Daily Links Dec 9

This sounds very promising though while it may be a cliche to say that the devil is in the detail, with offsets particularly it really is. Better that offsets were avoided, they are an admission that the project is dodgy. If suitable habitat could be found to replace an area subject to development, the species in question would already be there. An independent EPA, well-funded and advised by the science, is the way to go.

Post of the Day

Animating the Carbon Cycle: Earth’s animals vital allies in CO2 storage

Wildlife — as big as elephants and as small as spiders — are important players in the carbon cycle, and scientists say that supercharging ecosystems with animals could enhance terrestrial and marine carbon sinks.


On This Day

December 9


Ecological Observance

National Llama Day – USA


Climate Change

Climate change threatens to drown Egyptian city of Alexandria, destroy key farmland

Rising sea levels are threatening the ancient port built by Alexander the Great and changing the chemical balance of farmland that Egypt cannot afford to lose.



Coal price cap decision not yet reached

Australia’s political leaders have not yet reached a decision to cap coal and gas prices but “temporary” interventions are on the table.


Traffic light ratings and a new ‘tough cop’: Australia’s new environmental policy

The federal government has committed to a landmark overhaul of Australia’s environment laws in a move Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek says will reverse the decline of Australia’s environment.

The government has released a 50-page plan to halt Australia’s nature crisis. Here’s what’s in it

The Labor government has detailed how it will fix Australia’s flawed laws for nature, with development decisions to be passed to an independent adjudicator.


‘Cop’ to enforce green standards [$]

Tanya Plibersek has ruled out introducing a ‘climate trigger’ while unveiling sweeping reforms, including making companies pay for destroying habitats and establishing a green cop.


Plibersek’s environmental overhaul faces challenge [$]

Labor may find it difficult to pass propose reforms next year as Greens, crossbench criticise absence of ‘climate trigger’.


Japanese banks fund Whitehaven Coal

Climate campaigners are demanding that Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Union Bank and Mizuho Bank stop funding Whitehaven Coal.


Renewables providers to be paid to ensure stable electricity supply

Renewable energy providers will be paid to ensure stable, reliable power supply in a scheme signed on to by the states ahead of worsening forecasts of price spikes and blackouts in the year ahead.


Energy pact to unleash ‘next wave’ of clean power investment

Clean energy developers say a historic deal to direct funds to storage projects such as big batteries and hydro will help unleash the next wave of investments.


Solar manufacturing industry essential, says CSIRO [$]

A new report says a domestic solar manufacturing industry is needed to meet Australia’s 43pc emissions target by 2030.


Murray River towns could see brown tap water for months in wake of floods

Moama’s council forced to reassure residents water is filtered and safe to drink after complaints over colour on social media


Big energy users not holding their breath on national cabinet help amid ‘outrageous’ prices

Peter Hannam

Companies hoping, but not expecting, Albanese government can implement price caps on gas and coal


Our laws fail nature. The government’s plan to overhaul them looks good, but crucial detail is yet to come

Brendan Wintle et al

The Albanese government has just released its long-awaited response to a scathing independent review of Australia’s environment protection law. The 2020 review ultimately found the laws were flawed, outdated and, without fundamental reform, would continue to see plants and animals go extinct.


Finally, laws with teeth to reverse decline of nature [$]

Lyndon Schneiders

Tanya Plibersek’s reforms will take the politics out of decision-making on our beautiful but under siege environment.


Climate activists must box clever in the face of dumb anti-protest laws

Tom Tanuki

Given the Australian Government has eroded the right to disobey non-violently, climate activists need to consider other clever ways to escalate their campaigns.


PM will pay dearly to make power cheaper

David Crowe

NSW and Queensland own the gas and coal, so they have Canberra over a barrel. But they know they must cut a deal at Friday’s national cabinet meeting.


Wake-up call on coal revenue [$]

Australian editorial

National cabinet will meet on Friday to tackle soaring energy prices.


Whitlam-flavoured coal plan won’t work [$]

Terry McCrann

Despite trainee treasurer Jim Chalmers’ slavish adoration of Paul Keating, the Albanese government is shaping up far more like a replay of Whitlam than of Hawke-Keating.


Surging energy prices are really going to hurt. What can the government actually do?

Tony Wood

Picture this. You’re in government for the first time in more than a decade. And within six months, you’re facing a diabolical problem: skyrocketing energy prices. To your constituents, it doesn’t matter that the root cause is a war in Europe. What they’ll see is pain – electricity and gas bills climbing and climbing.

‘Short of dictatorships, we are world leaders’: Australia’s record on criminalising environmental protest [$]

Maeve McGregor

‘The jailing of peaceful protesters is chilling for anyone who cares about our democracy — we need to restore and protect the right to protest before it’s too late.’


Our creatures great and small need protection

John Hanscombe

Australia has the worst extinction rate for mammals in the world. Its sorry record will no doubt be aired as environment ministers meet in Montreal this week for COP15, a UN summit on biodiversity. The summit will aim to set a framework to halt and reverse the loss of habitat around the world.


Environmental reforms long overdue [$]

Canberra Times editorial

Given it is now 52 years since Richard Nixon created America’s Environmental Protection Agency in order to bypass the plethora of confusing, and often ineffective, environmental legislation passed by individual states why has it taken Australia so long to do the same?


Can renewables keep the lights on? We are about to find out [$]

Jennifer Hewett

Coal and gas are no longer part of the capacity mechanism to provide back-up firming power for wind and solar


Perils of messing with energy market

AFR editorial

Price signals can upset voters, but trying to suppress price signals often leads to market distortions that make things worse.


New South Wales

Newly discovered legless lizard prompts action against mine expansion

Members of a Hunter Valley environmental group say they feel like “hobbits taking on a big action” ahead of a legal challenge involving mining giant MACH Energy.


Chargers to power electric vehicle take-up

Hundreds more electric vehicles will be able to power up in less than 15 minutes as part of an $80 million boost to Australia’s car-charging network.


Perrottet’s joy at a young woman’s jail time was ugly

Nick O’Malley

The crime Deanna Coco went to jail for was created just last year by the Perrottet government, specifically to target climate protesters.


Jailing activists won’t stop protests. This is what will

Nick Kilvert

If New South Wales wants to stop climate protests, they’d be better off ramping down fossil fuel production and lifting climate targets than jailing protesters.


Labor’s Chris Minns fails tests of principle and courage on Violet Coco and Shaoquett Moselmane

Stuart Rees

The treatment of Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane, a staunch supporter of the Chinese community and of Palestinians, and the sentencing of environmental protester Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco to fifteen months in jail and refusal of bail have been tests of principle and of courage in public life. NSW Labor leader Chris Minns has failed the test.



Light rail stage 2B will not be approved ‘for many years’: NCA [$]

Stage 2B of Canberra’s light rail, between Commonwealth Park and Woden, is unlikely to be approved “for many years”, the National Capital Authority says.



Push to permanently change name of K’gari (Fraser Island) as state hands more land back to traditional owners

From sand mining to bushfires, the world’s largest sand island has endured a lot since it was added to the World Heritage List 30 years ago. But this celebration is about more than an anniversary.


One of Australia’s largest coal producers abandons $1.5 billion mine proposal

Glencore says its Valeria coal project is now under review, citing concerns around global uncertainty and a commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.


Queensland to test ‘no-go’ development zones in return for faster approvals

Queensland will test regional environmental plans to lay out “no-go zones” for developers, in return for faster approvals in some areas, including urban development in south-east Queensland.


Queensland the hold-out on capping coal price as NSW signs on

The federal government is willing to pay states to ensure the new regime keeps costs down for power generators and limits the increase in retail prices.


Why the great migration to Qld may not be over yet [$]

The easing of pandemic restrictions appears to have done little to slow migration, with research revealing that Queensland continues to lead the nation for interstate and international buyer inquiries.


Bradfield Scheme dead in the water, but Queensland government promises water security

A decades-long vision to drought-proof arid western Queensland has been abandoned by the state government after an expert review declared it completely unviable. 


Latest study on Bradfield scheme in Queensland again concludes proposal doesn’t hold water

Ben Smee

Despite repeated reviews of John Bradfield’s idea to use flood waters to irrigate central Australia, the scheme has not been shown to be feasible


Repairing gullies: the quickest way to improve Great Barrier Reef water quality

Andrew Brooks and James Daley

Back-to-back bleaching events have highlighted the critical threat that climate change poses to the Great Barrier Reef. But few people are aware of the network of gullies pumping out about half the sediment that is polluting reef water quality and threatening its World Heritage status.


South Australia

River Murray flows to reach 220 gigalitres a day by the end of the year, 2,000 homes without power

Up to 180 gigalitres a day is already flowing into the River Murray with people in the Riverland being told to expect between 190 and 220 gigalitres a day by the end of the year.


Native title claim approved for SA west coast

A native title claim covering more than 5000 square kilometres on South Australia’s western Eyre Peninsula has been finalised, recognising the traditional rights of the Wirangu people.


Massive wind farm gets approval — so long as it doesn’t operate for almost half the year

A wind farm proposal in Tasmania is given the green light — but under the condition it doesn’t operate for five months of the year, so as not to interfere with the annual migration of a parrot species.


Planning power changes are needed [$]

Examiner editorial

The description by a government minister of the latest Mount Wellington cable car development officially being declared dead is one that would be agreed upon by many Tasmanians.


Mt Tongatabu logging injunction upheld

Media release – Wilderness Society (Tasmania)

An urgent injunction has been upheld against logging by the Tasmanian Government, and its logging agency, Forestry Tasmania (FT), at Mt Tongatabu through the Tasmanian Supreme Court.


Northern Territory

Northern Land Council hails “new era” in protecting Traditional Owners’ sea rights

The Northern Land Council has updated arrangements for recreational fishers wanting to access waters overlying Aboriginal land, with the changes coming into effect 1 January 2023.


Extreme heat in the midst of the Big Wet for northern Australia – what’s going on with the weather?

Andrew King

After a wet and unusually cool spring for much of Australia, the start of meteorological summer is bringing a heatwave to the north of the continent. Even in our La Niña summer we can expect spells of heat, and it’s important to heed health warnings and take the hot weather seriously.


Western Australia

Climate activists defend taking action against Woodside’s Scarborough gas

Two climate activists are defending their charges of blocking the road to Woodside Energy’s Scarborough liquid natural gas plant on the Burrup Peninsula


Pine logging pause urged while ‘last-ditch bid’ to save black cockatoo habitat opens to public

Western Australia’s environmental watchdog is calling for public comment on a bid to stop the removal of pine trees over the state’s biggest underground water source due to fears it will result in the starvation of endangered cockatoos.


As WA’s fishing industry grapples with new rules, is eco-tourism the way forward?

Abrolhos Islands tour operator Jay Cox says the industry needs to look at ways to diversify after some of the biggest changes to regulations in more than a decade.


Concerns ‘social relationships’ of WA fisheries officers are hindering fight against illegal fishing

An auditor-general’s report on the regulation of commercial fishing in WA raises serious concerns about the efficiency of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and its fisheries officers.



‘Eco’ wood burners produce 450 times more pollution than gas heating – report

Report from chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty finds air pollution kills up to 36,000 people a year in England


Vanguard quits climate alliance in blow to net-zero project [$]

The world’s second-largest asset manager after BlackRock says leaving the alliance will provide clarity for its investors.


‘Burn everything’: Poland chokes on the smog of war

While a number of European countries besides Poland, such as Germany and Hungary, are burning more polluting brown coal, or lignite, to keep the lights on, experts say it’s the use of the fuel at home that will have the biggest impact on health.


Will we ever be able to recycle our clothes like an aluminum can?

A new factory operated by Renewcell, a textile recycling company in Sweden, is the first step in turning old clothes into new, high-quality fashion.


The world is addicted to soy — in Paraguay, these farmers pay the ultimate price

In landlocked Paraguay, residents of a farming colony struggle to survive as soy monocultures choke the ecosystem and pesticides poison both the soil and the people.


Nature Conservation

Behind bars no longer — Charity rescues Albania’s last restaurant bear

The practice of keeping caged bears outside Albanian restaurants to attract and amuse guests comes to an end, with a charity transferring the last bear to a sanctuary in Austria.


Biodiversity: Ocean ‘dead zones’ are proliferating

As the UN’s COP15 talks on biodiversity got under way in Montreal on Wednesday, FRANCE 24 spoke to marine biologist Françoise Gaill about marine “dead zones” and their link to global warming.  


The five ways we’re killing nature and why it has to stop – video explainer

Fighting the climate emergency is only one side of the story. Science tells us we must tackle the biodiversity crisis at the same time as addressing global heating to save the planet from further catastrophe.


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