Daily Links Jan 12

When there’s so much darkness about, the dying days of the nuclear energy industry offer a glimmer of light. It’s not the environmental argument that won the day, it was the economics of generation that is driving the change. Hey, we’ll take it but we must keep pushing science as the basis for energy policy – nuclear as well as fossil-fuel.

Post of the Day

Nature outcomes in 2021: the good, the bad and the sad

Daisy Barham

Australia’s natural environment won some significant skirmishes in 2021 but serious challenges for biodiversity and ecosystems remain.


On This Day

January 12


Ecological Observance

International Earth Chakra Day


Climate Change

Climate tops 2022 WEF Global Risks Report

As the world enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis remains the biggest long-term threat facing humanity, according to the 2022 Global Risks Report.


Johnson’s political weakness leaves climate agenda at risk, say campaigners

Analysts fear government’s commitment to net zero is facing most severe test yet as PM comes under increasing pressure


Hottest ocean temperatures in history recorded last year

Ocean heating driven by human-caused climate crisis, scientists say, in sixth consecutive year record has been broken


US hit by 20 separate billion-dollar climate disasters in 2021, Noaa report says

Year was third-costliest extreme weather year on record with affected communities spread from coast to coast


Global lightning activity fell by nearly 8% during Covid-19 lockdown in 2020

Global lightning activity dropped almost 8 per cent during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns, according to new research. According to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the cause of the drop appears to be a connection between lightning and air pollution.


Fallow farmland may offset climate change better than fields in use

Former farmland filled with native vegetation and left untouched for years could store more carbon in the soil than plowed fields still in agricultural rotation, a researcher hypothesizes.


Veg diet plus re-wilding gives ‘double climate dividend’

Switching to a plant-rich diet and using land freed up for nature is ‘double whammy’, experts say.



Choosing GreenPower for more sustainable future

GreenPower is a Federal Government scheme that enables any households and businesses to support renewable energy generation, regardless of whether they rent or own.


Australian air quality standards needed to combat Covid, say experts

Ineffectual hand-washing advice remains widespread but awareness of viral airborne transmission lags behind


Labor pledges to boost Australia’s disaster readiness with revamp of $4.7bn emergency response fund

Anthony Albanese says Morrison government is failing on preventative measures such as flood levees, sea walls and fire breaks


Coastal properties at highest climate risk could fall in value in 18 months

Technology allowing banks to assess climate risk for individual properties is improving fast, meaning lenders could soon hesitate to offer mortgages for at-risk homes.


AGL coal power business to ride higher prices [$]

Higher forward prices for wholesale power are expected to give AGL earnings a lift after the trough anticipated for this financial year.


Crunch time: how climate action in the 2020s will define Australia

Climate Council

In November 2021, governments from around the world convened at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) to respond to the rapidly escalating climate challenge.


How to discuss population growth without the racism

Mark Allen

With Australia now returning to its pre-COVID population growth, people are asking how much Australia’s population should grow.


Nature outcomes in 2021: the good, the bad and the sad

Daisy Barham

Australia’s natural environment won some significant skirmishes in 2021 but serious challenges for biodiversity and ecosystems remain.


New South Wales

‘These are sacred places’: farmers say they will work with traditional owners after NSW land saved from coalmine

Gomeroi traditional custodians seek assurances Liverpool Plains farmland will be accessible to Indigenous people


Climate activists issue chilling threat to Sydney [$]

The climate protesters infamous for disrupting the Hunter’s rail lines are now threatening a week-long shutdown of the nation’s economic powerhouse.


Experience the spectacular sounds of a Murrumbidgee wetland erupting with life as water returns

Mitchell Whitelaw and Skye Wassens

In the southwestern corner of New South Wales, along the Murrumbidgee river, frogs are calling in a wetland called Nap Nap. This is Nari Nari country – nap nap means “very swampy” in traditional language.



ACT Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti powerless to protect Mount Ainslie Indigenous heritage from bulldozer

In a social media post, ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury has restated the need for stronger environment protection laws after “receiving distressing messages from First Nations people” in the wake of the bulldozing of the contentious Doma development site on Mount Ainslie.



The macadamia-like seeds of these native trees could fuel your future car

A Queensland researcher says just one hectare of the beauty leaf tree can produce 4,000 litres of low-emissions biodiesel a year — and it can be grown in soil not fit for food crops.


Trains to run on ‘weekend timetables’, bus and ferry services reduced

Trains are set to shift to weekend-style timetables this month as patronage slumps to 40 per cent and more public transport workers are forced to stay home because of the Omicron wave. Buses, ferries and CityCat services will also be cut, possibly in early February, as Queensland adjusts to this stage of the pandemic.



Dead devil carnage on Tasmanian road labelled a ‘disgrace’ [$]

After just 10 days into the new year, 11 Tasmanian devils have turned up dead on a single stretch of road in the state’s far North West, horrifying locals.


Tasmanian devils have just broken the laws of scavenging – and scientists are puzzled

Scavengers are supposed to have generalist diets and eat whatever they can find. But a new study led by UNSW Sydney shows Australia’s Tasmanian devils have their own specific tastes and preferences – in other words, they’re picky eaters.


Northern Territory

Santos was ‘cavalier’ over Beetaloo Basin fracking expansion, court told

One of Australia’s biggest landholders takes on gas giant in Northern Territory supreme court


Western Australia

Woodside pitches massive solar and battery plant, minuscule dent in emissions

Oil and gas giant submits plans for up to 500MW of solar and battery storage to supply renewable power to industrial customers – including its own LNG operations – in WA Pilbara region.


Eagle Bay fires: Recap on unfolding bushfire emergency in WA’s South West

An out-of-control bushfire has ravaged one of WA’s tourist hotspots in the South West, with locals and holiday-makers trapped in Eagle Bay as the fire burns through more than 200ha.


Extinction Rebellion activist’s graffiti case thrown out

Police have now been ordered pay to Rosa Elizabeth Hicks $3300 for legal costs after a Perth magistrate deemed she had no case to answer for filming activists drawing chalk messages on a CBD footbridge.



Delhi’s smog problem is rooted in India’s water crisis

Every winter, Delhi’s toxic air is fuelled by farmers burning crop stubble. But the fires don’t stop. Why? The answer lies in water.


High-intensity pulses of light found to eliminate water contaminants

Scientists have developed a way to remove carbon-based organic micropollutants in water by using high-intensity pulses of light.


The restorative architecture pushing sustainable design

It’s not just about minimizing environmental harm, but finding ways to regenerate construction materials and restore natural habitats.


Battery Resourcers is opening the largest battery recycling plant in North America

It’s just one part of a shift to domestic battery production—and a way to mitigate the bad side effects from mining the minerals needed to electrify the economy.


The war on plastics, 2022: A change of climate

The climate crisis represents a new front on the war on plastics. Are you ready?


New model examines the effects of toxicants on populations in polluted rivers

A new mathematical model describes the interactions between a population and a toxicant in a river environment, enabling researchers to study how the way in which a pollutant moves through a river affects the wellbeing and distribution of the river’s inhabitants.


Overcoming a bottleneck in carbon dioxide conversion

An MIT study reveals why some attempts to convert carbon dioxide into fuel have failed, and offers possible solutions.

A look at how countries go nuclear — and why some do not

 MIT political scientist Vipin Narang’s new book, “Seeking the Bomb,” looks at the variety of tactics countries use as they attempt to acquire nuclear weapons.


Will nuclear energy help curb climate change?

Many argue that nuclear power is a reliable and low-carbon energy source that can contribute to the fight against climate change. But is it really sustainable?


In 2022, nuclear power’s future looks grimmer than ever

Jim Green

As new renewable energy capacity continues to boom, nuclear power generation declined in 2021 and the industry’s future is grimmer than it has ever been.


Nature Conservation

Ship traffic threatening Antarctica’s pristine marine ecosystem, says study

Ship movements related to fishing, tourism, research, and supply expose the Antarctic continent to human impacts.


The Lord God bird and dozens of other species declared extinct in 2021

This year scientists identified birds, lizards, orchids and other species that have been lost. How many more will follow?


Community project helps Kenya aim for climate goals one mangrove tree at a time

Along Kenya’s southeastern coast, three communities are restoring 460 hectares (1,137 acres) of the Vanga mangrove forest to meet the country’s emission reduction targets, provide a buffer against natural disasters, and support fishing livelihoods.


More than half of plastics in Mediterranean marine protected areas originated elsewhere

Researchers have, for the first time, simulated both micro- and macroplastics accumulation in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).


Long term exposure to air pollution may heighten COVID-19 risk

Long term exposure to ambient air pollution may heighten the risk of COVID-19 infection, suggests research published online in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine

International trade bans on endangered species tend to help mammals but hurt reptiles

International trade bans on endangered species generally help mammals improve their status but hurt reptiles, finds a major economics study led by Emory University. Science Advances published the research on the impact of international trade bans by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


The secret drivers of tree growth

Most trees live in symbiosis with fungi. ETH Zurich researchers show just how important this partnership is for tree growth through the first-ever comprehensive data analysis compiled for European forests on a massive scale.


New species of rainfrog discovered in Panama and named in honor of global environmental activist Greta Thunberg

A new species of rainfrog discovered in Panama was named after global activist Greta Thunberg.


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