Daily Links May 6

How good is the ‘Clappers’ gas-led recovery looking now? Gas is a fossil fuel and burning it releases carbon dioxide, just not as much as does coal. And when the Peter Costello chaired ‘Nine’, owner of The Age, editorialises against gas, you know that that recovery is not looking all that flash.

Post of the Day

Hydrogen will be cover for a new life for fossil fuels

Ketan Joshi

New fossil fuel plants are being announced even as a massive failure to manage a rapid coal phase-out worsens. All under a cloak of hydrogen.


On This Day

May 6

Saint George’s Day – Eastern Christianity


Climate Change

Antarctica remains the wild card for sea-level rise estimates through 2100

A massive collaborative research project offers projections to the year 2100 of future sea-level rise from all sources of land ice, offering the most complete projections created to date.



“Urgent action needed now”: More than 100 companies demand more renewables

More than 100 Australian companies have issued a joint call to governments to ramp up spending on renewables.


Three of the biggest green hydrogen electrolysers in the world will be built in regional Australia

Three new hydrogen plants are approved in regional Australia and will share in more than $100 million worth of conditional federal government funding.


Lead warning for residents of older painted homes

Older, painted inner-city homes are more likely to have backyard soil with elevated levels of lead, an Australian study has found.


Australian government urged to heed public support for treaty banning nuclear weapons

Nobel prize-winning anti-nuclear campaigner Beatrice Fihn says ‘change is not only possible, it’s inevitable’


Climate Council warns of gas dangers in schools and homes

A new report warns children are being put at serious risk because of a “disturbing” hidden danger lurking in Aussie homes and schools.


‘Betrayal’: First Nations warning to government over water fund pledge

First Nations groups say it will be a betrayal if federal government follows through with a mooted plan and ditches its $40 million commitment to water rights.


QBE chairman defends climate stance after protest vote

QBE Group chairman Mike Wilkins has vowed the insurer will work with oil and gas producers towards reducing carbon emissions rather than cutting them off, after copping a 21.4 per cent protest vote over its policy on exposure to the sector.


Climate fallout too risky for investors [$]

The Investor Group on Climate Change — representing institutional investors with total funds under management of more than $2 trillion — says trends across policy and financial markets driving the response to climate risk are “irreversible and intensifying”.


Honest government ad – electric vehicles

The Australien Government has made an ad about its Electric Vehicle policy, and it’s surprisingly honest and informative.


Sixteen months on from bushfires, forest industries’ mission to use as much burnt timber as possible for home construction is coming

Australian Forest Products Association media release

As demand for Australian timber soars off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced housing construction boom, forest industries should be congratulated for the amazing work they have done to mill a huge volume of sawlogs that were blackened during the 2019-20 summer bushfires and getting that timber to market.

The Australian backs coal capacity payments, but doesn’t know what they are

Giles Parkinson

Fossil fools: Murdoch media has joined Angus Taylor and the coal lobby in pushing capacity markets. But they’re not what it thinks they are.

Hydrogen will be cover for a new life for fossil fuels

Ketan Joshi

New fossil fuel plants are being announced even as a massive failure to manage a rapid coal phase-out worsens. All under a cloak of hydrogen.


Fox scents are so potent they can force a building evacuation. Understanding them may save our wildlife

Stuart McLean

Foxes, like other animals, use scent to communicate and survive. They urinate to leave their mark, depositing a complex mix of chemicals to send messages to other foxes. Research by myself and colleagues has uncovered new information about these scents that could help control fox numbers.


Mice plague makes for a smelly, unending tidal wave of vermin

Marie Low

Once upon a time in Cairns, I got out of bed and went to put my foot in a slipper.

I was just in time to stop myself making contact with the back end of a giant, white-tailed rat the cat had lovingly tucked inside. He had dined on the front end.


David Pope’s view: Step on the gas



Turning off the gas makes good sense

Age editorial

For many years gas was considered a cheap and clean alternative to electricity from coal-fired power plants. That time is coming to an end.


New South Wales

‘Death of the river system’: Nationals make it legal to illegally take water from Upper Darling

NSW Liberals and Nationals snuck through floodplain harvesting legislation potentially devastating the already fragile Murray Darling system.


Senior NSW ministers call for federal tax break on electric vehicles

The NSW Treasurer and Transport Minister say the federal government must consider bigger tax breaks to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles.


Hunter coal miners don’t have enough funds for land rehabilitation

A report by the Australia Institute has found filling in the region’s 23 mine voids would cost between $11.5 billion and $25.3 billion.


Andrew Constance shows much needed leadership on electric vehicles

State governments around the country are charging ahead with environmentally-friendly commitments.


‘Unacceptable’: Labor joins other MPs to block flood plain harvesting rules

NSW Labor will reject plans by the NSW government to regulate the ability of irrigators to capture flood waters flowing across their properties.



Greens backbencher Andrew Braddock throws support behind community push to halt land sales in Gungahlin

An ACT government backbencher has thrown support behind a push from Gungahlin residents to halt all government land sales in the town centre until a proposed planning law is reviewed by the Assembly’s planning committee.



Dingoes on Fraser Island-K’gari losing their natural fear of humans, says local mayor

Dingo attacks on Fraser Island-K’gari have become almost a monthly occurrence, with fears someone will soon be killed.


‘Very rarely seen’: Is this one of the world’s largest moths?

A giant wood moth has been discovered at a south-east Queensland primary school perched on the edge of a rainforest.


Great Barrier Reef Foundation told to improve processes

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has been told to use more open and competitive selection processes in order to undertake procurements.


It’s not easy being green: Beef industry plots difficult course as new eco warrior

The environmental challenge confronting beef producers in a carbon-constrained economy has dominated discussions on the second day of Beef Australia in Rockhampton.


Qld gas production rescues southern states from looming energy crisis

The Queensland gas sector has come to the rescue of the southern states with a massive supply deal that could avert a looming shortage.


Brisbane council predicts cost blow-out in state’s Riverwalk pledge

While expecting the true cost of the state government’s $22 million election pitch for the key active transport link could be three times higher, Brisbane City Council has committed no funding.


Qld wind farm, 250 jobs fall victim to ‘war on renewables’

A $370 million green energy hub slated to create 250 jobs in regional Queensland has had its bid for funding denied, sparking claims of an “ideological war on renewables”.


Central Qld farmers claim victory over US giant’s coal mine

Central Queensland farmers are claiming victory after a US insurance giant missed a key deadline for its proposed coal mine near Rockhampton.



Woodside Energy’s hydrogen proposal for Tasmania misses out on funding from ARENA

Bell Bay hydrogen project overlooked for government funding

A Tasmanian hydrogen project has missed out on a share of more than $100 million in federal government funding for renewable energy projects.


Northern Territory

Malarndirri McCarthy praises meeting with Traditional Owners, condemns ongoing heritage threats

For the first time ever a federal parliamentary committee has met with Yanyuwa, Mara, Garrawa and Gudanji Traditional Owners to discuss the expansion of the McArthur River mine.


Federal government commits $30 million funding for more reliable, affordable electricity in the NT [$]

The Territory is also getting a further $15m to deploy microgrids in up to 10 remote Indigenous communities, a move the federal government says will provide more secure, reliable and affordable electricity through lower reliance on diesel generators.


Western Australia

No evidence endangered numbats killed in prescribed burn, says WA Premier

The Premier says he has been advised a 1,900-hectare prescribed burn in a forest has had no impact on its numbat population — but a local farmer doubts many would have survived.


‘Lunging up riverbanks’: The mysterious freshwater whipray that’s baffling fishers and scientists

For years they were mixed up with other stingray species, but scientists hope more research into this alien-like species will lead to better management of its populations.  


‘I think they’ll stand up for us’: NT traditional owners ask politicians for help protecting sacred sites

Aboriginal elders in the Northern Territory ask federal politicians investigating the destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves in WA for help protecting their own sacred sites.



Could vertical wind turbines finally have their day, and be the future for wind farms?

UK researchers say vertical axis wind turbines could prove to be more efficient than the current standard horizontal axis, propellor style machines.


Citrus derivative makes transparent wood 100 percent renewable

Five years after introducing see-through wood building material, researchers have taken it to another level. They found a way to make their composite 100 percent renewable – and more translucent – by infusing wood with a clear bio-plastic made from citrus fruit.


Natural gas and wood are replacing coal as the biggest pollutants in the US

Across the country, Harvard researchers found, the negative health impacts from burning natural gas, biomass, and wood are beginning to outweigh those from burning coal.


So small, yet so deadly. Investors force plastic industry to reveal pollution

Investors are forcing the world’s biggest plastic manufacturers to reveal how many harmful plastic pellets they are leaking into rivers, lakes and oceans worldwide.


Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful?

Scientists are rushing to study the tiny plastic specks that are in marine animals — and in us


How does the U.S. approach to the environment look from abroad?

We asked 10 people from around the world what they thought of America’s approach to the environment. It didn’t go well.


How David Attenborough and the catastrophist crew have humanity wrong

Graham Young

He’s not the only environmentalist to downgrade and misclassify homo sapiens, but it is a damaging mistake to pretend that, somehow, we are not members, albeit the most outstanding members, of nature.


Nature Conservation

Explainer: It stores pollution 30 times faster than forest. What is blue carbon?

Shy dugongs, sea turtles and ancient, rocky microbes are all found among our seagrasses and mangroves. But why are politicians interested in these ocean meadows now?


Small things can have a major effect on the prevention of biodiversity loss

The population growth of an endangered butterfly species is greatest in habitats with microclimatic variability, demonstrates a new study.


Coral fights back against crown of thorns starfish

Coral can fight back against attacking juvenile crown of thorns starfish – using stinging cells to injure and even kill, showing that coral are not as passive as people may think.


Urgent action needed to protect dolphins and porpoises from bycatch in European waters

Marine scientists are calling on the EU to adopt a comprehensive plan to protect dolphins and porpoises from fisheries bycatch in European water


Research confirms trawl ban substantially increases the abundance of marine organisms

Biodiversity is of crucial importance to the marine ecosystem. The prohibition of trawling activities in the Hong Kong marine environment for two and a half years has significantly improved biodiversity, an inter-university study led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has found.

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