Cameron Muir

Cameron Muir

Cameron Muir’s essays and features have appeared in Griffith Review, Meanjin, Inside Story, Overland, The GuardiaN,, Australian Book Review, and Best Australian Science Writing, among others. His work has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier's History Awards, the Eureka Prize for Science Journalism, and the Bragg Prize for Science Writing. He is co-editor of the forthcoming literary anthology, Living with the Anthropocene: Love, loss and hope in the face of environmental crisis (NewSouth, Oct 2020).

Cameron Muir reviews 'Wounded Country: The Murray–Darling Basin – a contested history' by Quentin Beresford

November 2021, no. 437 25 October 2021
Cameron Muir reviews 'Wounded Country: The Murray–Darling Basin – a contested history' by Quentin Beresford
At the height of the Millennium Drought (2001–9), I took the late Deborah Bird Rose to my favourite childhood swimming hole near Dubbo, on the Wambool (Macquarie River). The banks had eroded and a flood had washed the sandy beach a hundred metres upstream, burying trees halfway up to their crowns. Weeds flourished in the churned ground, and scum floated on the shallows. Nothing seemed safe from ... (read more)

Cameron Muir reviews 'The Winter Road: A story of legacy, land and a killing at Croppa Creek' by Kate Holden

July 2021, no. 433 22 June 2021
Cameron Muir reviews 'The Winter Road: A story of legacy, land and a killing at Croppa Creek' by Kate Holden
Landholders are cutting, crushing, scraping, spraying, bulldozing, and burning native woodlands and grasslands. Displaced koalas are shot, their bodies dumped in smouldering stacks. Land values double. In 2012, the Turnbull family of Croppa Creek, in north-west New South Wales, bought a property knowing that clearing would be prohibited. Under the direction of patriarch Ian Turnbull, they started ... (read more)

Cameron Muir reviews 'The Coal Curse: Resources, climate and Australia’s future' (Quarterly Essay 78) by Judith Brett

September 2020, no. 424 24 August 2020
Cameron Muir reviews 'The Coal Curse: Resources, climate and Australia’s future' (Quarterly Essay 78) by Judith Brett
The dual crises of the recent bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic have exposed structural weakness in Australia’s economy. Our export income is dominated by a few commodities, with coal and gas near the top, the production of which employs relatively few people (only around 1.9 per cent of the workforce is employed in mining). The unprecedented fires, exacerbated by a warming climate, were a vis ... (read more)

Cameron Muir reviews 'Keeping the Wild' edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler

October 2015, no. 375 28 September 2015
Cameron Muir reviews 'Keeping the Wild' edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler
In the United States, a battle is raging between two factions of environmental advocates and ecologists. On one side, those who associate themselves with the tradition of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold argue for the need to expand protected areas and to reduce the human presence. The other side has embraced the neo-liberal agenda and partnered with corporations such as Dow Chemic ... (read more)

'Living with Broken Country' by Cameron Muir

January-February 2015, no. 368 01 January 2015
Once, when it was the beginning of the dry but no one could have known it yet, Dad drove us west – out past ‘Jesus Saves’ signs nailed to box trees, past unmarked massacre sites and slumping woolsheds, past meatworks and red-bricked citrus factories with smashed windows, and past one-servo towns with faded ads for soft drinks no one makes anymore – until we reached a cotton farm. We stood ... (read more)