Daily Links Sep 13

It’s not so easy to get this article in the New York Times, but it raises a question that we’re going to have to answer. Displacing 7 million is bad enough, but what do we do when there’s 70 million or 700 million and after displacement, their return is impossible through droughts, floods or sea level rise?

Post of the Day

World losing area of forest the size of the UK each year, report finds

Chance of ending deforestation by 2030 seems lower than when pledge was made five years ago


Today’s Celebration

Mid-Autumn Festival – China and Vietnam

Chuseok (Hangawi) – Korea

Roald Dahl Day – UK

Boy Heroes Day – Mexico

International Chocolate Day

Hug Your Boss Day

Blame Someone Else Day

More about Sep 13


Climate Change

Video from the Daily Show: Greta Thunberg – inspiring others to take a stand against climate change

Climate activist Greta Thunberg talks about her decision to no longer travel by plane and describes how a lack of understanding of climate change is impacting the planet.


Energy Insiders Podcast: Let’s not forget climate science

Professor Brendan Mackey, a lead IPCC author, with the latest update on climate science.


Extreme weather displaced a record 7 million in first half of 2019

A new report puts 2019 on pace to be one of the most disastrous years in almost two decades even before the effects of Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas are tallied. But there was also good news.



Angus Taylor sick of ideology in renewable energy debate

The federal energy minister wants to move past ideologies and solve industry problems, as Labor and the Greens again call for a long-term policy for investors.


How local energy can boost Australia’s climate change resilience

New discussion paper from Total Environment Centre and Renew argues small-scale generation, supported by local storage and microgrids can increase network resilience.


CSIRO to co-develop high energy, highly safe EV batteries

CSIRO partnership with Japan’s Piotrek aims to produce Australian-developed high energy, solid-state batteries for the electric vehicle market within five years.


Wind overtaking brown coal is only a matter of time

As Australia’s installed wind capacity rises, wind farms generating more than brown coal plants will happen reasonably often. And this dynamic is only heading in one direction.


Coalition returns to climate denial roots as Morrison dodges UN summit

Climate denial is making a strong comeback in Scott Morrison’s Coalition. So much so that it seems to be having an impact on the other side of politics.


Energy efficiency laws deliver savings for households and businesses

A review of national laws covering energy efficiency shows they are successfully reducing power bills and greenhouse gas emissions.


Australia could reap $328m a year if it treated recycling waste like coal – report

Calls for world-class recycling systems to replace current one, which makes just $4m a year due to contamination in co-mingled recycling bins


Does Australia need a water trading exchange much like the ASX?

While the competition watchdog investigates Australia’s water market, those pushing for a central exchange for water trading say it could solve many problems.


Battery project line-up defies lingering market risks [$]

Battery developers are keen to see the full range of services their plants can provide recognised in the market.


Fossil fuels still power nation [$]

Coal, oil and natural gas provided 94 per cent of our ‘primary energy’ needs and 81 per cent of electricity generation last year.


Fact check: Are renewables plus storage cheaper than coal and nuclear for new power generation?

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says new generation from renewables plus storage is cheaper than new coal or nuclear generation. Is that correct? RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates.


Australian natural disasters minister’s complete about face: ‘I believe in climate science’

David Littleproud’s comments to parliament entirely at odds with earlier statement to Guardian Australia


Why you’re paying for other people to park for free

We all love free car parking, but it has a hidden cost — and you pay for it even if you don’t drive. It’s priced into our housing, shopping centres and buildings, and is making our cities “much more expensive”. So what can we do?


Divesting coal is ‘weak’: Hostplus CIO [$]

Sam Sicilia has put himself in the firing line of superannuation fund members and activists by declaring that divesting coal shares will achieve nothing. The best action is to lobby governments and engage with companies to encourage them to minimise harm to the environment.


SoftBank targets green energy [$]

One of the world’s largest investment houses, SoftBank, is looking to turbocharge its investment in Australia’s renewable energy ­sector.


Dry heat to fuel bushfire danger [$]

Fire conditions in Queensland and NSW are expected to worsen as authorities prepare for another hellish week.


Labor split over ‘ambitious’ target [$]

Labor’s hierarchy is divided over its controversial 2030 target to cut emissions by 45 per cent.


Targets need to reflect seriousness of climate challenge

ACF media release

Australia needs scientifically credible targets that will get the country to zero emissions as quickly as possible.


Recycling to save the planet: another great environmental hoax

Brendan O’Reilly

Spurred on by green activists, governments have progressively expanded recycling to the point that it has now become a costly end-in-itself.


Australia Burns While We Maintain A Violent Silence On The Climate-Ecological Crisis

Richard Hil

As parts of Queensland NSW burn, Dr Richard Hil – who lives in the path of one of the fires – wonders why so little is being done when so much is at risk.


Is declaring a climate emergency such a good idea?

Waleed Aly

The problem is that what counts as an emergency is itself an inescapably political question. We just pretend it isn’t.


Why declaring a national climate emergency would neither be realistic or effective

David Holmes

The Greens and independent MPs are pushing for Australia to declare a national ‘climate emergency’, in line with several other nations.


Energy in urgent need of consensus [$]

AFR view

Without a national agreement, supply distortions will continue to be built into the electricity system.


ALP needs to stop talking a lot of hot air [$]

Telegraph editorial

Following a drubbing at the last election all of the ALP’s policies are up for review, so it was concerning to hear frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon tell parliament that Australia might have to reconsider a carbon tax. Instead, Labor needs to become a pro-energy party of employment and advancement for average working Australians.



‘A bad year’: Victoria’s bushfire threat looms large

Parts of Victoria face serious bushfire threat, with years of drought turning parts of the state into a tinderbox.


Metro commuters get free travel for bad service, but only with a monthly pass

Commuters who take Metro Trains can claim a free day of travel after the network failed to meet its performance targets for the third month this year.


New hate speech laws will have to wait: Premier

A legal crackdown on homophobic and sexist online trolling in Victoria will have to await the fate of the federal government’s religious freedom legislation, the state government has warned.


New South Wales

Long-awaited koala habitat map aimed at curbing habitat destruction

The Berjiklian government has released its first standardised maps identifying key habitat for koalas in a bid to halt the rapid decrease in their numbers.


NSW plan to remap old-growth forests put on hold amid supply probe

NSW’s independent resources agency has paused a plan that would have opened up pristine forests for logging while it waits for the state-run Forestry Corp to confirm that any timber shortage exists.

‘Tropical vagrants’ helping growth of coral reef off Sydney

As water temperatures rise, a sub-tropical species of coral burgeoning off the coast of Sydney has scientists asking whether the city can produce a reef of its own.


Teachers schooled in green activism [$]

Hardline green activists are inciting NSW schoolchildren to illegally ditch school next week, with professionally run “crowd marshal” training evenings being hosted within the NSW Teachers Federation.


ICAC’s narrative demolished [$]

Chris Merritt

After winning ICAC-related proceedings in the Federal Court, Cascade Coal has stepped up calls for compensation.


Why pay thermal generators to stay online? It’s totally nuts

David Leitch

You can’t run a modern, vibrant Australian or NSW economy on a fleet of clapped-out 40 and then 50-year-old coal generators.



ACT to get big battery as part of new wind, solar, auction to support shift to EVs

The Australian Capital Territory has announced plans to hold a new auction for wind and solar power, plus battery storage, as part of plans to “future proof” its 100 per cent renewables target in the face of a growing economy and population, and a shift to electric vehicles and electric buildings.


NSW wind farms operators will look to push additional power into ACT

Australia’s first large-scale crowd-funded wind farm in northern NSW and a new wind farm north of Yass are tipped to bid in the November “reverse auction” to deliver up to 250 megawatts of additional power to the ACT.


Wing’s drones exceed suburban noise limits, test finds

Tech company Wing says it will continue to refine its contentious household delivery drone service, as testing showed the aircraft exceeded suburban noise limits during flights.


Canberra’s ‘millennial pink’ pond is a growing attraction

When we visited on Thursday it was more a dusty rose hue and was more a pond than a lake but Canberra’s #pinklake is taking on a life of its own.



Queensland councils’ power to limit land clearing

A High Court decision affecting millions of hectares has boosted local government’s ability to limit land clearing and is a blow to developers and the farming lobby.


Brisbane bridge closes after protesters glue themselves to road

A major Brisbane bridge was shut down to motorists after two young climate change activists glued themselves to the road.


Qld bushfire crisis: conditions improving

It’s the worst start to the bushfire season in Queensland with 78 fires burning from the southeast corner to Lockhart River in the far north.


Fossil fuels continue to power Queensland [$]

Renewable energy production grew 10 per cent across Australia in 2017-18 but Queensland remained reliant on fossil fuels for 92 per cent of electricity generation, according to a new report.


South Australia

Council bans fake grass from city verges

Adelaide City Council has unanimously agreed to ban the use of artificial turf on verges following claims that it contributes to urban heating and landfill.


Council’s $25m solar farm project hits the market

A regional council is looking to off-load a $25 million solar farm project after its major power customers fell through.


Western Australia

Solar ‘renewable microgrid’ to power up billion dollar Peel industry park

A new 120-hectare industrial park the WA Labor Government hopes will inject a billion dollars a year into the WA economy will be powered by solar energy and battery storage.


3.5 per cent : What green activists need to change WA [$]

Extinction Rebellion activists say they only need a minority to join them to achieve their radical green demands.



Gucci goes carbon neutral in bid to tackle climate crisis

The planet has gone too far, says CEO Marco Bizzarri, as he outlines greener strategy


Costs of water pollution, a global scourge, ‘underestimated and underappreciated’

A new World Bank report highlights the extensive damage to health, ecosystems, and economies due to water pollution.


Plastic alternatives could make marine pollution even worse, report finds

In an attempt to curb the devastation wreaked on the oceans and on the environment, many businesses and consumers are turning to alternatives to plastic – like biodegradable or compostable packaging.


Floating Chernobyl threat [$]

Elizabeth Buchanan

Russian plans for seagoing nuke power may be a challenge to us on many levels.


Nature Conservation

‘There is no climate catastrophe’: Brazil hits back as Amazon continues to burn

Brazil’s foreign minister says there is no climate catastrophe and denied the government is burning down the Amazon rainforest.


Brazilian Amazon fires scientifically linked to 2019 deforestation: report

At least 40,825 hectares (100,800 acres) of Amazon rainforest in Brazil were cleared in 2019 and then burned this August to prepare the land for conversion to agriculture.


Deforestation damage goes far beyond the Amazon

West Africa and Congo basin are hotspots for forest loss but receive lower global attention


World losing area of forest the size of the UK each year, report finds

Chance of ending deforestation by 2030 seems lower than when pledge was made five years ago


Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

Finding could have implications for farming – as worms are vital part of farmland ecosystem


Rare black rhinos relocated to Tanzania

Nine black rhinos have been relocated from South Africa to Tanzania’s Serengeti national park in a bid to restore the population of the endangered species.


Common insecticide causes rapid weight loss and interrupts migration of songbird

White-crowned sparrows exposed to small doses of a common neonicotinoid insecticide used in agriculture rapidly shed significant amounts of fat and spent days recovering before rejoining their migration, a study has found.


Now for something completely different …