Daily Links June 28

Aggravated assault is deliberate and is assault with a weapon. Here, the deliberate assault is on the environment and the weapons are chainsaws, bulldozers and logging trucks. So how come it is people pointing out the assault who are the ones being arrested? Minister Plibersek, here is your opportunity to show us that you are a Minister FOR the Environment. 

Post of the Day

Harsher anti-protest laws targeting environmentalists are putting greed before green

Bob Brown

Penalties for peaceful action are now the same as for aggravated assault

 

On This Day

June 28

Vidovdan (St. Vitus Day) – Serbia

 

Climate Change

Put women’s rights ‘front and centre’ of climate policies: Bachelet

Although climate change threatens everyone, women and girls often suffer its harshest and most violent consequences, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Monday.

 

World is not going to avoid 1.5C global warming ‘tipping point’, researchers warn

Two scientists have reviewed data around global warming, and concluded that the battle to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius by 2050 is doomed.

 

World methane emissions are heading in the wrong direction, study says

Kayrros, a firm that analyzes satellite data, says methane emissions from fossil fuels have intensified, rising faster than the rebound in oil, gas and coal production since the easing of the coronavirus pandemic — a development the firm called “worrisome.”

 

Research shows tropical cyclones have decreased alongside human-caused global warming – but don’t celebrate yet

Savin Chand

The annual number of tropical cyclones forming globally decreased by about 13% during the 20th century compared to the 19th, according to research published today in Nature Climate Change.

 

Study shows how ancient world adapted to climate change

Research has revealed societies in the Mediterranean adapted and even thrived amid climate change, but began to collapse when other disasters such as war and plagues hit.

 

Labor promised to fix Australia’s big water problem. These 6 things must top the to-do list

Stuart Khan

During the federal election campaign, Labor promised to future-proof Australia’s water resources. Now, new Water Minister Tanya Plibersek must deliver on the policy – one vital to securing Australia’s future.

 

National

Tanya Plibersek declares environment ‘is back front and centre’ in Australia at UN ocean conference

Environment minister receives enthusiastic welcome in Lisbon and flags five blue carbon projects to safeguard ocean health

The staggering cost of Australia’s fossil fuel energy crisis

Turnover on Australia’s main grid more than doubles to over $25 billion this financial year, and cost of the chaotic last fortnight may be $4 billion or more.

Bowen slams Morrison legacy as fossil fuels drive jump in Australia emissions

Australia’s emissions jumped in 2021, growing by 4.1 million tonnes, after Morrison government failed to seize chance for a ‘green recovery’.

 

Australia’s emissions climbed in Coalition’s final year as transport and fossil fuels wiped out gains during Covid

New data shows carbon pollution rose 0.8% in 2021 as manufacturing, agriculture and gas bounced back from pandemic lockdowns

 

Australia ‘ill-prepared’ for food insecurity driven by war and climate crisis, former defence leaders say

Former military heads warn of risks to food supply ahead of report from Australian Security Leaders Climate Group

 

Clean energy sector says big batteries, pumped hydro can solve crisis

Big renewable energy developers want leaders to dump plans to shore up the power grid by paying generators for being on standby and bring in battery and hydro targets.

 

Chris Bowen blames Australia’s rise in greenhouse gas emissions on Coalition climate policy ‘failure’

Australia increased its greenhouse emissions by 0.8 per cent in 2021.

 

Drought increases rural suicide, and climate change will make drought worse

Ivan Charles Hanigan

New research has found suicide increases during drought among men in Australia’s rural communities, and the problem may be exacerbated due to climate change.

 

Let the market rule the energy capacity mechanism [$]

Richard Holden

Including coal and gas is politically tricky, but logically and economically easy. If fossil fuels can’t compete with other energy sources to provide electrons on demand, they won’t be used.

 

The Greens are our best hope for the urgent climate action we need

Richard Barnes

The Greens have the right and the duty (a “mandate” if you will) to use the numbers in which they were elected by Australian voters, to go hard on getting the climate policy outcomes they proposed.

 

Harsher anti-protest laws targeting environmentalists are putting greed before green

Bob Brown

Penalties for peaceful action are now the same as for aggravated assault

 

Alternative sources of energy – cartoon

Fiona Katauskas

 

Victoria

Council out of options in bid to prevent installation of backyard wind turbine

A Phillip Island man says he erected the device in response to power instability. Despite concern from council and members of the surrounding community, he has done nothing wrong. 

The making and unmaking of the East-West Link

 A new book explores how Melbourne’s multi-billion dollar East-West Link that promised to knit the city together was stymied from the start

 

Grey-headed flying fox nudging program complete

The 2022 grey-headed flying fox nudging program at the Colac Botanic Gardens is complete, with vehicle traffic and pedestrian access once again available for residents and visitors to the Gardens.

 

‘Shot to the head’: Brumby cull details revealed

Freedom of Information documents have revealed experts’ concerns about the effectiveness of Parks Victoria’s brumby extermination method.

 

Would you swim in the Yarra just kilometres away from Melbourne’s CBD?

Swimmers are taking to the Yarra in inner Melbourne, while some hope all of the 242km-long river will be swimmable in future. But there are questions around its safety due to pollution.

 

New South Wales

‘Get a real job’: NSW deputy premier lashes out at Blockade Australia protesters

Ten arrested as direct action group starts week of ‘disruption’ to ‘resist climate destruction’ as NSW police pledge crackdown

 

Climate activists willing to risk heavy fines and jail terms under tough, new anti-protest laws

New South Wales has introduced tougher penalties in a bid to stop protesters disrupting vital transport links, but climate protest group Blockade Australia says it is prepared to pay the price.  

 

Police vow to get tough with climate protesters after Sydney morning commute descends into chaos

Blockade Australia activists face hefty fines and up to two years in years in jail for a protest in Sydney’s CBD that caused peak-hour traffic chaos. 

 

‘Much more dangerous’: Why thousands of bees are being eradicated in NSW

The threat of varroa mite has put a spotlight on agriculture’s reliance on bees. Here is everything you need to know about it.

 

Queensland

Couple pushes to breed a ‘resilient bee that’s going to outlive us’

Breeding bees that can stand the test of time has been a passionate 10-year project for one north Queensland couple, who are now determined to breed bees that can thrive in a high-rainfall environment.

 

Native fish population booms after floods improve conditions

The flowing water from this year’s floods brings long-term benefits to native fish, reinvigorates their habitat, and increases food sources, as well as boosting tourism as fishers make the most of the boom.

 

 Australia’s transport-driven emissions spike demonstrates need to get moving on clean cars

New Australian emissions data shows that climate pollution increased in 2021, with a faster transition to renewables and the electrification of transport key to course correcting, Greenpeace Australia Pacific said.


Queensland’s coal fantasy, and re-thinking renewable and storage targets

David Leitch

Queensland’s coal strategy makes no sense, but the bigger problem is getting more renewables and storage into Australia’s main grid.


Tasmania

Mining, logging lobbyists dial in to briefings about proposed anti-protest laws, unbeknownst to politicians

An independent Tasmanian MP says forestry and mining groups were given the “unusual” opportunity to give the state’s Legislative Council confidential briefings ahead of debate on controversial proposed anti-protest laws.

 

New pedestrian, cycle paths feature of Tasman Bridge revamp [$]

Concept plans for a $130m upgrade to the Tasman Bridge have been released for public comment. 

 

Western Australia

One of the world’s rarest plants has been sighted on Western Australia’s south coast

The Queen of Sheba orchid takes between seven and 10 years to flower. Its arrival is expected to draw botanists and photographers from across the globe.


WA gold mine now renewably powered after rapid solar deployment

A Western Australian gold mine is now being powered by solar power, the first operational project under the state’s Clean Energy Future Fund.

 

Synergy’s bittersweet race from coal to clean

For Synergy boss David Fyfe, closing two coal-fired power stations is bittersweet: the end of an era for Collie but the start of a seven-year race to build cleaner more flexible power.

 

Sustainability

Oil and gas activity linked to most recent earthquakes in West Texas

Since 2009, earthquakes have been rapidly rising in the Delaware Basin – a prolific oil-producing region in West Texas and New Mexico. According to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, the majority of them can be linked to oil and gas production.

 

Reaction Insights Help Make Sustainable Liquid Fuels

Methanol made from CO2 in the air can be transformed into carbon neutral fuels

 

New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass

Scientists have developed a new, PET-like plastic that is easily made from the non-edible parts of plants. The plastic is tough, heat-resistant, and a good barrier to gases like oxygen, making it a promising candidate for food packaging. Due to its structure, the new plastic can also be chemically recycled and degrade back to harmless sugars in the environment.

 

This super-tree could help feed the world and fight climate change

Startup Terviva aims to plant millions of pongamia — “miracle” trees that can grow on arid badlands and yield products similar to soybeans and olive oil.

 

Scientists grow food in complete darkness using artificial photosynthesis

Researchers say that a new breakthrough could lead to new ways of growing food in a world wracked by climate change.


A rethink of the building blocks for solar panels could help mass production

An original approach to mass-producing low-cost solar cell foundation blocks could lead to the wide adoption of solar panels made from perovskite ink – a “miracle material” – according to research from the University of Surrey.

 

Cruises are an environmental disaster

Carnival Cruise Line and other top cruise ship companies have been breaking records for ticket sales this year. But a water-bound vacation isn’t just a concern for infectious disease—these ships are having a massive effect on the climate.

 

Using far less chemical fertiliser still produces high crop yields, study finds

Farmers could continue to produce high crop yields with far less use of artificial fertilisers if they adopted environmentally sustainable practices, an academic study has shown for the first time.

 

Viruses can survive in water by ‘hitch-hiking’ on microplastics, new study finds

Viruses can survive and remain infectious by “hitch-hiking” on microplastics in freshwater, scientists have found, raising concern about the impact on human health.

 

Plastic pollution in Nigeria is poorly studied but enough is known to urge action

With about 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, Nigeria ranks ninth globally among countries with the highest contributions to plastic pollution.

 

Nature Conservation

United Nations oceans conference eyes global protection agreement

The United Nations is hoping an international conference in Portugal will bring fresh momentum to protracted efforts for a global agreement on protecting the world’s oceans.

 

Top predators could ‘trap’ themselves trying to adapt to climate change, study shows

A study published the week of June 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows for the first time that a species of large carnivore has made a major change to its life history in response to a changing climate – and may be worse off for it.

 

Return of the big beast: in search of Romania’s wild bison – in pictures

After becoming extinct in the wild, European bison were reintroduced to Poland in 1954 and Romania in 2012. Photographer Alexander Turner went in search of Europe’s largest land mammal with rangers from Foundation Conservation Carpathia


Repairing nature with DNA technology

 The monumental global task to restore degraded ecosystems will need to include sophisticated technologies such as environmental DNA monitoring to understand and support the recovery of complex biospheres, international researchers say.

 

Protected areas in Africa are too small to safeguard rapidly declining vulture populations

Vultures perform important ecosystem functions as they clean the landscape by eating carcasses and thus limit the spread of wildlife diseases. Yet, vulture populations are rapidly declining, mainly owing to intentional and unintentional poisoning.

Vegetation declining on elephants’ migration routes in Namibia

A study based on extensive remote sensing data indicates that vegetation near the migration routes of elephants in Namibia has decreased.

 

We show how these high-tech tools are helping nature heal

Jake M Robinson et al

Where forests once stood, artificial lights now illuminate vast urban jungles. Where animals once roamed, huge factories now churn out microchips, computers, and cars. But now, we can also leverage technology to help repair our precious ecosystems.



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