Dbytes #502 (17 November 2021)

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

“Truly, though, there is no country in the world that does climate delay quite like Australia. The hammy nationalism, the role of fantasy and trickery in its climate and energy rhetoric, and the total absence of shame in defending its role as a key cause of significant physical damage to Earth. It’s only going to escalate as the next federal election inches closer.”
Ketan Joshi [See item 1]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Scott Morrison’s net zero modelling reveals a slow, lazy and shockingly irresponsible approach to ‘climate action’
2. I’m an expert in what makes good policy, and the Morrison government’s net-zero plan fails on 6 crucial counts
3. From natural capital accounting to natural capital banking
4. Rabbits threaten more native wildlife than cats or foxes
5. The lies of the land – Who suffers when truth lies bleeding?
6. The ‘Ringo Starr’ of birds is now endangered – here’s how we can still save our drum-playing palm cockatoos
7. Wall Street’s Latest Scheme Is Monetizing Nature Itself

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1. Scott Morrison’s net zero modelling reveals a slow, lazy and shockingly irresponsible approach to ‘climate action’

Fundamentally, what McKinsey has laid out for us is that if you take the laziest, slowest and most bad-faith approach to climate action, it’s very cheap and not immediately disruptive. Take credit for technological advancements that occur in other countries, continue extracting and emitting in the interim, and slap it all with a counterfeit climate action label to avoid scrutiny. Being a tech free rider while worsening the problem you claim to be solving is a wonderfully tempting climate philosophy.

Of course, McKinsey’s modelling buries an important caveat in the guts of the PDF: the physical consequences of climate change are not included in their modelling. That means they count the benefits of falling back to slower action and worse emissions, and ignore the consequences.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/13/scott-morrisons-net-zero-modelling-reveals-a-slow-lazy-and-shockingly-irresponsible-approach-to-climate-action?

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2. I’m an expert in what makes good policy, and the Morrison government’s net-zero plan fails on 6 crucial counts

A rudimentary evaluation of the plan shows the governments intentions are spin. The plan assumes emissions reduction will occur while we continue with business as usual. The many critiques of the plan are well justified, and the absence of good policy processes substantiate these. After years of dismissing climate science and global warming, it would be quite a rapid awakening for the Coalition government to be truly responsive to its citizens’ concerns on climate change. Adopting good practice policy-making processes would show it’s now taking the matter seriously.

https://theconversation.com/im-an-expert-in-what-makes-good-policy-and-the-morrison-governments-net-zero-plan-fails-on-6-crucial-counts-171595?

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3. From natural capital accounting to natural capital banking

Natural capital accounting will confirm what we know — without change, we are headed for environmental disaster resulting from economic growth. We propose a natural capital bank, a new institution to help maintain natural capital adequacy and chart a course to a sustainable future via accounting.

Nature Sustainability

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4. Rabbits threaten more native wildlife than cats or foxes

Rabbits are a key threat to 322 species of Australia’s at-risk plants and animals — more than twice the number of species threatened by cats or foxes. They efficiently strip vegetation and prevent regeneration. Being prey to the feral predators they allow them to greatly increase in number.

https://www.bushheritage.org.au/blog/rabbits-threaten-more-natives-than-cats-or-foxes

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5. The lies of the land – Who suffers when truth lies bleeding?

What is the cost if governments win the elections based on lies? What is the cost of political leaders pulling down the blinds on transparency, junking accountability and dismissing integrity because it’s simply easier to get by with a lie? They might grease the way to an election win but they don’t deliver a sustainable future.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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6. The ‘Ringo Starr’ of birds is now endangered – here’s how we can still save our drum-playing palm cockatoos

Australia’s largest parrot, the palm cockatoo, is justifiably famous as the only non-human animal to craft tools for sound. They create drumsticks to make a rhythmic beat. Sadly, the “Ringo Starr” of the bird world is now threatened with extinction – just as many other parrots are around the world.

The ‘Ringo Starr’ of birds is now endangered – here’s how we can still save our drum-playing palm cockatoos (theconversation.com)

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7. Wall Street’s Latest Scheme Is Monetizing Nature Itself

A month before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) kicked off in Scotland, a new asset class was launched by the New York Stock Exchange that will “open up a new feeding ground for predatory Wall Street banks and financial institutions that will allow them to dominate not just the human economy, but the entire natural world.”

Called a natural asset company, or NAC, the vehicle will allow for the formation of specialized corporations “that hold the rights to the ecosystem services produced on a given chunk of land, services like carbon sequestration or clean water.” These NACs will then maintain, manage and grow the natural assets they commodify, with the end goal of maximizing the aspects of that natural asset that are deemed by the company to be profitable.

Ellen Brown: Wall Street’s Latest Scheme Is Monetizing Nature Itself – scheerpost.com

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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.

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David Salt
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@davidlimesalt

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