Articles - QESP
By Anthony Capon, Director, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University
- Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
The bushfires raging across Australia this summer have sharpened the focus on how climate change affects human health. This season bushfires have already claimed more than 30 human lives, and many people have grappled with smoke inhalation and mental health concerns.
The changing nature of bushfires around the world is one of the tragic consequences of climate change highlighted in “Our Future on Earth, 2020” – a report published on Friday by Future Earth, an international sustainability research network.
The report includes a survey of 222 leading scientists from 52 countries who identified five global risks: failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; extreme weather events; major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; food crises; and water crises.
They identified these risks as the most severe in terms of impact on planetary health – the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends.
By Blockchain Sydney Crypto Central Roundup
- Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
The Blockchain Sydney Crypto Central Roundup on February 5, 2020 featured an opening address by Bradley C Hughes, COO and Co-founder at Fractonium, who welcomed and introduced the Guest Speakers, and chaired the Q&A after each session.
In his opening overview, Bradley gave links to:
CryptoPanic – a news aggregator platform indicating impact on price and market for traders and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Now includes Portfolio Tracker, Media Feed and Blogs.
CoinDesk – which provides Bitcoin & Blockchain News, Training Material, Research and Events (previous and upcoming)
Cryptocurrency News – News, Exclusives, Videos, Guides, Exchanges, Market Cap, and Price Tracker
By Ellen Heyting, PhD student in Education and Head of Years 11 and 12, Monash University
- Monday, January 27th, 2020
It started as a New Year’s resolution driven by guilt and a touch of sibling rivalry – but by the end of the year, it taught me valuable lessons as a teacher, including about the benefits of failure.
At Christmas dinner 2018, my sister declared she would buy nothing for a year. After living in Bangladesh for two years, she had seen how the world’s fashion industry was wreaking havoc on the country’s people and environment.
I decided to follow her lead. As an Australian living in Finland, I still can’t imagine going a year without a flight home to see family. So buying nothing (apart from groceries) would do something to offset all those carbon-costly air miles.
I’m also a high school humanities teacher, and realised what I was learning while trying to buy nothing could prove useful in a classroom.
By David Bowman Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science, University of Tasmania, Ross Bradstock Professor, Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, University of Wollongong
- Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
Australia’s bushfire crisis has been unprecedented, so it demands an unprecedented national response. Never before has such a large area been burnt by multiple fires in a single fire season, including bushland in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.
Victoria has already announced a state inquiry, and it’s inevitable there will be more to come. But some firefighters and other fire experts have raised legitimate concerns about the value of a national fire inquiry. Many fear Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s proposed national royal commission could end up being as ineffectual as past inquiries.
We’re not legal experts, so we can’t tell you whether a national royal commission or another type of federal inquiry is preferable. But as fire experts, despite sharing others’ concerns, we believe Australia does need a national fire inquiry – if it leads to real action.
For it not to be a waste of time and money, a national inquiry must be far-reaching, and its terms of references must include how Australia adapts to escalating bushfire risks, driven by a changing climate. It also needs to address the federal government’s current, largely hands-off role in bushfire management, and how that could change to better support existing state-based fire management.
By ABC News Breakfast By Patrick Wood
- Monday, January 13th, 2020
Australia could have avoided the scale of the devastating bushfires, Professor Ross Garnaut has said as he warned the situation would continue to worsen if there wasn’t global action on climate change, something he said didn’t have to come at the expense of the economy.
Professor Ross Garnaut has backed Scott Morrison’s plan to protect the economy
He outlined how Australia could still profit from minerals in a zero-emissions world
Professor Garnaut says carbon pricing is a “cheaper, faster” way to reduce emissions
The economist said he “strongly endorsed” Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s focus on reducing emissions without damaging the economy, and believed Australian industries could still reap the benefits of the country’s mineral resources in a zero-emissions world.
As this bushfire season has claimed lives and thousands of homes, Professor Garnaut has become a focus on the debate around climate change and the Government’s response.
That is because in 2008 he conducted a widescale review into the impact of climate change on Australia and its economy, and came to a conclusion: the nation would face a more frequent and intense fire season by 2020.
By Craig Dalton
- Monday, January 13th, 2020
Many of the issues that consume legions of public servants and media management time would be a non-event in the US, argues Craig Dalton.
Shortly after returning from the US to work in a state government agency, I received a bureaucratic culture shock. As a director of a public health unit, I was preparing to release information on childhood lead exposure. It was considered “sensitive”. About 6pm on the eve of the release, I received an enraged telephone call from the head of another agency. He was appalled at the level of transparency and openness with which I was approaching the release of information. He said the information was going to embarrass the government and that my primary job was “to protect the minister”. This sounded so bizarre that I laughed, which didn’t make matters better.
It sounded bizarre because I had spent the prior three years working for state and federal governments in the US, which has quite a distinct separation between politics and the bureaucracy. There was no sense of protecting the secretary of health (politically equivalent to a minister of health), and at times, departmental heads would publicly but politely and respectfully be in disagreement with the secretary.
By John Sweller, Emeritus Professor, UNSW
- Thursday, December 12th, 2019
Explicit guidance and feedback from teachers is more effective in teaching students new content and skills than letting them discover these for themselves.
This is a premise of cognitive load theory, which is based on our knowledge of evolutionary psychology and human cognition, including short- and long-term memory.
I started working on cognitive load theory in the early 1980s. Since then, “ownership” of the theory shifted to my research group at UNSW and then to a large group of international researchers.
By Angus Hervey
- Thursday, December 12th, 2019
We watched the news this year. Maybe you did too.
It didn’t look good. Countries on the verge of collapse, people taking to the streets, some in peaceful marches and extinction rebellions, other in violent clashes with security forces. Populism and and bigotry rearing their ugly heads, worming their way into the algorithms, power corrupting absolutely, the powerless ignored or locked in cages on the border. Trade wars, surveillance capitalism and ‘re-education camps,’ war-torn hotspots mired in conflict, a global economy seemingly incapable of fixing its excesses, the partisan battle lines hardening, the lies becoming more brazen. An entire species fouling its own nest, the emissions (still!) rising, wildfires burning and losses cascading across ecosystems.
By Adi Robertson @thedextriarchy, Illustrations by Alex Castro / The Verge
- Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019
A few months ago, I got angry about something on Twitter. Somebody had tweeted a photo of a paper sign in an apartment building, informing tenants that using the elevator would soon cost $35 a month. It was surprising, but on a gut level, exactly the kind of behavior I’d expect from a greedy landlord — the kind of thing that’s easy to furiously retweet without thinking.
By Maria Katsonis
- Saturday, November 30th, 2019
Published by The Mandarin and supported by ANZSOG, The Drop aims to make research more accessible to public managers and bridge the research policy gap.
Each issue features a brief we have written to distil academic research into a format that walks you through the main points.