Climate

Growth in renewable energy generation

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute said it had achieved 99% renewable energy generation last year. It also said that for 285 days last year the country managed to power its grid on 100% renewable sources.

The bulk of Costa Rica's power generation comes from hydropower thanks to a large river system and heavy tropical rainfalls. The rest is made up of a mix of geothermal energy, wind, biomass and solar power.

Melbourne's western grasslands: going, going…

Although about 99% of Victoria's volcanic plains grasslands have been destroyed by development, some outstanding remnants of this unique ecosystem persist, especially on the western fringes of Melbourne.

The grasslands ecosystem was listed by the federal government as critically endangered in 2008. But at the same time, the then-Labor government of Victoria was initiating an expansion of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary that would severely impact some of its best remaining areas.

Climate science job cuts at CSIRO

Some of Australia's most important climate research institutions will be gutted as 350 jobs are cut at the CSIRO. Up to 110 positions in the Oceans and Atmosphere division will go, with a similar reduction in the Land and Water division. Data and Manufacturing divisions will also be hit.

Ecuador: Chevron's 'rainforest Chernobyl' – victims fight for compensation

It won’t come as a surprise to many readers that Chevron is not the most honest or law-abiding company in the world. In Australia, the International Transport Workers Federation has exposed over $35 billion in unpaid tax revenue for its offshore gas operations, while the Maritime Union of Australia has repeatedly protested the company’s exploitation of immigrant labour.

Climate change is killing ancient Tasmanian forests

North-western Tasmania is home to one of the world's last remnants of primeval temperate rainforest, part of an ecosystem that once spread across the supercontinent of Gondwana.

Thousand-year-old trees tower above ancient ferns, their roots growing in peat accumulated over millennia. This is why the region has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Eucalyptus forests in the rest of Australia need fire to regenerate. But these plants evolved before the cycle of conflagration and renewal began. If they burn they die.

Australia dives in climate rankings

Yale’s environmental performance index has placed Australia so low in its rankings that only Saudi Arabia has a worse ranking among wealthy nations.

The index ranks countries’ performance in protecting human health and ecosystems, and looks at nine areas including air quality, climate and energy, forests and water resources.

Australia was ranked 150th out of 180 countries for its carbon emissions for electricity generation. Overall in the climate and energy category, Australia was ranked 82nd.

Anthropocene Working Group: Yes, a new epoch has begun


“Potentially the most widespread and globally synchronous anthropogenic signal is the fallout from nuclear weapons testing.”

Repeatedly, over hundreds of thousands of years, glaciers expanded south and north from the polar regions, covering much of the Earth with ice sheets several kilometres deep.

Fostering collective climate action against the meat industry

The latest advertisement from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) depicts the military “rescuing” Australians from overseas so they can eat lamb on Australia Day.

Crowdfunded solar energy for low-income housing

Families struggling on low incomes and the environment will benefit from an innovative crowdfunding campaign to install solar hot water systems made by the Earthworker Cooperative in homes. The campaign is supported by organisations such as the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, Aboriginal Housing Victoria and Common Equity NSW.

The first installation of a solar system funded by the "Give Tanks" campaign took place on January 12 in a home managed by Aboriginal Housing Victoria.

Briefs: Hottest year on record; plastic oceans

2015 the hottest year on record

Last year smashed the record for the hottest year since reporting began in 1850, according to the first full-year figures from the world’s three principal temperature estimates.

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