Daily Links Dec 10

Bruce Mountain is a straight-shooter and CCS is a red herring. So long as CCS is dangled in front of us all as the solution, there’ll be cover for the fossil fools to keep being foolish. Bite the bullet and decarbonise!


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 10 December 2020 at 9:01:09 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Dec 10

Post of the Day

Human-made materials now outweigh Earth’s entire biomass – study

Production of concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt greater than mass of living matter on planet, paper says


On This Day

December 10


Ecological Observance

International Animal Rights Day


Climate Change

World on track for 3C warming despite environmental gains during COVID-19

The world is on track to warm by more than 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century despite the coronavirus pandemic prompting a record drop in global emissions, a new United Nations report has warned.


Rich failing to help fund poor countries’ climate fight, warns UN secretary general

António Guterres says key promise of $100bn funding will be missed, damaging trust in Paris deal


Want to be carbon neutral? Slash emissions by 78pc, Boris told [$]

British PM Boris Johnson has been given a daunting target to get to net-zero emissions by 2050, as he preps for his climate summit of world leaders this weekend.


World’s rich need to cut their carbon footprint by factor of 30 to slow climate change, U.N. warns

The world’s wealthiest people must reduce their carbon footprint 30-fold to combat climate change, U.N. report says.


CO2 pricing & financial transfers: small changes can have a huge effect on climate equity

Global greenhouse-gas emission reductions could be achieved in a fair and thrifty way by surprisingly small variations of well-known policies. This is shown by a team of economists in a quantitative study now published in Nature.


Southern Hemisphere westerly winds likely to intensify as climate warms

Polar climate scientists have created the most high resolution past record of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. The results, published this week (9 December) in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, describe how the winds are likely to intensify and migrate poleward as the climate warms. The study highlights the urgent need for better models to predict the future.


Biden needs to go big on climate

Raul Grijalva

To motivate the country around the changes we need, Biden needs a unifying theme. The right one is climate change.



Renewables, EVs and hydrogen key to zero-carbon mining, BHP says

BHP says switching diesel for electricity, and hydrogen for coal, will be key to a transition to carbon neutral resources sector.


Carbon capture could be six times more costly than wind and storage, analysis shows

New analysis suggests that adding CCS to coal and gas generators would be hugely expensive, many times more costly than wind, solar and storage.


Grim outlook for Australia’s climate

It seems our already warmer days are only going to get hotter as weather experts paint a grim picture of Australia’s climate in the future.


China blocks more Australian timber exports amid pressure to take dispute to WTO

China’s attack on Australian trade continues, with timber exports from two more states blocked and the number of meatworks waiting to resume trade growing to eight.


Senator McKenzie stands up for timber workers to deliver certainty

Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie has shown she is a true champion of timber workers from her state and all over Australia by announcing she will today introduce legislation into Parliament that will provide certainty for Australia’s native hardwood timber industries.


Logging and swift parrots

New federal legislation to allow logging of native forests despite current court rulings of illegality is a rort against the majority of Australians who want the forests and wildlife saved, former Greens leader Bob Brown said today.


Australia’s record spring heat one-in-500,000 without climate change: analysis

This year’s spring temperatures would be ‘virtually impossible’ without human greenhouse emissions, according to new report


Projections suggest Australia could meet 2030 emissions target without using Kyoto credits

Prime minister Scott Morrison wanted to announce the policy shift at a weekend summit but he’s not yet secured a speaking spot


Politics with Michelle Grattan: Chief Scientist Alan Finkel on climate, energy and emissions – podcast

This month Alan Finkel ends his term as Australia’s Chief Scientist.


From rubbish to resources: building a circular economy

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources

There is growing recognition that waste has value. Discarded material from households, commercial premises and industrial sites is not merely considered rubbish but a useful resource that can be turned into new components, products and energy.


At this weekend’s climate summit, no one will be perfect but Australia will be awful

Ketan Joshi

Timing never really seems to work out for Australia’s government. This Saturday, there will be a relatively big “Climate Ambition Summit”, held on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement.


Momentum is swinging towards more climate action, but Australia is sticking to its current targets

Melissa Clarke

Despite softening his tone on using carry-over credits, Scott Morrison declaring they will not be needing them is not the same as conceding their illegitimacy.


Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change

Richard Denniss

As Australia worries about the growing influence of China, we need the help of Europe and the US more than ever


Taking climate action doesn’t destroy jobs – they depend on it

Jessica Irvine

Scott Morrison’s recent decision to rule out using Kyoto credits suggests our Prime Minister may, finally, be turning on his hardline climate action stance.


It’s not too late for Australia to pivot on climate change

Tim Flannery

The pace of emissions reductions over the coming decade will prove decisive in whether we avert a full-blown climate catastrophe or sentence our children to a barely survivable future.


Scott Morrison charting right course on carbon sans Kyoto treaty [$]

Simon Benson

Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor are moving methodically and sensibly to neutralise the carbon wars and keep the Coalition party room unharmed as they go.


After two decades, the national electricity market is on its way out, and that’s alright

Bruce Mountain

It has been more than 20 years in the making, but there is now a new order in Australia’s grandest (and most problematic) example of cooperative federalism: the National Electricity Market.



Victoria passes half-way mark on road to 50% renewables by 2030

Victoria says it has officially met its interim renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2020, as it gears up to double that number over next 10 years.


Melbourne city loop redesign recommended [$]

The unveiling of Melbourne Metro should be followed immediately by a city loop reconfiguration, according to a major infrastructure advisory body.


Gas failure clouds Victoria’s renewables push [$]

Robert Gottliebsen

Canberra and five other states, plus many Victorians, scratch their heads trying to work out what the southern state is all about and why it has become so different to the rest of the nation.


New South Wales

The Blue Mountains World Heritage site has been downgraded, but it’s not too late to save it

Ian Wright et al

Twenty years ago, UNESCO inscribed the greater Blue Mountains area on the World Heritage List for having “outstanding universal value”.



The wheel deal: Gold Coast to get new e-bikes to replace share system

New ‘pedal-assist’ electric share bikes will swarm Gold Coast streets this summer, with the dockless electric bikes replacing the city’s old share bike scheme.


Why city policy to ‘protect the Brisbane backyard’ is failing

Rachel Gallagher and Thomas Sigler

Urban consolidation policies to contain development within existing urban areas are creating poor development outcomes in Australian cities. In Brisbane, our newly published research shows this means the low-density housing character of the city is being retained at the expense of backyards.


South Australia

Indigenous rangers working to protect lake’s past for the future

Heidi Zielke-Nettoon and William Cook map out sacred areas and make deep connections to country around Lake Bonney — all to preserve the ancient history and knowledge for the next generation.



Multi-million dollar Basslink stoush not over yet

The legal stoush between the Tasmania Government and its entity Hydro Tasmania and the operator of the Bass Strait interconnector cable might not be finalised after all.


Tasmania’s widest tree discovered in area proposed for logging

A record-breaking tree has recently been discovered on the edge of a proposed logging coupe near Maydena in southern Tasmania.


Northern Territory

‘This really is a long-term win for both industries, and for all Territorians’: APPEA [$]

The head of the NT’s peak oil and gas lobby says new petroleum laws, set to come into effect on January 1, will be a long-term win for both explorers and landholders.


Western Australia

‘Never again!’: Parliamentary inquiry slams Rio Tinto Pilbara blast as ‘cultural vandalism’

Traditional owners should be paid restitution by Rio Tinto for the destruction of the sacred Juukan rock shelters, a parliamentary inquiry finds.


W.A. maps “just transition” for Collie as renewables hasten coal industry decline

McGowan government unveils ‘Just Transition’ plan for coal centre of Collie, as next step in 10 to 15-year process to prepare for exit of coal generators.


OzMin’s $1 billion nickel mine could be one of world’s biggest off-grid renewable projects

Australian mining company Oz Minerals says the latest study into its proposed $1 billion West Musgrave nickel projects in a remote part of Western Australia shows it could be one of the world’s biggest off-grid renewable powered mines in the world.


WA gas shortage fear after projects delayed [$]

Predicted delays to the two major Woodside developments and surging demand for gas from the resources sector has WA on track for a potential shortage before the end of the decade.


Juukan Gorge inquiry puts Rio Tinto on notice, but without drastic reforms, it could happen again

Deanna Kemp et al

On the eve of Reconciliation Week this year, news broke that Rio Tinto had destroyed ancient rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia to expand one of its 16 iron ore mines in the Pilbara.



Japan to make hydrogen major power source by 2030

Costs will have to be cut drastically to achieve a target of burning 10 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030, with costs around 10 times higher for combustion of the fuel that only emits water vapour, the Nikkei said


France’s Macron says nuclear will remain key energy source

France has said it will cut its reliance on nuclear energy to 50% from 75% by 2035 and has yet to make a final decision on whether to build next-generation EPR nuclear reactors.


The price of solar electricity has dropped 89% in 10 years

In 2009, building a new solar farm was 223% more expensive than building a new coal plant. Now, it’s flipped.


The threat of antibiotic resistance — in charts

Detailed information is starting to emerge on the problem and how to combat it.


‘Rambo root’ could help with climate action, peace building and environmental issues

Planting cassava can help countries tackle key environmental and sustainable development concerns. The low-cost root crop, nicknamed ‘Rambo root’ for its rugged appearance and resilient attributes, produces the highest amount of calories per hectare in most tropical countries, can withstand increasing temperatures and thrives in poor soils.


Engineers discover new microbe for simpler, cheaper and greener wastewater treatment

The new strain of bacterium can remove both nitrogen and phosphorous from sewage


Human-made materials now outweigh Earth’s entire biomass – study

Production of concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt greater than mass of living matter on planet, paper says


Breakthrough material makes pathway to hydrogen use for fuel cells under hot, dry conditions

Innovative proton conductor developed to be effective at high temperatures


New study allows regional prediction of uranium in groundwater

Researchers can predict where and when uranium is released into aquifers and suggest an easy fix to keep this naturally occurring toxin from contaminating water sources.


New blended solar cells yield high power conversion efficiencies

Researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan have blended together various polymer and molecular semiconductors as photo-absorbers to create a solar cell with increased power efficiencies and electricity generation.


Over 550 environmental groups rally around call for Biden to act on plastics pollution in 2021

The coalition called on the incoming Biden-Harris administration to address plastic pollution alongside fossil fuels, releasing an eight-point platform that largely focuses on ways the next administration could act without a Democratic majority in the Senate.


Nature Conservation

Sexy beasts: animals with ‘charisma’ get lion’s share of EU conservation funds

Analysis shows invertebrates are overlooked in favour of mammals and birds despite vital role in healthy ecosystems


Deep-sea ‘gold rush’: secretive plans to carve up the seabed decried

Greenpeace report warns against granting licences to ‘deeply destructive’ industry with opaque oversight, and calls for global ocean treaty


Index reveals integrity issues for many of the world’s forests

Only 40 per cent of forests are considered to have high ecological integrity, according to a new global measure, the Forest Landscape Integrity Index. The Index was created by 47 forest and conservation experts from across the world, including Professor James Watson of The University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society.


Nature conservation requires more dynamic approach to weather impacts of climate change

A new hard-hitting paper, titled “Post-2020 biodiversity targets need to embrace climate change” argues that nature conservation strategies need to become more flexible and dynamic in how it addresses the impact of climate change on natural habitats, genetic resources of plants, the composition of species, and the functioning of ecosystems. If not, any apparent short-term gains in reversing biodiversity loss could be lost in the decades to follow, due to climate change.


Why do elephants and tigers still roam in India? Study offers clues

A study documenting four extinctions of large mammals on the Indian Subcontinent sheds light on why elephants, tigers, and rhinos still roam there.


There are worse viruses than COVID-19 out there. How do we avoid the next big one?

Widespread immunity eventually will end the COVID-19 crisis. But it won’t end wildlife-related pandemics. What can we do now to reduce future risk?



Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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