Daily Links Apr 30

Consumers can receive recourse when they’re sold a set of dodgy steak-knives, electors have no recourse when where’re sold porkies by our pollies. Angus ‘Fantastic’ is at it again with his bald-faced whopper about renewables driving up prices. We could nick-name him ‘Teflon’ rather than his self-awarded ‘Fantastic’. 

Post of the Day

Now we know how quickly our trashed planet can heal

Margaret Renkl

Clean air, wandering goats. The pandemic is teaching us that all is not yet lost.


On This Day

Apr 30

Buddha’s Birthday – East Asia


Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 6,746. Deaths: 89


Australia has two paths out of the coronavirus pandemic, say top researchers

Leading scientists and academics have revealed two ways Australia can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in a new report to the federal government.


Mobile phones are covered in germs. Disinfecting them daily could help stop diseases spreading

Lotti Tajouri et al

At least two thirds of mobile phones are contaminated with bacteria or viruses, but most people never clean them.


Climate Change

Tunnel vision: Lessons in the impermanence of permafrost

In a tunnel beneath the frozen soil of Fox, Alaska, scientists are racing to understand the earth’s dwindling permafrost before it is forever gone.


Biden floats climate Cabinet position. That’s complicated

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s idea to create a Cabinet post devoted to climate change is getting mixed reviews from veterans of past administrations. Their question is this: Will it help or hurt efforts to deliver aggressive action on warming?



Recipe for cheaper electricity? Try 90 per cent renewables by 2040

Energy minister Angus Taylor said “too much” wind and solar would push up prices. Experience, and new modelling, shows the opposite is true.


Changes needed ahead of clean energy switch: AEMO [$]

The national power grid operator says market and regulatory changes will be required to allow solar and wind to provide up to 75 per cent of electricity at times by 2025 in a move that may meet resistance from dispatchable generators fighting to remain profitable against renewables.


Air quality near busy Australian roads up to 10 times worse than official figures

Hugh Forehead

Researchers built cheap air quality monitors using parts found at hardware and electronics scores. The results have big implications for anyone who travels outside near busy roads.


Warmists using virus to push climate agenda [$]

Andrew Bolt

Global warmists are using the coronavirus catastrophe to preach about building a greener world from the ashes of the economies we’re destroying with crippling bans. We can’t let this virus panic bite us twice.


Oil over water: what is behind Angus Taylor’s $94 million US stockpile deal? [$]

Georgia Wilkins

Angus Taylor’s decision to buy $94 million of oil last week seemed to come out of nowhere. The energy minister said it was because the price for oil had tanked, making it the perfect time for Australia to buy up and restock our dangerously low reserves.



Cherry Tree wind farm delivers first generation to Victorian grid

The 57MW Cherry Tree wind farm near Seymour delivers first power to the grid in Victoria, just under two months after last of the project’s turbines were installed.


Strategic plan to continue protection of Greater Geelong’s environment

Residents will have eight weeks to review and comment on the Draft Environment Strategy 2020-2030 and Environment Strategy Action Plan 2020-2022.


Yakka Basin retardation basin construction under way

Earthworks for construction of the Yakka Basin retardation basin in North Shepparton are under way. Contractor, Apex Earthworks, are excavating and stockpiling the soil off-site, with construction of drainage works and a stormwater pumping station to follow.


Melbourne tops 2019 rainfall in four months – and there’s more to come

Heavy downpours have drenched Victoria and the wild conditions have only just begun, with colder and wetter weather predicted to roll across the state until at least Friday.


New South Wales

Georges River National Park hazard reduction burn

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in conjunction with Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Fire and Rescue NSW is conducting a hazard reduction burn in the Georges River National Park at Alfords Point North today 29 April.



Rare macadamia trees destroyed in bushfire

Rare macadamia trees that could be the “saviour” of Australia’s future macadamia industry have been destroyed by bushfire in Queensland.


On the fast track: Qld’s wish-list of projects to spur economy

Hard-hit regions and struggling industries may benefit from fast-tracked capital works projects designed to support Queensland’s economic recovery.


Stalled coalmine: 2500 applicants for 187 jobs

A coalmine left in limbo by the State Government has had over 10 times as many people seek employment as it will initially have jobs if approved.


South Australia

New power to switch off household solar [$]

AEMO Energy authorities want the power to switch off new rooftop solar panels at will to manage SA’s electricity system and says there’s risks of bans on new systems or costly retrofits if they don’t get it.


GM crop debate circles back to council costs [$]

Councils across the state will soon decide whether they want to stay GM-free, and are calling for help to cover the costs of community consultation amid the impacts of COVID-19.


How Government can help save the Murray Darling Basin [$]

Tyler Rotche

Last week’s Murray-Darling Basin report laid many problems bare for all to see. But it also exposed an affordable solution to its ongoing problems.



Risk to wedge-tailed eagles raised in deer cull plan at Cattle Hill wind farm

Concerns have been raised over a planned deer cull at the Cattle Hill wind farm and its potential to heighten risk to wedge-tailed eagles.


Lockdown exit plan to be announced in parliament

Premier Peter Gutwein has unveiled part of his plan to reopen Tasmania after the coronavirus pandemic, with more to come throughout today’s meeting of parliament.


Northern Territory

Top End’s second only marine park kicks off

Today marks the addition of the second only marine park in Territory waters. The new Limmen Bight Marine Park was welcomed by stakeholders for the benefits it will bring to the Top End’s fishing, tourism and marine life.


Western Australia

Massive hydrogen project gets green light after securing $300m investment

Massive $300M renewable hydrogen project secures investment funding set to accelerate Australia’s green hydrogen capabilities.


Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week: stay safe from silent killer

WA’s gas safety regulator is urging people to avoid potentially lethal exposure to carbon monoxide by ensuring their gas appliances are well maintained, used correctly and not subject to product safety alerts.



Workers repair corrosion problem at Beaver Valley nuclear reactor

The corrosion issue — found and repaired while the reactor was shut down for refueling — won’t delay a restart of the plant along the Ohio River in Beaver County.


Upcycling spongy plastic foams from shoes, mattresses and insulation

Researchers have developed a new method for upcycling polyurethane foams, the spongy material found in mattresses, insulation, furniture cushions and shoes.


Are salt deposits a solution for nuclear waste disposal?

Researchers testing and modeling to dispose of the current supply of waste.


Governments eye a future of renewables, bike paths and closed-plan offices [$]

Kishor Napier-Raman

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to change the fundamentals of our society, businesses and governments are already grappling with the issues of a post-pandemic world.


Can’t go outside? Even seeing nature on a screen can improve your mood

Cris Brack and Aini Jasmin Ghazalli

Humans have an innate affinity with nature. Embracing this in your home while locked down may improve your productivity and health.


Now we know how quickly our trashed planet can heal

Margaret Renkl

Clean air, wandering goats. The pandemic is teaching us that all is not yet lost.


A time to save the sick and rescue the planet [$]

António Guterres

With closer cooperation among nations, the head of the United Nations argues, we could stop a pandemic faster and slow climate change.


Nature Conservation

Microplastics disrupt hermit crabs’ ability to choose shell, study suggests

Fears pollution affecting cognition as crabs exposed to polyethylene struggle to select good homes


‘Extinct’ toad rediscovery offers hope amid amphibian apocalypse

If the Mindo harlequin toad has developed resistance to chytrid disease, that may be a sign that the global epidemic is abating.


Climate change: Lakes and rivers will become drier, increasingly infectious and toxic

By dragging our feet on climate action, we increasingly condemn our beloved lakes and rivers to a future of salmonella contamination, algal blooms, species extinctions and drying out, a new report warns.


Why ‘carbon-cycle feedbacks’ could drive temperatures even higher

New research indicates that parts of the Amazon and other tropical forests are now emitting more CO2 than they absorb.


Honey bees reveal how heat stress affects fertility among insects

A new study led by the University of British Columbia has investigated the link between heat stress and fertility loss in honey bees.


Simulated deep-sea mining affects ecosystem functions at the seafloor

The environmental impact of deep-sea mining is only partially known. Also, there is a lack of standards to regulate mining and set binding thresholds for the impact on the local organisms. Researchers have now determined that deep-sea mining-related disturbances have a long-term impact on the natural ecosystem functions and microbial communities at the seafloor.


Tropical deforestation releases deadly infections

“For at least two decades scientists have repeated the warning: as populations advance on the forests, the risk grows of micro-organisms migrating to humans.”


Climate change makes some fish smaller, and others bigger, study finds

A decades-long study finds that fish either increase or decrease in size in response to climate change-induced warming water, with smaller fish generally getting smaller, and larger fish generally getting bigger.


Only ‘A-list’ of coral reefs found to sustain ecosystems, livelihoods

Most tropical reefs are no longer able to both sustain coral reef ecosystems and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them.


Long-term consequences of coastal development as bad as an oil spill on coral reefs

Oil pollution is known to cause lethal and sublethal responses on coral communities in the short-term, but its long-term effects have not been widely studied. The Bahia Las Minas oil spill, which contaminated about 40 square kilometers (about 15 square miles) near the Smithsonian’s Galeta Point Marine Laboratory in Colon and became the largest recorded near coastal habitats in Panama, served as an opportunity to understand how coral reefs in tropical ecosystems recover from acute contamination over time.


If we want to avoid future pandemics we must stop pushing nature beyond its limits

Caroline Lucas

When there is an inquiry into this coronavirus crisis and the government’s handling of it, as there must be, will the conclusion be that endless warning signs were missed or ignored?


Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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