Daily Links Nov 28

The post-politics careers of our one-time leaders take many directions. Malcolm Fraser became rehabilitated, certainly on social issues, Malcolm Turnbull has rediscovered his leather-jacketed mojo, Mark Latham festers in his very own cess-pit. And what of Dr Gary Johns, Minister in Paul Keating’s government? He’s moved from a position with the regressive IPA to head the National Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, which is now trying to bully the ACF into silence on Angus ‘Fantastic’ Taylor’s incompetent performance as Minister for Emissions Reduction. 

Post of the Day

Sustainable development goals – Australia’s progress

The Transforming Australia SDG Progress Report 2020 Update measures Australia’s performance against a set of 56 indicators linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report builds on targets and measures of progress that the independent National Sustainable Development Council developed in 2018.


On This Day

November 28


Climate Change

Analysis: Carbon pricing rises as world’s weapon of choice in climate fight

Can you put a price on pollution? Some of the world’s biggest economies are doing just that as they wrestle with how to make good on grand pledges to tame planet-warming emissions.


Climate ‘apocalypse’ fears stopping people having children – study

Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring for same reason


How banks could bail us out of the climate crisis

Bill McKibben

Banks have helped cause much of the crisis we find ourselves in; it would be fascinating if they turned out to be one of the solutions.



Market reforms will pave the way to a flexible, decarbonised, decentralised grid

The Energy Security Board’s post-2025 NEM redesign could lay down the path to an effective decarbonisation of Australia’s main electricity grid.


CEFC chips in to help fund transmission links for Snowy 2.0

CEFC strikes $125m deal with TransGrid to deliver new network infrastructure, helping to fund Snowy 2.0’s connection to the main grid.


Mining giants make fresh bid to explore for gas with licence that covers land owned by Barnaby Joyce

The Coalition MP said in 2013 he would sell the property, if he could get the right price, to avoid ‘any viewed conflict of interest’


Charities commission warns Australian Conservation Foundation over Angus Taylor open letter

ACF has been cautioned it’s charity status prevents it ‘opposing a political candidate’ over letter calling out climate change inaction.


It’s unoffical. Energy industry adopts a net zero emissions target [$]

While the government avoids setting an official target, the industry has moved on. Net zero has become the benchmark goal and now regulators have to make it work.


Key crossbench senators say they won’t support bid to change Australia’s environment laws

The Coalition plan to hand development approval powers to the states hits a further roadblock after Senate inquiry


Unions warn of exploitation, dangerous practices in renewables sector

Unions are warning the rapid and often ‘chaotic’ growth of Australia’s renewable energy industry has led to exploitative work practices at some clean energy sites.


Summer of floods, maybe fires

Australia can expect a wetter than normal summer, but bush and grass fires cannot be ruled out completely, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Summer Climate Outlook released today.


Clean and green: powering through ‘watershed week’ for energy policy

It’s been a big week for energy politics in Australia, with the nation’s biggest state economies accelerating their way down the clean energy highway.


Anthony Albanese faces ‘buy local’ bid on energy [$]

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is pushing to tie Anthony Albanese to a new renewabl­es policy that would requir­e 80 per cent of content for future projects to be made in Australia­.


Sustainable development goals – Australia’s progress

The Transforming Australia SDG Progress Report 2020 Update measures Australia’s performance against a set of 56 indicators linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report builds on targets and measures of progress that the independent National Sustainable Development Council developed in 2018.


Our country, our way

Michael-Shawn Fletcher

Wiradjuri man and geographer Associate Professor Michael-Shawn Fletcher explores how Indigenous people and knowledge can save Australia’s environmental unravelling


The Frant: Australia still doesn’t have a real climate policy. Why are we like this? – video

Jan Fran

More than 70 countries have signed up to net-zero emissions by 2050. But not us!


Are we asleep at the wheel on EVs? [$]

James Kirby

Are we missing something when it comes to electric cars? You just have to wonder that as Tesla ascends into the all-important Wall Street S&P 500 index, Australia might get left behind in what looks like becoming one of the investment themes of our time.


Lithium battery zoom with electric cars [$]

Richard Hemming

Electric cars are on a roll again: A rising market and a change in US politics means production is ramping up and with that lift comes a new rush on Australian lithium stocks.


How Australia’s leaders are preparing for climate change [$]

Karen Middleton

While the Biden presidency pushes forward international climate action, both the Morrison government and its Labor opposition are fractured over emissions policy.


No pants, no target [$]

Saturday Paper editorial

Scott Morrison’s response to climate change is to take off his pants. It is not yet summer and his office has released pictures of him dressed for press conferences from the waist up. Below his jacket are a pair of shorts and rubber thongs.


Population decline and the economy [$]

Mike Seccombe

Australia’s fertility rate is the lowest it has been in history. While successive governments have paid scant attention to this, Covid-19 has made the issue more urgent than ever.



What you need to know about the construction disruption in Victoria this summer

Victoria’s massive infrastructure program will be rolling on over summer, which means some delays and disruptions will be affecting major roads and rail networks.


‘Anything that starts will be difficult to control’: Total fire ban for state’s north

The CFA has brought in total fire bans in three regions in Victoria’s north on Saturday, with the mercury to rise to 45 degrees in some areas.


Taxing electric vehicles per kilometre is ham-fisted nonsense

Crispin Hull

Short-sighted, uncoordinated, resource-misallocating, inequitable, environmentally destructive, ham-fisted and unhealthy are just some of the adjectives that apply to Victoria’s decision to impose a 2.5-cent-per-kilometre tax on electric vehicles.


New South Wales

Canavan leads “caravan” for coal, urging Nationals to bury future in fossil fuels

Canavan and Joyce lead the Nationals two day “caravan for coal” in the Hunter Valley, calling for new coal generators and saying bad things about wind and solar.


NSW Government was ‘overly favourable’ to irrigators with water policy, ICAC finds

An ICAC investigation sparked by a Four Corners report has found no evidence of corrupt dealing in NSW water management, but slammed the Government’s “improper favouritism” towards irrigators.


NSW avoided large-scale blackouts last summer. This year should be better

NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said last summer’s experience was one motivation for his energy policy roadmap, which finally passed into law on Friday.


Byron Bay losing its sand with businesses forced to consider relocation

Unusual wave patterns have scoured away some of Byron Bay’s most famous seafront, forcing beaches to close and waterfront business to look to move inland.


No poor people here, we’re busy being green [$]

Vikki Campion

Environmentalism begins with minimalism and it’s something Warringah renewables zealot Zali Steggall and the North Shore community wouldn’t know.



Fraser Island access restricted as bushfire burns through 72,000 hectares

Fire Commissioner Greg Leach announces deteriorating conditions are likely over the next few days and says anyone planning a visit should cancel their plans.


Qld says Vic, SA jumping the gun on electric vehicle tax

Queensland’s Transport Minister says Victoria and South Australia have “got the timing wrong” on introducing a tax on electric vehicles, while ruling out a similar scheme in Queensland in the short term.


Queensland Premier fears mines will close if trade dispute drags on

Queensland coal mines will close if a trade dispute with China is not resolved soon, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned.


Rejection of plan to clear old-growth forest shows why federal oversight must stay

Conservationists say the federal decision to block a Newman government plan to clear the Cape York forest for grazing highlights the need for Commonwealth environmental oversight.


Cycle protest halts city traffic [$]

Extinction Rebellion protesters riding through the city chanting climate related slogans have brought Friday afternoon traffic to a standstill and disrupted Black Friday shopping.


New Acland coalmine expansion clears final environmental hurdle [$]

Queensland’s second most controversial coalmine has cleared its last environmental hurdle, putting further pressure on the State Government.


South Australia

Bushfire north of Adelaide now contained but SA on alert as state swelters

Firefighters are being kept busy as extreme heat moves across SA, with a blaze north of Adelaide requiring more than 40 trucks and six water bombers to contain it.


Ex-EPA chief concerned about Leigh Creek syngas project

Former South Australian EPA chief Professor Campbell Gemmell has raised concerns about a potential gas project in the town of Leigh Creek which will use unconventional technology – banned in Queensland and Scotland – to extract gas from beneath the ground.


SA rejects NSW, Victoria’s Basin rescue delay bid [$]

Key states have resisted NSW and Victoria’s push to extend a rescue plan deadline, and the Federal Minister agrees they have good reason.



Tasmania declares itself 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity

Tasmania declares it now produces enough renewable electricity to meet 100 per cent of its needs, with wind turbines at Granville Harbour coming online.


Tasmanian and federal government funding to encourage local recycling projects

A combined federal and state government funding announcement of $11 million will be designed to fill the hole made by Australia’s inability to send waste to China, and offer jobs.


At Granville Harbour Wind Farm, Guy Barnett announces renewable target has been achieved [$]

A renewable energy project on Tasmania’s West Coast now nearing completion has the capacity to power 46,000 Coastal homes.


Protest against burial ground interference at Eaglehawk Neck

On Monday 30th November, Aboriginal people will protest at the massive traditional burial site at Eagle Hawk Neck to prevent planned desecration of the site, Land Council Chair Michael Mansell said today.


Northern Territory

Why are cancer rates in this part of Kakadu almost double other parts of the NT?

In the Kakadu region surrounding the Ranger Uranium Mine, cancer rates are almost double that of other Aboriginal populations in the NT. A six-year investigation found no link to radiation from the mine, so what’s causing it?



What happened to all the green toilet paper?

How the pandemic changed our choices and why forests are paying the price.


Fukushima’s radioactive wastewater dilemma

What to do with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water?


More than 3 billion people affected by water shortages, data shows

Water shortages are now affecting more than 3 billion people around the world, as the amount of fresh water available for each person has plunged by a fifth over two decades, data has shown.


Stanford scientists invent ultrafast perovskite solar module manufacturing process

Stanford researchers develop ultrafast perovskite manufacturing process which is cheaper and four times faster than traditional manufacturing.


Glyphosate exposure could disrupt human gut microbiome

Exposure to glyphosate could adversely affect the microbes in our gut, potentially leading to poor health.


UK’s nuclear sites costing taxpayers ‘astronomical sums’, say MPs

Public accounts committee says ignorance, incompetence and weak oversight to blame


Nature Conservation

What is ghost fishing and why is it killing dolphins, whales and turtles?

Endangered turtles and dolphins species in the River Ganges are at risk from becoming entangled in abandoned fishing gear, new research has found.


Alaska’s controversial Pebble Mine fails to win critical permit, likely killing it

The immense project would have been one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines, but regulators found it “contrary to the public interest” due to environmental risks in the pristine Alaskan tundra.


Lost species day: celebrities to champion threatened wildlife

Amitav Ghosh, Margaret Atwood and Emma Thompson are among 20 activists and cultural figures to speak at Writers Rebel event


Fueled by impunity, invasions surge in Brazil’s Indigenous lands

Civil society advocates blame the Bolsonaro administration for the surging deforestation.

Maelor Himbury
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