Daily Links Mar 30

When it’s been established that the government has no duty of care for future generations, that the budget pays scant attention to clean energy is not surprising. But then neither is it surprising that a talentless government so on the nose with the electorate should direct our dollars to likely supporters in an effort to be re-elected. 

Post of the Day

Reading up on plastics and climate change

It’s become widely accepted that plastic waste is a gigantic global problem. But is it a climate-change problem, too? Answers to this trickier question are becoming clearer, as these articles demonstrate.


On This Day

March 30


Climate Change

Climate change is making pollen season longer and more intense across the USA

Across the country, pollen season is starting earlier and intensifying because of rising global temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations.


Energy agency: ‘Radical action’ needed to hit climate goals

The world must take “radical action” to shift away from fossil fuels, including investing $5.7 trillion annually in solar, wind and other forms of clean power this decade to ensure that global warming doesn’t pass dangerous thresholds, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency says.


The complex ways climate change is impacting our mental health

For many, the existential nature of the climate crisis inspires anxiety. But the toll of dislocation from land and culture can affect wellbeing differently.


Banks promised climate action. Where is it?

Twenty-nine banks pledged to go net-zero. Not one has a viable plan to achieve it, a new report finds.


Beijing’s green fist

Yaqiu Wang

The climate crisis is a human rights crisis on a colossal scale, and to help mitigate it, the world needs the Chinese government to take urgent action. But is Beijing capable of reducing environmental harm without committing further human rights violations? There’s reason to worry.


We’re on the edge of climate precipice, action is urgent


News from the Antarctic validates the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, which stressed that there is only a brief window of time to act as many impacts of global warming are now simply irreversible.



Budget blasted for ‘ignoring’ climate

The federal government has set aside billions of dollars to deal with the consequences of climate change, but there’s nothing in the budget to address its cause, observers say.


Climate spending cut as Frydenberg delivers empty budget for clean energy and EVs

The Morrison government will cut spending on climate action, with clean energy and electric vehicles neglected. Fossil fuel subsidies get a boost.


Massive missed opportunity for Climate – Climate Council responds to Federal Budget

The 2022 Federal Budget has failed to deliver any meaningful commitments to address escalating climate change in Australia.


Reef funding drawn out over next decade [$]

Environment Minister Sussan Ley will deliver $2.3bn to address the Great Barrier Reef, Antarctic and streamlining environmental approval processes.


Rivers of money to flow for water projects [$]

The federal government has committed $7.4bn to fund water projects across the country as part of a budget cash splash.


‘Loss of trust’: Farmers rattled by carbon market changes [$]

Carbon projects may no longer be viable and prospective farmers are hitting pause in the wake of major rule changes.


Fact check: Energy minister Angus Taylor misleads on oil reserves in Australia

Angus Taylor’s attempt to quell public concern about rising fuel prices and global oil shortages are misleading.

Switching to renewables is most effective way to prevent gas shortfalls, AEMO says

AEMO punctures Angus Taylor’s claims of a ‘European style’ gas shortage, saying switch to renewables and electrification will slash gas demand.


Clean Energy Regulator to review ‘sham’ carbon credit claims

The Clean Energy Regulator will review claims Australia’s carbon credit scheme is a sham and a waste of taxpayers’ money, but also says people can trust it.


Investment in carbon + biodiversity extension officers step in right direction: farmers

Farmers for Climate Action has welcomed the Federal Government’s $27.2 million investment in carbon + biodiversity extension officers in each Natural Resource Management region. These extension officers will help farmers take part in carbon and biodiversity markets.


Fossil fuel pipeline bolstered with $1.3b for gas, hydrogen [$]

The government will spend $1.3 billion to support new gas projects and supplement the development of hydrogen exports, spending that is likely to facilitate a growing pipeline of fossil fuel projects.


Indigenous rangers program doubles with $636 million boost

Jobs in Aboriginal land management will be doubled under an expansion of the Indigenous ranger program, which received a $636 million commitment in the federal budget to create 1000 full-time equivalent workers.


2022-23 Budget delivers $2.3 billion for cleaner, healthier environment

Sussan Ley

As part of our plan for a stronger future, the Morrison Government will take new environmental funding to almost $6 billion since 2019 with the 2022-23 Budget delivering over $2.3 billion in additional measures to address plastic pollution and threatened species protection, support the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s Antarctic leadership, the health of our oceans, and environmental law reform.


A cost-of-living budget: cuts, spends, and everything you need to know at a glance

Chynthia Wijaya et al

With rising inflation, a war in Europe affecting global fuel costs, and ongoing supply strain issues, this year’s budget is shaped not just by the upcoming election but a growing cry in the community about the cost of living.


Desperate petrol splash fuels post-election time bomb [$]

Samantha Maiden

The PM may not hold a hose but he’s happy to spray cheaper petrol around if it will secure him a fourth-term.


Climate crisis worsened by population and economic growth

David Shearman

Existing climate change issues are being exacerbated by increasing population and dwindling resources.


In marketplace for carbon credits, local beats global [$]

Judith Sloan

Don’t forget that buying international carbon credits of dubious provenance and effect remains part of Labor’s climate policy.

Transmission investment modelling is a giant, well intentioned Furphy

David Leitch

There is good evidence that far too much bargaining power for transmission lies with the network provider and not enough with the affected community.


Terra nullius has been overturned

Melissa Kennedy et al

Terra nullius has been overturned. Now we must reverse aqua nullius and return water rights to Traditional Owners.

Finding home in a land of increasingly crowded plains

Julian Bolleter and Robert Freestone

With Australia’s population set to rise by tens of millions in coming decades, the question is: where will they live? Julian Bolleter and Robert Freestone examine options and the need for a national urban policy.


The Coalition’s latest environmental fraud supported by Murdoch Media again. No surprise there!

Jeremy Webb

If no one has noticed a central pillar of Australia’s risibly inadequate GHG reduction commitment of 26-28% by 2030 has recently been demolished by our own scientists.



Victoria’s population shrank by almost 45,000 at pandemic’s height

Almost 45,000 people left Victoria at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


New South Wales

Platypuses likely gone from Royal National Park – but they may come back

Environmental survey findings confirm what scientists have suspected; platypuses aren’t in Royal National Park. But plans to reintroduce the iconic species to the park later this year will change this.


‘Very vague’: infrastructure experts question pre-election rail promises for NSW

Both major parties make promises over Newcastle to Sydney travel times, without detail



Lake Tuggeranong foreshore fix shouldn’t come at water-health expense, community group says

Lake Tuggeranong foreshore development has been welcomed by the \community council, who say amenity upgrades can’t replace a healthy waterway.



Getting rail to Gold Coast Airport should be ‘core’ of public transport plan, says infrastructure group

Connecting heavy rail to Gold Coast Airport, after 20 years of reports and reviews, should be a budget or election priority, says an infrastructure research group.


Testing how seaweed biofilters could improve Reef water quality

An innovative new solution using seaweed to help improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef is progressing to the next exciting phase of research, with on-water trials beginning next month.


Like putting a man on the moon: Plans for massive investment in desalination plants for hydrogen

The scale of investment needed for a domestic and export hydrogen industry in Queensland would require billions of dollars and include large-scale desalination plants to produce up to 1 million megalitres of water, the Palaszczuk Government has revealed.


Another mass bleaching event is devastating the Great Barrier Reef. What will it take for coral to survive?

Adam Smith and Nathan Cook

It’s official: the Great Barrier Reef is suffering its fourth mass bleaching event since 2016. We dived into the reef yesterday and saw the unfolding crisis firsthand.


South Australia

Scott Creek reopens after devastating fire [$]

More than a year after the devastating Cherry Gardens bushfire, Scott Creek Conservation Park is reopening for the public – in time for the bushwalking season.



Third shot at ‘anti-protest laws’ misses the point, activists say [$]

The state government will once again attempt to move ‘anti-protest laws’ through parliament after an unsuccessful attempt to introduce new laws last year.


Northern Territory

Grandson’s mission to restore Eddie Mabo’s island home

When Eddie Koiki Mabo’s grandson, Kaleb Mabo, returned to the land his grandfather fought so hard for, he found it abandoned and overrun by the jungle and sea.

“It will be built:” NT legislates to help deliver world’s biggest solar and battery project

Northern Territory government further backs Sun Cable’s massive $30 billion renewables export project with passage of new Solar Project Bill.


Billions promised in port and water upgrades in the NT, but budget funds could take a decade to flow

New port facilities, sealed roads and water infrastructure have been promised for the Northern Territory in the federal budget, but it could take many years before much of the money hits the ground.


Western Australia

Forrest strikes huge green hydrogen plan with German energy giant E.ON

Forrest strikes huge plan with German energy giant E.ON to produce five million tonnes of green hydrogen a year by 2030, using Australian renewables.

Fossil fuel giant Woodside turns to concentrated solar tech in new hydrogen play

Woodside invests in US concentrated solar technology with view to power, heat and hydrogen opportunities.


‘Pretty upsetting’: Fears $3m discovery centre will do more harm than good for dwindling penguin population

There are growing concerns a new tourist centre on WA’s Penguin Island will have a negative impact on the fragile birds it aims to protect.


CME welcomes Federal Budget focus on mining and resources sector

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA welcomes the 2022-23 Federal Budget and the ambitious measures announced to accelerate critical minerals projects, encourage the development of low-emissions technology and minerals processing, streamline regulatory processes and grow Australia’s workforce of the future.


‘Freedom energy’: Forrest offers hydrogen to Russia-dependent Germany [$]

In the latest of a slew of deals, Fortescue has pledged 5 million tonnes a year of green hydrogen to European energy giant E.ON by 2030.


Prescription burns actively increase bushfire risk, says WA researcher

A researcher who analysed 50 years of South West blazes says more forest should be left to “self-thin” to lower the risk of fires but authorities say otherwise.

Fears over Northern Jarrah Forest exploration permit

The WA Forest Alliance is urging people to object to a proposal for 10 exploration permits that would give mining giant Rio Tinto access to one of the State’s last surviving forests.



Anti-GMO themes losing traction worldwide, suggests new scientific paper

The conversation around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is becoming more positive, according to new Alliance for Science research analyzing traditional and social media trends on biotechnology.


Chernobyl’s ‘Red Forest’ disturbed by unprotected Russian soldiers [$]

Russian soldiers who seized the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster drove their armored vehicles without radiation protection through a highly toxic zone called the “Red Forest”, kicking up clouds of radioactive dust, workers at the site said.


Push for new UK nuclear plants lacks facility for toxic waste, say experts

UK only in early stages of finding permanent site for underground storage of hazardous spent fuel


Reading up on plastics and climate change

It’s become widely accepted that plastic waste is a gigantic global problem. But is it a climate-change problem, too? Answers to this trickier question are becoming clearer, as these articles demonstrate.


Turning cities into sponges to save lives and property

Officials around the world are implementing techniques to absorb or divert water and protect urban areas from the effects of climate change.


Cities need to be redesigned for the climate crisis. Can they make us happy, too?

It’s tempting to draw lines on a map, but we can’t forget that cities should be designed for the people who live there.


Industry calls Biden tariff probe a ‘disaster’ for solar

The Biden administration announced an investigation yesterday on whether to slap import taxes on solar panels and key equipment, angering advocates who said it could stall the industry’s growth enough to thwart climate goals.


Nature Conservation

As salmon die on the high seas, scientists suspect climate change

Salmon in the Pacific Ocean face dramatically different fates from one river system to the next. As the planet warms, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, scientists say changes in ocean conditions are helping drive these wild swings and collapses of key stocks.



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