Thursday 21 September 2017

Australia must sign the prohibition on nuclear weapons: here’s why
Tilman Ruff, University of Melbourne
At a time of increasing threat of nuclear war, a historic treaty to ban nuclear weapons might provide a much-needed panacea.
https://theconversation.com/australia-must-sign-the-prohibition-on-nuclear-weapons-heres-why-83951

Melting Arctic ice cap falls to well below average
This summer’s minimum is the eighth lowest on record
Shrinking ice cap increasingly linked to extreme weather events around the world, say scientists
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/20/melting-arctic-ice-cap-falls-to-well-below-average

It takes just 4 years to detect human warming of the oceans
John Abraham
Our new paper illustrates the rapid, consistent warming of Earth’s oceans
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/sep/20/it-takes-just-4-years-to-detect-human-warming-of-the-oceans

Is climate change driving you to despair?
Sara S. Moore Ensia
To maintain our capacity to address climate change, we need to recognize and address the trauma it creates.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212618002

We’re paying for a climate of fear
Andrew Bolt
AS climate scientists retreat from their predictions of imminent catastrophe, we’re still paying for their alarmist policies
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-were-paying-for-scientists-climate-of-fear/news-story/8809eec515b883bf30aae83700e69073

Steelmaker teams with Ross Garnaut to run factories using renewable energy
Steel-making baron Sanjeev Gupta and climate change expert Ross Garnaut sound like strange bedfellows. But the pair are behind a plan to run four steel mills across Australia on renewable energy.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/steel-maker-teams-with-ross-garnaut-to-run-factories-using-rene/8965240

Abbott could cross floor over clean energy target
Former prime minister Tony Abbott intensifies the pressure on Malcolm Turnbull over a clean energy target, saying “it would be unconscionable for a Government that was promising to abolish the carbon tax … to go further down this renewable path”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/tony-abbott-threatens-to-cross-floor-over-cet/8964240

Tony Abbott opposed moves for cheaper gas: Libs
Tony Abbott has been labelled a power price hypocrite by colleagues who say he recently argued against imposing limits on gas exports.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/tony-abbott-opposed-moves-for-cheaper-gas-libs-20170919-gykuyk

Malcolm Turnbull says energy target legislated ‘while Tony was prime minister’
PM hits back at Tony Abbott after former prime minister says clean energy target would be ‘unconscionable’
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/20/malcolm-turnbull-says-energy-target-legislated-while-tony-was-prime-minister

Barnaby Joyce warns Tony Abbott over energy threats
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/barnaby-joyce-warns-tony-abbott-over-threat-to-cross-turnbull-government-over-energy-20170920-gyl502.html

Sims backs energy crisis heavy hand
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/no-silver-bullet-to-energy-crisis-competition-watchdog-warns-all-parties-20170920-gykzgd

How dazzling new gas industry became scapegoat
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/how-a-dazzling-new-gas-industry-became-a-scapegoat-20170920-gykx4q

Battery boom as households counter big bills
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/battery-boom-as-households-counter-high-power-bills-20170920-gykyux

Battery ban off the table after industry roundtable “consensus”
Standards Australia says industry roundtable has broadly agreed to “review” proposed rule banning li-ion batteries from being installed inside homes and garages. But rifts emerge in industry.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/battery-ban-off-the-table-after-industry-roundtable-consensus-81495/

Coal boss calls for investment policy
The World Coal Association says Australia should move quickly on a technology-neutral energy policy which balances emissions, affordability and reliability.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/coal-boss-calls-for-investment-policy/news-story/197e6711b24d2e06fb0c3032fd57452f

Off-grid solar + battery systems prove 15x more reliable than network
Western Power pilot shows stand-alone solar + battery + diesel systems 15 times more reliable than grid, and could save $300 million in avoided network upgrade costs – but only if rules are change changed to allow the systems to be rolled out.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/off-grid-solar-battery-systems-prove-15x-reliable-network-60316/

Australia’s southern winters are drying out. Here’s why
Winter rains are in decline across southern Australia, and while it is too early to say beyond doubt it is due to climate change, scientists say it is not just about climate variability.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/winter-getting-drier-in-southern-australia-heres-why/8956754

AGL says its time to get over baseload
Angela Macdonald-Smith
Caught in the crossfire of the politics of electricity generation, AGL Energy sees the issue quite differently, at least as far as replacing…
http://www.afr.com/opinion/drilling-down-why-agl-energy-reckons-we-need-to-get-over-baseload-fixation-20170919-gykvh4

Australia must sign the prohibition on nuclear weapons: here’s why
Tilman Ruff, University of Melbourne
At a time of increasing threat of nuclear war, a historic treaty to ban nuclear weapons might provide a much-needed panacea.
https://theconversation.com/australia-must-sign-the-prohibition-on-nuclear-weapons-heres-why-83951

The amazingly positive renewable story the Murdoch media won’t write
Giles Parkinson
The Australian buries its admission that Tuesday’s front page lead was fabricated, and still seeks to portray a cost saving to consumers as an extravagant “payday” for rich Saudi man.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-amazingly-positive-renewable-story-the-murdoch-media-wont-write-71224/

Energy policy: can we have a Carbon-Cutting Reliable Affordable Programme (C-CRAP)?
Geoff Carmody
The root cause of the ‘trilemma’ is renewable energy. We could deliver reliability and affordability, as we have in the past, if we didn’t have renewable energy targets.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19297

Tony Abbott is completely out of touch on renewable energy and here’s why
Paula Matthewson
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/20/matthewson-tony-abbott-is-completely-out-of-touch-on-renewable-energy-and-heres-why/

A clean energy target is not ‘unconscionable’, Tony Abbott. Wrecking climate policy is
Katharine Murphy
Abbott wants to lead an insurgency to sink Turnbull’s climate and energy policy, which has always been a proxy for his leadership. It’s pure political expediency
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/20/a-clean-energy-target-is-not-unconscionable-tony-abbott-wrecking-climate-policy-is

A quick reality check for Abbott
Paul Kelly
Green energy schemes contribute only a small fraction to high power prices. That’s the hard reality for Tony Abbott.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/paul-kelly/reality-check-for-abbott-no-silver-bullet-in-a-war-on-renewables/news-story/f6a2c0f90c0fe9ab40651531a8567edb

A radioactive wolf in green clothing: Dissecting the latest pro-nuclear spin
Noel Wauchope
Michael Shellenberger is a nuclear salesman posing as a new generation environmentalist with unsubstantiated energy “solutions”.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/a-radioactive-wolf-in-green-clothing-dissecting-the-latest-pro-nuclear-spin,10735

Death Spiral: why electricity prices are set to climb ever higher
Peter Martin
As power prices rise, wealthier customers cut use, leaving the poor to pay more.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/why-electricity-prices-are-set-to-climb-ever-higher-20170920-gykx0w.html

Coal’s future up in smoke
David Uren
The cost and the political will are never likely to favour the continued building of coal-fired power plants.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/it-is-unbankable-so-coals-future-has-gone-up-in-smoke/news-story/05429b55a6c8d44b9c607b48e7116bdc

Victorian hydro plan powers up
MORE than 4000 viable potential sites in Victoria have been earmarked for pumped hydro energy storage — with the potential to generate as much as 11,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/locations-proposed-for-victorian-hydro-energy-plan/news-story/5eb4c4eb4fedae5ec31d25da81a3a12a

Pricing revamp to scare investors
Victorian power chaos looms as Andrews government mulls regulating power prices.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industry-blasts-plan-to-reregulate-power-pricing/news-story/f4d8302f477ec3e07022d90b5e465804

Deer hunters in headlights
VICTORIA’S 32,306 deer hunters are battling to regain access to almost 360 square kilometres of state forest northeast of Dargo and north of Wongungarra, after State Government bureaucrats locked them out.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/victorias-deer-hunters-in-headlights/news-story/9ae6176dabf893f883857f9bee3a8392

What are the issues for Melbourne Airport rail?
Alan Davies
The solution is seen as a single rail line, but it should be conceived as the package of infrastructure and policies that will best improve the accessibility of Melbourne Airport
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/09/20/issues-melbourne-airport-rail/

Right to farm: Victoria’s right first step for farming
Weekly Times editorial
AT LONG last Victoria is moving towards protecting our food bowl, with the State Government putting a raft of right-to-farm planning reforms on the table.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/right-to-farm-victorias-right-first-step-for-farming/news-story/1ba20da0934506c8d9bbfbfc1aee033f

Generate facts, not fights, on renewable energy
Lily D’Ambrosio
POWER debates should not run on the hot air of politics
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/renewable-energy-generate-facts-not-fights/news-story/85cd0d46da60a60c0a3c0803bb6fcf5f

$220m per km: Transport leaks resurface to reveal secret light rail report
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/220-million-per-kilometre-sydney-to-newcastle-rail-line-rejig-to-burn-cash-20170920-gyld4t.html

Our green spaces left to the wolves
John Menadue
The NSW government is abandoning the public need for national parks when we need them most
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/20/commercial-interestes-taking-over-nsw-parks/

ACT tips another $4m into home battery subsidy scheme
ACT government opens third competitive grants round, in a $4m extension of its home battery storage subsidisation scheme.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/act-tips-another-4m-home-battery-subsidy-scheme-94815/

Inland railway to go across Queensland floodplain despite deadly warning
The Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail line will be built across the Condamine floodplain in Queensland, despite farmers’ warnings that it could put lives at risk.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-21/inland-railway-to-cross-queensland-floodplain-despite-warning/8965950

No widespread contamination from Adani’s wetlands release, department finds
There is no evidence the release of stormwater from Abbot Point Coal Terminal caused widespread contamination of the nearby Caley Valley Wetlands, Queensland’s Environment Department finds.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/no-widespread-contamination-from-adanis-wetlands-release/8965242

Abbot Point spill further proof Adani can’t be trusted on coal, green groups say
Pollution of wetlands adjacent to Adani’s main coal export port in Queensland is proof the Indian-owned company can’t be trusted to operate a much larger operation should the Galilee Basin ever be opened up to mines, environmental groups said.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/abbot-point-spill-further-proof-adani-cant-be-trusted-on-coal-green-groups-say-20170920-gyl2dp.html

Making lithium-ion batteries ‘not that hard’, says QUT professor
The Queensland University of Technology develops a facility to produce Australia’s first lithium-ion batteries, similar to those used to power Tesla cars, and wants share the knowledge.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/qut-creates-australia-first-lithium-ion-battery/8963740

Queensland Premier calls for rewrite of national electricity rules
Annastacia Palaszczuk says other states’ decision to privatise electricity assets hurts Queensland power prices.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-premier-calls-for-rewrite-of-national-electricity-rules-20170920-p4yw0f.html

Project plan lease target
DEVELOPERS of a proposed indigenous eco-tourism attraction at East Trinity say work to secure a 30-year lease of the land they need already is already well underway.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/east-trinity-tourism-development-grounded-and-realistic/news-story/c3cfb97634c948fc3324547801d7cbee

Call to arms in Great Barrier Reef film
A DOCUMENTARY maker hopes her film about the demise of the Great Barrier Reef can grab worldwide attention and spark government action.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/filmmaker-hopes-great-barrier-reef-bleaching-film-grabs-politicians-attention/news-story/f7e312c59ee93172a6d79f79451099fe

Key to boosting our city’s livability
Ed Haysom
A KEY driver must be strengthened if Brisbane is to maintain its future livability and development as a new world city.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-brisbanes-future-liveability-linked-to-its-connections-to-the-gold-and-sunshine-coasts/news-story/a57306991ae356646e4447483d828463

Whyalla steelworks buyer invests in local renewables
Whyalla steelworks buyer Sanjeev Gupta buys a controlling stake in Adelaide-based energy company Zen Energy, and also takes a swipe at the high cost of power in Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/sanjeev-gupta-buys-controlling-stake-in-renewables-firm/8964448

Premier defends forest plantation sale
Labor and the Greens are still arguing that the government could have won more money from a recent ..
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4937003/premier-defends-forest-plantation-sale/?cs=95

Libs to ban seal relocations
THE State Government will today announce that Tassal can no longer relocate seals to the North West Coast amid concerns from recreational and commercial fishers.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/state-government-to-announce-tassal-can-no-longer-relocate-seals-from-to-the-northwest/news-story/395296e6094a8aa9a323904f128369c8

Scats tested for Tasmanian tiger DNA
A LABORATORY has analysed animal droppings to determine the likelihood they belong to a living thylacine.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/saouth-australian-water-authority-dispels-thylacine-hope-after-testing-scat-samples/news-story/43f3f27df9b872ec15683829abad7687

Cable guy hits out at Hobart council
CABLE car proponent Adrian Bold says the Hobart City Council could not be trusted with confidential information relating to the Mount Wellington Cableway Company proposal.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/we-simply-cant-trust-the-council-with-confidential-information-cable-car-proponent-slams-council/news-story/f617fbca50a39a252cfe34a2e4eeb5c8

Arnhem Land community calls for ban on commercial fishing in its waters
Traditional owners in Maningrida, 500 kilometres east of Darwin, say they are struggling to feed their families because fish numbers and sea mammals are in significant decline.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/arnhem-land-community-calls-for-ban-on-commercial-fishing/8964370

Two Aboriginal clans in native title tug-of-war over NT town of Katherine
The Jawoyn and Dagoman clans are fighting over which has a rightful claim to Katherine, and say uncertainty over the issue is preventing the NT town from developing.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/katherine-town-native-title-tug-of-war-between-aboriginal-clans/8963908

Residents angry after council rips up turf and paving to plant trees
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/residents-angry-after-council-rips-up-turf-and-paving-to-plant-verge-trees-20170919-gykjqg.html

Iron ore prices hit by faltering demand amid Chinese property slowdown
Iron ore prices are being hit by tightening credit in China as well as a crackdown on air pollution in key steel making cities.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/iron-ore-price-tumbles-as-demand-falls-and-pollution-controls-s/8963336

Maggots, algae and blow-up pools could help fix ‘sheer madness’ of aquaculture
The much-hyped growth of aquaculture has brought with it a host of problems, but a pool of innovative solutions could still help to feed the world.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/fixing-modern-aquaculture-madness-with-innovative-solutions/8957172

Pete Myers honored by Sierra Club for ‘Distinguished Service.’
Founder of EHN.org and DailyClimate.org recognized for efforts to increase the public’s scientific literacy about our environment and health.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2017/sept/myers-sierra-club-award

Can we turn the Whitechapel fatberg into biodiesel?
The human-waste bomb recently found clogging up a London sewer has an unlikely admirer – a Scottish renewable energy company.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212618011

The commuter parking benefit is seriously hurting cities.
The US government spends $7.6 billion a year paying people to drive to work, and it’s making traffic and pollution worse. Here’s how some cities are fighting back.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430503924

Work begins on world’s biggest solar tower and storage plant
Work begins in Dubai on world’s largest solar tower with storage facility, featuring a 260m tower.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/work-begins-on-worlds-biggest-solar-tower-and-storage-plant-31793/

Is it better to repair or replace broken washing machines?
Vivienne Pearson
When it was clear my old washer was on its way out, it was harder than I expected to make an ethical choice about whether to fix it or buy a new one
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/repair-or-replace-broken-washing-machines/8957918

Why natural disasters are not natural
Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik
Storms do not discriminate, but they make landfall on societies that do
https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2017/09/15/social-climate-disasters

New study shows global sea turtle recovery
Scientists are calling a recovery in sea turtle numbers a global conservation success story.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-09-21/sea-turtle-numbers-recovering/8960730

Where eco warriors are being murdered.
An alarming number of people are killed for trying to protect their country’s natural resources
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212617500

Avoiding extinction.
Giving Mexico’s rarest porpoise, the vaquita, a fighting chance in the face of poverty, corruption, and greed.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430503878

Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction
In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52598

Forest Fire Pollution Wreaks Havoc on Wildlife
Forest fires in Southeast Asia during the El Niño droughts of 2015 caused considerable disruption to the biodiversity of the region due to the smoke-induced ‘haze’ they created, according to new research led by Benjamin Lee at the University of Kent and the National Parks Board in Singapore.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/52594

Brazil investigates alleged slaughter of Amazonian tribespeople by gold miners
Eight to 10 members of a remote indigenous group were allegedly killed by men working for illegal prospectors in Javari Valley
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/sep/12/brazil-investigates-reports-of-massacre-among-amazon-tribe-javari-valley

When residents take charge of their rainforests, fewer trees die
Community management slows deforestation, study finds
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/osu-wrt092017.php