Daily Links Mar 4

Look on this and weep. Our generation, and the one before, has perpetrated many acts of environmental vandalism. Here’s the beauty of Lake Pedder before it was drowned. Now there’re plans for a cable car up Kunyani (Mt Wellington, to some) and six high-end ‘glamping’ cabins on the South West Track in Tasmania’s wilderness. We walked it two years ago and for three days didn’t see another person. We’re fast losing places that inspire a sense of awe and wonder – and we’re becoming the poorer for it.

Post of the Day

What’s your top concern?

The environment is Australia’s top concern, according to a new survey that finds nearly 80 per cent of people believe brands should support causes or make changes to their products to address social and environmental issues. 

 

On This Day

March 4

Saint Casimir’s Day – Poland

 

Climate Change

Equivalent of Covid emissions drop needed every two years – study

Equivalent falls in emissions over a decade required to keep to safe limits of global heating, experts say

 

Australia’s share of extinct animals rises as list of the lost updated

Twelve more mammals, some of which disappeared more than 70 years ago, have been added to Australia’s official extinction list.

 

The climate crisis can’t be solved by carbon accounting tricks

Simon Lewis

Disaster looms if big finance is allowed to game the carbon offsetting markets to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions

 

Global oil companies have committed to ‘net zero’ emissions. It’s a sham

Tzeporah Berman and Nathan Taft

The energy industry is like a smoker who goes from one pack a day to two – but claims they’re quitting because they switched to filtered cigarettes

 

We’ve made progress to curb global emissions. But it’s a fraction of what’s needed

Pep Canadell et al

The global pandemic has seen an unprecedented drop in global emissions, with carbon dioxide down about 7% (or 2.6 billion tonnes) in 2020 overall compared to 2019.

 

Elon Musk and Bill Gates: beware of gurus toting solutions to climate change

Noel Wauchope

Their wealth and fame has made them all too ready to be seen as world leaders, and to see themselves as having the solutions to world problems.

 

National

Blue carbon: how three Australian marine sites lock away 2bn tonnes of CO2

Greenhouse gas stored in country’s marine world heritage sites about same as four years of national emissions

 

Polystyrene packaging to be banned under new government plastics plan

Polystyrene packaging around whitegoods will be banned by the middle of next year, under the federal government’s national plastics plan to be launched on Thursday morning.

 

Troubling detail in Aussie weather data

Australia has gone through its coolest and wettest summer for years, but a graph released by the weather bureau has revealed a concerning detail.

 

Prime Minister to launch ‘resources roadmap’ [$]

Scott Morrison will launch a new “resources roadmap” to encourage Aussie businesses to use local resources to create high value and high tech products such as batteries and solar cells.

 

Rooftop solar installs head for 3.5GW in 2021 after record start to year

Australia’s rooftop solar market snaps back into gear after a well-earned slow-down in January, putting installs on track for another record-breaking year.

 

Batteries poised to reap rewards of renewable energy transition, says report

Big batteries, and grid-connected battery energy storage in general, are in prime position to cash in on renewable energy transition, a major new report has found.

 

Origin to offer electric car fleets to business as it seeks a ride on energy transition

Origin will start offering business customers a fully-electric vehicle fleet service complete with charging infrastructure and carbon offsets.

 

Costly to downplay role of gas in power: report [$]

Underestimating the future role of gas in power generation will cost the economy and decarbonisation efforts, Frontier Economics analysis shows.

 

One person’s trash is another person’s leggings

Your pair of workout leggings might look and feel great, but odds are, they’re doing some serious damage to the environment. It’s something that Rhianna Knight, the founder of Team Timbuktu, is trying to change

 

What’s your top concern?

The environment is Australia’s top concern, according to a new survey that finds nearly 80 per cent of people believe brands should support causes or make changes to their products to address social and environmental issues. 

 

Australia’s regional towns need action on climate to survive

Ken Keith

As I stood on my farm in the once-thriving Central West region of New South Wales, looking at the cracked earth and sun-burnt grass, I thought about the land my family have tended to for the past 100 years.

 

This is how we create the age-friendly smart city

Sonja Pedell and Ann Borda

We have the technology to make it easier for older Australians to pursue active ageing in their own communities. The smart city just needs their input to make it work for them.

 

Victoria

Free riverside camping for up to 28 nights [$]

Soon campers will be able to pitch a tent on up to 17,000km of Victoria’s waterways for free.

 

In Victoria, animal abuse may soon be considered a form of family violence. Here’s why that matters

Kristin Diemer and Cathy Humphreys

Women leaving violent situations need to be able to ensure the safety of their companion animals, and a motion before the Victorian parliament is seeking changes to achieve that.

 

New South Wales

Grants to farming group associated with Angus Taylor’s brother to be reviewed

NSW agriculture minister says he will hold a review of the decision to provide $107,000 grant, which the group did not actually apply for

 

How the circular economy could transform how we build homes

Recycled waste is not what you expect to find in a new Sydney apartment almost 30 storeys off the ground.

 

South Coast mayors, councillors, call for more climate change action

Mayors and councillors from areas of the South Coast that were ravaged by the Black Summer bushfires have hit out at the federal government for not doing enough to protect communities from extreme weather impacts.

 

ACT

Expansion of Lawson ‘very challenging’ as land unable to be sold

A future expansion of the northside suburb of Lawson is in doubt as the government has not been able to sell the land that allows for almost 1000 properties.

 

Tired of Canberra’s bicycle wars, I ran the numbers

Roger Bradbury

The bicycle wars go on and now seem to be in a chronic, sniping phase, not least in these pages.

 

Queensland

Our next green bridge like ‘threaded jewels’ spanning the Brisbane River

Detailed plans for the first of Brisbane’s five new green pedestrian bridges show a span dubbed by its designers as a series of “threaded jewels” linking the city Botanic Gardens with inner suburban Kangaroo Point.

 

Brisbane City Council rules out its own Inland Rail impact research

Brisbane City Council will not commission modelling of its own on the traffic or environmental impacts of a link between its port and the end of the proposed multibillion-dollar national Inland Rail route in the city’s south.

 

An unusual hybrid turtle and some nocturnal birds returned to the wild [$]

An unusual hybrid sea turtle used kept for study purposes and three tawney frogmouths seized from illegal captivity in an unrelated case have been returned to the wild in separate releases to celebrate World Wildlife Day.

 

Intense storms leave families with extensive homes damage

Queensland families have been left with storm damaged homes and without electricity as tropical Cyclone Niran intensifies.

 

Concerns Burpengary housing and marina development will harm endangered wildlife

Conservationists warn a $2.7 billion residential and marina development on the banks of Caboolture River, north of Brisbane, is a threat to Moreton Bay’s fragile ecosystem, as the Queensland government considers whether to give Priority Development Area status to the 570-hectare site at Burpengary.

 

South Australia

Mangrove devastation revealed in shock new pictures [$]

A photographer’s bird’s-eye view of the dying St Kilda mangroves has produced confronting proof of the area’s rapid decline.

 

$10m holiday, water sport park plan for River Murray [$]

A proposed water sports and holiday park worth nearly a combined $10m will bring jobs to the Murray River community.

 

“Get on with it:” Regulator urged to approve SA-NSW interconnector, as coal lobby objects

South Australia urges regulator to get on with approving new NSW-SA interconnector, after AEMO finds it will deliver net benefits in an accelerating energy transition.

 

Tasmania

Meander Valley rabbit population not resolved

There has been no resolution to complaints about wild rabbit populations at Meander Valley, despite the council first raising the issue with a government department in January.

 

Tasmanian Devil population decline mapped by UTAS

There may only be 17,000 Tasmanian Devils left in the wild, as researchers estimate the full cost of the deadly facial tumour disease.

 

Thirty caught, hundreds to go in West Coast town as new Cat Management rules come into place [$]

Tasmania’s new cat management laws have come into effect as one council lays traps to rid feral and stray cats from a main shopping area

 

Tas that was – Lake Pedder (1971)

A last look Lake Pedder in its natural state through the eyes of Max Angus, Harry Buckie, Patricia Giles, Frank Bolt, and Olegas Truchanus.

 

Duck season declared

Media release – Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) has undertaken the annual wild duck monitoring to inform sustainable management of the species.

 

‘Destroying old growth forests is near-criminal stupidity’

Sara Strong

Most people would agree that Tasmania is one of the world’s best places to live in. One of our loveliest assets are our old growth forests, with trees 100 years old, and habitats of our dwindling birdlife.

 

Northern Territory

Camping and hiking is getting more expensive in the NT — here’s what you need to know

Not only is camping and hiking about to cost more, but how to reserve a site is about to change too. Here is are all the changes announced today by the NT government.

 

NT tourism industry calls for meeting with Minister on fees [$]

The Territory’s peak body representing the Top End’s tourism industry wants the government to undertake further consultation before new parks fees come into effect

 

Western Australia

More Rio Tinto resignations to come following the destruction of Juukan Gorge caves

Rio Tinto chairman and board director to quit board in the wake of the destruction of 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge caves in Western Australia but Indigenous leaders and investors say more directors should go.

 

Sustainability

Equality in engineering crucial to achieving sustainable development: UN-backed report

Regional disparities in engineering, especially in Africa, must be addressed if the world is to realize a common future where no one is left behind, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and partners.

 

Unlocking kelp’s potential as a major biofuel source

A device called the ‘kelp elevator’ tested on the Southern California coast grows the energy-rich algae four times faster than nature, proving the potential for mass-produced seaweed to power vehicles with biofuel harvested from the ocean.

 

Environmental impact of computation and the future of green computing

Every aspect of modern computing, from the smallest chip to the largest data center comes with a carbon price tag. The tech industry and the field of computation as a whole have focused on building smaller, faster, more powerful devices — but few have considered their overall environmental impact. Researchers are trying to change that by challenging the field to add carbon footprint to the list of metrics when designing new processes, new computing systems, new hardware, and new ways to use devices.

 

Air pollution has been dropping thanks to environmental statutes

Have you seen the pictures? The City of Los Angeles without the smog? The City of New York, the City of Chicago? Other cities around the United States and the world? The differences are stark and a testament to the impacts auto emissions have on our air quality.

 

Portsmouth scientists examine whether water pollution is leaving men ‘critically close’ to being infertile

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found that shrimp living in polluted waters are producing 70 per cent less sperm than the rest of their species.

 

Covid-safe single use plastics cause increase in pollution in the Thames

A lot has been written about how air quality has improved over lockdown, as people haven’t been using their cars as much to get around. But that doesn’t mean the pandemic has been good for the environment across the board.

 

Cold reality is that cars are irreplaceable

Bob Cotgrove

Policies to reduce cars fail because cars are essential for our welfare.

 

Coal mines are the engines of climate change. Time to start treating them like it.

Ketan Joshi

Digging up and supplying coal directly contributes to the worsening problem of climate change, and easily wipes out renewable wins.

 

Nature Conservation

UN World Wildlife Day highlights role of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ livelihoods and knowledge

For the first-ever virtual celebration of the United Nations World Wildlife Day, representatives of UN Member States, UN System organizations, international and non-governmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples and Local communities, and youth took part in an online event marking the Day.

 

Britain’s moths decline by a third in 50 years, study finds

Drivers of decline likely to be habitat loss, intensive farming, climate change and light pollution

 

A silver swining: ‘Destructive’ pigs help build rainforests

Wild pigs are often maligned as ecosystem destroyers, but a new study has found they also cultivate biodiverse rainforests in their native habitats.

 

Camera traps reveal newly discovered biodiversity relationship

In one of the first studies of its kind, an analysis of camera-trap data from 15 wildlife preserves in tropical rainforests revealed a previously unknown relationship between the biodiversity of mammals and the forests in which they live.

 

Indigenous Amazonians sue retailer Casino over rainforest destruction

Indigenous people from Brazil and Colombia sued retailer Casino in a French court on Wednesday over the selling of beef linked to land grabbing and deforestation in the Amazon, campaigners involved in the lawsuit said.



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