SATURDAY 5 MAY 2018

Speed Date a Sustainability Expert is coming to Port Phillip
The City of Port Phillip and the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) are conducting an event called Speed Date a Sustainability Expert on Sunday 6 May.  This is your opportunity to get free one-on-one advice from a wide range of experts, including sustainable architects/designers, solar/battery, energy efficiency, strata sustainability, low water garden and permaculture experts.
https://mailchi.mp/4e4b77fb77bd/sdse-wyndham-1026173?e=eac96b881a

Greenhouse gas ‘feedback loop’ discovered in freshwater lakes
Latest research finds plant debris in lake sediment affects methane emissions. The flourishing reed beds created by changing climates could threaten to double the already significant methane production of the world’s northern lakes.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uoc-gg050218.php

Tailor climate insurance to needs of poorest – experts
Providers have not invested enough in determining “what farmers want”, one expert said.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180503161725-md0dn

Selling the science of climate change
“Only the repetition of simple messages changes public opinion and affects the brain,” says David Fenton, a four-decade veteran of PR campaigns for the environment, public health and human rights.
https://climateone.org/audio/selling-science-climate-change

Will a mass carp killing help or hinder Australia’s native water species?
Research finds a mass carp culling could have a major impact on native flora and fauna due to the amount of biomass in Australia’s waterways.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/carp-herpes-virus-affects-australian-wildlife-and-envirironment/9726468

Water licence rethink putting farmers’ mortgages in question, experts warn
The financial calculations for a lot of property mortgages in the Murray-Darling Basin may be on shifting ground, warns a former senior public servant with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/property-mortgages-in-the-murray-darling-basin-in-question/9722894

Changing these few things can drastically reduce what we send to landfill
We can drastically reduce the amount of household waste we send to landfill by making a few simple changes.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-05-05/reduce-your-waste-with-these-changes/9691210

One-third of Australia’s threatened species are not monitored
Governments often lack necessary data to determine if conservation measures are effective, says review’s leader
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/04/one-third-of-australias-threatened-species-are-not-monitored

Job cuts could mean extinctions: Shorten
EndNgered species could go extinct without anyone noticing because of likely jobs cuts in the environment department, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/job-cuts-could-mean-extinctions-shorten/news-story/c0a35808065d81b3eb696bc8073dc9b9

Climate sceptic group IPA suggested as co-host of Australian visit by Trump’s environment chief
Scott Pruitt’s cancelled trip would have promoted ‘innovation deregulation’, emails released under FoI show
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/04/climate-sceptic-group-ipa-suggested-as-co-host-of-australian-visit-by-trumps-environment-chief

“The Adani coal mine is arguably the stupidest energy project in the world right now.”  [PAYWALL]
Author and Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell says the world is finally waking up to rising sea levels but as he explains over Lunch with the AFR, Australia has some catching up to do.
http://www.afr.com/news/policy/climate/american-author-jeff-goodell-says-adani-is-the-worlds-stupidest-energy-project-20180502-h0zkfs

Energy regulators play down level of NEG conflict
Energy regulators say the policy debate is slowing the sector’s transition to greater efficiency.
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/energy-regulators-play-down-level-of-neg-conflict-20180504-p4zdgu.html

The fertile crescent of Australian solar farms now tops 30GW
Latest update on solar projects presents striking image of development across the country. In total, more than 250 solar projects representing more than 30GW.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/the-fertile-crescent-of-australian-solar-farms-now-tops-30gw-65702/

Trading in premium solar tariffs could spark home battery boom
Report finds 76% of Australian solar homes on premium feed-in tariff would trade it in for chance to upgrade systems – in particular, to add battery storage.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/trading-premium-solar-tariffs-spark-home-battery-boom-47220/

Market Insight residential electricity price series
New data shows that energy consumers are paying more than they think in their bills, and more than what the regulator admits.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/market-insight-residential-electricity-price-series-96026/

Shopping centre solar roll-out claims biggest PV array, biggest battery
ASX-listed retail asset manager Vicinity Centres has announced the roll-out of more than 11MW of commercial solar in a $28 million project that will incorporate five shopping centres across two states.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/shopping-centre-solar-roll-claims-biggest-pv-array-biggest-battery-57305/

Canavan’s ‘please explain’ over coal  [PAYWALL]
Resources Minister wants an explanation from the architect of PM’s signature energy policy over her coal investment remarks.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/canavans-please-explain-to-schott-over-coalpowered-stations/news-story/0a4784ffcf61360076c4eb483627c697

We can profit from the recycling crisis
Age editorial
When desire and need intersect, opportunity abounds. Polls show Australians desire better recycling of rubbish, and China’s decision late last year to no longer import recyclable rubbish means Australia and other nations urgently need smart local solutions to waste management.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/we-can-profit-from-the-recycling-crisis-20180504-p4zdek.html

Australians will not buy electric cars without better incentives
Anna Mortimore, Griffith University
Warnings that a tide of electric vehicles will cut Australia’s tax income put the cart well before the (low-emissions) horse.
https://theconversation.com/australians-will-not-buy-electric-cars-without-better-incentives-96104

The new 100% recyclable packaging target is no use if our waste isn’t actually recycled
Atiq Zaman, Curtin University
These are already 100% recyclable – the trick is to actually recycle them.
https://theconversation.com/the-new-100-recyclable-packaging-target-is-no-use-if-our-waste-isnt-actually-recycled-95857

Immigration benefits and burdens worth discussing  [PAYWALL]
Australian editorial
Political leaders no longer can pretend immigration is not a live issue.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/immigration-benefits-and-burdens-worth-discussing/news-story/c467c4a668d014d5a0b05c04518ec5b1

Volunteers band together to make nest boxes for tiny homeless animals
Tiny native marsupials at risk because of land clearing are getting new homes thanks to an army of Victorian volunteers.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/nest-boxes-provide-hope-for-tiny-vulnerable-animals/9713854

Nation’s biggest wind farm to power homes and fuel anger
Wind farm to be built between Geelong and Ballarat could power 450,000 homes a year by 2025 if the project is approved.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/nation-s-biggest-wind-farm-could-be-built-between-geelong-and-ballarat-20180504-p4zdgf.html

Road rage: New lanes, new insults between Spring Street and Canberra
Federal Coalition accuses Victorian government of trying to explain away its infrastructure failures with fanciful excuses.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/road-rage-new-lanes-new-insults-between-spring-street-and-canberra-20180504-p4zdh9.html

Energy Efficiency Market Report: Strength in volatility
A recovery in VEEC supply was not enough to prevent prices in the Victorian Energy Efficiency certificate market from strengthening in volatile conditions.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-efficiency-market-report-strength-volatility-80017/

Goulburn-Murray farmers are at tipping point: taking more water will make it worse
Suzanna Sheed
Southern basin farmers have contributed the most to the Murray-Darling basin plan. Disallowing the basin plan amendments will compound the challenges
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2018/may/03/goulburn-murray-farmers-are-at-tipping-point-its-time-to-allow-the-amendments

The subsidy-free wind farms that returned money to ACT consumers in 2017
ACT consumers got a net payment in calendar 2017 from first two wind farms built to help meet its 100% renewables target. And with no subsidies.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/subsidy-free-wind-farms-returned-money-act-consumers-2017/

Would you change sunscreen if it could help save the Great Barrier Reef?
Hawaii is on track to ban the sale of sunscreens containing two common chemicals, because of the damaging impact those chemicals have on their coral reefs — but Australia is reluctant to follow suit.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/hawaii-bans-sunscreen-coral-bleaching/9728322

Queensland businesses ‘illegally overcharged’ by Ergon Energy
More than a 1,000 large businesses were overcharged for power by the state’s only regional provider, the competition watchdog reveals as it launches a major investigation.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/ergon-energy-qld-overcharging-large-regional-businesses/9726772

SA faces “big step backwards” on renewable energy
A visiting American climate campaigner and prominent environmental journalist says South Australia would be making a “big mistake” if it were to remove its renewable energy target.
https://indaily.com.au/news/2018/05/04/sa-faces-big-step-backwards-renewable-energy/

‘Is this the Tasmania we want?’: Plan for $100m resort
A project of unprecedented scale aim to lure cashed-up Chinese tourists to Tasmania’s picturesque east coast.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/is-this-the-tasmania-we-want-chinese-investors-plan-100m-east-coast-resort-20180502-p4zcwa.html

‘Campaign Against the Cable Car Reaches Dizzying New Heights’
Today a group of local climbers will establish a suspended camp on the Organ Pipes of kunanyi/Mt. Wellington, 1100 metres above sea level, on the planned route of the cable car to protest the proposed development …
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/campaign-against-the-cable-car-reaches-dizzying-new-heights/

Firms return trees back to the wild  [PAYWALL]
Eucalypts, blackwoods and wattles will be left to grow to maturity and beyond, purely as a conservation measure
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/why-forestry-firms-are-returning-trees-back-to-the-wild/news-story/4a82f68d1f1d5baef86b1b68f82d3af9

How archaeology helped save the Franklin River
Billy Griffiths, Deakin University
The battle to save the Franklin River – an exhilarating story of politics, cultural heritage and passionate environmentalism – captivated the nation in 1983.
https://theconversation.com/essays-on-air-how-archaeology-helped-save-the-franklin-river-95211

PFAS chemicals at ‘exceedingly high’ levels in some Katherine residents, doctor says
A doctor in the Top End town of Katherine is “very angry and upset” at both tiers of government, after revelations some residents have more than 40 times the normal level of a potentially toxic chemical in their blood.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/pfas-chemical-at-exceedingly-high-levels-in-some-katherine/9726922

Remote NT community goes “solar only” by day
Indigenous community of Daly River officially running on solar only during day, after installation of 1MW PV and 2MWh lithium-ion battery system.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/remote-nt-community-goes-solar-day-21725/

Super-charged: Refinery plans herald lithium jobs boom for Kwinana
WA’s electrifying lithium jobs boom received a power-up today with another producer announcing plans to set up shop in Kwinana.
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/super-charged-refinery-plans-herald-lithium-jobs-boom-for-kwinana-20180504-p4zdf9.html

Pilbara renewables hub adds 3GW wind and solar to $20bn plan
Plans for huge renewable energy hub in Pilbara expanded to 9GW of wind and solar, producing as much as planned by Australia’s renewable energy target. Hydrogen storage has also been added to the $20 billion project menu.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/pilbara-renewables-hub-adds-3gw-wind-and-solar-to-20bn-plan-86697/

Commercial solar hots up in WA, as business wakes up to savings
Perdaman Group says WA commercial PV market is booming, as businesses seek to cut their exposure to grid electricity costs.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/commercial-solar-hots-up-in-wa-as-business-wakes-up-to-savings-79288/

Re-routing flights the ticket to reducing aviation’s climate impact, experts say
Aviation is growing at immense speed, but its expansion comes at the expense of the environment. So what if flight routes were changed to minimise this?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/could-climate-optimised-flight-routes-help-environment/9671284

Electric Winnebago: Motorhome maker launches all-electric RV
Iconic US motorhome maker takes “first step” towards electrification with all-electric commercial RV platform.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/electric-winnebago-motorhome-maker-launches-electric-rv-25552/

Amman faces water squeeze as refugees rush into Jordan
Water shortages abound in Amman, home to more than 40 percent of Jordan’s people.
http://www.circleofblue.org/2018/middle-east/amman-faces-water-squeeze-as-refugees-rush-into-jordan/

A potentially cheap, efficient and eco-friendly system for purifying natural gas
Fundamental researchers have proposed a novel two-part system for separating impurities from natural gas in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. Natural gas primarily contains methane, but impurities in the gaseous mixture need to be removed before the methane can be put into the pipeline. The newly proposed purification system combines two separation methods and, in principle, promises to improve performance, reduce costs and diminish ecological side effects compared to benchmark technologies.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/aiop-apc050318.php

Campaigners fear Latin America is rolling back on eco-farming promises
“The laws are there but there are no resources. We now have a lot of governments who only believe in the power of markets and biotechnology.”
http://news.trust.org/item/20180503135808-uq7ny/

Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought
The transition to a low-carbon energy society will require more renewable energy sources than previously thought if current levels of energy consumption per capita and lifestyles are to be maintained. This is one of the main conclusions of the study carried out by the researchers of the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Lewis King and Jeroen van den Bergh, and recently published in Nature Energy.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uadb-let050418.php

Germany reaches 100% renewables for a few hours, 42% so far this year
Giles Parkinson Germany reached 100% renewables for a few hours on Sunday and has averaged 42% for the year – well ahead of its 2020 target.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/germany-reaches-100-renewables-hours-42-far-year-30642/

The Population Bomb, 50 years later: A conversation with Paul Ehrlich
Can the earth continue to support an ever-increasing number of humans?
https://climateone.org/audio/population-bomb-50-years-later-conversation-paul-ehrlich

The Tribes vs. Donald Trump
Last December, when the Trump administration announced its decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, a crack team of Native American attorneys armed themselves with a lawsuit that ensured tribal voices will lead the legal battle to overturn it.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2295271/tribes-v-donald-trump

China-backed Sumatran dam threatens the rarest ape in the world
Bill Laurance, James Cook University
A US$1.6 billion dollar dam in Sumatra threatens the recently discovered and desperately imperilled Tapanuli Orangutan.
https://theconversation.com/china-backed-sumatran-dam-threatens-the-rarest-ape-in-the-world-95874

Australian Charities Pay the Price with New ASIC Levy
Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations are being hit with the new Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) levy forcing them to part with $321 in administrative costs.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/05/australian-charities-pay-price-new-asic-levy/