Daily Links Aug 14

When it comes to loving each other very much, it’s less of a case of mummy and daddy and more a case of a business type paying for a willing partner. It’s not the parental bedroom where the action occurs but the Canberra backrooms where donations are doled out. Either way, someone gets screwed!

Post of the Day

How recycling is actually sorted, and why Australia is quite bad at it

Jeff Seadon

As recycling gets more complicated, Australia’s sorting plants are getting left behind.

 

Today’s Celebration

Independence Day – Pakistan

Anniversary Day – Tristan da Cunha

Oued Ed-Dahab Day – Morocco

Pramuka Day – Indonesia

Islamic Resistance Day – Iran

Falklands Day – Falkland Islands

Obon – Japan

Raksha Bandhan – Hinduism

Victory over Japan Day

More about Aug 14

 

Climate Change

Heat-trapping gases broke records in 2018, climate report finds

Last year said to be fourth-warmest since 1800s and sea levels the highest on record

 

Extreme climate change has reached the United States: Here are America’s fastest-warming places

More than a century of temperature data shows much of the U.S. Northeast is in the grip of extreme warming, with winter heating up more quickly than other seasons.

 

Satellite study reveals that area in Africa emits one billion tonnes of carbon

A vast region of Africa affected by drought and changing land use emits as much carbon dioxide each year as 200 million cars, research suggests.

 

How media around the world frame climate change news

Rich countries politicize issue, while poor countries present climate change as international concern

 

Arctic could be iceless in September if temps increase 2 degrees

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study.

 

Explainer: The tiny Pacific nation that holds ‘a sign of what’s in store for us all’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today arrive in Tuvalu, one of the smallest and least-travelled to nations on Earth, for the annual gathering of Pacific leaders, who have named climate change as their top issue.

 

Tuvalu’s PM says Morrison’s climate money ‘not an excuse’ to keep opening mines

Tuvalu warns Australia that redirecting aid money to climate resilience projects in the Pacific should not be used as an “excuse” to avoid reducing emissions and phasing out coal-fired power generation.

 

How will Australia spend the $500m it has committed to the Pacific?

The government says money will fund new infrastructure but do climate investments like this work?

 

Australia demands Paris targets be removed from Pacific Islands communique

Australia seeks to water down Pacific Island communique, demanding references to UN’s net zero emissions targets, coal exits and the end of fossil fuel subsidies be removed.

 

Australia Institute analysis adds to Pacific pile-on over Morrison’s climate policy

Michelle Grattan

An analysis from The Australia Institute accuses Scott Morrison of planning to exploit a “pollution loophole” equivalent to about eight years of fossil-fuel emissions from the rest of the Pacific and New Zealand.

 

Coalition conjures another accounting trick as it dodges climate commitment

Giles Parkinson

More climate sleight-of-hand from federal Coalition, with $500m of existing aid money for the Pacific to be diverted into renewables, disaster resilience.

 

Climate explained: why plants don’t simply grow faster with more carbon dioxide in air

Sebastian Leuzinger

Fast-growing plantation trees store less carbon per surface area than old, undisturbed forests that may show little growth.

 

Restoring soil can help address climate change

David R. Montgomery

More than one-fifth of global warming emissions come from land use. Sustainable farming can make soil healthier and better able to soak up carbon, while saving energy and boosting food production.

 

National

Anthony Albanese calls for ‘mature debate’ on population growth

Labor leader says the government just seems to be drifting along without a plan as our big cities feel the strain

 

Half of all new cars sold in Australia by 2035 will be electric, forecast predicts

New government analysis on electric vehicles suggests Labor’s election policy was not out of step with path country is already on

 

How will a domestic waste recycling industry work in Australia?

Despite the prime minister’s pledge, there are plenty of challenges facing the country’s waste recovery efforts

 

Angus Taylor’s department ignored advice not to run $2.4m energy ad blitz before Christmas

Government’s advertising contractor warned of scant public interest at that time of year in taxpayer-funded ads boasting of lowering power prices

 

Migration under review amid growing congestion concerns

The comprehensive review will open the door to further cuts in immigrant numbers and moves to push more migrants into the regions.

 

Platypus decline worse than previously thought, say researchers

The decline in platypus numbers in Australia has likely been underestimated, according to new research from the University of NSW.

 

Renewables storage upscales

New battery technology is bringing renewables storage to large buildings.

 

An assessment of Australia’s future infrastructure needs

Infrastructure Australia

The 2019 audit covers transport, energy, water, telecommunications and – for the first time – social infrastructure, and looks at the major challenges and opportunities facing Australia’s infrastructure over the next 15 years and beyond.

 

It’s impossible to justify new coal, and it must be banned

David Ritter

A few years ago one of my kids asked me “Dad, where do coal mines come from?”. “Well”, I was tempted to respond, “when a government and a mining company love each other very much…”

 

How recycling is actually sorted, and why Australia is quite bad at it

Jeff Seadon

As recycling gets more complicated, Australia’s sorting plants are getting left behind.

 

Infrastructure groans under our addiction to population growth [$]

Bernard Keane

Australians are paying the price for our addition to temporary migration through ever-longer commutes, a new report shows.

 

Big utilities stall on clean energy transition, despite the economics

David Leitch

It seems clear to us that Australia’s biggest gen-tailers – the utilities that dominate both electricity generation and retail – won’t decarbonise their portfolios any faster than policy makes them – despite the favourable economics.

 

Victoria

Local council rubbishes Victorian Government’s ‘barely tokenistic’ recycling crisis package

Local councils are calling on the Victorian Government to create a statewide solution to the recycling crisis, with one council slamming a recent funding package allocated to fix the problem as “barely tokenistic”.

 

Recycling fund ‘a PR stunt’ as council demands $3 million back

A tax on every tonne of trash taken to tips in Victoria has contributed $1.7 billion in the last decade to state government coffers – but with the recycling system in chaos, one council wants its money back.

 

Rubbish fees may rise as recycling dramas roll on [$]

Victoria’s recycling crisis may lead to a rise in household waste charges, despite a $6.6 million state government bailout revealed on Tuesday.

 

Melbourne events to get carbon emissions test [$]

The City of Melbourne says it wants to make all major events more environmentally friendly but has been slammed for “ridiculous virtue-signalling” instead of focusing on rubbish collections and cutting red tape.

 

Council funds bootcamps to train climate warriors [$]

Yarra City Council has gifted $15,000 to a youth climate coalition pitched at training secondary school kids who want to “get fired up to fight for climate justice”.

 

‘Power supply safe’ under renewables [$]

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has denied the 2030 renewable energy target of 50 per cent will impact the grid.

 

Longi launches high-end solar module with 20% conversion efficiency

China PV giant launches new high performance module in Melbourne, in strategic bet that “race to the bottom” on PV prices is coming to an end in Australia.

 

Victoria introduces bill to lock 50% renewables target into law

Victoria Labor government makes good on election promise to boost the state’s renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030, with the introduction of a new bill.

 

New South Wales

Pet owners encouraged to help local wildlife in national parks

Local residents and visitors to the Clarence Valley region are being asked to help protect local wildlife by leaving their pets at home when heading to Angourie Bay picnic area and Back Beach.

 

Museum taps light-weight solar panels as ‘Sun King’ make his return

Solar energy will soon become “like Wi-Fi or optical fibre” that consumers expect in virtually all buildings and even boats and caravans, the man once dubbed the ‘Sun King’ says.

 

Wollongong council declares ‘climate emergency’

Wollongong City Council’s declarion brings the total number of NSW councils declaring or recognising climate emergencies to 16.

 

National park visits surge in NSW, topping 60 million for first time

The number of visits to the state’s 870 national parks jumped by a sixth over the past two years, generating as much as $21.35 billion in spending.

 

NSW govt considering $590m gas terminal

A new gas import terminal in Newcastle could be built before the Liddell power station closes.

A $590 million liquefied gas import terminal for the Port of Newcastle has been given “critical state significance” status as the NSW government moves to secure the state’s energy supplies.

 

Extinction Rebellion protest Adani in Sydney

The Extinction Rebellion has come to Sydney. This morning, several protestors descended upon the Castlereagh Street in Sydney to protest the Adani mine.

 

Mulch fire creates burning questions about composting and green waste management

A mulch fire at Lismore’s council-run tip has been smouldering for days

 

ACT

We need to get the infrastructure right [$]

The Canberra Times editorial

The expression of interest by the Hilton chain in establishing a five star hotel and “world trade technology centre” in Canberra is the latest evidence “the bush capital” has come of age.

 

Queensland

‘Not good enough’: Koala habitat cleared to make way for housing against government policy

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws reveal more than 75 hectares of critical koala habitat were approved for clearing by the Department of Environment in breach of its own policy.

 

Love our Reef

Tourism operators on the Great Barrier Reef have sent a clear message to the rest of Australia that the Great Barrier Reef is open for business.

 

Queensland’s RedEarth secures $5m to roll out locally made battery storage

Brisbane based RedEarth will expand local manufacturing facilities as it aims for $70M in locally made battery sales.

 

Anti-Adani protesters crash Mines Minister’s address

Protesters have crashed an address by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham in Brisbane to call for the Adani mine to be shut down.

 

Reef teeming with life [$]

The Great Barrier Reef is not dead, is not dying and isn’t even on life support, Environment Minister Sussan Ley declares.

 

700,000 plastic showbags: Does the Ekka need to wage a war on waste?

Showbags overflowing with plastic toys and sweet treats are a staple of any agricultural show and for many kids and parents are a bigger Ekka drawcard than the animals or entertainment. But the tide is turning as consumers demand more sustainable options.

 

Adani beware: coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable

John Quiggin

Links between greenhouse gas and climate change are now undeniable and insurance companies getting nervous and starting to refuse cover for coal mines. Withdrawal of insurance has potential to make coal mining and coal-fired power stations unsustainable.

 

South Australia

SA forest growers say water restrictions are holding the industry back

South Australia’s forestry industry says it’s struggling to secure enough water licences to expand, warning that if growers plant forests interstate instead, jobs and investment will follow.

 

High-polluting plant may be reopened at lead smelter after new furnace damaged

After undergoing a multi-million dollar development, the Port Pirie smelter is once again not producing anything.

 

Waste chemicals moved to South Australia because of ‘significant’ storage crisis in Victoria

Hundreds of thousands of litres of illegally-stored chemicals from Victoria are being shipped to South Australia for treatment and disposal, according to SA’s Environment Protection Authority.

 

Uber-style buses, more parking could improve commuting in Adelaide, researchers say

Adelaide needs to rethink public transport feeder services to overcome a “spatial mismatch” that hinders usage, a report has found.

 

UPC buys into South Australia pumped hydro and solar projects

UPC-AC seek to accelerate Baroota pumped hydro project in South Australia and neighbouring 300MW solar farm after buying majority stake.

 

Northern Territory

‘It’s a matter of urgency’: Dwindling water supply in remote Indigenous community

The largest remote Aboriginal community in Central Australia is rapidly running out of drinking water but it is just one of many communities in the region that have been struggling with finite groundwater supplies for many years.

 

Western Australia

Kwinana Freeway crowned one of Australia’s worst roads as Perth congestion woes set to increase

Cars will remain the preferred choice for Perth commuters for the next decade because of their speed and convenience, but congestion will get worse leaving public transport struggling to keep up with increasing demand, a new report finds.

 

Palmer’s Mineralogy kicked off Pilbara for ‘squatting’

Mining laws ensure a tenant can’t ‘squat’ on an exploration lease, and there’s no shortage of interest in this Pilbara patch.

 

Albanese to Liberals: Get over Roe 8, fund ‘ready-to-go’ WA projects now

Roe 8 and 9 “never stacked up” according to Anthony Albanese, who called on the federal government to get behind projects such as the Causeway Cycle Bridge.

 

Worsening congestion proves need for Roe 8 and 9: Libs

Liberal MPs have jumped on an Infrastructure Australia report projecting worsening congestion for Perth roads come 2031 saying it is proof the Roe 8 and 9 projects should be revived.

 

Sustainability

Russian town evacuated as mystery deepens following explosion that killed nuclear scientists

Fears deepen around an explosion that killed five nuclear scientists and caused a spike in radiation levels after Russian authorities call on residents of a nearby village to leave the area.

 

Explainer: Why a Middle Eastern business thirsty for water can’t just tow an iceberg from Antarctica

It’s not just money and engineering that stand in the way of a wild plan to tow an iceberg to the Middle East for fresh water.

 

Growth of wind energy points to future challenges, promise

Advances in adapting the technology and better methods for predicting wind conditions have fanned significant growth of the use of wind turbines for electricity in the last 40 years. A new report takes stock of where the field is now and what lies ahead. Researchers surveyed the growth of wind technology as a source of renewable energy and assessed its viability for continuing to capture larger shares of the electricity market.

 

EPA-funded research finds pollution made worse by climate change can accelerate lung disease

The findings show that air pollution can accelerate lung disease as much as a pack of cigarettes a day.

 

Saudi Arabia wind farm claims world record low energy cost

First major wind farm in Saudi Arabia claims world record low cost of electricity at under 2c a kilowatt hour.

 

22 states sue Trump over repeal of Obama-era power plant rules

A coalition of mostly Democratic-led states has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing its rules for addressing power plant pollution are so weak they violate federal law.

 

Recycling is in crisis. Could these innovations be the answer?

Now that China is turning away the world’s recyclable waste, Australia wants to ban export of the materials and increase domestic processing. Here are some techniques being pursued.

 

Report: There’s a growing water crisis in the global south

Many major cities in Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America are falling dangerously behind in their efforts to provide residents with reliable and affordable access to clean water.

 

Hydroponic farms use less land, water to grow vegetables

Greenhouses allow year-round growing and protection from freezes and extreme rainfall.

 

Radiation, Chernobyl And The ‘Scientific’ Mumbo-Jumbo Inexorably Attached To It

Geoff Russell

Amid growing calls for a debate about the use of nuclear energy in Australia, a recent smash-hit show on HBO, Chernobyl, has put nuclear power – and the risks associated with it – squarely back in the minds of Australians. Not to mention the usual slew pile of mis-information.

 

Nature Conservation

Elephants and monkeys are fighting climate change in ways humans can’t

Recent research warns that losing the creatures that nurture trees puts forests in danger. This, by extension, is helping to accelerate dangerous climate change.

 

Forest fires are getting too hot—even for fire-adapted animals

The black-backed woodpecker needs wildfires to survive. But has it hit its limit?

 

Saving coral reefs — with sex

To keep pace with environmental loss, scientists working to restore tropical reefs have turned their attention to coral reproduction and increasing diversity.

 

Human impacts on oceans nearly doubled in recent decade

Over the recent decade, total human impacts to the world’s oceans have, on average, nearly doubled and could double again in the next decade without adequate action.

 

Coca and conflict: The factors fuelling Colombian deforestation

Deforestation in Colombia has been linked to armed conflict and forests’ proximity to coca crops, the plant from which cocaine is derived. A new study found that conflict between illegal groups and the governmental military forces, proximity to coca plantations, mining concessions, oil wells and roads were all associated with increased deforestation.

 

 

Inside efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Endangered Species Act has saved more than 200 species from extinction—but business and political interests want to scuttle it.

 

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Maelor Himbury

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