Daily Links Aug 15

Smirking while walking past kids in water and playing devious carbon accounting games is not likely to win over Pacific leaders, Mr H Clapper. It was some years ago that the then Liberal Party President Shane Stone labelled the Howard Government ‘mean and tricky’. In the 18 years since, the argument that the LNP has become meaner and trickier could be readily mounted. 

Post of the Day

Half of world’s forests reportedly depleted since 1970

The World Wilderness Fund has released a new report that shows species under threat from human-driven forest degradation.


Today’s Celebration

National Mourning Day – Bangladesh

Founding of Asunción – Paraguay

Mother’s Day – Costa Rica

Liberation Day – Korea

National Day – Liechtenstein

Independence Day – India

Constitution Day – Equatorial Guinea

National Day – Republic of the Congo

Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi Purnima) – Nepal, India

Flooding of the Nile – Egypt

National Acadian Day – Canada

Panama la Vieja Day – Panama

National Memorial Service for War Dead – Japan

Obon – Japan

Ghost Festival – Buddhism

Assumption of Mary – Catholicism

More about Aug 15


Climate Change

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg sets sail for UN summit

Greta Thunberg refuses to fly in an effort to combat global warming.


Why is Hollywood so scared of climate change?

Environmental concerns have been the driving force of villains in recent superhero and sci-fi movies. But critics say the industry needs to show how society can reform its ways.


‘Australia has to answer to the Pacific’: Ardern weighs in on climate change responsibilities

Australia’s climate policies are under the spotlight at the Pacific Islands Forum, but Scott Morrison has vowed to show up for the “hard conversations”.


Australia’s Kyoto loophole eight times larger than entire Pacific emissions

Analysts say Kyoto credits being used to back out of promised cuts as Tuvalu’s PM calls Australia’s $500m pledge an immoral ploy to quell debate


Australia ’at forefront’ on climate [$]

Australia will have spent $300 million more than New Zealand to help Pacific island nations fight climate change by 2025.


‘It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul’: NGOs dismayed by aid budget raid

Australian humanitarian groups are frustrated by the Morrison government’s plan to redirect $500 million from the nation’s shrinking aid budget towards a climate change funding package for the Pacific region.


Solar a simple sell [$]

Edward Cavanaugh

Let’s help island neighbours be rid of noisy, clapped-out diesel power generation.


Pacific cries silly, insulting [$]

Chris Kenny

Island nations blame climate woes on Australia while taking our aid and courting China.


Can Scott Morrison deliver on climate change in Tuvalu – or is his Pacific ‘step up’ doomed?

Tess Newton Cain

Pacific leaders don’t want to talk about China’s rising influence – they want Scott Morrison to make a firm commitment to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.


New research shows that Antarctica’s largest floating ice shelf is highly sensitive to warming of the ocean

Dan Lowry

Since the last ice age, the ice sheet retreated over a thousand kilometres in the Ross Sea region, more than any other region on the continent.



Mining giant loses fight to keep Paradise Papers revelations out of ATO’s reach

Australia’s biggest coal producer, Glencore, loses a High Court bid to have documents linked to its offshore financial arrangements kept out of reach of the Australian Tax Office (ATO) by invoking legal privilege.


There’s more to food waste than wilted lettuce at the bottom of your fridge

The IPCC says we need to curb food waste to help battle climate change so how is Australia faring on this front?


Coalition rules out further cut to migration numbers amid decentralisation push

New government committee to look at how to encourage people to move outside the main capital cities


Sydney, Melbourne coming to a standstill as infrastructure struggles

The huge pipeline of road and rail projects across Sydney and Melbourne, both underway and planned, will not prevent the cities becoming paralysed with congestion by 2031, with the cost of lost productivity due to gridlock set to double over the next 12 years to $38.8 billion.


Recycling ideas [$]

Having wowed parliament with a lump of coal, Scott Morrison embraced another black block.


Solar investors give Australia wide berth, thanks to Morrison’s lump of coal [$]

New Energy Solar says international investors won’t put money into Australia solar industry because image of Morrison and his lump of coal is burned into their memory.


As one loophole shuts, more tax havens will open

Ann Kayis-Kumar, Annet Oguttu

Can something that has been seen be unseen? It’s an axiom of the internet age that it can’t – and though the world’s biggest mining company, Glencore would like it to be otherwise, it’s one with which the High Court of Australia yesterday agreed in a landmark case concerning tax havens and data leaks.


The loudest voices in politics

John Warhurst

It is ironic that Senator Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, should complain that regional voices are being drowned out in Australian politics because it is the job of his party, the Nationals, to represent regional Australia.


No cheap throwaway solution to Australia’s recycling dilemma

Jeff Seadon

As foreign markets shut their doors to exported Australian waste, the Federal Government has given $20 million to develop a bigger local recycling industry. But building an efficient system able to handle the volume of waste generated nationally every day won’t be cheap or easy.


Why nuclear power might be our Plan B [$]

Matthew Warren

Nuclear power is highly conventional technology. The problem is making it work with our great experiment in renewables.


Should Australia go nuclear? [$]

Chris Woods

Some scientists say it is a great weapon in the war on carbon emissions, and Energy Minister Angus Taylor is pushing an inquiry into the topic. But will Australia ever take the nuclear option?


Brenda – penguin and genius – vs the micro plastics raining from the sky

First Dog on the Moon

Plastic manufacturers without a plan to recycle all of their plastic stuff should not be allowed to … make any more plastic stuff!



Insolvent recycling company shipped Adelaide’s junk to Melbourne – and dumped it

Astonishing footage reveals enormous Victorian warehouses filled with thousands of tonnes of Adelaide waste – shipped across the border by failed company SKM.


Buruli ulcer mosquito spray trial halted amid pesticide, bee concerns

A controversial plan to spray pesticide over parts of the Mornington Peninsula to fight the spread of the flesh-eating Buruli ulcer has been halted amid concerns about its effect on bees.


Storage growth key need for NEM

Australia will need to build the Snowy hydro scheme expansion eight times over in the next 20 years to provide enough storage as renewable energy surges into the grid, according to the energy market operator’s chief planner.


The Melbourne roads flooded with cyclists [$]

Bike numbers have surged on some of Melbourne’s busiest roads, with some major corridors recording a whopping 80 per cent increase in trips.


Calix wins federal funding for bid to produce Australian-made lithium batteries

Victoria-based and Calix-led plans to produce high performance and low-cost lithium-ion batteries in Australia have won federal government backing.


Gold rush-era rules to stop mining pollution are still in use – but they’re failing

Susan Lawrence and Peter Davies

Contemporary mining disasters echo the devastation caused by Victoria’s gold fields. Victorians campaigned for some of the world’s first laws against industrial pollution.


New South Wales

‘We just had to stand there and watch it burn’: It’s winter but four homes are already lost to bushfires

A woman whose house burnt down in bushfires affecting the NSW North Coast said that she and her husband now plan on leaving the bush due to the hazard.


Documents reveal $500m Broken Hill pipeline built for benefit of irrigators

Business case, which NSW government fought to keep secret, shows water security was not primary motivation for pipeline


The Rail Tram and Bus Union is calling for unused railway lines to cart water to drought-stricken towns

There’s a new idea being thrown around to connect drought-stricken NSW towns with water, and it involves rail.


New Hunter Valley coal mine proposed

Malabar Coal’s Maxwell Project coal mine which would create 350 jobs and generate more than $1 billion for the NSW economy.


Say goodbye to southwest Sydney koala population

Sue Arnold 

Despite the survival of the southwest Sydney koala population being critical, a major development threatens their lives.



Canberra’s inner suburbs face highest bushfire risk in ACT: study

Canberra’s inner suburbs face the highest bushfire risks in the capital due to large inner-city reserves, new research has found.


‘Urgent action plan’ for weekend buses

The government has agreed to an “urgent action plan” to fix problems plaguing Canberra’s weekend bus services.



Managers funded by Queensland government grant urge cane farmers to question reef science

Speaking tour by controversial academic Peter Ridd is being supported by sugarcane managers paid for with state government funds


India vows to buy ‘good coal’ [$]

India says the approval of the Adani mine in Queensland has strengthened the trading relationship.


South Australia

Government intervenes in halted coast path [$]

The State Government has threatened to take control of a long-awaited coast path project from Charles Sturt Council after years of inaction and a Supreme Court battle.


ARENA commits $40m to fast-track South Australia pumped hydro

ARENA puts up $40m to fast-track the first pumped hydro storage facility in South Australia, as that state heads towards its target of “net 100 per cent renewables.”


How Tasmania’s hydro could have prevented Victoria’s summer black-outs

Hydro Tasmania says a new transmission link to the mainland would have the most benefits for Victoria, including improved energy security and lower power prices for consumers.


Northern Territory

‘Time is of the essence’: Calls to fast track funding for Jabiru

The Federal Government is warned it must fast track $216 million promised for Kakadu National Park or risk putting the region’s future in economic jeopardy


Gas company Inpex fined for evaporating water containing PFAS over Darwin Harbour

A Federal Environment and Energy Department investigation finds the release of the PFAS last September put animals, including dolphins and dugongs, at risk.


Western Australia

Leach Highway congestion predictions deal blow to attempted Roe 8 and 9 revival

An audit of road congestion is predicting no worse than moderate congestion on Leach Highway by 2031, which could undermine the case to revive Roe 8 and 9.


WA bananas look to sweeter, plastic-free future

The Carnarvon banana industry is under threat from the push against plastic and packaging, despite it using less plastic than that which comes with loose bananas.


Court rips back land to save beach for future residents

Climate change has inspired a tribunal ruling to take back coastal land for a reservation against 100 years of erosion … but there’s a warning for Cott and Trigg beachgoers.



Explainer: Chernobyl 2.0? What we know about the Russian explosion spiking radiation levels

A suspected botched arms test in Russia has fuelled fears of a radiation leak which has been muddied by the Kremlin’s obfuscation. Are we seeing a repeat of a story we’ve heard before?


Solar now ‘cheaper than grid electricity’ in every Chinese city, study finds

Solar power has become cheaper than grid electricity across China, a development that could boost the prospects of industrial and commercial solar, according to a new study.


Greener, faster and cheaper way to make patterned metals for solar cells and electronics

An innovative way to pattern metals could make the next generation of solar panels more sustainable and cheaper.


Global warming is worsening China’s pollution problems, studies show

A bit like 19th Century London’s smog, scientists found that more frequent periods of stagnant air will worsen China’s haze and health problems. So will heat waves.


How to reduce exposure to air pollution

While most of us do not have the power to make the air cleaner, there are some ways to protect yourself.


Fossil fuels? Plastic? Trump says more is better

President Donald Trump has seen the future and it is oil. And plastic.


With new perennial grain, a step forward for eco-friendly agriculture

A cereal and beers are now being made with a new variety of perennial grain known as Kernza. Proponents say this marks a significant advance for a new agriculture that borrows from the wild prairie and could help ensure sustainable food production in a warming world.


Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane, study suggests

As methane concentrations increase in the Earth’s atmosphere, chemical fingerprints point to a probable source: shale oil and gas, according to new research.


Eat less plastic. Microplastics in food & water

There’s so much plastic around that we all consume thousands of microplastic particles in food and water. Consumer Reports explains how to try to reduce your exposure.


Europe has the untapped onshore capacity to meet global energy demand

Europe has the capacity to produce more than 100 times the amount of energy it currently produces through onshore windfarms, new analysis has revealed.


Compost key to sequestering carbon in the soil

Study dug deep to uncover which agricultural systems store the most carbon


The arrogance of the Anthropocene

On geological timescales, human civilization is an event, not an epoch.


Nature Conservation

Half of world’s forests reportedly depleted since 1970

The World Wilderness Fund has released a new report that shows species under threat from human-driven forest degradation.


Helping threatened coho salmon could generate hundreds of millions in non-market economic benefits

A new study provides evidence that increasing the abundance of a threatened or endangered species can deliver large benefits to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest.


Non-native invasive insects, diseases decreasing carbon stored in US forests

Scientists have found that non-native invasive insects and diseases are reducing the amount of carbon stored in trees across the United States.


Sunscreens release metals and nutrients into seawater

Beachgoers are becoming increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects UV filters from sunscreens can have on coral and other marine organisms when the protective lotions wash off their bodies into the ocean. Now, researchers have studied how sunscreens release different compounds — trace metals and inorganic nutrients — into Mediterranean seawater, with unknown effects on marine ecology.


Improved sewage treatment has increased biodiversity over past 30 years

A higher standard of wastewater treatment in the UK has been linked to substantial improvements in a river’s biodiversity over the past 30 years. The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology analysed data from the regular monitoring of both chemicals and invertebrates in the River Ray in Wiltshire — downstream from Swindon’s large wastewater treatment plant – between 1977 and 2016.


Rainforest destruction accelerates in Honduras UNESCO site

Powerful drug-traffickers and landless farmers continue to push cattle ranching and illegal logging operations deeper into the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve.


Now for something completely different …

It’s one of the biggest myths about the female brain and it’s finally been busted

Leah Ruppanner

Public opinion persists that women have a biological edge as super-efficient multitaskers. But, as this study shows, this myth is not supported by evidence




Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042