Daily Links Sep 24

Klaus, capitalists donate to put and keep governments in their pockets and ensure that regulation doesn’t occur. To reform capitalism, we must first work on our political processes, limit donations, bring in transparency and real-time reporting and establish an integrity commission with sharp teeth.

Post of the Day 

Why ignoring biodiversity loss is an increasingly risky business 

Megan Evans 

Last September, fires had already begun burning in Queensland and New South Wales. 

 

On This Day 

September 24 

Feast of Saint Rupert – Austria 

Our Lady of Mercy Day – Dominican Republic 

 

Ecological Observance 

World Maritime Day 

 

Coronavirus Watch 

Today’s Update 

 

5 things the pandemic has revealed about the Australian psyche 

Jayashri Kulkarni 

The pandemic has exposed some truths about human psychology and behaviour. 

 

It’s a man’s (pandemic) world: how policies compound the pain for women in the age of COVID-19 

Chris Wallace 

COVID-19 times have brought sober realisations about deep shifts in Australian society. Encroaching steadily over the past half-century, these have been largely submerged from daily view, until now. 

 

Climate Change 

China, the world’s top global emitter, aims to go carbon-neutral by 2060 

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country will aim to stop contributing to climate change by 2060 despite heavily relying on coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels, for electricity. 

 

Thirty countries have pledged to achieve climate neutrality. Australia is not one of them 

Australia and the United States are among the world’s largest polluting countries that have not committed to reaching net-zero emissions. 

 

Uncovering new understanding of Earth’s carbon cycle 

A new study is examining the Earth’s carbon cycle in new depth, using diamonds as breadcrumbs of insight into some of Earth’s deepest geologic mechanisms. 

 

Melting Antarctic ice will raise sea level by 2.5 metres – even if Paris climate goals are met, study finds 

Research says melting will continue even if temperature rises are limited to 2C 

 

From carbon taxes to tax breaks, emission reduction policies have widespread support in US 

As the general election nears amid a historic season of hurricanes, wildfires, and heat waves, a new survey finds that majorities of Americans are supportive of climate change mitigation measures. This suggests that policymakers can introduce legislation that would enjoy public approval–including a green stimulus package to help deal with the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. 

 

Study shows impact of climate change on Neotropical freshwater ecosystems 

Researchers from six countries in the Americas explored bromeliad microcosms, showing how drought and flood affect the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, especially at the bottom of the food chain. 

 

National 

Climate change action stymied by Australian business lobby, UK think tank finds 

Big business and mining lobby groups are the main cause of Australian inaction on climate change, a UK think tank argues in a new report. 

 

‘Short-sighted’: Mark Butler says no room for gas in Australia’s future prosperity 

Coal and gas won’t play any part in Australia’s future prosperity, Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler has declared in a speech that threatens to stoke growing divisions within the opposition over climate policy. 

 

Power giant EnergyAustralia urges battery focus in federal plan 

One of the nation’s largest power suppliers says supporting battery installations will be key to Australia’s energy plan. 

 

Australia’s forgotten other ‘Great Reef’ 

The Great Southern Reef might not be as well-known as the Great Barrier Reef, but Australia’s “other” reef is brimming with biodiversity – and has battles of its own. 

 

Accelerating education for the SDGs in universities: A guide for universities, colleges, and tertiary and higher education institutions 

Sustainable Development Solutions Network 

Universities and other higher education institutions have a critical role in helping society achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their research, learning and teaching, campus operations and leadership. 

 

A billion trees promised, not one planted 

Media release – Brian Mitchell MP, Federal Labor Member for Lyons 

Not a single tree of a one-billion-trees promise by the Federal Government has been planted, more than a year after the federal election, MPs were told today at a hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources. 

 

Our toxic legacy: bushfires release decades of pollutants absorbed by forests 

Cynthia Faye Isley and Mark Patrick Taylor 

We know forests absorb carbon dioxide, but, like a sponge, they also soak up years of pollutants from human activity. When bushfires strike, these pollutants are re-released into the air with smoke and ash. 

 

The ‘gas-led recovery’ isn’t economically or environmentally prudent 

Mungo MacCallum 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is endorsing a post-COVID future driven by gas, a move that critics strongly oppose (image by Dan Jensen) 

If Scott Morrison ever went back to his old job of promoting tourism and needed to ramp up the travel industry, he would put his money on blimps. 

 

A policy of the fossil fuel companies, by the fossil fuel companies, for the fossil fuel companies [$] 

Bernard Keane  

The government’s energy policy has been written by fossil fuel companies, to promote the scams of the fossil fuel companies, with taxpayers handing money to fossil fuel companies. 

 

Money for gas: Morrison’s new gas plant could hand money to ICAC’d donors [$] 

Georgia Wilkins  

A cashed-up property developer with ties to the Coalition stands to win from the government’s much-lauded gas plan. 

 

How to escape the Groundhog Day of Australian climate politics 

Marc Hudson 

Culture wars, lies about targets and baselines, support for fossil fuels and naked hostility to renewables: What has changed for the Coalition since 2004? 

 

What will Australia’s gas-led recovery mean for the country’s carbon emissions? 

Michael Slezak 

A gas-led recovery is anathema to conservationists fighting to stop global warming at 2 degrees Celsius, as it could result in hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 being emitted each year 

 

‘We brought the disease’: Will the pandemic shift Australia’s historical imagination? 

Billy Griffiths 

The global story unfolding is not only about microbes; it is also about culture, politics and history. The spread of disease is not without responsibility 

 

Carbon price needed to make energy roadmap believable 

John Hewson  

A genuine emissions trading scheme would give the Technology Roadmap the substance it lacks. 

 

Why ignoring biodiversity loss is an increasingly risky business 

Megan Evans 

Last September, fires had already begun burning in Queensland and New South Wales. 

 

‘The good, the bad and the ugly’: here’s the lowdown on Australia’s low-emissions roadmap 

Llewelyn Hughes and Jorrit Gosens 

“Picking winners” has been anathema to Australian policy-making for decades. The federal government’s technology investment roadmap bucks the trend, targeting public investments in specific low-emissions technologies. 

 

Australia’s great and costly retreat from coal [$] 

Greg Sheridan 

The biggest story of the moment, the biggest structural change in our politics, is that the Morrison government has admitted comprehensive and probably permanent defeat on coal. 

 

The Snowy 2.0 project will pay its way [$] 

Paul Broad 

It’s no surprise that Snowy 2.0 is attracting lots of attention. Lately we have achieved several milestones including environmental and planning approvals and the financial green light to proceed. 

 

Time for PM to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 [$] 

Tom Minear 

With Australia now in the middle of a once-in-a-century recession, Scott Morrison should commit to the nation being carbon neutral by 2050 and use the low emission transition to create as many jobs as possible. 

 

Victoria 

Aboriginal elder denied entry to western Victorian protest sites she started 

An Aboriginal elder who has led a fight to protect trees from a highway project in western Victoria says she is embarrassed by rubbish left at the camps. 

 

Plan to shake up transport fares to drive commuters away from packed trains 

Peak-hour tram and bus fares would be slashed and off-peak travel heavily discounted under a proposed overhaul of public transport ticketing that is designed to entice people away from crowded trains. 

 

Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian fire season: phase 1: Community and sector preparedness for and response to the 2019–20 fire season 

Inspector-General for Emergency Management (Vic) 

Phase one looks at how the State, its agencies and the community responded to the fires. It also touches on the immediate measures taken to relieve people’s suffering. 

 

New South Wales 

‘Astonishing rebuke’ against Barilaro’s logging proposal sparks another koala habitat stoush 

Agreements to change logging rules in New South Wales to better protect animals that survived last summer’s bushfires have been torn up by Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s department and government-owned loggers, sparking yet another inter-government stoush over koala habitat. 

 

Plan ahead to keep our national parks safe Northern Inland 

Ahead of the school holidays and October long weekend, visitors are reminded to plan their trip to NSW National Parks as staff prepare for a busy Spring season. 

 

Greens accuse NSW of ‘blackmailing’ other states on Murray-Darling Basin 

State water minister Melinda Pavey tells a Senate inquiry ‘NSW could not deliver the plan as it currently stands’ 

 

Accelerating evolution: greater bilbies will be ‘trained’ to fear cats 

A decade-long campaign to reintroduce small native marsupials to the wilds of NSW has moved a step closer to its goal. 

 

Newcastle: Leading the way for Australian smart cities 

Paul Budde  

Newcastle’s transformation into one of Australia’s leading smart cities should be an inspiration for others to follow suit. 

 

ACT 

National Seed Bank set to expand to new facility to continue work protecting native plants [$] 

After catastrophic bushfires swept through Namadgi National Park last summer, work behind the scenes is ensuring the ACT’s native plant species aren’t lost in the aftermath. 

 

Queensland 

Genex says flagship pumped hydro project needs more time to lock in partners 

Genex announces another delay to flagship Kidston pumped hydro storage project, as it works to lockdown project finance. 

 

Despite weekend soaking and La Nina hopes, water argument still at boiling point 

The much anticipated La Nina weather system may have stirred this week, bringing rain to parched interior desert country, but it’s little solace for farmers needing water certainty to run a business. 

 

Queensland’s Adani deal that ignited Labor ‘civil war’ drags on 

Deep division in the party over support for coal mining jobs versus environmental protection contributed to Labor’s loss at the last federal election. 

 

Fire ban: Heatwave, strong winds fuel severe danger 

Dry conditions and windy, hot days mean parts of southeast Queensland will face the first fire ban of the bushfire season this week. 

 

Queenslanders ‘left in the dark’ about Government’s multi-million-dollar copper deal 

Peter McCutcheon 

As the state election looms, it’s impossible to underestimate the political importance of the Glencore copper refinery. Located in the middle of three electorates all with marginal seats, the plant has just received an undisclosed Government payment 

 

Tasmania 

Labor supports Liberals in opposing community amendments on Major Projects Bill 

Media release –  Tasmanian Conservation Trust & Planning Matters Alliance  

The controversial Major Projects Bill passed the Legislative Council this evening (Wednesday 23 September 2020) with no significant amendments 

 

Hobart faces growing risk from ember attack [$] 

Anna Reynolds and David Bowman 

Our fire-prone city faces deadly threat from embers flying up to 20km ahead of fire fronts.  

 

Nature is cruel, but thank goodness people aren’t [$] 

Jenna Cairney 

It takes some incredibly special people to persist through the harrowing death cries of hundreds of creatures, fighting an uphill battle to only save a handful of lives. 

 

Western Australia 

Protecting history: how Juukan Gorge could change mining forever 

When Rio Tinto destroyed a 46,000-year-old Indigenous heritage site, the world’s anger took the company by surprise. Now investors are demanding more transparency in how mining companies deal with traditional owners. Lorena Allam and Calla Wahlquist look at what’s changed since Rio blasted Juukan Gorge 

 

‘Twiggy’ refuses to rule out destruction of Aboriginal sacred sites 

Robert Wood  

There are mining companies and then there are mining companies. 

 

Sustainability 

‘Tiny wind turbine’ can collect energy from a walker’s swinging arm 

Researchers say device can generate sustainable power from gentle breeze 

 

Scientists develop forecasting technique that could help advance quest for fusion energy 

An international group of researchers has developed a technique that forecasts how tokamaks might respond to unwanted magnetic errors. These forecasts could help engineers design fusion facilities that create a virtually inexhaustible supply of safe and clean fusion energy to generate electricity. 

 

The end of fossil fuel cars: Tesla battery gains to trigger $30 trillion EV boom 

Giles Parkinson 

Electric vehicle company Tesla on Wednesday fell short of the widely anticipated “million mile battery”, but the gains in costs and efficiency that it did unveil seem certain to trigger some $30 trillion of investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and accelerate the shift from petrol and diesel cars. 

 

The pitchforks are coming if we don’t reform capitalism, says Davos founder 

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, says that if you don’t want a revolution, it’s time to use the government to more strongly regulate businesses, address climate change, and fix income inequality. 

 

How Republicans are trying to use the Green Party to their advantage 

The G.O.P. has sought to help Green Party candidates in previous election cycles to siphon votes from Democrats. This year is no different — but it hasn’t always worked. 

 

Electric cars won’t solve our pollution problems – Britain needs a total transport rethink 

George Monbiot 

All vehicles create carbon emissions and cause congestion. The coronavirus crisis should help us break our dependence on them 

 

Nature Conservation 

Leaving forests to regrow naturally ‘could be better option than replanting’ 

Study says potential for natural regrowth to absorb carbon has been substantially underestimated 

 

Brazil meat giant JBS pledges to axe suppliers linked to deforestation 

Campaigners welcome turnaround after pressure from investors but say 2025 deadline too long to resolve problems 

 

Amazonia racing toward tipping point, fueled by unregulated fires 

Amazonia is closer to a catastrophic ecological tipping point than any time in the last 100,000 years, and human activity is the cause. 

 

Halt post-disturbance logging in forests 

Please do not disturb: After forest fires, bark beetle infestations and other damage, the affected forests should not be cleared. 

 

Dr. Aja Carter, who studies dinosaurs, says climate change is outpacing animals’ ability to evolve 

As part of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s focus on climate change, American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow Donna McDermott spoke to scientists about their connection to one of the world’s critical issues. 

 


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