Thursday 14 September 2017

The heartbreaking koala extinction crisis and callous government inaction
Sue Arnold
New report reveals systemic destruction of koala habitats in Queensland and says 34 million native animals are lost each year.
https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-heartbreaking-koala-extinction-crisis-and-callous-government-inaction,10712

Tone down climate change in suit against Exxon.
A federal judge said he wanted to avoid having “the Scopes Monkey Trial of the 21st Century,” and ordered an environmental organization to remove claims based on climate change in its lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212631080

Is the Earth warming? The ocean gives you the answer
Previously, the global mean surface temperature has been widely used as a key metric of global warming. However, a new study published in AGU’s Eos proposed a better way of measuring global warming: monitoring ocean heat content change and sea level rise.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/ioap-ite091217.php

The climate-health connection.
Video
Marine biologist Amalia Almada explains how a new field called “planetary health” is combining the knowledge of public health experts and environmental scientists to untangle the complex web of dependency between earth and its inhabitants.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4057999804430504372

How Antarctic ice melt can be a tipping point for the whole planet’s climate
Chris Turney et al
Melting of Antarctica’s ice can trigger rapid warming on the other side of the planet, according to our new research which details how just such an abrupt climate event happened 30,000 years ago, in which the North Atlantic region warmed dramatically.
https://theconversation.com/how-antarctic-ice-melt-can-be-a-tipping-point-for-the-whole-planets-climate-83776

Climate change denial cruel insult to storm victims.
Eugene Robinson Washington Post
When, if not now, is the time to talk about global warming and what to do about it?
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212631571

‘Get out of the way’ of providing stable electricity: former CEFC head to Government
The Federal Government needs to “get out of the way” of efforts to provide reliable and stable electricity, the former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation warns.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/government-should-give-aemo-space-to-work-on-energy-issues/8940690

ARENA seeks ideas for renewable-based hydrogen exports
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency says it is seeking ideas to help it explore Australia’s potential to export renewable energy in forms such as hydrogen – a goal that has attracted the interest of japanese trading giants and leading players such as economist Ross Garrnaut and ex CEFC boss Oliver Yates.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/arena-seeks-ideas-for-renewable-based-hydrogen-exports-30029/

Claims Australia won’t meet Paris climate commitment if it keeps coal in the Clean Energy Target
Australia will not to meet its Paris emissions reduction targets if the Turnbull government includes coal-fired power in any watered down climate and energy policy, environment groups and the Greens are warning.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/claims-australia-wont-meet-paris-climate-commitment-if-it-keeps-coal-in-the-clean-energy-target-20170913-gygnqm.html

99% of farm businesses in Australia are Australian owned
More than 99 per cent of Australian farm businesses are fully Australian owned and 88 per cent of farmland is fully Australian owned, according to figures released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey.
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/F98DB4640388725FCA257905007C152A?OpenDocument

PM right to ditch CET, says coal boss
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/malcolm-turnbull-is-right-to-abandon-a-clean-energy-target-world-coal-boss-20170912-gyfmtp

Rod Sims contradicts Coalition MPs’ claims AGL is abusing market power
Head of ACCC shoots down talk AGL is breaching act, but says lack of energy competition is pushing up bills
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/13/competition-regulator-agl-not-abusing-market-power-by-refusing-to-sell-liddell

Vector eyes Australian battery, smart meter growth as defies ‘death spiral’
Kiwi energy distributor Vector is determined to defy the “death spiral” some have forecast for network owners, aggressively pursuing new technologies such as the “internet of energy”, batteries and smart meters.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/vector-eyes-australian-battery-smart-meter-growth-as-defies-death-spiral-20170912-gyg91d

New super tall low-wind turbine tipped for Australia
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/new-super-tall-lowwind-turbine-tipped-for-australia-20170913-gygev3.html

Power battlelines ahead of elections
ENERGY policy has been locked in as a key battleground for country MPs at a state and federal level.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/wind-farms-emerge-as-key-election-issue-at-state-and-federal-level/news-story/3c87a22270fbef7c859280a748cea4ef

PM’s energy plan ‘like 1960s Russia’
Richard Di Natale has slammed the government’s plan to keep Liddell Power Station open.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/australian-politics-live-energy-costs-samesex-marriage-and-media-reform-on-agenda/news-story/3849278fea1d32d45a5a8366406056ee

Labor attack figures botched
Labor’s attack on the government over power bills is based on a botched analysis by Energy Consumers Australia.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/frydenberg-claims-fake-figures-as-abs-shows-power-bills-go-up/news-story/ff08182decb874b9d8c09497a944aa36

Explainer: Why does Turnbull care if a power station closes down?
AGL wants to close the coal-fired station because it’s expensive and unreliable, but the Federal Government wants to keep it open to avoid power shortages. But why the focus on coal, and who would be footing the bill?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/liddell-coal-station-explained-what-do-agl-turnbull-want/8905308

Could Turnbull succeed where Abbott failed, and kill large scale wind and solar?
Giles Parkinson
Federal government has trampled over several key Finkel measures it supposedly has adopted. But as experts plead with Coalition to allow AEMO and Energy Security Board to get on with job, Turnbull may deliver Abbott’s wish, and kill new renewable projects.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/could-turnbull-succeed-where-abbott-failed-and-kill-large-scale-wind-and-solar-94142/

Turnbull faces a power play
Dennis Atkins
UP to 10 Coalition MPs could follow Tony Abbott and cross the floor in defiance of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s push for a renewable energy policy
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/party-games-malcolm-turnbull-faces-a-power-play-from-tony-abbott-over-energy-policy/news-story/6eaba17b5d592351189e2dac37633849

Could energy uncertainty be the gift that keeps on giving for Turnbull?
Bernard Keane
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/13/could-energy-uncertainty-be-a-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-for-turnbull/

How to fix Australia’s energy crisis: scrap the National Energy Market
John Quiggin
The objective of NEM’s replacement authority would be the provision of a stable, reliable and affordable supply of energy while managing a transition to a zero-carbon economy
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/13/how-to-fix-australias-energy-crisis-scrap-the-national-energy-market/

PM must do battle over electricity prices
Andrew Bolt
MALCOLM Turnbull can win the next election if he takes on Labor over power prices but he must be up for the fight
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-were-left-cold-by-prime-minister-malcolm-turnbulls-lack-of-fight/news-story/93be328732e8ffb3a432ad92bf9fccd4

The Coalition attacks environmental groups with advice straight from the mining lobby
Tim Flannery
The lobby’s recommendations for environmental charities would set a dangerous precedent and could hamper any community group the government deems to be in conflict with its worldview
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/13/the-government-attacks-environmental-groups-with-advice-straight-from-the-mining-lobby

Power problem: Trust neither the electricity generators nor the Prime Minister
Peter Martin
It won’t help to keep Liddell open, and we are being charged too much for power.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/electric-lies-trust-neither-the-generators-nor-the-prime-minister-20170913-gyg95o.html

The rise of the unreliables
David Uren
In the former Soviet Union, electricity-generating plants were built with the architectural grandeur of cathedrals.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/david-uren-economics/government-intervention-will-only-deepen-the-energy-crisis/news-story/bd7cc3a77c536f55d170fc3607b288bd

A tiny solution to urban sprawl
Clem Newton-Brown
Yes, it’s possible to accommodate more people in our suburbs without ruining the neighbourhood.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/tiny-houses-should-be-permitted-in-australian-suburbs/news-story/a868a64ff705089461df191b2788d203

PM Turnbull’s policy of subsidising of coal industry is noble but misguided
Telegraph editorial
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/pm-turnbulls-policy-of-subsidising-of-coal-industry-is-noble-but-misguided/news-story/2fd1deac7b12b36764de73201aa95e5c

Tunnel to deliver fewer trucks, less noise
THE State Government says it is listening to locals in the inner west after committing to reduce the number of trucks on Millers Rd when the West Gate Tunnel project is complete.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/fewer-trucks-to-use-millers-rd-under-west-gate-tunnel-plan/news-story/79c4231333514241a36441466800c116

Roo count to cost big bucks
VICTORIA will spend up to $200,000 counting its kangaroos.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/victorian-delwp-kangaroo-count-to-cost-big-bucks/news-story/de058102da91c4cf5217f926439a543b

‘Whenever I can I choose to walk to work’
When 32 year-old Lisa O’Brien moved to Melbourne from Sydney two years ago she was determined to live close to her work so should could walk instead of catching public transport.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/whenever-i-can-i-choose-to-walk-to-work-20170913-gyglu9.html

Is Daniel Andrews selling out public transport?
Alan Davies
Victoria’s Andrews Government has decided to continue with franchised management of Melbourne’s trains and trams rather than bring them back under direct government control
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/09/13/daniel-andrews-selling-out-public-transport/

‘Exceptionally aggressive’ mine threatening Sydney drinking water
Coal mining near Wollongong is resulting in major surface cracking and bulging, which puts Sydney’s drinking water catchments under threat, reports kept under wraps by the State Government reveal.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/dendrobium-coal-mine-putting-water-catchments-at-risk/8937612

Cage-free zoo set to open in Sydney’s west
Lions, elephants and marsupials will roam free at a new zoo in Blacktown, in Sydney’s west, with NSW Planning approval granted despite community concerns.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/cage-free-zoo-set-to-open-in-sydneys-west/8938496

Two buyers for coal power station: Joyce
Two buyers are ready to put up their hands for a 50-year-old coal-fired power station in NSW, says Barnaby Joyce
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/two-buyers-for-coal-power-station-joyce/news-story/8afaf846bf06092b9374fcecb73f58a3

ACCC slams AGL on Liddell
Competition chief Rod Sims has labelled AGL Energy’s ownership of the Liddell and Bayswater power plants in NSW “anti-competitive”.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/agl-energys-liddell-ownership-anticompetitive-sims-20170913-gygizj

Bushfires threaten properties as extreme heat lifts fire threat
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-weather-extreme-heat-lifts-fire-threat-puts-records-in-play-20170913-gygbeh.html

It’s Liddell or bust and at what cost?
Jennifer Hewett
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/australia-is-being-forcefed-a-lesson-in-energy-economics-101-20170913-gygnak

More coal doesn’t equal more peak power
Alan Pears
The proposed closure date for Liddell, AGL’s ancient and unreliable coal power station, is five years and probably two elections away. While AGL has asked for 90 days to come up with a plan to deliver equivalent power into the market, state and local governments, businesses and households will continue to drive the energy revolution.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-doesnt-equal-peak-power-76964/

Liddell coal plant fails on cost, as well as reliability and emissions
David Leitch
Here’s the uncomfortable truth for the federal government: Keeping Liddell open will possibly make electricity prices higher and electricity less reliable. The fuel cost alone is over $60 MWh and may increase.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/liddell-coal-plant-fails-cost-well-reliability-emissions-49429/

No, NSW isn’t about to lose its newest coal-fired plant
Peter Hannam
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/ignore-mt-pipers-tune-nsw-isnt-about-to-lose-its-newest-coalfired-plant-20170912-gyg98k.html

Why Canberra won’t be getting a new national park
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/why-canberra-wont-be-getting-a-new-national-park-20170913-gygcp0.html

LNP plan to beat ‘economic handbrake’
A MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR network of congestion-busting new roads for southeast Queensland will be investigated by the LNP.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/lnp-leader-tim-nicholls-to-look-at-alternative-routes-for-the-m1-to-brisbane-bruce-highway-centenary-highway-and-ipswich-motorway/news-story/5c2084f8ccf799d122d2fdf7d42256ea

Premier: Light rail answer to congestion
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to say if she believes a second M1 will be needed in the future to deal with congestion, instead offering a different solution to traffic hold-ups.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/premier-annastacia-palaszczuk-wont-say-if-a-second-m1-will-be-necessary-to-beat-future-congestion/news-story/8f1d3a2b6d0ac2caaf9dad35b7eeeeb3

Fears for homes as fires rage in Trinity
RESIDENTS  are fearing for their homes as fires are expected to continue burning through East Trinity until the end of the week.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/east-trinity-bush-fires-threaten-homes-as-blaze-continues/news-story/29e9fad970aca3ea1eafe295a86bb9be

All roads leading to confusion
Steven Wardill
Confused over whether motorists are getting a duplicate M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast? you should be.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/confusion-of-who-will-do-what-and-how-much-it-will-cost-is-likely-to-drive-voters-mad/news-story/9a1681071ebf9d458d91679a1c53d1bf

City putting koalas above progress
THE overwhelming majority of Gold Coast residents have stuck up for Australia’s beloved natives after excessive land clearing almost made koalas homeless.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/technology/gold-coast-residents-call-for-end-to-tree-clearing-as-council-koala-plan-on-right-track/news-story/54795fac5a224a3836193729ab6a0777

The heartbreaking koala extinction crisis and callous government inaction
Sue Arnold
New report reveals systemic destruction of koala habitats in Queensland and says 34 million native animals are lost each year.
https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-heartbreaking-koala-extinction-crisis-and-callous-government-inaction,10712

East-West city bikeway route approved
A BIKEWAY connecting the East and West of Adelaide’s CBD now has an approved route.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/city/eastwest-bikeway-route-given-approval-by-adelaide-city-council/news-story/ea3131d23ae7ecc5a4c35688e8d1ffd6

Long-lost bird found near Lake Eyre
A SIMPLE feather found in the lining of a bird’s nest near Lake Eyre has stunned the nation’s scientists and rewritten a part of our state’s history.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/technology/science/presumed-extinct-night-parrot-colony-uncovered-near-lake-eyre/news-story/9c2c54bde6033a3f6971c5673204d661

Frydenberg to publish reasons for Tassal fish farm approval
Court proceedings challenging the federal green light for Tassal’s Okehampton Bay fish farm are on hold while the applicants await the publishing of the Federal Environment Minister’s reasons for approving the project.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/okehampton-bay-court-action-delayed/8901634

‘Morally bankrupt’: Hampton tees off
TASWATER chairman Miles Hampton has teed off in response to accusations by Treasurer Peter Gutwein under parliamentary privilege.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/taswater-chairman-miles-hampton-hits-back-at-treasurer-peter-gutweins-malicious-allegations/news-story/74a0fe40f734357d6a4e3feb22e686e6

Rock lobster farming in Tasmania closer to commercial reality under new deal
They might not look that edible as juveniles but tiny translucent rock lobster larvae are set to be part of Tasmanian plans for the world’s first commercial rock lobster hatchery.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/plan-to-grow-first-farmed-rock-lobsters-in-tasmania/8903904

How a tiny Environmental Defender’s Office brought mining giant Glencore to heel
Bob Gosford
How much does the NT government holding in security bonds from mining companies? The companies don’t want you to know — but a tiny band of determined activists have brought the information to light.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/13/nt-government-releases-security-bond-amounts-for-mines/

Why plans to relieve traffic congestion on Perth’s freeway have been put on ice
Moves to widen two sections of Perth’s Mitchell Freeway are indefinitely shelved after WA budget cuts, prompting concerns over ongoing traffic congestion in the northern suburbs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/plans-to-widen-mitchell-freeway-scrapped-under-wa-budget-cuts/8940426

Protesters fight to save ‘old-growth forest’ marked for logging
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/protesters-fight-to-save-oldgrowth-forest-marked-for-logging-20170913-gygpi5.html

Wind output sets new records in Europe as prices fall to zero-subsidy levels
Wind energy has set new records in Europe, accounting for 20% of all demand, with wind, solar and hydro producing twice as much as coal and gas in afternoon.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-output-sets-new-records-in-europe-as-prices-fall-to-zero-subsidy-levels-76112/

Why China’s green ambitions will make it the next world leader
As the US under Donald Trump turns its back on climate change, China’s globalisation agenda could catalyse a green revolution that will make it a superpower
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531430-200-why-chinas-green-ambitions-will-make-it-the-next-world-leader/

Pollution fuelled layer over Asia that can create an ozone hole.
The atmospheric layer forms above India, China and the Middle East during the monsoon season and it believed to be intensifying because of pollution from India and China.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212631249

Hurricanes may be getting bigger, but death toll is shrinking.
The relatively low loss of life in both Texas and Florida underscores advances in prediction technology and citizen preparedness. But property destruction is growing, experts say, as the US places more people and more wealth in vulnerable areas.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430504376

Low-Level Radiation Less Harmful to Health Than Other Lifestyle Risks
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/52485

Flannels not fatbergs! The eco-friendly alternatives to wet wipes
A ‘monster’ blockage has been discovered in London sewers and wet wipes are a major contributor. But from makeup removal to household cleaning, what should we be using instead?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2017/sep/13/wet-wipes-flannels-not-fatbergs-eco-friendly

Developing countries punch back at mining giants
Once feared by governments, mining multinationals are now discovering that the growing hostility to neoliberalism has left them exposed.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/13/developing-countries-punch-back-at-mining-giants/

Analysis: UK auction reveals offshore wind cheaper than new gas
Simon Evans
Two offshore wind schemes won contracts at record-lows of £57.50 per megawatt hour (MWh). This puts them among the cheapest new sources of electricity generation in the UK, joining onshore wind and solar, with all three cheaper than new gas, according to government projections.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-output-sets-new-records-in-europe-as-prices-fall-to-zero-subsidy-levels-76112/

North Korea tests not just a bomb but the global nuclear monitoring system
Trevor Findlay
https://theconversation.com/north-korea-tests-not-just-a-bomb-but-the-global-nuclear-monitoring-system-83715

Health at a planetary scale
Howard Frumkin, Sam Myers
Why we should think bigger about public health — way bigger.
http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/planetary-health-challenges-000514

China fuels electric dream
Rowan Callick
Beijing wants be a world leader in new energy vehicles.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/rowan-callick/china-fuels-electric-dream/news-story/68c428d5e8a87d15a27f37deb303b70e

Can American soil be brought back to life?
A new idea: If we revive the tiny creatures that make dirt healthy, we can bring back the great American topsoil. But farming culture — and government — aren’t making it easy.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430504371

Scientists say damage to Florida’s coral reef has made the state more vulnerable to storm surges.
Coral reefs provide excellent coastline protection — when they’re healthy.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4057999804430504385

Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast.
As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks have entered big business supply chains.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212629020

Experts discuss role of urban forests as protector from climate change.
Seeking global partnerships to fight climate change, representatives from 17 countries gathered in Seoul on Wednesday to make city lives safe and sustainable by sharing ideas and policies on urban forests.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212631560

Latin America Could Lose Up to 90 Percent of its Coffee-Growing Land by 2050
Studies have previously estimated that the amount of land worldwide suitable for growing coffee could shrink by an estimated 50 percent by 2050 as global temperatures rise, rain patterns change, and ecosystems shift due to climate change
http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/52483

Indigenous peoples are dying in a global war for their lands.
Pamela Jacquelin-Andersen Climate Home
Indigenous peoples have demanded environmental justice way before climate change became a mainstream issue. Today we have a chance to lift up their declaration and take their land rights seriously to ensure we all have a land to stand on.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212631566

Standing too much at work can double your risk of heart disease
Peter Smith, University of Toronto
Annoyed you don’t have a sit-stand desk? Spare a thought for those workers who have to stand all day — a new study shows it can double the risk of heart disease.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/standing-too-much-at-work-can-double-your-risk-of-heart-disease/8940558