FRIDAY 1 JUNE 2018

Margaret Atwood: women will bear brunt of dystopian climate future
Booker prize-winning author predicts climate reality will not be far from scenarios imagined in her post-apocalyptic fiction
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/margaret-atwood-women-will-bear-brunt-of-dystopian-climate-future

NASA fears cut in climate change funding under Trump’s rule: Ex-employee
Figures show a notable decline in NASA’s output of climate information since the election of the Trump administration.
http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/nasa-fears-cut-in-climate-change-funding-under-trump-s-rule-ex-employee-118053100603_1.html

Climate Change Increasing Risks of Lightning-Ignited Fires
Fires ignited by lightning have and will likely continue to increase across the Mediterranean and temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere under a warmer climate, according to a new study co-led …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180531084415.htm

Gene drive technology considered in the fight against feral cats
Conservation groups want cats that only produce male offspring to be released into the wild as a way to save native mammals, such as bilbies and bettongs, that are under attack.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-31/gene-drive-technology-considered-in-the-fight-against-feral-cats/9817124

New AEC Guidelines Leave Charities ‘Confused and Uncertain’
New guidelines from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on political expenditure has left the charity sector “confused and uncertain”, with fears that charitable advocacy is again under threat.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/05/new-aec-guidelines-leave-charities-confused-uncertain/

Mars goes 100% solar for all six Australian factories
Mars goes 100% renewables in Australia, sourcing all its electricity needs from Kiamal solar farm and renewables “firming” contract.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/mars-goes-100-solar-for-all-six-australian-factories-25485/

ICE lobby strikes out against car emissions standards
Car industry kicks back against emissions standards proposed for light vehicles, underscores uphill battle of shift to EVs.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/ice-lobby-strikes-out-against-car-emissions-standards-78071/

Wind Commissioner should oversee solar, batteries too, report says
Climate Change Authority recommends office of National Wind Farm Commissioner be extended by three years, and broadened to oversee large-scale solar and battery storage development.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-commissioner-oversee-solar-batteries-report-says-35938/

Viva Energy IPO forecast to be one of Australia’s largest
Viva Energy is preparing to launch one of Australia’s largest-ever public listings, valued at up to $6.2 billion.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/viva-energy-ipo-forecast-to-be-one-of-australia-s-largest-20180531-p4zipz.html

Review of the National Wind Farm Commissioner: final report
Climate Change Authority
The Climate Change Authority has released this report on its review of the National Wind Farm Commissioner. At the time the National Wind Farm Commissioner was established, the federal government said it would review the role in 2018. This review responds to that undertaking.
http://apo.org.au/node/174211

Winter is coming, and it’s looking mighty mild
Jonathan Pollock and Andrew B. Watkins, Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Winter is here, and many farmers are still waiting on their ‘autumn break’ of heavy rain. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be a dry, warm winter – although the snow season will likely be good.
https://theconversation.com/winter-is-coming-and-its-looking-mighty-mild-97466

The future is fenced for Australian animals
Michael Bode, The University of Queensland
Conservation fences create a few hundred square kilometres of safety for vulnerable native animals surrounded by 7.6 million lethal square kilometres.
https://theconversation.com/the-future-is-fenced-for-australian-animals-97311

Dump destructive carbon car tax
Australian editorial
Australians don’t need a new impost killing jobs and growth.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/dump-destructive-push-for-carbon-tax-on-new-cars/news-story/b114793784bc60af01fa2559b1e3df3c

Byron Bay climate change core bores  [PAYWALL]
Tim Blair
Columnist Ross Gittins has finally located the Sydney Morning Herald’s core audience. Apparently they meet once a year at a small coastal location not far from the Queensland border.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/byron-bays-climate-change-core-bores/news-story/826acd8ce7bd5e023a7fe75a5a33dcbd

Victorian dairy producer signs 10-year wind farm PPA
Gippsland dairy producer Burra Foods signs 10-year PPA with Flow Power to source electricity from Ararat Wind farm – a deal that’s expected to cut
https://reneweconomy.com.au/victorian-dairy-producer-signs-10-year-wind-farm-ppa-59366/

New 40MW wind farm approved in western Victoria
Victoria gives planning approval for 40MW wind farm near Horsham to be developed by German company.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/new-40mw-wind-farm-approved-in-western-victoria-28247/

‘Chronic inaction’: call for planning overhaul as population growth threatens biodiversity
Melbourne bird species decreased in proportion to density of human occupation
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/chronic-inaction-call-for-planning-overhaul-as-population-growth-threatens-biodiversity

Notorious waste dumper jailed, made to pay for newspaper ads publicising his crime
Dib Hanna, who has repeatedly been caught illegally dumping asbestos around Sydney, is jailed for three years and made to take out newspaper advertisements about his punishment as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-31/sydney-asbestos-dumper-jailed-and-has-to-buy-newspaper-ads/9820842

ACT government promises to match funding for Monaro Highway
The Barr government has promised to match federal funding for an upgrade to the Monaro Highway, ahead of next Tuesday’s budget.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/act/act-government-promises-to-match-funding-for-monaro-highway-20180531-p4zior.html

Queensland’s biggest solar farm starts generating to grid
Sun Metals solar farm – which led the way for corporate Australia to source their own renewable energy needs – switched on in Queensland.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/queenslands-biggest-solar-farm-starts-generating-grid-48270/

Santos to spend $400m on Qld gas project
Energy company Santos has announced it will move forward with a $400 million gas development in Queensland’s Central Highlands, expected to create 300 jobs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-01/john-mcroberts-nt-top-cop-guilty-pervert-course-of-justice/9822640

Electricity prices to drop in regional Queensland, but savings only 5.5 cents a day
The Queensland Competition Authority approves a $20 a year decrease in electricity bills for outside the state’s south east, even less than predicted.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-31/regional-power-prices-to-drop-but-by-only-20-dollars-a-year/9819710

Massive hit on state’s budget over coal dispute ‘exaggerated’: Trad
Predictions of a $2 billion hit on the Queensland budget and a multi-million tonne drop in coal exports as a result of a stoush over the state’s coal rail network have been exaggerated, according to the state’s treasurer.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/companies/massive-hit-on-state-s-budget-over-coal-dispute-exaggerated-trad-20180531-p4zilq.html

Queensland’s $5 billion gas and mining windfall  [PAYWALL]
Queensland has sparked more than $5 billion in deals and investment in the past six months as the mining and gas sector enters a revival that’s generating hundreds of jobs and boosting the state’s coffers ahead of the upcoming Budget.
https://www.couriermail.com.au/business/queensland-picks-up-more-than-5-billion-in-mining-and-gas/news-story/84373fe99dcc68da3f7011adbb8c9e0a

Investigation: ‘Mining wherever they want’  [PAYWALL]
Queensland’s environment department is investigating claims mining company New Hope expanded existing operations at its New Acland coal mine without permission.
https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/environment-department-investigating-claims-mine-expanded-without-permission/news-story/f25ce41bbce82ef5240f48386b7fee1d

How Justin Trudeau and Jerry Brown can help save the Great Barrier Reef
Bill McKibben
Many world leaders are willing to talk about reducing emissions by cutting demand for energy, but reducing the supply of fossil fuel is another issue.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/how-justin-trudeau-and-jerry-brown-can-help-save-the-great-barrier-reef

Adelaide shopping centres take Gupta’s lead, in 1MW shift to solar
Sanjeev Gupta’s SIMEC ZEN Energy has installed 1MW of solar across four shopping centres in Adelaide, as businesses follow the UK
https://reneweconomy.com.au/adelaide-shopping-centres-take-guptas-lead-1mw-shift-solar-43565/

NSW’s recycling is rubbish compared to ours  [PAYWALL]
A “clunky” container deposit scheme operating in New South Wales with reverse vending machines ignores four decades of experience in SA, according to comedian and War on Waste host Craig Reucassel.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/nsw-could-learn-a-lot-from-sas-container-deposit-scheme-says-craig-reucassel-of-war-on-waste/news-story/02cc802ddb155e65d02d3349c8cac463

Wetter, warmer winter for Tasmania, BoM says, but there will still be chill
Tasmania is headed for warmer-than-average days and nights over the coming winter months, but people should still layer up and have their puffer jacket close by.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-31/winter-outlook-for-tasmania-predicts-warmer-wetter-conditions/9819746

Sir David Attenborough documentary showcases Tasmania
Tasmania’s vast wilderness and extraordinary wildlife will be showcased in a documentary narrated by the one and only Sir David Attenborough.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5437401/sir-david-attenborough-documentary-explores-tasmania/?cs=5955

Anglers’ fishy feeling about 1080 use  [PAYWALL]
Freshwater anglers are investigating the use of 1080 poison near a trout fishery in the Central Highlands.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/anglers-group-has-fishy-feeling-about-1080-use-near-penstock-lagoon/news-story/2156f04bd5387bce1cf5edd85c39874b

The new car park and sealed road development at the Bruny Island Neck. [PAYWALL]
A popular tourism drawcard on Bruny Island is undergoing a final series of upgrades ahead of the peak tourism season.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/parks-and-wildlife-undertaking-works-on-bruny-islands-neck/news-story/39841ec7da8065f7f4b77d28f1e92595

Inpex confirms gas supply delay [PAYWALL]
Inpex has confirmed its first shipment of gas is delayed until September but the $50 billion project cost has not blown out further
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/inpex-confirms-first-gas-supply-delayed-until-september/news-story/46596618d279e59d5ec3a1f2d04a8ec9

Rising tide of court cases threatens Shell’s polluting business model
It is illegal to set fire to someone’s house
https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2018/05/30/shell-polluting

German coal exit talks reveal difficult task ahead
Germany struggles to get coal exit task force on track, with government postponing official launch of phase-out commission for third time.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/german-coal-exit-talks-reveal-difficult-task-ahead-98351/

New study estimates the carbon footprints of 13,000 cities
Many see cities as the new front lines of the climate change fight. Identifying the mayors and city councils in cities with the biggest carbon footprints, and the most power to make big changes, could mobilize a wave of reinforcements.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/nuos-nse053118.php

In export- and domestic-driven coal boon, Indonesia neglects renewables
Demand for energy in China and Indonesia continues to drive the resurgence of the latter’s coal industry, setting back efforts in both countries to shift to a greater share of renewable energy.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/in-export-and-domestic-driven-coal-boon-indonesia-neglects-renewables/

New device produces water from thin air – no electricity required
Omar Yaghi of the University of California, Berkeley, helped invent a sponge-like metal compound that harvests water molecules out of the atmosphere at night and then releases it as a liquid upon exposure to sunlight.
https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/community/2018/05/31/new-device-produces-water-from-thin-air-no-electricity-required

Perception that antibiotics are harmless is widespread
A new study of decision-making about the use of antibiotics in medicine has found that the mistaken belief that antibiotics are harmless is widespread, especially among patients. Clinicians and patients alike are influenced by the general notion of ‘why not take a risk,’ a belief that there is potential benefit and very little risk in taking antibiotics, when in reality there are specific downsides, both for individuals and for society as a whole.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/cfdd-pta053118.php

Prototype nuclear battery packs 10 times more power
Our next smartphone or electric vehicle might be powered by a nuclear battery instead of your usual lithium-ion cell thanks to a breakthrough made by Russian researchers. This piece describes the design of a nuclear battery generating power from the beta decay of nickel-63, a radioactive isotope. The new battery prototype packs about 3,300 milliwatt-hours of energy per gram, which is 10 times more than the specific energy of commercial chemical cells.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/miop-pnb053118.php

Why so many people are so desperate for Tesla and Musk to fail
Giles Parkinson
Attacks against Elon Musk and Tesla becoming more intense, and nasty – from short-sellers, ideologues, climate deniers, and incumbent industries. They all have a lot to lose.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/many-people-desperate-tesla-musk-fail-93953/

Would you go vegan to save the planet? It might be our best option
Nick Kilvert
New research says there’s a way to drastically reduce our environmental footprint — and it’s bad news for carnivores.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-06-01/would-you-go-vegan-to-save-the-planet-study-says-its-best-option/9816168

Christmas Island facing economic collapse as mine expansion rejected to save famous red crabs
The community of Christmas Island could be facing hundreds of job losses after a proposal to expand the island’s phosphate mine is knocked back over fears of the impact to the island’s wildlife, including its world-famous red crabs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-31/proposal-to-expand-christmas-island-phosphate-mine-knocked-back/9820382

African deforestation: ‘If nothing is done, we may lose everything’
Africa’s tropical forests, which include the Congo Basin, are under constant threat. Deutsche Welle speaks to Proforest’s Abraham Baffoe on what stands to be lost and what needs to be done to tackle deforestation.
http://www.dw.com/en/african-deforestation-if-nothing-is-done-we-may-lose-everything/a-43924887

Reprieve for Abbott’s booby after Christmas Island mining expansion ruled out
Coalition says phosphate exploration would have had unacceptable impact on endangered seabird
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/reprieve-for-abbotts-booby-after-christmas-island-mining-expansion-ruled-out

Scientists call for urgent action on bee-killing insecticides
Continued applications of the most widely used insecticides in the world must be urgently restricted, say 233 scientists in a tightly argued letter published in the journalScience.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/scientists-call-for-urgent-action-on-bee-killing-insecticides

Where has all the tree cover gone?
A nationwide loss of tree cover includes all the Great Lakes states but Minnesota, according to a new study.
http://greatlakesecho.org/2018/05/31/where-has-all-the-tree-cover-gone-fast-time-passing/

We have unrealistic beauty standards for coral, too
Virtual reality experiments show people value pretty reefs over healthy ones.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/we-have-unrealistic-beauty-standards-for-coral-too/

Mountain gorilla population rises above 1,000
New total represents an increase of 25% since 2010 in its central African heartland
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/mountain-gorilla-population-rises-above-1000

Romania breaks up alleged €25m illegal logging ring
Security forces launch raids linked to deforestation in the Carpathian mountains, home to some of Europe’s last virgin forest
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/romania-breaks-up-alleged-25m-illegal-logging-ring