Daily Links Sep 15

Off list with this. Well, the gas-led recovery is coming to pass, just as we feared. Can you imagine a more backward-looking cabal of ideologically-driven environmental vandals as those now in office in Canberra? When given a chance to start work on the future, they turn their backs. Yep, I’m quite angry about this. 

Post of the Day 

How civil wars affect wildlife populations 

A new study comprehensively reveals how civil wars impact wildlife in countries affected by conflict. Researchers found that the main impacts of civil wars on native mammals are often indirect, ultimately arising from institutional and socio-economic changes, rather than from direct military tactics. 


On This Day 

September 15 


Ecological Observance 

International Red Panda Day 

Greenpeace Day 


Coronavirus Watch 

Today’s Update 


COVID-19 causes widening inequality for children worldwide 

Save the Children has conducted the largest global survey of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared    


Climate Change 

Greenland glacier loses 110 square kilometres’ worth of ice 

A chunk of Greenland’s ice cap, estimated to be 110 square kilometres, has broken off in the far north-east Arctic. 


Is San Francisco’s nightmarish echo of Sydney’s summer now a template for fire seasons to come? 

Just as in Australia, landscape along the US west coast has evolved to withstand fire. But precedents are collapsing all around us 


Sea of Slush: Arctic sea ice lows mark a new polar climate regime 

At the edge of the ice blanketing part of the Arctic Ocean, the ice on Monday looked sickly. Where thick sheets of ice once sat atop the water, now a layer of soft, spongey slush slid and bobbed atop the waves. 


Fires show climate change an existential threat, says Biden 

Dense smog from US bushfires that have burnt more than 2 million hectares and killed 31 people smothers the West Coast, as presidential challenger Joe Biden warns climate change is becoming an existential issue. 


Climate change triggers migration, particularly in middle-income countries 

Environmental hazards affect populations worldwide and can drive migration under specific conditions. Changes in temperature levels, increased rainfall variability, and rapid-onset disasters, such as tropical storms, are important factors as shown by a new study. Environmental migration is most pronounced in middle-income and agricultural countries but weaker in low-income countries, where populations often lack resources needed for migration. 



Pelicans from Perth join the migratory birds party in Murray-Darling Basin 

A UNSW scientist analyses more than 200 feathers sent from across the country to find 60 per cent of Australia’s waterbirds rely upon the Murray-Darling Basin. 


Coronavirus ’will test abilities’ of volunteers this summer, bushfires boss warns 

Australia’s bushfire response is expected to be dented by the coronavirus pandemic, with emergency agencies fearing volunteer numbers will dry up and fatigue may set in. 


Philanthropic foundation dreams of extinguishing all bushfires ‘within an hour’ with high-tech help 

Modelling would predict where dangerous blazes could occur across Australia so firefighting planes and helicopters could be deployed in advance 


Government welcomes Senate Committee report on Radioactive Waste Bill 

On 28 February 2020, the Australian Senate referred the provisions of the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics for inquiry and report. 


Government to use $52.9m funding to unlock more gas for domestic market 

Scott Morrison is championing a ‘gas-led recovery’ from economic shock of pandemic as booming LNG industry leads to increasing emissions 


New Labor manifesto drops emissions targets for 2030 [$] 

Anthony Albanese has been given the green light to go to the next election without specific climate change targets for 2030, under an ALP draft policy platform that outlines plans to turn Australia into a “renewable energy superpower”. 


Unisuper members brace for climate policy shift as pressure mounts 

Unisuper members are bracing for an overhaul of the $80 billion fund’s approach to climate change after facing sustained pressure from academics and university professionals to divest holdings in fossil fuel producing companies. 


First stretch of major Melbourne-Brisbane rail project complete [$] 

The first part of the long-awaited rail line stretching through Sydney, running from Melbourne to Brisbane will be finished on Tuesday. 


Smelters could lead switch to renewables by acting as giant batteries 

Instead of closing Australia’s loss-making, high pollution aluminium smelters, these smelters can be rapidly transformed to run on renewable electricity. 


Milestone: Australia’s main grid reaches 25 pct renewables over last year 

A bright spot in a dark year: Australia’s main grid reaches 25 per cent share of renewable energy over the last 12 months. 


How bushfires and rain turned our waterways into ‘cake mix’, and what we can do about it 

Paul McInerney 

As the world watched the Black Summer bushfires in horror, we warned that when it did finally rain, our aquatic ecosystems would be devastated. 


Security, sovereignty and the sweet smell of petrol [$] 

Bernard Keane 

Australia doesn’t have a fuel security problem, but there will be few voices raised in objection to some old-fashioned protectionism about petrol supplies. 


Fuel security is a national imperative [$] 

Canberra Times editorial 

For many Australians the Federal government’s plans to spend $211 million building some very large fuel tanks, and on subsidies for local oil refineries, will mean very little. 


Morrison government threatens to use Snowy Hydro to build gas generator, as it outlines ‘gas-fired recovery’ plan 

Michelle Grattan 

The Morrison government has threatened to use Snowy Hydro to build a gas generator in the Hunter Valley if the electricity sector fails to fill the gap left by the scheduled closure of the Liddell power plant in 2023. 


PM to use ‘energy week’ to reset focus on the recovery [$] 

Phillip Coorey 

If there is one common denominator this week, it is the need for self-sufficiency that has been reinforced by the coronavirus. 


AustralianSuper loads up on Coronado Coal [$] 

Joe Aston 

AustralianSuper, the nation’s largest superannuation fund with $180 billion under management, maintains a somewhat ambiguous position on the vexed issue of coal mining. 


Pipeline chief fuels hopes of east-west gas link [$] 

Ticky Fullerton 

Mick McCormack says he’d rather help to grow a company than just ‘sit around a board table wondering what’s going on’. 





New South Wales 

We will build it if you don’t: Federal Government preparing to build a gas plant in Hunter Valley 

With the coal-fired Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley due to shut down in 2023, the Federal Government is worried there will not be enough dispatchable power, given the sector’s focus on building wind and solar farms. 


Nationals MP backed tougher koala habitat protection during inquiry 

A Nationals MP on an inquiry into koalas backed findings that habitat had to be conserved, raising questions over why his party threatened the government over the issue. 


Barilaro failed to respond to koala protection concessions from Stokes 

Deputy Premier John Barilaro was offered a slew of concessions by Planning Minister Rob Stokes over NSW’s contested planning policy aimed at preserving koala habitat. 


Gladys Berejiklian owns up to koala ‘flaws’ [$] 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian privately admitted there were flaws with the koala protection policies causing division within her government, citing property rights of landholders as a concern during her meeting with Deputy Premier John Barilaro last week. 


Stop-work risk over ‘toxic cocktail’ at $17bn motorway [$] 

Construction on the $17bn WestConnex motorway in Sydney could come to a halt after dozens of workers on the major infrastructure project were exposed to a “toxic cocktail of poisonous chemicals” including asbestos, ­silica dust and lead. 


I worked for the NSW government and I’ve seen Barilaro’s tactics before 

Tim Beshara  

The Deputy Premier should be aware that appearing to be anti-environmental can play out very badly. 


The bush can’t bear it as lefties ignite koala war [$] 

Alan Jones 

By putting koalas over constituents, the Berejiklian government has again dudded voters who are hurting in the bush — and if they don’t make it right, they’ll be gone. 


If the people of NSW keep electing koala hating monsters they will all be gone by 2050 

First Dog on the Moon 

All that koala habitat that burned during the bushfires – should we let it grow back? Hell no! 



ACT election 2020: Liberals promise city-wide network of dedicated cycling paths by 2030 [$] 

A city-wide network of dedicated off-road cycling paths would be constructed in the next decade under the Canberra Liberals’ latest election promise. 



Resource exploration funding boost would pay COVID-19 recovery dividend for Queensland 

The Queensland Resources Council is urging the State Government to commit extra funding from its $3 billion COVID-19 stimulus package to a collaborative program to boost exploration for new resource discoveries. 


The first step to conserving the Great Barrier Reef is understanding what lives there 

Tom Bridge et al 

Our new study examined the traditional ideas of coral species and their evolutionary relationships using “phylogenomics” – comparing thousands of DNA sequences across coral species. 


South Australia 

Port Pirie fishing banned amid contamination fears [$] 

If you enjoy dangling a line in the waters off Port Pirie, you’re going to need to find a new fishing spot for the next 12 months. 


South Australia solar power reaches 94 pct of state demand on Sunday 

Solar power contributes 94 per cent of South Australia’s state demand at midday on Sunday, as state government looks to use electric vehicles as a “solar sponge”. 


Critical mass in Canberra puts nuclear dump in doubt [$] 

Plans for a nuclear waste dump in the South Australian outback could still be derailed as opposition against laws clearing its path run into opposition from multiple political players. 


Yorke Peninsula fishers seek assurances over seaweed farm ‘game changer’ 

Whiting stocks in the eastern Spencer Gulf must not be affected by what the SA Government hopes will be a “game-changing industry” in seaweed farming, locals warn, despite welcoming the idea of more jobs. 


No consensus on [radioactive] waste dump plan 

ACF media release 

The lack of broad support for Federal Government plans for a national radioactive waste dump at Kimba on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has been exposed today in a new Senate report. 



Greens accuse Minister of misleading public over Styx [$] 

Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett had misled the public when he claimed there were no plans to harvest timber near the Styx Road, in the Upper Derwent Valley, the Greens say. 


Northern Territory 

Beetaloo chosen as first of five Federal Govt gas basin projects to lead Australia’s economic recovery [$] 

THE Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin will get top priority as the first of five strategic basin plans the Morrison government earmarks for delivery to spearhead a gas-fired recovery for Australia. 


National Parks on sacred site charge [$] 

The Northern Territory Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority is prosecuting the federal director of National Parks over works allegedly done illegally on a sacred site near one of northern Australia’s most well-known tourism hot spots, Gunlom Falls in Kakadu. 


Western Australia 

Clarke Energy, Alinta Energy reach agreement on upgraded power station 

Clarke Energy Australia has been advised on an agreement with Alinta Energy to upgrade a power station in Western Australia. 


Rio set to mine WA talent after Juukan Gorge disaster [$] 

Rio Tinto is likely to boost staff numbers in WA as pressure mounts on the London-headquartered mining giant to focus more resources on the area from which it derives the majority of its earnings. 


Investors teamed up to roast Rio over rock shelter blast, warn departures are first step 

A group of 11 investors ramped up pressure on Rio Tinto’s board before the removal of CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques. 


A shift to 90 per cent renewables in the West would create 5,000 jobs a year 

New report finds transitioning Western Australia to 90% renewables by 2030 would create an average of 5,000 jobs a year – even during an economic slump. 



More can be done to ensure a green recovery from COVID-19 crisis 

Many countries are making “green” recovery measures a central part of stimulus packages to drive sustainable, inclusive, resilient economic growth and improve well-being in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. However some countries are also implementing measures that risk having a negative environmental impact and locking in unsustainable growth, according to new OECD analysis discussed by member country ministers today. 


Investors that manage US$47tn demand world’s biggest polluters back plan for net-zero emissions 

Climate Action 100+ group put 161 fossil fuel, mining, transport and other big-emitting companies on notice in latest campaign by shareholders 


3 keys to meaningful work: an employer who cares about the environment, society and you 

Mehran Nejati and Azadeh Shafaei 

We spend, on average, about 90,000 hours at work. Given this, most of us want work that’s more than just a source of income. We want work that’s satisfying, significant, valuable. Work, in other words, that is meaningful. 


Nature Conservation 

Burned jaguars, fire tornadoes: Blazes in Brazil wetland deliver climate warning 

A fire has been burning since mid-July in the remote wetlands of west-central Brazil, leaving in its wake a vast charred desolation bigger than New York City. 


Salvagers mend ruptures in fire-hit oil tanker off Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka has initiated repair work on the ruptured fuel oil tank in the engine room of a stricken fully loaded oil supertanker after plugging the leak, the country’s Navy said. 


‘Lost decade for nature’ as UK fails on 17 of 20 UN biodiversity targets 

UK government said it failed on two-thirds of targets, but RSPB analysis is bleaker – and suggests UK is moving backwards in some areas 


China’s 40-year, billion-tree project is a lesson for the world [$] 

NASA satellite images confirm that the planet’s second biggest economy is a leader for afforestation, but its green mission hasn’t come without problems. 


How civil wars affect wildlife populations 

A new study comprehensively reveals how civil wars impact wildlife in countries affected by conflict. Researchers found that the main impacts of civil wars on native mammals are often indirect, ultimately arising from institutional and socio-economic changes, rather than from direct military tactics. 


Comedy Wildlife Photography awards 2020 finalists – in pictures 

Take a look at some of the light-hearted images of wildlife submitted by finalists from this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography awards 


Painting wind turbines black could help protect birds – if it doesn’t disrupt their migration 

Jethro George Gauld 

We should paint more wind turbines black but mainly to find out how birds respond to them. 

Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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