Daily Links Feb 20

From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 20 February 2019 at 08:59:36 AEDT
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Feb 20

Post of the Day

Plastic threatens our health from before production to long after it’s thrown away: Report

Plastic pollution is a “threat to human life and human rights” and, in order to stem this problem, we have to overhaul how we produce, use and dispose of it, according to an international report released today.


Today’s Celebration

Heavenly Hundred Remembrance Day – Ukraine

Battle of Salta Day – Argentina

UN World Day of Social Justice

Love Your Pet Day

More about Feb 20


Climate Change

Political and policy feedbacks in the climate system

Matto Mildenberger, University of California Santa Barbara explains how perceived experiences with climate change in the United States can be linked to political shifts in Congress, culture and society. He will demonstrate how partisan opinions about the prevalence and dangers of climate change in each of the 50 states and 435 congressional districts in the United States can change policymaking by Congress.


World climate targets ‘unlikely to be met’

New research indicates the way people use land is having an impact on global climate change targets, which may not be met.


School climate strikes: What next for the latest generation of activists?

After students around the world went on strike to protest against the lack of action on climate change, what is the next step for young activists?


Global warming pioneer scientist dies

US scientist Wallace Smith Broecker, who popularised the term “global warming” and was known as the “grandfather of climate science”, has died at 87.


Majority of European firms have no CO2 reduction targets

Only one in three firms have climate goals set to go beyond 2025, report finds


The US debate on climate change is heating up

Might the US move from being a laggard to a leader in tackling global climate change?


Climate change will fuel more wars and displacement in the Middle East, experts warn

The most volatile region in the world is about to be plunged into further chaos because of climate change, academics and international officials warned at a conference on Tuesday.


Arctic bogs hold another global warming risk that could spiral out of control

As warming brings earlier spring rains in the Arctic, more permafrost thaws, releasing more methane in a difficult-to-stop feedback loop, research shows.


Soil ecologist challenges mainstream thinking on climate change

How cropland and pastures are managed is the most effective way to remedy climate change, an approach that isn’t getting the attention it deserves, according to a leading soil ecologist from Australia who speaks around the world on soil health.


Global climate targets set to be missed as deforestation rises, study says

International targets to cut emissions and limit climate change are set to be missed due to rises in deforestation and delays in changing how humans use land, new research has warned.


What should a climate change “plan” look like?

Anyone with a 3-digit IQ can do a bit of googling and come up with a set of policies to reduce carbon emissions. But a plan—now that’s a different thing.


Climate goals of the Paris Agreement: Impact of land use

Significantly less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times — this is the temperature to which global warming should be limited, according to the Paris Climate Agreement. In a current study, a research team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Edinburgh shows that previous efforts to reduce greenhouse gases through human land use are insufficient.


Technologies for removing CO2 will need to be integrated into climate policy in 2019

EASAC released publications in 2018 that urged policy-makers to take immediate action on CO2 mitigation including using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to offset large CO2 emitters. EASAC notes that technologies and techniques for carbon dioxide removal (‘negative emission technologies’) will need to take on increased importance in the EU’s climate change strategy this year and in the near future. CCS will be critical to this task.


Paper: Carbon taxes could create new winners and losers among countries

A global carbon tax would create new sets of economic winners and losers, with some countries holding a distinct competitive advantage over others, says new research from Don Fullerton, a Gutgsell Professor of Finance at Illinois and a scholar at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.



Snowy Hydro says LGC strategy will reduce bills

Snowy Hydro chief executive Paul Broad says consumers will see lower electricity tariffs this year as a result of the energy supplier’s controversial decision to defer its obligations under the renewable energy target scheme.


Too ugly to eat? Why we are being encouraged to consume unfamiliar fish species

The range of fish being eaten is reducing and the demand for popular species is growing. It means consumers are missing out on cheaper local seafood, while also putting pressure on the sustainability of fish populations.


Labor ‘raising ag water risks’ [$]

Dairy, rice and even cotton irrigators risk being permanently priced out of the Murray Darling Basin’s water markets, in the wake of the federal Labor Party’s decision to remove the 1500 gigalitre cap on government buyouts.


Scientists want more water held back [$]

Scientists commissioned by the Federal Labor Party to investigate the Lower Darling River’s fish kills have called for at least 400 gigalitres to be reserved in the Menindee Lakes for flushing flows.


With climate protection, Labor can turn the table on government’s fear agenda

David Spratt

Climate change needs to be seen as an escalating and potentially existential risk to security in Australia, and to orderly relations between peoples and nations.


There’s No Future In Coal. But Disaster Recovery Is Booming

Chris Graham

If there was a union or lobby group for serial killers, then you’d expect them to push pretty hard for better conditions for stone cold murderers.


Carrot and stick: Getting to the root cause of energy inequity

Nancy Xie

Solving the energy-equity issue for low income renters requires both reward and punishment to incentivise behaviour of the various stakeholders.


100% renewables can be reached quickly, but it needs a plan

Giles Parkinson

University researches and academics do not typically move this quickly: the cadence of their work is usually dictated by the need for detailed analysis, papers and conference presentations.



Mt Gellibrand wind farm to help power Geelong refinery

Viva Energy announces PPA with Acciona Energy to source around one-third of its electricity a year from the nearby 132MW Mt Gellibrand wind farm.


Victoria to end energy price fruit salad

The Victorian government will force energy retailers to put customers on a mandated best offer so they can stop comparing “apples with pears and bananas”.


Latest escalation in Victorian recycling crisis a sign of worse times to come, peak body warns

Sanctions have been placed on one of the state’s biggest recyclers, forcing some councils to send recyclables directly to the tip. According to the industry’s peak body, this is just the tip of the iceberg.


Recycling giant must explain crisis: govt

Victoria’s environment minister says recycling contractor SKM must explain to the public why it stockpiled materials, prompting a crisis for local councils.


The ‘recycling crisis’ may be here to stay

Trevor Thornton

A major Victorian company has had to stop accepting recycling.


New South Wales

‘We’ve seen a big rise in anguish’: Australian councils unite over bushfire risks

As councils from around Australia met in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, to demand action on climate change, fires continued to burn across northern NSW.


We are suffering too, say NSW irrigators

Irrigators in northwest NSW say they are struggling with a lack of water and are not copping the blame for mass fish deaths downstream on the Darling River.


BHP questions climate comments [$]

BHP has questioned the ‘strange’ logic of a NSW court rejecting a proposed coal mine on the basis of its carbon emissions.


How to vote for a coal seam gas ban

Johanna Evans

Protection of our water resources must be front and centre when NSW votes in March and Australia in May.



Water in Canberra cleaner, and there’s more of it

In June 2017 the total volume of water resources in the Canberra region totalled 279,968 megalitres, equating to just over half of the water held in Sydney Harbour, according to new data issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). This was a 27 per cent increase from 2013 when it was 220,546 megalitres.


ACT looks to ban range of single-use plastics

An ACT minister is putting forward a proposal to ban a range of single-use plastics, as the territory tries to step up its efforts to reduce landfill.


Braddon MHR says legal requirements hampered Tasmanian bushfire control methods

The Greens have moderately supported a call from federal Labor to review restrictions placed the ability to adequately tackle fires in Tasmania’s wild protected areas.



Conservation Groups Back Senate Calls for Reef Charity to Return Grant

Conservation charities have come out in full support of Senate recommendations for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to hand back its controversial $433 million government grant. 


Origin sells QLD gas project for $231m

Origin Energy has agreed to sell its Ironbark gas project in Queensland to Australia Pacific LNG for A$231 million.


Adani’s ‘legal intimidation’ tactics against community groups a ‘threat to democracy’

Eminent members of legal profession, including a former supreme court judge, critical of law firm’s strategy document


Spectacled flying fox declared endangered after Queensland heatwave wipeout

Up to 20,000 animals died late last year; decision is one of several made by Melissa Price after criticism over inaction


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to back the Adani mine.

Labor candidates in regional Queensland have split from the party’s line on Adani’s $2 billion Carmichael mine, saying the project was needed to bring more jobs to regional Queensland.


‘Our climate has already changed’: The $1.5b cost of Qld’s ‘summer of disasters’

Queensland’s “summer of disasters” is evidence of climate change and will take an economic toll on taxpayers of at least $1.5 billion, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.


On one side of this island, taxpayers will foot a clean-up bill. Developers are invited on the other

In Australia’s largest island national park, taxpayers will be forced to spend $1.3 million cleaning up a resort in ruins while the Queensland Government courts companies to build more eco-accommodation on the other side of the island.


Bob Katter to run CFMEU candidates in marginal Queensland coal seats

Bob Katter’s intervention follows a threat by CFMEU Queensland secretary Steve Smyth to endorse non-Labor candidates.


Hundreds call for pets to be let on Brisbane buses, trains and ferries

The RSPCA has backed calls for pets to be allowed to travel on buses, ferries and trains in Brisbane to boost the economy.


Queensland’s summer of natural disasters will cost $1.5 billion

The damage bill from Queensland’s summer of floods and fires will top more than $1 billion.


Shorten ally flays ‘lefties’ over Adani [$]

Bill Shorten’s mentor Bill Ludwig has blamed a ‘few lefties’ within Queensland’s government for politicising the Adani coalmine.


Politics is destroying trust, not Adani [$]

Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow says the politics around the delayed approval of the Adani Carmichael mine has left locals more distrustful than the mining company ever did.


Shorten dithers over jobs [$]

Australian editorial

Adani’s fate will be a turning point for mining investment.


Premier playing dangerous climate blame game [$]

Steven Wardill

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to draw a direct link between climate change and the state’s horrific summer of fire and flood represents a new paradigm in Queensland politics.


South Australia

Great Australian Bight drilling report ‘whitewashes’ oil spill risk, Greenpeace says

A company proposing to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight releases its environment plan, but Greenpeace says it is downplaying the risk of a major spill.


Diesel truck crashes, spills into creek [$]

Crews are working to stop approximately 750 litres of diesel spilling into a waterway near the Augusta Hwy after a B-double truck crashed into a creekbed.


Controversial gas project reaches major new milestone [$]

A controversial gas project banned in Queensland has reached another major milestone during a pilot program in SA’s centre, extracting commercial quantities of synthetic gas for the first time.


Torrens tunnel gets thumb up — sort of [$]

A congestion-busting South Rd tunnel stretching from the River Torrens to Anzac Highway has been given a qualified thumbs up by West Torrens Council, local businesses and traffic experts.


Big fines in the wind for outlets who use plastic [$]

Hobart food retailers who use plastic food containers and utensils are facing large fines.


Calls for wide-ranging inquiry into bushfires [$]

The State Government has been urged to hold an independent inquiry into this summer’s devastating bushfires.


Northern Territory

‘Our little brown rat’: first climate change-caused mammal extinction

A tiny island rodent, the Bramble Cay melomys, has become the first known demise of a mammal because of human-induced climate change.


Cane toads decimate Kakadu National Park while Commonwealth ‘sits on its hands’, expert says

Biodiversity in Kakadu National Park has been “decimated” by cane toads to an “unbelievable” extent over recent years, with some species disappearing from sight altogether, according to one of the Territory’s leading toad experts.


Western Australia

In Kwongkan, Indian and Australian performers convey an urgent climate change message

An artistic collaboration between India and Australia, playing as part of this year’s Perth Festival, stirs its audience to action on climate change.


New WA major projects plan promises to end pork-barrelling politics

The statutory authority is aimed at getting politics out of infrastructure decision-making.


Well runs dry for Water Corp

The environment regulator could slash the Water Corporation’s annual take from Perth’s aquifers by 30 billion litres within years.



“Refillable” battery tech could allow electric cars over 5000km range

New type of electric car technology using combination of battery and hydrogen power could allow a passenger car to travel over 5000km, only stopping to quickly refill battery fluid.


Tailings dams need ‘nuclear level’ safety: BHP

BHP boss Andrew Mackenzie says it’s time for the mining industry to bring tailings dams to “a nuclear level of safety”.


Plastic threatens our health from before production to long after it’s thrown away: Report

Plastic pollution is a “threat to human life and human rights” and, in order to stem this problem, we have to overhaul how we produce, use and dispose of it, according to an international report released today.


Nigeria: Delta community laments ecological pollution

The Polobubo-Tsekelewu community in Warri North Council of Delta State has raised the alarm over ecological issues it faces daily despite being an oil-producing community.


Breathing poison? Air pollution is a leading cause of death in India

Researchers from about 100 institutions across India, present a comprehensive picture of the deaths, diseases and reduced life expectancy caused by polluted air in different states of India.


Toxics from vinyl flooring and flame-retardant sofas found in children

Potentially harmful toxins known as SVOCs are ubiquitous in indoor environments.


Climate-friendly labriculture depends on an energy revolution, says Oxford study

In a first-of-its-kind study from the Oxford Martin School, the climate-change impact of several production methods for lab-grown and farmed beef was assessed accounting for the differing greenhouse gases produced. The new projections reveal that over the long term, cultured meat production methods requiring large energy inputs could increase global warming more than some types of cattle farming if energy systems remain dependent on fossil fuels.


2040” paints an optimistic picture of the future of the environment

The film focuses on technological and agricultural solutions that are already being implemented to help combat climate change.


What we risk as humans if we allow gene-edited babies: a philosopher’s view

Janna Thompson

Imagine a future society where parents can choose the characteristics of their children. Does that turn babies into consumer products., and what choice does the child get?


Coal loses another battle, despite Trump

The Tennessee Valley Authority voted to close a coal-powered Kentucky power plant despite a personal appeal from President Trump.


Firefly-inspired surfaces improve efficiency of LED lightbulbs

A new type of light-emitting diode lightbulb could one day light homes and reduce power bills, according to Penn State researchers who suggest that LEDs made with firefly-mimicking structures could improve efficiency.


Why Brazil fails to learn from its mining catastrophes

Nick Terdre asks why has nothing changed since Brazil’s last environmental disaster?


Yes, the Green New Deal is audacious. But we have no choice but to think big

We used to embrace the ambitious, the aspirational, the improbable and the impractical. What happened to that?


Nature Conservation

The view from the bottleneck: Is nature poised for a big comeback?

A new theory, from bottleneck to breakthrough, posits that urbanization, falling fertility and the end of extreme poverty could result in a much greener world than the one we inherited.


The invasive species are likely to spread to a community not adapted to climate change

Laboratory experiment to indicate how invasive species are to spread new areas.


Fishing and pollution regulations don’t help corals cope with climate change

A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports that protecting coral reefs from fishing and pollution does not help coral populations cope with climate change. The study also concludes that ocean warming is the primary cause of the global decline of reef-building corals and that the only effective solution is to immediately and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.



Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042