Thursday 7 December 2017

The human race has peaked
We may have reached our maximum limits for height, lifespan and physical performance; environmental changes, including climate change, could see these decrease.

Al Gore’s 24-hour climate broadcast wants to reignite your hope
With Donald Trump in the White House, it’s been a rough year for climate optimism. But in his annual “24 Hours of Reality” broadcast, the former Vice President wants to motivate people by highlighting progressive initiatives unfolding in every time zone.

Map shows political divide on climate, common ground on clean energy
A majority of both Republicans and Democrats throughout Ohio favor clean energy policies, such as regulating carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant and more government funding for renewable energy, according to a new interactive map.

There’s little middle ground in Internet discussions of climate change—Does it matter?
Climate-denial blogs purport to be based on science, but in reality their content has little overlap with statements in the peer-reviewed literature, an international team of researchers reports in the journal BioScience.

4 takeaways from a gathering of mayors on climate change
Dozens of mayors met in Chicago to speak about the perils of climate change, announcing their own standards in the mold of the Paris treaty.

More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate: study
The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a new paper from Carnegie’s Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira published by Nature.

Quantifying the greenhouse gas footprint of crop cultivation
“Climate-smart” crop cultivation, characterized by a low greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, low synthetic nitrogen consumption, and simultaneously high yields, is an approach in agriculture for implementing the Paris Agreement as part of mitigating climate change.

Researchers model optimal amount of rainfall for plants
Researchers have determined what could be considered a “Goldilocks” climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. But those landscapes are likely to shrink and become less productive in the future through climate change

Trump can redeem himself on climate change. Here’s how.
Michael Morell and Benjamin Haas
Congress has now affirmed its belief in climate change, and the president has an opportunity.

The west can’t fix the climate crisis. Asia will have to do it
Chandran Nair
The future is about resources, not technology. The planet really needs developing nations to get it right.

Energy Efficiency market report – the big rally continues
Price jump in the VEEC market across the last 5 months has been massive, with speculation and then confirmation scheme administrator will reduce the attractiveness of some commercial lighting products.

Burning coal for power “like burning dollar notes” in era of cheap solar
Burning coal to generate electricity in era of solar at 1c/kWh makes as about as much economic sense as “burning dollar notes”, says leading researcher Martin Green.

Weather Australia: Bureau of Meteorology confirms summer La Nina
After months of speculation, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that Australia will see a La Nina weather pattern this summer.

Turnbull government drops plans to curb green groups but doubts remain
Environment groups have welcomed the Turnbull government’s retreat from plans to curb environmental advocacy but concerns remain about other proposals to restrict the charity sector.

Wind turbine health fears warrant study, says tribunal

Green groups and charities could be collateral damage in government’s foreign donation ban
Samantha Hepburn, Deakin University
The new foreign donations laws announced this week will potentially stifle the work of foreign funded charities and environment groups working in Australia.

Yarra baby platypuses safe after storm but river flushed with poo
The weekend’s storms may have underwhelmed some Melburnians, but when it comes to their effect on the Yarra River there is good news and bad news.

Platypus population virtually extinct in Victoria’s upper Wimmera
A DNA study along the upper Wimmera River in western Victoria finds no traces of the iconic Australian mammal.

Wombat mange: Victorian retirees in bid for federal funding to help treat furry friends

Energy regulator smashes illusion of “cheap” coal power in NSW
AER report absolves big generators of predatory bidding during demand peaks, but they hardly need to: The cost of “baseload” coal supply in NSW has jumped so high that there is no such thing as “cheap” coal generation.

Lee Rhiannon’s overthrow and the future of the Greens’ hard-left quasi-faction
Max Chalmers

Far too soon to trash container deposits
SMH editorial
Return and Earn is the most important practical measure to improve our environment since Bob Carr expanded national parks.

Illegal land clearing allegations against Wombinoo Station ‘unfounded’
Allegations of illegal land clearing on a north Queensland cattle station have been “dismissed as unfounded” and the property owners were “complying with their obligations under Federal environmental law”, the Federal Environment Minister says.

New non-fracking technology close to market but scientists and farmers need more convincing
Farmers are wary over a frack-free drill development but are willing to consider it as power prices skyrocket.

Labor hits magic 47 seats it needs for a majority
After securing a Gold Coast seat, Labor believes it has the 47 seats needed to form government in its own right.

Greens set to claim historic victory in Maiwar

Adani: Greens MPs arrested at protest, miner referred to ACCC
Two NSW Greens MPs have been arrested for protesting against the proposed Adani coalmine, as the Indian miner is referred to the consumer watchdog.

Adani still committed to $16.5b Carmichael mine despite funding options drying up

ACCC asked to investigate Adani ‘10,000 jobs’ claim

Is this the end of the road for Adani’s Australian megamine?
Australian and Chinese banks have turned it down, and analysts say Adani’s failure to secure funding for the Carmichael mine leaves it high and dry

Adani Carmichael mine: Palaszczuk accused of xenophobia as funding options dry up
Labor will return to power with the Adani coal project – its biggest hope for jobs and the economy – running out of financing options after a ­sustained attack from environmental groups.

Reef Haven project trial to be launched off Cairns in early-2018 …
The first of eight underwater turbines is expected off Cairns early next year as part of a multimillion-dollar trial to prevent coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Native title in focus for new wave of Century Mine
A landmark native title agreement in Queensland’s gulf country is in the spotlight again as what was once the world’s largest open-cut zinc mine looks to start its next phase.

The people have spoken, now it’s time to deliver Cross River Rail
Anthony Albanese

5B plans module pre-fab facility in Adelaide, “gigafactory” in Asia
Australian solar plant innovators 5B have announced plans to set up a production facility in Adelaide, and potentially a “gigawatt” production line in Asia.

Electricity bill discounts for up to 168000 South Australians in State Government bulk-buy deal with Origin Energy

Tech giant Tesla will build another 50 car charging stations in SA as part of the deal struck with Elon Musk

Aurora Energy’s plan to overhaul payment system

Cost queries on new PAYG power meters go unanswered

Cruel twist of fate killing the common boobook owl
Household rat poison is being blamed for the demise of the common boobook owl population, which is ironic because this raptor is a natural predator of vermin.

Air pollution cancels out the health benefits of a stroll in the city
Keep taking your walks — but maybe avoid the traffic

UNICEF: Contaminated air threatens millions of babies
Seventeen million babies worldwide live in areas where air pollution runs six times the recommended limit, UNICEF reports. Excessive air pollution could put brain development at risk.

Real-time maps of air pollution will soon make it easy to see where danger lies
We cannot see the tiny deadly particles that are killing people – but new digital advances are about to change that, which may spark action.

It’s getting less appealing to drill for oil in the Arctic
Oil exploration in Norway’s Arctic seems to have lost some of its appeal after a disappointing drilling campaign.

Gas glut tipped to last 10 years
The global LNG glut could last another decade or more, putting pressure on prices of our second-biggest export, warn analysts.

16.5 million electric vehicle sales tipped for 2025: UBS
Almost one in every six new cars sold around the world in 2025 will be electric vehicles, according to a new report by experts from UBS who have lifted their EV sales forecasts sharply.

France’s war on waste makes it most food sustainable country
A war on waste food in France, where supermarkets are banned from throwing away unsold food and restaurants must provide doggy bags when asked, has helped it secure the top spot in a ranking of countries by their food sustainability.

This underground urban farm also heats the building above it

China’s blow to recycling boosts U.S.’s $185 billion plastic bet
China is upending the global plastics market.

In Jordan, an empowering solution for UN-run refugee camps
At two UN-run refugee camps, solar power projects bring reassuring light to the desert night, renewable energy sources for Jordan’s future, and jobs and training for Syrian refugees.

Hydrogen gas from enzyme production
Researchers at Freie Universität Berlin and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have uncovered a crucial reaction principle of hydrogen-producing enzymes.

Clean energy: Experts outline how governments can successfully invest before it’s too late
Governments need to give technical experts more autonomy and hold their nerve to provide more long-term stability when investing in clean energy, argue researchers in climate change and innovation policy in a new paper published today.

The human race has peaked
We may have reached our maximum limits for height, lifespan and physical performance; environmental changes, including climate change, could see these decrease.

‘Green’ cataract surgery model drastically reduces environmental footprint
Model in India offers lessons for high-income countries on how to make a common surgery sustainable

Catalyzing carbon dioxide
System developed at Harvard’s Rowland Institute can transform CO2 into CO for use in industry

Iter nuclear fusion project reaches key halfway milestone
After a series of set backs the international project is back on track, say scientists, giving tentative hope for a major new source of clean power by 2025

Diesel Vehicles in Oil Sands Operations Contribute to Regional Pollution
Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been linked to several health conditions, including heart disease and …

Keep in mind – The thugs running the US government are a small part of the story
Paul R. & Anne H. Ehrlich
Though distressing, current US politics cannot distract us from the persisting and growing likelihood of collapse.

Antifungal resistance is a public health threat that shouldn’t be ignored
Frieda Wiley
Fungal infections are on the rise and pose a serious threat to millions of people worldwide. While not all are dangerous, some can be deadly.

California condors still at risk of lead poisoning
The threat of lead poisoning still persists for the endangered California condor.

Imagining the jellyfish apocalypse
The stinging, gelatinous blobs could take over the world’s oceans.

Now we finally know how much federal land could be at stake in Trump’s rush for more drilling
This interactive map lays it all out.

New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey
California Academy of Sciences team joins Malaysian colleagues to survey region’s rich biodiversity; data to support UNESCO nomination.

Environmental crusaders risk their lives to save Philippine paradise
A small group of civilian para-enforcers is taking the protection of Palawan’s threatened rainforest from illegal loggers into their own hands

Republicans are counting on a ton of demand to drill in an Alaskan Wildlife Refuge. They’re deluding themselves
Jackie Flynn Mogensen
The tax bill provision to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling is totally short-sighted.

Australian charities report 2016
Centre for Social Impact
This report builds on the research of previous years and represents the most comprehensive record to date of the Australian charity sector.