Blog Archives

Scientists focusing on the wrong sharks in the wrong places

Sharks are in danger in most parts of the world, with a quarter of all sharks and rays now threatened with extinction. This ongoing collapse of shark populations has already had far-reaching effects on marine ecosystems. To arrest this trend we desperately need scientific data that effectively inform conservation management. But are we focusing our […] … learn more→

The great extinction

There is a great die-off under way, one that may justly be compared to the disappearance of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, or the sudden downfall of so many great mammals at the beginning of the Holocene. But how far can such a comparison really take us in assessing the present moment? The […] … learn more→

Wyoming rejects climate science

Several days ago, in an article for Salon, Lindsay Abrams reported that the state of Wyoming rejected the Next Generation Science Standards being implemented nationwide as part of the effort to increase student interest and achievement in the STEM disciplines. As has been the case whenever and wherever these science standards have been challenged, one […] … learn more→

Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent?

The importance of clearly communicating science to the public should not be underestimated. Accurately understanding our natural environment and sharing that information can be a matter of life or death. When it comes to global warming, much of the public remains in denial about a set of facts that the majority of scientists clearly agree […] … learn more→

The truth is out there – so how do you debunk a myth?

Debunking myths requires an understanding of the psychological research into misinformation. But getting your refutation out in front of lots of eyeballs is a whole other matter. Here, I look at two contrasting case studies in debunking climate myths. If you don’t do it right, you run the risk of actually reinforcing the myth. Fortunately, […] … learn more→

Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planet

Mention the word biodiversity to a city dweller and images of remote natural beauty will probably come to mind – not an empty car park around the corner. Wildlife, we think, should be found in wild places, or confined to sanctuaries and national parks. But research shows that cities can in fact support biodiversity and […] … learn more→

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science

A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable government resources in New Zealand. It’s likely to be a familiar story to my scientist colleagues in Australia, the UK, USA and elsewhere around […] … learn more→

New study identifies the top 90 producers of industrial carbon emissions

This weeks publication in the journal Climatic Change by Richard Heede on Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010 provides a robust scientific basis for motivating fresh thinking and dialogue about responsibility for taking action to address climate change. The responsibilities for climate change fall on many shoulders, […] … learn more→

Europe’s electronic waste has become Africa’s burden

The disposal of computers and other electronic and electrical goods, e-waste, is a growing global problem. In 2011, the world threw away 41.5m tonnes of electrical equipment, and this is expected to rise to 93.5m tonnes by 2016. This is a concern because dumped electronic consumer goods are, essentially, toxic waste. Old-style televisions and CRT […] … learn more→

Jobs that carve the path for an eco-friendly future

Jobs that benefit the environment and conserve natural resources are considered green by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Green jobs have outpaced those in other categories by almost 250 percent over the last ten years, reports U.S. News. Industries include energy, transportation, lodging, health care, water, consumer products, travel—everyone has a green niche. For example, […] … learn more→