Saturday 11 November 2017

Nuclear accident in Russia or Kazakhstan sends radioactive cloud over Europe
French institute says pollution suggests release of nuclear material south of the Ural mountains in September.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/10/nuclear-accident-in-russia-or-kazakhstan-sends-radioactive-cloud-over-europe

Is China really stepping up as the world’s new climate leader?
Climate change isn’t expected to feature during President Donald Trump’s trip to China. But his meeting with President Xi Jinping does hold symbolic significance as a summit of old and new leadership on climate change.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-11-08/china-really-stepping-world-s-new-climate-leader

What’s it like to be an American at the UN climate talks?
US delegates, a faction of “unofficial delegates” and American observers are all attending the negotiations and hundreds of side events held in Bonn, Germany, this week and next.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-11-09/what-s-it-be-american-un-climate-talks

EU strikes deal on carbon market reform
European Union negotiators agreed to a compromise on carbon market reforms on Thursday, with the bloc keen for a deal this week to show leadership at U.N. climate talks in Bonn.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-carbon/eu-strikes-deal-on-carbon-market-reform-idUSKBN1D90PK

New techniques for removing carbon from the atmosphere
Of the approximately two dozen medical CT scanners scattered throughout Stanford’s main campus and medical centers, two can be found nestled in basement labs of the Green Earth Sciences Buildings.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53117

Big finance goes to COP
The UK Youth Climate Coalition report from the Bonn climate conference on Barclays’ presence.
https://newint.org/blog/2017/11/10/cop23-bonn-barclays

Brazil warns climate spat may derail talks
The UN climate negotiations are picking up pace after a sluggish start but an emerging split between developed and developing countries has some warning it could derail talks.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/brazil-warns-climate-spat-may-derail-talks/news-story/d06092c3e8e5165e5b4df3af480f261a

Archbishop of Canterbury calls for UN climate talks in Bonn to recognize ‘urgent priority’ of climate change
http://religionnews.com/2017/11/08/archbishop-of-canterbury-calls-for-un-climate-talks-in-bonn-to-recognize-urgent-priority-of-climate-change/

Wind raising glacier melt rate
Strengthening winds in the Southern Ocean are causing the largest glacier in East Antarctica to melt quicker — a trend contributing to global sea-level rise.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/wind-raising-glacier-melt-rate/news-story/79911ba78fc8cc78378cf6eaf155b9f0

Are natural disasters man-made? It’s hard to deny when the effects of climate change are all around us
Andrew Sheng
Fom increasingly intense hurricanes to regional landslides and flooding, it’s clear our actions are effecting the environment. But, it’s also evident that there are ways for us to avert disaster and change course.
http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2119167/are-natural-disasters-man-made-its-hard-deny-when-effects

Don’t be complacent: climate change will ravage rich and poor alike
Patricia Scotland
We need to accept the new reality of fast and furious natural disasters and have a plan to deal with it.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/09/climate-change-ravage-rich-poor-alike-hurricane-irma-maria

We’ll keep lights on, states can worry about emissions: ESB
ESB chair Kerry Schott says it will be up to the states to act if they want higher emissions targets.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/well-keep-lights-on-states-can-worry-about-emissions-esb-66119/

Schott defends NEG modelling, says wind and solar at “low end”
Schott says NEG modelling assumes “low end” of wind and solar costs, defying recent evidence. But ESB did admit there is much work to do on policy, dispatchability had yet to be defined, new coal unlikely to get a look in, and states free to pursue own targets.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/schott-defends-neg-modelling-says-wind-and-solar-at-low-end-18097/

Customers ‘to pay $160m a year’ for PM’s Snowy scheme
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/customers-to-be-slugged-160m-a-year-for-turnbulls-snowy-power-scheme-economist-predicts-20171110-gzin2w.html

Is Australia’s power grid safe from hackers?
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/cyber-security-threat-is-australias-power-grid-safe-from-hackers-20171103-gze2qd.html

Murray-Darling Basin Authority recommends cutting the water recovery target
Seventy billion litres would be taken out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan under a proposal put to the Federal Government.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/murraydarling-basin-authority-recommends-cutting-the-water-recovery-target/news-story/7ff5e286da99cf801e0ce807ec957610

Medibank’s unhealthy addiction to fossil fuels
Pablo Brait
Climate change remains the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century, yet Medibank has remained invested in coal, oil and gas companies that fuel
http://reneweconomy.com.au/medibanks-unhealthy-addiction-to-fossil-fuels-90103/

Energy efficiency: the foundation of the climate transition
Andrew McCallister
Energy debate in Australia seems overly focused on supply side of the market – it should look more closely at demand.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-efficiency-foundation-climate-transition-48098/

Why has BHP distanced itself from legal threat to environment groups?
Samantha Hepburn, Deakin University
BHP has distanced itself from moves to strip environment groups of their tax deductibility status. Why does the Big Australian see value in defending them?
https://theconversation.com/why-has-bhp-distanced-itself-from-legal-threat-to-environment-groups-87093

Is high Chinese demand about to wreck the government’s gas deal?
Glenn Dyer
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/11/10/is-high-chinese-demand-about-to-wreck-the-governments-gas-deal/

How the Greens drive policy
Mike Seccombe
The Greens believe they have put a difficult year behind them, and are seeing their ‘Cassandra’ foresight picked up by other parties.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/11/11/how-the-greens-drive-policy/15103188005492

Building cycling cities
Rose Donohoe
Cities with high rates of commuter cycling have histories of public action in favour of planning and infrastructure. In Australia there has been more active opposition.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2017/11/11/building-cycling-cities/15103188005485

Beer drinkers to pay more in NSW under container deposit scheme
The price of packaged beer across NSW is about to go up as brewers pass on the costs of the state’s new container deposit scheme, brewers warn.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-10/beer-drinkers-to-pay-more-in-nsw-under-container-deposit-scheme/9134648

Paul Keating to Peter Garrett: don’t dance on Sydney’s sacred land
Former prime minister Paul Keating has savaged a decision to fence off the Domain for 16 days for two Midnight Oil concerts, questioning why front man Peter Garrett would “feel in any way comfortable squatting and profiting from Sydney’s central piece of public land”.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/paul-keating-to-peter-garrett-dont-dance-on-sydneys-sacred-land-20171110-gzizzy.html

Climate change and electric vehicles
Don Aitkin
What the ACT Government has done is to commission solar and wind generation, much of it outside the ACT, that is a contribution to the grid.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19406

Queensland coal plant has a photo – now all it needs is a massive subsidy
A mock-up image of a new coal plant has been created, as part of the increasingly intense campaign to have one built – and funded by taxpayers – in north Queensland.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-coal-plant-has-a-photo-now-all-it-needs-is-a-massive-subsidy-82611/

Adani timeline raises questions
The decision to veto a $1b Adani loan was made in May. So why did Annastacia Palaszczuk continue to profess her support?
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/queensland-election/queensland-election-palaszczuk-mixes-messages-on-adani/news-story/ac6298f27bbb63c53d525e6f33c199f5

Don’t scrap Adani royalty deal, says LNP
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/tim-nicholls-says-palaszczuk-should-stand-by-adani-royalty-deal-20171110-gziojb

Earthquake-like crack frightens Queensland drivers in coal belt
Alarmed drivers have been shaken at the sight of an earthquake-like rift in the bitumen of a road in central Queensland’s coal belt.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-10/earthquake-like-road-lift/9137844

LNP puts Greens last, One Nation ahead of Labor on how-to-vote cards
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/lnp-puts-greens-last-one-nation-ahead-of-labor-on-how-to-vote-cards-20171110-p4ywxy.html

Mixed environmental messages in Queensland
Andrew Stafford
In the run-up to the Queensland election, the major parties are attempting to play both sides of the Adani mine–Great Barrier Reef debate.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/11/11/mixed-environmental-messages-queensland/15103188005486

The precedent against Adani
Bill Wilkie
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2017/11/11/the-precedent-against-adani/15103188005491

Video of the Day: The end of coal generation in South Australia
Boilers of old Northern coal fired generator brought down, bringing end of coal era in South Australia and paving way for huge investment in renewables and storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/video-of-the-day-the-end-of-coal-generation-in-south-australia-10754/

BHP Billiton announces 120 new jobs at Olympic Dam
Mining giant BHP will create dozens of new jobs at its operation near Roxby Downs in South Australia’s far north over the next year, in another sign the state’s mining industry is enjoying a positive turnaround.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-10/bhp-billiton-announces-120-new-jobs-at-olympic-dam/9136858

Looming power crisis in SA: AEMO warns of 90,000-home electricity shortfall before summer even starts
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/looming-power-crisis-in-sa-aemo-warns-of-90000home-electricity-shortfall-before-summer-even-starts/news-story/da085ab7da538317b99680dcc33bdf73

Energy plan architect says Turnbull scheme will push down SA power bills
South Australians can expect power bills to drop under the Turnbull Government’s new energy policy despite facing challenges to meet the reliability targets, the scheme’s architect says.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/energy-plan-architect-says-turnbull-scheme-will-push-down-sa-power-bills/news-story/84afd175d3c96c3d9d0ae05fb09fa43b

Fears for Mt Lofty trees as SA Power Networks freed to swing the axe
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/fears-for-mt-lofty-trees-as-sa-power-networks-freed-to-swing-the-axe/news-story/8c2dd0b5ca84fa834712d2eaabf457b5

Mature politics required to deliver transport grid of the future for South Australia
Adam Langenberg
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/adam-langenberg-mature-politics-required-to-deliver-transport-grid-of-the-future-for-south-australia/news-story/0d9a1b83600eec908fde58f2cef2079a

TasWater posts profit rise
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5048793/taswater-posts-profit-rise/?cs=95

Plan to review place names
A wholesale axing and replacing of Tasmanian place names deemed offensive by the Aboriginal community has been flagged by a State Government options paper.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/plan-to-review-tasmanian-place-names-that-cause-offence/news-story/b8ece76a5da3611752317e85667845ce

Alternative site rejected
The new “brutalist” Bruny Island Neck carpark continues to spark fierce debate.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/bruny-island-neck-planners-knocked-back-alternative-site/news-story/49bc251aa2514ff4d3ee356f51cec0a7

Revelling in role as wombat warrior
John Harris says he’s proud to be the “friendly face” of Tasmania’s stricken wombats as he continues to fight to the scourge of sarcoptic mange.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/wombat-warrior-john-harris-nominated-for-pride-of-australia-award-for-waging-war-against-sarcoptic-mange/news-story/a68e4e2dd35ed429fdaae5879c803c2d

Powering the country
Chris Gwynne
The word is out. Tasmania has the natural advantages and renewable headstart to lead the way.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-tasmania-ready-to-rise-to-challenge-of-powering-the-country/news-story/06f60a0243675231fb6aad7ecae84d08

Banning climbing Ayers Rock/Uluru does nothing for Aboriginal reconciliation
Julian Tomlinson
Plans to close Ayers Rock to climbers from 2019 add more weight to the notion that the most divisive force in Australia is not white people, but Aboriginal activists.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/opinion/banning-climbing-ayers-rockuluru-does-nothing-for-aboriginal-reconciliation/news-story/b7bd9badcc750c471f9045f50fce11ee

How much has the EPA changed one year since the election?
NBC’s Anne Thompson reviews Donald Trump’s reshaping of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Scott Pruitt’s implementation of it, one year since the election.
http://www.ehn.org/how-much-has-the-epa-changed-one-year-since-the-election-msnbc-2508182697.html

One of the world’s biggest miners is about to go coal-free
Just five years ago it would have been almost unthinkable that one of the world’s biggest mining companies would not dig any coal. It’s now likely to become a reality.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-10/one-of-the-world-s-biggest-miners-is-about-to-go-coal-free

Republicans plan to turn Puerto Rico into a theme park for fossil-fuel corporations
“Puerto Rico has the potential of being the Hong Kong of the United States,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert at a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing.
https://theintercept.com/2017/11/09/puerto-rico-hurricane-fossil-fuels-congress/

Nuclear accident in Russia or Kazakhstan sends radioactive cloud over Europe
French institute says pollution suggests release of nuclear material south of the Ural mountains in September.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/10/nuclear-accident-in-russia-or-kazakhstan-sends-radioactive-cloud-over-europe

The public health implications of unregulated drinking water
Although solutions exist for ensuring that well water is safe to drink, it is unclear how and whether they can be implemented.
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/ehp2470/

Air pollution exposure linked to brittle bone disease
Air pollution could cause osteoporosis, according to new research from Columbia University. The study found that areas with high levels of pollution saw more people hospitalized for fractures.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5068101/Air-pollution-exposure-linked-brittle-bone-disease.html

As wind power sector grows, turbine makers feel the squeeze.
Disappointing earnings reports from the world’s two biggest makers of wind turbines indicate that even they are struggling to adapt to a fast-changing sector.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/business/energy-environment/wind-turbine-vestas.html

The toxic city of Norilsk, Russia: ‘My Deadly Beautiful City’
Norilsk, Russia. Population 177,00. It’s the northernmost city in the world—and one of the most deadly.
https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/545228/my-deadly-beautiful-city-norilsk/

New Routes to Renewables: Sandia Speeds Transformation of Biofuel Waste Into Wealth
A Sandia National Laboratories-led team has demonstrated faster, more efficient ways to turn discarded plant matter into chemicals worth billions
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53111

Green roofs to reduce the effects of climate change
Experts from the University of Seville highlight that these systems mean an energy saving for building owners, contribute to reducing pollution and cushioning temperatures
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uos-grt111017.php

The bitter battle over the world’s most popular insecticides
As regulators consider a ban on neonicotinoids, debate rages over the harm they cause to bees.
http://www.nature.com/news/the-bitter-battle-over-the-world-s-most-popular-insecticides-1.22972

Climate change, sparse policies endanger right whale population
North Atlantic right whales – a highly endangered species making modest population gains in the past decade – may be imperiled by warming waters and insufficient international protection, according to a new Cornell analysis published online in Global Change Biology
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53116