Daily Links Oct 25

When the world’s climate zones shift, human populations shift too. If we reckon a thousand or so boat people are a problem how will we cope with a million or so? And remember, this is all under positive feedback scenarios, so it won’t just be a million or so to deal with – try hundreds of millions.

Post of the Day

World wakes up to scale of climate challenge, so what should a Labor government do?

David Spratt

Here are six steps that could be taken straight away by a new Labor government to address the challenge of climate change, without legislation.



Today’s Celebration

Constitution Day – Lithuania

Gospel Day – Cook Islands

Republic Day – Kazakhstan

Restoration Day – Taiwan

Thanksgiving Day – Grenada

International Artists Day

More about Oct 25


Climate Change

New York sues Exxon Mobil, saying it deceived shareholders on climate change

After an investigation of more than three years, the state’s attorney general has sued Exxon Mobil, accusing it of downplaying the risks of global warming to its business.



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.



Here’s what you need to know about Trudeau’s carbon price plan

The prime minister unveiled how Canadians in four provinces — including Ontario — will get rebates for the tax on fuel consumption that is part of the Liberal government’s climate change plan.



Changing climate forces desperate Guatemalans to migrate

Drought and shifting weather are making it difficult for many small-scale farmers to feed their families, fueling a human crisis.



Redrawing the map: How the world’s climate zones are shifting

Rising global temperatures are altering climatic zones around the planet, with consequences for food and water security, local economies, and public health. Here’s a stark look at some of the distinct features that are already on the move.



Latest climate change report shows inaction is shameful [$]

Martin Wolf

It is five minutes to midnight on climate change. We will have to alter our trajectory very quickly if we wish to have a good chance of limiting the global average temperature rise to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.



Climate change’s damaging effects on American Democracy

Vann R Newkirk II

Major disasters and challenging long-term weather conditions are weakening local governments, increasing racial and class inequality, and reducing trust in government.



Some of the countries leading on climate change might surprise you

John Abraham

Iran is tackling the potential water supply crisis exacerbated by climate change




Why Australian company directors have started caring about climate change

Australian company directors nominate climate change as the number one issue they want the government to address in the long-term, in a survey of more than 1,200 business leaders.



Australian companies aiming for renewables

Australian companies aiming for 100 per cent renewable energy are set to meet at a forum in Sydney.



Fossil fuel ‘special interests’ putting Australian economy at risk, warns Stiglitz

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warns Australia that its future prosperity is at risk if it continues its dependence on fossil fuels.



Labor opposes plan to indemnify new coal plants and warns it could cost billions

Federal opposition calls it ‘an extraordinary waste of taxpayers’ money’ and issues warning to energy sector



Labor sides with business against forced divestment [$]

Labor will side with business and oppose the government granting itself powers to force the divestment of energy companies, arguing it is an ad hoc move which would have no impact on power prices and only serve as an investment risk.



The ‘hoax’ Australians have been sold on electricity

New measures have been revealed to bring our power prices down but there’s one uncomfortable question the government’s avoiding.



Optus to power up phone bundles with energy offer

Singtel Optus has signed a three-year agreement with energy retailer Sumo allowing Australians to buy telecommunications services along with their gas and electricity, with mobile plans around the corner.



Health experts slam government’s ‘contemptuous’ IPCC report response

Almost two dozen leading health experts have blasted the Morrison government’s dismissal of the findings of the latest major climate report and called for a rapid phasing out of coal.



Poor nations castigate Australia for abandoning global climate fund

Pauline Hanson has pressured the government to abandon the fund and it is unpopular with conservative MPs including Tony Abbott.



Morrison energy pledge at risk from hung parliament

The Morrison government has hit a new hurdle in its race to drive down energy prices as it struggles to legislate new powers to force big retailers to heed its demands before the federal election.



Sick of foam packaging for your vegies? A national solution is still years away

One NSW local council says its ambitions to reach a zero waste-to-landfill target are impossible as long as excess packaging exists.



GreenSync opens exchange to harness rooftop solar and storage

Industry-leading effort to harness Australia’s booming behind-the-meter energy resource has begun in earnest this week, with GreenSync’s Decentralised Energy Exchange officially opening for business.



Snowy says cost of “firm” wind and solar significantly below current base-load prices

The federal government owned utility Snowy Hydro says it will expand the scope of its wind and solar tender after confirming that “firm renewables” can deliver prices “significantly” below current “base-load”, or wholesale, prices.



Taylor says no plans to ditch rooftop solar rebate

Anergy minister Angus Taylor says there are no plans to kill rooftop solar rebate, despite calls from the ACCC and some big retailers.



Young will ‘abandon us’: Smith

Lib Dean Smith has warned that the government risks losing the next generation by ­failing to address climate change.



Scott Morrison’s big plan of ‘fair dinkum power’ is a relic of the past

Greg Jericho

Confused that Malcolm Turnbull lost his job over an energy policy that Morrison just pretty much reheated? Take a number



Does Australia need to consider the ‘unthinkable option’ — nuclear weapons?

Joey Watson

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?



Power prices off limits at Taylor’s chat [$]

Matthew Stevens

If the plan for Angus Taylor’s roundtable of energy leaders is to discuss prices, then that agenda needs to be changed.



Logo in the letterbox that fills you with dread

Alan Kirkland

We’ve been told it’s up to us to cut down our power bills. But now we know that power companies have rigged the game for years. Their free ride is over.



World wakes up to scale of climate challenge, so what should a Labor government do?

David Spratt

Here are six steps that could be taken straight away by a new Labor government to address the challenge of climate change, without legislation.



Coalition digs deeper into coal and climate denial

Giles Parkinson

If the Wentworth and Wagga Wagga by-elections were supposed to send a message to Coalition governments about the need to act on carbon emissions and embrace renewables, it hasn’t worked



Climate issue raises Canberra heat [$]

John Durie

Business desperation with the incompetence of Canberra has been underlined by the latest AICD survey.



Coalition energy policy: the death of neoliberalism meets rampant denialism [$]

Bernard Keane

The Morrison government’s new coal-loving energy policy is an incoherent mass of dramatic interventionism that denies the basics of economics and science.




Here’s how your vote will shape Melbourne’s transport network

Melbourne, this is your Sliding Doors moment. With infrastructure proving a key battleground in this year’s election campaign, the party you vote for on November 24 will transform the way you get around.



Fortnightly rubbish collection flagged in food waste reduction push

A plan to switch to fortnightly rather than weekly rubbish collection has been proposed by a government agency that is investigating ways to reduce food waste.



Dan rubbishes fortnightly garbage collection push [$]

Victorian political leaders have binned a proposal for councils to go from weekly to fortnightly garbage collections in a bid to cut food waste. See what Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy think.



Coal power plant may shut early [$]

AGL Energy could close the big Loy Yang A brown coal power station in Victoria 10 years earlier than its stated 2048 end of life.



Liberals reveal bold plan to power every Victorian school with solar

The state opposition has vowed to provide Victorian public schools with access to solar power if it wins the November election.



‘Watershed moment’: Victoria launches first grid-scale battery

Victoria has unveiled the largest battery in the state, one of two designed to keep the lights on ahead of another high-demand summer.



Energy price hikes leave Victorians in massive debt

Energy customers have complained of bills more than doubling — including a man whose quarterly bill jumped from $332 to $931 — after retailers impose price rises with little or no notice.



Will Victoria Liberal get serious on climate, or haemorrhage votes on a sleeper issue?

Leigh Ewbank

Pressure is mounting on Matthew Guy to show he takes climate change seriously – or else risk seeing the Wentworth effect play out in Victoria.



New South Wales

Another contamination scare at Australia’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

Five workers were affected by a contamination scare at Australia’s only nuclear reactor in southern Sydney yesterday, with one requiring thyroid scans, the union says.



Whitehaven Coal: activist shareholders to force vote on climate strategy

Proxy firm secures support from major investors for three resolutions calling for company to align policy to Paris agreement



NSW govt ignores easy koala fix: activists

The NSW government is looking to buy private land inhabited by koalas but conservationists insist it should instead protect koala habitats on state land.



Snowy Hydro windfall to be spent on dams

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced that dams and fast rail to Canberra are among the investments to come from the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro sale.



Business wary on ‘fair dinkum’ power plants

A proposed new gas plant venture in NSW says the government’s proposed underwriting mechanism for new generation may be workable but others fear it will distort the market and undermine investment confidence.




Rain-predicting cactus flower ‘a pest’

A cactus that has caught the interest of weather watchers and gardeners alike is actually a priority pest and a biosecurity risk.



The major ‘downside’ to cash for cans [$]

A container deposit scheme seems like a great way to save the environment while making a few bucks. But Brisbane City Council warns it will end up costing ratepayers.



State set to short-circuit PM’s power plan [$]

A warning from Queensland has threatened the Federal Government’s hopes of securing state support for its energy plan at the latest summit.



South Australia

New centre to tackle Australia’s food waste problem

South Australia will lead the way in the battle to combat Australia’s $20 billion food waste bill, with a new national research centre set to launch in Adelaide.



Hundreds of bees mysteriously dropping dead in SA

Bee corpses are piling up in backyards in the town of Peterborough, prompting dark suspicions from locals and theories from academics. But no one knows what is causing the deaths.



$54m proposal to make Mitcham a ‘solar city’

A mayoral candidate has pitched a scheme to transform Mitcham into a “solar city” – despite the fact it could cost almost as much as the council’s entire annual budget.



It’s time we embraced nuclear energy

Stacey Lee

We need to have another look at nuclear power for South Australia because more than 10 per cent of the world’s electricity is produced from this source in 31 countries



Will Hodgman says Beauty Point cruise ship port to be considered

Beauty Point, on the Tamar River, has been earmarked for potential visits from cruise ships.



Wilderness Society takes legal action against Walls of Jerusalem development

The Wilderness Society’s legal action challenging a development, including helicopter flights into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, has been slammed by the tourism industry.



A fact’s a fact . . . now give it back!

Trevor Burdon

Rob de Fegely, Chair, and Steve Whitely, CEO, of Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) have never looked so happy. In the recent 2018 Annual Report, they reported STT has zero debt and $49M in net income. How did they turn STT around so quickly? The simple answer is theft.



Northern Territory

Aboriginal traditional owners win historic Larrimah native title claim

For 18 years, the Wubalawun people have fought to gain native title rights over one square kilometre of land in the troubled township of Larrimah, in the Northern Territory, and now are finally being recognised by the Federal Court of Australia.



Drones helping to reconnect Indigenous Australians with sacred sites

Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory hope modern technology will give them new perspectives on ancient and culturally significant sites.



Uluru ban helps red centre rank as world’s fourth-best region

Central Australia is named one of the best places to visit on the planet by a significant international travel guide — partly in recognition of the upcoming Uluru rock climb closure.



Western Australia

Bushfire threat to WA Aboriginal community

A watch and act alert has been issued for the Yandeyarra Community in WA’s Pilbara region, with authorities warning the deliberately-lit blaze is moving fast.



Perth’s Scotch College installs 512kW solar, cuts grid power usage by 25%

WA private school expects to save around $235,000 a year on energy costs after installing 512kW of rooftop solar.




Ban entire pesticide class to protect children’s health, experts say

Evidence is ‘compelling’ that organophosphates increase risk of reduced IQs, memory and attention deficits, and autism for prenatal children



European parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics

Proposal passes 571-53, with Labour MEPs demanding UK mirror EU action after Brexit



Federal uranium contamination rule withdrawn

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn a proposed rule that would limit contamination of groundwater from uranium mining long-term.



Nigeria has some of the world’s most polluted cities—and that isn’t about to change

Politicians are doing little to tackle Nigeria’s off-the-chart pollution levels.



Despite climate pledges, China struggles to break coal habit

In a former mining district in eastern China, authorities have shut dozens of pits and invested billions of yuan to resculpt the broken landscape, creating gardens, forest walks and wetland parks, as well as a small museum dedicated to coal. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-china-coal/despite-climate-pledges-china-struggles-to-break-coal-habit-idUSKCN1MX37Z


Forget Tesla: Oil faces a much bigger threat

Liam Denning

What’s the bigger threat to oil, electric cars Ior renewable energy? The answer is: Neither. The ground beneath the energy market’s feet is shifting.



Here’s how to design cities where people and nature can both flourish

Georgia Garrard et al

An emerging body of research reveals that bringing nature back into our cities can deliver a truly impressive array of benefits, ranging from health and well-being to climate change adaptation and mitigation.



Nature Conservation

Crucial Hawaiian turtle habitat wiped out by devastating hurricane

Important nesting grounds for threatened green sea turtles are now fully submerged after a direct hit by a powerful hurricane on one of Hawaii’s largest atolls earlier this month.



Rewilding landscapes can solve multiple problems

Urbanisation, biodiversity loss, climate change: just some of the worldwide problems ‘rewilding’ – i.e. restoring food chains by returning ‘missing’ species to the landscape—can help tackle multiple problems.



In Africa, ‘paper parks’ are starved for cash

In a unique analysis, researchers put a price on protecting Africa’s wildlife: at least $1.2 billion each year.





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