Daily Links May 28

India has just overtaken China as the world’s most populous nation, but with this leadership, we must be concerned. With a 50% target by 2030 for renewables, that leaves a huge hole for fossil fuel generation. With this statement: “Net zero is important, but what is more important is that we ensure enough electricity for our growth”, the Power Minister reckons policy can trump physics. 

Post of the Day

In the eye of the hurricane, can we find truth?

Richard Eckersley

To survive this critical century, we need to know the truth about it.


On This Day

May 28

Pentecost  – Western Christianity


Ecological Observance

World Dhole Day

National Arbor Day – Venezuela

Whooping Crane Day – USA


Climate Change

Just Stop Oil protesters invade pitch and stop play at Twickenham rugby final

Gallagher Premiership match between Saracens and Sale delayed after two men throw orange powder during match

Global flash droughts expected to increase in a warming climate

 Researchers at the University of Oklahoma published new findings on how our warming climate will affect the frequency of flash droughts and the risk to croplands globally.



Apartment dwellers face electric car-charging dilemma

New apartment buildings must feature electric vehicle charging later this year but older complexes face a potentially tricky yet vital upgrade, experts say.


Australia steps in to save global plastics treaty

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has flown to Paris in an effort to save a global deal to end plastic pollution from unravelling.


AGL has ‘time tunnel’ to Australia’s energy transition

Standing on the roof of the old Torrens Island power station, workers can witness Australia’s energy transition being mapped out as far as the eye can see.


Carbon capture and storage is a dangerous rort [$]

Ebony Bennett

There’s nothing politics loves more than a good rort or scandal, like the recent revelations of PwC’s misconduct, which is finally throwing a spotlight on the vast tentacles of the big four consulting firms into the business of government.



Seismic blasting opponents gear up for fight over Victoria’s whale habitat as energy company cites high gas demand

A multinational gas and oil giant says it remains committed to consultation amid rising community concerns over proposed testing off south-west Victoria. 


Could self-contained solar systems be the key to reliable energy in remote areas?

In some regional towns, power outages are so common they’re not even worth counting. But a Victorian-first trial of self-contained solar systems could change that.


Victoria’s timber towns in shock after logging ban

At an early morning toolbox meeting, Kevin de Hoedt’s boss assured his sawmill team they had work for the next six years. By lunchtime, he broke the news their industry would be gone in six months.


Plan to wipe cars from CBD streets declared ‘damaging’ [$]

A new City of Melbourne plan to wipe cars from some CBD streets could threaten the future of the city, says a leading business owner.


New South Wales

Australia’s biggest steelmaker BlueScope bolsters coal import capability

As supply from Illawarra mines declines, a $182-million upgrade to BlueScope’s Port Kembla coal berths will allow the steelmaker to import coal from Queensland.


Enough carbon to fill a coal train: How did this cattle farmer store it?

The Mackenzie family has been running cattle in New South Wales since the late 1800s. Now, digging into the soil, they are seeing all that boom while also balancing emissions.


NSW buys 4500ha to guarantee koalas’ survival

A NSW Labor pre-election promise to protect the state’s koala population from extinction has taken another step forward, with the purchase of a parcel of land for dedicated habitat.


More than 40,000 hectares of nationally vital koala habitat marked for potential logging in NSW

Analysis shows area includes 9,000 hectares where there was already active logging as pressure grows on government to end practice


Man admits dumping horse head on doorstep may have been ‘excessive’ [$]

A man who dropped the head of a decapitated horse on the doorstep of a National Parks and Wildlife Service office concedes his approach could be seen as “excessive” but says he was fed up with being ignored.


Why are mangroves suddenly dying? This council thinks it has the answer

Mangroves along a major Sydney waterway are dying off and locals are calling for a state government investigation to assess whether overflows are to blame.


Penny for her thoughts? When an activist joins the establishment to ‘cause trouble’

Peter FitzSimons

Penny Sharpe’s political journey has taken her from street protests to Macquarie Street. Now she is responsible for climate change action and saving the koalas.


Unreliable renewables behind rising power bills [$]

Peta Credlin

Not generating electricity from Australia’s abundance of coal and gas is an insanity that’s likely to continue until the lights start to go out.



‘Could not deal with all the clothes’: Canberrans’ penchant for purchasing examined

Claudia Tetreault-Percy is Canberra’s poster child for sustainable fashion and second-hand style.



Changes to Qld laws after putrid odours ‘like faecal matter’ near SEQ dumps

Major changes to Queensland’s Environmental Protection Act will be legislated following a review triggered by 4600 complaints of putrid smells were reported against waste companies.


Spectre of ‘forest wars’ returns to Tasmania after Victoria’s decision to end native forest logging

It’s been more than a decade since a peace deal was signed to put an end to Tasmania’s “forest wars”. But Victoria’s decision this week to end native forest logging has reignited debate about the future of the industry in the island state.


Inadequate info: Robbins Island wind farm stalls amid appeals [$]

The federal government says it hasn’t received ‘adequate’ information from a wind farm developer about how it intends to offset the loss of more than 350ha of Tasmanian devil habitat.


‘Fresh eyes’: Incoming salmon chief vows new look for industry [$]

Just days after announcing his departure from Tasmania’s peak tourism body after a 12-year stint at the top, Luke Martin’s next gig has been revealed.


Western Australia

The male marsupial that lives for less than a year and serves one purpose

Meet the mardo, an Australian mammal that can mate for up to nine hours straight and then dies.


Small town facing big fight to avoid becoming landfill site for city rubbish

Locals in WA’s Wheatbelt fear they will become a dumping ground for Perth’s rubbish as the environmental watchdog recommends approving a new landfill site near York.

Woodside LNG plant shutdown after late-night incident [$]

Woodside is facing disruption at its Pluto LNG plant after a late-night incident forced the entire site to be evacuated.


‘WA’s Christmas tree’: what mungee, the world’s largest mistletoe, can teach us about treading lightly

Alison Lullfitz et al

Noongar Country of southwestern Australia is home to the world’s largest parasitic plant, a mighty mistletoe that blooms every December. That’s why it’s commonly known as WA’s Christmas Tree. But it also goes by other names, mungee and moodjar. And it holds great significance for Noongar people including the Merningar people of the south coast.



Net Zero is important, but we must provide enough electricity for growth: Indian Power Minister RK Singh

The Union Power Minister said the country has added 1.84 lakh MW of power from 2014 till now, but this is not sufficient.

Absolute vs. relative efficiency: How efficient are blue LEDs, actually?

 The absolute internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of indium gallium nitride (InGaN) based blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at low temperatures is often assumed to be 100%. However, a new study from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Electrical and Computer Engineering researchers has found that the assumption of always perfect IQE is wrong: the IQE of an LED can be as low as 27.5%.

Tree islands bring biodiversity to oil palm plantations

 Islands of trees in oil palm plantations can significantly increase biodiversity within five years without reducing productivity.

Strategic city planning can help reduce urban heat island effect

 The tendency of cities to trap heat — a phenomenon called the “urban heat island,” often referred to as the UHI effect — can lead to dangerous temperatures in the summer months, but new Penn State research suggests that certain urban factors can reduce this effect.


Nuclear deployment concerns as Wagner withdraws from Bakhmut – podcast

Belarusian President Lukashenko suggests nuclear weapons are already in Belarus as Russia and Minsk formalise the deployment of Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group announces their withdrawal from the city of Bakhmut.


The UN’s low-ambition plastics plan supports industry at humanity’s expense

Alejandra Warren

As I prepare to join the next round of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty in Paris, one thing weighs heavily on my mind: It appears that powerful industry lobbyists and their allies are successfully gaslighting the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) process by convincing UNEP to promote their false solutions.


Environment: We love you gas, we do. Oh gas, we love you

Peter Sainsbury

Sycophantic ministers cosy up to the gas industry.


Nature Conservation

‘Dying quietly, gone forever’: Türkiye’s great lakes are drying up, but there may still be time to save them

Four of the great tectonic lakes of the vast region known as Türkiye’s Lake District have dried up, while others have receded to critically low levels, threatening the loss of scores of bird and animal species.


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