In this issue

Issue 156


Towards more sustainable supply chains
Thanks to their huge buying power and market dominance, retail chains and supermarkets have the capacity to drive sustainability initiatives: not just in their own stores, but also throughout their supply chains.
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What's in a label?
Product certification and labelling is one way retailers can influence consumers to make more sustainable purchases, and the signs are that it is gaining traction.
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Farming carbon
Offsets from increased soil carbon on farmlands are eligible for generation of carbon offset credits under the federal government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS ). Adam Barclay looks at the hurdles that need to be cleared before Australian farmers can take advantage of this.
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Peak fertiliser
To grow food, you need nutrients: there’s no getting around it. With the Food and Agriculture Organization predicting that the world will need to produce 70 per cent more food for the 9.1 billion people that will populate the planet by 2050, alarm bells are ringing about the issue of nutrient supply.
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When predator becomes prey
Shark attacks on swimmers or surfers have a tendency to make headlines. But, there has been less public interest in the insidious depletion of the world’s shark populations due to overfishing and other human activities.
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Science, 'sceptics' and spin: framing the climate change debate
As the world experiences its hottest year on record, hard on the heels of the world’s warmest decade, calls for urgent action by climate scientists continue to be challenged. Climate change deniers have mobilised into a vocal global movement that has become adept at misinterpreting the science and the media’s appetite for controversy. Alexandra de Blas investigates the role of scientists, deniers and the media in the public climate change debate.
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Empowering vision
Educational filmmaker and sustainability advocate, John Liu, has a knack for effectively communicating the complex in ways that make people sit up and take notice. A key to his success is leveraging the power of the image to inspire hope and a commitment to action.
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Scientists welcome 130,000-year record for climate study
Australian scientists have welcomed the success of a five-year Greenland ice core drilling project that is expected to reveal a record of more than 130 000 years and provide an insight into future global climate.
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IPCC: integrity intact, onto the Fifth Assessment
Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have emerged from the latest 'Climategate' inquiry with their reputations intact.
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Effectively communicating climate change
The challenge of clearly communicating climate change to a public under-standably alarmed about the associated changes to our world is a real in Australia as it is in other countries, says Dr Bruce Mapstone, Chief of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.
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Australian bamboo takes a stand
Edible shoots and timber are just two of the most recognised uses of bamboo, a plant of economic, social and cultural significance throughout Asia. However, this fast-growing perennial member of the grass family also has a wide range of environmental applications, including carbon sequestration, wastewater reuse and soil and water erosion control. Australian scientists and environmental engineers are beginning to take another look at this prolific perennial.
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Sustainable enterprise: making it happen
While sustainability may be on the corporate radar and seen as fundamental to future business success, there is a long way to go to translate this into business strategy, and to embed sustainability principles and practices into operations and behaviours.
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Pioneering study shows value of non-lethal whale research
Water interception a reform risk
Urban turbine for Australia
Mandatory disclosure amendments welcomed by building industry
Electric cars on trial in the west
IPCC Fifth Report
New toolkit of building material life cycle resources
Reformed illegal loggers become forest guardians


Invest in our future - climatologist's advice (Stephen Schneider - a tribute)


The coming famine
Considering Australia's resilience


Sniffer dog switched on to mammal protection



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