Environment and Climate

‘Ambassadors from Another Time’ by Stephen Orr

Stephen Orr
28 September 2017

First, I need to visit Dean Nicolle’s eucalypt arboretum. Four hundred rows of trees, four specimens of each species of Eucalyptus, Corymbia, and Angophora (th More

Matthew Chrulew reviews 'Zoo Ethics: The challenges of compassionate conservation' by Jenny Gray

Matthew Chrulew
28 September 2017

Zoological gardens are conflicted institutions. They provide a miraculous opportunity for close-ups with exotic and native animals one might never otherwise encounter. Yet they do so by keeping those very animals captive. The creaturely contact that zoos hope and claim can help transform citizens into advocates for animals and the environment is discomfited, if not ... More

Peter Christoff reviews 'Burn Out: The endgame for fossil fuels' by Dieter Helm

Peter Christoff
28 September 2017

While Australian governments line up to help Adani dig the world’s biggest coal mine, energy experts are burying fossil fuels forever. Dieter Helm is an economist and professor of energy More

Lauren Rickards reviews 'Defiant Earth: The fate of the humans in the Anthropocene' by Clive Hamilton

Lauren Rickards
28 September 2017

‘Forget everything you know.’ Clive Hamilton’s book pulls no punches from the first words on the cover. Building on a raft of other pieces he has written on the subject, Hamilton’s More

Kate Griffiths reviews 'Sunlight and Seaweed: An argument for how to feed, power, and clean up the world' by Tim Flannery

Kate Griffiths
28 September 2017

The world is embarking on a journey to a clean energy future. Some places are well on their way; most have barely begun. We will all need to get there eventually. How long it takes comes d More

Roger McDonald reviews 'The Songs of Trees: Stories from nature’s great connectors' by David George Haskell

Roger McDonald
27 September 2017

The Songs of Trees takes its title from something that might not actually happen. Do trees sing? The notion runs through the American biologist David George Haskell’s second book in twisty directions, like a half-caught melody. (His first book was The Forest Unseen, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2013.)

Don’t trees just make sounds, crack ... More

Tim Flannery reviews 'Call of the Reed Warbler: A new agriculture – a new earth' by Charles Massy

Tim Flannery
22 September 2017

The Call of the Reed Warbler is a brutally honest book – an account of personal redemption following generations of sin. The only comparable work I know of is Rian Malan’s gre More

'Adani and the Galilee Basin' by Susan Reid

Susan Reid
22 September 2017

No amount of modelling or scientific assessment can foresee the full extent of the damage that will eventuate if the Adani Group’s Carmichael Coal Mine goes ahead. It would be the larges More

Deb Anderson reviews 'Slow Catastrophes: Living with drought in Australia' by Rebecca Jones

Deb Anderson
22 September 2017

How do people cope with drought, not as an abstraction or singular event but as a lifelong trial? In a bid to answer this question, historian Rebecca Jones elevates an understated, if unde More

Emily O'Gorman reviews 'Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought' by Deb Anderson

Emily O'Gorman
29 March 2016

The Millennium Drought already looms large in Australia's recent past. It has joined the ranks of the Federation Drought and other acute, lengthy dry periods that have national resonance and are reflected on by historians, farmers, and politicians alike as defining moments in Australia's history. These droughts are etched into landscapes and people's minds, bodies, ... More

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