Daily Links May 29

The forces for darkness might call this ‘lawfare’, I’d want to call it ‘the rule of law’. 

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/greta-thunberg-hails-australian-court-ruling-as-a-huge-win-for-the-whole-climate-movement

From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 29 May 2021 at 9:01:56 am AEST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links May 29

Post of the Day

Net Zero 2050: Finding the fastest routes to meaningful climate action

James Newcomb

The International Energy Agency’s much-anticipated new report, describing a roadmap for the energy sector to limit global warming to 1.5°C, is the latest indication that world leaders are aligning around what was once considered an impossible goal.

 

On This Day

May 29

 

Ecological Observance

Learn About Composting Day

 

Climate Change

People prefer ‘natural’ strategies to reduce atmospheric carbon

A cross-disciplinary collaboration found that a majority of the U.S. public is supportive of soil carbon storage as a climate change mitigation strategy, particularly when that and similar approaches are seen as ‘natural’ strategies.

 

Greta Thunberg hails Australian court ruling as ‘a huge win for the whole climate movement’

The climate activist hailed the Federal Court’s decision on Twitter and offered a “big congratulations” to the teenagers who achieved it.

 

The warming planet is about to revolutionise how banks define risk

It’s increasingly likely that banks will face new capital requirements that will reflect how exposed their loan books are to climate change.

 

Net Zero 2050: Finding the fastest routes to meaningful climate action

James Newcomb

The International Energy Agency’s much-anticipated new report, describing a roadmap for the energy sector to limit global warming to 1.5°C, is the latest indication that world leaders are aligning around what was once considered an impossible goal.

 

Lightning very, very frightening

Ian Warden

One especially poignant, picturesque proof that the climate really is changing is that Rio de Janeiro’s famous statue of Christ The Redeemer is being biffed by increasingly frequent storms and lightning.

 

National

‘The right thing to do’: restoring Aboriginal place names key to recognising Indigenous histories

Indigenous communities argue that renaming landscapes should not be limited to removing overtly racist colonial names

 

‘It’s like a rocket ship’: videos show petrolheads behind the wheel of an electric car

An Australian engineer-turned climate activist hosts Coal Miners Driving Teslas, a YouTube and Twitter channel heavily spiced with unbridled swearing

 

How Monet inspired seawater batteries [$]

An Australian scientist says Claude Monet’s paintings can help the world store power in batteries more affordably. Here’s how.

 

Climate activists threaten gas ambitions [$]

A watershed week underscoring climate risks for oil and gas multinationals has heightened doubts around multi-billion dollar new projects and the investments needed to underpin a gas-fired recovery

 

‘Buddy benches’ coming to a school yard near you

Each bench will be made from about 8,250 pieces of plastic packaging

Mining, health and retail underpin 2019-20 earnings

Mining industry EBITDA grew 14.2% ($19.4b).

 

Climate Friendly’s Skye Glenday turning carbon into cash [$]

John Durie

Skye Glenday shared the Rudd-inspired enthusiasm for climate change in 2008 and the Sydney-trained lawyer has stuck with it ever since with increasing enthusiasm.

 

We are passionate climate warriors. Our legal battle is not over but my heart is a bit lighter

Ava Princi

As a student striker I’m used to being dismissed by adults, so this judgment to protect us from the climate crisis is exciting

 

Could this be Australia’s light bulb moment on one-way path to electric vehicles?

Peter Martin

With much to gain and very little pain, Australia is perfectly positioned to become a global leader in the inevitable march away from petrol-powered vehicles.

 

What happened to the ‘small l’ Liberals on coal power? [$]

Crispin Hull

In the early 19th century in Britain, Luddites destroyed new technology and opposed the government. In the early 21st century in Australia, neo-Luddites prop up old technology and make up the government.

 

‘Conditional commitments’: the diplomatic strategy that could make Australia do its fair share on climate change

Katie Steele

The International Energy Agency’s recent, landmark report put another glaring spotlight on Australia’s failure to act on climate change. On the same night the report was released, warning against any new fossil fuel projects, the federal government announced A$600 million for a new gas-fired power plant.

 

1980s redux: economic reform, Labor’s dilemma on fossil fuels, and the cultural war that isn’t [$]

Bernard Keane

Labor faces the same challenge now as it faced in the 1980s. But the political and media context is very different.

 

Courts and investors do what politicians and fossil fuel companies won’t [$]

Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane

With the noose tightening around fossil fuel companies on climate, the federal government is becoming increasingly desperate to protect them.

 

David Pope’s view: The latest climate tipping point

 

Victoria

Unsustainable: successful green architects’ collective crumbles

What began as a successful green revolution in apartment construction has turned sour, with two of Melbourne’s top residential architects in dispute over a housing organisation that aimed to do development differently.

Community battery finally installed in bushfire-prone Mallacoota

One of the Victorian towns hardest hit by the catastrophic Black Summer of 2019/2020 has been fitted with a grid-connected community battery storage system.

“Pay up or lose your rego”: Victoria’s EV road tax passed into law

Victoria’s upper house has passed Labor’s controversial EV road user charge into law. Here’s how it works, and what happens if you don’t pay.

 

New South Wales

‘They let it turn into a plague’: Farmers dissatisfied with NSW government response to mouse plague

The state government will backdate expenses by three months to February 1, but the NSW Farmers Association says it’s too little, too late.

 

‘Just fantastic’: Wollemi pine replanting effort wins global gong

A secret project to increase the odds of the Wollemi pine surviving in the wild has won international recognition from conservation groups hoping the lessons learnt will help pull other threatened species back from the brink of extinction.

 

‘Real sense of achievement’: The next step to preserve the Wollemi pine

The remarkable efforts to save the famous ‘dinosaur tree’ have now moved to replanting the conifer at two secret locations deep within the Wollemi wilderness.

 

False prophets and snake oil will fail coal communities

Patrick Suckling

The likes of Joel Fitzgibbon will tell voters that coal can have a bright future. It can’t, but the people who’ve relied on it can.

 

The reality of Labor’s ties to coal country and the myth of its heartland [$]

Kishor Napier-Raman

Coal miners alone don’t decide elections. Joel Fitzgibbon ought to remember that before getting too excited about the recent Upper Hunter byelection loss.

 

ACT

Work begins on landmark environment plan

Work has commenced on the development of a landmark plan into how Canberra’s natural environment will be managed for several decades to come.

 

Queensland

Cross River Rail is not enough to ease Brisbane transport woes, says Mayor

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor says the Cross River Rail is not enough to ease transport woes in the city and Queensland’s south-east.

 

Qld power station turbine that sparked mass blackout had safety overhaul last year

An energy-generating turbine that caught fire, causing mass blackouts and the evacuation of a Queensland power station, had only last year been given an overhaul to ensure it would “operate safely and reliably”.

 

Want to shut down a coal-fired power station? It will cost $40m

As Queensland embraces renewables, the Palaszczuk government has revealed it would cost almost $210 million to close down five coal-fired power stations.

What blackout? Home batteries power through Queensland coal plant calamity

While debate builds around whether big batteries could have saved the day in Queensland on Tuesday, the benefits of having a home battery during a coal plant explosion are obvious.

 

Climate change crackpots want to cripple us by closing mines and power stations [$]

Des Houghton

Closing down coal mines and coal-fired power stations are among the many crackpot ideas to reduce climate change that would leave the state unable to fund schools, hospitals and roads.

 

Shameful failures and incompetence left Fraser Island at mercy of fire storm [$]

Kylie Lang

The Fraser Island blaze that burnt 85,000 hectares and killed precious wildlife was a disaster waiting to happen and shameful bungles by those in charge did little to stop it

 

South Australia

Space company tries to allay concerns over rocket launch plans

Traditional owners and environmentalists are concerned about proposed plans to launch rockets from popular SA tourism spot Whalers Way.

Massive Port Augusta wind-solar hybrid project to be energised within months

Infigen tells state regulators it hopes to energise its 270MW Port Augusta wind-solar hybrid project in September, and start full operation early next year.


Flexible rooftop solar exports could be a reality next year after trial success

South Australia takes big step towards flexible solar exports after a successful virtual power plant trial that increased household output.

 

Tasmania

Ley rejects BBF call to intervene

Bob Brown Foundation has called on the federal Environment Minister to stand with citizens defending takayna / Tarkine and end current works by miner MMG.

Protester charged over alleged assault of mine worker [$]

The Bob Brown Foundation has responded after one of its protesters was accused of assaulting a site worker during a protest action on the state’s West Coast.

 

A book with bite: Wooley dissects work on salmon industry [$]

Has Richard Flanagan inserted a needle in a fillet of Tasmanian salmon? Charles Wooley dissects his new book on the fishing industry.

 

STT forestry losses $1.3bn in 20 years

John Lawrence

Whether or not we have a native forest industry and on what scale won’t be determined by economic sustainability.

 

Northern Territory

It’s a gas, gas, gas: How Aussie richlisters plan to unlock a fracking fortune in the NT

Australia’s richlisters are backing a tiny gas company in the Northern Territory that has ambitions to redefine the nation’s energy market.

 

Western Australia

Woodside and Perdeman may build 100MW solar farm in W.A. north

Woodside may build 50MW solar farm to help power LNG facility, and could double in size if ammonia producer Perdeman also signs up for solar.

 

Sustainability

Banning the sale of fossil-fuel cars benefits the climate when replaced by electric cars

If a ban were introduced on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, and they were replaced by electric cars, the result would be a great reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. That is the finding of new research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, looking at emissions from the entire life cycle – from manufacture of electric cars and batteries, to electricity used for operation.

 

Plastic waste has some economic benefit for developing countries

For decades, wealthy nations have transported plastic trash, and its environmental problems, to poorer countries, but researchers have found a potential bright side to this seemingly unequal trade: plastic waste may provide an economic boon for the lower-income countries.

 

A new ‘gold standard’ compound for generating electricity from heat

Researchers show in a new study that a single material, a layered crystal consisting of the elements rhenium and silicon, turns out to be the gold standard of transverse thermoelectric devices.

 

The inequality of American parks

Neighborhoods of color have access to 44% less park space, according to a new analysis. 

 

How many people die when polluters exceed their limits?

A new report tallies the death toll from excess emissions by looking at air pollution and spikes in local ozone levels.

Indonesia bans new coal plants and pivots to renewables and carbon markets

Indonesia is shifting slowly towards increasing levels of climate action, with a new plan to cancel new coal and retire existing coal gradually.

Why adding holograms to solar cells could lead to massive performance boost

Researchers say use of holograms could be key to solving a common problem with solar cell design, boosting output by as much as five per cent.

 

Stormwater could be a large source of microplastics and rubber fragments to waterways

In cities, heavy rains wash away the gunk collecting on sidewalks and roads, picking up all kinds of debris. However, the amount of microplastic pollution swept away by this runoff is currently unknown. Now, researchers report that stormwater can be a large source of microplastics and rubber fragments to water bodies and, with a proof-of-concept experiment, show that a rain garden could keep these microscopic pieces out of a storm drain.

 

Small modular reactors competitive in Washington’s clean energy future

New report finds a role for small modular reactors in the Pacific Northwest’s energy market

 

California may build 11.5GW of almost all carbon-free resources to replace its last nuclear plant

Regulators have decided that adding 7.5 GW by 2026 won’t be enough after the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant closes. Can California build so much clean and reliable grid capacity in time?

 

The surprising truth about the oil and gas sector’s position on a carbon tax

The industry responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions is publicly in favor of a tax on carbon.

 

Nature Conservation

Seabirds face dire threats from climate change, human activity — especially in Northern Hemisphere

Many seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere are struggling to breed — and in the Southern Hemisphere, they may not be far behind. These are the conclusions of a study, published May 28 in Science, analyzing more than 50 years of breeding records for 67 seabird species worldwide.

 

Scent trails could boost elephant conservation

Travelling elephants pay close attention to scent trails of dung and urine left by other elephants, new research shows.

 

Aussies find chocky frog in fetid swamp

Move over Freddo, the world has a new chocolate frog thanks in part to an Aussie scientist who braved the fetid rainforest swamps of New Guinea to catch some.

 

How we can help coral and seabirds survive a warming world

Global warming is not just increasing average temperatures on land, it’s heating up the oceans as well. As marine heat waves become more common, they are disrupting longstanding relationships between species that have come to depend on each other.

 

Nature funding must triple by 2030 to protect land and climate

Investment of about $8 trillion is needed by 2050 to help meet climate goals and stem the loss of plant and animal species, says a new U.N. report.

 



Maelor Himbury
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