Friday 28 July 2017

How the climate crisis could become a food crisis overnight.
The world’s food system is particularly vulnerable to freak weather — the exact type of event climate change is making more common.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322354112

Scientists dim sunlight, suck up carbon dioxide to cool planet.
Scientists are sucking carbon dioxide from the air with giant fans and preparing to release chemicals from a balloon to dim the sun’s rays as part of a climate engineering push to cool the planet.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322356529

Paris 1.5-2°C target far from safe, say world-leading scientists
Targeting a limit of 1.5-2°C of warning far from safe, and will spur feedbacks with potential to run out of humanity’s control.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/paris-1-5-2c-target-far-from-safe-say-world-leading-scientists-81532/

Climate change means more rain, more nitrogen runoff, more problems
An intensifying water cycle will likely cause dramatic increases – nearing 20% by 2100 – in the amount of nitrogen runoff in the U.S., according to a new study.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/aaft-ccm072417.php

A profile of award-winning climate scientist Kevin Trenberth
Kevin Trenberth – recent award winner – is one of the world’s foremost climate scientists
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/jul/27/a-profile-of-award-winning-climate-scientist-kevin-trenberth

Paul Hawken on one hundred solutions to the climate crisis.
Environmentalist Paul Hawken believes that to motivate action on climate change, the focus needs to be on solutions rather the problem. And, he says, those solutions – from changing the type of refrigerants used to reducing food waste – are already here.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322358029

Trump pulled out the oil industry playbook and players for Paris.
Benjamin Franta The Guardian
The fossil fuel industry used the same arguments, and even the same people, to block climate policies in the 1990s. We must not let this happen again.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322356540

Where global warming gets real: inside Nasa’s mission to the north pole
Avi Steinberg
For 10 years, Nasa has been flying over the ice caps to chart their retreat. This data is an invaluable record of climate change. But does anyone care?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/27/watching-ice-melt-inside-nasas-mission-to-the-north-pole

‘Trying to take more water off you’: Joyce changes language over Murray-Darling
At a Pollies in the Pub event, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce accuses the ABC’s Four Cornersprogram of taking part in a campaign to take water away from irrigators, which would shut down towns.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/murray-darling-basin-plan-investigation-a-calamity,-joyce-says/8749620

Barnaby Joyce says he gave water back to irrigators to stop ‘greenies’
Joyce’s comments at odds with press conference on Wednesday when he likened water thieves to cattle and sheep thieves
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/27/barnaby-joyce-says-he-gave-water-back-to-irrigators-to-stop-greenies

Calls for Joyce to be stripped of water
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/secret-recording-sparks-calls-to-strip-barnaby-joyce-of-water-ministry-20170727-gxk4nh

300 billion litres of environmental water ‘lost’ in Murray-Darling Basin
Leading water experts are calling for a moratorium on $1.7 billion of budgeted new water infrastructure spending in the Murray Darling pending an audit of environmental flows.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/murray-darling-300-billion-litres-of-environmental-water-lost/8748794

EnergyAustralia: “The truth about coal is that it is not cheap”
EnergyAustralia says coal is not cheap and idea that new coal plants could reduce electricity costs is a “myth”. This comes as the ACCC vows to focus on bidding practices in wholesale markets, an issue completely ignored by AEMC, the market rule maker.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energyaustralia-truth-coal-not-cheap-55748/

Electricity sector “gold plating” behind sky-high prices – not renewables
TAI report says electricity sector gold-plating costing households $400-$500 a year. Cost of carbon price: “barely noticeable.”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/electricity-sector-gold-plating-behind-sky-high-prices-not-renewables-14724/

Regulatory risk for AGL, Origin
AGL and Origin are facing growing regulatory risks as governments focus on surging east coast electricity prices.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/regulatory-risk-for-agl-origin/news-story/c279f871f5114828dafe2754aa97304b

Shell backs gas export limits
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says he supports Malcolm Turnbull’s moves to impose export restrictions.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/shell-backs-gas-export-limits/news-story/7aaf609d3b7e5156ddec7e71f8e620b5

Starting again would be devastating for farmers like me
Jim McDonald
We’ve had three years of record-breaking heat, we don’t have time to start the Murray Darling Basin Plan from scratch
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/rewriting-murray-darling-basin-plan-would-be-devastating/8746532

Digging for carbon cuts: How the mining industry can win with renewables
Tegan Campia and Paolo Natali
An unprecedented drop in renewable energy prices, the high energy intensity of mining, and the volatility of fossil fuel pricing have combined to create a groundbreaking opportunity for decarbonizing the mining industry.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/digging-carbon-cuts-mining-industry-can-win-renewables-40181/

The politics of power Tony Abbott style
Jennifer Hewett
Tony Abbott is determined to turn support for coal into a major political showdown in the Coalition party room while exploding any notion of…
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/lets-get-real-about-the-politics-of-power-tony-abbott-style-20170727-gxk4re

Protesters access Shorten office
Dozens of protesters lock themselves inside Bill Shorten’s office to rally against Adani’s Carmichael coal mine
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/adani-protesters-galilee-blockade-target-bill-shortens-office/news-story/dc908ff8e7d5ff1d44adf02e7d14a3d2

Victoria open to ‘going it alone’ on plastic bag ban
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victoria-open-to-going-it-alone-on-plastic-bag-ban-if-national-deal-not-reached-20170725-gxi9av.html

Grinding to a gridlock halt
Herald Sun editorial
KEEP your eyes open for a … traffic jam. With an extra 500,000 vehicles clogging Melbourne’s beleaguered roads network in the past five years, the world’s most liveable city has become one big car city.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-grinding-to-a-gridlock-halt/news-story/9afad1a7b949532f07792543f0c4a547

Boom town rats out to play
Sydney’s rat population is booming, thanks to an unprecedented number of major demolition and construction works.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/rats-in-the-ranks-soar-as-sydneys-building-works-boom/news-story/a392894f772931f78c03b89a9b6f7b2d

Glencore strikes $1.2bn Rio deal
Glencore strikes a $US1bn deal to take a half-stake in Rio’s Hunter Valley operations after they are sold to Yancoal.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/glencore-near-deal-on-yancoals-rio-tinto-stake/news-story/c96c32cdd84f337f04a4f1697a84d483

Calls to scrap Bylong coal mine after proposal savaged
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/calls-to-scrap-bylong-coal-mine-after-proposal-savaged-by-commission-review-20170727-gxk2e3.html

Fat cats get discounts while we shiver
ELECTRICITY company fat cats and thousands of their staff are among the few people in NSW who do not have to worry about skyrocketing electricity bills — because they get a 25 per cent staff discount.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydneys-electricity-price-crisis-fat-cats-get-power-discounts-while-we-shiver/news-story/655b0644cee9f5bcd7009160798f2f42

New freeway may flatline wetlands, bushland and parks in Sydney
The NSW Government’s proposed F6 roadway will encroach on sports-fields and parklands, and destroy seagrass beds and sensitive wetlands in Sydney’s south, according to a leaked Roads and Maritime Services environmental report.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-28/f6-southern-sydney-freeway-may-flatline-wetlands/8750616

I’m not surprised by River Murray rort claims
David Penberthy
NSW has a long history of dodgy dealings and mates doing favours for mates. This latest scandal doesn’t surprise me in the least
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/david-penberthy-water-theft-claims-stink-of-mates-doing-favours-for-mates/news-story/a80334068eaf1821fa724717063edd35

Free charging plan to boost Queensland electric car numbers
Eighteen fast-charging stations will be installed around Queensland to create a “super highway” to allow electric vehicles to travel from the Gold Coast to Cairns.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/free-charging-stations-to-boost-queensland-electric-car-numbers/8748246

Labor heads off anti-Adani row
ANTI-ADANI motions from Labor members will not be debated at the party’s Townsville conference this weekend as committee chiefs push for a compromise.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/labor-chiefs-stop-embarrassing-antiadani-mine-motions-hitting-conference-floor/news-story/3ef3729b07056bf3dfd817aeccedd47a

Songs in the shadow of Adani: hard-up towns rally for a mining musical
While northern Queensland waits to see if the Carmichael mine will go ahead, communities who depend on the industry unite for a musical extravaganza
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/28/songs-in-the-shadow-of-adani-hard-up-towns-rally-for-a-mining-musical

Feral pigs key to disease spread
FERAL pigs are a major concern when it comes to stopping the spread of Panama TR4 disease in the Far North.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/feral-pigs-and-wild-animals-blamed-for-disease-spread-risk-for-far-north/news-story/c2151ec2fa9867c12cc600f5eb887ca7

Australia’s greatest (dying) global asset.
Damian Cave
We’re off the coast of Queensland for this week’s newsletter. And it’s not looking good.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/world/australia/letter20-great-barrier-reef-climate-change-coral.html

Shrinking window for gas in South Australia
Angela Macdonald-Smith
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/gas/future-for-gas-to-be-cut-short-by-batteries-and-renewables-20170727-gxjo1z

Fisherman mounts boat ‘sit-in’ against Tassal farm
A Tasmanian fisherman is patrolling Okehampton Bay to protest against Tassal’s plans for salmon fish farming pens.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/tassal-fish-farm-okehampton-bay-protest/8749910

Decision on Tassal plan delayed
THE federal Environment and Energy Department is yet to decide whether Tassal’s Okehampton Bay salmon farm requires further assessment under federal environmental laws, despite a decision being due almost a month ago.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/federal-agencies-still-have-not-decided-on-tassals-okehampton-bay-plan-a-month-past-deadline/news-story/e17107c91094f6df9c8520d8b913f6a6

A soaring city reaps a terrible toll
Don Knowler
The increasing height of buildings is having an impact on the world’s migratory birds.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-a-soaring-city-reaps-a-terrible-toll/news-story/725896f86952e0abd9b3111a5356bcd5

Building a better transport system
Marti Zucco and Eva Ruzicka
Coming up with better ways for people to get to work eases traffic and improves lives.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-building-a-better-transport-system-for-the-hobart-of-tomorrow/news-story/9ce4909741430b6a71d0eb08f6a9b509

Tasmanian tossers must clean up their acts
The amount of rubbish on Tasmanian roadsides is unacceptable.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4817487/tasmanian-tossers-must-clean-up-their-acts/?cs=97

Croc farming industry worth $107m to NT
THE Territory’s crocodile farming industry has been undervalued for years, with a new independent report suggesting the industry is worth four times more than previously estimated
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/crocodile-farming-industry-worth-107m-to-northern-territory/news-story/4c4148a377f5f305f042812e4d57e6d1

Creeks get all clear after PFAS testing
RESIDENTS in Rapid Creek and Ludmilla have nothing to fear from PFAS levels in water and seafood in their catchment areas
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/health-minister-natasha-fyles-says-pfas-tests-reveal-no-contamination-fears-for-seafood/news-story/209263fd870a3d2e9234cad921de9dff

Glencore must reveal security bond for McArthur River mine, NT court rules
Court rules in favour of Indigenous owners, who have long questioned whether mining giant provided enough to fully rehabilitate the lead and zinc mine
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/27/glencore-must-reveal-security-bond-for-mcarthur-river-mine-nt-court-rules

Fears for a ‘depopulated’ Christmas Island as mine faces closure
Christmas Island could face a major collapse of its economy and population, with the island left “to the birds” if extensions to a phosphate mine are not granted in the next six months, the local council says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/fears-for-future-of-christmas-island-as-mine-faces-closure/8749736

Air pollution exposure in early pregnancy may increase chance of premature birth, finds study.
Exposure to air pollution in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy could increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight, scientists have warned.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322354107

Heavy metals in water meet their match
Energy Safety Research Institute shows reusable, carbon nanotube-reinforced filters clean toxins from water
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/su-hmi072717.php

Biochar Could Clear the Air in More Ways Than One
Biochar could reduce local air pollution from agriculture by reducing emissions of nitric oxide from soil. Researchers argue that a better understanding of nitric oxide ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170727102943.htm

Climate change to push Ethiopian coffee farming uphill
Relocating coffee areas, along with forestation and forest conservation, to higher altitudes to cope with climate change could increase Ethiopia‘s coffee farming area fourfold, a study predicts.
http://www.enn.com/business/article/51978

End of petrol: Oil barons face death by electrification
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/opec-and-the-oil-barons-face-a-slow-death-by-electrification-20170726-gxjj58.html

River of plastic trash is flooding our oceans.
Plastic is useful – for packaging, tires, clothing, and much else. But 2 percent of plastics produced end up in the ocean. It enters the food chain – even reaching us. A new analysis highlights the scale of the problem.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322354450

Is interest in biodiversity declining?
It seems that public interest in biodiversity has declined even as biodiversity itself grows ever more threatened
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322356517

Trump plan could open Giant Sequoia monument to logging.
As the Trump administration continues to roll back protections on public lands, timber industry advocates are pushing to reduce federal defenses for California’s giant trees.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322356539

Project to Save the Belize Coast Provides Valuable Framework
A coastal zone management plan designed to safeguard Belize’s natural assets has produced a win-win opportunity for people and the environment, providing a valuable framework for other coastal …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170727102935.htm

‘There’s no sport in that’: trophy hunters and the masters of the universe
Modern trophy hunters can shoot animals via the internet – but they argue that it is all conservation. The killing of Xanda – Cecil the Lion’s son – has sparked debate about what hunting really means
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/27/theres-no-sport-in-that-trophy-hunters-and-the-masters-of-the-universe

Does buying Naomi Klein’s books really prove you’re a better kind of person?
Tim Stanley
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/does-buying-naomi-kleins-books-really-prove-youre-a-better-kind-of-person-20170727-gxjndt.html