Daily Links Apr 23

Please read this article and if you haven’t responded yet to the review of the EPBC Act, they will receive submissions until May 1. Using the cover of COVID19 recovery  to ‘streamline’ approvals is a very scary prospect. 

Post of the Day

The Government puts business ahead of the environment

Sue Arnold 

The writing is on the wall for the environment. And it doesn’t look good.

 

On This Day

Apr 23

Saint George’s Day – Christianity

Ramadan (until May 23) – Islam

 

Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 6,649. Deaths: 74

 

Climate Change

‘Our house is on fire’: Greta Thunberg’s Earth Day call to action

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future has partnered with LA-based creative agency FF to launch a new campaign evening as part of World Earth Day.

 

State of the climate: First quarter of 2020 is second warmest on record

Past 12 months were nearly tied for the warmest 12-month period on record, and near-record sea surface temperatures have driven extensive coral bleaching in southern hemisphere.

 

National

This Earth Day, businesses are taking ambitious climate action

This Earth Day, we look at three leading companies who have committed to the highest level of corporate leadership by joining all three of The Climate Group’s business initiatives, setting the example for companies in the Climate Decade.

 

Energy companies will face pressure to lower prices as wholesale costs tumble

Wholesale electricity price drops nearly 50% but grid costs balloon after bushfires and a severe storm

 

Taylor to loosen Australia’s lax fuel standards to support oil sector

Angus Taylor announces plans to loosen Australia’s already lax fuel standards in bid to help out oil industry hit by tumbling prices.

 

Turnbull says his biggest leadership failure was on climate change

Former PM says his biggest regret was a failure to secure meaningful climate policy, but that the Snowy 2.0 expansion is core to his legacy.

 

Solar Insiders Podcast: What drives Australians to install battery storage?

Sunwiz director Warwick Johnston on the uptake of battery storage by Australian homes. And we ask the question: Has Covid-19 killed crap solar?

 

Renewables could add $A160 trillion to post Covid-19 economic recovery

Clean energy stimulus could help meet net zero emissions goals of Paris Agreement and generate more than $A159 trillion in benefits to global GDP above business-as-usual.

 

Conservation plans help boost threatened mammals, scientists find

While some species have declined by more than a third overall, where conservation measures are in place they have increased by 46%

 

Environment v economy – pressure builds over billions in coal projects

Governments are under pressure to approve billions of dollars in new coal projects in Queensland to boost the post-COVID-19 jobs market, with one company waiting more than 4700 days since it first made an application for approval.

 

Sparkling dolphins swim off our coast, but humans are threatening these natural light shows

Dr Vanessa Pirotta

The spectacle of glowing dolphins should serve as a timely reminder of our need to conserve the darkness we have left.

 

The Government puts business ahead of the environment

Sue Arnold 

The writing is on the wall for the environment. And it doesn’t look good.

 

Pump primed: why record low oil prices will end up spooking consumers [$]

Jason Murphy

Don’t celebrate falling oil prices just yet — the implications will be enormous for Australia’s fragile economy.

 

Victoria

Wodonga Council adopts single-use plastic policy

Wodonga Council has adopted a single-use plastic policy at the April council meeting.

 

Premier pledges building boost to kickstart road to recovery

In a bid to revive Victoria’s economy and plot a path to recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Andrews Government is considering fast-tracking big-dollar construction projects, while Treasurer Tim Pallas has vowed to fight for every job under threat from the downturn.

 

New South Wales

More hazard reduction burns for north coast national parks

More hazard reduction burns are planned for north coast national parks today at Mooball National Park on the Tweed Coast and in the Border Ranges National Park north of Kyogle.

 

NSW amends planning laws to pave way for stand alone big battery projects

NSW legislative change paves way for big batteries to be built as stand alone systems, rather than as part of a wind or solar project.

 

Commonwealth warns against ‘illegal’ water diversion sought by Barilaro

Large totals of water available for irrigation contradict claims from NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro that farmers had been sacrificed for the environmental objectives of the “failed” Murray Darling Basin Plan.

 

Virus and favourable weather delivers clear skies over Sydney

Take a deep breath Sydney because your city’s air hasn’t been this clean since at least the end of 2017 but those clear skies might not last much longer.

 

Barilaro: ‘Now is the time to introduce a water stimulus’

John Barilaro

The current pandemic has been distressing, there is no doubt about it. But if there is a silver lining to COVID-19, it has to be the way we as a nation have taken stock and are reassessing what sort of Australia we want to be in the future.

 

Queensland

Queensland opposition moves to freeze start of repair work on Paradise Dam

Queensland’s opposition has moved to freeze the start of repair work on the defective Paradise Dam with legislative amendments and called for the Palaszczuk Government to conduct more testing before it tears down part of the spillway wall.

 

South Australia

South Australia big batteries collect windfall, as wind farms duck for cover

South Australia’s big batteries pocket record amounts of revenue following separation events, while wind farms went to great lengths to dodge huge FCAS fees.

 

South Australia could meet state Liberals’ 100 pct renewables target 5 years early

It’s not by chance that the two states in Australia with the most ambitious renewable energy policies – Tasmania and South Australia – are the ones without a coal industry in their backyard.

 

Call for ‘pop up’ bike lanes so cyclists can social-distance [$]

SA’s cycling lobby wants the number of traffic lanes on key roads reduced to give cyclists more space for social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Tasmania

Video: Lake Pedder beach intact [$]

New footage showing the flooded Lake Pedder beach is still intact has boosted a campaign calling for its restoration.

 

New tech protects Tassie Devils for World Earth Day [$]

University researchers are hooking into new technology, processing data vital for the survival of the Tasmanian devil and other threatened species, on the cloud.

 

Wildlife ‘taking over’ Cradle Mountain Lodge [$]

With less foot traffic around, more wombats and Tasmanian devils are roaming the grounds at one of the state’s most popular wilderness lodges. Check out the adorable close-up photos.

 

Sustainability

Scientists discover microplastics in decade-old Antarctic ice core sample

Researchers melt an ice core taken from Antarctica 10 years ago and find dozens of microplastic particles, including polyethylene used to make plastic bags.

 

Earth Day goes digital to engage online gamers with environment issues

Event’s 50th anniversary sees digital activism replace demos, due to coronavirus

 

Earth Day in lockdown: A chance to reimagine the future

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, award-winning conservationists and filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert say lockdowns around the world are creating a chance to change relations with the natural world.

 

Bike lanes provide positive economic impact

Despite longstanding popular belief, bicycle lanes can actually improve business.

 

Discarded PPE poses environmental threat, experts say

Discarded masks and other personal protective equipment are posing a growing environmental hazard, according to some experts.

 

Pandemic side-effects offer glimpse of alternative future on Earth Day 2020

Oliver Milman

Coronavirus has led to reduced pollution, re-emerging wildlife and plunging oil prices and shown the size of the task facing humanity

 

It’s time to let the fossil fuel industry die

Ilana Cohen et al

Instead of bailing out big oil, let’s bail out ordinary people instead

 

We can’t let Trump roll back 50 years of environmental progress

Elizabeth Southerland

I worked for the EPA for 33 years. We can’t let this administration obliterate half a century of environmental progress

 

This Earth Day, we must stop the fossil fuel money pipeline

Bill McKibben

Taking down the fossil fuel industry requires taking on the institutions that finance it. Even during a pandemic, this movement is gaining steam

 

Happy 50th, Earth Day — now for less alarmism [$]

Bjorn Lomborg

As we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday and the birth of modern environmentalism, we should pause to give each other a virtual high-five for the impressive environmental progress society has accomplished during this span.

 

The benefits and risks of AI and post-human life

Paul Budde 

Philosophers involved in the theories of post-humanism and transhumanism are captivated by the possibilities, or dangers, that the future poses to our understanding of human life.

 

Nature Conservation

Australia calls for independent study of wet market risks in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Australia is ratcheting up pressure on China to look into the health risks associated with wildlife wet markets as the world continues to battle the deadly spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Mystery bird illness investigated after German blue tit deaths

More than 11,000 cases of dead and sick birds reported in past fortnight

 

Poland’s biggest nature reserve fights largest fire in years

Wildfires have been ravaging the marshes of the Biebrza National Park in northeastern Poland, home to moose, beavers and unique wetland birds, since Sunday, as the country faces the severest drought in decades.

 

Disappearing Alaskan sea ice is significant for Arctic marine ecosystem

A new study shows that plant materials originating in Arctic sea ice are significantly incorporated into marine food webs that are used for subsistence in local communities of the greater Bering Strait region.

 

A bridge for tamarins

One of the world’s most spectacular primates has become a symbol of conservation in Brazil, where an overpass is being built over a major highway to keep the species going.

 

Effective way to replenish threatened plants

Planting Hill’s thistle seeds has low flowering and germination rates. The study used the CPR (Conservation, Propagation, Redistribution) method to preserve the genetic material of germ cells of two plants and then use that material to produce 1,000 plants in the lab.

 

Unsustainable soil erosion in parts of UK

New research demonstrates unsustainable levels of soil erosion in the UK.

 

 

Maelor Himbury

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0432406862

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