FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018

How the rich fuel climate change
From private jets to overspending, the planet’s wealthiest may be contributing the most to its changing climate, an Oxford professor argues.

New data: hurricanes will get worse
Analysis of Hurricane Harvey, which drowned Houston, confirms predictions that the storms are likely to get bigger, be more intense and last longer.

Australia needs to stop fantasising about high-speed rail and build medium-speed rail instead
We’re a nation dazzled by the idea of high-speed rail between our major cities, but there’s an option that’s far cheaper.

Grants Target People, the Planet and Animals
Australian Ethical has opened its community grants program for 2018, with grants of $10,000 and $20,000 available for charities and not-for-profit social enterprises that contribute to humanitarian, environmental and animal welfare efforts in Australia and abroad.

‘Going broke with freezers full of fish’: Wild barramundi industry at risk of collapse
Commercial barramundi fishermen say their industry has all but collapsed in Australia, after the price for wild-caught fish plummeted this season.

Climate change an ‘existential security risk’ to Australia, Senate inquiry says
Threat is not a possible future one but one endangering Australia now, parliament told

On Walk Safely to School Day, parents need to lead way on kids’ health
Seventy per cent of Australian children are now driven to and from school compared to 16 per cent in 1970.

Foreign meddling bill hits snag  [PAYWALL]
Links between a Liberal backbencher and the Ukrainian embassy have increased pressure on the PM over a foreign influence clamp.

Solar gardens could lower energy bills
The feasibility of solar gardens will be assessed at five Australian locations, including whether consumers would buy or lease panels for a cheaper energy bill.

Doubts over water recovery in the Murray as targets shift
A cut to the water recovery target means the Murray will miss out on hundreds of gigalitres of water a year, one of the state’s top river experts says.

Explaining the history of Australia’s vegetation
University of Adelaide-led research has uncovered the history of when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent.

Don’t go down the mine, Daddy!
Pam Menzies
Attending a recent talk on the effects of climate change served as an inspiring wake-up call for Pam Menzies.,11507

Bigger not better for the environment
Graham Turner
With Australia and Queensland’s population booming, it’s time to look at immigration. It comes down to one question for the nation in both business and politics — do we become better, or just bigger?

NAB, CBA to provide $80m finance for Crowlands wind farm
Pacific Hydro’s 80MW Crowlands wind farm in regional Victoria has reached financial close, with backing from two of the Big Four banks.

Australia’s biggest wind farm project lands connection deal
Goldwind Australia is set begin construction on Australia’s biggest wind farm after finally concluding a network connection deal for the 530MW Stockyard Hill wind farm in Victoria.

New Vic gas fields ‘not enough’ to shift pricing  [PAYWALL]
Beach Energy says discoveries in the new fields are highly unlikely to make a difference to the extremely tight east-coast gas supply-demand balance.

Victoria’s new offshore oil and gas releases a ‘complete mockery’ of ban
Premier Daniel Andrews says release doesn’t breach his onshore moratorium, despite opposition criticism

Logging burns conceal industrial pollution in the name of ‘community safety’
Chris Taylor, University of Melbourne and David  Lindenmayer, Australian National University
Earlier this year, Melbourne and large areas of Central Victoria, experienced days of smoke haze and poor air quality warnings as a result of planned burns. It’s a regular event occurring every autumn.

Coalition must stop coasting on our roads  [PAYWALL]
Matt Johnston
Delivering a clear vision on our road projects is a huge opportunity for the state Coalition, but right now it’s coasting.

ACT brings forward zero emissions target to 2045
ACT government brings forward its zero emissions target to 2045, turning its focus to transport and gas, and laying down the gauntlet for other states and the federal government to follow.

ACT to change law to drop gas and pave way for all-electric suburbs
ACT takes next step in trial of gas-free suburban living, with a proposed repeal of planning laws that have made gas connection mandatory to all new housing divisions in the Territory.

If you hit a roo, don’t move it off the road, park rangers say
A Canberra woman who was hit by a car while removing a kangaroo from the road sparks warnings from park rangers about what to do when you hit an animal.

Adani’s vain hope global coal market will save Carmichael mine
Adani pins hopes for beleaguered Carmichael coal mine on the Asia–Pacific market. But the Australian government’s own resources forecaster is less confident.

Adani stands down engineering firm  [PAYWALL]
Indian energy giant Adani says it still has a string of consultants and contractors on its books, despite engineering and advisory firm AECOM being asked to “stand-down” from its work on the mega-mine and rail project in Central Queensland.

Engineering Firm’s Withdrawal From Adani Coal Project Should Be ‘Final Nail In The Coffin’, Says Greenpeace
One of the world’s largest engineering firms – and a key partner in Indian company Adani’s push to open up the Galilee basin in Queensland…

PowerLink signs 500MW solar project, sees 30GW in pipeline
Queensland transmission company signs connection deal for first stage of 500MW solar project, and sees 30GW pipeline of renewables in the state.

Mackay council goes solar – and saves big – with city-wide rollout
Mackay Council awards tender to install solar PV on 21 local government facilities, saving nearly 10 times its outlay over 20 years. But the bid price stuns rivals.

Investor jeopardy over land laws  [PAYWALL]
Queensland’s crackdown on land-clearing is putting its reputation as a destination for agriculture investment in ‘jeopardy’.

We must return all our landmarks to their Indigenous names
Jack Latimore
Two Queensland mountains will regain their First Nations origin names on Friday. This is only the beginning

SA threatens legal action over Port Pirie smelter upgrade
The South Australian Government is threatening legal action against the owner of the Port Pirie smelter, after the Belgian owners put off repayments of a loan.

Long wait for full separated bikeway though the CBD
The bike lobby has hailed the newly rebuilt sections of Frome Street bikeway as a success, but cyclists can expect a long wait before they see a complete north-south separated bikeway through the city.

Hermal Group’s Hampshire timber mill proposal doesn’t please everyone
A 200-job timber mill proposal faces a planning fight if one Hampshire resident’s response is any guide.

New setback for cable car plan  [PAYWALL]
The Mount Wellington Cableway Company is unsure when it will be able to submit a development application for its project after being dealt another setback.

Solar and battery microgrid nears completion at NT Air Force site
Carnegie Clean Energy says Delamere Air Weapons Range solar and storage microgrid is nearly complete, and ready to cut the facility’s diesel use by 61%.

World’s largest fence to save native animal populations from feral cats
In a bid to save central Australia’s native mammal populations from being decimated by feral cats, conservationists are building the largest cat-free zone in the world.

Talga claims “significant breakthrough” in li-ion battery race
Perth company says its graphite anode help delivered 20% higher capacity and 20% higher power in lithium-ion battery cell tests, against the industry standard.

Perth Airport’s third runway clears hurdle, sparks immediate Noongar backlash
Perth Airport’s expansion plans clears a major hurdle, putting a decades-old proposal for a third runway a step closer to reality.

One down, five to go: Cook Islands begins shift to 100% solar and storage
Melbourne company Entura leads project to take six of Cook Islands’ 12 inhabited islands from diesel to 100% solar and battery storage.

Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources?
In a review paper last year in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Benjamin Heard and colleagues presented their case against 100 percent renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy. Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100 percent renewable future.

‘This is an eye-opener’: Changes in global water supply hint at future conflicts and crises
A new analysis points to areas where there is increasing potential for conflict as a growing demand for water collides with the impacts of climate change.

Why Americans are having fewer children
A government report estimates that 3,853,472 babies were born nationally last year — the fewest in 30 years and down from a 2007 record high of 4,316,233.

Soon your phone may be powered by ship soot
Researchers found a way to turn carbon pollution into graphite, a component widely used in batteries

We know plastic is harming marine life. What about us?
There often are tiny bits of plastic in the fish and shellfish we eat. Scientists are racing to figure out what that means for our health.

My daughter is right: our generation is wrecking the world for hers
Paul Daley
I inherited a better world than my parents did. Our kids can’t say the same in an era of Trump, terrorism and climate deniers

Electric vehicles will soon rule the neo-chariot world
Ted Mead
It didn’t seem all that long ago when Tesla released its first fully electric vehicle (EV), and due to its high retail price it wasn’t an instant success, but fast forward to the end of this decade and Tesla EVs will be burning off the production conveyor belt at a rapid rate, and there seems no end to this neo-tech revolution

Fighting the environmental justice fight in South Africa
Bobby Peek
Environmental justice campaigner Bobby Peek looks at the impact of the environment on Durban residents.

The EU and China will leverage renewable energy to create a new global order
Richard Attias
“Coal is what powered the British Empire. Oil was the bedrock of the American Century. Renewable energy will decide who leads and shapes this century.”

A third of world’s nature reserves severely degraded by human activity
New study’s author says failure to protect biodiversity in places identified for that purpose is ‘staggering’

Climate change on track to cause major insect wipeout, scientists warn
Insects are vital to ecosystems but will lose almost half their habitat under current climate projections

Limiting warming to 1.5 degree C would save majority of global species from climate change
New research finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C would save the majority of the world’s plant and animal species from climate change. Species across the globe would benefit — particularly those in Southern Africa, the Amazon, Europe and Australia. Examples of animals to benefit include the critically endangered black rhinoceros. Reducing the risk to insects is important because they are vital for ‘ecosystem services’ such as pollinating crops and being part of the food chain.

Rising sea levels putting wildlife at risk
Rising seas pose threats to wildlife habitat, and many species are losing important habitat for critical life functions such as nesting.

Climate change broadens threat of emerald ash borer
More Canadian cities will experience damage from the emerald ash borer than previously thought. As a result of climate change and fewer days of extreme cold, the beetle may eat its way further north than originally estimated.

What happens if we run out?
What happens when pests resist all forms of herbicides and pesticides? To slow the evolutionary progression of weeds and insect pests gaining resistance to herbicides and pesticides, policymakers should provide resources for large-scale, landscape-level studies of a number of promising but untested approaches for slowing pest evolution.

Climate-threatened animals unable to relocate
Many of the European mammals whose habitat is being destroyed by climate change are not able to find new places to live elsewhere.

Brazilian Amazon oil palm deforestation under control, for now
Most oil palm production in Pará state has so far been on degraded lands, but researchers warn a coming Brazilian oil palm boom could result in large-scale Amazon deforestation.

New study could improve monitoring of tropical trees in face of climate change
Experts have challenged the principle that tropical ecosystems are aseasonal — after discovering regular cycles in fruiting, flowering and leafing in such climates.

The efficiency myth
Nick Dowson dismantles the notion that the private sector does things better.