Daily Links Oct 24

The priest talking of religion, science and proof in relation to climate change says that science doesn’t offer proof. Spot on, it offers the best explanation available for the observations at hand, pending further observation. When the explanation is overwhelmingly supported, we go ahead and act on its projections. Science however, can disprove, as the black swan did. Perhaps the priest had a word-limit.

Post of the Day

Microplastics found in human stools for the first time

Study suggests the tiny particles may be widespread in the human food chain



Today’s Celebration

Independence Day – Zambia

Suez Day – Egypt

United Nations Day

World Development Information Day 

World Polio Day

National Kidsafe Day

Disarmament Week

More about Oct 24


Climate Change

Climate change, rising sea levels a threat to farmers in Bangladesh

Rising sea levels driven by climate change make for salty soil, and that is likely to force about 200,000 coastal farmers in Bangladesh inland as glaciers melt into the world’s oceans, according to estimates from a new study.



Young people are suing the Trump Administration over climate change. She’s their lawyer.

Julia Olson is representing 21 young plaintiffs, who may soon get their day in court. “She has built not just a case, but a movement,” a colleague says.



A record number of scientists are running for Congress, and they get climate change

More than a dozen scientists are candidates for U.S. House and Senate seats this year in a wave fueled by the Trump Administration’s anti-science agenda.



Climate change is pushing tropical cyclones poleward

Typhoons are becoming more destructive at northern latitudes, according to the first long-term study to document how the storms in East Asia are drifting toward the poles.



Why climate change planning fails

Our well-intentioned climate solutions are making us less safe.



UN pledges $1bn investment to drive climate action in developing nations

Members of the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) have this week approved more than $1bn of funding for 19 projects supporting climate action in developing countries.



A priest says sceptics should stop demanding proof of climate change, as that’s not how science works

Chris Mulherin

An Anglican priest teaching climate change is often asked about the difference between science and faith.



We need a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty – and we need it now

Andrew Simms and Peter Newell

Climate breakdown is an imminent threat. But an international treaty could avert calamity




Want cheaper power bills? The Government says it can save you up to $800 a year

Some households will save more than $800 a year on their power bills, the Federal Government says, as part of measures to protect consumers and businesses from rising energy costs.



Energy Council wary of default power price

The Australian Energy Council says most consumers won’t pay less for their power bills under default pricing, and should instead shop around for better deals.



Australia’s carbon emissions data lost in smoke and mirrors, critics claim

The federal government has been accused of trying to bury Australia’s carbon emissions data by a leading climate change think-tank.



Government could support new coal power ‘where it stacks up’ – Morrison

Prime minister announces plan to boost investment in new ‘reliable’ power



PM Morrison open to more climate funds

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he’s open to topping up the government’s ‘direct action’ fund to cut carbon emissions.



‘Investors are mostly concerned about political risks’: energy minister Angus Taylor – full interview

As the Coalition announces new measures to reduce power bills, Taylor talks to political editor Katharine Murphy



Coalition could indemnify new coal projects against potential carbon price

Angus Taylor will look at overcoming financing problems new generation projects face



Genetically modified plants escape regulation under new proposals

A range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques that have made disease-resistant rice and non-browning white button mushrooms a reality would no longer be regulated, under controversial proposals by the Gene Technology Regulator.



Is it time for Australia to have a nuclear arsenal?

With Donald Trump pulling the US out of a key nuclear treaty with Russia, and China on the rise, is it time for Australia to start thinking about nuclear weapons? And what would be the cost?



Only policy shockers on offer in rush to fill energy vacuum

Tony Wood

The government has been left with policies that have damaging side-effects, or which the states won’t accept.



Electricity default price ‘would choke competition’ [$]

Angela Macdonald-Smith

Energy retailers are warning that the government’s move to set a “default” tariff for household electricity will end up as a cap on prices that could squeeze smaller suppliers out of the market.



The 60 Minutes Fukushima nuclear infomercial

Noel Wauchope 10

A recent 60 Minutes program was nothing other than an infomercial for the pro-nuclear lobby.



Government must deal with the heart of power problem [$]

The AFR View

Australia’s energy crisis does not begin at the retail level – it is the anarchy in the structural electricity supply.



When should we stop helping farmers? [$]

Tory Shepherd

Our farmers are extremely vulnerable to extremes. Good and bad weather, pests and disease. But there are smarter ways to smooth the bumps than through hand-outs.



We fiddle, our coal burns globally [$]

John Williams

There are smarter ways to tackle carbon emissions than Australia’s futile sacrifice.



Time to resurrect direct action [$]

Australian editorial

Much of the pain now being inflicted on the government over its climate change response can be traced to the unwise decision to combine the energy and environment portfolios under Malcolm Turnbull.




Hunters’ fight for rights [$]

Hunters’ rights to enter 360,000ha of Victorian state forest to shoot deer and other game have been blocked by a 20-year-old Government policy that appears to contradict its own legislation.



Melbourne kids keen to discuss climate change [$]

Climate change and sustainability were hotly debated issues in last Saturday’s Wentworth by-election. It’s also proving to be a popular topic at a conference for kids in Melbourne.



Insult to bushfire victims [$]

Weekly Times editorial

Failing to deliver on the 67 recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission is an insult to the memory of the 173 victims of that catastrophic day.



Isn’t long-term planning for urban public transport a no-brainer?

Alan Davies

The Rail Futures Institute’s Melbourne Rail Plan is the sort of comprehensive metropolitan plan that the Government’s failed to release, preferring instead to pull out ad-hoc projects just before the next election.



New South Wales

NSW Nats to back national park reversal

NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro says his party will back a plan to change a national park to state forest – opening it up to the logging industry.



Rain, desalination repairs ease threat of water restrictions

The risk of restrictions on water use for Sydney have abated for now after a wetter-than-usual October and the completion of repair work on the city’s tornado-hit desalination plant.




Pesticides scientists to stay in Canberra

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority CEO Chris Parker has been advised he doesn’t have to shift his entire workforce to the bush.



High-powered station to charge Canberra’s electric cars

Canberra’s electric car drivers will be able to travel further without refuelling their vehicles after the arrival of a new high-powered charging station.



South Australia

How going nuclear could irrigate Eyre Peninsula [$]

An Eyre Peninsula nuclear power plant could provide the state with cheap electricity and support a desalination plant which would supply water to a new agricultural irrigation scheme, new analysis shows.



Explosive reaction at waste facility delay [$]

Regional community leaders are concerned about the “emotional wellbeing of residents” as delay lingers over the preferred site of a nuclear waste facility.



Group calls for halt to fish farm expansion [$]

An alliance of groups concerned about expansion in the aquaculture industry has released a series of demands that would stymie growth of industrial fish farms until their impacts are better understood.



Western Australia

World-first discovery of albino quoll in northern WA stuns researchers

With snow white fur and distinct red eyes, researchers discover what is thought to be the first ever albino quoll near Port Hedland, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.



Hit the gas: Ichthys farewells first WA LNG shipment

Inpex farewelled the first ever shipment of WA liquefied natural gas on Tuesday.




Microplastics found in human stools for the first time

Study suggests the tiny particles may be widespread in the human food chain



For a lower climate footprint, vegetarian diet beats local

A new study provides a more comprehensive accounting of the greenhouse gas emissions from EU diets. It shows that meat and dairy products are responsible for the lion’s share of greenhouse emissions from the EU diet.



‘Soil probiotics’ promise bigger, healthier crops, but there’s a downside

Adam Frew

Crops, soils and fungus are a tricky mix.



Nature Conservation

Drought leaves Rhine river in crisis

Months of drought have left Germany’s Rhine river at a record low, dealing a blow to the economy and exposing relics from the past.



Changes in snow coverage threatens biodiversity of Arctic nature

Many of the plants inhabiting northern mountains depend on the snow cover lingering until late spring or summer. Snow provides shelter for plants from winter-time extreme events but at the same time it shortens the length of growing season, which prevents the establishment of more southern plants. This is why the reduced snow cover may be an even larger threat to the Arctic plants than rising temperatures.



A sea change: How one small island showed us how to save our oceans

In just 10 years, the Isle of Man has rid its beaches of plastic and earned Unesco status as a world leader in ocean protection. So how did it do it?



‘Rewilding’ animals could boost environment and help protect habitats

Bringing back animals such as beavers and giant tortoises could help stop flooding, forest fires and even climate change, according to a recent study.



The world’s most valuable parasite is in trouble

And so are the livelihoods of the people who depend on it.



Chinese demand wiping out forests in the Solomon Islands: New report

Logging in the Solomon Islands, a small country of 667,000 people in the South Pacific, is decimating natural forests there at around 19 times the rate considered sustainable, the watchdog NGO Global Witness has found.



Will we protect Antarctica or exploit it?

José María Figueres

A special multination commission should approve proposals for three marine sanctuaries in the continent’s bountiful seas.




Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042