Daily Links Mar 23

How many 1:100 yr events in consecutive years will lead us to abandon this dumb terminology, let alone our stupid insistence that these are ‘freaks of nature’ without systemic cause? Don’t hold your breath waiting for Bolt et al to recant though, just ignore them and get on with it.

Post of the Day

If we’re going to stop deforestation, the numbers don’t stack up

Governments must invest far more in protecting the world’s tropical forests, a key ally in warding off climate change and future pandemics.


On This Day

March 23

Atheist Day


Ecological Observance

World Meteorological Day


Climate Change

Climate change protest: Activists hold a global strike as a reality check on net-zero targets

The Fridays for Future movement returned to spotlight a dangerous shortfall in climate action.


Warming trends: Climate refugees, ocean benefits and tropical species moving north

Over 12 million people around the world have been pushed out of their homes in the last six months, a new report says, 80 percent of whom were displaced due to natural and climate-related disasters.


Young evangelical activists are taking action on climate change

A growing network of evangelical activists are tackling climate change on their own terms, and hoping to bring their church along with them.


Is climate change an unstoppable freight train or a ship about to turn?

An energy historian cannot help but observe how, in hindsight, humans might have made different choices. He or she must also acknowledge that we don’t have the option of redoing past decisions. Unlike the floundering golfer, we don’t get mulligans.


Arctic methane release due to melting ice is likely to happen again

Beneath the cold, dark depths of the Arctic ocean sit vast reserves of methane. These stores rest in a delicate balance, stable as a solid called methane hydrates, at very specific pressures and temperatures. If that balance gets tipped, the methane can get released into the water above and eventually make its way to the atmosphere.


Why commercialization of carbon capture and sequestration has failed and how it can work

There are 12 essential attributes that explain why commercial carbon capture and sequestration projects succeed or fail in the U.S., University of California San Diego researchers say in a recent study published in Environmental Research Letters.



Australia’s worst floods in decades quicken concerns about climate change

In a country that suffered the harshest wildfires in its recorded history just a year ago, the deluge has become another awful milestone.


Tasmania, South Australia lead, while Morrison is deadweight on energy transition

States continue to do the heavy lifting on a clean energy transition, as Morrison ignores chance for a clean energy recovery, WWF scorecard shows.


Greens try to head off Snowy Hydro gas plant with fossil fuel ban

Australian Greens move to block Morrison’s quest for a government funded gas plant in Kurri Kurri, proposing a ban on Snowy Hydro fossil fuel investments.


Well-resourced watchdog needed to protect nature

An independent national environmental watchdog, as proposed in a new bill presented to federal parliament today, is critical to reversing Australia’s extinction crisis and protecting wildlife and ecosystems for future generations.


Investors to turn up heat on Australia’s biggest emitters

Australia’s big emitters are increasingly pledging to slash emissions but are failing to commit to the level of spending investors say is required.


Recycling giant defends environmental record ahead of potential takeover

Recycling giant Bingo Industries has defended its environmental credentials after an anonymous short seller questioned its recycling record.


Boris Johnson outlines why Scott Morrison was rejected to speak at climate summit

Labor has tabled a letter from Boris Johnson to Scott Morrison, who thanked our PM for his personal commitment to net zero and said he looks forward to him setting down a timeline.


Wind and solar offer key to Australia’s ‘buy or build’ growth challenge

Michael Molitor

Australia is giving away too much value through exports of commodities, but could capture that value through wind and solar resources and other new technologies.


The post 2025 energy market must plan for a grid without coal

Tim Finnigan

The Energy Security Board is devising ways to keep the grid operating along the rocky road of the renewables transition. But is it looking far enough ahead?


Not ‘if’, but ‘when’: city planners need to design for flooding. These examples show the way

Elizabeth Mossop

As the current New South Wales flooding highlights, it’s not enough to continue to build cities and towns based on business-as-usual planning principles — especially as these disasters tend to disproportionately affect disadvantaged populations, increasing inequality in Australia.


Angus Taylor’s home-made power crisis [$]

Craig Emerson

The government’s energy security policies fly in the face of a private sector solution to post-coal power.


Rains stir familiar lament on lack of preparation [$]

Australian editorial

A return of flooding rains that have inundated towns and homes along the east coast of Australia demonstrates how poor planning can exacerbate the dangers and squander the opportunities that natural events can bring. Bad design, inadequate infrastructure and unchecked urban expansion increase the cost of disasters.


Mouse plagues, plague plagues, terrible floods and fires – are these the biblical end times?

First Dog on the Moon

There are mice everywhere and in everything, the kookaburras and magpies are fat and everyone else is miserable



Yarra awarded grant for road made from recycled tyres, that water trees and reduces pollution

A street in Yarra is set to be paved with recycled tyres, with a new technology that reduces waste, encourages tree growth, and prevents pollution.


Commuter disruption as climate activists begin week-long ‘autumn rebellion’

Activists calling for more action to combat climate change are planning to cause major disruption in Melbourne’s CBD with a week of protests.


Thousands of cops diverted to control climate rebels [$]

Two thousand cops have been pulled from regular duties to respond to a week of “mass disruption” by climate activists.


New South Wales

Warragamba Dam spilling Sydney Harbour’s worth of water into basin each day

Experts are concerned about where the massive volume of water pouring from Sydney’s Warragamba Dam will go, as debate continues about the impact the flow will have.


Could 17 metres of concrete help stop Sydney’s floods? Some people think so

Sydney’s floods have sparked renewed interest in a controversial plan to raise Warragamba Dam’s wall — this is what you need to know.


‘Observing the death of a species’: Damage to Sydney drinking water catchment swamps ‘irreversible’

A five-year study finds longwall mining operations are drying out crucial swamps south of Sydney, which scientists say strengthens the IPC’s rejection of the Dendrobium mine expansion.


NSW mulls grid access arrangements for new wind, solar and storage projects

NSW government seeks feedback on proposed network access models to manage network connections in the state’s Renewable Energy Zones.


Construction begins on Australia’s biggest solar and battery hybrid in New England

Huge hybrid solar and battery project is expected to produce 1,800,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year.


NSW Northern Rivers warned to expect further flash flooding

More rain to fall right through to the south coast of NSW.


Want to mitigate the risk? Don’t build on floodplains


No one can stop the rain but much of the flooding in Sydney’s west is a consequence of bad planning, not bad luck.


Increased urban development in Australia could make future floods worse

Stuart Khan

If we keep building on Sydney’s notorious floodplains, we have to protect residents better


Gladys Berejiklian was wrong to say the NSW floods were beyond anyone’s expectations

Robert Glasser

Climate change is blowing our old “one-in-100-year” calculations out of the water.



Water testing volunteers praise latest catchment report data

Wading out knee-deep into the middle of Canberra’s catchment areas in search of bugs each month may sound like an unusual task.


ACT among leading renewables jurisdictions: report

The ACT has been identified as one of the country’s best jurisdictions in terms of renewable energy, according to a new report.



Stanwell signs up to Vast Solar’s Mt Isa thermal solar project

The proposed $600m hybrid solar thermal project in Mount Isa has got early financial backing from the Queensland government’s Stanwell Energy.


Olympics bid team not deterred by rejection of $5.3b Fast Rail plan for SEQ

The team will continue with its own Fast Rail push, despite Infrastructure Australia’s rejection of a separate $5.3 billion link between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.


Roma Street Parkland free car park to be sold to developers

The Queensland Government plans to sell the carpark – where parking is now free – at Roma Street Parklands to developers as part of the $5.2 billion Cross River Rail project.


South east Queensland expecting extreme weather to continue

The deluge over parts of Queensland is forecast to continue.


South Australia

Labor’s big pitch: Hydrogen power and thousands of jobs [$]

Peter Malinauskas has responded to Steven Marshall’s riverbank arena with his own signature policy – a massive investment in renewable energy.


Threat to sue City Council over CBD bikeway plan [$]

A high-profile lawyer and a group of businesses are threatening to sue Adelaide City Council over a proposed bikeway through the CBD.


This panel has the power to shape how our city looks and it ought to be done in front of the public [$]

Caleb Bond

Shutting out the public to stop one of our most powerful decision-making groups from feeling “intimidated” is ludicrous.



Gutwein government refuses to release PR advice on energy agreement with Morrison

Gutwein Government refuses to release documents showing advice it received before the signing of an agreement with the federal government on major energy projects.


‘Horrific’ dead devil sparks cries for prison relocation [$]

Those opposing a proposed maximum security prison in the North say the increase in road movements will endanger more native animals, after the discovery of a dead Tasmanian devil.


Northern Territory

Recreational anglers given access to Arnhem Land waters

Northern Territory recreational anglers and fishing tour operators have been granted access to coastal tidal waters near two Arnhem Land rivers.


Western Australia

Arrests as Extinction Rebellion protesters lie down on Perth CBD roads

Police have moved in on Extinction Rebellion protesters who held a “die-in” on St Georges Terrace on Monday in an effort to draw attention to the state of the climate.



Toxic PAH air pollutants from fossil fuels ‘multiply’ in sunlight

When power stations burn coal, a class of compounds called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs, form part of the resulting air pollution. Researchers have found that PAHs toxins degrade in sunlight into ‘children’ compounds and by-products.


A spotlight on decarbonising heavy industry in India: Narratives on iron and steel, cement, and chemicals

The heavy industry sector has been a key player in ensuring job security and enabling India to become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The sector has contributed significantly to the country’s socio-economic development and urbanisation, due to which energy demand has been on the rise.


Big breakthrough for ‘massless’ energy storage

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fibre that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.


New porous material promising for making renewable energy from water

One prospective source of renewable energy is hydrogen gas produced from water with the aid of sunlight. Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a material, nanoporous cubic silicon carbide, that exhibits promising properties to capture solar energy and split water for hydrogen gas production.


The ageless and arresting activism of Jane Fonda

An interview with the outspoken actress about feminism, climate activism, and getting arrested in her 80s.


Why Bill Gates is really into synthetic meat and what he thinks about those COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Taking questions from the internet, the Microsoft co-founder reveals he hopes for the future of climate change, why he’s eating synthetic meat and what he thinks about being the subject of COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories.


Big fashion companies lag behind on green targets

The 15 largest listed fashion companies are lagging behind when it comes to meeting the social and environmental targets of the Paris climate agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals, a new report by the Business of Fashion says.


Community ‘voice’ should guide expanding African cities

Two new environmental policy briefings, aimed at decision makers working on rapidly expanding urban areas in southern Africa, emphasise that local community voices must be included in the early planning stages to minimise ecological impacts.


Energizing India

The world needs more electricity. As populations grow, standards of living increase and more people gain access to modern conveniences, countries will need to expand their energy generation capacity.


Climate change and EVs: How will future cars stem global warming?

Electric vehicles have become a hot trend. But how much better are they for the environment than standard gas or diesel-powered cars?


Humans extinct by 2045? I call bullshit. Relax, boys. Spermageddon’s a beat-up [$]

Tory Shepherd

It’s all a bit of a storm in a sperm cup…


Why bugs, guinea pigs and algae could be the foods of the future

Mary McMillan

It was interesting to read recently the story of a Tasmanian couple who farm and eat guinea pigs.


Nature Conservation

If we’re going to stop deforestation, the numbers don’t stack up

Governments must invest far more in protecting the world’s tropical forests, a key ally in warding off climate change and future pandemics.


Major ‘State of the Planet’ report out in advance of first Nobel Prize Summit

Human actions are threatening the resilience and stability of Earth’s biosphere – the wafer-thin veil around Earth where life thrives. This has profound implications for the development of civilizations, say an international group of researchers in a report published for the first Nobel Prize Summit, a digital gathering to be held in April to discuss the state of the planet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


5 things to know about the fate of wild salmon

Historical pressures combined with new threats from climate change have pushed more than a dozen species close to extinction.


Many New Zealand species are already at risk because of predators and habitat loss. Climate change makes things worse

Cate Macinnis-Ng and Angus Mcintosh

Climate change has long been dismissed as a significant stress to New Zealand’s native wildlife, but research shows it exacerbates existing threats such as introduced predators and habitat loss.

Maelor Himbury
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