Which one do you have in your lawn?

Cenchrus clandestinus Kikuyu grass. Image by author.

Kikuyu grass, St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass are commonly used warm season growing lawn grasses. All 3 make for hard wearing low maintenance lawns in warmer climates, and are so vigorous they seldom require any fertilizer.

Domestic lawns have developed a reputation for wasting water and resulting in fertilizer runoff , which is correct to a large extent, but we must remember the cooling nature of lawns. This is especially important in a warming climate and the heat island effect of cities. …


Don’t go near the water.

Saltwater Crocodile. Image — Peter Nijenhuis Flickr Creative Commons.

In Australia, we have many poisonous and deadly creatures, the great white sharks, the more aggressive bull sharks, the highly dangerous box jelly fish in northern waters, the eastern brown snake which is responsible for most snake bite fatalities, it will rear up, so back away gently. The Sydney funnel web spider and the widespread red back spider, always check under the toilet seat, both spider bites can be fatal, although no deaths have occurred since the introduction of antivenom. Having said all that, you have more chance of dying in Australia crossing the road.


El Nino, Little Boy, the Christ Child.

Diagram showing off shore winds pushing surface sea water away from the coast allowing deeper cold water to come up, termed upwelling.
Diagram showing off shore winds pushing surface sea water away from the coast allowing deeper cold water to come up, termed upwelling.
Easterly winds off the coast of Peru allow for upwelling of ocean currents. Image — The COMET Program/UCAR

El Nino is the name given to the periodic ceasing of the upwelling of cold nutrient rich water off of the coast of Peru. This event was named by Peruvian fishermen because it decreased their catch of anchovies and occurred in December, it is Spanish for Little Boy meaning the Christ Child born in December. An El Nino event also causes temperature and rainfall changes in much of the coastal lands of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

The upwelling is caused by normal east to west winds, easterly trade winds, winds are named after the direction they came from…


Separate male and female trees.

Male, on left, and female sheoak trees growing together. Image by author.

Murray Grey beef cattle were looking at us inquisitively as we walked past their paddock. The lady cattle farmer was showing me around the property, saying “We have a special place down here, and the cows like it as well” as she led me into a stand of drooping sheoak trees.

Immediately you could feel the calm difference, the other worldliness, the dreamy atmosphere from the whistling of the leaves so characteristic of sheoaks. The Murray Greys enjoyed the sense of shelter and protection as well.

The farmer said she doesn’t leave the cattle in amongst the trees for too…


Australian Federal Court Judge rules.

High Court of Australia, Canberra, ACT. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Australian Federal Court Justice Bromberg ruled on the 27th May 2021 that the Commonwealth Environment Minister had a duty of care to protect children from future harm caused by the extraction of coal and emission of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The future harm was defined as mental or physical injury, including ill health or death, as well as damage to property and economic loss.

The Minister’s duty of care is defined under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Eight children together with Catholic Nun Sister Brigid Arthur sought an injunction last year to prevent a coal mine…


Alternative weed treatments and practices.

Roundup for sale at my local supermarket. Image by author.

Many gardeners are concerned about safety when using the herbicide Roundup with the active constituent glyphosate. These concerns arose from the World Health Organization announcement in March 2015 that glyphosate was probably a human carcinogen, with many scientific studies finding glyphosate positively associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Gillam, 2017).

An added ingredient to glyphosate to make Roundup and to help it adhere to plants is the wetting agent polyethoxylated tallow amine, POEA, which may be harmful to human cells. Glyphosate is also a chelator that bonds with heavy metals, eg cadmium, a highly toxic chemical known to cause cancer. …


Two of my articles are on the first page of a Google search.

Search Engine Optimization. Image — Flickr Creative Commons.

I write to convey information about climate change and the natural environment. My original plan was to have my own website to post articles but my son suggested medium.com. I started writing and publishing on Medium in July 2020 and have found using such a large platform has enabled me to contact many more people than I expected.

My original aim was to share with farmers in the African Sahel soil science knowledge but reaching them is difficult. Internet access is limited and even electricity is not readily available. …


Six significant criteria affecting implementation costs particularly staff training.

Image — Flickr Creative Commons.

The emissions of carbon dioxide from industry can be captured before it enters the atmosphere. Fossil fuel, often coal and oil, burns and the carbon bonds with oxygen and forms carbon dioxide gas. It is at this point that carbon dioxide can be separated and captured, but it is an expensive process.

Liu, Yüksel & Dinçer (2020) conducted an analysis of the criteria for efficient use of Carbon capture and storage CCS technologies and determined 6 criteria affecting the cost and uptake of the technology.

These are:

- organizational factors, the training of employees, and personnel efficiencies;

- technical factors…


With less than 6 months to go, now is the time to act.

Congrats to Emma, Vedantika, Isla, Yumna and Alex, the winners of the #CreativeEarth art competition! Image — COP26 website Open Government Licence.

The climate crisis is a clear and present danger for us all, we must act now, influence our decision makers, and change our behaviours, both as individuals and countries.

Our next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC meeting, the 26th Conference of Parties COP26, will be held at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow on the 1st to the 12th of November 2021. It is to be hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy.

This COP is 6 months away and may be one of the most important conferences, along with Kyoto and Paris, for decision making…

Peter Miles

Peter Miles B.Env.Sc. 45 years in Environmental Science, specializing in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Writes about Animals, Revegetation & Climate Change.

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