Daily Links Oct 20

Since civil society hasn’t yet succeeded in making society civil, we need all the good advice we can get to reach those broad sunlit uplands. We need to be smart, strategic and relentless it seems. 

Post of the Day 

Study shows infants are ingesting up to three million microplastics a day 

Australian babies are swallowing up to 585 million tiny pieces of plastic before their first birthday – and the bottles they’re feeding from are to blame. 


On This Day 

October 20 

Conferment of Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib – Sikhism 


Ecological Observance 

Arbor Day – Czech Republic 


Coronavirus Watch 

Today’s Update 


Opening up state borders makes sense 

Age editorial 

With Victoria having quashed its second wave, governments around Australia need to accept that this is probably as good as it will get for the time being. 


WHO reform: a call for an early-warning protocol for infectious diseases 

Peter Gluckman and Alexander Gillespie 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has come in for its share of criticism for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some faults are the responsibility of the WHO, others were caused by member states, which did not always act as quickly as they should have. 



Australian threatened species at risk with no recovery plans finalised in past 18 months 

Greens senators say development is being prioritised over environmental protection, putting ‘mining first and the koala last’ 


Inquiry into the National Electricity Market: September 2020 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 

This report is the September 2020 update on the ACCC’s inquiry into the prices, profits and margins in the supply of electricity in the National Electricity Market. 


Bushfire inquiry will have ‘failed’ without emissions recommendations, former fire chief warns 

The royal commission into last summer’s bushfires is due to hand down its final report next week, but some fire experts are worried its recommendations may not go far enough to tackle climate change. 


These specialised drones could help regenerate koala habitat 

Specialised drones that disperse seeds will be trialed in Australia to help regenerate bushland and wildlife after the country’s devastating summer bushfires. 


Study shows infants are ingesting up to three million microplastics a day 

Australian babies are swallowing up to 585 million tiny pieces of plastic before their first birthday – and the bottles they’re feeding from are to blame. 


‘Chilling attack on democracy’: proposed Asio powers could be used against journalists 

Environmental and human rights groups could also be targeted under a new government bill, legal experts argue 


The five biggest mistakes when undertaking advocacy 

Neil Pharaoh  

Take a few moments to check the most common mistakes social purpose organisations make when it comes to advocacy, campaigning and engagement with government – are you doing any of them. 


I’m a transport expert. The school commute has gone off the rails — this is how we fix it 

Alison Bunbury 

Over the past 40 years walking to school has declined from 75 to 25 per cent of trips. But we’re really missing something from those quiet moments together before the hectic day 


Between Covid, climate change and the budget, no wonder many women are rethinking having babies 

Jane Caro 

Josh Frydenberg has urged women to have more children – but there was nothing in the budget to encourage them to do so 


Fewer flights and a pesticide-free pitch? Here’s how Australia’s football codes can cut their carbon bootprint 

Brett Hutchins 

Australian sport’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarkable. Major leagues reorganised with impressive speed to keep games going. Schedules dissolved, seasons were compressed and players relocated. And the once unthinkable is now reality: the AFL grand final will be held in Brisbane. 



Volunteering in Victoria thrives, but at what cost? 

The State of Volunteering report is the first of its kind 


Grassfire threat after above-average rainfall [$] 

Grassfires have been identified as a serious threat this summer amid a plea from Victoria’s rural fire boss for landholders to start their bushfire preparations now. 


New South Wales 

Liberal MPs call for government to deny permit renewal that would allow drilling off NSW coastline 

The license will allow gas and oil exploration off the coastline between Sydney and Newcastle 


Grassland recovery worries fireys as threat heads west [$] 

Thriving grassland and crop growth west of the Great Dividing Range has fire services concerned that the fuel load could become a tinderbox in the summer months, posing a major threat to rural and regional communities. 



Queensland urged to switch public schools, libraries and hospitals to solar 

The installation of rooftop solar on Queensland’s public buildings, including public libraries, schools and the state’s prisons, could provide a significant boost to the state’s solar capacity, according to new analysis published by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). 


Old panels cast shadow over rooftop solar love affair 

Local councils have warned of a looming environmental crisis if governments fail to come up with a way of properly disposing of hundreds of thousands of old rooftop solar panels. 


South Australia 

Open north for mine jobs bonanza [$] 

Build it and they will come – the energy issue is fixed, now we need water to power up mining. A new strategy seeks to put in place building blocks for investment and more than 28,000 jobs. 


Tax break for trees leaves homes in the green [$] 

A radical land tax proposal would reward green thumb property owners with discounts in a scheme conservations say can help stop trees coming down on private property. 


Forrest-backed green cattle company in super seaweed first [$] 

FutureFeed, part owned by Andrew Forrest, Woolworths and GrainCorp, has sold the first licence to grow and produce a seaweed additive that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. 


Ikea Adelaide solar and battery microgrid first big step to 100% onsite solar power 

Swedish furniture giant set to begin work on an industry-leading, grid-connected commercial solar and battery microgrid based on its Adelaide store. 



Ben Lomond not living up to potential: Northern Midlands Council mayor Mary Knowles [$] 

A secure snow season and increased investment for bushwalking trails would go a long way to helping promote Ben Lomond as a year-round destination. 


Bob Brown forestry case set for full bench of Federal Court; hearings for this year 

The Bob Brown Foundation’s legal challenge against the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement has been expedited and will appear before a full bench of the Federal Court before December 18. 


Climate Tasmania and Fossil Free UTAS celebrate UTAS divestment plan [$] 

A decision by the University of Tasmania to divest investment from fossil fuel companies should send a strong message to the government and business. 


titima/Trefoil Island owners ‘not consulted’ over name proposed by Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation 

A third name has been proposed for a tiny island off the North-West tip of Tasmania, but nobody has asked the people who own it. 


Star-powered declaration launched against fish farms [$] 

The Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection has launched a star-powered declaration against fish farms – but the state government has remained steadfast in its support for the industry. 


Northern Territory 

Protesters who drilled holes in Parliament lawns had ‘exhausted all other options’, court hears [$] 

Two anti-fracking activists who drilled holes in the lawns of the NT parliament with a bobcat last April did so because they felt they had “exhausted all other options”, a court has heard 


Cost concerns for Katherine kerbside recycling plan as council develops waste management strategy [$] 

Regular kerbside recycling could be coming to Katherine, with council considering the measure as part of a waste management strategy – but the additional service could come at a cost. 


Western Australia 

Chemical spill on container ship at Freo Port [$] 

There’s more drama unfolding at Fremantle Port tonight as firefighters responded to reports of a hazardous material spillage on board the Cosco Singapore. 



Biochar helps hold water, saves money 

Biochar’s benefits for long-term storage of carbon and nitrogen on American farms are clear, but new research shows it can help farmers save money on irrigation as well. 


Global food production threatens the climate 

Use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture causes an increase in nitrous oxide concentration in the atmosphere 


Sludge-powered bacteria generate more electricity, faster 

A new electroactive bacterium could help fuel wastewater treatment reactors. 


A renewable solution to keep cool in a warming world 

Month-on-month, year-on-year, the world continues to experience record high temperatures. In response to this and exacerbated by a growing global population, it is expected that air-conditioning demand will continue to rise. A new IIASA-led study explored the pros and cons of seawater air-conditioning as an alternative cooling solution. 


Trees bring benefits to society, regardless of their origin 

Trees planted in urban spaces provide a multitude of ecosystem and social services. At the same time, trees can be a source of inconveniences. Scientists from the University of Geneva have analysed trees found in the Geneva region, and systematically assessed the services and inconveniences they generate. They show that most tree species are non-native, and that trees provide roughly the same ecosystem services to Geneva’s urban spaces regardless of their origin. 


Russian scientists suggested a transfer to safe nuclear energy 

Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Ozersk Technological Institute, and the Russian Academy of Sciences have improved a processing technology of a monazite concentrate which is a mineral raw material employed as a source of rare earth elements and thorium. The latter, in turn, is a part of the thorium-uranium fuel cycle that is more eco-friendly compared to the one based on uranium and plutonium. 


NUS study reveals severe air pollution drives food delivery consumption and plastic waste 

When the air outside is bad, office workers are more likely to order food delivery than go out for lunch, which in turn increases plastic waste from food packaging, according to a study by researchers from the National University of Singapore. 


Food waste: cities can make the difference 

A new study realized with the contribution of the CMCC Foundation highlights the key role of cities in tackling this phenomenon and achieving the targets of the UN 2030 Agenda. A new framework for assessing urban food waste policies and initiatives, as well as their link to SDGs, that could be applied to any municipality. 


Paper recycling must be powered by renewables to save climate 

The study found that greenhouse gas emissions would increase by 2050 if we recycled more paper, as current methods rely on fossil fuels and electricity from the grid. 


Energy that is too cheap to meter 

John Quiggin 

Nuclear power never delivered on its promise, but will solar? 


Nature Conservation 

Tiny beetles a bellwether of ecological disruption by climate change 

New research shows that as species across the world adjust where they live in response to climate change, they will come into competition with other species that could hamper their ability to keep up with the pace of this change. 


Light pollution alters predator-prey interactions between cougars and mule deer in western US 

A new study provides strong evidence that exposure to light pollution alters predator-prey dynamics between mule deer and cougars across the intermountain West, a rapidly growing region where nighttime skyglow is an increasing environmental disturbance. 


All-female scientific coalition calls for marine protected area for Antarctica Peninsula 

Species on the Antarctic Peninsula are threatened by climate change and human activities including commercial fishing, tourism, and research infrastructure. A coalition of over 280 female scientists are pushing for a Marine Protected Area ahead of a meeting of governments to decide this on October 19. 


Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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