Daily Links Nov 19

Not much else has worked to prompt a serious response to climate change, perhaps direct challenges to self-interest might. There are many climate impacts that render properties uninsurable, will threats to one’s private property be the impetus?

Post of the Day

What could a good green recovery plan actually look like?

What does a green recovery look like? That is the question governments around the world are considering as they decide how to align their $12tn worth of economic rescue packages for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic with their obligations under the Paris climate accord.

 

On This Day

November 19

World Philosophy Day

 

Ecological Observance

World Toilet Day

Use Less Stuff Day

 

Climate Change

Climate change impacts could dent global solar power output, researchers say

New research suggests unabated global warming could make solar power more unpredictable, as warmer temperature leads to more cloudy days.

 

World’s leading researchers implore G20 to apply Covid lessons to climate response

Dozens of the world’s leading climate research institutions issue joint call for G20 leaders to apply lessons of Covid-19 to lead decarbonisation.

 

Greenland’s largest glaciers could melt faster than worst-case warming predictions, new research shows

Two canoeists in front of icebergs near Ilulissat, Greenland. Source: Getty

Over the last two decades, the world’s ice sheets atop Greenland and Antarctica have become the single largest source of sea-level rise.

 

National

Snowy could burn through taxpayer funds to build gas generator, IEEFA says

New IEEFA analysis says Snowy Hydro would need an injection of extra taxpayer funds to build Morrison’s gas generator, or face falling into ‘junk’ status.

 

Regulator suggests big battery alternative to huge network infrastructure spend

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is urging networks to look at the installation of big battery storage as it seeks feedback on how to best manage an unprecedented surge in spending on new transmission infrastructure over the next five years.

 

As Australia’s climate plans lag on the G20 stage, experts say we can no longer ‘hide in the shadows’

Experts say Australia must do more to tackle climate change. Source: AFP

As Joe Biden prepares to enter the White House, experts say Australia’s refusal to commit to a net zero emissions target by 2050 is making the nation increasingly isolated.

 

Tightening the taps

Less water was used in Australian agriculture in 2018-19 with lower rainfall across much of the country pushing up water prices and forcing farmers to shift from rice and cotton to less water-intensive crops.

 

The yellow RAC rescue helicopter attends the scene of a crash on a country highway

No region of Australia is uninsurable at the moment, but leading scientists are warning that could soon change as premiums rise along with the mercury.

 

There are 24 million feral pigs in Australia and a bumper harvest means there could be a whole lot more

Feral pigs can have between four and 10 offspring per litter and breed twice a year, and they’re feasting on the spoils of bumper grain harvests across the country.

 

Don’t sabotage free trade talks with climate debate: Abbott

Tony Abbott also said his job as an adviser to the UK did not conflict with his loyalties as a former PM.

 

We found a huge flaw in Australia’s environment laws. Wetlands and woodlands will pay the price

Manu Saunders

From ethereal kelp forests off the south east Australian coast to grassy woodlands and their stunning wildflowers, many ecological communities are under threat in Australia.

 

Extinction of koalas means the death of our country’s soul

Sue Arnold

 The governments of Australia are ignorant towards the significance of keeping our koalas alive.

 

Gains from gas-fired energy transition are too great to ignore

Brian Fisher

Why does the Grattan Institute want to deny Australia the benefits of a shift from coal to natural gas that will lower electricity prices, boost manufacturing, and reduce emissions?

 

Conservatives have a proud legacy on the environment. We need to do more

Cristina Talacko

Conservative-leaning Australians have a natural inclination for conservation. It’s in our blood.

 

Victoria

Decmil lands contract for 218MW Ryan Corner wind farm in Victoria

GPG’s 218MW Ryan Corner wind farm set for construction in Victoria after contract for the job awarded to a joint venture between Decmil and RJE Global.

 

Victorian Traditional Owners’ water rights recognised

For the first time in the State’s history, Traditional Owners in Victoria have been allocated water ownership in a river system.

 

Adapting Melbourne’s public transport to ‘COVID normal’

Given Melbourne’s franchised model of public transport provision, who is best positioned to manage cross-disciplinary risks during a pandemic?

 

Predator-proof fence: 10km barrier to be built across Wilsons Promontory to protect native wildlife

Foxes deer and cats to be blocked from 50,000ha park in Victoria, turning it into a ‘wildlife haven’

 

New South Wales

Conservationists welcome new Shark Observation Grants Program, as a path to realise end of shark nets

Conservation groups say a new scheme to install more drones and other non lethal surveillance tools at NSW beaches is a step in the right direction towards science-backed safety strategies that work best for swimmers and wildlife.

 

Energy Insiders Podcast: Matt Kean and the NSW energy transition

NSW energy minister Matt Kean explains why the state is fast-tracking plans to transition from coal to renewables. Plus: Australia’s newest big battery, and very big green hydrogen plans.

 

NSW passes land clearing laws

NSW passes a law allowing property owners to clear land within 25 metres of their boundary.

 

Deputy Premier Barilaro intervenes to stop new ‘koala wars’ outbreak

NSW’s koala wars have taken another twist with Nationals leader John Barilaro forced to intervene to reverse unsanctioned changes to a bill introduced by one of his senior colleagues that threatened to detonate divisions within the Coalition government.

 

New cycleway planned down the centre of Sydney’s Oxford Street

A two-way cycleway will be built down a section of Sydney’s well-known Oxford Street as part of a push to fill in the missing links in the CBD’s bike network.

 

ACT

ACT drivers to access free rego and zero interest loans for electric cars

ACT drivers can soon access zero interest loans and free registration for buying an EV, a stark contrast to approaches being considered by other states.

 

Queensland

Genex to strike deal in weeks for half stake in pumped hydro scheme

Genex expects it will announce the financial close on the $700 million hydro project in north Queensland within weeks when it stitiches up a deal with a major equity partner.

 

South Australia

Jobs for 300 on latest solar farm project

Up to 300 people will find work on Origin Energy’s new solar farm planned near Morgan. It’s the latest in a string of renewable energy projects planned for SA.

 

Tasmania

Waste NoT Award 2020 winners announced

Nowadays children are exposed from an early age to the benefits of recycling in hopes of it becoming second nature and the Break O’Day Child and Family Centre has taken the initiative on board.

 

Echo Sugarloaf Nature Trail

Paul Thomas

The trail was officially opened earlier in November. Local resident and trail enthusiast Paul Thomas kindly provided a brief description of what to expect.

 

Greens alternative budget tackles COVID & climate crises

Cassy O’Connor

The Tasmanian Greens today delivered our fully costed, triple bottom line Alternative Budget that tackles the twin crises of COVID and the climate emergency.

 

Northern Territory

Has gas come off the boil already?

Chris McLennan

There are already some who fear the Beetaloo might have missed its one chance at making history.

 

Western Australia

Graph of the Day: Solar is now regularly hitting 50 pct share in Western Australia

Solar is now regularly reaching 50 per cent of electricity demand in Western Australia.

 

FMG withholds almost $2m native title compensation payouts

Mining magnate Fortescue Metals Group admits it withheld almost $2 million in royalties to Traditional Owners in Western Australia’s iron ore rich Pilbara region.

 

Sustainability

Britain bans the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 as part of its ‘green revolution’

The UK is bringing forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars as part of its drive to zero emissions by 2050.

 

Environmental impact docos – a playlist

Documentary Australia Foundation shines a spotlight on some of the most powerful documentaries on the environment and climate change, and where you can watch them.

 

New semiconductor coating may pave way for future green fuels

Hydrogen gas and methanol for fuel cells or as raw materials for the chemicals industry, for example, could be produced more sustainably using sunlight, a new Uppsala University study shows. In this study, researchers have developed a new coating material for semiconductors that may create new opportunities to produce fuels in processes that combine direct sunlight with electricity.

 

New technique seamlessly converts ammonia to green hydrogen

Northwestern University researchers have developed a highly effective, environmentally friendly method for converting ammonia into hydrogen. The new technique is a major step forward for enabling a zero-pollution, hydrogen-fueled economy. The idea of using ammonia as a carrier for hydrogen delivery has gained traction in recent years because ammonia is much easier to liquify than hydrogen and is therefore much easier to store and transport. Northwestern’s technological breakthrough overcomes several existing barriers to the production of clean hydrogen from ammonia.

 

Anti-nuclear pacifists get federal prison terms for non-violent protest

The most dedicated peace activists you’ve never heard of are headed to federal prison amid a deadly pandemic.

 

Trees and green roofs can help reduce the urban heat island effect, finds a new study

Air pollution experts from the University of Surrey have found that green infrastructure (GI), such as trees, can help reduce temperatures in many of Europe’s cities and towns.

 

System can sterilize medical tools using solar heat

Autoclaves, which are used to sterilize medical tools, require a steady supply of hot, pressurized steam. Researchers at MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology have come up with a way to generate that steam passively, using just the power of sunlight, to help maintain safe, sterile equipment at low cost in remote locations.

 

Study identifies reasons for soaring nuclear plant cost overruns in the US

MIT researchers have analyzed the causes of many cost overruns on new nuclear power plants in the US, which have soared in the past 50 years. The findings may help designers of new plants build in resilience to prevent such added costs.

 

Using materials efficiently can substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the production of materials like metals, minerals, woods and plastics more than doubled in 1995 – 2015, accounting for almost one-quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Material efficiency needs to play a larger role in climate planning, a new report says.

 

Starved, stuffed and squandered: Consequences of decades of global nutrition transition

Just a handful of rice and beans – a part of our world is starved. Hawaiian Pizza and ice-cream – another part of our world is stuffed, throwing away food every day. This gap is likely to worsen, while food waste will increase and pressure on the environment will go up, a new study shows.

 

Predicting urban water needs

New Stanford research uses Zillow and census data combined with machine learning to identify residential water consumption based on housing characteristics. The approach could help cities better understand water use and design water-efficient communities.

 

What could a good green recovery plan actually look like?

What does a green recovery look like? That is the question governments around the world are considering as they decide how to align their $12tn worth of economic rescue packages for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic with their obligations under the Paris climate accord.

 

The change we could make in our kitchens to help fight climate change — and power bills

Madeline Taylor and Susan M Park

San Francisco has now joined other US cities in banning natural gas in new homes. It’s time for a serious rethink on the way many of us cook and heat our homes

 

The green plan looks good, but the government must live up to its promises

Rebecca Newsom

A huge amount of effort and planning will be required to fulfil Boris Johnson’s 10 pledges to tackle the climate emergency

 

Nature Conservation

‘Dire outlook’: scientists say Florida reefs have lost nearly 98% of coral

While overall US coral reefs are in fair condition, along the coast of Florida as little as 2% of original coral cover remains

 

Study finds health trade-offs for wildlife as urbanization expands

City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off – health hazards linked to poorer water quality.

 

Amazon rainforest: ‘Paying the price for disrespecting nature’

Coronavirus is ripping through Indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest.

 

At sea and in court, the fight to save right whales intensifies

As numbers of North Atlantic right whales continue to decline, conservationists are waging an escalating legal battle to force fishermen to take even more aggressive measures to protect the world’s rarest cetacean.

 

Arctic Wildlife Refuge: Trump to auction drilling rights before Biden takes over

The Trump administration is advancing plans to auction drilling rights in the U.S. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to block oil exploration in the rugged Alaska wilderness.

 



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