Kathy Fairfax

In a period of so-called “budget emergency” when deep funding cuts are being imposed on universities and scientific research, the federal government has managed to find $4 million for a “consensus centre” headed by advocate for climate inaction Bjørn Lomborg.

The $13 million centre will form part of the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) business school, with the Commonwealth contributing $4 million over four years.

Residents of Bentley, near Lismore in the NSW Northern Rivers district, have vowed to continue their fight against coal seam gas (CSG) mining following the Supreme Court’s “technical” decision to overturn the government’s suspension of Metgasco’s gas drilling licence.

When then-immigration minister Scott Morrison made a video in September last year callously informing refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru that they would never be allowed to settle in Australia, he hoped at least some would ask to be returned to their home country.

But the video failed spectacularly. Not a single refugee or asylum seeker asked to be returned. Instead, angered by the video, they started a series of protests, hunger strikes, attempted suicides and instances of self-harm.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a report titled Australia’s top 10 climate polluters. It reveals that these 10 polluters — and it’s no surprise that most are electricity suppliers - are responsible for generating nearly one-third of greenhouse gases through their production and use of energy.

The tiny community of Bulga will continue their David and Goliath fight in the courts against a coalmine that threatens the very existence of their village.

The decision to go back to court comes in the wake of the March 5 approval by the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) for the expansion of Rio Tinto’s giant Mount Thorley-Warkworth coalmine, despite two court decisions against the project.

Biologists consider the health of frogs to be indicative of the health of the biosphere as a whole.

Frogs have permeable skin that easily absorbs toxins. They require specific aquatic and terrestrial environments to survive and breed, making them highly susceptible to environmental disturbances. Because of this they are considered accurate indicators of environmental stress.

Frogs have lived on the Earth for 250 million years, surviving ice ages and other climate changes. Yet around the world, populations of amphibians, particularly frogs, are now in drastic decline.

The High Court has ruled that Australia's month-long detention of 157 Tamil asylum seekers at sea last year was legal and the asylum seekers were not entitled to claim damages for false imprisonment.

The asylum seekers’ boat was intercepted by customs ship Ocean Protector off Christmas Island on June 29, after their boat was damaged by fire and they called for help. The Tamils on board said they feared persecution in Sri Lanka and asked for asylum.

In a dramatic turn of events, the NSW government has suspended AGL’s licence to operate its Waukivory Pilot Project to mine coal seam gas (CSG) in Gloucester, pending the result of an investigation launched on January 28.

The suspension came just a day after AGL said it was "voluntarily" suspending work at the site after it had detected banned carcinogenic benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) chemicals in flowback water from two of the four wells and an above-ground storage tank.

1. A GLOBAL CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION

Last year, more than ever before, people stood up to demand action from world leaders to address the climate crisis. On September 21, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York to insist on the need for stronger climate policy and more renewable energy.

2. EUROPE BANS PESTICIDES LINKED TO BEE COLLAPSE

Students around the country are celebrating the Senate's defeat of the federal government's tertiary education reforms.

The proposed changes would have been the final act in the destruction of free tertiary education in Australia that started with the introduction of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme 25 years ago.

The government proposed removing caps on university fees, cutting course funding by about 20% on average, charging higher rates of interest on student debts and extending funding to private colleges, TAFEs and sub-bachelor programs in 2016.

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