Date: 19 May 2023 at 9:04:09 am AEST
Subject: Daily Links May 19
Post of the Day
Saving humanity: here’s a radical approach to building a sustainable and just society
Collectively we are driving Earth and civilisation towards collapse. Human activities have exceeded planetary boundaries. We are changing the climate, losing biodiversity, degrading land, contaminating freshwater, and damaging the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles upon which we all depend.
On This Day
National Endangered Species Day – USA
UAE invites Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to COP28
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will reportedly welcome Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a leader credibly implicated in rampant atrocities, to COP28, the global United Nations climate conference, while civil society and human rights defenders will be left out in the cold.
How a debt ceiling deal could help build more clean energy
As US Congress battles over the debt ceiling and permitting reform, here’s what’s at stake for the renewable energy industry and 2050 “net zero” carbon target.
By fighting the ozone hole, we accidentally saved ourselves
With the Montreal Protocol, life on Earth dodged a bullet we didn’t even know was headed our way.
The upper atmosphere is cooling, prompting new climate concerns
A new study reaffirming that global climate change is human-made also found the upper atmosphere is cooling dramatically because of rising CO2 levels. Scientists are worried about the effect this cooling could have on orbiting satellites, the ozone layer, and Earth’s weather.
How climate action can create a more liveable future for all – Fear and Wonder podcast
Should poorer countries be compensated for climate disasters that aren’t their own making?
New study helps solve a 30-year-old puzzle: how is climate change affecting El Niño and La Niña?
Wenju Cai and Agus Santoso
Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions mean strong El Niño and La Niña events are occurring more often, according to our new research, which provides important new evidence of the human fingerprint on Earth’s climate.
Is climate change causing a resurgence in infectious diseases?
The clock is ticking to restore our relationship with nature to one that is mutually beneficial, not detrimental to our existence.
Some household plastics to be sent overseas, as minister grants exemptions from plastic waste export ban
Some household plastic waste will be exported overseas, instead of being recycled onshore, after the Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek grants a “temporary” exemption to exporters from a plastic export ban.
Miners, battery makers and refineries to share $50m to power energy transition
Critical mineral refineries, rare-earths mining and battery-focused projects will get $50 million in funding from the Australian government as it ramps up efforts to diversify supply chains and build local processing facilities for the key materials that will power the world’s transition to a green energy economy.
Chalmers warns of gas tax threat if Coalition ‘vacates the field’
The Coalition’s objections to proposed gas tax changes could force Labor to cut another deal with the Greens, Treasurer Jim Chalmers has warned.
Carbon capture projects face reality check [$]
Experts say the technology being extolled as a must for net zero is not a failure, just very challenging and very expensive.
After Adani battle, fossil fuel activists shift gears to target sports and the arts
The battle for hearts and minds over fossil fuels is ramping up again as one activist group seeks to start a wave of rejection among sporting clubs and arts events.
Extreme weather and rising premiums make parts of regional Australia ‘uninsurable’
Insurance costs for some properties have tripled despite never having been directly affected by natural disaster.
How to get rid of your old devices in an environmentally friendly way
Almost all e-waste ends up in landfill, but there are plenty of options for recycling as we wait for more sustainable technology.
Trust an Aussie company to come up with a hydrogen-powered ute [$]
H2X reckons professional fleet owners could pick hydrogen over electric, but the Australian-founded company is starting small and in Europe to test the waters.
‘This is not sustainable’, timber processors warn after trade ban lift [$]
China’s ambassador to Australia says the country will immediately resume imports of Australian timber, but industry figures warn there is not enough supply.
Why gas is not the answer to our net zero ambitions – Full Story podcast
It seems everyone is talking up gas expansion as a solution to ending the climate crisis. Federal resources minister, Madeleine King, said Australia needs to remain an essential supplier of gas, while opposition leader Peter Dutton told the gas industry to fight off Labor’s ‘renewable zealotry’. But in reality, gas power is undeniably in decline.
Here’s what Australia faces if and when we pass 1.5C of warming by 2027 [$]
Scientists say there is a 98% chance the world will sweat through the hottest year on record before 2028.
Biodiversity offsets are a scheme in crisis — and create more problems than they fix [$]
A biodiversity trading market ensures growth from the destruction of the environment under the guise of ‘sustainable development’.
The disparity between the state of our politics and the state of our planet is staggering
Getting renewables connected is the first step to a zero carbon grid
New wind, solar and batteries have faced long delays in getting connected, increasing costs and slowing the shift to renewables. We propose changes to fix these problems.
Why nuclear power won’t work in Australia — yet another explainer
While the Liberal Party continues its push for nuclear power in Australia, there are many reasons why renewables are a far better option.
How long can our leaders snub nuclear talk? [$]
How can our government stand by in the lassitude of ignorance and not at least include nuclear in the discussion of future energy options?
Gas lobby APPEA calls for transparency while its own financial reports vanish. What’s the scam?
There is no noisier, whingier bunch of lobbyists in Australia than APPEA, the town criers for multinational oil and gas corporations, but why have their own financial reports vanished?
Are we on track for net migration of 400,000 in 2022-23?
In the May 2023 Budget, Treasury caused a ‘big Australia’ furore by increasing its net migration forecast for 2022-23 from the 235,000 it published in the October 2022 Budget to 400,000.
New South Wales
Community says its voice has been ignored in multi-million-dollar PFAS settlement
The federal government has been accused of failing to listen to the voice of a First Nation’s community on the NSW South Coast after failing to settle a PFAS contamination claim.
Clover Moore warns NSW government against sale of state-owned land
Sydney’s lord mayor says plan to sell unused parcels in order to develop housing is ‘disappointing’
Hunter coal mine expansion to blow hole in NSW’s net zero plan
A coal mine expansion in the Hunter Valley is set to blast a large hole in the state’s net zero climate plan, a government agency has warned.
Koala vaccine produces ‘incredible’ results against chlamydia, say researchers
Researchers are elated after charting incredible results from a trial vaccine to protect wild koalas from the ravages of chlamydia.
Landowners set for huge windfall as Queensland accelerates its SuperGrid transition
Queensland to offer most generous payments to landowners hosting new transmission lines, and will also pay close neighbours in an Australian first.
Irwin hunting for croc law changes [$]
Proposed laws in Queensland could make it illegal to provoke crocodiles.
Protesters to face harsher punishment after ‘outrageous’ disruption
After three days of action from climate action group Extinction Rebellion, South Australia is set to ramp up fines and introduce possible jail time for disruptive protesters.
$2 million fines for destroying SA Aboriginal heritage
Damaging or destroying the state’s Aboriginal heritage sites will incur big fines for companies and individuals, who may also face prison under tough new proposed penalties.
Rebels’ yell: What Adelaide’s XR activists had to say for themselves [$]
Extinction Rebellion protesters have dismissed the concept of a “personal carbon footprint” as they point to big companies for passing the blame on pollution.
Inside Extinction Rebellion: Meet Adelaide’s raving climate rebels [$]
Extinction Rebellion’s headline-grabbing stunts have captured the attention and fury of the state. But who are they – and what do they actually want?
Danish giant plans $30bn global green energy powerhouse [$]
A Danish renewable energy giant has unveiled a bold $30bn plan to make South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula a global wind, solar and green hydrogen powerhouse.
More climate protest arrests – video
Extinction Rebellion protesters have been arrested over another city protest.
Critically endangered bettongs thrive in South Australia reserve after local extinction – video
New monitoring has revealed the population of brush-tailed bettongs continues to grow in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes national park – a promising sign for Marna Banggara, an ambitious project to restore lost native wildlife to southern Yorke Peninsula, where up to 95% of native animals are locally extinct.
This is not a protest. XR nutjobs have done their dash [$]
Blue rinse-haired grannies glueing themselves to the road was amusing but enough is enough.
Ships, drones, maps: they’re all needed to fight off ghost nets in Australia’s northern seas
Sea rangers in some of Australia’s remotest waters are battling to protect marine life from the vicious problem of ghost nets.
Microgrids, solar banks, batteries: $35m energy windfall in Alice Springs visit
The federal Energy Minister is set to meet industry leaders in Alice Springs on Friday, revealing funding for Territory renewable power projects.
BP pays $23 million for WA cropping property to pursue green energy, hydrogen plans
The gas and energy giant purchases Daisy Downs in Western Australia’s Mid West region, but says existing agricultural operations will be able to coexist with its wind and solar energy generation.
Major miners receive ‘slap on wrist’ after breaching environmental regulations in WA
Big mining companies Rio Tinto and Fortescue are revealed in Western Australia’s parliament as those noted in a recent auditor-general report for breaching environmental regulations, with a lack of penalties or enforcement by government departments.
Emergency warning lifted as threat eases from out-of-control bushfire in Perth’s south-east
The threat eases from a bushfire that had been burning toward homes in Whitby in the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, with an emergency warning downgraded to an advice level.
Banned carcinogenic chemicals considered for use in WA fracking, draft report reveals
Documents have revealed low levels of the chemicals were being considered for use, despite the Department of Health ruling they be banned in any quantity.
Wall Street ‘worried’ about Alcoa’s operations in WA
US bauxite miner Alcoa is having to reassure US investors that its crucial WA operations are not imperilled by concerns its land clearing threatens Perth’s water supply.
Would you live in a house made with recycled nappies? It could solve two problems at once
Researchers are taking on the challenges of waste and housing affordability, by substituting sand for used nappies in concrete mortar. They’ve even built a house with the product.
Developing country voices will be excluded at UN plastic talks, say NGOs
Limits on numbers at Paris summit mean some of those ‘most needing to be heard’ will not be in attendance
Federal regulations fail to contain methane emissions from landfills, a new report concludes
A leading source of U.S. climate pollution could be curbed with more gas-collection systems and better emissions monitoring, environmental advocates say.
US EPA joins in seeking to ditch ‘deceptive’ recycling symbol
The EPA is joining with environmental groups to ditch the circular arrow symbol so consumers are more aware of what plastics can truly be recycled.
Air pollution linked to ADHD in schoolkids, new study finds
A new study has provided evidence that fine atmospheric particles are linked to greater risks of lung cancer, dementia, depression and ADHD.
How the “Halliburton Loophole” lets fracking companies pollute water with no oversight
Fracking companies used more than 282 million pounds of hazardous chemicals from 2014 to 2021 with no federal oversight, according to a new study.
A new battery intended to power passenger airplanes and EVs, explained
The transition to electric vehicles is accelerating, with a rise in market share and advances in technology. In the accompanying blizzard of reports and corporate statements, some potentially huge developments can pass with little notice or explanation.
US, UK, others seek to target illicit oil shipping transfers at sea
The U.S., UK, Denmark and other countries have called for more action, including increased surveillance, over the booming practice of unregulated oil transfers at sea, as fears grow over potential pollution, according to a paper submitted to the U.N.
‘Six times the size of Yosemite’: the new tribal sanctuary off the super-rich LA coast
Viewed by the Chumash people as their ancestral home, the Native American tribe is behind the first Indigenous-led initiative to protect the ocean and repair its damaged ecosystem
The last 33 caribou: fighting for a Wet’suwet’en herd’s survival
Surrounded by industrial development and human habitation, less than three dozen caribou remain on Wet’suwet’en territory. As government biologists fight to keep the herd alive, recovery efforts will need to look to the past to plan for the future.
How climate change is increasing the unpredictability of Utah’s streams
New research shows that the long-term trend of warmer winters and less snow has made Utah’s streamflow more sporadic. And researchers say Utahns should prepare for it to keep getting worse.
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