Daily Links Aug 27

It has come to this, with Trump tearing up the rule-book on how countries comport themselves. On attempts to bring Brazil to heel on the blazing Amazon using trade rules, “it might be illegal, but it almost doesn’t matter anymore”. 

Post of the Day

Deep transformations needed to achieve the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. IIASA contributed to a new study outlining 6 major transformations that will be required to achieve these ambitious goals.


Today’s Celebration

Independence Day – Moldova

National Petroleum Day – USA

International Bat Night

More about Aug 27


Climate Change

Study finds big increase in ocean carbon dioxide absorption along West Antarctic Peninsula

Climate change is altering the ability of the Southern Ocean off the West Antarctic Peninsula to absorb carbon dioxide, according to a Rutgers-led study, and that could magnify climate change in the long run.


Trump paved the way for a climate change breakthrough at G-7

For years, leaders in the fight against climate change have sought to use international trade as a weapon, pushing world leaders to penalize countries that aren’t stemming warming emissions by restricting trade with them on the global market. But for the most part, the measures have gained little traction.


On climate change, hypocrisy may be progress

Kate Cohen

Every generation is the hypocritical generation for the one that follows. It may feel like karma, but it’s actually progress. Is it moving fast enough to save the planet? I bet I know what Greta would say.


Acid oceans are shrinking plankton, fuelling faster climate change

Katherina Petrou and Daniel Nielsen

Acidic oceans are disrupting a major part of the carbon cycle, slowing how seas absorb carbon from the atmosphere. This could massively speed up the effects of climate change



Calls to preserve Australia’s rainforests as fires rage in the Amazon

People must fight to save the Amazon rainforest from deforestation – but it is important efforts to preserve Australia’s rainforests are also made, local environmental groups say.


Majority of voters worried about Great Australian Bight oil plan, poll shows

A new poll shows two thirds of people are worried about what oil and gas exploration will do to the environment in the Great Australian Bight.


Legal test targets minister for putting coal before culture

A decision to prioritise a controversial coal project over the protection of Indigenous sacred sites has landed the Federal Environment Minister at the centre of a fierce legal battle.


Labor accuses Angus Taylor of ‘clear breach’ of standards over grasslands meeting

Senator Katy Gallagher says ‘stench’ around Taylor’s business interest in endangered grasslands grows stronger by the day


Why increasing migration to our cities is the answer to congestion

It may sound counterproductive but an urban planner says we need to bring more people to the capital cities quickly to solve our congestion woes.


AFPA report shows packaging could reduce food waste

While many Australians jumped behind the “war on waste” bandwagon with fingers pointed at excessive plastic and cartons, an independent report on packaging has found it actually reduces food waste.


Nuclear power not the answer as renewables continue to boom, report finds

Australia’s continuing renewable energy boom means the development of nuclear power is not a viable option, a new report from public policy think-tank the Australia Institute concludes.


Electric cars emit ‘more carbon’ [$]

EVs in Australia’s eastern states are responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than petrol cars.


Super funds warned over carbon [$]

Super funds should not put ambitious carbon reduction targets before the interests of retirees, the government says.


Teen panel debates climate [$]

Gladys Berejiklian and Kristina Keneally joined a Q&A panel of students in a special episode.


Paddling blind: why we urgently need a water audit

Quentin Grafton and John Williams

How can Australia’s new Inspector General be expected to inspect waterways without a firm grasp of how much water in in them?


Three ways to fix the problems caused by rezoning inner-city industrial land for mixed-use apartments

Carl Grodach et al

Rezoning to mixed-use residential development drove small manufacturers and creative producers out of the inner city. The result is less diversity of land uses, jobs and services where we most want it.


Bargain-hunting robocars could spell the end for downtown parking – cities need to plan ahead now

Corey Harper and Constantine Samaras

Self-driving cars may someday drop off their owners downtown and then leave to find free parking. What would that mean for cities of the future?


Why I’m proudly selling Aussie coal to India [$]

Matt Canavan

We need to ignore the doom-mongers and continue to build on the great Australian coal industry, taking it to even greater heights.


Coalition report on coal exports to India is missing the backstory

Tim Buckley

To IEEFA’s contrarian perspective, Indian investors in the main are not looking to replicate the Australian thermal coal graveyard.


Is the push for nuclear power a covert push for nuclear weapons?

Mark Diesendorf & Richard Broinowski

Building nuclear power stations used to be an effective cover for nuclear weapons programs. So what is it now, with the credibility of nuclear power so very low?



EPA extends Laverton waste to energy submission period

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has extended the public submission period to 4 September 2019 for a Works Approval application for a proposed waste to energy plant at Laverton North.


Yarra’s Grey-headed flying fox Colony

There’s one group of Yarra residents that can legitimately be called ‘fly-by-night’: Grey-headed flying foxes.


Bins out at Melbourne school as students told to take all rubbish home

Melbourne Girls’ College is getting rid of all its bins and asking students to take their rubbish home in a bold bid to encourage them to move towards zero waste.


Farmers hit back at wombat kill inquiry [$]

Farmers fear a Greens-instigated inquiry into the killing of wombats in Victoria could lead to further restrictions on their ability to control pests.


Electric vehicles already cheaper for fleet owners than petrol cars

Data gleaned by ClimateWorks with Victorian councils shows there are already EVs that are within or below normal council operating costs.


No reboot without power fix [$]

Robert Gattlibsen

Josh Frydenberg’s call for more investment can’t succeed if Victoria’s energy lunacy isn’t dealt with.


New South Wales

Sydney Anglican and Catholic schools system won’t back student climate strike

Sydney Catholic Schools spokesman says ‘the best way for young people to really make a difference is to receive a quality education’


Macquarie River to be cut off as ‘credit model’ for water fails

The Macquarie River, one of the longest rivers in NSW, will cease to flow later this year after the Berejiklian government intervened to ensure dwindling flows are diverted to drought-hit towns such as Cobar and Nyngan.


Farmers call for all sides of politics to support CSG pause

Farmers and environmental groups are urging all sides of politics to support a bill that would press pause on coal seam gas activity in NSW.



Lord mayor takes Greens councillor to court over climate protests

Court will be asked to rule on slated protest march in Brisbane on Wednesday.


Ridiculous amount it costs to ride anti-Adani bus [$]

Activists are shelling out the big bucks to score a seat on a rusty bus tour around Queensland’s anti-coal protest sites. You won’t believe how much they’re paying.


Black lung disease levy flagged [$]

Coal mining companies would potentially have to pay thousands of dollars each year to establish a fund for victims of deadly black lung disease, if a new levy proposal goes ahead.


South Australia

Wastewater will be recycled for Vale vines

A 600 megalitre dam will be built at Seaford Heights, to recycle water for use on McLaren Vale’s grapevines.


GM moratorium has far-reaching effect says visiting expert [$]

The agriculture sector needs to sell the environmental, social and economic benefits of genetically-modied crops to the wide community, says University of Florida professor Kevin Folta.


Cat curfew plan gets majority support [$]

Hundreds of people have responded to a council’s plan for a cat curfew — and even provide cages to catch wandering pets — with most supportive of the proposal.


Basslink headed for an extended outage [$]

What was initially thought to be a two-day outage of the Basslink cable is now expected to be a prolonged disconnection.


River recovering but more improvement is needed [$]

The health of the capital’s major waterway is improving but the head of the river’s monitoring program has delivered a reality check on the future of the river’s seafood.


Calls for chopper ban over popular national park [$]

A push to curb helicopter flights over a popular Tasmanian national park is being considered by the Parks and Wildlife Service.


City should ‘go with the flow’ [$]

Hobart traffic congestion is maddening, but leading businesses believe a simple solution is staring the city in the face.


Western Australia

City of Albany embraces straw-necked ibis, cousin of bin chicken, as natural attraction

A regional council in Western Australia is embracing the much-maligned bin chicken’s cousin in the hope of capturing the hearts and minds of residents and visitors.


Woodside fires up WA project [$]

Woodside says it has started producing oil from the $2.8bn Greater Enfield project off WA.


Carnegie turns on Garden Island micro-grid, switches focus back to wave power

W.A. Garden Island Microgrid – a cornerstone project for wave power developer Carnegie Clean Energy – officially powers up, supplying solar and storage for Australia’s largest naval base.



IFM Investors becomes latest asset manager to shun coal, align with Paris

In Australia’s climate policy void, an ever increasing number of corporations are stepping up to show leadership on this critical financial risk. IFM is the latest.


‘Smart city in the forest’: Indonesia picks site to build new capital city

Indonesia’s capital is over-polluted, sinking and fast running out of water. So the Government has decided to start afresh, but environmentalists fear the plans will damage forests.


New rider data shows how public transit reduces greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions

Researchers used tap-on tap-off rider data to quantify the emissions saved by buses and commuter rail lines, and also project how much additional emissions could be saved by upgrading the bus and rail fleet.


Dangerous wild grass will be used in batteries

Hogweed, which has grown over vast territories of Russia, can be useful as a material for batteries


Should we eat less rice?

How much of a climate impact “should” the staple food of billions of humans have?


Everything you touch is trash and it all ends up here

Trash: Coming to a waterway near you!


Physicists’ study demonstrates silicon’s energy-harvesting power

A University of Texas at Dallas physicist has teamed with Texas Instruments to design a better way for electronics to convert waste heat into reusable energy. Silicon in the form of nanoblades can harvest thermoelectric energy at a greatly increased rate while remaining mass-producible when combined with integrated circuits.


Coating developed by Stanford researchers brings lithium metal battery closer to reality

A Stanford-led research team invented a new coating that could finally make lightweight lithium metal batteries safe and long lasting, which could usher in the next generation of electric vehicles.


Tiny tweaks for big wins in solar cells

Changes in composition are shown to affect light-harvesting layer crystallization and perovskite solar cell efficiency.


The toxic waste threat that climate change is making worse

More than 100 ponds and landfills containing coal ash lie in areas FEMA has designated as high-risk flood zones.


Deep transformations needed to achieve the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. IIASA contributed to a new study outlining 6 major transformations that will be required to achieve these ambitious goals.


Producing protein batteries for safer, environmentally friendly power storage

Proteins are good for building muscle, but their building blocks also might be helpful for building sustainable organic batteries that could someday be a viable substitute for conventional lithium-ion batteries, without their safety and environmental concerns. By using synthetic polypeptides and other polymers, researchers have taken the first steps toward constructing electrodes for such power sources.


Nature Conservation

Amazon rainforest fires: Here’s what’s really happening

The hashtag #PrayForAmazonas continues to trend on social media, as images of a rainforest on fire spread across the internet. Here is what we know so far about the fires raging in the Amazon.


The global environmental disaster we should have seen coming

The Amazon rainforest has been burning for almost four weeks now, in one of the biggest environmental catastrophes of our time.


UK pledges $A18mln to help protect Amazon

British PM Boris Johnson has promised STG10 million ($A18 million) to help protect the Amazon rainforest and called on world leaders to step up efforts.


Beaver reintroduction key to solving freshwater biodiversity crisis

Reintroducing beavers to their native habitat is an important step towards solving the freshwater biodiversity crisis, according to experts.


We all have to wear the Amazon disaster [$]

Peter Boyer

Brazil’s wildfires are an indicator of a much larger malaise.


Privatise to save trees [$]

Mary Anastasia O’Grady

Brazil needs growth if it is to create the wealth and opportunity to care for the environment.


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Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042