In this issue

Issue 120

Editorial - A change of pace

PDF file Download Article

Marine survey prioritises the Solomons' surprise bounty
An Australian-led survey team has confirmed that the Solomon Islands are a previously unknown extension to the 'Coral Triangle' - the region with the globe's highest diversity of corals - elevating the oceanic nation to a high priority for marine conservation.
PDF file Download Article

Domestic fuel cell power unit launched
Melbourne-based company Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL) has generated interest from international markets with a micro Combined Heat Power Unit, in which a 1 kW fuel cell power generator drives a domestic hot water system, returning excess power to the grid when demand is low.
PDF file Download Article

Funding challenge for lucrative national park
A first-ever study of visitation to Australia's protected areas shows that they generate huge revenues, but that greater investment is urgently needed to maintain and manage them adequately.
PDF file Download Article

Australia tops the GHG league table
A report by The Australia Institute claims that, on a comprehensive basis, Australians actually have the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per person of all industrialised nations; 27% higher than those of US citizens, and more than double the average for industrialised countries.
PDF file Download Article

A global contribution to mining sustainability recognised
Gavin Murray has become the first Australian to win the prestigious Dr Adrian Smith International Environmental Mining Award for his achievements in addressing the environmental and social aspects of mining within the international mining industry.
PDF file Download Article

Bonus power from waste mine gas
BHP Billiton is building a $13 million electricity plant near Appin, NSW, that will burn waste coalmine gas from its West Cliff operation, normally vented into the atmosphere.
PDF file Download Article

Burning issues for water supplies
There were severe but little-known effects from recent bushfires on essential water catchments, such as in catchments servicing the ACT. Steve Davidson uncovers a concerning story of long-term damage and a lesson learned about the vulnerability of our urban water supplies.
PDF file Download Article

Ultra-light rail is moving right along
The Austrans mass transit rail system, an Australian-designed rapid ultra-light rail system that combines the flexibility and comfort of car travel with the ease of an elevator, is edging towards realisation. With low set-up, running and energy costs there is hope that it may be a feasible step toward greater public transport use in car-heavy cities. Better still, predictive transport software developed by CSIRO has shown it could run to passenger demand, rather than a timetable.
PDF file Download Article

In a spin over super-sized ocean eddies
Marine scientists are slowly unravelling the secret lives and effects of vast, current-driven whirlpools off the Australian coastline. Their new insight is expected to greatly assist sustainable management of key fisheries.
PDF file Download Article

The man who defeated famine
Gordon Sato's innovative Manzanar project harnesses two of the Eritrean coast's most abundant resources - intense sunlight and seawater - to grow mangrove plants used not only to feed animals, but also to provide a habitat for fish and shellfish. Could there be applications from Sato's work for costal and salt-affected areas in Australia?
PDF file Download Article

Dried-up ideas: our changing approach to drought
As the latest long dry lingers on, and a familiar story of rural hardship repeats itself, Steve Davidson looks at our entrenched reactions to this latest drought episode. But what are re-focused attention on policy, better understanding of climate changes, and an evolving, more adaptive attitude to Australia's natural cycles teaching us about how to live with worsening drought?
PDF file Download Article

Fighting the triffid take-over
Land managers and scientists are battling a widening guerilla war against triffid-like weed infestations. One of Australia's greatest but least known environmental threats, alien plant species cost the country billions each year in containment, eradication and biological control measures.
PDF file Download Article

The snow season forecast: probably lighter and higher by 2020
It is expected that winter tourism and alpine ecosystems will need to adjust to significant reductions in depth, duration and height of the regular snow cover in the Australian Alps because of climate change.
PDF file Download Article

Review - The revealing roles of estuaries
Where River Meets Sea by Dieter Tracey, Lynne Turner, Jan Tilden and Bill Dennison.
PDF file Download Article

Review - Questioning growth for growth's sake
Growth Fetish by Clive Hamilton.
PDF file Download Article

Review - Peer-reviewed progress
Environmental Chemistry
PDF file Download Article

Underground nitrogen busting is crucial
A study in south-east Queensland has confirmed the vital processing role that waterside habitat plays in reducing the amount of nitrate flowing into waterways, often from agricultural land, lessening the risk of toxic algal blooms. The findings are extending to important catchment-scale assessments, encouraging targeted management, restoration and protection of riparian areas along our rivers, streams, billabongs and wetlands.
PDF file Download Article

Conservation needs re-focusing on our backyards
Conservation planning efforts apparently need radically re-directing to urban regions if the majority of Australia's native animals are to be protected for the longer term as most native animals reside on Australia's east coast - in direct conflict with 80% of the country's human population.
PDF file Download Article

Stormwater drainage is reducing stream biodiversity
Australia's sensitive and rare endemic water bugs are in decline around our urban fringes because streams and waterways are receiving unnatural runoff from the impervious surfaces laid in developed areas. Research suggests that it's actually the drainage pipes that carry urban runoff to waterways that are exacerbating the biodiversity loss, and that better drainage planning will help.
PDF file Download Article

Events calendar
Forthcoming events related to sustainable development.
PDF file Download Article

Past Issues



January 2015


December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014

Past Years

2010 to 2013
2000 to 2009
1990 to 1999
1980 to 1989
1974 to 1979

ECOS Archive

Welcome to the ECOS Archive site which brings together 40 years of sustainability articles from 1974-2014.

For more recent ECOS articles visit the blog. You can also sign up to the email alert or RSS feed