In this issue

Issue 129

Editorial - Seeing the glass half full

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Solar thermal power warms up
With some major shifts now occurring in the global energy supply stakes, a recent study by the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development (CCSD) shows that solar thermal energy is emerging as a cost-competitive source of electrical power, especially because it can combine beneficially with current energy sources such as coal power generation.
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Federal funds will accelerate Devil tumour disease work
A $750 000 federal grant is the first instalment of a $2 million rescue package to strengthen research and counteract the effects of the highly contagious cancer which has already wiped out up to half of Tasmania's devil population, forcing protection measures to save the now threatened species.
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Vast snapshot of the Barrier Reef's deep life rewards collaboration
After more than 300 days sampling at sea, scientists for four major research agencies have begun compiling a rich picture of seabed life across the length and breadth of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to form the basis of maps, databases and management tools that will help marine resource managers conserve important habitats and biodiversity, and ensure that fisheries are ecologically sustainable.
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National sustainability charter inquiry opens
The House of Representatives Environment and Heritage Committee has opened an inquiry to determine the feasibility of a national sustainability charter aimed at measurable outcomes across the built environment, water, energy, transport, and general ecological footprint reductions.
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NZ enforces a huge no-go zone for bottom trawling
At a 20-nation fisheries conference held in Wellington during February, New Zealand announced an unprecedented arrangement to ban destructive seabed trawling in approximately one-third of its waters; the largest closure to this controversial type of fishing in any national zone.
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PC power recruited to compute climate change scenarios
In a democratic initiative organised by Britain's BBC, people around the world have been using the spare computing power of their PCs to help run complicated projections on climate change impacts, via a screen saver.
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The ozone wash heralds better cleaning
Sunshine Coast Laundry Services is set to be the first commercial operator in Australia to clean fabrics with ozone - a process pioneered by NASA that heavily reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used to clean fabrics in standard laundries.
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New spray coating method cuts printing industry impacts
A new 'Cold Spray' coating method developed by printing engineers the Kirk Group and researchers at CSIRO Manufacturing & Infrastructure Technology could revolutionise the manufacturing of printing rollers.
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Reclaiming the Golden Triangle
Under a successful two-pronged strategy targeting Thailand's thriving drug trade across the infamous Golden Triangle, sustainable agriculture is successfully supplanting poppy growing by providing alternative profit and a better lifestyle for farmers in the rugged region.
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Wood - another low carbon footprint solution
With the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning that at least 60 per cent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be needed to stabilise emissions at double pre-industrial levels, organisations across a range of industry sectors are now considering where such deep cuts can be achieved at a profit.
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Building a Water Resources Observation Network
In Australia, we're facing some of the biggest environmental challenges to date, and water scarcity is at the top of the list, but we are still to tackle the tough decisions about its competing uses. The Water Resources Observation Network is a new development that promises to transform national water resource management through harnessing high technology.
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Wild horses with wings
In one of the most ambitious bids to save a large animal from extinction, the world's last wild horse is returning to its native steppe.
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Emulating nature - The rise of industrial ecology
Industry is looking to nature's examples of sublime efficiency to find ways to improve the sustainability of our production and consumption systems.
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Innovation inspired by nature: Biomimicry
The 2002 book, Biomimicry, describes a new science that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to provide innovative and sustainable solutions for industry and research development. Author and international expert, Janine Benyus, is focusing on working with industry and governments across the globe to implement her ideas.
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New resolutions through Societal Learning and Change
Can we truly find solutions to some of society's most pressing problems? According to Canadian Steve Waddell, author of Societal Learning and Change, we most certainly can. His book outlines a collaborative process for innovative resolutions in large scale, complex challenges which involve multiple and varied stakeholders.
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Review - The experts' word on climate change impacts
Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change. Edited by H. Schellnhuber, W. Cramer, N. Nakicenovic, T. Wigley and G. Yohe
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Review - Building for Life
Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection by Stephen R Kellert
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Review - Nature and society intertwined
Nature and Society: Patterns in Space and Time by David Tranter
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Sounding out the seabed
Using new sonar technology, scientists are discovering, mapping and monitoring the seabed off Victoria and have been astounded by some of the underwater features they have found, including old laval flows, dune fields, ancient lakes, rivers and coastlines, rare marine plants and other intriguing wonders of the deep.
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Improved metal recycling
A new technique that can predict where metal quality is lost in the recycling process could make recycling cost-effective and reduce the need for raw material inputs.
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Events calendar
Forthcoming events related to sustainable development.
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