Friday 1 December 2017

Tropical deforestation is getting bigger, study finds
As nations race to keep forests standing and the world from warming, scientists are trying to figure out what human activities are causing deforestation and how best to stop them.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/tropical-deforestation-is-getting-bigger-study-finds/

Sea level rise will imperil humanity’s future and its past
In the southeastern US alone, one meter of sea level rise would inundate over 13,000 archaeological sites.
https://www.wired.com/story/sea-level-rise-will-imperil-humanitys-future-and-its-past/

7 surprises that climate change will throw us
The interdependence of ecosystems and their inhabitants means climate change may force animals, including us, to adapt in surprising ways.
http://nautil.us/blog/7-surprises-that-climate-change-will-throw-us

If oceans stopped absorbing heat from climate change, life on land would average 122°F
More than 90% of climate change is happening underwater.
https://qz.com/1141633/if-oceans-stopped-absorbing-heat-from-climate-change-life-on-land-would-average-122f/

New study uncovers the ‘keystone domino’ strategy of climate denial
How climate denial blogs misinform so many people with such poor scientific arguments.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/nov/29/new-study-uncovers-the-keystone-domino-strategy-of-climate-denial

Study Discovers Why Global Warming Will Accelerate As CO2 Levels Rise
Global warming is likely to speed up as the Earth becomes increasingly more sensitive to atmospheric CO? concentrations, scientists from the University of Reading have warned.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53315

Polar Bear Blogs Reveal Dangerous Gap Between Climate-Change Facts and Opinions
Climate-change discussions on social media are very influential. A new study shows that when it comes to iconic topics such …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171129131420.htm

Fears Murray-Darling Basin’s anti-theft measures could be watered down
The author of an independent report into allegations of water theft and corruption in the Murray-Darling Basin fears changes to fix the system might be delayed or diluted.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/murray-darling-basin-fears-about-plan-to-combat-alleged-theft/9211000

Finkel’s frustration: Everyone else has a strategy, but not Australia
Finkel vents his frustrations in final energy speech of the year, dumping on six biggest myths about electricity market, and delivering brick-bats to both policy makers and regulators.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/finkels-frustration-everyone-else-strategy-not-australia-53929/

How the MyEnergy app could work
The Australia Institute’s vision for managing energy demand.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/myenergyv4hd-720p/video/6cfe3d051a8be679fd645a29209e1870

It’s 30 years since scientists first warned of climate threat to Australia
In November 30, 1987 Australian scientists officially sounded the climate alarm. No one can say we haven’t been warned.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/its-30-years-since-scientists-first-warned-of-climate-threat-to-australia-94083/

Renewable subsidies push up bills
Subsidies for renewable energy are behind most power price increases, adding almost $300 to the average bill.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/renewable-energy-subsidies-push-up-bills-says-report/news-story/7ac107f97ae27bb0cb52a5d84ddeb3c6

It’s 30 years since scientists first warned of climate threats to Australia
Marc Hudson, University of Manchester
Three decades since the GREENHOUSE 87 conference, credited as kickstarting public awareness of climate change in Australia, how far have we come, and how far do we have left to go in appreciating the risks?
https://theconversation.com/its-30-years-since-scientists-first-warned-of-climate-threats-to-australia-88314

In politics, as in dating, desperation is a turn-off
Julie Szego
What do you give a post-materialist for Christmas? To rephrase the question politically: what can the ALP offer inner-city Green voters to buy their support?
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/in-politics-as-in-dating-desperation-is-a-turnoff-20171130-gzvqzj.html

Victoria rejects Ombudsman’s call to limit strip searching female prisoners
Women in Victorian prisons are being routinely strip searched and subject to an unacceptably high level of force and restraint, according to the State Ombudsman.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/vic-rejects-calls-to-limit-strip-searching-female-prisoners/9212490

How bad will Victoria’s wild weekend weather be? A 10 out of 10, says BOM
Victoria faces a “major weather event” in the coming days, as thunderstorms threaten to dump torrential rain and cause flooding in almost all of the state with one forecaster rating the scale of the storms as close to 10 out of 10.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/victoria-weather-heavy-rains-floods-forecast/9209902

Facing the big wet: The parts of Melbourne most likely to flood
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-the-parts-of-the-city-most-likely-to-be-impacted-by-floods-20171130-gzw8au.html

Sunshine grass fire could have been deliberately lit
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sunshine-north-grass-fire-could-have-been-deliberately-lit-firefighters-say-20171130-gzw7he.html

Victorian logging could trigger ecosystem collapse, researchers say
Modelling says there is a 92% chance mountain ash forests will not be able to support current ecosystem by 2067
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/01/victorian-logging-could-trigger-ecosystem-collapse-researchers-say

Hard yakka: Rewilding the bush with wombats
Wombats are being reintroduced at Mulgoa in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, bringing benefits for the environment and other native wildlife.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/mulgoa-wombats-rewilding-bush-environment-native-animals-nature/9208404

Slow walking movement takes off in NSW national parks
The latest addition to the slow movement is slow walking, focusing on re-engaging senses that may have been dulled by a contemporary lifestyle and hours of screen time.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/slow-walking-is-taking-off-in-national-parks/9207068

Smashed avo with a side of recycling as container scheme starts
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/small-businesses-bracing-for-return-and-earn-container-deposit-scheme-20171130-gzvq0a.html

‘Significant’ rain to dump flooding rain on inland areas
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/significant-rain-event-to-dump-flooding-rains-on-inland-regions-spare-sydney-20171130-gzvv0l.html

Essential Energy CEO’s staggering pay rise as power bills skyrocket
ONE of the state’s top electricity bosses has been handed a bumper $117,000 pay rise as NSW families struggle with rocketing electricity bills and service interruptions.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/money-is-power-for-fat-cat-as-nsw-householders-struggle/news-story/913373753c8384c8c7e7d81467ce1352

Zipline to thrill Brisbane visitors with council approval for Australia’s longest sky-high ride
Construction will begin next year on Australia’s longest zipline that will allow riders to speed up to 65kph down Brisbane’s Mount Coot-tha.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/zipline-thrill-brisbane-visitors-council-approval-australia-ride/9210138

Fact check: Is a person torn to pieces by a crocodile every three months in north Queensland?
Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter says that a person is “torn to pieces” every three months in north Queensland. RMIT ABC Fact Check runs the numbers.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/fact-check-does-a-crocodile-kill-someone-every-three-months-/9202902

Adani loans would need to be approved by Chinese Government
China’s Australian embassy says any backing from Chinese state enterprises for Adani coal mine would need central government approval, and no such proposal has been received.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/adani-china-government-would-have-to-sign-off-on-loans-for-mine/9209188

$400m effort to exterminate fire ants ‘undermined by rainfall, manure’
Australia’s most expensive pest eradication program uses bait that does not work in wet weather, and aerial sensing that can mistake cow pats for ant nests, sources involved with the effort say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/queensland-fire-ant-extermination-undermined-by-rainfall-manure/9211660

Brisbane traffic problems as bad as Sydney’s, says Uber data
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbane-traffic-problems-as-bad-as-sydneys-says-uber-data/news-story/91a8e8543230941ad52b9bbbcb15d524

Where congestion is getting worse and better in Brisbane
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/where-congestion-is-getting-worse-and-better-in-brisbane-20171130-p4yxb3.html

Adani’s final legal hurdle: Indigenous group is dispute over compensation
Traditional owners would get just 0.2 per cent of Adani’s earnings from the mine, less than half the industry average, new analysis finds, as a fractious dispute between the Indigenous group poses a final legal hurdle for the project.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/adani-compensation-well-below-industry-standard-report-finds/9212058

Growing ag and protecting the environment
Michael Guerin
Despite the tired old analogies about how many football fields are cleared every minute, the facts are that just 0.23 per cent of the total land area of Queensland was cleared in 2015/16.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19441

SA’s Tesla battery begins dispatching power a day ahead of schedule
With temperatures across South Australia and Victoria hitting the mid 30s, and output from SA’s wind farms low, the battery was called upon early to help meet Thursday afternoon’s peak demand.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/sa-tesla-battery-begins-producing-power-a-day-ahead-of-schedule/9212794

Trees down, roofs blown off and houses blacked out as storm lashes the state
2400 Port Augusta homes are without power, along with hundreds of others around the state, as an extreme weather event strikes South Australia.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/the-pulse-hot-humid-weather-for-south-australia-but-cool-change-is-on-the-way/news-story/3cd61fb76c402ce81ece6afc330919f1

New Royal Commission into water theft may be just the tip of iceberg for the Murray Darling Basin
Jamie Pittock, Australian National University
SA Premier Jay Weatherill has announced a Royal Commission into breaches of the Murray Darling Basin agreement. But will it solve the long running problems with river management?
https://theconversation.com/new-royal-commission-into-water-theft-may-be-just-the-tip-of-iceberg-for-the-murray-darling-basin-88166

Salmon producer plan for mass mortality event
Tasmania’s three salmon producers are set to meet with the Environment Protection Authority to discuss contingency planning for a mass mortality event in Macquarie Harbour.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/salmon-producers-plan-for-mass-mortality-macquarie-harbour/9212856

Pathway to become an EcoCity starts with City of Launceston
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5092896/pathway-to-become-an-ecocity-starts-with-city-of-launceston/?cs=95

Raft of concerns over off-road activity
Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service is investigating fresh reports of illegal off-road activity in a wilderness zone after receiving a series of photos from conservation groups.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/parks-and-wildlife-investigating-illegal-offroad-tarkine-activity/news-story/61e29626bc9191ff8830dfdace20793f

Penguin protectors push for gillnet ban
Tasmania’s little penguins are at serious risk from drowning in gillnets, with a local bird expert calling for the State Government to ban the nets in waters near their colonies.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/coauthor-of-tangled-and-drowned-report-calls-for-ban-on-gillnets-near-tasmanias-little-penguin-colonies/news-story/7a69400e7ae5f9e9b49970695c8238b9

Cradling our island like a baby
Luke Martin
We can have tourism without killing the best of Tasmania
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/talking-point-cradling-our-island-like-a-baby/news-story/13f80c05d8214421cb91f2aafd2baef9

The changes that could save an average WA household $400 a year on water
A report finds the average WA household is paying hundreds of dollars too much for water every year, and recommends changes to the way bills are structured to cut the fixed service charge in exchange for a higher per unit price.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/the-changes-that-could-save-wa-households-$400-a-year-on-water/9213656

Vestas, CWP get serious about plan to export 3GW wind and solar to Asia
Simon Holmes à Court
Sceptics might call it crazy to run a clean power ‘extension cord’ all the way to Indonesia, but the ELEXI plan to export Pilbara generated renewable energy to Asia has a serious team behind it.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/vestas-cwp-get-serious-about-plan-to-export-3gw-wind-and-solar-to-asia-47221/

A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks
In seven years, pipeline incidents have killed nearly 100 people nationwide in th US
http://www.hcn.org/articles/infographic-a-map-of-leaking-natural-gas-pipelines-across-the-nation

Companies try boosting demand for recycled plastics
The economics of plastic recycling have suddenly been upended, thanks to a Chinese import ban and cheap U.S. oil used to make virgin plastic.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/companies-try-boosting-demand-for-recycled-plastics-q-a

Air pollution may weaken the bones
People living in polluted areas had higher rates of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/well/live/air-pollution-may-weaken-the-bones.html

White House may share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia
The overture follows an intense and secretive lobbying push involving Michael Flynn, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates and even Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane.
https://www.propublica.org/article/white-house-may-share-nuclear-power-technology-with-saudi-arabia

Should environmental refugees be granted asylum status?
Should the threat of environmental catastrophes be legitimate grounds for asylum and refugee status?
http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/should-environmental-refugees-be-granted-asylum-status/

‘Unrecognisable’: Robots will run mines within a decade
http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/industry-will-be-unrecognisable-robots-will-run-mines-within-decade-anglo-says-20171129-gzvliy.html

Population bomb is ‘ticking’
Pakistan needs to follow ‘Iran or Bangladesh’ models to contain the fast increasing population as the crucial issue affecting the future of the country has gone almost unheeded.
http://nation.com.pk/29-Nov-2017/population-bomb-is-ticking

Consumption is the bottleneck for sustainable development
From ending poverty to improving wellbeing, gender equality, cities’ resilience or climate action – while synergies among most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) foster progress in sustainable development, there are some key conflicts or bottlenecks that could hamper achieving the SDG objectives for 2030. This is the result of a new comprehensive analysis by a team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). According to the study, responsible consumption and production seems to be such a bottleneck, as data from the past shows.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/pifc-cit112917.php

Researchers discover breakthrough process for directly converting methane to methanol
New process could lead to production of methanol or acetic acid through more energy efficient, low-cost and environmentally friendly ways
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/tu-rdb112917.php

Getting a Better Handle on Methane Emissions from Livestock
Cattle, swine and poultry contribute a hefty portion to the average American’s diet, but raising all this livestock comes at a cost to the environment: The industry produces a lot of methane
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171129120238.htm

Can taxing pollution pay for infrastructure improvements?
Rebuilding America’s infrastructure is an idea lots of politicians embrace. But how to pay for it can be tricky.
http://wnpr.org/post/can-taxing-pollution-pay-infrastructure-improvements

Wind power prices have plummeted again in Germany
The predicted price of onshore wind in Germany is now half the EU’s projections for 2030, following an auction in Germany this week.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-power-prices-plummeted-germany-52338/

How off-grid power is changing Kenya
Video
In the Kakamega region of Kenya, Kennedy Yamame is working with Biolite to bring power, education, and hope to some of the 335,760 homes that don’t have electricity.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2262151/how-grid-power-changing-kenya

Dirty air is killing our children. Why does the government let this happen?
George Monbiot
What an extraordinary dereliction of duty that our politicians leave headteachers to fix a public health crisis.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/29/dirty-air-killing-children-government-politicians-teachers-public-health-crisis

Water quality in Lake Erie ‘unacceptable,’ says IJC Great Lakes report
Canada and the United States are “disappointingly slow” to address toxic chemicals getting into the Great Lakes, says the International Joint Commission.
http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/water-quality-in-lake-erie-unacceptable-says-ijc-great-lakes-report

Common pesticide can make migrating birds lose their way, research shows
The experimental study is the first to directly show harm to songbirds, extending the known impacts of neonicotinoids beyond insects.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/common-pesticide-can-make-migrating-birds-lose-their-way-research-shows

Tropical deforestation is getting bigger, study finds
As nations race to keep forests standing and the world from warming, scientists are trying to figure out what human activities are causing deforestation and how best to stop them.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/tropical-deforestation-is-getting-bigger-study-finds/

Carbon dreams: Can REDD+ save a Yosemite-size forest in Madagascar?
When Makira Natural Park launched in 2005, it seemed to present a solution to one of the most intractable problems in conservation: finding a source of funding that could be counted on year after year.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/carbon-dreams-can-redd-save-a-yosemite-size-forest-in-madagascar/

Bug eat bug – controlling pests with other insects
How a Brazilian company put itself at the forefront of biological pest control – using insects to control other bugs.
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42096405

Despite forest loss, African protected area can support 10s of thousands of elephants
Land-use study finds Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve has lost 100 square kilometers of forest cover between 2001-2014 — but far less than surrounding areas
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/wcs-dfl113017.php

Penguins under threat from drowning in fishing nets
Ursula Ellenberg, La Trobe University
Penguins in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere face an uncertain future as a new review documents the number accidentally ensnared in fishing nets.
https://theconversation.com/penguins-under-threat-from-drowning-in-fishing-nets-88308

Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance in Brain
Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53321