Daily Links June 22

Maelor, you are forgiven, we are appreciative of your work anyway.

I think I forgot to send this out on Wednesday. Old age is turning my brain to porridge!

Post of the Day

National electricity market is a failed 1990s experiment

John Quiggin

A crisis, as the saying has it, combines danger and opportunity. The dangers of the current electricity crisis are obvious. The opportunity it presents is to end to the failed experiment of the national electricity market.


On This Day

June 22


Ecological Observance

World Rainforest Day


Climate Change

La Nina ends, but could be back soon [$]

Meteorologists have declared La Nina finally over, but they warn it could return later in the year.


Young people go to European court to stop treaty that aids fossil fuel investors

Five claimants aged 17-31 want their governments to exit the energy charter treaty, which compensates oil and gas firms


Our shared climate responsibility

Ben Santer

Living in the mountains of southern Oregon, I’ve explored the wilderness around me. Now the summer solstice approaches, and the days lengthen. I look for patterns on every trail.



Renewable energy retailer Enova goes into administration

The company says the “diabolical” energy crisis affecting Australia’s east coast had an “unbearable” effect on its ability to operate.


Thousands of wind turbines bound for landfill

Researchers are urging the federal government and renewable energy companies to provide an end-of-life plan for wind farms in light of their expensive recycling costs. 


Lawyers to argue gas project in WA will affect Great Barrier Reef in Qld

A massive Woodside gas project approved in the Western Australia will contribute to damage to the Great Barrier Reef, conservation lawyers will argue.


Unprecedented intervention in energy market could be ended within days

The suspension of Australia’s east coast energy market could be lifted as early as Thursday, but the market operator is warning the challenges managing supply and demand may continue.


A gas export tax would help to fix Australia’s energy crisis, says Dr Ken Henry

Australia has blown its chance to use its vast gas fields to help the economy transition to renewable energy, says former Treasury secretary Ken Henry.


‘Deadly serious’ Industry Minister puts gas exporters on notice

Ed Husic says big gas exporters face drastic federal action if they do not ease the energy crisis, accusing major producers of failing to deliver enough fuel to manufacturers that need affordable energy.

Marles pledges greater Indian climate ties

The deputy prime minister has promised to work closely with India when it comes to dealing with climate change.


Liberal MPs say Peter Dutton should let party room decide new climate position

At least two Liberals have indicated they are prepared to cross the floor to support Labor’s legislation to cut emissions 43% by 2030


Anthony Albanese to order intelligence chief to examine security threats posed by climate crisis

Former ADF chief backs study saying threats ‘continue to escalate in the absence of far stronger climate action than we have seen thus far’

Labor’s environment reforms will take time to deliver, Plibersek says

Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek says she is yet to set a timeframe for delivering the policy agenda Labor took to the federal election as she warns Australia’s threatened species and habitats are under extreme pressure.


Is it time for a Koala Act? Rescuers and advocates say the national icon needs federal protection legislation

Much of the east coast considers Australia’s cuddly marsupial endangered, and one key lobby group wants new laws to make sure it doesn’t get any worse. 


‘Ball’s in Labor’s court’: Greens attempt to drag Albanese into climate talks

The Greens are adamant Anthony Albanese must negotiate to win its support for legislated climate targets, setting the stage for a showdown when the Federal Parliament returns next month.


Historic shift needed to drive clean energy, say investors [$]

Not just a “capacity” mechanism but a major upscaling in domestic manufacturing is required to build the required renewables, financial backers argue.


Release State of Environment Report now

Bob Brown Foundation is calling on Federal Environment Minister to release Australia’s State of Environment Report immediately.


Why including coal in a new ‘capacity mechanism’ will make Australia’s energy crisis worse

Tim Nelson and Joel Gilmore

Australia’s electricity generators would be paid extra money to be available even if they don’t actually generate any energy, under a new mechanism proposed by the federal government’s Energy Security Board (ESB).


Slow on the uptake

Rachel Withers

The Coalition accuses Labor of a “go-slow”, but it’s the Coalition that is especially dunderheaded when it comes to climate and energy

Hardly anyone supports the ESB’s capacity market. So why is it still on the table?

Giles Parkinson

The ESB’s proposed capacity mechanism has very few supporters, even among the main generator lobby group. So why hasn’t it been ditched for cheaper, smarter alternatives?

ESB’s capacity market proposal could cost billions, more than the carbon price

Tristan Edis and Johanna Bowyer

The ESB has looked at only one side of the capacity question. If energy ministers do not support its proposals, then the ESB should be wound up.


National electricity market is a failed 1990s experiment

John Quiggin

A crisis, as the saying has it, combines danger and opportunity. The dangers of the current electricity crisis are obvious. The opportunity it presents is to end to the failed experiment of the national electricity market.


Energy spin can be powerful, but rhetoric won’t keep the lights on

Chris Uhlmann

The transition to renewables will be fraught but politicians around the globe and in Australia, confronting uncomfortable truths, continue to misrepresent the challenge.


They’re not shivering in Honkers: Australians’ electricity pain is two billionaires’ gain

Callum Foote

As Australians pay the price for decades of poor energy planning, the two single greatest beneficiaries of high electricity prices are Hong Kong billionaires Michael Kadoorie and Li Ka-Shing.



Playing matchmaker in bid to bring native mouse populations back from brink of extinction

With fewer than 3,000 Pookila mice left in the wild in Victoria, scientists are pairing genetically diverse animals together in the hope of turning the endangered rodents’ fortunes around.


Cooper Energy takes control of gas plant amid price surge

Adelaide-based Cooper Energy will buy back the Orbost Gas Processing Plant in Victoria for at least $270 million, as east coast spot gas prices continue to rise.


Melbourne council design guru declares war on cars [$]

A City of Melbourne urban designer who is credited with leading the transformation of the CBD says the city must get more cars off the road.


New South Wales

Who are Blockade Australia, and why are some members facing charges that carry up to 10 years in prison?

Police say they feared for their lives, protesters say they were startled by armed men in camouflage who refused to identify themselves. What happened in Colo on Sunday, and what has it got to do with NSW’s beefed-up protest laws?


Shortlist for top US job scrapped before John Barilaro landed role, emails show

Documents show candidates for the New York-based job, worth up to $600,000 annually, were shortlisted in April last year and that appointments were meant to go to cabinet.


Budget fails to tackle key threat to biodiversity – habitat destruction

In response to spending in the environment portfolio announced in today’s state budget, Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said: “We welcome new funding in the budget for national parks and private land conservation – farmers should be supported to do the right thing on their land.”

Scientists call for end to dam projects

Scientists warn expanding Wyangala Dam in central western NSW will have detrimental impacts on farmers and the environment, and want dam projects abandoned.


Sydney’s metro rail line under harbour blows out by $6b

The cost of the NSW government’s signature metro rail line under Sydney Harbour and the central city has blown out by $6 billion, which has been blamed on an overheated construction market, the pandemic and surging building costs.

Kean goes deep green with budget that links climate action with future prosperity

Michael Mazengarb

With his first state budget, NSW treasurer Matt Kean shows green energy technologies and future prosperity will go hand-in-hand.



Australian Conservation Foundation bids to halt Scarborough gas project

The Federal Court has been asked to halt Woodside Energy’s offshore Scarborough gas project until its impact on the Great Barrier Reef is assessed under environmental laws.

Queensland to lift taxes on coal producers in budget light on clean energy funding

Queensland will increase royalties imposed on coal producers for the first time in a decade, but offered little by way of new clean energy funding.


Mining industry slams Queensland royalties increase as ‘short-sighted’, but others believe it makes hay while the sun’s shining

The Queensland government’s revamp of how resource royalties are collected draws heavy criticism from the mining industry, but an academic believes it capitalises on coal prices while they are spiking and will not lead to anyone going “out of business”.


AgForce Queensland boss questions climate science despite pressure to cut emissions

Queensland may have recently elected three Greens MPs, but the head of the state lobby group AgForce says the science is not settled on climate change as he criticises NZ’s agricultural emissions plan.


Queensland state budget 2022: modest coal royalty hike delivers little towards energy transition

Ben Smee

The first lift in coal royalties in 10 years will only provide a fraction of the windfall caused by high fossil fuel prices


Old king coal puts budget in black [$]

Australian editorial

While the public sector balloons, Queensland has achieved a surplus.


South Australia

‘Jobs for the boys’ claim over top hydrogen power role [$]

Only one man was considered to run SA’s $593m hydrogen power plant – sparking “jobs for the boys” claims from the Liberals.


SA ready to take the lead on electricity market reform [$]

NSW budget targets women, working parents, prospective homeowners; SA premier says his parliament ready to pass changes needed to fix “broken” NEM.


Warnings for South Australia about possible power disruptions – video

The energy regulator has warned of possible disruptions in South Australia tonight, as it maintains the national electricity grid. Scrutiny on energy companies around the country is growing, with the government seeking to look into reports of potential gaming of the market.


‘Slap in the face’: Solar users face astonishing $1000 bill spike [$]

Rooftop solar owners are facing huge bill increases up to $1000 a year – because solar is just too popular in SA. See how the SA rebates compare.


Tasmanians still on the hook for multi-billion dollar power project which will mostly benefit Victorians

It was the hot topic of letters between former PM Scott Morrison and the Tasmanian government — and it appears there’s still no guarantee Australia’s poorest state won’t pay half the cost of a massive new power project but reap only a fraction of the benefits.


EPA approves metal recycling plant at Bridgewater

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Thurlow Metal Recycling for a metal recycling facility at 120 Cove Hill Road Bridgewater, in the Brighton municipality.


Last ditch plea against anti-protest laws

Community and legal groups are calling on Legislative Council members to either substantially alter or outright reject the state’s so-called anti-protest legislation.


Genetic insurance from animal extinction

Thousands of endangered and threatened animal species may be saved by the development of insurance populations, simliar to that achieved with the Tasmanian Devil.


Decision on MMG’s tailings dam expected in July

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is expected to make a decision on whether to overturn federal government approval for a tailings dam at MMG’s Rosebery mine in mid-July.


LINE Hydrogen smashes crowd funding goal as investors line up [$]

A crowdfunding campaign designed to offer Australian investors a slice of the shares in Tasmania’s LINE hydrogen plant at George Town has obliterated its target.


King Island landowners blocked from clearing threatened land [$]

Two King Island landowners have been blocked from clearing further native, threatened forests on their land, which have been habitat to two of the island’s endangered birds.


Greens urge Labor vote against anti-protest bill

Cassy O’Connor

The Liberals’ politically-motivated, draconian Police Offences Amendment (Workplace Protection) Bill 2022 is scheduled for debate in Legislative Council tomorrow. We hope Tasmanian Labor realise their grave mistake in voting for this odious legislation in the House of Assembly, and return to their values by voting against the Bill.



Agriculture emissions pose risks to health and climate

 Environmental engineers determine the economic cost of reactive nitrogen emissions from agriculture, and their significant risks to populations through air pollution and climate change.

Assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power generation

 A growing concern for climate change and sustainable use of natural resources has led to the adoption of alternative forms of energy. Nuclear power is considered a panacea for the environmental degradation caused by fossil fuels. However, its environmental impact and natural resource use need to be assessed. Now, researchers from Ritsumeikan University in Japan have addressed this issue, revealing interesting findings in their assessment of resource use for nuclear power generation.


Stronger action needed to stop illegal logging

Proposed new legislation to reduce the risk that timber imported into Aotearoa New Zealand is sourced from illegal logging is a positive first step but it should go further, the Green Party says.


Russia struggles in the ground war, but it’s winning the energy war [$]

Matthew Warren

Europe’s energy populism was based on plentiful Russian gas. Now Vladimir Putin is exploiting their dependence to the hilt.


How to survive a megadrought: lessons from America

Duran Fiack

Large swaths of the United States have become decimated by historic drought, forcing a range of new policies and environmental projects.


Nature Conservation

Scientists conceptualize a species ‘stock market’ to put a price tag on actions posing risks to biodiversity

Species have intrinsic value, but also provide ecosystem services of major economic value, for example, bees that pollinate our crops. However, as such values are hard to translate into figures, currently, they remain easy to dismiss altogether. In a new study, a research team conceptualizes a species stock market for unified valuation of all species. By using digitized information from museums, occurrence data, and DNA sequence databases, this market quantifies our knowledge of each species from scientific, societal, and economic points of view.

Wildlife–human conflicts could shift with climate change

 Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, modeled the risk of human–elephant conflict in Thailand under different climate change scenarios using a risk framework. A spatial shift in the risk of conflict was observed with climate change, with northern areas and higher latitudes showing increasing risk in the future. These results can be used to develop planning strategies in affected communities and increase coexistence awareness.


First WTO deal on fishing subsidies hailed as historic despite ‘big holes’

Environment groups welcome long-awaited deal to curb harmful subsidies but say key measures to curb overfishing were dropped


Montreal to host delayed Cop15 summit to halt ‘alarming’ global biodiversity loss

Experts warn ambitious targets for nature must be agreed at UN meeting, moved from China to Canada after two-year wait


After decades of loss, world’s largest mangrove forests are set for a comeback

Benjamin Brown and Satyawan Pudyatmoko

Mangroves ring the shores of many of Indonesia’s more than 17,000 islands. But in the most populated areas, the world’s largest mangrove forests have been steadily whittled away, and with them, the ability to store blue carbon.


Ecological services are essential for the sustainable future of our planet home

David Shearman

This a plea for understanding of the crucial functioning of ecological services, a complex issue requiring the interrelationship of many disciplines and most importantly a fundamental reform of economic ideology. These services must be central in the promised Independent Environmental Protection Agency.

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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