Daily Links Dec 11

Here’re stories in media that Murdoch doesn’t control and that the marketing bloke mightn’t like. But The New Daily would be a casualty of the government’s war on industry superannuation as it is wholly owned by Industry Super Holdings. The LNP proposed limits on superannuation would preclude funds being spent on online journalism and so remove this source of scrutiny, which seems to be the way they like it.


Post of the Day

Funding shake-up for environmental science

A government-funded research hub dedicated to Australia’s threatened species will have its funding discontinued from mid-next year.


On This Day

December 11

Hanukkah (until 18/12) – Judaism


Ecological Observance

International Mountain Day


Climate Change

Greta Thunberg dismisses ’empty words’ in new climate crisis appeal – video

Greta Thunberg has warned the world is failing to tackle the climate emergency and is in a ‘state of complete denial’ nearly five years after the Paris agreement.


Global citizens’ assembly planned to address climate crisis

Project hopes to influence policymakers at Cop26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow


How the Paris effect is driving green changes faster than predicted

Progress toward decarbonising the global economy has accelerated so unexpectedly quickly since the Paris Agreement five years ago that a green economic race has broken out and the goal of keeping global warming to two degrees or less is in sight, says the British economist Lord Nicholas Stern.


UN urges action on net-zero carbon emissions targets

Countries that have pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2050 have failed to explain how they will achieve the goal, a major UN stocktake on global greenhouse gas emissions says.


UK climate body lays out economy-boosting plan to reach net zero emissions

“We simply don’t need fossil fuels to access cheap energy anymore,” says UK climate body. “Any notion that we can’t afford to tackle climate change is clearly nonsense”.


Low oxygen levels in lakes and reservoirs may accelerate global change

Ultimately, this study is crucial for how researchers, and the general public, think about how freshwater ecosystems produce greenhouse gases in the future.



Angus Taylor hails new emissions projections as UN names Australia as climate outlier in new report

Government analysis shows Australia will meet its first Paris agreement emissions goal, but a UN report says it’s not enough to stave off environmental damage.


‘Unimportant’: Morrison shrugs off global climate summit

Scott Morrison has dismissed the importance of a global climate summit, seemingly confirming he has no plans for bolder ambitions and was therefore left off the speaker list.


Australians are ready for a greener future. Are lawyers?

With environmental and sustainable initiatives accelerating, driven by increasing consumer demand, lawyers have an essential role to play to help Australia realise its green ambitions and encourage further investment into those initiatives, according to Hicksons Lawyers.


Mining giants push back on sacred site pause after Rio cave disaster

Australia’s largest miners are pushing back against a federal inquiry’s proposal to pause all projects on sacred Indigenous sites.


War on waste: How Australia gets serious about reducing its rubbish mountain

The Morrison Government has been urged to take the lead on ensuring Australia becomes a true “circular economy” in which rubbish is minimised and the waste that is created is used to make new products or generate energy.


Big battery pipeline nudges 7GW in Australia, as roles for storage multiply

Australia has around 7GW of battery storage projects at various stages in the development pipeline, a new report estimates.


Funding shake-up for environmental science

A government-funded research hub dedicated to Australia’s threatened species will have its funding discontinued from mid-next year.


3 reasons meeting climate targets and dumping Kyoto credits won’t salvage Australia’s international reputation

Matt McDonald

Today, the Morrison government released updated projections of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, which indicate Australia is on track to meet 2030 Paris targets without using “carryover” credits earned from the Kyoto Protocol period.


Angus Taylor’s 2020 emissions report: pro gas, anti wind and very weird

Ketan Joshi

More gas, less wind and less big solar: The electricity numbers in Taylor’s emissions roadmap make no sense. But that’s not the only weird part of this report.


Angus Taylor hails latest emissions projections, but it’s bad news for wind and solar

Michael Mazengarb

Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor says the latest emissions productions published by the Morrison government show that Australia is on track to meet its 2030 emissions target without the use of controversial surplus emissions credits, but it also predicts a collapse in large-scale solar and wind investment.



EPA overturns approvals for dumps to accept West Gate Tunnel contaminated soil

Victoria’s environmental regulator rescinds approvals for another two toxic waste dumps connected to Melbourne’s West Gate tunnel project.


Baw Baw’s bandicoots need your help

Living in Baw Baw Shire means residents have the chance to come up close with native animals right on their doorsteps, from possums, birds and reptiles to bandicoots – that’s right, bandicoots; the township of Longwarry is one of the few remaining places the Southern Brown Bandicoot calls home.


Wind and solar deliver record emission cuts for Victoria, but pressure mounts to do more

New analysis finds Victoria could meet its legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050 nearly five years ahead of schedule.


Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions falling. Now comes the hard part

Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions have declined thanks to large emissions cuts from electricity and the introduction of the state’s renewable energy target.


Latrobe Valley mine ‘pit lakes’ risk river health in drying climate: reports

Turning the Latrobe Valley’s open-cut coal mines into ‘pit lakes’ will worsen the health of an ailing river system, analysis shows.


New South Wales

Council acquires Crown Land for community use and protection of local wildlife

Springhill Lane will remain in the hands of the community and protection of endangered flora and fauna will be strengthened, following the transfer of Crown Land to Armidale Regional Council.


Government green-lights Metro West station at Pyrmont

The NSW government has given the green light to building a metro train station at Pyrmont as part of the $25 billion rail line linking Sydney’s CBD to Parramatta.


Government split over bushfire land clearing rules

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean is reportedly concerned about the impact a controversial bushfire protection policy will have on bushland as a fire-prone council in his own electorate seeks to be exempt.


‘Aviation revolution’: Sydney Harbour to be home to world’s first zero-emissions airline

Sydney Seaplanes say their new fleet will be quieter, require less frequent maintenance and all-electric by 2025.


Coal mine threatens sacred land, say Aboriginal elders [$]

An underground coal mine that threatens two of the Hunter Valley’s leading horse studs will disturb sacred land, Aboriginal elders have said.



Canberrans buy e-scooters for commute after rentals takeover city

E-scooters have taken off in Canberra but are they here to stay?



Off-road cycling grid in the works [$]

Brisbane City Council has earmarked almost 50 parks and bushland reserves as sites for new off-road cycling tracks.


Five arrested as climate protesters take over Brisbane streets for the second time this week

The Extinction Rebellion protesters were met with a strong police presence as they marched through the city on Thursday calling for more government action on climate change.


Leaked: Crucial Fraser meetings skipped [$]

State Government documents reveal Federal bureaucrats didn’t attend 13 crucial meetings about Fraser Island’s management prior to its worst bushfire in recent history.


Do-nothing Premier spots a game-changer [$]

Steven Wardill

Palaszczuk’s pursuit of a new cutting-edge industry in transportable renewable hydrogen could be her saviour.


South Australia

Timberlink congratulated on innovative timber investment in South Australia

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and the South Australian Forest Products Association (SAFPA) has welcomed timber manufacturing business Timberlink’s announcement that it will construct its new $59 million state-of-the-art Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) manufacturing facility at Tarpeena in South Australia – right next door to Timberlink’s existing sawmill site.



Eastern Tiers logging in ‘important’ swift parrot habitat area, but STT says potential habitat exluded

Sustainable Timber Tasmania has claimed that medium and high density nesting habitat has been excluded from its logging operations within the Lake Leake swift parrot important breeding zone.


Tas Networks questioned about how they record eagle death and injury caused by powerlines

The number of bird strikes on Tasmanian power lines is still “too high”, says the Tas Networks boss, with 18 bird of prey electrocuted this past year, but the Greens are questioning the accuracy of the company’s recording processes.


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.


Tasmanian devils look set to conquer their own pandemic

Hamish McCallum and Austin H. Patton

In the midst of a human pandemic, we have some good news about a wildlife one: our new research, published today in Science, shows Tasmanian devils are likely to survive despite the infectious cancer that has ravaged their populations.


Northern Territory

Mine regulators refer bullying, fraud allegations to anti-corruption watchdog

Frustrated public servants have asked the Independent Commission Against Corruption to investigate allegations they’re being directed to water down environmental regulation and facilitate rather than regulate NT mines.


Western Australia

Native title chief tips Rio Tinto could end up paying $250 million for destroying ancient caves

Rio Tinto could have to pay up to $250 million in compensation to the traditional owners of the Juukan Gorge heritage site, according to the chief executive of the National Native Title Council.


Even in Australia’s biggest gas state, gas won’t be a transition fuel for the grid

Market operator dramatically cuts forecast of gas use in electricity generation in Western Australia, the country’s biggest consumer of gas.


Rio’s barbaric destruction of Juukan Gorge must never be repeated

Age editorial

The destruction at Juukan Gorge has done enormous damage to Indigenous people and to Australia’s global reputation as a humane and civilised country.


In a strange twist, Rio’s reputational damage could enhance its profit

Elizabeth Knight

The recommendations made by the parliamentary committee looking into Rio Tinto’s destruction of 46,000-year-old sacred sites could stoke further rises in the iron ore price.



Mars Food & Amcor announce industry-first move to launch recyclable microwavable rice pouch

Mars Food, in partnership with global packaging company Amcor, will bring the first food-safe, mono-material microwavable rice pouch to market beginning in 2021.


The death of US shale has been greatly exaggerated

Alex Kimani

U.S. shale has recorded a steep production decline due to sharp fall in oil and gas prices, however, the industry could be primed to recover much faster than what we have been led to believe.


Nature Conservation

Bison recovering but 31 other species now extinct, says red list

Three frog and one shark species have vanished, and Amazonian dolphin and oak trees are threatened


Sea Shepherd video: New species of whale discovered

Carrying out oceanic research the crew of the Sea Shepherd surmise they have a discovered a new species of whale.


How seaweed-munching crabs could help save coral reefs

Coral reefs are facing a steep decline today for many reasons, including climate change, overfishing, pollution, disease, and more. What’s taking their place is lots and lots of seaweed. But researchers now have some encouraging news: native crabs can help to combat the seaweed and restore the reef.


Human society and the biosphere

John Avery

As the greenhouse gas emissions of human society push the earth towards catastrophic climate change, rates of extinction in the biosphere will certainly become higher.


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