Australia’s Environment in Crisis, Report Says – The New York Times

“MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s environment and wildlife are facing even greater threats than previously acknowledged, according to a new report that the environment minister said painted a “story of crisis and decline.”

“It shows that we are in the middle of catastrophic environmental decline where we’re seeing populations of wildlife declining dramatically,” said Brendan Wintle, an ecosystem and forest sciences professor at the University of Melbourne, who was not involved in the State of the Environment report released Tuesday. “It’s very much a precursor to an extinction crisis in Australia, unless we see transformative change.”

About 200 plant and animal species have been added to the threatened species list since 2016, the report said, or had their vulnerability status upgraded. Among those moved to the endangered list: the country’s iconic koala.”

Why the Fires in Australia Are So Bad – The New York Times

By Andy Parsons and 

Photographs by 

“This fire season has been one of the worst in Australia’s history, with at least 15 people killed, hundreds of homes destroyed and millions of acres burned. And summer is far from over.

This week, thousands of residents and vacationers in southeastern Australia were forced to evacuate to shorelines as bush fires encircled communities and razed scores of buildings. Military ships and aircraft were deployed on Wednesday to deliver water, food and fuel to towns cut off by the fires.

The hot, dry conditions that have fueled the fires are nothing new in Australia. Here’s why this fire season has been so calamitous.

A kangaroo rushing past a burning house in Lake Conjola on Tuesday.

Record-breaking temperatures, extended drought and strong winds have converged to create disastrous fire conditions.”

Australia Turns Its Back on Climate Science – The New York Times

“For decades, Australia has run the most advanced and comprehensive atmosphere and ocean monitoring programs in the Southern Hemisphere, providing critical information not only for a nation that is already the driest on earth and fast getting drier, but also for a world in urgent need of such data to search for ways to cope with climate change.Last month, to the dismay of climate scientists around the world, Australia’s federally financed science agency — the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or Csiro — announced plans to shift its focus to commercially viable projects and cut or reassign 350 researchers. The decision, as more than 3,000 climate scientists have declared in an open letter to the Australian government, demonstrates a deplorable misunderstanding of the importance of basic research into what is arguably the greatest challenge facing the planet.”

Source: Australia Turns Its Back on Climate Science – The New York Times

There has been a tremor in the Force.