Daily Links Dec 24

And again as ever, a very big thank you to Maelor Himbury who compiles Daily Links as a service to the environment. A most needed education is media education and you do us all proud, Maelor.

From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 24 December 2020 at 8:43:14 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Dec 24

This is the last Daily Links for 2020. All the best for the holidays. I’ll be back on Jan 4.


Post of the Day

Stop believing in fairy tales: Australia’s coal industry doesn’t employ many people or pay its fair share of tax

Richard Denniss

The evidence to the contrary comes from the Morrison government’s own data


On This Day

December 24

Christmas Eve – Western Christianity


Ecological Observance

Buy Nothing Christmas


Climate Change

Oregon wildfires are adding more fuel to young activists’ legal climate battle

Plaintiffs in Juliana v United States are suing the government for violating their constitutional rights and asking for a recovery plan


Biden wants to make climate fight central to his presidency. What do big oil and gas firms think?

President-elect Biden is set on making climate change a central part of his agenda. How do big oil and gas companies feel about that?


Biden needs massive funds for climate plans. Where will he find them?

Suddenly, a couple of trillion dollars doesn’t sound like as much money as it used to.


Study suggests great earthquakes as cause of Arctic warming

A researcher from MIPT has proposed a new explanation for the Arctic’s rapid warming. In his recent paper in Geosciences, he suggests that the warming could have been triggered by a series of great earthquakes


The gentle art of blaming

Don Aitkin

Inasmuch as manmade climate change is a problem, who is responsible for it?


Biden’s climate plan is missing a crucial element – ‘green by default’

Cass R. Sunstein

Suppose we could adopt, soon or right now, a strategy that would substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while costing people very little, or possibly even nothing? Not only that, it would not require bans or mandates, new regulations or carbon taxes. Consumers would retain freedom of choice.



Energy Insiders Podcast: Missing link – Can conservatives embrace energy transition?

A new conservative think tank proposes an orderly and faster closure plan for coal generators. Can conservatives really get on board the energy transition?


A wrap on 2020: From denial to acceptance, and from acceptance to action

David Leitch

For energy market analysts, it’s not so much about what happened in 2020, but what it means for 2021 and beyond that’s of interest.


Extinction Rebellion has much to learn from Angus Taylor, Australia’s “worst” minister

Giles Parkinson

It’s ironic that mainstream media should get so hot and bothered over the actions of the climate activists at Extinction Rebellion, who have developed a habit of parking a vehicle in the middle of a major thoroughfare, causing delays, frustration and a lot of bad language.


Stop believing in fairy tales: Australia’s coal industry doesn’t employ many people or pay its fair share of tax

Richard Denniss

The evidence to the contrary comes from the Morrison government’s own data


Planning for chaos: We can’t use the past to predict the future

Mark Byrne

Australia’s regulatory framework needs to catch up with the fact that climate change means that we can’t use the past to predict the future.


China’s own goal on Australian coal ban gives traders a massive free kick

Stephen Bartholomeusz

China’s ban on Australian coal is hurting its industries and citizens but opening up a highly profitable opportunity for commodity traders.



Victoria has a new solar farm: Glenrowan West starts sending power to grid

The 149MW Glenrowan West solar farm in Victoria’s north east becomes one of last large-scale renewables projects to join the grid for 2020.


Significant trees to be felled to make way for Toorak mansion

Stonnington councillors reject officers’ advice to save four locally significant trees standing in the way of plans to build a mansion on St Georges Road.


Drive to football? Take your kids to the pool? You’re probably emitting an astonishing amount of CO

Tim Breitbarth et al

Few people would stop to consider if their sporting activities damage the environment. But our research shows Victorians use a huge chunk of their “personal carbon budget” driving to and from sport events each year – either to watch or participate, or to transport children.


Playing the long game on drought, flooding rains

Michael Asten

The incidence of El Nino and La Nina climate conditions in the Pacific is a phenomenon widely known to Australians due to El Nino years being associated with droughts in eastern Australia, and La Nina being associated with cooler and wetter summers.


New South Wales

NSW to fast-track approvals for Morrison’s wished-for gas generator

NSW planning minister grants proposed Kurri Kurri gas power station ‘critical’ status, fast tracking Morrison’s latest energy market intervention.


NSW Independent Planning Commission accused of acting as ‘rubber stamp’ as coalmine approved

Maxwell mine in Hunter region is fourth fossil fuel project to get the green light in five months


Gas project will cause ‘more hardship’ for communities, NSW farmers to argue in court

By national science, technology and environment reporter Michael Slezak

A controversial coal seam gas project in regional New South Wales faces a new legal challenge, after farmers file papers alleging the State Government’s approval didn’t properly consider the impacts the project would have on climate change.


Contaminated storm water pumped from Camellia site into Parramatta River

The Berejiklian government’s headache over a controversial piece of land it bought for $38m more than it was worth has got a whole lot worse.


Weeding out … African Lovegrass

African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula) is a perennial grassy weed that grows in clumps up to 1.2m tall. It is native to Southern Africa and while it is now the dominant pasture species in parts of NSW and the Snowy Monaro region, it is yet to establish in many areas. Significant resources are invested into protecting these areas from invasion.


Bogong biscuits bring sweet relief for mountain pygmy-possums

Primary schools throughout the Snowy Mountains of NSW have partnered with the NSW Government’s Saving our Species (SoS) program and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to bake Bogong moth biscuits


Heritage report slams impact of Warragamba Dam project [$]

Raising the Warragamba Dam wall in Sydney’s west could threaten at least 330 sensitive Aboriginal sites discovered so far, according to a confidential Heritage NSW memo which describes environmental planning conducted by WaterNSW as “inadequate”.



Genex commences early works at flagship pumped hydro project

Genex starts early works at Kidston pumped hydro project in anticipation of final sign off by key project partners.


Beijing a buyer in Shell gas facilities [$]

A giant Beijing sovereign wealth fund has emerged as an investor in major Australian LNG infrastructure, with China Investment Corporation among backers of a deal to buy a stake in Shell’s Queensland gas infrastructure for $US2.5bn ($3.3bn).



Taswater’s “stupid” business decisions costing state millions: Steve Kons

The “legally and commercially abhorrent” structure of Taswater’s capital works contracts is simultaneously ripping off local contractors and losing potentially millions of dollars to mainland companies.


Renewables and Tasmania – How to do it right


It’s hard to overstate how badly Tasmania is getting renewables wrong.


Injunction bid to halt logging of swift parrot habitat

Media release – Bob Brown Foundation

Bob Brown Foundation’s application for an injunction to stop the logging of Swift Parrot habitat in Tasmania’s Eastern Tiers forests will be heard in the Federal Court on 11th January if an interim agreement is not reached with Forestry Tasmania trading as Sustainable Timber Tasmania pending the decision by the Full Court of the Federal Court in the Great Forest case.


Northern Territory

Feral buffalo numbers in the NT ‘out of control’ and nearing 200,000 head

More landowners in the Top End choose to muster buffalo for commercial gain, rather than reducing the population via aerial culling programs and it’s leading to a worrying spike in numbers.


Vanished Todd River suddenly reappears

A river bed in the heart of Australia that is dry 95 per cent of the time and can disappear for years on end has made a sudden comeback.


Kakadu row: feuding groups told to follow the law [$]

Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt has warned feuding Kakadu-based Aboriginal groups to follow the law as tension mounts ahead of the end of uranium mining operations early next year.


Western Australia

WA coastline facing marine heatwave in early 2021, CSIRO predicts

Exclusive: Ocean temperatures to peak at about 1C above average in April, according to forecast, threatening marine life and coral


Rio chairman moves to reset relationship with Indigenous group over cave blast

Rio Tinto has begun work on building the trust of Indigenous communities following the Juukan Gorge cave disaster.



Organic meat production just as bad for climate, study finds

Analysis also found the lowest impact meat was still far more damaging than the worst plant foods


The good old ways: can we still farm like our grandparents?

Against the odds, small-scale farmers are learning new ways to survive in an age of industrial-scale competition


EU bans plastic waste exports to poor nations

The EU will ban the export of unsorted plastic waste to poorer countries as of January. Under new rules, trash importers and exporters will need to agree on how to handle hazardous shipments.


India’s natural gas consumption rises 2% in November from a year earlier

The consumption rose to 5.2 billion cubic meters (BCM) from 5.1 BCM last November, as per the official data. The demand for the April-November period is down nearly 5% from last year.


Is Singapore’s approval of lab-grown meat a climate win?

The global market for meat alternatives, which includes cultured and imitation meats, is currently at about $14 billion. But environmentalists doubt some of the claimed benefits.


Could seaweed help save us from climate catastrophe?

“A couple of years ago, I would never have believed it,” one scientist said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”


5G could worsen climate change, claims French government advisor

A massive improvement in speed could drive a surge in internet use that is accompanied by a surge in emissions, according to a report commissioned by the French Senate.


How many solar panels do we need to save the climate?

A zero-carbon-emissions energy system will rely mostly on low-cost solar electricity, experts say. About 100 giant solar panel factories must be built by 2025 for the world to defossilize its energy supply by 2035.


Chernobyl fears resurface as river dredging begins in exclusion zone

Scientists warn of threat of nuclear contamination from work on giant E40 waterway linking Baltic to the Black Sea


Plastic is blowing in the wind

The discovery of microplastics in the air above the ocean reveals the spread of this hazardous pollution.


Environmental justice demands listening

Dorceta E. Taylor

The future of environmental justice is true equality.


Nature Conservation

Growing gap between trees flowering and coming into leaf as world warms, study finds

As the world warms due to greenhouse gas emissions, trees’ delicate flowering and leafing timings, calibrated over millennia, are now changing.


Agriculture will threaten habitat for 90 percent of animal species by 2050

Agricultural expansion could destroy some of the habitat of almost 90 percent of terrestrial animal species, a new study has found, leading to a widespread biodiversity crisis.


Climate crisis is causing lakes to shrink

Climate change is impacting not only the oceans, but also large inland lakes. As the world’s largest lake, the Caspian Sea is a perfect example of how a body of water can and will change.


Droughts, viruses and road networks: Trends that will impact our forests

A new study assembled an array of experts to highlight major trends that will impact the world’s forests, and the people living around them, in the decade ahead. These trends include drought, viral outbreaks and vast infrastructure expansions across the globe. According to the researchers, a global strategy for human-nature interaction must be developed if we intend on ensuring the survival of both.


Biden plans to conserve 30 percent of America’s lands

Arthur Middleton, Justin Brashares

That’s how much land Biden wants to conserve over the next decade. But is it possible?


China’s deal with PNG will deplete fishing stock and pose border risk

Anthony Bergin and Jeffrey Wall

It’s not in our strategic interest to have a major Chinese government resource exploration project right on our northern doorstep.

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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