• John Howard 2000 cabinet papers: climate wars and the conservative re-engineering of Australia
    by Anne Davies on 31st December 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Newly released documents reveal a government preoccupied with GST, carbon emissions and returning the country to the prime minister’s idealJohn Howard had come to office as prime minister in 1996 promising that by 2000 he would return Australia to being “comfortable and relaxed” about its history, the present and its future.The 2000 cabinet papers, released by the National Archives of Australia on Friday, reveal that he was well advanced in his mission to turn Australia into the place he promised. Continue reading...

  • How should I treat insect bites? Do home remedies work? | Cameron Webb
    by Cameron Webb for the Conversation on 31st December 2020 at 4:30 pm

    There is surprisingly little formal research into how best to deal with bug bites and stings but there are some things that might helpIt’s the holidays and we’re spending more time outdoors. This means we’re exposed to the more annoying and painful aspects of summer – insect bites and stings.There are plenty of products at the local pharmacy to treat these. Some treat the initial bite or sting, others the itchy aftermath. Continue reading...

  • Butterflies, bushfires and bears: Age of Extinction's year in photography
    by Guardian Staff on 31st December 2020 at 3:00 pm

    In a year like no other, our photographers – and readers – captured images reflecting the beauty and diversity that could all too easily be lost in our fragile world Read more in our series Biodiversity: what happened next?Continue reading...

  • Is the UK about to have liftoff in the global space industry?
    by Zahaan Bharmal on 31st December 2020 at 2:51 pm

    With plans for satellite launches and investment in space-based solar, can the UK become a space super power?In 1969, a British engineer was invited to the White House to meet President Nixon. His name was Francis Thomas Bacon and he had developed the fuel cells used on Apollo 11. Known now as Bacon fuel cells, these power sources consume hydrogen and oxygen to produce water, heat and, in theory, a continuous supply of electricity.His invention was considered so integral to the success of the Apollo mission that Nixon told him, “Without you Tom, we wouldn’t have gotten to the moon.” Continue reading...

  • Calls from the deep: do we need to Save the Whales all over again?
    by Sophy Grimshaw on 31st December 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Fifty years ago, a hit album proved whales “sing” – and led to one of the great environmental success stories. But soon it could all be for nothingIn June 1975, a small group of activists set off from the coast of California in an 85ft boat. They were headed for the Dalniy Vostok factory ship, which was at sea conducting business as usual: harpooning sperm whales.The activists were members of Greenpeace, an organisation that had only recently been founded, in Vancouver in 1971, and they were setting out to meet the Russian whaling ship under the banner of what would become one of the most famous slogans of the environmental movement, Save the Whales. Continue reading...

  • 'It's awakened me': UK climate assembly participants hail a life-changing event
    by Jessica Murray on 31st December 2020 at 9:35 am

    From buying an electric car to starting a secondhand clothes business, attendees talk of the unexpected delights of the first UK citizens’ assemblyAt the start of 2020, Sue Peachey could never have predicted how her life would change over the next 12 months. She was one of 108 people to take part in the UK’s first climate assembly earlier in the year, spending four weekends learning about a range of environmental issues before producing a final report of recommendations.“The first weekend changed me really. I thought, ‘Oh my God, [climate change] is really going to happen,’ she said. “It made me want to learn and to live my life greener.” Continue reading...

  • Amid 2020's gloom, there are reasons to be hopeful about the climate in 2021 | John Sauven
    by John Sauven on 31st December 2020 at 9:00 am

    The concerted global response to the pandemic could be replicated for the fight against the climate crisisIn a world rife with disputes and divisions, there will be one emotion likely to unite most people at the stroke of midnight on 31 December: sheer relief that 2020 is finally over.There’s no risk of overstating it: this past year has pushed our world right to the edge. A single virus leaping from animals to humans was enough to kill 1.6 million people, bring major economies to their knees, and cause untold anguish and suffering all over the world. Continue reading...

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