Thursday 27 July 2017

Ireland’s staggering hypocrisy on climate change
The national climate policy is a greenwash – the country is certain to miss its 2020 emissions target and still handing out drilling licences
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/26/irelands-staggering-hypocrisy-on-climate-change

Social Sector Says Slashing Energy Supplement is a ‘Human Rights Issue’
Australia’s peak body for social services is calling on parliament to reject legislation that will cut the energy supplement saying that further cuts to people living on so little is a “human rights issue”.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/07/social-sector-says-slashing-energy-supplement-human-rights-issue/

Out with “minister for Adani” – in with a minister for renewables?
Could the sudden resignation of Matt Canavan open the door for a renewables friendly resources minister?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/minister-adani-minister-renewables-48967/

Coal ‘unlikely’ to feature in Finkel-led energy fix
Business leaders have scathingly dismissed proposals for government to fund a coal fired power station as an answer to high energy prices.
http://www.afr.com/business/business-pleas-for-government-to-back-finkel-review-20170726-gxj6bi

Adani, Santos left vulnerable by Canavan crisis
Matthew Stevens
Many are wondering whether there could be a less timely moment for the federal resources portfolio to slip into a caretaker’s hands.
http://www.afr.com/business/canavan-not-the-only-one-hurt-by-italian-chaos-20170726-gxj8tk

Is the Murray-Darling Basin Plan broken?
Ross M Thompson
Taxpayers have spent A$13 billion on water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin in the past decade, hundreds of millions of which have gone directly to state governments. Governments have an obligation to ensure that this money is well spent.
http://theconversation.com/is-the-murray-darling-basin-plan-broken-81613

Murray-Darling Basin ‘theft’ revelations must trigger ICAC investigation
Paul Sinclair
The explosive Four Corners investigation into the Murray-Darling river system must trigger an ICAC investigation
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/-murray-darling-basin-theft-revelations-must-trigger-icac-investigation,10537

When they take the water from a Barkandji person, they take our blood
Badger Bates
I teach young Australians about Aboriginal culture and how they should respect the Barka, the Darling River. There’s nothing to teach if there’s no river
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/26/when-they-take-the-water-from-a-barkandji-person-they-take-our-blood

The Greens’ not-so-simple, essential mandate: save the Earth
Guy Rundle
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/07/26/the-greens-mandate-to-save-the-earth-is-the-most-important-thing-anyone-will-ever-do/

Consumers vs the empire: The economics favour partial grid defection
David Leitch
The economics are now increasingly in favour of partial grid defection. You’re a fool if you don’t have rooftop solar PV and you could.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/consumers-vs-empire-economics-favour-partial-grid-defection-31548/

Big power bills generate wages
Telegraph editorial
Most people, including almost all ­people who pay electricity bills, will agree that the Australian power supply system is in trouble.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-big-power-bills-generate-wages/news-story/4c4fc54420245cef2c48217a3758074d

Affordability issue is key to power
Rod Sims
ELECTRICITY affordability, reliability and sustainability has played second fiddle to a desire to boost government revenues for too long
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-its-time-to-get-real-on-electricity-prices/news-story/fa0a092d3f71fcca82fbcbeeedbf2749

‘Retrograde solution’: West Gate Tunnel Project a ‘permanent blight,’ says PIA
The Victorian chapter of the Planning Institute Australia has criticized the Victorian government’s West Gate Tunnel Project for failing to follow its own planning guidelines.
http://architectureau.com/articles/retrograde-solution-west-gate-tunnel-project-a-permanent-blight-says-pia/

Victoria faces summer power use test
VICTORIA may have to rely on energy from other states to help keep the lights on during the summer peak if the wind doesn’t blow, a new report says.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victoria-energy-supply-concerns-not-just-hot-air-report/news-story/3b853148aecb5967947f0d5c8626604a

Lift 2020 gas ban, shire asks
CONVENTIONAL gas should be extracted in Victoria, with royalties provided to landholders, according to Moyne Shire Council.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/moyne-shire-council-wants-conventional-gas-ban-lifted/news-story/3547f4c382301e111695d9960bd1b0c5

Murray-Darling Basin corruption will be punished: Minister
The NSW Government says any staff found to be involved in corruption relating to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will be disciplined, as it tries to hose down claims it is not taking the matter seriously.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-26/nsw-murray-darling-basin-alleged-corruption-punished-minister/8746098

Giant electricity trio are raking it in
Three electricity giants who control the NSW market are generating massive profits while tens of thousands of struggling families face having power turned off because they cannot pay astronomical bills.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-electricity-crisis-agl-origin-and-energy-australia-inflate-power-profits/news-story/cbd8c83e88ec02b2c3a718d281958270

Giant tunnel caverns show scale of WestConnex
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/giant-tunnel-caverns-show-scale-of-westconnex-toll-road-project-20170726-gxiuji.html

‘Noisy, polluted, harsh’: Sydney road a perfect lesson in what not to do
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/noisy-polluted-harsh-canterbury-road-is-the-perfect-lesson-in-what-not-to-do-20170726-gxj6xv.html

Why city’s new light rail trams won’t switch lines
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/why-sydneys-new-light-rail-trams-wont-carry-passengers-on-inner-west-line-20170725-gxida4.html

ACT law courts $160 million revamp will ‘improve access to justice’
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-law-courts-160-million-revamp-will-improve-access-to-justice-20170726-gxj5hb.html

Queensland told to ‘deliver the goods’ and eradicate red fire ant
Federal and state agriculture ministers will spend almost $400 million over the next 10 years to try to eradicate the destructive red imported fire ant for good.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-26/$400m-committed-to-fight-red-fire-ants-in-queensland/8745016

Bubbling not troubling, scientists say
AFTER years of study by the gas industry and scientists, the cause of mysterious bubbling of the Condamine River may have been found.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/condamine-river-bubbling-unlikely-to-be-caused-by-coal-seam-gas-csiro-says/news-story/2fc275249743047db216af9a3d6ce6eb

Feds in Cross River Rail fail of their own
IF YOU’RE going to slam Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project, you should make sure your facts are right first.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/cross-river-rail-fail-on-infrastructure-australias-rejection-map/news-story/ec7f18833c37ada6fb3d2b69278d9a5f

SA calls for Barnaby Joyce to drop lobbyist from water board nomination
Federal-state tensions over water issues have escalated with South Australia demanding Barnaby Joyce, the federal Water Minister, drop his nomination of an irrigation lobbyist to the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s board.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/sa-calls-for-barnaby-joyce-to-drop-water-board-nomination-as-inquiry-begins-20170726-gxiw1g.html

Australia’s largest solar farm – 220MW – under construction
Reach Solar to proceed with second stage of Bungala solar farm near Port Augusta, snatching title of largest solar farm under construction.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-largest-solar-farm-220mw-construction-65756/

Lower costs to pull plug on bill shock
ELECTRICITY companies will be paying around 50 per cent less for their power and so should you, welfare groups say.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/with-electricity-costs-poised-to-fall-welfare-group-push-for-suppliers-to-pass-savings-on/news-story/a0b690e5f19ca467a67c717b6b3bab59

ScoMo: Don’t buy Tesla’s big cell
PREMIER Jay Weatherill has confirmed the new state-owned power station won’t be ready in time to help stop blackouts this summer, and says his big battery costs “less than $50 million”.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/premier-jay-weatherill-says-sas-big-battery-to-cost-less-than-50m/news-story/884bfb6c6aefc3a9f6552d9f78ee940f

Weatherill lets fly at right wing attack against renewables
Marc Hudson
Jay Weatherill in pugnacious mood at launch of Mark Butler’s Climate Wars book, promising to repeat his Frydenberg shirtfront with PM Turnbull if given the opportunity.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/weatherill-lets-fly-right-wing-attack-renewables-46736/

TasWater takeover debate fizzles at LGAT conference
An expected showdown over the planned state takeover of Tasmania’s water infrastructure, TasWater, failed to eventuate at the annual local government conference.
http://www.abc.net.au
TasWater takeover has no friend in Labor/news/2017-07-26/taswater-debate-at-lgat-conference-fizzles/8746070

TasWater takeover has no friend in Labor
THE State Opposition says it will not support the State Government’s legislation to acquire TasWater when it is tabled in parliament.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/taswater-takeover-legislation-has-no-friend-in-labor-lgat-general-meeting-told/news-story/26cbd2218ae39c19faa41f1627d0e33d

‘We’re not bumpkins’: Tasmanian farmers using drones, wifi
Irrigators signed up to Tasmania’s Southern Highlands Irrigation Scheme are using technology to help maximise on-farm water efficiency.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/drone-technology-on-farms/8746272

NT indigenous communities begin shift to hybrid solar and storage
ARENA backed NT project commissions first 10 solar, battery storage systems, cutting diesel fuel use by more than a million litres a year.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nt-indigenous-communities-begin-shift-hybrid-solar-storage-94020/

NLC ‘misled traditional owners’
Documents show the NLC misled its senior Aboriginal leadership group about hosting a nuclear waste dump on their land.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/nlc-misled-traditional-owners-over-17m-nuclear-waste-dump/news-story/85bd899c355d93d42c72c452f03d1bab

Indigenous clan takes land council to court over $29m in claimed losses from Muckaty Station debacle
Bob Gosford
Old wounds will be re-opened in the Federal Court after disgruntled Aboriginal Australians filed an action against the Northern Land Council for allegedly losing them large sums of money after canning the Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump proposal.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/07/26/ngapa-clan-takes-northern-land-council-to-court-over-muckaty-station/

Proposed fine for residents who don’t sort rubbish
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/bin-police-wanted-proposed-fine-for-melville-residents-who-dont-sort-rubbish-20170726-gxj3xc.html

New plan to dam WA’s Fitzroy River and create cotton powerhouse
A New South Wales-based company puts forward a new plan to dam Western Australia’s Fitzroy River, but environmentalists warn it will destroy the waterway, which they want protected by law.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-27/new-plan-to-dam-was-fitzroy-river-and-create-cotton-powerhouse/8743228

UK set to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2040: reports
Britain’s Government is set to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 when all vehicles must be fully electric as part of a plan to clean up air pollution, reports say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-26/uk-to-ban-sales-of-petrol-diesel-fuelled-cars-from-2040-reports/8744076

New Membranes Help Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emission
Scientists are developing membranes for an efficient separation of gasses, to use for the production of oxygen or hydrogen, for …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726092022.htm

Solar Scientists Rough Up Silicon Panels to Boost Light Capture
Scientists enhance conversion efficiency of crystalline Si solar cells by effectively preventing reflection loss, passivating a submicron silicon structure, and adding a …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726102945.htm

Science: Are we in a male fertility death spiral?
Male sterility is a growing problem. Here’s why you should be worried—and your kids should be terrified.
http://bit.ly/2h23LHb

Trees Can Make or Break City Weather
Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new study that also found losing a single …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726091513.htm

UK govt launches £246m battery storage investment round
Joshua Hill UK government launches four-year, £246m investment round to boost research and development in battery technology.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/uk-govt-launches-246m-battery-storage-investment-round-40852/

Electric cars: everything you need to know
From how to charge them to whether they are really better for the environment
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/26/electric-cars-everything-you-need-to-know

UK ban on polluting cars by 2040 is just a cynical smokescreen
The UK government’s plan to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars in two decades’ time is no help for those affected by air pollution
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2141911-uk-ban-on-polluting-cars-by-2040-is-just-a-cynical-smokescreen/

The trials, tribulations and absolute joys of electric motorcycling
Nigel Morris
It’s been almost 5 years since I swapped from a petrol engined motorcycle to an all electric Zero. Since then I’ve travelled 32,767km at an average cost of 1.5c per km.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-trials-tribulations-and-absolute-joys-of-electric-motorcycling-78051/

How to make batteries that last (almost) forever
Raja Jurdak, CSIRO and Brano Kusy, CSIRO
Batteries that can self-sustain are needed for long-term animal tracking as well as shipping and logistics.
http://theconversation.com/how-to-make-batteries-that-last-almost-forever-79750

Fossil fuels and Australian tools: It’s time to go fully electric
Sophie Vorrath
Sally Perini has four electric cars, a fully electric ride on mower and a suite of electric tools. And for good reason: One two-stroke leaf blower used for one hour can produce as much hydrocarbons as 150 cars over the same time.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/fossil-fuels-australian-tools-time-go-fully-electric-46315/

Why young should stay home
Bernard Salt
The key to reducing world population levels is the emancipation of women.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/women-the-key-to-australias-positive-future/news-story/d390ece4c398e48351a7b719073f9f74

Finally facing our water-loo: it’s time to decolonise sewerage systems
Matt Barlow, University of Adelaide
Modern sewerage infrastructure, exported from Britain to the globe, is entirely dependent on water. In a world of growing climate extremes, it’s time to look beyond this colonial legacy.
http://theconversation.com/finally-facing-our-water-loo-its-time-to-decolonise-sewerage-systems-78095

Politically charged: do you know where your batteries come from?
Ben McLellan
http://theconversation.com/politically-charged-do-you-know-where-your-batteries-come-from-80886

Plastic garbage patch bigger than Mexico found in Pacific.
Yet another floating mass of microscopic plastic has been discovered in the ocean, and it is mind-blowingly vast.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322358044

The World Lost a Nebraska-Sized Chunk of Forest in 2015
The world lost nearly 49 million acres of forest in 2015 to logging, wildfires, palm oil plantations, and other development activity, according to new data by the conservation group Global Forest Watch. That is equal to an area roughly the size of Nebraska, Climate Central reported.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/51972

Madagascar: No more fish? We’ll farm seaweed instead.
The collapse of fisheries, decline of coral reefs and drought are all hitting Madagascar hard. But fishermen are coping with scarce and stressed resources in the Indian Ocean by coming up with new alternatives.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359019

Lake Baikal: Protection of a Unique Ecosystem
Researchers are studying the impact of climate change and environmental toxins on the lake’s fauna. They addressed the question of how Baikal amphipods that fulfill important …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726103013.htm

Scientific integrity must be defended, our planet depends on it
Euan Ritchie, Deakin University; James Watson, The University of Queensland; Jeremy Kerr, and Martine Maron, The University of Queensland
To conserve Earth’s remarkable species, we must also defend the importance of science and scientific integrity.
http://theconversation.com/scientific-integrity-must-be-defended-our-planet-depends-on-it-79034

Supreme Court ruling on NZ’s largest irrigation dam proposal respects conservation law and protected land
Christine Cheyne, Massey University
New Zealand’s Supreme Court rejected a proposed land swap that would have seen conservation land used for an irrigation dam, but the government is now considering a retrospective law change.
http://theconversation.com/supreme-court-ruling-on-nzs-largest-irrigation-dam-proposal-respects-conservation-law-and-protected-land-81199

Studies help understand why some people are so sure they’re right
Insight suggests ways to communicate with people who ignore evidence that contradicts cherished beliefs
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/cwru-shu072617.php