Thursday 26 October 2017

Conservation spending predicts rise and fall of global biodiversity
In the decade after the 1992 Earth Summit, at least $14 billion was devoted to biodiversity conservation around the globe. According to new research published in Nature, it was money well spent, preventing a 29 percent decline in threatened bird and mammal species.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uoic-csp102517.php

What convinced these once-sceptical scientists that climate change is real?
Three scientists who previously doubted the consensus on climate change reveal the evidence that convinced them the phenomenon is real, and needs to be urgently tackled.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-10-25/climate-change-sceptics-converted/9053406

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warns of ‘dark future’ over climate change
“If we don’t address these issues … we will be moving to a dark future” in 50 years, Lagarde told a major economic conference in the Saudi capital.
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/imf-chief-christine-lagarde-warns-of-dark-future-over-climate-change/articleshow/61205708.cms

Fighting poverty might make it harder to fight climate change
When people earn more, they pump out more greenhouse gases.
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/fighting-poverty-might-make-it-harder-fight-climate-change

We all get poorer every time a climate disaster strikes
Long-term economic effects of global warming could be far greater than thought, making many countries poorer and hurting even those of us spared direct impacts
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631492-500-we-all-get-poorer-every-time-a-climate-disaster-strikes/

Climate change is really expensive.
The non-partisan Government Accountability Office is warning that the US economy will be severely hurt by the impacts of climate change within this century.
http://www.businessinsider.com/climate-change-government-accountability-office-report-economic-effects-2017-10?r=UK&IR=T

Big companies’ climate change targets are ‘unambitious’, say analysts
Nearly nine out of 10 of the world’s biggest companies have plans in place to reduce carbon emissions, new research has found, but only a fifth of them are doing so for 2030 and beyond.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/25/big-companies-climate-change-targets-are-unambitious-say-analysts

How climate change affects the building blocks for health
Alistair Woodward University of Auckland
https://theconversation.com/how-climate-change-affects-the-building-blocks-for-health-86202

Up to 14pc of food going to waste, new report finds
Food waste is costing the average Australian household more than $1,000 a year, according to a new report.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/food-waste-costing-households-thousand-rabobank-report/9077282

Off the rails: Nationals mired in train brawl days before High Court ruling
An internal brawl in the Nationals over the Federal Government’s Inland Rail project is threatening to fracture the party, just days before Barnaby Joyce and two of his colleagues could lose their jobs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/nationals-brawling-over-inland-rail-ahead-of-high-court-ruling/9084190

Turnbull’s NEG claims first major renewable energy victim
NEG causes market value of one of major renewable energy players to be slashed by analysts, and puts the future of some $50 billion of renewable energy projects in doubt. But it is good for incumbents, because less renewables means higher prices.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbull-to-rely-on-state-schemes-he-once-rubbished-as-reckless-85061/

Tailings dam standards under review
Dam standards across the Australian mining industry could be set for a revamp.
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/tailings-dam-standards-under-review-20171025-gz80ce

Hands off farms on emissions, warns NFF
Australia’s agricultural productivity could be threatened if the sector is forced to do the “heavy lifting” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Federal Government’s new energy plan, farmers fear.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/emission-reduction-targets-hands-off-farms-on-emissions-warns-nff/news-story/733ab094a4b7b1ab6fe7adac860a0e8c

Thank goodness for poor government
Some good news for the government and it’s botched energy policy – without the 8pc increase in electricity prices, there would be no inflation at all
http://www.afr.com/markets/equity-markets/if-not-for-poor-government-polices-inflation-would-be-lower-20171024-gz7l99

Miner set to tap battery market
Independence Group is looking to capitalise on the electric vehicles thematic driving many commodity prices higher.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/independence-group-mulls-nickel-cobalt-downstream-processing/news-story/6992b9f40f30e3869cb02b1344d5c519

$78m government spent on Darling water buyback nearly double its valuation
Federal government ignored advice of its own research agency when it bought water rights of a NSW property
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/26/78m-spent-on-darling-water-buyback-nearly-double-its-valuation

Voters say country is full, support partial ban on Muslim immigration: report
A majority of Australian voters believe the country is full and almost half support a partial ban on Muslim immigration, a new survey has revealed.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/voters-say-country-is-full-support-partial-ban-on-muslim-immigration-report/news-story/c79cbc2b4d87e0e48270a5c2425f25bf

Shifting the dial: 5 year productivity review
Productivity Commission
This is the first document of its kind for the Productivity Commission — a look out across the landscape of factors and influences that may affect Australia’s economic performance over the medium term, in order to offer advice on where our priorities should lie if we are to enhance national…
http://apo.org.au/node/115951

Who’s noticed the suburbs have turned green?
Alan Davies
One of the the great unheralded changes in Australia’s cities was the greening of the suburbs – both old and new – over the last thirty to fifty years
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/10/25/noticed-suburbs-turned-green/

Powering a social licence failure: The National Energy Guarantee
Andrew Stock
The Federal Government’s announcement of a National Energy Guarantee (NEG) last Tuesday – based on hastily prepared advice and zero engagement with the community – shows they have learnt nothing from the social licence issues that have plagued the fossil fuel industry over the past decade.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/powering-social-licence-failure-national-energy-guarantee-31408/

NEG will replace electricity markets with Soviet-style state planning
Bruce Mountain
When the reliability and emission guarantee policy (the “NEG”) was announced recently, my immediate reaction was that the thrust of this policy was to secure the continued production from “dispatchable” generation.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/neg-will-replace-electricity-markets-soviet-style-state-planning-52024/

Drop, bears: chronic stress and habitat loss are flooring koalas
Edward Narayan
https://theconversation.com/drop-bears-chronic-stress-and-habitat-loss-are-flooring-koalas-86129

National Energy ‘Guarantee’: can our power ‘trilemma’ become a policy trifecta – or quinella?
Geoff Carmody
At this stage, if we don’t know what the precise objectives are, ‘No Energy Guarantee’ is the best elaboration of the NE’G’ acronym.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19373

Productivity Commission serves up a megamix of old reform favourites
Bernard Keane
The Productivity Commission’s latest report, designed to provide new impetus to economic reform, instead shows there’s really not a lot to be done without political will.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/25/productivity-commission-serves-up-a-megamix-of-old-reform-favourites/

Back to square one in energy policy: we now have a plan to produce a plan
Simon Holmes à Court
Details are scant about the national energy guarantee. From what we know so far, battles are looming on several fronts
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/25/back-to-square-one-in-energy-policy-we-now-have-a-plan-to-produce-a-plan

Power players plot next moves
Robert Gottliebsen
The government has set new rules on energy but the power industry is hedging its bets in case it all falls apart.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/power-industry-players-plot-their-next-moves/news-story/2f698f9a5cb9d96c21a92dd12ff72e5e

Pressure on Andrews as Northcote voters back push for Great Forest National Park
State-owned logging company VicForests relied on a $4.8 million payment from the Andrews government to turn a profit this year, for work it is doing to create homes for the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/victoria/pressure-on-andrews-as-northcote-voters-back-push-for-great-forest-national-park-20171025-gz81tq.html

Logging of Victorian old-growth forest ‘cannot proceed’, lawyers say
Environmental Justice Australia says it will seek injunction to prevent logging of area containing centuries-old trees
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/26/logging-of-victorian-old-growth-forest-cannot-proceed-lawyers-say

Customers complain of ‘phantom’ gas bills from energy suppliers
Melbourne woman Nicky was shocked to receive the letter in the mail from Energy Australia.
As far as she was aware, she didn’t have gas connected to her apartment.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/customers-complain-of-phantom-gas-bills-from-energy-suppliers-20171016-gz2a62.html

A commute shared is a commute made easier
Age editorial
The primary source of this unavoidable, desirable change should be enlightened self-interest. As it becomes increasingly unattractive to own a car, the demand for public transport will prompt increased supply.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/ride-sharing-better-public-transport-have-more-to-offer-than-solo-car-commutes-20171025-gz7zt7.html

Cooma hoping for a return to the glory days with Snowy 2.0
The Snowy Hydro Scheme is part of Cooma’s DNA. But now, one generation later, the town waits in anticipation for a second economic boom.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/snowy-2.0-cooma-hoping-for-return-to-glory-days/9081834

Sonnen to unveil first Australian micro-grid, contemplates local manufacture
German battery storage manufacturer Sonnen is about to announce the first its Australian “SonnenCity” project, a new housing estate built with solar and storage that acts as a sort of micro-grid, or virtual power plant.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/sonnen-unveil-first-australian-micro-grid-contemplates-local-manufacture-69465/

Weak coal may stymie Whitehaven’s aggressive growth
http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/weak-coal-may-stymie-whitehavens-aggressive-growth-20171025-gz7ozb.html

Pedal power in the digital economy
SMH editorial
The idiots who wreck bikes or dump them are vandals, and should be dealt with accordingly.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/pedal-power-in-the-digital-economy-20171025-gz80lc.html

Know your NEM: A closer look at Vales Point
David Leitch
This week we focus on two things, one of minor interest in the bigger scheme (but for analysts like myself, it’s fun), and the other a look at the growth area of measuring and estimating the financial impacts of climate change.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/know-your-nem-a-closer-look-at-vales-point-85389/

DFAT in the firing line over possible secret requests for foreign cash to fund Adani mine
Questions have been raised about possible secret approaches to foreign agencies for financial support for Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-26/bureaucrats-to-be-grilled-over-adani-funding/9086262

Global investors buy Equis projects and Australia/Asia renewable story
The Asia-Pacific region’s largest renewables developer, and the company behind one of Australia’s biggest planned solar projects, has agreed to be sold to a consortium of high powered global investors in a deal that is being described as the largest renewable energy generation acquisition in history.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/global-investors-buy-equis-projects-and-australiaasia-renewable-story-26943/

Underwater tree lopping
Divers will trial underwater chainsaws to hack down hazarous trees at Lake Tinaroo under a proposed tree-clearing schedule released by SunWater.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/lifestyle/boating-and-fishing/underwater-chainsaws-to-be-trialled-sunwater-releases-target-tree-removal-areas-at-lake-tinaroo/news-story/3589ededaec4044fb56c9559d22d9d26

Seven years of CityCycle leaves Brisbane $13 million in the red
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/seven-years-of-citycycle-leaves-brisbane-13-million-in-the-red-20171025-p4ywna.html

Protesters strap selves to Adani machines
http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/protesters-strap-selves-to-adani-machines-20171024-p4ywmv.html

Nothing but truthiness: Adani and Co’s post-truth push for the Carmichael mine
Benedetta Brevini, University of Sydney and Terry Woronov, University of Sydney
There are telltale signs when regard for the facts of the matter is sacrificed to ‘truthiness’ to win a political debate.
https://theconversation.com/nothing-but-truthiness-adani-and-cos-post-truth-push-for-the-carmichael-mine-85671

Greenies block indigenous jobs
Matt Canavan
Aboriginal interests don’t get a look-in as cashed-up cynics work the courts.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/land-rights-opportunity-at-stake-in-greenies-battle-of-galilee/news-story/0539e979857e7f3a261dd271b05aff45

Tassal eases Macquarie Harbour fears
Salmon farmer Tassal says it is not dependent on its operations in Macquarie Harbour and can grow fish at other marine leases around the state.
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/tassal-reassures-shareholders-over-macquarie-harbour-at-annual-general-meeting/news-story/45710f3cfda9a5648df59af66a25396a

Dead starfish wash up on Perth beach
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/dead-starfish-wash-up-on-perth-beach-20171025-gz7wxc.html

Are northern-facing solar panels the best for your roof?
It’s common for solar panels to be fitted to the northern side of a roof, but a solar consultant suggests that might not be best.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/are-northern-facing-solar-panels-the-best-for-your-roof/9084306

Electric cars emit 50% less greenhouse gas than diesel, study finds
Researchers calculated the total lifecycle emissions of an electric car, including its manufacture, battery manufacture, and all of its energy consumption
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/25/electric-cars-emit-50-less-greenhouse-gas-than-diesel-study-finds

Weed killer Roundup is increasingly showing up in people
http://www.ehn.org/weed-killer-roundup-in-people-2500939455.html

How Bengal’s Mejia power plant is wrecking the life of the people it’s supposed to benefit
https://thewire.in/190598/west-bengals-mejia-thermal-power-plant-kills-people-supposed-benefit/

Arsenic reductions in drinking water tied to fewer cancer deaths
Researchers estimate that a new government rule resulted in 200 to 900 fewer lung and bladder cancers and 50 fewer skin cancers annually.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/well/live/arsenic-reductions-in-drinking-water-tied-to-fewer-cancer-deaths.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth

World’s most polluted city is no longer in India or China
As pollution continues to threaten human health and the planet, researchers are discovering smaller cities that previously went unnoticed have been discreetly topping the list of the most contaminated areas.
https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2017-10-23-pollution-zabol-iran-most-polluted-ambient-air-diseases-deaths

Oceans could offer a wind-powered world
Deep-water turbines could make a wind-powered world possible, scientists say, generating all the energy human civilization uses today.
http://climatenewsnetwork.net/23244-2/

Fracking chemicals and kids’ brains don’t mix: Study
Multiple pollutants found in the air and water near fracked oil and gas sites are linked to brain problems in children, according to a science review published today.
http://www.ehn.org/fracking-chemicals-and-kids-brains-dont-mix-study-2500840614.html

North Korea warns of Pacific nuclear test
The North Korean foreign minister’s warning of a possible atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean should be taken literally, a senior North Korean official has told CNN.
http://www.theage.com.au/world/north-korea-warns-of-pacific-nuclear-test-20171025-gz8cp2.html

Scott Pruitt’s EPA is delivering, except for clean air and water
Whatever troubles President Donald Trump may be having, it must be said that in a perverse sort of way, his Environmental Protection Agency is a screaming success.
http://www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-scott-pruitt-s-epa-is-delivering-except-for-clean/article_7e50b2ef-c548-586b-a75e-845b5bf2d0b1.html

China fights uphill battle against air pollution
Although China has made achievements in air pollution control in recent years, a tough battle remains, minister of environmental protection Li Ganjie has said.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-10/25/c_136704820.htm

New fractal-like concentrating solar power receivers are better at absorbing sunlight
Sandia National Laboratories engineers have developed new fractal-like, concentrating solar power receivers for small- to medium-scale use that are up to 20 percent more effective at absorbing sunlight than current technology.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/dnl-nfc102517.php

Among ‘green’ energy, hydropower is the most dangerous
Many governments are promoting a move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources. However, in a study published today, scientists highlight some of the ecological dangers this wave of ‘green’ energy poses
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/tuoh-ae102517.php

Living Close to Green Spaces Is Associated With Better Attention in Children
How do green spaces affect cognitive development in children? A new study concludes that children with more greenness around their homes may develop better attention
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171025103123.htm

Battery swapping will drive India’s electric car revolution
The global electric vehicle revolution will be bottom up, and developing countries like India will lead it.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/battery-swapping-will-drive-indias-electric-car-revolution-96563/

Trump to auction off a vast swath of the Gulf of Mexico to oil companies
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/24/trump-to-auction-off-a-vast-swath-of-the-gulf-of-mexico-to-oil-companies/?utm_term=.27efd2523821

Conservation spending predicts rise and fall of global biodiversity
In the decade after the 1992 Earth Summit, at least $14 billion was devoted to biodiversity conservation around the globe. According to new research published in Nature, it was money well spent, preventing a 29 percent decline in threatened bird and mammal species.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uoic-csp102517.php

Marine species threatened by deep-sea mining
Less than half of our planet’s surface is covered by land. The rest is water, and this environment is home to an enormous range of animal species, most of which remain undiscovered and thus have not yet been named.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uog-mst102517.php

Deforestation Linked to Palm Oil Production is Making Indonesia Warmer
In the past decades, large areas of forest in Sumatra, Indonesia have been replaced by cash crops like oil palm and rubber plantations. New research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences, shows that these changes in land use increase temperatures in the region. The added warming could affect plants and animals and make parts of the country more vulnerable to wildfires.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52964

Non-Native Species Do Not Make Native Fish More Vulnerable to Pollution in Mediterranean Rivers
The presence of exotic fish in rivers does not alter the native fish response to the environmental pollution, according to an …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171025100613.htm

Climate Change Could Decrease Sun’s Ability to Disinfect Lakes, Coastal Waters
One of the largely unanticipated impacts of a changing climate may be a decline in sunlight’s ability to disinfect lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171024105203.htm

Who is Palau’s marine sanctuary really for?
Is Palau’s marine reserve as good as it sounds – or a route to luxury tourism?
https://newint.org/sections/agenda/2017/11/01/palau-marine-reserve

Prince Charles: Companies chased away from Amazonian rainforests now destroying plains
The Prince of Wales is encouraging companies to sign up to the Cerrado manifesto, which aims to protect globally important natural landscapes
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/25/amazon-rainforests-prince-charles-cerrado-manifesto

Protecting forest dwellers goes hand in hand with protecting forests, Whitehall told
Indigenous community leaders are urging the UK government to do more to protect the forest dwellers who defend rainforests from illegal loggers
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/25/protecting-forest-dwellers-goes-hand-in-hand-with-protecting-forests-whitehall-told

Explainer: Sick of people stealing your milk from the office fridge? It ends today 
Here are some foolproof strategies for protecting your office milk supply. You just need to be prepared to play the villain.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/heres-how-you-can-stop-people-stealing-your-milk/9041956