Thursday 14 December 2017

World Bank won’t back oil and gas projects after 2019
Two years after the historic Paris Agreement, world leaders and business officials gathered in France to find financial solutions in the fight against climate change. Among the major announcements of the day, the World Bank said it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019.
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/12/news/world-bank-wont-back-oil-and-gas-projects-after-2019

French President says the world is losing the battle against climate change
Emmanuel Macron delivered his bleak assessment two years after the Paris climate accord was signed, and took aim at Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US from the global pact.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/we-are-losing-the-battle-french-president-tells-climate-summit/9254862

EU announces €9bn in funding for climate action
EU funds will be focused on clean energy, and sustainable cities and agriculture, with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also pledging $300m towards climate adaptation
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/eu-announces-9bn-in-funding-for-climate-action

Sea-Level Rise Projections Made Hazy by Antarctic Instability
It may take until the 2060s to know how much the sea level will rise by the end of this century, according to a new Rutgers University–New Brunswick-led analysis. The study is the first to link global and local sea-level rise projections with simulations of two major mechanisms by which climate change can affect the vast Antarctic ice sheet.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53430

Melting of east Antarctic ice sheet could cripple major US cities
The world’s largest ice sheet may be less stable than previously thought, posing an even greater threat to Florida’s coastline.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/uosf-moe121317.php

North Sea Water and Recycled Metal Combined to Help Reduce Global Warming
Scientists have used sea water collected from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850 million tons of unwanted carbon dioxide in the …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171213095513.htm

Worries grow that climate change will quietly steal nutrients from major food crops
Studies show that rice, wheat and other staples could lose proteins and minerals, putting more people at risk of hunger worldwide.
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/nutrition-climate-change-top-science-stories-2017-yir

Big investors press major companies to step up climate action
More than 200 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management said on Tuesday they would step up pressure on the world’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to combat climate change.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-investors/big-investors-press-major-companies-to-step-up-climate-action-idUSKBN1E60PU

Global warming made Hurricane Harvey deadly rains three times more likely, research reveals
The unprecedented downpour and severe flooding was also 15% more intense due to climate change, which is making weather more violent around the world
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/13/global-warming-made-hurricane-harvey-deadly-rains-three-times-more-likely-research-shows

French president’s climate talent search nabs 18 foreign scientists
French President Emmanuel Macron’s effort to lure disgruntled foreign climate scientists to France—especially from the United States—has produced its first harvest.
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/12/french-president-s-climate-talent-search-nabs-18-foreign-scientists

Julio Friedmann lays down the case for carbon capture
Without carbon capture, there isn’t an economically feasible way to hit the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
https://qz.com/1137197/the-compelling-case-for-capturing-carbon-emissions-and-burying-them-underground/

Not just heat: even our spring frosts can bear the fingerprint of climate change
Pandora Hope, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Andrew King, University of Melbourne; Eun-Pa Lim, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and Michael Grose,CSIRO
https://theconversation.com/not-just-heat-even-our-spring-frosts-can-bear-the-fingerprint-of-climate-change-89029

The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate
John Abraham
As America is battered by climate-intensified weather disasters, Republican politicians are trying to slash climate research funding
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/dec/13/the-us-is-penny-wise-and-pound-foolish-on-the-climate

Southern California fires herald climate of fear
Ed Gannon
As you read this, savage bushfires are sweeping through southern California.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/ed-gannon-southern-california-fires-herald-climate-of-fear/news-story/39557d77f38ac68cfbc86a78e04d7f97

AGL says batteries are coming, but coal is uninvestable
AGL says no private investor would invest in new coal plant, but says battery storage is coming and will be a major game changer as costs fall – which is not far away.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/agl-says-batteries-coming-coal-uninvestable-94489/

Australia asked to join Trump pro-coal alliance
Trump official says US wants to form group of countries to promote “clean” coal, to offer an alternative path to nations who have a more positive political attitude to the fuel.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-asked-join-trump-pro-coal-alliance-13657/

Energy policy ignores basic economics
Ross Garnaut said the proposed National Energy Guarantee ignored an old lesson of economic policy theory.
http://www.afr.com/news/energy-policy-ignores-basic-economics-lesson-says-ross-garnaut-20171213-h03v6j

Shark nets create false sense of safety and should be phased out, inquiry finds
Upper house committee says nets damage other marine wildlife and recommends replacement of lethal drum lines
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/13/shark-nets-create-false-sense-of-safety-and-should-be-phased-out-inquiry-finds

Don Burke lobbied Barnaby Joyce over pesticides authority support
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5120191/don-burke-lobbied-barnaby-joyce-over-pesticides-authority-support/?cs=7

No new coal projects for NAB
National Australia Bank will not finance new thermal coal mine developments.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/financial-services/nab-to-stop-funding-new-coal-projects/news-story/e9467daefa6685bada1160d62e317c7d

Population growth: Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks proposes three mega-regions linked by very fast trains
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/population-growth-former-victorian-premier-steve-bracks-proposes-three-megaregions-linked-by-very-fast-trains/news-story/beeb6347d4f733b153ee92dfb5a7ab1a

Gas inquiry December 2017: interim report – December 2017
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
This is the second interim report of an inquiry into gas supply arrangements in Australia. It focuses on the operation of the East Coast Gas Market, where there are continuing immediate and longer-term concerns.
http://apo.org.au/node/123241

Here’s a killer idea
Fred Pawle
The great white protection racket of the past 20 years is set to continue, making beaches less safe for Australians.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/senate-inquiry-on-sharks-beach-safety-takes-second-place/news-story/1ef634b03a03241dbf33be15e6a89f95

‘Last year I gave the kids briquettes and everyone yelled at me!’ Christmas with Ian
First Dog on the Moon
Ian the Climate Denialist Potato surprises his loved ones with a festive report on climate emissions. Or would they rather get an inflatable Greg Hunt doll?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/13/last-year-i-gave-the-kids-briquettes-and-everyone-yelled-at-me-christmas-with-ian

Bushfire under control after threatening Victorian town of Balmoral
The Country Fire Authority downgrades an emergency warning for the town of Balmoral in Victoria’s west, which saw school students put into lock down.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/bushfire-threatening-victorian-town-of-balmoral-under-control/9256234

Heat brings Vic energy spike
Victorian energy use predicted to spike more than four times its usual daily demand as temperatures soar above 40 degrees
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/victoria-energy-use-to-spike-at-over-four-times-daily-demand/news-story/0f56a6bbd019d58fe4ab06caafac06e4

Another blaze at a Vic recycling plant
Firefighters worked into the night to contain a large blaze at a Melbourne recycling plant just weeks after a damning audit found the state’s dumps are ill-equipped to prevent fires.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/another-blaze-at-a-vic-recycling-plant/news-story/a2d2c099d7d6eddf8271123085b57612

Clearways plan pared back to save Hoddle St traders
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/hoddle-st-traders-saved-from-the-lash-after-24hour-bus-lane-plan-pared-back-20171212-h033ug.html

At last, a road improvement project we can understand, and live with
Age editorial
Short-term pain for long-term-gain: that’s the reasoning behind closing one of Melbourne’s most congested roads for eight straight days in January for traffic-flow improvements. It makes sense
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/at-last-a-road-improvement-project-we-can-understand-and-live-with-20171213-h040o5.html

The grim reality for Melbourne: Our much-loved city must change
Robert Doyle
http://domain.com.au/news/robert-doyle-safety-improvements-will-change-the-design-look-and-feel-of-melbourne-20171208-h017a6/

NSW moves to sack Blue Mountains council for ‘alarming’ asbestos breaches
The Blue Mountains City Council is issued with a formal notice of “intention to suspend” by the NSW Government following allegations of “alarming” asbestos safety breaches that have closed a local preschool.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/blue-mountains-council-on-notice-from-nsw-government/9254490

Vesey doubles down on Liddell
AGL’s Andy Vesey says plans to replace the Liddell coal power station deliver what Malcolm Turnbull called for.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/agls-liddell-alternative-the-way-to-go-andy-vesey/news-story/18158bb7c95ec6b2692d35b18f7cba50

Power prices reach withering heights
Rowan Dean
Don’t worry if youre sweltering in todays scorcher, but can’t afford to put on your aircon. Its a common enough problem
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/rowan-dean-power-prices-reach-withering-heights/news-story/e9402f4a6afa6ba3493307735c3578db

New data reveals where and when Canberra’s traffic is the worst
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/traffic-congestion-increasing-overall-canberra-travel-times-by-20-per-cent-report-20171212-h03knq.html

Grow, harvest, replant: Coral ‘gardening’ helping to restore Great Barrier Reef
A unique research project underway near Cairns to grow healthy coral for replanting on parts of the Great Barrier Reef affected by bleaching could soon get a helping hand from tourists.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-14/coral-gardening-on-the-great-barrier-reef/9254670

Coal: fleet of coal ships waiting off Queensland’s coast has now reached 70
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/the-great-queensland-coal-ship-carpark-at-dalrymple-bay-near-mackay/news-story/4873fc8f58fa1a303aac0aa06afc4c05

Qld govt to look at scathing roads report
The Queensland government will have a “close look” at a scathing report that found the state-controlled road network was deteriorating and being underfunded.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/qld-govt-to-look-at-scathing-roads-report/news-story/a847305840f1750832bca78b3407a63c

All policies are on the table, including support for Adani: LNP leader
The LNP’s new leader has vowed to review more than 100 of the party’s policies, with support for the Adani mine also “on the table”.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/all-policies-are-on-the-table-including-support-for-adani-lnp-leader-20171213-p4yxoj.html

Shark nets to stay as government rejects Senate call to phase them out
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/queensland-s-shark-nets-have-undoubtedly-saved-lives-20171213-p4yxnt.html

It’s official: 2016’s Great Barrier Reef bleaching was unlike anything that went before
Sophie Lewis,  Jennie Mallela Australian National University
https://theconversation.com/its-official-2016s-great-barrier-reef-bleaching-was-unlike-anything-that-went-before-88078

‘Are you ready to turn off?: Energy watchdog ready to pull trigger to prevent blackouts
Australia’s energy regulator today came close to triggering one of its emergency measures to prevent summer blackouts, contacted at least one South Australian company to tell it to be prepared to temporarily shut down.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/energy-regulator-trigger-to-shut-industry-prevent-blackouts/9255434

Power plant stoush could block $700m worth of SA public projects
Public projects worth $700 million, including the redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Gawler rail electrification, are effectively being held to ransom, the SA Government says, because of its refusal to reveal the cost of a power station.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/jobs-at-risk-over-power-plant-secrecy-stoush/9256556

Hand planning power back to councils, Local Government Association urges ahead of election
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/hand-planning-power-back-to-councils-local-government-association-urges-ahead-of-election/news-story/8dffe5d6d738187e38f6b79580d15b72

What is the Tesla big battery actually selling? It’s not just energy
Giles Parkinson
Tesla big battery is starting to play more in the energy markets, but it has also been active in the less visible “services” market. Smarter, quicker, cheaper and cleaner than gas.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/what-is-the-tesla-big-battery-actually-selling-its-not-just-energy-70252/

Cradle Mountain private investors ‘literally lining up’
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5120310/cradle-mountain-private-investors-literally-lining-up/?cs=95

NT should ‘get on with the job’ of lifting fracking moratorium, Canavan says
The Northern Territory needs an economic shot in the arm and that the hydraulic fracturing industry can provide it, Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/fracking-nt-should-get-on-with-job-lift-moratorium-matt-canavan/9253418

Northern Territory to decide about fracking ban only after inquiry’s final report
Draft report from hydraulic fracking inquiry has found the practice can be safe if risks are better mitigated
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/13/northern-territory-to-decide-about-fracking-ban-only-after-inquirys-final-report

Territorians split on whether NT should lift fracking moratorium after inquiry report released
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/territorians-split-on-whether-nt-should-lift-fracking-moratorium-after-inquiry-report-released/news-story/529fbf963f159fbab4c2862bbf7a02c0

Sacred sites prevent fracking
Underground Aboriginal sacred sites must be legally recognised and protected before gas companies can frack in the NT.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/subterranean-sacred-sites-added-to-gas-explorers-list-of-concerns/news-story/6ec37d66d0276f7d40f89ed297346484

Calls for NT water licence findings to be referred to new anti-corruption commission
The Northern Land Council wants greater transparency around the way in which water licences are allocated in the NT, and says a new review should be referred to the soon-to-be-operational NT ICAC.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/nt-water-licences-review-should-be-referred-to-new-icac-says-nlc/9254182

The Yolngu: Mining their own business
IN 1963 the Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land sent their bark petitions to the Federal Government, protesting the Commonwealth’s granting of mining rights to the North Australian Bauxite and Aluminium Company.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/the-yolngu-mining-their-own-business/news-story/911376e46ad49337e6a43c3b77d47975

Give fracking the green light
NT News editorial
This newspaper has deliberately allowed the fracking debate to evolve without taking an outright position.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/opinion/give-fracking-the-green-light/news-story/0990386a3cfa54a8909396132ec1f54d

Woodside gas platform installs first battery micro-grid – to burn less gas
Woodside gas platform installs a 1MWh battery so it can use less gas in its generators.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/woodside-gas-platform-installs-first-battery-micro-grid-burn-less-gas-54042/

More than 1600 mining jobs up for grabs in WA as industry shows signs of improvement
https://thewest.com.au/business/mining/more-than-1600-mining-jobs-up-for-grabs-in-wa-as-industry-shows-signs-of-improvement-ng-b88690491z

Think twice before dumping your old Christmas decorations
Did you know that your Christmas waste will be around well after the holiday cheer wears off?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/think-twice-about-dumping-christmas-trees-decorations/9249428

Increased air pollution linked to bad teenage behavior
A new study linking higher levels of air pollution to increased teenage delinquency is a reminder of the importance of clean air and the need for more foliage in urban spaces, a Keck School of Medicine of USC researcher said.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/uosc-iap120717.php

Low to no carbon energy mix is feasible by 2050
Energy systems producing a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions of today’s grid are feasible and affordable.
http://www.afr.com/news/low-to-no-carbon-energy-mix-feasible-by-2050-monash-unis-roger-dargaville-20171213-h040id

World e-waste rises 8 percent by weight in 2 years as incomes rise, prices fall: UN-backed report
E-waste per capita rises 5
Microbes help turn Greek yogurt waste into fuelpercent from 2014 to 2016; just 20 percent is recycled; contained $55 billion worth of gold, silver, copper, other high value materials; biggest e-waste categories: Small and large appliances, heating/cooling equipment
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/tca-wer120817.php

Cocktail Effects of Pesticides and Environmental Chemicals
Researchers have addressed an international environmental problem by developing a model that can predict how certain chemicals amplify the effects of pesticides and other chemical compounds. …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171213104938.htm

Microbes help turn Greek yogurt waste into fuel
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/cp-mht120717.php

Laser-Boron Fusion Now ‘Leading Contender’ for Energy
Scientists argue that the path to hydrogen-boron fusion is now viable, and may be closer to realization than other approaches, such as the deuterium-tritium fusion approach currently being …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171213104941.htm

Renewable interconnectors to “span the globe,” as costs fall, technology improves
ANU’s Andrew Blakers says the distribution of solar and wind energy from one side of a continent to the other, and even between continents, is now “eminently feasible”.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/renewable-interconnectors-to-span-the-globe-as-costs-fall-technology-improves-53844/

World Bank won’t back oil and gas projects after 2019
Two years after the historic Paris Agreement, world leaders and business officials gathered in France to find financial solutions in the fight against climate change. Among the major announcements of the day, the World Bank said it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019.
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/12/news/world-bank-wont-back-oil-and-gas-projects-after-2019

How much food do we waste? Probably more than you think
Globally, we throw out about a third of all food. That matters a lot in the fight against hunger, but reducing waste could also help cut greenhouse gas emissions.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/climate/food-waste-emissions.html

Waste not, want not: Drink beer to feed fish and help save the planet
Industry trailblazers are trying to reduce the energy and resource costs of aquaculture. Possible solutions include using brewery waste, algae, insects or even carbon dioxide to feed the fish we eat.
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/12/12/569399249/waste-not-want-not-drink-beer-to-feed-fish-and-help-save-the-planet

World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s government over a deep seabed mining project. …
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/22429-world-first-mining-case-launched-in-png

The most overlooked environmental crisis of 2017
Emily Atkin
Apocalyptic weather dominated the headlines, but meat production also caused severe destruction in 2017.
https://newrepublic.com/article/146195/overlooked-environmental-crisis-2017

Who are urban green initiatives really helping?
Manny Patole
These four strategies can help cities foster environmentally friendly urban renewal while avoiding gentrification.
https://ensia.com/voices/urban-greening/

Why we’re behind on saving the world
Rick Paulas
The United Nations’ sustainable development goals have two critical problems: they contradict one another, and they focus on economic growth.
https://psmag.com/economics/why-we-are-behind-on-saving-the-world

Why you shouldn’t obsess about “overpopulation”
Lyman Stone
We can’t solve our climate-change problems by having fewer babies.
https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/12/12/16766872/overpopulation-exaggerated-concern-climate-change

Engineers, philosophers and sociologists release ethical design guidelines for future technology
Rafael A Calvo, University of Sydney and Dorian Peters, University of Sydney
A report released today by the world’s largest technical professional organisation is designed to help humanity avoid a robot apocalypse.
https://theconversation.com/engineers-philosophers-and-sociologists-release-ethical-design-guidelines-for-future-technology-88696

Study finds links between deforestation and fisheries yields in the Amazon
New research explores links between deforestation and fisheries yields in the Amazon
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/vt-sfl120617.php

Fish and Ships: Vessel Traffic Reduces Communication Ranges for Atlantic Cod, Haddock
Scientists studying sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites in the Gulf of Maine have found that vessel traffic noise is reducing …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171213095604.htm

Court upholds uranium mining ban around Grand Canyon but allows nearby mine
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Tuesday upheld a 20-year ban on uranium mining around Grand Canyon National Park but ruled in a separate case that a uranium company could open a mine nearby.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/12/12/federal-appeals-court-upholds-obama-era-uranium-mining-ban-around-grand-canyon-tuesday-but-allows-nearby-mine-to-open/?utm_term=.10ff8b43e3c1

English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal
Neonicotinoids, banned on flowering crops, were found in nearly all rivers tested, increasing concerns over their impact on fish and birds.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/13/english-rivers-polluted-by-powerful-insecticides-first-tests-reveal

Uganda: Agricultural enterprises are killing Lake Victoria
Agricultural effluent and untreated wastewater being discharged into Lake Victoria are major contributors to the destruction of its fragile
http://allafrica.com/stories/201712130031.html