Daily Links Jun 3

You’d have to conclude we’re mugs. We subsidise the fossil fuel industry to an an annual amount of around $5 billion to $12 billion, despite revenue of around $45 billion in 2016/17 when eight of the ten largest producers paid no tax. And then Matteo Canavani has the hide to go on Q and A and attack support for renewables and forget to mention his brother’s role as MD of a private coal company. Like I said, mugs.

Post of the Day

Football pitch-sized area of rainforest destroyed every six seconds last year, report finds

A report has found a football pitch-sized area of rainforest was lost every six seconds last year.

 

On This Day

Jun 3

Mabo Day

 

Ecological Observance

World Bicycle Day

 

Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,221 Deaths: 102

 

‘Charities don’t want to be casualties of the COVID crisis’: NFPs facing a dire financial future

Analysis shows almost one in five Aussie charities could be at high risk of closing their doors within six months 

 

How pivotal has the COVIDSafe app been to Australia’s coronavirus response?

It has been just over a month since the government’s COVIDSafe app was launched. Since then, it’s been downloaded over six million times and used in at least one successful contact tracing exercise.

 

The greatest story you’ve probably never heard

Garry Linnell

So you missed one of the most uplifting stories of the coronavirus pandemic?

 

Climate Change

Global CO2 has risen for a century. That appears to be over

Climate researchers increasingly believe 2019 may represent the world’s peak output of carbon dioxide. It’s driven by the coronavirus pandemic and a rapid expansion of renewable energy.

 

Covid-19 has given us the chance to build a low-carbon future

Christiana Figueres

Lockdown won’t save the world from warming, but the pandemic is an opportunity to pursue a green economic recovery

 

What coronavirus teaches us about climate change

Gwynne Dyer

Human beings respond well to a crisis that is familiar, especially if it is also imminent. They don’t do nearly as well when the threat is unfamiliar and still apparently quite distant. Consider our response to the current coronavirus threat.

 

National

Australian bushfires: FOIs shed new light on why Morrison government was ill-prepared

Documents released under freedom of information show that despite warnings of dire fire risks, federal follow-up was sluggish.

 

Australian government YouTube videos promoting logging should be taken down, Greens say

Agriculture department spent $95,000 on campaign that encourages people to ‘look up at the trees, think about wood’

 

Electric incentives could cut need for more gas drilling, report finds

Banning gas installation in new buildings and subsidising Victorians to switch to electrical heating and hot water systems would ease the threat of a gas shortage.

 

Morrison’s building boost must target efficient, sustainable housing, experts say

Building industry experts call on federal government to tie construction sector stimulus to greener building practices, including higher standards for energy and thermal efficiency.

 

Gaslighting Australia: How gas industry is driving up emissions

Analysis of emissions data shows that using gas as a transition fuel is dangerous in a world badly missing its climate targets.

 

Fluence proposes two big batteries to upgrade Victoria-NSW transmission line

US battery storage technology company Fluence is proposing two big batteries – each of 250MW and 30 minute storage – could be installed as a faster and potentially cheaper solution to solve the transmission limits between the two biggest electricity markets in Australia, NSW and Victoria.

 

Even with rooftop solar boom, households are paying dearly for what lies beneath

Australians have led the world in solar installations on their rooftops, but lag way behind in terms of what they do under the roof. And it’s costing them dearly.

 

Industry fires back in row over cheap gas

hit back in the row over cheap gas prices, saying east coast users have not been able to access targeted $4 a gigajoule levels since 2006, and called on manufacturers to locate industrial hubs closer to supply sources.

 

Transparency called for in fossil fuel-stacked COVID-19 Commission

Martin Hirst 

Who’s running the country and where are they taking us? Dr Martin Hirst thinks the Canberra bubble is filling with gas.

 

The next global health pandemic could easily erupt in your backyard

Penny van Oosterzee and Bill Laurance

Australia has been identified as a hotspot for emerging diseases, which occurs when human activities collide with a richness of animal species.

 

Matt Canavan says Australia doesn’t subsidise the fossil fuel industry, an expert says it does

Jeremy Moss

Contrary to the Morrison government’s claims, it does prop up the fossil fuel industry. But the money doesn’t create many jobs or much profit.

 

Victoria

Greens to move against lifting Victorian gas moratorium

Victorian Greens slam planned legislation to lift Victoria’s gas moratorium, saying emissions impacts being ignored.

 

The man to blame for Australia’s rabbit infestation [$]

Englishman Thomas Austin hoped to make his block of Australian wilderness more like his homeland when he released 12 breeding pairs of rabbits onto his sprawling estate near Geelong. What he’d really unleashed was an ecological disaster.

 

New $5 million park for Yarra River’s north bank [$]

A neglected part of the Yarra River’s north bank is to get a new park as part of a $500 million redevelopment with a maritime theme. Here’s how it will look once complete.

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New South Wales

Lower power prices at risk as MPs bicker over green energy [$]

NSW’s energy policies are in a shambles, with infighting over power plaguing our politicians. Labor’s Jodi McKay stands accused of “selling out its blue-collar base” by backing “irrational Greens’’ and Coalition ministers are turning on each other.

 

ACT

Lessons from summer fires can’t be lost in the fallout from coronavirus

Andrew Leigh

When coronavirus hit, one thing many Canberra households didn’t have to rush out and buy were N95 masks. That’s because we already had plenty in the cupboard from summer, when Canberra’s air quality was 22 times the hazardous rating.

 

Queensland

Virtual fencing aims to reduce roadkill and save endangered wildlife

An invisible roadside fence designed to reduce the number of animals being killed on Queensland roads is being trialled on the Sunshine Coast.

 

Treasurer delivers coal asset certainty in uncertain times

The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the decision of new Treasurer Cameron Dick to provide regulatory certainty for rail and port infrastructure so critical for the coal industry’s $52 billion economic contribution and more than 260,000 Queensland jobs.

 

Brookfield blow as coal terminal to be regulated for another 10 years

The State Government has dealt asset manager Brookfield a blow by declaring its Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal a service that would be regulated for the next 10 years.

 

Is it too late to save the Great Barrier Reef?

This summer, the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, suffered the worst mass bleaching outbreak ever witnessed. Graham Readfearn looks at whether people are ready to accept the reality that at least 70% of the world’s coral reefs will soon be lost.

 

Magnis raises $1.5m to advance its Townsville battery “gigafactory” plans

Magnis Energy, part of a consortium planning to build a lithium-ion battery cell “giga-factory” in Queensland’s north, has tapped investors for $1.5m.

 

Tasmania

Documents reveal predicted eagle deaths at wind farm

Dozens of endangered eagles are at risk of being killed at a proposed large-scale wind farm, new documents show.

 

Western Australia

CME welcomes Juukan Gorge commitment

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) today welcomed the commitment by Rio Tinto to continue to work closely with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP) on cultural heritage matters, including reviewing plans for sites in the Juukan Gorge area.

 

Rio Tinto feels more heat on cave blast as investor pressure rises

One of Rio Tinto’s largest shareholders says the miner’s destruction of an ancient site calls into question its commitment to doing what’s right, not just what’s legal.

 

Sustainability

Is this the end of the megacity? [$]

The fate of the world’s great cities is uncertain as the work-from-home revolution takes hold, decimating urban populations.

 

How renewable energy could emerge on top after the pandemic

The short-term prospects for wind and solar power look rocky amid the economic upheaval of the coronavirus. But long term, renewables could emerge stronger than ever, especially if governments integrate support for clean energy into Covid-19 economic-recovery programs.

 

Life in lockdown has shown us our houses need to work harder for us

Chris Tucker

How many of us have recently wished we could partition parts of our home, even to have a small second house? Being able to do this on existing blocks would help meet the many needs of families today.

 

Climate explained: could the world stop using fossil fuels today?

Ralph Sims

While it’s impossible to stop all extraction of fossil fuels now, renewable sources are already generating 25% of global electricity demand now and their contribution continues to grow.

 

Smart cities can help us manage post-COVID life, but they’ll need trust as well as tech

Sameer Hasija:

Smart city solutions have proved handy for curbing the contagion, but recent experience has also shown how much they rely on public trust. And that in turn depends on transparency and robust safeguards.

 

Nature Conservation

Football pitch-sized area of rainforest destroyed every six seconds last year, report finds

A report has found a football pitch-sized area of rainforest was lost every six seconds last year.

 

Extinction crisis ‘poses existential threat to civilisation’

A study presents more evidence that the world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction.

 

Climate change is already impacting sharks

Scientists have identified that climate change is altering the bull shark distribution along the east coast of Australia.

 

Climate change is making marine species migrate towards the poles faster than those on land

Rising temperatures, shifts in precipitation patterns, and changes in vegetations, all direct effects of a warmer world, are changing the range and distribution of many species – they are now forced flee from their normal habitats to find more suitable places.

 

Wild animals kill more people than COVID-19 in Zimbabwe

Resource competition between growing human and wildlife populations is a major cause of conflict, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

 

Brazil’s native bees are vital for agriculture, but are being killed by it

Food production based on monoculture and heavy on pesticide use is threatening native bee populations.

 

Berta Cáceres was exceptional. Her murder was all too commonplace

Nina Lakhani

The powerful forces behind the death of the Honduran indigenous leader are still targeting human rights defenders and environmental campaigners like her.

Maelor Himbury

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