Australia report reveals "shocking; decline in environment
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Australia report reveals “shocking; decline in environment

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Australia report reveals "shocking; decline in environment
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The long-awaited 2021 State of the Environment Report finds severe deterioration across biodiversity, habitat loss, and pollution.

Canberra, Australia – The state of Australia’s environment is “poor and deteriorating”, a new government report has found.

The 2021 State of the Environment Report, a mandatory assessment conducted every five years, was released on Tuesday by the recently-elected federal Labor government. It had been received by the previous Liberal-National coalition government in December 2021 but not published.

The report is undeniably grim, with the new Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, describing the findings as “shocking” and “a story of crisis and decline”.

The report found that Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent in the world. More than 100 Australian species have been declared extinct or extinct in the wild, including eight species of wallaby alone.

One primary cause is habitat destruction.

Almost half the country is now used for grazing sheep and cattle, and about 6.1 million hectares (15 million acres) of primary forest have been cleared since 1990. These changes mean Australia has experienced the third-largest cumulative loss of organic carbon in soil, behind only China and the United States.

Many of the worst changes have occurred in the past five years, with 202 animal and plant species having been declared ‘threatened’ over this period, bringing the total to 377 species becoming threatened in the last decade alone. There are now also more introduced foreign plant species in Australia than native species.

Campaigners, one dressed as a turtle and some in red robes, demand action on climate change as the government releases the State of the Environment report
The State of the Environment report, published every five years, was described as ‘shocking’ by Minister Tania Plibersek [William West/AFP]

Even species supported through focused assistance showed little improvement, and the situation is expected to worsen once the effect of the 2019-20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires becomes better understood. The bushfires are believed to have killed or displaced as many as three billion animals.

In the water, the news is also dire.

Ocean acidification is reaching a tipping point, threatening the existence of juvenile coral, with the Great Barrier Reef experiencing mass bleaching events in 2016, 2017, 2020 and this year. Sea level rise is affecting many low-lying coastal areas, including the important Kakadu wetlands in the Northern Territory. In the Murray-Darling Basin, one of Australia’s most important river basins, record low water levels were recorded in 2019.

The report, which for the first time includes an Indigenous lead writer – Terri Janke – also pays specific attention to Indigenous heritage and knowledge.

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It found that Indigenous heritage continues to be destroyed, such as Juukan Gorge, parts of which were blown up in 2020 by mining giant Rio Tinto to extract iron ore. This ongoing destruction is despite the clear wishes of traditional owners.

‘Extremes more often’

Survey after survey has shown that the Australian public wants more action on climate change.

For many voters, climate change was the number one issue in May’s federal election.

A record number of Greens candidates were elected to the House of Representatives and the Senate, while the Liberal party was all but wiped out in urban strongholds by the ‘teal’ independents who campaigned strongly on climate change. Labor was therefore the only major party able to form a government.

The increase in public support for climate action, and for politicians willing to take that action, is believed to be a direct response to the extreme bushfires, floods, and storms that wide swathes of the country have experienced in recent years.

“Australia has always been a land of extreme weather and climate variability,” notes Andrew King, a senior lecturer in climate science at the University of Melbourne. “[But] human-caused climate change is causing extremes to occur more often and with more devastating impacts.

“This report should act as a wake-up call to the damage we are doing to the world around us. We must decarbonise our economy and society as rapidly as possible to try and limit the environmental losses that we will experience as we keep warming the world.”

A wallaby rests its paws on the arm of a keeper at Taronga Zoo in Sydney where it was taken after the bushfires.
The report found that Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent in the world, with more than eight species of wallaby – an animal unique to Australia – disappearing [File: Bianca de Marchi/EPA]

Who is to blame?

The State of the Environment report was delivered to the previous Coalition government in December 2021, but they declined to release it ahead of the election.

The new federal Labor government is therefore keen to lay the blame at the feet of the Coalition, which had been in government since 2013. Two of that period’s three prime ministers were outright climate deniers – Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison – while the other, Malcolm Turnbull, was removed by the party because he wanted to do more on climate change.

“Sussan Ley [environment minister under the Coalition] chose to keep it hidden, locked away until after the election … When you read it, you’ll know why. But Australians deserve the truth,” Plibersek told the National Press Club following the launch.

The reality is not quite so black and white.

It is true that the federal Coalition did little to improve the environment, and in several circumstances actively made the situation worse. The Coalition was committed to increased investment in coal and gas, and its plan to cut carbon emissions was largely reliant on potential future technological development.

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What federal Labor wants to avoid admitting is that state and territory governments are also culpable for the declining state of the country’s environment. In fact, sub-national governments in Australia have primary responsibility for environmental regulation, and the role of the federal government is limited.

Of the country’s eight states and territories, Labor is in power in six, including in the mining powerhouse states of Queensland and Western Australia. In Queensland alone, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has approved at least 18 new coal mines since being elected in 2015. This includes a 1 billion Australian dollar ($680m) coal mine at Olive Downs, where construction began in April.

Euan Ritchie, professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at Deakin University, describes government efforts to protect the environment as an “utter failure”.

“Bushfires devastating wildlife populations, extensive, repeated coral bleaching events, ecosystems collapsing across the continent,” Ritchie lists. “These events are all symptomatic of governments and society not acting on the science and evidence.”

Under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Labor aims to achieve net zero by 2050. It has a 43 percent emissions reduction target by 2030, but this is significantly below the expert-recommended target of 50 to 75 percent. Although promising to invest heavily in renewables, Labor has repeatedly stated it will continue to support the extraction and use of fossil fuels.

Scientists are keen to point out that despite the report’s grim findings, there is still much the country – government and people – can do.

“Every Australian has an opportunity to be on the conservation frontline: saving species in the places they live and work,” said Kylie Soanes, an urban ecologist from the University of Melbourne. She says that research has revealed a huge appetite for nature conservation in cities, but that “actions occur in isolated pockets and need more support”.

Protesters hold placards pointing to the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and how climate change could destroy it.
Climate change has contributed to a series of bleaching events at the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system [File: Jono Searle/EPA]

Soanes says we need “a culture shift to support cities as spaces for nature as well as people. If we want people to better support biodiversity, to really get involved in environmental issues, we need to make nature part of every Australian’s everyday experience – something they can see, enjoy, and help save.”

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Air raid sirens blare in Ukraine as NATO meets to promise aid

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Air raid sirens blare in Ukraine as NATO meets to promise aid
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KYIV, Nov 29 (Reuters) – The United States and NATO allies on Tuesday promised more arms for Kyiv and equipment to help restore Ukrainian power and heat knocked out by Russian missile and drone strikes, as air raid sirens blared across Ukraine for the first time this week.

Ukrainians fled the streets for bomb shelters, although the all-clear later sounded across the country apart from the front-line eastern province of Luhansk.

Officials remained vigilant: “Last time, the Russians also disguised the strike as a training flight…Let’s see,” said Vitaliy Kim, governor of southern Ukraine’s Mykolaiv region.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other foreign ministers from the NATO alliance began a two-day meeting in Bucharest, seeking ways both to keep Ukrainians safe and warm and to sustain Kyiv’s military through a coming winter campaign.

“NATO will continue to stand for Ukraine as long as it takes. We will not back down,” alliance General-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said in a speech in Bucharest.

He told reporters Russian President Vladimir Putin was “trying to use winter as a weapon of war” as Moscow’s forces lose on the battlefield, and that Western allies would step in to help. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly accused Putin of trying to “freeze the Ukrainians into submission”.

U.S. and European officials said the ministers would focus on military aid such as air defence systems and ammunition, as well as non-lethal aid including fuel, medical supplies, winter equipment and drone jammers, delivered through NATO.

“I hope we will agree on a quite significant package of non-lethal help,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said.


Russia has been carrying out huge attacks on Ukraine’s electricity transmission and heating infrastructure roughly weekly since October, in what Kyiv and its allies say is a deliberate campaign to harm civilians, a war crime.

Moscow says hurting civilians is not its aim but that their suffering will end only if Kyiv accepts its demands, which it did not spell out. Although Kyiv says it shoots down most of the incoming missiles, the damage has been accumulating and the impact growing more severe with each strike.

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The worst attack so far was on Nov. 23, leaving millions of Ukrainians in cold and darkness. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told Ukrainians at the start of this week to expect another soon that would be at least as damaging.

There are no political talks to end the war. Moscow has annexed Ukrainian territory which it says it will never relinquish; Ukraine says it will fight until it recovers all occupied land.

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The silhouette of SM Entertainment’s girl group trainees revealed

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The silhouette of SM Entertainment's girl group trainees revealed
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Trainees of one of the biggest idol group powerhouses, SM Entertainment, are always at the center of attention as they will be the next idols who will lead the K-pop industry in the new generation.

Recently, a photo garnered much attention after it was revealed it is the silhouette of the female trainees who are preparing to debut as the next SM Entertainment girl group.

K-netizens have gathered their attention on the new potential idols who will be leading the next generation of K-pop.

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Netizens commented, “Wow, how old would they be,” “I think they are young, they probably debut at least two years later,” “Is the 4th one Haeun?” “I hope all of them who were revealed get to debut,” “I think Haeun will be part of the future idol girl group,” “How old is Haeun?? She’s perfect for the new group for next year or the year after,” “If she’s debuting the year after, she’ll be 16, perfect as the maknae member,” “Heol, where was this photo posted?” “I think they’ll debut in 2025,” “I really hope that the next girl group has a lot of members,” “Haeun is the YouTuber Haeun right?” and “I think they’re going to debut way later and there’s going to be a lot of changes in the member here too.”

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7 Things You Should Know About Getting More Work Done In Less Time: A blog about busywork, how to overcome procrastination and more.

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7 Things You Should Know About Getting More Work Done In Less Time: A blog about busywork, how to overcome procrastination and more
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Whether you’re at home or in the office, there are always things to do and not enough time to do them. It’s easy to fall victim to busywork, procrastination and other time-wasters—but here are some tips that can help you get more done in less time:

You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get started.

One of the best ways to get started is to make a list of all the things you want to do, and then prioritize it by importance. If you have something else on your mind that’s not on the list, try adding it.

Next, take each item and make a plan for how you’d like to accomplish it. For example, if you’ve decided that one of your tasks is going through your email inbox (which was probably my most stressful task), here are some things I would recommend:

  • Make sure you have an unread count enabled in Gmail or Outlook
  • Set aside time for yourself every day instead of trying to tackle everything in one sitting at once
  • Try setting up filters so that emails from certain people don’t show up in your inbox anymore (I have a filter set up so that emails from my boss don’t show up). That way when I come back tomorrow I won’t feel as overwhelmed by seeing all these new messages waiting for me!

Busywork is the enemy of productivity.

The first step toward avoiding busywork is understanding what it is. Busywork is the stuff we do when we don’t know what else to do, or when we’re trying to distract ourselves from something that’s uncomfortable or difficult. It’s usually unproductive, and often redundant in nature—if you keep doing something over and over again because you think you have to, chances are good that there’s a more efficient way of doing it.

Busywork can take many forms: unnecessary meetings; repetitive tasks like updating spreadsheets; excessive email checking; worrying about things that haven’t happened yet instead of focusing on the steps required for getting them done (a problem known as “analysis paralysis”). Even if these activities sound productive at first glance, take time out of your day to consider whether they’re actually contributing anything meaningful toward your goals—and if not, cut them out!


The best way to avoid busywork is to plan ahead so there’s no need for it in the first place. When faced with an unavoidable situation where no amount of planning could help (such as attending a meeting), decide beforehand how much time or energy should be dedicated toward actually participating in said meeting versus simply being present as an observer (or even better: leave early).

Keeping your space clean and organized can help you work better.

While it may seem like a good idea to keep your work space as messy and cluttered as possible, this is actually not the case. A clean workspace can help you focus on your work because it allows you to see everything at once. It also leaves room for creativity, which is something that many people forget about when they’re stressed out and feeling overwhelmed by their workload.


Keeping things organized will give you more time in the day to do what matters most: working! And when you do have any free time left over from doing actual work, why not put it towards cleaning up? Organizing your closet will save you lots of time later, and if you ever want to make some extra cash on the side then there are plenty of sites like Fiverr that let people sell tasks like these for as low as $5!

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Some foods make you more alert, while others make you tired or unfocused.

Some foods make you more alert, while others make you tired or unfocused.

  • Sugar and caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that can give you an energy boost. It can also lead to short-term increases in blood pressure and heart rate, so be careful if you’re sensitive to these effects. Sugar is another stimulant that gives a temporary increase in energy levels but eventually causes fatigue when it wears off (thus the “sugar crash”).
  • Protein: Protein helps build muscle mass, which burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates (sugar). It also helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps your brain focused on tasks at hand instead of dreaming up errands to run.
  • Fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are great for mental health as they play an important role in cell development and regeneration in the brain—particularly during childhood years when neural pathways are being established! They reduce inflammation throughout your body by blocking pro-inflammatory cytokines at inflammatory sites such as swollen joints or inflamed arteries brought on by high cholesterol levels due to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking cigarettes or drinking beer every day after work before dinner time arrives—which usually happens sometime between 9pm – 10pm depending on how much milk has been drunk earlier during the day during lunchtime hours.

Use your calendar wisely to organize your time most effectively.

The most important thing to do is to use your calendar wisely. You need to schedule time for meetings, appointments and other important events. You also need to schedule time for yourself and your family, as well as relaxation and exercise.


A good way of doing this is by setting aside specific times in your day when you can work on each project or task. You should also set aside some time at the end of the day when you relax and unwind from all the hard work you did throughout the day.

Become an expert at what you do so that it doesn’t take as much time.

If you want to become an expert at something, there are three different ways to go about it:

  • Learn the basics and then practice. This is a good way to become an expert if you’re not already well-versed in what you want to learn. By learning all of the basics first, you’ll be able to understand how everything works and then get started on your project with confidence.
  • Learn from other people’s mistakes and successes. If there are any other people who have already done whatever it is that you’re trying to do and they’ve made mistakes while doing so or had success at times along the way, ask them for advice! They may not always have time or patience for this kind of thing but hopefully they’ll be willing enough at least once or twice so that they can help get some advice out there for others like yourself who might need it someday too someday soon down south somewhere near where my feet rest when I’m sleeping next door neighbors live close together but not quite close enough…?
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Don’t forget to schedule down time for yourself!

Taking a break is an important part of keeping your mind focused and productive. However, it can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling guilty about taking time off from work. When you’re not working, it’s easy to feel like you should be doing something productive instead.

That’s why it’s important to schedule down time. You need to make sure that you have some sort of non-work related activity scheduled for every single day so that your mind has time to rest and recharge itself before jumping back into another project or task list item on the next day. This will allow you not only avoid burnout but also give yourself a chance at getting more done by making sure that no matter what happens in your career journey (and there will always be something), whether it be good news or bad news, stressful deadlines or relaxed ones—you always have something planned where all of this can happen without having any negative impact on how effective our minds are when we get back home after being away from home all day long!

There are a number of ways to maximize your effectiveness and efficiency at work or school

  • Plan
  • Calendar
  • To-Do List
  • Checklist
  • To-Don’t List (if you’re a person who gets distracted easily)

You can also use an alarm clock to remind yourself of important tasks. For example, if your boss asked you to submit the report by 5pm, set the alarm for 4:55pm and then get started on the task at hand. Don’t waste time playing around with your phone or checking Facebook just before the deadline. If a task needs more than one hour to complete, break it down into smaller chunks so that it is easier to manage. And always avoid multitasking – it makes no sense whatsoever!


We hope these tips have helped you get more done in less time. If there’s one thing we know it’s that everyone is busy, but the key to staying productive and avoiding burnout is simple: keep your space organized, use your calendar wisely, be an expert at what you do so it doesn’t take as much time and don’t forget to schedule down time for yourself!



RUCHI RATHOR Founder & CEO Payomatix Technologies Pvt. Ltd.



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