Daily Links Apr 22

 In our mega-threatened world, Number 10 is the biggy, because of Number 11 that  isn’ there; Human greed and stupidity.


1.       Unconstrained climate change.

2.      Nuclear war.

3.      Unconstrained growth in human numbers.

4.      The mass extinction of non-human species and collapse of the web of life on which human life depends.

5.      The rapidly increasing insecurity of human food supplies.

6.      Depletion of essential resources on which modern civilisation depends.

7.      Universal pollution with chemicals.

8.     Pandemic diseases, caused both by pathogens that are new, and others well known by humans.

9.      The advent of powerful new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

10.  Failure both nationally and globally to understand and act preventively on these nine threats, due both to widespread denial and intentional misinformation.



Post of the Day

Learning to survive and thrive in our mega-threatened world

Bob Douglas

We have no more than 10 years to reverse the deadly trend towards human extinction and offer our progeny a reprieve, and even the prospect of a rich and exciting future. That was the broad conclusion reached at a roundtable of 37 leading Australian scientists and thinkers, who met this month by Zoom to consider 10 mega-threats to human survival.


On This Day

Apr 22


Ecological Observance

Earth Day and International Mother Earth Day


Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 6,645. Deaths: 72


Key points from the Prime Minister’s latest coronavirus update

The Prime Minister and Chief Medical Officer announced more changes to how we’re dealing with coronavirus today. Missed it? Here are all the key points you need to know.


Coronavirus likely of animal origin – WHO

The WHO says all available evidence indicates the novel coronavirus originated in animals in China and not in a lab.


What if the experts were wrong – really wrong?

David Pellowe

In 2001 Professor Neil Ferguson, professor of mathematical biology and director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, predicted up to 150,000 could die in the UK.alone from mad cow disease. Only 177 people died.


Climate Change

Emissions are way down. No, that’s not all good news for the environment.

Chaos in the oil sector could actually intensify climate change.


Climate change: Can nature help buy the world time?

“Nature-based solutions” are the latest climate buzzwords, offering a strategy to fight climate change that is gaining widespread and bipartisan support.


A crash course on climate change, 50 years after the first Earth Day

The New York Times presents a seven-day crash course on climate change in which reporters from the Times’s Climate desk address the big questions.



Australia’s threatened mammals decline by more than a third since 1990s, but there’s a silver lining

The most comprehensive index to date of Australia’s mammals shows that threatened mammal species have declined by more than a third on average between 1995 and 2016, but that targeted conservation efforts have proven overwhelmingly successful.


Climate scientists say coronavirus could be Australia’s golden opportunity

Climate experts say the way Australia chooses to rebuild its economy after the COVID-19 pandemic will seal its climate change fate.


Solar windows a step closer as Australian researchers team with glass manufacturer

Australian research team says its “game-changing” semi-transparent solar cell technology could be used to transform windows into active power generators.


Environmental law group ‘significantly concerned’ about law review

A not-for-profit legal practice is concerned the government is not doing enough to protect Australia in light of the unprecedented bushfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic.


Taylor packs up his swag and sells the farm

Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s long — and sometimes politically painful — association with the rural industry has come to an end.


‘Sustainability is the future’: ESG funds outperform index

The coronavirus crisis will weed out companies that are unsustainable and cause global leaders to ramp up action on climate change, according to impact investor Ted Franks, whose fund has been part of the trend of ethical portfolios showing solid performance amid the coronavirus crisis.


Why cutting population will hit the Australian economy hard

Jason Murphy

Australia has relied on a migrant population to propel the economy, but it’s going to be hard to get it growing again.


We have a fuel problem — and coronavirus has handed us an extraordinary opportunity to fix it

Samantha Hepburn

As a nation dependent upon imported liquid fuel for more than 90 per cent of our refined fuel needs, a glut of cheap oil is a bonanza


Coronavirus is a dress rehearsal for what awaits us if governments continue to ignore science

John Hewson

Leaders have failed to listen to clear warnings and predictions, but the response to Covid-19 is an inspiring indication of what we’re capable of


Learning to survive and thrive in our mega-threatened world

Bob Douglas

We have no more than 10 years to reverse the deadly trend towards human extinction and offer our progeny a reprieve, and even the prospect of a rich and exciting future. That was the broad conclusion reached at a roundtable of 37 leading Australian scientists and thinkers, who met this month by Zoom to consider 10 mega-threats to human survival.


Coronavirus: Revival road to a dynamic, more productive Australia [$]

Australian editorial

This week Mervyn King, one of the world’s leading economists and governor of the Bank of England during the global financial crisis, declared that governments were “doing enormous damage” by freezing their economies through lockdowns to suppress the spread of coronavirus.


These 5 images show how air pollution changed over Australia’s major cities before and after lockdown

Elena Sánchez-García and Javier Leon

The data shows a big improvement of pollution levels over some cities – but in others, pollution has, perhaps surprisingly, increased.



Green Spine path coming together

Construction is now underway on the next stage of the Green Spine path in Chirnside Park, which will connect the Chirnside Park shopping centre to Old Melbourne Road and onto the Maroondah Council boundary at Hughes Park.


Overhaul looms for dangerous chemical stockpiling

A leading barrister will review chemical stockpile laws after recent fires caused extensive environmental damage.


Expert bats away call for ‘ridiculous’ cull of Yarra Bend flying foxes

One of Australia’s leading bat experts says an MPs demand that Melbourne’s largest bat colony be relocated or thinned is a ‘terrible idea’.


‘We don’t know what to do’: Farmers, gun shop owners crippled by coronavirus gun ban

Some farmers have been unable to perform pest control because they have no ammunition, leading to an alarming number of sheep being killed by foxes.


New South Wales

Macquarie Uni to go 100 per cent renewable in deal with Snowy Hydro

Macquarie Uni inks a deal with Snowy Hydro to supply its campus with 100% renewables, reducing its emissions footprint by a massive 92 per cent.


Hazard reduction burns in Medowie State Conservation Area

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is undertaking planned burns on Tuesday and Wednesday in Medowie State Conservation Area to reduce bushfire risk to the township of Medowie.


Recycling and Roads – Sustainability in practice

Shellharbour City Council is excited to announce that it is conducting a trial road resurfacing project that incorporates plastic, glass and other recycled waste materials into 4,600m2 of asphalt renewal.



Mining owner’s plea: Let me create Qld jobs [$]

The owner of a proposed new Queensland coal mine – which has been waiting 4736 days for approval – has pleaded for the Palaszczuk Government to give it the final green light once and for all so it can create much-needed jobs for the state.


Queensland Parliament returns for mammoth day to pass emergency laws

It is understood fewer than 16 MPs will actually vote on legislation to ensure parliamentarians stay the recommended 1.5 metres away from one another in the chamber.


Night moth with glowing red eyes and teeth on its nose running amok

A nocturnal moth with a proboscis tough enough to penetrate fruit has been feasting away on home orchards, much to the dismay of gardeners and growers.


Compo shock as Queensland pulls back on responsibility for Wivenhoe Dam disaster

Victims of the 2011 Wivenhoe Dam floods are furious that the Queensland government is ­denying responsibility for all but 1 per cent of damage caused in the disaster.


South Australia

Energy giant suffers financial hit from problems at Australia’s biggest solar farm

Owner of country’s biggest solar farm takes financial hit because of near two-year delays in reaching full production, and is not flattering of Australia political and regulatory environment.


Hopes of saving Kangaroo Island dunnart raised after endangered marsupial captured on camera

Bushfires reduced numbers from 500 to 50 but newly discovered populations are cause for optimism, conservationists say


Western Australia

Oil futures plunged below zero for the first time early yesterday.

WA will not escape the US oil price collapse unscathed, with the State Government likely to take a hit on royalties from the North West Shelf.



How can the price of oil be negative and could it flow through to the petrol pump?

In the US, crude oil sellers are paying buyers to take the ‘black gold’ off their hands. It’s the first time in history an oil futures contract has traded at a negative price.


Preliminary study links air pollution to coronavirus deaths in England

Experts say a link is plausible as dirty air is known to harm lungs, but more research is needed


‘Horrible hybrids’: the plastic products that give recyclers nightmares

From singing birthday cards to baby food pouches, a growing trend of mixing materials is making recycling even harder


Air pollution report: Nearly half of all Americans breathe unhealthy air

Nearly half of the nation’s population – some 150 million people – live with and breathe polluted air, “placing their health and lives at risk,” according to a new report released Tuesday by the American Lung Association, a public health group.


Designers coming together for climate change on Earth Day

As the world grapples to contain an immediate health crisis, designers have come together to throw their support behind tackling the greatest long term risk to humanity: climate change.


Energy Insiders Podcast: Why green hydrogen beats coal hydrogen

BloombergNEF’s Kobad Bhavnagri on the prospects for a hydrogen economy, and why green hydrogen will easily beat coal hydrogen on costs and emissions.


50 years of environmental victories, in photos

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we look at conservation milestones since the first official day celebrating our planet in 1970.


Why Big Oil is paying top dollar to dump its fossil fuel – and what that means for renewables

Sophie Vorrath

For the first time, crude oil prices went negative. Don’t expect to be paid to fill up your car, but it could speed up the shift to low-carbon energy.


The Guardian view on Covid-19 and transport: walk to the future

Guardian editorial

The need for physical distancing means that space in our towns and cities must be shared in new ways


The top 10 threats facing humanity and how we overcome them

As Australia’s harsh bushfire season was backed up with a global pandemic, human extinction went from being the stuff of nightmares to something that could conceivably happen on our watch.


Halve the farmland, save nature, feed the world

If we farm efficiently, scientists say, we can cut climate change, slow extinction and feed the world even as it asks for more.


Water Replaces Toxins: Green Production of Plastics

A new way to synthesize polymers, called hydrothermal synthesis, can be used to produce important high-performance materials in a way which is much better for the environment.


Advancing high temperature electrolysis: Splitting water to store energy as hydrogen

Recently, researchers developed a new electrode material for an electrochemical cell that can efficiently convert excess electricity and water into hydrogen.


Expansion of world’s cities creating ‘new ecological niches’ for infectious diseases

New research highlights how urban expansion is creating the conditions for infectious diseases to emerge and spread around the world by blurring the classical boundaries between city, suburb, and countryside.


Coronavirus reminds us how liveable neighbourhoods matter for our well-being

Melanie Davern et al

We are all finding out about neighbourhood liveability as we stay home for the coronavirus lockdown. What we learn about local strengths and weaknesses can help us improve our communities in future.


Climate explained: why switching to electric transport makes sense even if electricity is not fully renewable

Robert McLachlan

A switch to electric transport is one of New Zealand’s key climate strategies. It will increase demand on the national grid, but might also help increase renewable electricity generation.


Coronavirus lockdown creates cleaner air but won’t boost global co-operation [$]

Hugo Rifkind

“Whoever said one person can’t change the world,” as the new internet meme goes, “never ate an undercooked bat.”


Nature Conservation

Specieswatch: glass eels – can these slippery customers stage a comeback?

Efforts to protect the European eel, under threat from pollution and the damming of rivers, are having some success


The science behind oiled seabird rehabilitation

Fifty years after the oil spill that inspired the creation of Earth Day, we’ve learned a lot about how to care for birds covered in oil.


Return of ‘the Blob’ could intensify climate change impacts on Northeast Pacific fisheries

A large marine heatwave would double the rate of the climate change impacts on fisheries species in the northeast Pacific by 2050, says a recently released study.


As Bolsonaro keeps Amazon vows, Brazil’s Indigenous fear ‘ethnocide’

President Jair Bolsonaro is moving aggressively to open up the Amazon rainforest to commercial development, posing an existential threat to the tribes living there.


Some good news about coral reef conservation

Amidst all the bad news about coral reef bleaching, an international team has shed light on what conservation measures are working to preserve these fragile ecosystems while balancing various social and ecological needs.



Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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