future, by re-examining the past.

Futurebuild showcases the technology; we just need the will and the finance

This year’s Futurebuild expo at the ExCel Centre in London was packed with over 450 exhibitors and thousands of visitors coming together under the slogan “Responding to the emergency”. There’s no longer any doubt about the need to go net zero; the effort centres on how to get there.

OK Gen X (and where the bloody hell are you?)

The most critically important place to do something is the workplace. Workplaces are the new village. They are one of the few institutions we still trust. And it’s time to look at Gen X for action.

Q&A: There’s more to green architecture than greenery

The manmade world tends to dominate the natural one but it’s possible for architecture and ecology to coexist in harmony. In fact, it urgently has to, as Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship recipient Eleanor Peres discovered as she travelled the world last year to write a research report on this very subject.

Why we must pull financial levers to build for a changing climate

Climate change is expensive business. The recent bushfires are estimated to have cost Australia $100 billion – so far. The big hailstorm that struck NSW and the ACT in January cost around $1.36 billion.

So you’ve declared a climate emergency? Now architects need to walk the talk

Every Australian (and many people beyond) are now feeling the fear that Greta enunciated just one year ago in her speech at Davos. Much to the surprise of the hopeful, hope has not delivered so let’s assume we need to actually do something now. After all, if not now, then when?

On why Adam Bandt is a man for the times

News from the front desk on Friday (part II) – Richard Di Natale was right for the times; Adam Bandt is right for now. Newscorp calls Bandt the Greens “attack dog”.

NSW can have water or fossil fuels but not both

SAVING WATER, summer series:Decisions to push ahead with coal and coal seam gas (CSG) projects in NSW and Queensland are entirely at odds with ensuring good management of water supplies and reducing carbon emissions.

EU “green list” could be a game changer for international investments

The Fifth Estate talks to Sean Kidney of Climate Bonds Initiative about a green list of economic activity being adopted by the European Parliament that could put the kibosh on unsustainable developments, such as new coal mines, by tackling demand rather than supply.

What we can learn about community resilience

Communities in Australia and California share connected experiences as they face climate-related threats, especially fire.  Different continents, connected climates, same challenges. Here are view from two people who had close contact with recent fires in California and Australia. Richard Mullane: As an Australian living in California, it’s heartbreaking to watch the devastating bushfires from afar. […]

A letter to my unborn child about climate change

Just days before my first child was born, I escaped apocalyptic scenes in Sydney to return home, with the country’s biggest city blanketed in thick red smoke from out-of-control bushfires.

Smoke signals from the climate emergency

The smoke alarms going off across Sydney last week are a symptom of a much larger malaise: our communities and buildings are not prepared for the climate emergency. From HVAC systems and building quality through to workplace health and resourcing for organisations and workers on the frontlines of the drought and the fires, urgent action is needed to improve resilience.

Emergency, emergency. What are we waiting for?

There are way too many similarities between Califoria and Australia when it comes to fire risk. In the US, more than 12.7 million homes were built in the high-risk wild lands-urban interface in the 20 years to 2010 . In 2011, Australia had 3.3 million people in similar outer metropolitan fringe areas – by 2021, that will rise to about 4.5 million people

Michael Mobbs won’t pay his council rates for waste

Michael Mobbs is taking his own climate emergency action and will stop paying council garbage rates. It’s the least his local council can do if it’s serious about its climate emergency declaration, he says.

On creative accounting and why it’s always worth looking under the hood

Think we’re running out of time to save the world from catastrophic warming? Well, it seems much of the corporate world might have given up on the tight timeline needed to meet the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels.

On why Mobbs is just part of the chain reaction

News from the front desk 455: Michael Mobbs, one of Sydney’s most established sustainability gurus looks like he’s thrown in the towel on hope. He might not be throwing himself down on the streets as the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters are, but what he is doing could be more subversive.

Where to buy property for the climate emergency

Browsing glossy property marketing and getting excited about en suites might be fun but serious investors and home buyers should consider one more thing when deciding what and where to buy: the climate emergency.

On why we’re all activists now

News from the front desk 454:  What’s an activist? An activist might be a young schoolkid, sure. And because of this the climate “strike” attracted the ire of political leaders, strangely irked by the power of these children to make the world pay attention. One child in particular, Greta Thunberg, at just 16 years of […]

Uprooting urban tree myths in the climate emergency

Australia faces a shrinking window of opportunity to plant enough trees to help cool our cities and protect our farms, writes sustainability expert Michael Mobbs.

What happens when the water runs out?

Armidale hasn’t received its usual winter rain, and the city’s water reservoir has also been servicing the nearby township of Guyra, where water supplies are critically low.