Saturday 9 December 2017

Land clearing and climate change
Mike Seccombe
While the federal government boasts of decreasing carbon emissions from land clearing, state records show rapidly increasing rates of clearing, at great expense to the Emissions Reduction Fund.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/12/09/land-clearing-and-climate-change/15127380005615

Fact not fiction: Global warming is an issue we must admit in order to repair
If you didn’t believe in climate change before, 2017 was the year to start.
http://www.cm-life.com/article/2017/12/global-warming-editorial

Climate change is the story you missed in 2017. And the media is to blame
Lisa Hymas
Some of Trump’s tweets generate more national coverage than devastating disasters. As the weather gets worse, we need journalism to get better.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/07/climate-change-media-coverage-media-matters

Rooftop solar: Australia’s greatest opportunity – and its greatest risk
Why rooftop solar could be one of the grid’s greatest assets but also one of its greatest threats if not properly managed. Here’s what AEMO thinks needs to be done.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-australias-greatest-opportunity-greatest-risk-86420/

9 solar PV records broken in Australia in 2017 (and one for batteries)
2017 has been a year of records for Australian solar power, and the year’s not even finished yet. Here are 10 of the highlights so far…
http://reneweconomy.com.au/9-solar-pv-records-broken-in-australia-in-2017-and-one-for-batteries-10287/

Climate change starts to take its toll on housing market
New research shows a sharp, and rising, difference in the value of property likely to be affected by climate change impacts such as rising sea levels.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/climate-change-starts-take-toll-housing-market-46485/

Australia’s top companies ignore climate change, and we let them
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/markets/companies-ignore-climate-change-and-we-ve-let-them-get-away-with-it-20171208-p4yxjg.html

Land clearing and climate change
Mike Seccombe
While the federal government boasts of decreasing carbon emissions from land clearing, state records show rapidly increasing rates of clearing, at great expense to the Emissions Reduction Fund.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/12/09/land-clearing-and-climate-change/15127380005615

Heatwaves, infrastructure and resilient cities
Greg Foyster
Summer heatwaves can trigger a domino effect of infrastructure failures in major cities. So, how resilient are Melbourne and Sydney?
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2017/12/09/heatwaves-infrastructure-and-resilient-cities/15127380005620

Habitat loss leaving planet with ‘mediocre’ ants
A global study led by a Melbourne scientist finds that land clearing and habitat loss are impacting many of the world’s ant species.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-08/habitat-loss-leaving-planet-with-mediocre-ants-study-finds/9240112

The hidden commuting benefits of our new Metro stations
https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/new-melbourne-metro-stations-designed-to-reduce-stress-and-improve-well-being

Coalition flags plan to kill West Gate Tunnel project in Parliament
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/coalition-flags-plan-to-kill-west-gate-tunnel-project-in-parliament-20171208-h01l4o.html

Vandals chop down 100-year-old trees in Lerderderg State Park in ‘senseless act’
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/vandals-chop-down-100yearold-trees-in-lerderderg-state-park-in-senseless-act-20171207-h0126x.html

Stations designed to reduce stress and improve well-being
According to experts, Melbourne’s five new underground railway stations are designed to help take the stress out of public transport by tapping into the soothing powers of nature.
https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/new-melbourne-metro-stations-designed-to-reduce-stress-and-improve-well-being/

West gate tunnel: another case of tunnel vision?
Centre for Urban Research (RMIT)
This report outlines deep concerns with planning and governance for the proposed West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) and, by extension, with the wider context for transport planning in Victoria.
http://apo.org.au/node/122421

NSW signs LGC off-take deal with Neoen’s Dubbo solar farm
NSW signs deal to buy LGC’s from Neoen’s Dubbo solar farm, and says “this lays the foundation for more renewable energy procurement.”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-signs-lgc-off-take-deal-with-neoens-dubbo-solar-farm-33963/

Newcrest snubs solar for coal power, but was it a good deal?
Gold miner Newcrest decides against solar farm to help power its Cadia mine in NSW, highlighting the challenges for renewable developers.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/newcrest-snubs-solar-coal-power-good-deal-86296/

Consumers miss out on renewables benefits as Big 3 pocket profits
UNSW energy researcher says bad policy design means industry incumbents can use large-scale solar and wind tenders to get their costs down, without necessarily passing on savings to consumers.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/consumers-miss-out-on-renewables-benefits-as-big-3-pocket-profits-33191/

NSW gives way on Snowy as wild rivers flow again
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/vandalism-nsw-gives-way-on-snowy-oversight-as-wild-rivers-flow-briefly-again-20171206-h00aky.html

AGL resists PM to ditch coal for cheaper gas, wind, solar power
AGL Energy has rejected Turnbull government pressure to extend the life of the coal-fired Liddell power station and instead revealed a $1.36 billion plan to replace it with electricity generated from gas, wind and solar.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/agl-energy-unveils-14b-liddell-replacement-scheme-20171206-h0022p

NSW recycling scheme under fire for being ‘shambles’
Price hikes of up to $4 for a carton of beer or soft drink will cost the people of NSW $52 million in just the first month of the NSW government’s shambolic Return and Earn recycling scheme.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-recycling-scheme-under-fire-for-being-shambles/news-story/c0d1a3edfcba5b884b65e236801654ae

Can of worms a load of rubbish
Telegraph editorial
There are some ideas so daft only a government could cook them up. Such as attempting to reduce litter and help the environment by raising the price of beverages in cans and bottles
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-can-of-worms-a-load-of-rubbish/news-story/ec21aa2b4c4a0e53e50ab52f8cfc81f7

Fighting the Santos pipeline
Tony Windsor
Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2017/12/09/fighting-the-santos-pipeline/15127380005608?cb=1512760970

Annastacia Palaszczuk finally wins Qld election
The veto of a federal loan for Adani’s controversial $16.5 billion Carmichael mine will be one of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s first jobs once her government is sworn in she says.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/annastacia-palaszczuk-finally-wins-qld-election-after-tim-nicholls-concedes-20171207-h015mi

How Adani saved Premier’s skin
In the dying hours of a disastrous first week, Annastacia Palaszczuk dropped a bombshell that became the turning point.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/queensland-election/queensland-election-how-palaszczuks-adani-veto-turned-tide-for-alp/news-story/fd0e162c2a784a745e0af37bfda712ad

Labor and LNP avoided big issues in campaign
Graham Young
The weakness in the public perception of Tim Nicholls meant that while Adani should have wedged both him and Labor, it only seemed to wedge him.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19456

Adani lesson 101: Don’t let politicians get in the way
John McCarthy
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/adani-lesson-101-dont-let-politicians-get-in-the-way/news-story/1d8ac62b8df28aecf75d916723d6bbfc

Smoke warning issued as grass fire burns near buildings in Gepps Cross
A grass fire in Gepps Cross is causing smoke to billow over the northern suburbs.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/smoke-warning-issued-as-grass-fire-burns-near-buildings-in-gepps-cross/news-story/894c1e2ad1c61d68278e1f5341efda87

Sustainable Timber Tasmania fronts Government Business Enterprise hearings
Resources Minister Guy Barnett has spruiked his party’s forestry policies during an at times heated Government Business Enterprise hearing.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/sustainable-timber-tasmania-fronts-government-business-enterprise-hearings/news-story/c42c7ce808e777eaf007185848cae1a5

Another native title win in WA’s Pilbara
The Gingirana people have been formally acknowledged by the Federal Court as having native title rights to land in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/another-native-title-win-in-was-pilbara/news-story/bf08f2d6fb7ef34b3bc8577bcf49a866

‘Death spiral’: half of Europe’s coal plants are losing money
Air pollution and climate change policies are pushing coal-fired electricity stations to the brink, says a new report. Closing them would avoid €22bn in losses by 2030
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/08/death-spiral-half-of-europes-coal-plants-are-losing-money

China struggles to wean itself off coal
China has realised it will have to boost LNG imports to win its “war on pollution.”
http://www.afr.com/news/world/china-struggling-to-wean-itself-off-coal-pledges-to-import-more-lng-20171208-h01d7y

Microplastics threat poses dilemma for new EU strategy
Leading scientists and conservation groups have said the EU’s plastics strategy must include ‘serious regulation’ given the potential impact of microplastic pollution on human health.
https://euobserver.com/health/140194

Echa, Efsa consult on draft EDC criteria guidance
Echa and the European Food Safety Authority are seeking public views on the draft guidance document for the identification of endocrine disrupting chemicals under EU legislation for pesticides and biocides.
https://chemicalwatch.com/62351/echa-efsa-consult-on-draft-edc-criteria-guidance

BP labelled ‘irresponsible’ for plans to frack Patagonia
BP has been accused of hypocrisy after new research reveals its Argentinian arm plans to drill and frack 37 wells in Patagonia’s “carbon bomb” province.
https://www.desmog.uk/2017/12/07/bp-labelled-irresponsible-its-plans-frack-patagonia

Is capitalism a barrier to food justice?
Eric Holt-Giménez argues in his new book that commoning—more than capital—will make the food system work.
https://civileats.com/2017/12/08/capitalism-is-a-barrier-to-food-justice/

Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions
Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53395

Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market’s next generation of photovoltaics.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53394

Surrey scientists create cheap and safe electro-catalysts for fuel cells
Scientists from the University of Surrey have produced non-metal electro-catalysts for fuel cells that could pave the way for production of low-cost, environmentally friendly energy generation.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/uos-ssc120817.php

US to pressure Russia on nuclear weapons
The United States is warning the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is under threat from Russian cruise missile activity and Washington is ready to pursue diplomatic, economic and military steps to encourage Moscow to return to compliance.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/us-to-pressure-russia-on-nuclear-weapons/news-story/62b649606c1124d7af8e09a4a70900d8

Nigeria pledges to restore nearly 10 million acres of degraded land
The government of Nigeria has announced its plans to restore four million hectares, or nearly 10 million acres, of degraded lands within its borders.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/12/nigeria-pledges-to-restore-nearly-10-million-acres-of-degraded-land/

Marine organisms can shred a carrier bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows
A single plastic carrier bag could be shredded by marine organisms into around 1.75million microscopic fragments, according to new research.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53396

Elephants as trophies? An endless debate
http://www.afr.com/news/world/africa/biggame-hunting-controversy-no-end-in-sight-20171205-gzz9cg

Sustainable shopping: how to buy tuna without biting a chunk out of the oceans
Candice Visser, University of Wollongong and Quentin Hanich, University of Wollongong
Australians love canned tuna. Here’s our handy guide to finding the most sustainable options for you (and your cat).
https://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-how-to-buy-tuna-without-biting-a-chunk-out-of-the-oceans-86229

The mediocre bucket list for realistic people
Jill Poulsen
Research commissioned by Corona (the beer) has found that more than 70 per cent of Australians believe it’s important to achieve your bucket list dreams because it’s the sign of a well-lived life.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/rendezview/the-mediocre-bucket-list-for-realistic-people/news-story/141b2877f946ac7370945b5242ebce07