THURSDAY 25 JANUARY 2018

Want healthier babies? Shut down coal plants
Babies born near an active coal plant in China had shorter telomeres—sections of DNA that act as caps on the ends of chromosomes—than babies born after the plant shut down, according to a study released today.
http://www.ehn.org/pregnant-near-coal-plant-harms-baby-2528064636.html

Stanford Researcher: Interacting Antarctic Glaciers May Cause Faster Melt and Sea Level Contributions
A new study shows that a large and potentially unstable Antarctic glacier may be melting farther inland than previously thought and that this melting could affect the stability of another large glacier nearby – an important finding for understanding and projecting ice sheet contributions to sea-level rise.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53732

Is there a ticking time bomb under the Arctic
Just what exactly is permafrost? And what is happening now that it’s warming up? To find out, we enter the Arctic circle’s secret world of ice and frozen history.
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/01/24/575220206/is-there-a-ticking-time-bomb-under-the-arctic

Watch a climate scientist answer six burning global warming questions
Climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, professor of earth system science at Stanford University, explained how we know it’s real, how we know it’s human caused and how it affects weather.
http://www.rgj.com/story/life/outdoors/2018/01/23/watch-climate-scientist-answer-six-burning-global-warming-questions/1060200001/

Record jump in 2014-2016 global temperatures largest since 1900
Heat generated by greenhouse gas emissions and stored in the Pacific Ocean was released by the 2015-2016 El Niño, University of Arizona geoscientists found.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uoa-rji012418.php

Fighting climate change? We’re not even landing a punch
Eduardo Porter
Decades of diplomatic efforts to stem global warming have proven ineffectual because too many strategies have been taken off the table.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/business/economy/fighting-climate-change.html

Sea urchins creating hidden deserts on Australia’s east coast
There is a hidden desert along the east coast of Australia that has conservationists and the seafood industry concerned.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/sea-urchins-creating-hidden-deserts-on-australias-east-coast/9355160

Stuck in first gear: how Australia’s electric car revolution stalled
As sceptics fretted over price, range and lack of charging stations, Australia was overtaken by the rest of the world. Now policymakers are being urged to jumpstart the industry
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/25/stuck-in-first-gear-how-australias-electric-car-revolution-stalled

Coal power defends record despite breakdowns
Power producers say their coal plants are actually running more reliably this summer than before after heavy pre-summer maintenance.
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/coal-power-producers-defend-record-after-heavy-spending-20180123-h0nbsh

Wind and solar success shows spirit of Snowy lies with renewables
Tristan Edis
Instead of saying we can’t do it, imagine if our leaders, like those behind Snowy Hydro, showed how great things can be done
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/25/wind-and-solar-success-shows-spirit-of-snowy-lies-with-renewables

Australia’s dirty petrol needs to get cleaner
Jennifer Hewett
The government is moving more to get cleaner cars on the road than electric cars, but a long delay won’t help.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/cleaner-petrol-a-bigger-help-than-electric-cars-20180124-h0nnfg

We’ve cleaner coal to burn
Greg Evans
Carbon capture can reduce emissions but still provide the energy we need to grow.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/weve-coal-to-burn-and-a-way-to-make-it-cleaner/news-story/9197fdc822c7e445156b5df2e92d2c46

Victorian Government chokes on weeds
Nine farmers in Victoria were slapped with compliance notices for failing to manage pests and weeds last year.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/victorian-government-chokes-on-weeds/news-story/f7fe81a892cbf42d52b7c9254eb947e1

Energy broker to bargain on behalf of state’s poorest households
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/energy-broker-to-bargain-on-behalf-of-states-poorest-households-20180124-h0nvgy.html

Neoen starts on 150MW solar plant in NSW – just a year from initial “idea”
Neoen says 150MW solar project shows 2000MW of solar and storage could be brought into production faster and cheaper than Snowy 2.0.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/neoen-starts-on-150mw-solar-plant-in-nsw-just-a-year-from-initial-idea-52444/

Sydney train timetable changes today
Sydney is expected to be hit with commuter chaos this morning following major timetable changes with rail services are slashed by 45 per cent.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydney-train-timetable-changes-today/news-story/ce321c34b3a90555b3c3d3124d2aaca9

Company given millions in ‘surplus’ enviro funds after buying coal mine for $1
After paying just $1 to take over the mothballed Blair Athol coal mine, the TerraCom company, which has former Labor politicians on its board, is paid almost $5 million in “surplus” environmental funding by the Queensland Government.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/blair-athol-company-given-millions-in-surplus-enviro-funding/9353802

State Government wants more money to build Rookwood Weir
The Palaszczuk Government will demand a major boost to the $130 million in Commonwealth money promised to build the Rookwood Weir after releasing a shock business case pointing to major cost increases.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-government-wants-more-money-to-build-rookwood-weir/news-story/1d23d545836e082d3d770b5e08324562

Conflicts to hit NAIF loan
Conflicts of interest will force Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and a fellow minister to remove themselves from a committee.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/two-ministers-conflicts-hit-review-of-loans-helping-adani-coal/news-story/ab777a4280a6396a44b341a7b1166371

Protester shuts down coal line by suspending herself from a tree
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/protester-shuts-down-coal-line-by-suspending-herself-from-a-tree-20180124-p4yytv.html

$60 million to save the Great Barrier Reef is a drop in the ocean, but we have to try
David Suggett
The federal government’s new funding aims to spread the net wide in investigating possible ways to protect the Great Barrier Reef’s corals. Winning this battle will require a wide range of weapons.
https://theconversation.com/60-million-to-save-the-great-barrier-reef-is-a-drop-in-the-ocean-but-we-have-to-try-90534

Great Barrier Reef: Call for quality control for scientific papers
Peter Ridd
Late last year Dr Piers Larcombe and I published an article in the Marine Pollution Journal examining nine scientific papers about the Great Barrier Reef.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-great-barrier-reef-science-needs-checking-by-independent-authority/news-story/7d55e1a4ee5d2546e9ff4b49fae40b2b

Construction begins on 212MW wind farm and storage project in S.A.
Construction begins on state’s newest wind project near Port Augusta, one that will also include battery storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/construction-begins-on-212mw-wind-farm-and-storage-project-in-s-a-35418/

Bushfire burning towards Kingscote Airport on Kangaroo Island under control
A BUSHFIRE burning out of control on Kangaroo Island near Cygnet River has been brought under control.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/bushfire-burning-towards-kingscote-airport-on-kangaroo-island/news-story/cd69308895e371a8697dbf93d6d2ebca

Scientists celebrate second red handfish ‘needle in haystack’ find
With fewer than 40 left, the red handfish is known as the world’s rarest but scientists in Tasmania are celebrating the discovery of a second population.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/rare-red-handfish-population-found/9358794

Secret benefactor pledges cash to help fight ‘big salmon’
A “well-known philanthropist” is pledging up to $50,000 to boost a campaign against “big salmon” in Tasmania, but their identity is being kept secret.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/salmon-farming-protest-campaign-gets-secret-donation-pledge/9355402

Meet the woman who lived in a tree for 449 days to save a Tassie forest
Miranda Gibson was an unlikely candidate to break Australia’s longest running tree sit record. She didn’t see a forest until her early twenties.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/miranda-gibson-australias-longest-running-tree-sitter/9335934

Irrigation model ‘needs to change’
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5188253/irrigation-model-needs-to-change/?cs=95

Sew your own pockets and make your clothing more practical
Learn how to make your own pockets for more practical, longer-lasting clothing.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/make-your-own-pockets-for-sustainable-fashion/9348548

Grieving families asked to reconsider balloon releases at funerals
An environmental conservation group is asking families planning to release balloons at funerals and memorials in honour of loved ones to consider alternatives such as bubbles or butterflies.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/funerals-asked-consider-balloon-release-alternatives/9278760

Don’t worry, the chance of dying from potting mix is very slim
https://theconversation.com/dont-worry-the-chance-of-dying-from-potting-mix-is-very-slim-88569

NREL Research Determines Integration of Plug-in Electric Vehicles Should Play a Big Role in Future Electric System Planning
An influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) charging without coordination could prove challenging to the nation’s electric grid, according to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53741

Trump’s solar tariff backfires: It hits red states and U.S. taxpayers harder than China
White House wanted to use solar tariffs to punish China, but it will end up punishing the states that voted for him the most.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/trumps-solar-tariff-backfires-hits-red-states-u-s-taxpayers-harder-china-14090/

What does it take to stop accepting pollution as the price of progress?
Unlike the “pea soup” of 19th-century London, the “airpocalypse” of modern Beijing and the “gas chamber” of the Delhi region are recognized as drags on economic growth.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/magazine/what-does-it-take-to-stop-accepting-pollution-as-the-price-of-progress.html

A new approach to rechargeable batteries
A type of battery first invented nearly five decades ago could catapult to the forefront of energy storage technologies, thanks to a new finding by researchers at MIT.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53739

Ultralow power consumption for data recording
A team of researchers at Tohoku University, in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Hanyang University, has developed new phase change material which has electrical characteristics that behave differently to those of conventional materials.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/tu-upc012418.php

Calculating the CO2 Emissions of Biofuels Is Not Enough
A new EU regulation aims to shrink the environmental footprint of biofuels starting in 2021. But a scientist thinks we should go one step further and take into account all compounds produced at …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180124092548.htm

Optimizing Recycling of Scrap Car Parts Yields Big Savings
Detailed sorting of scrap car parts could boost recycling rates to over 97 percent, saving billions and slashing greenhouse gas …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180124100523.htm

How Wind Turbines Annoy Residents and How to Reduce It
When falling asleep, relaxing or undertaking recreational activities, nearly a third of residents living near a wind farm are not at all annoyed or only slightly annoyed by the noise of wind …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180124111143.htm

Musk could pocket $88 billion bonus if Tesla dreams come true
Tesla unveils 10-year plan to reach $A800 billion in market value by becoming the world’s first vertically integrated sustainable energy company. That means going big in solar, EVs and battery storage, and would make Elon Musk the world’s richest person.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/musk-could-pocket-88-billion-bonus-if-tesla-dreams-come-true-66740/

Monkeys have been cloned in a lab and humans could be next
The feasibility of cloning humans is a step closer after Chinese scientists clone primates — two identical long-tailed macaques — from a non-embryonic cell for the first time.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-25/chinese-scientists-break-key-barrier-by-cloning-monkeys/9359944

London cabs turn electric
London aims to make 40 per cent of its taxi fleet zero-emission by the end of the decade.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/electric-future-for-mercedes-ferrari-and-london-cabs/news-story/882960d8f64fcea9c09c00afc97dc75a

‘China to drive gas demand’
Santos managing director Kevin Gallagher says China’s push for cleaner air is expected to drive gas export demand for years.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/lng-exports-santos-expects-cleaner-china-to-drive-demand-for-years/news-story/712e91ab617b6fe89985f72f60e95aac

Can planet Earth feed 10 billion people?
Charles Mann
Humanity has 30 years to find out.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/charles-mann-can-planet-earth-feed-10-billion-people/550928/

Women’s rights issues are climate change issues
John Podesta, Timothy E. Wirth
To protect the planet, we need to control population growth by empowering women.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/womens-rights-issues-are-climate-change-issues/2018/01/22/c59b9b00-f65a-11e7-b34a-b85626af34ef_story.html?utm_term=.575ce25a79eb

5 reasons why clean energy future can’t be stopped
Kevin Haley
No longer must we wonder whether renewable energy resources can power our future economy, but rather, “how quickly”.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/5-reasons-clean-energy-future-cant-stopped-57390/

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook and its coal bias
Jonathan Moylan
Jonathan Moylan investigates the murky world of vested interests behind the IEA’s World Energy Outlook
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-ieas-world-energy-outlook-and-its-coal-bias,11132

Vegetarianism, an idea whose time has finally come
Duncan Fine
I defy anyone to visit a sanctuary for rescued farm animals and not come away with a changed view of the world.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/vegetarianism-an-idea-whose-time-has-finally-come-20180124-h0nlqp.html

Electric cars will change the way we move – and how we make a living
Kaila Colbin
Road trips are about to change forever, and plugging in the car is just the start.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/electric-cars-will-change-the-way-we-move–and-how-we-make-a-living-20180124-h0nn5i.html

Cougars Officially Declared Extinct in Eastern U.S., Removed from Endangered Species List
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53737

Saving Sharks With Trees: Researchers Aim To Save Key Branches Of Shark And Ray Tree Of Life
To shine light on and conserve rare shark, ray, and chimaera species (chondrichthyans), SFU researchers have developed a fully-resolved family tree and ranked every species according to the unique evolutionary history they account for.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/53733

222 bird species worldwide now critically endangered
According to the latest IUCN Red List update, 13 percent of the world’s bird species are now threatened with extinction.
http://therevelator.org/bird-species-critically-endangered/

The problem with plastic: Can our oceans survive?
From the stomachs of baby seabirds to the depths of the oceans — plastic pollution is everywhere.
https://www.ft.com/content/30b30b1e-004a-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5

As droughts surge and traditions wane, nature comes under pressure in Kenya
The need for millions of young Kenyans to earn an income, combined with weakening cultural restrictions on protecting land, are hurting Kenyan nature, older people say.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180123121925-3enpb/

Is species richness increasing? Insight into an intense ecological debate
Scientists are debating whether and why it appears that the number of species at sites worldwide is holding steady (even increasing at many), as biodiversity declines globally.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/e-isr012418.php

The noose beneath the waves
Fishing gear can pose a deadly threat to whales—and to those who try to save them.
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/the-noose-beneath-the-waves/

What’s going to happen in 2018? Here’s what the public thinks
Matt Wade
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/whats-going-to-happen-in-2018-heres-what-the-public-thinks-20180123-h0mtd1.html