Daily Links Jul 25

The Minister for Emissions Reduction, Angus ‘Fantastic’ Taylor, hasn’t reduced emissions yet. Delaying the data doesn’t give us confidence in his performance either, but then the poor chap is possibly a bit distracted with his imbroglio over at Jam Land Pty Ltd. This doesn’t give us much confidence in him either. 

Post of the Day

Make environmental damage a war crime, say scientists

Call for new Geneva convention to protect wildlife and nature reserves in conflict regions


Today’s Celebration

Constitution Day – Puerto Rico

Republic Day – Tunisia

Guanacaste Day – Costa Rica

National Baha’i Day – Jamaica

National Day – Galicia

Thread The Needle Day

More about Jul 25


Climate Change

A planet-sized sunshade? It sounds far-fetched, but some scientists are seriously considering it

Should we try and turn the stratosphere into a giant global sunshade to stop Earth from overheating? Or could this be a cure that’s worse than the disease?


Extinction Rebellion protesters confront politicians at US Capitol

Climate crisis group members glue themselves to doorways to block members of Congress from attending evening vote


New study identifies causes of multidecadal climate changes

A new reconstruction of global average surface temperature change over the past 2,000 years has identified the main causes for decade-scale climate changes.


House committee calls for zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050

Democrats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce plan to introduce comprehensive legislation later this year to deal with climate change.


Climate change could revive medieval megadroughts in US Southwest

A study published in Science Advances provides the first comprehensive theory for why there were clusters of megadroughts in the American Southwest during Medieval times. The authors found that ocean temperature conditions plus high radiative forcing — when Earth absorbs more sunlight than it radiates back into space — play important roles in triggering megadroughts. The study suggests an increasing risk of future megadroughts in the American Southwest due to climate change.


The climate is warming faster than it has in the last 2,000 years

In contrast to pre-industrial climate fluctuations, current, anthropogenic climate change is occurring across the whole world at the same time. In addition, the speed of global warming is higher than it has been in at least 2,000 years. That’s according to two studies from the University of Bern.


UN boss asks all countries, including Australia, to plan for zero emissions

UN Secretary General has calls on global leaders, including Scott Morrison, to come to the Climate Action Summit with concrete plans to lift climate action.


Rising CO2 levels could boost wheat yield but slightly reduce nutritional quality [$]

Researchers reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry say that a much higher CO2 level could increase wheat yield but slightly reduce its nutritional quality.


Climate change may draw $200 billion vaccine boom, analyst says

Higher temperatures across the globe could expose almost a billion more people to risks for diseases like Zika and Ebola by 2080 and that may be a boon for some drugmakers, Morgan Stanley tells investors.


Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months

There’s a growing consensus that the next year-and-a-half are key in the battle against rising temperatures.



Energy Minister delayed releasing greenhouse gas emissions data

Angus Taylor delayed releasing an official report showing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions were rising, even though it had been completed weeks earlier and the Senate had set a legal deadline for its release, government documents reveal.


Australia rejects Pacific demands for greater action on climate change

Foreign Minister Marise Payne rejects demands from Pacific countries for Australia to do more to combat climate change, as she heads to Fiji for a regional meeting of foreign ministers.


Woolworths boost for students’ environmental projects

Applications for a new round of Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants are now open, with the supermarket looking to grow Australia’s next generation of environmental champions.


Doubters urge BHP to match bold climate pledge with action

Shareholder advocates demand more, but Greens says major parties should ‘take a leaf out of miner’s book’


Angus Taylor insists he acted within parliamentary rules over business interests

Taylor and Josh Frydenberg face possible inquiry over meeting with officials on protected grasslands


When will Australia’s ‘super drought’ break?

9News Presenter Sonia Marinelli gives the rainfall and climate outlook for the coming months.


BHP demonising coal, say Libs [$]

Conservative Liberal MPs have attacked mining group BHP for speaking out against climate change


Let market decide, says Beach [$]

The Kerry Stokes-backed Beach Energy says the government should resist heading down a gas reservation path.


CER sees renewables momentum growing in post-RET energy market

Clean Energy Regulator estimates large-scale renewable generation will increase from 2018 levels of 22,000 gigawatt-hours to around 40,000GWh in 2020.


The imperative for progressives? Bold action on inequality, democracy and climate

Osmond Chiu

Big challenges demand a big, convincing narrative that taps into the public mood


Wake up and smell the radiation. Nuclear is not the answer [$]

Allen Hicks

Expensive, time consuming and risky — nuclear energy should not be on the table when safer and cheaper energy options are available


BHP ups the emissions task for Australia [$]

Jennifer Hewett

BHP’s willingness to talk about scope 3 emissions created by its customers indicates shifting sentiment – but it won’t have won boss Andrew Mackenzie any new friends in the Morrison government.


If BHP is serious about climate ‘threat’ why doesn’t it quit coal?

Andrew Bolt

If BHP’s chief really believes climate change is “indisputable” and killing the planet, why isn’t the company closing down coal mines.


New demand-response energy rules sound good, but the devil is in the (hugely complicated) details

Bruce Mountain

Proposed rules for managing energy demand could potentially lower prices and reduce blackout risk, but there are reasons to be skeptical.


A patchwork of City Deals or a national settlement strategy: what’s best for our growing cities?

Paul Burton and Luke Nicholls

Australia has no enduring tradition of having a national urban policy, unlike the UK, from where we sometimes import policies. The Commonwealth government has a long history of intervening in cities, from addressing housing shortages to funding urban infrastructure, but has shied away from a formal national settlement strategy.



‘Rogue’ recycling giant avoids closure — for now — as creditors chase millions

One of Australia’s biggest recyclers, SKM, wins a short reprieve from insolvency, after a court gives it until the end of next week to pay its debts, citing “significant” environmental ramifications if the company is wound up.


Mining exclusion zone welcomed in Victoria, but locals say more needs to be done

The Victorian Government has announced it will protect 4,000 hectares of farm land from mining exploration in the state’s east in an area near a controversial mining proposal.


Federal highway approval could be end of the road for sacred tree saga

Protesters camping out to save sacred Aboriginal trees are preparing to be evicted by Victorian police now that the federal government has given final approval for a controversial road project in Ararat.


New South Wales

Barwon-Darling River faces ‘collapse’ from government mistakes: report

Immediate changes are needed to avoid the “collapse” of Australia’s longest river system, a NSW government agency has found.


Company behind Bylong Valley mine slams Independent Planning Commission [$]

A South Korean company seeking approval for a coal mine in the state’s Central West has written a scathing response to the Independent Planning Commission after it refused to green light the project over an expired certificate.


Wollongong needs fast train to Sydney to expand [$]

A new vision for Wollongong in 2040 highlights a thriving mini-metropolis where more residents will be able to work locally. But developers say faster train connections, more office space and larger buildings are needed to make that a reality.


Minister to mull water changes [$]

NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey says she will consider changing water extraction ­arrangements on sections of the Murray-Darling system.


Kellogg’s signs with solar farm to take NSW operations 100% renewable

Kellogg’s Australia to become the latest corporate entity to commit to sourcing the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables.



Qld coalmine dumps dirty water into river

A central Queensland coalmine partially owned by BHP has been fined $200,000 after its operators admitted releasing mine-affected water into a nearby river.


Derelict cars stranded on remote Queensland islands to cost $16m to move

Taxpayers will pay more than $16 million to move thousands of abandoned cars, potentially infested with lethal mosquitos, that are stranded on remote islands in the Torres Strait.


Nuclear power would be a ‘disaster’ for Queensland, minister says

A senior Queensland politician has shot down a push by a handful of federal politicians to reconsider nuclear power.


Queensland shortlists 10 big renewable and storage projects for CleanCo contracts

The Queensland government has finally moved forward on its Renewables 400 auction, announcing 10 big renewable and storage projects that will compete for contracts with the newly formed Cleanco generator,. which will begin trading at the end of October.


Cows take wind out of their diet [$]

A company owned by the Queensland government’s sovereign wealth fund will today announce it has created a more climate-friendly cow.


Cane toad testicle size becomes State of Origin contest

WA and NSW cane toads are bigger, stronger and can travel further, but they lag behind Queensland toads in one significant feature — testicle size.


Adani arrest draws attention to Australia’s global harm

David Shearman

The arrest of a French journalist has focused a spotlight on Australia’s contributions to global warming.


South Australia

Labor cops spray over SA Water hikes

An independent inquiry into water pricing in South Australia has found the former Labor state government over-valued SA Water assets by at least $520 million, driving up household and business water bills in order to increase government revenue.


‘It’s time to push nuclear option’

Australia should scrap its longstanding prohibition on the nuclear industry, says a former governor of South Australia.


Bight oil drilling protest heats up [$]

Victor Harbor locals want a public meeting for Equinor to address concerns about its plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. The company says it’s already exceeded the consultation that’s required.


Water bill cuts could save government from drowning [$]

Daniel Wills

A promise of water bill cuts is just the life buoy Premier Steven Marshall needed, as critics inside the State Government and out tip the bucket over a tough Budget.


Run-off from rubbish including meth labs and waste from the 1980s turned into clean water

Run-off from dangerous waste, including meth labs and and decades-old household rubbish, is being turned into clean water.


Explainer: How the closure of a major industrial could strengthen the case for a second Bass Strait interconnector

One of Tasmania’s major power users is weighing up the sale, mothballing or closure of its alloy smelter. So what happens to the state’s energy network, and your power bill, if a major industrial business like TEMCO leaves?


New treatment program offers hope for controlling wombat mange

New research is offering hope that the deadly mange disease affecting Tasmanian wombats could eventually be brought under control for wild individuals and populations


‘It’s really sad’: In this national park there are as few as three wombats left

Scientists thought they found a treatment for the deadly wombat mange disease, but two years after successful trials made it appear the treatment was working, the entire study population was dead.


The attacks on Bob Brown for opposing a windfarm are exhausting and hypocritical

Richard Denniss

There are better and worse places to build turbines. Australians should be encouraged to take part in such debates


Tasmania should benefit from the growth in the state’s aquaculture industry

Examiner editorial

It’s been a tumultuous 24 hours for Tasmanian aquaculture.


Northern Territory

I climbed Uluru, but I wish I had not

Aislinn Martin

We don’t have the “right” to climb Uluru any more than we have the “right’ to abseil the Great Pyramid.


Western Australia

Bill Marmion lashes Freo council’s green spending

Opposition local government minister Bill Marmion has accused Freo council of losing sight of its main responsibilities after it spent $2 million on renewable energy and carbon emission offsets.


30,000 native animals rescued ahead of gas plant construction

In remote north-west WA, 30,000 animals are relocated from termite mounds ahead of the construction of the Chevron gas processing facility.



Energy-smart companies save US$millions while driving down emissions

Members of international non-profit The Climate Group’s smart energy initiative EP100 have avoided over 522 million MTCO2e since their respective baseline years, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of running 134 US coal-fired power plants for a year


BHP push for lower emissions could set mining precedent

BHP’s landmark move to push customers to reduce carbon emissions is tipped to be followed by other miners as the industry fights for investor capital and recognises the need to maintain a “social licence” to operate.


South Korea unveils plans for 2.1GW floating solar plant

South Korea will develop a 2.1 GW floating solar power plant which, upon completion, will be 14-times larger than the world’s largest floating project.



Our global food system discards 46 million tonnes of fish each year. Why?


GE Renewables unveils components for world’s biggest wind turbine

GE Renewables unveils first components for its world-leading 12 MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine.


Lithium miners burnt by car fires [$]

A recent spate of fires in Chinese electric vehicles could slow the shift in lithium markets towards hydroxide products.


How to consider nature’s impact on mental health in city plans

An international team led by the University of Washington and Stanford University has created a framework for how city planners and municipalities around the world can start to measure the mental health benefits of nature and incorporate those into plans and policies for cities and their residents.


Berkeley became first US city to ban natural gas. Here’s what that may mean for the future

The California city on Tuesday voted to ban natural gas hook-ups in new buildings, in a historic move


Make environmental damage a war crime, say scientists

Call for new Geneva convention to protect wildlife and nature reserves in conflict regions


Fecal bacteria found at more than half of US beaches last year, report says

Beaches were deemed unsafe on at least a quarter of days tested and climate crisis will likely increase the pollution


30,000-plus U.S. lives could be saved by reducing air pollution levels below current standard

Research findings show significant human health benefits when air quality is better than the current national ambient air quality standard. The estimate of lives that could be saved by further reduction of air pollution levels is more than thirty thousand, which is similar to the number of deaths from car accidents each year.


India turns to electric vehicles to beat pollution

Home to some of the world’s most polluted cities, India has announced a big push for electric vehicles.


Babies born near oil and gas wells are 40 to 70% more likely to have congenital heart defects, new study shows

The study comes as Trump plans to open up 725,000 acres of public land in California to oil and gas companies.


Roundup isn’t Bayer’s only potential billion-dollar headache

Roundup isn’t Bayer’s only potential billion-dollar headache


What can our cities do about sprawl, congestion and pollution? Tip: Scrap car parking

Neil Sipe Anthony Kimpton and Dorina Pojani

While car parking was a non-negotiable amenity for baby boomers, it is an eyesore to millennials and the up-and-coming iGen.


There’s a simple way to drought-proof a town – build more water storage

Michael Roderick

Many rural town water supplies cannot weather even a single year of drought. This is a failure of planning and funding on a grand scale.


Nature Conservation

Clues on how soils may respond to climate change found

Rock core samples from a period of warming millions of years ago indicate soils contributed to a rapid rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas and suggest modern climate models may overestimate Earth’s ability to mitigate future warming, according to an international team of scientists.


Picky pathogens help non-native tree species invade

Trees have many natural enemies, including pathogens that have evolved to attack certain tree species. Invasive tree species — even ones that are very closely related to native trees — are often not attacked by these pathogens and can thrive.


How climate change disrupts relationships

Plants rely on bees for pollination; bees need plants to supply nectar and pollen. Scientists from the University of Würzburg have studied how climate change affects these mutualistic interactions.


Some Pacific salmon populations are especially at risk from climate change

Four population groups of Pacific salmon in California, Oregon, and Idaho are especially vulnerable to climate change, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Crozier of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and colleagues

The ‘hidden world beneath our feet’

First global analysis of world’s most abundant creatures reveals more animals live in the far north than the tropics.



Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042