Daily Links Feb 25

Ian Lowe always talks sense, as he does here. While nuclear fusion is not a total red herring, and work on fusion should continue for the promise it holds, we need to concentrate on the here and now and decarbonise with what we have, not sit by and wait for what we might have at some indeterminate time in the future. 

Post of the Day

Limitless power arriving too late: why fusion won’t help us decarbonise

Ian Lowe

I first heard the standard joke about fusion as an undergraduate physics student in the 1960s: Fusion power is fifty years away – and probably always will be.


On This Day

February 25


Climate Change

Researchers say science skewed by racism is increasing the threat of global warming to people of color

Black, Brown and Indigenous people have been systematically excluded from earth sciences, magnifying their exposure to the most severe impacts of climate change, said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, lead author of a recent commentary in the journal Nature Geosciences.


Supreme court case could restrict Biden’s effort to tackle climate crisis

Court to hear West Virginia case that takes aim at EPA’s ability to issue strict rules to curb pollution from fossil fuel power stations


Revealed: leading climate research publisher helps fuel oil and gas drilling

Elsevier’s work with fossil fuel companies ‘drags us towards disaster’, climate researcher says



Greens unveil plan for supporting coal communities in transition to renewables

Coal workers looking to jump to a non-polluting industry will be guaranteed employment at their existing pay rates under a new proposal by the Australian Greens.


Native forestry and billion-tree target flagged in Australian Forest Products Association’s 2022 federal election wish list

Support for native forestry and the federal government’s elusive billion-tree target were flagged as key issues by Australia’s national forestry peak body ahead of the upcoming federal election.


China’s ban on Australian coal to last ‘at least another two years’

BHP chief executive Mike Henry does not expect China to lift its unofficial ban on Australian coal cargoes any time soon.


Ukraine invasion could bring LNG windfall for Woodside [$]

Surging oil and gas prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are pointing to a bonanza for some LNG exporters but the long-term toll may be heavy.


Fears for global energy supplies [$]

Australia is preparing to join International Energy Agency members in a ‘global collective action’ and use oil stocks held in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep supplies flowing

Why this recycling boss would love a new tax

Sanjay Dayal, CEO of listed packaging group Pact, warns about skyrocketing rising costs and price hikes, and discusses workplace cultural clashes between Australia and India: “In Asia, if you’re the boss, you’re the boss.”

Mike Cannon-Brookes and closing coal Energy Insiders podcast

Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes explains why buying AGL will be fastest, cheapest, smartest and safest way to transition from coal to renewables.

Sunman’s pitch for glass free solar Great Solar Business podcast

Thomas Bell from Sunman Energy explains their glass free solar technology, and how and why it can grow the solar pie


The green economy is here: we all need to seize the opportunity [$]

Perry Williams

The inaugural Green Power Players List 2022 shines a spotlight on the 100 innovators, developers, financiers and activists, often working behind the scenes to effect change.


HESTA’s fossil fuel ties tarnish its reputation

David Shearman

Superannuation fund HESTA has drawn criticism for its ties to the fossil fuel industry


Why the Australian government should welcome Mike Cannon-Brookes’ plan to takeover AGL

Daniel J Cass

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flatly opposed the bid led by tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes to buy Australia’s biggest energy company AGL and spend A$20 billion switching it to renewables.


Why Cannon-Brookes shouldn’t control Australia’s energy future [$]

Danny Price

It’s unsettling to have a billionaire amateur deciding national energy policy – especially when it means overturning the core principles of the National Electricity Market.


Releasing a virus against rabbits is effective, but can make them immune if let loose at the wrong time

Pat Taggart

Rabbits are an enormous problem for Australian ecosystems – they’re a major threat to 322 species of plants and animals already at risk of extinction. This is more than double the number of species threatened by cats and foxes.


Green List gives clear sight into future of innovation [$]

Australian editorial

Today’s leaders have a responsibility to make it work for everyone.


Billionaire activism reveals the failure of Australian democracy

Carl Rhodes

With the Federal Government failing to act on climate policy, it could be up to our billionaires to save the world.



Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan reduces greenhouse gas emissions

The City of Ballarat is on its way to reaching an organisational net zero emissions target by 2025.


New South Wales

Why more sharks are circling off Sydney than ever before [$]

A veteran fisherman has declared there are now more sharks circling off the Sydney coastline than ever before.


Power and passion in a fading industry

Ethan Hamilton

We are moving into a period of acceptance, that there is a global shift away from coal-fired energy generation and while the changes may not impact the Hunter too severely in the next decade, they will come.



Commonwealth should consider ‘risks’ of granting Canberra heritage status, ACT government says

The ACT government has urged the Commonwealth government to consider the risks to the growth and future development of Canberra if the city is placed on the national heritage list a decade after it was nominated, while also suggesting a narrower listing may reduce the impact of new protections.


ACT is a long way in front of NSW’s Macquarie Street on corruption: Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has defended the ACT government’s track record on corruption, after the territory’s integrity commissioner suggested probity issues with procurement could be “endemic”.



Major Queensland coal port to investigate pivot to green hydrogen exports

One of the world’s largest metallurgical coal ports, the Dalrymple Bay Terminal in Queensland, to prepare plans for pivot to green hydrogen.


Healing the reef — one broken piece of coral at a time

A world-first program to reattach coral to the Great Barrier Reef has reached a major milestone, with the spawning of coral that was once broken.


State buys multi-million dollar cattle stations in far north

The State Government has bought two multi-million dollar northern Australian cattle stations as part of a conservation program.


Communities wanting another bridge at Indooroopilly might need two: Schrinner

Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner says to finally solve traffic congestion in Brisbane’s western suburbs planners need to get over the river and a rail line.


Return of land ‘a model for all states’ [$]

Thousands of hectares on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula have been returned to Indigenous owners under a scheme Aboriginal leaders say should be rolled out across Australia.


South Australia

‘Alien’ killer fish infest River Murray

Australia’s most hated fish, the Carp, has been given some relief by a study that found the introduction of “alien fish” to the River Murray is killing native stocks.



Wilderness Society briefs World Heritage Centre on Tas Govt’s broken promises

Last night Australian environment organisation the Wilderness Society addressed the World Heritage Centre at an international forum, the NGO-UNESCO Dialogue Forum.


Aboriginal community calls for end to South Coast hut walk plan

A walking company says getting traditional owners involved and onside is key to a new South Coast walk – but the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre doesn’t want it to go ahead.



Exercise can build up your brain. Air pollution may negate those benefits

People who worked out in even moderately polluted air did not show the kinds of brain improvements tied to a lower risk of dementia.


Why cities want old buildings taken down gently

A growing number of US cities are adopting “deconstruction” policies that involve taking structures apart by hand in the name of sustainability.


Hearings to start for planned Chalk River nuclear disposal facility

The project, the first of its kind in Canada, would hold up to a million tonnes of radioactive and hazardous waste about a kilometre from the Ottawa River in a “near surface” facility, which is effectively a large mound.


Climate resolution forces RBC to reckon with greenwashing

Investors for Paris Compliance is forcing RBC to stare down a resolution that would stop it from greenwashing billions of dollars that the bank bills as sustainable.

UK backs Australian invented hydrogen storage tech to cut use of fossil fuels

UK government to fund demonstration of a hydrogen energy storage technology originally invented at UNSW.


Joshi discusses environmental compliance of Indian coal, lignite companies

Coal secretary A K Jain briefed the committee about creation of a Sustainable Development Cell (SDC) in the ministry to advise, mentor, plan and monitor environmental sustainability of coal mines


Russian forces capture Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine has lost control over the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant after a fierce battle. Follow live.


Plastic packaging increases fresh food waste, study finds

Research by sustainability charity Wrap debunks idea single-use plastic on fruit and veg helps prevent waste


How green are electric cars? – video

There’s no denying that electric vehicles are what most of us will be driving in the near-future.


Google and Amazon misled about their carbon footprint. But what about the rest of us?

Vivienne Reiner et al

Google and Amazon made headlines earlier this month for misleading on their carbon footprint by not reporting on scope 3 emissions, which comprises the majority of their impact. But this is no anomaly.


Nuclear fusion record broken – what will it take to start generating electricity? – podcast

Daniel Merino and Gemma Ware

Scientists at a nuclear fusion lab in the UK just broke the world record for the amount of energy produced in a single fusion reaction. In this episode of The Conversation Weekly, we ask two experts what this means, and how long it’ll take before we can switch on the world’s first nuclear fusion power plant.


Limitless power arriving too late: why fusion won’t help us decarbonise

Ian Lowe

I first heard the standard joke about fusion as an undergraduate physics student in the 1960s: Fusion power is fifty years away – and probably always will be.


Why renewables, not gas, are the solution to Europe’s twin crises

Oleksiy Tatarenko

With European households facing steep increases in energy bills, the continent faces an especially high-stakes energy crisis at the confluence of geopolitical tensions and a raging debate over energy policy.


Nature Conservation

Canadian oil company illegally bulldozes protected land in Africa

Farms, water, and endangered wildlife are threatened as ReconAfrica expands its operations despite violations.


U.N. wants faith groups’ help on plastic pollution

A senior U.N. official during the Faith for Earth Dialogue in Kenya urged religious groups to help reach a global agreement to curb plastic pollution, amid experts warning that single-use or disposable plastics were choking the planet.


The tale of the Trojan trout

Can the introduction of a modified invader save the US West’s native fish?


Will exporting farmed totoaba fix the big mess pushing the world’s most endangered porpoise to extinction?

International officials will soon decide the fate of Mexican totoaba fish farming—and with it, possibly the last glimmer of hope for the vaquita.


Iraq’s second largest lake drying up, turning up dead fish

raq’s Razzaza Lake was once a tourist attraction known for its beautiful scenery and an abundance of fish that locals depended on. Now, dead fish litter its shores and the once-fertile lands around it have turned into a barren desert.


What do the protectors of the ‘world’s lungs’ get in return?

The world is suddenly focused on a huge natural carbon store in the Congo Basin. Its guardians are asking what they’re owed for keeping it intact.


From Wall Street to the Amazon: Big capital funds mining-driven deforestation

Major U.S. and Brazilian financial institutions continue to underwrite the destruction of the Amazon by financing mining companies pushing to operate in Indigenous territories, a new report says.


Each Antarctic tourist effectively melts 83 tonnes of snow – new research

Matthew Harris

Every summer, as the sea ice surrounding Antarctica retreats, tens of thousands of tourists and scientists flock to the landmass by boat and plane.


Is nature really at the centre of the ‘green dream’? [$]

Graham Lloyd

Looking after the land makes sense but in the end, someone has to pay. Good intentions will only go so far.



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