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.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/f-thr120617.php

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.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40503759/al-gores-24-hour-climate-broadcast-wants-to-reignite-your-hope

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.
http://midwestenergynews.com/2017/12/06/ohio-data-map-shows-deep-political-divide-on-energy-issues/

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.
http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2017/12/science-in-climate-denial-blogs-melts-down-under-scrutiny/

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.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/climate-change-mayors-chicago.html

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.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/53374

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.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/ioap-qtg120617.php

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
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/osu-rmo120617.php

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.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-can-redeem-himself-on-climate-change-heres-how/2017/12/05/af2eac14-d9e4-11e7-b859-fb0995360725_story.html?utm_term=.82e7f0b4cf94

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.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/05/west-climate-crisis-asia-developing-nations

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.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-efficiency-market-report-big-rally-continues-81450/

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.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/burning-coal-for-power-like-burning-dollar-notes-in-era-of-cheap-solar-47928/

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.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/weather/weather-australia-bureau-of-meteorology-confirms-summer-la-nina/news-story/b121fa90af053176b9914966dd2bd486

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.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-government-drops-plans-to-curb-green-groups-but-doubts-remain-20171206-gzzs5s.html

Wind turbine health fears warrant study, says tribunal
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/wind-turbine-health-fears-warrant-study-says-tribunal/news-story/6fc2e9d796ce39737d153ff98cd70dc1

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.
https://theconversation.com/green-groups-and-charities-could-be-collateral-damage-in-governments-foreign-donation-ban-88641

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.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-06/yarra-baby-platypuses-safe-from-storm-but-river-flushed-with-poo/9230798

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.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-06/platypus-population-virtually-extinct-in-upper-wimmera/9223758

Wombat mange: Victorian retirees in bid for federal funding to help treat furry friends
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/wombat-mange-victorian-retirees-in-bid-for-federal-funding-to-help-treat-furry-friends/news-story/207ee9ae093e5c022cb21276293872e3

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.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-regulator-smashes-illusion-of-cheap-coal-power-in-nsw-83167/

Lee Rhiannon’s overthrow and the future of the Greens’ hard-left quasi-faction
Max Chalmers
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/12/06/on-lee-rhiannon-and-the-future-of-the-greens-hard-left-quasi-faction/

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.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/far-too-soon-to-trash-container-deposits-20171206-gzzxyy.html

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.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-06/land-clearing-allegations-against-wombinoo-station-unfounded/9233130

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.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-12-06/fracking-replacement-technology-closer-to-commercialisation/9107720

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.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland-election-2017/labor-hits-magic-47-seats-it-needs-for-a-majority-20171206-p4yxfs.html

Greens set to claim historic victory in Maiwar
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland-election-2017/greens-set-to-claim-historic-victory-in-maiwar-20171206-p4yxgr.html

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.
http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/qld/2017/12/06/adani-greens-mps-arrested-accc/

Adani still committed to $16.5b Carmichael mine despite funding options drying up
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/adani-still-committed-to-165b-carmichael-mine-despite-funding-options-drying-up-20171205-gzzlnc

ACCC asked to investigate Adani ‘10,000 jobs’ claim
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/accc-asked-to-investigate-adani-jobs-claim-20171206-p4yxfl.html

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
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/07/is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-adanis-australian-megamine

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.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/adani-carmichael-mine-palaszczuk-accused-of-xenophobia-as-funding-options-dry-up/news-story/20e7d6e055cde931c4f6e98690e9e642

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.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/reef-haven-project-trial-to-be-launched-off-cairns-in-early2018/news-story/d442b57a369941675c4cb0a979bf3a2c

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.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-12-07/landmark-native-title-agreement-stays-at-new-century-mine/9233022

The people have spoken, now it’s time to deliver Cross River Rail
Anthony Albanese
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/the-people-have-spoken-now-it-s-time-to-deliver-cross-river-rail-20171206-p4yxgd.html

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.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/5b-plans-module-pre-fab-facility-adelaide-gigafactory-asia-64345/

Electricity bill discounts for up to 168000 South Australians in State Government bulk-buy deal with Origin Energy
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/electricity-bill-discounts-for-up-to-168000-south-australians-in-state-government-bulkbuy-deal-with-origin-energy/news-story/e5a0666f0513e7afef7c66858d7388c6

Tech giant Tesla will build another 50 car charging stations in SA as part of the deal struck with Elon Musk
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/tech-giant-tesla-will-build-another-50-car-charging-stations-in-sa-as-part-of-the-deal-struck-with-elon-musk/news-story/a8ba24d98577f5b1812bc80fac6a536e

Aurora Energy’s plan to overhaul payment system
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5104626/aurora-energys-plan-to-overhaul-payment-system/?cs=95

Cost queries on new PAYG power meters go unanswered
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/cost-queries-on-new-payg-power-meters-go-unanswered/news-story/d947594c4f93a48509adc5b583775e1a

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.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-06/boobook-owls-victims-of-rat-poison-study-finds/9227944

Air pollution cancels out the health benefits of a stroll in the city
Keep taking your walks — but maybe avoid the traffic
http://www.ehn.org/air-pollution-copd-heart-disease-elderly-2515130884.html

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.
http://www.dw.com/en/unicef-contaminated-air-threatens-millions-of-babies/a-41667785

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.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/05/weatherwatch-real-time-maps-of-uk-air-pollution-will-soon-make-it-easy-to-see-where-danger-lies

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.
http://www.ehn.org/its-getting-less-appealing-to-drill-for-oil-in-the-arctic-bloomberg-2515321212.html

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.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/gas-glut-tipped-to-last-another-10-years/news-story/3e76fed80e712d00d750576cdbc2d007

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.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/16-5-million-electric-vehicle-sales-tipped-for-2025-20171206-p4yxgk.html

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.
http://news.trust.org/item/20171205161908-gohql/

This underground urban farm also heats the building above it
https://www.fastcompany.com/40503488/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.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-06/china-s-blow-to-recycling-boosts-u-s-s-185-billion-plastic-bet

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.
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/1205/In-Jordan-an-empowering-solution-for-UN-run-refugee-camps

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.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/rb-hgf120617.php

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.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/uoc-cee120417.php

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.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/f-thr120617.php

‘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
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/nlh-cs120117.php

Catalyzing carbon dioxide
System developed at Harvard’s Rowland Institute can transform CO2 into CO for use in industry
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/hu-ccd120517.php

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
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/06/iter-nuclear-fusion-project-reaches-key-halfway-milestone

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 …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171206090614.htm

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.
https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/keep-in-mind-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.
https://undark.org/article/fungus-threat-public-health/

California condors still at risk of lead poisoning
The threat of lead poisoning still persists for the endangered California condor.
http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/12/04/california-condors-still-at-risk-of-lead-poisoning/

Imagining the jellyfish apocalypse
The stinging, gelatinous blobs could take over the world’s oceans.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/listening-to-jellyfish/546542/

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.
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/12/now-we-finally-know-how-much-federal-land-could-be-at-stake-in-trumps-rush-for-more-drilling/

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.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/caos-nsd120617.php

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
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/06/environmental-crusaders-risk-their-lives-to-save-philippine-paradise

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.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/12/republicans-are-counting-on-a-ton-of-demand-to-drill-in-an-alaskan-wildlife-refuge-theyre-deluding-themselves/

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.
http://apo.org.au/node/122066