Thursday 23 November 2017

The Social Cost of Carbon Doubles
The “social cost of carbon” — an influential figure used by policymakers to weigh the value of efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions — is outdated and underestimated. Updated estimates focused on the agricultural sector alone more than double the social cost of carbon, according to analysis from the University of California, Davis, and Purdue University.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53242

Oceans are the new front line in the fight against climate change
Last week, a panel of Canadian and French experts weighed in on the major environmental threats and the task at hand.
https://thetyee.ca/Presents/2017/11/21/oceans-new-fight-climate-change/

Watch the planet warm in real time with these unnerving tickers
A new clock shows the steady rise in global temperatures.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/11/21/16685876/climate-change-clock-ticker-global-warming-gif

Arctic data shows no pause in global warming: Study
Researchers have long puzzled over an apparent contradiction in climate change calculations that suggested global warming may have paused or slowed down between 1998 and 2012 even as increased emissions of greenhouse gases in that period should have accelerated the phenomenon.
http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2017/11/21/arctic-data-shows-no-pause-in-global-warming-study/

The Social Cost of Carbon Doubles
The “social cost of carbon” — an influential figure used by policymakers to weigh the value of efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions — is outdated and underestimated. Updated estimates focused on the agricultural sector alone more than double the social cost of carbon, according to analysis from the University of California, Davis, and Purdue University.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53242

Worldwide increase in methane bubbles due to climate change
Never before have such unequivocal, strong relationships between temperature and emissions of methane bubbles been shown on such a wide, continent-spanning scale.”, says biologist Sarian Kosten of Radboud University.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/run-wii112017.php

Australian red meat sector sets 2030 carbon neutral target
Research and marketing group Meat and Livestock Australia says the country’s red meat industry could be carbon neutral by 2030, and the target will prove farming red meat is environmentally sustainable.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-22/meat-livestock-australia-sets-cattle-industry-carbon-target/9180902

Summer heat prediction could mean more bushfires
The prediction of a hotter-than-average summer has led to an update of the national bushfire outlook, with Australia’s highly populated areas facing an above-average fire risk.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/hot-summer-outlook-provokes-bushfire-danger-update/9179780

ESB modeling confirms NEG designed to shut door on renewables
New modelling confirms little if any new renewable energy investment will be made under the NEG. But it reveals that the big savings the Coalition is claiming from the NEG are driven almost entirely by the policy it sought to kill – the renewable energy target.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/esb-modeling-confirms-neg-designed-to-shut-door-on-renewables-74093/

NEG must cut emissions much more: CEOs, academics
http://www.afr.com/news/neg-must-cut-emissions-much-more-say-ceos-and-academics-20171122-gzqxdf

Solar and storage peak bodies rebrand as Smart Energy Council
Solar and storage bodies create Smart Energy Council to better reflect merger of solar, storage and smart software technologies.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-and-storage-peak-bodies-rebrand-as-smart-energy-council-95556/

100% renewables “cheaper, less risky” than building new coal: ATA
ATA report says a 100% renewable grid by 2030 not just doable for Australia, but cheaper and safer than building new coal plants.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/100-renewables-cheaper-less-risky-building-new-coal-ata-96227/

Energy ministers urged to avoid ‘unacceptable’ emissions reduction target
Open letter from business leaders, academics, economists and investors calls for more ambitious reduction targets
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/23/energy-ministers-urged-to-avoid-unacceptable-emissions-reduction-target

Lock in energy scheme for stable power
Mike Henry
WITH the nation’s energy ministers to meet in Hobart tomorrow, the national interest should be prioritised so a plan for energy reliability, affordability and emissions reduction can be agreed.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-lock-in-energy-scheme-for-stable-power/news-story/6e70bae542a324b220620eb11b4fac81

Would you like landfill with that? Australia’s coffee obsession comes at a cost
Richard Fine and Gary Smith
Australia goes through about 1 billion disposable coffee cups every year – and once we’ve downed our caffeine hit, most of them end up in landfill. But we could be putting them in our garden instead.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/would-you-like-landfill-with-that-australias-coffee-obsession-comes-at-a-cost-20171122-gzqd20.html

NEG modelling points to emissions intensity plan after all
Peter Hannam
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/flaying-a-neg-modelling-points-to-an-emissions-intensity-scheme-after-all-20171121-gzqbl3.html

Expect baby steps not giant strides at COAG
Jennifer Hewett
Energy has lost some of its political intensity given the government’s other problems but Josh Frydenberg wants to switch it back on – all lights blazing – this week.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/power-politics-expect-baby-steps-not-giant-strides-at-coag-20171122-gzqnhu

What we really need from energy
Robert Gottliebsen
Australians want low prices, less carbon and reliability from their power generation. Achieving all three is hard … but just going for low carbon is a disaster.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/politicians-need-to-visit-the-real-energy-world/news-story/4f049ffb926efbbfeeadf803353a3a0a

Melbourne Airport rail link could be ‘well underway’ by 2026, Premier to reveal
Melbourne will get a long-awaited airport rail link in the next decade and faster train services to Geelong and Ballarat under a bold plan to be outlined by Premier Daniel Andrews.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-23/melbourne-airport-rail-link-could-be-well-underway-by-2026/9182036

Melbourne consortium underwrites windfarm in Australian-first deal
Some of Melbourne’s most recognisable sights will be powered by a new 39-turbine windfarm after 14 organisations agree to buy half its power output
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/23/melbourne-consortium-underwrites-windfarm-in-australian-first-deal

Firefighters stop the spread of Gembrook bushfire
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/gembrook-bushfire-burning-out-of-control-20171122-gzqoaq.html

Power plant failures push energy grid to the edge
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/power-plant-failures-push-states-energy-grid-close-to-the-edge-in-november-heat-20171122-gzqw3l.html

Electricity market operator warns of shortages to Victoria’s back-up energy supply
Soaring spring temperatures have put pressure on Victoria’s electricity grid before summer has even begun, with the state’s back-up energy supply to be drained ahead of two peak periods.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/electricity-market-operator-warns-of-shortages-to-victorias-backup-energy-supply/news-story/33da8cd76c5fcfb9b38552f084f181df

Energy bills Victoria: Complaints about high electricity and gas costs to Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria surge
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/complaints-to-energy-and-water-ombudsman-victoria-about-high-bills-have-soared/news-story/d68e7498963136bfdda18c69398951ee

Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria: Reading Your Bills
Information from the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV), the free and independent dispute resolution body for Victorian energy and water customers.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/energy-and-water-ombudsman-of-victoria-reading-your-bills/video/08b48478d1b59bec725eeaf4436cca17

North East Link route: Locals fear homes, businesses will be lost
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/locals-fear-homes-businesses-will-be-lost-in-north-east-link-plans/news-story/34605648da60371df7af2ae75f9f0a1b

City-wide trial shows how road use charges can reduce traffic jams
Leslie A. Martin, University of Melbourne and Sam Thornton, University of Melbourne
https://theconversation.com/city-wide-trial-shows-how-road-use-charges-can-reduce-traffic-jams-86324

The fake economics cookbook: how to make bad transport projects look good
Peter Martin
First you bulk up the traffic forecasts, then you discover “wider economic benefits”…
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/the-fake-economics-cookbook-how-to-make-bad-transport-projects-look-good-20171122-gzqd3x.html

Parents blame Government for ‘toxic river’ in Murray-Darling Basin making kids sick
Outback parents are forced to drive their children hundreds of kilometres to bathe after they’re exposed to toxic river water which doctors suspect is giving them reoccurring and antibiotic-resistant skin infections.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/parents-blame-government-for-toxic-river-making-kids-sick/9181886

Burning forest waste for energy is ‘worse than coal’, conservationists say
Conservationists say suggestions that north coast New South Wales forest residues could be burnt to generate electricity are an outrage that will not be accepted by consumers.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/burning-forest-waste-worse-than-coal-conservationists-say/9180162

Five things you likely didn’t know about Lake George, and five myths busted
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/five-big-myths-about-lake-george-and-a-few-more-things-you-likely-never-knew-about-it-20171121-gzpkr9.html

Fact check: Did Infrastructure Australia say Qld’s Cross River Rail project is not needed until 2036?
Leader of One Nation in Queensland, Steve Dickson, says that Queensland’s Cross River Rail project is “$5.4 billion that doesn’t need to be spent until 2036. Infrastructure Australia has said that this project is not needed until that time”. RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/fact-check-cross-river-rail-queensland-election/9148448

‘Bloody rude’ anti-Adani protesters ambush LNP leader Tim Nicholls
Protesters spend hours hiding in wait to disrupt a speech by the LNP leader Tim Nicholls, while the Premier says she’s been too busy to talk to rebel Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller about her effusive encounter with Pauline Hanson.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/anti-adani-protesters-ambush-lnp-leader-tim-nicholls-townsville/9179412

Why is the Brisbane River brown?
There are three reasons why Brisbane River is its murky colour, but experts can’t agree on whether it’s always been brown and whether it can ever be blue.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/curious-brisbane-why-is-the-brisbane-river-brown/9160864

Queensland renewable energy jobs double in four months
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-renewable-energy-jobs-double-in-four-months-20171121-p4yx54.html

Power to the people: Your electricity bill could help decide the election
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/queensland-election-2017-understanding-your-electricity-bill-20171120-p4yx3t.html

Lady Elliott Island the first site in Reef Island Rescue Initiative
Five Islands on the Great Barrier Reef will become climate change refuges or “arks” to help save the living wonder.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/lady-elliott-island-the-first-site-in-reef-island-rescue-initiative/news-story/98b15aa425757df149e0b886e1c7e04a

The Labor insider turned Adani lobbyist who smoothed the way for the mega mine
The former Queensland ALP state secretary and head of lobbying firm Next Level who helped Adani get pretty much everything it wanted — through an extraordinarily intense campaign.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-23/the-labor-insider-who-lobbied-for-adani/9181648

ALP’s secret Adani sweeteners
The Palaszczuk Labor government is set to offer infrastructure funding and a royalty holiday for Adani’s Carmichael mine.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/queensland-election/queensland-election-alps-secret-500m-adani-sweeteners/news-story/55a3114348f6f84fa2ed69d2839788e3

China will finance Adani mine, insiders say, but it will cost Australian jobs
An announcement is expected in coming weeks that Chinese state-owned enterprises, banks, and export credit agencies are backing the venture, meaning Australian taxpayers may be let off the hook, but at the cost of local jobs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/china-will-finance-adani-mine-insiders-say/9177470

Ministers meet with top Chinese official as Adani finance looms
http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/ministers-meet-with-top-chinese-official-as-adani-finance-looms-20171121-gzqcai.html

Queensland election: Energy numbers say no to new coal
Tristan Edis
I hate to break the news, but north Queensland will not be getting a new coal fired power station if the LNP are elected on Saturday.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-election-energy-numbers-say-no-to-new-coal-17496/

The climate science denial promoters behind Queensland’s energy scare election headlines
Graham Readfearn
In the final week before an election, the biggest-selling newspaper in the Australian state of Queensland screamed a front-page headline that cut into one of the poll’s most divisive issues.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/climate-science-denial-promoters-behind-queenslands-energy-scare-election-headlines-49474/

Public investment in electricity generation – a hot-button issue in Queensland?
John Quiggin, The University of Queensland
In the upcoming Queensland election all major parties are talking up public investment in energy generation. But are these policies paying heed to climate science?
https://theconversation.com/public-investment-in-electricity-generation-a-hot-button-issue-in-queensland-87747

The Queensland Government Is The Real Driver In Adani’s Dirty Land Grab
Kristen Lyons
A key issue in the upcoming Queensland election issue is the Adani coal mine, a massive project slated for development in the Carmichael basin north…
https://newmatilda.com/2017/11/22/the-queensland-government-is-the-real-driver-in-adanis-dirty-land-grab/

The Queensland election’s renewables versus coal debate isn’t about jobs. It’s a culture war
John Quiggin
Since environmentalists support renewable energy, conservatives must oppose it. But they are delaying the inevitable
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/22/the-queensland-elections-renewables-versus-coal-debate-isnt-about-jobs-its-a-culture-war

Dirty jobs come up trumps in the Queensland election
Edward Stoios
Medical students in Queensland recognise that the health of our people and our economy is ultimately related to the health of our environment.
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/dirty-jobs-come-up-trumps-in-the-queensland-election-20171121-p4yx4s.html

Tram extension on North Terrace, Adelaide: Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan v Opposition transport spokesman David Pisoni
The State Government is under fire for not having a right hand turn on the North Tce tram extension.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/tram-extension-on-north-terrace-adelaide-transport-minister-and-opposition-put-forward-their-cases/news-story/978aecd4356c5001971dffdbbf717d29

Tasmania’s Legislative Council probes TasWater takeover legislation
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5075070/tasmanias-legislative-council-probes-taswater-takeover-legislation/?cs=95

Taking a shine to solar plan
Nicky Ison
Tasmanians can join forces on community renewable energy projects that deliver lower prices
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-taking-a-shine-to-solar-plan/news-story/b711bfee881edd8111d765ade3b83787

Illinois nuclear plants leak, spill radioactive water
Radioactive water leaking from Illinois nuclear power plants, despite promised safeguards—an investigative reporter on what’s been done.
http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/11/21/bga-illinois-nuclear-plants-leak-spill-radioactive-water

Hillary Clinton Russia conspiracy theory is not the uranium story you should be talking about
Public land near the Grand Canyon might be opened for uranium mining under the Trump administration.
http://www.newsweek.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-one-mining-grand-canyon-native-american-717583

Men living near busy roads may be left infertile due to pollution, study reveals
Living near a busy road may leave blokes infertile, a study suggests.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4967640/sperm-men-pollution-conception-roads/

Artificial lights increasing ‘loss of night,’ especially in some nations
Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/aaft-ali112017.php

By saving cost and energy, the lighting revolution may increase light pollution
Municipalities, enterprises, and households are switching to LED lights in order to save energy. But these savings might be lost if their neighbours install new or brighter lamps. Scientists fear that this “rebound effect” might partially or totally cancel out the savings of individual lighting retrofit projects, and make skies over cities considerably brighter.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/ggph-bsc111717.php

The Monsanto Papers, Part 2 — Reaping a bitter harvest
http://www.ehn.org/monsanto-takes-on-world-health-organization-2509721283.html

Denmark launches three-year chemicals initiative
Denmark will invest DKK285m (€38.3m) in a new three-year initiative from 2018-2021 that aims to protect vulnerable groups from harmful chemicals such as endocrine disruptors.
https://chemicalwatch.com/61923/denmark-launches-three-year-chemicals-initiative

Indonesian mosques to take up the mantle of fighting climate change
Indonesia will establish 1,000 “eco-mosques,” the country’s vice president announced at this month’s UN climate summit in Bonn.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/indonesian-mosques-to-take-up-the-mantle-of-fighting-climate-change/

Lloyd’s to divest from coal
Lloyd’s Corporation is the latest insurance firm to announce that it will be divesting from coal-heavy businesses as a response to the crisis of climate change.
https://www.itij.com/story/13733

Gov’t announces plan to take Seoul solar
The Seoul city government will inject 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) until 2022 to ensure one out of three households in the city are equipped with solar panels, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announced Tuesday in his “2022 Solarcity Plan.”
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3041048

Indians face higher power bills as government mulls passing on green costs
India is considering regulatory changes to let power companies pass on costs of installing emission-cutting equipment to consumers, a government official said, a politically sensitive proposal amid rising pollution in big cities.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-pollution-power/indians-face-higher-power-bills-as-government-mulls-passing-on-green-costs-idUSKBN1DL1FL

Plunging cost of solar means peak coal looms in India
New modelling predicts India is within a decade of peak coal demand for the power sector. This is sooner than anyone has predicted.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/plunging-cost-solar-means-peak-coal-looms-india-78105/

Energy From Electric Cars Could Power Our Lives — But Only If We Improve The System
Power stored in electric cars could be sent back to the grid – thereby supporting the grid and acting as a potential storage for clean energy – but it will only be economically viable if we upgrade the system first.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53252

Feedlots can be the environmentally and ethically smart choice
Linus Blomqvist
Although grass-fed is touted as the environmentally and ethically best choice for beef eaters, feedlots often outperform on both fronts.
https://ensia.com/voices/feedlots/

Tobacco hurts more than just your lungs – it damages the communities that grow it
Eleanor Jew
New research shows just how bad tobacco farming can be for the environment and for farmers.
https://theconversation.com/tobacco-hurts-more-than-just-your-lungs-it-damages-the-communities-that-grow-it-86872

New research suggests common herbicides are linked to antibiotic resistance
Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury
https://theconversation.com/new-research-suggests-common-herbicides-are-linked-to-antibiotic-resistance-87678

Growing urban warmth helps city trees thrive
City trees are responding to climate change and urban growth, making the most of the heat island effect.

http://climatenewsnetwork.net/growing-urban-warmth-helps-trees-thrive/

Peru: The river that will not flow
Hydroelectric dams will convert the Marañón into a swimming pool more than 100 kilometers long.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/peru-the-river-that-will-not-flow/

How climate change will mess with water ‘recharge’ in Western US
As the climate warms, the dry southern regions of the Western United States will have less groundwater recharge while the northern regions will have more, researchers report.
http://www.futurity.org/climate-change-water-recharge-1611252/

Species may appear deceptively resilient to climate change
Ecological air conditioning offers short-term protection from a warming climate
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uoc–sma112117.php

Ribbed mussels could help improve urban water quality
Ribbed mussels can remove nitrogen and other excess nutrients from an urban estuary and could help improve water quality in other urban and coastal locations, according to a study in New York City’s Bronx River.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/nnfs-rmc112217.php

Reducing Phosphorus Runoff
Throughout the United States, toxic algal blooms are wreaking havoc on bodies of water, causing pollution and having harmful effects on people, fish and marine mammals.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53246

‘Looting’ spree threatens wildlife and forests across eastern Europe
UN report warns crimes such as logging and poaching are putting ‘high pressure’ on ecosystems in 15 countries in the Danube-Carpathian region
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/22/looting-spree-threatens-wildlife-and-forests-across-eastern-europe

Rangers’ lives would be put at risk if Trump reverses elephant trophy ban
More than a thousand rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the last decade – and a corrupted legal market, operating for a few wealthy clients, exacerbates that risk
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/22/rangers-lives-would-be-put-at-risk-if-trump-reverses-elephant-trophy-ban