Daily Links Aug 25

Since not much in energy/climate change that makes any sense has happened in Australia lately, here’s a bit of silliness that George Monbiot tweeted today: 

I swear to you, this headline is not from @TheOnion. It’s real. 
“Oil industry wants government to build seawall to protect refineries from climate change effects”. 
Beautiful, eh?

Post of the Day

New York Times: Climate Change Policy Toppled Australia’s Leader. Here’s What It Means for Others.

Climate change policy toppled the government in Australia on Friday.

How much does that really matter?



Today’s Celebration

Constitution Day – Paraguay

Independence Day – Uruguay

Liberation Day – Hong Kong

Dia do Soldado – Brazil

Table Communion pour Dan Wezo, Roi de France – Voudon

Raksha Bandhan – Hinduism

Amnestea – http://amnestea2016.gofundraise.com.au/

Daffodil Day – http://www.daffodilday.com.au/

Kiss And Make Up Day – https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/kiss-and-make-up-day/

More about Aug 25 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_25


Climate Change

Climate change is melting the French Alps, say mountaineers

Permafrost ‘cement’ is evaporating, making rocks unstable and prone to collapse with many trails now deemed too dangerous to use



‘Have-nots’ struggle to stay cool as planet’s mercury rises

Sophie Hares

The best way to to protect poorer people from extreme heat is to boost incomes and access to services, experts say.




Turnbull warns against ‘politics of race’ and says climate policy ‘very hard’ for Coalition

Malcolm Turnbull says ‘bitterly entrenched’ ideological views obstruct agreement on energy and climate



AGL boss Andrew Vesey steps down immediately

Andy Vesey, the American at the centre of conservative anger over the decision to close Liddell, has stepped down as CEO of AGL.



AEMO cuts predicted uptake of household battery storage by more than half

AEMO – on advice from the CSIRO – has dramatically reduced its forecast uptake of battery storage by Australian households.



Ageing fossil fuel plants putting supply at greater risk, says AEMO

As the federal government continues its civil war over the fate of climate and energy policies, the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned of a heightened risk of outages this coming summer and future years because of the increased fragility of ageing coal and gas plants.



AGL and Origin: Making a profit didn’t use to be a crime

David Leitch

Both AGL and Origin are earning more than cost of capital, but so they should be at this point in the cycle.



3 lessons to help Australia boost grid reliability & flexibility with storage

Kiran Kumaraswamy

We’re past “trials”: storage is already providing reliability services in around 50 countries – it’s time to get on with it.



“Scoal-Mo” as PM. What does that mean for climate and energy policy?

Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath

It says something about the state of Australia’s politics that the new prime minister, the man who brandished a lump of coal in parliament, is considered a moderate, at least in comparison to the forces he beat to the job.



How hydrogen power can help us cut emissions, boost exports, and even drive further between refills

Sam Bruce

Hydrogen could become a significant part of Australia’s energy landscape within the coming decade, competing with both natural gas and batteries, according to a new CSIRO roadmap for the industry.



Canberra’s power blackout leaves states to ‘go it alone’

Daniel Wills

Canbera’s leadership is caucus, and we’ll all pay through power bills. The last, desperate hope is that the state governments can fill the void.



AGL: the other leadership spill

Elizabeth Knight

Andy Vesey’s bold refusal to extend the life of the Liddell coal power station ultimately made him as toxic in Canberra as Malcolm Turnbull himself.



Australia insignificant? Pathetic and absurd

Richard Glover

We are no longer “little ole Australia”; our size means we cannot shrug away responsibilities when it comes to climate policy.



PM shuffle does not end policy paralysis

Age editorial

Australians are understandably wondering what all this was actually about.



‘Climate wars’ claim another political scalp

Rod Mitchell

While some remain unconvinced that climate change is wreaking havoc with our weather systems, the current circus in federal politics proves it is doing inordinate damage to our political system.



Cutthroat politics veil climate change inaction [$]

Mike Seccombe

Throughout all the thrills and spills of federal politics this week, the Coalition’s wilful torching of planned action on climate change escaped scrutiny.



New York Times: Climate Change Policy Toppled Australia’s Leader. Here’s What It Means for Others.

Climate change policy toppled the government in Australia on Friday.

How much does that really matter?




$100m to be spent easing the extra traffic West Gate Tunnel will bring

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp has announced $50 million in funding to help mitigate the effects of the West Gate Tunnel.



New South Wales

Manning River turtle breeding program begins to save endangered species from extinction

Efforts are underway to save a rare and endangered Australian freshwater turtle from extinction.




Can street trees weather climate change? ANU researchers are finding out

Streetscapes could be bare if trees can not survive harsher seasons and urban renewal as weather becomes more unpredictable.




Tour operator powers up reef restoration project [$]

Snorkellers and divers are able to get an up close look at an electrified reef restoration project underway at a popular dive site on the Great Barrier Reef.



Beachside eco-resort granted green light [$]

An eco-resort proposed for one of the Far North’s most scenic beaches has climbed a major hurdle, with the developer hopeful construction can start within six months.



Further Barrier Reef business links [$]

Alex McKinnon

As questions swirl around the Great Barrier Reef Foundation grant, another non-profit group pledging citizens’ support for the reef is revealed to have links to business and tourism bodies.




Why plantscrapers are springing up across the globe

My, how you’ve grown. The rise of tree towers is no surprise: they’re adept at fighting pollution, reducing energy costs and creating more peaceful places.



How our addiction to plastic is polluting our food chain

It’s no secret that plastic pollution can wreak havoc on the environment, but the issue goes much deeper. As animals continue to mistake plastic fragments for food, hazardous particles can end up in our food chain and ultimately impact the human immune system.



The first plastic straw poll finds most people want to cut back — but don’t want a government ban

A new US survey suggests people are using roughly 130 million plastic straws a day, far fewer than the 500 million figure that’s commonly cited.



Is plastic making us fat?

When it comes to the obesity epidemic, plastics are fuel for the fire.



Smoggy coal plants on brink of death get new life in Trump plan

Tucked inside the Trump administration’s plan to ease carbon dioxide limits is a change that could breathe new life into scores of aging coal power plants.



No, the United States isn’t the cleanest country

President Donald Trump touted the United States’ environmental health during a speech in coal country. But does the US really dominate when it comes to water and air quality?



Fed up with costly, dirty fuels, Nigerians switch to cleaner alternatives

Nearly four million people, mostly women and girls, die every year from the effects of dirty cooking fuels, WHO says.



It looks like microbes can help clean up mining pollution

Experiments at an abandoned 4,000-year-old mine have researchers optimistic.



Indonesia seeks to get palm oil used as jet fuel in U.S., France

Indonesia, the world’s top producer of palm oil, wants the U.S. and France to use it to fuel their airplanes — and may be willing to play hardball in order to achieve its aim.



Murder of activist in India highlights growing risk to environmental defenders

India has one of the highest rates of murders of environmental activists in the world, with 16 activists killed in 2016, up from six in 2015, according to a recent report.



Nature Conservation

Kelp dredging proposal criticised by Scottish conservationists

Use of mechanical device to pull kelp plants from beds would destroy local ecosystem, say campaigners