Daily Links Aug 12

Will there ever be a day when the environment and those who seek to protect it will have a fair fight against developers and governments in their thrall, or perhaps I could say, pockets? Delegating federal oversight for approvals and regulation to the states is a retrograde step and shouldn’t occur, particularly when there are international treaties in play. And while we’re at it, strengthen the EPBC Act.

Post of the Day 

Microplastics have moved into virtually every crevice on Earth 

A collection of new research provides more clues about where and how microplastics are spreading. 


On This Day 

Aug 12 


Ecological Observance 

World Elephant Day 

Glorious Twelfth – UK 


Coronavirus Watch 

Confirmed cases: 21,713. Deaths: 331 


Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin 

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess. 


Climate Change 

Collapsed Arctic ice shelf adds ‘exclamation point’ to dire climate trends, say scientists 

The loss of the St. Patrick’s Bay ice caps, located on Ellesmere Island, is a warning that “everything is changing up there,” says scientist Mark Serreze. 


Farms can’t save the planet 

U.S. senators, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and the agribusiness lobby are pushing the dangerous myth that carbon storage in American farmland will stave off climate catastrophe. 



Covid Commission advised Morrison to underwrite gas pipelines, but ignored green jobs 

Chair of Morrison’s handpicked Covid-19 advisory body confirms it wants taxpayer support directed to new gas infrastructure, while ignoring green opportunities. 


Rivers in the sky – the rare weather event delivering massive rainfall to Australia 

A rare pair of atmospheric rivers have formed off Australia’s east and west coasts, channelling more water than 600 Murray Rivers from the tropics to southern states. 


Labor warms to gas plan put to Morrison government 

Federal help would be offered to new gas projects to boost energy supplies to industry and consumers in a contentious plan that has gained early support from key figures in Labor and the Coalition. 


Economic saviour or white elephant? What COVID-19 can teach us about delivering big infrastructure projects 

Governments are banking on infrastructure projects to help the Australian economy recover from the coronavirus recession, but not everyone is convinced it will be worthwhile. 


Gas-led recovery won’t amount to much: Garnaut [$] 

The gas led COVID-19 recovery will be handicapped by high east coast gas prices says Ross Garnaut, who has taken his ZEN Energy back from Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel. 


Ken Henry got it wrong on climate wars, mining tax [$] 

The former Minerals Council boss, breaks his silence about supporting a price on carbon and opposing the mining super profits tax. 


Joel Fitzgibbon backs gas projects [$] 

Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has offered the Morrison government bipartisan support for taxpayer backing of gas projects in a move that will cause anger within opposition ranks. 


The truth about plastic packaging and recycling 

Last night’s ABC Four Corners program, ‘Plastic Wars’ reiterates what the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has been calling out for years – packaging design in Australia needs an urgent overhaul and producers must be held responsible for the products they make. 


AEMO’s Integrated System Plan: Does it leave Snowy 2.0 high and dry? 

Bruce Mountain And Steven Percy 

Is Snowy 2.0 viable? AEMO’s latest 20 year blueprint suggests the multi-billion dollar pumped hydro scheme will be used a lot less than claimed. 


What’s next for Labor on climate? 

Tim Cornwall  

The Labor Party is now at a fork in the road with their energy and climate policy: an ambitious renewable energy policy platform, or, protecting jobs while seeing fossil fuel to its inevitable demise 


Illogical to use taxpayer funds for new gas fields 

SMH editorial 

The COVID-19 business advisory council has failed to create a compelling case for a “gas-led” but taxpayer-funded recovery plan. 


More than a decade after the 2020 Summit, Australia is at a ‘fork in the road’ 

Will Steffen 

If there was ever a time for a national conversation – and for our political leaders to listen and understand what Australians are thinking, feeling and aspiring for – it is now. 



Anger as state rejects calls to pause controversial gas project 

Federal minister and local MP Greg Hunt said he was ‘deeply disappointed at the Victorian government’s position’ on AGL’s proposed gas-import terminal at Western Port. 


Data shows drastic Vic traffic decline 

Melbourne’s stage-four lockdown has seen a major fall in travel by foot, car or public transport. 


340,000 Melburnians have little or no parkland within 5km of their home 

Ali Lakhani et al 

Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown forbids residents travelling more than 5km from home during their daily hour of exercise. Fine for those in leafy suburbs, but not for those with less greenery nearby. 


New South Wales 

ClimateClever initiative for Mosman 

Council has partnered with ClimateClever to offer residents and local schools a 12 month subscription to the ClimateClever app for half the standard subscription fee. 


Narrabri Gas Project would drive up energy prices, pro renewables group says 

However, Santos has dismissed this claim, with its chief executive saying gas and renewables had to “coexist to deliver the energy security and reliability that our society demands”. 


NSW makes pitch for hydrogen leadership 

Sydney will host the largest renewable gas trial in the Australia after the Berejiklian government approved NSW’s first hydrogen gas facility. 


Sydney dams start to spill after a saturated six months 

Multiple big rain events have filled up Sydney’s reservoirs, with more to come. 


Brumby brawl: Ministers at war over looming horse cull [$] 

Wild horses are dragging John Barilaro and Matt Kean deeper into a bitter feud with the Deputy Premier blasting the Environment Minister for being “ignorant and a “poster boy” for the green movement . 


Snow Job: why the cover-up over Snowy Hydro 2.0? 

Callum Foote 

The National Parks Association of NSW and ex-Energy Australia chair Ted Woodley are considering a legal challenge to the $10 billion Snowy 2.0, which they say will push back the transition to renewable energy and destroy thousands of hectares of national park, in light of the fact that the whole project hinges on a 30-year-old report. which is being kept secret. 



Bundaberg council considers 100MW solar farm proposed for Isis River 

Plans to build a 100MW solar farm, with the option to add battery storage, submitted to the Regional Bundaberg Council. 


Developer lobbied Frydenberg to de-list area of wetland for Queensland’s Toondah Harbour complex 

Exclusive: Walker Corporation says de-listing area of wetlands, which are a critical migratory bird habitat, was of ‘urgent national interest’ 


Rogue LNP backbencher crosses the floor over mining rehabilitation laws 

A Queensland MP has crossed the floor of Parliament for the first time in three years. 


State’s high cost of going off the rails [$] 

Courier Mail editorial 

All the tracks in the evolving scandal about how the Government ignored expert advice on the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project lead to a single figure – Jackie Trad. However, this time the failure and the requirement to learn from it falls squarely at the feet of the Premier. 


South Australia 

Asbestos removalist who ‘lost the plot’ avoids jail over assault on environment officers 

SA waste removalist Gavin Piller receives a suspended sentence for assaulting two environment protection officers, as his company is fined $49,000 for illegally storing more than 17 tonnes of asbestos. 


Gupta goes solo on solar [$] 

A split into two heavyweights in renewable power will fast-track competition for consumers as well as the big projects crucial to the global strategy of the Whyalla revival. 


Battle to save animals on the brink at Outback reserve [$] 

Conservationists are battling to save animals at an Outback reserve from the effects of the worst drought in recent memory, and have received a funding boost to redouble their efforts. 


$500m wind farm creates jobs in Spencer Gulf region [$] 

The $500 million third stage of the Lincoln Gap Wind Farm will see another 42 turbines popping up in the Upper Spencer Gulf region, creating work for people during construction along with permanent roles. 



Northern Tas marketplace for the circular economy 

Northern Tasmanian businesses and councils are now able to divert tonnes of waste product from landfill via a website described as ‘Tinder for waste’. 


Scientists devised a cheap, ingenious trick to save this bird from a blood-sucking maggot – and it works brilliantly 

Fernanda Alves and Dejan Stojanovic 

The moment a chick hatches from its egg, maggots burrow into its skin to drink its blood, usually killing it. But scientists have found a way to stop the blood-sucking parasites. 


Western Australia 

Fears Fremantle will lose ‘heart and soul’ if port moves to Kwinana 

Plans to build a new container port in Perth’s industrial south spark criticism over the potential environmental impacts on the nearby waterway and raised fears Fremantle could lose its “heart and soul” if its port shuts shop. 


One of WA’s biggest ever conservation communications campaigns launched to protect Exmouth Gulf 

Beautiful Ningaloo – one of WA’s biggest ever conservation communications campaigns – kicked off today with a series of major print, radio and online advertisements, and the mass distribution of postcards across Perth. 


WA urged against adopting ‘broken’ environmental approvals system 

The WA government should not rush to adopt a broken system as it looks to streamline environmental approvals, an environmental group has warned. 


Search on for alternative gas if Chevron shuts plant [$] 

The WA Government is working on ways to keep gas flowing south from the Pilbara if Gorgon’s domestic plant is forced offline. 


BHP urges more power for Indigenous groups after Rio cave blast disaster 

The nation’s largest miner, BHP, says Indigenous groups should have a greater say over projects endangering significant sites on their ancestral land following Rio Tinto’s destruction of 46,000-year-old rock shelters in Western Australia. 


JS Jacques can’t blame predecessors for Juukan Gorge debacle [$] 

Joe Aston 

At last Friday’s hearing of the Australian Parliament’s enquiry into the destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves by mining giant Rio Tinto, the grovelling apologies of the company’s chief executive, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, were odiously hollow. 



Poverty alleviation efforts are shaping the success of environmental targets 

Social protection programs can facilitate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but can also create trade-offs across divergent social and environmental goals that can undermine their effectiveness, say the authors of new research published in the journal PNAS. This is one of the largest studies on the sustainability implications of social protection, funded by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at The University of Sheffield. 


Breakthrough technology purifies water using the power of sunlight 

A research team, led by Australia’s Monash University, has been able to transform brackish water and seawater into safe, clean drinking water in less than 30 minutes using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and sunlight. 


Powerhouses: nanotechnology turns bricks into batteries 

Research could pave way for cheap supercapacitor storage of renewable energy 


The six-letter acronym making ethical investing mainstream 

A six-letter acronym is transforming ethical investing in superannuation from a niche, token strategy into the mainstream. ESG ETF: environmental, social and governance exchange-traded funds. 


Organic diets quickly reduce the amount of glyphosate in people’s bodies 

Eating an organic diet rapidly and significantly reduces exposure to glyphosate—the world’s most widely-used weed killer, which has been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and other harmful impacts, according to a new study. 


Microplastics have moved into virtually every crevice on Earth 

A collection of new research provides more clues about where and how microplastics are spreading. 


Parks and green spaces are important for our mental health – but we need to make sure that everyone can benefit 

Wendy Masterton et al 

We know that spending time in nature is good for physical and mental well-being, but social inequality means not everyone has easy access to parks, gardens and woodland. 


Where can you be safe in this world? Maybe we’re asking the wrong question 

Jane Rawson  

The overarching project of my life has been making myself safe. But what is the point if everyone else is drowning and burning and starving? 


Climate explained: why does geothermal electricity count as renewable? 

Susan Krumdieck 

Geothermal reservoirs supply more than 15% of New Zealand’s electricity. The heat energy stored in geothermal fields is vast but not infinite. 


Nature Conservation 

Land-use change disrupts wild plant pollination on a global scale 

Human changes to the environment have been linked to widespread pollinator declines. New research published in Nature Communications shows that intensive land use will further decrease pollination and reproductive success of wild plants, especially of those plants that are highly specialized in their pollination. 


Forest growth in drier climates will be impacted by reduced snowpack, PSU study finds 

A new study suggests that future reductions in seasonal snowpack as a result of climate change may negatively influence forest growth in semi-arid climates, but less so in wetter climates 


Huge wildfire controlled in Kenya after two days burning 

Fires broke out at Tsavo West National Park, Mgeno and Lumo conservancies on Saturday afternoon, according to local news. 


Indigenous property rights protect the Amazon rainforest 

One way to cut back on deforestation in the Amazon rainforest – and help in the global fight against climate change – is to grant more of Brazil’s indigenous communities full property rights to tribal lands. 


‘Insect apocalypse’ may not be happening in US 

Long-term ecological site study shows no net insect changes 


Sharks contaminated with plastic are ‘cause for concern’ 

A new study in Scientific Reports investigated microplastic ingestion in four species of demersal sharks found in the North Atlantic Ocean. 


Bees slower, sicker and living shorter lives because of air pollution, study suggests 

Breathing toxic fumes due to exposure to heavily polluted air is one of the key contributors to early death all around the world, exacerbating risks posed by lung and heart conditions. 


Alarm as pesticides spur rapid decline of US bird species 

Popular pesticides are causing bird species to decline at an alarming rate in the US, adding fuel to a 50-year downward trend in bird biodiversity, a new report has found. 


For species that rely on wind, climate change won’t be a breeze 

Plants that depend on wind for pollination or seed dispersal may face challenges as warming temperatures force species to shift their ranges, according to a new study. 


‘The Amazon is the vagina of the world’: why women are key to saving Brazil’s forests 

Indigenous leader Célia Xakriabá and Vagina Monologues author V discuss Brazil’s biodiversity crisis and why this is the century of the indigenous woman. 


Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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