Dbytes #501 (10 November 2021)

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

“New fossil fuel projects under development in Australia would result in 1.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year – equivalent annual emissions of over 200 coal-fired power stations, twice as much as global aviation.”
Ogge et al, see item 2

In this issue of Dbytes

1. Management of threatened species and ecological communities
2. Undermining climate action: the Australian way
3. Social tipping processes towards climate action: A conceptual framework
4. Emergent properties in the responses of tropical corals to recurrent climate extremes
5. Countries’ climate pledges built on flawed data, Post investigation finds
6. Looking for little gems: Senate Environmental Estimates, October 2021
7. Academic stereotypes: where are the positive stories?

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1. Management of threatened species and ecological communities

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is currently assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the management of threatened species and ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. If you would like to make a submission, please visit the website.

The ANAO proposes to examine:
-Is the administration of the listing process effective and efficient?
-Have effective and efficient arrangements been established to develop and implement plans and advice?
-Does measurement, monitoring and reporting support the achievement of desired outcomes?
Contributions should be in by Sunday 14 November 2021

https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/management-threatened-species-and-ecological-communities-under-the-epbc-act

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2. Undermining climate action: the Australian way

Despite the urgent need to reduce emissions to fight climate change, the Australian government is aggressively pursuing the expansion of fossil fuel production rather than a planned transition away from them.

Undermining climate action: the Australian way (apo.org.au)

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3. Social tipping processes towards climate action: A conceptual framework

Societal transformations are necessary to address critical global challenges, such as mitigation of anthropogenic climate change and reaching UN sustainable development goals. Recently, social tipping processes have received increased attention, as they present a form of social change whereby a small change can shift a sensitive social system into a qualitatively different state due to strongly self-amplifying (mathematically positive) feedback mechanisms. Social tipping processes with respect to technological and energy systems, political mobilization, financial markets and sociocultural norms and behaviors have been suggested as potential key drivers towards climate action. Drawing from expert insights and comprehensive literature review, we develop a framework to identify and characterize social tipping processes critical to facilitating rapid social transformations. We find that social tipping processes are distinguishable from those of already more widely studied climate and ecological tipping dynamics. In particular, we identify human agency, social-institutional network structures, different spatial and temporal scales and increased complexity as key distinctive features underlying social tipping processes. Building on these characteristics, we propose a formal definition for social tipping processes and filtering criteria for those processes that could be decisive for future trajectories towards climate action. We illustrate this definition with the European political system as an example of potential social tipping processes, highlighting the prospective role of the FridaysForFuture movement.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921800921003013?dgcid=author

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4. Emergent properties in the responses of tropical corals to recurrent climate extremes

Sequences of climate-driven disturbances have unexpected emergent properties. Thermal thresholds for coral bleaching vary depending on interactions among events. Repeat episodes of extreme temperatures create and later reduce spatial refuges. Shrinking return times between disturbances are eroding ecological resilience.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960982221014901

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5. Countries’ climate pledges built on flawed data, Post investigation finds

Across the world, many countries underreport their greenhouse gas emissions in their reports to the United Nations, a Washington Post investigation has found. An examination of 196 country reports reveals a giant gap between what nations declare their emissions to be versus the greenhouse gases they are sending into the atmosphere. The gap ranges from at least 8.5 billion to as high as 13.3 billion tons a year of underreported emissions — big enough to move the needle on how much the Earth will warm. The plan to save the world from the worst of climate change is built on data. But the data the world is relying on is inaccurate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/interactive/2021/greenhouse-gas-emissions-pledges-data/

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6. Looking for little gems: Senate Environmental Estimates, October 2021

Government priorities revealed in the detail of evidence from officials.
Whether it’s climate, environment protection or Indigenous heritage, with this Government it’s politics all the way down with little priority on good policy reform.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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7. Academic stereotypes: where are the positive stories?

Watching The Chair just compounded my frustration at the persistently negative narratives about universities and academic life that dominate popular culture and social media. I’m not talking about genuine grievances. I’m talking about the stereotypes, memes, jokes, comics, opinions and anecdotes that get passed around as accurate representations of all academia.

Academic stereotypes: where are the positive stories? – Ecology is not a dirty word

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. ‘D’ stands for ‘Decision’ and refers to all the ingredients that go into good, fair and just decision-making in relation to the environment.

From 2007-2018 Dbytes was 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). Dbytes is supported by the Global Water Forum.

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 receive it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.
Or you could subscribe to the WordPress version by visiting https://ozdbytes.wordpress.com/about/ , scroll to the bottom of the page and ‘follow’ Dbytes.

David Salt
follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

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