Saturday 5 August 2017

Catastrophic climate change all but unavoidable; now what?
UW study finds little chance of keeping temperature rise within 2 degrees Celsius.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322340931

Rider on the storm
Rosemary Neill
One of the world’s most divisive figures, environmental evangelist Al Gore is about to release his second film.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/al-gores-inconvenient-truth-sequel-strikes-optimistic-note/news-story/d323887ef0eb536d166119ff93078955

No, God won’t take care of climate change.
Christine Colbert High Country News
Conservationists and religious folk need to find harmony for a healthy planet.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341926

Effective climate protection means better policy and harnessing market forces.
Daniel Cohan The Hill
Carbon capture seems to be a win-win — curbing climate-warming emissions without stifling the lionized coal industry.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341939

Target not ‘green theology’
Josh Frydenberg has hit back at Tony Abbott’s criticism of a clean energy target.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/target-not-green-theology-frydenberg-hits-back-at-abbott/news-story/6ea56080e9f6809fb8a00136a022a634

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions soar in latest figures
Figures reveal trend of increasing emissions since the carbon tax was repealed in 2014 and cast doubt on whether Australia can meet cuts in Paris agreement
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/04/australias-greenhouse-gas-emissions-soar-in-latest-figures

Ski resort snow to come from machines rather than sky as climate changes
Alpine resorts ramp up investment in snowmaking technology and say man-made snow can replace natural snowfall as climate change threatens to dramatically reduce the length of Australian ski seasons.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-05/snowmaking-the-future-in-face-of-climate-change/8752210

Trump’s climate science sceptic environment chief to visit Australia
Scott Pruitt, a climate science critic and one of the most controversial figures in the Trump administration, will soon tour Australia in a visit environmental activists are likely to target with protests.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-05/donald-trump-epa-boss-scott-pruitt-to-vist-australia/8776752

Power bill discount offer if customers switch off
South Australian and Victorian customers may get cheaper power bills, but there’s a catch.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-04/power-bill-discounts-offered-to-switch-off-air-con-sa/8772370

‘Hugely disappointing’: Big energy retailers drop fixed rate plans
http://www.theage.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/energy-retailers-drop-fixedrate-plans-after-electricity-price-hike-20170803-gxp4rq.html

Life’s too short: Why we pay the mug’s power bill
Michael Pascoe
Last month was our warmest July on record. That wasn’t enough to prevent sticker shock from winter’s power bills. But if the size of the bill is annoying, searching out the cheapest alternative is possibly worse.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4833354/lifes-too-short-why-we-pay-the-mugs-power-bill/?cs=9

Coal lobby hits peak denial on battery storage, renewables
Giles Parkinson
Australia’s biggest coal miner and leading research organisation come up with ridiculous claims on battery storage in attempts to justify new coal plants and CCS.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-lobby-hits-peak-denial-battery-storage-renewables-54187/

Penny drops for Turnbull: Consumers are being gouged on energy
Giles Parkinson
It may finally be dawning on the PM that it’s not wind and solar pushing up cost of electricity, but profiteering of incumbent utilities.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/penny-drops-for-turnbull-consumers-are-being-gouged-on-energy-74788/

Another attack on the Bureau, but top politicians have stopped listening to climate change denial
Michael J. I. Brown
Those at the top of Australian politics are no longer debating the existence of climate change and its causes. Instead, four years after the Coalition was first elected, the big political issues are rising power prices and the electricity market.
http://theconversation.com/another-attack-on-the-bureau-but-top-politicians-have-stopped-listening-to-climate-change-denial-81993

‘They lied to us’: Residents vow to fight government over wider Punt Road plans
Furious Punt Road residents say they have been lied to by the government over a decision to keep the “flexibility” to acquire up to 135 homes, and have vowed to campaign against Labor at next year’s state election.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/they-lied-to-us-residents-vow-to-fight-government-over-wider-punt-road-plans-20170804-gxpscd.html

Fishermans Bend park comes with a $19m catch
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/fishermans-bend-park-comes-with-a-catch–planning-mess-means-itll-cost-19m-20170804-gxpn10.html

Parramatta light rail falls $1 billion short
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/documents-reveal-1-billion-funding-gap-for-parramatta-light-rail-20170804-gxp5ba.html

UQ researchers lead project that could make almost anything recyclable
Scientists have created a computer simulation to help scientists modify a bacteria that could lead to almost anything being recyclable.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/innovation/uq-researchers-lead-project-that-could-make-almost-anything-recyclable-20170728-gxkvvw.html

Spending power zapped by renewables
QUEENSLANDERS blame renewable energy for surging power prices, forcing them to cut spending on holidays, dinners and clothes, an exclusive Galaxy Poll has found.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queenslanders-blame-renewable-energy-for-rising-power-prices-galaxy-poll-finds/news-story/0994907ab789814b1defecfd3cdeea8e

Push for ‘green’ burials
Would you mind being buried in a green cemetery?
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/mission-beach-residents-in-favour-of-a-green-cemetery-in-their-town/news-story/fdc788436b8daa05d022e296e060e56b

As a coastal defence, the Great Barrier Reef’s value to communities goes way beyond tourism
Mark Gibbs, Queensland University of Technology
Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef could lead to increased vulnerability of Queensland coastal cities and towns, and not only through its impacts on the tourism industry.
http://theconversation.com/as-a-coastal-defence-the-great-barrier-reefs-value-to-communities-goes-way-beyond-tourism-80952

Have interstate farmers gone bonkers?
Des Houghton
THE southern states’ procrastinations on gas production have locked the gates on millions in ­royalties and the proof of their folly sits in a Queensland report.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-interstate-farmers-duped-in-gas-hoax/news-story/e61d29d5091189020e8ae6346b16a1e3

Electricity prices to dominate talk at next Queensland election
Steven Wardill
NO issue will be as critical or as complex at the looming Queensland election as electricity prices.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/electricity-prices-to-dominate-talk-at-next-queensland-election/news-story/80bd2ba090bfd0211db62fdd5bcafc49

BHP: act on energy security
BHP Billiton has urged the federal and state governments to take more action to ease power costs in SA.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bhp-olympic-dam-chief-calls-for-action-on-sa-power-security/news-story/5be0fb4d065b09e58ff8fd28feca221c

Diesel generators have enough capacity for summer needs, SA Treasurer says
The capacity of diesel generators to be installed in South Australia before this summer will change depending on conditions, but that is “completely normal” and has been taken into account, the state’s Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-04/diesel-generators-have-enough-capacity-for-summer-needs/8773558

GE, Engie to build 119MW wind farm in South Australia
Engie and GE commit to 119MW wind farm in South Australia, taking confirmed new wind and solar projects in that state to more than 600MW.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/ge-engie-to-build-119mw-wind-farm-in-south-australia-29189/

‘Power prices must fall by 25 per cent’
POWER prices in South Australia need to fall by a quarter before the state can effectively market itself as an attractive investment destination, the boss of BHP’s Olympic Dam mine says.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/power-prices-must-fall-by-a-quarter-before-sa-can-market-itself-as-an-attractive-investment-destination-bhp-olympic-dam-boss-says/news-story/5557aafbc2aff80b1b449c95c8be788d

Regulators weren’t warned about SA power plan
OFFICIALS who run the national electricity grid say they had no warning about Premier Jay Weatherill’s power plan, and extreme weather remains the biggest risk in SA’s bid to keep the lights on this summer.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/australian-energy-market-operator-says-it-wasnt-warned-about-sa-governments-new-power-plan/news-story/c269b8baca37cf963d829ba05a5d2f1b

What Tesla’s mega-battery will do for customers in South Australia
Terry McCrann
THE boss of Glencore coal has indirectly put his finger on what mega-battery backup for our future power network will do for consumers — it’ll keep the lights on long enough for you to root around to find some candles.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/terry-mccrann/what-teslas-megabattery-will-do-for-customers-in-south-australia/news-story/fa9ef59356432e19e25f0bd3644e313f

Tasmanian artisan creating paper from poo
Taking a leaf out of history’s book, Tasmanian artisan Darren Simpson is adding animal dung to his list of paper-making ingredients, which already includes items such as rags, hemp and even old bedsheets.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-05/paper-made-from-animal-dung-organic-by-products-in-tasmania/8770508

Augmented reality hoping to return Tasmanian tigers to bush
Three Tasmanian councils are trialling augmented reality technology in a bid to supercharge tourism in the region.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-04/augmented-reality-project-aims-to-enhance-tasmanian-tourism/8775796

Tassal keeps North-West options open
TASSAL says it is interested in expanding to new parts of Tasmania following a State Government move to open more of the state’s coastal waters to fish farming.
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/tassal-says-it-is-keeping-an-open-mind-when-it-comes-to-placing-fish-farms-in-new-areas/news-story/2192521cb17b6f900fecb5344a8fbb56

VW exec pleads guilty in US emissions case
A German executive who worked for car-maker Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to conspiring to mislead US regulators over the company’s diesel emissions scandal.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/vw-exec-pleads-guilty-in-us-emissions-case/news-story/3cbe79de02ab74639fa8407ef5e991a8

We’re on the brink of a major environmental disaster. Are we ready?
The Trump administration is increasing the risk of a serious accident—and a key position in charge of disaster preparedness remains unfilled
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322340928

Flame retardants linked to lower child IQ.
Increased exposure among pregnant women to a class of flame-retardant chemicals found in older furniture and other everyday consumer products is linked to lower IQs in their children, UCSF researchers found in a study that is certain to further ignite the debate over the chemicals.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341950

Carmakers accused of ‘clutching at straws’ over retrofitting polluting diesels
VW, BMW, Opel and Daimler’s promise to fix 5 million cars not enough to undo the damage done by emissions scandal, say campaigners
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/03/carmakers-accused-of-clutching-at-straws-over-retrofitting-polluting-diesels

A hot destination: Radioactive Ukraine
http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/travel/how-radioactive-ukraine-is-bringing-in-the-tourists-20170729-gxlk6k

Alphabet (Google) turns to molten salt to store clean energy
Google’s parent company has joined Tesla and other smaller companies, developing ways to store wind and solar affordably.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/alphabet-google-turns-to-molten-salt-to-store-clean-energy-32033/

Environmental cost of making blue jeans is very high.
Chen Weihua China Daily
The Chinese government should impose environmental tariffs on all exports to the US to compensate the Chinese people who bear the environmental costs of providing cheaper goods to US citizens.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341934

Cheap coal power? Only in an imaginary world
Simon Nicholas
Attempts to suggest coal power is cheaper than the plummeting cost of renewables look increasingly ridiculous and desperate.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/cheap-coal-power-only-in-an-imaginary-world-22826/

The death of “alternative energy”
Andrew Beebe
Once, alternative energy meant “clean coal” and “fracking.” Today, renewables have left those “alternatives” for dead, and not even Trump can save them.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-death-of-alternative-energy-55035/

‘It’s important to at least try’: Can this 23-year-old clear the oceans of plastic waste?
Imagine, as you take a dip this summer, that you could pour all the world’s oceans through a very fine sieve. What would you find?
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341424

$1bn to clean up the oil in Peru’s northern Amazon.
Over four decades of exploration and extraction have caused an environmental and health crisis in indigenous communities.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341953

One by one big hydropower dams disrupt Mekong River’s free flow.
In an unfolding global energy revolution, expensive and ecologically risky dams may not bethe right choice to generate more electricity
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322341423

Industrial meat production is killing our seas. It’s time to change our diets
Callum Roberts
America’s addiction to cheap meat, fed on corn and soy in vast indoor factories, comes at a high cost to our own health and that of the planet
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/04/meat-industry-gulf-mexico-dead-zones-pollution