Daily Links Jan 20

Not for nothing is economics, as it is mostly practised, known as ‘the dismal science’. Among the many follies that characterise our chosen system of distributing goods and services pointed out in this article is this one: “Mainstream economists are ecology-blind”. And the later we wake up to this reality the fewer choices we will have left to us. 


Post of the Day

Financing 1.5°C: Six trends to watch in 2023

We expect six key trends to inform financial institutions’ climate strategy design, implementation, and reporting this year.


On This Day

January 20


Climate Change

Botanical artist on international climate change crusade through 8-metre scrolls that chronicle life

After witnessing the impacts of climate change, urban encroachment, and tree diebacks, Sharon Field is drawing a plant species a day on paper scrolls, which have been on display as far afield as New York.


United Nations chief tells WEF world is in a ‘sorry state’

The world is in a “sorry state” because of myriad “interlinked” challenges including climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine that are “piling up like cars in a chain reaction crash,” the UN chief has told the World Economic Forum.


World best ETS ruined by costly emissions nonsense [$]

Eric Crampton

Ardern’s government has delivered a world best ETS, built cross-party support for net zero by 2050 – and added costly and futile policies that risk undermining its achievements.


Climate wars return to Davos [$]

Hans van Leeuwen

The World Economic Forum began with cosy chats on the economy and tech. The climate issue has roared back.



Woodside Energy denies withholding supply

Energy giant Woodside has denied any gas supply is being withheld with accusations from government ministers they were addicted to record post-war profits.

Gas cap rules ‘sound and workable’: ACCC

The gas industry continues to voice concerns about the design of the government’s big stick interventions designed to keep energy prices contained.


ACCC says gas giants’ record profits should pay for investment despite price caps

The chair of the competition watchdog said the commission was still waiting to hear from companies confused by the new guidelines.


NAB prods farmers to use blockchain to prove green compliance [$]

The big rural lender is using a start-up it invested in last year to streamline the reporting of data on its farm loans to reduce incidents of greenwashing.


Australia joins global push to yoke climate into trade agenda [$]

As the US and EU feud over green subsidies and border taxes, a coalition of trade ministers will try to sync the global trading system with the climate agenda.

Higher rate of Australians reporting climate anxiety – video

Climate-induced extreme weather has damaged people and communities as much as buildings and land. But it’s also left many Australians with mental health issues including anxiety, depression and PTSD. That’s according to a national survey conducted by the climate council of Australia


AGL misses chance for a superhero reset

Elizabeth Knight

The appointment of the bloke who had been filling in, Damien Nicks, as chief executive seems like an anti-climax, given the expectation of a new climate transition expert.


Power and perception: Why energy bill shock spells end to Labor’s honeymoon [$]

Dan Jervis-Bardy

As power bills land in letterboxes in the coming weeks, some households and businesses are in for a shock on two fronts.


There’s no quick fix for gas price crisis

Canberra Times editorial

Given gas prices are already at levels above what Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers said last year would be a “worst case scenario”, and with some Canberrans expected to pay at least $100 more for the commodity this year, it’s no surprise the industry and the Opposition are putting the boot into Labor’s controversial price cap


A carbon tax on imports won’t solve climate policy mess [$]

Henry Ergas

Copying the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to protect our big emitters could make things worse rather than better.


Could feral animals in Australia become distinct species? It’s possible – and we’re seeing some early signs

Bill Bateman

You might think evolution is glacially slow. At a species level, that’s true. But evolution happens every time organisms produce offspring. The everyday mixing of genes – combined with mutations – throws up new generations upon which “selection pressure” will act.

Carbon dioxide removal the key to keeping Australia’s climate promise, say scientists [$]

Julia Bergin

Carbon dioxide removal is framed as a substitute rather than a necessary supplement to emissions reductions. A new report says we need both.



‘Smokescreen’: Groundswell for parliamentary inquiry into Maribyrnong flood

The Greens hope to establish a parliamentary inquiry into the October 14 flood after residents and former senior Melbourne Water staff raised concerns the water authority’s review was too limited.


‘It consumes your life’: Kealba landfill’s rotten smells and toxic history

At first glance, Kealba, in Melbourne’s north-west, looks little different from other post-war suburbs: brick houses with well-tended gardens. Except it’s right beside a landfill site that’s burning – and has been for years.


This packaging is made from fungi and organic waste, and it’s compostable

A Melbourne company is the first in Australia to use wine waste and fungi to make bottle packaging in an effort to curb plastic waste.


Writing on the wall for substandard flooding inquiry

Age editorial

Melbourne Water’s narrow review of last year’s disastrous flood will not provide the answers affected residents deserve.


Victorians won’t miss myki, but what will ‘best practice’ transport ticketing look like?

Neil G Sipe

With fewer people using public transport and more working from home due to the COVID pandemic, public transport agencies need to do everything they can to encourage more people to use their services. An essential step is to make the ticketing and payment process as easy as possible. That means it needs to keep pace with emerging technology and trends.


New South Wales

Is a mega-sanctuary the answer to saving koalas? Labor thinks so

NSW Labor is going to the state election with an $80 million plan to create a Great Koala National Park, which they say will protect 20 per cent of the state’s koala population.


Political battle erupts over Aussie icon

Australia’s iconic marsupial has been the centre of debate in NSW today, however wildlife conservation agencies have urged action over promises.


European carp population booming following floods amid calls to release herpes virus

As videos of massive spawning events appear on social media, there are renewed calls to release the carp herpes virus to control the invasive pest.


NSW environment watchdog to require big polluters to show how they will hit net zero and then nudge them to improve

The state’s EPA is unveiling what it calls Australia’s ‘most comprehensive plan’ to cut carbon emissions


NSW Treasurer hopes to even the playing field with coal scheme

Thermal coal companies in NSW will need to set aside between 7 and 10 per cent of their output for the domestic market to spread the financial impact of price caps imposed to push down the cost of electricity, but the decision has been met with scepticism by the industry.


Major reform of Sydney’s pricey tolling system years away

Premier Dominic Perrottet says any overhaul of the system would not occur until the next term of government.


Coal plan could mean supplying at cost [$]

BHP could be forced to supply coal at cost to NSW power generators, as miners slammed State Treasurer Mat Kean’s plans to establish a domestic coal reservation in the state

Knitting Nanna blocks log truck access

Kerry Smith reports that the community of the Bulga Plateau, west of Port Macquarie, has been protesting the logging in Bulga State Forest since January 9.



Why flood-proofing a road network ‘six times the Earth’s circumference’ will never be possible

This week’s deluge has resulted in 12 sections of Queensland’s Bruce Highway being cut, stranding travellers and causing significant freight issues.


Tassie devil roadkill tragedy ‘too tricky’ a problem to solve [$]

An environmental tragedy – the death of 158 endangered Tasmanian devils on one stretch of road – is finally provoking official action, but bureaucrats are blocking the key measure sought by locals.


State failing on all six indicators of ‘sustainable population growth’ [$]

The state government’s 2050 population target could be smashed 17 years early. But problems abound, with Tasmania currently failing on all six indicators of sustainable growth.


Community groups boycott sham salmon consultations

Environment and community groups opposing industry and government plans to expand the salmon industry around Tasmania’s coast will meet outside the Premier’s office at 11am on Thursday, January 19, 2023.


Northern Territory

NT environmental watchdog reports proliferation of illegal dumpsites across NT [$]

Inspections conducted by the NT Environmental Protection Authority on unlicensed dumps revealed that toxic materials such as asbestos, chemical waste, and other health hazards abound in landfills across the Territory – having a far worse effect on human health than originally projected.



Germany’s Greens must squeeze coalition on climate after coal mine protest

Germany’s Greens party can weather disapproval from its environmentalist base over its role in approving the demolition of a village to expand a coal mine if it uses that concession to accelerate other climate policies, activists and analysts say.


‘Shockingly fast’: Global light pollution is increasing almost 10 per cent every year

Data collected by citizen scientists around the world over the past 12 years shows that the night sky is disappearing due to rapid increases in light pollution.


China’s population is now inexorably shrinking, bringing forward the day the planet’s population turns down

Xiujian Peng

China’s National Bureau of Statistics has confirmed what researchers such as myself have long suspected – that 2022 was the year China’s population turned down, the first time that has happened since the great famine brought on by Chinese leader Mao Zedong in 1959-1961.


Economics: the top-10 mistakes

Stephen Williams 

Richard Barnes laments the wilful blindness of many elites who go snow skiing while turning a blind eye to the causes of the high country’s dying landscape. Barnes says he mostly agrees with author Jeff Sparrow that the current economic system is to blame. Let me count the ways.


With concrete, less is more

Ben Skinner and Radhika Lalit

Demand changes can drive the future of zero-carbon concrete.


How utilities can save customers billions of dollars

Joe Daniel

If utilities modernize the way they select the resources they run each day, they can save carbon and reduce energy prices.


Nature Conservation

Honey bees are not in peril. These bees are

On the whole, native bees are at a much greater risk of extinction, in part, because of the proliferation of European honey bees.


Book of the Dead: The species declared extinct in 2022

This year we bid farewell to two lost frogs, the Chinese paddlefish, a plant from New Hampshire, and many others.


In the Year of the Rabbit, spare a thought for all these wonderful endangered bunny species

Emma Sherratt

For many Australians, “rabbit” is synonymous with “pest” because of their infamous introduction and subsequent invasion around 164 years ago. The destruction rabbits cause to Australian landscapes is harmful and serious, but there’s a lot more to bunnies when we cast our thoughts overseas.

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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