Daily Links Dec 7

The COP process is pretty much exposed as a sham. Last time it was fossil fuel sponsorship of some activities, this time it is a wholesale takeover. With their political protectors chasing down activists and scientists being wilfully ignored, Earth, you have a problem!


From: Maelor Himbury <M.Himbury@acfonline.org.au&gt;
Date: 7 December 2023 at 8:06:35 am AEST
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Dec 7

Post of the Day 

Earth on verge of five catastrophic climate tipping points, scientists warn 

Humanity faces ‘devastating domino effects’ including mass displacement and financial ruin as planet warms 


On This Day 

December 7 

Eve of the Immaculate Conception – Catholicism 


Climate Change 

$700m pledged to loss and damage fund at Cop28 covers less than 0.2% needed 

Money offered so far falls far short of estimated $400bn in losses developing countries face each year 


Who is pledging climate finance at COP28, and how much? 

At this year’s U.N. climate summit, countries, development institutions and businesses are pledging more money for everything from the energy transition to health care initiatives, technology investments, disaster relief and more. 


Not even Trump can derail progress on climate, says Kerry 

The US climate envoy says there is a sense of urgency at COP28 that he hasn’t experienced at previous UN climate summits. 


After Cop28, know this: Sunak and his rightwing allies around the world have no interest in saving our planet 

Diyora Shadijanova 

When Tories row back on previous climate pledges, they are merely marching in lockstep with extreme parties across Europe 


COP28: Where fossil fuel industries go to gloat 

Binoy Kampmark 

Hypocrisy is on display at the latest COP climate change conference, with fossil fuel lobbyists dominating the guest list. 


UNCOP28 at a time of international stress and vivid suffering 

Philip Huggins  

At UNCOP28, clear-eyed, we persist. And not without hope. There is a saying; ‘Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will.’ The time to have an influence comes and goes. Like life itself… Therefore it is best to live by the highest one can conceive when one has the opportunity! 



Andrew Forrest calls for fossil fuel bosses’ ‘heads on spikes’ in extraordinary outburst 

The Australian mining magnate and climate campaigner lashes out at oil and gas supremos he says are “selfish beyond belief”. 

Australia ends finance for fossil fuel expansion overseas – now focus turns to local subsidies 

Albanese government announces at Cop28 it will phase out offshore support for coal, oil and gas within a year 


Should we remove best-before dates on produce? 

Advocates say a simple change would stop Australian households from unwittingly throwing out perfectly edible food, and they are banding together to get the regulator on board. 


Stunning leap in rooftop solar PV smashes renewable records across the grid 

Rooftop solar output leaps by nearly a gigawatt to help establish new output records for renewables and reshape the grid. 


A great year to be a cabbage white butterfly: why are there so many and how can you protect your crops? 

Nigel Andrew 

Cabbage white butterflies – Pieris rapae – are one of the most common garden visitors across southern and eastern Australia. The butterfly looks elegant in white with black dots on its wings: females have a pair of black spots and males a single spot on each forewing. But their velvety green caterpillars are ravenous beasts on brassicas – the plant family that includes common vegetable crops such as cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, kale and bok choy. 


Is it time to water down super funds’ benchmarks to save the planet? 

Elizabeth Knight 

If the government wants the $3.5 trillion superannuation industry to invest more in the energy transition, it may need to cut them a bit of slack on their performance tests. 


Tell Labor they’re dreaming: We should’ve gone nuclear years ago 

Amanda Vanstone 

“Let the bastards freeze in the dark,” was the quip of Sir John Carrick, a senior minister in the Fraser government, in response to the refusal of the Greens equivalent and others to accept any consideration of nuclear power. He quipped that there should be bumper stickers saying just that. 


Can the government’s new market mechanism help save nature? Yes – if we get the devil out of the detail 

Patrick O’Connor 

Australians woke up this morning to discover they had a nature repair market, after the legislation passed late last night. 


We need to get off this magic roundabout (it’s going nowhere) 

Ross Elliott  

Heavy rail is revealed as horrendously expensive to build, expensive to operate and seemingly incapable of moving the dial on mode share: it doesn’t succeed in getting many cars off the road. 


Australian carbon credits have another credibility problem: This time from landfill gas 

Andrew Macintosh & Don Butler 

Integrity issues have arisen with landfill gas projects because baselines have been set too low – and do not properly account for two drivers of methane combustion. 



Residents near Melbourne road project offered ‘bespoke’ noise reduction — but only if they promise not to tell anyone 

Residents in Bulleen say their complaints over North East Link construction noises are being met with “lip service” — but the authority managing the project insists it is committing to work through local concerns. 


Top transport bureaucrat left out of plans for rail project 

Work on Australia’s biggest infrastructure project was outsourced to private consultants at PwC who were asked to “prove up” the project. 


Report slams lack of independent scrutiny for Vic’s major projects [$] 

Ombudsman Deborah Glass has slammed the “excessive secrecy” around planning major Victorian projects such as the 90km Suburban Rail Loop, saying it put taxpayer funds at risk of being wasted. 


New South Wales 

NSW energy minister rules out state government takeover of coal-fired power plant 

Origin Energy plans to close Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant in 2025, but a government review has recommended it stay open. 


Aerial shooters pick off 270 feral horses in two days as Kosciuszko cull ramps up 

The latest wild horse survey shows NSW government has a big task ahead to reduce numbers in Kosciuszko National Park from 17,000 to 3,000 in the next four years. 


Indigenous elder says government pressured her to alter application opposing mine near massacre site 

More than 15,000 artefacts have been found in test pit excavations of the site near the 1818 massacre of six Aboriginal people camped by the Minnamurra River. 


Another dud Snowy Hydro project, squandering over $1.5bn of taxpayers’ money 

Ted Woodley 

Snowy Hydro’s Hunter Power Project has kept a low profile compared to Snowy 2.0 – but it has a strikingly similar list of troubles sending it over budget and off schedule. 



Electric sales remain on the charge as ACT take-up leads the country 

Tesla’s Model 3 battery electric vehicle is on target to be the ACT’s top-selling new vehicle in 2023, its year-to-date volumes in the territory almost doubling those of the Ford and Toyota light commercial vehicles dominating the sales charts elsewhere in the country. 



Queensland government faces calls to stop using fake grass on public infrastructure 

Hundreds of Queenslanders have signed a petition urging the state government to stop rolling out artificial turf on publicly-owned land and infrastructure. 


Why insect numbers are out of control and what’s being done about it [$] 

It’s not just at your place, flying insect numbers have reached plague proportions amid a perfect storm of breeding conditions. This is what you need to know. 


South Australia 

Rann compares gas industry to big tobacco 

Former Premier Mike Rann has issued a stark warning about climate change, attacking the gas industry in clear contrast to the rhetoric of the current Labor Government. 


Finally, water reforms that benefit South Australia 

Craig Wilkins  

After a decade of delay, the Murray Darling Basin Plan finally looks to be back on track. 



Magistrate rules Bob Brown has case to answer on trespass [$] 

A trespass case against three environmental activists including Bob Brown will go ahead after a magistrate dismissed an argument they had no case to answer.  


Northern Territory  

Gas projects to require Commonwealth approval after Labor-Greens deal expands water trigger 

Unconventional gas production, including from the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin, will require new approvals from the Commonwealth, after the government brought forward its plans to expand a so-called water trigger. 


Lake Alexander in Darwin reopens following report of shark sighting 

This week’s report is the latest in a string of sinister spottings at Lake Alexander, including a separate suspected shark sighting last year. So what’s going on at Darwin’s beachside, man-made lake? 


Federal MP calls for investigation into Fyles over adviser’s gas industry conflicts of interest, as more details revealed [$] 

A federal independent MP has called for a full investigation into Chief Minister Natasha Fyles’ office following revelations her senior political adviser’s consultancy firm is the registered lobbyist for Tamboran Resources, while the NT Independent can reveal more details about the extent of his firm’s influence in potentially securing federal funding for the controversial Middle Arm industrial precinct. 

Northern Land Council commends proposed nature repair law and revised ‘Water Trigger’ 

The Northern Land Council (NLC) has commended the Senate’s approval of the Nature Repair Market Bill. 


Western Australia 

Offshore oil regulator ‘avoiding scrutiny’ over approval for Woodside blasting and drilling 

Environmental lawyers concerned Nopsema has not published its reasons for approving work at Scarborough gas development 



New circular economy roadmap reveals how to reduce plastic waste in India 

A roadmap to significantly reduce plastic waste in India has been released today, with CSIRO collaborating with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), Development Alternatives, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures. 


Sellafield: Europe’s most hazardous nuclear facility and its economic impact 

Sellafield, a key economic pillar in Cumbria, also stands as a major international safety concern due to its nuclear risks. 


John Kerry advocates for a global ban on new coal plants 

In a forceful address at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, John Kerry emphasized the urgent need to halt the construction of coal plants worldwide. 


Scented period products bring worrisome toxic exposures. Who’s most at risk? 

Many everyday household products expose us to chemicals and pollutants. Few products, however, allow these chemicals to interact with our bodies as intimately as pads, tampons, menstrual cups and other period care products. 


Lead contamination crisis in Africa linked to Indian battery recycling facilities 

Tests reveal hazardous lead levels in the soil and blood of families living near Africa’s battery recycling sites. 


China starts up world’s first fourth-generation nuclear reactor 

China has started commercial operations at a new generation nuclear reactor that is the first of its kind in the world, state media said on Wednesday. 


Nature Conservation 

Least-studied areas of Brazilian Amazon at high risk from climate change 

In the Brazilian Amazon, between 15 and 18% of the areas most overlooked by research are at high risk of severe climate and land-use changes by 2050, according to a new study. 


Shrimp-like creatures are turned off sexually by plastic chemicals, study finds 

The mating behaviors of Echinogammarus marinus are impacted by pollution, posing serious risks for food chains. 


New forecasting tools may help predict impact of marine heatwaves on ocean life up to a year in advance 

Scientists may have figured out a way to forewarn how acute ocean warming events will affect whale and sea turtle habitat up to a year in advance, giving fishers time to avoid catastrophic human-wildlife conflicts. 


How mounting demand for rubber is driving tropical forest loss 

The growing market for rubber is a major, but largely overlooked, cause of tropical deforestation, new analysis shows. Most of the rubber goes to produce tires, more than 2 billion a year, and experts warn the transition to electric vehicles could accelerate rubber use. 


What it takes to save the Axolotl 

On the outskirts of Mexico City, biologists are working to reintroduce a treasured amphibian to the wild. But first they must revive an ancient method of farming. 


Nearly half of the world’s flowering plants face the threat of extinction, study says 

A group of scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in Richmond, U.K., built a model that uses artificial intelligence, or AI, to guess whether a plant species is threatened. They found that a less colorful world looms on our horizon. 


Maelor Himbury | Library Volunteer

Australian Conservation Foundation | www.acf.org.au
p | 1800 223 669 t | @AusConservation

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Maelor Himbury | Library Volunteer

Australian Conservation Foundation | www.acf.org.au
p | 1800 223 669 t | @AusConservation