Daily Links Jun 27

Top Post
Could El Niño and climate change spell the end for tropical forests?
The 2015-16 El Niño briefly turned Amazon, African and Indonesian tropical forests from carbon sink to carbon source. Will climate change make that shift permanent?

Today’s Celebration
Anniversary of the Amir’s Succession – Qatar
Independence Day – Djibouti
Memorial Day for War Martyrs – Vietnam
Our Lady Perpetual Saviour – Haiti
More about Jun 27 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_27

Climate Change
Once a climate leader, Germany risks being ‘left behind’: Al Gore
After years of leadership on climate change, Germany risks being left behind as other countries move more aggressively to cut their reliance on coal and phase out the internal combustion engine, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said on Tuesday.

Rising seas: ‘Florida is about to be wiped off the map’
Elizabeth Rush
Sea level rises are not some distant threat; for many Americans they are very real. In an extract from her chilling new book, Rising, Elizabeth Rush details how the US coastline will be radically transformed in the coming years

No end to climate wars if energy pact offers concession to coal, Labor warns
A new subsidy would ‘destroy any chance of the government attracting broad support’

Recycling: Senate inquiry recommends all single-use plastics be banned
A national container deposit scheme should be established in response to the recycling crisis, the report says

Espionage bill could make some protests criminal acts, GetUp says
Lawyers advised activist group that the current bill could threaten freedom of speech

Australia urged to clear the air in the name of public health
Air pollution can lead to premature deaths and problems such as heart attacks and asthma, but the economic cost of this is not being pitted against the apparent benefits to the economy of burning fossil fuels, experts say.

Renewable energy set to supply one-third of market needs by 2020
After another record month of rooftop solar installations, renewable energy should supply a third of the national electricity market’s need by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2030 according to new research from Green Energy Markets.

Renewables surge defies NEG foes [$]
Craig Kelly and Tony Abbott might have to chain PM Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to bulldozers to stop the relentless march of wind and solar energy.

How to make energy bills worse [$]
Suggestions by backbencher Craig Kelly and the Nationals on energy policy would make things worse – not better – for the energy customers whose interests they claim to be promoting

Coal Joy and the Base-loads – “Dancing around the Party Room”
“Are you prepared to build or subsidise a new coal-fired power station?” Energy minister Josh Frydenberg was asked it a thousand times. And a thousand times he didn’t answer it.

CSIRO names 212 new species of insects, fish, plants
They include a weevil that poses a threat to macadamia plantations, sharks and a fly named after a journalist.

Scientist claims Murray-Darling Basin Authority ‘suppressed’ research
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has been accused of “suppressing” research it didn’t like in formulating its target for returning water to the environment.

Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2016-17
Agricultural land increases by 6% in 2016-17

We must fight the erosion of civil rights while we still can
Scott Ludlam
‘National security’ is used as a smokescreen to curtail media freedom and criminalise dissent

Tony Abbott loses traction in his fight on energy
Michelle Grattan
Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg had clear Coalition party room support on Tuesday to decisively stare down a fresh sortie by Tony Abbott on the National Energy Guarantee.

Know your NEM: Watch the ISP, not the NEG
David Leitch
Whatever the pro coal lobby thinks about the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), it’s going to work itself into a full lather when it realises the implications of the forthcoming Integrated System Plan (ISP).

Permit to farm [$]
Hundreds of Victorian livestock producers will have to gain planning permits to keep running their pig, egg and chicken meat farms, under a raft of new State Government reforms.

Victoria angles for carp funds [$]
Victoria is demanding the Commonwealth provide more cash for plans to unleash the carp herpes virus, amid a feared shortfall in the National Carp Control Plan’s research budget.

More plastic to be bagged under ban [$]
All lightweight plastic bags, including those used by milk bars, takeaway shops and small supermarkets and retail stores, will be banned in Victoria by the end of next year.

New South Wales
Land-clearing faces new challenge [$]
NSW land-clearing codes face a second legal challenge from conservationists.

Gas to fore after Liddell closure [$]
NSW is set to double its gas-fired power generation capacity.

Worms chomp through stomach contents of slaughtered cattle to cut down on waste
Composting what was inside the stomach of cows is just the ticket for one worm farmer on the NSW mid north coast.

If the Blue Mountains can be destroyed, what’s safe?
Tim Vollmer
Raising Warragamba dam wall would be environmentally disastrous. The New South Wales government must consider other options

Tidal power to be trialled in Queensland coal port
Sydney-based MAKO Tidal Turbines to undertake six month demonstration of its renewable energy technology at Gladstone Port.

Washable sanitary pads create opportunities for remote Queensland women
A group of women from a remote town in the Gulf of Carpentaria is making washable sanitary bags for women in Papua New Guinea

Tea-tree farmer creates zero waste business using leftover materials for cosmetics
An Australian tea-tree grower has created a zero waste farming business which provides consumers with natural oil as well as the benefit of leftover material being turned into natural cosmetics and mulch.

South Australia
How much money did Tesla big battery make over summer?
Market operator releases assessment of wholesale margins made by South Australia’s Tesla big battery in the first three months of 2018.

South Australia’s second big battery charges into action
The second big battery in South Australia is charging up on the Yorke Peninsula.

Sustainable salons: How Adelaide hairdressers are embracing a recycling program that includes reusing hair clippings [$]
Who’d have thought the hair you’ve just had chopped off at the hairdresser could be used to help in an environmental disaster? It can and it is. Here’s how hair clippings are being repurposed in an unexpected way.

Forests contract questioned by Labor in budget estimates
A contract to allow a private forester to harvest 29,000 hectares of publicly owned forested land does not impose an obligation to regenerate harvested areas.

Cascade Brewery refuses to hand over land for cable car terminal
The Cascade Brewery declines its land for a kunanyi/Mt Wellington cable car as it “will clearly change the mountain”, adding that the company should not be making such a “momentous decision”.

Tasmanian farmers face power cost rises of between 30 and 60 per cent: Labor
Labor has pressured the government on what it is doing to help Tasmanian farmers who face power price hikes of between 30 and 60 per cent after signing new energy contracts.

Northern Territory
Darwin gasfields in limbo [$]
A Northern Territory-backed study has found stranded gasfields off Darwin could be competitively developed.

Western Australia
Outrage at Greens’ solar push [$]
A Greens-led council’s push for the nation’s first major solar farm to be built in an urban area has infuriated residents.

Qatar to pump $27b into US energy sector [$]
Qatar Petroleum, the world’s biggest seller of liquefied natural gas, is looking to get even larger, investing $27 billion in America’s oil and gas fields.

Groundwater in northwest India has a uranium contamination problem
Unlike the limits for arsenic and other toxic metals specified in the Indian standards for drinking water, there is no limit maintained for uranium.

Mumbai bans plastic bags and bottles
Mumbai has the become the largest Indian city to ban single-use plastics, with residents caught using plastic bags, cups or bottles to face penalties of up to 25,000 rupees (£276) and three months in jail from Monday.

Biofuels: Good or bad for the environment?
Industrialized countries have subsidized the use of biofuels in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But campaigners say a focus on bio-based crops for fuel may actually be doing more harm than good.

Nature Conservation
Palm oil ‘disastrous’ for wildlife but here to stay, experts warn
The deforestation it causes is decimating species such as orangutans and tigers – but the alternatives could be worse, finds authoritative report

The amazing return of the starfish: species triumphs over melting disease
After a mysterious ‘mass mortality event’ turned ochre stars to goo, experts say rapid evolution may have saved the creatures

Finnish forest management guidelines fail to protect the flying squirrel
A new study determined the habitat requirements for flying squirrels and compared them to those included in the recently amended Forest Act. The main finding was that the Finnish Nature Conservation Act does not adequately protect the old growth forests where flying squirrels live.

New oceanographic insight pinpoints marine ‘hotspots of risk’
Using a novel, high-resolution ‘Lagrangian Coherent Structures’ mapping technique, scientists are able to model dynamic features in ocean surface currents. The capacity for improved, near real-time mapping of ocean fronts and eddies may now help alert fishermen and fisheries managers to the increased risk so they can try to avoid those protected species and better target the species they are after.

Climate change threatens Unesco status of Canada’s largest national park
The world’s second-largest national park is under threat from a destructive combination of climate change, oil and gas development and hydroelectric projects, according to a new report from the Canadian government.

Could El Niño and climate change spell the end for tropical forests?
The 2015-16 El Niño briefly turned Amazon, African and Indonesian tropical forests from carbon sink to carbon source. Will climate change make that shift permanent?

Maelor Himbury