Daily Links May 10

Off-list to pay tribute to this heart-felt article from Rob Law, Executive Officer of the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance. This bloke’s blood is worth bottling.

Post of the Day

Marine plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, says biodiversity report

Around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades and more than ever before in human history, according to a recent report.


Today’s Celebration

Constitution Day – Micronesia

Mother’s Day – Mexico

Children’s Day – Maldives

Flower Festival – Azerbaijan

Independence Day – Romania

Independence Day – Israel

Book Day – Germany

World Lupus Day

Do It For Dolly Day

Missing Orangutan Mothers

World Parks Week

Mother Ocean Day

One Day Without Shoes Day

More about May 10


Climate Change

Empty North Sea gas fields to be used to bury 10m tonnes of C02

Ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Ghent to pipe greenhouse gas into vast under-sea reservoir


Greenhouse gases causing Canadian Arctic seas to acidify quicker: report

Greenhouse gases are acidifying Canada’s Arctic waters at a faster rate than anywhere else in the North.


A very important climate fact that no one knows

The U.S. actually has a very popular climate policy—it’s on the books in 29 states. But what does it cost?


The U.N. report on extinction vs. Mike Pompeo at the Arctic Council

Bill McKibben

Of all the scary spectacles on our Earth, none tops a fast-thawing north. But not to the Secretary of State, who looks to the Arctic and sees oil, gas, gold, and diamonds.



Climate change could slash $571b from property values, study warns

A Climate Council study warns the value of Australian real estate could plunge over the next decade as climate change makes many properties uninsurable due to extreme weather events and inundation.


Labor commits to doubling funding for Indigenous Protected Areas

More money has been pledged for more than 70 protected areas across the country, almost entirely in regional and remote Australia.


Labor to promise $1bn for east coast high-speed rail line

Anthony Albanese to announce spending on land corridor for line between Melbourne and Brisbane via Canberra and Sydney


‘Polluter pays’: welfare lobby demands climate compensation for people on low incomes

Social services statement backs Labor’s emissions reduction target as a minimum


PM says bill that mentions testing make-up on animals is ‘action’ on extinction crisis

Scott Morrison claims to have passed laws ‘dealing with that very issue’ raised by the UN environment report


Peter Garrett urges Bill Shorten to declare climate emergency if Labor wins

Former environment minister calls for creation of ‘war’ cabinet committee to plot transition to zero carbon


How the American bald eagle could play a role in saving our koala

Australia’s new PM is being challenged to adopt US-influenced koala legislation.


Amid the climate crisis, new push to take action to ensure cities become more green

desperate need of government intervention in the use of green walls, green roofs, better public transport and higher uptake of active transportation to stave off the worst effects of climate change, the peak body of landscape architects has warned.


Car charging via solar power could take up to five days

Labor’s plans to have Australians charge their electric vehicles via solar panels on their rooftops could see some cars take up to five days to fully charge.


How much rooftop solar do you need to charge your EV, too?

So you’ve got rooftop solar, and you’ve got an electric vehicle. But can you power both with the one PV system? And how many panels would it take?


How Scott Morrison will slash power bills by 25 per cent [$]

Scott Morrison will vow to slash power costs by 25 per cent in a bid to win over voters via their hip pockets; the Greens’ plan to abolish the health insurance subsidy would skyrocket prices; and which high-profile Libs will be missing from Sunday’s campaign launch?


‘Deluge’ of older migrants tipped under Labor plan [$]

A new report claims that congestion in rapidly-growing cities like Melbourne will get much worse under a parent visa proposed by federal Labor.


Turnbull attacks fossil-fuel pollies [$]

Former PM Malcolm Turnbull has needled Australian politicians over their refusal to come to a consensus on climate change.


Lithium Australia partners with Chinese firm to accelerate battery production

Australian lithium producer partners with major Chinese battery manufacturer to accelerate production and supply of batteries to Australia


Compound costs: how climate change is damaging Australia’s economy

Climate Council of Australia

Australia’s financial regulators have recently made a call for action to deal with climate change, with the Reserve Bank of Australia, APRA and ASIC all citing risks posed by climate change as a central concern for the economy and financial stability. This report asserts that a credible national climate policy is needed to safeguard Australia’s economy.


Dumb and dumber climate claims leave us poorer [$]

AFR View

Climate policy is so terrifying that both major party leaders are barely prepared to even admit that there will be a cost to reducing emissions.


Persevere if staff are rubbish at recycling

Jonathan Rivers

If there’s one thing we can learn from the unedifying spectacle that was Coles and Woolworths moving away from non-reusable plastic bags in mid-2018 it’s that a large cohort of the Australian population isn’t interested in recycling.


Climate debate a war of religion [$]

Henry Ergas

Why do Labor, Greens insist on making taking a decision without having faced up to its likely effects?


The climate crisis is here. That’s why our vote matters [$]

Helen Szoke

This Federal election, voters need to learn from and act on two major climate-related lessons made glaringly obvious after many recent humanitarian disasters.


Pulling wood over our eyes [$]

Robert Gottliebsen

Australia is ripe to be taken in by Europe and America’s wood-fired carbon fakery.


RECs could lower price of electricity, and cut emissions in industry

David Leitch

Allowing renewable energy certificates to be used in the safeguard mechanism could lower electricity costs, and provide cheap abatement for industry. Easy!


Labor and Greens unlikely to win a Senate majority on current polling; Greens jump in Essential poll

Adrian Beaumont

With the higher quota at a half-Senate election, parties probably need at least 5% of the vote to be in contention for a seat at this election.


Invasive species are Australia’s number-one extinction threat

Andy Sheppard and Linda Broadhurst

This week many people across the world stopped and stared as extreme headlines announced that one eighth of the world’s species – more than a million – are threatened with extinction.


A report claims koalas are ‘functionally extinct’ – but what does that mean?

Christine Adams-Hosking

Koalas are facing serious threats in the wild.


We must rip up our environmental laws to address the extinction crisis

Don Driscoll et al

Humans are causing the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event, with an estimated one million species at risk of extinction.


Carry-over credits and carbon offsets are hot topics this election – but what do they actually mean?

Alan Pears and Tim Baxter

Organisations can use offsets as part of their emission reduction strategy.


Children are our future, and the planet’s. Here’s how you can teach them to take care of it

Wendy Boyd and Ann-Christin Furu

Contact with nature is a crucial part of sustainability education in preschool.


Coming extinction crisis could be mitigated by Indigenous knowledge [$]

Benjamin Millar

A landmark United Nations report makes a compelling case for turning to Indigenous groups for knowledge to prevent further environmental destruction.


The eye-opening accounting issues behind the ‘watergate’ scandal [$]

Michael West

Fishy water valuations made the ‘watergate’ scandal possible.



This local council warns geese could become ‘the cane toads of the south’

Cape Barren Geese have been described as ‘sheep with wings’ as thousands poo and chew their way through the local community and wreak havoc on farmland.


Labor pledges $3.5b to ease Vic traffic

A Shorten Labor government would spend $3.5 billion to ease congestion in Melbourne.


Outer suburbs’ transport woes driving heart disease, obesity epidemic

Decades of under-investment in transport on Melbourne’s fringe have had serious health impacts – and more than $150b is needed to address the problem.


WorkSafe to front Victorian waste inquiry

WorkSafe is set to detail the dangers its employees face from industrial blazes and chemical exposure before a Victorian parliamentary inquiry.


Labor pledges North East Link funding with bus boost [$]

Labor has matched the federal government’s $1.75 billion commitment to the North East Link and topped it up with a $250 million boost for Victoria’s first high-speed busway.


New South Wales

ESCO Pacific wins approval for new 100 megawatt solar farm in NSW

ESCO Pacific has received approvals to build a new solar farm and battery project which will provide renewable power to about 37,500 homes.


NSW’s threatened species rise, climate impacts increase, major report finds

The number of threatened plants and animals in NSW continues to climb and impacts on biodiversity and the economy from climate change will keep intensifying, according to the latest State of the Environment Report.


Former Lib lobbying NSW govt for coalminer

Former coalition government MP Peter Phelps is now lobbying his old government to compensate a coal company that he helped strip of mining licences.


Santos signs new gas deals [$]

Santos pushes ahead on NSW coal-seam gas project, even as it awaits approval.


Noise complaints and the art of being a good neighbour in a buzzy city

Jess Scully

A Sydney City Councillor argues we need to find common ground and greater tolerance about noise as we move increasingly from suburban to urban living.



Andrew Barr rules out Kowen Forest development

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has ruled out residential development in Kowen Forest.


David Pope’s view: The Australian Environment Minister Extinction Crisis




No rules against Queensland Labor mining ads, but move could backfire

Political experts say the Queensland Labor government has not broken rules with its pro-mining ads during the federal election but the move could still backfire.


Cyclists welcome construction of next stages of northern bikeway

A “missing link” for cyclists trying to ride between Brisbane’s northern suburbs and the city is gradually being filled, with stages two and three of the state government’s northern bikeway starting construction.


Driverless cars in trial confused by white lines, scuff marks on Brisbane roads

Automated vehicles trialled on Brisbane motorways unintentionally drove into emergency stopping bays and were confused by scuff marks on the roads.


LNP hopeful backs coal but coy on Adani [$]

The LNP’s star candidate in the inner-city electorate of Ryan has not ruled out supporting a review of the controversial Adani mine, despite offering his qualified support for the project.


South Australia

Lawyer bets SA will lose on River Murray deal [$]

A top barrister from the Murray-Darling Royal Commission says he’d put his house on SA not getting the water it needs to save the Coorong, the Lower Lakes and the Murray Mouth.


Centre Alliance candidate sued over Facebook post [$]

A regional council is suing a Centre Alliance candidate over a Facebook post that it says brought its former deputy mayor into “hatred, ridicule and contempt”.


Inner city living popularity grows in Launceston

Inner city living has increased dramatically within the last three years, one Launceston-based building company says.


Western Australia

Anti-Adani activist says she would ‘do it again’ after copping massive fine

She’s been arrested and slapped with one of the country’s biggest fines for an individual protester, but full-time activist Freya Nolin says she would do it all again.



Pollutionwatch: are farming emissions killing cows too?

Knowing that air pollution is affecting livestock may prompt farmers to help clean our air


Fighting climate change with bamboo

The construction sector can reduce carbon emission by building with bamboo.


Famine on the rise in the Middle East and North Africa

Prolonged crises are threatening food security for some 52 million in the region.


Climate activists offer ways to curb ‘problem with plastics’

Dee Kockirka, of Bethel Park, said she came to the program because “this is more important than jobs, health care or any other issue.”


Ikea to use mushroom packaging that will decompose in a garden within weeks

And it’s not the only big company turning to this fungi packaging.


Making nuclear energy smaller, cheaper and safer

An Oregon company plans a new kind of nuclear power plant that many consider the future of the industry. It’s smaller and cheaper and could work well with renewable energy.


Three Mile Island nuclear plant to close, latest symbol of struggling industry

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, site of the nation’s worst nuclear accident, will shut down by the end of September. Backers failed to secure subsidies to keep the plant operating.


Is Florida going green? New leaders highlight environmental agendas

Florida’s new governor and agriculture commissioner are vowing to work together to combat water pollution that fouled the state’s waters last summer.


Researchers develop plastic that they are calling the ‘Holy Grail’ of recycling

Department of Energy’s scientists announced this week that they have designed a plastic that can be recycled over and over again.


Britain records first coal-free week since the Victorian era

Britain hasn’t used any coal-powered energy since May 2 — a record for the country, helped by investment in renewables that could end its reliance on coal for good by 2025.


Secrets of fluorescent microalgae could lead to super-efficient solar cells

Tiny light-emitting microalgae, found in the ocean, could hold the secret to the next generation of organic solar cells, according to new research carried out at the universities of Birmingham and Utrecht.


Viable, environmentally-friendly alternative to Styrofoam

Researchers have developed an environmentally-friendly, plant-based material that for the first time works better than Styrofoam for insulation.


Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

Northwestern University researchers have found that the enzyme responsible for the methane-methanol conversion in methanotrophic bacteria catalyzes the reaction at a site that contains just one copper ion. This finding could lead to newly designed, human-made catalysts that can convert methane — a highly potent greenhouse gas — to readily usable methanol with the same effortless mechanism.


Nature Conservation

EU ‘outright dangerous’ in its use of natural resources, says WWF

About 2.8 planets would be needed if rest of world followed suit, biocapacity data shows


Marine plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, says biodiversity report

Around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades and more than ever before in human history, according to a recent report.


Feds asked to step in to save endangered spotted owls from Canadian extinction

As a UN report finds nature declining globally at unprecedented rates, Canadian groups call for plan to protect old-growth forest habitat for owls reduced from 1,000 to fewer than five in the wild.


Biodiversity and carbon: perfect together

Biodiversity conservation is often considered to be a co-benefit of protecting carbon sinks such as intact forests to help mitigate climate change.


Climate change is giving old trees a growth spurt

Larch trees in the permafrost forests of northeastern China — the northernmost tree species on Earth — are growing faster as a result of climate change. A new study of growth rings from Dahurian larch in China’s northern forests finds the hardy trees grew more from 2005 to 2014 than in the preceding 40 years.


How sea level rise affects birds in coastal forests

Saltwater intrusion changes coastal vegetation that provides bird habitat. Researchers found that the transition from forests to marshes along the North Carolina coast due to climate change could benefit some bird species of concern for conservation.


Grading conservation: Which reserves defend forests?

Lands that shelter forests have value often readily tallied by developers, but until now it’s been more difficult to prove the success of protecting those forested lands in pursuit of sustainability. That can put conservationists on the defense. Scientists have focused on what makes a protected area the most effective at preventing deforestation. Preserving forests means more trees to suck up greenhouse gasses, as well as prevent erosion, mitigate flooding, purify water and quell sandstorms.




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