THURSDAY 18 JANUARY 2018

Could biodiversity destruction lead to a global tipping point?
We are destroying the world’s biodiversity. Yet debate has erupted over just what this means for the planet – and us.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2018/jan/16/biodiversity-extinction-tipping-point-planetary-boundary

Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what’s Earth’s ideal temperature. Scientists answer
In short, from a practical standpoint, as little additional warming as possible
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/17/scott-pruitt-insincerely-asked-whats-earths-ideal-temperature-scientists-answer

UK carbon targets likely to be missed without rapid action
The UK is in danger of missing legally-binding carbon-reduction targets in five years’ time even if all existing policies are delivered in full, government climate change advisers have warned.
https://www.ft.com/content/0e7939e8-fa9a-11e7-a492-2c9be7f3120a

Researchers explore psychological effects of climate change
Wildfires, extreme storms and major weather events can seem like a distant threat, but for those whose lives have been directly impacted by these events, the threat hits much closer to home.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uoa-rep011718.php

Future Climate Change Revealed by Current Climate Variations
Uncertainty surrounding the extent of future climate change could be dramatically reduced by studying year-on-year global temperature fluctuations, new research has …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180117131132.htm

Release of ancient methane due to changing climate kept in check by ocean waters
Ocean sediments are a massive storehouse for the potent greenhouse gas methane.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uor-roa011718.php

Blockchain: Secret weapon in the fight against climate change
Jeremy Deaton
While hackers wreak havoc on the climate, blockchain, the bleeding-edge technology behind Bitcoin, could help clean up the mess.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/blockchain-secret-weapon-in-the-fight-against-climate-change-70957/

Malcolm Turnbull urged to pressure Japan over whaling during security talks
Greens say Australia should not deepen security ties until whaling in Southern Ocean stops
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/18/malcolm-turnbull-urged-to-pressure-japan-over-whaling-during-security-talks

Power threat as heatwave to hit
The energy regulator has issued a warning about Friday’s expected heatwave, but is confident the electricity grid will be able to cope with its first real challenge of the summer.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/aemo-warns-about-impending-heatwave-to-hit-south-australia-victoria-nsw-20180116-h0ji5a

The five renewable energy predictions for 2018
Solar power, batteries and electric vehicles will be the big stories of 2018, as clean energy technology continues to grow rapidly.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/the-five-renewable-energy-predictions-for-2018-20180116-p4yyjz.html

Australian Philanthropists Urged to Conserve the Country’s Natural Wonders
The Nature Conservancy has called on Australian philanthropists to “step up” and give generously, after the charity received its single-largest philanthropic gift ever of US$165 million (A$210 million) from a couple in California.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/01/australian-philanthropists-urged-conserve-countrys-natural-wonders/

Qantas worst airline operating across Pacific for CO2 emissions, analysis reveals
Qantas emits more carbon dioxide per passenger-kilometre than any other airline operating across the Pacific, according to an analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation.
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/17/qantas-worst-airline-operating-across-pacific-for-co2-emissions-analysis-reveals

Australian wind, solar investment hits record high as NEG threatens to push it off a cliff
The race to meet Australia’s large-scale renewable energy target has helped drive record investment in 2017, says BNEF. But the RET’s fulfilment could also see investment go off a cliff, with only the Coalition’s proposed National Energy Guarantee to cushion the fall.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-wind-solar-investment-hits-record-high-as-neg-threatens-to-push-it-off-a-cliff-39836/

Push needed to speed up electric cars
Age editorial
Federal and state governments need to do more to get electric cars on our roads.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/push-needed-to-speed-up-electric-car-revolution-in-australia-20180117-h0jpli.html

Australia’s ‘deadliest natural hazard’: what’s your heatwave plan?
Andrew Gissing, Macquarie University and Lucinda Coates, Macquarie University
https://theconversation.com/australias-deadliest-natural-hazard-whats-your-heatwave-plan-90165

Australia’s record energy emissions, and still no plan to reduce them
Hugh Saddler
Only the wilfully ignorant or blind could pretend Australia will achieve its emissions target under the Paris Agreement with no more than a pro rata reduction in electricity
emissions.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-record-energy-emissions-still-no-plan-reduce-45412/

Duck season Victoria 2018: Shooters baffled by new times
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/duck-season-victoria-2018-shooters-baffled-by-new-times/news-story/3f70981f6b1aba7fd37d6da036846885

‘They wouldn’t build it in Toorak’: Toxic waste plant upsets Altona residents
A facility for contaminated waste, located just 950 metres from homes in Melbourne’s south-west, is expected to start operating as early as March despite protests from residents
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/they-wouldn-t-build-it-in-toorak-toxic-waste-plant-upsets-residents-20180117-p4yykt.html

Gas probe ‘identifies 13 fields’
The first report of a major study into Victoria’s gas resources has identified areas for potential gas storage.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/victorian-gas-probe-identifies-13-underground-fields/news-story/0664d99817c1be112505f17bb0cc52e8

NSW coal mine approved despite environmental concerns
A highly contentious underground coal mine on the New South Wales Central Coast has been given the go-ahead, despite an election “guarantee” against coal mining in the region.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-17/wallarah-mine-approved-central-coast-nsw/9337326

NSW cotton growers facing complete crop loss after alleged pesticide drift
5,000 hectares of cotton thought to be affected by off-target spray drift, says Bernie Bierhoff of Walgett Cotton Growers’ Association
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/18/nsw-cotton-growers-facing-complete-crop-loss-after-alleged-pesticide-drift

Queensland councils say they won’t own Adani airport despite paying $34m
Councils backtrack on previous statements and say they do not own the site or have any say in how facility is built
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/17/queensland-councils-say-they-wont-own-adani-airport-despite-paying-34m

Greens, anti Adani campaigner Ben Pennings plans to end coal usage
The activist behind the anti-Adani push wants more than to stop the megamine, he wants to up-end the financial system and bring an end to the age of consumerism.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/galilee-blockade-leader-ben-pennings-wants-massive-social-change/news-story/38a5bdd27ad82a0a59471eb457f9fd43

AgForce Queensland warns farmers before vegetation laws
Farmers are being urged to prepare for the reintroduction of harsh vegetation management laws by the State Government, which could make it illegal for them to clear parts of their land.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/farmers-urged-to-prepare-for-reintroduction-of-harsh-vegetation-management-laws/news-story/8d8b70b9375a84782c4684299452ce28

Peacock Bass found in Mackay’s Pioneer River
A highly predatory fish usually found in the Amazon in South America has been discovered in Mackays Pioneer River, with the potential to wipe out millions of barramundi and sooty grunter in a few short years
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/peacock-bass-found-in-mackays-pioneer-river/news-story/ad12e69343ee77e8424739d9ac9bc9fa

Australian tolls roads are making a massive profit for private companies
Jane Fynes-Clinton
http://www.couriermail.com.au/rendezview/tolls-on-our-roads-are-highway-robbery/news-story/c811f3ea14b7b0d71eaffc93f4fb2360

An extreme fire warning has been issued for Mt Lofty and the South East with temperatures expected to soar past 40C
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/the-pulse-sas-breaking-news-blog-an-extreme-fire-warning-has-been-issued-for-mt-lofty-and-the-south-east-with-temperatures-expected-to-soar-past-40c/news-story/d6c6b5f488beae835162014b123a5b56

Multiple bushfires in the Murraylands now under control
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/multiple-bushfires-break-out-in-the-murraylands/news-story/49c5b535b6ae2fe704cf6ed488b650c9

Big solar boom kicks off in SA with completion of 6MW Whyalla project
South Australia’s first completed utility-scale PV project officially opens next week, marking the start of a big solar construction boom in the state.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/big-solar-boom-kicks-off-in-sa-with-completion-of-6mw-whyalla-project-35491/

SA Water to install 6MW of solar PV in quest to cut power costs – to zero
SA water utility to install 6MW of rooftop PV in effort to cut annual electricity costs from around $55m to $0 by 2020.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/sa-water-to-install-6mw-of-solar-pv-in-quest-to-cut-power-costs-to-zero-12872/

State on high blaze alert
THE state’s second total fire ban this bushfire season has been declared in the face of high temperatures and dry conditions.
http://www.news.com.au/national/tasmania/state-on-high-alert-with-total-fire-ban/news-story/7c555cc43fb470b95b50912cdaea8304

Bushwhackers bust into Ben Lomond National Park honesty box
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/scales-of-justice/bushwhackers-bust-into-ben-lomond-national-park-honesty-box/news-story/92cb89018ac50b0fcc1a8d822af642cd

Scheduling conflict blamed for Dover woodchip meeting cancellation
The proponent of a $42m woodchip export facility in the Huon Valley has blamed a scheduling conflict for the decision not to attend a community meeting about the project.
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/scheduling-conflict-blamed-for-dover-woodchip-meeting-cancellation/news-story/35b9cbf19c10cb1ef7a46b0fbb308707

Fish shrink off WA reef without sharks
Fish who live on coral reefs where sharks have been overfished experience changes in body shape, University of Western Australia researchers have found.
http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/fish-shrink-off-wa-reef-without-sharks/news-story/d23e5f6d225f12d02c90de6e5c614231

Amount of land disturbed by WA miners in 2017 ‘larger than Hong Kong’
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/size-of-land-disturbed-by-wa-miners-in-2017-bigger-than-hong-kong-20180116-h0jbgu.html

‘One stop shop’ risks problems
Experts say clearing nearly 73,000ha of natural bush in the Kimberley could lead to more environmental problems.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/one-stop-shop-bush-clearing-risks-a-repeat-of-earlier-disasters/news-story/4dea936c76946485975a77ac075982e8

Plastic bags are the new tobacco
Plastic seems indispensible as well as indestructible. But there is a political tide moving against it.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/plastic-bags-are-the-new-tobacco-20180117-h0jqed

No one wants your used clothes anymore. This is why
http://www.theage.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/no-one-wants-your-used-clothes-anymore-as-fast-fashion-floods-the-bins-20180116-h0ji8c.html

African battery recycling plants poison communities with lead
Battery recycling plants in seven African countries pose a danger to the communities around them because of extensive lead contamination‚ a new study warns.
https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/sci-tech/2018-01-17-african-battery-recycling-plants-poison-communities-with-lead/

Roof gardens and recycling: Indian cities find ways to go green
Efforts to bolster Indian cities against climate change and make them greener must include citizens who are being hit hard by rising temperatures and frequent urban flooding, said officials.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180117093028-vcfh1/

Clean and green: A moss that removes lead from water
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have demonstrated that that moss can be a green alternative for decontaminating polluted water and soil.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/r-cag011618.php

Hazardous contamination found around lead battery recycling plants in 7 African countries
New study shows that recycling plants in 7 countries are significant sources of lead pollution
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/oi-hcf011118.php

In Colorado, a glimpse of renewable energy’s insanely cheap future
Even with storage, new renewables beat existing coal.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/1/16/16895594/colorado-renewable-energy-future

The terrifying secrets behind your favorite foods
The issues raised in the new Neflix documentary series “Rotten” are a concern — but only if you eat food, as one talking head puts it.
https://nypost.com/2018/01/16/the-terrifying-secrets-behind-your-favorite-foods/

What’s being done about overpopulation in Egypt?
Realizing the impact of human population planning on socio-economic development Egypt aims to raise awareness of family planning especially in rural areas.
https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/2/40295/What%E2%80%99s-being-done-about-overpopulation-in-Egypt

Great cities enable you to live longer
Dense, well-educated, immigrant-friendly cities boost longevity—especially for the low-income.
https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/01/great-cities-enable-you-to-live-longer/550463/

China no longer a dump
Rowan Callick
China is no longer happy to be the West’s garbage dump.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/rowan-callick/chinas-sick-of-handling-the-worlds-rubbish/news-story/df7548b365eb5e3a86c9d3db5c6517a8

Don’t let EPA and Monsanto hide the truth about Roundup
Nathan Donley
The company is pushing to kill a California regulation that will require cancer warnings on glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient.
http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article194490339.html

Our dogs and cats are spreading fleas around the world (and to us)
Nicholas Clark, The University of Queensland; Jan Slapeta,University of Sydney, and Konstans Wells, Griffith University
Everywhere humans go, we take our pets. Fleas are along for the ride, spreading everything from typhus to bubonic plague.
https://theconversation.com/our-dogs-and-cats-are-spreading-fleas-around-the-world-and-to-us-88069

It ain’t easy (or ethical) being green in Lancaster, California
Chris Woods
Lancaster, California, has set the benchmark for aggressive, business-focused, non-partisan emissions reduction. But not everyone is happy with the conservative Mayor’s questionable methods of achieving it.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/01/17/it-aint-easy-or-ethical-being-green-in-lancaster-california/

China has banned ivory, but has the African elephant poaching crisis actually been stemmed?
Twenty thousand African elephants per year are killed by a vicious scourge. But there are finally some good signs.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/conservation/china-has-banned-ivory-but-has-the-african-elephant-poaching-crisis-actually-been-stemmed/news-story/b086f6a0e61acfcc15abeed18f899136

Disaster just destroyed your special place. Now what?
When fires, floods and other major disruptions alter natural areas, our first instinct is to restore what’s lost. But moving forward may mean leaving some treasured things behind.
https://ensia.com/features/disasters/

Why Iceland is turning purple
Buoyed by climate change, an invasive plant is taking over the landscape of the island nation.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/why-iceland-is-turning-purple/

Study reveals forests have yet another climate-protection superpower
As big carbon storehouses, forests have the power to influence the climate. So much so that the protection and expansion of forests is a key part of the Paris Agreement, which seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stave off the worst effects of global warming.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/study-reveals-forests-have-yet-another-climate-protection-superpower/

Aid for oceans and fisheries in developing world drops by 30 percent
Sustainable fisheries make good sense for jobs, nutrition, and climate change resilience
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uobc-afo011718.php

Coping With Climate Stress in Antarctica
Some Antarctic fish living in the planet’s coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels the ocean.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180117121640.htm

No-Fishing Zones Help Endangered Penguins
Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116222517.htm

New research to help reduce number of algae blooms that form annually
Method determines which lands are better suited for agriculture, limiting nutrient pollution that causes toxic algae
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/byu-nrt011718.php

California sea lion population rebounded to new highs
Sea lion numbers reflect conditions in California Current through the decades
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/nfwc-csl011718.php