DAILY NEWS – SATURDAY 25 MARCH 2017                                                                                                             

Climate Change
A roadmap for rapid decarbonization.
Emissions inevitably approach zero with a “carbon law.”
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/7975604620194362920

Earth’s worst-ever mass extinction of life holds ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change, say scientists.
Runaway global warming saw the planet’s average temperature hit about double what it is today about 250 million years ago.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6571422209236693279

US scientists launch world’s biggest solar geoengineering study.
US scientists are set to send aerosol injections 20km up into the earth’s stratosphere in the world’s biggest solar geoengineering programme to date, to study the potential of a future tech-fix for global warming.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6571422209236693278

The billionaire on a mission to save the planet from Trump.
Tom Steyer’s organization, NextGen Climate, has spent $170 million over the past four years advocating for policies and politicians that help the environment and advance renewable energy
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6571422209236694249

Could the law driving computing leaps speed up climate protection?
A new report says the UN’s incremental approach to reducing emissions is all wrong. The effort needs to come on strong early – and lessons can be learned from the evolution of computing.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6571422209236694418

Climate change played key role in Syrian civil war and helped Brexit, Al Gore says.
An historic drought in Syria led to that nation’s civil war, which, in turn, helped Brexit pass in England, according to former United States Vice President Al Gore who explained his theory at a conference in London this week.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6571422209236693280

National
Big batteries, stabilisation urged for Australia’s power system
Could big batteries be the way to stabilise the national electricity grid, as a rapid take-up of wind and solar generation is blamed for weakening the power system?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/aemc-says-australias-power-system-weakened-by-wind-solar/8381356

Coalition sets climate parameters, as two more quit key advisory body
Coalition publishes climate policy discussion paper amid CCA resignations, claims of right-wing, anti-science bias.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coalition-sets-climate-parameters-two-quit-key-advisory-body-76903/

Snowy Hydro backs an EIS for the electricity sector
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/snowy-hydro-backs-an-eis-for-the-electricity-sector-20170323-gv5g1c

Warning on tax-funded transport future
Australia should adopt a user-pays model and privatise some public transport to fund infrastructure projects, according to Infrastructure Australia’s CEO.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/breaking-news/userpays-call-for-future-public-transport/news-story/90fe194287a8be9dd25c375d9ccc3c13

How the fossil fuel industry has screwed energy consumers
Giles Parkinson
Because of the lack of competition that could have been introduced if RET policy was held steady, fossil fuel generators can use their market power to artificially inflate prices, and somehow convince media and politicians that it is all the fault of wind and solar.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/fossil-fuel-industry-screwed-energy-consumers-18974/

The gas industry’s power play
Mike Seccombe.
Long-term mismanagement of Australia’s gas industry has seen price gouging by cartels and the possible need for imports. Even if the government can put things to right, natural gas will never again be a cheap alternative fossil fuel.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/resources/2017/03/25/the-gas-industrys-power-play/14903604004401

A quick fix for the energy crisis: nuclear power
Henry J Askin
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/a-quick-fix-for-the-energy-crisis-nuclear-power-20170324-gv5xzz.html

Victoria
Can wind turbines make you sick? Debate divides tiny Victorian town of Waubra
The issue of wind power has divided the small Victorian town of Waubra, pitting friends and neighbours against one another.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/victorian-town-divided-over-wind-turbines/8373760

Hazelwood isn’t the first to close — and it won’t be the last
When it powers down next week, the Hazelwood plant will be the ninth coal-fired power generator to close its doors since 2012. No-one should be surprised.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/hazelwood-latrobe-valley-not-the-first-or-the-last-to-close/8380760

Residents try to outsmart Hazelwood closure
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/morwell-residents-try-to-outsmart-hazelwood-closure-20170321-gv2pm9

Coalition MPs blast Tony Abbott
Coalition MPs have slammed Tony Abbott for proposing a federal government bailout of the Hazelwood power station.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/coalition-mps-blast-abbott-power-play-over-hazelwood-bailout/news-story/160085a2ce4b31c7578a2495d367c05d

New South Wales
Plans for $1.5b gas-fired power station in southern NSW back on agenda
A gas-fired power station planned in southern NSW goes back under the microscope, with a proposal for a two-year extension of its approval.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/plans-reignited-for-gas-fired-power-station-dalton/8383778

Queensland
Reef twilight zone offers coral and species protection
While scientists are desperately scrambling to research and understand reef sections subjected to coral bleaching, other sections of the reef have attracted little attention — until now.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/coal-bleaching-proof-reef-twilight-zone-offers-diverse-species/8385180

No evidence of illegal turtle, dugong hunting, unreleased report finds
An Indigenous land council boss calls on the Federal Government to end a long-running debate by publicly releasing a report which finds “no substantive evidence” of an illegal trade in sea turtle and dugong meat in Queensland.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/dugong-turtle-hunting-indigenous-hunting-report/8377852

Queensland laws passed ‘to end Glencore, QCoal mine dispute’
Hundreds of mining jobs have been saved by new laws rushed through Queensland’s Parliament, the Palaszczuk Government says, but a mine owner is adamant they reward a multinational company that has done the wrong thing for more than a decade.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/bill-passes-glencore-alleged-illegal-mining-bowen-basin-qld/8381782

Queensland environment department staff stood down over issuing of permits
Staff from Queensland’s environment department are stood down over allegations they issued permits for the captive breeding of native wildlife without proper authority.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/queensland-environment-dept-staff-sacked-permit-allegations/8381114

Qld looks to voltage changes to encourage more rooftop solar
Queensland says proposal to lower voltage standards will allow networks to more easily accommodate rooftop solar and other technologies.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/qld-looks-voltage-changes-encourage-rooftop-solar-86480/

‘Not all bleached coral will die’
THESE graphic images of snow-white coral highlight the worst impacts of the latest mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/great-barrier-reef-tourism-operators-warn-of-exaggerated-reports-over-latest-mass-bleaching-event/news-story/efd5b1a2cf27826eb5f2bbd460ccc6d0

Premier digs in to mine regional jobs
LABOR’S approach to the Adani coal mine has gone from striking a difficult balance between economical gain and environmental risks to one that is now all about employment.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/adani-coal-mine-premier-digs-in-for-regional-jobs/news-story/40071b0b0c570ae7d6ecc180c5a137b9

Don’t let the rain fool you
RECENT rain has given water levels some reprieve but it’s not enough to stop water restrictions.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/water-restrictions-could-be-as-soon-as-next-year/news-story/21dd5935d829d2e64d2686c37d5ba1b1

Chappells slammed for mine ‘misinformation’
A MAYOR has accused cricketing greats Ian and Greg Chappell of spreading “misleading information” about a proposed mine in Queensland.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/adani-mine-rockhampton-mayor-accuses-ian-and-greg-chappell-of-spreading-misleading-information/news-story/75ced2590b77d4d51ad1bdc61bc9adf7

Dams at lowest point since 2010 as Seqwater warns of water restrictions
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/dams-at-lowest-point-since-2010-as-seqwater-warns-of-water-restrictions-20170324-gv65tu.html

South Australia
Ex-power chief: Nuke energy is logical way forward
SOUTH Australia should switch to nuclear power and is being watched globally as a case of what can go wrong when large-scale renewable energy is fed into an electricity system, a former ETSA chief has said.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-power-crisis-former-etsa-chief-says-state-needs-nuclear-power-and-renewable-energy-woes-are-being-watched-by-the-world/news-story/7d453e18a69dbecfc091d873e21a7f2a

Tasmania
Are these the cleanest festival goers ever?
A biodegradable cup, Bunnings receipt, part of a Pokemon card and a tiny spattering of nondescript rubbish is all that remained at this music festival campground in Tasmania.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/are-these-the-cleanest-festival-goers-ever/8376512

Litter that glitters: More glass in Tasmanian beach debris than elsewhere
Tasmania has a much higher proportion of glass on its beaches than plastic, contrary to international trends, according to newly published research.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/more-glass-washing-up-on-tasmanian-shores/8381520

Federal planning resort at Cradle
FEDERAL Group is planning a Cradle Mountain resort it says will position Tasmania at the forefront of the high-end luxury tourism industry globally.
http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/federal-planning-resort-at-cradle/news-story/68266c0836f511122644438b690d91e1

Clifford backs city cable car
THE Mt Wellington cable car should start at Macquarie Point and traverse the heart of Hobart before heading up the mountain, says Incat chairman Robert Clifford.
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/clifford-backs-city-cable-car/news-story/3d2416089026c31d5d2de0ee55542601

Libs ready to take hard line on document
THE Liberals have hinted they will not hand over a key document relating to the energy crisis, setting the Government on a collision course with State Parliament’s powerful Public Accounts Committee.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/the-tasmanian-parliaments-public-accounts-committee-this-week-took-the-extraordinary-step-of-issuing-a-summons-to-treasurer-peter-gutwein/news-story/952ff87cbb1463bb4e19c0a8baab6720

All invited to heed call of the wild
PREVIOUS experience is not required for the latest program of free bushwalks being offered by the Tasmanian National Parks Association.
http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/all-invited-to-heed-call-of-the-wild/news-story/0fd0f4166fc86411b77cc367028d141d

Northern Territory
No jail time for taxidermist at centre of illegal wildlife haul
Keerthi Eswaran, 32, is handed a suspended sentence over the discovery of 1,300 animal parts at his home, an outcome described by an NT Parks and Wildlife spokesman as “a bit disappointing”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/nt-taxidermist-in-illegal-wildlife-haul-suspended-sentence/8383892

Origin’s Beetaloo bonanza just in time to beat ban
As the Northern Territory Labor Party was campaigning on an anti-fracking platform in last year’s August election, Origin ­Energy was urgently testing in the Beetaloo Basin, between Tennant Creek and Katherine, to beat a looming ban.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/origins-beetaloo-bonanza-just-in-time-to-beat-ban/news-story/fb9a7119281c0fd2c6c091536082efb2

Huge NT prawn farm passes EPA hurdle
THE company proposing to build one of the world’s largest prawn farms in the Northern Territory has passed one of its biggest hurdles with the NT Environmental Protection Authority giving the project the thumbs up
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/huge-nt-prawn-farm-passes-epa-hurdle/news-story/fa7c57fc78da48f9d784c23a6a69635a

Traditional owners green light $800m pipeline
TRADITIONAL owners have given the green light for the construction of the $800m Northern Gas Pipeline
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/traditional-owners-green-light-800m-pipeline/news-story/97791f81f3c551b9f6332ded33d56a02

Western Australia
Boost for endangered loggerhead turtle at WA nesting ground
There are fresh hopes for the plight of the endangered loggerhead turtle after an unusually bumper nesting season at Gnaraloo on Western Australia’s Ningaloo coast
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/loggerhead-turtles-at-gnaraloo-envjoy-bumper-nesting-season/8384786

Germany fires up ‘world’s largest artificial sun’
Scientists in Germany flip the switch on what’s being described as “the world’s largest artificial sun,” a device they hope will help shed light on new ways of making climate-friendly fuels.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/germany-fires-up-worlds-largest-artificial-sun/8382510

China joins new Pilbara project
A state-owned Chinese construction giant has signed a MOU to build a $6bn mine, port and rail project in the Pilbara.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/china-inks-deal-to-build-bbi-groups-new-6bn-pilbara-project/news-story/89b646c13a3c8a0af73707dceccafddd

Sustainability
Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline
The Trump administration issues a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the Obama administration’s position and all but ending a long-fought campaign to stop the project on environmental grounds.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-25/trump-administration-approves-keystone-xl-pipeline/8385890

Even if the Keystone pipeline is approved, there may not be enough demand to build it.
Trump is expected to give the massive oil pipeline new life shortly. There’s only one problem: the bad economics of the oil industry
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/7975604620194362938

Compact, efficient system stores solar energy in liquids.
Swedish researchers devised a system that utilizes over 80 percent of incoming sunlight, enabling both short-term solar energy storage in water and stable storage in chemical bonds for several months.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/7975604620194362939

Downstream from a coal mine, villages in Indonesian Borneo suffer from water pollution.
Residents say the Santan River in East Kalimantan, once a vital source of clean water, has been severely degraded by a coal mine
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6571422209236693764

Put down your plastic straws, group urges.
The ancient Sumerians, in creating the first straw, probably rejoiced at their ingenuity. But thousands of years later, straws are made of plastic, and they pose a danger to marine life.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6571422209236693766

Watergrabbing.
Historically the source of many conflicts, water grabbing is the control and theft of water resources by the powerful, often at the expense of local populations and ecosystems. It can result in dispossession, displacement and ecological destruction.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6571422209236693770

Changes to flight paths could reduce aircraft effect on climate.
Small alterations to routing, which would add about 1% to airlines’ operating costs, could have significant results.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6571422209236694936

New Stanford study calls for US solar policy reform
The rapidly expanding solar energy industry could meaningfully contribute to curbing climate change only if governments and the private sector approach it more economically and efficiently, according to a new Stanford study
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/su-nss032317.php

Nature Conservation
David Haskell speaks for the trees.
The Pulitzer Prize finalist spent two years visiting 12 sites around the world for an ambitious new book that reveals the surprising—and surprisingly fascinating—arboreal secrets hidden in the canopies of ordinary trees
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6571422209236694908

Scientists have some wild ideas for solving our big bee problem.
It’s a hard problem to solve given that those perils are multi-faceted and include climate change and resulting malnutrition, toxic pesticides, habitat loss, tiny parasites, and predatory insects.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6571422209236694899

Biodiversity loss shifts flowering phenology at same magnitude as global warming
Researchers have revealed that declining plant diversity — from habitat loss, human use, and other environmental pressures — causes plants to flower earlier, and that the effects of diversity loss on the timing of flowering are similar in magnitude to the effects of global warming
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/cu-bls032417.php

Forests soak up greenhouse gases, so how do we ensure their protection?
Where will the money to protect forests come from and how do donors ensure it’s spent ethically? Who should lead conservation efforts? And how can indigenous forest communities ensure that they have a say in any negotiations over their home?
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6571422209236694931