BP to pay out a further $US17.5 billion for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

A few days ago the US Federal Court endorsed a settlement agreement between the US government and five Gulf Coast States. The multi-national oil giant BP has been ordered to pay a total of $US 17.5 billion in fines and compensation for natural resource damage and economic losses incurred as…

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Crocodile Safari Hunting in the Northern Territory: is it Moral?

This week Nigel Scullion, Senator for NT and the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs re-opened the controversy over safari hunting when he opined that safari hunting of crocodiles in the Northern Territory could be taking place within a year. As fast bowler Glen McGrath found out to his detriment when…

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Anti-whaling trio: Heroes, criminals or terrorists?

Shaky footage from a night vision camera shown on the breakfast news this morning showed three self-described environmental activists clambering aboard a Japanese government ship off the Western Australian coastline. As a former clearance diver I admired the success of the covert operation, but from an environmental law perspective it…

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Musings on the ethics of artificial reef construction

Yesterday I was listening to discussion on the radio about a planned artificial reef near Geographe Bay in the south west of Western Australia. Information on the artificial reef plan can be found at the Fisheries department web site [http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/docs/media/index.php?0000&mr=846]. The commentators were arguing about the costs and benefits of…

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Climate Change and the Ethical Position of Australian Political Parties

Last Friday the lead article in the Financial Review referred to tensions between the Gillard government and the Greens fuelled by the government’s energy blue print (to be released later this year), which will back the dominance of LNG and coal seam gas (CSG). In essence the government sees development…

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