Saturday 8 July 2017

FOI documents confirm government holding almost one year’s worth of pollution data
The federal government has been keeping almost a year’s worth of pollution data secret, despite it being scheduled for release in May, documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/foi-documents-confirm-government-holding-almost-one-years-worth-of-pollution-data-20170706-gx5um3.html

Regional conditions influence agricultural water use
Differences in regional climatic conditions appear to be influencing the use of water on Australian farms, according to Agricultural Census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
ABS Director of Environment and Agriculture Statistics, Lauren Binns said farmers were modifying their practices to adjust to water availability and climatic conditions.
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/15B47B864C6DFE40CA2575C10019F20F?OpenDocument

Energy bill pain: surge in cut-offs
Australian residential power disconnections have risen by as much as 140 per cent in six years.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/energy-bill-pain-surge-in-household-cutoffs/news-story/007f79822ccfbc63b9033fd61cc9a74c

Pollution slides in power sector
Emissions in the electricity sector have fallen despite a moderate uptick in overall pollution levels.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/emissions-slide-in-electricity-sector-but-overall-pollution-rises/news-story/b22bcf34da9ceb2031865d1cca7c0f61

Emissions fall in electricity sector
Josh Frydenberg siezes on the figures as ‘a result of the use of more hydro and less brown coal’.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/emissions-fall-in-australian-electricity-sector/news-story/4abbd60be9b53bcc5e6e034707d372e0

Australia must protect high-speed rail corridor on east coast, government told
Urban sprawl threatens ‘critical’ link, and protection and early acquisition could save $10.8bn, says Infrastructure Australia
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/07/australia-must-protect-high-speed-rail-corridor-on-east-coast-government-told

Greens seek to exploit Labor divisions over coal
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/greens-launch-doorknocking-assault-on-marginal-labor-seats-over-adani-20170707-gx6kts.html

Infinity of renewable acrimony
Chris Kenny
We must decide whether we are prepared to pay a high price for no environmental gain.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/energy-debate-fuelled-by-infinite-sources-of-renewable-acrimony/news-story/0f1c29a4d876fc7dfabbda9194156639

Climate change: Now it’s personal
John Hewson
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/turnbull-must-take-on-abbott-over-renewables-20170706-gx6cna.html

Andrews closes door on coal
The Andrews government has sounded the end of new coal-fired power generation in Victoria.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/new-coal-plant-in-victoria-highly-unlikely/news-story/a2abbdef7e3132de315bd510d7bd3a9c

State government calls for new brown coal projects
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/andrews-government-calls-for-new-brown-coal-projects-including-in-the-latrobe-valley-20170707-gx737d.html

Radial sawing a cut above with new Victorian mill
A new method of sawmilling in Victoria is delivering some enormous advantages over existing methods, able to convert smaller logs into useful timber and helping counter the natural stresses and strains that cause timber to warp.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-08/radial-sawing-a-cut-above-with-new-victoria-mill/8687698

Threatened white-bellied sea-eagle pair turns inland for winter
A pair of rare white-bellied sea-eagles returns to Victoria’s Winton Wetlands, more than 200km from the ocean, to settle in for winter.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-07/white-bellied-sea-eagles-return-winton-wetlands/8688056

Ideas for dealing with Melbourne’s population growth
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/crammed-ideas-for-dealing-with-melbournes-booming-population-growth-20170707-gx6rw1.html

How state government can save us $748m
THE cost of one of the most important projects to keep traffic flowing around Melbourne – a whopping $7b road project – could be slashed significantly if the Victorian Government acts now. Here’s why.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/infrastructure-australia-says-748m-could-be-saved-if-land-bought-now-for-outer-metropolitan-ring-road/news-story/e4b10e69f4f2a94b28d60718e11feb39

Let’s finally build the Melbourne Airport Rail Link
Ordan Andreevski
All around the globe and around Australia, people powered movements like ours are fighting and winning battles in support of urgently needed public transport solutions.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19142

Byron Bay to get world’s first solar-powered train
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/byron-bay-to-get-worlds-first-solarpowered-train-courtesy-of-a-coal-baron-20170702-gx31yo.html

Development threat calls for commitment to fast rail
Canberra Times editorial
For the first time, there’s urgency to the debate on a fast rail line linking Sydney to Melbourne.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/development-threat-calls-for-commitment-to-canberrasydney-fast-rail-20170707-gx715f.html

The Great Barrier Reef isn’t listed as ‘in danger’ – but it’s still in big trouble
James Watson and Martine Maron, University of Queensland
http://theconversation.com/the-great-barrier-reef-isnt-listed-as-in-danger-but-its-still-in-big-trouble-80681

State a lure for illegal fishing boats
QUEENSLAND remains a hotspot for illegal fishing, contributing to the third most lucrative crime in the world, according to experts.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-a-hotspot-for-illegal-fishing-boats/news-story/399ef41862076601869d8846909527a0

Bauxite mine needs licence
ENVIRONMENTAL assessments are still under way for a bauxite mining project tipped to bring hundreds of new jobs to the South Johnstone region.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/queensland-bauxite-still-waiting-on-south-johnstone-mining-licence/news-story/722139502c674417539998a7b347cef7

Our island resorts are going to waste
Steven Wardill
AS SOME of the state’s most beautiful island resorts sit deserted, the Government should take a hard look at itself rather than point the finger at the leaseholders of these tourism gems.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-queensland-island-resorts-going-to-waste/news-story/fe9e2a82defd08d49b1f64d28f37db39

I’m no activist, but there’s a simple reason I’m against the Adani mine
Robert Quirk
Yet again, we are paying no heed to our farmers. We’re stepping over them for a big coal company from another country.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-07/adani-mine-water-is-too-important-to-farmers/8686890

‘I’ll build battery in 100 days’
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Tesla will help build the world’s largest lithium ion battery in South Australia before summer.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/elon-musks-tesla-to-help-build-worlds-largest-lithium-ion-battery-for-sa/news-story/ff818dd5da6d8ebb1bf880d7900f1672

What is Tesla’s SA battery and how will it be used?
Tesla’s Elon Musk is promising big battery storage will be in place by summer to ease South Australia’s power woes, but what exactly is the “world’s biggest” lithium ion battery and how will it be used?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-07/what-is-tesla-big-sa-battery-and-how-will-it-work/8688992

Massive Tesla battery won’t prevent crippling blackouts: experts
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/massive-tesla-battery-should-reduce-power-prices-but-wont-prevent-crippling-sa-blackouts-say-experts-20170707-gx6sg3.html

Eyre Peninsula’s power reliability ‘deteriorates’ but solutions flagged
Eyre Peninsula’s power problems, which have left the region without electricity for several days in the past year, could potentially be solved by relatively cheap infrastructure upgrades.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-07/eyre-peninsulas-power-reliability-deteriorates-but-solutions/8686534

Loggers give life to ‘lost’ timber
Beneath the dark, frigid waters of Tasmania’s hydro-electric lakes lies a vast, lost treasure.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/hydrowood-rescues-timber-lost-to-tasmanias-flooded-forests/news-story/595e677cb7fb3e3d869b3bdcc4b4f764

The rise and fall of Perth’s palm squirrels
After escaping from the Perth Zoo decades ago, palm squirrels made themselves at home. Now an eradication program has brought their numbers under control.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-07/the-rise-and-fall-of-perths-palm-squirrel-pest-population/8683784

Paladin Energy: from market hero to administration
John Borshoff was once one of Western Australia’s wealthiest businessmen. The founder of Perth-based Paladin Energy developed an enviable portfolio of African uranium mines supposed to satiate booming global demand for yellowcake.
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/uranium/paladin-energy-from-market-hero-to-administration-20170706-gx6a84

Lithium and LNG tipped to boost WA’s mining and resources sector
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/lithium-and-lng-tipped-to-boost-was-mining-and-resources-sector-20170706-gx686a.html

Air pollution is as unhealthy as secondhand smoke, a new study says.
A survey by Carnegie Mellon University of 1,200 children living near some of the biggest polluters in the Pittsburgh area shows that children who live near sources of pollution run the same risk of developing asthma as those exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000468993204

Surveying Sea Floor Animals for Offshore Renewable Energy
Chunks of sediment from the ocean floor are being used by scientists to analyze animal life and determine environmental impact from offshore ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707095815.htm

Sucking Up Spilt Oil
Spilt crude oil has repeatedly polluted and even destroyed marine ecosystems. An effective measure would be to remove spilt oil slicks by absorption into a separable solid phase.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707095359.htm

Researcher makes golden bananas to boost nutrition
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-researcher-develops-golden-bananas-to-boost-nutrition-in-africa-20170707-gx6kfo.html

Meniscus-assisted technique produces high efficiency perovskite PV films
A new low-temperature solution printing technique allows fabrication of high-efficiency perovskite solar cells with large crystals intended to minimize current-robbing grain boundaries.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/giot-mtp070517.php

Nuclear ban treaty agreed despite boycott by US, major powers
http://www.theage.com.au/world/nuclear-ban-agreement-expected-despite-boycott-20170707-gx6mjq.html

Recruiting Manganese to Upgrade Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is known as a greenhouse gas and plays an essential role in climate change; it is no wonder scientists have been looking for solutions to prevent its release in the environment. However, as a cheap, readily available and non-toxic carbon source, in the past few years there have been efforts to turn carbon dioxide into valuable wares, or ‘value-added’ products.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/51761

Invisibility cloak makes solar panels work more efficiently
An invisibility cloak has been used in the lab to hide the metallic strips used in solar panels, making the devices more efficient at using the sun’s energy.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2140108-invisibility-cloak-makes-solar-panels-work-more-efficiently/

Shared Value – how business is stepping up
From rising inequality to climate change, smart business models are helping share the load of finding sustainable solutions to today’s complex social challenges, leading innovators say.
https://www.theguardian.com/nab-more-that-matters/2017/jun/27/shared-value-how-business-is-stepping-up

Japan passes whaling bill with view to resume commercial whaling
Japan passes a law enshrining the practice of whaling and is considering upgrading its fleet of vessels in a step toward returning to the controversial commercial practice.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-07/japan-passes-whaling-bill-with-view-to-resume-commercial-whaling/8689226

Humanity needs rights of nature legislation to protect the planet we depend on.
Michelle Bender Ecologist
We need a new paradigm for ocean governance focused on well-being and guided by principles of sustainability, ecosystem health, precaution and interconnectedness.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000468993185

Beware of outrage fatigue, there are good reasons to be angry
Wendy Squires
We are all starting to believe change is hopeless. We feel our needs and fears are being ignored by those who need to hear us, and our protests are a waste of time and effort. We are all emotionally exhausted, our never-ending fury draining us of energy and hope.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/beware-of-outrage-fatigue-there-are-good-reasons-to-be-angry-20170706-gx64nj.html