Daily Links Apr 9

Renewables are a much better bet for energy generation than Carbon Capture and Storage. The latter has no commercial operations anywhere, is always discussed in the context of ‘further research is needed’ and is a fig-leaf to allow the fossil fools to keep being foolish. 

Post of the Day

Renewables are a better investment than carbon capture for tackling climate change

Solar panels and wind turbines coupled with energy storage offer a better hope for tackling climate change than trying to capture carbon from fossil fuel power stations, according to new research published by Nature Energy. New research shows that resources that would be spent on developing and installing carbon capture technologies would be better invested in creating more solar panels and wind turbines and focusing on developing energy storage options to support these instead.


Today’s Celebration

Valour Day – Philippines

Martyr’s Day – Tunisia

Finnish Language Day – Finland

Day of National Unity – Georgia

Vimy Ridge Day – Canada

Anniversary of the German Invasion – Denmark

National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day – USA

Liberation Day – Iraqi Kurdistan

National Nuclear Technology Day – Iran

Riot Grrrl Day

More about Apr 9


Climate Change

Shell in climate reprieve [$]

An investor group pressuring oil giants to follow the Paris climate accord has given Shell more time to meet emissions targets.


Climate change impacts peatland CO2 gas exchange primarily via moisture conditions

A new study led by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and Natural Resources Institute Finland suggests that peatland CO2 exchange is more strongly influenced by drying than warming as such, and that soil moisture may be critical to determining whether fen ecosystems are able to adapt to a changing climate.


Carbon lurking in deep ocean threw ancient climate switch, say researchers

A million years ago, a longtime pattern of alternating glaciations and warm periods dramatically changed, when ice ages suddenly became longer and more intense. Scientists have long suspected that this was connected to the slowdown of a key Atlantic Ocean current system that today once again is slowing. A new study of sediments from the Atlantic bottom directly links this slowdown with a massive buildup of carbon dragged from the air into the abyss.


Melting glaciers causing sea levels to rise at ever greater rates

Melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic as well as ice melt from glaciers all over the world are causing sea levels to rise. Glaciers alone lost more than 9,000 billion tons of ice since 1961, raising water levels by 27 millimeters, an international research team under the lead of the University of Zurich have now found.


Global warming is twice as fast in Canada as rest of the world, report says

Many environmental effects being seen in the country are ‘effectively irreversible, say authors of study.


Confronting solar geoengineering: what you need to know

Climate change threatens public health, food security, water availability, and national security – just to name a few areas of impact.


7 geoengineering solutions that might cause more damage than good

There have been numerous Geoengineering solutions proposed by engineers and scientists from all over the world.


Air temperature is “smoking gun” behind arctic climate change

Increasing air temperatures and precipitation are drivers of major changes in various components of the Arctic system, observations that provide a foundation for a more integrated understanding of the Earth’s biogeophysical systems.



Energy minister left stranded after anti-electric car stuff-up [$]

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has been left red-faced after pushing an anti-electric car story that was previously discredited.


Power grid not ready for spike in electric vehicles

The nation’s power grid requires swift upgrades to avoid energy shortages from a predicted spike in the uptake of electric vehicles over the next decade.


ARENA debunks Coalition claims on energy storage costs

Coalition has been insisting controversial Brian Fisher report uses storage costs based on ARENA modelling. Not so, says ARENA boss, who says storage costs are significantly less.


Minister continues work on Adani approvals

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the environment minister is still working with scientists on sub-approvals for the Adani coal mine.


Nationals seek pre-election tick for Adani

The Morrison government appears to be moving closer to a decision on the Adani coal mine in central Queensland ahead of an election call.


Pressure from LNP senator on Environment Minister could spark Adani appeal

An LNP senator’s reported threat to call for the Environment Minister to be sacked if she does not sign off on the Adani coal mine could be a basis to appeal the controversial project, environmental lawyers say.


Adani approval could be the last decision of Morrison Government

Queensland MPs are desperate for the Federal Government to approve the Adani mine. This is what’s still outstanding.


Commonwealth super fund dumps Adani stake [$]

The manager of $45.5 billion of federal public servants’ retirement funds dumped its stake in Adani in February as Norway’s sovereign fund proposes selling out of coal.


Australia ‘well behind’ in electric cars

Australia is well behind in the uptake of electric vehicles compared to other countries, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation says.


‘It’s Pink Batts all over again’: Moderate Liberal MPs join pile-on over ‘Soviet’ electric car policy

“We’re just making a political point. We’re not saying people are going to die,” Liberal MP Jason Falinski said.


‘Could be really harmful’: Power grid not ready for spike in electric vehicles

A government report has found Australia faces potential energy shortages as electric vehicle numbers rise unless it begins to prepare the grid to handle the increased power demand.


Policy was surprise to climate authority

The government didn’t seek advice or consult with the Climate Change Authority before it announced its climate policy, a Senate estimates committee has heard.


PM attacks Labor’s ‘climate deficit’ [$]

Scott Morrison has moved to outflank Bill Shorten on carbon policy, attacking a ‘climate deficit’ left behind by Labor in 2013.


Wind farms more accepted, watchdog says

Community concerns around wind farms has dissipated, the technology’s commissioner has told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra.


Farmers’ protest is a sign water politics is about to go into hyperdrive

Protesters to drive tractors and trucks into the centre of Albury-Wodonga amid rising anger about water allocations


Company linked to Angus Taylor investigated over alleged illegal landclearing

Federal investigation has taken more than two years after separate investigation dropped by NSW


Morrison, Taylor ‘tied up in knots’ on EVs, says Mike Cannon-Brookes [$]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and energy minister Angus Taylor have tied themselves up in knots over electric vehicles, software billionaire and clean energy campaigner Mike Cannon-Brookes says.


Labor’s emission standards a ‘carbon tax on cars’: Morrison [$]

Bill Shorten’s emissions standards for light vehicles could add almost $5000 to the drive-away cost for customers as Scott Morrison ­labels the policy a “carbon tax on cars”. Government analysis identifies the price hike and finds 17 of the top 20 most popular new cars on the market don’t meet Labor’s carbon limit.


PM calls on farmers to sue animal activists [$]

Scott Morrison has encouraged farmers to sue animal ­activists by giving them Commonwealth resources as “green-collar criminals” face losing their charity status.


Knives are out for vegans [$]

Attorney-General Christian Porter calls for investigation of activist group Aussie Farms following abattoir protests.


Shut up vegans, you’ve lost us for good [$]

Alex Carlton

Congratulations vegans. You were slowly winning Australia over but today, you’ve ensured your self-righteous brand of terrorism will never win.


Green criminals deserve full force of the law [$]

Courier Mail editorial

Opinion The livelihood of 55,000 Australians dependent on the beef industry needs to be protected. They need relief from the terror campaign being waged by militant vegans.


Soft touch for animal activists must be aborted [$]

Peter Gleeson

Animal activists who commit crimes must be hit with the same penalties – including jail time – as those who protest against abortions.


This is no silver bullet (train)

Ross Elliott

A proposed High Speed Rail connecting Melbourne with Sydney and Brisbane is getting favourable press, but what are the hurdles?


Letting down start-ups: how the government has abandoned innovation [$]

Dominic Powell

By stunting the growth of the start up sector we’re turning our backs on innovation and setting up the country for issues down the road.


Electric cars can help top up grid [$]

Paul Sernia

We may soon see increased uptake in electric cars and more infrastructure with it.


Unturned Stones: 4 Corners On The Climate

Geoff Russell

4 Corners’ feature on tackling climate change last week was welcome, writes Geoff Russell, but the conversation needs to keep going, and expanding.


Coalition scrapes bottom of barrel with campaign against EVs

Bridie Schmidt

The facts on electric vehicles to fight back against the slew of fake news from the Coalition and One Nation.


Know your NEM: Grid transition growing pains

David Leitch

There remains a massive workload to manage the NEM transition. No doubt the regulatory bodies are trying hard, but we’re not sure they are winning.


Morrison drives SUV over Shorten’s electric car plan [$]

Jennifer Hewett

Scott Morrison is determined to drive a very heavy SUV right over Labor’s EV targets, hoping to flatten Shorten’s rhetoric en route.


Melissa Price should not bow to pressure on Adani

Tom Crothers

Once our water resources are damaged, no superglue exists that allows them to be repaired.


It’s the internal agitators who are bugging Scott Morrison on Adani

Michelle Grattan

Barnaby Joyce describes the contentious Adani coal mine, which is dividing the north and the south constituencies of both Coalition and Labor, as an “egg and bacon” issue. “For the chook [the south] it’s a passing interest. For the pig [the north] – his ham is on the line”.


In Australia, climate policy battles are endlessly reheated

Marc Hudson

Three words, so much mileage: Tony Abbott’s anti-carbon tax refrain has been a fixture on the policy landscape for years.


Is coal’s slump overdone? Australia’s resilient exports suggest maybe

Clyde Russell

There are some signs that the rapid decline in prices in recent months has moved the market into oversold territory.


Not many buy Shorten’s automotive plans [$]

Telegraph editorial

Bill Shorten’s detail-free call for 50 per cent of the national fleet to be electric within 11 years was twinned with an offhand assertion Australia should start our own electric car industry. He’s talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, and an apparent desire to remove certain freedoms from choosing personal transport.


A detailed eucalypt family tree helps us see how they came to dominate Australia

Andrew Thornhill

In Australia you can have any tree you want, as long as it’s a eucalypt.



Victorian fruit farmer slashes power costs by $62k a year with solar

Goulburn Valley fruit grower cuts grid power consumption by one-third, and annual electricity costs by $62,000 a year, after installing 200kW of solar.


Vic timber recycler banned over stockpiles

A timber recycling plant that caught fire last month has now been banned from accepting more waste by the environmental watchdog.


More than 400 brumbies to be culled in the Barmah National Park by Parks Victoria

A draft strategic management plan for Victoria’s Barmah National Park says more than 400 brumbies will be culled or rehomed over the next four years


Waste industry group says cowboy firms put ‘business interests ahead of human life’

The head of Victoria’s waste industry group has called on the government to take a tougher line against cowboy recycling companies, condemning them for putting profiteering above valuing human life.


Victorians want action on waste industry

Residents living in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs want regulators to get tough on the waste industry to prevent more fires and boot them out.


Animal rights ‘peaceful protest’ causes chaos in Melbourne, 39 arrested

Police have begun arresting animal rights protesters who blocked a CBD intersection and chained themselves to trucks outside abattoirs across the state.


Urgent action is needed in wake of warehouse fires

Age editorial

The EPA has been given greater enforcement powers and a wider remit, but the state government has a responsibility to do more. And fast.


New South Wales

Labor’s coal plan attacked for being ‘Orwellian’ [$]

Labor’s plan to ‘transition’ Lithgow, the Hunter and the Illawarra into a ‘low carbon future’ labelled ‘Orwellian’; anti-coal protesters reach PM in major security breach (pictured); and, Australia’s spy chief reveals foreign interference and espionage threats are at ‘unprecedented levels’.


Humpbacks on the move as 2019 whale migration starts early

A humpback whale breaching head first with its two pectoral fins stretched out wide

Humpback whales have been spotted off the coast of Port Macquarie in recent weeks, and sea rescue volunteers are preparing for a busy migration season.


How idyllic beauty can lead to thoughts of impending disaster

John Birmingham

How will the northern NSW town of Yamba fare as the climate changes? I fear it won’t be well.


Extinction: ‘Let’s get it done’ in Berejiklian’s NSW

David Paull

The newly elected Berejiklian Government has wasted no time amalgamating environmental departments and watering down environmental protections — effectively, aiding the extinction of species



New Monaro Highway upgrade option cuts through solar park, nature reserve

The ACT government is investigating a major realignment of the Monaro Highway at Hume, which would cut through Mugga Lane solar farm, skirt the boundaries of a nature reserve and pass historic buildings.



‘Shame’: Anti-Adani protesters storm Morrison speech

Anti-Adani protesters have disrupted a Scott Morrison speech, as Coalition tension mount around the controversial project.


Big solar pipeline could come to “grinding halt” under Queensland rule change

Australia’s big solar industry is looks set to face yet another major development hurdle, with a new regulation in the works requiring the panel mounting, locating, fixing and removal on Queensland solar farms to be undertaken by licensed electricians only.


The $1.1b battle over the mine that never happened [$]

Like many disputes, the disagreement between two Queensland coal barons started with an agreement.


Another Autumn heat blast looms for south-east Queensland

Temperatures are set to be more than five degrees above the April average in parts of south-east Queensland on Tuesday.


Jobs up in smoke under Labor plan [$]

Thousands of Queensland miners and workers at coal-fired power stations face forced redundancies under Bill Shorten’s plan to reduce emissions, Resources Minister Matt Canavan warns.


Tough new intallation rules could fry solar in Queensland

Queensland’s $10 billion pipeline of solar projects faces delays and a hike in costs after the state government fast-tracked a new rule requiring licensed electricians to install panels on solar farms, due to fears over the safety risks of labourers undertaking the work.


South Australia

Mining Bill impasse as department ‘overrules minister’

The Marshall Government appears all-but back to square one on its controversial Mineral Resources legislation, with the state bureaucracy understood to have overruled a compromise brokered by Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan to win assent from a group of rebel backbenchers who last year crossed the floor to defer the Bill.


Tonne of plastic removed from dolphin sanctuary [$]

Our Dolphins Hundreds of kilos of plastic waste was collected in a single clean up of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary — home to the world’s only wild tailwalking dolphins.


Ratepayers slugged with cost of recycling [$]

Ratepayers continue to be hit with the impact of China’s recycling crackdown, with a council blaming one third of its latest rate increase on escalating costs to process waste.


Port Pirie smelter emissions threatening children’s health and IQ, researchers say

Despite recent efforts to curb emissions, lead from Port Pirie’s smelter continues to threaten the health of the city’s children, a new report warns.


Supermarket trolley removal from Port Augusta wharf leads to looming cost dispute

A regional council facing a massive bill after the removal of about 500 submerged shopping trolleys says it is willing to impose financial penalties if major retailers Woolworths and Coles don’t agree to fork out the bulk of the cost.


Mining Bill shelved in odd fashion

Advertiser editorial

On the face of it, the State Government’s Mining Bill should not have caused too much controversy.


Construction underway at Tasmania’s Granville Harbour wind farm

Construction of Tasmania’s 112MW Granville Harbour wind farm well underway – a project expected to boost the state’s total wind power capacity by one-third.


The Greens release Tasmanian polling on climate change

The Greens have released polling which shows that 50 per cent of Tasmanians believe the major parties are not doing enough to address climate change issues.


Coalition invests in skills, training for Battery of the Nation

The federal Coalition is hoping to supercharge Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation vision by investing $17 million into skills and training in Tasmania.


Prime Minister Scott Morison has announced an Energising Tasmania initiative

Thousands of young Tasmanians will gain new skills with no upfront cost, and in turn boost the state’s renewable electricity generation sector, through a $17 million investment from the Morrison government.


Animal activists storm government offices [$]

Tasmanian animal activists who stormed government offices in Hobart today have been condemned as “radical” and “out of touch”.


Mercury pollution from decades past may have been re-released by Tasmania’s bushfires

Larissa Schneider, Kathryn Allen and Simon Haberle

Huon pines in Tasmania have locked up significant amounts of mercury pollution from the state’s mining industrial history. And that can be released back to the atmosphere in bushfires.


Why is the King Island scrubtit so rare? Are the birds murdering each other?

First Dog on the Moon

Good news! The courageous Difficult Bird Research Group have discovered more little brown birds


Northern Territory

Top End station enters ‘Territory-first’ contract with conservation group

The Top End’s iconic Bullo River Station has signed a 10-year land management contract with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.


Indigenous knowledge key to saving goannas from cane toads

Scientists working to reduce the biodiversity disaster being caused by the march of cane toads across Northern Australia have concluded that Indigenous knowledge is the key to their success.


Western Australia

Miners urged to help WA asbestos clean-up

WA’s Aboriginal Affairs minister has called on CSR and Hancock Prospecting to contribute to any future clean-up at the former asbestos mining town of Wittenoom.


Anti-farm protesters to face tougher penalties in WA

Anti-farming protesters who live stream their trespassing on WA properties will face tougher penalties and fines, Police Minister Michelle Roberts has promised.



UK’s National Grid operator gets ready for 100% renewables by 2025

UK’s national grid operator says it is preparing to deal with 100 per cent renewable electricity generation – by 2025.


Electric vehicles could be cheaper than ICE equivalent by 2030

Decreasing costs in battery and R&D combined with reduced fuel costs could see EVs priced much lower than that of petrol cars by 2030, says the ICCT.


India to add 10k megawatt wind capacity in 2021: Markus Tacke

In early 2017, India transitioned from a feed-in tariff regime to a reverse auction regime. The transition took time and not enough auctions were held, leading to a fall in new projects.


In Asbest, Russia, making asbestos great again

The largest maker of the deadly fiber is making a comeback, and it says it has an ally in President Trump.


Current methods may inadequately measure health impacts from oil, natural gas extraction

Measurements of hazardous air pollutant concentrations near oil and natural gas extraction sites have generally failed to capture levels above standard health benchmarks; yet, the majority of studies continue to find poor health outcomes increasing as distance from these operations decreases.


India’s coal import rises 8 pc to 212 MT in Apr-Feb

The country produced 196.59 million tonnes (MT) of coal in April-February period of fiscal 2017-18, according to the report by mjunction services.


Carbon-negative power generation for China

Researchers from the Harvard and China have analyzed technical and economic viability for China to move towards carbon-negative electric power generation.


Adani Electricity’s inflated power bills: Probe delayed by nearly a month

The inquiry into the “inflated” power bills that consumers of Adani Electricity received last October has now been delayed by a month.


Do reusable coffee cups, bags make any difference? [$]

So you use green bags on the weekly shop and take your reusable coffee cup to work — but are you actually helping to save the planet or are you being conned?


New commentary on the famous ‘Warning to Humanity’ paper brings up global inequalities

By pointing out the western lifestyle is not ‘the norm and end goal of societal evolution’, a research team contributes to the debate on the urgency of achieving sustainability, as ignited by the largely publicised article ‘World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice’ (2017). Their Response paper in the open-access journal Rethinking Ecology cautions that not considering inequalities in resource distribution and usage can lead to prescriptive solutions and fail at sustainable outcomes.


Renewables are a better investment than carbon capture for tackling climate change

Solar panels and wind turbines coupled with energy storage offer a better hope for tackling climate change than trying to capture carbon from fossil fuel power stations, according to new research published by Nature Energy. New research shows that resources that would be spent on developing and installing carbon capture technologies would be better invested in creating more solar panels and wind turbines and focusing on developing energy storage options to support these instead.


New pathways for sustainable agriculture

Diversity beats monotony: a colourful patchwork of small, differently used plots can bring advantages to agriculture and nature.


Big oil is feeling the heat and dipping into green energy

The pressure is on — from investors, climate activists and institutions. And Big Oil feels it, prompting them to diversify their holdings and to invest more in green energy.


Antioxidants protect cells from harmful water contaminant

Antioxidants such as vitamin C could help reduce harmful effects from hexavalent chromium, according to a new study performed with human cells. The contaminant, which is often produced by industrial processes, was featured in the biographical movie Erin Brockovich.


Nature Conservation

Laying the ground for robotic strategies in environmental protection

Roboticists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has developed a robot named ‘Romu’ that can autonomously drive interlocking steel sheet piles into soil. The structures that it builds could function as retaining walls or check dams for erosion control, and, according to computer simulations, the robot could be deployed in swarms to help protect threatened areas that are flooded or extremely arid more effectively.


Banned pesticides in Europe’s rivers

Tests of Europe’s rivers and canals have revealed more than 100 pesticides — including 24 that are not licensed for use in the EU.


Global study shows exotic species are a complex threat

Researchers disentangle the effects of introduced species on the marine environment.


Earth’s recovery from mass extinction could take millions of years

Recovering from mass extinction has a ‘speed limit,’ say researchers, with gradual patterns of ecosystem redevelopment and speciation.


Polar bears’ plastic diets are a growing problem

In the Arctic, polar bears feeding in landfills get an unhealthy serving of stomach-blocking plastic bags.


Climate change impacts peatland CO2 gas exchange primarily via moisture conditions

A new study suggests that peatland CO2 exchange is more strongly influenced by drying than warming as such, and that soil moisture may be critical to determining whether fen ecosystems are able to adapt to a changing climate.


Official stats mask shark and ray species caught in the Mediterranean and Black seas

A new study reveals that 97 per cent of the sharks and rays caught and brought to market domestically by fleets from the European, North African and Middle Eastern countries that surround the Mediterranean and Black seas are not reported by species


Report on isle coral resiliency a mixed bag of good, bad news

Some reefs surviving better but all areas at risk with climate change, land-based sediment, toxic runoff.


Now for something completely different …

Cutting cancer costs is a worthy policy, but we need to try to prevent it too

Terry Slevin and Simone Pettigrew

Opposition leader Bill Shorten now needs to commit funding for prevention, to reduce rates of cancer.




Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042