Life on the planet in 2040

On days when the woes of the world are too much with us, do you ever think what life on the planet in 2040 will be like? That’s the year the Doomsayers say will be the End Times or the Apocalypse. The theory is that by 2040, planet earth will no longer be able to sustain its estimated population of nine billion. There are serious arguments for that proposition – extreme weather events caused by…

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The Eighties and the Sail of the Century

If one symbol conjures up an image of Australia as world-beaters, it is our one-off snatching of the Americas Cup yacht race trophy in the Eighties. Those of you old enough to remember will see in the cloud archive of your distant memory (and maybe want to press delete), former PM Bob Hawke wearing a garish black and white sports coat and declaring: “Any employer who sacks a worker for not coming in today is…

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Climate extremes – from bushfires to a polar vortex

February is the one month of the year when the climate extremes of the northern and southern hemisphere starkly remind us of the threat to civilisation posed by climate change. In the northern hemisphere, a polar vortex in January and February brought record low sub-zero temperatures to the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. Cars disappeared beneath mounds of snow; Chicago’s river froze as temperatures dropped to a rare -46 degrees Celcius (wind chill temperature). The…

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