Friday 21 July 2017

2017 is so unexpectedly warm it is freaking out climate scientists
‘Extremely remarkable’ 2017 heads toward record for hottest year without an El Niño episode.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2017-unexpectedly-warm-freaking-climate-scientists-22022/

Ancient Italian Fossils Reveal Risk of Parasitic Infections Due to Climate Change
In 2014, a team of researchers led by a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri found that clams from the Holocene Epoch (that began 11,700 years ago) contained clues about how sea level rise due to climate change could foreshadow a rise in parasitic trematodes, or flatworms.
http://www.enn.com/health/article/51915

‘Frightening’: Senior climate scientist warns of potential Donald Trump damage
Budget cuts to key US climate programs proposed by President Donald Trump are ‘frightening’ for the global science community, threatening to set back recent advances, a leading international researcher says.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/frightening-senior-climate-scientist-warns-of-potential-donald-trump-damage-20170719-gxe3xm.html

All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws
A recent heatwave in Siberia’s frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/20/hell-breaks-loose-tundra-thaws-weatherwatch

Talking about climate change with Al Gore.
Video
In an interview, the former vice president and climate change activist reflects on what comes after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322368131

Past extinctions point to a current and future biodiversity crisis.
Dave Hone The Guardian
Rapid climate change is a unifying feature of ancient mass extinctions – how bad might it be now?
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322368150

Climate change is killing us right now.
Emily Atkin New Republic
The most obvious effect of global warming is not a doomsday scenario. Extreme heat is happening today, and wreaking havoc on vulnerable bodies
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2460133000469001628

Gov. Brown’s climate change deal was a lesson in compromise that should be studied in the White House.
George Skelton Los Angeles Times
We just witnessed how complex, contentious legislation is passed — how politicians can avoid gridlock, do something and not just whine.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469001629

Transgrid: 100% renewables is feasible and affordable
Network operator Transgrid says 100 per cent renewable energy is both feasible and affordable, and says only incremental increases in renewable energy will not achieve potential falls in the cost of electricity.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/transgrid-100-renewables-is-feasible-and-affordable-92062/

‘Energy prices the priority’
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says electricity affordability has become more crucial than carbon reduction.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/esoc15/electricity-affordability-more-crucial-than-carbon-reduction-frydenberg/news-story/433f3487e22e5ba986e17ce8a63d3e26

Folly in water hit
IRRIGATORS have called for a cap on the amount the Federal Government pays for on-farm water savings, after a Victorian irrigator offered 1200 megalitres of high-­reliability entitlement in return for $10 million.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/water/onfarm-water-savings-victorian-irrigators-call-for-commonwealth-cap/news-story/58c36a0fc98c51cbc0f7b656071164b6

Cracking down on Australia’s illegal animal trade
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/snatched-taped-up-and-traded-cracking-down-on-australias-illegal-animal-trade-20170720-gxf57d.html

Building new coal-fired power stations should be market’s decision, Turnbull says
PM says there is a role for government but ‘the goal should always be for investment decisions to be made by the market’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/20/building-new-coal-fired-power-stations-should-be-markets-decision-turnbull-says

Farming the suburbs – why can’t we grow food wherever we want?
Jennifer Kent, University of Sydney
Urban residents are increasingly keen to farm verges, parks, rooftops and backyards, but planning rules sometimes stand in the way.
http://theconversation.com/farming-the-suburbs-why-cant-we-grow-food-wherever-we-want-80330

Open season for our notion-building pollies
Mike Sandiford
Since the Finkel review was announced it has been open season for notion building in the energy space.
http://theconversation.com/open-season-for-our-notion-building-pollies-31943

Facing up to our challenges
Judith Sloan
We need to debate the merits of a substantial immigration program
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/esoc15/facing-up-to-our-inevitable-challenges/news-story/88eb8b1f19bcdbe902ff5961b43f864c

A turning point for energy prices?
Angela Macdonald-Smith
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/gas/qld-coal-seam-gas-reaches-melbourne-in-turning-point-for-energy-prices-20170719-gxebhy

Pork-barrel projects are a billion-dollar drain on the public purse
John Hewson
One of the most farcical, and disturbing, aspects of political and public attitudes to government spending is how it is acceptable to launch attack after attack on so-called abuses in welfare spending, “dole bludgers” and the like, while wasting billions and billions on poorly specified and implemented major projects, particularly in defence procurement and infrastructure.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/crackdown-on-welfare-cheats-20170719-gxetbl.html

Fish dying in waterways near burning Coolaroo recycling plant
Dead fish are being pulled out of waterways at a reserve in Broadmeadows, near a recycling plant in Coolaroo in Melbourne’s north, as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-20/fish-dying-in-waters-near-coolaroo-recycling-plant/8728538

No details on mill ownership
OWNERS of the Heyfield timber mill have ruled out the possibility of retaining a share in the business when it is sold to the Victorian Government later this month.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/heyfield-timber-mill-no-details-on-ownership/news-story/4e132923d679f16498e6045864f67147

Coolaroo fire a warning for world swamped by plastic rubbish
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/coolaroos-burning-hill-of-trash-a-warning-sign-for-world-swamped-by-plastic-20170719-gxere3.html

Why the Victorian government has little common sense when it comes to hot water systems
Chris Lewis
One of the most important policy issues confronting Australia, and one which has highlighted the failure of Australian governments to deliver, concerns Australia’s energy needs.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19169

Oh, the places you won’t go with Metro
Luba Grigorovitch
Train chaos at Flinders Street Station. Crowds pack the platforms waiting for trains to move due to a signaling fault. Picture: David Caird
NONE of us should really be surprised by Melbourne’s rail crisis. After all, Dr Seuss warned us all this day would come — the day when everyone is just waiting
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/luba-grigorovitch-oh-the-places-you-wont-go-on-public-transport/news-story/0e8fdd5bc0117e88cf2a40fa58fb2331

This is where the NSW Government wants to put six polluting smokestacks
Secret architectural designs, seen by the ABC and Fairfax, reveal the precise location of six polluting smokestacks planned for construction by the New South Wales Government.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-21/precise-location-of-six-polluting-smokestacks-sydney/8729438

Parramatta Road tram plans developed – then scrapped
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/parramatta-road-tram-plans-developed–then-scrapped-20170720-gxfb1p.html

Sydney Uni unveils genetically-identical clone of iconic jacaranda
http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/university-of-sydney-unveils-geneticallyidentical-clone-of-iconic-quadrangle-jacaranda-20170720-gxf45k.html

Shifting storms under climate change to worsen perils
Shifting storm directions under climate change are likely to worsen threats to coastlines already at risk from rising sea levels and more intense tempests, according to researchers at the University of NSW.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/astounding-shifting-storms-under-climate-change-to-worsen-coastal-perils-20170720-gxf8ic.html

Hazelwood gone today – Liddell gone tomorrow. Are we ready?
David Leitch
Early action on transmission should be at the top of the new Energy Security Board’s agenda if we are to connect enough wind and solar and hydro to replace retiring coal generators.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/hazelwood-gone-today-liddell-gone-tomorrow-are-we-ready-89140/

Tunnel exhaust stacks: don’t dare harm our kids … but expose workers
Simon Chapman
http://theconversation.com/tunnel-exhaust-stacks-dont-dare-harm-our-kids-but-expose-workers-81257

Why Berejiklian’s $262 million Shenhua deal is a con
Andrew Pursehouse
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/why-gladys-berejiklians-262-million-shenhua-deal-is-a-hoax-20170720-gxf7en.html

Ewen McKenzie’s plan to burn Canberra’s rubbish to generate electricity
Former Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has launched a new project that he says will take 90 per cent of the rubbish sent to Mugga Lane and burn much of it to generate electricity.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/ewen-mckenzies-plan-to-burn-canberras-rubbish-to-generate-electricity-20170720-gxevwv.html

Residents use cameras to fight coal company
Residents from Kingaroy in Queensland start a competition to show the rest of Australia what could be lost if a new coal mine is given the green light.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-20/kingaroy-residents-use-cameras-to-fight-coal-company/8725508

New claims put Adani project at risk
THE Australian Conservation Foundation says it has fresh legal advice which could cause major problems for Queensland’s Adani coal mine project.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/adani-coal-mine-new-claims-black-throated-finch-at-risk/news-story/afef02b3a120c9494843c369c413e739

Dirty coal to dirty politics: everything is connected through a malformed political economy
David Ritter
The life of our reef is intimately linked to the health of our politics and the future of our communities. Coal has no role to play
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/21/dirty-coal-to-dirty-politics-everything-is-connected-through-a-malformed-political-economy

Water mains could create job bonanza
Dale West
THE State Government should create jobs by replacing the entire trouble-plagued Adelaide water network
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/dale-west-south-australia-government-should-create-jobs-by-replacing-adelaide-water-network/news-story/fe6233af37beaa1a3d0bd2cc92085f4e

Penguins are in need of protection
Eric Woehler
GOVERNMENTS need to spend money to properly look after our natural assets which attract tourists to the state in the first place.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-penguins-are-in-need-of-protection/news-story/817a3994d9537fca8f85e95000e36172

Both Origin, anti-fracking NT pastoralist describe inquiry report as ‘balanced’
Origin Energy’s chief geologist and a major pastoralist opposed to fracking have described the interim report by the Northern Territory’s independent inquiry into fracking as balanced.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-07-20/origin-fracking-inquiry-balanced-north-star-pastoral-nt/8726226

A beauty hidden from the light for 65,000 years
Tony Wright
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/australias-oldest-human-technology-emerges-from-65000-hidden-years-20170720-gxf2x6.html

Woodside flags $6bn LNG overhaul
Woodside Petroleum chief Peter Coleman has flagged a $6bn overhaul of the North West Shelf LNG plant at Karratha.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/woodside-ceo-peter-coleman-flags-6bn-karratha-plant-overhaul/news-story/027b0f60a9d47e5d1a54f0f453b4bfc7

Native title blow for Forrest
Pilbara indigenous group has exclusive rights to land on which Fortescue Metals Group has built Solomon iron ore mine, court finds.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/andrew-twiggy-forrest-in-pilbara-native-title-setback-at-solomon-iron-ore-mine/news-story/41745859316f9e16e19a68cfd151708c

Native title win sets template
A landmark court decision could set a template for the way the mining industry approaches ­native title negotiation
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/blow-for-fortescue-native-title-win-sets-mining-template/news-story/34a20c146e79ed4751263d524e9960ec .

Fortescue up for ‘huge’ sum
Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals­ Group is facing a huge compensation claim after a historic native title rights ruling.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/historic-native-title-ruling-fortescue-up-for-astronomical-sum/news-story/8f69d6107564adf2bdeb48e46a6d54db

China connects 13.5GW of solar PV – in a single month
China installed 13.5GW of solar in a single month, and is expected to easily beat its 2020 target. It may have already.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/china-connects-13-5gw-of-solar-pv-in-a-single-month-22164/

Burying the atom: Europe struggles to dispose of nuclear waste.
Political opposition, not technical hurdles, poses biggest challenge to finding permanent storage sites for deadly radioactive material.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322367156

Should genetic engineering be used as a tool for conservation?
Amid concerns about the ethical questions and unwanted consequences of gene-altering technology, researchers are considering ways to use synthetic biology for such conservation goals as eradicating invasive species or strengthening endangered coral.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322367157

Vietnam’s tourism and fishing industries drown in waste.
An afternoon swim in the South China Sea along the southeast coast of Vietnam is not the pleasant experience a visitor might expect. Amid rainbow-colored fishing boats, plastics, of all sizes and forms, bob in emerald waters.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322367646

Plastics campaign calls for grassroots action to cut pollution across the UK.
Individuals, schools and businesses are urged to adopt a five point plan to help make their towns and cities free of single-use plastic.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469001644

Berkeley Lab to Lead Multimillion-Dollar Geothermal Energy Project
The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will lead a new $9 million project aimed at removing technical barriers to commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), a clean energy technology with the potential to power 100 million American homes.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/51911

Could Sharks Help Save Shipping Industry Billions?
Whales, sharks, butterflies and lotus leaves might together hold the secret to saving the shipping industry millions and help save the planet, according to a …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170720113655.htm

Climate change: Your meat-free diet can save the planet.
Matthew Prescott Fortune
Combating climate change is largely a matter of personal responsibility – and one of the easiest and best steps we can take concerns what we put on our plates.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322368135

Mothers vs. loggers: The destruction of Bialowieza Forest splits Poland.
New laws are allowing unprecedented logging in Bialowieza Forest, the largest lowland old-growth forest remaining in Europe
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322367158

Hot Dogs: Is Climate Change Impacting Populations of African Wild Dogs?
Climate change may be harming the future of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) by impacting the survival rates of pups, according to one of the first studies on how shifting …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170720100513.htm

Mixed outcomes for plants and animals in warmer 2080s climate
More than three quarters of plants and animals in England are likely to be significantly affected by climate change by the end of the century, say researchers.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/uoy-mof072017.php

Cash for carbon: A cost-effective way to reduce deforestation
A new Northwestern University study suggests that paying people to conserve their trees could be a highly cost-effective way to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions and should be a key part of the global strategy to fight climate change.
http://www.enn.com/environmental_policy/article/51910

Mexico launches pioneering scheme to insure its coral reef
Hotels and local government in Cancún will pay premiums, and insurance industry will pay out if the reef is damaged by storms
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/20/mexico-launches-pioneering-scheme-to-insure-its-coral-reef