Why we should March for Science

By Ali and Jess

Five reasons YOU should March for Science TOMORROW:

  1. You believe that government decisions should be guided by facts and evidence. March for Informed Public Policy!
  2. To say no to restrictions being placed on scientists communicating their research, as we are currently seeing in the U.S. Show your support for Open Communication of Knowledge!
  3. For Stable Science Investment, for security in our future jobs!
  4. For a science informed future and a well-informed community. We need kids to learn and love science, they are the future! We need Universal STEM Literacy!
  5. Finally, science is our tool to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems; it is worth marching for!

Continue reading “Why we should March for Science”

Kiribati – A disappearing country

Location of Kiribati (from Wikipedia)
Location of Kiribati (from Wikipedia)

By Evan

Sea level rise is a threat to any human settlement close to sea level. No place is more aware of this than the Pacific islands nation of Kiribati. This country, a member of the British Commonwealth, is expected to be inundated by the sea if sea level continues to rise.

On Monday, the Australian government pledged $15 million to help Kiribati rebuild a road damaged by sea level rise. The article suggests that rising sea level could make the nation uninhabitable by 2030, due to erosion and contamination of fresh water sources by salt water. There certainly is some politics involved in this decision. Should Kiribati become uninhabitable, one of the most likely place for the people to go is Australia. There are over 100,000 people who live on the islands, which will only increase in the next 20 years. Having 100,000+ refugees coming towards Australia would definitely put a lot of pressure on the political establishment. The country of Maldives, another archipelago that is under threat of sea level change, has already indicated that Australia was a likely candidate for relocation should the country become inundated (they started a fund to be able to purchase land for settlement). Kiribati announced last week that they are planning to purchase land on Fiji to grow food because the arable land on the islands was diminishing. Continue reading “Kiribati – A disappearing country”

NSW State Government ignores sea level predictions

Erosion at Collaroy

By Claire

Legislation put in place by the former Labor Government of NSW stating that councils must take UN projections of sea level rise into consideration in their coastal management policies, has been overturned by the O’Farrell Liberal Government.

These laws were used to determine which coastal properties were ‘at risk’ of coastal erosion and to limit the future development of these ‘at risk’ areas. These laws compelled coastal councils to prepare for a forecast sea-level rise of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by the turn of the century.

As a result, the value of coastal properties that had been identified as at risk dropped (by approx. 40%), prompting these people to petition government to review and ultimately remove the planning restrictions placed on them.

While I can sympathise with the people who own these coastal properties, the removal of these planning restrictions leaves the council open for future legal action. Continue reading “NSW State Government ignores sea level predictions”

Why Australia needs a carbon tax – part 1

091207usatoday global warming.91

By Claire

The media will tell you that the government’s carbon tax is incredibly unpopular with the Australian public, that it will cost us jobs and our economic competitiveness, and that it’s all a conspiracy put in place by the Greens to take over government and enforce their own agenda.

One of my current joys in life is debating the purpose and effectiveness of the carbon tax with people who believe what the media tells you.

I am married to a carpenter, who used to fit into that very category. He was adamant that the carbon tax was going to cost him money and ultimately his job. Well, after an hour or so of discussion, I managed to convince him that Australia needs a carbon tax and his job is in more jeopardy without it! (p.s. now he goes around telling his work colleagues why the carbon tax is the best thing since sliced bread! Hooray!).

Since you probably don’t want to be reading this post for the next two hours, I’ll present you with part one of my opinions on why Australia needs a carbon tax.

Continue reading “Why Australia needs a carbon tax – part 1”

Why are there so few scientists in politics?

By Claire

I stumbled across this article this morning that makes for interesting (and somewhat concerning) reading. The article takes a survey of the proportions of politicians across a number of continents that are qualified scientists. The results are very disappointing.

It turns out that politicians with scientific training are somewhat rare. The most popular educational fields for politicians are law and business. No big surprise there.

What concerns me is that issues such as climate change are being assessed and prioritised by politicians, who have no training in science. The scientific consensus is that something needs to be done about climate change now, however it is the politicians, who have the job of actually implementing policies to curb societies’ greenhouse emissions who get the final say.

It seems that to get the message of science across, we need to tackle the world of politics. Claire Krause for prime minister!

Read the full article here.

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