Friday 1 September 2017

‘Surprising’ results from Antarctic ocean warming study
A single degree of warming in the shallow waters off the Antarctic Peninsula can produce massive changes in the seabed communities, the “most realistic ocean warming experiment to date” shows.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-09-01/antarctic-ocean-warming-study-shows-surprising-results/8855882

The Trump administration wants to bail out failed contrarian climate scientists
A climate “red team” is just a polite way to describe bailing out scientific losers
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/aug/31/the-trump-administration-wants-to-bail-out-failed-contrarian-climate-scientists

As major floods devastate across globe, warnings of bigger storms ‘on the way’
Andrea Germanos
Disastrous floods in the U.S. and South Asia again put the spotlight on climate change denial.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/as-floods-devastate-across-globe-warnings-of-bigger-storms-on-the-way,10670

Proposed charity changes a ‘torpedo’ to environmental groups, Bob Brown says
The Federal Government denies it is trying to silence environmental activists, as prominent voices in the environment and charities sectors speak out against a series of regulatory changes. that could “end environmental activism in Australia”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/charities-crackdown-threatens-status-of-environmental-groups/8859792

Rooftop solar nears 6GW milestone in Australia
Australian homes and businesses have installed 6GW of small-scale renewables – 5.9GW of it rooftop solar.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-nears-6gw-milestone-in-australia-88218/

Busting the solar ceiling: The fight for millions of Australians locked out of rooftop solar
New data has shown that in North Sydney, alone, 74% of residents can’t access solar because they are renters or live in apartment
http://reneweconomy.com.au/busting-solar-ceiling-fight-millions-australians-locked-rooftop-solar-87082/

Graph of the Day: States lead on renewables, but who leads the states?
Climate Council ranks state efforts on renewables and climate targets as they race to fill the federal government void.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-day-states-lead-renewables-leads-states-58329/

Add nuclear to the clean energy mix: Minerals Council
Australia should develop a nuclear power industry to reduce its emissions, the Minerals Council says.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4894320/add-nuclear-to-the-clean-energy-mix-minerals-council/?cs=7

Coalition watering down Finkel review climate ambitions, leaked document reveals
Draft implementation plan lacks electricity emissions trajectory, Paris agreement alignment and low-income subsidies
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/31/coalition-watering-down-finkel-review-climate-ambitions

The cost of going green: $60bn
Taxpayers will have paid more than $60 billion through federal renewable energy subsidies by 2030.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/the-cost-of-going-green-taxpayers-hit-with-a-60bn-power-bill/news-story/ab391c41565a6429caff6e7c8eb947fc

Labor knew gas prices would soar
Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler said ‘everyone knew’ in 2012 that domestic gas prices would soar.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/labor-admits-it-knew-gas-prices-would-soar/news-story/146c7d0a15ded9c3f1942182899a9893

Origin denies driving price rise
Origin Energy has denied accusations that NSW black coal power generators are driving electricity prices higher.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/origin-denies-driving-price-rise/news-story/4a4741fe42223debeb00e8b768f4754e

Power giants join Greensync to shore up summer
http://www.afr.com/news/power-giants-join-greensync-to-shore-up-summer-plot-future-grid-20170829-gy6dsa

Road fees pass the beep test
AUSTRALIAN motorists are not over-tolled, Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton says. He has hit out at a small group of “recidivist” drivers who consistently use toll roads without paying.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/transurban-says-drivers-not-overtolled/news-story/def180eb2ae03fd2171a469b35f70bfb

Drivers on road to user-pays model
DRIVERS may be charged according to how many kilometres they travel as Australia searches for a new way of paying to build and maintain its road network.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/future-brisbane/funding-model-broken-as-racqtransurban-search-for-new-way-to-pay-for-roads/news-story/891c5fdeafcfffce52e232602914c5b6

Turnbull’s new energy target: Drop the “clean” and ignore climate
Giles Parkinson
Coalition reportedly drops links to emission trajectories in draft proposal for a Clean Energy Target. It comes as Turnbull changes tone again on new coal, and the Queensland LNP releases a renewables policy derided immediately as a “farce”.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbulls-new-energy-target-drop-clean-ignore-climate-27667/

How consumers got burned on electricity prices: It started with networks
Hugh Saddler
Policy responses to high electricity prices should pay more attention to how consumers can be helped to use less electricity
http://reneweconomy.com.au/consumers-got-burned-electricity-prices-started-networks-48000/

Lobbyists parading as charities can account to donors and taxpayers
Gary Johns
Why does one of the richest countries in the world want international charity?
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19258

Clean Energy Target: Labor should let them eat coal
Bernard Keane
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/08/31/clean-energy-target-labor-should-let-them-eat-coal/

We all know for whom tolls work
Graham Richardson
Voters are sick and tired of paying more to turn on the lights and heaters.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/we-all-know-for-whom-tolls-work/news-story/e15e55a9dfbcce2fe671fce463776b52

Speed bumps amid solar boom
Angela Macdonald-Smith
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/solar-energy/drilling-down-solar-power-rush-brings-growing-pains-20170830-gy7o1a

Photo-ops and Snowy River 2.0 won’t stop the blackouts
Michael Pascoe
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/letters-from-suppliers-and-snowy-river-20-wont-stop-the-blackouts-20170831-gy86mv.html

Origin denies bidding up prices
Origin says the Hazelwood closure has meant a bigger call on NSW coal stockpiles, causing higher electricity prices.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/origin-denies-bidding-up-nsw-power-prices/news-story/48853f342fa8d8d371bf7f69c4d39c8e

Native title granted over ocean for first time in NSW
The Yaegl people of the lower Clarence region on the NSW coast are looking forward to fewer boundaries and restrictions after a historic decision grants them a native title over a stretch of ocean.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/native-title-granted-to-yaegl-people-for-stretch-of-ocean/8859570

Native title claims: federal court delivers stinging criticism of NSW government
Claims first lodged in 1998 have still not been finalised due to ‘extraordinarily time consuming’ system
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/31/native-title-claims-nsw-government-under-pressure-over-systemic-failings

Shark nets deployed again to keep maneaters from our midst
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/shark-nets-deployed-again-to-keep-maneaters-from-our-midst/news-story/abbe6efbad444f3bc9877bc9567f41ee

Swimmers before sharks
Telegraph editorial
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-swimmers-before-sharks/news-story/ef4d66167a2ae44efa8a654c039e08bd

ACT trials electric buses on public transport route
Canberra’s public transport bus fleet will trial two pure electric buses and one electric-diesel hybrid, as it transitions away from ageing diesel fleet.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/act-trials-electric-buses-on-public-transport-route-70685/

ACT energy target behind half of new renewable energy added in 2016
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-energy-target-behind-half-of-new-renewable-energy-added-in-2016-20170831-gy7t5z.html

Murray Darling Basin plan a ‘failure’, farmers claim water backed up in Qld
Farmers on Queensland’s McIntyre River say the Federal Government’s $13 billion Murray Darling Basin plan has failed because it allows cotton irrigators to replace water sold back to the Commonwealth with extra floodwaters caught off the plains.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/murray-darling-basin-plan-failure-farmers-claim-water-backed-up/8859412

‘Adani coal project in Australia moving ahead but slowly’
The Adani Group’s $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project in Australia is moving ahead albeit at a slow pace, Australia’s Minister for Trade Steven Ciobo said on Wednesday.
http://www.smetimes.in/smetimes/news/industry/2017/Aug/31/adani-coal-project-moving-ahead-but-slowly.html

Driven to frustration by long commutes
BRISBANE drivers already have the second worst commute in the country, behind Sydney. By 2030, local motorists could spend more than two hours a day commuting to and from work.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/future-brisbane/commute-time-blowout-to-two-hours-by-2030-blamed-on-more-cars-and-poor-public-transport/news-story/ddeaff83ae1a8257b31181418b2e9d7e

The toll that Brisbane needs
TRANSPORT experts say traffic congestion is only going to get worse – but a new type of toll road proving successful overseas could make all the difference on Brisbane’s roads.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/future-brisbane/the-toll-that-brisbane-needs/news-story/501b6dfb59be2662344308fe53a7aa9f

Major parties fight it out on energy credentials
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/major-parties-fight-it-out-on-energy-credentials-20170831-p4yvnt.html

Queensland beach battered with 7 tonnes of rubbish in a year
Volunteers expecting to find only 2 tonnes of rubbish on a far north Queensland beach are “blown away” when they discover more than 7 tonnes, including thousands of cigarette lighters, bleach bottles and toothbrushes scattered along 7 kilometres of Chilli Beach.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-01/queensland-chilli-beach-covered-7-tonnes-rubbish-in-one-year/8858580

Great Barrier Reef: plan to improve water quality ignores scientific advice
Australian government’s draft Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan provides new water quality targets, but has very few other concrete changes
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/31/great-barrier-reef-plan-to-improve-water-quality-ignores-scientific-advice

Brits can support our Reef Citizens
YOUR environmental crusader mate from across the pond could be in line for the journey of a lifetime.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/reef-movement-offers-internship-to-passionate-uk-citizen/news-story/dd8392be119a741418f2baab098630c2

Teenagers and Indigenous rangers battling Queensland’s feral pig scourge
The students from disadvantaged backgrounds are being taught to construct feral pig fences, as part of their alternative school’s official curriculum.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-01/students-team-up-with-indigenous-rangers-feral-pigs-fencing/8860862

Bid to restock Murray crayfish in South Australia
Once abundant in the River Murray, freshwater crayfish are now non-existent in South Australia, but an aquatic ecologist hopes to change that.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/charities-crackdown-threatens-status-of-environmental-groups/8859792

Wind output hits record in July, wind and solar 59% in S.A.
Wind output in Australia hits record highs in August, with wind and rooftop solar combining to provide 59 per cent of South Australia’s consumption.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-output-hits-record-in-july-wind-and-solar-59-in-s-a-45242/

BHP scraps OZ power deal
OZ Minerals says costs at its Prominent Hill copper mine in South Australia could rise by up to 5 per cent from 2020.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bhp-scraps-gridpower-deal-with-oz-minerals/news-story/e986f624a2436a3299eaabca5adc41b9

Beached wail over costly seaside visits
Advertiser editorial
AUSTRALIANS have a special affinity with our beaches, entwined with the popular image of an egalitarian, sun-drenched nation.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/the-advertiser-editorial-august-31-2017-beached-wail-over-costly-seaside-visits-drug-risk-at-home/news-story/3e949a40c1d954a500a5537de719bb56

Scallop fishers’ salmon issues
TASMANIA’S scallop fishers will call on the State Government to rethink its draft sustainable salmon industry growth plan to ensure the state’s scallop industry is better protected.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/calls-for-better-protection-of-scallops-in-salmon-expansion/news-story/b4a3ca6fa1310e88bcec95f61f16b7fb

Push to delay fracking decision
A NEW push has emerged within Territory Labor to delay any decision on hydraulic fracturing by the Gunner government
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/push-to-delay-fracking-decision/news-story/099a182de4bab7f5b0ec5485e0ae4e56

‘Walkabout’ protesters get their day in court to fight uranium mining in WA
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/walkabout-protesters-get-their-day-in-court-to-fight-uranium-mining-in-wa-20170831-gy82w9.html

This tiny country feeds the world.
The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006425

It’s time to ditch the concept of ‘100-year floods.’
The concept of the “100-year flood” is one of the most misunderstood terms in disaster preparedness.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006419

Insect eyes inspire new solar cell design from Stanford
Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could pave the way to a new generation of advanced photovoltaics, say Stanford University scientists.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/su-iei083117.php

Study reveals ways collegiate sports venues can achieve ‘zero waste’
Officials at collegiate sporting venues have been leading efforts toward zero-waste events with many professional and collegiate leagues adopting energy and water conservation efforts as well as increased recycling and composting.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/uom-srw083117.php

Making data centers more energy efficient
Most modern websites store data in databases, and since database queries are relatively slow, most sites also maintain so-called cache servers, which list the results of common queries for faster access. A data center for a major web service such as Google or Facebook might have as many as 1,000 servers dedicated just to caching.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/52334

The power of society: Scientists propose new area of study in energy generation
A collaborative team of scientists believe the next spurt of advancement is upon us, and it will be defined by energy production and consumption and the inherent human involvement.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/caoa-tpo083017.php

New device could turn heat energy into a viable fuel source
A new device being developed by Washington State University physicist Yi Gu could one day turn the heat generated by a wide array of electronics into a usable fuel source.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/wsu-ndc083017.php

Mass Production of Biodegradable Plastic
Introducing a simple step to the production of plant-derived, biodegradable plastic could improve its properties while overcoming obstacles to manufacturing it commercially, …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170831091454.htm

Indian Auditor-General finds public banks have US$1.8bn at risk on dud coal plants
Two of India’s leading public sector banks at risk of losing a “significant proportion” of US$7.4 billion loaned over three years to private power producers
http://reneweconomy.com.au/indian-auditor-general-finds-public-banks-us1-8bn-risk-dud-coal-plants-35528/

Adani says India still needs coal imported from Australia
Adani chairman Gautam Adani has told an Australian business forum in India his country still needs imported resources, contradicting the Indian Government’s policy of coal self-sufficiency.
http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/adani-says-india-still-needs-coal-imported-from-australia/

Immigrant protections have halved kids’ mental health problems
US legislation that protects some immigrants from deportation has been good for the mental health of their children. But the programme is under threat, with president Donald Trump expected to announce whether he will scrap it next week.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2145955-immigrant-protections-have-halved-kids-mental-health-problems/

How an Illinois utility used wind, solar and storage to power a microgrid for 24 hours.
Ameren, in partnership with a Chicago-based smart-grid engineering firm, successfully completed a 24-hour “islanding” test earlier this month using wind, solar and battery storage.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2460133000469006431

Romanian Unesco site proposal may be halted to allow gold mining
Protests planned after prime minister says Rosia Montana’s Unesco application may be withdrawn, allowing mine to go ahead
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/31/romania-may-seek-to-pull-gold-mine-from-unesco-protected-list

In pursuit of environmental justice, new California law maps disadvantaged communities.
A new mapping tool, CalEnviroScreen, examines every census tract in the state and calculates scores based on environmental, health and socioeconomic information
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212651521

Closure of US coal study marks an alarming precedent.
Nature editorial
The Trump administration has stepped up its assault on environmental protections by halting a US$1-million study on the health risks of coal mining — casting a pall on academic freedom.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212651520

The ‘crony capitalist’: Understanding Adani — an Indian perspective
Gaurav Tyagi
Freelance Indian journalist Gaurav Tyagi charts the rise of Adani, its finances, its links to corruption and its proposed coal mines in Australia.
https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/understanding-adani-an-indian-perspective,10671

The gorillas Dian Fossey saved are facing new challenges.
Three decades after the groundbreaking researcher was killed in Rwanda, the ape population is growing—but is under rising pressure
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006424

Arc of desperation.
Venezuela’s decision to open up the Orinoco Belt to mining threatens the Amazon rainforest.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212651209

PNG promises to shut down illegal logging leases
Illegal logging leases that have enriched foreign companies and dispossessed traditional landowners in Papua New Guinea will finally be shut down, according to the Government.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/png-to-shut-down-illegal-logging-leases/8858390

Global warming doubles growth rates of Antarctic seabed’s marine fauna – study
Experiment in the Bellingshuan Sea reveals temperature rise has more alarming implications for biodiversity in polar waters than previously thought
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/31/global-warming-doubles-growth-rates-of-antarctic-seabeds-marine-fauna-study

Up against the wall.
The U.S.-Mexico borderlands contain some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in either country. Trump’s wall would imperil all of it
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006427

The people, the mine and the World Bank
Demonstrations blocked a gold mining project in Rosia Montana, Romania – now the company is suing the country for billions
https://newint.org/sections/agenda/2017/07/01/rosia-montana

Guam’s forests are being slowly killed off – by a snake
Elizabeth Wandrag, Haldre Rogers
https://theconversation.com/guams-forests-are-being-slowly-killed-off-by-a-snake-83224