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Welcome to GR Online, a series of short-form articles that take aim at the moving target of contemporary culture as it’s whisked along the guide rails of innovations in digital media, globalisation and late-stage capitalism.

Big Blueberry

Today blueberries are grown across the globe. In Australia, blueberry production tripled in the five years to 2021, and the fruit is grown almost year-round – a perpetual river of fructose and antioxidants shipped across the country...

Buried treasure

Over the entire 800,000-­year record, atmospheric carbon dioxide has never peaked over 300 ppm. For all of human history, it sat around 275 ppm until about 200 years ago, when we began to dig up and burn coal to fuel the Industrial Age. In 1950, it punched through the 300-­ppm historic ceiling. In mid-May, as the forests of the Northern Hemisphere dropped their leaves, the planet exhaled atmospheric carbon dioxide at a new daily record of 421 ppm.

Warnings in the water

The environmental significance of krill extends beyond their role as food. They also play a vital part in the processes that regulate the Earth’s climate.

A subantarctic sentinel

It didn’t take long for this knowledge to spread wider – and for Macquarie Island to become an open-­air slaughterhouse. By December 1810, another three Sydney-­based sealing gangs were operating there and, within the first eighteen months of operation, roughly 120,000 fur seals had been killed for their fine pelts.

Quique Olivar Gomez from iStock

Holding the baby

Where I live, what I earn and my level of education: these will all influence not only my decision to have a baby but the experiences that baby will then have. These four factors – education, geography, wealth and birth rate – loop around one another in infinite iterations.

Worlds of play

IMAGINE A PARK made out of candy, with bridges featuring water cannons that shoot water onto kayakers below. Imagine...

No limits

I am eleven years old. My brother Ben (three years and three days younger) has already been a registered player for four seasons at our local club, Albany Creek Excelsior (ACE). Every day we match each other in the backyard. I attend his games jealously, playing around with a ball on the sideline and, yes, maybe showboating my juggling a little bit at half-time in the hope someone will notice me and insist I should be placed in a team.

Love and fear

MARCH 2020. IN a darkened room in a Melbourne hospital, a slight, dark-haired woman sits at the bedside of...

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