Daily Links Jun 25

Albo, don’t be gamed by this mob. Look for deeds rather than words before signing on to bipartisanship. Angus ‘Fantastic’ Taylor is hardly a credible source on climate policy.


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 25 June 2020 at 8:44:26 am AEST
Subject: Daily Links Jun 25

Post of the Day

Time to give the Murray-Darling river system its own rights

Tyler Rotche

Last Friday, the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council (MinCo) met to review progress with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.


On This Day

Jun 25


Ecological Observance

Arbor Day – Philippines


Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,521. Deaths: 103


Is there even such a thing as a ‘second wave’?

What actually constitutes a second wave of coronavirus infections, and if South Korea is experiencing one now, which countries are likely to to be next?


Inside the slaughterhouse: Why abattoirs are a breeding ground for COVID-19

Abattoirs are fast becoming coronavirus hotspots around the world, raising questions about the working conditions inside meat factories that may be contributing to the outbreaks.


Why are more bald men in hospital with coronavirus? There is a reason

Two small studies published recently suggested most men hospitalised with COVID-19 are bald, generating headlines around the world.


Climate Change

Increased warming in latest generation of climate models likely caused by clouds

As scientists work to determine why some of the latest climate models suggest the future could be warmer than previously thought, a new study indicates the reason is likely related to challenges simulating the formation and evolution of clouds.



Retain integrity of renewable energy agencies: ACF

The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s commitment to the integrity of the nation’s key renewable energy agencies, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).


The federal government urged to steer clear of a gas-fired coronavirus recovery

Community leaders say gas is a very unstable foundation on which to rebuild an economy  


Look how far we’ve come: Corporate social responsibility

“Corporate leaders who are serious about CSR need to start calling out their peers that aren’t serious about CSR.”

Australian corporate social responsibility over 20 years: A timeline

CSIRO to pull plug on energy jobs

CSIRO management have announced this week that up to 40 jobs will be cut from its energy team, including key scientists, engineers, and researchers.


Up to 11,000 renewable energy jobs could be lost under Morrison government policies

The job losses will be equivalent to the entire local coal industry if the renewable energy target is not replaced


Anthony Albanese vows to set new medium-term emissions reduction target

ALP leader also makes overture to Scott Morrison to reach bipartisan consensus on energy policy mechanism


Clean energy agency invests in soil carbon business venture

Australia’s clean technology investment agency is taking a punt on an ambitious venture to tackle climate change, planting soil microbes in farm paddocks to capture carbon from the atmosphere and reduce global warming.


Malcolm Turnbull, David Cameron swap climate war stories

Former UK PM David Cameron and local counterpart Malcolm Turnbull joined forces on Tuesday night in an online discussion for the Coalition for Conservation.


Super returns at risk from climate inaction, study finds

Financial modelling by one of the country’s largest consulting firms has found superannuation returns could shrink by 2 per cent a year if no additional government action is taken on climate change and trustees do not change their approach to climate risk.


Carbon price no longer needed: Albanese

Energy Minister Angus Taylor claims Labor leader Anthony Albanese has failed to rule out a carbon tax, when pushing for bipartisan talks with the Morrison government over a national energy policy. However Mr Albanese says a carbon price is no longer necessary and the government needs to find new ways to drive investment in renewables.


Malcolm Turnbull urges Coalition to back ‘green new deal’ on energy [$]

Malcolm Turnbull has called on the government to back a “green new deal” to lift the economy out of the coronavirus recession, urging a rapid shift away from coal and gas power stations to solar, wind and, ultimately, “green ­hydrogen”.


Climate change assessment bumped off APRA agenda [$]

An APRA program to assess the vulnerability of the financial sector to climate risk has officially been put on the backburner, as all regulators prioritise their COVID-19 responses.


Gas ‘essential’ to clean economy [$]

Australia’s natural gas stocks and gas-fired power stations must play central roles in the government’s long-term emissions strategy, with the resources industry pledging to invest and play its part in the country’s climate change response.


Alliance formed to protect indigenous heritage [$]

Australia’s most powerful land councils have joined indigenous leaders across Australia to try to force a moratorium on mining and other works that place cultural heritage sites at immediate risk.


How drought-breaking rains transformed these critically endangered woodlands into a flower-filled vista

Jacqui Stol et al

Box gum grassy woodlands are critically endangered. What’s left often grows on farms, and farmers are helping to conserve them.


Bushfires and logging: Crusading ecologists eroding public trust in science

Mark Poynter

One wonders what is becoming of science when a group of researchers from one scientific discipline uses ad hominem attacks to besmirch what they perceive as a competing scientific discipline.


Labor offers to deal with terrorists in climate wars

Bernard Keane

In offering bipartisanship on energy, Labor is offering to do a deal with the ‘terrorists’ who have thwarted all forms of climate action for years.


Farmers become stewards of rare carnivorous marsupials

Sussan Ley

The Morrison Government’s Environmental Stewardship Program has helped provide evidence of two rare species of carnivorous marsupials on private farming properties taking part in the long-term conservation support program.


Labor’s climate wars truce is cause for hope, as long as it doesn’t lead to bipartisan inaction

Frank Jotzo

Taken at face value, Anthony Albanese’s intervention throws a positive challenge to the government


When all else fails: Albanese rolls the dice on energy ‘peace talks’

Rob Harris

On the 10th anniversary of Julia Gillard’s ascension to Australia’s top job, Anthony Albanese tried to end a decade of climate and energy wars.


Time to give the Murray-Darling river system its own rights

Tyler Rotche

Last Friday, the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council (MinCo) met to review progress with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.


Labor’s energy policy approach invites cynicism

Canberra Times editorial

At first glance Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s sudden offer to work hand-in-glove with the Coalition on a bipartisan approach to energy and climate change sounds wonderful.


Peace or Piecemeal?

AFR View

The major parties may be moving closer to a climate consensus. But it is important that this moves toward market solutions and away from distorting government intervention.


Albo right to seek an end to energy policy war [$]

Tom Minear

Climate and energy policy has been a thorn in the side of both major parties for a decade. While some politicians won’t want to admit it, finding some middle ground would be good for them — and even better for the country.


Albanese’s offer one Morrison must refuse [$]

Paul Kelly

Anthony Albanese has made an offer Scott Morrison could only refuse. But the offer reveals how COVID-19 is changing the politics of climate change — leaders must gesture to being conciliatory and bipartisan.



Peninsula group joins national push to protect environment

As experts are calling for a federal government action plan to strengthen Australia’s weak environment laws, Mornington Peninsula residents Lorinda Hartley and Theresa Jenson have formed a new climate action group.


Injunction again stops VicForests logging

New court action places more further pressure on the government agency, which is facing five court challenges.


New South Wales

‘Already destroying sacred sites’: Gomeroi Traditional Owner wants more done to protect cultural heritage

While some Aboriginal cultural heritage sites threatened by the Shenhua Watermark mine site on the Liverpool Plains in Gomeroi Country will now be shielded by a motion recently passed in the NSW parliament, Traditional Owners still say more needs to be done by government to truly protect sites.


NSW further reduces areas for new coal mines

NSW cordons off more parts of the state from future coal mining, and releases another $51m for communities to adjust.


Wildlife smuggling ring dismantled

A joint operation between the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the NSW Police Force has dealt a heavy blow to a major wildlife smuggling syndicate.


Turallo Nature Reserve 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 Turallo Nature Reserve near Bungendore.


Sydney’s water supply unable to cope with population growth, drought

The NSW Auditor-General has released a scathing report into water conservation in Sydney.


Nation’s top coal plant cuts output amid COVID-19, renewables pressure

Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant has sharply reduced its daytime output in response to the impact of coronavirus gutting the nation’s electricity demand and renewable energy pushing down wholesale prices.


The surprising way renewables can help farmers cope

It turns out that even the grass is greener during a drought with solar panels, or so one farmer near Dubbo found.


NSW government releases ‘shared backyard’ vision for greener city

Parklands and other open spaces should be within just 200m of high-density homes and 400m from schools and workplaces, under new NSW Government guidelines prioritising greenery in the wake of COVID-19.



Environment Minister steps in over development on possible sacred Aboriginal site

The Environment Department is instructed to review a 200-home development proposal at the base of Canberra’s Mount Ainslie, after it was revealed no Indigenous groups had been consulted.



Tiny species of rock-wallaby bounces back from devastating bushfire

Researchers say a tiny and unusual species of wallaby only found in Far North Queensland has managed to survive and thrive after a devastating bushfire.


New Acland coalmine fined just $9,461 for 34 separate noise violations

Environment groups accuse Queensland authorities of being a ‘toothless tiger’, saying ‘paltry’ fines ‘an insult to communities and farmers’


Queensland ports break coal export record

Coal mining will remain a major industry in Queensland for “years to come” as the state exported a record amount of coal in 2019.


South Australia

Knoll admits more than 900 bus stops could be lost to commuters

After insisting that 500 bus stops would go in his shake-up to public transport in Adelaide, Transport Minister Stephan Knoll has now conceded nearly 1000 bus stops would be lost to general commuters under the proposed changes.



Land clearing for proposed Northern Regional Prison could harm endangered species, field naturalist fears

A Northern Tasmanian field naturalist will write to the federal environment minister to raise concerns about two endangered birds she has documented either in or near woodland proposed as the site for the $270 million Northern Regional Prison.


Tasmanian-federal Marinus Link ownership not ruled out

Premier Peter Gutwein is not ruling out joint Tasmanian and national ownership of the proposed Marinus Link electricity cable to Victoria.


Northern Territory

More sites to open, camping to be allowed at Kakadu on Friday in stage two of park reopening [$]

Capers and fishos can rejoice as more parts of Kakadu will be reopened to the public this Friday.


Western Australia

‘Fitbit’ technology shows unknown life of ‘true-blue Aussie turtle’

Strapping fitness technology and a video camera to Australian flatback turtles has revealed details of their little-known lives at sea.


Social housing with zero running costs: Is this WA’s boldest COVID-19 jobs plan?

The Commonwealth may focus on the gas industry as an economic lifeline, but WA could take a new path, says a group advising the state government.



Designers create sustainable ‘leather’ face masks made from eggplants

A jewellery designer, chef and fashion designer have teamed up to create sustainable, luxury, ‘leather’ face masks made from eggplant skins.


Germany bans single-use plastic items

Germany is banning sales of single-use plastic straws, food containers, cutlery, plates, stirring sticks and polystyrene cups and boxes by July 3, 2021.


Roundup maker Bayer to pay $US10b to settle cancer cases

The world’s largest seed and pesticide maker will settle tens of thousands of claims over popular weedkiller Roundup


Nine years on, Fukushima’s mental health fallout lingers

As radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident subsides, a damaging social and psychological legacy continues.


Fears of Chernobyl-style cover up in Arctic ocean after 21,000-tonne oil spill in Russia

An ecologist has claimed there may have been a Chernobyl-style cover up following a 21,000-tonne oil spill in the Arctic Circle in an effort to disguise the ‘true scale of the tragedy’.


Scientists develop new tool to design better fusion devices

One way that scientists seek to bring to Earth the fusion process that powers the stars is trapping plasma within a twisting magnetic coil device shaped like a breakfast cruller. But the device, called a stellarator, must be precisely engineered to prevent heat from escaping the plasma core where it stokes the fusion reactions. Now, PPPL researchers have demonstrated that an advanced computer code could help design stellarators that confine the essential heat more effectively.


Exciting new developments for polymers made from waste sulfur

Researchers are making significant progress in the quest to develop new sulfur polymers that provide an environmentally friendly alternative to some traditional petrochemical based plastics.


Towards a green future: Efficient laser technique can convert cellulose into biofuel

Scientists developed a novel laser-based strategy for the effective degradation of cellulose into useful products


Removing toxic chemicals from water — New environmentally-friendly method

Researchers from Swansea University have developed a new environmentally friendly method for removing toxic chemicals from water. A newly invented machine, called the Matrix Assembly Cluster Source (MACS), has been used to design a breakthrough water treatment method using a solvent-free approach.


Clean water is a human right. In America it’s more a profit machine

Bernie Sanders and Brenda Lawrence

When it comes to water infrastructure, America’s challenges resemble those of a developing country. It’s time for that to change


Nature Conservation

Mercury pollution has reached ocean’s deepest valley

Two groups of scientists from China and the US found toxic mercury in fish and crustaceans living more than 11,000 metres below the surface of the ocean in the Mariana Trench.


Movers and stayers: Surviving a range shift due to climate change

New research using data from long term surveys of tropical fishes indicates that traditional studies of this range shift phenomenon largely ignore the sequential nature of species movement.


Adirondack boreal peatlands near southern range limit likely threatened by warmer climate

A study published in the journal Wetlands documents an invasion happening in the Adirondacks: the black spruce, tamarack, and other boreal species are being overcome by trees normally found in warmer, more temperate forests.

How did wildlife groups start collaborating in the destruction of nature?

George Monbiot

We need strong campaigns to confront environmental collapse. Instead, we get weakness and complicity

Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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