Daily Links Jul 29

We have to be optimists or else days/weeks/months … will be spent under the doona in foetal position. And that won’t help anyway. This van der chappy suggests that realistic optimism is still a defensible position – and that suits me. But meanwhile, we all do what is within our various capacities to ensure that  optimism doesn’t become unrealistic, pessimism and expecting the worst makes it a bleak world. 

Post of the Day

UN expert: Historic day for human rights and healthy planet

A UN expert hailed the adoption of a historic resolution by the United Nations General Assembly today, recognising for the first time, that everyone, everywhere, has a human right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.


On This Day

July 29


Ecological Observance

International Tiger Day

Schools Tree Day


Climate Change

Heatwaves are a ‘silent killer’, and climate change is making them more common. Could naming them help?

Heatwaves can be lethal, but are often underestimated.


Climate targets: collaboration and optimism are essential for energy transition

‘There’s no alternative for optimism,’ says Professor Bob van der Zwaan. In his view, optimism is the only way the climate targets of the Paris Agreement can be achieved. ‘It’s getting harder and harder, but it’s still possible.’


Activists surprised and relieved at Manchin’s decision to back climate bill

But the senator’s insistence on more fossil fuel drilling was called a ‘climate suicide pact’ by one expert


Climate targets at risk as countries lag in updating emission goals, say campaigners

Labour says UK government ‘asleep at the wheel’ of Cop26 presidency as just 16 of 197 member nations submit new climate action plans

Fact check: Truth washes away spurious sea levels claim

A social media post claims 2019 mean sea levels were lower by six centimetres compared with a century ago.


Coal industry is ‘delusional’, South Africa climate change official says

The executive director of South Africa’s Presidential Commission on Climate Change called the country’s coal industry “delusional” on Wednesday, saying the market for the fossil fuel is going to dwindle rapidly in the next decade.


Humanity can’t equivocate any longer. This is a climate emergency

Rebecca Solnit and Terry Tempest Williams

The climate emergency has been declared over and over. The future the scientists warned us about is here, now


The solution to climate change is already here – we’re just ignoring it

Caroline Lucas

To truly create a world where the climate and nature emergencies are brought under control, where we can all live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives, we need governments and businesses to align their policies and strategies with the reality of a planet of finite resources.



Consumers facing ‘nightmare’ power bills as wholesale electricity costs spike to record highs

Millions of households are warned to brace for savage hikes to their power bills as a newly released report reveals prices in Australia’s biggest electricity market rocketed to their highest levels on record in the last quarter.


Minister flags biodiversity credits scheme

The federal environment minister has flagged a new biodiversity credits scheme that would pay Australians to repair and nurture the habitat on their properties.


Climate inaction points to deeper problems for the Liberals [$]

MPs said the key take-out from the research was that “the Liberal Party just isn’t seen as a modern party in representing the values and concerns of people under 50”.


Brown: emissions not as important as coal; inflation to erode wages until 2024

Inflation is expected to outpace real wages until at least 2024, and Greens elders say coal exports are a more important topic than emission targets.


Coal generation in Queensland and NSW hit record Q2 low [$]

The fall in coal generation was a key reason in Australia’s spike in wholesale electricity prices.


‘Every household, every business’ to be hit by massive net zero changes, says NAB

Future investment of about $70 billion must shift to low-emission by 2030 in what the NAB has called the “great reallocation” of spending.

“Opportunity cost:” The role played by Snowy’s hydro plants in market crisis

Hydro generators set most of the high prices in the recent market crisis, and withheld capacity when the market was suspended. Should Snowy’s windfall gains be returned to taxpayers?

AEMO urges quicker shift to renewables amid coal failures and soaring fossil fuel costs

AEMO says fossil fuel crisis makes it clear Australia needs to accelerate its shift to wind, solar and storage to deliver cheap and reliable energy.


David Honey: Carbon reduction target too ‘aggressive’ [$]

David Honey is calling for the Albanese Government to reconsider plans to legislate an ‘aggressive’ 43 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.


Protecting 30% of Australia’s land and sea by 2030 sounds great – but it’s not what it seems

Benjamin Cooke et al

You would have heard Australia’s environment isn’t doing well. A grim story of “crisis and decline” was how Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek described the situation when she launched the State of the Environment Report last week.


The Coalition’s refusal to engage on climate legislation abandons the sensible centre of Australian politics

Trent Zimmerman

When your party is on the losing side of an election, why double down on policies that helped facilitate that defeat?


Albanese parrots a pro-coal talking point as Ampol offers ‘carbon neutral’ petrol

Graham Readfearn

The PM spruiked the myth that Australia’s ‘quality’ coal was relatively clean – following in the footsteps of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison



National weed management event arrives in Mildura

For the first time, Australia’s premier event to help grain growers control weeds – WeedSmart Week – will be held in Mildura from 30 August to 1 September 2022.


An Andrews minority government is a growing possibility

The prospect of losing three seats to the Greens puts the Andrews Government in a spot of bother.


New South Wales

Seals of Sydney

A ten-fold increase in fur seal populations over recent decades has seen their presence increase in Sydney’s harbour and beaches.



Troppo meets Hope: Birdkeeper hopes the southern cassowary is a perfect match

Troppo makes the trip to Townsville to find love in Hope, and bolster a much-needed breeding program.


Solar flair: Why Queensland schools are charged with new energy

Solar panels with enough collective power to generate electricity for a city the size of Gladstone are driving the State Government’s mission to deliver cooler classrooms.


Material gain: Farmers fashion big carbon savings from old threads

Cotton farmers are returning shredded textile waste to farms, preventing tonnes of material from ending in landfill while offering a recyclable soil improvement solution for the future.


Why Bravus and govt tight-lipped about coal mine water deal

Dealings about water supplied to the Bravus coal mine in central Queensland by a government-owned corporation will stay hidden behind a commercial-in-confidence clause.

Sunshine state reaches more than 60 pct renewables for first time – in winter

The Sunshine state posts a new record for renewables in the middle of the winter, thanks to the growing contribution of wind energy.


South Australia

High global interest for South Australia’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan

The Malinauskas Labor Government has received 60 proposals from organisations across the world vying to showcase their capabilities and ideas for the $593 million Hydrogen Jobs Plan.


West Coast Council want value of investment in windfarms reflected in the owner’s property rates

The West Coast Council would like to see the value of investment in windfarms reflected in the owner’s property rates.


Stalled Indigenous land return prompts new campaign [$]

The Aboriginal community is turning to private landowners as government land returns stall.


Trio of energy giants in major green hydro milestone for Tassie [$]

Three Australian energy companies have announced the results of their feasibility studies into their proposed Tasmanian facilities as a proposed green hydrogen hub inches closer.


Northern Territory

“We’ll lose everything.”

Torres Strait elders Uncle Paul Kabai and Uncle Pabai Pabai talk about the threat climate changes poses to their islands.


Fracking progress in Beetaloo [$]

Work is accellerating at Empire Energy’s Beetaloo project, with production hoped to commence within three years.


Western Australia

Shark Bay dolphins forming ‘boy bands’ in a musical ‘bromance’ to attract females

Male dolphins in Shark Bay are banding together and using synchronised song and dance to attract a mate, international marine scientists say.



It may be paper, but this battery can power a clock for an hour

Researchers have made a paper-based battery that they think can help clean up the waste stream of single-use disposable batteries.


Fukushima nuclear plant executives appeal against $138 billion verdict for nuclear disaster

While the Fukushima nuclear plant executives are appealing against the $138 billion verdict handed down after the 2011 nuclear disaster, the plaintiffs who brought the case have also appealed the judgement, asking for a higher penalty and for an order against another executive. 

Fact check: Wind turbines claim is a load of hot air

Climate change sceptics allege a Harvard study proves wind power has more impact on global warming than burning fossil fuels.

Fact check: Electric vehicle battery fire claim is as weak as water

Critics are driving to great lengths to call into question the fire safety of battery-powered vehicles.


UN expert: Historic day for human rights and healthy planet

A UN expert hailed the adoption of a historic resolution by the United Nations General Assembly today, recognising for the first time, that everyone, everywhere, has a human right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.


John Michael Slezak: Researching risks, impacts of nuclear war with Nuclear Threat Initiative

As a summer intern at the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington, D.C., the rising Brown junior is combining his love for science with a driving interest to ensure that policy decisions on complex issues are evidence-backed.


Are Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats a bluff? In a word – probably

Matthew Sussex

Russian President Vladimir Putin habitually rattles his nuclear sabres when things start looking grim for Moscow, and has done so long before his ill-advised invasion of Ukraine.


Could nuclear fusion solve the world’s energy problems? – podcast

Recent breakthroughs in nuclear fusion technology have many scientists excited about its potential, but critics are questioning whether nuclear fusion will be ready in time to make an impact on the looming climate crisis.


Inspiration, mentor and a truly great man: Tim Flannery farewells scientist James Lovelock, who has returned to Gaia at 103

Tim Flannery

James Lovelock, scientist and inventor, returned to Gaia on his 103rd birthday, July 26 2022.


Nature Conservation

New Antarctic study reveals levels of ‘forever chemicals’ reaching remote continent have been increasing

New evidence from Antarctica shows that toxic ‘fluorinated forever chemicals’ have increased markedly in the remote environment in recent decades and scientists believe CFC-replacements could be among likely sources.


Not waving, drowning: why keeping warming under 1.5 is a life-or-death matter for tidal marshes

Neil Saintilan

It may not always be clear why global temperature rise must be kept below 1.5, compared to 2 or 3. Research published today in the journal Science shows this apparently small distinction will make all the difference for the world’s tidal marshes.


Artificial light at night can change the behaviour of all animals, not just humans

Therésa Jones and Kathryn McNamara

As the Moon rises on a warm evening in early summer, thousands of baby turtles emerge and begin their precarious journey towards the ocean, while millions of moths and fireflies take to the air to begin the complex process of finding a mate.

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