Daily Links Jan 28

Conservation policy and animal welfare policy are quite different propositions, but they do intersect. They conflict in the brumby issue in the high plains, they conflict in the duck-shooting issue. What does the science say? Brumbies are wrecking the alpine environment, get rid of them. If the science says duck numbers are high, it’s not so much a conservation issue but it is an animal welfare issue.

Post of the Day

The gap between Australian climate policy and the science is closing far too slowly – we have to keep up the pressure

Lenore Taylor

Tiny steps towards net zero are being undermined by new fossil fuel projects. An election year offers the chance to hold our politicians to account


On This Day

January 28


Ecological Observance

International Mobilization Day against Nuclear War


Climate Change

“Just fluff:” European power utilities not doing enough to deliver on net zero pledges

All the talk of mid-century targets is just fluff so long as their business plans have no way of delivering on them, says new report on power utility net zero pledges.


New children’s book explains systemic nature of climate change

Most kids’ books about the environment encourage children to adopt Earth-friendly habits like taking shorter showers and recycling. But in a new release called “A Kids Book About Climate Change,” the authors focus on the bigger picture.


It’s as bad as ever: Climate change denial still rages on social media

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok have all made pledges to crack down on the spread of misinformation, but it’s still being promoted on all their platforms


Investing to stop climate change is trickier than it seems

Investors who think they can both save the world and make a profit need to get back to basics, our columnist writes. This is the fourth in a series on sustainable investing.


What’s behind the rapid rise in US carbon emissions?Carbon Copy podcast:

And what do two pandemic-related spikes in fossil fuel use mean for the energy transition?


Bridging atmospheric scientists and solar engineers to reach carbon neutrality

Chinese Academy of Sciences

It is important to bridge the two fields, atmospheric sciences and solar engineering, for the common good of carbon neutrality.



AGL partners with Plenti to offer interest-free loans for solar and batteries

Personal loan provider Plenti teams up with AGL and Westpac to grow its offering of loans for solar, batteries and electric vehicles.

Singapore wealth fund buys into Australian green hydrogen mega projects

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund buys strategic stake in InterContinental Energy, which is developing biggest green hydrogen projects in Australia and around the world.


Giant machines that remove CO2 from the atmosphere are finally here. Could we build them in Australia?

On a barren lava plateau in Iceland stands an entirely new kind of industrial facility that sucks carbon dioxide from the air and traps it in stone. So, are they part of the solution to climate change?


Higher cost of fossil fuels drives wholesale power prices up despite falling market share

Aemo report shows renewable energy accounted for record share of generation as NEM emissions fell to lowest quarterly total on record


If you’re reading this, you survived Australia’s deadliest day for heat

Australian heatwaves are posing a greater threat to mortality than any other natural hazard, including bushfires and floods.


Pandemic pollution: building boom creates millions of tonnes of rubbish [$]

Amber Schultz

Government stimulus programs resulted in a construction boom. And a huge mess.


The gap between Australian climate policy and the science is closing far too slowly – we have to keep up the pressure

Lenore Taylor

Tiny steps towards net zero are being undermined by new fossil fuel projects. An election year offers the chance to hold our politicians to account


Ideology is the enemy when facing our greatest challenges

Tony Nagy

Leadership often requires the ability to go against “type” in charting new courses for nations.


‘Let it rip’ mentality underlies Australia’s cruelest policy failures

Melissa Haswell et al

Australia’s Covid ‘let it rip’ mentality is deeply ingrained in the nation’s past and, through climate and environmental inaction, is driving a much larger peril.



Brumby re-homing policy ‘airy fairy’ say volunteers removing wild horses from national parks

Volunteers wanting to remove and re-home more of Australia’s wild horses from national parks are calling for more state government support.



$1 billion to be pumped into saving Great Barrier Reef environment and jobs

Facing the threat of an “in danger” world heritage listing, the government is committing an additional $1 billion to saving the Great Barrier Reef.


Ryko left the city to work on the land — he’s not looking back

Ryko Kalinko volunteers at a permaculture farm in Queensland in exchange for food and accommodation. He says life on the land has taught him valuable skills for the future.


PM punts on a double-sided rescue [$]

Graham Lloyd

Scott Morrison’s billion-dollar Great Barrier Reef rescue has one eye on the election and another on a UNESCO mission that is being sent to Australia.


South Australia

Flooding in South Australia damages nation’s ‘umbilical cord’ after ‘once in 200-year-event’

Parts of Australia’s most “strategically important” system have been severely damaged and are underwater after a “once in 200-year-event”.


Forestry industry launches bid for 50 million trees

The state’s forestry industry is calling on the major political parties to commit to planting 50 million trees to replenish South Australia’s estate and support regional economies ahead of the March state election.



Call for Hobart e-scooter trial pause amid injuries and ‘deep concerns’ footpaths aren’t safe

Council data reveals over a hundred warnings and a number of outright bans on riders have been imposed since the trial of rental e-scooters began in Tasmania — with two city councillors saying they want the risks assessed before someone gets seriously hurt


Western Australia

Traditional Owners welcome expiry of uranium mine approval, but the fight isn’t over

Yeelirrie area Traditional Owners have welcomed the expiry of the environmental approval to mine uranium on their land.



Musk predicts change in battery metals, and terawatt hour storage business

Elon Musk expects energy storage to grow to a terawatt hour business, but there will also be a change in battery metals.


Cooking with gas? Research finds health and emissions risks even when stoves are off

Most of the emissions from gas stovetops happen when they’re not in use, and they’re also a risk to health and the climate, researchers find.


Australian energy giant Woodside withdraws from Myanmar almost one year after military coup

The company has been under intense pressure over its involvement in a major deepwater gas development, and said it could “no longer contemplate” projects in the country due to the ongoing situation. 


General Motors to spend $7 billion on electric vehicle plants

The automaker will build a battery plant and overhaul an existing factory to produce electric pickup trucks, creating 4,000 jobs.


Are electric cars the solution?

Or do visions of ‘clean’ robots supplying mobile freedom steer us down the wrong road?


Offshore wind farms could do double duty as carbon capture devices

Built together, these two technologies could reduce the energy costs of carbon capture and minimize the need for onshore pipelines.


Better air in lockdown may have saved hundreds of lives in Europe, study finds

More than 800 lives may have been saved across Europe thanks to better air quality in the first phase of Covid lockdowns, research suggests.


Palm oil is one of the most destructive ingredients you use every day

From shampoo to ice cream to oat milk, palm oil is in everything. And demand for it is driving deforestation and climate change. Now many companies are finding ways to use yeast to create plantation-free alternatives.


Stackable Artificial Leaf Uses Less Power Than Lightbulb to Capture 100 Times More Carbon Than Other Systems

Engineers built a cost-effective artificial leaf that can capture carbon dioxide at rates 100 times better than current systems. 


Six solutions to battery mineral challenges

Amory Lovins

A flood of recent articles, whether spontaneous or coordinated, seeks to discredit renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other elements of the climate-saving energy transition.


Hearts, cells and mud: how biology helps humans re-imagine our cities in vexed times

Marco Amati

Biological metaphors for the city abound in daily use. You may live close to an “arterial” road or in the “heart” of a metropolis. You may work in one of the city’s “nerve centres” or exercise in a park described as the city’s “lungs”.


The race to protect the food of the future – why seed banks alone are not the answer

Helen Anne Curry

A historian argues for conservation strategies that embrace creativity and diverse farming methods.


Nature Conservation

EU: To end deforestation, protect land rights

The European Union’s landmark anti-deforestation law should require businesses to respect traditional communities’ rights over their territories or risk failing to deliver on its objectives, more than 191 Indigenous, environmental, and human rights organizations from 62 countries said today in an open letter to EU policymakers.


Climate change might be shrinking Amazonian birds

After spending weeks at a time deep in the Amazon rainforest, ecologist Vitek Jirinec and his colleagues began to suspect that something was wrong with local bird populations.


Data from thousands of cameras confirms protected areas promote mammal diversity

Researchers at UBC’s faculty of forestry analyzed data from a global data set drawing from 8,671 camera trap stations spanning four continents. They found more mammal diversity in survey areas where habitat had a protected designation — compared to forests and other wilderness areas that lacked that designation.


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