Daily Links Jul 9

Our emissions are so small that Australia moving away from carbon based energy will make little difference, say the fossil fools in the Australian Government and their News Corp boosters. This article, pointing out our number one fossil fuel export status, gives a lie to Australia’s insignificance to global climate change.

Post of the Day

Passing the pollution: Australia becomes world’s biggest exporter of fossil fuels

Australia is now the  biggest exporter of climate change, leading the world in selling fossil fuels, a new report reveals.

 

On This Day

Jul 9

 

Ecological Observance

Arbor Day – Cambodia

National Tree Day – Mexico

 

Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases:. 8,886 Deaths: 106

 

Is the airborne route a major source of coronavirus transmission?

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, one question that keeps coming up is whether COVID-19 can be transmitted through the air.

 

Victoria was a slow boiling frog before lockdown — but there’s another tactic that can further stop the spread

Mary-Louise McLaws

We know many people pick up the virus in their own homes from another family member, even if the infected individual isolates in one room. The best option is to relocate

 

Why are masks not yet mandatory in Australia?

Jeremy Howard and Nick Talley

Masks could be the difference between success and failure in controlling the pandemic and saving the economy.

 

Climate Change

There’s no quick fix for climate change

It could take decades before cuts to greenhouse gases actually affect global temperatures, according to a new study.

 

The law that could make climate change illegal

One of the most robust laws on climate change yet has been created in Denmark. Can legislation really make failing to act on climate change illegal?

 

Climate woes growing for women, hit by displacement and migration

Extreme weather and rising seas are increasing the burden of work, ill-health and violence faced by women who are forced to leave home or left behind as menfolk seek jobs elsewhere.

 

National

State ministers say ARENA funding vital as priorities pivot to hydrogen and storage

State energy ministers call for ARENA funding to be extended, recognising ongoing need for new energy innovations.

 

Passing the pollution: Australia becomes world’s biggest exporter of fossil fuels

Australia is now the  biggest exporter of climate change, leading the world in selling fossil fuels, a new report reveals.

 

Energy industry help for customers in lockdown

With households and businesses continuing to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Victoria, the Australian Energy Council wants the community to know help is available.

 

Top super fund dumps coal miners as emissions cuts intensify

Australia’s second-largest superannuation fund is preparing to dump its shares in companies that derive more than 10 per cent of their revenue from thermal coal mining as it embarks on the most aggressive immediate climate push of any large local investor.

 

Federal government’s defence strategy update the weakest on climate in a decade

Cheryl Durrant

As somebody who held a senior position at Defence until very recently, the latest strategy update is incredibly disheartening to read. It barely mentions one of Australia’s greatest security…

 

Birdwatching increased tenfold last lockdown. Don’t stop, it’s a huge help for bushfire recovery

Ayesha Tulloch et al

In April, BirdLife Australia survey numbers jumped to 2,242. That’s a tenfold increase from 241 in April last year.

 

Victoria

Accused toxic fire polluter avoids court appearance because of pandemic

A man linked to one of the worst industrial fires in Melbourne’s recent history has avoided court after being charged with amassing a huge illegal stockpile of chemical waste that sparked the blaze and the environmental contamination it caused.

 

New South Wales

Hope for endangered butterfly as Central Tablelands caterpillars dig deep to survive fires

There’s hope for an endangered species of butterfly found only in the Central Tablelands, as scientists confirm clever caterpillars of the purple copper butterfly may have buried themselves underground to shelter from last summer’s bushfires.

 

Our field cameras melted in the bushfires. When we opened them, the results were startling

Benjamin Scheele et al

After the bushfires, we went looking for endangered corroboree frogs. Normally, they respond to our calls. But at some sites, the ponds were silent.

 

ACT

Electric cars to be plugged into power grid in hope of protecting Australia against blackouts

Fifty one vehicles in Canberra will be part of a trial — the first of its kind in Australia — to gauge how well car batteries can stabilise the electricity network against damaging surges.

 

‘Astounded’: Community council calls for ban on waste centres at Fyshwick as recycling facility moves ahead [$]

Residents in Canberra’s inner south have called for a ban on future waste centres in Fyshwick, after the ACT government announced controversial plans for a new recycling centre could progress to the next stage.

 

Queensland

[New solar farm] means 300 renewables jobs for Gladstone

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has welcomed international investment in the 300-megawatt Rodds Bay Solar Farm, 50 kilometres south of Gladstone, which is expected to create more than 300 construction jobs.

 

Beautiful one day, crawling with ants and spiders the next

As if the pandemic threat isn’t causing enough trepidation about being out and about, nature is throwing down added challenges with the Gold Coast facing an infestation of fire ants and a new group of trapdoor spiders unmasked in Brisbane.

 

Gladstone delivers double energy boost with green light for gas, solar projects

Central Queensland’s energy sector has been boosted with a gas joint venture awarded two petroleum leases and a planned $350 million solar farm near Gladstone farm winning backing from a UK investment and venture capital group.

 

Adani sticks to huge jobs forecast as activists vow more disruption

Adani has confirmed coal production at its Carmichael coal mine will begin next year and that it was on track to create 1500 direct jobs and 6750 indirect jobs after it granted a contract for a coal handling plant to Mackay’s G&S Engineering.

 

Pro-coal Labor MPs demand Acland mine action [$]

Two senior federal Labor MPs have urged their Queensland counterparts to approve a stalled extension to the New Acland coalmine by the New Hope Group before it slashes more jobs.

 

Collinsville power station at risk ‘without bigger grant’ [$]

The company proposing a new coal-fired power station in central Queensland has told the Morrison government its project could be in jeopardy unless it receives more taxpayer funds.

 

South Australia

Government continues support for Maralinga

The Government will invest $2.5 million to support Traditional Owner aspirations and ensure the ongoing health and safety of people and the environment at Maralinga, South Australia.

 

“A native title system in crisis”: Marshall calls for evidence to spark judicial review

A group of Aboriginal and community leaders is calling for a “royal commission” into the native title system in South Australia – and Premier Steven Marshall says he is “prepared to consider any evidence” to justify a potential judicial review.

 

Cash injection to help save our coastline, wildlife [$]

The southern coastline and a declining bird population will be the big winners from $500,000 in State Government cash.

 

Battery hens: Farm supercharges its green power [$]

A huge farm in the Riverland is cutting its energy demand by two thirds – by setting up a huge Tesla battery in its yard.

 

Free bins to help cut down on household waste [$]

All Campbelltown households will receive free green waste kitchen scrap bins under an upgraded recycling scheme described as a “winner” by the mayor.

 

Tasmania

Passion for protection [$]

Hobart Mercury editorial

Tasmania is known for its pristine wilderness and natural environment. That’s why it’s absolutely impossible to fathom why people are dumping their rubbish in reserves or along roadsides.

 

Northern Territory

Polling shows Territorians want action to protect our Top End Coasts

A recent survey of people living in the Greater Darwin region found that the vast majority (74%) expect the next NT Government to do more to protect the health of our coasts.

 

Environment Minister Sussan Ley serves Parks Australia boss with ‘please explain’ over Kakadu crisis [$]

The man in charge of the troubled Kakadu National Park is expected to hand his response to recent allegations to federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley by this morning.

 

Western Australia

Call to strip Rio Tinto of global ranking [$]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups have called for Rio Tinto to be stripped of its status as a global human rights leader, following the company’s blasting of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sacred site in the Pilbara region.

 

Marcia Langton knocks back Rio Tinto approach [$]

Joe Aston

We wondered last week why Rio Tinto had announced its “board-led review” of “the events at Juukan Gorge” would be led solely by independent non-executive director Michael L’Estrange, when Rio staff were explicitly told in a June 10 internal briefing that a review “with significant board oversight” would be conducted “with an Indigenous leader”.

 

Sustainability

The Osborne Effect: Why new car sales will be all electric in six years

It may take only six years for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to be replaced by electric. Here’s why.

 

Rapid coal phase-out could drive European green recovery: Bloomberg

Decarbonising Europe’s remaining coal-reliant countries could pave the way for a vital green recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Coronavirus slams Poland’s already-troubled coal industry

The virus hot spots, centered in the southern Silesia region, have paralyzed an already-troubled industry, forcing many to stay home from work and triggering a three-week closure of many state-run mines that are only now reopening

 

This Chinese megacity is building a massive car-free district

The breakneck speed of China’s economic and urban growth has gone hand in hand with some of the worst traffic congestion anywhere in the world. But in one city, a new development promises a glimpse of what a car-free future might look like.

 

Environmental activists face high risk of violence and assassination: study

Activists defending their communities against development of extractive industries and land grabs face high rates of criminalization, physical violence and murder around the world, according to a study.

 

How air pollution makes COVID-19 worse

Pollution leads to health problems that can make COVID-19 much more deadly. The disparity in pollution exposes more racial inequality, too.

 

Boron nitride destroys PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals PFOA, GenX

Chemical engineers have discovered a photocatalyst that can destroy 99% of the ‘forever’ chemical PFOA in laboratory tests on polluted water. Researchers showed the boron nitride catalyst also destroys GenX, a PFOA replacement that’s also an environmental problem.

 

Reducing radioactive waste in processes to dismantle nuclear facilities

Margarita Herranz, professor of nuclear engineering at the UPV/EHU, leads one of the working groups in the Europe H2020 INSIDER project. The project aims to improve the management of contaminated materials by designing a methodology which allows the best scenarios in the dismantling, closing down and remediation of nuclear facilities to be specified and selected; the ultimate aim is for the waste to be properly characterised and for its storage and disposal routes to be clearly identified.

 

Purifying water with the help of wood, bacteria and the sun

According to the United Nations, about one-fifth of the world’s population lives in areas where water is scarce. Therefore, technologies to produce clean water from undrinkable sources, such as seawater, river or lake water, and contaminated water, are urgently needed. Now, researchers reporting in Nano Letters have developed a wood-based steam generator that, with the help of bacterial-produced nanomaterials, harnesses solar energy to purify water.

 

Record efficiency for printed solar cells

A new study reports the highest efficiency ever recorded for full roll-to-roll printed perovskite solar cells. It marks a key step towards cheaper and more efficient ways of generating solar energy.

 

We need to focus on regenerative organic agriculture to improve human health

Jeff Moyer

Our health will remain in danger until we make a major change and paradigm shift.

 

Back to church, but not, let’s hope, back to normal

Bill McKibben

One way to think about this pause in our lives is as a rare—likely a once-in-a-lifetime—opportunity for a reset.

 

Nature Conservation

Hungarian President calls on Ukraine, Romania to stop polluting rivers

Hungary’s president called on Ukraine and Romania to stop polluting two major rivers that flow across Hungary after floods in the past weeks brought in “dirty carpets” of plastic bottles from its neighbours.

 

Research finds fishing gear a major source of ocean microplastics in Atlantic Canada

Researchers studying the quantity of microplastics in the ocean in Atlantic Canada say some of the major sources of the puny pieces of plastic come from fishing gear and single-use plastics.

 

Will climate change upend projections of future forest growth?

New research indicates that elevated CO2 concentrations do not necessarily boost forests and that higher temperatures could reduce tree growth.

 

Tackling coral reefs’ thorny problem: Crown-of-thorns starfish

Researchers have revealed the evolutionary history of the crown-of-thorns starfish — a predator of coral that can devastate coral reefs. Their findings shed light on how the populations of these starfish have changed over time and could potentially help reduce their ecological destruction.

 

Stress testing ‘coral in a box’

In order to effectively protect coral reef habitats, it is important to identify which corals and reef sites are more resistant and thus have a greater chance of survival. For this purpose, the research team led by Konstanz biologist Professor Christian Voolstra developed a rapid stress test to assess coral thermotolerance.

 

“Protect 30% of the planet for nature,” scientists urge in new report

A new report entitled, “Protecting 30% of the planet for nature: costs, benefits, and economic implications,” represents the first multi-sector analysis that assesses the global impacts of terrestrial and marine protected areas across the nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors.

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