LINKS – Thursday 2 April 2020

LINKS is a daily list of news items on climate change, national and state news, sustainability and conservation. LINKS is compiled my Maelor Himbury, a volunteer with the Australian Conservation Foundation. It is usually available around 9.30am.

The NEWS page consists of articles from newsletters, magazines, TV broadcasts, local newspapers, council publications and local and overseas newspapers.

Coronavirus is not so much a disease as a vaccine. If we take the crisis seriously we will learn skills and establish procedures that will allow us to cope with much greater existential crises. Remember these words – you will hear other people say them in the months and years to come.

Post of the Day
Major new study charts course to net zero industrial emissions
Interdisciplinary team assesses technology and policy strategies for industrial decarbonization

On This Day
Apr 2
Rama Navami – Hinduism

Ecological Observance
Sizdah Be-dar (Nature Day) – Iran
Ferret Day

Coronavirus Watch
Confirmed cases: 4,864. Deaths: 21

Know your rights as Australia goes into stage three shutdown
What are your rights as Australia goes into stage three lockdown and authorities begin enforcing stricter social distancing restrictions?

Coronavirus restrictions: Can a tradie visit my property?
Tough social distancing rules aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 have dramatically restricted what we can and can’t do.

Coronavirus: Face masks explained, who does and doesn’t need one
The advice all along, and at the time of writing, continues to be that the average healthy person does not need to wear a face mask of any kind.

Can ‘carbon smart’ farming play a key role in the climate fight?
Flows of greenhouse gases into and out of soil are complex, and some scientists are questioning whether these efforts will actually help slow global warming.

How will we know when it’s safe to go back to normality? We need to know who’s been sick
Larisa Labzin
Antibody tests are different from the current testing kits used at COVID-19 clinics but they are a crucial aid in helping us work out when it’s safe to resume “normality”

Climate Change
UK likely to postpone Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow until 2021
Coronavirus pandemic could force crucial UN conference to be delayed until May next year

Major new study charts course to net zero industrial emissions
Interdisciplinary team assesses technology and policy strategies for industrial decarbonization

Billions of tons of “irrecoverable carbon” in nature are at risk
If we keep cutting down trees or destroying marshes, it won’t matter how many emissions we stop: The planet won’t be able to reabsorb the carbon we’ve released in time.

Climate enemies: CEOs, oilmen, politicians who sold the world
The CEOs, oilmen, financiers, politicians, and ideologues who are robbing us of a stable climate.

Beneath the virus lurks a bigger emergency, but the world is distracted from the climate threat
Bob Carr
Australia’s former foreign affairs minister writes that climate change has not paused for coronavirus; we will pretend it has at our peril.

Industrial emissions grow as polluters side-step safeguard caps
Industrial emissions continue to rise as the Morrison government’s weak Safeguard Mechanism does little to stem growth.

Big batteries get ready to play main role in next stage of clean energy transition
Stand-alone big batteries may soon be playing a critical role in the next vital stage of Australia’s clean energy transition, becoming a viable alternative to traditional technologies for a range of much-needed upgrades to the key infrastructure that provides links between different state grids.

Grounded planes amid coronavirus pandemic will cut aviation emissions in half, report says
Australia’s carbon emissions from air travel could be slashed by 56 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic if planes remain grounded, according to a report released today.

Education vital for circular waste economy
Australians will face a recycling education campaign as part of the federal government’s plan to reach a circular economy and reduce waste.

Virus-hit businesses’ power bills slashed as grid owners offer relief plan
Distressed small businesses such as cafes and restaurants that have been forced to pause trading or scale back their operations due to coronavirus will have their power bills slashed as network operators combine to offer a relief package.

Mange plague alarms wombat worriers [PAYWALL]
Humans are not the only species fighting a rampant plague; wombats are being decimated by an insidious killer, amid claims of government inaction and cover-up.

A Landcare-led recovery is taking place across Australia
Patrick O’Connor
Landcare has a long history and has been an example to the world of the mobilisation of people to a sustainability ethic and the formation of an incredible number of groups focusing on local environments.

Illegal waste dump Kaniva update
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has continued its work to manage and monitor the illegal waste dump site in Lemon Springs, south of Kaniva.
Ongoing monitoring of the groundwater by EPA and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation (GWMWater) continue to show no signs of contamination.

Victoria’s plans for logging in bushfire zones ‘grossly irresponsible’
The Victorian government has not revealed if it has created new protections in bushfire ravaged native forests as it renews 10 year logging plans.

Secret list of Melbourne’s dangerous buildings shows cladding far from only problem
A confidential leaked document listing 15 Melbourne properties with faulty cladding that will get taxpayer-funded repairs also reveals the buildings are riddled with other construction problems.

Plan Melbourne 2017-2050: report on progress 2019
Government of Victoria: This report is the second yearly review of the current Five-Year Implementation Plan. It details the status of each of the 113 actions as they stood in 2019. Collectively, the actions are aimed at boosting connectivity and sustainability within Melbourne and dealing with the prospect of large future population growth.

South Australia
SA pastoralists hopping mad as roos takeover [PAYWALL]
Kangaroos are overrunning farmers after activist pressure pushed down international demand for roo meat and sparked an explosion in numbers in the bush.

Coal hiccup hits SA power price [PAYWALL]
Back in January, wholesale power prices jumped more than ten times their average level. Now, an official report has found out why – a failure of coal and too little wind.

What grows in the dark may soon help protect you (and your deckchair) from the sun
Researchers in Adelaide are working on turning mushroom waste into items like sunscreen, skincare products and coating for outdoor furniture coating.

Northern Territory
‘It’s heartbreaking’: Uluru resort stands down hundreds due to COVID-19
More than 500 people have been stood down or lost their jobs as Uluru’s major tourist accommodation provider shuts down operations.

Fall armyworm outbreak in Northern Territory surprises experts
Initially discovered in far north Queensland as its first foothold in Australia, there’s now been a large outbreak of the invasive moth in the Northern Territory.

Solar inverter and EV charger trial saves thousands driving on sunshine
Six-month trial using new two-in-one solar inverter and EV charger shows massive savings of $7,000 to be had from driving on sunshine.

Financial help for airlines ‘should come with strict climate conditions’
Former EU climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete fears end of Covid-19 will bring higher carbon emissions

Stable perovskite LEDs one step closer
Perovskite-molecule composite thin films for efficient and stable light-emitting diodes

Uncertain climate future could disrupt energy systems
An international team of scientists has published a new study proposing an optimization methodology for designing climate-resilient energy systems and to help ensure that communities will be able to meet future energy needs given weather and climate variability.

5 ways to improve indoor air quality, thwart respiratory illnesses
Coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate respiratory tract illnesses, but people who breathe polluted air or have medical conditions such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma might be at higher risk for a more severe case of COVID-19, according to health experts.

When does recycling your plastic make sense? The answer isn’t so simple
The vast majority of plastic — about 76 percent — ends up in landfills. Here’s what to do about yours.

This bacterium can eat polyurethane-based plastics
Polyurethane, which now goes to landfills or gets burned, might be able to be broken down by some hungry bugs.

Charge a car battery in 5 minutes? That’s the plan
Several companies have built lithium-ion batteries that can fully charge in a matter of minutes. Their next goal: getting these into electric vehicles.

In a pandemic, we need green spaces more than ever
Here’s why some neighborhoods don’t have them — and what we can do about it.

More protein and good for the planet: 9 reasons we should be eating microalgae
Martina Doblin et al
Microalgae taste like grass and are packed with nutrients.

Breaking and restoring our life support system
John Harte
Human society is complex, with myriad interconnected components.

Nature Conservation
Oceans can be restored to former glory within 30 years, say scientists
Major review reports recovery of marine life but a redoubling of efforts is still needed

Overcoming carbon loss from farming in peatlands
Miscanthus, willow found as good biomass crops to add carbon to vulnerable soils.

Ex-wildlife chief: Trump rule could kill billions of birds
The Trump administration wants to end the 50-year practice of using the criminal penalties under the migratory bird law to pressure companies into taking measures like these to prevent unintentional bird deaths.

Seychelles extends protection to marine area twice the size of Great Britain
Conservationists say the bigger challenge will be for the government to effectively manage the vast network of marine protected areas (MPAs).

Anglo American seeking to mine on indigenous lands in Brazil’s Amazon
Anglo American, one of the biggest mining companies in the world, and its two Brazilian subsidiaries have submitted nearly 300 applications to dig for gold and other minerals.

Climate change may be making migration harder by shortening nightingales’ wings
The Common Nightingale, known for its beautiful song, breeds in Europe and parts of Asia and migrates to sub-Saharan Africa every winter. A new study suggests that natural selection driven by climate change is causing these iconic birds to evolve shorter wings, which might make them less likely to survive their annual migration.

With the coronavirus, it’s again Trump vs. Mother Nature
Thomas Friedman
The president’s failure to understand his limits is very costly.