Category Archives: Places

The fall on an environmental leader: Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed

Who is Mohamed Nasheed and why does he matter?

Until last week Nasheed was President of The Maldives – a string of 1200 tiny islands in the Indian Ocean where the average elevation is just 5 feet above sea level.

After Nasheed came to office in 2008, he made world headlines when he declared the Maldives was in the market for a new homeland for its doomed population – given predictions of sea level rise due to global warming.

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Why Australia has the best beaches (from the man who’s been to every one)

Maroubra Beach, Sydney, Australia

Theres one person whos been to every beach in Australia – all 12,000 of them. It’s Professor Andy Short, Director of the Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney. In this interview Andy explains how he came to visit every one and why Australia has the world’s best beaches – by far.

Audio: Interview with Prof Andrew Short on why Australia’s beaches are best.

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National Surfing Reserves: Australia recognises its iconic surf sites

Lennox Head locals and the National Surfing Reserves Australia Committee

Not that long ago, surfing was seen as a renegade sport in Australia. In the early 60’s, surfers were even required to have a license to use some beaches. Just how far things have come can be seen in the establishment of a number of ‘National Surfing Reserves’ in recent years.

Audio: Interview with Andrew Short on Australia’s Surfing Reserves.

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The Cars That Ate China, Part 1 (how Western auto makers are scrambling to feed the beast)

Are cars killing China (and the world)?

At the recent Sydney Film Festival I saw a great new documentary called ‘The Cars That Ate China’. In this podcast the director Stefan Moore discusses the background to the film and we hear a clip with Joe White, China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Joe takes us to the Beijing car show and explains how foreign car makers are piling into China to make a killing in the last big score in car manufacturing.

Audio: Listen to The Cars That Ate China interview and movie podcast – part 1, Joe White and the Beijing Car Show.

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The Cars That Ate China, Part 2 (why the Chinese have gone car mad)

Can China and the world cope with increasing cars?

Western marketing has moved into China in a big way. In this podcast we hear a clip from the film ‘The Cars That Ate China’ with Tom Doctoroff from J Walter Thompson Advertising. He explains how marketers have tapped into Chinese thinking. And specifically why the Chinese have gone so nuts about getting a car.

Audio: Listen to The Cars that Ate China movie podcast – part 2, Tom Doctoroff on Chinese consumer behaviour.

Photo: decade_null, Creative Commons, Flickr.

The Cars That Ate China, Part 3 (implications for the world’s environment)

Industrialisation and consumerism at warp speed – China’s economy is growing so rapidly and there are so many people in that country, we will need 4 planets of resources to cope with the demand. In this podcast we hear from James Kyng who wrote the book ‘China Shakes the World’. He introduces us to the implications for the world’s environment of China’s mad rush to prosperity.

Audio: Listen to The Cars That Ate China movie podcast – part 3, James Kyng on the implications for the world’s environment.

Cataret Islands: world’s first climate change refugees?

As the world continues to debate what to do about climate change, the people living on a small atoll to Australia’s north are about to become our region’s first climate change refugees.

The Cartaret Islands, north east of PNG, are only a metre above sea level. Each year tidal surges on the island get bigger.

The tides have damaged the islands’ fresh water sources and food growing areas. To the point where the people of The Cartarets are now planning to evacuate to nearby Bougainville. It’s estimated their island will be unihabitable by 2015.

Phil spoke with Charlotte Sterrett, Climate Campaigner for Oxfam Australia, to find out more about the situation and what can be done. Listen to the interview.

Byron Bay: nature has more in store

Ever been to Byron Bay? I have, just recently. And each year hordes of international visitors and Australians go there. Why wouldn’t you? Nature has carved out one of the most brilliant, beautiful coastal niches in the world.

But most visitors would be oblivious to the fact nature hasn’t quite finished its work there. And with climate change, it may be working overtime to bring some changes which may be a tad unwelcome – particularly for the rich folk who’ve built their designer houses right on the sand dunes. I spoke to Australia’s leading coastal expert Professor Bruce Thom (of the Wentworth Group of Scientists) to explore what nature has in store for Byron. Listen to the Byron Bay – Bruce Thom interview.

An important listen if you’re going to spent some time at Byron in the future.