Thursday 7 September 2017

Just ten MPs represent more than 600 threatened species in their electorate
James Watson et al
Australia is rapidly losing its world-famous biodiversity. More than 90 species have gone extinct since European colonisation (including three in just the past decade), and more than 1,700 species are now formally recognised as being in danger of extinction.
https://theconversation.com/just-ten-mps-represent-more-than-600-threatened-species-in-their-electorates-83500

A two-decade lobbying crusade by tax-exempt conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from the Paris climate accord.
Tax-exempt groups lobbied and spent millions fighting climate science and environmental regulation.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212641178

Hurricane Irma’s epic size is being fuelled by global warming
The monster storm has the second strongest wind speeds ever recorded for an Atlantic hurricane, and its growth was fuelled by warming waters
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2146562-hurricane-irmas-epic-size-is-being-fuelled-by-global-warming/

Heat builds on AGL to keep coal
AGL earns wrath of the coal sector as Turnbull urged company to put consumers before shareholders and agree to sell Liddell power station.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/its-stacks-on-agl-as-pressure-to-sell-liddell-builds-20170905-gybmqw

Waleed fires up on energy policy: ‘You trashed it’
http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/waleed-turns-on-energy-minister-after-news-australian-households-face-50m-bill-to-keep-the-lights-on/news-story/b53ac59b8a54add8687be837e2e98d2e

Nationals to call for final energy policy solution
The National Party membership will use its federal conference this weekend to pressure politicians to finalise energy policy, and to push for more coal-fired power stations in regional areas.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/nationals-to-ramp-up-support-for-coal/8875574

AEMO switches focus to dispatchable generation over baseload
Energy market operator’s message on baseload generation is blunt: it’s struggling to compete and not well suited to the changes taking place. It’s time to modernise.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-switches-focus-dispatchable-generation-baseload-75800/

Graph of the Day: Green and gold on Australia’s grid
Australia’s wind and solar energy resources should put on a bit of a show on same day as Coalition declares its attachment to coal.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-green-and-gold-on-australias-grid-21908/

CEFC backs leasing model to boost Australia’s EV uptake
Clean Energy Finance Corp backs Macquarie Leasing program offering discounted finance for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and other low-carbon investments, including rooftop solar and battery storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/cefc-backs-leasing-model-to-boost-australias-ev-uptake-81480/

‘Grand bargain’: Turnbull puts all options on the table for coal
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-puts-all-options-on-the-table-to-keep-agls-liddell-coalfired-power-station-going-20170906-gyc19q.html

Skye’s the limit for AGL on coal
A senior manager at Australia’s largest electricity producer previously worked for activist group GetUp!
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/skyes-the-limit-for-agl-to-getup-and-get-out-of-coal/news-story/d3bd44b3921765c0919590378f457ff3

Shell expects gas export clamp
Shell Australia expects the federal government to activate export curbs for Australian gas this year.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/shell-chief-zoe-yujnovich-tips-curb-on-gas-exports/news-story/ebd608e2a3fda23cb692b7f3a8c6af4a

$9bn power hit for big firms
Our largest energy users have warned that an estimated $9bn in additional power costs will feed through to the economy.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/consumer-pain-in-9bn-power-hit-for-firms/news-story/0bc89f8845e36b3d7a94212de3fa28df

Renewables rush as coal cools
Coal-fired power generation is heading to extinction by 2058, but a boom is under way in wind and solar development.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/rush-to-renewable-energy-as-coal-cools/news-story/5983d859589bcae37895ccf6fb4211ad

GST-free power bills ‘affordable’
The proposed removal of GST from electricity bills would cost a maximum of $2bn to cash-rich states.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/gstfree-electricity-bills-affordable-says-pbo/news-story/4111be151a78056b671911594548737a

Urgent national ban on dangerous aluminium cladding needed: report
Tens of thousands of buildings in Australia have dangerous cladding products.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4907295/urgent-national-ban-on-dangerous-aluminium-cladding-needed-report/?cs=7

Barnaby Joyce says charitable status helping green groups destroy the economy
Deputy prime minister tells Minerals Council that environmental groups need to be taken ‘head on’
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/06/barnaby-joyce-says-charitable-status-helping-green-groups-destroy-the-economy

Electricity statement of opportunities for the National Electricity Market – September 2017
Australian Energy Market Operator
This report confirms the need for additional investments and new approaches to ensure AEMO has a reliable portfolio of dispatchable energy resources, capable of responding quickly and effectively to the dynamic needs of the power system.
http://www.apo.org.au/node/105701

Energy debate turns upside down
Jennifer Hewett
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/something-has-to-give-as-agl-strays-into-firing-line-20170906-gyc5nz

Turnbull’s abject capitulation to the coal lobby is now complete
Giles Parkinson
The kindest thing to say about Turnbull’s absurd proposal to extend the life of the country’s oldest coal generator is that he is playing politics. There is no other reason to ask AGL to stick a bandaid on an increasingly unreliable coal generator on the basis it will lead to increased security and lower prices.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbulls-abject-capitulation-to-the-coal-lobby-is-now-complete-88921/

Welcome to Honest Mal’s Used Coal-Fired Power Plants
Bernard Keane
Would you buy a used coal-fired power station from this man? Malcolm Turnbull insists we need to keep running old coal-fired plants to keep the lights on.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/06/welcome-to-honest-mals-used-coal-fired-power-plants/

The day Australia was put on blackout alert
David Blowers, Grattan Institute
The energy market operator has released a report on the state of Australia’s electricity system. It couldn’t be blunter if it tried: the market has failed.
https://theconversation.com/the-day-australia-was-put-on-blackout-alert-83574

Idiocy fuels our energy policies
Andrew Bolt
WITH all Australia’s resources, huge power bills and blackouts are the sign of world-class idiocy among our leaders
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-idiocy-fuels-our-energy-policies/news-story/7c759cf01709cc28522bc6b2d8c39454

Power politics is damaging us all
SMH editorial
This government has lost the ability to manage the industry in a way which can ensure the security of future power supplies.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/power-politics-is-damaging-us-all-20170906-gyc4i0.html

We’re not a Liddell bit closer to good energy policy
Elizabeth Knight
http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4906381/were-not-a-liddell-bit-closer-to-good-energy-policy/?cs=9

Energy crisis powered by both sides
Australian editorial
Renewable subsidies destroy national electricity advantage.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/energy-crisis-powered-by-labor-and-coalition-policy/news-story/4b6b30fbac813541e39ee21167fa037d

Don’t wait for Elon Musk … we all have power to be energy heroes
Chris Dunstan
There is no single answer to our energy woes. However, there is one quiet solution that is cheaper, quicker and cleaner than batteries, pumped hydro storage or gas or coal, but has been long neglected by our energy policymakers.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/dont-wait-for-elon-musk–we-all-have-power-to-be-energy-heroes-20170906-gybukk.html

People take to their bikes when we make it safer and easier for them
Melanie Crane
https://theconversation.com/people-take-to-their-bikes-when-we-make-it-safer-and-easier-for-them-82251

Just ten MPs represent more than 600 threatened species in their electorate
James Watson et al
Australia is rapidly losing its world-famous biodiversity. More than 90 species have gone extinct since European colonisation (including three in just the past decade), and more than 1,700 species are now formally recognised as being in danger of extinction.
https://theconversation.com/just-ten-mps-represent-more-than-600-threatened-species-in-their-electorates-83500

What Utopia can teach us about the Federal Court’s recent coal port decision
Luke Fraser
In this case, what happened in Utopia was actually less ridiculous than the real-life equivalent
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/06/what-utopia-can-teach-us-about-the-federal-courts-recent-coal-port-decision/

Nuclear power for Australia: The idea that never dies
John Quiggin
The idea that rethinking nuclear power as a sensible option for Australia refuses to die.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/nuclear-power-for-australia-the-idea-that-never-dies,10687

Nuclear War Or Prohibition? Australia Can Choose
Gem Romuld
Australia’s alliance with the US does not mean we have to follow them to nuclear war
https://newmatilda.com/2017/09/06/nuclear-war-or-prohibition-australia-can-choose/

Australia’s contribution to nuclear proliferation risks
Bridget Mitchell and Jim Green
Australia has fallen into the trap of bending over backwards to support its allies on an international scale.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19268

Vic power price regulation could sabotage summer
http://www.afr.com/news/vic-power-price-regulation-could-sabotage-summer-20170904-gyacl5

Hunters’ record deer kill
MORE deer than ever before were hunted in Victoria last year.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/victorian-deer-hunters-record-kill/news-story/96c5febd51ce8802780816f4d6516f6a

Clear win in view dispute over trees
A WIMMERA farming family has won a three-year battle to remove 25 trees from a paddock, fending off two VCAT appeals from local Kaniva residents claiming it would affect their local biodiversity and rural views.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/farmers-claim-victory-in-threeyear-battle-with-kaniva-residents-over-tree-views/news-story/1c95da39687cf6aa61d7fd1949378b02

Greater gliders: fears of ‘catastrophic’ consequences from logging in Victoria
Gliders listed as threatened by both state and federal governments, but they are not protected by legislation
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/07/greater-gliders-fears-of-catastrophic-consequences-from-logging-in-victoria

Should this motorway report be secret?
Alan Davies
No, Daniel Andrews, you can’t spend $1 Billion of public money to get rid of the East West Link and then be secretive about the case for the West Gate Tunnel
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/09/06/should-report-secret/

State’s deer are an expensive problem
Ed Gannon
DEER are a big problem in rural — and not so rural — Victoria and are causing enormous damage on farms. They must be eradicated
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/culling-needed-as-states-deer-are-an-expensive-problem-in-rural-and-suburban-areas/news-story/7148d9ac1f29a76b1d6170f9283ff382

Voters happy with clean approach
The push to build a new HELE coal-fired power plant in NSW has attracted support from 64 per cent of people.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/malcolm-turnbulls-home-state-of-nsw-backs-clean-coal-plant/news-story/4c45aa515451ca4047b06c86cef624f9

Liddell: Climate change and air pollution medical negligence
David Shearman
With an estimated 3000 deaths pa and many illnesses in Australia due to heart and lung disease from air pollution The Prime Minister’s proposal to keep open heavily polluting Liddell as the solution to his government’s failures in energy policy must be condemned.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/liddell-climate-change-air-pollution-medical-negligence-87204/

Power pay! Bills soar by 18 per cent in just 12 months
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/electric-shock-act-households-zapped-by-soaring-power-prices-20170906-gybx2g.html

Queensland Government goes with PPP scam for Cross River Rail
Darren Rexter
The Queensland Government’s decision to fund it’s Cross River Rail project via a private public partnership shows neoliberalism is still in vogue.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/queensland-government-goes-with-ppp-rort-for-cross-river-rail,10689

Value capture key to infrastructure
John Marinopoulos
A POPULATION influx means Brisbane must immediately start planning future infrastructure.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/future-brisbane/value-capture-key-to-funding-vital-future-brisbane-infrastructure-to-manage-population-growth/news-story/f7715e80f59e0823bdddfbfbb368ccb8

Queensland’s plastic bag ban is official, along with recycling refund
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/the-qld-plastic-bag-ban-is-official-along-with-a-recycling-refund-20170906-p4yvqw.html

This latest ban deserves bagging
Darren Cartwright
THE Queensland Government has banned single-use plastic bags, in what appears to be a win for the environment. But the alternative could be worse.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-queensland-plastic-bag-ban-could-be-worse-for-environment-health/news-story/dafe1b974d56f0f1ace6300f7af9adcc

Tiger hunt: ‘I don’t think … I know it’s a thylacine’
A TEAM of Tasmanian thylacine trackers has released footage of what they believe is proof a population of thylacines continues to live in the island state.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/new-footage-fuels-long-futile-hunt-for-tasmanian-tiger/news-story/2e4262847594580ecaa5191d4aee0550

Tasmanian tiger lives on
Col Bailey
After 81 years the story is as captivating as ever
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-thylacine-lives-on-despite-efforts-to-eradicate-it/news-story/9c41bc1d13f1a9229bcbecffe9939a1a

It’s time to get ready for bushfire season
Mercury editorial
IT’S an early warning for an early bushfire season, and it’s a message which needs to be heeded: Get ready, now!
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-its-time-to-get-ready-for-bushfire-season/news-story/fd1ad3dc7282ff20e15df762bd272840

Top End on alert as fire conditions peak
THE dry, hot and windy conditions which fuelled bushfires in Marrakai and damaged 41 properties are expected to peak today
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/top-end-on-alert-as-fire-conditions-peak/news-story/6e02f7830b523e82f78649b3fbe234f1

Call for funding as number of threatened WA species rises
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/call-for-funding-as-number-of-threatened-wa-species-rises-20170906-gycaj5.html

Shark Shield subsidy scheme could land government in hot water
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/shark-shield-subsidy-scheme-could-land-government-in-hot-water-20170906-gyc3h4.html

Fears grow of lead contamination in water at WA schools
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/fears-grow-of-lead-contamination-in-water-at-wa-schools-20170906-gyc04o.html

Treasurer to slug miners more
The McGowan government is set to break an election promise and increase royalties for gold miners.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/wa-treasurer-enchanted-by-golden-glitter-of-mining-royalties/news-story/b50bf18b4b266af32abee55e053fbeb0

Water technology brings non-exploding lithium-ion batteries closer to reality
Exploding lithium-ion batteries may soon be a thing of the past with the development of a safer, lighter version that matches the power level needed to run everyday devices.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-09-07/safer-lithium-ion-batteries-closer-to-reality/8869748

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals.
Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212642019

We are living on a plastic planet. What does it mean for our health?
New studies reveal that tiny plastic fibres are everywhere, not just in our oceans but on land too. Now we urgently need to find out how they enter our food, air and tap water and what the effects are on all of us.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212641007

Plastic film covering 12 percent of China’s farmland contaminates soil.
China will expand its agricultural use of environment-damaging plastic film to boost crop production even as authorities try to curb soil pollution, a government scientist said.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212642006

How to solve the environmental information divide.
A recent report from the World Resources Institute examines what happens when water quality data is inaccessible to local communities.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212641994

Six farmers shot dead over land rights battle in Peru
The victims were targeted by a criminal gang who wanted to use their lands to grow lucrative palm oil, according to local indigenous leaders
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/06/six-farmers-shot-dead-over-land-rights-battle-in-peru

Huge Tunisian solar park hopes to provide Saharan power to Europe
Developer TuNur has applied to build a 4.5GW plant in the Sahara and pipe enough electricity via submarine cables to power two million European homes
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/06/huge-tunisian-solar-park-hopes-to-provide-saharan-power-to-europe

War and warming threaten Jordan water supply.
Jordan, already one of the world’s most water-poor countries, is facing a much greater frequency of droughts – exacerbated by climate change and conflict.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212640990

France plans to end oil and gas production by 2040.
France would become the first country to phase out all oils and gas exploration and production.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212641498

Defects in next-generation solar cells can be healed with light
Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites – a material which could revolutionise the solar cell industry – can be “healed” by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uoc-din090517.php

Finding better wind energy potential with the new European Wind Atlas
New work details the limitations of methods that use the European Wind Atlas and the Global Wind Atlas and how it influenced the development of the New European Wind Atlas
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/aiop-fbw090617.php

Researchers challenge status quo of battery commercialization
Following the pharma model holds promising potential to spur battery innovation and bring transformative technologies to market
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/nu-rcs090617.php

Study quantifies potential for water reuse in permian basin oil production
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uota-sqp090617.php

Why US Battery Startups Fail — And How to Fix It
http://www.enn.com/business/article/52387

Fuel economy standards cheaper, more beneficial than previously believed
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/coec-fes090617.php

Firebricks offer low-cost storage for carbon-free energy
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/52388

Mars to spend $1 billion tackling climate change and social problems.
Chocolate giant Mars is promising to spend close to $1 billion over the next few years fighting climate change.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212641497

How Nigeria is wasting its rich water resources.
Nelson Odume, Andrew Slaughter
Nigeria suffers from “economic water scarcity” – the inability to properly manage, use and protect water resources for socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212641988

Our view on veganism: High in moral fibre.
Guardian editorial
Vegans are often unfairly mocked. They should instead be praised.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212642014

Costa Rica’s Banco Popular shows how banks can be democratic, green – and financially sustainable
Thomas Marois, SOAS, University of London
There is hope for a different kind of bank – that serves the public and shareholder good.
https://theconversation.com/costa-ricas-banco-popular-shows-how-banks-can-be-democratic-green-and-financially-sustainable-82401

Due to climate change, one-third of animal parasites may be extinct by 2070
Museum collection of more than 20 million parasites offers scientists data needed to understand conservation risks
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/s-dtc090117.php

Europe’s last wildernesses are under threat – can we save them?
A glut of new dams and motorways in eastern and south-eastern Europe will bring prosperity, but could mean unique flora and fauna will soon be gone for good
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531420-200-europes-last-wildernesses-are-under-threat-can-we-save-them/

How a tiny portion of the world’s oceans could help meet global seafood demand.
Halley Froehlich, Rebecca Gentry
We know that aquaculture will grow in the coming decades, but where and how this growth will happen depends on good governance, sustainable investment and rock-solid science.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212640998

Yoga and meditation improve brain function and energy levels
Practicing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uow-yam090517.php