Monthly Archives: November 2013

YASUNI DRILLING: ETHICAL FAILURE AND GROSS STUPIDITY

Paul R. Ehrlich

Oil pOst 14

When a large oil deposit – almost a billion barrels — was discovered under Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park in the Amazon, it seemed to foretell yet another disaster for Earth’s disappearing plants and animals.  Read the rest of this entry

The Bugs in Our Lives

Andrew Beattie and Paul R. Ehrlich

 BeeThe idea that each and every one of us is daily indebted to millions of tiny species such as bacteria, fungi, algae, worms and insects, though true, is a hard sell.

Before you leave the house in the morning, the air you breathe, the coffee you drink and the toast you munch are there courtesy of three tiny organisms and the communities of which they are part: Read the rest of this entry

‘Dear grandchildren, I can only say sorry’ – A great Climate Change article by Ross Gittens

A great article by Australian political and economic journalist and author, Ross Gittens who discusses the issues with Australia’s political stance in addressing environmental issues.

Illustration by Kerrie Leishman

Click here for the full story

Balancing Birth and their Death – The Demographic Transition Theory

Paul R. Ehrlich

ehrlichWhen considering UN demographic statistics, there are several things one must keep in mind.  One is the so-called “demographic transition theory,” which is often cited by the uninitiated as a reason not to be concerned about the size of the human population.  Read the rest of this entry

Once upon a time.. A story about sustainability

Is Ethical Revitalization the Secret to Avoiding Collapse?

Paul R. Ehrlich

Untitled2The most important ethical question facing society and the scientific community today is whether we can prevent the collapse of global civilization in response to today’s “perfect storm” of environmental problems.  That is, will (or can) we pay enough today to spare future generations from utter disaster?  Read the rest of this entry

De-extinction: Moral Hazard Writ Large

By Andrew Beattie and Paul R. Ehrlich

POst 10 imageA scheme like geo-engineering, one similarly unfortunate, is being hatched to recreate extinct species and restore them to nature.  It too may gain traction at least in part because of understandable fear.  Humanity has increasingly been wiping out the populations and species that constitute essential parts of their life-support systems.  De-extinction is also based in part on nostalgia and guilt – we have created a hole in nature, losing such wonderful creatures as passenger pigeons, great auks, and Carolina parakeets.

The basic idea is to employ the wonderful tools of molecular biology to extract DNA from stuffed or frozen remains of now extinct organisms and then use it to resurrect the species.  Read the rest of this entry

Philippines Natural Disaster: UTS Relief Effort – Time is of the essence!

In response to the disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the Vietnamese Dynamic Students society is holding a donation stall on the concourse to collect donations for the victims of this disaster. Cash donations will go directly to the Red Cross appeal. The stall will be set up from 10am-5pm on 13th-15th November.

typhoon

Donate directly to the Red Cross 

Time is of the essence!

Interesting Articles in Vertigo

Two interesting articles have appeared in UTS Student magazine Vertigo. ‘Table Talk’ by Julie Morris, gives a great insight into how to minimise the strain on resources in the production of food. The other article, ‘Do you be-reef in love, Eco-Love?’ by Jack Schmidt discusses the unsustainable mining of Australian natural resources such as coal.

Struggling Scientists: please cite our papers! – A journal article by Graham Pyke

SC Co-Founder Professor Graham Pyke presents a straight-forward, underused strategy to enhance citations and the research quality of academic publications.

The approach has four goals: significance; influence; excellent presentation; sustained effort, helping to deliver sustainable research with more impact. Click the image below for the full article.

Vagrant scientist appeals to passers-by (drawing by Hagen).

(drawing by Hagen).

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