Thursday 13 July 2017

Giant iceberg breaks away from Antarctica
One of the biggest icebergs on record, weighing 1 trillion tonnes and measuring 5,800 square kilometres, breaks away from Antarctica, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up, scientists say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/huge-iceberg-breaks-away-from-antarctica-larsen-c-shelf/8703238

Should we change Earth to halt warming? Scientists say maybe.
A team of scientists is exploring what would happen and what might be done if humanity gets a late start in addressing climate change.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2946413885455647122

‘Consensus’ or ‘debate’ – the long battle to shape public perception continues.
More Americans than ever (58 percent) now say climate change is mostly man-made, a Yale poll found. That’s in line with what scientists overwhelmingly agree. Will Trump appointees sow doubt about researchers’ vast consensus?
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2946413885455647188

Most comprehensive database on past global changes is online
Climate scientists will now be able to more accurately study the pattern and causes of global surface temperature changes than was previously possible, thanks to a large international team of scientists contributing to PAGES (Past Global Changes), one of the University of Bern’s affiliated climate organizations.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/51809

‘The island is being eaten’: how climate change is threatening the Torres Strait
In Boigu, part of Australia but just six kilometres from Papua New Guinea, roads are being washed into the sea
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/13/the-island-is-being-eaten-how-climate-change-is-threatening-the-torres-strait

Cost-saving fuel emissions decision lags despite ‘almost universal trends’
New fuel emissions standards could save motorists more than $500 a year, the Federal Government says, but it has stalled on introducing those rules.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/cost-saving-fuel-emissions-decision-lags-despite-universal-trend/8700670

‘Lift your gas exploration bans’
The Turnbull government will demand that Victoria and the NT lift their bans on onshore gas development.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/lift-gas-exploration-ban-frydenberg-tells-states/news-story/7df7b34a45ce85e483820bc083cda9d7

Renewables ‘don’t need’ subsidies
The local head of a German renewable energy storage firm claims renewables are both practical and affordable.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/personal-technology/sonnens-chris-parratt-says-renewables-dont-need-subsidies/news-story/e43a00af86b119d377dc232672abf015

AES, Siemens combine to tackle Tesla, dominate battery storage market
Two of biggest energy companies in the world join forces to dominate global battery storage market, at least at grid scale. Australia is high on their list of targets, with a series of projects that could dwarf Tesla’s newly announced project.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aes-siemens-combine-tackle-tesla-dominate-battery-storage-market-38413/

Frydenberg says storage ratio for wind/solar to be decided by AEMO
Federal energy minister says AEMO is best placed to assess what storage levels are needed to stabilise Australia’s grid.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/frydenberg-says-storage-ratio-for-windsolar-to-be-decided-by-aemo-75973/

Car industry briefed on emissions costs
TURNBULL government ministers discussed the model to slap tough “emissions penalties” on new cars at an industry forum at Parliament House in February.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/car-carbon-tax-government-briefed-industry-on-car-emission-penalties-months-ago/news-story/a6a445d7e55052c62fd0ae1eeef1828d

Renewable energy will kill people this winter, Liberal MP says
Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly says high power prices meant many households were unable to adequately heat their homes, warning that ‘people will die’.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-13/renewable-energy-killing-people-this-winter,-liberal-mp-says/8703836

Minister says no new ‘carbon tax’ on cars, but prices may still rise
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/environment-minister-josh-frydenberg-says-there-will-be-no-new-carbon-tax-on-cars-but-prices-may-still-rise-20170711-gx9efj.html

$5.8m project aims to tap into new source of potential energy from tidal power
The Turnbull government is tipping $2.5 million towards an ambitious project to record and map the energy within Australia’s tides, potentially unlocking billions in investment.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/58m-project-aims-to-tap-into-new-source-of-potential-energy-from-tidal-power-20170712-gx9x5b.html

Auto industry fights back at plan to cut cars’ greenhouse gas emissions
Australian Automobile Association argues government plan will cost consumers more but government says petrol savings will offset any rise
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/auto-industry-fights-back-at-plan-to-cut-cars-greenhouse-gas-emissions

The electricity sector needs to cut carbon by 45% by 2030 to keep Australia on track
Amandine Dennis
http://theconversation.com/the-electricity-sector-needs-to-cut-carbon-by-45-by-2030-to-keep-australia-on-track-80883

Has popular support for city growth gone?
Alan Davies
No matter what experts think, slowing population growth – and hence immigration – seems to be a very powerful political idea winning support across the demographic board
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/07/12/popular-support-urban-growth-gone/

Climate policies all pain and no gain
Andrew Bolt
ELECTRICITY prices have risen sharply and now the government is set to make cars more expensive. But for what gain.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-climate-change-policies-are-all-pain-and-no-gain/news-story/e7a75fecf0e9f9dda9396e42aae2afdf

Major parties share blame in energy lunacy
Rita Panahi
ENERGY policies in Australia have been mad for some time and, as usual, it is the poor who are worst hit by this lunacy
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/rita-panahi/rita-panahi-major-parties-share-blame-in-energy-lunacy/news-story/3c334ec7b52ea72664f7099078176f73

How many people can Australia feed?
Bill Bellotti
http://theconversation.com/how-many-people-can-australia-feed-76460

It’s not the wind, it’s the gas. Why power prices are going berserk
Peter Martin
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/it-not-the-wind-its-the-gas-why-power-prices-are-going-berserk-20170712-gx9lxe.html

Building controls: time for government to act instead of talking
Andrew Cocks
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/fire-risk-and-building-controls-time-for-government-to-act-instead-of-talking-20170711-gx9chn.html

Phony ‘carbon tax’ highlights sad state of media and politics
Matthew Knott
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/phony-carbon-tax-car-debate-highlights-the-sad-state-of-our-media-and-politics-20170712-gx9lan.html

Carbon car push should surprise nobody as Australia lags world
Nick Toscano
http://www.theage.com.au/business/push-for-carbon-car-standards-should-surprise-nobody-20170712-gx9uc9.html

Tip fees in the dumps
HERE’S what regional Victorian councils charge for waste disposal
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/what-victorian-regional-councils-charge-for-waste-disposal/news-story/ba3166d8b124f8c2c438ff634ab7684a

Melbourne’s Southbank to get green makeover
Melbourne City Council plans to spend $35 million greening up one of the city’s most densely populated suburbs, Southbank, with space for farmers markets, music festivals, bike lanes and green tram tracks
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-13/plans-to-redevelop-southbank-with-new-parklands-and-bike-lanes/8700008

States may go it alone on clean energy target, says Victoria’s energy minister
Lily D’Ambrosio says state governments could band together to enforce Finkel review recommendation, leaving commonwealth out on its own
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/13/states-may-go-it-alone-on-clean-energy-target-says-victorias-energy-minister

Controversial Shenhua mining licence partly bought back by NSW Government
The decision by the NSW Government to buy back a majority of the Shenhua Watermark Coal exploration licence ends a decade-long ‘coal war’, which had seen farmers fight against mining on fertile black soil.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/shenhua-liverpool-plains-protected-from-mining-exploration/8700344

Look out Sydney, the cane toads are coming
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/look-out-sydney-the-cane-toads-are-coming-20170712-gx9kzv.html

‘Wind and shadows’: The Martin Place plan that has Sydneysiders up in arms
http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/city-of-sydney-joins-architects-in-opposing-macquaries-plans-for-martin-place-20170712-gx9rxn.html

Dredging off Gold Coast driving migrating whales away, locals say
Locals believe the arrival and noise of a giant dredge off the Gold Coast is scaring off migrating whales by the tens of thousands.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/whales-spooked-by-gold-coast-dredging/8698578

Developer’s bid for park heritage listing
A BITTER fight to keep a Brisbane site used for harness racing has ­escalated, with a bid to have the ­historic area heritage listed.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/albion-park-proposal-developers-bid-for-park-heritage-listing/news-story/cafa9f63f3b00af1ccddc7df80fe4c29

Big blue over creek pollution fear
AN abandoned Outback mine which causes water in a local creek to turn blue after rain is part of a $2 billion pollution nightmare for the Queensland Government.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/mine-rehabilitation-reform-residents-voice-pollution-concerns/news-story/86fa2fa301e11e4ed90ba294df7f965d

Miners urge cost assessment
Queensland’s mining and energy sector has raised concerns about the state’s plans to go carbon neutral by 2050.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/ian-macfarlane-assess-cost-of-queenslands-carbonneutral-goal/news-story/05afdb9e4d871e973f7ed7b53a826dc6

Kidston solar project draws closer to loan
A REMOTE Far North renewable energy development is firmly in contention to tap into the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan scheme.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/fnq-energy-project-emerges-as-a-leading-contender-for-naif-loan/news-story/0fb36766c180a5685e70b4aef6de6153

LNP to grant rangers go-ahead to kill crocs
THE LNP has taken the Palaszczuk Government to task for not doing enough to protect Far North Queenslanders from crocodiles.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/politicians-war-over-crocodile-protection-for-far-north-queenslanders/news-story/5731f9001bdbb19ebfd3741e02e6b97a

Lights will target roost
A luxury Far North resort are hoping to use bright lights to move a flying fox colony.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/luxury-port-douglas-resort-to-apply-for-permit-to-move-flying-foxes-using-bright-lights/news-story/63e1409990e5ad643dbdb39072481f4a

Photos show ‘striking’ damage to Great Barrier Reef after Cyclone Debbie
It could be a decade before the southern Great Barrier Reef recovers from the destruction caused by Cyclone Debbie, scientists say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-13/comparison-photos-striking-damage-great-barrier-reef-cyclone-qld/8702192

Push for plastic straw ban in Queensland
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/push-for-plastic-straw-ban-in-queensland-20170712-gx9uz0.html

Queensland remains Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-remains-australias-biggest-greenhouse-gas-emitter-20170711-gx951t.html

Al Gore: Australian government subsidising coal power would be ‘crazy’
Former US vice president and climate change campaigner says providing funding for infrastructure to support Adani coal mine is ‘just nuts’
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/12/al-gore-australian-government-subsidising-coal-power-would-be-crazy

Premier calls shots with anti-coal crowd
Courier Mail editorial
THE Queensland Premier put on a masterclass performance this week that federal leaders Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten could learn much from.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-premier-calls-the-shots-with-anticoal-crowd/news-story/4f0098d54c5fb07fbed74d0ceff324f7

The power of renewables and the South Australian example
Jade Manson
While the Turnbull Government persists in spruiking “clean coal”, renewables continue to be the quiet achievers in energy generation.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-power-of-renewables-and-the-south-australian-example,10495

Commentators who don’t understand the grid should butt out of the battery debate
Ketan Joshi
Criticising South Australia’s battery for not meeting peak demand is akin to raging at your smartphone because it can’t send a fax
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/12/commentators-who-dont-understand-the-grid-should-butt-out-of-the-battery-debate

National energy talk held in North
Energy security and its impact on Tasmania will be discussed when Launceston hosts a round table debate.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4786625/national-energy-talk-held-in-north/?cs=5312

Launceston timber yard fire ‘deliberate’
An $800,000 fire at the Neville Smith Forest Products operation in Tasmania was deliberately lit, police say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/fire-at-timber-yard-in-mowbray-tasmania/8699978

The developing world is turning its poop problem into a resource.
Waste-management systems in Africa and India could soon outstrip those in the developed world in terms of sustainability and efficiency.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455647185

Four myths about water fluoridation and why they’re wrong.
Evidence gathered over 60 years about adding fluoride to drinking water has failed to convince some people this major public health initiative is not only safe but helps to prevent tooth decay
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455647189

To save the planet, eat more bugs?
Unthinkable to many in the West, entomophagy is already practiced by two billion people, and some experts think it could ease the global food crisis.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2460133000468997526

How to save the planet: Cut holidays, sell the car and don’t have as many children, say scientists.
Jetting off on just one summer holiday is so bad for global warming that it wipes out the benefits of 20 years of recycling, a new study has shown.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2946413885455647148

Using Treated Graywater for Irrigation Is Better for Arid Environments
‘This condition, called ‘graywater-induced hydrophobicity,’ is likely temporary and disappears quickly following rainwater or freshwater irrigation events,’ says a researcher. …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170712072746.htm

Building a safer lithium-ion battery
Lithium-ion batteries have become an indispensable power source for our proliferating gadgets. They have also, on occasion, been known to catch fire. To yield insight into what goes wrong when batteries fail and how to address the safety hazard, scientists report in the journal ACS Sensors that they have found a potential way to track lithium ions as they travel in a battery.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/acs-bas070717.php

Conservative billionaire building biggest wind farm in heart of coal country
A conservative billionaire is building the country’s largest wind farm. Republican lawmakers want to raise the tax on wind.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/conservative-billionaire-building-biggest-wind-farm-heart-coal-country-42152/

Using the stairs just got easier with energy-recycling steps
Researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have created a device that makes walking up and down stairs easier. They’ve built energy-recycling stairs that store a user’s energy during descent and return energy to the user during ascent.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/giot-uts070617.php

Nations of the world agree to ban nuclear weapons – now what?
Most of the world’s countries have agreed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, but with the nuclear powers boycotting it, will it make a difference?
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2140450-nations-of-the-world-agree-to-ban-nuclear-weapons-now-what/

Every little recycled yoghurt pot helps – but how best can you help save the planet?
A new study has crunched the numbers on efforts to fight climate change, from skipping holidays to ditching our cars. Here’s a guide to the (not always) easy ways to be green
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2017/jul/12/every-little-recycled-yoghurt-pot-helps-but-how-best-can-you-help-save-the-planet

Boys And Their Toys: The Growing Movement Against Nuclear Nations
Sue Wareham
The case against nuclear weapons has always been strong. What’s changing is a growing global resolve to eliminate them
https://newmatilda.com/2017/07/12/boys-and-their-toys-the-growing-movement-against-nuclear-nations/

What ethical business can do to help make ecocities a reality
Katherine Gibson, Western Sydney University
City dwellers are individually starting to do their bit to live sustainably. Now pioneering businesses are aiming to make ecological and social sustainability part of their bottom line.
http://theconversation.com/what-ethical-business-can-do-to-help-make-ecocities-a-reality-80673

What actually is a good city?
Paul James, Western Sydney University; Belinda Young,University of Melbourne; Brendan Gleeson, University of Melbourne, and John Wiseman, University of Melbourne
Developing principles to create cities that are good for all is not easy. Who decides what is good? And for whom? We desperately need a big and general public discussion about this.
http://theconversation.com/what-actually-is-a-good-city-80677

Can property survive the great climate transition?
Louise Crabtree
http://theconversation.com/can-property-survive-the-great-climate-transition-80672

Women of the cloud forest take on mining giants in Ecuador.
For decades, the Intag cloud forest has been a target for copper-hungry mining corporations. But local women’s groups have dedicated themselves to fighting the mines and finding more Indigenous, sustainable ways to bring money to their towns.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455647146

Melting ice sheets are releasing pollutants in our water — bacteria could take some of that out of play.
Windborne microbes shifting in the snows of the great ice sheet of Greenland may be able to neutralize some of the industrial contaminants oozing out of the melting ice
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2460133000468997535

Deforestation soars in Colombia after Farc rebels’ demobilization.
Colombia has seen an alarming surge in deforestation after the leftwing rebels relinquished control over vast areas of the country as a part of a historic peace deal.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2946413885455647136

The UN is slowly warming to the task of protecting World Heritage sites from climate change
Jon C. Day, James Cook University
Amid fears for the world’s coral reefs, the UN World Heritage Committee has issued its most wide-ranging statement so far on protecting heritage sites from climate. But the problem doesn’t end there.
http://theconversation.com/the-un-is-slowly-warming-to-the-task-of-protecting-world-heritage-sites-from-climate-change-80270

You don’t need a scientist to know what’s causing the sixth mass extinction.
Paul R Erlich
One should not need to be a scientist to know that human population growth and the accompanying increase in human consumption are the root cause of the sixth mass extinction we’re currently seeing.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/11/sixth-mass-extinction-habitats-destroy-population

See why Thoreau’s Walden still inspires.
Kennedy Warne National Geographic News
On his 200th birthday, a pond in Massachusetts, a creek in New Zealand, or a walk in a woods will do to remember the champion of wildness.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455647183