Daily Links Oct 27

While world growth is a toxic danger to the environment, we are in no position to deny developing nations the possibility in improvements in standard of living. We’ll have a hard time in winning broad endorsement for reducing our standards too, so we have to ‘dematerialise’ to a huge extent, improve production efficiencies to a level we can only marvel at and repair and recycle like we never have before. But remember, humans can do big stuff when they have to (not that this is Ross Gittins expression).

Post of the Day

World growth a toxic danger for the environment

Ross Gittins

If the world’s population keeps growing, and the poor world’s living standards keep catching up with the rich world’s, how on earth will the environment cope?



Today’s Celebration

Independence Day – St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Naming Day – Zaire (Democratic Congo)

National Flag Day – Greece

Navy Day – United States of America

Three-Z Day – Zaire (Democratic Congo)

National Bandanna Day

Day for Daniel (Morcombe)

Big Cake Bake

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Make A Difference Day

More about Oct 27


Climate Change

Canada passed a carbon tax that will give most Canadians more money

By rebating the revenue to households, disposable income rises, which can be a boon for the Canadian economy



Add climate change to the list of things blockchain is supposed to solve

Blockchain is the latest technology du jour, following on the tail of big data, the internet of things and artificial intelligence.



‘We have a duty to act’: hundreds ready to go to jail over climate crisis

Rowan Williams backs call for mass civil disobedience ‘to bypass the government’s inaction and defend life itself’



How to shift public attitudes and win the global climate battle

The world is making progress in decarbonizing economies, but not nearly fast enough, says the former U.S. chief climate negotiator. Here he spells out what forces must come together to marshal the public and political will needed to tackle climate change.



An important essay by Richard Lindzen

Don Aitkin

Of course, the climate system is driven by the sun, but even if the solar forcing were constant, the climate would still vary.




Institute of Public Affairs blasts Coalition’s ‘un-Liberal’ energy policies

IPA’s John Roskam says government should ‘stop all subsidies to coal, wind and anything else’



Nationals treasurer blasts water claims

Federal Nationals treasurer Peter Schwarz has been accused of refusing to use $850,000 in drought-proofing funds for its intended purpose of saving water.



Australia considers tougher penalties in crackdown on illegal asbestos dumpers

The Australian government will look at tougher measures to crack down on illegal asbestos dumpers, after criticism it is not doing enough to tackle the state’s waste crisis.



‘360 degrees’: Wide-ranging aid needed to stem rapid decline of koalas

Koalas, one of Australia’s most beloved animals, are in rapid decline across the country, particularly in the regions where populations have the most genetic diversity, scientists say.



Climate right for change at IAG [$]

IAG yesterday announced ­direct accountability for executives to deliver on its plan to mitigate climate risk.



NDIS funds to be ‘repurposed’ for drought relief under Morrison plan

Disability advocates have slammed PM’s decision to “repurpose” $3.9 billion originally set aside for the NDIS.



States agree on simpler system to potentially lower electricity prices

A national system to simplify power bills will come into force after states agreed to a new regulated and more consistent pricing system.



Record energy prices tipped for next year [$]

Electricity futures are pointing to record-equalling wholesale prices in Victoria and NSW for next year.



King coal surges 60pc [$]

Coal has emerged as the nation’s most valuable resource commodity — rising almost 60 per cent over five years.



Coca-Cola to add 3.5MW solar across Australian operations

The shift to renewables by the giants of industry continues this week, with the news that Coca-Cola Amatil will install 3.5MW of solar, to cut its grid power usage…



Climate change claims its first mammal extinction [$]

Liberal moderates, corporations and the voters of Wentworth have all called on the Morrison government to act on climate change. But the country’s top scientists say its effects are already wreaking havoc across Australia.



Seven Australian solar facts to make your jaw drop

September has been a record month for solar PV in Australia. Let’s celebrate with seven facts – and two cool charts – to make your jaw drop.



Beware fossil-gas suppliers bearing hydrogen gifts

Will the public-relations power of renewable hydrogen be harnessed by fossil-fuel interests only to maintain business-as-usual?



Will climate change split the Liberal Party? [$]

Andrew Clark

“For many years when we talked splits and factions it was Labor. Now the boot is on the other foot.”



Coalition embraces economic vandalism with worst possible energy policy

Alex Turnbull

We joked the ACCC’s good advice could be turned into a policy to subsidise companies that own coal. Turns out that’s what happened



Cities are ditching cars — and we should follow suit [$]

Adam Beck

Getting rid of private vehicles from our roads seems like a strange idea to many Australians — but some of the world’s most innovative cities are pledging to do so by 2025. We need to realise the possibilities car-free streets open up.



No end yet to poor energy policy [$]

Judith Sloan

Renewable energy sources have been promoted, favoured and subsidised to the detriment of alternatives.



Muscling up to future drought [$]

Australian editorial

Scott Morrison rightly seized on drought as a top priority for his prime ministership.



Sadly, Angus Taylor’s political skills don’t match his impressive CV [$]

Peter Van Onselen

The Liberal Party needs to seriously consider changing its name if Cabinet and the party room entertain the hare-brained idea of the new Energy Minister Angus Taylor to indemnify coal investors against the possibility of a future carbon tax.



Coalition stalls on renewable energy decisions

Giles Parkinson

The Coalition Government doesn’t seem to be making carbon emission reductions a high priority at a time when it’s needed most.




Victorians given a choice between two plans to cut power prices this election

One month out from the Victorian state election, the focus of campaigning switches to power prices, with Labor and the Opposition both unveiling promises to bring consumers’ bills down.



Victoria’s biggest solar farm under construction as debate rages over impact on food bowl

The Mallee district is set to become home to a huge new, but the development has sparked concerns over the loss of prime agricultural land.



Victoria signs largest native title claim in its history, covering 11% of state’s landmass

Under agreement, 3,000 Taungurung people will have access to crown land for hunting, fishing, camping and gathering resources



NDIS funds to be ‘repurposed’ for drought relief under Morrison plan

Disability advocates have slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to “repurpose” $3.9 billion originally set aside for the NDIS to pay for drought relief, which has been cautiously welcomed by farmers.



200,000 new residents: Melbourne’s northern suburbs need huge infrastructure injection

A report for a group representing Melbourne’s north calls for a range of big infrastructure projects to be started over the next decade.



‘It’s the future’: Fortnightly bin collection happening for years

Victorian councils which already run a fortnightly rubbish collection to reduce food waste have urged other councils to follow suit, despite Premier Daniel Andrews slamming it as a “rubbish proposal”.



Karadoc solar farm starts generating in Victoria, becoming state’s biggest

Karadoc solar farm, supplying clean electricity to brewing group CUB, begins production near Mildura.



New South Wales

Images of dead and starving brumbies prompt fresh calls for NSW cull

Greens introduce bill to overturn legislation that abandoned recommendation to cull feral horses



Prince Harry and Meghan honour conservationists

Harry and Meghan are back in Sydney to attend a Geographic Society awards dinner before they spend time at final day of the Invictus Games on Saturday.



‘I’m not going to stop’: schoolgirl conservationist inspires passionate debate

Fresh from snagging a Young Conservationist of the Year award from Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, student Sophia Skarparis has a message for politicians like those in NSW who hold out against banning single-use plastic bags.



MP calls for cap on Sydney migration [$]

A Sydney Federal MP has declared migration into the city is “way too high” and needs an independent body to put on the brakes.



ACF calls for re-think on Winney Bay plan

The Central Coast branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACFCC) has called for Central Coast Council to redirect the $4.6m received for 5 Lands Masterplan works at Winney Bay.



Sodium-ion batteries to pump Bondi sewage in test of cheaper li-ion alternative

University of Wollongong project to test a comparable, low-cost alternative to lithium-ion battery storage – sodium-ion battery packs – is underway.




Light rail start date pushed back to 2019

Canberra students hoping to catch light rail on their first day back at school could be disappointed as the Government announces a delay in the service’s start date.



Back from the brink – the rare orchid rediscovered in a Canberra lab

Until it was rediscovered in a Canberra laboratory, it was thought a rare tiny orchid from Germany would never be seen again.



ACT cycling rules experiment is worth persevering with

Canberra Times editorial

The ACT Government’s decision to lock in new cycling road rules is more than justified. But more data is needed so they can be tweaked to suit local conditions.




Tagging to save Reef from jaws of defeat [$]

Scientists have tagged five tiger sharks in five days, to find out a very important factor about these oceanic predators.



Arrow’s Tipton gas expansion on ice

A $400 million expansion that could have provided more gas for the struggling east coast market is understood to have been put on ice by Shell and PetroChina.



‘Silenced’: Leading reef research centre faces axe after funding miss [$]

One of the world’s premier coral reef research centres has failed to secure Australian funding as the Great Barrier Reef faces another bout of bleaching.



South Australia

Bird lovers in a flap for Twitchathon

Fans of the feathers will flock together as those with a brain for birds gather this weekend to catch a glimpse of South Australia’s most iconic winged wildlife.



Outback listening posts take note of this desert wanderer [$]

Researchers will hit the record button on a series of listening devices in the bush west of Broken Hill on a mission to track down one of the desert’s more elusive residents.



Natural advantage

14 years ago, Richard Turner rigged up a solar-powered battery to bring some modern convenience to his kids’ cubby house. In 2018, after an incredible journey, the business is ready to revolutionise the economy and transform our state’s prosperity.



Adelaide waters to see mass gathering of harmless sharks

Scientists, divers and marine ecologists are preparing for a mass aggregation of harmless Port Jackson sharks in shallow waters off Adelaide’s southern beaches.



Cable car company apologises for quoting professor in promo booklet

The company behind a proposal for a cable car on Hobart’s kunanyi/Mt Wellington publicly apologises to a leading environment academic for giving the impression he supported the proposal.



Heritage isle a sanctuary for rich [$]

An entire island inside Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area has been effectively privatised.



Western Australia

Prepare for the great nurdle invasion, as a wave of 1 billion plastic pellets bears down on WA

Oodles of nurdles were spilt into the ocean when a ship was hit by a storm in South Africa last year. Now, these lentil-sized plastic pellets are at the centre of an impending environmental headache.



WA nickel miner to slash diesel bill with 7MW solar

WA nickel miner claims “first” solar hybrid plant on an Australian mine primarily funded on commercial basis.




Scientists work out how to grow bricks from human urine

Researchers say bricks grown sustainably from human urine get stronger as they age, possibly reducing maintenance costs in our future cities.



Spain to close most coalmines in €250m transition deal

Agreement with unions includes early retirement for miners, re-skilling and environmental restoration



Latest land defender murder cements Mexico’s deadly reputation

Body of Julián Carrillo found with multiple bullet wounds in Chihuahua state on 24 October



A new wind turbine inspired by a palm tree, big as the Empire State Building

The Energy Information Administration says the United States got about 11 percent of its energy from renewable sources last year.



Good news is that micro-plastic particles are excreted from the body

A pilot study by a team of scientists from the Medical University of Vienna has found microplastics in human stool.



New Nissan Leaf both a car – and a power station

Nissan Leaf approved as a power plant for the German energy market, using vehicle-to-grid technology.



London Uber plans to go all electric by 2025

“Clean Air Plan” to assist London Uber to buy EVs, to make the on-demand transport service all-electric by 2025.



World growth a toxic danger for the environment

Ross Gittins

If the world’s population keeps growing, and the poor world’s living standards keep catching up with the rich world’s, how on earth will the environment cope?



Nature Conservation

Queen honoured for forest canopy campaign

The Queen has been honoured with a special award for conservation for her initiative to highlight the plight of the world’s forests.



The rise of sponges in Anthropocene reef ecosystems

James Bell and Nicole Webster

Many Caribbean reefs are now dominated by sponges.





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