Daily Links Mar 28

As I’m writing this, the young blade down the street has been sitting in his muscle car with its deep throbbing sound for some ten minutes. When our vehicle emission standards are a decade behind the Europeans, I can’t imagine idling laws to cut pollution are imminent. Why are we so late to everything?


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 28 March 2021 at 8:13:23 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Mar 28

Post of the Day

It’s ‘equivalent to removing 1.6 million cars from the road’, so why aren’t drivers doing it?

What’s a good way to take 1.6 million cars off the road? Turn the engine off.  Whether you’re offending or outraged, the outcome is clear. Engine idling harms our health, increases pollution and wastes fuel.


On This Day

March 28


Ecological Observance

Weed Appreciation Day


Climate Change

European Court of Human Rights greenlights Swiss seniors’ climate case

The European Court of Human Rights today accepted the complaint that Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland and four individual plaintiffs presented last October against Switzerland, giving the case priority status.


Climate change significantly increases population displacement risk

The risk of people being forced from their homes by flooding increases by half for each additional degree of global warming, as an international research team demonstrates.


Researchers reveal cost of key climate solution

First comprehensive nationwide assessment estimates energy penalties from managing carbon dioxide storage reservoirs. The findings provide a framework for selecting reservoirs and making underground carbon storage more energy efficient.


Oil and natural gas production emit more methane than previously thought

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is underestimating methane emissions from oil and gas production in its annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, according to new research. The research team found 90 percent higher emissions from oil production and 50 percent higher emissions for natural gas production than EPA estimated in its latest inventory.



Dogs (not) gone wild: DNA tests show most ‘wild dogs’ in Australia are pure dingoes

A new dingo study collates the results from over 5000 DNA samples of wild canines across Australia. It found that 99 per cent of animals tested were pure dingoes or dingo-dominant hybrids – and that there were almost no feral dogs in the country.



New funding to increase Victoria’s recycling capacity and capability

The Victorian recycling sector is at a pivotal time in its history: with waste export bans and increased local recycling, there is an immediate need to process and recycle more materials across the state. The opportunity is ripe for businesses and councils to amplify existing – or step into – projects in this space.


Victoria’s grid runs on 50 per cent renewable energy for first time

State powers itself with renewables for the first time as cool summer put coal-fired electricity on the back burner


Sydney beaches closed due to flood water contamination

Sydney’s Northern Beaches among several NSW beaches closed as a result of contaminated water from the floods.


New South Wales

Big wet prompts Forestry Corp to halt northern NSW logging operations

Severe rainfall and resulting floods have prompted state-owned Forestry Corporation to trigger insurance provisions to allow it to halt most of its logging and timber supply operations on the NSW North Coast.


Asian shoppers, greyer citizens and climate: three megatrends shaping NSW

Matt Wade

What’s in store for NSW in the coming decade and beyond?


WestConnex: the toll road that ate Sydney

Deborah Snow and Matt O’Sullivan

The hydra-headed 33-kilometre network of mostly tunnels that burrows towards the city from the south and west has been a signature project of the Coalition’s decade in power.



The persistent danger after landscape fires

Every year, an estimated four percent of the world’s vegetated land surface burns, leaving more than 250 megatons of carbonized plants behind. A study has now recorded elevated concentrations of environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFR) in these charcoals – in some cases even up to five years after the fire. These EPFR may generate reactive substances, which in turn harm plants and living organisms.


It’s ‘equivalent to removing 1.6 million cars from the road’, so why aren’t drivers doing it?

What’s a good way to take 1.6 million cars off the road? Turn the engine off.  Whether you’re offending or outraged, the outcome is clear. Engine idling harms our health, increases pollution and wastes fuel.


Study exposes global ripple effects of regional water scarcity

Water scarcity is often understood as a problem for regions experiencing drought, but a new study finds that not only can localized water shortages impact the global economy, but changes in global demand send positive and negative ripple effects to water basins across the globe.


Researchers harvest energy from radio waves to power wearable devices

From microwave ovens to Wi-Fi connections, the radio waves that permeate the environment are not just signals of energy consumed but are also sources of energy themselves. An international team of researchers has developed a way to harvest energy from radio waves to power wearable devices.


Exposure to flame retardants early in pregnancy linked to premature birth

Expectant women are more likely to give birth early if they have high blood levels of a chemical used in flame retardants compared with those who have limited exposure, a new study finds.


Turning wood into plastic

Plastics are one of the world’s largest polluters, taking hundreds of years to degrade in nature. A research team has created a high-quality bioplastic from wood byproducts that they hope can solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues.


Fossil fuel companies benefit from inefficient pricing on climate and health consequences

Fossil fuel producers in the U.S. are directly benefiting from implicit subsidies on the order of $62 billion a year because of inefficient pricing that doesn’t properly account for the costs of damages to the environment, climate, and human health, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by Yale School of the Environment Economics Professor Matthew Kotchen that analyzed gasoline, natural gas, diesel, and coal.


Will COVID-19 vaccines need to be adapted regularly?

Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin compared the evolution of endemic ‘common cold’ coronaviruses with that of influenza viruses. The researchers predict that, while the pandemic is ongoing, vaccines will need to undergo regular updates. A few years into the post-pandemic period, however, vaccines are likely to remain effective for longer.


‘Keep off the grass’: the biofuel that could help us achieve net zero

Some grasses are a sustainable energy source that could be a driving force towards achieving net zero carbon emissions, according to new research that demonstrates their resilience to harsh growing environments.


Nature Conservation

Two new species of already-endangered screech owls discovered in Amazon rainforest

Researchers described two new species of screech owls that live in the Amazon and Atlantic forests, both of which are already critically endangered. The scientists determined that the birds belonged to different species using a combination of DNA evidence, physical traits, and recordings of the owls’ screeches.


Deep seafloor nutrient vital in global food chain

Eroded seabed rocks are providing an essential source of nutrition for drifting marine organisms at the base of the food chain, according to new research.


New documentation: Old-growth forest carbon sinks overestimated

The claim that old-growth forests play a significant role in climate mitigation, based upon the argument that even the oldest forests keep sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, is being refuted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. The researchers document that this argument is based upon incorrectly analysed data and that the climate mitigation effect of old and unmanaged forests has been greatly overestimated. Nevertheless, they reassert the importance of old-growth forest for biodiversity.


Planting trees to save the planet: The Chinese experience

An international team of researchers calls for global collaboration and immediate actions in natural climate solutions. Natural climate solutions, largely land-based ecosystems, such as forests, agriculture, grasslands and wetlands, could sequester carbon emissions from industry and store them in trees, grass and soil.


Palm oil production can grow without converting rainforests and peatland

Palm oil is the most important source of vegetable oil in the world, but keeping up with demand has threatened fragile ecosystems. A four-year research project in Indonesia, led by a Nebraska agronomist and supported by a $4 million grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Affairs, suggests that improved management practices have the potential to significantly increase palm oil yields without converting more land into production.

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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