Friday 17 November 2017

‘Political watershed’ as 19 countries pledge to phase out coal
New alliance launched at Bonn climate talks hopes to signal the end of the dirtiest fossil fuel that kills 800,000 people a year with air pollution
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/political-watershed-as-19-countries-pledge-to-phase-out-coal

Researchers helping farmers combat climate change with big data
Researchers in Colombia win a prestigious UN award for their work helping farmers to embrace big data to combat climate change.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-16/big-data-farm-award-helping-to-tackle-climate-change/9156844

Half of U.S. spending power behind Paris Climate Agreement
A growing coalition of states, cities, and organizations is pushing ahead to meet emissions reductions targets, even as the Trump administration walks away from global warming efforts.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/were-still-in-paris-climate-agreement-coalition-bonn-cop23/

Climate Change Impacts Already Locked In — But The Worst Can Still Be Avoided
Some impacts of global warming – such as sea level rise and coastal flooding – are already locked in and unavoidable, according to a major research project.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53180

Groundwater depletion could be significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide
Humans may be adding large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by using groundwater faster than it is replenished, according to new research.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/agu-gdc111617.php

Public – and Researchers – Skeptical About Climate Engineering
What does the general public know about climate engineering, and what do they think about what they know? These were questions asked by ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171115092233.htm

Study urges global-change researchers to embrace variability
Findings portend benefits in restoration and aquaculture
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/viom-sug111517.php

These are the melting glaciers that might someday drown your city, according to NASA
Thanks to NASA — and the laws of physics — 293 coastal cities can now know which specific glaciers pose the most dangers to them if they melt.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/11/15/these-are-the-melting-glaciers-that-might-someday-drown-your-city-according-to-nasa/?utm_term=.8eef1663ac67

U.N. Climate Fund promised billions to poor nations. For some, the wait is long
The Green Climate Fund was meant to help developing countries tackle climate change, but many of the most vulnerable nations have not seen any grants.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/climate/green-climate-fund.html

Manage climate risks or face much more hunger by 2050
Climate change threats, from worsening drought and flooding to sea level rise, could increase the risks of hunger and child malnutrition around the world by 20 percent by 2050, food security researchers warned Wednesday.
http://news.trust.org/item/20171115213515-gstmf/

Climate action by China, India to offset Trump: Study
Global warming is likely to be slightly less severe than previously expected thanks to stronger climate policies by China and India that will offset less U.S. action under President Donald Trump, a study showed on Wednesday.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-temperatures/climate-action-by-china-india-to-offset-trump-study-idUSKBN1DF1LF

The world at 3 degrees: What it means for five cities
From rising sea levels to megastorms and drought, how five cities around the world will face their own struggles to adapt to a warming planet.
http://www.dw.com/en/the-world-at-3-degrees-what-it-means-for-five-cities/a-41392444

Why meeting the Paris climate goals is an existential threat to fossil fuel industries
Henry Kelly, University of Michigan
What if the world really got serious about meeting global climate goals? Doing the math on current emissions and the pace of energy transitions shows how quickly fossil fuels need to be phased out.
http://theconversation.com/why-meeting-the-paris-climate-goals-is-an-existential-threat-to-fossil-fuel-industries-85225

Climate Clock Ticking: It’s Time BHP Stopped Funding Deniers
Bill McKibben
https://newmatilda.com/2017/11/16/climate-clock-ticking-its-time-bhp-stopped-funding-deniers-says-bill-mckibben/

Montara oil spill victims win more time to file class action claim
The Federal Court has granted a seaweed farmer from Indonesia more time to prepare his claim as the lead applicant suing an oil company over a devasta…
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22275-montara-oil-spill-victims-win-more-time-to-file-class-action-claim

Commonwealth Bank says its lending for coal will continue to decline
Analysts say a test of the bank’s withdrawal from coal will come when Adani’s Abbot Point terminal comes up for refinancing
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/commonwealth-bank-says-its-lending-for-coal-will-continue-to-decline

Is there a change Australia’s nuclear weapons position under Turnbull?
Murray Hunter
Paradoxically, every prime minister supported to various degrees, the development of uranium mining and export as an economic driver.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19414

There’s no conflict between Indigenous people, native title and development
Joe Morrison
We need a modern approach that brings Indigenous people and pastoralists together for the benefit of both
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-16/no-conflict-between-native-title-and-development/9146346

Big role to play fighting climate change
Josh Frydenberg
This week, representatives of nearly 200 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, for COP23, the major climate change conference of the year.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-big-role-to-play-as-world-fights-climate-change/news-story/8094cb5d80a828cc59d75d1b5bbe69e0

BHP green links will end in tears
James Kirby
Australia’s biggest miner is creating a most unlikely alliance with environmental charities. It can only end in tears.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/bhp-alliance-with-environmental-charities-will-end-in-tears/news-story/fe9be90bef0fc67915299c054ce059a3

Victoria’s battery storage won’t be ready for this summer
Victoria will likely go without its much-vaunted battery storage installations this summer, following months of delays likely to be centred around finance and contracting.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/victorias-battery-storage-wont-ready-summer-64243/

“Autonobus” driverless shuttle trial kicks off at Victoria’s La Trobe Uni
Driverless shuttle bus trial kicks off at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus, to test the use of autonomous vehicles as “last mile” transport solutions.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/autonobus-driverless-shuttle-trial-kicks-off-at-victorias-la-trobe-uni-87130/

Consumers to displace fossil fuels as biggest supplier of energy
Network operator Ausnet says consumers will provide nearly half of their electricity needs, surpassing fossil fuels as the biggest supplier to the grid.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/consumers-displace-fossil-fuels-biggest-supplier-energy-58664/

Notman Pasture Seeds field day: Early start the key to killing pesky ‘weeds’
Eradicating barley grass or winter grass with a pre-emergent chemical has proven dividends at an Ellinbank trial, according to Cropmark regional agronomist Adam Sheedy.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/dairy/notman-pasture-seeds-field-day-early-start-the-key-to-killing-pesky-weeds/news-story/29758ae82a7fca8bd6c6c54da9bb65cc

Coalition park stand confusion
Questions are being raised about Coalition opposition to the Great Forest National Park — a proposal that could end native logging in Victoria.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/great-forest-national-park-coalition-stand-confusion/news-story/d50209f4cec46dd3a239fbd8eabade30

Matthew Guy floats idea of building East West and North East road projects together
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/matthew-guy-floats-idea-of-building-east-west-and-north-east-road-projects-together-20171116-gzn5bm.html

Public transport services complaints double: Public Transport Ombudsman
Frustrated passengers are becoming fed up waiting for public transport, with complaints about unreliable services more than doubling in the space of a year.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/public-transport-services-complaints-double-public-transport-ombudsman/news-story/bceec2d45ff369a65a3b2d695ccf3869

Green park could reignite Muir’s passion for politics
Ed Gannon
Ricky Muir is a name that may have slipped from the memories of most people. But it is a name that could soon be in the spotlight again
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/ed-gannon-green-park-could-reignite-muirs-passion-for-politics/news-story/c93aa5aba0e2563c4b6c405341983cd5

The next Canberra suburbs getting green bins
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/the-next-canberra-suburbs-getting-green-bins-20171116-gzmqun.html

Fears for Great Barrier Reef as deforestation surges in catchments
Calls grow for the federal government to step in as erosion from intensified land clearing in Queensland threatens coral
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/17/fears-for-great-barrier-reef-as-deforestation-surges-in-catchments

Queensland conservation groups call for new waste levy ahead of election
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/conservation/re-introduce-waste-levy-and-stop-queensland-becoming-dumping-ground-20171115-p4yx19.html

‘No desire to lift coal power’
Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared there is no appetite for a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/queensland-election/queensland-election-no-desire-to-lift-coal-power-says-palaszczuk/news-story/b821dda9777cae4f8b97d333d78f97bb

Queenslanders support Labor promise to veto loan to Adani, poll says
More than 61% say they think the LNP should follow Labor and also promise to stop Adani getting government loan
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/16/queenslanders-support-labor-promise-to-veto-loan-to-adani-poll-says

The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine: Introduction To A Special Five-Part Series
Kristen Lyons, Morgan Brigg, John Quiggin
Per head of population, Australia is already one of the world’s worst carbon polluters. Despite this, our two major political parties – Labor and the…
https://newmatilda.com/2017/11/16/adani-carmichael-coal-mine-introduction-special-five-part-series/

Australia is a global top-ten deforester – and Queensland is leading the way
Noel D Preece, James Cook University and Penny van Oosterzee, James Cook University
The failed attempt to reinstate land clearing regulations in Queensland has prompted ‘panic clearing’, pushing Australia into the global top-ten deforesters.
https://theconversation.com/australia-is-a-global-top-ten-deforester-and-queensland-is-leading-the-way-87259

Bush school embraces solar power as students build own panels
A tiny bush school in South Australia hopes to become a model for sustainable living as students construct solar panels that attach to battery storage to power the school’s fish farm.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-16/bush-school-embraces-solar-energy-south-australia/9154180

Genetically-modified crop ban in SA set to be extended to 2025
South Australia is set to extend its controversial ban on the growing of GM crops after a bill put forward by the Greens passed the Upper House.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-16/south-australia-gm-ban-extension-to-2025/9155994

A Big Country: Rock wallabies back in APY lands
Black-footed rock wallabies are finally making a comeback in the remote APY lands of central Australia. Once considered one of South Australia’s most endangered mammals 40 wallabies have been released back into the wild into the rocky ranges near the Northern Territory
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-16/a-big-country-rock-wallabies-back-in-apy-lands/9156502

Gas generators profit from scarcity in S.A. again, and again
Giles Parkinson
Big gas generators in South Australia have combined again to create “scarcity” and push prices into orbit, pocketing windfall profits at the expense of consumers.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/gas-generators-profit-scarcity-s-16566/

Bushfire near George Town ‘under control’
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5062189/bushfire-near-george-town-under-control/?cs=95

Ancient living fossils discovered by accident in Tasmania
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5062360/ancient-living-fossils-discovered-by-accident-in-tasmania/?cs=95

TasWater report released
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5060367/taswater-report-released/?cs=95

Tasmania’s 2017-18 bushfire season isn’t coming – it’s here now
Opinion
As the majority of the community stares longingly ahead at summer with thoughts of holidays, there are those for whom the season brings a different train of thought.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5061271/bushfire-season-isnt-coming-its-here-now/?cs=97

Inpex starts up its LNG Project’s power plant
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/significant-milestone-reached-as-inpex-starts-up-its-lng-projects-power-plant/news-story/fe72beaa9332c7e15a404a1b22cafdf9

Pilbara Solar eyes NAIF funding for plan to export WA solar to Asia
Pilbara Solar seeks federal government funding for plan to export WA generated solar power to Indonesia, via a sub-sea cable.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/pilbara-solar-eyes-naif-funding-plan-export-wa-solar-asia-77040/

Climate change forces upgrade of Mundaring Weir
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/climate-change-forces-upgrade-of-mundaring-weir-20171116-gzn2fk.html

Industrial Strength: How the U.S. government hid the risks of fracking
A pivotal EPA study provided the scientific rationale for exemptions that helped unleash the fracking boom. The study was rigged to protect industry interests.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16112017/fracking-chemicals-safety-epa-health-risks-water-bush-cheney

This group thinks Trump hasn’t done enough to unravel environmental rules. Here’s its wish list
A three-page “Energy Freedom Scorecard” details how the Trump administration has aggressively undone environmental rules and climate policy. But for the Heartland Institute, it’s not nearly enough.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/11/15/this-group-thinks-trump-hasnt-done-enough-to-unravel-environmental-rules-heres-its-wish-list/?utm_term=.bc15821ad340

Cities overwhelmed by unplanned migration, need support
Many cities are being overwhelmed by growing numbers of people migrating to them, and will become highly vulnerable to floods, storms and other disasters unless authorities receive more support, urban experts said on Wednesday.
http://news.trust.org/item/20171115180033-90m4h/

‘Political watershed’ as 19 countries pledge to phase out coal
New alliance launched at Bonn climate talks hopes to signal the end of the dirtiest fossil fuel that kills 800,000 people a year with air pollution
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/political-watershed-as-19-countries-pledge-to-phase-out-coal

Renaissance of the iron-air battery
Jülich researchers show charging and discharging reactions during operation with nanometre precision
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/fj-rot111417.php

U.N. talks plant seed for greener, more climate-savvy agriculture
Agriculture, forestry and changes in land use together produce 21 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
http://news.trust.org/item/20171115164742-4v7dw/

U.S. government releases first global water strategy
To coordinate its response to floods, droughts, disease, and other water challenges whose political and economic consequences leap borders the Trump administration submitted the federal government’s first global water strategy.
http://www.circleofblue.org/2017/world/u-s-government-releases-first-global-water-strategy/

Growing number of global insurance firms divesting from fossil fuels
Report shows around £15bn of assets worldwide have been shifted away from coal companies in the past two years as concern over climate risk rises.
http://www.ehn.org/growing-number-of-global-insurance-firms-divesting-from-fossil-fuels-environment-the-guardian-2509823053.html

Dakota Access pipeline company paid mercenaries to build conspiracy lawsuit against environmentalists
The private security firm TigerSwan worked to build a RICO suit accusing Greenpeace, Earth First, and BankTrack of inciting protests to increase donations.Fearless, adversarial journalism that holds the powerful accountable.
https://theintercept.com/2017/11/15/dakota-access-pipeline-dapl-tigerswan-energy-transfer-partners-rico-lawsuit/

Government revokes 406 mining permits in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan
Officials in Indonesia’s coal-rich province of East Kalimantan have announced the revocation of more than 400 mining permits, as part of ongoing efforts to clean up the industry.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/government-revokes-406-mining-permits-in-indonesias-east-kalimantan/

New Research Shows: Organic Farming Can Make an Important Contribution to World Nutrition
A global conversion to organic farming can contribute to a profoundly sustainable food system, provided that it is combined with further measures, specifically with a one-third reduction of animal-based products in the human diet, less concentrated feed and less food waste.
http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/53183

Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
Researchers demonstrate the full process showing how solar thermal energy can split H2O and CO2 to make jet fuel
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/s-dst111517.php

‘Modern air is too clean’: the rise of air pollution denial
US sceptics are questioning the science behind air pollution and mortality, a trend that is starting to appear in countries where the air is much more toxic
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/modern-air-is-too-clean-the-rise-of-air-pollution-denial

Here’s a roadmap for solving 3 of the world’s biggest problems
David Roberts
How to address climate change, energy access, and air pollution, at once.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/11/16/16654222/iea-sustainable-development-scenario

Bigotry against indigenous people means we’re missing a trick on climate change
Prakash Kashwan
Traditional farming strategies could protect humanity against global warming and prevent deadly wildfires. Yet scientists seem determined to ignore them.
https://www.theguardian.com/working-in-development/2017/nov/15/bigotry-against-indigenous-people-means-were-missing-a-trick-on-climate-change

Humpbacks don’t always heed sonic warnings from warships
Attempts to warn humpback whales about approaching dangerous military sonar doesn’t always work, new research has found
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-11-16/humpback-whales-navy-sonar-hearing-loss/9149398

At stake in Arctic Wildlife Refuge drilling vote: Money, wilderness and a way of life
The refuge’s Coastal Plain is home to polar bears, caribou and other wildlife. For many people living here, subsistence hunting is a way of life.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15112017/anwr-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge-oil-drilling-alaska-murkowski

Passenger pigeon case study: How even large, stable populations may be at risk for extinction
A new study on passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) genomics suggests that even species with large and stable populations can be at risk of extinction if there’s a sudden environmental change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/aaft-ppc111317.php

Species in the North Are More Vulnerable to Climate Change
For the first time, researchers have proposed the hypothesis that animals that live in climate zones at a safe distance from both the poles as well as the tropics have the most to gain from …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171116092530.htm

The gender pay gap has narrowed … to $26,527 per year
The pay gap between men and women narrows ­ but the blokes’ club still rules when it comes to striking juicier salary deals, according to the latest gender equality scorecard out.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/women-paid-$26,527-less-than-men-per-year-but-pay-gap-narrowing/9159468