SATURDAY 13 JANUARY 2018

As New York City declares war on the oil industry, the politically impossible suddenly seems possible
Naomi Klein
New York City’s lawsuit for climate damages raises the prospect that oil companies may have to pay for rising sea levels and extreme weather.
https://theintercept.com/2018/01/11/new-york-city-big-oil-fossil-fuels-climate-change/

In a fast-warming world, scientists say recent cold wave was exceptionally weird
The recent brutal chill was like a blast from the past that, in the future, will become much more rare.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/01/11/in-a-fast-warming-world-scientists-say-recent-cold-wave-was-exceptionally-weird/?utm_term=.099682509f1a

Climate change behind coming fire insurance crisis
Climate change, if you ask most state experts, has already created a wildfire crisis in California. In the process, it’s causing a fire insurance predicament.
http://napavalleyregister.com/news/opinion/columnists/thomas_d_elias/thomas-d-elias-climate-change-behind-coming-fire-insurance-crisis/article_2efc4fe0-ebcd-5423-8d60-4a7b9bfd57e9.html

Act now to protect millions from floods — study
Scientists say millions more are at risk of flooding over the decades to come based on climate change already in the pipeline. In order to survive, the time to adapt is now.
http://www.dw.com/en/act-now-to-protect-millions-from-floods-study/a-42110153

Thinking outside the box on climate mitigation
In a new commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, IIASA researchers argue that a broader range of scenarios is needed to support international policymakers in the target of limiting climate change to under 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to avoid potential negative environmental and social consequences of carbon dioxide removal on a massive scale.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/iifa-tot011218.php

Climate change is altering lakes and streams, study suggests
Like the ocean, fresh water absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But the effects are likely to vary widely from place to place.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/science/climate-change-lakes-streams.html

A new geo-engineering scheme to prevent catastrophic sea-level rise
A Princeton glaciologist says mega-engineering projects may be able to stabilize the world’s most dangerous glaciers.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/a-new-geo-engineering-proposal-to-stop-sea-level-rise/550214/

Climate bonds market to hit a new benchmark in 2018
The climate bonds market is expected to hit a new benchmark this year, according to a new report by HSBC.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/2018-the-year-of-the-green-bond-20180109-p4yycb.html

Cross currents on the Murray
There are signs of improvement in the health of the Murray-Darling river system, but farmers remain concerned.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/murraydarling-plan-draws-mixed-verdict-after-five-years/news-story/1a251325b0bcb61095f690bfdb32a93a

Solar energy shines as heatwaves switch off gas and coal plants
Ebony Bennett
Even new fossil-fuel power plants are struggling in the weather they helped create.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/solar-energy-shines-as-heatwaves-switch-off-gas-and-coal-plants-20180112-h0hfkj.html

Why Australia might be forced to consider nuclear weapons
Tony Walker
What if America was no longer willing or able to provide a deterrent shield for its allies in the region?
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/why-australia-might-be-forced-to-consider-nuclear-weapons-20180111-h0gojv.html

Stand by, Australia, for the electric car revolution
Josh Frydenberg
Technology is transforming our lives at a rapid rate with no sector immune from its impact.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/stand-by-australia-for-the-electric-car-revolution-20180112-h0hazy.html

Good times flowing down river
Australian editorial
Southern Australia’s Murray-Murrumbidgee food bowl is in good shape, and not only because its catchment has enjoyed a couple of reasonable seasons.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/good-times-flowing-down-river/news-story/ba9315552620b89b0eb8d02fb3214386

Metro Trains and Yarra Trams fail to meet tough new standards
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/metro-trains-and-yarra-trams-fail-to-meet-tough-new-standards-20180112-h0hmjc.html

Summer of roadworks: Your guide to public transport disruptions
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/summer-of-roadworks-your-guide-to-public-transport-disruptions/news-story/ef4202f822f49215f0a437a8c54f9593

Boom in backyard beekeeping
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydneys-boom-in-backyard-beekeeping-20180111-h0h6mc.html

Opal creep: fares rise 10 per cent since ticketing overhaul
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/opal-creep-average-fares-rise-10-per-cent-since-ticketing-overhaul-20171213-h03o3a.html

Sydney train delays: What caused the network failure
Natasha Bita
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/anatomy-of-sydneys-train-meltdown/news-story/05a8f9172502d77e1f7faeca3c4f8dff

Scores of endangered parrots dying in ‘catastrophic’ road strikes
Environmentalists are concerned at the number of endangered superb parrots migrating to the Canberra region becoming roadkill, as motorists fail to see the camouflaged flocks feeding by the road.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-12/supurb-parrots-dying-in-road-strikes-in-nsw/9322938

ACT government extends rebate for solar installation
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-extends-rebate-for-solar-and-battery-installation-20180112-h0hdld.html

Great Barrier Reef tourism spokesman attacks scientist over slump in visitors
Col McKenzie calls on government to stop funding work of Terry Hughes, saying tourists ‘won’t do long-haul trips when they think the reef is dead’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/13/great-barrier-reef-tourism-spokesman-attacks-scientist-over-slump-in-visitors

Activists charged after Qld Adani protest
Five anti-coal protesters have been arrested and charged after they caused lengthy disruptions at Adani’s Abbot Point terminal in central Queensland.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/activists-charged-after-qld-adani-protest/news-story/9e34703e0d2be7de66b71eeffc3e0b9b

Adani fires back at ‘foolish, violent’ protesters after Abbot Point coal terminal shut down
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/adani-fires-back-at-foolish-violent-protesters-after-abbot-point-coal-terminal-shut-down-20180112-p4yyg4.html

Push for independent study into Tully-Millstream hydro project
A North Queensland MP says he will pursue the development of the Tully-Millstream hydro-electricity scheme by seeking an independent assessment of its cost and feasibility.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/push-for-independent-study-into-tullymillstream-hydro-project/news-story/3d2ef3e27678b174cb173af310edf530

Renewable energy: Green solutions that use toxic heavy metals create their own environmental problems
John McCarthy
Green energy is not necessarily that green. Sure, it doesn’t pose the existential threat that fossil fuels do, but you wouldn’t want a rare-earths mine near your house.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/renewable-energy-green-solutions-that-use-toxic-heavy-metals-create-their-own-environmental-problems/news-story/b07fe930811c18fa75bed14ebadd3223

Proposed sale of Kangaroo Island Crown land angers locals
A proposal to sell off a patch off waterfront Crown land on Kangaroo Island sparks backlash following claims the South Australian Government is not being transparent, with Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party promising to make it an election issue.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-12/kangaroo-island-crown-land-sell-off-proposal-prompts-backlash/9325456

Rangers rediscover tiny rock wallaby on Kimberley coast
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/rangers-rediscover-tiny-rock-wallaby-on-kimberley-coast-20180112-h0heia.html

‘Reality is worse than we feared’
Seventeen people once responsible for launching the US’s nuclear weapons have revealed a fatal flaw in the launch system.
http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/nuclear-launch-officers-write-open-letter-about-president-trump-amid-claims-cyberhacks-could-lead-to-unintended-nuclear-launch/news-story/31e82d4451a4d398a7fce3b7e785dbde

Pollution data by Greenpeace from 2017 show China wavering between GDP growth and clean air
Reduce air pollution or keep up economic growth? That’s the question for authorities in China’s battle against pollution.
https://qz.com/1177395/pollution-data-by-greenpeace-from-2017-show-china-wavering-between-gdp-growth-and-clean-air/

Green group fumes over deadlier air pollution
Air pollution-related deaths in Hong Kong jumped by more than 340 to a total of 1,849 last year, an environmental group said.
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=191649&sid=11

Advanced AI is reinventing how farmers grow your food
A sophisticated form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning could help make agriculture more efficient and environmentally friendly.
https://ensia.com/features/deep-learning/

Surprising Discovery Could Lead to Better Batteries
A collaboration led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has observed an unexpected phenomenon in lithium-ion batteries—the most common type of battery used to power cell phones and electric cars
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53655

How you can turn your food scraps into homemade gas
Samuel Alexander, University of Melbourne
Australians love cooking with gas, but what if you could make your own supply, using leftover food waste? It may be time for more households to embrace home biogas — and stop paying gas bills.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-12/how-you-can-turn-your-food-waste-into-homemade-gas/9324434

New York City just declared war on the oil industry
Bill McKibben
The home of Wall Street announced on Wednesday that it will be divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels. That hits fossil fuel giants where it hurts.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/11/new-york-city-oil-industry-war-divestment

Four tough actions that would help fight the global plastic crisis
Christine Cole, Nottingham Trent University
China is no longer importing the world’s recyclable plastic – so what should we do instead?
https://theconversation.com/four-tough-actions-that-would-help-fight-the-global-plastic-crisis-89798

US government scientists say a controversial pesticide is killing endangered salmon
The insecticide chlorpyrifos, already under attack for its risk to small children, may be killing salmon as well. The National Marine Fisheries Service is recommending restrictions on its use.
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/01/11/577178180/government-scientists-say-a-controversial-pesticide-is-killing-endangered-salmon

Don’t believe the hype: Giant pandas are still endangered
Panda habitats remain heavily fractured, while new research shows breeding centers expose the endangered animals to a hidden yet potentially deadly threat.
http://therevelator.org/giant-pandas-still-endangered/

Toxic thaw syndrome
Melting permafrost carries unknown dangers for Arctic marine life.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/toxic-thaw-syndrome/

Insect declines: New alarm over mayfly is ‘tip of iceberg’, warn experts
Modest pollution in many English rivers is enough to kill 80% of eggs, increasing concerns over insects which are vital to all ecosystems.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/11/insect-declines-new-alarm-over-mayfly-is-tip-of-iceberg-warn-experts

US says snow-loving lynx no longer need special protection
Wildlife officials say Canada lynx no longer need special protections in the United States following measures to preserve populations of the snow-loving wild cats.
http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/state_and_regional/us-says-snow-loving-lynx-no-longer-need-special-protection/article_191d7504-910d-5306-a0bf-a9907d8f0fa8.html

New Study From the University of Halle: How Climate Change Alters Plant Growth
Global warming affects more than just plant biodiversity – it even alters the way plants grow.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53652

Pacific Northwest salmon are in big genetic trouble
Chinook salmon, an iconic species in the Pacific Northwest, have lost up to two-thirds of their genetic diversity over the past 7000 years, researchers report.
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/01/pacific-northwest-salmon-are-big-genetic-trouble

Like oceans, freshwater is also acidifying
Rising CO 2 in lakes and reservoirs may harm animals that live in those ecosystems
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/like-oceans-freshwater-is-also-acidifying/

It’s an environmentalist’s dream – but will May’s green plan ever be reality?
Damian Carrington
The PM has finally made the environment a priority. But past double-dealing damages confidence in the government’s eco plan proposals
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/11/its-an-environmentalists-dream-but-will-mays-green-plan-ever-be-reality