Daily Links Jun 21

Wise, creative and strategic are attributes that Philip Sutton possessed in spades. Add to that his commitment over all of his too-few years and we know we are poorer for his passing.

Thanks to those who expressed sympathy yesterday. Back on track today!

Post of the Day

Climate impact of food miles three times greater than previously believed, study finds

Researchers estimate that carbon emissions from transporting food are about 6% of the global total, with fruit and vegetables the largest contributor

 

On This Day

Jun 21

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

 

Ecological Observance

World Hydrography Day

World Giraffe Day

Arbor Day – Cuba

 

Climate Change

Climate impact of food miles three times greater than previously believed, study finds

Researchers estimate that carbon emissions from transporting food are about 6% of the global total, with fruit and vegetables the largest contributor

 

Truthful climate reporting shifts viewpoints, but only briefly, study finds

Ohio State University researchers gauged responses to climate science versus scepticism and suggest facts bear repeating

 

Super sized allergies thanks to climate change?

If you struggle with seasonal allergies, your symptoms are likely much more acute this year and scientists say the environmental changes due to climate change may be to blame.

 

The ocean is a critical solution to climate change, groups tell Biden

A coalition of 93 environmental groups, aquariums and outdoor recreation brands is urging the Biden administration to harness the power of the ocean to fight climate change, according to details shared exclusively with The Climate 202.

 

Climate change is causing an increase in desertificaton

Climate change has caused an increase in desertification. The consequence for countries such as Mauritania is a significant drop in the agricultural production of some regions, leaving farmers struggling to grow enough food to eat or sell.

 

National

What is off-peak electricity and how can I benefit from it?

The end of the day is usually when most of us start to unwind – but that’s when Australia’s energy market experiences the biggest strain. Here’s what you need to know about off-peak electricity.

 

Draft plan would see coal and gas power stations paid to offer stable supply

A draft plan for a new “capacity mechanism”, aimed at ensuring stability in the national electricity grid, could see coal and gas generators paid for reliable power supply.

 

ACCC to probe potential gaming of energy market, ‘distorting prices’

The national competition watchdog will conduct a forensic investigation into spiralling energy prices, including an urgent assessment of power companies accused of gaming the market.

 

Climate protesters tell Labor it has a mandate to act fast

Climate protesters from Sydney, Canberra and the New South Wales South Coast held up placards and banners demanding immediate action on climate change as Labor MPs arrived to be sworn in.

 

ASIC releases greenwashing guide: could mandatory international reporting be on the horizon?

Sustainable investment is big business, likely to exceed US$53 trillion globally by 2025. It is time to streamline ESG reporting in Australia to avoid greenwashing and ASIC is doing just that. 

 

Government trying to cast ‘unusual’ secrecy over FOI relating to company part-owned by Angus Taylor

Environment department wants some closed hearings at appeals tribunal as it fights to withhold documents relating to illegal poisoning of grasslands

 

Greens non-committal on Labor’s climate plan

The first test of the government’s 2030 emissions reductions target of 43 per cent will be whether it’s open to negotiation, Adam Bandt says.

 

Australia should rejoin UN climate fund to prove commitment to Pacific neighbours, thinktank argues

Report finds Australia’s ‘Pacific step-up’ could lack credibility if perceived to be only in response to China’s presence

 

Philip Sutton, inspiring Australian activist who sounded climate emergency alarm

Sutton’s 2008 book Climate Code Red was a prescient warning of the need for more urgent and immediate action on global heating

 

Environment report Coalition didn’t release paints ‘damning story of neglect’, Tanya Plibersek says

Minister will release five-yearly report which she says details ‘alarming story’ of native species extinction and cultural heritage loss

 

What a jolt: Power prices increase fivefold, petrol back above $2 a litre

Power prices spiked in June up to five times higher than the wholesale price at the start of 2021, the consumer watchdog has revealed, while the relief from a halving of fuel excise has proven to be short-lived.

 

Coalition’s $1 billion energy promise fails to power up

A federal policy to spend $1 billion on new energy projects has failed to add any power to the national electricity market more than three years after the Coalition unveiled the plan with a promise to fix supply shortages and ease pressure on prices.

 

“The fate of Koala rests in your hands”

As The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP gets her feet firmly settled under the desk as the new Environment Minister, the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) has written to the Minister urging she supports the Koala Protection Act as the fate of the Koala now rests in her hands.

 

Plibersek’s ‘surprise’ over relocation to new portfolio [$]

Tanya Plibersek says she was ‘surprised’ to have been given the environment and water portfolio, but argued the new role was a ‘hugely important’ job.

 

Greens’ success casts doubt over mine expansion [$]

Backers of a mothballed coalmine, which needs state approval to expand, fear the historic swing to the Greens at the federal election will prevent it ever reopening.

 

Moderate Libs flag revolt against Dutton’s climate stance [$]

They have taken issue with Peter Dutton’s declaration that the Coalition will oppose Labor’s legislation for its emissions reduction target.


EnergyAustralia takes $1.3 billion hit due to coal outages and soaring prices

EnergyAustralia reveals huge losses due to coal plant outages and soaring prices, highlighting how coal generators were big beneficiaries of price cap and market suspension.


Bowen handballs capacity mechanism fossil fuel choice to states

Bowen says individual states will decide which technologies are in or out of a proposed capacity mechanism, but they must help deliver emissions targets.

 

Why nuclear power won’t solve the energy crisis7am podcast

Why is there a conversation about nuclear power right now? Is it safe? And could it even work in Australia? Today, former Greens senator and anti-nuclear activist Scott Ludlam on the nuclear fantasies of conservative politicians and why they continue to make headlines.

 

Finally, an energy plan is tackling the storage challenge [$]

Craig Emerson

Battery investment has been mishandled by Coalition governments. Fortunately, there are plenty of small-scale options available.

 

Power changes will speed up net zero transition [$]

Anna Collyer

Dubbing it “coal-keeper” is catchy. But an insurance policy for dispatchable power will enable a swifter, less risky and more orderly decarbonisation of the energy system.

 

Should Australian governments nationalise the electricity sector? It’s not that simple

Rabindra Nepal

The shock suspension last week of Australia’s wholesale electricity market rekindled an age-old debate about whether the energy sector should be nationalised – in other words, owned and controlled by government.

 

What’s a grid, anyway? Making sense of the complex beast that is Australia’s electricity network

Katja Ignatieva

News about the energy crisis engulfing Australia’s east coast seems inescapable. Terms such as “grid”, the “National Electricity Market” and “transmission” are being tossed around alongside the frightening prospect of soaring power bills – but what does it all mean?

 

Australia has a once in a lifetime opportunity to break the stranglehold fossil fuels have on our politics

Fergus Green

In the wake of the Green and Teal wave that crashed through the federal parliament, attention has inevitably turned to what the new crossbenchers will say and do about climate policy.

 

Ransom Notes: pay us to keep our old power plants running or else, say fossil fuel majors

Michael West and Callum Foote

Prepare to subsidise fossil fuel plants indefinitely. That is the message this morning as, in the wake of Coalition dithering, the new government grooms Australian energy customers for more of the same energy policy. It’s the Richard Wilkins solution.

 

Five policy decisions that led to today’s energy crisis

Roger Dargaville

If you aren’t a long-term energy policy news junkie, you’d be forgiven for thinking today’s crisis arrived fairly suddenly. But we arrived here thanks to a series of policy decisions under previous governments – state and federal – that left Australia’s energy system ill-equipped to cope with the demands placed on it.

 

Is our energy supply in crisis? What’s the National Electricity Market? Can it be fixed?

Gareth Hutchens

The National Electricity Market is in dire need of repair. How long will it take to fix?

 

Energy Security Board admits CoalKeeper will keep coal — just not ‘intentionally’

Bernard Keane

The Energy Security Board insists a capacity mechanism isn’t about propping up coal, but admits that’s exactly what could happen.

 

This energy revolution is hard – really hard – but it’s doable

Alan Finkel

The nation’s former chief scientist explains the lessons of the past weeks and why, with the right plan, Australia can make big strides towards zero-emissions electricity.

Why Indigenous communities need a seat at the table on climate

 Ray Minniecon

An Anglican Aboriginal pastor who attended the COP26 climate conference shares his perspective on Indigenous knowledge in dealing with climate change.

 

In an energy crisis, every watt counts

Anna Malos and Emi Minghui Gui

Australia’s east coast energy market has been on a rocky road for the past few weeks. It begs the question: how could the market change to avoid the next crisis?

 

The market failed – now Canberra should take over the power grid [$]

Michael McGuire

Back in the 1940s, SA premier Tom Playford took control of electricity supply. After last week’s power debacle, Michael McGuire says the new PM should follow his lead.

 

Albo facing formidable foes in bid to end climate wars [$]

Joe Hildebrand

Anthony Albanese gained voter support on the pledge of greater action on global warming, but the Greens and the teals are blocking that ambition.

 

Bickering over energy crisis won’t get us anywhere [$]

Tom Minear

State and federal leaders this week spently plenty of time dodging responsibility for the energy crisis, but sadly for many Aussies a resoultion to the issue hasn’t seemed to emerge.

 

‘Lights on’ must be Energy Security Board’s priority [$]

Australian editorial

The public cares about climate change but will not tolerate blackouts.

 

Capital critical on path to lower emissions [$]

Amanda Taylor

The efficient allocation of capital is as critical to the success of the Labor government’s newly announced climate ambitions as the policy settings it chooses to adopt.

 

Labor must fix energy policy mess left by Coalition

Paul Budde

For almost a decade, the Coalition failed to develop a national energy plan, even though such a plan existed before they took office.

Whose fault is the energy and climate fiasco?

Alan Pears

In a perverse way, the Coalition government can take much of the credit for renewables progress over the past decade, grossly inadequate as it was.


Why isn’t the ESB designing a policy to bring on bulk renewable energy?

David Leitch

Introducing new market designs – like those put forward by the ESB – without an explicit statement of the carbon implications is beyond the pale.


Coal included in re-heated proposal for controversial capacity payments

Giles Parkinson

“Coalkeeper” looms large as the ESB insists it is “more efficient” to keep existing coal generators online. Just a shame about the environment.

 

THE CLIMATE: We must not be daunted by scale of the challenge

Letters

Age readers respond to the political inaction over climate change.

 

Victoria

Greens push for gas-free homes in Victoria

The Victorian Greens will today introduce a bill that would stop Victoria’s planning laws from forcing new homes to connect to gas.

 

Albo backs Victoria’s plan against fossil fuels backup [$]

The Prime Minister has backed Victoria’s position to block fossil fuel-fired power stations from receiving new payments to generators that can deliver electricity on demand.

 

Wombat forest logging hurdle [$]

Attempts to clear a ticking fire bomb of fallen timber from the Wombat Forest is being tied up in bureaucratic red tape.

 

Victoria slammed for ‘hypocrisy’ on coal power [$]

Energy users want the state to keep fossil fuel sources on the table in the market overhaul amid fears of winter droughts in renewables.

 

More Greater Gliders at risk from logging in Wombat Forest as national park designation delayed

Victorian National Parks Association

New research has uncovered a population hotspot of the Greater Glider in Wombat Forest, a discovery that is set to trigger Victoria’s protection act and restrict VicForests’ proposed logging of the area.

 

New South Wales

Gondwana-era rainforest walk to draw ecotourists to Dorrigo National Park in $56-million investment

A four-day walking track featuring three suspension bridges over World Heritage-listed New South Wales rainforest is set to put Dorrigo firmly on the global tourism map.

 

Snowy Hydro’s water problem shows how weather is a driver of our energy crisis

Weather extremes have deepened the man-made power crisis in ways that were hard to predict and at times even harder to imagine. Both Snowy Hydro and coal-fired power stations have been impacted by summer rains. And two weeks of extreme cold has only brought the power system closer to the edge.

 

‘Catastrophic’ substation fire causes millions of dollars in damage

An investigation has begun into the cause of a large fire that engulfed a power substation south of Wollongong, which Transgrid says will cost it up to $10 million to replace.

 

‘Quick jumpstart’: NSW to spend $38m to speed up EV uptake

State budget funds to go towards boosting number of charging points in apartment blocks and on streets

 

Coal mine fined for ‘unacceptable’ damage to world-renowned NSW rock formations

A coal mining giant is fined $150,000 for causing surface cracks to rock formations estimated to be up to 10 million years old in NSW’s Greater Blue Mountains, with fears more cracks will be discovered.

 

Seven climate activists charged after raid

Seven climate change activists are facing charges including assaulting police after a raid on a rural property northwest of Sydney where police say unauthorised protests were being planned.

 

Environmental assessment of Illawarra’s mountain bike network released

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is progressing plans for a 50-kilometre mountain biking network in the Illawarra, with the Draft Review of Environmental Factors (REF) now on public exhibition.

 

Forestry Corp pinged for logging environmentally significant forests after Black Summer bushfires

Nature Conservation Council

Just days after being fined $135,000 for destroying koala habitat on the mid-north coast, Forestry Corporation now faces charges it illegally logged a Category 1 Environmentally Significant Area in the Yambulla State Forest after the Black Summer Bushfires.

 

ACT

Greens minister pitches how coal could be part of energy grid shake-up

Renewables should be prioritised and awarded higher payments than coal generators if the proposed capacity mechanism is opened up to fossil fuels, ACT Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury has suggested.

 

‘Just doing our part’: solar panels become helpful for this family during the energy crisis [$]

They only got solar panels fully installed two days ago, but Rob Lanfear and Tonya Haff already feel relieved for their investment since the energy crisis.

 

South Australia

Australian nuclear test survivors tell UN of fallout lasting generations

Three generations of First Nations survivors tell a United Nations meeting how nuclear tests in outback South Australia in the 1950s continue to affect their families today. 

 

High-level probe into power companies’ profits after crisis [$]

The consumer watchdog has launched a probe into profits by energy companies, as the state government plans new laws to fix the power crisis.


Tasmania

Endangered Tasmanian devils insured against future threats

The largest ever analysis of Tasmanian devil genetics has found protected populations are as robust as wild ones, raising hopes for the endangered species’ survival.

 

Extra cash to be redirected to flow for river quality programs [$]

A new funding model announced by Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania re-invest 80 per cent of the fees it collects to support sustainable use of the state’s freshwater assets

 

Launceston to host largest tree planting event in city’s history [$]

Launceston residents, businesses, organisations and schools are being invited to participate in the single largest national tree day event in the city’s history, dubbed The BIG Plant.

 

Bell Bay green hydrogen plant plans open to public [$]

Draft guidelines for a renewable hydrogen and ammonia facility in Long Reach have been opened up to public comment by the Environmental Protection Agency Tasmania.

 

This is Tasmania’s chance to reset

Peter Boyer

Back in 2008, parliament passed a law establishing the Tasmanian Climate Action Council, people with specialist knowledge able to help the government understand the science and its implications and come up with workable ideas.

 

Northern Territory

Fracking fight over gas exploration reaches the Supreme Court

Northern Territory laws allow gas companies to enter cattle stations to explore, even if the leaseholders oppose it. One cattle station is fighting that in the Supreme Court.  

 

Beetaloo Traditional Owners reveal frustration at anti-fracking activists ‘interfering’ on country

When Jingili Elder Pompey Raymond reflects on the Northern Territory’s oil and gas industry, he sees careers for young people, education, community infrastructure and a pathway to protect his country.

 

Endangered grasswrens close to extinction discovered in remote Arnhem Land

Bushfires and feral cats are driving the white-throated grasswren from even the most remote corners of the Northern Territory, but Indigenous rangers have made an exciting discovery on their mission to find out where it still survives.

 

Western Australia

The deadline to move out of Australia’s most contaminated town has passed, but its final residents remain firm on staying

With three million tonnes of asbestos tailings scarring the landscape, the town of Wittenoom has been declared inhabitable. But despite the state government setting a date to vacate, the final two residents of the Pilbara town remain in their homes.

 

Indonesian fishermen blamed for butchering protected turtles on Australian islands

Authorities are investigating after the horrific discovery of numerous green turtles with their bellies slit open and eggs removed in nature reserves off north-western Australia.

 

Perth power costs will rise this winter. Is a battery for your solar panels worth it?

Perth is the sunniest capital city in the nation so installing panels is a no-brainer, but as cost of living rises is it worth investing to store the energy?

 

Oil spills into sea from troubled Montara field off WA coast

Jadestone Energy recently taken to task by the regulator for its poor management of corrosion has reported a spill from its oil tanker in the Timor Sea.

 

Synergy contract with Collie coal plant won’t be renewed

Synergy’s contract with privately-owned Bluewaters Power Station expires in 2025 and will not be renewed – placing the future of the Collie coal plant and the nearly 60 workers it employs in jeopardy.

 

Sustainability

Biogas supply chain emissions found to be higher than fossil fuel equivalent

Compared to fossil fuels including natural gas, biogas — which is made from waste — is a cleaner, greener alternative — but researchers are still worried about emissions.

 

Canada lays out rules banning single-use plastics

Ban on manufacture and import of six popular types of items will begin in December 2022, and sales a year later

 

Japanese coal investors protest at mooted budget day royalty increases [$]

Big Japanese investors in the resources industry have made clear their concern over the prospect of higher coal royalties so soon after a downturn.

 

FERC has a new plan to connect clean energy to the grid more quickly

resized-transmission-wind-turbines

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unveiled a new plan to speed up and streamline what’s become a slow and expensive process of connecting new solar, wind and battery projects to U.S. transmission grids.

 

Could solar powered hospitals be the future of net zero health?

Updates to the Castle Hill Hospital in Hull show that solar-powered hospitals may be the next step towards net zero health in the NHS decarbonisation strategy.

 

‘We just pray for rain’: Niger is in the eye of the climate crisis – and children are starving

Niger is on the frontline of the climate crisis. Increasingly erratic rainfall and longer dry seasons mean that many parts of the country have not had a good harvest in a decade.

 

Inside the fight to force makers of plastic trash to clean up their mess

A new California initiative may make a real difference in reducing the mountain of plastic refuse.

 

French nuclear power crisis frustrates Europe’s push to quit Russian energy

France typically exports electricity, but now it risks blackouts and a need for imported power because of problems at the state nuclear operator.

 

‘Day Zero’ water crisis in Gqeberha on South Africa’s eastern cape

Taps could run dry by the end of the month in the city of Gqeberha, where drought and crumbling infrastructure are already leading to water shortages.

 

My generation needs to apologize to the class of 2022

Thomas Reese

Thanks to us, this rising generation is the world’s last chance.

 

Nature Conservation

Yamuna River pollution: New study to be conducted to ascertain reason behind froth in the river

The Delhi government will conduct a study to identify pollution hotspots, including colonies and industrial areas, responsible for frothing in the Yamuna River, officials have said.

 

Once-common California bumble bees have gone missing

A census of California bumble bees failed to locate several once-common species, including the formerly abundant Western bumble bee, a key pollinator for many wild plants and crops.

 

Nigeria’s disappearing forests – in pictures

From 2001 to 2021, Nigeria lost 1.14 million hectares of forest, equivalent to a 11% decrease in tree cover and equal to 587 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to Global Forest Watch. Cutting down trees for logging, opening up farmland or to feed energy demand for a growing population is putting pressure on Nigeria’s natural forests

 

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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