Daily Links Dec 18

Google to get around the pay-wall if you need, but Stephen Gallilee’s article on our tax dollars supporting activism is the usual Minerals Council claptrap. The Murdoch press campaigning again. 

Top Post
The eco guide to not buying stuff
What do you give to the person who has everything? How about nothing?

Today’s Celebration
Republic Day      Niger
Las Posadas (9 days)    Mexico
International Migrants Day   http://www.un.org/en/events/migrantsday/
Arabic Language Day     https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/arabic-language-day/
More about Dec 18       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_18

Climate Change
Why has one of the world’s biggest funders of environmental conservation also given $4 million to a climate denial group?
The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the world’s biggest funders of environmental conservation groups, has given almost $5 million since 2011 to an organization that rejects the overwhelming evidence that human-caused climate change is dangerous, DeSmog has found.

Washington Monthly’s Hot Takes: The top climate stories of 2017

Power to the people: Fall in brutal electricity prices
The brutal rise in electricity prices rocking household budgets this year will halt mid-2018, with the start of an average 12 per cent fall.

Controversial Abbott-era climate fund will survive climate review

Agricultural cycle on fire: Australian farmland returns closing in on 17 per cent
Australia is in the sweet spot in the agricultural cycle and farmland returns are showing that.

Clean coal must be in energy mix
David Byers
On all three goals of cost, reliability and emissions, there’s a case for high-efficiency low-emission coal to be part of the energy mix.

Climate change and summer sports
Romy Stephens
For any Australian sporting enthusiast, summer means cricket at the MCG, watching the world’s best tennis players at the Australian Open or simply appreciating the outdoors as you play sport yourself. But no matter what you are doing, it’s always extremely hot. What will happen to our sporting calendar as the climate continues to warm? I fear cancellation of sport events could become commonplace.

Australia’s tax system helps fund some activist groups engaging in illegal activity
Stephen Galilee
How many times have you watched activists trespass onto a public monument or corporate building to unfurl a banner calling for the end of whatever it is they’re upset about, and thought, “Whatever … just ignore them and they’ll go away”. Well guess what? You’re probably helping to pay for their illegal actions.

Popular Victorian waterways closed due to blue-green algae
Three Victorian waterways popular with summer holiday-makers are all likely to be off limits this Christmas-New Year period after they were closed due to blue-green algal blooms.

Heyfield timber mill purchase cost Victorian taxpayers $50.6m

Heart Morass contamination fears: Duck hunters wants more chemical tests
Duck hunters are calling for more testing for chemical contamination from the Royal Australian Air Force Base at East Sale in Gippsland, before duck season opens in March.

Australian Energy Market Commission forecasts electricity prices rises for Victorians in 2018
THE shutdown of Hazelwood power station is being blamed as electricity bills in Victoria are expected to soar 16 per cent next year.

Yallourn faces early closure
The Yallourn brown coal power station in the Latrobe Valley could close early under Victoria’s renewable energy scheme.

New South Wales
Heartbreaking image of roadkill koala ‘something people had to see’
Wildlife photographer Harrison Warne didn’t enjoy taking this photo, “not one bit”, but he knew it was something people had to see.

Concerns raised about congestion from urban in-fill in leafy, lakeside Campbell

Canberra, it’s going to be hot. This time it’s a ‘severe heatwave’

Endangered wombats in the market for new home, and looking to upsize
Wildlife workers and scientists are searching for a site to house a refuge they hope could help save the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat — and they say time is running out.

Energy changes to boost savings for southeast Queensland
Households in southeast Queensland are tipped to save $200 during the next two years, with changes to the State Government’s solar bonus scheme to deliver relief for consumers.

Call for diplomatic intervention after PNG villagers found to have broken treaty to poach dugong
A conflict over wildlife management has emerged between­ Australia and Papua New Guinea, with PNG villagers found to be breaking an international treaty to poach dugongs in the Torres Strait.

Wildlife activist lashes out at “unknown” finding after two-year investigation of dugong poaching
A wildlife warrior who has been campaigning for nearly a decade to protect dugongs and sea turtles from poachers has accused the Federal Government of turning a blind eye to the practice.

South Australia
Sanjeev Gupta secures SA Government energy deal.
Whyalla’s saviour has secured an energy contract potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars as part of a deal struck with the State Government.

Adelaide Airport tram link: Premier Jay Weatherill cool on $500 million plan

Feral deer growth prompts new policy
Fearful farmers are scared to leave family members alone on their own properties because hunters are illegally shooting feral deer.

Water treatment plant proposed for north eastern Tasmania

Northern Territory
Western Australia
Black paint that stays cool could solve common summer problem
NZ scientists have been given a $1 million to try and develop “cool” black paint.

Critics Of Plant Vogtle say Georgia doesn’t need new nuclear
Next week, Georgia regulators will decide on the future of the country’s only nuclear power construction project. One big issue is how much completing the expansion will cost.

China plans carbon capture trial
A BHP vice-president has discussed plans for the $10 million steel plant program with Beijing.

The eco guide to not buying stuff
What do you give to the person who has everything? How about nothing?

Venue of last resort: the climate lawsuits threatening the future of big oil
Jie Jenny Zou and Chris Young
In an era of environmental deregulation, groups like the American Petroleum Institute are focusing resources on the courts – and ‘time is on industry’s side’

Earthlings, unite: Let’s go to Mars.
Pete Myers
While the author of this op-ed concludes that going to Mars would be a healthy sign that we, as a civilization, are still planning a future, his comment that “it’s an insane proposal” seems closer to the mark. Imagining we can go to Mars at any scale commensurate with the goal of saving civilization distracts from much more important and immediate tasks in front of us, essential to ensuring that some semblance of civilization persists through the coming decades.

Nature Conservation
Asiatic cheetahs on the brink of extinction with only 50 left alive
With UN funds being cut this month, conservationists call for last-ditch effort to save animal which clings on only in Iran

Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life
Abused and disadvantaged mothers and daughters are being honed into a squad of sharpshooters to save wildlife in the Zambezi valley

‘A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off
Scientists have identified 2 million species of living things. No one knows how many more are out there, and tens of thousands may be vanishing before we have even had a chance to encounter them

Winds fuel California’s third-largest fire
Strong winds that have powered the third-largest wildfire in California’s history are expected to further fuel a blaze that has burned 267,500 acres.

Maelor Himbury