Daily Links Mar 24

Thirty thousand dollar insurance premiums, warnings from Andy Pitman and research by Joelle Gergis ought to have been enough to tell us we cannot keep doing what we do. Along with an abundance of caution in planning policy, we need to discover an abundance of humility and drop our belief that we can bend nature to our will.

From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 24 March 2021 at 8:59:50 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Mar 24

Post of the Day

We need not live on the edge, where fire and flood will overrun us

George Morgan

One of the hallmarks of western “civilisation” is our belief that we can master the forces of nature through the power of reason. Ever since our ancestors first gathered in cities about 6000 years ago, they believed that engineering know-how would make us less vulnerable than those in the hinterland. But at certain moments this belief seems like hubris.

 

On This Day

March 24

 

Ecological Observance

National Tree Planting Day – Uganda

 

Climate Change

Can OPEC rescue the planet?

In order to end the fossil fuel era, the United States should join the organization American presidents love to hate.

 

A successful Cop26 is essential for Britain and the world. Here’s how it can happen

Simon Lewis

Without a clear plan for what he wants to achieve, Boris Johnson risks becoming a bystander at a crucial world summit

 

When climate alarmism meets cancel culture [$]

Bjorn Lomborg

Across the world, politicians are now promising climate policies costing tens of trillions of dollars – money we don’t have and resources that are desperately needed elsewhere.

 

National

Australia’s population shrinks for the first time since WWI as COVID turns off immigration tap

For the first time in more than a hundred years Australia’s population is shrinking, and it’s likely to have far reaching and long lasting consequences for the economy and society.

 

Lifespan of Australia’s longest gas pipeline slashed as renewable energy turns heat up on fossil fuels

The company that owns Australia’s longest natural gas pipeline slashes the asset’s expected lifespan, saying renewable energy could make the business unviable decades ahead of schedule.

 

Australia’s floods: what the disaster tells us about a climate crisis future – Full Story podcast

Days of heavy rain and flooding along Australia’s east coast have caused widespread damage and triggered the evacuation of thousands of residents – from western Sydney to the mid-north coast. With the weather finally easing and the recovery set to begin, reporter Graham Readfearn explores what may have caused the disaster – and what that might tell us about life in a climate crisis future

 

Tesla says Australia will miss out on Semi electric truck unless road rules changed

Tesla has warned its soon-to-be released Tesla Semi electric trucks will be too wide for Australian roads unless current rules are changed.

 

‘Embarrassing’ rules stop cheap electric car imports

Frustrated and embarrassed, Volkswagen Australia’s chief is speaking out against state and federal governments’ failure to support electric cars.

 

If your insurance bill is $30,000 per year it’s sending a message – don’t live there

Michael Janda

State and local governments continue to allow development in flood-prone areas they know are practically uninsurable, and prospective owners don’t always even need to be made aware of the risks.

 

We need not live on the edge, where fire and flood will overrun us

George Morgan

One of the hallmarks of western “civilisation” is our belief that we can master the forces of nature through the power of reason. Ever since our ancestors first gathered in cities about 6000 years ago, they believed that engineering know-how would make us less vulnerable than those in the hinterland. But at certain moments this belief seems like hubris.

 

The science is clear so get used to extreme weather

Letters

For a considerable period now the incidence and impact of extreme weather events has been ratcheting up

 

Let this sink in: we need to stop wasting our groundwater [$]

Salvatore Babones

This month, nature gave the dry continent a good soaking. Sydney has had nearly 400mm of rain and counting. That’s more than three times the monthly average. Perth has already copped twice its monthly average for March. Even Alice got a dousing.

 

Yes, Australia is a land of flooding rains. But climate change could be making it worse

Joelle Gergis

Over the past three years, I’ve been working on the forthcoming report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I’m a climate scientist who contributed to the chapter on global water cycle changes. It’s concerning to think some theoretical impacts described in this report may be coming to life – yet again – in Australia.

 

What is a 1 in 100 year weather event? And why do they keep happening so often?

Andy Pitman

People living on the east coast of Australia have been experiencing a rare meteorological event. Record-breaking rainfall in some regions, and very heavy and sustained rainfall in others, has led to significant flooding.

 

Victoria

Mouse plague ravaging farms in NSW scurries south to Victoria

As the worst mouse plague in decades continues to ravage farms across New South Wales and southern Queensland, large numbers of mice are travelling south and making their way into Victoria.

 

Criminal trials set to resume in Victoria

The Victorian government has allocated almost $6 million to expand and to modify regional courtrooms and ensure that criminal jury trials can resume as normal.

 

‘You can smell if something’s going wrong’: life in an eco-friendly goldfish bowl

Greenhouse in Melbourne’s Federation Square is forging new ground in low-waste living. But what’s it actually like to live in?

 

‘Some gargantuan number’: Councils count cost of open space shortfall

Melbourne councils say land has become so expensive they cannot afford to provide enough open space for their residents.

 

Police surround climate activists, protest plans slammed [$]

Police have arrested an Extinction Rebellion climate activist, and surrounded the protest group to prevent traffic chaos in Melbourne’s CBD.

 

AGL lodges plans for 200MW big battery at Loy Yang power station

AGL lodges planning application for a 200MW/800MWh big battery to be built at the site of the Loy Yang brown coal generator in Victoria.

 

Australia’s first offshore wind project reveals underground transmission route

Australia’s first offshore wind project narrows down route for overland – but underground – transmission line to connect 2GW of wind power to Victorian grid.

 

New South Wales

Live: More flood evacuations in northern NSW where rivers yet to peak

While some parts of the state are seeing clear skies today, the crisis is continuing in northern NSW where some people have been told to leave their homes by 9:00am or risk being isolated.

 

Why the NSW floods might not end the mouse plague

Wet weather in northern New South Wales has given landowners some reprieve from the mouse plague, but a CSIRO researcher says it won’t necessarily wipe the rodents out.

 

NSW government tries to dodge $2.8b compensation bill over Warragamba Dam wall plan, documents reveal

As Sydney experiences one of the worst flooding events it has ever seen, the ABC can reveal an independent ecologist on the Warragamba Dam wall raising project quit after being asked to modify her assessment of the development.

 

Fears for echidnas and wombats trapped underground by NSW floods

Extent of devastation wrought on native animals will only become apparent as water recedes

 

Sydney’s west still needs more transport links [$]

Boosting the quality of life in Western Sydney requires massive investment in commuter infrastructure, says a senior Labor MP.

 

‘Absolutely not’: Minister doesn’t want cruise ships at White Bay

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes says he doesn’t want the cruise ship terminal at White Bay and would rather it was moved to Garden Island, site of naval activity since 1788.

 

Coal prices surge on NSW weather disruptions [$]

Top quality thermal coal prices are above $US100 for the first time since 2018 on signs disruptions to the Hunter Valley are more extensive than first thought.

 

Cabinet eyed proposal to reduce dam level [$]

The NSW government last month considered lowering the amount of water in Warragamba Dam in a bid to save up to 1800 homes in the event of an overflow, confidential cabinet documents show.

 

Snowy CEO says gas is “wonderful”, sees no competition from big batteries

Snowy Hydro CEO expresses love for gas, telling senate estimates a new gas generator at Kurri Kurri won’t be competing with big batteries for market share.

 

The weather event that caused the NSW floods and how climate change affected it – Please Explain podcast

Today on Please Explain, Nathanael Cooper is joined by Environment Editor Peter Hannam to look at the terrible weather most of the country is experiencing and what impact climate change has had on it.

 

Don’t blame Warragamba Dam for flood in the Hawkesbury [$]

David Tanner

Warragamba Dam did not cause the flood engulfing communities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley west of Sydney. An east coast low pressure system that dumped more than half a year’s worth of rain in six days did.

 

ACT

Canberra and Queanbeyan at risk of flooding as two people rescued near Namadgi

All four of the ACT’s dams are full thanks to heavy rainfall, but authorities are warning residents to stay away from rivers and other waterways after two people had to be rescued when their car was swept off a bridge near Namadgi National Park this morning.

 

This Canberra start-up is using coffee to reduce landfill and transform lives

Have you ever wondered what happens to old coffee grinds? This social enterprise has just the solution, and it is reducing the ACT’s landfill by 50 tonnes and providing work experience for more than 30 people with disabilities in the process.

 

‘Partially treated’ effluent warning for Molonglo River

People living beside the Murrumbidgee River, from the junction of the Molonglo River and above Burrinjuck Reservoir, are being advised not to swim in or draw water from the river for the next 48 hours due to the release of partially treated effluent into the river system.

 

Queensland

This Queensland island destination has become too popular with holidaymakers and the locals aren’t happy

There are calls for an urgent rethink on tourism on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, with residents saying increased traffic is not only clogging the bridge to the mainland, but putting turtle hatchlings at risk from four-wheel drives.

 

Red lights for ‘world’s greenest residential tower’ – developer takes a detour

Aria Property Group has made significant changes to its planned “world’s greenest residential tower” at South Brisbane after a public backlash over the proposal and neighbouring Brisbane State High expressing worries about student privacy.

 

Mystify me: Meet the Sunshine Coast’s best conservation worker

Loggerhead turtle Mystify has visited Buddina Beach three times already this nesting season, having been tracked by conservationists for over a decade, making her the most researched turtle on the Sunshine Coast.

 

Flooding remains big worry for Queensland authorities

Residents in low-lying areas of south-east Queensland urged to move to higher ground.

 

Government officials say they knew Collinsville coal plant study could fail

Department officials say failure to deliver ‘bankable feasibility study’ into Collinsville coal plant would be a legitimate outcome of $4m government grant.

 

South Australia

How would SA Labor’s plan to build a multi-million dollar hydrogen plant work?

As part of its platform for the next election, SA’s Labor Opposition has announced a $590 million proposal it hopes will convert hydrogen power into political power. Here’s a look at the proposal.

 

Where have the birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges gone?

With woodland bird numbers falling 45 per cent in 20 years in the Mount Lofty Ranges, researchers warn society needs to reassess its values if it wants small birds to stick around.

 

Tasmania

Errol Stewart says Tamar report should be released as soon as possible

Launceston businessman Errol Stewart has called on the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce to release its sediment management report, as dredging operations are underway in the Tamar estuary.

 

Volunteers Remove 95,006 Pieces of Rubbish from World Heritage Area

A volunteer team of 21 beach cleaners returned from Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area today, carrying an enormous haul of marine debris.

 

Full disclosure needed from ‘experts’ who write reports

Eric Abetz

For published scientific reports and documents to reasonably inform government policy, authors need to declare conflicts of interests and institutions need to ensure that those conflicts of interests do not influence the outcomes of “independent” research. This imperative was highlighted when The Examiner reported on March 1, on a University of Tasmania Review into the publication of a flawed study that inexplicably linked forestry operations and bushfire severity.

 

The tax that had to happen

Peter Boyer

Finally, Tasmania will have a tax on waste to help fund what we must do to eliminate it

 

Western Australia

Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest fights to build river weirs on sacred land in WA’s Pilbara

Andrew Forrest wants to build a series of weirs on the Ashburton River in WA’s Pilbara, but local Indigenous people say they could be punished spiritually if they don’t protect the waterway.

 

Rio Tinto pledges to protect cultural heritage after Juukan Gorge disaster

Chief executive Jakob Stausholm says he will make heritage protection be ‘felt in the hearts and minds’ of his employees

 

Road rage boils over, officer injured as climate change activists stop traffic in CBD

A man jumped from his car while in a traffic jam caused by Extinction Rebellion protesters in the Perth CBD and ran at the activists before being stopped by police.

 

Wetland pollution fears dismissed in fuel station win [$]

Fears a 24-hour petrol station will pollute wetlands and a nearby lake in Perth’s northern suburbs — threatening rare species of fish — have been dismissed by planning officials.

 

Forrest’s global green dream runs into domestic politics [$]

Jennifer Hewett

Andrew Forrest is focused on developing new green industries and green energy. Can he straddle the contradictions of Australia’s domestic energy politics?

 

Sustainability

Science, policy and capacity key to future of agriculture, FAO Director-General says

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, issued an impassioned plea today for the primacy of science in guiding responses to global challenges.

 

Sweden to increase airport fees for high-polluting planes

Climate impact, such as use of biofuels, to be taken into account when calculating charges, says government

 

How a 10-year-old from Wales scored a big win in the war on plastic waste

Skye Neville’s campaign against throwaway toys spurs Waitrose into action

 

Community group created to advise Three Mile Island cleanup

Decommissioning company EnergySolutions agreed to work with a citizen committee after state regulators objected to accelerated plans to dismantle the site last year.

 

Access to clean water is human right: Turkey’s first lady

Turkey’s First Lady noted that medical waste was ending up in the sea increasingly during the pandemic further aggravating sea pollution.

 

Covid-19 has shown humanity how close we are to the edge

Toby Ord

To prevent catastrophe, governments must transform our resilience to climate breakdown, AI and engineered pandemics

 

Nature Conservation

How do you kill an invasive species? Bring in a bigger, meaner species to eat it

Before pesticides, biocontrol was all scientists had to combat introduced insects. Now, the controversial tactic is coming back



Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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