Thursday 28 September 2017

We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?
Marco Amat et al
A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space – although some areas are doing better than others.
http://theconversation.com/were-investing-heavily-in-urban-greening-so-how-are-our-cities-doing-83354

The economic case for climate action in the United States
Weather events intensified by climate change and health costs due to fossil fuel burning stunt US growth
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/hhw-tec092717.php

Government reveals further details of billion-dollar Landcare spending
The Federal Government committed $1 billion for Landcare out to 2023 and today it reveals more detail about how that money will be spent.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-09-27/federal-government-reveals-more-landcare-funding-detail/8989736

Government strikes gas deal to shore up domestic supply
Australia’s largest gas companies assure the Federal Government they will increase supply to the eastern states next year, potentially avoiding an energy crisis and export restrictions.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/gas-export-controls-on-hold-amid-government-agreement/8993254

Energy experts decry Turnbull opting for convenience over clear policy
Short-sited goals, big egos and too much opining are hobbling Australia’s energy goals, a recent meeting of experts has said.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/27/bad-policy-and-misinformation-discussions-on-the-future-of-energy-in-victoria-and-australia/

Green talks tough abroad
Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson addressed a Japanese audience on Australia’s opposition to whaling.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4952844/green-talks-tough-abroad/?cs=95

We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?
Marco Amat et al
A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space – although some areas are doing better than others.
http://theconversation.com/were-investing-heavily-in-urban-greening-so-how-are-our-cities-doing-83354

Why Australia doesn’t face sovereign risk in the gas markets
Giovanni Di Lieto, Monash University
Australia’s prime location and Asia’s growing demand make it unlikely that there will be less foreign demand for our gas.
http://theconversation.com/why-australia-doesnt-face-sovereign-risk-in-the-gas-markets-84686

Renewables will be cheaper than coal in the future. Here are the numbers
Ken Baldwin, Australian National University
The price of renewable energy will fall significantly relative to new-build coal in coming decades, making an all-renewable electricity system more desirable, both economically and environmentally.
http://theconversation.com/renewables-will-be-cheaper-than-coal-in-the-future-here-are-the-numbers-84433

Energy policy: The Turnbull Government’s latest pulp fiction
Pearls and Irritations
The last few weeks have set new standards for national stupidity on energy policy.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/energy-policy-the-turnbull-governments-latest-pulp-fiction,10759

Turnbull’s gas deal changes nothing
Angela Macdonald-Smith
The government’s claim of a win against the Queensland LNG producers on east coast gas may turn out to be hollow.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/gas/malcolm-turnbulls-gas-deal-changes-nothing-price-is-still-a-major-problem-20170927-gypr69

AGL plays hardball with government
Jennifer Hewett
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/agl-tells-malcolm-turnbull-forget-about-it-20170927-gypwbw

PM puts faith in energy exporters
David Crowe
Malcolm Turnbull is taking a political risk by relying on assurances from three big gas exporters.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/pms-faith-in-energy-exporters-to-do-the-right-thing/news-story/82ea82ef35f34d7c118edbfc2109ed20

Gas scare is just a load of hot air
Andrew Bolt
AUSTRALIA’s energy crisis is another example of governments being too scared of green scares to do their job.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-gas-scare-is-just-a-load-of-hot-air/news-story/b53e1ceb3daf93c43063b01a98a4be03

Gas win for PM leaves Labor blowing smoke rings
Mark Kenny
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/gas-win-for-malcolm-turnbull-leaves-labor-blowing-smoke-rings-20170927-gypqez.html

Time for an end to rentseeker dinosaurs?
Bernard Keane
Once dominant in Australian politics, the Business Council and the Minerals Council are now struggling for relevance. Perhaps their time is now over.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/27/time-for-an-end-to-rentseeker-dinosaurs/

Renters trapped in energy hardship
TENANTS living in poorly-insulated homes are risking their health to try to manage the blowout in their power bills, a new report says.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/poor-insulation-energy-bills-pushing-tenants-to-put-health-at-risk/news-story/6f6a09c46e13e6a32f3cf06b3404e86b

Street to become new CBD park
MELBOURNE CBD workers will get a new park when a large section of a city street is permanently closed and turned into a green public space in 2019.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/market-st-in-melbournes-cbd-to-be-closed-and-transformed-into-a-new-park/news-story/401397789d0fa760b34afd083ae657af

Is subsidising airport train fares the way to go?
Alan Davies
The fare travellers will pay – whether less than $5 or more than $25 – is a key issue in planning for a mass transit connection between Melbourne Airport and the city centre
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/09/27/subsidising-airport-train-fares-way-go/

AGL pushes back against pressure to keep Liddell power station open
The chairman of energy giant AGL warns of “unanticipated outages” as the ageing coal-fired plant becomes “less reliable” in coming years, and calls for “a greater degree of certainty in policy” from the Federal Government.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/agl-continues-to-resist-pressure-over-liddell-power-station/8992560

AGL plans its own “big battery” and renewables to replace Liddell
AGL outlines plans to install 250MW of battery storage at Liddell, and to invest in Bayswater upgrade, new gas generators, demand response, and huge amount of wind and solar to replace Liddell.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/agl-plans-its-own-big-battery-and-renewables-to-replace-liddell-39499/

MDBA rejects assertions it “knew” of water theft allegations but “did nothing”
THE Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has defended new claims it knew about but failed to take appropriate action over alleged water theft in the NSW Barwon Darling region of the Basin and shouldn’t be investigating compliance failures.
http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/4953211/mdba-rejects-assertions-it-knew-of-water-theft-allegations-but-did-nothing/?cs=4698

Policing of NSW water licences slowed to trickle over 12 months
Number of penalty notices issued fell to just 14 in 2016-17, compared with 70 the previous year and 98 in 2014-15
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/27/policing-of-nsw-water-licences-slowed-to-trickle-over-12-months

Yancoal strengthens coal position
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/yancoal-exercises-option-to-boost-ownership-of-warkworth-coal-mine-in-nsw-20170927-gypmbb

NSW pollies fire back at PM for gas claims
NSW politicians have fired back at the prime minister’s claims of the slow approval of the Narrabri Gas Project as the nation faces a gas shortage.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nsw-rejects-pm-on-gas-project-approval/news-story/cca5dff23898360bc41ec89877e870c8

Narrabri gas project years away
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/santos-narrabri-gas-project-stuck-in-regulatory-quagmire-20170926-gyphee

Turnbull should learn to butt out of Narrabri CSG scheme
Lyndon Schneiders
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/malcolm-turnbull-knows-better-than-to-meddle-in-the-narrabri-csg-process-20170927-gypjvf.html

AGL duo’s pay must back promise
Terry McCrann
WOULD you buy a used power station from AGL? If I was Malcolm and Josh I’d certainly go for even the clapped-out Liddell ahead of the dodgiest of deals trotted out on Wednesday
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/terry-mccrann/terry-mccrann-agl-duos-pay-must-back-promise/news-story/2045e987a289a0b8135550a1bd372682

How Eric expects to slash more than half his power bill for $2 a day
This Canberra retiree says his “badge of honour” — a $20,000 energy system — generates enough power to run all his home energy needs, charge his son’s hybrid SUV and sell excess back to the grid.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/solar-system-cuts-power-bill-canberra-retiree/8990666

Massive Tesla battery to power Logan reservoir
The giant 95kWh Tesla PowerPack battery is the first to be installed in Australia, and will power a water disinfection plant built to cater for the growing population of Logan, south of Brisbane.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/massive-tesla-battery-to-power-logan-reservoir/8993474

Solar farms wrestle with storage costs in Queensland as tender closes
Solar projects tendering for Queensland government’s 400MW of large-scale renewables contracts will have to add storage to ..
http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-farms-wrestle-storage-costs-queensland-tender-closes-66658/

Amazing discovery at Great Barrier Reef
THE Great Barrier Reef just got even cooler. A marine biologist discovered something more than just fish and coral at a secret location after spotting it on Google maps.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/marine-biologist-makes-amazing-new-discovery-at-great-barrier-reef/news-story/0e24a19dbcb0e1f31bafddc03a851cea

The man who fought to save Fraser Island to become a doctor
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/conservation-campaigner-receives-doctorate-for-fraser-island-fight-20170926-p4yw4q.html

Queensland is preparing for driverless cars to hit the streets
A trial involving 500 south-east Queensland residents will start road testing of cars which can talk to each other and infrastructure.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-is-preparing-for-driverless-cars-to-hit-the-streets-20170927-p4yw4w.html

Adani’s Whyalla 140MW solar plant set for construction in 2018
Green industrial revolution continues at Whyalla, with Adani Group’s 140MW solar farm approved for construction.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/adanis-whyalla-140mw-solar-plant-set-construction-2018/

Ex-police chief’s dire blackout warning
SOUTH Australia does not have a plan to manage major power outages or to evacuate Adelaide when disaster strikes, a year after the state was plunged into darkness.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australia-still-lacks-evacuation-plans-a-year-after-state-blackout-says-expolice-chief-gary-burns/news-story/304b854bb58d7c21da45ca50eaf040a3

Natural burials on offer alongside conventional cemetery sites in Burnie
The option to be wrapped in a shroud instead of placed in a coffin will now be available as a burial alternative in north-west Tasmania.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/natural-burials-on-offer-in-burnie/8990744

Native flavours feature in Drysdale feast
INDIGENOUS plants are coming on to the culinary scene, thanks to a couple with a taste for bush tucker.
http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/native-flavours-feature-in-slow-food-hobart-feast-at-drysdale/news-story/28a379e45f7ce51ac414ba0ed25181bb

Tigers’ loss ‘due to climate change’, say scientists
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/tigers-loss-due-to-climate-change-say-scientists-20170927-gypzxq.html

Governments don’t need more power over developments
Peter McGlone
Major projects legislation could mean less say for residents
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-governments-dont-need-more-power-over-developments/news-story/19af10a26014e96aee2cbaa2435d8a1f

‘Precautionary’ PFAS water treatment plant arrives in Katherine
A long-awaited treatment plant to reduce PFAS chemicals in the Northern Territory town of Katherine’s drinking supply arrives.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/pfas-water-treatment-plant-arrives-in-katherine/8993190

Aboriginal burial ground exposed by floodwaters
The discovery of a human skull sparks one of Australia’s largest repatriation efforts to save the remains of about 100 Aboriginal people in Western Australia’s far north.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-27/aboriginal-remains-exposed-by-floodwaters-repatriated/8992994

Can this Tesla alum build the world’s greenest battery?
Two former Tesla executives have plans to build a $4.5 billion electric battery plant powered by Sweden’s abundant hydropower to produce lithium-ion batteries with a near-zero carbon footprint.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4057999804430503253

Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel
Olive oil has long been a popular kitchen staple. Yet producing the oil creates a vast stream of wastewater that can foul waterways, reduce soil fertility and trigger extensive damage to nearby ecosystems. Now in a study appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, scientists report on the development of an environmentally friendly process that could transform this pollutant into “green” biofuel, bio-fertilizer and safe water for use in agricultural irrigation.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/acs-omw092717.php

NYC’s tall order for greener buildings.
Making existing buildings more energy-efficient can cost millions of dollars. But under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new mandate, owners must either upgrade or pay a hefty fine.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4057999804430503231

Monetising time savings makes toll roads financially stack up
Putting a dollar value on the savings from traffic congestion, noise and air pollution as a result of toll roads and tunnels will make large infrastructure projects more cost effective, according to a new study by QUT.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/quot-mts092717.php

UK opens first subsidy-free solar farm, complete with storage
The 10 MW Clayhill solar farm and storage facility, developed by Anesco, was officially opened by UK climate change minister Claire Perry.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/uk-opens-first-subsidy-free-solar-farm-complete-with-storage-74545/

India taps solar, storage to ensure all homes have power in 2018
Whither coal? India’s new electrification scheme will dedicate 80% of $2.5bn budget to solar and battery banks for rural and remote homes
http://reneweconomy.com.au/india-taps-solar-storage-to-ensure-all-homes-have-power-in-2018-17633/

Something in the water: Life after mercury poisoning.
As the first global treaty on mercury finally comes into force, what have we really learned from the Minamata disaster?
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430503734

When 1.2 billion tourists become 1.8 billion, will we be ready?
How we manage this industry and its growth is extremely important, because even as every country wants to attract large numbers of visitors, no one, we believe, intends to sit by and allow damage to the very infrastructure that pulls visitors in the first place
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/1251925125133567004

The big problem with water.
Despite the writing on the wall being in neon letters there is little by way of a concerted and coordinated effort to address a problem that is killing hundreds of thousands every year.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/1251925125133566997

I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why.
David Roberts Vox
The best ways to address population don’t necessarily involve talking about it at all.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430503252

We may survive the Anthropocene, but need to avoid a radioactive ‘Plutocene’
Andrew Glikson, Australian National University
Imagine a world ravaged by the fallout from nuclear weapons and the runaway effects of climate change. Congratulations, you’ve just imagined the Plutocene, but let’s hope it doesn’t become a reality.
http://theconversation.com/we-may-survive-the-anthropocene-but-need-to-avoid-a-radioactive-plutocene-84763

Removing nitrate for healthier ecosystems
For agricultural nitrogen, slow it down, buff it out
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/asoa-rnf092617.php

Preservation of Floodplains Is Flood Protection
The silting of rivers and streams leads to problems for fish, mussels, and other aquatic organisms because their habitats disappear.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927102345.htm

Trouble in the fields: Why the superweeds are winning.
Nathan Donley Des Moines Register
More than simply an indictment of one pesticide, the dicamba dilemma has spotlighted the challenges of the nation’s increasing dependence on crops genetically altered to resist pesticides.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/1251925125133566999