Environment and Climate

Ian Lowe reviews 'Letters to my Grandchildren' by David Suzuki

Ian Lowe
28 September 2015

David Suzuki is well known in this country. Since he was brought to Australia by the Commission for the Future nearly thirty years ago, he has been back for many festivals and conferences. Truly a man of many parts, he was a distinguished geneticist and a leading professor in the field when it emerged as a separate discipline within the biological sciences. As ... More

Danielle Clode reviews 'Cave' by Ralph Crane and Lisa Fletcher

Danielle Clode
28 September 2015

What is it about caves? An irresistibly enchanting hidey-hole to any small child and yet the birthplace of our deepest fears. Dragons, narguns, goblins, and gorgons are all born of caves, and yet who can go past an opening in the rock without peeking in? We cannot resist exploring this underworld of darkness which seems to provide safety from the perils outside, whi ... More

Ruth A. Morgan reviews 'The Handbook' by Jane Rawson and James Whitmore

Ruth A. Morgan
25 September 2015

Although the mantra ‘Don’t panic, but get prepared’ guides Jane Rawson and James Whitmore’s handbook for Surviving and Living with Climate Change, they certainly do not paint a pretty picture of climate-change Australia. The scenarios are alarming: Australia will be hotter, drier in some parts, wetter in others, with more frequent bushfires, floods, a ... More

'Sabotage: How the attack on renewables undermines government' by David Schlosberg

David Schlosberg
24 September 2015

‘Pathetically inadequate’ was probably the most frequent description of the government’s voluntary emissions proposal for the United Nations Climate Change Conference; the description fits their climate and en ... More

'The Forest at the Edge of Time' by Ashley Hay

Ashley Hay
24 September 2015

Let’s begin, somewhere around 4,500 bce, in a small patch of soil on the south-west coast of Western Australia. An ovule and some pollen combine on the crest of a ridge overlooking the sea, and a plant begins to grow. It’s a little thing with juvenile leaves which will become a faint ... More

Tom Griffiths reviews 'Atmosphere of Hope' by Tim Flannery

Tom Griffiths
24 September 2015

This is an important and timely book – another gift to public understanding by Australian scientist and author Tim Flannery. Ten years ago he wrote The Weather Makers (2005), one of a handful of books which, together with Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth (2006), brought the climate crisis to a world audience. Now in Atmosphere of Hope, F ... More

Environmentalists, scientists, and commentators on environmental reform

Wayne Bergmann et al.
24 September 2015

To complement the essays, commentaries, reviews, and photographic essay in this issue, we asked a group of leading environmentalists, scientists, commentators, and writers what they regard as the most urgent action needed for environmental reform.

Wayne Bergmann

There is an urgent need for widespread recognition of the interrelationship between the ... More

Rebecca Jones reviews 'Climate, Science, and Colonization' edited by James Beattie, Emily O'Gorman, and Matthew Henry

Rebecca Jones
28 May 2015

Weather and climate are fascinating enigmas, their allure enhanced by their intangibility; shadows hovering in the background and yet profoundly shaping human history. Climate is always both present and absent, and its importance unnoticed.

Geoffrey Blainey observed more than forty years ago that climate was a neglected player in Australian history. Perhaps ... More

Billy Griffiths reviews 'Running Out?' by Ruth A. Morgan

Billy Griffiths
28 May 2015

Water courses through the history of Western Australia. When historian Ruth A. Morgan began writing Running Out?: Water in Western Australia in 2007, the state was in the grip of drought, climate change was at the fore of public debate, and Perth’s first desalination plant was a year old. The 2005 state election had hinged on the ‘Kimberley–Perth canal ... More

Reuben Finighan reviews 'Climate Shock' by Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman

Reuben Finighan
28 May 2015

Writing an effective book on climate change is a challenge as diabolicalas it is important. The complexity of the science, economics, and politics is daunting. How to extract the diamonds lurking in the rough of the International Panel on Climate Change reports? How to balance the good cop, dishing out hope, with the bad, lashing the reader with honest accounts of p ... More

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