Daily Links May 20

Do you get the feeling that we’re being stitched up? Ask a fossil fool, or a review team of fossil fools even, what we should do about fossil fuels and we shouldn’t be surprised at their answer. We, everyone, the planet, is being poorly served.


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 20 May 2020 at 8:54:20 am AEST
Subject: Daily Links May 20

Post of the Day

Coronavirus is a ‘sliding doors’ moment. What we do now could change Earth’s trajectory

Pep Canadell et al

New research reveals which sectors of the global economy fuelled the emissions decline during COVID-19. We have a narrow window of time to make the change permanent.


On This Day

May 20


Ecological Observance

World Bee Day


Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,068. Deaths: 100


COVID-19 like three different diseases, says New York doctor

COVID-19 is continuing to surprise and baffle health experts, with new symptoms leaving doctors feeling they are facing a terrifying fire, burning out of control, says one US medic.


Early results from coronavirus vaccine trial show participants developed antibodies

US biotech firm Moderna has reported promising early results from the first clinical tests of an experimental vaccine against the novel coronavirus performed on a small number of volunteers.


Explainer: Do children spread COVID-19? Risks as schools consider reopening

As countries begin to emerge from shutdowns imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, the issue of how the virus affects children and whether schools should be reopened is taking on heightened importance.


Climate Change

Climate protesters stage ’empty shoes’ demonstration in London

Extinction Rebellion protesters laid out 2,000 childrens’ shoes in an empty Trafalgar Square in a socially-distanced protest. The group says the shoes were donated by parents concerned about their children’s future.


Under2 Coalition celebrates five years of driving climate leadership

From just 12 members in 2015, the Under2 Coalition has now grown to represent over 1.3 billion people and 43% of the global economy.


Experts urge further climate action as lockdown triggers ‘extreme’ emissions drop

Despite the carbon emissions decline, this year’s likely annual decrease is comparable only to the reductions needed year on year to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.


COVID-19 crisis causes 17% drop in global carbon emissions

The COVID-19 global lockdown has had an ‘extreme’ effect on daily carbon emissions, but it is unlikely to last — according to a new analysis by an international team of scientists.


South Asia faces increased threat of extreme heat, extreme pollution, study shows

Scientists know that extreme heat has a negative impact on the human body — causing distress in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems — and they know that extreme air pollution can also have serious effects. But as climate change impacts continue globally, how often will humans be threatened by both of those extremes when they occur simultaneously?


Americans see climate as a concern, even amid coronavirus crisis

Americans’ positions on climate change have remained largely unshaken by the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis, according to a new national survey that showed acceptance of the reality of global warming at record highs in some categories.


Global warming is making hurricanes stronger, study suggests

Human-caused global warming has strengthened the wind speeds of hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones around the globe, a new study released Monday said.



Morrison to redirect climate funds to carbon capture and big emitters

The Morrison government has released the findings of the “King Review” into Australia’s emissions reduction policies, agreeing to recommendations to open up climate funding to carbon capture and storage projects, and to big emitters.


Fossil fuel industry applauds Coalition climate measures that support carbon capture and storage

Environmentalists say the Morrison government is directing emissions reduction funding to polluting companies


Angus Taylor says it is not Australian government policy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

Energy minister says Coalition’s approach is ‘not to have a target without a plan’ to achieve it


Welcome outcome on Wildlife Wet Markets

The Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud is pleased to see the strong international support which he led last month at the G20 to investigate Wildlife Wet Markets as part of the broader review of COVID-19.


Political interference a key risk to emissions reductions, experts say

Rewriting government funding laws allowing for carbon capture from fossil fuel projects could lead to greater emissions reductions, experts say, but they warn against political interference in independent decisions that would risk advantaging fossil fuels at the expense of renewable energy.


Baseline analysis reports released for future shale and tight gas regions

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley and Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt have released baseline analysis reports from Stage Two of the Geological and Bioregional Assessment Program.


$6b trans-Australia gas pipeline gets fresh legs [$]

The possibility of a gas pipeline from Western Australia to the east coast is again being discussed as part of the COVID-19 recovery plan, despite a study finding it uneconomic just two years ago.


Solar panel shake-up to offer clarity on supply [$]

New national standards for solar panels have been developed as energy­ regulators scramble to prevent­­­ instability to the electric­ity market because of the high uptake­ of poorly regulated house­hold renewables.


Report of the expert panel examining additional sources of low cost abatement

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (Australia)

Australian government response to the final report of the expert panel examining additional sources of low-cost abatement


Be worried when fossil fuel lobbyists support current environmental laws

Chris McGrath

Our environmental laws work in the favour of mining interests – even when the industry itself claims otherwise.


One year after election win, Scott Morrison is still Coal-Mo to the core

Giles Parkinson

Morrison chooses not to stand with scientists and independent experts when it comes to climate and energy, as he has done with Covid-19, but with lobbyists and vested interests.


Carbon capture and storage a dud but fossil fuel industry’s cash capture working well [$]

Bernard Keane

The government wants to expand its Emissions Reduction Fund to pay fossil fuel companies to increase emissions. Who came up with that idea? Take a guess.


Angus Taylor’s ‘tech, not taxes’ approach is likely to create more problems than it solves

Ketan Joshi

It shifts the focus away from cheap, effective emissions reductions and towards expensive, ineffective measures


Old friendships alone won’t save us from climate change

Nick O’Malley

It should not be a surprise that the independent panel advising the government on how to better spend $2.5 billion on clean energy projects has proposed that it should kick the door open to, well, dirty energy.


Government’s climate report doesn’t ask one big question

David Crowe

The review of the government’s $2 billion emissions reduction fund has a missing chapter, which would have made interesting reading.


Nev Power must ‘switch on’ energy reform on demand side [$]

John Durie

Neville Power is in the process of helping to advise government on sustainable strategies to boost economic growth post-COVID-19, but has hit an apparent brick wall over energy policy.


Sussan Ley’s largesse: Koalas failed to make the grade

Sue Arnold 

While the Government has pledged further funding to bushfire recovery, a deeper look reveals that the plight of koalas has again been ignored.



Hazelwood mine operators fined $1.9 million over blaze that burned for 45 days

The operators of Victoria’s now-closed Hazelwood Power Station are fined more than $1.9 million by the Supreme Court of Victoria over the 2014 mine fire which burned for 45 days, covering the area in smoke and coal dust.


Council welcomes $4.5 M to build Twelve Apostles Trail

Corangamite Shire Council has welcomed a $4.5 million boost which will help build the Twelve Apostles Trail Stage 1—Timboon to Port Campbell project after nearly 15 years of planning.


Bring your own soap as Victoria’s parks reopen to the public

Parks Victoria insists people using parks should adequately prepare themselves for their visit including sanitiser or disinfectant.


RSPCA supports brumby cull as shoot delayed pending legal action

RSPCA Victoria has supported the shooting of brumbies in the Australian high country, saying it is sometimes necessary to manage wild animal populations.


Alpine brumbies cause heartache all round

Animal culling is an emotive topic and wild horses in the Alpine National Park is no different.


Worst areas for wildlife crashes revealed [$]

Analysis on insurance has shown some interesting findings on when and where wildlife crashes happen most and which animals are most commonly involved.


Big traffic change coming to Flinders St [$]

Melbourne motorists are in for a shock with a popular CBD thoroughfare to be blocked to traffic from early June, as work on the Metro Tunnel project ramps up.


New South Wales

Sydney bus drivers told not to enforce strict new COVID-19 measures

Sydney’s bus drivers are being told to accept all passengers, even if they’re at capacity, in spite of the Berejiklian government’s new social distancing measures on public transport.


Dirty Darling reaches mighty Murray for first time in two years, so what now?

If you are on the coast you could be forgiven for being distracted but there is a pretty big deal trickling it’s way through the desert. Get caught up.



Rally puts the brakes on controversial race leg through prime cassowary habitat

Organisers of the Targa Great Barrier Reef car rally ditch plans to hold a race leg through the habitat of the endangered cassowary.


Environment Advisory Committee to be considered

The Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will consider establishing an Environment Advisory Committee (or similar-focused Committee).


Ramping up: $400m in road funding at centre of new Qld stimulus package

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has acknowledged that the health measures needed to save lives have caused economic harm that needs to be treated.


Coalmine can go ahead as long as it pays to protect koalas and gliders

A proposed new open-cut mine will generate more than $5bn in royalties for the Queensland Government, but conservationists say if it gets built it will destroy thousands of hectares of wildlife habitat.


South Australia

Fears of corporate takeover as SA Government seeks to put quotas on fisheries

Converting commercial fishing into a quota system could leave the industry open to corporate takeover, industry stakeholders fear, as the State Government seeks to tighten the net on fisheries with major reforms.


A bountiful harvest of debate over GM crops go-ahead

Caroline Rhodes

A law change means SA farmers can now grow GM crops, but opponents are still trying to limit their use across the state.



Newly found 85yo video shows last-known Tasmanian tiger months before its death

New vision of Tasmania’s last captive thylacine is unearthed by tiger enthusiasts digging through the National Film and Sound Archives.


Government embraces Tasmania’s hydrogen potential [$]

Tasmania is vying to become the face of renewable hydrogen in Australia, with hopes to have an industry up and running by 2022-2024.


Bell Bay, Burnie to be established as hydrogen hubs in Tasmania [$]

Bell Bay and Burnie will become hydrogen hubs under a new $50 million support package announced by the state government.


Revealed: Tassie’s roadkill hotspots [$]

Motorists are being warned to extra vigilant about wildlife on the roads over winter, as the state’s most dangerous areas for roadkill have been revealed.


$50m to lure world’s best in hydrogen [$]

A number of national and international companies have already visited Tasmania to discuss our hydrogen future, State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson says.


Western Australia

Liberals vow to resurrect Roe 8 if elected next year

On Saturday Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced the Labor party had fulfilled its election commitment to permanently protect the wetlands previously earmarked for the highway by creating an A-Class conservation reserve.



Exposure to ultrafine aerosol particles in homes depends primarily on people themselves

Residents have it above all in their own hands how high the concentrations of ultrafine dust are in their homes.


World Wildlife Fund tries to spark an indoor farming revolution

The conservation organization is known for work protecting endangered animals, but now it’s starting to help push for broad solutions.


Egregious emissions

Call them ‘super polluters’ — the handful of industrial facilities that emit unusually high levels of toxic chemical pollution year after year. There are only a few of them, but together they account for the majority of annual industrial pollution.


How smart city planning could slow future pandemics

The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to rethink how cities are designed—and make them better equipped to stop disease from spreading.


How a pandemic created a cleaner planet

Since the coronavirus lockdown we’ve seen reports of clear waters in Venice, dramatically reduced air pollution in China and stunningly clear views of the Himalayas from 200 kilometres away – a tantalising snapshot of a low-carbon future.


Do fuels made from plastic make eco sense?

Several companies have come up with pilot plants to convert plastic waste into crude oil, diesel or other fuels. It is sold as a way to get rid of trash and help the environment. But is it?


Something in the air: The great 5G conspiracy

The coronavirus pandemic is sparking baseless theories about the dangers of 5G. But the fear that wireless technology is slowly killing us isn’t new—and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.


Stop driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit

Eben Weiss

Short of banning cars altogether, it’s hard to think of a change that would pay more dividends in terms of safety than getting drivers to slow down.


Climate explained: why we need to focus on increased consumption as much as population growth

Glenn Banks

It is easy for people in the industrialised world to blame population growth elsewhere for environmental damage. But increased consumption is just as important – if more confronting.


Coronavirus is a ‘sliding doors’ moment. What we do now could change Earth’s trajectory

Pep Canadell et al

New research reveals which sectors of the global economy fuelled the emissions decline during COVID-19. We have a narrow window of time to make the change permanent.


Nature Conservation

Brazilian Indigenous group facing ‘genocide’ due to ‘illegal’ logging, rights group says

The Awa Guaja tribe of the Amazon rainforest has lost massive amounts of land to deforestation in recent years, Forest Guardians say.


How the pandemic has changed the natural world, illustrated

The coronavirus pandemic’s effect on human health has become clear. But changes to the earth’s ecological balance – and how we relate to nature – are only beginning to appear.


Economists put a price tag on living whales in Brazil: $82 billion

The hope is that valuing whales in coastal nations can help protect whales from common fatalities like ship strikes, fishing gear entanglement, and deliberate hunting.





Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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