MONDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2018

Should we give up half of the Earth to wildlife?
Populations of all kinds of wildlife are declining at alarming speed. One radical solution is to make 50% of the planet a nature reserve
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/18/should-we-give-half-planet-earth-wildlife-nature-reserve

Optimism alone won’t solve climate crisis. It’s time to blend in fear
Chris Gorell Barnes
If we can shake people up with this wake-up call, we can create enough constructive anger and personal-level responsibility to get climate crisis back to a level where the world can survive. Now over to you. What’s your message of fear and hope?
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/optimism-alone-wont-solve-climate-crisis-its-time_uk_5a86e9ffe4b088d92ef35acc

Our unique seeds are bound for icy Doomsday Vault
Australia is about to make its largest deposit into the global seed vault in Norway, as part of the 10th anniversary of the facility dubbed the “Doomsday Vault”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-18/rare-australian-seed-collection-bound-for-icy-doomsday-vault/9451206

Helping renters get solar panels on their roof
As a record number of Australian households benefit from putting solar on their roof, we look at some of the options for renters who have traditionally been locked out of doing this.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-02-18/how-can-renters-get-solar-panels/9409098

Recyclable cups and homegrown brands: choosing a better coffee brew
Australians love coffee but the industry has a huge environmental and social impact. Our new series Life Swaps looks at how to find better caffeine options
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/feb/19/recyclable-cups-and-homegrown-brands-choosing-a-better-coffee-brew

Emissions increases approved by regulator may wipe out $260m of Direct Action cuts
Nearly 60 industrial sites get green light to increase emissions, cancelling out cuts paid for by Coalition using public money
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/19/emissions-increases-approved-by-regulator-may-wipe-out-260m-of-direct-action-cuts

Generators lap up higher power prices
The first summer since the shutdown of the huge Hazelwood coal generator in Victoria has proved a boon for other electricity producers making the most of higher power prices.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/generators-make-the-most-of-higher-power-prices-20180215-h0w6jg

Renewable energy: powering Australia in more ways than one
James Wright
A jobs boom is sweeping across regional Australia and there’s one industry to thank – the renewable energy sector.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5229330/renewable-energy-is-powering-jobs-in-the-regions/?cs=97

Environmental impact of North East Link toll road revealed
Groundwater beneath the Yarra River may be affected, and creeks turned into drains, by construction of the $16.5 billion North East Link toll road.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/environmental-impact-of-north-east-link-toll-road-revealed-20180218-p4z0rh.html

Victorians waiting on $3bn in transport projects
The state’s commuters and public transport users are being made to wait for much-needed ­upgrades despite federal funding, as Premier Daniel Andrews stalls on $3 billion in upgrades.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victorian-infrastructure-key-projects-delayed/news-story/4841d06957135b789209a745b97a538f

Metro West rail needed to create ‘30-minute city’
A new Metro West train line is the only way the state government can achieve its dream of turning Sydney into a “30-minute city”, where it takes locals just half an hour to get to their jobs.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/metro-west-rail-needed-to-create-gladys-berejiklians-30minute-city/news-story/97e53320c09b85b57d828535db0cf4c8

Green light for railway siding at Fyshwick waste site
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/government-gives-planning-tick-to-works-for-railway-siding-at-fyshwick-waste-site-20180119-h0l6im.html

Queenslanders could get rebates for energy efficient whitegoods
From Monday, Queenslanders could be eligible for up to $300 from the state government for buying an energy-efficient appliance.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/39212099/queenslanders-could-get-rebates-for-energy-efficient-whitegoods/

Activist refers MP to police over gun post
A Queensland environmental activist has reported federal MP George Christensen to police over a controversial Facebook post.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/39214344/activist-refers-mp-to-police-over-gun-post/

Hope for region’s energy options
Federal MP Warren Entsch has urged the state government to open up the Far North to alternative energy retailers after the country’s biggest solar and storage project was connected to the grid north of Cairns.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/lakeland-solar-and-storage-project-goes-online-to-power-3000-homes/news-story/48c4a101188232f3f6e05f3cb11447ec

SafeWork SA investigates huge solar project for safety breaches
One of South Australia’s biggest solar projects is under investigation over alleged safety breaches following the death of a worker.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/39211888/safework-sa-investigates-huge-solar-project-for-safety-breaches/

SA Labor makes roads and rail pledge
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has outlined a $2 billion plan for road, rail and port construction at Labor’s election launch.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/39208233/labor-set-for-sa-campaign-launch/

It’s 20 years since privatisation lit the spark under South Australia’s livewire energy politics
Marc Hudson, University of Manchester
https://theconversation.com/its-20-years-since-privatisation-lit-the-spark-under-south-australias-livewire-energy-politics-91847

Liberals plan to tighten forest protest laws
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5234824/liberals-plan-to-tighten-forest-protest-laws/?cs=95

Monsanto loses bid to stop Arkansas ban on farm chemical
An Arkansas judge on Friday dismissed a Monsanto Co lawsuit aiming to stop Arkansas from blocking the use of a controversial farm chemical the company makes, dealing a blow to its attempts to increase sales of genetically engineered seeds.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pesticides-monsanto/monsanto-loses-bid-to-stop-arkansas-ban-on-farm-chemical-idUSKCN1G02KW

Coal chief warns against ‘green’ failure to back industry
Head of trade body says investment boycotts will damage drive for cleaner world.
https://www.ft.com/content/3775522a-13f2-11e8-9376-4a6390addb44

Chile’s pollution problems has led to green startups
Charis McGowan
All citizens have a responsibility to improve our living spaces, and Chile is setting an example by showing how tech can accelerate our collaboration to achieve greener, cleaner, and just all-around nicer places to live in.
https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/02/17/chiles-pollution-problems-led-green-startups/

Has there ever been a more gilded eco-warrior than the Queen?
Rebecca Nicholson
In an example to her subjects, our monarch has now backed efforts to reduce plastic waste on the royal estates.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/18/has-there-ever-been-a-more-gilded-eco-warrior-than-the-queen

Plastic pollution, fish: It all smells the same to a seabird
A sweeping look at 10 species of seabirds gives insight into why their numbers have plummeted over the past 60 years.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/why-do-seabirds-eat-plastic–it-smells-like-fish-to-them/

Denying climate change spells doom for Louisiana’s coast
Bob Marshall
In the bottom third of Louisiana the average elevation is 2.5 feet, and we’re expecting at least 3 to 5 feet of sea level rise and sinking by the end of the century.
http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2018/02/louisiana_coastal_erosion.html

How long can we treat the suffering of animals as an inconvenient truth?
Michael Brooks
A revolution is coming in our relationship with ‘lower’ creatures, provoked by a greater knowledge of their cognition.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/18/how-long-treat-pain-of-animals-inconvenient-truth