Opinion

Read the latest opinion articles inspired by science.

Aerial shot of a large dam

The hydropower industry is talking the talk. But fine words won’t save our last wild rivers

Technologies to harness the power of water are touted as crucial for a low-emissions future. But over many decades, the hydropower industry has caused serious damage to the environment and people’s lives.

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Aerial shot of a large dam

Technologies to harness the power of water are touted as crucial for a low-emissions future. But over many decades, the hydropower industry has caused serious damage to the environment and people’s lives.

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23 Sep 2021

We may never be able to predict earthquakes – but we can already know enough to be prepared

Even though earthquakes happen all the time, we still can’t predict when the next one will strike, or where, or how big it will be. Unfortunately, we may never be able to make that kind of prediction.

A bird on a tree branch

17 Sep 2021

Destroying vegetation along fences and roads could worsen our extinction crisis, yet the NSW government just allowed it

Many native species can all be found in vegetation along fences and roadsides outside formal conservation areas. And yet, the NSW government last week made it legal for rural landholders to clear vegetation on their properties, up to 25 metres from their property boundaries, without approval.

A submarine surfacing in the ocean

16 Sep 2021

How do nuclear-powered submarines work? A nuclear scientist explains

The Australian government has just declared an historic defence agreement with the United States and United Kingdom that will see a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines patrol our shores and surrounding waters.

Landscape in the sunset, with wind turbines visible

10 Sep 2021

A promising new dawn is ours for the taking, so let’s stop counting the coal Australia must leave in the ground

How do we advance Australia’s economic future outside high-emissions industries? And how can we seize the opportunities presented by the declines of coal, and then gas, rather than watching the economy go underwater as we try to stem an unstoppable tide?

Fallen trees on a forest floor.

3 Sep 2021

Decaying forest wood releases a whopping 10.9 billion tonnes of carbon each year. This will increase under climate change

As deadwood decomposes it contributes to the ecosystem’s cycle of nutrients, which is important for plant growth. It also releases carbon: what are the implications for climate change?

Artwork by Arison Kul from Lae Papua New Guinea.

27 Aug 2021

Pacific Island bats are utterly fascinating, yet under threat and overlooked. Meet 4 species

A whopping 191 different bat species live in the Pacific Islands across Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia — but these are, collectively, the most imperilled in the world. In fact, five of the nine bat species that have gone extinct in the last 160 years have come from this region.

24 Aug 2021

Land of opportunity: more sustainable Australian farming would protect our lucrative exports (and the planet)

Business and governments across the world are embedding carbon abatement considerations into their trade negotiations and relationships. As an industry dependent on exporting, Australian agriculture must be ready to adjust to a more carbon-conscious trading future.

18 Aug 2021

How machine learning is helping us fine-tune climate models to reach unprecedented detail

From movie suggestions to self-driving vehicles, machine learning has revolutionised modern life. Experts are now using it to help solve one of humanity’s biggest problems: climate change.

10 Aug 2021

This is the most sobering report card yet on climate change and Earth’s future. Here’s what you need to know

Earth has warmed 1.09℃ since pre-industrial times and many changes such as sea-level rise and glacier melt are now virtually irreversible, according to the most sobering report yet by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

10 Aug 2021

Climate change has already hit Australia. Unless we act now, a hotter, drier and more dangerous future awaits, IPCC warns

Australia is experiencing widespread, rapid climate change not seen for thousands of years and may warm by 4℃ or more this century, according to a highly anticipated report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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