NEWS


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DAILY LINKS – FRIDAY 17 JUNE 2016

Climate Change
Researchers say 150-year-old technology could provide ‘clean’ coal solution.
As coal advocates seek to keep their industry viable amid tighter restrictions on carbon emissions, an Illinois researcher says a new spin on a 150-year-old technology might hold the solution.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/3183515088992541528

700-year-old West African soil technique could help mitigate climate change
A farming technique practised for centuries by villagers in West Africa, which converts nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could be the answer to mitigating climate change and revolutionising farming across Africa.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/49645

What would a global warming increase of 1.5 degrees be like?
The Paris climate conference set the ambitious goal of finding ways to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than the previous threshold of 2 degrees. But what would be the difference between a 1.5 and 2 degree world?
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/515501742094048283

Everything you need to know about wildfires in one map.
A brand new wildfire tracker shows where every wildfire is burning with a side of climate.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/3183515088992541503

Climate Scientists Are More Credible When They Practice What They Preach
Americans are more likely to follow advice about personal energy use from climate scientists who minimize their own carbon footprint, according to new research.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160616120512.htm

Permafrost thawing below shallow Arctic lakes
New research shows permafrost below shallow Arctic lakes is thawing as a result of changing winter climate.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/agu-ptb061616.php

Chris Greig: Will climate and emissions targets really curb China’s coal consumption? Only time will tell
China’s crackdown on pollution and climate change may yet see coal use fall – but it’s no certainty.
http://theconversation.com/will-climate-and-emissions-targets-really-curb-chinas-coal-consumption-only-time-will-tell-60328

Graham Readfearn: Conservative funders of climate denial are quietly spending millions to generate more partisan journalism.
Millions of dollars have been pouring into conservative media outlets and student journalism projects from the same groups funding climate science denial, a DeSmog analysis has found.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/515501742094048285

National
Survey shows more Australians want climate action now than before the carbon tax
Climate has been something of a sleeper issue in this election. But a new survey suggests voters are keener for action now then they were when the carbon tax was making its way through parliament.
http://theconversation.com/survey-more-australians-want-climate-action-now-than-before-the-carbon-tax-61077

The rise of batteries to shake up energy plant ownership
The emergence of home batteries and the rapid growth in renewable energy generation are casting uncertainty around the future ownership of energy plants and posing challenges for regulators.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/the-rise-of-batteries-to-shake-up-energy-plant-ownership-20160615-gpk4jd

Flush manufacturers buckle to environmental pressure
Public outrage over wet wipes blocking sewers has prompted giant paper and wipes manufacturer Kimberly Clark to introduce what it claims is a more flushable version of its ripple brand toilet wipes for adults
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/wipe-out-fatberg-fight-erupts-over-flushable-wipe-claims-20160614-gpj5mx.html

Sara Bice: Australia Needs Climate Action – What’s the Hold Up?
Australia needs climate action, but political wrangling may see it come too late
http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/06/australia-needs-climate-action-whats-hold/

Victoria
Backflip as energy bill set to rise
HUNDREDS of thousands of AGL energy customers in Victoria will be slugged with fees to receive paper bills or pay accounts over the counter.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/agl-customers-to-be-slugged-with-paper-bill-counter-payment-fees/news-story/d6972eebe7c996813cea7dc9c5114aa0

We’ll pay for Dan’s ambitious green plan
TAXPAYERS will be slugged an extra $30 on annual electricity bills to fund Premier Daniel Andrews’ push to be carbon neutral by 2050.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/premier-daniel-andrews-ambitious-carbon-nuetral-plan-to-be-funded-by-taxpayers-via-electicity-bills/news-story/b09f23d1566b93b460c7c87925527845

Piping hot discounts diluted as desal plant comes on stream
Household water bills should fall next year but projected savings could be watered down by the desalination plant, which will be supplying Melbourne for the first time from next month.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-waters-piping-hot-discounts-diluted-as-desal-plant-comes-on-stream-20160616-gpk8is.html

Could cargo bikes replace delivery vans?
The city has a big, four-wheeled problem.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/could-cargo-bikes-replace-delivery-vans-20160615-gpjvaa.html

Dylan McConnell: Victoria’s renewables target joins an impressive shift towards clean energy
Victoria has announced a renewable energy target of 40% by 2025.
http://theconversation.com/victorias-renewables-target-joins-an-impressive-shift-towards-clean-energy-61084

Suzanne Harter: If you want jobs and growth, renewable energy is the way to go
The Victorian Government’s new renewable energy target sends a strong message about genuine jobs and economic growth.
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/06/16/comment-if-you-want-jobs-and-growth-renewable-energy-way-go

New South Wales
Pipedream realised – Broken Hill to get water from the Murray in $500m project
Water from the Murray River will be pumped all the way to Broken Hill as part of a $500 million investment to provide a “safe and secure water supply” for the outback town, the Baird government said.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/pipedream-realised-broken-hill-to-get-water-from-the-murray-in-500m-project-20160616-gpkjg2.html

‘The hairiest question’ to ask
Sydney’s major dams may spill next week if a forecast storm brings even moderate rainfall to the area.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/the-hairiest-question-sydneys-dams-may-spill-if-rains-lift-water-levels-20160616-gpkazp.html

ACT
Auditor-General warns caution should be taken with the tram cost-benefit analysis, with the transport benefits amounting to only half the costs
Audit also reveals a capital cost of $1.01 billion in 2014, quickly revised down.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/captial-metro-light-rail-auditorgeneral-fuels-doubts-about-gungahlin-tram-costbenefit-analysis-20160616-gpkjjs.html

Queensland
Laws passed for merger between Energex and Ergon
State Parliament passes laws to merge Energex and Ergon into Australia’s largest electricity distribution business, Energy Queensland.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-16/energex-ergon-laws-passed-merger-become-energy-queensland/7515494

Contamination warnings ignored
TOOWOOMBA Regional Council gave an alarmingly “casual” response when warned of possible toxic ­contamination in their town water in 2014, internal emails show.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/oakey-water-contamination-toowoomba-regional-council-had-relaxed-attitude-to-warnings/news-story/3986cfcb3394fc63b73218a752ff2908

‘CSG threatens water and food production’
THE SANTOS plan for 6,100 new CSG wells in Queensland is a recipe for disaster for the Great Artesian Basin and landholders who depend on it, say a group challenging the massive project.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/western-downs-alliance-say-csg-companies-pose-threat-to-water-and-food-production/news-story/3702eff41c26fd99f6875d91952bd440

Brisbane Young Environmental Photographer of the Year winners announced
Four of Brisbane’s best young environmental photographers have been honoured at the Queensland Museum, after they beat out a field of more than 360 hopefuls to win a Brisbane City Council
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-young-environmental-photographer-of-the-year-winners-announced-20160616-gpkush.html

Andrew Picone: An Endangered Cockatoo On The Wrong Side Of The Law
A flaw in environmental law prevents regulators seeing the forest from the (rapidly disappearing) trees. That’s why this species is fighting for survival
https://newmatilda.com/2016/06/16/an-endangered-cockatoo-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-law/

Opinion: State must curb Green ‘lawfare’’
IF the Palaszczuk Government is serious about creating jobs through investment, innovation and infrastructure it needs to act now to prevent green ‘lawfare’.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-state-must-curb-green-lawfare-to-shield-jobs/news-story/a4cf9155269506fa601ff5934fb4f0fa

South Australia
SA asks community to help pick state’s ‘fossil emblem’
South Australians are asked to come up with a state fossil emblem to reinforce a drive to have the Flinders Ranges considered for World Heritage listing.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-16/emblem-request-for-flinders-ranges-world-heritage-push/7518236

Nation’s worst power prices get even worse
AGL fired the first salvo with an average increase of $230 a year. Then Origin followed suit with a $117 annual rise. More are expected to follow suit in a seeming inevitability for SA consumers.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/electricity-bills-in-south-australia-already-nations-highest-set-to-increase-further-as-months-get-colder/news-story/81d618bd182e1a0dbaca99cdb85d905f

Greens’ solar panel plan to reduce electricity costs
MORE than 48,000 South Australian homes would get solar panels and energy efficient measures under an Australian Greens plan to reduce electricity costs and reduce emissions.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/federal-election/australian-greens-announce-plan-to-fund-solar-panels-for-48000-sa-homes/news-story/fd62f39d9131861e539f9a6747a7cfba

Tasmania
Energy Minister yet to receive Hydro report on cloud seeding before floods
The Tasmanian Opposition urges the State Government to release a report into Hydro’s decision to cloud seed the day before serious flooding.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-16/hydro-tasmania-flood-cloudseeding-report-not-before-minister/7516276

Fish firm fails to pay fine
TRAWLER operator SeaFish Tasmania has joined the court-fine debtors’ list after failing to pay a fine imposed after being convicted of environmental offences.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/scales-of-justice/fish-firm-fails-to-pay-fine/news-story/1149a8b49ca5e1b92b6bf99bee55d118

Walk Three Capes for half the price
THE Three Capes Track experience will be half price for six weeks over winter as part of the centenary celebrations for Tasmania’s national parks.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/walk-tasmanias-three-capes-track-for-half-the-usual-price-from-july-15-to-august-31/news-story/6225a8e94affb502adf48761aed7ec1d

Western Australia
WA children’s commissioner should have bigger role in stopping child abuse, says report
WA’s Commissioner for Children and Young People should be given a greater role in preventing and responding to child abuse, a Parliamentary committee recommends.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-16/committee-recommends-greater-power-to-children-commissioner/7517672

Sustainability
Hyperactivity in children linked to plastic additive, BPA.
Children in the U.S. with higher levels of BPA in their bodies were more likely to have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a study
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2016/june/bpa-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-behavior-problems-brain-development

Inside Masdar, the UAE’s zero-carbon city that will never be.
Building the world’s first sustainable metropolis proved far trickier than anyone anticipated, and just 5 percent of Masdar City stands today
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/515501742094048274

Why the Tesla boom could actually be very good news for the electric grid.
Electric vehicles will drive a huge transformation of the grid — for better or worse.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/3183515088992541510

Judge rules – no right to know hazardous pesticide ingredients
A federal judge has ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency is under no obligation to force pesticide makers to disclose supposedly ‘inert’ ingredients in their products – even where those ingredients are seriously hazardous to health or environment.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/49641

Infographic: The state of coal
From formation to export, the key facts and figures.
http://theconversation.com/infographic-the-state-of-coal-60545

Alan Davies: Are cities bigger than we imagine?
Cities are invariably much “bigger” than they seem. Administrative boundaries almost always fail to capture the full extent of a city’s economic and social influence
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2016/06/16/cities-bigger-imagine/

Nature Conservation
Canadian Forests a Refuge as Warming Creeps North
Boreal forests in far-northern latitudes may one day act as a climate refuge for black spruce, the foundational tree for the northwoods ecosystem — a major source of the world’s paper; home to …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160616150749.htm

Nature Editorial: Under the sea.
If life in the oceans is to be preserved, people must get to know the wonders of the deep
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/3183515088992541504

Now for something completely different …
Dull and dirty – your workplace could affect brain function
A new study by a Florida State University researcher shows that both a lack of stimulation in the workplace and a dirty working environment can have a long-term cognitive effect on employees.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/fsu-da061616.php