Latest environment news

Cheap power or clean energy? Modi's $275 billion Indian dilemma

Rajesh Kumar Singh and Anindya Upadhyay   A weak link lurks in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push for an unprecedented $US200 billion ($275 billion) expansion of clean energy: cash-starved state electricity distributors.

Sweltering Iraq declares four-day weekend from Thursday

A heat wave warning has been issued in Iraq.

A searing heat wave forecast to sweep through Iraq prompted the government to declare a four-day holiday starting on Thursday and order regular power cuts at state institutions.

Swift parrot flies into government roadblock

Trouble ahead: swift parrot recovery has encountered headwinds.

Andrew Darby   The Tasmanian government has been accused of refusing to join a recovery effort for the migratory swift parrot, as the population of the bird collapses under pressure from predatory sugar gliders and logging.

American accused of killing Zimbabwe's popular Cecil the lion

Hunter Walter James Palmer, left, with another lion he killed.

Wildlife officials on Tuesday accused an American tourist of killing Cecil, one of the oldest and most famous lions in Zimbabwe, without a permit after paying $50,000 to two people who lured the beast to its death.

Second rare cyclone in the winds

A tropical low over the Solomon Islands may develop into another cyclone.

Peter Hannam   Weather experts are watching the prospect of another cyclone in the western Pacific, a highly unusual event so early in the season.

Peabody flags Australian mine cuts amid coal crash

Coal mining loses its sparkle.

Tim Loh   Peabody Energy, the largest US coal producer, reduced its forecast for coal sales, suspended its quarterly dividend and raised the prospect of a 1-for-20 reverse stock split amid a sustained slump in coal prices.

Carbon tax's end benefited most but perhaps not air travellers

Electricity and gas suppliers were found to have passed on the carbon price savings.

Peter Hannam   Households are roughly $550 a year better off since the scraping of the carbon tax, but air travellers may wonder if they are being overcharged, the head of the competition watchdog says.

Cecil the lion's killer Dr Walter Palmer has gone on the run

Dr Walter Palmer has gone silent in the wake of the global outcry over the hunt.

Paul Walsh 6:09 AM   US wildlife authorities announced an investigation Thursday into the killing of Cecil, a prized lion in Zimbabwe, and also revealed that they have been unable to contact Dr Walter Palmer, the Minnesota big-game hunter and dentist who participated in the fatal hunt.

Five elephants were slain while the world mourns Cecil the lion

Elephants play at the Maasai Mara game reserve, about 300 km south-west of Nairobi.

Kevin Sieff 4:07 PM   While the world mourned Cecil, the Zimbabwe lion, another devastating poaching incident was quietly carried out in Kenya.

11 million to one: Quadruplet calves born in South Australia

Jervois dairy farmer Rupert Gazzola checks on his 12-hour-old quadruplet Illawarra-Murray Grey calves last week.

2:44 PM   Four calves, all born healthy. That's one almighty long shot.

Cecil's death unleashes calls for ban on trophy hunting

In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Kevin Crowley 1:10 PM   The push is on for African countries to stop trophy hunting after 13-year-old Cecil was killed.

Cecil the lion: dentist Walter Palmer apologises to patients

Hunter Walter James Palmer, left, with another lion he killed.

Megan Levy 10:55 AM   Walter Palmer, the US dentist and big game hunter who killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, has written a letter to his patients apologising for the disruption to their treatment while the international furore continues over his actions.

Cecil the lion: Mia Farrow tweets address of US dentist Walter Palmer

Mia Farrow deleted a tweet that identified the business address of Walter Palmer.

Megan Levy 9:54 AM   US actress Mia Farrow was so enraged over the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe that she joined the online chorus of social media users venting their anger online at the man who killed the animal.

Rich American tourists kill hundreds of lions each year, and it’s all legal

Hunter Walter James Palmer, left, with another lion he killed.

Christopher Ingraham 9:53 AM   The internet is in an uproar this week over the recent killing of a well-known lion in Zimbabwe. Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist, allegedly baited Cecile the lion out of a national park by dragging a dead animal behind a car at night.

Cecil the lion: Jimmy Kimmel breaks down on air as he condemns killing

Upset: Jimmy Kimmel.

Megan Levy 9:45 AM   He's usually known for his cutting wit, but US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has choked up on air as he condemned the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

Cecil the lion's killer lands in the middle of online hate storm

Shot dead: Cecil the lion

Catherine Armitage   Until two days ago, Walter Palmer was a "very private" man living with his family. He practised dentistry and hunted animals with a bow and arrow. Now the dentist's old life has ended.

Australian actor David Field stars in graphic anti-whaling video

Australian actor David Field portrays the death of a whale in a video <em>The Ultimate Death Scene</em> by Sea Shepherd.

Bloodied and writhing in pain, an Australian actor stars in a graphic video calling for an end to global whaling.

Jervis Bay puts on electrifying sea show

Vincentia photographer Corinne Le Gall’s superb photograph of bioluminescence on display in Jervis Bay last week.

Robert Crawford   There's something in the water at Jervis Bay. And this stunning photograph proves it.

Dogs maul pet animals to death at cafe 2773 in Blue Mountains

Missy, the smaller white pig, and Morris survived the attack but suffered puncture wounds.

Megan Levy   Two dogs have raided an animal pen at a popular cafe and restaurant in the Blue Mountains overnight and mauled a number of farmyard pets to death.

Spiders alive! Thirteen new species discovered in Queensland

A new species of peacock spider found at Carnarvon Station in Queensland, on a previous Bush Blitz survey.

Inga Ting   Thirteen new species of spider – including a brush-footed trapdoor spider – have been discovered on Queensland's Cape York peninsula.

Cecil the lion's 'purist' killer says it was all legal

Hunter Walter James Palmer, left, with another lion he killed.

Catherine Armitage   It was a point of pride for Minnesotan dentist and biog game hunter Walter Palmer to shoot his prey with a bow and arrow and not carry firearms as a backup.

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Coal not good for reducing poverty, Oxfam report says

Newcastle Coal Terminal, one of the largest export sites in the world.

​Renewable energy is an easier, quicker and cheaper method than burning coal to help lift people out of poverty through access to power, a new report says.

Tyrannosaurus rex had like steak knives to tear through their prey

Fossil evidence shows that T-rex's teeth could crush bone.

Will Dunham   If you want to know the secret behind the success of Tyrannosaurus rex and its meat-eating dinosaur cousins, look no further than their teeth.

Joyce accused of 'crocodile tears' over Shenhua project

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce at the National Press Club earlier this month.

Peter Hannam   Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has been accused of crying "crocodile tears" over the approval of the giant Shenhua coal project planned for the Liverpool Plains, after department officials revealed he failed to seek detailed information or make any formal comments opposing the open-cut mine.

Frequent cold fronts set up chilliest July since 1998

Residents in Oberon say a mid-July snow dump was the biggest in 40 years.

Peter Hannam   Sydney is likely to post its coldest July in 17 years in a month notable for the frequent cold fronts. But the cold snap is good news for ski season.

Some global 'head scratching' on Australia's climate stance: Al Gore

Former American vice-president Al Gore.

Tom Arup   There is some international "head scratching" over Australia's national position on climate chang says former United States Vice President Al Gore, who has used his short visit to Melbourne to paint a bullish picture of the economic benefits of renewable energy and the prospects of this year's Paris climate summit.

Billions lined up for renewable energy in NSW

Wind power is increasing its footprint.

Peter Hannam   Renewable-energy backers are prepared to pour as much as $13 billion in new projects in NSW – provided the investment climate is right.

Humpback whales doing swimmingly

On the increase: Humpback whales

Australia's humpback populations are rapidly recovering from the damage caused by whaling and could soon be delisted as a threatened species, scientists say.

Labor attacks Tony Abbott over $60b renewable energy bill claim

Bill Shorten

Nicole Hasham   Labor has described Prime Minister Tony Abbott as "the most unscientific" leader in Australia's recent history after he claimed the party's ambitious renewable energy goal would cost consumers $60 billion.

Up to 50 dolphins delight beachgoers at Coogee

A pod of up to 50 dolphins seemed delighted to frolic with swimmers at Coogee Beach on Monday.

Inga Ting   A pod of more than 30 dolphins has put on a spectacular show, herding fish and frolicking with swimmers at Coogee on Monday morning.