Thursday 20 July 2017

How Y2K offers a lesson for fighting climate change.
Some remember the computing scare as a bad joke. But the collective, worldwide effort to prevent it could be a model for handling global warming

Thawing permafrost poses even greater global warming threat than previously thought, suggests study.
As the world warms, methane trapped underneath the frozen tundra could be released, increasing the rate of warming in a vicious circle

We need to talk about the most effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
Sarah DeWeerdt
We need to be honest about not just the behavioral changes that will make the biggest difference in reducing emissions, but about what it will take to get there.

Inaction on climate change risks leaving future generations $530 trillion in debt.
James Dyke
By delaying significant carbon emission reductions we risk handing both an impossible financial and technological burden to future generations.

Base-cost renewables: When wind and solar finally kill coal
BNEF says building new solar plants will be cheaper than shovelling coal into existing coal generators within 15 years. This will trigger a complete re-make of the energy system, and a share of wind and solar far beyond that contemplated by the Finkel Review.

Australian coal, gas miners seek renewable energy projects
Australian oil, gas and coal mining body, NERA, issues call for cleantech, renewable energy partnerships, says timing is “spot on” for collaboration.

Business slowly wakes up to reality that renewables are cheap
ARENA report shows less than half Australian businesses have tapped renewables. But there’s no doubt the idea is starting to catch on.

Australia quietly makes first uranium shipment to India
Three years after signing a civilian nuclear supply treaty, the Federal Government confirms the first shipment of Australian uranium has left for India.

Do you live in a ’30-minute city’?
Malcolm Turnbull wanted jobs within half an hour of where anyone lives — now we know how many already qualify.

Women driving change to SUVs
SUVs, the modern-day descendants of 4WDs, have conquered our cities, and women have been pivotal in the change.

High energy costs spark steel chief’s bold ‘battery’ plan

‘Almost exponential’: Green bank eyes rapid renewables growth as doubts linger.
Investments by the government’s $10 billion clean energy fund are growing at an “almost exponential” rate but growth could shudder to a halt if the industry’s post-2020 policy is not settled, according to the agency’s new head, Ian Learmonth.

Use your power, Shorten told
Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has challenged Bill Shorten to help ease the national energy crisis.

Local leadership: tracking local government progress on climate change
Climate Council
In Australia, local councils and communities have long been at the forefront of climate action, continuing their efforts, despite periods of instability and inaction at the state and federal climate …

COAG: Can democracy weed out climate deniers?
David Shearman
Turnbull’s recent use of the word ‘delusional’ reminds us that climate denial is still alive and kicking in mainstream Australian politics.

In the absence of national leadership, cities are driving climate policy
Lesley Hughes, Macquarie University
A new report from the Climate Council details the climate policy ambitions of Australian cities and local governments, and launches a new project to link their efforts together.

Air pollution: a silent killer we must urgently act on
George Crisp and Graeme McLeay
It has become increasingly clear that diesel engines are more harmful as they produce far more fine particulate matter than their petrol counterparts.

Energy inaction a handbrake for all
Andy Vesey
BUSINESS doesn’t care who delivers policy certainty as long as someone does. Implementing a Clean Energy Target takes us a step closer to the certainty the energy market so urgently needs, the CEO of AGL says.

Prove we need West Gate CBD off-ramps: planning experts

This fire is a reminder Melbourne is not as classless as we think
Matt Holden

‘It’s totally illegal’: Koala habitat destroyed by logging
A koala habitat 50 per cent larger than the Royal National Park has been destroyed by logging near Coffs Harbour, a new conservation report reveals.

Environmental headache for Sydney’s new toll tunnels
A major dredging operation to construct tunnels under Sydney Harbour and Middle Harbour holds major environmental risks, according to New South Wales Government documents seen by the ABC.

Greens ban cancer meds, gender
Sharri Markson
THE scandal-prone Greens want to close the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, thereby cutting production of vital cancer medications. Also on the hit list is removing questions about gender from all documents.

Mt Majura Solar Farm will ‘save lives’, operators say

How Canberrans could save $800 on their energy bills

Bid to stop spread of red fire ants has failed, experts say
Government agencies have failed to contain the spread of the deadly red imported fire ant in Queensland and oversight should be handed to an independent body, according to feral pest experts.

First sighting of rare baby wombat
The first northern hairy-nosed wombat joey to be born in captivity in five years emerges from its mother’s pouch at a Queensland nature refuge, providing hope for the survival of the endangered species.

Rogue Brisbane tyre company ordered to clean up
A rogue tyre recycling operator, who has had two fires at his business in Brisbane’s south, is handed clean-up notices.

Bid to ‘socialise’ energy costs
Queensland’s Liberal National Party wants a radical change to federal energy policy.

Great Barrier Reef’s bleached coral up close

Fresh legal challenge looms over Adani mine risk to endangered finch
Australian Conservation Foundation asks environment and energy minister to revoke Carmichael mine approval

Cross River Rail clarity is vital
Courier Mail editorial
THE LNP Opposition has yet to commit to Cross River Rail. How it can reconcile its resistance with the fact it spent years in office pursuing the Bus and Train Tunnel has not yet been fleshed out.

ACCC to investigate Qld power prices

Gagging nuke debate will ‘lead to frisson’
A MOVE to prevent public funds being spent on the nuclear waste debate is unnecessary and offensive, groups say

Approval for Cradle Mountain revamp
CRADLE Mountain could become the ‘Mona of the state’s north’ after work on a $160 million upgrade was approved unanimously by the Kentish Council.

Additional funding for ‘Taj Mahal’ of waste transfer centres approved
It was a ‘bitter pill to swallow’ as George Town Council approved a budget blowout.

Kakadu find confirms earliest Australian occupation
Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years – much longer than the 47,000 years believed by some archaeologists.

Origin sitting on shale gas bonanza
Origin Energy has discovered a world-class shale gas resource in Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory.

Rise of mega farms: How the US model of intensive farming is invading the world.
Demand for cheaper food and lower production costs is turning green fields into industrial sheds to process vast amounts of meat and poultry.

Scientists Calculate Total Amount of Plastics Ever Produced
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural …

Aging power plants provide Trump administration with risks and opportunities
When it comes to the current plans to retire U.S. power plants, Carnegie Mellon University researchers believe we are ‘running towards a cliff with no fence.’

Smart toys without the batteries
The greatest challenge in entertaining young children is keeping their toys powered up. Now, one group reports in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering that they are one step closer to battery-free interactive games.

UK threatens to return radioactive waste to EU without nuclear deal
Brexit department warns EU counterparts it will ‘return waste to its country of origin’ if an agreement on nuclear cooperation cannot be reached

Plastic straws suck and David Suzuki wants you to scrap them.
David Suzuki National Observer
Of all the plastic products we use and take for granted, plastic drinking straws are among the most unnecessary.

Ditching diesel won’t clear the air.
Nature editorial
Arguments about the environmental benefits of petrol or diesel engines are outdated.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge faces new drilling risk from Congress.
Wording slipped into the new House budget that calls for billions of dollars in revenue from drilling leases appears to target ANWR, environmental groups say.

Sustainable British cod on the menu after stocks recover.
A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years.

Pangolins at huge risk as study shows dramatic increases in hunting across Central Africa
First study of its kind shows true scale of problem facing world’s most illegally traded mammal

Too Many Bats Are Being Killed for Research
The work of zoologists worldwide is often an important asset for biodiversity protection, but a new article notes that scientists kill many bats — even of threatened species …

Destruction of Wetlands Linked to Algal Blooms in Great Lakes
Canada’s current wetland protection efforts have overlooked how the environment naturally protects fresh-water resources from agricultural fertilizer ..

Birds avoid crossing roads to prevent predation
Why didn’t the bird cross the road? Because it was afraid of predators and venturing into another bird’s territory

Conserve intact forest landscapes to maximize biodiversity, reduce extinction risk
A new global analysis of forest habitat loss and wildlife extinction risk published today in the journal Nature shows that species most at risk live in areas just beginning to see the impacts of human activities such as hunting, mining, logging and ranching.

Plastic pollution risks ‘near permanent contamination of natural environment’
First global analysis of all mass–produced plastics has found humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or oceans

How humans can avert mass extinctions of animals.
Chicago Tribune editorial
Unlike other creatures, humans can consciously shape the future for generations to come. We should use ingenuity for the benefit of the countless creatures with which we share the Earth. That would also be good for our species.