Ecos

A bimonthly scholarly journal that publishes research and issues of sustainability in the environment, industry and community. Focused on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Articles from No. 117, October-December

Australia's Future Energy Focus
UNDER THE NATIONAL Research Flagship, Energy Transformed, launched on 30 October, leading scientists will concentrate on Australia's future energy requirements, positioning us to develop one of the world's first hydrogen economies and a new export...
Building Beautifully: Environmentally Efficient Buildings Can Be Conventional-Looking Inspirations
One of the funny things about energy and resource-efficient architecture is how we, as a society, expect it to look. In April this year, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., showed the world just how mainstream a 'green' building's design could appear when...
Dances with Cranes: Though Several Have Come Close, No Australian Has Yet Won One of the World's Most Prestigious Awards for Environmental, Cultural and Scientific Achievement-A Rolex Award for Enterprise. Julian Cribb Reports on the Achievements of a Young Conservationist Who Has, by Marshalling a Continental-Scale Rescue Effort for the Majestic Cranes of Africa and Their Dwindling Wetlands
AS A CHILD, Lindy Rodwell heard the haunting cry of the blue cranes as they flew high overhead on their nomadic trek from one wetland to another across southern Africa. It seemed to her to embody something uniquely African. Today the blue crane...
Down the Track
Issue 117, and we're very pleased with the encouraging response to the last issue and the ongoing changes to Ecos. A few readers were, however, concerned about the depth of the shorter articles up front, and we've had one ambivalent response to the...
Enticing Mat Cleans Up-Fast
PRECIOUS BODIES of groundwater are vulnerable to contamination by fertilisers, pesticides, industrial waste and other pollutants. Cleaning them up is usually a very complex and costly business. But Dr Bradley Patterson of CSIRO Land and Water and...
Future Dilemmas
A SOBERING REPORT on Australian life towards 2050 suggests that we need wholesale societal changes to break excessive consumer habits and uncouple the economic growth driving the depletion of our natural resources. In 1999 the Commonwealth Department...
Governance Reassessed in the Pacific's Troubles
In recognition that sustainable and appropriate development is founded on 'good governance', and given the perceived failure of governance in many Pacific states, over 50 academics, indigenous representatives, and development practitioners met on 3...
Learn to Live in a Sunburnt Country
DROUGHT AND FIRE--along with flooding rains--are major determinants of most Australian ecosystems. Despite more than 200 years of European settlement, the public psyche still has difficulty in coming to terms with the reality of these natural phenomena....
Lessons on Fire: From the Ashes of the Worst Blaze to Hit the Australian Alps since 1939, Scientists Have Seized a Rare Opportunity to Study the Nature of Fire in the High Country. Their Work Is Revealing New Understanding about Management Interventions Needed to Ensure the Continued Survival and Functioning of These Rare and Specialised Alpine Communities
SOME 1.73 MILLION hectares of sub-alpine and alpine landscapes, across Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, were severely burnt in January 2003 after hot, windy weather, prolonged drought and a string of lightening strikes...
Light Factories: Nature Does It Best. or Does It? an Ambitious Trans-Tasman Cooperation Is Aiming to Perfect Artificial Photosynthesis. Researchers Want to Exploit Its Potential to Produce Just about Everything under the Sun
WE TEND TO TAKE for granted the deceptively low-key ability of plants to make carbohydrates using the energy in sunlight, so enabling life on Earth. But the researchers now attempting to emulate this feat appreciate the complexity and ingenuity of...
Old and New Gather for the Tarkine
DURING OCTOBER, in the remote Tarkine rainforest of Tasmania's north-east, 20 of Australia's best wilderness photographers gathered with writers, documentary makers and visiting journalists to spend an intense, creative fort-night in the pristine bush...
One Golden Pond: After Turning White Death into Gold on Saline Land in Northern Victoria, Entrepreneurs Have Built an Ingeniously Simple Solar Pond That Generates Cheap Heat Energy and Helps Restore Salt-Laden Pastures
In collaboration with RMIT University's Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy group, and former environmental engineering company*, Geo-Eng Australia Pty Ltd, Pyramid Salt Ltd is involved in the demonstration and commercialisation of a salt water...
Rural Remote Control: Small, Distributed Computer Devices Are Being Developed to Act as Embedded, Self-Learning Environmental 'Agents' on Rural Properties, Remotely Reporting and Managing Complex Agricultural Processes, Monitoring the Behaviour, Health and Productivity of Stock, and Optimising Environmental Conditions. Farming, as We Know It, Could Be Revolutionised
Making a living from natural resources in the driest continent on earth is difficult. Doing it in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way is even harder. Landowners, natural resource managers and communities have to juggle many...
The Brussel Sprout vs. the Silver Bullet
For many of us, a mouthful of brussel sprouts or cabbage awakens vibrant childhood memories of 'eat them or you'll get no dessert!' But research has recently shown that the same chemicals responsible for the strong tastes in these members of the brassica...
The Environment-The World Media's Greatest Challenge
NOW, more than ever, there is a vital need for well-informed public debate in the world's media about the globe's growing environmental issues. The Greenaccord Association was recently born out of this necessity, and to highlight the priority, held...
Towards the Forever Fuel: The Globe's Major Economic Players Are Beginning to Weigh into a Hydrogen Future. Steve Davidson Looks at the Viability Considerations Ahead for a Transition to the New Fuel Economy and Profiles Australia's Position
Recent enthusiasm for hydrogen fuel is understandable. It's ubiquitous, inexhaustible and produces virtually no greenhouse gases if generated using renewable energy. Hydrogen has the potential to power our homes, vehicles, appliances and industry....
Tracking Nomadic Birds and Habitat Health
ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY researcher Mark Ziembicki is tracking the threatened Australian bustard, a large, nomadic bird of our grasslands and plains. His study is using newly available satellite tracking methods to develop a model for species that will...