Daily Links May 6

We have the lives we have in part to our export of coal. Many Indians have the lives they have because of our exports of coal. Many of us live in air-conditioned comfort, they live in hell on earth. What is our moral obligation to them when India is no longer habitable and how welcoming will we be?

Post of the Day

Global bird populations steadily declining

Staggering declines in bird populations are taking place around the world. So concludes a study from scientists at multiple institutions. Loss and degradation of natural habitats and direct overexploitation of many species are cited as the key threats to avian biodiversity. Climate change is identified as an emerging driver of bird population declines.

 

On This Day

May 6

Saint George’s Day – Eastern Christianity

 

Ecological Observance

National Public Gardens Day – USA

 

Climate Change

Wondering what a hotter Australia will feel like? India’s heatwave could offer a terrifying glimpse of the future

More than 1 billion people in India and Pakistan are sweltering through a record-breaking heatwave. Is this a taste of things to come for the world? 

 

‘The Pacific can’t survive if richest corporations and governments continue to put profits over people and planet’

Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman has warned that the survival of the Pacific is in peril if the world’s biggest polluters continue to put profit over people and planet, in Suva overnight.

 

National

Aust climate summit could win back Pacific

Australia could reset troubled relationships in the Pacific by partnering with neighbours to host important climate talks in 2024, a research report suggests.

 

Is the Pacific ready for an Australian return to climate diplomacy?

The Labor Party’s proposal that Australia should offer to host a United Nations climate conference with the Pacific would only be welcomed if it demonstrated a clear commitment to addressing climate change, says former Kiribati president Anote Tong.

 

AGL blasts billionaire’s ‘false claims’ on demerger, says coal exit open to review

Australian energy giant AGL has told investors it will consider earlier closures of its coal-fired power plants if it is confident the grid can handle their withdrawal, as it seeks to fend off billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes’ campaign to scuttle its proposed demerger.

 

There’ll be no shift on emissions: Albanese [$]

Anthony Albanese has ruled out increasing Labor’s greenhouse gas emissions target to secure power in the event of a hung parliament.

 

Holmes a Court ‘bullied me online’ [$]

A prominent climate activist says Simon Holmes a Court tried to ‘harass’ and ‘bully’ her into silence for supporting nuclear power.

 

Rio, energy users fret over coal power replacement [$]

Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm says Australia is not building renewable energy fast enough to remove coal-fired power from the electricity grid smoothly.

‘We could have helped’: report exposes racism during Black Summer bushfires

Widjabul Wai-Bal Traditional Owner Cindy Roberts’s tribal name is Mebbingarri, which means woman eagle. She was born to be a protector of Country.

Think tank calls for complete overhaul of troubled Emissions Reduction Fund

The Australia Institute calls on major parties to overhaul troubled Emissions Reduction Fund, after doubts raised over carbon offset integrity.

Greens join push to kick gas, with $235 million “electrify everything” pilot

Greens launch “electrify everything” pilot plan, with funding to shift an entire residential suburb and regional town off gas and onto electricity.

AGL slams “false claims,” says it is quitting coal as fast as it can

AGL insists it is moving as fast as it can on coal closures, as Mike Cannon-Brookes ramps up pressure on the board.

 

Wasting our time – marginal seat voters have their say

David Crosbie 

A new survey reveals voters in marginal seats strongly support fundraising reform for the charities sector

 

Scorched dystopia or liveable planet? Here’s where the climate policies of our political hopefuls will take us

Bill Hare

The federal election campaign takes place against a background of flooding on Australia’s east coast, where some residents remain in temporary accommodation a month after the disaster. It’s just the latest reminder Australia is set to become a poster child for climate change harms.

 

How hot will the world get under political parties’ climate plans?

Mike Foley

How do the policy pledges from Labor, the Coalition, the Greens and teal independents stack up against each other?

 

This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the brave, multi-tasking mums of the Australian bird world

Ayesha Tulloch and Christina N. Zdenek

In the human fascination with birds, it’s the flashy appearance and antics of males that get the most attention from researchers and the public.

 

Teal power a luxury the poor can ill-afford [$]

Claire Lehmann

A vote for climate change action is likely to make rich voters feel good about themselves at the ballot box while driving up the cost of living for the rest of us.

 

Cannon-Brookes shows climate investors need to buy coal to kill it [$]

Jonathan Shapiro

Too many ESG investors have done the Wall Street walk, and so all they’re left to do is talk the talk, as AGL’s fate is decided. Mike Cannon-Brookes took the opposite approach.

 

Frydenberg’s law breaking regulator helped dismantle coal laws

Anthony Klan

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is responsible for laws being broken that maintain accountability in the fossil fuel industry.

 

Tactical voting and Independents

Scott Burchill

If you normally vote for the Greens or you are a traditional ALP supporter in a blue-ribbon Liberal seat such as Goldstein, Wentworth, Kooyong, Mackellar or North Sydney, at this election you face a choice between voting for your preferred party candidate or removing the Morrison Government from power.

Energy productivity and efficiency: Australia’s forgotten fuels

Alan Pears

Australia lacks high level, adequately funded independent institutions run by people skilled and competent in energy productivity and efficiency.

 

Victoria

Josh Frydenberg and challenger Monique Ryan clash over climate policy, prospect of hung parliament

The pair have faced off in a debate ahead of their contest for the Liberal stronghold of Kooyong in Melbourne with the Treasurer defending his record against claims from his opponent he should not be considered a “moderate Liberal”.

 

Livable city? – cartoon

Jim Pavlidis

 

New South Wales

‘Absolutely nuts’: NSW minister questions cut to federal petrol tax

A senior NSW Liberal minister has described the temporary cut to the tax on petrol as “absolutely nuts”, arguing it benefits large global oil companies and undermines a transition to electric vehicles and spending on public projects.

Replacing NSW coal plant with renewables would create thousands more jobs than gas, report says

 Solar and wind could bring ‘jobs boom’ to regions that have previously depended on coal, Australian Conservation Foundation says.

Vales Point joins the coal team’s growing injury list

Vales Point coal power station in NSW joins the coal industry’s growing injury list with a month-long outage due to generator failure.

 

ACT

Administrators called in for Canberra solar farm [$]

Canberra’s Mugga Lane Solar Park has entered voluntary administration, less than five years after the 52-hectare project launched.

 

Queensland

‘FBI (Forgotten Bastards of the Inland)’: Fed up, let down and far from the campaign

There are no shiny new hydrogen hubs coming to the forgotten coal-mining towns of the central Queensland interior.

 

‘Poorly planned’: Labor to rethink $14b Inland Rail project if elected

Concerned about the impact and escalating cost of the 1715km line from Melbourne to Queensland, Labor plans to review it if elected.

 

South Australia

‘Happy days’: Frome Rd trees saved from felling

Two significant century-old trees located in one of the Adelaide’s leafiest areas have been saved from the axe, with Planning Minister Nick Champion telling Parliament yesterday they won’t be chopped down to ease Lot Fourteen traffic.

 

Tasmania

Debate on government’s third iteration of anti-protest legislation starts [$]

The government’s third attempt to clamp down on environmental protest activity through new legislation has failed at its first hurdle in the House of Assembly.

 

3 BBF protests

Media release – Bob Brown Foundation

Bob Brown Foundation is protesting in takayna / Tarkine today to prevent MMG from building a  toxic waste dump, protesting at a Sydney mining investors forum to dissuade investors from two new mines proposed by Venture Minerals in takayna and holding anti-protest law demonstrations at Tasmania’s Parliament House.

 

On anti-protest bill …

Media release – Human Rights Law Centre

Leading Tasmanian and national civil society groups are calling on the Rockliff government to halt the introduction of an alarming new anti-protest law, currently before the Tasmanian Parliament.

 

Barnett required to provide documents over mine road

Media release – Bob Brown Foundation

In the Supreme Court of Tasmania, Bob Brown Foundation is, with Scott Jordan and Courtney Hayes, challenging the Tasmanian mining Minister’s 31 January 2022 gift of a questionable mining lease to the Chinese government-owned miner MMG in takayna to facilitate its proposed heavy metals tailings waste dump.

 

Northern Territory

Market disconnect: Clouds gather over Twiggy, Cannon-Brookes’ $30b Sun Cable project

It’s billed as a poster child for Australian renewable energy exports, but Sun Cable’s plan to build the world’s biggest solar farm draws scepticism in its target market, Singapore

 

Feral pigs destroy Adelaide River racecourse [$]

Feral pics have destroyed Adelaide River racecourse.

 

Western Australia

Trawlers killing Pilbara’s bottlenose dolphins at ‘unsustainable rates’

Do you routinely buy emperor, snapper, trevally, cod or grouper at the supermarket? The cost could be much higher than you realise, this new study suggests.

 

Critically endangered possums to lose home to $1 billion WA road

The 72 possums will not be physically trapped and moved but ‘shepherded’ into neighbouring bushland for the tourist route that will likely be their death knell.

 

New Aboriginal body to oversee cultural respect in WA mining industry

The WA Government will commit $14.6 million to establish an Aboriginal Empowerment Unit within the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

 

Woodside stocks up on cheap carbon credits to keep polluting

Callum Foote

Woodside Petroleum has acquired nearly all carbon emission offset credits it needs for its 2030 emission reduction target.

 

Sustainability

Greener route to widely used industrial material

Scientists from Cardiff University have taken a step towards a greener, more sustainable way of creating a plastic material found in a range of items from toothbrushes and guitar strings to medical implants, construction materials and car parts.

 

Newly proposed search strategies improve computational cost of the bicycle-sharing problem

Bicycle sharing is an attractive zero-carbon transportation option for a world that is being increasingly disrupted by climate change. But bikes need to be restored at bike ports every now and then. Calculating the optimal way to restore bicycles is time consuming and computationally expensive. Recently, researchers have built upon their previous optimization algorithm to propose two strategies to reduce computational costs while maintaining the performance of the algorithm.

 

Water scarcity predicted to worsen in more than 80% of croplands globally this century

Agricultural water scarcity is expected to increase in more than 80% of the world’s croplands by 2050, according to a new study.

 

Nature Conservation

Land-building marsh plants are champions of carbon capture

Human activities such as marsh draining for agriculture and logging are increasingly eating away at saltwater and freshwater wetlands that cover only 1% of Earth’s surface but store more than 20% of all the climate-warming carbon dioxide absorbed by ecosystems worldwide. A new study published May 6 in Science by a team of Dutch, American and German scientists shows that it’s not too late to reverse the losses.

 

Understanding how sunscreens damage coral

Researchers reveal a mechanism by which oxybenzone, a common sunscreen component, damages corals. The surprising findings could help guide the development and marketing of effective, coral-safe sunscreens.

 

Global bird populations steadily declining

Staggering declines in bird populations are taking place around the world. So concludes a study from scientists at multiple institutions. Loss and degradation of natural habitats and direct overexploitation of many species are cited as the key threats to avian biodiversity. Climate change is identified as an emerging driver of bird population declines.

 

Invasive species and climate change impact coastal estuaries

Biological invasions interact with changing climate in unpredictable ways

 

Nature positive is the new net zero [$]

Sally Patten

Move over net zero. Before too long the environmental catchcry will be nature positive.

 



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