Daily Links Jul 1

To be taking advice on energy generation from putative journalist Piers ‘Laughing Stock’ Ackerman and the usefulness of battery storage from Chris ‘I make up my own facts’ Uhlmann would be the height of folly. Yet here they both are trying to do what King Canute knew he couldn’t do, hold back the tide. With the climate-wreckers out of office, the tide can now bring in policy and investment certainty to accelerate the uptake of renewables.

Post of the Day

Net zero nuance: commentary on decarbonising the grid misses the mark on batteries and nuclear

Graham Readfearn

One claim from the past week is based on a nuclear plant that hasn’t been built and another confuses the role of battery storage

 

On This Day

July 1

 

Ecological Observance

National Festival of Tree Planting (Van Mahotsav) India

Plastic Free July

 

Climate Change

For the first time ever, we were on track to limit climate change to 1.5C. But that was during COVID

Between 2019 and 2020, global CO2 emissions experienced the greatest year-on-year drop in recorded history. Researchers say we have to cut emissions by that much every year to keep climate change within safe boundaries.

 

Climate anxiety is widespread among youth—can they overcome it?

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up on a different planet with tougher choices than their parents. Accepting that is the first step in avoiding despair.

 

US Supreme Court limits Biden’s ability to cut carbon emissions

The court’s 6-3 ruling restricts the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal and gas-fired power plants.

 

The Supreme Court’s West Virginia v. EPA ruling on carbon dioxide emissions isn’t the only legal attack on the environment

The West Virginia v. EPA decision is just the latest in a series of recent lawsuits and rulings that are eroding protection for air, water, and the climate. And they’re part of an even broader conservative-led effort to weaken the government’s ability to regulate anything.

 

Vietnam′s climate credentials come under scrutiny after activist jailing

The Vietnamese government’s commitment to action on climate change is in the spotlight after a leading environmental activist was sentenced this month to two years in prison on murky charges of “tax evasion.”

 

Children aren’t the future: where have all the young climate activists gone?

Eleanor Salter

To avoid ‘youth-washing’ politicians and corporations, young people now are more likely to coalesce around radical policies or campaigns

 

National

Australia is becoming a global hotbed for climate change lawsuits

Australia is emerging as one of the world’s leaders in climate change litigation, with a new report detailing the growing number lawsuits being launched globally against governments and fossil fuel companies alike, seeking accountability the impacts of global warming.

 

What you need to know about the ‘once-in-a-century’ plan to transform Australia’s energy market

The nation’s energy regulator has outlined a 30-year plan to transform the grid and avoid future threats to energy security to secure Australia’s net zero emissions future.

 

Comprehensive review of carbon credit scheme welcome step for climate integrity: experts

The Federal Government’s appointment of respected former Chief Scientist Ian Chubb as chair of the independent review into Australia’s $4.5b carbon credits scheme, and the broad scope of the review, has been welcomed by policy experts at the Australia Institute.

 

Australian energy operator calls for complete grid transformation – video

The threat of blackouts might be over for now on the east coast of Australia, but the nation’s energy operator says the grid needs to be completely transformed to avoid future volatility. In its 30-year roadmap, AEMO says work must start immediately on upgrading the electricity grid to renewables, and transitioning off fossil fuels by 2050.


Australia’s fire season now a month longer

Australia’s bushfire season is a month longer than it was 40 years ago, and the number of extreme fire weather days is also much higher, scientists say.

 

Australia risks being ‘left behind’ as EU bans fossil fuel cars from 2035

The EU’s decision to ban the sale of all new cars and vans powered by fossil fuels within 12 years will ratchet up pressure on Australia to raise its lagging fuel efficiency standards.

 

Australia faces climate target sanctions in EU trade deal

Europe’s trade commissioner says an agreement with Australia could be reached next year but insists on climate change targets.

 

Nats signal new front in climate change war [$]

David Littleproud has accused the ­energy market operator of focusing too much on renewables in its blueprint to transform the electricity sector.

 

Fixing the broken energy system might seem simple. It’s likely to be anything but

Daniel Mercer

Why struggling to build a simple high-voltage power line is symptomatic of the difficulties in fixing a broken energy system.


‘Draconian and undemocratic’: why criminalising climate protesters in Australia doesn’t actually work

Robyn Gulliver

A man who drove through a climate protest blocking the Harbour Tunnel this week has copped a A$469 fine, while multiple members of the activist group were arrested. The protest was among a series of peak hour rallies in Sydney by Blockade Australia, in an effort to stop “the cogs in the machine that is destroying life on earth”.

 

Water industry could improve to meet net zero targets

Peter Fisher

At this point in the national conversation over energy policy, it’s time for our water industry to rise to the challenge.

 

Net zero nuance: commentary on decarbonising the grid misses the mark on batteries and nuclear

Graham Readfearn

One claim from the past week is based on a nuclear plant that hasn’t been built and another confuses the role of battery storage

 

AEMO’s energy roadmap a mix of insanity and gas [$]

Terry McCrann

The latest AEMO energy roadmap has inadvertently revealed that we are racing headlong back to the 18th century as we destroy our electricity generation system.

 

You don’t need to be a climate fanatic to want an electric car [$]

Adam Creighton

EVs are simply better – quieter, faster, more powerful, near maintenance free – than their traditional combustion engine equivalents.

 

We must learn lessons of past to reduce emissions [$]

Barry Sterland, John Connor

Since Australia first introduced a carbon market in 2012, it has been a lightning rod for controversy.

 

The cost of building a renewable future [$]

Jennifer Hewett

How do we pay for a power system that no longer uses coal-fired power? The short answer is that consumers’ bills are only headed in one direction.

 

Climate-driven food shocks are coming, but we can mitigate the risks

Chris Barrie

Climate change will make feeding the world increasingly difficult. That stark reality has profound implications for human security in Australia and around the world.

 

We blew the whistle on Australia’s central climate policy. Here’s what a new federal government probe must fix

Andrew Macintosh et al

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen is today expected to announce a much anticipated review of Australia’s carbon credit scheme, known as the Emissions Reduction Fund.

 

Victoria

Victoria to demand governments set completion dates for energy transmission projects

State energy minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, says investors need confidence electricity grid will be ready for renewables

 

New South Wales

Water protectors hold out hope for river flows

The second Darling/Baaka River convoy to highlight unsustainable water-sharing plans and ungoverned water-trading practices was organised in early May.

 

EPA fines NSW Forestry $500,000 in one month for destroying habitat

New South Wales’ Forestry Corporation claims there are no systemic issues with compliance despite coping $500,000 in fines.

 

New red zone declared as deadly bee parasite detected again in NSW

Varroa mite has been found in another beehive near Newcastle as the biosecurity emergency intensifies.

 

NSW clears nine Sydney Harbours in a year

An area more than nine times the size of Sydney Harbour was cleared in NSW in a single year amid warnings about Australia’s escalating extinction crisis.

 

‘We’re going to need it’: HumeLink project could be online earlier than expected [$]

The proponents of a $3.3 billion transmission project through southern NSW hope it can be delivered earlier than expected, after it was tagged as a priority to shore up the grid amid the rapid shift to renewables.

 

Protester’s odd cheese sandwich complaint

A climate activist has taken to social media to vent about her treatment in police custody, including a bizarre complaint about a cheese sandwich.

 

Aboriginal Australian activist calls for end to deep-sea mining at UN meeting in Portugal – video

Indigenous activist Theresa Ardler travelled halfway across the world to tell leaders at the UN ocean conference in Portugal that they are failing to protect her fishing community back home in Australia.

 

NSW must rethink its flood strategy after Lismore failures

SMH editorial

Floods are likely to grow in severity as a result of climate change, so it is vital that the NSW is prepared.

 

ACT

Canberra home buyers value energy efficiency: Sustainability in Property Report

When Kaleen residents Fabio and Venee Fabbo renovated their home, they didn’t realise they’d be saving more on their energy costs after completion.

 

‘Not in my sky’: Drone delivery service backlash

In 2018, Wing delivery started flying coffees and burritos to a handful of test users in the south Canberra suburb. But it wasn’t long before the community organised itself to complain about the noise.

 

Queensland

Power deal expected to help underwrite massive pumped hydro scheme

The State Government was likely to be a major underwriter of a $2.9 billion dam and pumped hydro project with a heads of agreement on an electricity offtake expected to be signed soon.

 

After losing billions, China may have had enough of Arrow Energy

After losing billions on its Queensland business, PetroChina may be about to cut loose coal seam gas company Arrow Energy.

 

Revealed: The next lot of plastics to be banned in Queensland [$]

More single-use items will be added to Queensland’s banned plastics list as the state moves to further protect the environment.

 

South Australia

Australian seaweed touted to reduce cattle emissions by 90 per cent hits the market

The first sale of an emission-reducing cattle feed has been announced in South Australia, marking a milestone after years of research and development.


Tasmania

Thick channel of rare earth elements found near Northern town [$]

A 10 metre thick channel of high-grade rare earth elements has been discovered in a harvested plantation area in Northern Tasmania.

 

Fact check: A Tasmanian Liberal told parliament old-growth forests are net carbon emitters. Is that correct?

Tasmanian Liberal MP Felix Ellis told the state’s parliament that old-growth forests are net carbon emitters and that the best carbon sequestration comes from a young growing forest. But is that correct?

 

Northern Territory

Fracking company rejects pastoralist’s ‘reprieve’ claim [$]

The fracking company at the centre of a standoff with cattle station owners over exploration activities on their lease has rejected claims the pastoralists had ‘obtained a reprieve’.

 

The 889 Territory projects in the pipeline [$]

There is $30bn worth of committed, funded projects being built in the Territory over the next five years. Hundreds more ventures are planned for the next 15 years.

 

Western Australia

Woodside’s North West Shelf gas project gets environmental tick to extend its life to 2070

Western Australia’s environmental regulator recommends approval to extend the life of the North West Shelf gas project by almost 50 years, subject to strict conditions, including that it achieves net zero emissions by 2050, to help preserve Indigenous rock art in the area.

 

Looming plastic ban ‘unrealistic’, say WA’s coffee-to-go trailblazers

WA’s coffee-to-go trailblazers were once a modern marvel of convenience, but the clock is ticking on how well they can deal with the world’s next big change.

 

It’s a win for the Earth but ditching plastic is a huge headache at these WA landmarks

The dome of a Muzz Buzz is something so familiar in the WA landscape it’s almost faded into the background, but within them the buzz has become something more like a panic.

 

WA’s single-use plastic ban is creating headaches for some businesses, but others are ahead of the curve

As Western Australia’s plastics ban comes into force today, Ajay fears many of his party supply products will end up in landfill, while a tomato wholesaler hopes others will follow his lead to protect the environment.

 

Sustainability

We need hydrogen — but not for everything

Hydrogen is sometimes described as the “Swiss Army knife” of decarbonization. From generating electricity to heating buildings and fueling cargo ships, hydrogen could be used in just about every sector of the economy. But just because it could, doesn’t mean it should. A new Reality Check explains why hydrogen should be prioritized for hard-to-abate sectors such as steelmaking and shipping.

 

Low-carbon concrete: The what, how, and why

Concrete is one of the most carbon-intensive materials in the built environment, but opportunities abound to shrink its footprint. Proven and emerging solutions include substituting cement with low-carbon alternatives, recycling concrete, improving the efficiency of cement kilns, and using concrete to trap carbon during the mixing or curing processes. A new article breaks down the low-carbon concrete landscape in the Northeast United States.

 

What does sustainable travel mean?

Most people want to support sustainable tourism, even though the concept remains fuzzy.

 

A bicycle built for transporting cargo takes off

Cargo bikes — which can carry everything from passengers to produce — are increasingly being used in place of greenhouse gas-emitting cars, trucks and vans.

 

China is racing to electrify its future

The country wants electric vehicles to make up 40 percent of new cars sold by 2030—but first it has to figure out how to keep them charged.

 

‘I seriously couldn’t tell this was made of toilet water’: Beer made with recycled sewage

NEWBrew uses Singapore’s brand of drinking water recycled from sewage, which has flowed since 2003.

 

Yes, there are benefits of growing broccoli beneath solar panels

New research shows that the shade from solar panels leads to a brighter green color for broccoli crops, reduced evaporation and increased income for farmers.

 

When driving near a cycle lane, do you speed up or slow down? Where you’re from may influence your answer

Miguel Loyola and John Nelson

There are clear economic, environmental, safety and health benefits to getting people cycling more, but research shows would-be cyclists are reluctant to start without good cycle paths.

 

Why are we feeding crops to our cars when people are starving?

George Monbiot

Modern biofuels are touted as a boon for the climate. But, used on a large scale, they are no more sustainable than whale oil

 

I didn’t think going car-free would be possible for me: but it has changed my life

Funmi Shonibare

I took up a challenge from a climate charity – and suddenly my daughter and I were gliding past canals instead of sitting in traffic

 

Nature Conservation

Climate change threatening salmon habitats, researcher says

A study directed by Daniele Tonina, an ecohydraulics professor at the University of Idaho, finds that spawning areas for Chinook salmon in Bear Valley Creek are disappearing due to slower rivers and lower water levels.

 

Centering biodiversity and social justice in overhauling the global food system

With new evidence that human activity has pushed beyond limits needed to preserve ecosystems, the impact of food systems across the globe needs to be reassessed, according to scientists.

 



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