Daily Links Feb 26

Drought frequency increases in Bogong moth breeding areas in the Darling Downs could lead to our second climate-change induced extinction, after the recent demise of the Bramble Cay melomys. Mountain Pygmy possums need more than feral predator control, Minister, they need food.

Post of the Day

Libs v Labor: climate and energy policies

A comparison of the climate and energy policies of the Morrison government and the Labor Party.


Today’s Celebration

Liberation Day – Kuwait

Day of Remembrance for Victims of Khojaly Massacre – Azerbaijan

Mother’s Day – Iran

Business Clean Up Day

Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Levi Strauss Day

Fairtrade Fortnight

More about Feb 26


Climate Change

Carbon suckers, sky shades and sand dumpers: Can these hacks stop climate change?

They sound like science fiction, but radical remedies to slow global warming are on the way. Foreign Correspondent’s Eric Campbell goes in search of brave ideas to save the world.


Evidence of humans causing global warming hits ‘gold standard’: Report

Evidence that humans cause global warming has hit the “gold standard” level of confidence, a U.S.-led team of scientists reportedly wrote in a journal article published Monday.


CO2 emissions in developed economies fall due to decreasing fossil fuel and energy use

Efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and tackle climate change in developed economies are beginning to pay off according to new research.


Ocasio-Cortez asks if climate change means we should stop having kids

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that climate change poses such a dire threat to humanity that it’s legitimate for anxious young people to question whether they should have kids.


130,000 years of data show peatlands store carbon long-term

An international team of scientists has become the first to conduct a study of global peatland extent and carbon stocks through the last interglacial-glacial cycle 130,000 years ago to the present. The team discovered that northern peatland expanded across high latitudes during warm periods and were buried during periods of cooling, or glacial advance.


Unprecedented biological changes in the global ocean

Current monitoring of marine biological systems only covers a tiny fraction of the ocean, which limits our ability to confidently predict the expected effects of climate disturbances on marine biodiversity. Using a new computer model, an international team led by the CNRS and involving, in France, researchers from Sorbonne University has demonstrated that biological changes are accelerating, which has consequences for our use of marine resources.


The ocean is running out of breath, scientists warn

Widespread and sometimes drastic marine oxygen declines are stressing sensitive species—a trend that will continue with climate change.


Tweets tell scientists how quickly we normalize unusual weather

What kinds of weather do people find remarkable, when does that change, and what does that say about the public’s perception of climate change? A study led by the University of California, Davis, examined those questions through the lens of more than 2 billion US Twitter posts.


Global warming could zap Earth’s clouds, bake us even more

Some of the world’s clouds could disappear if the carbon dioxide we keep pumping into our atmosphere soars to extreme levels, a new study suggests.


Ancient wetlands provide new insight into global carbon cycle

Scientists have unearthed and pieced together evidence on more than 1,000 ancient wetland sites from across the globe, that are presently covered by fields, forests and lakes. Although vanished from the Earth’s surface, these buried sites could explain some of the differences between global carbon cycle models and real-life observations.


Want a Green New Deal? Here’s a better one.

Washington Post editorial

We favour a Green New Deal to save the planet. We believe such a plan can be efficient, effective, focused and achievable.


Eighteen countries showing the way to carbon zero

Pep Canadell et al

Germany is one of 18 developed countries whose carbon emissions declined between 2005-2015.



Industry calls for Morrison to go further on climate policy

The largest player in the Morrison government’s flagship emissions reduction fund says a $2 billion cash injection should not be the government’s only major climate policy and the Australian Industry Group says the plan is not “a comprehensive or permanent” solution to curbing dangerous carbon pollution.


Snowy 2.0 gets $1.38 billion and approval for initial work to begin

The Government says the business case “stacks up” and has given Snowy Hydro permission to proceed to the “early works stage” along with a commitment of up to $1.36 billion for the project, which could power 500,000 homes.


‘Reheating a microwave meal’: Environment groups say Abbott still in charge of climate policy

Environment groups say the Morrison government’s $2 billion injection into a ‘climate solutions’ fund shows Tony Abbott is still dictating Australia’s climate change policy.


The innovative ways Australians are recycling their business waste

Businesses are being urged to find new local markets for recycled materials to help solve a 1.3 million tonne problem created by China’s rejection of Australian waste.


Libs v Labor: climate and energy policies

A comparison of the climate and energy policies of the Morrison government and the Labor Party.


‘We should do more’: Liberal candidate breaks ranks on climate change

The Wentworth hopeful argued Australia must put itself in a “credible” position to enlist other countries into stronger climate action.


Rio Tinto gets $2m from emissions reduction fund to switch to diesel

Mining giant received payments and carbon credits for shutting down oil generator before switching to diesel plant


Butler warns of east coast gas supply shock [$]

Mark Butler said the whole world “and every company in Australia” had recognised that renewable energy is the cheapest form of new electricity generation.


Experts say carbon fund needs overhaul [$]

The Morrison government’s $2 billion top-up of its Emissions Reduction Fund is an expensive way to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, with most big industry players steering clear of the controversial scheme, energy experts say.


Power giants’ pain: AGL and Origin feel the price pinch

That oft-used phrase “unintended consequences” has been wheeled out by the power industry as a threat to electricity customers following the government’s decision to cut power prices.  The only unintended consequence we know about is the $44 million hit to Origin’s profit next year.


‘Investment handbrake,’ Energy chief rebukes policy paralysis

EnergyAustralia chief Cath Tanna has launched a spray at the government over the lack of a stable energy policy, saying it is putting a handbrake on new investment.


The big issues for young regional Australians

Climate change, drugs and mental health — what do the next generation think are the most pressing issues facing regional Australians?


Devil poo fossils found on the mainland spark hope for their successful return

More than 3,000 years after Tasmanian devils disappeared off the mainland, evidence of how they co-existed with other animals has been unearthed in fossilised poo.


Early sowing can help save Australia’s wheat from climate change

Australian wheat growers need to boost yields to stay competitive in the face of climate change. They could do this by sowing earlier, but need new varieties of wheat to help them do it.


Wrecking ball not needed to tackle climate change

Scott Morrison

Climate change is real. It requires practical policies.


Rethinking traffic congestion to make our cities more like the places we want them to be

Brian Feeney

Instead of spending ever more on roads, we can learn from Vancouver’s use of congestion as a ‘friend’ in managing the development of transport networks and of the city itself.


Morrison’s ‘soil magic’ fund transformed to a fully-fledged pork barrel [$]

Bernard Keane

The Emissions Reduction Fund was used by Tony Abbott as a scam to channel pork to Coalition supporters while pretending it would address climate change. Now Scott Morrison faces the same problem, so he’s doing the same thing.


The government thinks we’re idiots and is not serious about reducing emissions

Greg Jericho

Tackling climate change is tough and Scott Morrison’s latest policy is an insult


The emissions reduction fund was deeply flawed – and no rebranding will change this

Tim Baxter

This is not the climate policy solution that the government wants us to thinks it is


Morrison calls truce in energy wars [$]

Jennifer Hewett

The opposition is confident that making the Tony Abbott link will immediately discredit the Morrison government’s attempts to persuade voters it is talking measured, responsible action on climate change.


If the Coalition has had a climate epiphany, I’m Beyoncé

Katharine Murphy

Call the emissions reduction fund a ‘climate solutions’ fund if you like, but it doesn’t mean it is


On climate change, Scott Morrison is embracing politics as the art of the possible

Bevan Shields

The Prime Minister will need to lead the way in selling the Coalition’s climate policy to the public.


When the polls are tight the Coalition pretends to care about climate

Nicky Ison

Scott Morrison’s climate package is history repeating.


Morrison government locks in Malcolm Turnbull’s pet hydro project

Nicole Hasham

The project promises to make east coast energy supplies more reliable and affordable.


Timing dubious on climate announcement

Canberra Times editorial

It’s hard not to be cynical about the government’s newfound zeal for fighting climate change, so close to an election.


Tony Abbott and the climate change fandango

Steve Bishop

Does anyone believe that Tony Abbott’s latest change of stance on climate change is anything more than his description of the relevant science in 2009: “absolute crap”?


The government’s $2bn climate fund: a rebadged rehash of old mistakes

Ian A. MacKenzie

Scott Morrison has given a new name to an old policy.


Koalas can learn to live the city life if we give them the trees and safe spaces they need

Edward Narayan

Koalas can adapt to urban areas with enough suitable green spaces but would benefit from wildlife crossing areas to reduce their risk of being hit by cars.



More Victorians disconnected as power price rises bite into bills

Victoria’s energy consumer watchdog has lashed power companies for cutting off a record number of households in the face of rising prices.


Cladding must be removed as ‘a priority’, Grenfell fire expert says

Flammable cladding must be urgently removed from Melbourne’s skyscrapers, says engineer British government turned to in the wake of the deadly Grenfell blaze.


No denying weather presenter is subtly selling climate change message

Channel Seven’s weather presenter Jane Bunn has been inserting a subtle message into her nightly bulletins. 


New technology to give trams priority at traffic lights

Trams will soon get new powers that have long eluded motorists – the ability to sail through traffic lights when running late.


New South Wales

Why $110 billion is not enough to fix Sydney’s transport woes

Transport looms large as a major issue as voters head to the polls for the NSW election, but academics have a dire warning for Sydneysiders hoping the Government’s cash splash will fix congestion on the city’s roads and rail.


Decline in bogong moth numbers leaves mountain pygmy possums starving

Exclusive: climate change linked to ‘astonishing’ drop in Australian moth numbers, the key food source for possums while breeding



Decentralisation here to stay, as agencies face annual push to go bush

The push to relocate public service jobs to bush towns is here to stay under the Coalition government as it tells departments to consider their regional footprint annually.



Legal watchdog considers probe into Adani’s ‘attack dog’ lawyers

Queensland’s Legal Services Commission confirms it will examine whether lawyers for Adani have committed professional misconduct after proposing to be the mining firm’s “trained attack dog”.


Labor given new legal advice that it could revoke Adani approvals

MPs also shown polling that claims stopping the controversial coalmine will not necessarily cost Queensland seats


Butler, Shorten at odds over Adani

Labor’s climate and energy spokesman Mark Butler has taken a harder line than his leader Bill Shorten on the Adani coal mine, saying it is not in the national interest.


Who could have final say on megamine [$]

The Labor Party could have a significant say on whether Adani clears one of its final federal approval before the election is even held.


Reliance on carbon farming puts onus on regulators

Carbon farming is at risk of being undermined by rising land-clearing rates, analysis by the Wilderness Society indicates.


Gold Coast’s erosion-prone Palm Beach gets artificial reef protection

An $18.2 million artificial reef is set to be built off the Gold Coast’s erosion-prone Palm Beach to protect the long, straight beach from thumping waves.


South Australia

Life after coal: Lincoln Gap wind farm powers up, battery to be installed soon

Former coal town of Port Augusta continues transformation into a major renewable energy hub with “powering up” of the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, and its associated battery.


Iron Road ditches rail link for Wudinna mine [$]

A 145km rail line proposed to link the centre of Eyre Peninsula with Cape Hardy on the coast has been scrapped by proponent Iron Road in a bid to cut costs.


Adelaide to swelter through 35C week as heatwave grips South Australia

Code red issued for state as summer weather continues into autumn


City council to consider fast-tracking bikeway start date

Progress on the Adelaide City Council’s bikeway project has been “painfully slow”, south ward councillor Dr Helen Donovan says, prompting her to call for the council to bring forward its consultation for the new east-west route.


Adani comitted to solar farm

Adani says it remains committed to building a solar farm in Whyalla despite saying the project would be operational by now.


Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation plan only makes sense when coal retires

Scott Morrison should be careful what he prays for. One of the few notable engagements made in his new “climate Solutions” package is a $56 million payment to fast-track Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project.


Money for Tasmanian power link to Victoria

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has committed $56 million towards building a second power interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria.


Salmon industry panel ‘inherently compromised’, experts told minister in leaked letter

Two experts who quit a salmon farming approval panel in Tasmania told the minister before they resigned the panel was “inherently compromised”, a leaked letter reveals.


Bracknell’s water quality ‘unsuitable’ for recreational use

Water quality at Bracknell’s Esplanade is unsuitable for recreational use, the Meander Valley Council says.


Northern Territory

Darwin residents want more bins [$]

Darwin residents want a third bin for their green waste and would be happy to pay almost $2 extra a week for it, according to council’s waste survey results.


Western Australia

Alinta commits to 212MW wind farm, biggest in Western Australia

Alinta commits to building Yandin wind farm, which will be the biggest in W.A., and have a “capacity factor” of around 50 per cent.


Bushfire contained after threatening lives, homes near Denmark on WA’s south coast

An emergency warning is downgraded for a bushfire burning near a stretch of South Coast Highway just a few kilometres from the holiday town on Western Australia’s south coast.


Emissions reduction fund to pay for fossil fuel plant that would be built anyway

Miner Gold Fields to get $1m from Coalition fund for gas power plant for its Western Australian mine


Miner protests ‘false’ report [$]

Progressive think tank The Australia Institute and the Conservation Council of Western Australia are embroiled in a complaint to the corporate regulator over a study challenging the financial viability of Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock uranium project near Kalgoorlie.


Cladding class actions on cards unless WA government stumps up cash

Owners of strata units in WA buildings clad in flammable material might be tied up in lengthy, expensive litigation, unless the state government acts.



China is killing the world using imported coal

China’s insatiable demand for property development and to add floor space is causing it to turn to imported coal that it – and the world – can barely afford.


Life-size whale installation highlights plastic waste problem in Italy

A whale has featured in the annual Viareggio carnival parade in Italy, part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of sea plastic pollution.


What Russia’s green snow reveals about the rise of pollution

Incidents of snow turning green and black are causing increasing alarm. So just how worried should we be about the world’s increasingly colourful snow?


GM Seed Use Has Exploded in India: Socially Motivated Decisions

After the Indian government liberalized its economy, shops stocking a previously controlled market of public agricultural goods were suddenly flooded with new private brands.


Russians are embracing environmental protest

Russians protested in 44 cities to demonstrate solidarity with the small village of Shies, the first of 11 designated small villages marked for the disposal of the Moscow’s waste.


Insecticide linked to increased breast cancer risk — 40 years after exposure

Melinda Lewis remembers splashing in the irrigation canals that outlined her grandpa’s walnut and almond groves in the late 1960s.


Chernobyl’s legacy imperils many thousands

More than 30 years after it exploded, Chernobyl’s legacy still casts a baleful shadow over hundreds of thousands of lives.


High-powered fuel cell boosts electric-powered submersibles, drones

A team of engineers in the McKelvey School of Engineering has developed a high-powered fuel cell that operates at double the voltage of today’s commercial fuel cells. It could power underwater vehicles, drones and eventually electric aircraft at a significantly lower cost.


New membrane water treatment system to reduce toxic waste by over 90 percent

A new pilot plant to treat industrial wastewater is being built in Singapore, which could potentially reduce the amount of liquid waste by over 90 percent.


The Netherlands pays people to bike to work

It’s one of a handful of places around the world using cash to try to lure people out of their cars and onto their bicycles.


Urban parks could make you happier

Researchers found spending 20 minutes in an urban park will make someone happier — whether they are engaging in exercise or not during the visit.


Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself.


Nature Conservation

Predicting how forests in the western US will respond to changing climate

On the mountain slopes of the western United States, climate can play a major role in determining which tree communities will thrive in the harshest conditions, according to new work from Carnegie’s Leander Anderegg and University of Washington’s Janneke Hille Ris Lambers. Their findings are an important step in understanding how forest growth will respond to a climate altered by human activity.


Elevation Matters When It Comes to Climate Change, Deforestation and Species Survival

A study examining the impact of deforestation on lizard communities in the Dominican Republic demonstrates differing outcomes at different elevations. In the lowlands, deforestation reduces the …


Wild Carnivores Stage a Comeback in Britain

Once-endangered carnivorous mammals such as otters, polecats and pine martens have staged a remarkable comeback in Britain in recent decades


Amazon forest: Areas with higher rainfall variability are more resilient to climate change

The Amazon rainforest has evolved over millions of years and even through ice ages. Yet today, human influences and global climate change put this huge ecosystem at risk of large-scale dieback — with major consequences for its capability as a global CO2 sink. New research now reveals a key player in shaping the resilience of the Amazon, and finds that regions with generally higher rainfall variability are more resilient to current and future climate disturbances.


Now for something completely different …

All publicly funded research could soon be free for you, the taxpayer, to read

Ritesh Chugh and Kenneth Howah

The new ‘Plan S’ initiative focuses on making all publicly funded research immediately fully and freely available by open access publication.


Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042