SATURDAY 20 JANUARY 2018

Coal unit trips in heatwave as Tesla big battery cashes in
Thursday’s sudden outage of Victoria’s Loy Yang B unit marked the 13th failure of a major coal unit this summer – and offered just the latest illustration of the vulnerability of Australia’s ageing and increasingly intermittent coal fleet.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-unit-trips-in-heatwave-as-tesla-big-battery-cashes-in-85623/

Methane from Indian Livestock Adds to Global Warming
Methane produced by India’s livestock population, considered the world’s largest, can significantly raise global temperatures, says a new study designed to help predict climate change linked to greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions from farm animals.
http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/53713

Genetic modification laws set for shake-up in Australia
Australia is set to reform how it regulates genetically modified research, with health and agriculture scientists set to benefit.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-01-19/gene-tech-regulator-proposes-shakeup-for-genetic-modification/9341354

Australia’s severe heat is affecting the sperm of the bird population: Study
A recent study has found rising temperatures and frequently reoccurring heatwaves are reducing ‘normal sperm’ in Australian birds.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/australias-severe-heat-is-affecting-the-sperm-of-the-bird-population-study-20180116-h0j7ke.html

Frydenberg slapped down on Twitter after ignoring coal failure
Sophie Vorrath Federal energy minister gets social media slap-down after ignoring coal plant failure in Tweet about Thursday’s power price spike.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/frydenberg-slapped-down-on-twitter-after-ignoring-coal-failure-50351/

Corporate PPAs took off in 2017 – who were the leaders?
2017 was the tipping point for corporate PPAs in Australia, when contracting renewables to meet energy needs became a commercially viable proposition.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/corporate-ppas-took-off-in-2017-who-were-the-leaders-72117/

Confidence returns for Australian coal miners
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/confidence-returns-for-australian-coal-miners-20180116-p4yyj7.html

Government targets energy guzzlers in our homes
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/government-targets-energy-guzzlers-in-our-homes-20180118-p4yyml.html

Tassie is powered up so who needs another Snowy?
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/hopes-for-tasmanias-battery-of-the-nation-dangle-by-a-cable-or-two-20180117-h0jm5j.html

Supply crisis: hospitals cut power use
A power supply crisis gripped southern states yesterday, forcing Melbourne hospitals to dim their lights.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/hospitals-cut-power-use-as-supply-crisis-strikes/news-story/31d51ccd6209c590cbaf60994797f8f4

Hazelwood closure drives jump in household electricity prices
The government-owned Snowy Hydro has lifted this years household electricity bills by more than 10 per cent as part of a sector-wide surge in prices driven by the closure of the Hazelwood brown-coal power station and renewable energy schemes.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/hazelwood-closure-drives-jump-in-household-electricity-prices/news-story/905a7634ff8ef556915c7d1f4f6a2173

NSW, Victoria ploy to hog 450GL of Murray Darling Basin water backfires
An interstate plan to hog 450 gigalitres from the Murray-Darling has backfired after a report found it would benefit their communities to save the water.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/nsw-victoria-ploy-to-hog-450gl-of-murray-darling-basin-water-backfires-as-ernst-and-young-review-says-put-water-back-in-the-rivers/news-story/f58f5914ae838b317fb5b7f50c1d0a53

2017: Another record breaking year for heat and extreme weather
Climate Council of Australia
http://apo.org.au/node/128621

Coral’s secret midnight tryst caught on camera
When Michael Troy’s family went snorkelling at Lord Howe Island, they stumbled upon a rare natural wonder that gives scientists hope for the future of coral reefs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-20/lord-howe-island-corals-secret-tryst-caught-on-camera/9342888

Community to invest directly in wind power in New England
A community investment plan at Sapphire Wind Farm could be the turning point the wind industry has needed for years.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/community-to-invest-directly-in-wind-power-in-new-england-57593/

‘Missed opportunity’ for green roofs as Sydney’s apartment boom continues
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/missed-opportunity-for-green-roofs-as-sydneys-apartment-boom-continues-20180118-h0k8pu.html

Out-of-control bushfire in regional NSW
An out-of-control bushfire is threatening isolated properties in the NSW Southern Tablelands.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/outofcontrol-bushfire-in-regional-nsw/news-story/6f0174394c8ac16b12076d74233426c5

Secret reports reveal ‘catastrophic’ fire dangers at Sydney train stations
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/rail-nightmare-secret-reports-reveal-fire-dangers-on-sydneys-train-network-20180115-h0ivge.html

This is how Sydney’s transport system has gone off the rails
David Hensher, University of Sydney
The real challenge is finding appropriate ways to invest in public transport that will not only take pressure off the system but also support improved travel on all modes, including cars.
https://theconversation.com/this-is-how-sydneys-transport-system-has-gone-off-the-rails-90301

Canberrans asked how they feel about release of carp virus into Canberra waterways
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/proposal-to-release-carp-virus–cyprinid-herpesvirus-3-into-canberra-waterways-20180119-h0l2lg.html

Divers tackle major crown-of-thorns outbreak on southern Great Barrier Reef
Crown-of-thorns starfish recently found eating their way through the southern Great Barrier Reef are being targeted in a major culling exercise.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/tackling-crown-of-thorns-outbreak-on-great-barrier-reef/9342524

JCU releases world-first maps of Great Barrier Reef sea floor
NEW high-resolution sea floor maps have been released today, showing 1.5 million square kilometres of the Great Barrier Reef.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/jcu-releases-worldfirst-maps-of-great-barrier-reef-sea-floor/news-story/25a1e37f586e4dbb2d5dc79cc0c561f1

Mount Emerald Wind Farm project on track
Wet weather has not slowed down construction at the Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Walkamin
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/mount-emerald-wind-farm-project-on-track-ratch-australias-anthony-yeates/news-story/b571129d691ddbef9af54b4b4f9ae43f

The bush makes its comeback after suffering hard times
Marauding dingoes that have killed up to 10 million sheep in Queensland in three decades may have been stopped in their tracks thanks to the radical fencing plan of the Mayor with the Hair.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/the-bush-makes-its-comeback-after-suffering-hard-times/news-story/d3a5162f5243b05db6a810600dc8ba68

SA Liberals pledge $7 million to tackle prescription drug abuse
The SA Liberals would give GPs and pharmacists access to real-time monitoring of prescriptions to prevent a rising tide of pharmaceutical drug abuse if they won the state election.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/sa-liberals-target-prescription-drug-abuse/9344816

No need for backup power despite extreme SA heat: Treasurer
The South Australian Government is not expecting to use the state’s new backup diesel power generators despite extreme weather forcing a tight power supply balance.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/sa-heatwave-will-not-affect-power-supply/9342306

Flinders Ports agrees to ‘no side-casting’ dredging method
Flinders Ports has agreed to an Environment Protection Authority recommendation to use a different method to dredge the Port River than the one which devastated Gulf St Vincent 13 years ago.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/west-beaches/flinders-ports-agrees-to-no-sidecasting-dredging-method-recommended-by-epa-for-port-river/news-story/2df8d6f555d8b99cebf330c9cbe31dd5

Authorities investigating fruit fly discovery on Flinders Island
Tasmania’s biosecurity authorities say the discovery of fruit fly larvae at Lady Baron on Flinders Island appears to be an isolated incursion.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/tasmanian-biosecurity-authorities-investigate-flinders-fruitfly/9344590

How a city of 21 million people cleaned up its air
Authorities in Beijing say a major anti-pollution drive has, for now at least, cleaned up the city’s once notorious air but some residents have been left out in the cold and many wonder if the change is sustainable.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/beijing-sees-dramatic-reduction-in-air-pollution/9341766

One year in, Trump’s environmental agenda is already taking a measurable toll
One year into the Trump administration, the impact of its environmental policies is being felt in communities across the country. Power plants have been given expanded license to pollute, the dirtiest trucks are being allowed to remain on the roads and punishment for violations has dropped sharply.
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-environment-20180118-story,amp.html?__twitter_impression=true

A practical, non-vegetarian guide to sustainable eating
Making informed, feasible changes towards a more environmentally sustainable diet starts with the food items you put in your shopping basket.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/practical-non-vegetarian-guide-to-sustainable-eating/9340744

‘Cities, businesses, and citizens can save the planet’
So says former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now an activist on climate change and environmental sustainability.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/02/editor-michael-bloomberg-cities-climate-hope/

Planting trees to save the planet is turning into big business
As part of the Paris Agreement, countries are reforesting an area the size of South Africa. The opportunity is enormous–and so are the potential benefits.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40517287/planting-trees-to-save-the-planet-is-turning-into-big-business

Most U.S. states lost coal mining jobs in 2017
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. coal producing states lost coal mining jobs in 2017, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180119120038-hfcif/

We’re doing a great job of creating renewable energy—but we don’t have the infrastructure to actually use it
Better storage batteries and the framework to support them is key.
https://www.popsci.com/renewable-energy-infrastructure#page-5

US EPA official speaks on risk of climate change to toxic sites
A top manager who supervises the EPA’s program for cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated properties and waterways told Congress the government needs to plan for the ongoing threat posed to Superfund sites by climate change.
http://www.bnd.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article195450894.html

Bio-renewable process could help ‘green’ plastic
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uow-bpc011818.php

The downside of plastics recycling: Toxics in children’s toys
Toxic chemicals are actually entering the recycling stream and coming back to the EU in new products.
http://www.radio.cz/en/section/panorama/the-downside-of-plastics-recycling-toxins-in-childrens-toys

Am I at risk? How do you clean it up? A PFAS expert answers basic questions
Getting firm answers on how much PFAS exposure is dangerous and how to best clean it up has been hard to nail down.
http://michiganradio.org/post/am-i-risk-how-do-you-clean-it-pfas-expert-answers-basic-questions

The everyday items that cause infertility and even cancer
Dr Channa Jayasena, a consultant in reproductive endocrinology at Imperial College London, said: ‘We know little about hormone altering chemicals but our exposure to them is a concern.’
http://www.ehn.org/the-everyday-items-that-cause-infertility-and-even-cancer-daily-mail-online-2526760675.html

20 Percent More Trees in Megacities Would Mean Cleaner Air and Water, Lower Carbon and Energy Use
Planting 20 percent more trees in our megacities would double the benefits of urban forests, like pollution reduction, carbon sequestration and …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180118162455.htm

Signaling more independence from the US, the World Bank phases out its support for fossil fuels
The World Bank, which provides developing countries about US$60 billion a year in financial assistance, is officially phasing out its support for the oil and gas industries.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/signaling-independence-us-world-bank-phases-support-fossil-fuels-90687/

End of days: Is Western civilisation on the brink of collapse?
Increasingly concerns about collapse have entered the Zeitgeist. For example, Margaret Atwood published a powerful essay about this two years ago: It’s not climate change… it’s everything change.
http://www.ehn.org/end-of-days-is-western-civilisation-on-the-brink-of-collapse-new-scientist-2526645132.html

Thorium reactors may dispose of enormous amounts of weapons-grade plutonium
Power, thermal energy and desalinated water from weapons-grade plutonium
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/tpu-trm011918.php

The Y chromosome is disappearing — so what will happen to men?
Darren Griffin and Peter Ellis, University of Kent
The Y chromosome may be able to protect itself from extinction in the short term. But what about in a future where we all reproduce artificially?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/y-chromosome-disappearing-what-will-happen-to-men/9342994

Frogs tote tiny radios to save their species
Scientists recently released hundreds of harlequin frogs to learn more about a deadly fungus pushing the species to extinction.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/animals-frogs-panama-endangered-species/

Climate Change Affects Fish Reproductive Phenology in Plateau Area: Study
Climate change has threatened the global environment and biodiversity, particularly the aquatic ecosystems as well as the development of human ecosociety.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53711

Climate Change Linked to More Flowery Forests
New research has revealed a surprising relationship between surging atmospheric carbon dioxide and flower blooms in a remote ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180119113519.htm