Saturday 2 December 2017

A guide to running a ‘livewell group’ to reduce your carbon emissions
CRC for Low Carbon Living
This Guide to Running a ‘Livewell Group’ enables you to form or join a Livewell Group with friends, neighbours, work colleagues or others you know and help each other to reduce your carbon emissions, while enjoying yourselves and enhancing your quality of life along the way!
http://apo.org.au/node/121591

El Niño might speed up climate change
Scientists have evidence that El Niño boosts CO 2 levels, and they are pinning down how.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/el-nino-might-speed-up-climate-change/

Steel inquiry calls for cheaper energy, tougher anti-dumping measures
A Senate inquiry calls for a bipartisan energy policy and tougher anti-dumping measures to secure the future of the Australian steel industry.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/steel-inquiry-calls-for-cheaper-energy-anti-dumping-measures/9216908

Popular home renovation fad poses deadly dust threat
A popular home renovation fad is behind a new deadly dust threat that experts say is endangering the health of hundreds or thousands of workers and may lead to a wave of legal claims.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/popular-home-renovation-fad-poses-deadly-dust-threat-20171201-gzx3j7.html

ASX top 20 companies for climate change reporting in 2017
David Leitch
We’ve looked at the top 20 companies listed on the ASX to see what they actually said about climate change in their latest annual report.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/asx-top-20-companies-for-climate-change-reporting-in-2017-2017/

Modern energy policy ‘illogical’
Tony Shepherd
The panicky measures to avoid blackouts across eastern Australia vividly illustrate the illogicality of most modern energy policies.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/panicky-plan-to-avoid-blackouts-illogical/news-story/97b066e7dee4096e540e5da20ab772c8

Why coal and gas plants should pay solar and storage for back-up
Giles Parkinson
New report says coal plants vulnerable to failure in summer heatwaves should contract with solar and storage to provide “heat-safe” back-up. Meanwhile, Frydenberg launches Menzies report full of economic and ideological claptrap about renewables.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/why-coal-and-gas-plants-should-pay-solar-and-storage-for-back-up-71647/

Rain-soaked Victoria warned worst of wild weather is yet to come, as it happened
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews warns the worst of the rain lashing the state is expected to fall Saturday, and calls on residents not to be complacent and to look out for each other over the weekend.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/victoria-weather-melbourne-in-rain-storm-path/9216314

Dangerous cladding found on 1,400 buildings in Victoria, including hospitals
A culture of cutting corners is uncovered in an audit which found 1,400 buildings in Victoria, including eight hospitals, had dangerous cladding, a government taskforce report says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/flammable-cladding-on-victorian-buildings/9214506

Plans for Australia’s first offshore wind farm gather pace
Offshore Energy has partnered with Danish renewables developer CIP on plan to build $8 billion, 2GW wind farm off Victoria’s coast.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/plans-australias-first-offshore-wind-farm-gather-pace-49478/

Rain eases bushfire risk in east Victoria
Victoria’s deluge has reached a bushfire in the state’s east, easing the fire threat which has been downgraded from a previous ‘watch and act’ warning.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/outofcontrol-bushfire-in-victorias-east/news-story/31cd557b8e1e420355d2d15098b7f66d

Controversy as VCAT overrules itself on Preston apartment block height
The state planning tribunal has controversially overruled local laws about building heights in a decision that could have widespread effects across Melbourne.
https://www.domain.com.au/news/controversy-as-vcat-overrules-itself-on-preston-apartment-block-height-20171201-gzvahc/

Safety risk: waste facilities not prepared to battle fire outbreaks at Victorian centres
Fire outbreaks at Victorian waste centres will be difficult to battle with operators poorly prepared in case of an emergency, according to a damning new report.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/safety-risk-waste-facilities-not-prepared-to-battle-fire-outbreaks-at-victorian-centres/news-story/92e56e5e3cb683c3d5a5381e63663bd2

NSW ‘cash-for-cans’ rollout ‘diabolical’
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has labelled the rollout of the state government’s controversial “cash-for-cans” scheme as “diabolical”.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nsw-cashforcans-rollout-diabolical/news-story/0cbaa34c4b071a9c5d0e7c07f713c22d

Going underground: coal miner hopes switch will help project clear objections
The Berejiklian government has renewed the exploration licence to develop a coal reserve in the Hunter Valley for a site that had been knocked back four times by the independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC).
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/going-underground-coal-miner-hopes-switch-will-help-project-clear-objections-20171130-gzwhrx.html

New gas deal the equivalent of meeting all of Queensland’s industrial need ‘out to 2047’
A deal to extract gas from Queensland’s Surat Basin will create 1,000 new jobs, boost domestic gas supply, and unlock one of the largest gas reserves on the east coast, the resources industry says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/arrow-energy-strikes-major-gas-deal-with-shell/9217708

Adani mining giant likely to face fresh scrutiny over financial fraud allegations
India’s finance secretary has called for decision clearing company of allegations of siphoning huge sums into tax havens to be reviewed
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/01/adani-mining-giant-likely-to-face-fresh-scrutiny-over-financial-allegations

Arrow Energy signs major Shell gas supply deal
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/arrow-energy-signs-major-shell-gas-supply-deal-20171201-gzwpgr.html

New bins crushing it in war on waste
Solar-powered recycling bins have popped up on the Esplanade …
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/dont-worry-daschunds-safe-from-solar-powered-bins/news-story/0bfaa8755198c5800b9702e659992afe

Queensland election results 2017: ABC suggests Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have majority
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland-state-election-2015/queensland-election-results-2017-abc-suggests-annastacia-palaszczuk-and-labor-have-majority/news-story/f952e7129bd28075b26a245861ca1714

The future of the Adani mine
Alex McKinnon
Overwhelming public opposition to the Adani coalmine in northern Queensland tipped the scales in state election campaigning. But now that’s over, what influence does it have at a federal level and on the mine’s future?
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/12/02/the-future-the-adani-mine/15121332005585

Inside the revived proposal for a cable car to Mt Lofty and Cleland Wildlife Park
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/inside-the-revived-proposal-for-a-cable-car-to-mt-lofty-and-cleland/news-story/6e9865d71dc5139c910dad31f5955d8e

Murray River people skeptical of royal commission into water usage but still want it to go ahead
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/murray-river-people-skeptical-of-royal-commission-into-water-usage-but-still-want-it-to-go-ahead/news-story/778b06d744f589d01b219f65f1b8d884

Major South Australian mining project to restart this month, creating jobs for the state’s west
More than 180 jobs will be created following the restart of the Jacinth-Ambrosia mineral sands mine in the state’s far west, with further expansion a possibility.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/major-south-australian-mining-project-to-restart-this-month-creating-jobs-for-the-states-west/news-story/8235f64b2c72e78d0878015f84bb12a3

World’s largest lithium battery switched on near Jamestown
Jay Weatherill hasn’t always laughed at electricity jokes, but he could afford to loosen up a little near Jamestown on Friday.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/worlds-largest-lithium-battery-switched-on-near-jamestown/news-story/2c4992845ce77309d7dad0d48a2d754c

Warmest spring ever: Bureau of Meteorology say
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5094508/warmest-spring-ever-bureau-of-meteorology-say/?cs=95

Battlelines drawn to protect NT’s rural region
THE battlelines have been drawn in Darwin’s sprawling rural area with infuriated residents fighting against a proposal to bring 4200 new properties to the bush.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/battlelines-drawn-to-protect-nts-rural-region/news-story/060d709ac254be861773c39af51e2728

Australia’s biggest merchant solar farm inks deal with Western Power
Sun Brilliance Power will sell the electricity from its 128MW “merchant” solar farm to the WA grid, after signing deals with Western Power.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-biggest-merchant-solar-farm-inks-deal-with-western-power-90878/

Green Army program to end in the Kimberley
Many of the Bardi Jawi Oorany rangers in the Kimberley will be out of a job by Christmas.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/green-army-cuts-put-wa-indigenous-ranger-women-out-of-jobs/9215710

Experts call for glitter ban as microplastics come to the party
Those shiny, colourful specks of goodness people use in lieu of clothing at music festivals are a plastic pollutant doing far more harm than good.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/experts-call-for-glitter-microplastics-ban/9218222

Hanford highly hazardous waste site cleanup took 8 years
Visitors braved chilly temperatures Thursday morning to laud the complicated cleanup of the high-hazard waste site called the 618-10 Burial Ground at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article187372128.html

Bombs in your backyard
The US military spends more than a billion dollars a year to clean up sites its operations have contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. A map of these sites has never been made public – until now.
https://projects.propublica.org/bombs/?utm_campaign=sprout&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=1512083857#b=35.610187201535005,-102.98190307617188,36.38789542157395,-101.01809692382812&c=shrink

India biggest importer of US oil refinery byproduct
Petroleum coke, the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But it also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-exporting-dirty-fuel-pollution-choked-india-51504786

Too few highway chargers are last `hurdle’ for electric cars
Rolling out super chargers along highways in Europe and North America is key to unlocking sales of electric cars, according to the head of the biggest network provider.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-01/too-few-highway-chargers-are-last-hurdle-for-electric-cars

Pollution’s dirty dollars
Since 2010, dozens of companies across Canada that have violated environmental rules have received more than $2.6 billion in public money. The penalties they faced were not just offset, but dwarfed by government largesse.
http://projects.thestar.com/dirty-dollars-pollution/

Chinese cities should stop expelling Chinese migrants
Officials in Beijing are using brutal tactics to limit the city’s population. They are wrong even to try.
https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21731838-officials-beijing-are-using-brutal-tactics-limit-citys-population-they-are-wrong-even

London’s future: More people, fewer cars
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Draft London Plan sets out a vision of how Britain’s capital will change by 2029.
https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2017/11/londons-future-more-people-fewer-cars/547157/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheAtlanticCities+%28CityLab%29&utm_content=FeedBurner

Energy idea for Mars yields a clue for powering data centers
The use of natural gas in fuel cells, producing electricity through a chemical reaction, will be given a try at a dozen locations.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/business/energy-environment/data-center-energy.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness-energy-environment

Paraguay’s first digital indigenous map aims to reduce land conflicts
Indigenous groups in Paraguay, battling to protect their ancestral lands from expanding agriculture and cattle ranching, launched the first online map of their territory on Tuesday.
http://news.trust.org/item/20171128182014-btn0a/

Unraveling the surprising ecology of dust
As droughts intensify and development expands, the amount of dust blowing around the earth is increasing, affecting everything from mountain snowmelt to the spread of disease.
http://e360.yale.edu/features/climate-connection-unraveling-the-surprising-ecology-of-dust

Trump’s first major trade fight with China could be over solar panels
United States officials will soon decide whether to broaden tariffs on solar panels in a way that could spur Beijing to retaliate against American-made goods.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/business/trump-china-trade-solar.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness-energy-environment

Windows of Opportunity: Solar Cell with Improved Transparency
Researchers at The University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) have made developments in the design of transparent solar materials.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53329

To drop CO2 emissions, look to local transportation and housing
Worldwide, the United States is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters. The Obama administration began efforts to drop those numbers by increasing vehicle fuel economy standards in 2011 and with its Clean Power Plan proposals in 2015.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/uop-tdc120117.php

Developing nations are driving record growth in solar power
Emerging markets now account for the majority of growth in solar power, according to new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance .
http://reneweconomy.com.au/developing-nations-driving-record-growth-solar-power-94939/

A guide to running a ‘livewell group’ to reduce your carbon emissions
CRC for Low Carbon Living
This Guide to Running a ‘Livewell Group’ enables you to form or join a Livewell Group with friends, neighbours, work colleagues or others you know and help each other to reduce your carbon emissions, while enjoying yourselves and enhancing your quality of life along the way!
http://apo.org.au/node/121591

Wealthier people produce more carbon pollution — even the “green” ones
David Roberts
Good environmental intentions are swamped by the effects of money.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/12/1/16718844/green-consumers-climate-change

The population crisis – a call to arms
Eric Rimmer
To reverse human population growth – and to plan for the consequences of not doing so – requires the basic facts of our plight be understandable and credible.
https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/call-to-arms/

Indigenous crops and smallscale farms
Ruth Oniang’o
Indigenous crops can be a tool in the battle against food insecurity and climate change.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/world-on-a-plate/2017/nov/30/indigenous-crops-and-smallscale-farms-ruth-oniango-on-africas-agricultural-future

The next pandemic
Peter Curson
Outbreaks of infectious disease are still surrounded by a host of uncertainties. We really need to know much more about what diseases are out there, what animal hosts are involved, how the diseases spread and what we can do to protect ourselves.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19442

Donald Trump and the nuclear codes
Martin McKenzie-Murray
A congressional hearing into Donald Trump’s authority to launch a nuclear strike brings into focus the grim prospect of atomic warfare and recollections of a time when America stopped worrying and learnt to love the bomb.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/12/02/donald-trump-and-the-nuclear-codes/15121332005583

‘Zero tolerance’ plan eyed for plastic pollution
A plan to drastically cut plastic pollution of the oceans may be agreed at a UN summit.
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42190678

Burning wood under fire: Are forests going up our chimneys?
To meet the EU’s renewable energy target, countries have rediscovered wood as a fuel. But conservationists fear this new hunger for wood might have disastrous consequences — for the forests, the people and the climate.
http://www.dw.com/en/burning-wood-under-fire-are-forests-going-up-our-chimneys/a-41586050

Increased Vegetation Boosts Rainfall in the Sahel, Researchers Find
Droughts can grip the vast Sahel region of Africa for decades, dramatically altering the border where forest and savannahs give way to the Sahara Desert. Predicting those droughts is vital, but hard.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53338

Indonesians race to save their disappearing lakes, before it’s too late
Seventeen lakes in the Southeast Asian nation are in “critical” condition.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/indonesians-race-to-save-their-disappearing-lakes-before-its-too-late/

Mangroves lack the genetic diversity to adapt to climate change
New research shows that these salt-water-loving plants are likely ill-equipped to cope with the sea level rise.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/mangroves-lack-the-genetic-diversity-to-adapt-to-climate-change/

Killing the Johnson Amendment is about lots more than religion
Mark Silk
The tax bill passed by the House of Representatives scuttles the Johnson Amendment in a way that would change the landscape for the entire nonprofit world.
http://religionnews.com/2017/11/28/killing-the-johnson-amendment-is-about-lots-more-than-religion/