Saturday 12 August 2017

Global warming will leave different fingerprints on global subtropical anticyclones

The crazy climate records from 2016 you haven’t heard much about
Andrea Thompson
Here are other climate change-related records that have flown more under the radar, reported in the annual State of the Climate report.

Energy sector repeats NBN errors
Henry Ergas
The ambitions in both cases are at odds with technological and economic realities.

New CBA case a warning: Step up on climate change, or we’ll see you in court
John Hewson
Despite the scale and urgency of the climate crisis and popular support for action, governments and financiers are failing to act. This will have to change

It’s absurd. But consumers may be better off quitting the grid
Giles Parkinson
As long as Australia’s energy networks hold on to their inflated asset base, and generators and retailers to their inflated profit margins, consumers will have no choice but to take matters into their own hands with solar and battery storage. But what a hopeless failure in public policy that would be.

Swarming seagulls fast becoming public enemy number two
It’s like something from an Alfred Hitchcock film, but attacks aren’t the problem being caused by birds in one Melbourne suburb.

Chemical spray damage results in record $7M negligence court payout.
For grape grower, Tony Caccaviello, it has been a four-year legal fight for compensation, after a mix of toxic chemicals destroyed his vineyard in northern Victoria.

Australia’s biggest wind farm is also its least productive
Giles Parkinson
What’s wrong with Australia’s biggest wind farm? Victoria’s 420MW Macarthur facility was supposed to produce 50% more power than it did last year.

Big water user bills to fall under Icon Water’s proposed new pricing

Majors Creek residents cry foul over fire trail bulldozed beside swamp

Threat to shut down uncompliant mines too late for black lung
Alarm bells should have been ringing in 2010, but the health system, regulators, and uncompliant mines failed to stop black lung. Queensland’s Mine Minister has finally drawn a line in the sand.

Black lung patients slam ‘disgraceful’ coal mines over dust-monitoring failure
People diagnosed with black lung lash out at global miners Glencore and Anglo American after the Government threatened to close four underground coal mines in central Queensland for failing to meet dust-monitoring obligations.

Mines get second chance on coal dust
TWO mining giants are unlikely to face closure or even fines over their failure to meet coal dust monitoring obligations after they admitted the breaches and promised it wouldn’t happen again.

Firm fined over Brisbane asbestos find
A CHINESE construction giant has escaped with a paltry fine for using lethal asbestos-laced building products in Brisbane’s State Government ‘Tower of Power’.

Waste companies are big donors to Qld political parties

Another solar farm planned for Collinsville, as Blackrock buys in
Two major solar projects slated for construction in northern Queensland have reached financial close this week, locking in development of another 200MW (AC) of large-scale solar generation near the state’s former coal hub of Collinsville.

Carmichael coalmine: Commonwealth Bank indicates it will not lend to Adani
Controversial Queensland coalmine project is now without financing from any of Australia’s big four banks

Government loan to Adani will create ‘billion-dollar ghost train’, Senate told
Public governance specialist raises concerns over the way the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility is conducting itself

Adani fires up over spill publicity
ADANI is preparing to take the fight to the State Government after it was singled out for a naming and shaming over a spill of contaminated water at Abbot Point.

Cost of generator back-up still hazy
TAXPAYERS will pay more than $100 million in just one year to hire nine emergency generators to keep the lights on.

Key parts of power plan just blowing in the wind
Daniel Wills
PREMIER Jay Weatherill’s sales pitch for an energy plan to save the state continues at full steam but key elements are being left to gently blow in the wind

Tourism leaders oppose hotels
TASMANIA’S peak tourism industry body will come out in strong opposition to skyscrapers on the Hobart waterfront.

Lessons for East Coast fish farm plans
Shane Pritchard and Rowan Armitage
Shane Pritchard and Rowan Armitage warn against overstocking salmon pens.

Decades-long battle not over yet
A BATTLE over land in the centre of Darwin has raged for decades. Last month, the war reached a definitive crossroads. However, the custodians still have a fight on their hands

Indigenous leaders ask NT Government to reject iron mine revival
Indigenous leader Grace Daniels thought the prospect of iron ore mining in the pristine Gulf of Carpentaria had disappeared. But a new company thinks the climate is right to revive a failed project, and that has her worried.

Cause of lead contamination at Perth Children’s Hospital found
More major remedial work will be needed at the problem-plagued Perth Children’s Hospital after a comprehensive report identified the likely cause of lead contamination in the facility’s drinking water.

Here’s what Perth could look like by 2029
WA will celebrate its 200th birthday in 12 years. Here’s what Perth could look like by that time.

America’s most (and least) sustainable cities, ranked.
When it comes to sustainability in urban centers, the West Coast is faring better than the rest of the country.

Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump.
Fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump, according to analysis by an environmental advocacy group.

The rise of electric cars could leave us with a big battery waste problem.
There is an unanswered environmental question at the heart of the electric car movement: what on earth to do with their half-tonne lithium-ion batteries when they wear out?

When backyard wind is cheaper than fossil fuels.
New study shows that vertical-axis wind turbines, if designed well, could financially compete with fossil fuel electricity.

Scientists develop spit-powered battery
You can make a battery out of a lemon, a tomato, an orange or a stack of pennies. And now you can make a battery …

Night vision for bird- & bat-friendly offshore wind power
PNNL’s ThermalTracker software can aid responsible wind farm siting and operations

How Elon Musk and Peter Thiel are bringing hope to the world’s darkest cities

‘Atomic Bill’ and the birth of the bomb.
A star New York Times reporter was hired by the Manhattan Project to be its chronicler and cheerleader. The ethical debate continues to this day.

New generation nuclear reactors unlikely to arrive in next 30 years
New generation nuclear power stations that produce cheap electricity and less waste always seem about to appear, but so far they have not materialised.,10600

The death of the internal combustion engine.
Economist editorial
It had a good run. But the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world.

Extraction, exploitation and the morality of switching from gasoline to cobalt for cars.
Marc Gopin, Tom Duncan HuffPost
Is it as ethical as we think to switch from fossil fuel extraction to cobalt extraction?

Headlong rush no way to operate
Chris Kenny
Ontario’s reckless renewables push, like that of South Australia, offers a lesson in needless self-harm.

Here’s what Indonesia is doing about haze from forest and peatland fires.
In 2015, massive fires burned across Indonesia, releasing hazardous smoke across neighboring countries. How close is the country to meeting its goal of reducing haze from future fires?

Canary in a coal mine: Survey captures global picture of air pollution’s effects on birds

People, palm oil, pulp and planet: four perspectives on Indonesia’s fire-stricken peatlands
Samantha Grover, La Trobe University; Linda Sukamta, La Trobe University, and Robert Edis
Indonesian peatlands are important to many people: farmers, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and conservationists. But preserving this value for everyone will mean listening to everyone’s concerns.