Daily Links Jun 5

Is climate change our World War III or our ‘humans on the moon by the end of the decade’. When JFK committed to the latter, almost no-one thought it possible. We have to think winning World War III is not only possible but just has to be done.
Oh, and Happy World Environment Day, everybody.

Post of the Day

What can we do to combat the damaging effects of air pollution?

Around 7 million people die every year because of the effects of air pollution, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. This equates to 800 people every hour or 13 people a minute.


Today’s Celebration

Constitution Day – Denmark

Father’s Day – Denmark

Khordad Movement Anniversary – Iran

President’s Birthday – Equatorial Guinea

Dame Lois Browne-Evans Day – Bermuda

Eid al Fitr – Islam

Ecologist’s Day – Kazakhstan

World Environment Day

Hot Air Balloon Day

World Day Against Speciesism

International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

More about Jun 5


Climate Change

The Pentagon is defying Trump to protect its bases from climate change

The Trump administration insists climate change is not a big deal, but the Pentagon can see its bases going under water with its own eyes. This is how it’s fighting back.


Asia-Pacific Climate Leaders Pledge to Accelerate Climate Action

As climate change continues to make headlines globally, an ambitious group of leaders from Asia-Pacific nations, states, regions, territories and cities gathered in Brisbane today and committed to ramping up efforts on climate action.


Latest data shows steep rises in CO2 for seventh year

Readings from Hawaii observatory bring threshold of 450ppm closer sooner than had been anticipated


Joe Biden releases climate change plan for 2020 presidential election

It calls for achieving net-zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050.


Companies see $1 trillion in climate risk, but more in potential reward

An analysis of corporate disclosures to the nonprofit CDP shows advances in carbon dioxide reporting.


Limiting warming to 2 degrees C will require emission cuts across entire food system

Better understanding agriculture and the food system’s unique place in climate change — as both drivers of climate change and victims of it — is helping to increase support for climate action. Unfortunately, progress across the food system is lagging, according to a new analysis.


Climate change is our World War III. It needs a bold response

Joseph Stiglitz

Critics of the Green New Deal ask if we can afford it.


Climate sceptic or climate denier? It’s not that simple and here’s why

Peter Ellerton

There’s a difference between not believing and denying the science on climate change. 



‘Crackpot stuff’: Coalition MPs’ call for nuclear power inquiry rejected by Greens

Sarah Hanson-Young says the Nationals who have raised nuclear energy are ‘lunatic cowboys’


Minerals Council ‘nuts’ on solar, wind: Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, shrugged off a big fall in the software company’s share price Tuesday morning – which wiped around a billion dollars from his personal wealth – as he advocated for Australia’s future as a clean energy giant.


ClimateWorks to launch platform to track business pledges on zero emissions

ClimateWorks will create a new register of corporate and government pledges to tackle climate change to track contributions towards Paris Agreement.


Solar farms push 2019 PV tally past 1.5GW

A total of 1.5GW of large- and small-scale solar has been installed across Australia so far in 2019, making it the biggest year for PV installs excluding 2018.


Networks want to hit household solar exports with extra grid charges

The main lobby group representing Australia’s electricity and gas networks has renewed its push to hit households exporting solar back to the grid with additional grid charges – to the horror of some consumer groups and industry experts.


What’s next for the Greens? [$]

Guy Rundle

For the Greens, the 2019 election was neither the stirring victory nor the washout that some predicted. Forward steps will will take a cultural shift — and a long overdue sort-out of the party.


Roundup trial lands in Australia, and with it a decades-long spin game [$]

Justine Landis-Hanley

After many years, it appears Monsanto has perfected its public-facing messages over safety concerns.



Demands to probe Vic wildlife extinctions

The decline and extinction of Victoria’s wildlife should be examined by state parliament, says a group of crossbenchers led by Greens leader Samantha Ratnam.


Melbourne gardener lodges first Australian Roundup cancer case

Legal action has been launched against agribusiness giant Monsanto by a Melbourne gardener who claims his cancer was caused by the herbicide Roundup.


Crackdown on power bill sting [$]

Changes to make energy contracts fairer could force Victorian retailers to fix prices for at least 12 months for customers signing up to new deals.


The truth about ‘catastrophic’ dam burst claims [$]

Claims that one of the city’s most vital dams could burst and cause up to 1000 deaths have been slammed as “incredibly irresponsible”, with Melbourne Water hitting out at the reports.


New South Wales

Court to rule on rat plague island bait ‘bombing’ [$]

The NSW Supreme Court will this week hear argument against a controversial government-approved aerial rat baiting for World Heritage Listed Lord Howe Island which has ignited a fiery debate and even fights among locals.


Sydney Opera House turns to wind and solar, may add battery for perfect match

Sydney Opera House turns to wind and solar to meet its electricity needs, and may add a battery to ensure a “perfect match.”


New solar player eyes 25MW project near Dungog in NSW

Relative newcomer to Australia, Rio Indygen, is proposing a 25MW solar farm for the New South Wales Hunter Region near the historic township of Vacy.



Adani jobs explained: why there are new questions over Carmichael mine

Expert says it’s unusual the company has declined to make a specific promise about ongoing employment


Impact of climate change on Queensland economy laid bare in new reports

More Queenslanders will assemble electrical vehicle components and solar panels while avoiding summer temperatures over 40 degrees as reef tourism slumps, two major reports say.


A glimmer of hope on gas [$]

Incitec Pivot’s gas supply deal is a rare piece of good news in an otherwise bleak energy outlook.


Council to look at use of weedkiller [$]

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has revealed council will review its use of the weedkiller Roundup amid safety concerns over the product.


Union demands ‘frank answers’ on Adani jobs [$]

Just days after the construction arm of the CFMMEU told Annastacia Palaszczuk she “risked being taken for a ride” by Adani if she rushed to approve the project, the union’s mining and energy division is asking to be rewarded by the miner.


Government stalls on renewable power plan [$]

Doubts remain over Palaszczuk Government’s ambitious 50 per cent renewable energy target with bidders on two integral projects left in limbo for almost two years.


Queensland cuts regional solar feed-in tariffs as renewables push prices down

The Queensland Competition Authority has cited strong investment in renewables as a reason for reducing solar feed-in-tariffs in regional Queensland.


Calls to axe taxpayer cash from Gore climate-fest

The timing of the “climate reality training” event headed by former US vice president Al Gore is proving very inconvenient for the state government, which has been forced to fast-track Adani’s approvals.


How India sees Adani [$]

Robert Gottliebsen

Australians saw Adani as an environmental issue. Indians saw it differently.


South Australia

Gupta secures China EPC contract for $350 million Cultana solar farm

Gupta signs contract with Shanghai Electric to undertake construction of the Cultana solar farm in Whyalla.


EPA disputes ANU lake research [$]

Australian National University research claiming some Tasmanian lakes ranked among the worst in the world for metal contamination because of historic mining activities has been disputed.


Seaweed solution making waves in the quest to reverse global warming

Nearly all the kelp growing along the east coast of Tasmania has been wiped out due to the rising temperatures of the world’s oceans. But scientists have discovered a way to regenerate the seaweed, and reverse global warming in the process.


Northern Territory

Spotlight on Rio Tinto Kakadu uranium clean-up

Dave Sweeney

Four decades of imposed uranium mining by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and Rio Tinto is about to end at the Ranger Uranium Mine in Kakadu in Australia’s Northern Territory.


Western Australia

How big data can help residents find transport, jobs and homes that work for them

Sae Chi and Linda Robson

We have learnt to be wary of big data, but it can also be your friend: one platform combines and analyses data about housing, jobs and transport to reveal very useful information about living in Perth.



Enjoying music no longer requires plastic. Does that make streaming greener?

The use of plastic to make recorded music has plummeted since streaming came along. But greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased, according to a recent study, suggesting new challenges for music fans and platforms.


Warning label not required on coffee despite carcinogenic chemical, California rules

California officially gives its blessing to coffee, declaring the beverage does not pose a “significant” cancer risk, despite containing a chemical listed by the state as being carcinogenic.


Vietnamese supermarkets find a-peeling solution to plastic packaging

Supermarkets in Vietnam have come up with a genius way to reduce plastic packaging: To wrap produce in banana leaves instead.


Adopting climate resilient agriculture in Uganda

In rural Uganda, women farmers are building food security through Quaker Service Australia‘s (QSA) community-oriented training program.


New barcode trial promises to cut product recall food waste and improve traceability

Woolworths is set to become the first Australian supermarket to trial data embedded (or 2D) barcodes in stores from August.


New process to rinse heavy metals from soils

Poisonous heavy metals contaminating thousands of sites nationwide threaten to enter the food chain, and there’s been no easy way to remove them. An experimental chemical bath and electrochemical filter could now extract heavy metals from the soil and leave fields safe.


Running Dry: Competing for water on a thirsty planet

Around the world, fresh water is fast becoming a dangerously scarce resource, driving a surge in fights to secure supplies and fears over rising numbers of deaths in water conflicts.


Tech giant joins fight for sustainable fashion

Google is partnering with Stella McCartney to measure the environmental impact of the fashion industry and improve sustainability in clothing supply chains. 


What can we do to combat the damaging effects of air pollution?

Around 7 million people die every year because of the effects of air pollution, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. This equates to 800 people every hour or 13 people a minute.


Roundup’s Risks Could Go Well Beyond Cancer

Mark Buchanan

Evidence of the cheap herbicide’s danger to biological functions and the environment continues to mount. Why are U.S. regulators not listening?


Nature Conservation

Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon surges to record high

Environmentalists fear 2019 will be one of worst years for deforestation in recent memory


Marine ‘gold rush’: demand for shark fin soup drives decimation of fish

Finning is still rampant in many countries due to diners’ appetite for the delicacy, despite attempts to shut down the trade


Human population growth threatens endangered whales

Population growth is threatening efforts to save Southern Resident killer whales, whose decline is not being treated with the urgency the crisis demands, officials said in a task force meeting in Washington state Monday.


Gold, wood, religion: Threats to Colombia’s isolated indigenous peoples

Illegal miners, indiscriminate loggers, groups on the fringes of the law, and even religious evangelists are putting the indigenous peoples’ way of life at risk.


A deadly fungus threatens to wipe out 100 frog species – here’s how it can be stopped

Deborah Bower and Simon Clulow

The island of New Guinea is home to 6% of the world’s frogs, but if the deadly chytrid fungus invades it could cause a mass extinction.