Daily Links Aug 3

Ross Gittins is making more and more sense. He’s taking on the Kenneth Davidson role in arguing that the economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment and it is a creation of society. Economics isn’t doing it’s job now, we’re placing it above all else when it is simply a means of managing the goods and services that depend on their provision by the environment. Rather than the nightly All Ordinaries Index on the news, how about the climate impact report, the number of OBPs that migrated, the particulate matter released in the Hunter?

Post of the Day

What is climate-neutral aviation and how do we get there?

Emissions other than carbon dioxide – especially contrails, which are well known to have a warming effect – are responsible for two-thirds of aviation’s climate impact. But these emissions aren’t covered by current international climate agreements and other efforts to mitigate climate change.

 

On This Day

August 3

 

Climate Change

American west faces water and power shortages due to climate crisis: UN environment agency

Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday.

 

Reduction of methane emissions from lakes possible with new approach

Lakes and other freshwater systems emit large quantities of methane, which is the second most important greenhouse gas worldwide after CO2. Dredging and the use of Phoslock (a phosphate-binding clay particle) can reduce these lake emissions by over 50%.

 

Newspaper headline from one hundred years ago warns of climate change

‘Coal consumption affecting climate.’ That is the headline of a short article that appeared in a New Zealand newspaper not this week, month or even year but more than a hundred years ago, in August 1912.

 

Troubling new research shows warm waters rushing towards the world’s biggest ice sheet in Antarctica

Laura Herraiz Borreguero et al

Warmer waters are flowing towards the East Antarctic ice sheet, according to our alarming new research which reveals a potential new driver of global sea-level rise.

 

Greenwashing is driving our descent into climate catastrophe. But we can stop it

Emma Thompson

A couple of weeks ago, as Britain beat not only its own all-time temperature record, but Cuba’s, Singapore’s and Panama’s, there were still people shouting that it was all perfectly normal and just an ordinary sunny day. What sort of fantasy world do these people live in, and who built it for them? My trip to Venice helped me answer this question.

 

National
Climate activists call on Labor to do better

Left organisations and climate activist groups, including Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Earth, mobilised hundreds of people to a united climate rally.

 

The massive cost of not taxing gas companies revealed

Forcing companies that extract gas from Australian waters to pay royalties and a tax upon their surging profits would comfortably add $60 billion to the budget bottom line in coming years, independent modelling finds.

 

Murray Darling will not get water returns promised by June 2024: Review

A $1.8 billion fund set up to boost environmental water flows in the Murray Darling Basin will broadly fail, after the Morrison government killed off a scheme to recover water from farmers.

 

CSIRO research confirms new baiting regime effective for mouse management

New research led by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has found mouse populations can be reduced significantly by doubling the amount of zinc phosphide (ZnP) in grain baits used for broadscale agriculture.

 

Growers adopt sustainable practices: farm survey

A comprehensive survey of 1200 Australia grain growers from different farming regions shows they are increasingly adopting more sustainable crop management practices.


Parliament to debate climate change bill

The government’s proposed climate change bill will be debated in the lower house on Wednesday, and the Greens will reveal their stance on the crucial vote.

 

Greens reach consensus: climate bill gets clear air [$]

Anthony Albanese’s climate-change bill to pass through parliament as teal independents, Greens secure concessions

 

Greens in ‘powerful position’ on climate as Labor faces scrutiny over Coalition’s ‘gas-fired recovery’ projects

Albanese government is under pressure to clarify the status of up to $2bn in funding for the gas industry and other Coalition fossil fuel developments

 

More rain on the way for Australia as NSW readies for more flooding

Australia is likely to receive more heavy rain over the coming months after the Bureau of Meteorology declared a negative Indian Ocean Dipole was under way in the nation’s north-west.

 

Off target

Rachel Withers

The Coalition will formally oppose Labor’s modest 2030 emissions target, declaring the bill a “stunt”

 

Peter Dutton puts nuclear power on opposition’s agendaWord from The Hill podcast

Amanda Dunn and Michelle Grattan talk about Peter Dutton’s announcement that the opposition will inquire into nuclear power, in a contentious decision as it looks to crafting an energy policy for the next election.

 

The ‘gas trigger’ won’t be enough to stop our energy crisis escalating. We need a domestic reservation policy

Samantha Hepburn

Australia’s east coast gas crisis is set to sharply worsen. A new report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) notes supply conditions will deteriorate significantly in 2023 if no action is taken. The 56 petajoule shortfall is huge – equivalent to around 10% of domestic demand.

 

The Greens’ climate trigger policy could become law. Experts explain how it could help cut emissions – and why we should be cautious

Brendan Sydes et al

Australia’s freshly elected parliament is hashing out the details of Labor’s Climate Change Bill, which would enshrine an emissions reduction target into federal law. The Greens have the numbers to block the bill in the Senate, and are likely to seek concessions from Labor in return for their support.

 

Australia’s rotten gas cartel is a climate, economic and fiscal criminal [$]

Bernard Keane

Who’s responsible for the looming gas supply crisis the ACCC has warned about? A cartel of mostly foreign gas suppliers exploiting market power.

 

Peter Dutton has reached into the weeds of the climate wars and pulled out nuclear energy. It’s beyond ludicrous

Katharine Murphy

The Coalition could’ve progressed a domestic industry in its nine years in power, but it didn’t

 

A wounded environment leads to an unlivable economy

Ross Gittins

Without the environment, there wouldn’t be an economy. But it’s apparent that we’ve hit the environment so hard, it’s started punching back.

 

Gas crisis really a transparency crisis, says architect of the “Trigger” Rex Patrick

Michael West

As regulator ACCC warns the gas cartel is sending companies to the wall, the political architect of the Gas Trigger, former senator Rex Patrick, writes Australia’s gas crisis is more a crisis of transparency than a shortage of gas.

 

Pull the gas trigger – and hit producers with a super profits tax too [$]

Tony Wood

The ACCC recommendations are a mixture of the good, the bad, and the OK. The federal government should implement all of them and further.

 

Victoria

All charged up: Councils push for kerbside car charging

Electric vehicle charging cables and plugs could be embedded in nature strips and footpaths in Melbourne’s inner north and west if two councils agree to start trialling them.

 

‘Miscommunicated’: New powers to ban family fishing [$]

Regulations have been drafted allowing Parks Victoria and other government agencies to ban recreational fishing on lakes and rivers.

 

Watchdog investigates ‘elevated’ lead levels in ducks from Victorian wetlands

Wedge-tailed eagles and other protected species are at risk of being paralysed by lead poisoning in Victoria, according to wildlife advocates, with illegal lead ammunition still being used to shoot ducks.

 

New South Wales

Queens may be moved as varroa mite red zone threatens ‘really valuable’ bee genetics program

NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders says as many queens as possible will be examined and may be evacuated from the site following the expansion of an eradication zone.

 

Why bike-lock protester is back in court

An infamous climate protester who blocked the Sydney Harbour Bridge tunnel in peak hour has been granted a repriev

 

How did the brush turkey cross Sydney Harbour? It’s a mystery

The flightless birds are reclaiming Sydney’s inner-city and southern suburbs but while researchers say it’s a rare success story, not everyone has welcomed them back.

 

ACT

Population growth to combat economic pressures: budget [$]

Rising numbers of Canberrans are expected to see the territory’s economy continue to grow, despite surging inflation placing stress on confidence.

 

Rivers and lakes under spotlight in light of flood and drought forecasts [$]

Water security will be a major focus for ACT over the next 12 months with flooding in NSW and Queensland, coupled with an expectation of increasing extreme weather events in the future, heightening the need for investment.

 

Queensland

Premier tells Dreamworld to ‘do the right thing’ after $2.7m koala fund spent on roller-coaster

Annastacia Palaszczuk says Dreamworld should invest in conservation after it was revealed her government approved the theme park’s request to spend a grant on a new attraction instead of a research facility.

 

Government clears way for ‘second M1’ with koala conservation zone

The State Government has bought up its largest piece of koala land to the north of the Gold Coast, with the conservation zone effectively now clearing the way for the State’s biggest road project, the second M1.

 

Gold Coast seething over Cross River Rail airport snub

A direct train service linking the Gold Coast with Brisbane Airport will end when Cross River Rail becomes operational in 2025, and the tourist mecca’s mayor is not happy. 

 

Qld government could take hit over energy giant’s $200m IT project blowout

But the boss of Energy Queensland, responsible for the upgrade, described the computer systems as dating back to “just after the Second World War”.

 

Is it or isn’t it? Claims of ‘raw sewage’ in exclusive harbour [$]

A resident of an exclusive Gold Coast enclave claims raw sewage has been discharged into the harbour. But others disagree.


Tasmania

RTI on why no State of Environment Report since 2009

Media release – The Australia Institute Tasmania

A complete disregard for the law by the Tasmanian Planning Commission and a lack of oversight by the Tasmanian Government, has been revealed by the release of documents via a Right to Information request by the Australia Institute Tasmania.

 

Northern Territory

Traditional owners, gas industry still waiting for NT fracking inquiry final report

The outcome of a Senate inquiry into a Northern Territory gas field is uncertain following months-long delays and the commencement of a new federal parliament. 

 

Sustainability

Bacteria powering truly green revolution in personal electronics

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently announced that they have figured out how to engineer a biofilm that harvests the energy in evaporation and converts it to electricity.

 

Scientists reveal method of converting methane gas into liquid methanol

A group of researchers has succeeded in converting methane into methanol using light and dispersed transition metals such as copper in a process known as photo-oxidation.

 

Rensselaer researchers propose affordable and sustainable alternative to lithium-ion batteries

Findings could pave the way for a cost-efficient, high-performing calcium-ion battery

 

Buying net-zero carbon home

The concrete industry is just one of many looking at new manufacturing methods to reduce its carbon footprint. However, a new study from researchers in Japan and Belgium and focusing exclusively on Japan concludes that improved manufacturing technologies will only get the industry within eighty percent of its goal.

 

Hydrocarbon economy pulses with life [$]

Both BP and Ferrari joined the ranks of carbon-intensive energy producers and automakers reporting bumper profits.

 

Building bricks from waste materials

Firing bricks and making mortar and cement is very costly, but organic chemists are working on more sustainable alternatives — focusing on building materials made from waste products.

 

What is climate-neutral aviation and how do we get there?

Emissions other than carbon dioxide – especially contrails, which are well known to have a warming effect – are responsible for two-thirds of aviation’s climate impact. But these emissions aren’t covered by current international climate agreements and other efforts to mitigate climate change.

 

What should a nine-thousand-pound electric vehicle sound like?

E.V.s are virtually silent, so acoustic designers are creating alerts for them. A symphony—or a cacophony—of car noise could be coming to city streets.

 

Call for universal ban on nuclear weapons – podcast

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claims that a renewal of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal remains the best outcome for his country and the rest of the world.

 

ESG: A Material Advantage

Kaushik Sridhar 

Cynics might argue it’s a fad, but environmental, social, and governance investing is, quite literally, big business

 

Nature Conservation

A Galapagos island is teeming with baby iguanas, more than a century after they disappeared

There are strong signs the natural ecosystem is healing on Santiago Island as newborns of a reintroduced native iguana species are found for the first time since the 1800s.

 

Constraints on adjustment of tidal marshes to accelerating sea level rise

Tidal marshes are among the most vulnerable of the world’s ecosystems.

 

Agri-environment measures boost wildlife populations in long-term farm study

Agri-environment schemes can significantly increase local bird and butterfly populations without damaging food production, a long-term research project has found.

 

‘Are you sitting down?’: Scientists believe jellyfish caught on film may be new species

Marine biologists are excited over the sighting and filming of a jellyfish in the ocean between Papua New Guinea and Far North Queensland.

 

Ocean noise pollution – a quieter future?

Our oceans are louder than ever – thanks to huge container ships, offshore wind farms and gas exploration. The excessive noise renders whales deaf, kills plankton and scares fish away from their feeding grounds. What can industry do to help?

 



Maelor Himbury
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