THURSDAY 19 APRIL 2018

ZERO IMPACT MAN
…..
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday 19 April 2018
St Kilda Town Hall Council Chambers
99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 3182
…..
Click HERE to find out more and register for this free event.

Republicans more persuasive than scientists on climate change
Regardless of political affiliation, people are more likely to believe facts about climate change when they come from Republicans speaking against what has become a partisan interest in this country, says a new University of Connecticut study.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uoc-rmp041818.php

Warming climate to nearly double demand for cooling appliances
Researchers predict energy use for air conditioners and refrigeration to jump 90% on 2017 levels
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/17/demand-for-cooling-predicted-to-outstrip-heating-as-earth-warms

Cropping, population boost carbon sinks
Research into the effect of wildfires on global warming has delivered a “good news/bad news/good news” result.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/climate/cropping-population-boost-carbon-sinks

Scientists reveal trends in carbon storage and sequestration across Chinese ecosystems
Led by Professor FANG Jingyun from the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with collaborators, the ecosystem carbon sequestration project team was set up, the team aims to quantify the magnitude and distribution of ecosystem carbon pools and sequestration in China’s terrestrial ecosystems.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/caos-srt041718.php

Glacier loss is accelerating because of global warming
John Abraham
As climate scientists predicted, glaciers are vanishing due to rapidly warming temperatures.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/apr/18/glacier-loss-is-accelerating-because-of-global-warming

To lead on climate, countries must commit to zero emissions
Isabella Lövin
The UK’s climate laws forged a path for others to follow. But as progressive nations commit to zero emissions, it must reclaim its leading role
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/17/to-lead-on-climate-countries-must-commit-to-zero-emissions

Please explain: CHOGM to focus on Turnbull’s weak emissions policy
Malcolm Turnbull’s weak climate policy is not going unnoticed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/please-explain-chogm-focus-turnbulls-weak-emissions-policy-29387/

High-fat diet may help wombats survive devastating mange
While most people are trying to avoid a high-fat diet, it might just be the key to helping wombats fighting the battle against mange.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/high-fat-diet-may-help-wombats-beat-mange/9668346

Labor states ‘won’t compromise’ on renewable targets as energy fight looms
Victoria’s energy minister warns Canberra ‘we’ve got thresholds’ ahead of meeting on proposed national energy guarantee
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/19/labor-states-wont-compromise-on-renewable-targets-as-energy-fight-looms

States urged to back NEG [PAYWALL]
The clean energy industry has urged states and territories to back the federal government’s signature power policy.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/clean-energy-council-urges-states-to-back-turnbulls-neg/news-story/2997c1e2748523040e5bc6cec7132ecb

States set to sign off on National Energy Guarantee [PAYWALL]
State Labor governments are expected to fall in line behind supporting for the NEG, but are keen to ensure a future Labor government can increase carbon emission reduction targets.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/turnbull-governments-national-energy-guarantee-looks-set-to-win-support-of-states-20180418-h0ywwl

The great Australian garbage map: 75% of beach rubbish made of plastic
Data compiled from rubbish collected by volunteers aims to encourage industry to control plastic pollution at the source
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2018/apr/18/the-great-australian-garbage-map-75-of-beach-rubbish-made-of-plastic

Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Senate not given information they need to make fateful decision
THE fate of the Murray rests on an imminent vote on hundreds of gigalitres of water – but the Senate has been given information “not representative” of the actual situation.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/murraydarling-basin-plan-senate-not-given-information-they-need-to-make-fateful-decision/news-story/f7bc5df4d2a92cd8a2a2c77b1f2cc248

The shipping sector is finally on board in the fight against climate change
Beatriz Garcia, Western Sydney University and Jolene Lin, National University of Singapore
Until now, the international shipping industry has been excluded from the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol, despite its major contribution to global emissions.
https://theconversation.com/the-shipping-sector-is-finally-on-board-in-the-fight-against-climate-change-95212

States can’t go it alone on energy
Andrew Dillon
Some are saying the electricity market is broken – but a Brexit-style approach in which states disconnect certainly won’t work.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/states-can-t-go-it-alone-on-energy-20180417-p4za2x.html

Australia’s slow march towards a National Energy Guarantee is gathering pace
David Blowers, Grattan Institute
State energy ministers meet this week to discuss the National Energy Guarantee. While the policy has been criticised as too modest, it would put us light years ahead of the previous climate policy paralysis.
https://theconversation.com/australias-slow-march-towards-a-national-energy-guarantee-is-gathering-pace-95133

Coalition renewables naysayers were wrong. So, so wrong
Tristan Edis
The Coalition has been an inexhaustible source of confident declarations that renewable energy faced serious, immediate limitations in scale and cost. Let’s fact-check that.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/coalition-renewables-naysayers-were-wrong-so-so-wrong-28390/

We need to stop spending billions on things we don’t really need
Peter Martin
Someone’s got to say it. We’re spending too much on infrastructure: on roads, railways, and bridges, and the NBN.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/we-need-to-stop-spending-billions-on-things-we-don-t-really-need-20180418-p4za8x.html

NEG still a work in progress [PAYWALL]
Australian editorial
The national energy guarantee warrants development.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/states-have-a-responsibility-to-help-solve-power-mess/news-story/5726b07d6c454165f726af284c190c32

End the power struggle [PAYWALL]
James Pearson
All eyes in the business community will be on Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and his state counterparts tomorrow.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/energy-ministers-must-end-the-power-struggle/news-story/829039428b13108a1f0ba87bf3f3821d

The energy solution we can all agree on [PAYWALL]
Kellie Caught
The debate over energy prices is hopelessly bogged down in ideology and political turf wars. But there is a solution with wide support we can implement right now
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/the-energy-solution-we-can-all-agree-on/news-story/959cac844d37f37ecd2c3a40a97e155a

We can all agree this is a bad law [PAYWALL]
Paul Syvret.
The Greens, GetUp and right-wing lobby group the Institute of Public Affairs united? The Turnbull government has achieved the impossible with its foreign donations
http://www.couriermail.com.au/rendezview/we-can-all-agree-this-is-a-bad-law/news-story/34ab2e199046a3c9a0329359e5522098

Drop Melbourne transport fares to ease congestion [PAYWALL]
Infrastructure Victoria says the Victorian government should change the way it charges people to use public transport.
http://www.afr.com/business/drop-offpeak-melbourne-fares-to-ease-congestion-says-infrastructure-victoria-20180418-h0yxqj

Anyone fancy an extra five hours of peak-hour traffic?
Melbourne drivers could spend 20 per cent more time sitting in traffic unless low-cost solutions were delivered, an expert has warned.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/fancy-five-more-hours-of-peak-hour-that-s-where-melbourne-is-heading-expert-warns-20180418-p4zaa0.html

Plan to expand Melbourne’s congestion levy [PAYWALL]
Motorists in select Melbourne suburbs would be slugged an extra $20 a week to park under plans to tackle the city’s growing traffic jams.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/infrastructure-victoria-report-recommends-expanding-congestion-levy-to-innereastern-suburbs/news-story/0c81cac68f8794d1e3a4ebf0311a462b

Victoria stuck with 1990s solution on logging [PAYWALL]
Janet Rice
Regional Forest Agreements have failed and must be axed.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/regional-forest-agreements-victoria-stuck-with-1990s-solution/news-story/6636ccc4268b14ea7119b98ae1730438

Labor targets Barwon for 2019 NSW election, with Greens’ help
The Labor Party targets the tightly held NSW National Party state seat of Barwon, saying water policy might help it win the seat at the 2019 NSW election.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/labor-greens-team-up-target-barwon-nsw-election/9668402

Menai bushfire reveals problem we must confront
Jim Casey
I spent Sunday fighting a big fire right up against the edge of our biggest city. But the real point of the story is that it happened in mid April. We don’t plan for major fires halfway through autumn.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/menai-bushfire-reveals-problem-we-must-confront-20180418-p4zabg.html

Replace Liddell to save our energy
Ron Boswell
Generating unsubsidised, low-cost and reliable energy is just a contract away.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/liddell-must-be-replaced-to-avoid-electricity-price-surge/news-story/e8c894ebdf32ea113265d9a76c985e55

ACT government announces preferred stage two light rail route
The ACT government says its preferred route for stage two of the territory’s light rail network will travel to Woden through Parkes and Barton.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-announces-preferred-stage-two-light-rail-route-20180418-p4zaca.html

‘Tip of the iceberg’: Third exotic snake caught in two months in Canberra
The third exotic snake caught in the past two months could be just “the tip of the iceberg” for Canberra’s illegal reptile trade, according to an invasive species expert.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tip-of-the-iceberg-third-exotic-snake-caught-in-two-months-in-canberra-20180417-p4za1q.html

Record ACT breeding season for threatened little eagles
A record number of little eagle chicks have been reared in the ACT this breeding season, prompting the territory’s conservator of flora and fauna to say the threatened species is “doing better than we feared”.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/record-act-breeding-season-for-threatened-little-eagles-20180417-p4za7p.html

Marine heatwave so bad it ‘cooked’ parts of Great Barrier Reef
An underwater heatwave that bleached massive sections of the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 was so severe it immediately “cooked” some corals in the northern region, scientists say following the results of a major long-term study.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-19/marine-heatwave-so-bad-it-cooked-parts-of-great-barrier-reef/9667518

Damage to Reef may be forever [PAYWALL]
A new scientific study has suggested the Great Barrier Reef may never recover from severe coral bleaching that occurred two years ago. But another researcher has downplayed the study’s findings.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/link-between-great-barrier-reef-bleaching-and-global-warming-has-no-scientific-basis-researcher/news-story/210a964edaaf8364d6292a592db1a84b

Fraser Island gets its first Indigenous rangers
Fraser Island will have Indigenous rangers for the first time, with State Government announcing it will pay the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation to staff the positions.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/fraser-island-gets-its-first-indigenous-rangers/9671812

Queensland city scraps kerbside recycling as China ban bites
The Ipswich City Council says China’s import ban on recycling and the rising level of contaminated rubbish in yellow bins means it’s too costly to recycle properly, so all its recycling will go straight to landfill.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/ipswich-recycling-all-being-dumped-in-landfill/9672064

Other councils will follow Ipswich’s lead on dumping recycling: LGAQ
China’s decision not to take Australian recycling could cost Queensland councils $40-50 million extra per year
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/other-councils-will-follow-ipswich-s-lead-on-dumping-recycling-lgaq-20180418-p4zads.html

How ‘short-term politics’ is putting the brakes on Brisbane’s public transport
The two public transport projects are designed to work together, unlike the federal and Queensland governments
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/19/how-short-term-politics-is-putting-the-brakes-on-brisbanes-public-transport

Power staff cuts break poll vow [PAYWALL]
Queensland’s state-owned power companies are quietly slashing workers, in an apparent contradiction of a Labor promise.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/queenslands-stateowned-power-firms-quietly-cutting-staff/news-story/8b8ecc5a4bf7141756c64ac32dfe2a7f

How the 2016 bleaching altered the shape of the northern Great Barrier Reef
Selina Ward, The University of Queensland
In 2016 the Great Barrier Reef suffered unprecedented mass coral bleaching – part of a global bleaching event that dwarfed its predecessors in 1998 and 2002. This was followed by another mass bleaching the following year.
https://theconversation.com/how-the-2016-bleaching-altered-the-shape-of-the-northern-great-barrier-reef-95142

Great Australian Bight deserves world heritage protection – Greens
Party announces it will campaign for application to be made to Unesco in bid to stop drilling
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/great-australian-bight-deserves-world-heritage-protection-greens

Silicon battery firm 1414 Degrees ups IPO to $40m-$50m
Silicon battery developer 1414 Degrees has increased its capital raising target to as much as $50 million after investors said they wanted to chip in enough to help “change the landscape of the way people think about energy”.
http://www.afr.com/news/silicon-battery-firm-1414-degrees-ups-ipo-to-40m50m-20180418-h0yxm1#ixzz5D3nvztYS

Super sponge to soak up oil spill damage
A Flinders University invention soaks up crude oil and diesel spills using an absorbent polymer made from waste cooking oil and sulphur, itself a byproduct of the petroleum industry.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/flinders-universitys-super-sponge-soaks-up-oil-diesel-spills/news-story/3bb7354419c21f0df06027195d67724a

Chris Uhlmann’s windy “truthiness” adds to policy fog
Simon Holmes à Court
Chris Uhlmann’s tweet is just the latest in a long series of biased reporting on South Australia’s energy transition.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/chris-uhlmanns-windy-truthiness-adds-to-policy-fog-78618/

Burning questions: Ancient Aboriginal fire techniques helping farmers, scientists
A Midlands farmer and the Aboriginal community in Tasmania join forces with scientists to understand the impact of fire on the landscape.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/aboriginal-fire-techniques-shedding-light-on-tasmanian-biodive/9673118

Big burn-off targets gateway to East Coast [PAYWALL]
One of the largest fires to be conducted under the Tasmania Fire Service’s fuel-reduction program is due to be lit on the East Coast today.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/fuelreduction-burn-set-to-span-1600ha-to-be-lit-by-tasmania-fire-service-at-orford-on-east-coast/news-story/d18883402210b97de071118206c06beb

It’s an assault on the wilderness [PAYWALL]
Bob Brown warns of a rapacious fire sale of Tasmania’s most precious, rare places
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-its-an-assault-on-the-wilderness/news-story/6b5a527e84c5bbb4ce09b8bde8e5aac2

Infrastructure funding goalposts changed to ‘get things moving’ in north
The Federal Government loosens the strings attached to its multibillion loans facility for northern Australia, scrapping a requirement for half the cost of projects to be funded privately.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-04-18/naif-changes-should-see-federal-funds-flow-northern-australia/9672458

Hundreds protest against NT decision to lift fracking moratorium
The Northern Territory Government faces a backlash from protesters over its decision to lift a moratorium on fracking, with about 250 people gathering outside the Northern Territory Parliament yelling “shame, Gunner, shame”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/hundreds-protest-gunner-government-lift-on-nt-fracking-ban/9671888

Pollies jostle over fracking [PAYWALL]
The Territory has helped the Federal Government by removing its ban on fracking and now it’s time the Commonwealth returned the favour
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/vowles-says-some-indigenous-territorians-used-as-pawns-in-antifracking-campaign/news-story/dcf0888ac93bfac6ec436f6d44476299

Absolutely putrid’: Fishermen hunt source of foul smell around Perth’s southern beaches
Locals living along the coast of Perth’s southern suburbs are attempting to uncover the cause behind a foul-smelling sludge that washed up on many of the area’s main beaches on Tuesday morning.
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/absolutely-putrid-fishermen-hunt-source-of-foul-smell-around-perth-s-southern-beaches-20180418-p4zadu.html

Perth suburbs set to trial clear bins in the ‘Face Your Waste’ campaign
Suburbs around Perth are set to trial transparent bins in a push to spark conversations between neighbours about what we’re binning.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/perth-suburbs-set-to-trial-clear-bins-in-the-face-your-waste-campaign-ng-b88810420z

Scarborough a fair play [PAYWALL]
Woodside Petroleum says potential customers are interested in sourcing liquefied natural gas from Scarborough.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/scarborough-project-a-fair-play-for-woodside/news-story/37e46c31493ece7b821c4a7355ec3a51

More than 95 per cent of world’s population breathe polluted, dangerous air, study says
A factor that contributed to an estimated six million deaths worldwide in 2016 is now present to more than 95 per cent of the Earth’s population.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/more-than-95-per-cent-of-worlds-population-breathe-polluted-dangerous-air-study-says/news-story/9a746f6ce4f982cba433703a06292d71

‘Game changer’: Discovery on tiny island could alter global economy
A small island in the Pacific Ocean is the site of a discovery described as a “game changer” for the global economy.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/game-changer-discovery-on-tiny-island-could-alter-global-economy/news-story/021697a05680d6d3b14dd3137cd709fa

The city built around a mine
With mining activity set to expand around Cerro de Pasco, the city’s residents continue to struggle with the effects of historic pollution.
http://www.pulitzercenter.org/reporting/city-built-around-mine

New oil spill clean-up ‘sponge’ created from waste
A polymer created from cooking oil and sulphur may be used to mop up oil floating on the ocean.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-19/oil-spill-cleanup-research-waste/9223338

Top scientist leaves Iran after crackdown on environmentalists
Kaveh Madani had been seen as symbol of Rouhani government’s attempt to reverse brain drain
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/kaveh-madani-scientist-leaves-iran-after-crackdown-environmentalists

UTA expands efforts to develop water recycling technologies
The Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation at the University of Texas at Arlington has expanded its partnership with oil field equipment supplier Challenger Water Solutions to develop water recycling technologies that will transform waste from unconventional oil and gas development into reusable water.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uota-uee041818.php

Zombie GMO myths
Some widespread notions about GMOs — especially that they are “needed to feed a growing world” — are wrong and simply refuse to die.
https://globalecoguy.org/zombie-gmo-myths-a59123a403f2

Self-destructive microbe species can commit “ecological suicide”
High-density populations of certain microbes make their environments unliveably toxic and wipe themselves out.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/self-destructive-microbe-species-can-commit-ecological-suicide

Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day – equal to a pound per person
Research shows people with healthy diets rich in fruit and vegetables are the most wasteful and calls for better education for consumers
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/americans-waste-food-fruit-vegetables-study

Earth Day 2018: Here are 6 California bills that aim to reduce plastic litter and pollution
The theme of Earth Day is “End Plastic Pollution,” but California legislators are already on the case.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/04/17/earth-day-2018-here-are-6-california-bills-that-aim-to-reduce-plastic-litter-and-pollution-3/

Growing cities: Human jungle
Two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, and cities are having to grow rapidly to cope with this influx. But who are these people, and just what do they want from city planners and builders?
https://www.newcivilengineer.com/world-view/growing-cities-human-jungle/10030218.article

Nuclear energy caucus hearing: the US government is not going to act in time to save nuclear power plants
The operators of Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants told the bipartisan House-Senate Nuclear Energy Caucus Tuesday the federal government will likely not act in time to prevent the closure of up to one quarter of the nuclear power plants in the state.
http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2018/04/nuclear-energy-caucus-hearing-federal.html

Balkan dam projects could result in loss of one in 10 European fish species
Plans for a network of hydropower plants in three countries would cause ‘chain reaction’ for endangered species, report warns
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/balkan-dam-projects-could-result-in-loss-of-one-in-10-european-fish-species

Iceland sets target of 191 kills as country resumes whaling
Authorities grant whalers a quota to hunt the endangered fin whale this summer after a two-year pause
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/iceland-sets-target-of-191-kills-as-country-resumes-whaling

Is the ‘Saudi Arabia of water’ wasting its most valuable resource?
The Guarani aquifer is the second-largest body of subterranean freshwater on the planet — but drought, heightened usage and privatization rumors are underscoring the need to protect it.
http://www.dw.com/en/is-the-saudi-arabia-of-water-wasting-its-most-valuable-resource/a-43415813

Deep-sea mining possibly as damaging as land mining, lawyers say
Environmental and legal groups warn of potential huge effects on Indigenous people and the environment.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/deep-sea-mining-possibly-as-damaging-as-land-mining-lawyers-say

Destroying the world’s natural heritage: ‘Komodo is reaching a tipping point’
The Indonesian national park boasts some of the world’s best dive sites and spectacular marine life, but illegal fishing and unsustainable tourism is threatening its Unesco status
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/destroying-the-worlds-natural-heritage-komodo-is-reaching-a-tipping-point