Saturday 26 August 2017

How the religious right stall climate action
Mike Seccombe
While most religious leaders accept climate change, the Christian right in Australia and the US make scepticism a tenet of their politics.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/08/26/how-the-religious-right-stall-climate-action/15036696005126

Alarmism warps climate policy
Bjorn Lomborg
Predicting the apocalypse does not help build a realistic, sensible strategy.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/bjorn-lomborg/how-alarmist-rhetoric-warps-climate-policy/news-story/108c02ec0781a8c2e71b19540212035a

I was an Exxon-funded climate scientist
Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University
A new study confirms what many already know: Exxon for years sowed uncertainty and doubt about climate change in the public. Should scientists reject certain funding sources?
http://theconversation.com/i-was-an-exxon-funded-climate-scientist-49855

Supply crunch casts shadow over Australian solar boom
China’s unexpected 2017 boom in solar PV installation could have an unfortunate impact on the ambitious plans of many in Australia’s surging solar sector – a bottleneck in module supplies and price rises that could impact the huge pipeline of project.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/supply-crunch-casts-shadow-over-australian-solar-boom-35323/

Australian firm unveils plan to convert carbon emissions into ‘green’ concrete
Initiative to convert CO2 into solid carbonates aims to produce building materials on commercial scale by 2020
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/25/green-building-materials-carbon-capture-technology-ready-by-2020-says-manufacturer

Origin, AGL, Energy Australia’s profits under scrutiny
http://www.theage.com.au/small-business/finance/origin-agl-and-energy-australias-profits-under-government-scrutiny-20170824-gy3r8y.html

AFP examining miner over Africa bribery concerns
http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/afp-to-examine-iluka-bribery-concerns-in-africa-20170825-gy4h27.html

Our unhealthy power stations
James Norman
A new report into emissions limits applied to Australia’s power stations shows they are less strict than in the US, EU and China, and that state environmental protection agencies are too timid in enforcing them.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/environment/2017/08/26/our-unhealthy-power-stations/15036696005125

Sky rail goes green to deter graffiti
PING pong tables and vertical creeping plants should be built under Melbourne’s sky rail to draw people to the area and stop graffiti, according to a new report.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/skyrail-melbourne-table-tennis-murals-and-trees-in-proposed-park-plans/news-story/6bc89ec79233dec5021ffaec7099d26b

Could drones solve commuter crush?
THEY sound like something out of science fiction but two out of three Victorians believe they will soon be taking a drone to work in the future.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/peoplecarrying-drones-could-offer-victorians-a-sky-high-way-of-beating-the-traffic-queues/news-story/b212de97e012709740926ddfd2fc75ed

Trams ‘more dangerous, slower’ due to West Gate Tunnel
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/trams-more-dangerous-slightly-slower-after-west-gate-tunnel-opens-yarra-trams-20170825-gy4aux.html

Road trains could become a reality in metropolitan Sydney
Metropolitan Sydney could see 36-metre long B-triple trucks on the roads for the first time, if a recommendation by a western Sydney council is accepted.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/roadtrains-to-hit-suburban-nsw-roads/8843880

Building a carbon-neutral hemp house a ‘no-brainer’ for owner
A carbon-neutral, termite-proof and fire-resistant house is under construction in Canberra’s inner north — and it’s built with hemp.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/carbon-neutral-hemp-house-built-in-canberra/8837960

Developer’s court fight over Manuka tree leads to proposed reforms
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/acts-tree-protection-laws-could-be-changed-amid-developers-battle-over-manuka-tree-20170825-gy42rk.html

Conservation foundation loses appeal against Carmichael coal mine
Environmentalists who have lost another appeal against Adani’s $16 billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin say the decision is “just another step in the most significant environmental campaign of our generation”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/conservation-foundation-lose-appeal-adani-carmichael-coal-mine/8842578

Spaniels coming to the rescue to save baby turtles
Two English springer spaniels are coming to the rescue of baby turtles by outfoxing their predators at Queensland’s most significant hatchery.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/fox-catchers-saving-baby-turtles-at-mon-repos-dogs/8827456

The crackdown on waste vouchers has opened a new black market
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/black-market-emerges-for-brisbane-city-council-s-waste-vouchers-20170825-p4yvjs.html

Chinese buy AGL gas assets
AGL Energy has finally offloaded its Queensland gas assets, selling to Chinese interests for an undisclosed sum.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mergers-acquisitions/chinese-finally-buy-agls-queensland-gas-assets/news-story/a3e4185b6465ad22a2ee4b597016a100

Protesters ambush Labor politicians over cash-for-access fundraiser
ANTI-ADANI protesters have ambushed Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Federal Opposition frontbencher Anthony Albanese in Brisbane over Labor’s cash-for-access fundraiser.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/protesters-ambush-labor-politicians-over-cashforaccess-fundraiser/news-story/5f62da716971a700ea3d267af7399310

100pc fly-in, fly-out workforces banned in major Queensland mines
Locals living in regional towns near mines are being given a leg up to get jobs in the mining industry in laws passed with bipartisan support in Queensland Parliament overnight.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/queensland-mines-ban-100-per-cent-fifo-fly-in-fly-out-workforce/8841180

Dispute is brewing over land
CANEGROWERS say they will make a stand to protect their homes and livelihoods from a State Government plan.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/farmers-reject-pitt-plan-for-state-development-area-south-of-cairns/news-story/229ab65ea044f9022584dd2e02a942da

Can Monarto Zoo save the rhino?
MONARTO Zoo is stepping up its bid to help save one of the most hunted and endangered creatures on Earth, the southern white rhinoceros.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/sa-weekend/can-monarto-zoo-save-the-southern-white-rhino/news-story/ec6b95a6c4c789bbc3b69fe968cef863

Crunch time: It’s us or the seals
COORONG fishermen are struggling to compete with large numbers of aggressive seals stealing their catch — nearly two years after the State Government committed to fix the problem.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/technology/seals-still-harassing-coorong-fishermen-despite-government-committing-funding-to-fix-problem/news-story/7b1550c60910b5733f665dc5ba792153

Koala cull call as numbers surge again
THE Government is resisting calls to cull Kangaroo Island’s rising koala population, despite rapid growth of pesky marsupials camping in the island’s commercial blue gum plantations.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/calls-for-koala-cull-due-to-surging-kangaroo-island-koala-numbers/news-story/8d42f0f23419fa68e653fdf4e57ce44e

Final touches to Three Capes walk
THE Parks and Wildlife Service will this weekend begin calling for tenders that will help complete the final stage of the Three Capes Track.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/parks-and-wildlife-poised-to-call-for-tenders-for-works-on-final-stage-of-three-capes-track/news-story/300fcccf9c6d3e32b6810cae53bfff5f

Glencore document suggests mine site could revert to NT before rehabilitation complete
Risk assessment table indicates Glencore may have little or no involvement after McArthur River Mine’s life ends
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/25/glencore-document-suggests-mine-site-could-revert-to-nt-before-rehabilitation-complete

Jabiru has a long future: Gunner
JABIRU has a future long beyond the 2021 expiration of Energy Resources Australia’s town lease, Chief Minister Michael Gunner will say today
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/jabiru-has-a-long-future-gunner/news-story/261b48436ad8ab50433d8cfed54e6402

Deadly snakes found in the post as reptile smuggling operation busted
Highly venomous snakes are among a horde of 100 native reptiles seized by wildlife officers in Western Australia’s Goldfields after a bid to send them interstate for sale on the black market is foiled.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/deadly-snakes-found-in-post-as-wa-reptile-smuggling-bid-foiled/8843226

Inside Beenyup’s wastewater treatment plant
How does turning huge volumes of Perth’s wastewater into a valuable drinking source happen? Take a look.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/inside-beenyups-wastewater-treatment-plant-bc-5551096857001

WA bathes in sunshine but the poorest households lack solar panels – that needs to change
Rebecca Cassells et al
https://theconversation.com/wa-bathes-in-sunshine-but-the-poorest-households-lack-solar-panels-that-needs-to-change-82983

Flame retardant in couches, car seats, gym mats linked to ‘lower reproductive success’ for women.
Harvard researchers are sounding a precautionary warning for women hoping to get pregnant: curling up on your favourite couch might lower your likelihood of having a baby.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469005480

Nickel mining: The hidden environmental cost of electric cars.
As countries the world over legislate to phase out petrol and diesel cars, attention is turning to the environmental impact of mining the materials needed for electric vehicle batteries.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322302139

Carbon nanotubes worth their salt
LLNL scientists have developed carbon nanotube pores that can exclude salt from seawater.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/52287

Researchers identify cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst
Fuels that are produced from nonpetroleum-based biological sources may become greener and more affordable, thanks to research performed at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institutethat examines the use of a processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52276

Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds
While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52284

Los Angeles is Painting Its Streets to Reduce Urban Heat
An estimated 10 percent of Los Angeles is covered in asphalt thanks to the city’s sprawling network of roads and parking lots. On sunny days, the heat retained by these paved surfaces can make neighborhoods feel far hotter than those in more rural areas — a phenomenon known as the “urban heat island effect.” Now, Los Angeles is experimenting with painting its pavement grey to help significantly lower temperatures.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/52286

NREL’s new look at generation costs: Wind and solar still cheapest
The US National Renewable Energy Lab is well known and respected for the work it produces, mainly on renewable energy. It has now produced its third annual edition of its generation technology and cost performance.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nrels-new-look-at-generation-costs-wind-and-solar-still-cheapest-88158/

Thorium could power the next generation of nuclear reactors
A Dutch nuclear research institute has just fired up the first experiment on next-generation nuclear reactors based on thorium in nearly half a century.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2145535-thorium-could-power-the-next-generation-of-nuclear-reactors/

Pakistan now fifth-most populous nation
Pakistan’s population now stands at 220 million people, making it the fifth-most populous nation, rising at the rate of 2.4 per cent per year for 20 years
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/pakistan-now-fifthmost-populous-nation/news-story/26e00ef964eaf5ae7df432d7ad86675e

Connecting—and protecting—the dots.
A new approach aims to help nature persist even as a city creeps outward.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322300696

Large non-native species like donkeys can boost biodiversity
Many large animals are now living far outside of their native ranges, and that may actually be helping conservation
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2145269-large-non-native-species-like-donkeys-can-boost-biodiversity/

How listening to trees can help reveal nature’s connections.
David George Haskell is nothing if not a patient observer.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469005465

Peter Thomson’s fight for the oceans
Fijian delegate Peter Thomson leaves the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly decrying the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and warning of climate-related threats to the world’s oceans.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/environment/2017/08/26/peter-thomsons-fight-the-oceans/15036696005119

Rhino horn sales: banking on extinction
The sale of rhino horn in South Africa won’t help save rhinos, but it will benefit organised crime
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/africa-wild/2017/aug/25/rhino-horn-sales-banking-on-extinction