Daily Links Feb 19

In wilfully ignoring, on so many fronts, community views, then politics, economics, even liberalism makes the Pentecostal PM puzzling indeed. You’d reckon at least self-preservation would be a powerful motivator. Has he simply got too many wet-behind-the-ears Young Liberals as advisors?

Post of the Day

It might be time to take methane removal seriously

An alarming spike in the second-most-damaging greenhouse gas is giving wind to a once fringe idea: Take it out of the air.


On This Day

February 19


Ecological Observance

World Pangolin Day


Climate Change

It might be time to take methane removal seriously

An alarming spike in the second-most-damaging greenhouse gas is giving wind to a once fringe idea: Take it out of the air.


Addressing climate change means finding the source of missing methane

When it comes to the single biggest contributor to climate change, carbon dioxide, there’s no mystery: It’s mainly coming from tailpipes and smokestacks. But nailing down the sources of the second-biggest climate problem is trickier.


Antarctica will likely set a record for lowest sea ice extent this year

Scientists are tracking what’s shaping up to be a new all-time sea ice record in Antarctica.


We are all Maldivians

Mohamed Nasheed and Patrick Verkooijen

Rising sea levels are swallowing up the Maldives. Nowhere is the threat more devastating or more urgent.


Extreme weather and temperatures sound alarm on climate change

David Ritter

Extreme weather seen in Western Australia sends us an unequivocal message that governments and corporations must address the climate crisis.



Biggest solar contractor in Australia hit by damages claims, soaring module costs

The biggest solar EPC contractor in Australia says it has been hit by claims of liquidated damages and rising module and shipping costs.


Foul items flushed down the toilet

An image has surfaced highlighting just how poorly people treat the sewage system, flushing everything from credit cards to sex toys.


Clean energy companies plea for government ‘not to get in the way’ of renewable shift

As Australia’s largest coal-fired plant announces an early closure, groups say government intervention in market ‘undermines confidence’


AEC finds errors in donation records across the political spectrum

Reviews from 2018-19 find Liberal party misidentified multiple donors while Queensland Labor mislabelled $1m in donations as ‘other receipt’


Why this scientist wants you to send him koala poo

Forensic scientist Carney Matheson is launching a program for students and later members of the public to hunt down koala poo to build DNA profiles of the iconic animals.


‘Bucks for booze bottles’: Business wants recycling schemes expanded

Big beverage manufacturers are calling for container deposit schemes to be extended to wine and spirit bottles to encourage recycling.


Calls for national ‘bin harmonisation’ to make recycling easier

Recycling bins across the country would be “harmonised” to have standard rules about what can and cannot be included under a push by federal environment minister Sussan Ley, who has secured agreement from state ministers to address the issue.


Better plate than never: Shoppers to see which beef keeps koalas safer

AgForce said the program would score a producer, including a property’s biodiversity, any koala habitat, soil condition, carbon emissions and water management.


Push for transport fleets to go green [$]

Australian companies and governments are being urged to switch their fleets to low-emission vehicles.


How our album of birdsong recordings rocketed to #2 on the ARIA charts

Stephen Garnett and Anthony Albrecht

Australia is losing its birds at an alarming rate – one in six species are now threatened with extinction, predominantly due to climate change, land clearing and worsening bushfires.


New design tech offers hope for urban wildlife

Dan Parker et al

Designers and ecologists are working together to reimagine cities as more-than-human places


National plan needed for renewable energy

Age editorial

Origin Energy’s decision to close Australia’s largest coal-fired power station early highlights the lack of an energy plan from the federal government.


Pointless Taylor exiles himself from energy policy [$]

Bernard Keane

The early closure of Eraring power station — announced by Origin without consulting the supposed federal energy minister — will mean longer lives for hundreds of people in Sydney and the Hunter Valley.


Dealing with an uneasy shift of power [$]

Graham Lloyd

As the drawbacks of renewables hit home worldwide, Australia faces its own light-bulb moment.


Power station’s end exposes Coalition’s lie


The Morrison government needs to end the politicisation of climate change and get on with the job of transitioning from coal to clean energy.



Road to renewables, as CityLink switches to 100 pct Victorian wind power

Transurban’s CityLink tollways in Victoria will be powered by 100% renewable energy, sourced from Australia’s biggest wind farm.


New South Wales

Shark attacks are a grim reality of Australian life, but they’re rarer than you probably think

The death of British diving instructor Simon Nellist in a shark attack on Wednesday was a freak tragedy.


Councils were promised high-tech shark deterrents this summer. They’re only now being deployed

Not one of the so-called SMART drumlines – an effective way of catching and releasing sharks – was deployed in Sydney until after 35-year-old Simon Nellist was fatally attacked by a large white shark at Little Bay.


How many great white sharks is enough? [$]

After 26 years of protection in NSW waters — which helped see great white shark numbers increase — the state government declined to outline its plans to manage their numbers in the wake of this week’s fatal shark attack.


‘Jobs of tomorrow’: NSW fast-tracks renewables after Eraring closure

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean says Eraring power station workers will be offered work in the growing renewables sector when they lose their jobs in 2025.


Expanded NSW gas plant an option to replace coal closures [$]

An expansion of the proposed taxpayer-funded power station at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley is being considered by the government amid a scramble to fill a baseload generation gap caused by the premature closure of the Eraring coal plant.


Power station staff to help build wind farms [$]

Workers at Origin Energy’s Eraring power station will build NSW wind farms, batteries and transmission infrastructure under a plan worth up to $1bn.


Origin Energy sacrifices value for ESG gain [$]

Origin has acted to avoid the “green penalty” that has forced the hand of other listed companies such as BHP and AGL Energy, but there’s a price to be paid.


Conservationists’ great challenge: how to protect humans from sharks

Leonardo Guida

In the heat of emotional upheaval, a shark cull for some might feel good today, tomorrow or next week, but it won’t achieve the ultimate goal of what we all want – improving people’s safety.


Why a great white shark was swimming off a Sydney beach

Vanessa Pirotta

Sharks are not human-seeking missiles and the death of Simon Nellist was a tragic example of a case of mistaken identity.


Sydney shark attack triggers calls for a cull – but let’s take a deep breath and look at the evidence

Daryl McPhee

The fatal shark attack off Sydney on Wednesday left the city shocked, and triggered questions from a horrified public. Why would a shark just grab a man from the water? And will it strike again?

Eraring closure will result in more wind, solar and batteries, and less gas

Jose Zapata et al

We conducted modelling to assess the impact of the early closure of the Eraring coal plant on grid reliability, costs and emissions. Here’s what it found.

Eraring’s early closure should not be a surprise, but it is a huge wake-up call

David Leitch

Consensus was right – the shift to renewables really is about step changes. And now, it’s about execution.


Notice of closure – cartoon

David Pope



Down memory lane: How Brisbane landmarks are being recycled into roads

Next time you’re driving on some of Brisbane’s roads you might be travelling over the remains of some of the city’s most iconic buildings.


A lobbyist a day: Charting Queensland’s political influencer boom

Analysis of the state’s lobbying activity reveals the extent of issues raised by a review into the growing sector’s stretched regulator.


Why it’s politics, not profit, that may decide fate of state’s coal industry

John McCarthy

The private sector has very clearly rung the bell on the future of coal, but in Queensland, the market has never been that clear.


South Australia

Digging into an Eyre Peninsula desalination plant to boost mining

A $15m government-funded business case for an Eyre Peninsula desalination plant is primarily aimed at delivering water to expand mining in remote areas and revisits an earlier plan abandoned by BHP.



De-extinction puzzle: how decoding numbat DNA could help resurrect the Tasmanian tiger

Scientists are convinced reviving extinct species is no longer confined to science fiction. Can we really do it, and should we?


Celebrate women in conservation

Once again, Tasmanian Land Conservancy are celebrating International Women’s Day in early March and specifically applauding ‘Women in Conservation’.


‘We have evidence’: Green group in new bid to stop Derby logging [$]

A northeast Tasmanian green group claims to have evidence a forestry plan is not being adhered to as it issues a new legal threat, but loggers counter they are following the letter of the law.


In heatwave conditions, Tasmania’s tall eucalypt forests no longer absorb carbon

Tim Wardlaw

Southern Tasmania’s tall eucalyptus forests are exceptionally good at taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into wood.


Western Australia

Big cuts expected to save dhufish and pink snapper stocks [$]

The WA fishing industry is bracing for a significant bag limit hit for prized catches such as dhufish and pink snapper after the McGowan Government revealed urgent changes were needed to save fishing stock.



Sierra Leone lawsuit against diamond mine runs up against corporate opacity

Residents of Koidu, in northeastern Sierra Leone, are suing the operators of a diamond mine they say has polluted the environment, damaged homes, and cost many their livelihoods.


Thawing permafrost can expose northerners to cancer-causing gas, study says

Radon is an odourless, tasteless gas that comes from the ground. A new study out of the U.K. says people in the Arctic might be exposed to plumes of the cancer-causing gas as a protective layer of permafrost continues to thaw.


Are oil majors greenwashing? What 12 years of data show

There is a “mismatch” between the public statements of four of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and their actions and investments on clean energy, according to new research that analyzed 12 years of data.


Chart: Global EV sales more than doubled in 2021

And all signs point to exponential growth in the electric car market in 2022 and beyond.


Moving to sustainable and humane food systems

Forty-two per cent of us are consuming less meat or not eating meat at all according to a report by Food Frontier.


Nature Conservation

Nearly half of bald eagles have lead poisoning

Almost half of bald and golden eagles in the United States have lead poisoning, according to the largest study of its kind. The findings could spell bad news for the recovery of both species.


Maelor Himbury
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