Daily Links May 9

Using GDP as a yardstick for the performance of economies is increasingly exposed as damaging. A major oil-spill being treated as a good thing because the clean-up provides economic value is just one example of this silliness. All power to the collaboration of economists, grass-roots organisers, business leaders and politicians that is looking for alternatives. 

Post of the Day

‘New economics’: the way to save the planet?

The science is in: the endless pursuit of economic growth is devouring the foundations of life on Earth, and no country – rich or poor – can expect to escape dire consequences if things go on as they are. So how might the world change course?


Today’s Celebration

Victory Day – Eastern Europe

Royal Ploughing Ceremony – Thailand

Memorial Day – Israel

Lost Sock Memorial Day

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War

More about May 9


Climate Change

New Zealand passes landmark laws ensuring it will be carbon neutral by 2050

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern said legislation will tackle climate change but faced opposition from farmers over plans to decrease methane emissions.


Canada’s forests haven’t absorbed more carbon than they’ve released since 2001

Up until the last two decades, our forests had the power to sequester in excess of a hundred megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.


Occurrence of back-to-back heat waves likely to accelerate with climate change

Researchers have provided the first estimation of the potential damage from back-to-back, or compound, heat waves, which the authors found will increase as global warming continues. But government warning systems and health-care outreach do not currently calculate the risks of sequential heat waves. Instead, risk and response are determined by the severity of individual episodes of extreme temperatures.



Govt subsidies needed for biofuels: Qantas

A Qantas executive says government will need to be fully committed if Australia is to rival leader California in terms of biofuel uptake.


Australians more afraid of climate change than terrorism

For the first time, climate change has topped the list of potential threats to Australia in the Lowy Institute Poll.


Taking the confusion out of energy policies: your questions answered

Energy policy is confusing. There are no shortage of acronyms and the policies change almost as often as the leaders do. Here we’ve tried to answer your questions.


‘Return serve’: Fiji leader slams Liberal MP John Alexander’s Pacific climate comments

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama hits back at Liberal MP John Alexander, who suggested that Pacific Islanders should move to higher ground to avoid the impacts of climate change.


Fact Check: Was reopening Christmas Island as costly as years of new climate change spending?

Richard Di Natale compared the Coalition’s spending on the detention centre with new money set aside to fight climate change. RMIT ABC Fact Check found the comparison to be overblown.


Age of cheap coal power is over for Australia, says BNEF

Bloomberg New Energy Finance says it’s cheaper in Australia, right now, to build new wind or solar than to operate and generate power from shovelling coal into existing plant.


Australian mayors want more ambition on climate change, 100% renewables

Group of mayors across Australia demand Federal Government lift its game on climate action, support local communities and aim for 100% renewables.


New research shows community forest management reduces both deforestation and poverty

Giving local communities in Nepal the opportunity to manage their forests has simultaneously reduced deforestation and poverty in the region, new research has shown. In the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by The University of Manchester has found that community-forest management led to a 37% relative reduction in deforestation and a 4.3% relative reduction in poverty.



Butler says Coalition missing on climate, and won’t even debate

Butler says Melissa Price and Angus Taylor have refused invitations to debate climate and energy policies at National Press Club.


Solar’s stunning rise takes big chunk out of coal in daytime market

The huge leap in solar installations in Australia over the past 12 months – both in rooftop PV and large scale solar plants – is having a dramatic impact on the daytime electricity market, and coal is the biggest loser.


Australian beekeepers call for ban on potentially harmful pesticide

Scientists in London have found bees exposed to a controversial pesticide have had their ability to fly significantly reduced.


Labor pledges millions for electric vehicle industry growth

Federal Labor pledges to spend millions of dollars trying to capitalise on growth in the electric vehicle industry, saying there must be “blue collar opportunities” in the fight against climate change.


Final leaders’ debate: Shorten slams climate inaction as Morrison focuses on tax

Leaders lay out competing visions with franking credits and negative gearing reform sparking fiery exchanges


Price is right: Morrison pledges loyalty to MIA environment minister amid listless debate

Bill Shorten was tranquil, Scott Morrison walked on eggshells – but a few telling moments penetrated the gloom


PM’s office silent after apparent reference to environment bill that doesn’t exist

Scott Morrison said he had ‘been taking action’ on UN report about extinction of a million different species


Coalition says it will consider breaking up Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Productivity Commission recommended separating management and compliance functions into two organisations


‘Legally forseeable’: regulators warn companies on climate change risks

Company boards are under pressure from financial regulators to ramp up disclosures and take greater action on risks posed by climate change.


‘Drilling to the moon and back’: Oil, gas boom drives exploration surge

More than one million kilometres of new oil and gas wells are expected to be drilled globally over the next five years as the sector undergoes a revival.


Social stigma a barrier to public transport use, study finds

Taking public transport can be a source of pride or a source of shame, according to new research which is urging urban planners to take social factors into account when developing transport options.


Norwegian fund cuts coal [$]

Norwegian pension fund giant KLP has sold its stakes in four Australian energy giants to cut its exposure to coal.


Pedal cyclist injury deaths and hospitalisations 1999–00 to 2015–16

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report looks at injury hospitalisations for pedal cyclists in 2015–16, as well as trend information for deaths and hospitalisations from 1999–00 to 2015–16.


Indigenous rangers don’t receive the funding they deserve – here’s why

Noel D Preece

Indigenous rangers protect vast areas of conservation value in Australia.


3 Charts on the rise in cycling injuries and deaths in Australia

Marilyn Johnson

To reduce the risk of accidents, cyclists can wear bright clothing, use lights and steer clear of car doors, where possible.


Does Australia really have a ‘green tape’ crisis? [$]

Bernard Keane

As evidence mounts of a major environmental crisis, Scott Morrison says “green tape” is deterring investment and destroying jobs.


Credible climate policy hijacked by costings fight [$]

Tony Wood

Labor’s climate target will definitely cost more than the Coalition’s, but we don’t know enough about either policy to accurately assess it.


A million species on the brink? Yes, voters care

Lyndon Schneiders

The UN report on species extinction is a wake-up call for the planet, and for Australian politicians.


Come senators, MPs, there’s a climate emergency raging

John Hewson

They’re calling this the climate election but both sides are failing to rise to the scale of the challenge, writes a former Liberal leader.


If we buy into fear, we’re putting the planet at risk [$]

Theo Theophanous

Scott Morrison’s core argument in this election is that he can manage the economy better, that Labor’s policies are unaffordable and its climate policies are unsustainable.


Fiddling with retirement riches while the Earth burns [$]

Tory Shepherd

Halls across the country have filled with furious retirees waving their fists in the air about losing a bit of gravy. I hope there are similar halls of people voting on May 18 who are more worried about planetary devastation.


Why Australia needs to kill cats

John Read and Katherine Moseby

Cats are wreaking havoc on Australia’s ecosystems and non-lethal methods aren’t enough.


Fixing Australia’s extinction crisis means thinking bigger than individual species

Stuart Collard et al

The endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland is an ecological community that have shrunk to 6% of their original area. 



Only an hour into town? You’ve got to be kidding

Ian Morgans

“You’re almost home! Only 20 minutes to Martha Cove!” This was the message on a billboard on the Nepean Highway in Mordialloc in recent years. It was nonsense, of course. Unless you had a death wish or a hunger for driver-demerit points.


New South Wales

Key climate ruling against coal mine stands after miner declines to appeal

A “game-changing” court decision blocking a coal mine in part because of its climate change impacts will stand after the project proponent dropped plans to appeal against the verdict.


Ex-climate chief Tim Flannery moves to Manly

The chief architect of Zali Steggall’s climate strategy helped her draft a policy document that calls for the return of a national climate change authority, similar to the body he once led. And, in an even bigger show of support, Tim Flannery has moved into Ms Steggall’s electorate.



Conservation dogs to help monitor threatened lizard species in new trial

In attempts to monitor one of the ACT’s most endangered species, Parks and Conservation staff have resorted to using a new state-of-the-art tool.


Hopes problems plaguing new weekend bus routes can be fixed

The union representing Canberra’s bus drivers says it is confident the issues plaguing the weekend timetable can be resolved, after talks with Transport Canberra on Wednesday.


Greens channel environmental anger in the capital [$]

Guy Rundle

In the climate debates and rallies of Canberra, Greens like Tim Hollo are capitalising on Labor’s failure to leave its mark.



Clive Palmer announces plan for new coal-fired power station amid criticism idea is ‘just crazy’

Clive Palmer’s coal company Waratah Coal announces plans to build a coal-fired power station in central Queensland, but the Australia Institute says the proposal is “just crazy” in view of the “huge threat from climate change”.


From paddock to forest: How a music festival led to the planting of 100,000 trees

Over 22 years, more than 100,000 trees have now been planted by the Woodford Treehuggers, the volunteers who have grown the Woodford Folk Festival site.


Solar Insiders Podcast: What is going on in Queensland?

Confusion and frustration in the Sunshine state as the government seeks to justify new rules that will add costs to solar farms and make some installations impossible.


World demand for Queensland coal soars

Coal remains Queensland’s biggest export, making up 40% of the State’s total exports.


Overhaul of Brisbane vegetation protection sent to state for approval

The major changes will affect how residents can develop property.


Mayor slams ‘Adani rules’ [$]

Townsville’s Labor mayor fears tough assessment measures for the Adani coalmine could frighten away investors in the region.


Pro-dam CLP in swing territory [$]

Sources claim polling shows Coalition candidate Kathy Ganley has narrowed her sitting Labor opponent’s margin.


Scientists need to hop to it to defeat toads [$]

Michael Madigan

The cane toad has hopped into Sydney but, instead of sparking a national emergency, he got his photo in the paper. Science introduced this pest and must find a way to eradicate it.


South Australia

Labor to review Bight oil spill potential

An incoming Labor government would quickly initiate a Great Australian Bight environmental study, says Bill Shorten.


SA taxpayers will not have to ‘foot the bill for shoddy work’ on Darlington Upgrade

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll says South Australian taxpayers will not have to fork out for “shoddy work” on the new $620 million Darlington Upgrade, after two sections of spray-on concrete crumbled on the lowered motorway in as many days.


Controversial coal-gas tech, banned in Queensland, holds hope for SA town

A controversial underground coal gasification project could tender for an SA Government electricity supply contract formerly held by a renewable energy project.


E-scooter parking bays to be rolled out [$]

Parking bays for electric scooters are set to be introduced across the CBD to reduce clutter — and you will get a reward if you use them.


Rare spider orchid gets a boost in bid for survival [$]

Just a few thousand rare white spider orchids remain in the Mount Lofty Ranges, but the species’ bid for survival is receiving a much-needed boost.


Chemicals questioned in war on weeds [$]

Should Hobart continue its non-chemical warfare in the fight against weeds? A trial has revealed it’s a $1.7 million dollar question.


Northern Territory

As the Lake Eyre Basin floods with life, locals stand ready to fight fracking

In Central Australia, one of the largest and most pristine desert river systems on the planet is flooding, but with the water and wildlife comes a message from locals: the Lake Eyre Basin needs protecting.


Western Australia

Rooftop solar kills summer peak in W.A., as renewables nudge 50% share

In W.A. the “hot season” peak is now the same as the winter peak, thanks to rooftop solar. The share of renewables is also nudging 50% at times.


Shorten’s ‘courageous’ emissions target draws fire in energy-intense WA

Nathan Hondros

When Bill Shorten launched Labor’s campaign, the true believers roared when he promised “courage and action” on climate change instead of “cowardice and chaos”.



$5bn ‘climate risk’ to APA Group, says investment fund Atlas Infrastructure [$]

The Global Infrastructure Partners-backed investment fund Atlas Infrastructure says gas pipeline giant APA Group faces losing $5 billion of its value from long-term climate change risks, as pressure grows for society to cut its reliance on fossil fuel use.


France calls Iran to respect nuclear deal, warns of escalation

France called on Iran on Wednesday to respect all its commitments after Tehran announced it was relaxing some curbs to its nuclear program, and warned against any action that would lead to an escalation.


Development of ‘transparent and flexible battery’ for power generation and storage at once

graphene based multifunctional transparent devices. Expected to be used in various devices such as electronics and skin-attachable devices with power generation and self-charging capability


Clean fuel cells could be cheap enough to replace gas engines in vehicles

Advancements in zero-emission fuel cells could make the technology cheap enough to replace traditional gasoline engines in vehicles.


Study identifies better, cheaper ways to stem arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh

An analysis compares four methods of dealing with arsenic contamination in Bangladesh, and pinpoints strategies to deliver cleaner water to the greatest number of people at the lowest cost.


Radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests found in deep ocean trenches

Radioactive carbon released into the atmosphere from 20th-century nuclear bomb tests has reached the deepest parts of the ocean, a new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters finds. Crustaceans in deep ocean trenches have incorporated this ‘bomb carbon’ into the molecules that make up their bodies.


Solar-powered hydrogen fuels a step closer

A cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable way of making hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight is step closer thanks to new research from the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies.


‘New economics’: the way to save the planet?

The science is in: the endless pursuit of economic growth is devouring the foundations of life on Earth, and no country – rich or poor – can expect to escape dire consequences if things go on as they are. So how might the world change course?


Why we don’t know if plastics are safe

Academics and regulators at odds over impact of chemical additives.


Vietnam can reduce emissions, save $2.3 billion by 2030 in ag, forestry and land use

Vietnam is one of the fortunate nations that has a suite of untapped options for emissions reductions that, if undertaken, can save the country an estimated $2.3 billion by 2030, substantially decrease emissions while increasing agricultural productivity, and benefit coastal and forest ecosystems.


Air pollution on British streets is poisoning 2.6m schoolchildren

Millions of children attend schools in Britain with dangerous levels of air pollution, an investigation by The Times has found.


The term “resilience” is everywhere. But what does it really mean?

The term “resilience” is everywhere. And everywhere, it seems, it means something a little different.


Persevere if staff are rubbish at recycling

Jonathan Rivett

How do I encourage my colleagues to recycle their waste?


Why suburban parks offer an antidote to helicopter parenting

Debra Flanders Cushing et al

Parks are places where children make their own decisions, explore their imaginations and expand their abilities.


It’s time to break our addiction to farm chemicals

Bob Quinn

As a kid growing up on a Montana wheat and cattle ranch in the 50s and 60s, I was raised farming with chemicals.


White House has “Monsanto’s back on pesticides,” newly revealed document says

Carey Gillam

Internal Monsanto records just filed in court show that a corporate intelligence group hired to “to take the temperature on current regulatory attitudes for glyphosate” reported that the White House could be counted on to defend the company’s Roundup herbicides.


The end of the everything may be what we’ve been needing

Kathleen Parker

Recycling our plastic bottles and toting our own shopping bags won’t be enough.


Nature Conservation

Only a third of world’s great rivers remain free flowing, analysis finds

Dams, levees, hydropower and habitat degradation behind fragmentation on huge scale, finds global assessment


Fresh mountain smog? 96% of US national parks have hazardous air quality

Report finds popular parks such as Yosemite and Joshua Tree have pollution at levels that threaten visitors and wildlife.


Urban trees ‘live fast, die young’ compared to those in rural forests

more quickly but die faster than rural trees, resulting in a net loss of street-tree carbon storage over time, according to a new study. The findings suggest that planting initiatives alone may not be sufficient to maintain or enhance canopy cover and biomass due to the unique demographics of urban ecosystems.


A look at how long-banned PCBs persist in the ocean [$]

A new study tracks how climatic factors like sea ice cover and ocean circulation affect the life span and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls in the world’s oceans.


The UN’s devastating extinction report, explained in 5 charts

A report by the UN IPBES says human activity is threatening the existence of over a million plant and animal species—more than ever before in human history.


Scepticism on changing planet dead as the dodo [$]

Andrew Bolt

A UN report released this week sensationally claims a million species are heading for extinction but there still remains much doubt over this “crisis”. In reality, reason and scepticism are at much greater risk of disappearing.




Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042