Daily Links Nov 24

Scott Morrison says that ‘world leaders should join together to safeguard the planet’. Would that the tautology was his only crime. How about the audacious hypocrisy of every act of omission and commission of recent LNP governments? Climate change response and lack thereof? EPBC Act Review? Defunding research? This guy knows no shame. 


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 24 November 2020 at 8:28:33 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Nov 24

Post of the Day

Tips for shopping sustainably

Here’s the thing about sustainable shopping: There are very few things you can purchase that are actively beneficial for the climate.


On This Day

November 24


Climate Change

Trump stands apart on climate change, pandemic responses as G20 wraps up

World leaders agree to a global approach to tackling coronavirus while also highlighting the importance of climate change, as day two of a virtual G20 meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia wraps up.


Greenhouse gases up despite ‘tiny blip’ of coronavirus lockdowns: WMO

Greenhouse gas concentrations rose again this year despite the world’s COVID-19 lockdowns, says the World Meteorological Organisation.


Investors plan major move into renewable energy infrastructure

Global survey finds spending expected to double in five years in response to climate fears


Why is Joe Biden considering this man to help fight the climate crisis?

The Biden transition team is facing pressure not to hire people with fossil fuel ties, like Obama’s energy secretary Ernest Moniz


Climate change presents new challenges for the drinking water supply

Rising temperatures in Germany’s largest drinking water reservoir present new challenges for the drinking water supply. According to a group of researchers, the impacts of this increase can be alleviated by mitigating climate change and applying new management strategies.


Shift in atmospheric rivers could affect Antarctic sea ice, glaciers

Weather systems responsible for transporting moisture from the tropics to temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere have been gradually shifting toward the South Pole for the past 40 years, a trend which could lead to increased rates of ice melt in Antarctica, according to new research.


The election is over. 5 climate leaders share what should happen next.

Policy pros, strategists, activists, and other experts reflect on the role climate played in the election — and what’s getting their attention now.


When “creatives” turn destructive: image-makers and the climate crisis

If money is the oxygen on which the fire of global warming burns, then P.R. campaigns and snappy catchphrases are the kindling.


Heat stress and work in the era of climate change: what we know, and what we need to learn

Centre for Future Work

This report, by a team of authors based at the Climate Justice Research Centre at UTS, interviewed workers and trade union officials in several industries, and confirmed that working in excess heat is becoming a more common occupational health and safety risk.


How space exploration will help to address climate change

Mark Whittington

Joe Biden, like many people on the left, believes that climate change is the existential crisis of our age. NASA will be drafted to do its part by putting up more Earth observation satellites.



Zibelman: We can’t just keep whinging about the state of energy policy

Outgoing CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman, has sent a message to Australia’s energy policymakers, saying that Australia could no longer afford to continue to ‘whinge’ about the status of energy policy.


Regional dams for drought-proofing or mining profits?

Water infrastructure projects are being fast-tracked in NSW, ostensibly to drought-proof communities. But concerns are growing that this is a cover story to allow more water-guzzling mining operations to develop and expand, with taxpayers footing the bill.


SDGs vital to Australia’s COVID-19 recovery

Researchers say Australia’s COVID-19 response will determine the shape of our economies and lives for years to come 


Scott Morrison accused of climate inaction as new poll shows support for stronger emissions targets

Labor says the government is ignoring a clear majority of Australians who – according to a new poll – support stronger action on emissions reduction.


Scott Morrison tells G20 ‘practical pathways’ will achieve cuts in emissions

Australian PM says government’s technology roadmap meets the commitment of Paris agreement signatories on long-term emissions


Scott Morrison says world should focus on environment in wake of pandemic

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told world leaders they need to join together to “safeguard the planet” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, saying Australia was on track to beat its Paris climate agreement targets.


COVID-19 slump puts Australia’s emissions on Paris track – temporarily

The economic slump prompted by COVID-19 has put Australia’s carbon emissions on course to reach the country’s Paris 2030 climate target although the dip is likely to be reversed as soon as demand revives.


Australia can become a net exporter of clean energy [$]

Common energy goals have been established on renewables but questions remain about how to get there, the cost and the time frame, say industry experts.


Changes to Australia’s environment laws would risk return to ‘confusion’, inquiry told

Former senior official warns of going back to the community unrest of the 70s and 80s over conservation issues


Taxes on electric cars could block the road to a net-zero future

As states begin to tax electric vehicles, critics say the policies could prevent them from reaching their own net-zero emissions targets.


‘We will not have Juukan Gorge incident’: Minerals Council backs streamlined approvals

Environmental groups say habitat clearing and environmental destruction will become more common under proposed new streamlining of environmental approvals following a review of Australia’s environment protection and biodiversity legislation by Professor Graeme Samuel.


Telstra’s move into energy marks a new phase [$]

Telstra has carved out a niche for itself as Australia’s most climate-aware blue chip. Now it plans to use its growing expertise to become an energy retailer.


Small-plot timber farmers chip in together to grow carbon trade [$]

A breakthrough in carbon farming promises a new income stream for farmers, cuts to the ­nation’s emissions and a supply boon for the timber trade.


Regional Australia’s time has come – planning for growth is now vital

Tony Matthews

Australian governments have always wanted thriving regional cities, but policy innovations with this goal in mind have a bad history. Planned well, regional cities have huge potential to generate national economic growth while improving livability and sustainable development.


Fossil fuel influence targeted in fight to control climate agenda in next parliament

Margot Saville

All across the country, Australians who have never been part of a political party are turning up and finding their voice.


Looking back on this year of wonders

Peter Boyer

Our memories of this remarkable year will depend entirely on our circumstances.


Australia needs a climate policy turnaround – not a pathetic crab walk

Kevin Rudd

Australia under Prime Minister Scott Morrison lacks both short-term ambition and long-term vision on climate action.


An energy tiger by the tail [$]

Craig Emerson

The government wants the gas industry to subsidise manufacturing industry. The most likely result is that it gets bitten.


Summit split: the Liberals’ power divide [$]

AFR View

The Australian Financial Review Energy and Climate Summit revealed broad agreement on where Australia is headed, but controversy over the role government should play.



New Victoria to NSW “electric highway” gets kick-along from federal and state funds

In a bilateral agreement, the federal and Victorian governments will provide up to $200m in underwriting support for the Victoria to NSW Interconnector (VNI) West project.


AGL to add 200MW big battery with four hours storage at Loy Yang coal plant

AGL flags another big battery with up to four hours storage, this time in Victoria at the Loy Yang A brown coal generator.


Two sites get tick for toxic tunnel soil [$]

The West Gate Tunnel toxic dirt saga is set to be resolved within months, with a pair of dumping sites finally found in Melbourne’s outer west.


Melbourne Airport is going to be as busy as Heathrow, so why the argument about one train line?

Ian Woodcock

Public discussion of rail links to airports has been narrowly focused on the idea of a single line and where to run it. In Melbourne, the politics of this debate has so far prevented a railway from being built, because it is not possible for one line to meet all of the landside access needs of the airport.


New South Wales

Matt Kean takes on Angus Taylor: “I’m not on the side of vested interests”

New South Wales energy minister Matt Kean has delivered a strong defence of the NSW government’s electricity strategy, rejecting criticism from federal energy minister Angus Taylor, saying that he stood with consumers rather than “vested interests” and that these should ‘get out of the way’.


Sydney commuters gain 1200 more bus, light rail and ferry services for summer

The NSW government will increase capacity on public transport services as more users are expected to return to offices, shops and beaches from December.


Berejiklian says it is ‘crucial’ energy bill passes this year

Gladys Berejiklian has told her two most senior ministers in the upper house that Parliament must keep sitting until its energy bill passes.


Coal boss threatens legal action over $32b renewables plan [$]

The $32 billion renewables roadmap has been slammed amid concerns the “gross” intervention in the market will push up electricity prices.


Kean accuses energy giants of pursuing super profits

AGL is in the firing line of the NSW government, with energy minister Matt Kean questioning its motives for stalling again on building a gas-fired power plant near Newcastle.


Nationals have pro-coal Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon in their sights [$]

Michael McCormack will lead a week-long blitz of Joel Fitzgibbon’s Hunter electorate as the Nationals attempt to seize on divisions inside Labor over ­resources and coal-fired power stations.


Barnaby Joyce slams NSW’s power plan as a ‘tax’ [$]

Federal Nationals MPs have launched a crusade against the NSW government’s proposed ­energy reforms, with Barnaby Joyce saying they amount to a Coalition version of a carbon tax.


NSW is calling AGL’s and Angus Taylor’s bluff [$]

Jennifer Hewett

Australia’s energy wars have not ended but they have changed direction. The new battleground is NSW’s energy plan and what that says about the future of the national electricity market and government intervention.


Energy war fires up with gas the only source of agreement [$]

Matthew Warren

The NSW government’s energy plan was a flashpoint of the Summit, with backers of central planning on one side and the market defenders on the other.



“Tipping point”: Queensland zinc refinery commits to 100 pct renewables

Queensland zinc refinery Sun Metals commits to 100 per cent renewables, and will reach 80 per cent by 2030 in what is considered a turning point for Australia.


Lord Mayor scraps Brisbane’s major urban planning advisory group

Brisbane City Council has quietly scrapped several long-standing urban advisory boards in a significant shake-up of its relationship with the city’s planning and architecture community.


Ampol weighing all options as Australia’s oil refinery crisis persists

Fuel giant Ampol has described rival BP’s decision to shut the country’s largest oil refinery as a warning of the severity of the threat facing the sector.


South Australia

Banana waste technology begins to bear fruit for Adelaide company

An Adelaide company that has spent more than two decades perfecting its system of turning banana plantation waste into wood and paper products says it has proven the profitability of the technology and is preparing for a global expansion.


Deep-sea discoveries in KI’s safe zones [$]

Cameras have captured images of life at depths never before recorded off the coast of Kangaroo Island.


South Australia’s disappearing springs raise questions for miner BHP

Few in big cities know about the ‘mound springs’, but they are of deep cultural significance for the Arabana people who hold native title over Lake Eyre and its surrounds.


Northern Territory

Saltwater crocs’ impact on environment to be focus of new study

A study into the saltwater crocodile is seeking to determine the impact their protection and subsequent population boom has had on the environment.



European governments failing to protect citizens from air pollution, data reveals

Pollutants from farming, heating and vehicles beyond levels needed to ensure breathable air


Major oil and gas companies join program to cut methane emissions

Dozens of the top oil and gas companies in the world—including Shell, BP and Total—agreed today to better track and reduce their methane emissions.


Tips for shopping sustainably

Here’s the thing about sustainable shopping: There are very few things you can purchase that are actively beneficial for the climate.


Extinction Rebellion launches campaign of financial disobedience

Group stages debt and tax strikes to expose ‘political economy’s complicity’ in ecological crisis


Researchers overcome barriers for bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materials

Inspired by nature, researchers can demonstrate a synthetic strategy to stabilize bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materials. Their findings could be a significant breakthrough in functionalizing molecular assemblies for future solar energy conversion technologies.


How close is humanity to the edge?

Toby Ord, a philosopher who studies our species’s “existential risk,” has been both frightened and encouraged by our response to the pandemic.


Nature Conservation

Scientists organize to tackle crisis of coral bleaching

An international consortium of scientists has created the first-ever common framework for increasing comparability of research findings on coral bleaching.


Stirling research evaluates effectiveness of conservation efforts

New research from the University of Stirling into the effectiveness of international conservation projects could help to save endangered species from extinction.


Nature is widely adapted to current climate — making it harder to adjust to a new one

To do the right thing at the right time, organisms need to glean cues from their environment. With ongoing climate change, the timing of these cues, like the accumulation of warm days, is rapidly shifting. Now a network of researchers working on an unprecedentedly large dataset of seasonal events has shown that the timing of species’ activity fail to keep up with their cues, and that how quickly activity shifts reflects past evolution.


Brazilian forest defenders are not alone

Andrea Carvalho

Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon.

Maelor Himbury
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