Read the latest opinion articles inspired by science.
11 Nov 2021
The 'Ringo Starr' of birds is now endangered: here’s how we can still save our drum-playing palm cockatoos
Australia’s largest parrot, the palm cockatoo, is justifiably famous as the only non-human animal to craft tools for sound. They create drumsticks to make a rhythmic beat. Sadly, the “Ringo Starr” of the bird world is now threatened with extinction – just as many other parrots are around the world.
3 Nov 2021
At the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, more than 90 nations signed a global pledge led by the United States and United Kingdom to cut methane emissions. However, Australia was not among them.
25 Oct 2021
Australia’s stumbling, last-minute dash for climate respectability doesn’t negate a decade of abject failure
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is poised to announce Australia will adopt a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The pledge is long overdue – but the science tells us 2050 is about a decade too late to reach net-zero.
28 Sep 2021
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.
23 Sep 2021
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.
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.
16 Sep 2021
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.
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?
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?
27 Aug 2021
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.