Friday 4 August 2017

Temperatures rising
Achieving the global temperature goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement is unlikely, according to research by economist Dick Startz
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/uoc–tr080317.php

Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people.
If warming is not tackled, levels of humid heat that can kill within hours will affect millions across south Asia within decades, analysis finds
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322343462

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel could just make climate rift worse
Adam Corner
Perhaps the veteran Democrat should have stayed in the wings for the follow-up to hit documentary An Inconvenient Truth
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2142725-al-gores-inconvenient-sequel-could-just-make-climate-rift-worse/

The moral panic around climate change means the facts are always skewed.
Lorne Gunter Toronto Sun
So which is it? Is there too much ice in the Arctic or not enough? It’s convenient that climate change can be blamed both for too much ice in the Arctic in June and too little in July.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322343447

Temps drop as BoM orders fix
Temperatures recorded at an automatic weather station have plunged since action was taken to make it ‘fit for purpose’.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/temperatures-plunge-after-bureau-orders-weather-station-fix/news-story/9230dd914ac532fa735700ffc7799203

Scrap RET, says Fortescue
A policy fixation with renewable energy was coming at a high cost to consumers, FMG boss Nev Power said yesterday.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/fortescue-adds-it-voice-to-growing-list-of-ret-industry-critics/news-story/0e241897d6ebab4759d540bc3978965a

Power costs surge hits profits
Soaring electricity and gas prices are expected to clip 5-14 per cent from pre-tax profits at major companies.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/power-price-surge-slices-up-to-14pc-from-profits-citi-analysts/news-story/1457930145869b69f4a4f347ab0b75af

Power bosses to face Prime Minister
MALCOLM Turnbull has blasted Australia’s power companies for forcing families to pay higher prices instead of ensuring customers are signed up to their most competitive deals.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/power-bosses-to-face-prime-minister/news-story/e8c28f310d9d2e0e874db432754645e6

Australia’s pumped hydro storage potential worth thousands of Tesla big batteries
Australia has enough untapped pumped hydro energy storage potential to support a 100 per cent renewable energy grid – 35 times over, a team of Australian National University researchers has found.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-pumped-hydro-storage-potential-worth-thousands-tesla-big-batteries-32690/

One of Australia’s oldest scientists remembered
Dr Day was one of the founding members of the Australian Conservation Foundation, a strong supporter of national parks, and was made an …
https://www.science.org.au/news-and-events/news-and-media-releases/one-australias-oldest-scientists-remembered

Bill shock explained. The three things driving up electricity prices
Podcast
http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/it-all-adds-up-podcast-bill-shock-explained-the-three-things-driving-up-electricity-prices-20170803-gxomgr.html

Australian climate science capability review
Australian Academy of Science
Climate variability and change across seasons and decades has profound consequences for primary industries, coastal and water infrastructure, the generation and delivery of energy, and transport …
http://www.apo.org.au/node/100761

If marriage equality doesn’t wreck the government, NBN or Murray-Darling disasters might
Bernard Keane
If things weren’t already terrible for the government on marriage equality, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are front and centre in two other big problems.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/08/03/nbn-and-murray-darling-disasters-as-much-a-threat-to-turnbull-as-gay-marriage/

Rogue dumpers turn our suburbs into tips
THIS soccer field-sized pile of illegal garbage — which includes mattresses, furniture and a wading pool — can be found in a Melbourne suburb. And it isn’t the only one.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/rogue-dumpers-turn-melbourne-suburbs-into-tips/news-story/c0117124c9fd6872f016b01c07ba061f

“Boot-camp” for clean energy start-ups launched in Melbourne
A new start-up accelerator program dedicated entirely to fast-tracking the commercialisation of innovative energy market technologies and solutions has been launched in Australia.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/boot-camp-clean-energy-start-ups-launched-melbourne-71349/

Right to farm reform closer
VICTORIA’S right to farm reforms are slowly taking shape, with the drafting of an overarching code of practice for all cattle feedlots, pig, poultry and intensive dairy farms.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/right-to-farm/right-to-farm-victoria-close-to-delivering-reforms/news-story/95038429dad0b03d9b91c3ce28be2bec

Road expert ‘stood aside’ over West Gate Tunnel doubt
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/expert-cut-from-toll-road-project-after-warning-tim-pallas-it-did-not-stack-up-20170803-gxoohi.html

Whitehaven Coal repeatedly breached environmental licence
Documents major company Whitehaven Coal fought to keep secret reveal a litany of environmental licence breaches at its north-western NSW mines over the past six years.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-04/whitehaven-coal-environment-licence-breaches-raise-concerns/8771156

Investigation into dealings between Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd and Sydney Water Corporation and related matters
Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has found that former NSW minister for infrastructure Anthony Kelly and former members of Parliament, Edward Obeid Sr and Joseph Tripodi, en
http://www.apo.org.au/node/100736

The ACT could be home to the answer for renewables question
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-home-to-more-than-800-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-to-support-renewables-20170803-gxoidf.html

Marine hub project go-ahead
FEDERAL funding will see unused grassland turned into a marine industry hub.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/funding-injection-for-marine-hub-at-bundaberg-port/news-story/6f7f4c4872c7de01990783d46491cfb2

Light at end of tunnel after rail fail
AT LAST, after months of driver shortages and train design issues, there is good news for southeast Queensland’s rail network.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/next-generation-rollingstock-train-drivers-on-track-for-commonwealth-games/news-story/7a67edb84eff5ecf164713d21009e17f

S.A. could dump gas plans if batteries, demand response deliver
South Australia has given itself the option to cancel installation of permanent government-owned gas generators. The huge response to ARENA’s demand response EOI, and new storage projects, make it hard to see why new plant is needed once next two summers negotiated.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/s-a-could-dump-gas-plans-if-batteries-demand-response-deliver-86208/

Power generators can’t handle the heat
The diesel generators being rushed to SA in a desperate bid to save the state from summer blackouts can’t run at full power when the temperature goes over 40C — when they’ll be most needed.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/diesel-generators-promised-in-plan-to-save-sa-from-summer-blackouts-cant-run-at-full-power-on-hot-days/news-story/81ecdc5aff276f4d025d29f1a8ddeaf2

Fish farming returns to Port Arthur as Tassal prepares to restock lease
Salmon giant Tassal ramps up work to restock its lease at Port Arthur, 11 years after it was last used.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-03/opposition-builds-to-tassal27s-move-into-port-arthur/8770176

North-West fish backed
THE Mayor of Circular Head has welcomed the potential for aquaculture to expand into the region, as the Government moves to extend fish farms into new coastal waters.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/circular-head-mayor-daryl-quilliam-does-not-foresee-east-coaststyle-backlash-in-the-northwest/news-story/fab1392209407efcd45adaed3a2982e4

Hydro’s energy future vision
Hydro Tasmania chief executive Steve Davy wants Tasmania to double its energy output
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4832306/hydros-energy-future-vision/?cs=5312

Locals miss out on state’s best water
WHILE the water from Lake Fenton which is piped into Hobart’s northern suburbs is deemed the state’s best, those living and working near its source remain on a boil water alert.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/lake-fenton-produces-the-states-best-water-but-the-local-area-remains-on-a-boil-water-alert/news-story/62565eac243bab1f480bd61d20938756

Uluru: why celebrities struggle to describe it
Celebrities aren’t usually shy, but Uluru has a way of rendering them speechless
http://www.afr.com/brand/sophisticated-traveller/uluru-why-celebrities-struggle-to-describe-it-20170719-gxet2s

Does scathing report on Ord Irrigation Scheme add up?
An Australia Institute report that claimed money spent on the Ord Irrigation Scheme had brought little return leaves Kununurra residents feeling undervalued and frustrated.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-08-03/does-scathing-report-on-ord-irrigation-scheme-add-up/8759732

We’ve used a year’s worth of Earth’s resources in seven months
We’re now living on credit. Humanity has used the amount of resources the Earth is capable of re-generating in a calendar year. This is the earliest ever Earth Overshoot Day.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-03/earth-overshoot-day:-today-the-earth-goes-into-the-red/8770040

Dramatic Changes Needed in Farming Practices to Keep Pace With Climate Change
Researchers investigating nutrients in runoff from agricultural land warn that phosphorus losses will increase, due to climate change, unless this is …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170803095954.htm

The things some utilities will do to stop solar
The FBI is investigating an Arizona power company for its role in the election of utility-friendly and anti-solar regulators.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/things-utilities-will-stop-solar-93669/

Study reveals exactly how low-cost fuel cell catalysts work
In order to reduce the cost of next-generation polymer electrolyte fuel cells for vehicles, researchers have been developing alternatives to the prohibitively expensive platinum and platinum-group metal (PGM) catalysts currently used in fuel cell electrodes.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52051

Carbon conversion
A new additive helps researchers more selectively convert CO2 to multicarbon fuels
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/ciot-cc080317.php

Two sides to this energy story
Rice University lab develops dual-surface graphene electrode to split water into hydrogen and oxygen
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/ru-tst080317.php

Vertical axis wind turbines can offer cheaper electricity for urban and suburban areas
Researchers model optimal configurations of vertical axis wind turbines and find they can offer a future where electricity costs are lowered, or even eliminated, in urban and suburban areas
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/aiop-vaw080317.php

Dangerous pollutants in US military’s open burns greater than thought, tests indicate.
The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxics
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322342933

New dust sources resulting from a shrinking Salton Sea have negative ecological and health impacts
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside investigating the composition of particulate matter(PM) and its sources at the Salton Sea have found that this shrinking lake in Southern California is exposing large areas of dry lakebed, called playa, that are acting as new dust sources with the potential to impact human health.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/52055

Believing the future will be favorable may prevent action
People tend to believe that others will come around to their point of view over time, according to findings from a series of studies published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings show that this “belief in a favorable future” holds across various contexts and cultures, shedding light on some of the causes and consequences of the political polarization evident today.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/afps-btf080317.php

Human embryo CRISPR advances science but let’s focus on ethics, not world firsts
Hannah Brown, University of Adelaide
A world first study shows CRISPR can remove a target gene from early stage human embryos. But with the advance in science come weighty ethical dilemmas.
http://theconversation.com/human-embryo-crispr-advances-science-but-lets-focus-on-ethics-not-world-firsts-81956

Flood Narmada Valley with anti-dam resistance
Protesters in Madhya Pradesh kick-off a hunger strike, opening new chapter in anti-dam struggle
https://newint.org/web-exclusive-2017/08/03-narmada-valley-dam-resistance

Climate Plays Role in Decline of One of Asia’s Most Critical Water Resources
Climate variability — rather than the presence of a major dam — is most likely the primary cause for a water supply decline in East Asia’s largest …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170803103146.htm

Current threats to our oceans are revealed
A new method of surveying published research, which has highlighted current issues faced by the marine environment, hopes to place scientific knowledge at the heart of policy agendas
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/f-ctt080317.php

Payments to rural communities offer a new opportunity to restore China’s native forests
Study says compensation schemes could help regrowth of biodiverse forests on collectively owned land
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/wac-ptr080217.php

Humans have been altering tropical forests for at least 45,000 years
Tens of thousands of years of controlled burns, forest management and clear-cutting have implications for modern conservation efforts and shatter the image of the ‘untouched’ tropical forest
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/mpif-hhb080117.php

DNA Provides New Insights on the Control of Invasive Russian Knapweed
A recent study sheds new light on the control of Russian knapweed, an invasive plant found in the …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170803095948.htm

Light pollution as a new threat to pollination
Artificial light disrupts nocturnal pollination and leads to a reduced number of fruits produced by the plant.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/52049

The war for grass in the heart of Kenya’s safari country.
The future of one of the most iconic regions on the planet hangs in the balance.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322342619

PNG’s illegal logging exports continue, despite PM’s promise to stop it
An environment protection group says timber from illegal logging operations in Papua New Guinea is being used in flooring sold in the United States, and possibly in Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-03/pngs-illegal-logging-exports-continue/8770756