Dbytes #369 (14 March 2019)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making

“Regret, at this point, is unavoidable: regret that Australia has been a drag on global efforts to address climate change, regret for having scrapped so long that the cost and disruption of doing what we must has risen and will be borne largely by our kids, regret for the billions of dollars wasted on half-baked policies, regret for the scandalous waste of time and effort and opportunity.”
Lenore Taylor in The Guardian [see item 3]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. To reduce fire risk and meet climate targets, over 300 scientists call for stronger land clearing laws
2. How to lose water, waste money and wreck the environment
3. Enough scandalous time-wasting on climate change. Let’s get back to the facts
4. Measuring our collective imprint on Earth
5. Rare ‘Ringo Starr’ cockatoo faces extinction due to habitat loss in Far North Queensland
6. ‘Falling out of trees’: dozens of dead possums blamed on extreme heat stress
7. National study shows regenerative farmers doing better

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1. To reduce fire risk and meet climate targets, over 300 scientists call for stronger land clearing laws

Australia’s high rates of forest loss and weakening land clearing laws are increasing bushfire risk, and undermining our ability to meet national targets aimed at curbing climate change. This dire situation is why we are among the more than 300 scientists and practitioners who have signed a declaration calling for governments to restore, or better strengthen regulations to protect native vegetation.

https://theconversation.com/to-reduce-fire-risk-and-meet-climate-targets-over-300-scientists-call-for-stronger-land-clearing-laws-113172

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2. How to lose water, waste money and wreck the environment
By Ross Gittins

If you want a salutary example of the taxpayers’ money that can be wasted and the harm that can be done when governments yield to the temptation to prop up declining – and, in this case, environmentally damaging – industries, look no further than Melbourne’s water supply.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/how-to-lose-water-waste-money-and-wreck-the-environment-20190305-p511ti.html

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3. Enough scandalous time-wasting on climate change. Let’s get back to the facts
By Lenore Taylor

“Over the past 30 years I have reported so many broken climate policy promises and quoted so much rhetoric that proved to be hollow, it is difficult to trace it back to the start. I think it’s a faded press release from 11 October, 1990 headed “government sets targets for reductions in greenhouse gases”.

“The government recognises the greenhouse effect as one of the major environmental concerns facing the world,” said Ros Kelly, Bob Hawke’s environment minister. “This decision puts Australia at the forefront of international action to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases.”

We knew we had to do something almost three decades ago. Children have grown to adulthood and had their own children during the time we have known, and done not very much.

We were then, apparently, going to meet our target through “no regrets” actions – things that made sense for other environmental reasons as well as climate concerns. We didn’t meet it. We haven’t ever met any of a succession of greenhouse gas reduction targets by actually reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, which continue to rise, still. No regrets? At the forefront? If only.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/13/enough-scandalous-time-wasting-on-climate-change-lets-get-back-to-the-facts

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4. Measuring our collective imprint on Earth

Central to recent discussions, policies, and global targets that underlie efforts to conserve biodiversity and related ecosystem goods and services are global biodiversity indicators. These important indicators are designed to monitor the pulse of the natural world. One of the core indicators focuses on quantifying patterns and changes in land use — to better understand where lands have been protected as parks and reserves, where lands are highly modified by humans, and where (and which) protective or restorative actions would make the most meaningful contribution to a resilient conservation network.

https://medium.com/google-earth/measuring-our-collective-imprint-on-earth-840eea2d7b5b

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5. Rare ‘Ringo Starr’ cockatoo faces extinction due to habitat loss in Far North Queensland

Researchers fear the distinctive black bird, which is Australia’s largest cockatoo, could soon disappear because its habitat is being lost to mining and land clearing.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-08/rare-queensland-cockatoo-facing-extinction-due-to-habitat-loss/10878972?pfmredir=sm

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6. ‘Falling out of trees’: dozens of dead possums blamed on extreme heat stress

Rescuers found 127 ringtail possums along the shoreline and in the water on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/07/falling-out-of-trees-dozens-of-dead-possums-blamed-on-extreme-heat-stress

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7. National study shows regenerative farmers doing better

A study commissioned by the Federal Department of Environment found that regenerative management practices “have the potential to increase the health of Australia’s grassy woodlands and at the same time improve financial and farmer wellbeing”.

ABC Rural News

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. For the past decade Dbytes has been supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to received it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David Salt

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