Daily Links Jun 23

Arctic temperatures (see this and another article in today’s list) are ‘off the scale’, we’re in positive feedback territory there and that is truly scary. That ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ comes to mind, with consideration of Universal Basic Income, a Green New Deal and programs such as Thriving Tasmania. Can we have a Thriving Australia.

Post of the Day

Study: Planting new forests is part of but not the whole solution to climate change

The large-scale planting of new forests in previously tree-free areas, a practice known as afforestation, is hailed as an efficient way to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — a so-called natural climate solution. But a new study led by a Colorado State University biology researcher finds that the carbon-capture potential of afforestation may be overestimated.

 

On This Day

Jun 23

St John’s Eve

 

Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,474. Deaths: 102

 

Study finds most workers want to go back to the office, occasionally

Australians have three key reasons for wanting to get back to the workplace in a limited capacity post-coronavirus, including banter by the water cooler, a new survey has found.

 

Zoom, Teams or Google Meet? The experts decide

What video conferencing veterans have to say about the apps they use may surprise you.

 

Coronavirus update: Global caseload surpasses 9 million, 1 million new cases in just eight days

The head of the World Health Organization says the coronavirus pandemic is increasing and at a pace the world has not yet seen, producing record daily numbers of cases.

 

Climate Change

Town in the Arctic Circle records temperature as hot as Florida

A town in Siberia is likely to have set a record for the hottest temperature in the Arctic Circle, a region that is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the globe.

 

Scotland’s emissions rise as world heads for catastrophic 5C of global warming

Scientists now believe the Earth’s atmosphere may be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought.

 

Study: Planting new forests is part of but not the whole solution to climate change

The large-scale planting of new forests in previously tree-free areas, a practice known as afforestation, is hailed as an efficient way to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — a so-called natural climate solution. But a new study led by a Colorado State University biology researcher finds that the carbon-capture potential of afforestation may be overestimated.

 

Seasonal sea ice changes hold clues to controlling CO2 levels, ancient ice shows

New research has shed light on the role sea ice plays in managing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

 

The warming goes on, and on

Peter Boyer

The virus has contained emissions for now, but the planet continues to heat up

 

National

Engineers say technology roadmap should focus on cheap renewables, energy storage

Australian engineers’ peak body join submissions calling for a technology roadmap based around cheap solar and wind and energy storage technologies.

 

Smoke and high-temperature cut-outs hit solar and wind output in summer from hell

The task of keeping the lights on in Australia’s main grid this past summer – in the midst of record temperatures and demand levels, and unprecedented bush-fires and losses from network and fossil fuel generator failures – was further complicated by two unexpected new problems, the loss of solar output due to smoke and dust, and the sudden loss of wind power in extreme temperatures.

 

Revealed: The secret plan to kill off the kangaroo as Australia’s official ‘brand’

Can the humble wattle be Australia’s international calling card? A band of business brains and marketing experts has convinced the Federal Government even if it means culling the kangaroos.

 

Commuters may never return to the roads, says Transurban boss

Traffic on Transurban’s Sydney roads are back to 91 per cent of normal levels.

However, the CEO expects delivery vans will take the place of commuters due to a mass shift to online shopping.

 

Beefed-up ute sales help to erode vehicle emission fall

Improvements in the carbon emissions intensity of new cars sold in Australia have all but stalled, with a shift to large pick-up trucks mostly nullifying a leap in demand for electric cars.

 

‘He’s dreaming’: Mike Cannon-Brookes and coal baron Trevor St Baker clash over renewables

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and energy titan Trevor St Baker have clashed over which is Australia’s biggest investor in renewable energy.

 

Wine, apples and forestry to get bushfire funding boost [$]

Scott Morrison will unlock a further $76m in targeted grants to assist the forestry industry, wine producers and apple growers rebuild after the horror ‘‘Black Summer’’ as part of the government’s efforts to speed up the recovery effort.

 

Cheaper gas ‘unrealistic’: Shell chairman Tony Nunan [$]

Energy giant Shell has pushed back at the prospect of cheaper gas on Australia’s east coast as an unrealistic short-term target and says its future investments will focus on lower carbon emissions amid shareholder pressure to meet ambitious climate goals.

 

Minerals Council slammed for “woefully inadequate” Climate Action Plan

Minerals Council of Australia unveils Climate Action Plan with no dates or milestones for emissions reduction and no mention of phasing out coal mining or coal-fired power.

 

Nuclear in mix for miners on emissions [$]

Small nuclear reactors, advanced battery technology and more gas-fired power generation must be part of the government’s blueprint to lower emissions, according to the nation’s largest miners and resources companies.

 

Australia’s minerals sector strengthens climate action commitment

Minerals Council of Australia media release

The MCA’s Climate Action Plan, released today, demonstrates the ongoing commitment by the Australian minerals industry to decarbonising the economy and addressing climate change.

 

Australian made hydrogen must be green, or it will have no export market

Scott Hamilton

Global markets will increasingly require ‘green hydrogen’ certification as they decarbonise their economies in line with Paris goals. To get distracted by anything less would be a fool’s errand.

 

Renewables will power Australia’s economic growth

Josh Burns

Labor MP Josh Burns says for Australia to grow its economy and create new markets we must take advantage of future demand for cheap, clean and reliable power.

 

Solar gardens offer opportunities for regions

Gemma Meier

Most farmers I know have been experiencing the impact of climate change for two to three decades.

 

Victoria

Starring in The Castle taught him to speak up — now Stephen Curry’s taking on a giant

In a case of life imitating art Stephen Curry, who played Dale Kerrigan in the classic Aussie film The Castle, joins his own David and Goliath battle against a mega powerline project.

 

New South Wales

Government renewable energy investment program swamped by support

Plans to open up the Central West of NSW to more renewable energy have generated overwhelming investor interest – topping $38 billion, or nine times the government’s available capacity.

 

Recycling advoate Michael Jacobs is urging council to change its thinking

Michael Jacobs started sending out his emails about three months ago – and they’ve been going out regularly ever since.

 

ACT

Call to halt development on Mount Ainslie foothills until Indigenous values of site assessed

An expert in the interactions between Aboriginal people and urban planning has said a proposed development on the foothills of Mount Ainslie highlighted flaws in land use planning systems.

 

South Australia

Flood project told to ‘re-look’ at plan to axe trees [$]

A $25.5 million plan to raze about 120 trees in the parklands has been sent back to the drawing board in another set back to the Brownhill Keswick Creek upgrade project.

 

Tasmania

Tasmanian energy price cut approved by regulator

The Tasmanian Economic Regulator announced a decrease in Aurora Energy’s prices from July 1 but says the annual savings for users will be ‘significantly offset’ by increases in other costs.

 

Western Australia

Tesla community battery installed in Busselton, Western Australia

A fifth PowerBank battery installed by W.A. to help balance the state’s grid, allow more customers to install solar, and offer a “community” storage option to local solar homes.

 

Rio Tinto silencing Traditional Owners in agreement making process

Rio Tinto has consistently put its head in the sand despite pleadings from Traditional Owners to walk shoulder to shoulder.

 

How Rio Tinto can ensure its Aboriginal heritage review is transparent and independent

Deanna Kemp et al

There are many questions about the inquiry into the destruction of an Aboriginal heritage site, including how it will be conducted, what will be publicly disclosed and who will be protected.

 

Sustainability

Solar power is making huge inroads across Africa, but coal is creating headaches

May was a big month for solar power announcements in Africa – led by a 4GW solar proposal in Algeria – but coal projects are causing headaches.

 

Do we need to work less to save the world?

We know we need to consume less for the good of the planet, but what if those sacrifices were balanced against the incentive of shorter working hours?

 

Fossil fuel giants make historic decision to write-down assets – but trillions still to go

Pressure is mounting on global oil companies to clean up their balance sheets to reflect a world finally acting to prevent runaway global warming in the wake of BP’s historic decision to write-down its fossil fuel assets.

 

Tracking Trump’s 100 environmental rollbacks

The Trump administration has rolled back 100 or so environmental and climate rules. The lasting legacy will be to limit future regulations.

 

Switch off your engine, it’s not hard: how to cut your fuel bill, clear the air and reduce emissions

Robin Smit and Clare Walter

Removing engine idling would be like removing up to 1.6 million cars from the road.

 

Nature Conservation

US demand for clean energy destroying Canada’s environment, indigenous peoples say

Push is inadvertently causing long-term environmental damage to the traditional hunting grounds on Inuit public lands

 

Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project finalized

The third phase of the Conservation of Iranian Wetlands Project, which outlines key strategies for the next five years, was approved as a document of joint cooperation between Iran and the United Nations Development Program.

 

Protecting natural forest in oil palm plantations crucial for conservation

A study, led by the University of York, has found that patches of protected forest on oil palm plantations play an important role in helping to conserve endangered species including hornbill birds and dipterocarp trees.

 

When planting trees threatens the forest

The first-of-its-kind study reveals that subsidies for the planting of commercially valuable tree plantations in Chile resulted in the loss of biologically valuable natural forests and little, if any, additional carbon sequestration.

 

Are protected areas effective at maintaining large carnivore populations?

A recent study used a novel combination of statistical methods and an exceptional data set collected by hunters to assess the role of protected areas for carnivore conservation in Finland.

 

Artificial night sky poses serious threat to coastal species

A study shows the presence of artificial light originating from cities several kilometers away (also known as artificial skyglow) disrupts the lunar compass species use when covering long distances.

 

Maelor Himbury

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