Daily Links Aug 2

‘Climate change has played a role in every mass extinction event’ and our species might well be the subject of the next. We are seeing research along these lines being reported quite often now, and still we faff on about the economic hit if we curb emissions, all the while doing precious little. And just by the by, it seems that Mirage News is now not just a purveyor of government press releases. Let’s hear it loud for media diversity. 

Post of the Day

Solar is the cheapest power, and a literal light-bulb moment showed us we can cut costs and emissions even further

Bruno Vicari Stefani et al

Recent extreme weather events have underscored the need to cut the CO emissions that are driving up global temperatures. This requires a rapid transition of the energy economy to renewable energy sources, the cheapest being solar photovoltaics (PV). And our newly published research points to a way we can drive down costs of the shift even further using cheaper forms of silicon for highly efficient solar panels.


On This Day

August 2

Nag Panchami – India


Climate Change

Chart: Most US voters prefer candidates who care about climate change

A recent survey found that nearly 60% of registered voters prefer political candidates who will take action on climate change — including more than a quarter of Republicans.


Potential to end humanity is ‘dangerously underexplored’ say experts

Global heating could become “catastrophic” for humanity if temperature rises are worse than many predict or cause cascades of events we have yet to consider, or indeed both. The world needs to start preparing for the possibility of a “climate endgame”.


Aerosols: Do they make more or brighter clouds?

A volcanic eruption in Iceland has resulted in some scientists rethinking the impact of aerosols on climate change and global warming.


Long-term consequences for Europe’s climate ambitions when the EU turns off Russian gas

Have the European climate ambitions been put back by the war in Ukraine? New research shows that the very high gas prices currently experienced by the Eurozone are actually a very efficient driver for the green transition.


The climate crisis is so boring – but I also hate the idea of burning to death

Sofie Hagen

I recycle, have cut my meat intake and don’t have kids. And now I have to care about the environment more than ever


10 ways Biden- Harris administration is making America resilient to climate change

The White House

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been clear that climate change is a crisis.


The Guardian view on the warming of the Alps: a challenge for tourism

Guardian editorial

Higher temperatures mean less snow snow and ice, more rockfalls and more fatalities on Europe’s overcrowded mountains. This cannot go on



Gas producers warned to prove they have domestic supplies for next year, or face ‘gas trigger’ restrictions

Gas producers are told to prove there will be enough supply for the domestic market next year, or face the threat of export restrictions.


Greens set to introduce new climate trigger laws to parliament

The Greens will put forward climate trigger laws to parliament, as they continue to negotiate with the Labor government over its emissions reduction target.


Australia’s high gas prices could be here to stay if threats don’t turn into action

The east coast faces a potential gas shortfall in 2023 amounting to 10% of demand and there are calls for exporters to fill the gap


Warren Entsch may support Labor’s climate target if he can be shown it’s not a ‘brain fart’

Liberal MP says he is open minded on bill but doesn’t want it to become an ‘impost on the community’ amid high inflation


Hydrogen production policy critical to net-zero-emissions

Hydrogen production should be carefully regulated and consumers informed about emissions credentials if Australia is to achieve a sustainable energy economy and net zero emissions by 2050, QUT experts warn.


Billionaire Scott Farquhar’s bid for renewable energy firm rejected

Australian renewable energy company Genex Power has rejected a proposed $300 million takeover offer from a consortium led by Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar’s private investment firm, but says it remains open to a revised proposal.


Women are turning tide on climate policy worldwide, and may launch a new era for Australia

Jacqueline Peel et al

When the new federal parliament opened last week, a record number of female politicians took their seats: 38% in the House of Representatives and 57% in the Senate. This changing of the guard, with women at the forefront, brings an opportunity to accelerate Australia’s efforts on climate change.


Solar is the cheapest power, and a literal light-bulb moment showed us we can cut costs and emissions even further

Bruno Vicari Stefani et al

Recent extreme weather events have underscored the need to cut the CO emissions that are driving up global temperatures. This requires a rapid transition of the energy economy to renewable energy sources, the cheapest being solar photovoltaics (PV). And our newly published research points to a way we can drive down costs of the shift even further using cheaper forms of silicon for highly efficient solar panels.

Home is where the heart is – or should be – on energy and climate policy

Helen Haines & Saul Griffith

If we are to lower energy bills and meet our climate targets, then households and communities must move to the centre of energy and climate policy.


Gloves are off: Government versus the gas giants

Elizabeth Knight

The ammunition has been in storage for several years, the ACCC just gave the government the excuse to load it.


Highway underpasses for wildlife actually work

Ross Goldingay

Australia’s wildlife is increasingly threatened with extinction. One key driver of this is habitat clearing and fragmentation. An associated factor is the expansion of our road network, particularly the upgrade and duplication of our highways.


Sufficient, cheaper, gas must stay here [$]

Terry McCrann

The Federal Government has just as much the absolutely basic duty to 26m Australians to ‘keep the water hot’ as to ‘keep the lights on’.


Labor must jettison failed mindsets

Peter Boyer

Good news out of Canberra: the national Climate Change Authority is recruiting, looking for directors and data analysts. Applications closed last Friday, but don’t let that stop you if you think you have what they want.


Gas resources vital to national interest

Canberra Times editorial

Resource Minister Madeleine King’s swift acceptance of the ACCC’s recommendation she take the first step towards invoking a “gas trigger” that would restrict LNG exports from next January sends a strong message to the gas industry that, if it won’t voluntarily act in the national interest, it will be compelled to do so.


The Reverse Bradbury: your electricity bill and the ACCC’s gas report

Michael West

Famously, Australian ice skater Stephen Bradbury won the speed skating gold medal at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics when his four more fancied rivals all fell just before the finishing line. So it was yesterday that the ACCC did a Reverse Bradbury and fell at the finishing line, letting the four gouging champions of Australia’s gas cartel through for a knife-edge victory.


Sustainable path to powering nation is plug-and-play [$]

Stephen Anthony and Alex Coram

A rough estimate of the long-run cost to Australia of getting a grid based on solar and wind is that it may be about $700bn.


Putting a flame to reform of the domestic gas market [$]

Australian editorial

Greens’ bid to hold the nation to ransom on energy must be rejected.


‘This is piffle’: Greens peddle a political fallacy and statistical lie [$]

Dennis Shanahan

Greens leader Adam Bandt wants more radical agendas on climate change and the voice to parliament … and he’s building a false narrative in an effort to justify his party’s blackmail and blockade.


Low carbon shale gas has role in energy mix [$]

Joel Riddle

Central to a looming energy security crisis is the misguided and polarised thinking around the role that gas, specifically shale gas, should play in Australia’s future.


First response: let’s get more gas out of the ground [$]

AFR editorial

After all that has been done to try to crimp the gas companies business, sovereign risk now hovers over the LNG export industry.


The gas fight is over price, not supply [$]

Jennifer Hewett

Gas companies are privately grumbling the ACCC is being deliberately alarmist in warning of a looming shortfall.



Turning Australia’s food waste mountain into new clean and green products

A new BioFactory at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus will deliver ground-breaking ideas and solutions to tackle Australia’s mountain of food waste from households, businesses and supermarkets.


New South Wales

Southern NSW irrigators ‘not giving up’ on fighting flood plain harvesting legislation

For the first time irrigators in northern NSW valleys will have to measure their flood plain harvesting take, but southern NSW water users say they are still allowed to take more than their fair share. 


20,000 people force parliament to debate ending native forest logging

The NSW Parliament has been compelled to debate the future of native forests logging after more than 20,000 people signed a parliamentary e-petition.


Race to save endangered orchids has some wins, some wombats

Researchers trying to save native orchids from extinction are competing with wombats and sometimes members of the public.



Fears invasive fire ants could have spread during Queensland’s floods

Fire ants can form a raft to move along waterways and there are concerns they may have spread during record floods in southern Queensland, but the Agriculture Minister says the floodwater was moving too fast for this to happen.


Griffith project ensures we are not leaving koalas’ futures to chance

A collaborative Griffith University project that successfully helped reduce the number of koala deaths in South East Queensland (SEQ) has moved into its next phase.


Out of gas: Qld dragged into energy crisis – and LNG companies ‘making it worse’

Queensland’s LNG companies had a virtual stranglehold on the gas market which was facing a major supply shortfall next year, according to a highly critical report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.


Greens Senator’s nonsense call on climate change action [$]

New Greens Senator Penny Allman-Payne has used her first speech to the Senate to call “nonsense” on claims regional Queenslanders don’t want action on climate change.


‘Problem crocs’: Tough question on which big FNQ salties to remove [$]

A veteran Far North boatie has conditionally backed a trial which would remove a “modest” number of crocodiles to control numbers.


Hydro storage levels drop below ‘prudent’ as Tasmania imports more energy than exports

The spectre of near-empty dams looms large in the minds of Tasmanians who recall the 2016 electricity crisis — but despite coming off the driest summer to autumn period on record and falling levels heading into drier months, experts say there is no need for alarm.


Shot and left to rot: Tasmania grapples with deer dilemma as invasive pest numbers soar

Environmentalists, farmers and commercial hunters are all calling on the state to end protection of an animal introduced 190 years ago


EPA improves fish farm monitoring

Report – Environmental Protection Authority

Professor Kenny Black and Professor Paul Tett have completed their review of the Broadscale Environmental Monitoring Program (BEMP) for the Huon Estuary and D’Entrecasteaux Channel marine farming region.


Hydro: Energy storage levels ‘secure’

Media release – Hydro Tasmania

Hydro Tasmania’s highest priority is managing water storages in light of historic low rainfalls, which will provide Tasmanian homes and businesses with a secure and reliable energy supply.


Northern Territory

‘Kingdom of the ant’: northern Australia boasts more than 5,000 species

‘It’s the global centre of diversity,’ says insect scientist who found 27 species of ant in two days in Kakadu national park


Western Australia

Police and protesters clash as clearing begins on WA’s most expensive highway

Police have intervened as protesters try to physically stop machinery clearing bushland to make way for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project, which will create a more direct route between Perth and the Margaret River tourist region.

Plans emerge for new 150MW wind farm in WA wheatbelt

Plans have emerged for 150MW wind farm in Western Australia’s wheatbelt region.


Activists try to halt Woodside’s ‘highly polluting’ gas project [$]

The Conservation Council of Western Australia is challenging a decision to approve construction of the “unlawful” second Pluto LNG train at Scarborough.



The space boom raises environmental questions back on Earth

As more communities welcome spaceports, questions are popping up about the facilities’ impact on the land and wildlife nearby.

Big spinning machines remove constraints on wind and solar

Constraints on wind and solar are at the lowest level in more than three years.


The future of food

How the agriculture industry could go from farming to “ferming.”


Vladimir Putin says nuclear war ‘should never be unleashed’

The new claim contrasts with earlier statements by Mr Putin and other Russian politicians that have been interpreted in the West as implicit nuclear threats.


Humanity’s just one misunderstanding away from ‘nuclear annihilation’ warns UN chief

As geopolitical tensions reach new highs, and some governments are spending billions on nuclear weapons in a false bid for peace and security, countries must uphold the nearly 80-year norm against the use of nuclear weapons, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in New York on Monday.


Turning fish waste into quality carbon-based nanomaterial

Thanks to their low toxicity, chemical stability, and remarkable electrical and optical properties, carbon-based nanomaterials are finding more and more applications across electronics, energy conversion and storage, catalysis, and biomedicine.


Investment urgently needed in new technology to mitigate CO2 emissions at airports

Multi-million-pound investment is urgently needed in technologies including direct air capture (DAC) if the UK is to make ‘green’ airports a reality in the future, research by Cranfield University has revealed.


U.S. President Biden Statement on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Today, as the world gathers for the Tenth Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the United States renews its commitment to the world to be a responsible steward of its nuclear arsenal, and to continue working toward the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.


Academics unite to create more sustainable cities

Academics from some of the world’s top institutions will come together in August to brainstorm ideas to create more sustainable cities and communities.


As India bans disposable plastic, Tamil Nadu offers lessons

Tamil Nadu’s ban on single-use plastic has gotten results, thanks to relentless policing. Now, India says it will tackle the problem nationwide.


Nature Conservation

New study finds global forest area per capita has decreased by over 60%

Over the past 60 years, the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares, a loss that contributed to the more than 60% decline in global forest area per capita. This loss threatens the future of biodiversity and impacts the lives of 1.6 billion people worldwide


The case against commercial logging in wildfire-prone forests

Chad Hanson, Michael Dorsey

Logging tends to increase, not decrease, extreme fires.


Maelor Himbury
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