Daily Links May 19

Ah, the dead horse is getting another flogging, it’s been a while. There is no successful Carbon Capture and Storage at the scale needed despite the many many millions that have been poured into research and trials. 

Post of the Day

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies, and to change society’s lifestyles, accepting less mobility, low-carbon diets and smaller-sized dwellings.


On This Day

May 19

Lailat al Qadr – Islam


Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,060. Deaths: 99


Loneliness most common stressor during COVID-19

Loneliness was the most widely reported source of personal stress for Australians during April, according to the third ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey.


What Australians need to know before travelling during coronavirus lockdown

To stop the spread of COVID-19, the country is enforcing strict quarantines with few, if any, exemptions. Here’s a rundown of what to expect in each state and territory.


Climate Change

Dust bowl conditions of 1930s US now more than twice as likely to reoccur

Climate breakdown means conditions that wrought devastation across Great Plains could return to region


Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies, and to change society’s lifestyles, accepting less mobility, low-carbon diets and smaller-sized dwellings.


A new look into the sources and impacts of greenhouse gases in China

Special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences reveals new findings on China’s GHG emissions and documents changes in local and regional environments.


Ambitious EU climate efforts could increase emissions in the rest of the world

The more the EU economy succeeds in dialing down greenhouse gas emissions, the more the rest of the world will turn them up — unless a similar level of green ambitions is shared by others. Up to 61.5% of the saved EU emissions could end up as increased emissions elsewhere in the world. The outcome is described in a new policy brief prepared by economists at the University of Copenhagen.


Climate change threatens progress in cancer control

Climate change threatens prospects for further progress in cancer prevention and control, increasing exposure to cancer risk factors and impacting access to cancer care, according to a new commentary by scientists from the American Cancer Society and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.



Coalition reveals new emissions reduction measures, including paying polluters to stay under cap

Morrison government also plans to allow businesses to bid for carbon capture projects via the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund


‘For your children’: former top Australian public servants call for carbon price

Ex-Treasury head Ken Henry tells Four Corners he looks back on a decade of failed climate policy and feels ‘gutted’


Aussies want enviro laws left until review

Most Australians want the federal government to wait until a review into environmental laws is complete before making any changes to the system.


Government looks to carbon capture for climate action

The Morrison government is eyeing legislative changes to allow its clean energy agencies to fund carbon capture and storage from fossil fuel projects in a bid to unlock $2b of private investment to reduce greenhouse gases.


Logging in fire-ravaged native forests no longer sustainable: study

A new era of mega-fires has ravaged native forests so much that logging is now unsustainable, according to a study in a leading science journal.


Australia’s climate future to evolve as economy is rebuilt

A gulf is growing between the visions of those who want to build a green economy and those who still see a path for fossil fuels.


Energy regulator reveals lower wholesale electricity prices [$]

Wholesale electricity prices have fallen to their lowest quarterly level in five years and gas was the cheapest since 2016 even as shortage risks spiked in NSW.


Electricity and gas companies rank amongst Australia’s least trusted brands

Roy Morgan survey finds most of Australia’s electricity and gas companies have some of the lowest levels of trust amongst Australian consumers.


There’s another great Australian reef you might not have heard of, and that could be a problem

There’s a good chance it skirts your state, but it’s not anywhere near as well known as its northern counterpart. Now scientists are working to draw attention to the other huge reef on our doorstep.


Greens pitch Green New Deal, 100% renewables target for post-Covid recovery

The Australian Greens pitch vision for a green Covid-19 economic response, including 100 per cent renewables and a revived, green, manufacturing sector.


We mustn’t fall victim to Greens’ dangerous money-tree fantasy [$]

Andrew Bolt

Never have so many Australians been relying on the government for their income, yet the Greens think it’s wise to spend a tsunami of taxpayers’ money on policies that we will never in our lifetime be able to repay.


Greens’ $300b plan for economy is pure fantasy [$]

Terry McCrann

The Greens are in dreamland if they reckon they can spend another $300 billion so they can give away free housing, tertiary education, childcare and all manner of things.


Five reasons why now is a good time for a fee on carbon emissions

Gerard Wynn And Gerard Reid

We can see and feel the benefits of reduced fossil fuel use: cleaner air, quieter spaces, healthier local environments, and increased walking and cycling. A good time for a…



Parks Victoria says it won’t start shooting brumbies until at least winter

Parks Victoria says it won’t start shooting brumbies until at least June as Victoria riders saddle up to save feral horses from being culled.


The last-minute plan to stop Victoria’s brumby cull [$]

Culling of Victoria’s High Country brumbies was due to begin in just over a weeks time, but a last-minute Supreme Court battle has gifted the horses a stay of execution. Here’s how opposers plan to permanently stop the killings.


Energy Breakthrough to receive $1.5 million in funding

In exciting news for the Central Goldfields Shire, the State Government has announced $1.5 million in funding for the Energy Breakthrough today.


Responsible firewood collection helps protect native species

With winter arriving early this year, it’s understandable that the backyard firewood stockpile is on many people’s minds. If you are thinking about roadside firewood collection, Murrindindi Shire Council is urging you to act responsibly – both when it comes to the firewood you collect, and in maintaining social distancing requirements when you do so.


Victoria should expect one or two more ‘megafires’ before end of decade, study finds

Author says global heating is increasing risk of fires in the state and logging is making forests more flammable


Victoria has seen four megafires since 1939. Three were in the past 20 years

Victoria has seen a rise in bushfires, megafires and areas being burnt, a new study has found, prompting calls for a rethink of the state’s approach to logging and hazard-reduction burns.


EPA says plumbing dye turned Melbourne creek fluorescent green

After five days of investigating, Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority says the cause of an inner-Melbourne creek turning neon green was a dumping of plumbing dye.


Erosion from surging seas threatens roads, homes and beaches

Surging seas have battered beaches and rattled communities along Victoria’s 2500 kilometre coastline since Easter, raising confronting questions about how to respond to rising oceans and rapid erosion.


Why jobless Victorians could soon be cleaning graffiti [$]

Out of work Victorians will be mobilised to clean up our streets as part of a bid to restore the state’s economy by bringing forward a raft of long-awaited maintenance projects.


New South Wales

Busy Sydney train stations could be closed under strict new social-distancing crackdown, Government warns

The NSW Government says police will enforce social-distancing on Sydney public transport as health authorities confirm a new coronavirus death, taking Australia’s total to 99.


Minjary National Park hazard reduction burn

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is planning a one-day hazard reduction burn in the Minjary National Park near Tumut.


‘Very rare chance’: Wollemi bushfires reveal ruins of shale boom town

Newnes, once Australia’s main source of liquid fuel, boasted schools, churches, shops and a cricket ground with a horse racing track around its boundary.


Is another huge and costly road project really Sydney’s best option right now?

Philip Laird

Once again, the state looks intent on pressing ahead with a huge road project without releasing a business case. Among the many concerns is the failure to look at lower-emission alternatives.


On the death of Australia’s Jane Jacobs

John Muscat

Jack Mundey undoubtedly had a long lasting impact on Sydney, but perhaps in ways most commentators fail to acknowledge.



ACT government rules out public transport passenger cap, increase in services

The government has ruled out increasing public transport services or capping the number passengers on each vehicle to allow for social distancing, as more people return to work and school.



Thinking about getting back on public transport? Here’s what to expect

Traffic volumes will start to rise on the roads and bus stops and train stations will begin to get busy as more people head back to school and work this week.


Fish faeces reveals which species eat crown-of-thorns

Great Barrier Reef research finds the destructive starfish is eaten more often than thought.


Huge 2GW of wind, solar and storage to deliver green future for Queensland industrial hub

Plans to build more than 2GW of wind generation capacity in and around the Queensland coal power hub of Gladstone have been unveiled, with Sydney-based Energy Estate joining forces with global outfit RES on the major project.


How climate killed corals

Multiple factors joined forces to devastate the Great Barrier Reef in 2016


These young Queenslanders are taking on Clive Palmer’s coal company and making history for human rights

Justine Bell-James

Queensland’s new human rights act has opened the door for a flood of climate change litigation.


South Australia

Swim in the Torrens? Greens plan to rescue rivers [$]

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says young South Australians should be employed to clean the River Torrens and return it to its former glory – as a swimming spot.



Greens say recovery plan could create 18,000 Tasmanian jobs

Tasmania would gain about 18,000 jobs if the Australian Greens’ economic recovery plan was implemented, the party estimates.


Northern Territory

Mining company wants to review its commitments rehabilitating Kakadu uranium site

Mining company ERA and the Federal Government are at odds over research funding into the rehabilitation of the Ranger Uranium Mine — a site of multiple uranium leaks and spills.


Western Australia

Solar-wind-battery microgrid completed and powering remote W.A. gold mine

Ground-breaking 56MW hybrid renewable microgrid completed in remote Western Australia – the first in Australia to use wind to power a mine.



Air pollution on the rise again in China as cities bounce back from coronavirus

There are concerns that after months of unusually low pollution levels, a drive to kickstart economic activity is causing emissions to spike.


Australians join global coronavirus cycling boom as bikes become key social distancing tool

There has been a huge spike in bike sales as people in Australia and around the world adopt cycling to abide by social distancing measures.


Tesla’s new batteries set to make EVs as cheap as petrol cars [$]

The new technology is also set to allow EV batteries to have second and third lives in the electric power grid and position Tesla to become an energy utility.


The future of solar power: From unbelievably cheap to insanely cheap

Clean technology advocate and futurist Ramez Naam admits he was wrong about the price of solar. His forecasts in 2011 were among the most optimistic in the world, but he turned out to be wrong by at least a factor of two.


The neglected heating sector

Heating accounts for over 50 per cent of final energy consumption. So reducing the emissions that result from heating buildings would make a huge difference to the climate. What strategies are being pursued to realise this potential in Germany and the UK? A study by researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) finds that both countries could do a lot more to mitigate climate change in the heating sector.


Emissions from road construction could be halved using today’s technology

The construction sector accounts for a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions, in Sweden and globally. Researchers studied the construction of an eight km stretch of road and calculated how emissions could be reduced now and by 2045, looking at everything from materials choice, production technology, supply chains and transport.


Efficient, ‘green’ quantum-dot solar cells exploit defects

Novel quantum dot solar cells developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory match the efficiency of existing quantum-dot based devices, but without lead or other toxic elements that most solar cells of this type rely on.


Making life cheap

Population control, herd immunity, and other anti-humanist fables.


Does my toilet make sense?

Is it time to reinvent the flush toilet?


Nature Conservation

Even biodiverse coral reefs still vulnerable to climate change and invasive species

A new study reveals clear evidence highlighting the importance of fish biodiversity to the health of spectacular tropical coral reef ecosystems. However, the study’s results show that even though strong relationships between diversity and a healthy ecosystem persist, human-driven pressures of warming oceans and invasive species still diminish ecosystems in various ways.


Lack of insects in cities limits breeding success of urban birds

Urban insect populations would need to increase by a factor of at least 2.5 for urban great tits to have same breeding success as those living in forests according to new research.


Mussel reefs heighten risk of microplastic exposure and consumption

In the first study of its kind, scientists found that when mussels were clumped together forming reefs — as they do in nature — the reef structure resulted in a three-fold rise in the amount of ingested plastic.


To ensure the future, conservation science looks to the past

Researchers are using new sources of historical data to better understand long-term environmental changes.


Noticing nature is the greatest gift you can get from lockdown

Lucy Jones

Summer holidays abroad look doomed, but there is comfort and reward to be found just by being curious about your surroundings


Climate change threatens Antarctic krill and the sea life that depends on it

Devi Veytia and Stuart Corney

Climate change is changing Antarctic krill habitat. The repercussions for the Southern Ocean food web are huge.



Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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