THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

Soil cannot halt climate change
Unique soils data from long-term experiments, stretching back to the middle of the nineteenth century, confirm the practical implausibility of burying carbon in the ground to halt climate change. The idea of using crops to collect more atmospheric carbon and locking it into soil’s organic matter to offset fossil fuel emissions was launched at COP21, the 21st annual Conference of Parties to review the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in 2015.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/rr-sch022818.php

A startup could reveal how climate change will affect your business in 50 years
“If we could have reliable predictive analytics in this area, that’s a huge impact for our business.”
https://futurism.com/startup-reveal-climate-change-business-50-years/

Women at the front can help defeat global warming, say leaders
“It’s clear if we want to face climate change, women and girls from all the world should be central actors”
http://news.trust.org/item/20180227012425-8czew

Climate change pushing weather extremes ‘off the scale’, says global cities group
Storms, floods and other extreme weather events are hitting cities much harder than scientists have predicted, said the head of a global network of cities tackling climate change.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180227043712-hh1bl/

‘Not good enough’: ACCC slams gas market for keeping prices too high
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/not-good-enough-accc-slams-gas-market-for-keeping-prices-too-high-20180228-p4z240.html

The forest wars
Environmental groups are relying on courts and the market to thwart inroads by the logging industry.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/the-forest-wars-loggers-v-greenies-in-victoria-nsw/news-story/1ad61f912c3a0136a19aaf7617dcfb86

India’s growth to fuel coal demand
Surging energy demand in India will ensure a market for Australian coal “for the foreseeable future”, the World Coal ­Association says.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/booming-india-to-keep-coal-in-demand/news-story/9ce0e1efd28c7a31b1e8c99ad58e7b1d

Coalition unveils US gas alliance
Australia has struck an energy alliance with the US to spur development of more LNG import infrastructure.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/coalition-unveil-us-gas-alliance-amid-bid-to-spur-asian-lng-demand/news-story/733996e4a5f99cf2da62d75192856e93

Charities, wealthy families slam donations crackdown
More than 60 of the country’s richest families and foundations have warned the Coalition’s crackdown on foreign political donations would jeopardise community advocacy by wrongly classing them as political actors.
http://www.afr.com/news/charities-wealthy-families-slam-donations-crackdown-20180228-h0ws5j

The Nationals have changed their leader but kept the same climate story
Marc Hudson, University of Manchester
Barnaby Joyce had a long history of opposing climate action. His successor Michael McCormack seems to think the same way, despite climate being a growing threat to the Nationals’ rural voters.
https://theconversation.com/the-nationals-have-changed-their-leader-but-kept-the-same-climate-story-92348

The mining industry is swimming in money — and it’s all going back to investors
Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer
We’re told that all that stands between the world’s largest businesses and a massive, job-creating investment splurge is a large pile of post-tax profit. Oh… hang on…
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/02/28/mining-industry-is-swimming-in-money-and-its-all-going-back-to-investors/

Energy market heavies find an expensive way to stand still
Adrian Merrick
The recent results from market heavies provide some insights into the massive cost – to customers – of the incumbents holding onto their market share.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-market-heavies-find-an-expensive-way-to-stand-still-55543/

The What, Why, When guide to buying an electric vehicle in Australia
Bryce Gaton
Affordable, 300km plus range electric vehicles are about to hit Australian showrooms. But is there an EV available now or coming soon that will meet your needs?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/guide-buying-electric-vehicle-australia-69758/

Coal issue a diamond for ALP
David Uren
Mark Butler’s defence of coking coal over thermal coal is aimed at shoring up Labor, not economics.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/mark-butler-mines-opposition-to-adani-to-shore-up-labor-support/news-story/7e7127b1c997149f33ee08b9206c66b0

Victoria regulator finalises new time-varying tariffs for solar exports
Victoria regulator finalises decision on Australia’s first time-varying feed-in tariffs for solar, although acknowledges risks some users could abuse system by charging batteries at night.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-regulator-finalises-new-time-varying-tariffs-for-solar-exports-69416/

Hot, windy conditions spark fires, trigger warnings across Victoria
A number of fires are burning across Victoria, including one blaze at an old defence munitions site in Melbourne’s inner west.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/hot-windy-conditions-spark-fires-trigger-warnings-in-victoria/9493904

Warning downgraded for Victorian grassfire
An out-of-control grassfire in Victoria’s northeast has been downgraded but fire authorities warn the danger is not yet over.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/emergency-warning-for-victorian-grassfire/news-story/42c9cdee979c45a40d439d0422b6a1f3

Melbourne getting worse for endless urban sprawl, needs more density: experts
https://www.domain.com.au/news/cut-back-on-cars-stem-urban-sprawl-to-improve-melbourne-and-its-suburbs-authors-say-20180227-h0wqap/

Fire fighters tame out-of-control blaze at old munitions factory
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/blaze-at-old-munitions-factory-in-maribyrnong-under-control-20180228-p4z25u.html

Aussies ‘must get first call on gas’
The Victorian Treasurer has accused the federal government of an “absurd and irresponsible” failure on energy policy.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/gas-policy-absurd-without-cap-on-exports-tim-pallas-says/news-story/b55f777a5444dd8ec95bcd3c3df4aa11

Downsized NSW wind farm rejected, again, by state planning department
Proposed 54-turbine Jupiter Wind Farm rejected again by state planners, as “fundamentally unsuitable” for site and surrounds.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/downsized-nsw-wind-farm-rejected-again-by-state-planning-department-88088/

New 47MW solar farm proposed for Wagga Wagga, home of new Nationals leader
Green Switch Australia floats plans to build 47MW solar farm in Wagga Wagga suburb of Gregadoo, in the heart of the electorate of new Nationals leader.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-47mw-solar-farm-proposed-for-wagga-wagga-home-of-new-nationals-leader-73577/

University of Newcastle rolls out 2MW solar system at Callaghan Campus
University of Newcastle says 2MW of solar being added to its Callaghan campus this year will slash energy costs and serve as a “living laboratory.”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/university-newcastle-rolls-2mw-solar-system-callaghan-campus-59389/

How Western Sydney is tackling the mysterious ‘heat island’ effect
Western Sydney councils have banded together to tackle the growing heat problem, instigated by climate change and exacerbated by city design.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/how-western-sydney-is-tackling-the-heat-island-effect/9361156

Cash-for-cans operator fails every target set
The state government has threatened financial penalties for the operator of its much maligned cash-for-cans recycling scheme if it does not meet its obligations. The scheme has failed every target set in the first three months of the policy.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-government-to-fine-cashforcans-operator-if-it-fails-to-meet-its-obligations/news-story/bf3dc59c5248c290ebe5c92c3ae6042c

City’s air quality monitors in parks, not streets
Sydney’s air pollution warning system has been ­exposed as a farce, with not a single testing station in the car-clogged inner city, and most of the rest located in tree-lined parks.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydneys-air-quality-monitors-placed-mostly-in-parks-not-streets/news-story/79f53318656674a3031898205efd44cd

AGL plans $200m upgrade at Bayswater Power Station as electricity shortage looms
AGL says a $200 million upgrade at Bayswater Power Station in NSW is part of an effort to hold off the expected 1,000 megawatt shortfall when it closes its Liddell Power Station.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/agl-announces-$200-million-upgrade-at-bayswater-power-station/9491800

NSW electricity is powering Melbourne
NSW power stations kept the lights on in Victoria over the sweltering summer, including during the Australian Open when energy regulators warned of rolling blackout threats for our southern neighbours.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-power-stations-generating-electricity-for-melbourne-over-sweltering-summer/news-story/c378497d7c75884c9d647d32163c9d7b

Sydney just notched one of its hottest summers on record
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydneys-summer-tempered-by-coast-breezes-as-the-west-nudges-records-20180228-p4z24j.html

NSW is powering Melbourne
Telegraph editorial
In a crisis, the most daring course is often safest. So said former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger — and he could well have been talking about coal-driven energy in NSW.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/nsw-energy-helping-prop-up-eastern-states/news-story/46c27c9f8d5fe4ca29be4120558dca59

Canberra records 10th warmest summer on record
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-records-10th-warmest-summer-on-record-20180228-h0ws47.html

Shorten is selling out miners to get Green votes on Adani, says Turnbull
The prime minister’s attack focuses on Labor’s policy shift on Carmichael mine and renews attempts to paint Labor leader as ‘not fair dinkum’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/shorten-is-selling-out-miners-to-get-green-votes-on-adani-says-turnbull

Adani campaigners paid for Shorten’s trip
The opposition leader updated his register of interests on Wednesday to reveal the Australian Conservation Foundation paid for his flight to the proposed mine site and a tour of the reef.
http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/adani-campaigners-paid-for-shortens-trip/news-story/4596bfcfab5268b28e60b98daac25b0e

Labor told Adani unlikely to be able to challenge any scrapping of mine licence
Legal advice provided to the ALP states it would be “virtually impossible” for Adani to challenge a future Labor government’s decision to scrap the company’s licence to build a coal mine in central Queensland.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/revoking-adani-mine-licence-a-safe-move-for-future-government/9494178

Adani asked Coalition to help secure funding from China, FOI shows
Despite official denials, emails reveal discussions about the Indian company’s requests before ministers wrote to a Chinese agency vouching for the $16bn project
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/01/adani-asked-coalition-to-help-secure-funding-from-china-foi-shows

Cousins digs in over Shorten’s Adani ‘backflip’
Environmental activist Geoff Cousins has revealed he went public about Bill Shorten’s alleged move to kill off the Adani mine after the Opposition Leader backflipped on a promise to come up with a clear policy.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/geoff-cousins-digs-in-over-shorten-adani-backflip/news-story/82ef9205e233dbdc70b821ab7dc63633

Residents slam ‘ridiculous’ $35 power price cut planned for regional Queensland
A plan to cut power prices for residents by $35 a year, and businesses up to $110, is described by residents as a “joke” that does not even scratch the surface of the problem.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/power-about-to-get-cheaper-in-regional-queensland/9493234

Helping to guard our Reef
Seventeen new indigenous rangers will become the eyes and ears of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, under a multimillion-dollar surveillance boost for the natural wonder.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/lifestyle/bestoffarnorthqld/indigenous-ranger-reef-program-to-receive-multimilliondollar-boost/news-story/948a5f93ef2b19af741a98d2365206a7

Bill’s twisted logic on Adani
Dennis Shanahan
After months of shifting positions over the Adani coal project Bill Shorten is still talking out both sides of his mouth.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/shortens-betrayal-of-traditional-labor-values/news-story/199777b8eea836a194738f4fc1ecbeea

Adani reef ‘threats’ dismissed
Graham Lloyd
Claims that Adani is a threat to Great Barrier Reef have already been tested in court — and dismissed.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/court-rejected-claims-that-adani-posed-threat-to-great-barrier-reef/news-story/f94c91c49043eb90591ab2b54239ae56

Labor to give miners coal shoulder
Dennis Atkins
Miners eyeing the proposed Adani coalmine and the Galilee Basin should not look to Labor for backing.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-labor-goes-cold-on-coalmining-future/news-story/08df6121ae759a34ed1798f80abd7d23

SA Best: 90% renewables by 2030 is feasible, but not a target
Xenophon’s SA Best predicts 90% renewables in the state by 2030. Although it is not a target, the rush to embrace renewables in South Australia highlights how state-based Liberal Party and the Federal Coalition are being left behind.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/sa-best-90-renewables-by-2030-is-feasible-but-not-a-target-40840/

Greens call for climate change minister
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/tasmanian-state-election-2018-greens-call-for-return-of-climate-change-minister/news-story/986d6764cac0accdfa76686394e63998

Cast your vote then clean up this weekend
Examiner editorial
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5256659/cast-your-vote-then-clean-up-this-weekend/?cs=97

Population rise poses global, local challenges
Jan Davis
Why Tasmanians need to urgently engage in an informed debate about population growth.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/population-rise-poses-local-and-global-challenges/news-story/2dc58f175243bc32ae242e19e1959ac9

South Korean steel giant takes stake in Pilbara lithium miner
South Korean steel giant POSCO signs lithium off-take and downstream processing deal with ASX listed miner Pilbara Minerals.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/south-korean-steel-giant-takes-stake-pilbara-lithium-miner-34144/

WA shire set to backflip on endangered bird protection
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/wa-shire-set-to-backflip-on-endangered-bird-protection-20180228-h0wsik.html

‘We won’t regret protecting the area’: Planning Minister steps in to save Perth wetland
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/we-wont-regret-protecting-the-area-planning-minister-steps-in-to-save-perth-wetland-20180227-h0wqml.html

Sunny days to stay as Perth signs off on mildest summer since 2001
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/perth-signs-off-on-mildest-summer-since-turn-of-the-century-20180228-h0ws8l.html

AGL pours cold water on pipeline
AGL Energy has poured cold water on former WA Premier Colin Barnett’s push to pipe WA gas to the east coast.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/agl-pours-cold-water-on-colin-barnetts-eastwest-pipeline-push/news-story/fd1a499be0227790bb3225a218e908cf

Rome to ban diesel cars from city centre by 2024
Mayor announces ‘strong measures’ to tackle pollution in Italy’s traffic-clogged capital
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/rome-to-ban-diesel-cars-from-city-centre-by-2024-italy

Australian inventor’s marine plastic shredder gets royal seal of approval
A machine developed in Coffs Harbour to recycle marine plastic waste attracts the attention of Prince Charles.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-28/shruder-invention-to-transform-global-plastic-waste-economy/9487904

Flood Risk from American Rivers Is Greatly Underestimated
A groundbreaking new study has found that 41 million Americans are at risk from flooding rivers, which is more than three times the current estimate — based on regulatory …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180228112520.htm

In Africa, war over water looms as Ethiopia nears completion of Nile River dam
A new mega-dam being built by Ethiopia on the Nile River is threatening to spark a war over water and shift political influence in northeastern Africa.
https://www.npr.org/2018/02/27/589240174/in-africa-war-over-water-looms-as-ethiopia-nears-completion-of-nile-river-dam

New evidence of nuclear fuel releases found at Fukushima
Uranium and other radioactive materials, such as caesium and technetium, have been found in tiny particles released from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. This could mean the environmental impact from the fallout may last much longer than previously expected according to a new study by a team of international researchers, including scientists from The University of Manchester.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/uom-neo022818.php

More than 100 cities worldwide now powered primarily by renewable energy
These cities get more than 70 percent of their electricity from wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables. That’s up since the Paris climate agreement.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27022018/renewable-energy-cities-clean-power-technology-cdp-report-global-warming-solutions

These are the world’s greenest cities
Burlington, Vermont, says it’s the first U.S. city to use 100 percent renewable power, but more are following.
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-renewable-cities/

Nuclear waste mountains just go on growing
Some politicians still claim atomic energy is the answer to climate change while leaving the problem of nuclear waste to our descendants.
https://climatenewsnetwork.net/nuclear-waste-mountains-just-go-growing/

South Sudan accuses oil group of pollution, threatens shutdown
South Sudanese lawmakers have accused the consortium running the country’s last working oilfields of dumping expired chemicals in the bush, and have threatened to shut down production unless it stops.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southsudan-oil/south-sudan-accuses-oil-group-of-pollution-threatens-shutdown-idUSKCN1GC2ZP

Scientists confirm century-old speculation on the chemistry of a high-performance battery
Scientists have discovered a novel chemical state, first proposed about 90 years ago, that enables a high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/dbnl-scc022718.php

Micro-factories are home-grown answer to incredible rubbish recycling problem
Veena Sahajwalla
Traditional manufacturing often takes place in large and immobile factory sites near raw material supplies or in remote locations. But these micro factories can operate on a site as small as 50 square metres and can be located wherever waste may be stockpiled.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/micro-factories-are-home-grown-answer-to-incredible-rubbish-recycling-problem-20180228-p4z25w.html

Why fossil fuels survive
Robert J. Samuelson
The real obstacle to dealing with climate change is our vast dependence on oil, natural gas and coal.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-fossil-fuels-survive/2018/02/28/4725cb3c-1cad-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html?utm_term=.5c90361f2496

Peru moves to create huge new indigenous reserves in Amazon
Major step taken by government Multi-Sector Commission following 15 year process
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2018/feb/28/peru-moves-huge-new-indigenous-reserves-amazon

Total ban on bee-harming pesticides likely after major new EU analysis
Analysis from EU’s scientific risk assessors finds neonicotinoids pose a serious danger to all bees, making total field ban highly likely
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides-likely-after-major-new-eu-analysis

Landscape Genetics Branches out to Help Conserve Riverside Forests
Scientists have examined gene flow in the endangered maple, Acer miyabei, using landscape genetics, a powerful and increasingly popular tool in conservation projects. It involves the integration of …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180228103249.htm

Should we let Mother Nature fix the ecosystem?
New research indicates that, when it comes to the speed and completeness of ecosystem restoration, no difference exists between active restoration and simply ending the environmental disturbances.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-ecosystems-restored-does-it-work-20180227-story.html

A cure for coral reefs?
Scientists hope that dosing damaged corals with probiotics could fortify reefs against pollution, disease, and climate change.
http://www.biographic.com/posts/sto/a-cure-for-coral-reefs

Coral reef death means violent, destructive waves are coming
New research shows reefs break up tidal forces; without them, coasts and small island nations will be hit hard.
https://theoutline.com/post/3551/coral-reef-death-means-violent-destructive-waves-are-coming?zd=1&zi=z6lmzkp2

Latin America poised to agree world’s first legal pact for nature defenders
After lengthy negotiations and record deaths of defenders on the continent, sources say a deal is very likely to be reached
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/latin-america-poised-to-agree-worlds-first-legal-pact-for-nature-defenders

Species Make Comeback 30 Years After Rainforest Devastation
Rainforest loss is fueling a tsunami of tropical species extinctions. However, not all is doom and …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180228092111.htm

Land Partnerships Have High Potential to Preserve Biodiversity as Climate Shifts
Conservation partnerships between protected lands and their non-protected neighbors could significantly improve a region’s ability to accommodate species migration in response to shifting ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180228144442.htm

New clues to decline of bees and other pollinators
Bee viruses have been found in hoverflies for the first time, raising new concerns about disease threats.
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43200277