Daily Links Feb 7

George Brandis, as Attorney-General, shut down the Australian Emergency Management Institute in Macedon. We’re now having to rebuild our emergency management capacity. And by the way, article author Daniel Mulino moved from the Victorian Parliament to Canberra at the last election. He is yet another in the seriously-smart backbench behind the highly competent frontbencher in the Albanese Government. 

Post of the Day

Turn this old house into your clean-energy dream home

How can you make a home more climate-friendly and more comfortable?

Here’s the technology you need, plus the steps to get you there.


On This Day

February 7

Saint Mel’s Day – Ireland


Climate Change

Concrete made from captured CO2 could cut need for costly underground storage

Carbon dioxide sequestered from the atmosphere via direct air capture (DAC) has been permanently stored in concrete for the first time.


Three ambitious climate bills to watch in California

Democratic lawmakers in California have introduced an ambitious package of bills aimed at holding businesses accountable for their pollution. The bills would require emissions disclosures, pension divestments from oil and gas companies.

Coal exit can happen only with stronger policies – and with China

 Current climate policies including efforts like the Powering Past Coal Alliance will not add up to a global coal exit, a new study shows.


A conversation with Robert Bullard, ‘father of environmental justice’

Those who are most affected by climate change must have a say in plans to respond to the problem, Bullard says.

“We need more science:” Tony Abbott joins board of climate denial think tank

Tony Abbott joins board of UK-based think tank that attacks net zero and other climate and clean energy policies.



Fuel tax exemptions make no sense – for the climate or the economy

New report argues fuel tax credits should be removed for on-road users, and halved for off-road users, to drive emissions reductions and save billions.


Eyes turn to federal budget

What do for-purpose organisations want to see in Albo’s first full budget in May?


Number of electric vehicles on Australian roads soars as demand exceeds supply

Australia’s total of EVs almost doubled in 2022, growing from 44,000 to more than 83,000, sales data shows


Carbon taxes are useless without a technological breakthrough

Graham Young

While superficially ‘efficient’ they cannot meet their aim of fuel substitution because the suitable fuels do not exist, or if they do, are banned from consideration by this government.


The burning of Australia’s nature

Libby Rumpff  et al

A new book examines the extent of biodiversity loss caused by Australia’s Black Summer wildfires and what lessons our country must learn


Disaster management: The lessons of 2022

Daniel Mulino

As we start a new year, it is a good time to reflect on the lessons of 2022 – not just from the Covid pandemic but also the floods that wreaked havoc on communities all down the east coast of Australia.


The US has started a clean energy arms race [$]

Kane Thornton

The stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to clean energy and Australia has already fallen behind. Without immediate action, we could stay there.



Petrol prices set to jump in coming days [$]

The price for unleaded petrol in Melbourne is set to soar back above $2 per litre as drivers are being urged to fill up early.


Muddy waters further complicate Maribyrnong flood inquiry

Age editorial

Many residents have said that by the time they were adequately alerted to the wall of water bearing down on their homes, it was too late.


New South Wales

NSW Labor says it will not “rip up” renewable roadmap, but accelerate it instead

NSW Labor denies claims from NSW energy minister that it will tear up the state’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap if it wins the election in March.


NSW network joins rush to batteries to soak up solar, save on poles and wires

Essential Energy teams with AGL to install a 2MWh battery in the rooftop solar-heavy Port Macquarie region.


More cane toads uncovered north of Sydney as investigations continue into Mandalong outbreak

More than 50 cane toads are discovered on New South Wales’s Central Coast — one of the biggest outbreaks beyond the state’s buffer zone since 2010.


Protesters lock onto sawmill gates as simultaneous logging protests ramp up across NSW

Protesters have halted forestry operations after launching protests against native timber logging in northern NSW in the lead up to the state election.


NSW government ‘ignored’ evidence against $150 million water saving project, study finds

A paper published in an international science journal criticises the government’s lack of transparency and community consultation over the Menindee Lakes project unveiled in 2018.


Wildlife loss the legacy of NSW government, developers


Are our native animals and plants of such little concern that we’ll bulldoze already vulnerable bushland to create more houses?



Light rail debate will mark start of Legislative Assembly sitting year

The Canberra Liberals will use the first Legislative Assembly sitting day of the year to effectively stage an early election debate on the future of light rail in the ACT.



Genex to fast-track 1.6GW solar project as foundations complete for first big battery

Genex looks to fast track 1.6GW solar project in Queensland as it completes foundations to its first battery storage facility.


National marine oddity gets even stranger with discovery of tiny friend

It’s a tiny, transparent hermaphrodite that has hitched its wagon – for better or worse – to one of the world’s oldest and most enigmatic creatures.


‘Total train wreck’: Cross River Rail carriages a year behind schedule [$]

The Palaszczuk government has been blasted over a one-year delay in delivery of carriages for the $7.1bn Cross River Rail project, with the opposition saying it was not possible to “have more train services if you don’t have more trains”.


‘No Aboriginal endorsement for Cradle cableway’ [$]

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre says it has been locked out of discussions about a cableway mooted for Cradle Mountain after revelations the project was “still alive”. 


Northern Territory

Santos launches new bid for Tiwi Islands’ support for gas project [$]

Energy giant Santos is back on the Tiwi Islands after a court ordered further consultation on its Barossa gas project.


Western Australia

WA fossil fuel woes continue, as coal shortages prompt AEMO warnings

Western Australia is having a spot of bother from its fossil fuel generators, including coal shortages that could take a plant offline in coming months.


Rare baby turtles drive calls for greater environmental protections on WA coast

Teeming with sea life, the Exmouth Gulf is being studied to determine if it needs further safeguarding, as hawksbill sea turtles are seen hatching there for the first time.


Ancient West Australian rock art up for World Heritage nomination

The Burrup Peninsula in WA – home of more than one million Indigenous rock engravings up to 40,000 years old – is understood to have been nominated for World heritage listing.


Experts call for more warnings on Swan River shark danger

While many swimmers enjoy taking to the waters of Perth’s pristine Swan River, experts warn bull sharks can lurk even far upstream.

Out-of-control fires rage through national park

 Campers staying in the Fitzgerald River National Park in WA’s south have been told to evacuate after two bushfires broke out in the biodiversity-rich park on Monday.



Leaked video footage of ocean pollution shines light on deep-sea mining

Company rebuts claims by scientists that ‘uncontrolled and unscientific’ practices highlight dangers of going ahead with seabed mining.


The frightening cost of cheap eggs

Why paying more for eggs could save us from another pandemic


Why the world feels so unstable right now

Our lives tend to run smoothly and predictably most of the time, but they are also prone to intermittent instability with devastating consequences.


Palm oil is actually not that bad for the environment (anymore)

Palm oil once destroyed orangutan-filled rainforests in Southeast Asia. Now, the industry is cleaning up its act.


Population overload: Environment on brink for economic ‘growth’

Sue Arnold

The battle over how many billion humans planet Earth can safely carry is growing exponentially

Adani crashes and burns, accused of ‘biggest con in corporate history’ [$]

Emma Elsworthy

Is the meteoric decimation of the fossil fuel titan a gift to our environment? Maybe not.

What does Adani’s downfall tell us about the Indian economy? [$]

Cameron Abadi

Concerns over the billion-dollar company have put the spotlight on the relationship between Gautam Adani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Electric dreams: Saving the world one clean, quiet kilometre at a time

Lyndall Thomas

I guess what I want to sell you is the idea of the EV, the welcome-to-the-future feeling that you get when you drive it and the unbelievable sense of wellbeing that arises when you realise you’re not pumping crap into the atmosphere any more.


Why we should not reuse plastic water bottles

Sarva Mangala Praveena

Whether microplastic particles cause long-term damage is uncertain but reducing our exposure to them will be wise.


Home of the future: Climate-friendly, electrified and closer than ever

Jeff St John

The technology and policies are falling into place. But we’ll need a revolution in U.S. home retrofit business models and financing to scale up enough to meet the climate challenge.


Nature Conservation

Some corals are more heat resistant than thought

The vast genetic diversity of corals means there are some that may survive warming waters. Now scientists just need to find them.


Garden pesticides are contributing to British songbird decline, study finds

Scientists urge people to stop ‘spraying gardens with poison’ and adopt wildlife-friendly practices

Huge chunk of plants, animals in U.S. at risk of extinction -report

A leading conservation research group found that 40% of animals and 34% of plants in the United States are at risk of extinction, while 41% of ecosystems are facing collapse.


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