Daily Links Dec 18

Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t be left holding the parcel when the music stops. The stranding of assets has started, and there’s not much the Member for Manila, his FNQ mate Matteo Canavani, Angus Fantastic, Coal Fitzgibbon or any of the other coal-fondlers can do about. 

Post of the Day

The poison found in everyone, even unborn babies – and who is responsible for it

Rob Bilott

Chemicals called PFAS and PFOS – known as forever chemicals – are in the blood of virtually every person on the planet. And they will only accumulate


On This Day

December 18


Climate Change

Biden picks his climate team

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to start announcing his energy and environment team within the next few days, and, according to people close to the Biden transition team, two important decisions have already been made.


How Russia wins the climate crisis

Climate change is propelling enormous human migrations, transforming global agriculture and remaking the world order — and no country stands to gain more than Russia.


Climate change will be a ‘big’ 2021 focus in ESG

Climate change will be one of the top trends to watch in the environmental, social and governance investing sphere.


The year in climate

A lot happened in 2020. Here’s how The New YorkTimes’s Climate Desk covered it.


Emmanuel Macron wants climate goals in French constitution

A referendum could force a change in the French constitution to add pledges to combat climate change. President Macron has come under fire for a perceived lack of effort to protect the environment.



What Australia can learn from electric vehicle policies in Indonesia

The Indonesian Government is making an effort to encourage drivers to go electric in an effort to reduce traffic and air pollution.


Australia’s population grew by 1.3 per cent

Australia’s population grew by 1.3 per cent during the year ending 30 June 2020 against a backdrop of international travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


Fossil fuel workers want government to start renewable transition

Australian fossil fuel workers say they know the writing is on the wall and want help transitioning into a renewable future, so they can save their communities before it’s too late.


Climate guru Warwick McKibbin says Labor has it wrong [$]

Australian National University economics professor Warwick McKibbin — whose “authoritative” research was used to justify Labor’s climate policies at the last election — has rejected the need for rigid medium-term emissions targets to take action on climate change and reach zero-net emissions by 2050.


If Albanese wants to survive he has to shift on energy [$]

Theo Theophanous

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese appears to be on an electoral winner by adopting the 2050 net-zero emissions target. Scott Morrison has stated he will make no such pledge to Australians “unless I can tell them how we will achieve it and what this will cost”.


Business lobby group and corporations back Zali Steggall’s 2050 net zero target bill

Tesla, Origin Energy and Atlassian among hundreds that have made parliamentary submissions backing proposal


Response to Australian Conservation Foundation Ranger Rehabilitation Report December 2020

Energy Resources of Australia

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) notes recent commentary by the Australian Conservation Foundation, Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney, the Mineral Policy Institute and the Environment Centre NT suggesting the rehabilitation timeframe for the Ranger Project Area is unrealistic and has persistent technical challenges relating to groundwater and tailings management.


Tears over coal mines leave Labor in a climate mess [$]

Phillip Coorey

Scott Morrison will go round Coalition dissidents to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. Meanwhile, it’s Labor that’s torn over the short-term direction to take.



Federal Court overturns Government’s decision on sacred trees in path of highway upgrade

Justice John Griffiths orders that a new decision on the matter be made by someone other than the Environment Minister, and that the Government pay the appellants’ costs.


Royal Botanic Gardens 20-year plan revealed

Major changes planned over the next 20 years for Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens have been revealed.


New South Wales

Thousands of NSW land claims waiting to be processed & the number is climbing

The number of Aboriginal land claims waiting to be processed in NSW has climbed to 36,769 and the number of claims waiting for over 10 years to be processed has also increased.


‘Radical action’: NSW triples size of feral-free zones to restore bush

NSW will triple the size of its feral-free sanctuaries as it steps up efforts to bring back marsupials previously wiped out by threats such as cats and preserve other endangered creatures.


Golf takes up precious space, but the sport has earned it

James Sutherland

No one is arguing against the provision of parklands. Killing off or reducing golf courses like Moore Park to attain that is something else.



Making progress, but Treasury can’t put price on Native Title liability

The Palaszczuk Government is resolving around 10 native title claims each year, however there is still a backlog and serious issues to resolve.


LNG prices ‘gutted’ but Gladstone exceeds production capacity

Gladstone’s three LNG projects have exceeded their combined nameplate capacity in November for the first time since they started in 2015.


South Australia

Hitch in cheap power plan

Remember the promised $302 cut to your power bill? A lot hangs on the SA-NSW interconnector, but the green light has been pushed back.


Before and after: these 4 graphics show the recovery of last summer’s bushfire devastation

Jorg Michael Hacker

Two days before Christmas last year, a fire reached our heritage-protected bush property in the Adelaide Hills, and destroyed our neighbour’s house. For the next two weeks we were on constant alert to keep the fire in check.



Stock out of waterways program has fenced 40,000 stock from Tasmania’s waterways

A winding creek that meanders through a rural property might seem on the surface to be an aesthetic and practical advantage.


Key energy proponents discussed the state’s future at a breakfast forum on Thursday [$]

From humble beginnings nearly 130 years ago when Launceston became the first city in the country to have street lighting powered by renewable energy to today, where the state is 100 per cent self-sufficient – Tasmania has long been a clean energy powerhouse.


Hobart cable car project ‘still flying despite crisis’ [$]

Backers of Hobart’s Mount Wellington cable car will seek federal environmental approval in the new year, vowing to push ahead with the project despite uncertainty on international tourism.


Northern Territory

‘It’s sad to us’: Native title holders sue NT Government over McArthur River Mine

The Aboriginal land council representing traditional owners in the Top End has filed a compensation claim against the Northern Territory Government over the effects of the McArthur River Mine on their native title rights and sacred sites.


Western Australia

Australian coal-fired power plant bought for $1.2b now ‘effectively has no value’

The owners of the Bluewaters coal-fired plant in Western Australia have written down the value of the asset to zero, despite it being barely ten years old.


Heritage-listed Fitzroy River to be protected in government deal to extend Western Australia national park

Agreement signed with traditional owners covering 173,000 hectares follows failed bids by pastoralists to dam river


Rio Tinto names Jakob Stausholm CEO after Aboriginal cave blast crisis

The mining giant has appointed its finance chief Jakob Stausholm to succeed Jean-Sebastien Jacques, who resigned in the wake of the Juukan Gorge disaster earlier this year.



‘A serious threat’: Plastics we use every day are leaching hazardous chemicals, report says

According to a scientific report issued Tuesday, the plastics we commonly use contain and leach hazardous chemicals, including some that threaten human health, especially the body’s endocrine system.


Floating ‘mini-nukes’ could power countries by 2025, says startup

Danish company plans to fit ships with small nuclear reactors to send energy to developing countries


An equitable, low-carbon way to end global energy poverty

energy transition

As economies seek to recover from the prolonged impacts of COVID-19, distributed renewable energy offers an opportunity to reach the underserved and to power development.


China shivers as coal ban sparks electricity shortages [$]

Electricity shortages are worsening across China, forcing tens of millions of residents in large cities to ration heating, raising questions about how long Xi Jinping can continue to delay delivery of more than $1bn of Australian coal which feeds the nation’s power plants and steel mills.


Crops near Chernobyl still contaminated

Crops grown near Chernobyl are still contaminated due to the 1986 nuclear accident, new research shows.


The only way to achieve carbon-neutral flight, according to an airline

United Airlines is betting on carbon removal as the key to climate-friendly air travel.


Transforming clean energy technology

A team of researchers has developed a new method of harnessing solar energy, moving us closer to a clean energy future.


Electron-producing microbes power sustainable wastewater treatment

Researchers have developed a sustainable wastewater treatment system that relies on electron-producing microbial communities to clean the water.


Tropical forests can take the heat, study finds. Dryness? Not so much

A new study shows that one of the main threats to forest ecosystems is not only a warmer world, but also a drier climate.


The most consumed species of mussels contain microplastics all around the world

“If you eat mussels, you eat microplastics.” This was already known to a limited extent about mussels from individual ocean regions. A new study reveals that this claim apparently holds true globally.


Upcycling: New catalytic process turns plastic bags into adhesives

Converting polyethylene packaging into high-value products incentivizes plastics recycling


The world’s fastest-growing source of food

The green fronds that grow along much of India’s shoreline have large potential as a sustainable food source, while helping to fight climate change.


The poison found in everyone, even unborn babies – and who is responsible for it

Rob Bilott

Chemicals called PFAS and PFOS – known as forever chemicals – are in the blood of virtually every person on the planet. And they will only accumulate


Nature Conservation

Brazil scientists map forest regrowth keeping Amazon from collapse: Study

A Brazil-wide map of secondary forests over the past 33 years can help regrow Amazon rainforest, stop fires, and curb carbon emissions.


Unique ‘climate refuge’ for coral discovered off coast of east Africa

‘Jewel of biodiversity’ in natural oceanic basin formed during deglaciation of Kilimanjaro and Usambara mountains


Willow tit becomes Britain’s fastest declining resident bird, survey finds

Numbers of the diminutive tit, a subspecies unique to the UK, have plummeted by 94% since 1970


Shark fishing bans partially effective

Bans on shark fishing are only partially effective in protecting sharks, new research suggests.


‘Ugliest orchid in the world’ among 2020’s new plant discoveries

Kew Gardens botanists also named a new toadstool found at Heathrow airport and a bizarre scaly shrub from Namibia


EU set to miss targets on sustainability after agreeing fishing quotas

Member states blame uncertainty over Brexit as reason for breach of next year’s limits


Fertilizer runoff in streams and rivers can have cascading effects, analysis shows

Fertilizer pollution can have significant ripple effects in the food webs of streams and rivers, according to a new analysis of global data.


An oil palm front advances on an Indigenous community in Peru

“The invasions do not stop, the deforestation does not stop, and the threats do not stop.”

Maelor Himbury
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