Friday 27 October 2017

Australia world’s second-worst offender for biodiversity loss
Australia is one of just seven countries responsible for more than half the world’s biodiversity loss between 1996 and 2008 — and investing in conservation is the key to slowing the decline.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-10-26/australia-biodiversity-loss-conservation/8987696

The uninhabitable village
Hotter temperatures are forcing families in southern India to decide: Try to survive here, or leave?
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/26/world/middleeast/india-farmers-drought.html

Latin America heads to climate summit with uneven progress
Latin America has increased the use of renewable energies, but not enough to meet the voluntary commitments for reducing GHG emissions.
http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/10/latin-america-heads-climate-summit-uneven-progress/

Bat Poop: A Reliable Source of Climate Change
People have long known that bat guano – the polite term for what the flying mammals leave on the floors of caves where they live worldwide – is a valuable source of fuel and fertilizer, but now newly published research from University of South Florida geoscientists show that the refuse is also a reliable record of climate change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uosf-bpa102617.php

A Drier South: Europe’s Drought Trends Match Climate Change Projections
Researchers published new findings that suggest European drought trends are lining up with climate change projections, pointing to decreases in drought frequency in the north and increases in drought …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171026085645.htm

Sea levels to rise 1.3m unless coal power ends by 2050, report says
University of Melbourne paper combines latest understanding on Antarctica and current emissions projection scenarios
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/26/sea-levels-to-rise-13m-unless-coal-power-ends-by-2050-report-says

Above-average temperatures predicted heading into summer
The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest climate outlook for November, December and January predicts above-average temperatures for north and south-east Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-26/above-average-temperatures-bom-climate-outlook-nov-jan/9087564

Australia world’s second-worst offender for biodiversity loss
Australia is one of just seven countries responsible for more than half the world’s biodiversity loss between 1996 and 2008 — and investing in conservation is the key to slowing the decline.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-10-26/australia-biodiversity-loss-conservation/8987696

Peter Garrett: Back on centre stage to fight Adani, push for 100% renewables
Peter Garrett, the frontman for Midnight Oil is back on centre stage, promising to fight Adani and push for 100 per cent renewables, and challenging Labor on its equivalence on coal. Will he have more impact as a popular public figure than he did inside the Labor machine?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/peter-garrett-back-on-centre-stage-to-fight-adani-push-for-100-renewables-71079/

Frydenberg says government will further reduce emissions to meet Paris target
Energy minister says he expects the states to act in the national interest and sign on to national energy guarantee
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/27/frydenberg-says-government-will-further-reduce-emissions-to-meet-paris-target

Government likely to have bought ‘ghost water’ in $78m deal
Agency that manages Australia’s environmental water did not want to buy unreliable entitlements
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/27/government-likely-to-have-bought-ghost-water-in-78m-deal

Alan Finkel disputes figures used by supporters of coal power
Chief scientist says far fewer coal-fired power stations being planned around the world than previously projected
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/26/alan-finkel-disputes-figures-used-by-supporters-of-coal-power

Why NEG may kill new renewable projects, even those with finance in place
Peter Farley
After initially seeing the NEG as a possible win for consumers and the environment, I now see it as an almost certain disaster for prices, reliability and emissions.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/neg-may-kill-new-renewable-projects-even-finance-place-49672/

Australia still lags behind in vehicle emissions testing
Zoran Ristovski, Queensland University of Technology and Nic Surawski,University of Technology Sydney
Australian vehicles have been accused of creating more emissions than their manufacturers advertise. But are Australian testing standards up to scratch?
http://theconversation.com/australia-still-lags-behind-in-vehicle-emissions-testing-86217

NBN, energy fiasco: Why pollies should bin economic modelling
Harold Mitchell
http://www.theage.com.au/business/forget-modelling-have-a-chat-with-a-cabbie-20171026-gz8o2d.html

Visitations and hot springs inspire Apostles resort 
A developer’s $125 million solution to capturing the value of fleeting visits to Victoria’s Twelve Apostles attraction.
http://www.afr.com/real-estate/visitations-and-hot-springs-inspire-apostles-resort-20171026-gz8sm6

Solved: Why green sludge turned the Yarra fluoro
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/epa-investigating-after-mysterious-green-sludge-leaks-into-yarra-river-20171026-gz8smh.html

ACT eyes electric vehicle target, after ‘nation-leading’ renewables success
Report recommends ACT electric vehicle target to “clearly guide” market, and incentives for EV uptake, in next-round climate policy.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/act-eyes-electric-vehicle-target-after-nation-leading-renewables-success-36073/

Government assures China over Adani mega-mine approvals
Crossbenchers raise concerns about a Government letter to the Chinese Government confirming Adani’s controversial multi-billion-dollar coal mine and rail project has received all government approvals.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-26/government-gives-assurance-to-china-over-adani-approvals/9088968

State election watch: Labor understood to have booked television advertising spots
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-watch-labor-understood-to-have-booked-television-advertising-spots/news-story/699c83f987511c61bbdaeb4642910e5b

Queensland Rail spent $10.5m on consultants to help fix rail crisis
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/consultants-paid-10m-to-fix-qrs-rail-fail-debacle/news-story/aa04658a31dec1a8c67c89102babbac1

$1000 a day for NAIF’s travels
STAFF and board members of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility spent nearly $1000 a day on travel in just a year, despite only flagging one project for a loan.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/naif-racks-up-347000-travel-bill-despite-only-supporting-one-project/news-story/3b121ecccef787c59de27c4efce69c6e

‘The hearse is waiting’: Labor MP slams own party over failing coal miners
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/the-hearse-is-waiting-in-the-driveway-20171026-p4ywnn.html

Brisbane’s new cruise ship terminal gets the green light
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-s-new-cruise-ship-terminal-gets-the-green-light-to-go-ahead-20171025-p4ywmy.html

Possible oil spill in River Torrens discovered at Allenby Gardens
Wildlife volunteers will return to the banks of the River Torrens for days to come after a 2km oil slick drenched birds and other animals.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/law-order/possible-oil-spill-in-river-torrens-discovered-at-allenby-gardens/news-story/79b5d081565ee04a6028a08028085a92

Orange-bellied wild girl returns
THE first wild female orange-bellied parrot has arrived at Melaleuca for this year’s breeding season, keeping hopes of the species’ survival alive.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/wild-female-orangebellied-parrot-arrives-at-melaleuca/news-story/0b221dd5a6ddbf73727e5073eb4afa8b

‘Thor’ rains down on East Coast bushfire
THE Tasmania Fire Serivce has called in “Thor” to help tackle a bushfire raging on the state’s East Coast. The tanker can drop 15,000 litres of water in less than a minute to soak an 8km-long strip of land.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tfs-throws-aggressive-strategies-at-bushfire-near-st-helens/news-story/1836b5551ba17831fed9cb6f6ff2313d

Wildlife faces attack of the drones
Pip Wallace
Flying burritos and pizza delivery by drone may be coming to your home sooner than you realised.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-wildlife-faces-attack-of-the-drones/news-story/71ad026b5d5f8c735e1548523c558a2f

Journey through the apocalypse
Cassandra Pybus
https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-journey-through-the-apocalypse-85829

Suspected illegal fishos intercepted
TWO Indonesian fishing boats suspected of illegal fishing activities were intercepted by authorities in the Timor Sea and directed to Darwin
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/fishing/suspected-illegal-fishos-intercepted/news-story/c8eeba78ecad589d7634132ab37626b4

Dredging starts in Cullen Bay
Boaties have been asked to be cautious around Cullen Bay as maintenance dredging gets under way
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/dredging-starts-in-cullen-bay/news-story/5c8b6646887eae3593d7de170b7234f9

Europe delays phasing out ‘probably carcinogenic’ glyphosate herbicide
Europe delays a decision on phasing out glyphosate as farmers and scientists line up to support the herbicide declared by the WHO as “probably carcinogenic” as safe.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-10-26/eu-delays-glyphosate-ruling-farmers-say-threatens-production/9081016

Toxics in widespread use excluded from EPA chemical review
Spurred by the chemical industry, President Donald Trump’s administration is retreating from a congressionally mandated review of some of the most dangerous chemicals in public use: millions of tons of asbestos, flame retardants and other toxins in homes, offices and industrial plants across…
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/epa-chemical-review-exclude-millions-tons-toxins-50701138

Bisphenol S ‘ubiquitous in environment’, study finds
Humans exposed on a daily basis
https://chemicalwatch.com/60519/bisphenol-s-ubiquitous-in-environment-study-finds

China shut down up to 40% of its factories in an unprecedented stand against pollution.
China is cracking down on factories that have been flouting emissions regulations; corporate polluters can expect even tougher measures as the government seeks to tackle the country’s environmental problems.
http://www.ehn.org/china-shut-down-up-to-40-of-its-factories-in-an-unprecedented-stand-against-pollution-2501541309.html

Greens prepare battle plan for Trump’s answer to carbon rule
Officials at U.S. EPA could replace the Clean Power Plan with a rule focused only on improving power plant efficiency, but environmental groups are already preparing arguments against that potential outcome.
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060064529

Urban heat and cool island effects controlled by agriculture and irrigation
As Earth’s climate continues to warm, the urban heat island effect raises concerns that city-dwellers will suffer more heat stress than their rural counterparts. However, new research suggests that some cities actually experience a cooling effect.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/52970

How cities can best fight climate change
Energy-efficient construction is key to lowering urban emissions, study finds
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/miot-shc102617.php

Dynamic Catalytic Converters for Clean Air in the City
Reducing pollutant emission of vehicles and meeting stricter exhaust gas standards are major challenges when developing catalytic converters.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171026103107.htm

New technology capable of converting waste into bio-energy coming to University of Alberta
A shipping container-sized pilot plant that can process a variety of wastes into valuable biofuels will be shipped from Germany to Edmonton thanks to a new future energy research collaboration between the University of Alberta and Germany’s Fraunhofer Society.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52969

Global road-building explosion could be disastrous for people and nature, say scientists
The global explosion of new roads is rife with economic, social, and environmental dangers, according to a study in Science led by Professor William Laurance from James Cook University.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/jcu-gre102217.php

China does not need any new coal fired generation
BNEF report says China needs no new coal generation, has $300bn of potential stranded assets, and needs reform to address curtailment issues for wind and
http://reneweconomy.com.au/china-not-need-new-coal-fired-generation-11507/

Revealed: oil giants pay billions less tax in Canada than abroad
Data shows companies made much higher payments to developing countries in 2016 than to Canadian, provincial governments
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2017/oct/26/revealed-oil-giants-pay-billions-less-tax-in-canada-than-abroad

Private car ownership is ridiculously wasteful
Craig Morris
Here’s a question: how big is the entire power plant fleet in your country compared to the fleet of vehicles?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/private-car-ownership-ridiculously-wasteful-93433/

Smoke and Mirrors
Ingrid Gercama and Nathalie Bertrams
Revealing Malawi’s untold health and environmental crisis
https://smokeandmirrors.newint.org/

Study examining plastic pollution in coastal Georgia waters
Scientists estimate Georgia’s coastal waters hold more than a trillion tiny particles and fibers made of plastic. These microplastics, smaller than a grain of rice, are most abundant in the waters around Savannah.
http://savannahnow.com/news/2017-10-23/study-examining-plastic-pollution-coastal-georgia-waters

Industrial whaling’s incredibly long tail
For some whale populations, even 100 years is not long enough to recover.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-short/industrial-whalings-incredibly-long-tail

Deforestation linked to palm oil production is making Indonesia warmer
In the past decades, large areas of forest in Sumatra, Indonesia have been replaced by cash crops like oil palm and rubber plantations. New research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences, shows that these changes in land use increase temperatures in the region.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/52967

Damming Eden
As a massive dam nears completion in Turkey, residents downriver in the idyllic Mesopotamian Marshes prepare to see their homeland destroyed—again.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/damming-eden

Climate change may slowly starve bamboo lemurs
Madagascar’s Cat-sized greater bamboo lemurs are considered one of the most endangered primate species on Earth.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/cp-ccm101917.php

Earth is fragile, Pope tells astronauts
The earth is a fragile thing that could even destroy itself, Pope Francis has told astronauts on the International Space Station, saying they had an opportunity to see the planet “from the eyes of God”.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/earth-is-fragile-pope-tells-astronauts/news-story/904d07293fb3f5a843914a25936593a9

US National Park Service wants to sharply raise entry fees at most popular parks
Visitors to popular parks, including Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion, could see fees double or triple to address backlog of maintenance and infrastructure costs
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/25/national-parks-entry-fee-increase-proposal

Frightening lack of clarity on ghost-shrimp pesticide
Nathan Donley:
The ghost shrimp’s swelling population is a reminder of the many challenges and environmental costs of managing ecosystems for the benefit of any one species.
https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/frightening-lack-of-clarity-on-ghost-shrimp-pesticide/

What we’re missing about the Sixth Extinction
Chris Thomas
After decades of researching the impact that humans are having on animal and plant species around the world, Chris Thomas has a simple message: Cheer up.
http://nautil.us/issue/53/monsters/is-the-modern-mass-extinction-overrated