Daily Links May 15

The slogan ‘Technology not taxes’, an irrational optimism and a misperception of risk are not our friends in the climate challenge.
Please note: no service for the next week. While Maelor will be still at it, I’ll be out on the Thorsborne Trail, out of contact. I wanted to wallow in antics of the last week of the campaign and thrill to the count as it unfolds on Saturday night but the bogan bloviator called the election on the wrong date. He should have asked me.

Post of the Day

This app allows you to find threatened species in your area — and petition your local member

Researchers have created a new web-based tool that allows users to find the threatened species in their electorate and then petition their local member, in order to put biodiversity loss on the election agenda. 

 

On This Day

May 15

Vesak (Buddha’s Day)

 

Climate Change

‘Fun in the sun’ photos are a dangerous distraction from the reality of climate breakdown

Saffron O’Neill

Think of the images that defined our understanding of war or protest. Similar ones can tell the truth about this disaster

 

We need optimism – but Disneyfied climate predictions are just dangerous

George Monbiot

Techno-utopianism is popular precisely because it doesn’t challenge the status quo, and lets polluters off the hook

 

National

This app allows you to find threatened species in your area — and petition your local member

Researchers have created a new web-based tool that allows users to find the threatened species in their electorate and then petition their local member, in order to put biodiversity loss on the election agenda. 

 

Contrasting solutions presented for how to build Australia’s new and more flexible electricity system

To reduce emissions, incorporate new technology and energy sources, Australia needs a new electricity system. The grid of the future needs to be more stable, less centralised and handle large amounts of renewables. The question this election is how to build it.

 

Coalition offers incentives for older Australians to downsize

Pensioners, self-funded retirees and working older Australians are being offered new financial incentives to sell their family home earlier and move into to something smaller.

 

Fast fashion is costing the environment. So why are Australians still buying?

Researchers and advocates say the government and the fashion industry have an obligation to educate consumers about fast fashion and its impact on the environment.

 

Plastic-stuffed seabirds sound alarm call for Australian ocean health

Seabirds are sending us an urgent message about the health of the Australia’s oceans but we’re not listening, say marine scientists.

 

‘We’ve had a decade of no leadership’: Scientists back ALP on climate action plans

Climate Action Tracker says government policies were consistent with 3 degrees global warming, Labor’s with 2 degrees and the Greens and independents with 1.5 degrees.

 

Hating Barnaby Joyce: is it him, or is it us?

Mark Sawyer

In campaign debates, in radio stations, television studios, people to people encounters all over the nation, the name Barnaby Joyce comes up as the biggest brake on Australia making a greater commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Does the leader of the National Party deserve the brickbats?

 

New South Wales

Aboriginal land claim approved for historic Sydney site

The claim, which was lodged in 2016, transfers part of the Yasmar site in Sydney’s inner west to the Aboriginal Land Council.

 

Why our ‘turbocharged’ weather events need rethink of emergency response

John Hanscombe 

The sign warns people to stick to the marked path. But a man sawing timber for a new foot bridge tells us to be extra careful of the red mud that has washed over the path.

 

South Australia

Water out of fish: Anglers’ new fears over EP drying up [$]

A new row is brewing over fresh water in SA’s west as fears are revived a controversial fix will devastate fishing — and Canberra hopefuls are now wading in.


Tasmania

Big turnout for anti-salmon farming protest in NW

Despite cold and wet conditions, North-West residents protested against a proposed salmon farming trial six nautical miles off the coast of Burnie.

 

Northern Territory

The aquifer for this remote town is drying up, with predictions of just 18 months of drinking water left

The remote Indigenous community of Yuelamu in the Northern Territory is facing a water crisis as the town’s main aquifer dries up.

 

Western Australia

E-trash to treasure: Sam’s nifty hands upcycle broken iPads and laptops for people in need

In the Jacaranda House in Perth’s south-east, defunct phones, iPads, and PCs are stacking up the walls. Thrown in the trash by someone, Sam says it’s often simple fixes that turn them into treasures for someone in need.

 

Sustainability

Rigid waterproof coating for paper aims to reduce our dependence on plastic

For our sake and the environment, there is a considerable amount of research into the reduction of plastic for many and various applications. Researchers have now found a way to imbue relatively sustainable paper materials with some of the useful properties of plastic. This can be done easily, cost effectively, and efficiently. A coating called Choetsu not only waterproofs paper, but also maintains its flexibility and degrades safely as well.

 

Adopting low-carbon energy can reduce racial disparities in air pollution

Switching to low carbon fuels for transportation, cooking, heating, power generation and other needs would help fight climate change and also reduce racial and ethnic disparities in exposure to air pollution.

 

Statement on Climate, Environment, Peace and Security

We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, who are united in our resolve to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C in reach, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and to reach net zero emissions globally by mid-century:

 

New Zealand’s dairy industry should stop using Māori culture to pretend it’s sustainable

Philip McKibbin

Dairying is not simply unsustainable, it also violates Māori values – including those that call for us to respect the natural world

 

Environment: Forests, soil and peatlands disappearing

Peter Sainsbury

20 million hectares of tropical and boreal forests were lost in 2021. Climate change is destroying the soil crust in arid lands. Peatlands are disappearing globally. It doesn’t have to be this way: action is possible.

 

Nature Conservation

What we’re still learning about how trees grow

A new study finds that tree growth does not seem to be generally limited by photosynthesis but rather by cell growth. This suggests that we need to rethink the way we forecast forest growth in a changing climate, and that forests in the future may not be able to absorb as much carbon from the atmosphere as we thought.

 

Climate change increases risks of tree death

All of that carbon in trees and forests worldwide could be thrown back into the atmosphere if the trees burn up in a forest fire. Trees also stop scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air if they die due to drought or insect damage. The likelihood of those threats impacting forests is increasing nationwide, making relying on forests to soak up carbon emissions a much riskier prospect.

 



Maelor Himbury
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