Daily Links May 22

Ian Lowe invariably makes sense. Perhaps the soundest indicator that the ‘second-rate people’ of the lucky country have largely become silly people is that Howard, Abbott and Morrison found electoral success on unworthy policies. It will take multiple terms of government if their damage is to be turned around.

From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au&gt;
Date: 22 May 2023 at 8:41:43 am AEST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links May 22

Post of the Day

91% deaths of preterm babies due to air pollution occur in low and middle-income nations

High income countries make the greatest contribution to climate change but the people who have contributed least to the crisis are the most hit, with 91 per cent deaths of preterm babies related to air pollution occurring in low and middle income nations, says a report by UN agencies.


On This Day

May 22


Ecological Observance

Arbor Day – Guatemala and Ecuador

International Day for Biological Diversity


Climate Change

Why climate change is costing you precious hours of sleep

Nights have warmed faster than daytime temperatures in many places around the globe. By 2100, individuals worldwide could lose about 50 to 58 hours of sleep per year.


Rome climate protesters turn Trevi fountain water black

Seven activists protesting against climate change climbed into the Trevi fountain in Rome and poured diluted charcoal into the water to turn it black.


Montana’s new anti-climate law may be the most aggressive in the nation

Montana Republican lawmakers have passed legislation that bars state agencies from considering climate change when permitting large projects that require environmental reviews, including coal mines and power plants.



Australia’s private vehicle usage needs to be cut in half to slash emissions, Climate Council says

The council says electric vehicles need to be adopted rapidly, but other measures must be taken to cut down transport emissions.


How Australia’s many old mine shafts could be used to make renewable energy

About 100,000 legacy mine shafts around the country could be repurposed to generate renewable energy thanks to technology using gravity that has been around since the 1600s.


Minister pressured to review climate change board’s integrity [$]

Chris Bowen has been asked to review the integrity of the government’s leading agency on climate change policy after questions have been raised about the commercial interests of its leadership team.


Renewable fuels key to decarbonisation push [$]

The nation will face energy insecurity and miss out on $10bn a year if the federal government fails to develop a renewable fuels sector to bolster its push towards decarbonisation.


Biden vow to deliver climate ‘third pillar’ [$]

Anthony Albanese has secured a deal he said would allow Australian companies to benefit from Washington’s behemoth $US369bn Inflation Reduction Act.


Hydrogen exports yet to clear technical hurdles, shipper warns [$]

Provaris Energy’s study suggests almost half the energy content of hydrogen can be lost when shipping it as ammonia or as a liquid.


Explainer: How the Australian gas industry’s audacious net zero claims stack up

Peter Dutton recently told fossil fuel executives ‘the road to net zero emissions … is one we can only travel with gas’


‘Moral’ deflections show the anti-nuclear lobby is losing power [$]

Nick Cater

When activist movements start veering off on moral tangents it’s a sign they’ve given up arguing the facts.


It’s time for Albanese to cut his losses on gas strategy [$]

Karen Maley

The prime minister is learning the hard way there are many things you can force oil and gas companies do, but one thing you can’t is make them invest.


A botanical detective story: shedding light on the journey out of Africa for one of Australia’s worst weeds

Bruce Webber and John Scott

The scrubby harbour-side hills of a South African city recently revealed details of an historical event that transformed Australian coastlines. That event led to the arrival in Australia of a native South African shrub, bitou bush. The invader went on to become one of Australia’s worst weeds, smothering coastal dune vegetation.


Australia: The clever country?

Ian Lowe

In the 1980s, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke told us we should try to become the clever country. Instead, we have become the stupid country. We now have the trade pattern of a poor developing nation. It is obvious that the decade of Coalition government has moved us away from that goal, giving us instead a country that is less caring, less fair, less focussed on community and less able to respond to accelerating climate change.


It is time to question Australia’s COVID-19 response

Kim Sawyer

It seems that we have forgotten the pandemic or the lessons of the pandemic.



Wire-stem Chickweed discovered after Victorian wetland floods for the first time in 50 years

Fiona Murdoch describes the plant as being less than 10-centimetres tall with a red stem surrounded by a small rosette of leaves and white flowers.


New South Wales

Caring for a critically endangered plant is helping these women ‘feel whole’

The Tumut grevillea is the focus of a project studying how ecosystems benefit when Aboriginal people are involved in looking after traditional lands.


Spider porn reveals secret sex lives of Sydney’s funnel webs [$]

The secret sex lives of Sydney funnel-web spiders are no longer a mystery after German and Australian researchers spent hours filming the arachnids performing the deed.



ACT’s 100% renewable energy claim ‘fraudulent’, says Dick Smith [$]

One of Australia’s most prominent businessmen has accused the ACT government of lying about its renewable energy achievements.


South Australia

‘Head would be cut off’ remark by SA opposition leader labelled ‘disgraceful’ and ‘not appropriate’

The SA Greens and Human Rights Watch condemn a remark defending SA’s controversial protest penalties by opposition leader David Speirs, who said that in some countries “your head would be cut off” for taking to the streets.


Dutton’s nuclear option for SA [$]

The AUKUS submarine program will open the door to establishing a zero-emission nuclear energy industry that would boost Australia’s national security, Peter Dutton says.


Hold your horses: Grey area remains over parklands barracks [$]

SA Police’s second preference for their relocated barracks has been revealed, but the state opposition says grey area remains over plans to house horses on the parklands.


Extinction Rebellion make me want to buy a V8 Monaro [$]

David Penberthy

There is a kind of January 6 Capitol Riots parallel with these Extinction Rebellion folks, just without the violence.


Two in the bush: The quest to save Australia’s wildlife

Tanya Plibersek came into office promising no new extinctions. This small brown bird, native to a tiny island, could be the canary in her coalmine.


Northern Territory

‘Painting with fire’: how northern Australia developed one of the world’s best bushfire management programs

Rohan Fisher and Peter Jacklyn

Right now, hundreds of bushfires are burning across northern Australia. But this is not a wildfire catastrophe – in fact, these burns are making things safer in one of the most fire-prone landscapes in the world.



How the cost of living crisis could be harming the planet as well as your pocket

Concern about climate change is growing, but so is reluctance to pay a premium for greener products.


EPA proposes to expand its regulations on dumps of toxic waste from burning coal

The Biden administration is taking steps to address a regulatory loophole that public interest groups said allowed at least a half-billion tons of toxic coal ash to go unregulated.


How global rice farming is being transformed by climate change

Rice is in trouble as the Earth heats up, threatening the food and livelihood of billions of people.


Green belts once served a vital purpose, but now they are squeezing the life out of cities

Rowan Moore

Keir Starmer has drawn flak for his revolutionary housebuilding plans, but history shows it can be achieved while still protecting the environment


Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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