Daily Links Mar 31

The Western Port Biosphere can breathe a sigh of relief. This is an example of an engaged community using a strong evidence base to criticise an incompetent EES
and have a proposal knocked back. The system can work but requires an active citizenry.


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 31 March 2021 at 8:37:48 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Mar 31

Post of the Day

Robots could replace hundreds of thousands of oil and gas jobs by 2030

In a report that looked into the adoption of robotics across the petroleum industry, Rystad Energy found that existing solutions could replace hundreds of thousands of oil and gas jobs globally and reduce drilling labor costs by several billion dollars by 2030, if there is an industry push for such a transition.


On This Day

Mar 31


Ecological observance

Manatee Appreciation Day


Climate Change

Probing wet fire smoke in clouds: Can water intensify Earth’s warming?

A new instrument that samples smoke from megafires and scans humidity will help researchers better understand the scale and long-term impact of fires — specifically how far and high the smoke will travel, when and where it will rain, and whether the wet smoke will warm the climate by absorbing sunlight.


Carbon labeling reduces our CO2 footprint — even for those who try to remain uninformed

Climate labels informing us of a meat product’s carbon footprint cause many people to opt for climate-friendlier alternatives. This applies to people who are curious about a product’s carbon footprint, as well as to those who actively avoid wanting to know more.


The private sector is making progress for climate change

Sometimes encouragement and coercion are a breath apart. Climate envoy John Kerry is using his clout to influence private banks to adopt more climate-friendly positions.


Cutting your carbon footprint matters a lot — if you’re rich

A new book pushes back against the narrative that individual actions make little difference to the climate.


How to talk to people about climate change

New UBC research may offer some insight, examining biases towards climate information and offering tools to overcome these and communicate climate change more effectively.


UK criticised for ignoring Paris climate goals in infrastructure decisions

Scientists write to ministers and supreme court over recent ruling in Heathrow case


Global warming could cut over 60 countries’ credit ratings by 2030

A new algorithm-based study by a group of UK universities has predicted that 63 countries – roughly half the number rated by the likes of S&P Global, Moody’s and Fitch – could see their credit ratings cut because of climate change by 2030.



Federal Labor promises to slash taxes for electric vehicles, build community batteries

Federal Labor promises to slash EV taxes and fund community battery roll-out, in some of its first energy policies announced since the 2019 election.


AGL mulls floating solar farm at Loy Yang, and electrothermal solar storage pilot

AGL flags a potential floating solar plant at Loy Yang and an electrothermal solar storage pilot at Liddell.


AGL may mothball some remaining coal units to manage solar duck curve

Australia’s biggest coal generator may mothball or “cycle” some remaining coal units to deal with solar duck curve and won’t rule out early closures.


Biggest coal generator AGL to split business in two to focus on renewables transition

Six years after it was first mooted, AGL has accepted that it needs to split its businesses into two to cope with the transition to a renewables grid.


BOM declares La Niña over – but that doesn’t mean the rain is done

As the La Niña that’s dominated our climate for the past few months officially dies, we’re back in the hands of local climate drivers.


‘Don’t lecture me on sustainability’: Woolgrower hits back at critics

The wool industry launches a campaign to convince consumers that wool is a sustainable product, and the industry is accountable.


Labor unveils first electric vehicle policy since Coalition said party was ‘waging war on the weekend’

ALP wants to reduce the cost of electric cars and increase their uptake as fleet vehicles across Australia


‘Delay is as dangerous as denial’: scientists urge Australia to reach net zero emissions faster

Heatwaves to double and many properties will be uninsurable if global heating reaches 3C, Australian Academy of Science says


Australian emissions fall again due to renewables and COVID-19

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continued to decline at the end of 2020 as an acceleration of the decarbonisation of the electricity sector outweighed a revival of pollution from transport and industry, according to analysis by consultants Ndevr Environment.


Labor heads off internal energy battle, gears up for environmental attack on government

Labor looks set to avoid internal controversy over its energy policy when its national policy platform is debated on Wednesday as it lays the ground for a battle with the federal government over environmental laws.


Black Summer bushfires could be yearly event due to climate change: report

Bushfire seasons as severe as Black Summer could happen as often as every year if global temperatures continue to rise at their current levels, according to a new report.


Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry – final report

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The report makes recommendations to enhance markets for tradeable water rights, including their operation, transparency, regulation, competitiveness and efficiency.


Rooftop solar export charge is more palatable than more solar curtailment

Andrew Dillon

Blunt reality is that without the sort of export charges mooted by AEMC, we will end up with more zero export limits and more solar curtailment.


Video: Why don’t Coalition ministers visit wind and solar farms?

Giles Parkinson

The Federal Coalition likes to boast that Australia leads the world in wind and solar. Curious then, that no ministers have attended an opening of these facilities. Must have been busy.


The complexities of predicting climate change effects

Ary Hoffmann et al

Some of Australia’s iconic ecosystems are collapsing, which is likely exacerbated by climate change. But we must understand the dynamics of our ecosystems in order to protect them


AGL applies green lipstick to attract investors

Elizabeth Knight

What do you get when you mix a palate of brown and green? Sorry AGL the answer is still brown.


Why AGL is wise to cut coal free [$]


AGL’s move to create two separate companies – one with carbon and one without – is a pragmatic response to investor demands for an increased focus on environmental, social and corporate governance.


Seriously ugly: here’s how Australia will look if the world heats by 3 this century

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Lesley Hughes,

Imagine, for a moment, a different kind of Australia. One where bushfires on the catastrophic scale of Black Summer happen almost every year.


Even after the rains, Australia’s environment scores a 3 out of 10. These regions are struggling the most

Albert Van Dijk

Improved weather conditions have pulled Australia’s environment out of its worst state on record, but recovery remains partial and precarious, new research reveals.


Now they want to charge households for exporting solar electricity to the grid — it’ll send the system backwards

Bruce Mountain

It’s come to this. The Australian Energy Markets Commission has produced a draft decision that will make households and small business with solar panels pay to inject their surplus production into the grid.



“Unacceptable impacts:” AGL’s Crib Point gas import terminal rejected

AGL Energy’s plan to build gas import terminal and reprocessing plant in Victoria’s Western Port rejected due to “clear” and “unacceptable” environmental impacts.


‘Dodged a bullet’: Residents cheer rejection of Crib Point gas import hub

Following a 3½-year campaign to stop a planned gas import terminal at Crib Point, residents were all smiles when they learnt the government had refused the proposal on environmental grounds.


Statement from Environment Protection Authority Victoria

The safety and wellbeing of residents living near the Kealba Landfill site is a priority for the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), as is keeping them informed about the clean-up of the landfill site.


Purple hive of activity at Victorian ports to protect our bees

Artificially intelligent beehives are being installed at Victoria’s ports to as protection from exotic pests and diseases, in an initiative backed by the Victorian Government.


Trains and trams empty but operators given millions in bonuses during COVID

Multinational companies operating Melbourne’s trains and trams pocketed windfall payments of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bonuses for exceeding performance targets when commuters had largely deserted the network.


AFL intervenes in container recycling plan

Footy clubs are keen to cash in on Victoria’s container recycling scheme, with the AFL urging the government to change its proposed plan.


Designing liveable cities for our future climate

Leire Asensio Villoria and David Mah

The Climate Imaginary exhibit explores works from architects and urban designers, pushing the boundaries of our imagination to envision better and more creative climate futures for our cities


New South Wales

Surge in new coal mine proposals in NSW triggers fresh calls for coal moratorium

Calls for a moratorium on new coal mines, as a record number of new mine proposals lodged in 2020, despite a global decline in demand for coal.


Neoen’s ambitious $636m solar and battery project in NSW gets planning green light

Massive $636 million solar and big battery project overcomes council objections to get green light from NSW planning authorities.


NSW urged to stop logging native forests after fires wipe out up to 30% of timber supply

Black Summer report finds south coast forests particularly hard hit and prompts call for urgent review of logging rules


Net zero emissions must be reached to help with major weather events

Jim Smith

As sunny skies return over NSW this week and floodwaters recede, communities and authorities are now in recovery mode.



ACT’s new plastics ban will save seabirds and marine animals

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed the passage of laws that will ban the use of single-use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers in the Australian Capital Territory.


Single-use plastic ban gets mixed reaction from business

Meng and Lily Ung have owned the Oriana Food Bar in Fyshwick for seven years having always relied on single-use plastic to run their takeaway business.



It’s time for Queensland to end dolphin captivity

Charlotte Crosby

There I was, trapped in a tiny tank of water barely any bigger than my own body. Pounding on the glass walls, I let out a scream, inaudible to the group of people who’d gathered to gawk at me while one excitedly snapped pictures.


South Australia

Water torture: Oodnadatta to continue paying for undrinkable bore water

Nearly a year after Oodnadatta was promised that safe drinking water was a priority, SA Water says it will continue charging residents $300 a year for potentially-fatal bore water as infrastructure upgrades for the outback town could be up to 18 months away.


Witton Bluff coastal path stalled [$]

The State Government has overridden Onkaparinga Council and ordered an environmental investigation into the Witton Bluff coastal walkway.


Nuclear energy, new desal plant a must for SA [$]

SA must develop a plan for nuclear energy, the state’s chief resources lobby says, and should consider a second desal plant for the Upper Spencer Gulf.



Labor commits to shifting Northern Regional Prison site if elected

Construction of the Northern Regional Prison will go ahead if Labor wins power on May 1 – but it won’t be built at Westbury or the Liberals’ current preferred site


Labor offers plan to halt “dangerous” workplace protests in timber and mining sector

The Tasmanian Labor party has presented their plan aimed at improving workplace safety across the forestry sector, in response to ongoing protests halting work.


Northern Territory

Advisory group to review joint management of federal parks [$]

The joint management of federal government-controlled national parks will be reviewed and three Territorians will have key roles in the process.


Western Australia

WA government rejected beef producer’s clearing bid before approving it after a flurry of political donations

The Kimberley is transforming as cattle producers seek to drought-proof using “pivots” to irrigate huge circles of land. But this requires large-scale clearing.



Bitcoin is a mouth hungry for fossil fuels

As Elon Musk demonstrates, the story of Bitcoin isn’t a sideshow to climate; it’s a central force that could drag down the accelerating pace of positive change.


US government announces plan to cut cost of solar by another 60 pct by 2030

US Department of Energy aims to lower the average cost of unsubsidised solar to 2 US cents per kilowatt-hour by 2030.


Tires turned into graphene that makes stronger concrete

Scientists optimize a process to turn rubber from discarded tires into soluble graphene for composite materials, including cement in more environmentally friendly concrete.


Jordan’s worsening water crisis a warning for the world

Prolonged and potentially destabilizing water shortages will become commonplace in Jordan by 2100, new research finds, unless the nation implements comprehensive reform, from fixing leaky pipes to desalinating seawater. Jordan’s water crisis is emblematic of challenges looming around the world as a result of climate change and rapid population growth.


China generated over half world’s coal-fired power in 2020: Study

China generated 53% of the world’s total coal-fired power in 2020, nine percentage points more that five years earlier, despite climate pledges and the building of hundreds of renewable energy plants, a global data study shows.


64% of global agricultural land at risk of pesticide pollution?

A global map of agricultural land across 168 countries has revealed that 64 percent of land used for agriculture and food crops is at risk of pesticide pollution. Almost a third of these areas are considered to be at high-risk


China’s exotic farms may be a missing link behind the pandemic’s leap to people

Farms supplying live civets, snakes, and bamboo rats may be where the virus jumped between species.


The race is on, but cooling industry needs to accelerate net zero efforts

A new UN report, “Cooling Suppliers: Who’s Winning the Race to Net Zero,” finds that, despite some efforts to reduce climate changing emissions, 49 of 54 companies assessed have yet to commit to ambitious net-zero targets. The sector is key: Cooling-related emissions are expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2100. By 2050, space cooling alone will consume as much electricity as China and India today.


UN-Habitat report calls for cities post-pandemic to lead way to a fairer, greener, healthier future

A new report on pandemics and cities from UN-Habitat, points the way to how hard-hit urban centres can reduce the impact of future outbreaks and become more equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly.


An industrially viable competitor to silicon-based solar cells is in the works

Researchers have developed a perovskite solar cell that optimized light incoupling, light trapping, and other essential properties for maximum energy conversion efficiency. With further development, this design–which is compatible with industrial production–may exceed commercial silicon-based solar cells’ performance.


Natural resources decrease income inequality in resource-rich countries

A group of researchers from Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland contest the common belief that resource-based economies have higher levels of within-country inequality than resource-scarce economies. The researchers document a direct causal link between natural resources and within-country inequality and conclude that the extraction of oil and gas can reduce inequality or has no significant effect on it.


New research: Photovoltaics can make the world fossil-free faster than expected

A team of researchers led by Aarhus University and including experts from universities and knowledge institutions in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia has published an article in the scientific journal Joule confirming that the role of solar photovoltaics in future green energy systems ought to be significantly upgraded.


Adani denies engaging with Myanmar’s military leaders over port deal but video suggests otherwise

The Adani Group has denied ever having engaged with Myanmar’s military leadership over a controversial ports deal but video and photos suggest otherwise.


India can hold electricity-sector emissions by increasing clean power capacity: Report

A new study recently published in PNAS from researchers at Berkeley Lab, University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of California, Berkeley, shows India can aim even higher with its renewable energy goals.


Robots could replace hundreds of thousands of oil and gas jobs by 2030

In a report that looked into the adoption of robotics across the petroleum industry, Rystad Energy found that existing solutions could replace hundreds of thousands of oil and gas jobs globally and reduce drilling labor costs by several billion dollars by 2030, if there is an industry push for such a transition.


Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities

Christian Brand

Globally, only one in 50 new cars were fully electric in 2020, and one in 14 in the UK. Sounds impressive, but even if all new cars were electric now, it would still take 15-20 years to replace the world’s fossil fuel car fleet.


Nature Conservation

Love bats? Think twice about that bat box, experts say

Ever thought about buying or building a bat box to help bats? Think carefully about the design and where you put it, University of Illinois researchers say.


WHO Covid-19 report shows clear link between biodiversity loss and zoonotic disease – Greenpeace reaction

In its official report on SARS-CoV-2’s origins the World Health Organization (WHO) today pointed to the potential disease risks of contact between wildlife and people, showing the life-threatening risk of natural ecosystem destruction, which is breaking down the buffer zone scientists say protects us from wildlife-borne viruses.


Are we managing invasive species wrong?

New research suggests that sometimes trying to completely eliminate a problematic non-native species may cause more harm than good.


The battle to control America’s ‘most destructive’ species: feral pigs

These “ecological zombies” will eat almost anything and can adapt to live almost anywhere.

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by 
return email, delete it from your system and destroy any copies.