Daily Links May 14

Who is surprised? Gas is carbon- based. Until we get serious about renewables, we’re just having a loan of ourselves.


Post of the Day

Labor’s $1.5b plan to ‘unlock’ gas would create more emissions than Adani coal mine, experts say

Labor’s $1.5 billion plan to “unlock” Northern Territory and Queensland gas would create far more emissions in Australia than Adani’s coal mine, making it much tougher for a Shorten government to meet the nation’s Paris climate goals.


Today’s Celebration

National Unification Day – Liberia

Kamuzu Day – Malawi

Independence Day – Paraguay

King Norodom Shiamoni’s Birthday – Cambodia

Feast of Saint Tamar – Georgia

Tobacco Fatwa Day – Iran

Myopia Awareness Week

Schizophrenia Awareness Week

More about May 14


Climate Change

UN chief slams climate change ‘paradox’ ahead of historic Pacific trip

The UN’s secretary-general Antonio Guterres lamented that the “paradox” of climate change is that political will continues to fade as things get worse.


Weighing up trade-offs between food security and climate mitigation

IIASA researchers collaborated with colleagues in Japan to clarify the impacts of stringent climate mitigation policies on food security. The team identified smart and inclusive climate policy designs where the risk of food-security for hundreds of millions of people could be addressed at a modest cost.


The Methane Detectives: On the trail of a global warming mystery

The amount of heat-trapping methane in the atmosphere seemed to be leveling off when, in 2007, it began rising again quickly. Nobody yet knows why.


A Biden presidency would be a ‘death sentence,’ climate activists warn

The former vice president’s campaign has them very, very worried.



Climate modelling used to attack Labor policies a ‘complete outlier’, analysis finds

Greater action to address climate change is not ‘economy wrecking’, Australia Institute concludes


Murray-Darling irrigators file class action seeking $750m from basin authority

Southern Riverina Irrigators Council alleges MDBA mismanagement responsible for $750m in losses


Labor’s $1.5b plan to ‘unlock’ gas would create more emissions than Adani coal mine, experts say

Labor’s $1.5 billion plan to “unlock” Northern Territory and Queensland gas would create far more emissions in Australia than Adani’s coal mine, making it much tougher for a Shorten government to meet the nation’s Paris climate goals.


Labor backs away from vocal backing of world’s biggest climate fund

Labor has retreated from its unequivocal backing of the world’s biggest climate change fund, suggesting a Shorten government may ditch the foreign aid measure that Pacific leaders deem critical to tackling planetary warming.


APA boss Mick McCormack’s parting shot at politics [$]

Gas pipeline giant APA has called for a bipartisan approach to climate and energy policy ahead of Saturday’s federal election, with retiring boss Mick McCormack slamming a decade of inaction and failed schemes on both sides of politics.


AEMO confirms big de-ratings for wind and solar farms, reprieve for some

The Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed that wind and solar farms in eastern Australia will suffer major de-ratings of their output in the coming financial year as it released its final decision on so-called marginal loss factors.


Cutting cities’ emissions does have economic benefits – and these ultimately outweigh the costs

Peter Newman

The big change involves deciding no more coal, gas or oil-based systems will be built as replacements for ageing infrastructure systems in our cities. We can do this now that new energy systems are emerging as cost-competitive.


Labor’s shot at polluters [$]

Ron Boswell

Inner-city elites will feel good; Australians in the country are certain to feel the pain.


Living in electric dreams

Tristan Prasser

Electric vehicles may be the next big thing, but the ALP’s policy will do little to help the environment and will do more to waste taxpayers money and hurt consumers.



Casey works towards a smarter solution for household rubbish

The City of Casey will join other south-eastern Councils to seek proposals from industry for a smarter way to tackle household rubbish.


Higgins polling suggests Greens could take seat from Liberals in upset

Poll puts Jason Ball in lead on two-party preferred calculation, even though Greens’ primary vote is one point behind Labor


Game-changer or white elephant: experts weigh in on suburban rail loop

Labor’s $50 billion suburban rail loop will not meet expectations unless Melbourne embraces greater population density in its middle suburbs, an expert says.


Numurkah solar farm, to help power steel works, Melbourne trams, begins production

Neoen’s 100MW Numurkah solar farm, which will help power Sanjeev Gupta’s Laverton steel works, and Melbourne’s trams, starts production.


New South Wales

Protesters scale Sydney Harbour Bridge to declare ‘climate emergency’

Six people have scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Tuesday morning, with Greenpeace saying the protesters were calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison “declare a climate emergency”.


Further water restrictions likely for western NSW as dam sits on 6pc

Major industrial operators in western NSW are being warned they will have their water allocations reduced within weeks as dam levels plummet.


Penguins could stand in the way of Manly water park [$]

Plans are being drawn up for a giant inflatable water obstacle course in Manly Cove. However, Manly’s tiniest inhabitants could stand in its way.


Talk is cheap Minister Kean, show us the money

Kate Smolski

The Berejiklian government appears to be changing its tune on the environment but the true test will be the budget.



ACT set to recognise animals as ‘sentient beings’ in Australian first

Pet owners who keep their dogs locked up and do not allow them to exercise for longer than one day will face a fine of up to $4,000 under sweeping changes that enshrine animal feelings into ACT law.


Is there a climate for change in Canberra?

If you believe Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the “Canberra Bubble” is out of touch with the average Australian and the issues that take the focus inside the bubble aren’t important or relevant in the election campaign.



‘The devil is in the detail’: CSIRO pushed to approve Adani water plans within hours

Internal CSIRO correspondence reveals the science agency was pushed to formally accept the Federal Government’s approval of Adani’s water plans in a single afternoon.


Adani approval process normal: premier

The Queensland government has requested another groundwater review for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project, again holding up the project.


Queensland shoots down reports of new Adani groundwater review

The Queensland government says reports are wrong that it is seeking another review of the impact on groundwater flowing from the Great Artesian Basin to endangered springs to the south-west of Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine.


PM’s claim Coalition saved reef from nonexistent ‘endangered list’ condemned as ‘ridiculous’

Scott Morrison says government took reef ‘off the endangered list’ – despite no such list existing


Forty-year-old plastic bags found near Moreton Bay as turtles choke

Conservationists are using the find to press for a ban single-use plastics.


Bob Brown effect not what was hoped for [$]

An exclusive poll has found the effects of Bob Brown’s anti-Adani convoy on the voting intentions of regional Queenslanders.


Massive coal windfall boosts state’s coffers [$]

Coal royalties are set to boost the Palaszczuk Government’s cash-strapped bottom line this financial year, according to Queensland’s peak mining lobby.


Carry On up the solar farm: Queensland’s baffling new solar rules

Slight alteration to Queensland’s new solar rules allows labourers to hold panels, but only if an electrician is holding them at the same time.


Indigenous elder demands green light for Adani megamine [$]

The key native title holder over lands impacted by the Carmichael coalmine has warned the State Government it risks a war with indigenous people if it continues to thwart the project.


Voice of reason on Adani [$]

Courier Mail editorial

The kind of common sense spoken by an Aboriginal elder is what’s missing from the tortured, politically charged game-playing by state politicians.


Greenie city-dwellers emit more than a coal mine [$]

Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors

Development of the Galilee Basin will be a boon for the nation and we’re sick of two-word slogans from heavy emitters in cites who want to deny future generations the prosperity they’ve enjoyed from coal revenue


Clean and Safe Water for Palm Island

Liberal Perty media release

A re-elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest up to $2 million to urgently address the unsafe water quality impacting Palm Island and examine options for a permanent solution to the issue.


Adani shows Labor climate split that never went away [$]

AFR View

During the Rudd-Gillard era it was clear a rift had opened up between Labor’s blue collar working class support and its inner city left-progressive wing.


What’s Queensland got to lose, except perhaps Adani?

Graham Young

The LNP thinks it will hold most seats in Queensland but that confidence could yet be as misplaced as it was during the Super Saturday by-elections.


South Australia

‘Fight for the Bight’: Oil-drilling opponents take protest to chilly Norwegian sea

More than 100 activists from Australia and Norway brave the chilly waters off Oslo in a paddle-out protest against oil drilling proposed for the Great Australian Bight.


Both leaders make last Adelaide pitch [$]

Labor leader Bill Shorten will intensify his attacks on what he describes as the Liberals’ inaction on climate change, as both leaders visit South Australia ahead of Saturday’s election.


Port Pirie kids’ lead levels rising [$]

There has been another spike in the number of young children in Port Pirie with dangerous levels of lead in their system.


Drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight would be disastrous for marine life and the local community

Sarah Duffy and Christopher Wright

A recent poll showed seven out of ten South Australian voters are against drilling in the Great Australian Bight. 


Welcome rain falls ease big dry [$]

A band of wet weather has crossed southern Tasmania, bringing with it welcome rainfall to Hobart and surrounding areas.


Heavy metal warning over fish farm growth [$]

The expansion of fish farms in Storm Bay should be halted until the science has caught up, a leading expert says.


First turbine completed at Tasmania’s Cattle Hill wind farm

First turbine completed at Goldwind’s 144MW Cattle Hill wind farm in Tasmania, which will boost the island state’s wind power capacity by 50% once complete.


Western Australia

Labor to promise Swan River cycle bridge

Anthony Albanese will today try to win over WA voters by promising $23 million for a new bridge to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.


Renewables export plan progresses [$]

An ambitious $21bn plan to export renewable power from WA’s north to Indonesia has taken a step towards approval.



Tax pollution, not people, says Guterres during Pacific visit

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on countries to tax pollution and not people while on his official visit to New Zealand and the Pacific islands.


A step for a promising new battery to store clean energy

Researchers have built a more efficient, more reliable potassium-oxygen battery, a step toward a potential solution for energy storage on the nation’s power grid and longer-lasting batteries in cell phones and laptops.


Glassy menagerie of particles in beach sands near Hiroshima is fallout debris, study concludes

A years-long study concludes that an odd assortment of particles found in beach sands in Japan are most likely fallout debris from the 1945 Hiroshima A-bomb blast.


Green energy nudges come with a hidden cost

Simple interventions have become increasingly popular, but may reduce support for more effective climate change policies


Just like toothpaste: Fluoride radically improves the stability of perovskite solar cells

Solar cells made of perovskite hold much promise for the future of solar energy. However, the material degrades quickly, severely limiting its efficiency and stability over time. Researchers have discovered that adding a small amount of fluoride to the perovskite leaves a protective layer, increasing stability of the materials and the solar cells significantly.


Role of cover crops in slowing herbicide resistance

A new article shows that cover crops can play an important role in slowing the development of herbicide-resistant weeds.


Families with a higher socioeconomic position have a greater risk of exposure to chemicals

A European study analyses the exposure of 1,300 mothers and their children to 41 different chemical contaminants


5 good environmental news stories from the past year

Amid stories of ecological doom, we found a few instances of progress worth celebrating.


Research Check: should we be worried that the chemicals from sunscreen can get into our blood?

Ian Musgrave and Terry Slevin

There’s no need to be put off using sunscreen.


Nature Conservation

No fishing for 500 miles: the river that runs clean through India

While the Ganges is sacred but heavily polluted, the Chambal’s ‘cursed’ but pristine waters have proved a blessing for locals


Understanding relationship break-ups to protect the reef

Unravelling the secrets of the relationship between coral and the algae living inside it will help prevent coral bleaching, researchers believe. By using genomic data to look for genes that enhance resilience in the algae, researchers hope to help coral adapt to the environmental shifts created by climate change.


A late-night disco in the forest reveals tree performance

Researchers have found a groundbreaking new method to facilitate the observation of photosynthetic dynamics in vegetation. This finding brings us one step closer to remote sensing of terrestrial carbon sinks and vegetation health.


New data platform illuminates history of humans’ environmental impact

Animal remains found at archaeological sites tell the millennia-long story of how humans have hunted, domesticated and transported wildlife, altered landscapes and responded to environmental changes such as shifting temperatures and sea levels. Now, that story is available digitally through a new open-access data platform known as ZooArchNet, which links records of animals across biological and archaeological databases.


Now for something completely different …





Maelor Himbury

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