Daily Links Dec 24

Off list here and looking at Michael West’s article about the influence of the Dirty Digger. Whether Sky here, Fox in the US or his media holdings in the UK, Rupert Murdoch has been the enemy of progressive policy across much of the Anglosphere. It is to Jacinda Ardern’s and NZ’s credit that he was prevented from broadcasting his toxicity there.

Post of the Day

The world’s carbon price is a fraction of what we need – because only a fifth of global emissions are priced

Bei Cui et al

At the end of last year, the world’s average price to emit one tonne of greenhouse gases was around US$5.29 (AU$7.77). For pricing to work as we want – to wean us off fossil fuels – it needs to be around $75 by the end of the decade, according to the International Monetary Fund.


On This Day

January 24

Feast of Our Lady of Peace – Catholicism


Ecological Observance

International Mobile Phone Recycling Day


Climate Change

Pandemics, climate change high on Gates’ agenda [$]

Billionaire Bill Gates has muscled up the world’s biggest philanthropic foundation – his own – to take on new pandemics and climate change.


Pesticides worsen climate change, causing a need for more pesticides

New assessment by Pesticides Action Network North America examines the ‘vicious cycle’ linking these fossil fuel-derived chemicals and climate change.


Trauma from extreme climate events has long-term effects on survivors’ brains, study finds

Psychological trauma endured by survivors of extreme weather events like wildfires may have long-term impacts on their brains, according to a new study that reveals more on how the climate crisis affects cognitive functioning.

Global climate action would be for nothing if China goes to war with Taiwan [$]

Emma Ellsworthy

Australia needs to stay in Beijing’s good books if it wants to continue getting its zero emissions technology supplies.



Black swans are unusually vulnerable to bird flu. Now we know why

The graceful black swan is a familiar sight in waterways across Australia, but it could disappear if avian flu ever takes hold here, a study of its genes reveals.


System to protect threatened species from development ‘more or less worthless’, study finds

Environment ministers’ decisions spanning 15 years made no difference to amount of habitat destroyed, researchers say

SolarEdge software first to get approval for rooftop solar flexible export plan

Built-in inverter software also offers a new – modern – option for states looking for a backstop system to handle high levels of residential solar exports.


Bill Gates says Australia’s nuclear ban is ‘political’ – video

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates claims Australia’s “political” ban on nuclear will see the country miss out on the next 15 years of nuclear energy development.


Green super funds are 2022’s underperformers [$]

James Kirby

The tilt towards environmental investing extracted a high price in the latest superannuation returns.


Going nuclear is a gas for Gates [$]

Australian editorial

Australia well placed for energy transition, says Microsoft co-founder.


Heatwaves are our deadliest disasters. Why aren’t doing more about it? [$]

Emma Bacon

Heatwaves are our deadliest environmental disaster, and if we want to keep as many people safe as possible, we need to prepare our suburbs.


Greens hold politicians hostage on gas, and we’re paying [$]

Robert Gottliebsen

The Victorian energy minister’s statement about gas must rank among the most misleading made in recent times – it’s time for politicians to be honest.

Full price benefits of wind and solar won’t be seen until we get rid of gas  [$]

David Leitch

The full benefits of low cost wind and solar won’t be felt until gas is dumped as the setter of marginal prices. Battery storage will be key.



Public urged to stay away as 500kg elephant seal rocks up in another Victorian coastal town

Victoria’s Conservation Regulator says the same elephant seal that broke windows in Point Lonsdale on Friday may have reappeared on the Mornington Peninsula.


End of an era as mill produces last ream of Australian white paper, leaving workers fearing for jobs

Opal Australian Paper’s Maryvale mill, in Victoria, has halted white paper production indefinitely, as the office supplies industry predicts paper prices will soar across the country.


“Greener and cheaper:” Deakin Uni extract silicon from solar panels to make batteries

Landmark discovery to extract silicon from solar panels for use in building better batteries helps to solve two long-term challenges in the clean energy transition.


New South Wales

Pipeline Rumble: farmers the final line of defence in Narrabri fight over Santos gas fracking

Callum Foote and Michael West

Having squared away governments, as well as both major political parties, the two major media houses and even environment agencies and regulators, Santos faces a last bloody hurdle in its epic battle against local communities to get its Narrabri gas fracking project off the ground. That’s the farmers. It is the farmers which may kill it.

Do the NSW Liberals care more about climate change than Labor? [$]

Emma Ellsworthy

Labor’s thrown a few ideas up in the air but the Perrottet government (with Matt Kean’s prodigious output) has put ideas into action.



Nuclear waste robot put through its paces in Brisbane

CSIRO’s nuclear waste-safeguarding robot has been developed at the agency’s Brisbane facility, and recently passed a key test with flying colours.


Transport Minister’s candid confession over ‘goat track’ highway [$]

Fury over one of the state’s most prominent highways has sparked fresh calls for Queensland to be split in two, with proposals for coal money to go into north Queensland roads.


South Australia

SA fish and chip shops selling endangered shark species

Some South Australian fish and chip shops are selling endangered shark species as flake, according to a new study, with the findings prompting a call for strengthened food labelling guidelines.


Hundreds of dead carp washed up on SA beaches

Hundreds of dead juvenile European carp are washed up on beaches from Victor Harbor to Goolwa, with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions blaming changing environmental conditions for the mass deaths.


Northern Territory

Gas fracking could start in NT’s Beetaloo Basin soon despite the government missing a key deadline

The oil and gas industry’s peak body says Beetaloo fracking licences could be issued in a month, as critics say the government’s promise to implement a key inquiry is “impossible”.


Western Australia

‘We’re all on edge’: Protests, uproar as Kimberley town buckles after floods

No food, no fuel, no essential items – and no alcohol – has led to tensions running high in the northern WA town of Derby.


Jarrah forests get small reprieve after Alcoa drops bauxite export plan

Alcoa will only use bauxite mined in WA’s jarrah forests in its local refineries in a decision that will slightly reduce its impact on a threatened ecosystem.



Clean energy finally gains a foothold in India, but coal still rules the roost

In a country where 70 per cent of its electricity is generated by fossil fuels, the push is on to step up the use of renewables, but can India wean itself off coal as electricity demands rise?


Nine men with nuclear keys develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Nine US servicemen were all previously stationed at the same air force base, supervising 150 Minuteman III nuclear silos. 


Bacteria really eat plastic

The bacterium Rhodococcus ruber eats and actually digests plastic.


Farewell to ‘forever’ — Destroying PFAS by grinding it up with a new additive

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are potentially harmful substances known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they are so difficult to destroy. One emerging technique to degrade PFAS involves forcefully grinding them with metal balls in a moving container, but this technique can require corrosive additives. Now, researchers report a new type of additive for ‘ball milling’ that completely breaks down PFAS at ambient temperature and pressure.


How wind farms are supercharging the economies of rural America

A wind power boom in the nation’s central corridor has been a financial windfall for some struggling rural areas.


Increase in disease severity has implications for fish farms, marine life, human health

Microplastics — tiny particles generated as plastics weather and fragment — pose a growing threat to ecosystem and human health. A new laboratory study shows these threats extend beyond direct physical or chemical impacts, revealing that the presence of microplastics increases the severity of an important viral fish disease.

As Putin’s energy might ebbs, the world economy no longer needs Russia [$]

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian

With alternative sources in place, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt at blackmailing Europe on energy has failed.


Nature Conservation

More effective protected areas needed to halt biodiversity loss

Protected natural areas of the UK are struggling to halt declines in insects and spiders that have occurred over the past 30 years, according to a new study.


Updated red list raises red flags for Sri Lanka’s birds, especially endemics

Sri Lanka has published its latest assessment of the conservation status of birds, showing a worrying increase in the number of species considered threatened since the last assessment was published in 2012.


Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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