Daily Links Jun 27

The Coal Curse, Quarterly Essay No. 78, is proving to be a good read. I’ve finished Judith Brett’s discussion on the history of free trading and protectionism, industry policy and Hockey driving vehicle manufacturing out of the country. I’m up to the revolving door that links the mining industry to political offices and the senior bureaucracy that Guy Pearse first wrote about those years ago in Quarterly Essay No 33. It has only become worse. Even so, knowing how we got here should help in plotting where we need to be.

Post of the Day

The Arctic heatwave: here’s what we know

Tamsin Edwards

It’s 38°C in Siberia. The science may be complicated – but the need for action now couldn’t be clearer

 

On This Day

Jun 27

 

Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,595. Deaths: 104

 

How COVID-19 test results can be wrong and right

An AFL footballer tests positive for COVID-19, then days later gets a negative result. So how can this happen? The experts say there are a multitude of factors at play.

 

Coronavirus update: 40,000 cases in a day as US hits unwanted record

COVID-19 cases in the United States continue to rise at an alarming rate, with 40,000 confirmed in a 24-hour period, the highest daily number recorded there, meanwhile former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who coaches Novak Djokovic has now tested positive.

 

Here’s what Scott Morrison had to say in his latest coronavirus press conference

National Cabinet met today to discuss the continued easing of restrictions amid a spike in cases in Victoria. If you missed it, these were the most significant statements.

 

Climate Change

UK government climate advisers running scared of change, says leading scientist

Rapid transformation needed, Kevin Anderson says, particularly in lifestyles of rich

 

Extinction Rebellion activists launch UK Beyond Politics party by stealing food

Robin Hood-style shoplifting session at London supermarket ‘because poverty sucks’

 

Act fast to stop UK carbon emission rebound, climate advisers urge

Report says Boris Johnson’s lack of climate leadership risks missing target and embarrassing UK at Cop26

 

The Arctic heatwave: here’s what we know

Tamsin Edwards

It’s 38°C in Siberia. The science may be complicated – but the need for action now couldn’t be clearer

 

National

ACTU warns Morrison: get real on climate and renewables, or lose metals industry

Australia’s peak trade union body calls on Morrison government to introduce “credible” emissions and renewables policies or risk losing some of the nation’s core industries.

 

How Australia’s energy transition might trip over the wires

It is time to consider the community and social factors underpinning a non-optional critical component of Australia’s energy transition.

 

Will rooftop solar blow up your kettle? No, but your local network just might

One of the common refrains heard about the electricity sector is the danger of too much rooftop solar – and the voltage surges it allegedly causes that can fry domestic appliances such as kettles, toasters, fridges and microwave ovens.

 

‘It’s just staggering’: FOI documents show irrigators lobbied for more floodwater under Murray-Darling plan

Irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin look set to win rule changes that will, in some cases, give them a 400 per cent greater share of water — a move scientists and lawyers say may be unlawful.

 

Morrison government urged to fix flawed environmental offsets leaving threatened species at risk

Audit of offsets to approve developments suggests usage is worsening impact of endangered species, not reducing it

 

Renovation rescue: 6 ways to ensure HomeBuilder helps consumers, the climate and the economy

Peter M Graham et al

The controversial HomeBuilder scheme could come with a big upside: making old homes more energy efficient.

 

The madness of a gas-led recovery and what you can do about it

Graeme McLeay

The Government’s reliance on the gas industry is killing our planet, but medical professionals are raising awareness.

 

If the PM spurns Albanese’s climate peace offer, Labor will be left with a painful problem

Katharine Murphy

If the ALP loses Eden-Monaro next Saturday, it will be a significant blow to morale and a green light for internal mischief

 

Forgotten farmers, mining and anti-green invective: how the Nationals became a party for coal

Judith Brett

In this extract from her Quarterly Essay, Judith Brett says mining has offered the Nationals a way to supplement their declining agricultural base

 

Australia needs a clear plan to address inadequate environmental policy, not buck-passing and hand-wringing

Lyndon Schneiders

We must demand that our leaders are up to the challenge or we will lose what is most precious about this beautiful and fragile wide brown land

 

Overpopulation and that pesky other crisis

Crispin Hull

You could replace the words “Black Death” with the words “COVID-19” in the following quote from a medieval historian: “The Black Death was a great tragedy. However, the decrease in population caused by the plague increased the wages of peasants. As a result, peasants began to enjoy a higher standard of living and greater freedom.”

 

Albanese mixes his version of science with the dark arts [$]

Chris Kenny

The word science seems to have lost all meaning in the climate debate.

 

Victoria

New authority and strategy for Latrobe Valley mine rehabilitation

The rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal mines will be steered by experts and locals through the creation of a new authority and a strategy to guide rehabilitation planning and works over the coming decades.

 

Is this our last chance to create a truly liveable Melbourne?

Think of the ‘postcard test’, one expert suggests. Would you put the neighbourhood where you live on a postcard and send it home to Mum?

 

Public appeal to stop imminent brumby cull

Hundreds of people throughout Yarra Ranges and Victoria have been contacting their local MPs to try and stop Parks Victoria’s imminent brumby cull. They want Premier Daniel Andrews to order a ceasefire.

 

New South Wales

“Best car I’ve ever driven”: NSW energy minister gets a Tesla Model 3

NSW energy and environment minister Matt Kean’s new government car is a Tesla Model 3, and he believes he is the first minister in the country to have an…

 

NSW lands biggest conservation purchase in state’s history

The government will create a conservation area in far north-west NSW 10 times the size of the Royal National Park, in the largest purchase of private land for environmental protection in the state’s history.

 

Bipartisan support helps give ‘battleship peninsula’ protection

Visits to a popular Blue Mountains ”battleship peninsula’ are expected to rise as much as 10 fold after the Berejiklian government formalised protection for the Radiata Plateau.

 

South Australia

Bowls out of bread tags: How Brad Scott turns unwanted plastic into sought-after homewares

Brad Scott knows of only 10 other businesses in Australia doing what he’s doing — making plastic that would otherwise go to landfill into beautiful and useful objects. Why aren’t more interested businesses taking the leap?

 

Bushfire victims lodge class action against SA Power Networks

Victims of a bushfire that swept through the lower Yorke Peninsula in November leaving a trail of property damage have launched a class action against SA Power Networks, which has conceded its infrastructure was “the most likely source” of the blaze.

 

Knoll enters the No-Go Zone [$]

Tom Richardson

The Transport Minister may talk up “bold reforms” but his failure to sell either the concept or the detail is causing his government major headaches.

 

Tasmania

Tasmania’s Shy Albatross is now considered an endangered species

Environmentalists are hoping the uplisting of the Shy Albatross’ conservation status to endangered will pave the way for more to be done to protect the species.

 

Environmental activists occupy southern forest [$]

Twenty environmental activists are occupying a forest in southern Tasmania, protesting logging in native forests.

 

Mange brings awful suffering, but won’t make our wombats extinct [$]

Scott Carver

It will take more than sarcoptic mange to make a dent in Tasmania’s wombat population, writes

 

Northern Territory

Northern fire tracking website re-funded, but is it time to roll it out nationally?

After months of uncertainty and calls for a wider rollout, the NAFI fire tracking website for northern Australia has received Government funding for another year.

 

Rifts form inside Territory Alliance over ‘cultural shift’ fears [$]

Territory Alliance’s dead duck delivery of its controversial anti-fracking policy has sparked internal fears that a ‘cultural shift’ away from the party’s ethos is occurring

3h ago

 

Western Australia

Nearly 95,000 customers lose power over cascading gas generator failures

Nearly 95,000 customers lost power, some for up to four hours, when a gas power station tripped and caused a cascade of failures at other gas units. Who knew?

 

Peak Indigenous organisations form to protect cultural heritage

The destruction of a 46,000-year-old sacred Aboriginal site at the Juukan gorge in Western Australia’s Pilbara region was a “tipping point” for Indigenous leaders, who have now formed an Alliance to prevent further destruction.

 

Sustainability

EU countries agree their green transition fund will not pay for move to nuclear or fossil gas

European Union countries have agreed that the bloc’s flagship fund to wean regions off fossil fuels should not finance nuclear or natural gas projects, despite calls from some Eastern countries for gas to be eligible for EU funding.

 

Toppling statues won’t be enough to save us from the next Great Dying

Elizabeth Farrelly

The tunnel, the statue, the smoke plume and the blue warehou. What’s the connection?

 

Nature Conservation

‘Murder hornets’: race to protect North America’s honeybees from giant invader

Scientists and apiarists fear that, if permitted to spread unchecked, the hornets, which feast on honeybee larvae, could have disastrous consequences for tens of thousands of hives.

 

Hawaii’s invasive predator catastrophe

Endangered seabirds can recover, but only if we control feral cats and other non-native predators, new research finds.

 

US national parks are being overrun by invasive species

Causing more habitat damage than natural disasters, these creatures put native wildlife at risk.

Maelor Himbury

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