Daily Links Sep 20

There’s a lot to like in biomimicry. We’ve had flexible solar cells for millions of years. We call them leaves. With market certainty, we can afford the R and D to manufacture ‘leaves’ of our own.

Post of the Day

Incumbents fail – so are we wasting our time on sustainability?

Paul Gilding

The scale and speed of change needed on sustainability means many and perhaps most of today’s major old companies simply won’t get there. So, are we wasting our time?



Today’s Celebration

Liberation Day – East Timor

Rosh Hashanah – Judaism

More about Sep 20 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_20


Climate Change

Shell and Exxon’s secret 1980s climate change warnings

Newly found documents from the 1980s show that fossil fuel companies privately predicted the global damage that would be caused by their products.



Unprecedented ice loss in Russian ice cap

In the last few years, the Vavilov Ice Cap in the Russian High Arctic has dramatically accelerated, sliding as much as 82 feet a day in 2015, according to a new multi-national, multi-institute study led by CIRES Fellow Mike Willis, an assistant professor of Geology at CU Boulder.



Sustained levels of moderate warming could melt the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

Imperial experts have predicted that sustained Antarctic warming of just 2°C could melt the largest ice sheet on earth.



Mineral weathering from thawing permafrost can release substantial CO2

The amount of carbon dioxide released from thawing permafrost might be greater than previously thought, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists. The research is the first to document the potential for substantial contributions of CO2 from thawing permafrost to the atmosphere through an inorganic process called mineral weathering.




Telstra’s power bill shock: Energy costs jumped by $200m in two years

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn is aggressively looking to mitigate energy costs that have slashed earnings by $200 million over the past two years as the telco is readying to build out Australia’s ultra-fast next generation 5G mobile network.



Slow immigration to be in line with infrastructure: inquiry chair

Man in charge of parliamentary inquiry into city development says we need to slow the rate of immigration to keep it in line with infrastructure.



Taylor plan prolongs coal’s power [$]

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor will consider a plan to upgrade the ­efficiency of coal-fired power stations.



Solar overtakes brown coal in mid-day power, and keeps prices down

Solar overtakes brown coal to be second biggest contributor to the main grid in the middle of the day, and keeps a lid on prices.



Cycle surfing Peabody stalled by Queensland gas [$]

Matthew Stevens

Peabody Energy’s smooth ride since dragging itself out of bankruptcy and surfing the coal cycle back to profitability has been interrupted by technical problems at its North Goonyella mine.



Morrison now officially worse than Abbott on climate change [$]

Bernard Keane

The Morrison government now officially has no climate policy, which makes it even worse than the Abbott government in a crucial policy area.



Abbott’s Green Army is coming back, for last charge of the coal brigade

Giles Parkinson

Australia, in September 2018, looks and sounds like 2013, at least when it comes to climate and energy policy




Weeks on from Footscray inferno, illness continues to haunt Melbourne’s west

The Victorian Government is spending over $1 million to clean up the creek contaminated in the huge industrial fire three weeks ago, as locals tell the ABC of a range of symptoms including nausea, repeated blood noses, sore chests, asthma and itchy eyes.



EPA tells warehouse owner to clean up or else [$]

The owner of a West Footscray warehouse that went up in smoke in a blaze three weeks ago has been ordered to clean up the site or face daily fines.



Work begins on Australia’s biggest and lowest cost wind farm

First concrete poured at site of one of Australia’s biggest, and lowest cost, wind energy developments – the 530MW Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in western Victoria.



Deer in spotlight as population rapidly booms [$]

Ed Gannon

Twelve months ago I wrote about the growth in the wild deer population across rural Victoria, and, increasingly, suburbia. Guess what? The problem appears to have got worse.



New South Wales

Go with the flow: desalination plant study finds ‘amazing’ ocean impact

The Sydney desalination plant’s biggest effect on the ocean is unlikely to be from the release of highly saline brine, according to the first peer-reviewed study into the industry’s marine impacts.



Flexible printed solar cells – a new manufacturing frontier?

University of Newcastle’s work on organic solar cells heralds a new industrial revolution, with flexible coatings that can be printed on plastic film or sheets in great quantity at…



Shooters party must not dictate policy

SMH editorial

The NSW government’s decision to ditch its plans for expanding marine sanctuaries in the coastal waters around Sydney is politically inept and environmentally irresponsible.




Malu ‘the cutest koala’ released from the Tidbinbilla breeding program

He’s been described as the cutest koala that’s ever been bred as part of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve breeding program.




Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority board director accused of potential conflict of interest

Documents show Margie McKenzie failed to declare her interest in Gempearl for her first two years on board



Questions over taxpayer money used to kill starfish

A $40 million grant has been given to fight the crown of thorns starfish, but there are questions over the way funding has been distributed in the past.



$400m solution to waste and energy needs [$]

A new $400 million power plant, fuelled solely by landfill, that could generate enough electricity to power up to 50,000 homes will be built in a southeast Queensland waste hot spot.



South Australia

Plans released for $85m Flinders Link train project [$]

Work on new $85 million Flinders Link train extension would start early next year, if the State Government’s plans win development approval.




Climate change, battery boom threatening life on the ‘roof of the world’

The very existence of Tibet’s traditional nomads is under threat, as glaciers melt and grassland turns to desert. But that’s not the only hazard — the tech industry’s thirst for lithium is also causing concern.



Solar power enjoys a record-breaking summer in Europe

Europe’s hot summer, and added solar capacity, saw records tumble.



Nuclear the key to clean energy [$]

Nuclear energy was vital to meeting the global challenge of climate change, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.



Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry

Worldwide efforts to make sodium-ion batteries just as functional as lithium-ion batteries have long since controlled sodium’s tendency to explode, but not yet resolved how to prevent sodium-ions from ‘getting lost’ during the first few times a battery charges and discharges. Now, Purdue University researchers made a sodium powder version that fixes this problem and holds a charge properly.



Origami inspires highly efficient solar steam generator

Water covers most of the globe, yet many regions still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. If scientists could efficiently and sustainably turn seawater into clean water, a looming global water crisis might be averted. Now, inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, researchers have devised a solar steam generator that approaches 100 percent efficiency for the production of clean water. They report their results in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.



Incumbents fail – so are we wasting our time on sustainability?

Paul Gilding

The scale and speed of change needed on sustainability means many and perhaps most of today’s major old companies simply won’t get there. So, are we wasting our time?



Nature Conservation

Genetic detectives shine a light on ivory poaching

Scientists are using genetics in a bid to understand how poached ivory is shipped out of Africa, and uncover the big cartels behind the small-time poachers.



We now know what makes a cane toad

Scientists have cracked the cane toad genome — a discovery that not only can help them understand why the iconic pest is such a successful invader but could identify biocontrols to stop it in its tracks.



Bipartisan inquiry recommends Australia ban domestic ivory trade

Senator who kicked off inquiry says Australia contributes to rhinoceros and elephant poaching by providing a market



Microplastics can spread via flying insects, research shows

‘Shocking’ study reveals plastic contaminates our skies as well as the oceans, say scientists



Flood frequency of the world’s largest river has increased fivefold

A recent study of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon shows a significant increase in frequency and severity of floods.




Now for something completely different …





Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042