NEWS – SATURDAY 27 MAY 2017                                                                                                                   

Climate Change

The most important climate change solution you’ve never heard of.
Supercritical CO2 promises a quantum leap in greenhouse gas reduction, with benefits for coal power, nuclear and solar. Trump’s budget threatens to choke it off
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-1786170265303038825

Losing sleep over climate change
Climate change may keep you awake — and not just metaphorically. Nights that are warmer than normal can harm human sleep, researchers show in a new paper, with the poor and elderly most affected.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/uoc–lso052417.php

Changing climate could have devastating impact on forest carbon storage
New research from a multi-university team of biologists shows what could be a startling drop in the amount of carbon stored in the Sierra Nevada mountains due to projected climate change and wildfire events.

http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/51370

Governments sued over climate change, with banks and firms next
Some 894 climate change cases have now been filed in 24 countries, according to a report published last week by the United Nations Environment Programme and Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law in New York.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2132927-governments-sued-over-climate-change-with-banks-and-firms-next/

National

AEMO says major market reform essential to cut energy prices
AEMO and ARENA again plead for changes to market rules to keep pace with extraordinary change of technology. Australia’s over-buit grid is locked in 20th century, with much capacity sitting idle and peaking plants trying to recoup a year’s revenue in just a few hours.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-says-major-market-reform-essential-to-cut-energy-prices-28327/

Carbon policy indecision creates ‘investment strike’ in renewables
Energy regulators say energy sector needs policy certainty before investment can grow, parliamentary committee told

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/26/carbon-policy-indecision-creates-investment-strike-in-renewables

German battery giant Sonnen teams with Australian solar tile maker to take on Tesla
German battery maker Sonnen in new partnership with Australian roofing company that is set to launch its own integrated solar tile.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/german-battery-giant-sonnen-teams-australian-solar-tile-maker-take-tesla-44705/

Emissions intensity scheme ‘best and most appropriate’ policy
An emissions intensity scheme is the “best” policy, the new national electricity boss says.

http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4689853/emissions-intensity-scheme-best-and-most-appropriate-policy/?cs=7

Adani decision may rest on $1b loan
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/adani-decision-may-rest-on-1b-loan-after-royalty-deal-approved-20170526-gwdm0p

Ride an Uber, drive a Tesla – just don’t invest in them
Elizabeth Knight

http://www.theage.com.au/business/innovation/ride-an-uber-drive-a-tesla–just-dont-invest-in-them-20170526-gwdnkv.html

Victoria

AGL tests household energy trading using blockchain in Melbourne pilot
AGL-led, ARENA-backed pilot to test P2P energy trading between households using blockchain technology.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/agl-tests-household-energy-trading-using-blockchain-in-melbourne-pilot-99263/

New South Wales

Uber for buses? One Sydney area could soon find out
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/uber-for-buses-the-inner-west-might-soon-find-out-what-that-means-20170525-gwd9w1.html

Toxic waste? could endanger drinking water if Santos CSG project goes ahead – report
RMIT hydrologist Matthew Currell says environmental impact statement for Narrabri gas project is missing analysis and contains conflicting information

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/27/toxic-waste-danger-to-drinking-water-if-santos-csg-project-goes-ahead-report

Queensland

Future of tiny fish found in outback puddles hangs in balance
Deep in Queensland’s arid outback, small pockets of rainforest in miniature flourish, thanks to underground springs — but the future is looking bleak for a tiny fish that lives there.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/future-of-tiny-fish-found-in-outback-puddles-hangs-in-balance/8555028

Is it time to outsource buses and trains?
A GOVERNMENT report has proposed privatising Queensland Rail to pay for the long delayed Cross River Rail project.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/government-report-says-queensland-rail-should-be-privatised-to-pay-for-cross-river-rail/news-story/f60330b6212f3b757b30fe8b4e97199b

Jondaryan coal stockpile has residents concerned about coal dust contamination
Jondaryan residents ask the Queensland Government to reinstall coal dust monitors, after they were taken down without warning.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/queensland-government-and-locals-talk-coal-dust-to-mark-willacy/8353626

Reef ‘cannot recover naturally’
Active intervention necessary to stop long-term decline of Great Barrier Reef following two years of bleaching, experts warn.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/great-barrier-reef-cannot-recover-naturally-from-bleaching-experts-warn/news-story/814f8fa4c5e719e774e040bc61e097a6

Queensland government settles on royalty plan but doubts remain
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/adani-dustup-queensland-government-split-as-coal-miner-pushes-for-handouts-20170525-gwd742.html

Palaszczuk rules out royalty holiday for Adani
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/palaszczuk-rules-out-royalty-holiday-for-adani-20170526-gwe937.html

Queensland Rail on-time running worse in 2017 than in 2016
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-rail-ontime-running-worse-in-2017-than-in-2016-20170524-gwcfbk.html

Where to now for Cross River Rail?
Steven Wardill

THERE are few viable options to get Cross River Rail off the ground but adopting a ‘do nothing’ approach will only reinforce the stereotype that the Labor Government has achieved zilch in its time in office.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-doing-nothing-on-cross-river-rail-not-an-option-for-minority-labor-government/news-story/ca5adb63c6d7ac520e59681bca9c1ad9

Queensland thinks small and can’t deliver
John McCarthy

THE Adani saga has shown that Queensland is incapable of delivering major projects efficiently, not just in its bureaucratic processes but also in its legal and political systems.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-adani-saga-proves-queensland-thinks-small-and-cant-deliver/news-story/ae0f02f38db5f1c1880b9bf5513f5882

Federal Labor feels the heat over Adani, and Coalition is sweating too
Katharine Murphy

The biggest environmental campaign seen in Australia since the 80s is causing bumps in the road for both sides of politics
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/27/federal-labor-feels-the-heat-over-adani-and-coalition-is-sweating-too

South Australia

Asbestos dumped at Mosquito Hill, south of Adelaide
Nearly one tonne of asbestos is found illegally dumped on a nature strip near Goolwa, and the Environment Protection Authority [EPA] is trying to find those responsible.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/asbestos-dumped-south-of-adelaide/8564700

SA Power station putting the bubbles in beer
Next time you’re sipping on a nice South Australian sparkling ale, or a Barossa red, you could be sucking on the waste of the state’s biggest power station.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/sa-power-station-putting-the-bubble-in-beer/8564424

The Crow who’s leading a bold port plan
A $100 million port to be built at Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula is being proposed by a consortium including former banker and Crows chairman Rob Chapman and commodities expert Ed Peter.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/jobs/crows-chairman-rob-chapman-behind-consortium-build-to-build-100-million-port-on-eyre-peninsula/news-story/30d84b3e59dab469f5e573c8e04ecdd9

Tasmania

Railway funds steam ahead
The state government has committed to funding the West Coast Wilderness Railway for at least another 12 months.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4690062/railway-funds-steam-ahead/?cs=5312

Northern Territory

Watching out for the night parrot
GOLD and green with the rough dimensions of an overfed budgie, the night parrot isn’t the country’s most spectacular bird — but its aura of mystery has captured the imaginations of Australia’s birdwatching community for decades
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/bird-watchers-confident-rare-night-parrot-can-be-found-in-central-australia/news-story/da79e40d5132db3d43863160fd38babe

Western Australia

National park’s black-flanked rock wallabies make a return
For decades it was thought the black-flanked rock wallaby was extinct in Western Australia’s Kalbarri National Park after being driven out by feral pests and predators, but a lot has happened since then.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/kalbarri-resurgence-of-black-flanked-rock-wallabies/8564926

Charges laid over attempts to smuggle 13 native bobtail lizards into Japan
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/man-caught-attempting-to-smuggle-13-native-bobtail-lizards-into-japan-20170526-gwdrxy.html

Distilling a green spirit
A proposed addition to the Swan Valley’s beer, wine and cider offerings will be as green as it is unusual.

Made from 52 shipping containers, it has been described as one of the most environmentally friendly craft distilleries in the world.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/distilling-a-green-spirit-ng-b88478500z

Woodside bid to revive Browse
Woodside Petroleum’s giant Browse gas project off WA is the megaproject that keeps getting up off the canvas.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/woodside-bid-to-revive-browse-gas-project/news-story/ba7ab57849f7f0ea030fda270ba5f309

Sustainability

Will India ever need another coal plant?
The country’s energy infrastructure is changing rapidly as solar prices plummet.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4426583696647308139

Bacteria that turn methane to electricity could help fight gas emissions and leaks.
A new way to turn methane directly into electricity using bacteria could keep large amounts of the planet-warming gas out of the atmosphere

http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-1786170265303039321

Pretty soon electric cars will cost less than gasoline.
Battery powered cars will soon be cheaper to buy than conventional gasoline ones, offering immediate savings to drivers, new research shows.

http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-1786170265303038829

How you could use your body to charge your smartphone
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiros-data61-use-your-walk-to-power-and-authenticate-smart-devices-20170525-gwco0c.html

More solar and hydro brings California gas use to five-year low
As renewable energy breaks new output records in California, both the need for and availability of gas in California have declined.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-hydro-brings-california-gas-use-five-year-low-41306/

Factories that forage
Professor Steve Evans calls himself “an angry environmental optimist”. Angry because he feels we are borrowing from the future, but optimistic because many of the problems with regard to the environment are perfectly solvable.

http://www.enn.com/lifestyle/article/51363

The Dakota Access Pipeline threat: By the numbers.
Nitin Gadia Indian Country Media Network

I thought pipeline accidents were rare. Turns out, they happen all the time
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-1786170265303039333

Election 2017: Pollution and climate change will ravage NZ as long as politicians dodge big questions
Ian Fuller

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/92951180/election-2017-pollution-and-climate-change-will-ravage-nz-as-long-as-politicians-dodge-big-questions

Nature Conservation

Improving the ocean: Getting serious about overfishing.
The oceans face dire threats. Better regulated fisheries would help
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-1786170265303038827

The future of fish is farmed.
Entrepreneurs and investors are getting into aquaculture, in an overfished world with a growing appetite for the healthy protein.

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-1786170265303039005

Survey finds US honeybee losses improve from horrible to bad.
There’s a glimmer of hope for America’s ailing honeybees as winter losses were the lowest in more than a decade, according to a U.S. survey of beekeepers released Thursday.

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-1786170265303039341

South Sudan Wildlife Surviving Civil War, but Poaching and Trafficking Threats Increase
The first aerial assessment of the impact of South Sudan’s current civil war on the country’s wildlife and other natural …

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170524191601.htm

The Perils of Publishing Location Data for Endangered Species
While the increasing accessibility of data from scientific studies creates many benefits — and represents a process that should be broadly embraced — in the context of conserving endangered species …

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170525141549.htm

Study finds Congo’s miners often resort to hunting wildlife for food
Authors recommend strengthening wildlife-friendly mining regulations and increasing sustainable domestic food sources as solutions against wildlife poaching near mining sites

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/wcs-sfc052617.php

Marine species distribution shifts will continue under ocean warming
Changes impact local fishing communities, resource management

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/nnfs-msd052617.php

Pregnant rays and babies pay a price after ‘catch and release’ from fishing trawlers
Leonardo Guida, Monash University and Richard Reina,Monash University
Rays caught unintentionally by fishing trawlers often spend time on deck before being returned to the ocean. New research shows the stress of this experience affects pregnant rays, and their babies.

http://theconversation.com/pregnant-rays-and-babies-pay-a-price-after-catch-and-release-from-fishing-trawlers-77877

The moral flaw at the heart of extreme animal liberators
Garry Linnell

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/when-animal-rights-extremism-exposes-the-worst-of-humanity-20170525-gwcups.html

Public lands offer the best place for recreation. Speak up and protect them
Land Tawney

Land Tawney, president of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, explains why the fight for national monuments is a battle sportsmen and women must win
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2017/may/25/public-lands-best-place-recreation-bears-ears