Saturday 18 November 2017

3 things we learned at this week’s U.N. climate change meeting
Joshua Busby
It’s not clear who can fill the gap created by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/11/17/what-did-we-just-learn-at-the-u-n-climate-change-meeting/?utm_term=.a74144d01d39

Nineteen nations say they’ll use more bioenergy to slow climate change
China and 18 other nations representing half the world’s population said on Thursday they planned to increase the use of wood and other plant matter from sustainable sources to generate energy as part of efforts to limit climate change.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-biofuels/nineteen-nations-say-theyll-use-more-bioenergy-to-slow-climate-change-idUSKBN1DG2DO

‘Planet at a crossroads’: climate summit makes progress but leaves much to do
The UN negotiations in Bonn lay the groundwork for implementing the landmark Paris deal, but tough decisions lay ahead
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/17/planet-at-a-crossroads-climate-summit-makes-progress-but-leaves-much-to-do

Climate summit makes slow but steady progress as King Coal looms
Little drama in Bonn other than some star turns and a pantomime villain. All eyes are now on Poland, the next summit host
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/17/climate-summit-bonn-makes-slow-steady-progress-king-coal-looms

Poland aims to sign global climate deal amendment this year
Coal-reliant Poland aims to ratify an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol on carbon emissions this year, making it possible for the European Union to back the pact unanimously, the country’s environment ministry said on Thursday.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-eu/poland-aims-to-sign-global-climate-deal-amendment-this-year-idUSKBN1DG2H1

Climate change denial or indifference are ‘perverse attitudes’: Pope
Denying climate change or being indifferent to its effects are “perverse attitudes” that block research and dialogue aimed at protecting the future of the planet, Pope Francis said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-pope/climate-change-denial-or-indifference-are-perverse-attitudes-pope-idUSKBN1DG2DB

Plant Respiration Could Become a Bigger Feedback on Climate Than Expected
New research, led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, suggests that plant respiration is a larger source of carbon emissions than previously thought, and warns that, as the world warms, this may reduce the ability of Earth’s land surface to absorb emissions due to fossil fuel burning.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53199

NZ eyes climate refugees visa
New Zealand is proposing a special refugee visa for Pacific Islanders who are forced to migrate because of rising sea levels, the nation’s new climate change minister says, as world leaders wrap up United Nations climate talks in Germany.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nz-eyes-climate-refugees-visa/news-story/469c93fb869f0080c776a093e92c6eed

3 things we learned at this week’s U.N. climate change meeting
Joshua Busby
It’s not clear who can fill the gap created by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/11/17/what-did-we-just-learn-at-the-u-n-climate-change-meeting/?utm_term=.a74144d01d39

Ministers must pass ‘Trump test’ at Bonn climate talks
Nicholas Stern
Leading climate economist says world leaders must move forward without the US on crucial issues in the closing days of the UN summit.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/nicholas-stern-ministers-must-pass-trump-test-at-bonn-climate-talks

Networks push to take regional consumers, communities off grid
Networks and consumer groups say taking rural customers off grid – and providing them with solar and storage – can save billions, and make electricity cleaner, safer and more reliable. It’s a no brainer, but the regulator stands in the way.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/victorias-battery-storage-wont-ready-summer-64243/

Call to shift from coal
Australia must diversify its economy away from coal exports to thrive in a modern economy, says inventor Ramez Naam.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/ramez-naam-calls-for-shift-from-coal-to-renewables/news-story/2592537d2c94800243b1db2a49bf41f4

What Frydenberg was told about why NEG was bad policy
Lane Crockett, Ben Krasnostein & Fergus Pitt
By now, it’s clear that the government’s latest energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (the “NEG”), is probably dead on arrival. That’s our assessment, and it gives us no pleasure.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/frydenberg-told-neg-bad-policy-72411/

We can still prise coal’s fingers off our necks in Australia
Tim Hollo
The UK and Canada are far from democratic wonderlands. But within their limits, they demonstrate how to commit to phasing out coal in the short term
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/17/we-can-still-prise-coals-fingers-off-our-necks-in-australia

Pay and go if you love nature
E-tags or similar tracking devices should be added to cars visiting Victoria’s nat­ional parks, says a former president of the Mountain Cattlemens Association.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/etags-for-victorias-national-parks-pay-and-go-if-you-love-nature/news-story/2850d3c307e339e118c50047c203c0e3

Making a noise of their own
Farmers being kept awake by the racket of wind turbines are starting to fight back
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/wind-farms-farmers-making-a-noise-of-their-own/news-story/5f002d17d686db1b9c80a34ee38db39b

Traffic chaos if two new toll roads are built simultaneously: RACV
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/guys-plan-to-build-north-east-and-east-west-to-create-traffic-woes-racv-warns-20171117-gznp4w.html

Seeing lots of smoke in Melbourne’s west? Don’t panic, it’s a safety precaution
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/smoke-from-altona-refinery-in-melbournes-west-a-safety-measure-as-storm-looms-20171117-gznddp.html

PFAS investigations reveal possible health risk on NSW south coast
A detailed investigation of PFAS contamination at Nowra’s HMAS Albatross reveals a potential risk to human health and the ecology of the area.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/pfas-investigations-at-nowra-defence-base-reveal-health-risks/9161072

‘Exceptional’: Only 30 grams of contamination per green bin during trial
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/exceptional-only-30-grams-of-contamination-per-green-bin-during-trial-20171116-gzn8k2.html

Solar industry launches campaign against LNP in Queensland poll
Australian Solar Council launches massive campaign against LNP in Queensland poll, saying there is too much at stake to ignore.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-industry-launches-campaign-against-lnp-in-queensland-poll-59401/

Kidston solar + pumped hydro project wins another $5m from ARENA
Genex Power’s world-leading solar and pumped hydro project in northern Queensland looks set to reach financial close in 2018, after receiving another $5 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency on Friday.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/kidston-solar-pumped-hydro-project-wins-another-5m-arena-18774/

Graziers concerned over route of proposed renewable energy powerline
A proposed high-voltage powerline planned to link a renewable energy project in north Queensland could impact dozens of cattle properties, opponents say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-17/graziers-rebel-over-kidston-renewable-energy-powerline/9161528

The school dropout behind Adani’s $16.5b proposed coal mine
http://www.theage.com.au/good-weekend/carmichael-coal-mine-magnate-gautam-adani-from-school-dropout-to-12bn-empire-20171106-gzfobl.html

Queensland election 2017: Premier loses trust, but voters back loan decision
Annastacia Palaszczuk has suffered a sharp decline in trust over her mishandled decision to veto a Federal loan for Adani’s central Queensland rail line.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-2017/queensland-election-2017-premier-loses-trust-but-voters-back-loan-decision/news-story/0fa67f7007a0be6b27aef059cc2e52a3

Labor all aboard for three new rail stations but Cross River Rail comes first
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/labor-all-aboard-for-three-new-rail-stations-but-cross-river-rail-comes-first-20171117-p4yx29.html

‘No crisis’ in Tasmanian water sector despite Government claims, report finds
A parliamentary report pours water on Government claims of a crisis in the water and sewerage sector and says the agency should stay in council hands.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/taswater-takeover-report-finds-no-crisis-exists-in-sector/9160222

Big change for Tassal fish farms
Tassal has announced plans to retire two leases in the south of the state as the company makes a significant shift in focus.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tassal-to-retire-two-southern-leases-as-it-pursues-storm-bay-plan/news-story/b3de9a77b746a17419c76de340f0807e

Asbestos found in WA’s rail carriages
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/asbestos-found-in-was-rail-carriages-20171117-gznwo5.html

Elon Musk unveils the long range Tesla Semi electric truck
Elon Musk is unveiling his company’s electric truck, the Tesla Semi, promising long range and big savings.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/elon-musk-unveils-the-long-range-tesla-semi-electric-truck-19790/

What happens when you recycle an old phone?
The old phone in the bottom drawer might not be worth its weight in gold, but it’s definitely worth recycling.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/what-happens-when-you-recycle-an-old-mobile-phone/9156944

A Regional Funder’s Commitment to a Post-Fossil Fuel South
One crucial, often overlooked type of environmental funding is the work of empowering communities to shape what comes after fossil fuels, especially in areas historically dependent on them.
https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2017/11/15/a-regional-funders-commitment-to-a-post-fossil-fuel-south

Line streets with trees to prevent serious asthma attacks, say scientists
Asthma hospital admissions could be cut dramatically by lining streets with trees, the largest ever study has found.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/11/17/line-streets-trees-prevent-serious-asthma-attacks-say-scientists/

Children sitting in back of cars ‘exposed to dangerous levels of pollution’, Unicef warns
Unicef urged the Government to publish guidance highlighting that the air inside cars may be more toxic than outside on the pavement.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/children-put-in-back-of-cars-exposed-to-dangerous-levels-of-pollution-unicef-warns-a3693841.html

NIR-driven H2 evolution from water: Expanding wavelength range for solar energy conversion
Kyushu University-led researchers produce hydrogen fuel from water by harnessing the power of the red and near-infrared regions of sunlight
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/kui-nhe111617.php

Surrey develops new ‘supercatalyst’ to recycle carbon dioxide and methane
The University of Surrey has developed a new and cost-effective catalyst to recycle two of the main causes behind climate change – carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uos-sdn111617.php

Evaluation of Novel Hybrid Membranes for Carbon Capture
Hybrid materials known as mixed matrix membranes are considered a promising approach to capture carbon dioxide and mitigate against global warming. These materials are derived from a polymer combined …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171117085211.htm

Replace or Wait? Study Says Swap All Incandescent Bulbs Now, but Hold on to CFLs
LED light bulbs are getting cheaper and more energy efficient every year. So, does it make sense to replace less-efficient bulbs with the latest …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171115195255.htm

Could water — and women — be key to ending extreme poverty?
In Africa alone, women spend a total of 200 million hours every day, on average, collecting water.
http://www.ehn.org/could-water-and-women-be-key-to-ending-extreme-poverty-acumen-ozy-2510109283.html

Scientific Advances Can Make it Easier to Recycle Plastics
Most of the 150 million tons of plastics produced around the world every year end up in landfills, the oceans and elsewhere. Less than 9 percent of plastics are recycled in the United States, rising to about 30 percent in Europe.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53202

Scientists accused of scaremongering, ‘overheated claims’ with warning to humanity
A recent global “warning to humanity” endorsed by more than 15,000 scientists around the world includes scaremongering and overheated claims while ignoring much of the progress made in recent decades, some experts say.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/warning-to-humanity-scientists-scaremongering-1.4403246

What Climate-Conscious Cities Can Learn From Each Other
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/53197

How an app is stopping pollution In China
Jeff McMahon
China began releasing pollution data. An environmentalist named Ma Jun put it on an app. The Chinese people turned it into a force for change.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2017/11/17/how-an-app-is-stopping-pollution-in-china/#ce15ff4288c8

Trump to reverse ban on importing elephants killed as trophies
The Trump administration is set to allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport, contending that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill them will raise money for conservation programs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/trump-to-allow-hunters-to-import-african-elephant-body-parts/9160210

Even at 36,000 feet deep, ocean creatures have plastic in their guts
Some of the deepest-living animals in the sea have guts full of plastic, highlighting the global problem of ocean plastic pollution.
https://www.livescience.com/60954-plastic-found-in-deepest-living-creatures.html

Seagrass is a Key Fishing Ground Globally
New research demonstrates that seagrass meadows are important fishing grounds all around the globe.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53198

Amazon gold rush continues to decimate Peru’s rain forest
Despite government efforts, mining has expanded into protected areas
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/amazon-gold-rush-continues-to-decimate-peru-rsquo-s-rain-forest/

The Importance of Biodiversity in Forests Could Increase Due to Climate Change
Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53196