Daily Links Apr 28

Our greatest failure as a nation occurred on May 18, 2019 when the cabal of climate deniers, carpetbag sellers and rorters duped enough of the Australian electorate to buy the ‘miracle’ election result.  On just so many fronts, our country has cause for regret.

Post of the Day

Net zero by 2050 will hit a major timing problem technology can’t solve. We need to talk about cutting consumption

Mark Diesendorf

Many climate activists, scientists, engineers and politicians are trying to reassure us the climate crisis can be solved rapidly without any changes to lifestyle, society or the economy.


On This Day

April 28


Climate Change

Can pricing carbon help ease greenhouse gas emissions?

Dozens of nations, including the United States, and many local governments are putting a price tag on these emissions that cause more floods, droughts and other destructive events.


New Zealand unveils plan to tackle climate crisis by adapting cities to survive rising seas

The New Zealand government has released new plans to try to prepare the country for the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis: sea level rise, floods, massive storms and wildfires.



‘We have no time to waste’: Mina is running 200 marathons to raise awareness of the world’s water crisis

The Australian businesswoman runs marathons in countries affected by the global water crisis and hopes to encourage everyone to think more carefully about their water usage. 


Canavan told to ‘pull his head in’ by government colleagues over net zero comments

Nationals senator Matt Canavan is told to “pull his head in” by a colleague, and slapped down by the Prime Minister, after attempting to muddy the waters over the Coalition’s climate change commitments in the middle of a tight election race.

Greens party wants levy to fund coal exit

The Greens will launch their full climate policy, with a plan to create 805,000 jobs while improving the budget by more than $50 billion across the decade.


Coalition climate policy forced big polluters to pay $15m for carbon credits in past year

Scott Morrison says Labor wants to use government safeguard mechanism as a ‘sneaky carbon tax’ but it is already making big business pay for offsets


AGL strikes deal to buy biogas firm in low-carbon energy shift

AGL, the largest Australian power and gas company, has struck a deal to buy a biogas producer supplying commercial and industrial customers in its latest move to diversify away from fossil fuels.


Split widens on Australia’s coal-fired future [$]

Bridget McKenzie backs new coal-fired power stations as Scott Morrison pulls plug on proposed Queensland plant.


Opposition vows to cut emissions faster [$]

Both major parties have committed to cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions but Labor has promised to act more quickly and will demand more urgent action.


Labor’s climate plan would have ‘little financial impact’ on coal: Grattan

Labor’s Safeguard Mechanism would only require coal mining companies to pay about $6m in the first year, when coal export earnings are forecast to rise to $110 billion.


Business waiting for detail on Labor climate plan [$]

Michael Parris

Labor’s plan to cut emissions from the nation’s most fossil fuel-intensive industries has provoked a Groundhog Day talkfest about jobs and carbon taxes, but Tomago Aluminium boss Matt Howell says it is unclear what impact, if any, the policy will have on his company


Warring within Coalition over 2050 target brings some gold dust for ‘teals’

Michelle Grattan

“The world has moved past Matt Canavan,” Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud declared on Wednesday, tossing his party colleague and former resources minister firmly under the bus as the “climate wars” exploded within the Coalition.


Scott Morrison’s carbon tax attack fizzles in net-zero world

James Robertson

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s attempt to frame Labor’s emissions policy as a “sneaky carbon tax” met with an indifferent reception from the business lobby on Wednesday.


Lies, damned lies … and political ads on climate policy

Nick O’Malley

When it comes to carbon emissions, the federal government is sending different – and contradictory – messages to the city and the bush.


In an election climate, don’t expect change

Garry Linnell

Scientists tell us the average person expels the equivalent of about 500 litres of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide each day. What a shame they are yet to measure the emission levels of federal politicians because yesterday surely set a new record for air pollution on the campaign trail.


Now it’s the Coalition’s turn to walk both sides of the street on climate

David Crowe

In 2019, Labor was accused of saying one thing on climate in Queensland and another in Melbourne. Now it’s the Coalition’s turn.


Policy choices must reflect the challenge of inflation [$]

Australian editorial

Voters deserve to know how carbon reduction plans will affect prices.


Abuse? Climate action could inspire a generation


It saddens me that political candidates such as Colleen Harkin continue with the old mantra that anything Australia does on climate change would make no difference


Global warming truth bombs now a sin [$]

Andrew Bolt

Two Liberals are now guilty of blasphemy for refusing to lie about the climate “emergency” but nobody should dare question the new religion by dropping truth bombs about net zero.


Labor’s climate pain a lesson for feuding Coalition MPs [$]


The cracks in the Coalition over net zero might not be as wide as they appear, but the PM needs only to look at the recent past to see the danger.


Net zero by 2050 will hit a major timing problem technology can’t solve. We need to talk about cutting consumption

Mark Diesendorf

Many climate activists, scientists, engineers and politicians are trying to reassure us the climate crisis can be solved rapidly without any changes to lifestyle, society or the economy.


Vote for the Morrison Government and say goodbye to our koalas

Sue Arnold

After years of inaction toward saving our koalas, another term for the Morrison Government would result in their extinction.


Net Zero Transition: China, world leave Australia behind on climate

Blair Palese

The latest Coalition climate catastrophe, Senator Matt Canavan declaring national net zero policy “dead,” rings alarm bells for what’s ahead if the Morrison government is returned to office. Meanwhile, our new rival in the Pacific region, China, is seizing the mantle of climate leadership. Blair Palese reports on Australia’s greatest failure as a nation.



Axing of remote timber nursery plan casts doubt on Victoria’s shift away from native logging

It was meant to be the engine room of the state’s move towards hardwood plantation timber, but after two years of delays, plans for a nursery at Nowa Nowa have been abandoned.


Ending trashing of the CBD will take a joint effort

People are returning, but the CBD is looking shabby. Tackling problems such as graffiti and rising amounts of rubbish calls for innovation from a wide variety of groups.


North East Link cost to motorists shrouded in secrecy [$]

Want to know how much you will fork out to travel on Victoria’s $16bn North East Link? You may be waiting a while as the toll price is set to remain secret for years.



Company hit with $600k fine for polluting Molonglo River [$]

National waste management company Cleanaway has been fined $600,000 for leaking solvents into the Molonglo River in Queanbeyan almost two years ago.


Labor pledges $3.2m to improve Canberra’s waterway health [$]

Federal Labor is pledging, if elected, to spend $3.225 million in a bid to help improve the health of Canberra’s waterways and educate children about the importance of doing so.



Net zero alive and well: inner-city MP [$]

The Coalition MP in the marginal inner Brisbane seat of Ryan expects his constituents to vote on the party’s policy, not on comments made by Nationals colleague Matt Canavan.


Black gold: Queensland coal producers reveal historic price hikes

Coronado has revealed the bonanza Australian coal producers have been experiencing with prices for premium coking coal reaching $US670 a tonne ($A900) in March, a 32 per cent increase for the month.


South Australia

Motel fire that left three with serious burns was sparked by recharging batteries

After initial suspicions about an intense fire in a multi-storey Adelaide motel block that left three men with serious burns, the cause has now been identified as recharging batteries.


Global slump wipes billions from SA mining, energy firm values

More than $3 billion has been wiped from the value of the state’s largest mining and energy companies in the past week amid tumbling global commodity markets and mixed March quarter production results in the wake of floods and China’s latest COVID-19 lockdowns.

Low emissions, lower prices: South Australia’s remarkable shift to wind and solar

South Australia’s rapid transition to wind and solar has left other states in its wake, and it’s winning on emissions and prices too.


Northern Territory

As saltwater crocodile numbers rise, so too could be their appetite for feral pig

Scientists analysing the eating habits of saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory, where the apex predator’s population has grown exponentially in recent decades, uncover a shift from marine prey to land-based prey — likely including a steady diet of feral pig.


Gamba grass becomes federal election issue

National parks rangers welcome election pledges to combat gamba grass in what feels like an uphill battle.


Western Australia

Carbon state: Coalition changed rules to save fossil fuel donor tens of millions [$]

Bernard Keane

Chevron’s carbon capture and storage project off Western Australia has been a miserable failure, but luckily the government has stepped in to keep the costs down.



The world is using sand faster than it can be replaced

A United Nations report is calling for urgent action to avert a sand crisis as population growth and urbanisation triple demand for the world’s most exploited natural resource after water. 


‘We have to be on alert’: IAEA chief says situation at Chernobyl still not stable after Russian occupation

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has called Russia’s temporary occupation of the Chernobyl nuclear power station “very, very dangerous” and offered to help Ukraine repair damage caused to the stricken plant.


IAEA finds normal radioactivity at Chernobyl on disaster’s anniversary

But in a sign of the nuclear risks of the war in Ukraine, two low-flying missiles that came from the Black Sea flew over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex.


Coal burning banned in Warsaw to combat air pollution

The burning of coal to heat households – one of the main causes of Poland’s air pollution, which is among the worst in Europe – will be banned in Warsaw from the start of October next year. In areas surrounding the capital, the ban will come into force in 2028.


Restoring land degraded by human use a matter of ‘survival’, UN warns

The United Nations says how humans manage and use land resources is threatening the health and survival of many species on Earth.


Freshwater planetary boundary “considerably” transgressed: New research

Earth’s operating systems have stayed in relative balance for thousands of years, allowing the flourishing of civilization. However, humanity’s actions have resulted in the transgressing of multiple planetary boundaries, resulting in destabilization of those vital operating systems.


Chemistry education must change to help the planet: Here’s how

The current environmental crisis, in terms of both carbon emissions and plastics pollution, is a creature of chemistry. And that means chemists must re-engineer their working methods as part of efforts to solve it.


How Paris is waging a war on noise pollution

To combat the ill effects of urban noise pollution, Paris is deploying automated sensors and cracking down on the loudest vehicles. 


Nanoplastic particles love company: Researchers analyze polyethylene degradation in environment

Polyethylene accounts for nearly one-third of the world’s plastic waste. An interdisciplinary team has now investigated the progressive degradation of polyethylene in the environment for the first time.


Plastic-eating enzyme could eliminate billions of tons of landfill waste

An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists can break down environment-throttling plastics that typically take centuries to degrade in just a matter of hours to days.


Nature Conservation

UN says up to 40% of world’s land now degraded

Rising damage, caused mostly by food production, puts ability to feed planet’s growing population at risk


One in five reptile species globally are under the threat of extinction

A study has found that 30 per cent of forest-dwelling reptiles are at risk of extinction, compared with 14 per cent of reptiles in arid habitats.


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