Daily Links Oct 31

Fossil fools to review climate policy, no environmentalist on the EPBC review, Poorline Deputy Chairing the family violence inquiry; this mob is breathtaking in their insults.


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 31 October 2019 at 9:19:00 am AEDT
Subject: Daily Links Oct 31

Post of the Day

Insect decline more extensive than suspected

Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species on many areas has decreased by about one third. This is the result of a survey of an international research team led by scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The loss of species mainly affects grasslands in the vicinity of intensively farmed land – but also applies to forests and protected areas.


Today’s Celebration

Reformation Day – Germany, Slovenia

Reformation Day – Chile

Martyrs Day – Burkina Faso

Saci Day – Brazil

National Unity Day in India

King Father’s Birthday in Cambodia

Girl Scouts Founders Day – USA

Samhain – Celticism



World Savings Day

World Cities Day

International Black Sea Action Day

More about Oct 31


Climate Change

Greta Thunberg knocks back environmental award, calling for more action

The Swedish climate activist refuses to accept an honour from the Nordic Council, saying awards are meaningless without action and accusing Scandinavian countries of  not living up to their “great reputation” on environmental issues.


Climate crisis affects how majority will vote in UK election – poll

Survey also finds two-thirds of people agree climate is biggest issue facing humankind


Street protests force Chile to scrap APEC

Chile’s president has announced the country will not host the APEC summit next month or the COP25 climate summit in December as protests see Santiago burn.


Climate change a financial and investment risk – report

A report from a group of business leaders has found climate change has become a financial and investment risk, which requires strong leadership and urgent attention.


Climate change is wearing donors down

As extreme weather events batter nations with growing frequency, donor fatigue is leaving the communities most vulnerable to climate change in even greater danger.


Abrupt shifts in Arctic climate projected

Researchers project that as the permafrost continues to degrade, the climate in various regions of the Arctic could potentially change abruptly in the relatively near future. Their research also suggests that as the permafrost degrades, the severity of wildfires will double from one year to the next and remain at the new and higher rate for regions in the Northwestern Territories and the Yukon.


Why are big storms bringing so much more rain? Warming, yes, but also winds

For three hurricane seasons in a row, storms with record-breaking rainfall have caused catastrophic flooding in the southern United States. A new analysis explains why this trend is likely to continue with global warming: Both the higher moisture content of warmer air and storms’ increasing wind speeds conspire to produce wetter storms.


Why water quality should have been an issue when NZ government joined with farm sector to curb emissions

Michael (Mike) Joy

The New Zealand government’s decision to partner the farming sector to encourage voluntary reductions in farm emissions failed to acknowledge that agricultural emissions also affect water quality.



Coalition turns to fossil fuel lobby to lead “secret” review of climate policy

Angus Taylor appoints two leaders of Australia’s fossil fuels lobby to conduct a climate policy review behind closed doors.


Experts flag battery, wind and solar projects for $1b clean energy investment fund

The Morrison Government’s commitment to help improve the reliability of the electricity grid through a $1 billion investment into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is welcomed by industry experts and Labor — but they say more is needed.


Dams benefit big irrigators, but cost communities, taxpayers, and the environment

Ross and Ian grew up as third-generation kids on the Murray River at Mildura. The river they love has changed dramatically in their lifetimes, and they say more dams aren’t the answer to the drought.


Not just Uluru: Traditional owners are fighting to ban climbing on other sites

Indigenous groups continue to push back against public access to sacred sites across the country in an effort to preserve areas of historical and spiritual importance.


Explainer: Why the coal sector is so excited about Australia’s move to ‘clean’ hydrogen

Japan wants to move to a “hydrogen society” as it tries to meet its energy needs — and Australia’s brown coal is key to its strategy.


Not a drop of water after government spends $80m on rights from agribusiness

Commonwealth environmental water holder confirms rights from firm once linked to Angus Taylor yield no water


Climate crisis: business leaders say cost to taxpayers will spiral unless new policies introduced

Organisations such as Australian Industry Group and National Farmers’ Federation letter says greater private-sector action needed


Canavan ‘desperate’ for coal-fired power in pledge to back projects

The Resources Minister has promised approval “soon” for major work on a new coal-fired power station after a war of words with the PM over slow progress on the plan.


Labor accused of ‘sucking up to coal lobby’ as MPs go on the road with Minerals Council

Greens say ALP voters should despair as four MPs tour Queensland mines with lobby group


Sustainable farming now more than just fashionable [$]

If the National Farmers Federation manages to create a market in which capitalists pay agriculturalists to look after the environment, one of the first beneficiaries could be cotton grower Andrew Watson.


PM’s $1bn energy bet should include ‘clean coal’, says Shine Energy CEO [$]

Ashley Dodd, the chief executive of Shine Energy — an indigenous owned company proposing a new 1000 megawatt “clean” coal plant in Collinsville in central Queensland — says the government’s $1bn injection into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation fund should have its mandate broadened to include High Efficiency Low Emissions coal fired plants.


AGL eyes batteries, transport fuels as energy markets collide [$]

A return to gas production hasn’t been ruled out by chief executive Brett Redman, who hinted a move into transport fuels could also be on the cards.


Canavan cool on credits for carbon capture and storage projects [$]

The resources minister stopped short of backing an industry push for carbon capture and storage to earn tradeable carbon credits.



Genetic history of endangered Australian songbird could inspire an encore

The genetic history of a critically endangered songbird shows its best chance of survival is to protect its rapidly disappearing habitat. Researchers used DNA samples from museums around the world, dating back to the 1800s, to study the genetic impact of severe population decline on the regent honeyeater.


Labor’s reset on climate and jobs is a political mirage

Peter Christoff

On the issue of a retreat from coal, Albanese is trying to walk both sides of the highway by wandering down the middle.


Opening Minds And Closing Mines: The ‘Renewable’ Lie And The Nuclear Solution

Geoff Russell

When arguments against nuclear power to tackle climate change are focussed almost entirely on cost, you know someone has lost the scientific debate.


If economics is a science, why isn’t it being more helpful?

Richard Denniss

Economists know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Values are up to us


Carbon speed date [$]

Alice Workman

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Four Labor MPs wearing hard hats and hi-vis went 1.6km underground at Glencore’s Mount Isa mine at exactly the same time as their leader, Anthony Albanese, stepped on stage to deliver his mea coal-pa speech in Perth on Tuesday.


Morrison’s plan to counter climate criticism [$]

Jennifer Hewett

The government will need to demonstrate it can deliver both lower prices and lower emissions if it is to attract broader community support for its climate targets.


Climate change merely an excuse to agitate [$]

Andrew Bolt

Global warming is just the latest Trojan horse for the wannabe totalitarians who call themselves “climate change activists” and many are Marxists intent on smashing democracy rather than saving the planet.


All that perfectly good water dumped into the ocean like some sort of enormous NATURE TOILET!

First Dog on the Moon

And the people who got us here are screaming the loudest about how unfair it all is



AGL says two units out at Bayswater coal plant, but Loy Yang back by summer

AGL says another two units out at Baywater coal generator, but Loy Yang A unit should be back on line in mid December, in time for summer heatwaves.


Victoria 50% by 2030 renewable energy target voted into law

A bolstered VRET of 50% by 2030 is now written into Victorian law, after winning a final vote in state parliament on Wednesday.


AMP grabs half share of Macarthur wind farm, still Australia’s biggest

Investment group AMP Capital has secured a 50 per cent stake in what remains Australia’s largest operating wind farm, the 420MW Macarthur Wind farm, in a deal worth $880 million with the Malaysian based utility Malakoff Corporation.


Embedded power networks see apartment dwellers become ‘second-class energy citizens’

A new study by the Victoria Energy Policy Centre shows customers on embedded electricity networks in Victoria are paying up to $439 a year more than the best deal they could get if they were able to switch retailers.


‘The risk of falsification remains’ warns watchdog after police’s fake breath test scandal

After Victorian police were found to have falsified hundreds of thousands of breath tests last year, the state’s anti-corruption body warns there’s a risk officers could still be conducting fake tests because of “meaningless and unachievable” targets.


Police insist actions showed ‘fine restraint’ despite violent clashes with protesters

Premier Daniel Andrews has backed senior police who insist officers exercised “fine restraint” on a second day of violent clashes with protesters outside an international mining conference in Melbourne.


Premier asked to step in to end footy league’s North East Link dispute

Australia’s largest junior football competition is fighting a forced move to new headquarters far from the league’s heartland, with its home base right in the path of the $15.8 million North East Link.


Protesters return for final day of IMARC [$]

Defiant protesters are vowing that they will not be deterred after violence broke out at this week’s anti-coal demonstrations, with a small group returning for the final day of an international mining conference.


Anti-mining protesters face Melbourne Cup ban [$]

Violent anti-mining protesters planning to wreak havoc on the Melbourne Cup Carnival will face police bans from Flemington racetrack. Authorities are on high alert after 17 more arrests were made as violent clashes marred the third day of the protest.


New South Wales

AGL signs huge battery storage deal, hails “dawn of battery age”

Australian energy giant AGL has signed a major deal for battery storage that will see four large-scale batteries – each of 50MW/100MWh – developed in NSW by the Australian renewable energy company Maoneng.


There are fears hundreds of koalas have died in an out-of-control NSW bushfire

A bushfire burning in northern NSW is tearing through prime koala habitat at Port Macquarie where it’s feared hundreds of the beloved marsupials have died.


Sydney’s air quality reaches ‘hazardous’

Air quality readings show parts of NSW’s lower Hunter, upper Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney’s east are hazardous in the hour to 5pm on Wednesday.


NSW coal plant seeking ‘green’ loan for battery plan [$]

Delta Electricity wants to install giant batteries at its coal-fired Vales Point power station using money from the federal government’s green energy bank.


Dry towns watch government flush billions of dam litres [$]

Federal bureaucrats have flushed 22 billion litres of dam water — which could have sustained four drought-­stricken towns for a year — into a swamp. The Wyangala Dam water was released for environmental purposes into the marsh land.



Black Swan Lake saved in ‘inspiring’ victory convincing Gold Coast Council the worth of its conservation

Conservationists are claiming a coup after convincing Gold Coast Council to save a freshwater lake from being turned into a carpark.


All hands to the pump as CleanCo targets solar duck curve

Queensland’s CleanCo starts trading on Thursday, with all eyes on the Wivenhoe pumped storage facility and how it will be used to flatten the solar duck curve.


Council commits to sustainable future

Logan City Council has adopted a new policy to deliver improved and enduring sustainability across the entire organisation.


Queensland Premier dusts off 1930s water scheme

A decades-old irrigation scheme once touted as the answer to drought in western Queensland is being dusted off by the state’s premier.


Adani ‘walks the walk’ on climate change

$100m first Controversial Indian miner Adani says while others are “virtue-signalling” or paying “lip service” to climate change, it’s putting its money where its mouth is — to the tune of $100 million.


400Ml a day wasted as drought bites [$]

A Queensland federal MP is leading an 11th-hour push as thousands of megalitres of fresh water drain into the ocean while farmers battle drought.


Face-off over shark control measures [$]

As this week’s Whitsundays attacks prompted calls for action and calls for calm, a politician and a marine biologist have gone head-to-head over shark control measures.


South Australia

SA Government orders review into EPA policies, following ABC investigation

The SA Government has ordered a review into the Environmental Protection Authority’s policies over notification of environmental incidents, following an ABC investigation into two chemical spills at Port Pirie’s Nyrstar smelter.


Overland rail: fears it’s the end of the line

Australia is close to losing one of its iconic train journeys, the 132-year-old Overland rail service between Melbourne and Ade­laide, with Victoria yet to ­announce new funding and the South Australian government confirming it would not give any more subsidies to the service.


EPA taken to task over handling of Nyrstar incidents [$]

The Environment Minister has ordered a review into how the informs the public of contamination incidents, after two spills at Port Pirie’s smelter across the past two years.


Total fire ban with south set for scorcher [$]

Soaring temperatures have prompted the TFS to declare a two-day total fire ban across much of the state.


What has happened to Tassie’s mutton birds? [$]

Tasmania’s mutton birds are a month late returning from their migration and the sighting of dead birds on Alaskan beaches has rung alarm bells.


Northern Territory

Tanami mine project could bear fruit past 2040

Miner Newmont Goldcorp has announced its Tanami Expansion 2 project northwest of Alice Springs will move into the execution phase, potentially extending its operations beyond 2040.


Uluru closure a pyrrhic win for Indigenous exceptionalism

Andrew Laming

Our nation has mastered passing off symbolism as hope. Land rights, handovers, apologies, statements from the heart and now closing a rock.


Western Australia

Carnegie Clean Energy set to resume trading, with big plans for CETO wave power

Carnegie says it’s “back from the brink” and ready get to work delivering a commercially successful large-scale CETO wave power plant in 3-5 years.


Ancient ‘mirror image’ of Great Barrier Reef discovered off northern Australia

Australia’s north-west was once fringed by a giant chain of corals that were a “mirror image” of the modern-day Great Barrier Reef, researchers have found.



Is a plastic Christmas tree more sustainable than a real one?

In the UK’s first ‘plastic-free’ town, Penzance, there is consternation at the arrival of 150 artificial trees, amid suggestions that this is the most environmentally friendly option


Electric cars could be charged in 10 minutes in future, finds research

Scientists are developing rapid-charging batteries that could be in use in a couple of years


Housing developers could be the secret weapon to improving air quality

Housing developers and urban planners could be the unlikely heroes in the battle against the ‘new tobacco’ — air pollution — say researchers.


Microrobots clean up radioactive waste

According to some experts, nuclear power holds great promise for meeting the world’s growing energy demands without generating greenhouse gases. But scientists need to find a way to remove radioactive isotopes, both from wastewater generated by nuclear power plants and from the environment in case of a spill. Now, researchers have developed tiny, self-propelled robots that remove radioactive uranium from simulated wastewater.


Harmful emissions from traffic, trucks, SUVs

Almost one third of Canadians live near a major road — and this means they go about their everyday lives exposed to a complex mixture of vehicle air pollutants. A new study reveals that emissions from nearby traffic can greatly increase concentrations of key air pollutants, with highly polluting trucks making a major contribution


Prenatal air pollution exposure linked to infants’ decreased heart rate response to stress

A mother’s exposure to particulate air pollution during pregnancy is associated with reduced cardiac response to stress in six-month-old infants, according to new research. This study is among the first to find that particulate air pollution exposure in utero can affect heart rate variability, which is a known risk factor for health issues.


System provides cooling with no electricity

Imagine a device that can sit outside under blazing sunlight on a clear day, and without using any power cool things down by more than 23 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). It almost sounds like magic, but a new system designed by researchers at MIT and in Chile can do exactly that.


11 ways climate change and air pollution can damage your health

What climate change and air pollution are doing to our planet is frightening – but what they can do to our health is equally scary.


‘VW could be in serious trouble’: Which carmakers will survive the electric revolution?

Alan Tovey

The car industry is bracing for more change over the next few years than it has experienced in the past century, putting question marks over some household names.


Nature Conservation

Study shows how climate change may affect environmental conservation areas

Researchers classify 258 protected areas in Brazil as ‘moderately vulnerable’ and 17 as ‘highly vulnerable’. Areas at greatest risk are in the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest and Cerrado biomes.


Insect decline more extensive than suspected

Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species on many areas has decreased by about one third. This is the result of a survey of an international research team led by scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The loss of species mainly affects grasslands in the vicinity of intensively farmed land – but also applies to forests and protected areas.


Intact forest loss ‘six times worse’ for climate

The impact of losing intact tropical forests is more devastating on the climate than previously thought, according to University of Queensland-led research. The international study has revealed between 2000 and 2013 the clearance of intact tropical forests resulted in a much higher level of carbon being emitted to the atmosphere than first believed — resulting in a 626 per cent increase in the calculated impact on climate.


Land restoration in Ethiopia pays off but climate change necessitates many strategies

In the last decade, Ethiopia has invested more than US$1.2 billion annually in restoring landscapes in several regions of the country. Research led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) takes stock of Ethiopia’s major restoration projects and investigates their impact on ecosystem services. Researchers say their work can help policymakers tailor future restoration actions to specific ecosystem needs.