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Archive for February, 2009

Imposing Our Prejudices on the Value of Flood Waters: A Note from Cathy Green

WHEN nutrient rich water flows into Lake Eyre it is considered good for the environment, but when nutrient rich water flows into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon it is considered bad for the environment.  Indeed every time that Lake Eyre in central Australia floods, our oh-so-sensitive-to-nature journalists provide us with the sort of happy purple prose [...]


Canadian Satellite Already Searching for Missing Carbon

NASA lost its carbon observatory satellite on launch earlier this week, Read more here.   But a 30-centimetre-long University of Toronto satellite is already orbiting and searching for the carbon that cannot be accounted for each year.   Read more here.

Cheetahs in the Sahara

Rare cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki) recently photographed (via PlanetArk).

Trading Emissions

Cartoon by Nicholson from ”The Australian” newspaper:

Money and Australian Universities

“There are many dangerous beasts in this world.  Betrayed partners, taipans and Collingwood supporters all score highly. But above all, never come between a sandstone university and a trough of money.”  The Australian Financial Review, pg 54, February 26, 2009.

Better Planning for Extreme Floods Possible: A Note from Stewart Franks

DESPITE increased understanding of a number of different climate processes and their impact on a range of different timescales, this knowledge is not being used to inform planning and decision making. This is because long-term climate risk is often viewed only in statistical terms. For instance, engineering techniques for estimating flood risk, where records exist, [...]

The Humble Axe and Chainsaw: A Note from Ian Mott

CHEAP, simple to use and extremely effective fire management tools that are owned and operated by almost every householder who is exposed to the risk of wildfire are the humble axe and the chainsaw. But the various native vegetation “protection” laws around Australia have effectively outlawed their use, even in the most extreme emergencies. Indeed [...]

Muzzled Australians Gain a Voice on ETS

The Australian Environment Foundation today launched an online petition opposing the federal government’s “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme”. The petition will eventually be presented to Parliament by Dr Dennis Jensen, MHR for Tangney. AEF Chair Dr Jennifer Marohasy said there is a strong need for the petition because none of the major political parties are offering an [...]

Gone Fishing

“Gone Fishing” is an expression we use here in Australia to let people know that a business is closed for a period of time while the owner takes a break. I’m off for a bit – “Gone Fishing”.   Cheers, ************** The photograph is of a pelican near Ingham, North Queensland, taken September 29, 2008.

Wildlife at Westdown: A Note from Jim Inglis

This is a Tawny Frogmouth chick that fell out of its nest and ended up on the slasher the other day. Its mum did a great job and it fledged successfully, to our great relief. The Tawny Frogmouth is fairly common and “nests” at our place every November. The nest however is virtually non-existent but [...]