Thursday 9 November 2017

Australia might water down illegal logging laws – here’s why it’s a bad idea
Beatriz Garcia, Western Sydney University
The federal government is considering watering-down laws against importing illegal timber, but this flies in the face of international evidence.
https://theconversation.com/australia-might-water-down-illegal-logging-laws-heres-why-its-a-bad-idea-86832

Why the post-Paris climate challenge is even harder than we thought
As international negotiators convene in Bonn, they must confront the stark conclusion of a new UN report: The national commitments under the Paris Agreement will not come close to providing the emissions reductions needed to avoid the most severe effects of climate change.
http://e360.yale.edu/features/why-post-paris-climate-challenge-is-even-harder-than-we-thought

JRC at COP23: A Cleaner, Greener Planet is Both Possible and Affordable
Limiting global warming below the critical 2C level set out in the Paris Agreement is both feasible and consistent with economic growth – and the knock-on improvements to air quality could already cover the costs of mitigation measures and save more than 300,000 lives annually by 2030.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53085

Huge Carbon Sink Exists in Soil Minerals WSU Researcher Finds
A Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm the Earth’s climate.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/53081

How science has shaped the international response to climate change
The Royal Meteorological Society is publishing a special issue in Weatherfocused on the science of climatic change. One article in the issue reviews the use of scientific evidence in the development of the international response to climate change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/w-hsh110617.php

4 reasons for countries to enhance climate commitments by 2020
Taryn Fransen and Eliza Northrop
The year 2020 will serve as a critical test of the ability of the Paris Agreement to deliver enhanced ambition over time until our collective goals are reached. Countries can do their part by exploring and enacting meaningful options to enhance their NDCs as soon as possible.
http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/4-reasons-countries-enhance-climate-commitments-2020/

The seven megatrends that could beat global warming: ‘There is reason for hope’
Damian Carrington
Until recently the battle to avert catastrophic climate change – floods, droughts, famine, mass migrations – seemed to be lost. But with the tipping point just years away, the tide is finally turning, thanks to innovations ranging from cheap renewables to lab-grown meat and electric airplanes
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/08/seven-megatrends-that-could-beat-global-warming-climate-change

How French energy giant Engie plundered $1b from Australia ahead of carbon tax
At the same time as it was crying poor and calling for carbon tax compensation, French energy giant Engie was preparing to shift $1 billion out of its Australian subsidiaries. The Paradise Papers reveal how it went down.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-09/engie-pulls-money-out-of-australian-loy-yang-b-power-station/9130602

Are electric cars about to kill the sturdy servo?
http://www.theage.com.au/business/property/fuelling-a-property-boom-petrol-stations-the-new-black-but-watch-out-for-evs-20171101-gzcgjr.html

CSIRO launch program to make Australia hydrogen fuel leader
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/csiro-launch-program-to-make-australia-hydrogen-fuel-leader-20171107-gzgxfh.html

We need to talk about rooftop solar
Martina Calais
So you’ve installed rooftop solar – but is it performing as well as you expected? A new APVI web-based survey aims to help improve the quality of PV system components, installations and system designs.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/need-talk-rooftop-solar-82094/

Is the popularity of cycling on the wane?
Alan Davies
One interpretation of a recent survey of cycling is that riding is losing popularity in cities. Maybe, or perhaps the numbers fluctuate between surveys in ways that aren’t a big worry
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/11/08/cycling-losing-popularity/

Australia might water down illegal logging laws – here’s why it’s a bad idea
Beatriz Garcia, Western Sydney University
The federal government is considering watering-down laws against importing illegal timber, but this flies in the face of international evidence.
https://theconversation.com/australia-might-water-down-illegal-logging-laws-heres-why-its-a-bad-idea-86832

How do we turn a drain into valued green space? First, ask the residents
Leila Mahmoudi Farahani, RMIT University and Cecily Maller, RMIT University
Residents often have concerns about informal green space but some still use it. Work to enhance these areas should aim to resolve these concerns without destroying what residents do value.
https://theconversation.com/how-do-we-turn-a-drain-into-valued-green-space-first-ask-the-residents-86226

Greens At A Fork In The Road; Evidence-Based Decisions Or Mob Rule?
Geoff Russell
The Australian Greens can be as anti-science as any of the major parties when the politics suit
https://newmatilda.com/2017/11/08/greens-at-a-fork-in-the-road-evidence-based-decisions-or-mob-rule/

Let’s not rush to write off government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG)
Chris Dunstan
With help from their new Energy Security Board (ESB), Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg recently proposed a solution to our energy woes: the National Energy Guarantee. The key question is: Will it work?
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/lets-not-rush-to-write-off-governments-national-energy-guarantee-neg-20171108-gzgx95.html

Rats take to streets due to Metro Tunnel construction
Rats are scurrying through Melbourne’s city streets as they flee underground construction of the Metro Tunnel, resulting in more rodents than usual above ground.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/rats-on-run-from-melbourne-metro-tunnel-construction/9129698

Shoalhaven River fish consumption warning issued after PFAS found
The NSW environmental watchdog has urged caution around the consumption of fish from a river on the south coast which has been contaminated with PFAS.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/shoalhaven-river-fish-consumption-pfas-warning/9130770

Court trials USB evidence in a bid to go paperless
The writing is on the wall for paper-reliant hearings in the NSW Land and Environment Court, with a new paperless trial revealed by the state governme…
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/22222-court-trials-usb-evidence-in-a-bid-to-go-paperless

Agricultural allies merge to tackle prices as Queensland Industry Energy Alliance
Canegrowers, Queensland Farmers Federation and Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland have launched an alliance to put downward pressure on power prices.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-08/qff-canegrowers-cciq-form-industry-energy-alliance/9130658

Great Barrier Reef protected zones help fish in even lightly exploited areas
Fish biomass up to five times greater compared to unprotected zones at northernmost reefs
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/p-gbr110217.php

Queensland farmer raises $25,000 to run ad opposing Adani water licence
Angus Emmott calls for Annastacia Palaszczuk to cancel the free water licence given to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/09/queensland-farmer-raises-25000-to-run-ad-opposing-adani-water-licence

Queensland Election 2017: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk denies campaign off course from Adani
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-2017/queensland-election-2017-premier-annastacia-palaszczuk-denies-campaign-off-course-from-adani/news-story/fd01607231366d9dbcb33da6a31d1e75

Labor-aligned mayor backs One Nation on Adani
Labor’s Townsville mayor has dealt another blow to her premier by backing One Nation’s plan to use taxpayer money to build a rail line for Adani.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/qld-election-blow-for-palaszczuk-as-labor-mayor-backs-one-nation-on-adani-20171107-gzgxes

Pin pulled after anti-Adani polls
Anti-Adani protesters were busy push-polling voters before the Queensland Premier pulled the pin on a loan.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/queensland-election/queensland-election-palaszczuk-pulled-the-pin-after-antiadani-push-polls/news-story/47a33e8685f13c992a83e44b9186fa1a

Adani loan decision not this year
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility isn’t expected to make a decision on the $900 million loan to Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael mine until 2018.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/naif-loan-to-adani-not-decided-until-next-year-20171107-gzgxim

Queensland election 2017: Labor offers gas shortage solution by releasing more exploration land
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-2017/queensland-election-2017-labor-offers-gas-shortage-solution-by-releasing-more-exploration-land/news-story/c6914620243dd997d405a899d0556f86

Queensland Election 2017: Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Adani veto puts other major projects at risk
Steven Wardill
THE effects of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to veto a federal loan for Adani’s central Queensland railway line risk being far wider than just the Carmichael coal mine.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-2017/queensland-election-2017-annastacia-palaszczuks-adani-veto-puts-other-major-projects-at-risk/news-story/d84df54f828344e1005baa1713b8281c

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Adani problem
Madonna King
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/that-thinking-feeling/annastacia-palaszczuks-adani-problem-20171108-gzhk80.html

ALP betting veto not vote loser
Sarah Elks
Labor strategists are confident the Adani loan veto won’t cost them a string of marginal ALP seats.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/queensland-election-labor-betting-adani-loan-veto-not-a-vote-loser/news-story/cf2663ffe1749cf87b9e5d97bd853662

Tassal plan to explore fish farm potential off King Island gets mixed reception
Salmon farming giant Tassal is granted a permit to explore salmon farming off a swathe of King Island’s eastern coastline, but local opinion is divided over the news.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/tassal-permitted-to-explore-salmon-farming-off-king-island/9131492

Flinders Island makes switch to renewables, with solar, wind and energy storage Hub
Flinders Island’s Hybrid Energy Hub is already taking the previously diesel powered Tasmanian island to levels of 80% renewables, and should manage to supply 100 per cent of demand before the year is out.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/flinders-island-makes-switch-to-renewables-with-solar-wind-and-energy-storage-hub-60610/

Wilderness walk could rival Three Capes Track
A GROUP backing a track to one of Tasmania’s most beautiful wilderness lakes says the bushwalk could one day rival the Overland and Three Capes tracks as an economic and tourism magnet.
http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/lake-geeves-track-extension-and-ecotourism-hub-to-attract-35000-new-visitors-group-says/news-story/b50d1b39a73e8184c188ffd0c3355654

Billion-dollar loss shows forestry finances need overhaul
John Lawrence
Long-term planning essential for the state’s forestry business
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-billiondollar-loss-shows-forestry-finances-need-overhaul/news-story/38b328347e30a914f25913d2bcd590c0

Osprey nest removal ruffles feathers of Darwin birdwatchers
Environmentalists are concerned the removal of two osprey nests might drive the urban osprey population out of Darwin.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/osprey-nest-remove-ruffles-feathers-darwin/9129302

Secret recording delays NT fracking inquiry
The Northern Territory’s independent fracking inquiry is delayed after a secret recording of community consultations in a remote Indigenous community reveals “unacceptable conduct” by staff.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/final-nt-fracking-report-delayed-until-march/9129558

Territory cane toads some of the friendliest around, say scientists
They mightn’t seem the cuddliest critters to us, but it turns out Territory toads are some of the friendliest around.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/territory-cane-toads-some-of-the-friendliest-around-say-scientists/news-story/c4c29af64f0ec335c03316528b5ce44d

Life to change for last mob
The surviving members of the ­Pintupi Nine have signed their first native title mining agreement.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/lifes-about-to-change-for-the-pintupi-the-last-desert-mob/news-story/ef1e9025b1218f69c58d456f74780208

Closing Uluru to climbers is better for tourism in the long run
Michelle Whitford, Griffith University and Susanne Becken, Griffith University
Closing Uluru to climbers is vital to the preservation, maintenance and on-going development of culture, traditions and knowledge.
https://theconversation.com/closing-uluru-to-climbers-is-better-for-tourism-in-the-long-run-86831

Tap water in this outback community ‘can kill babies’
The WA Government’s failure to fix an Aboriginal community’s contaminated water supply, which is unsafe for babies and pregnant women, forced an interstate charity to step in with a fix.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/tap-water-in-this-australian-outback-community-can-kill-babies/9125844

WA’s Synergy to bring in Dutch fund to bankroll wind and solar farms
WA government owned utility Synergy looking to bring in outside investors to bankroll investments in new wind and solar farms and meet RET obligations.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/synergy-bring-dutch-fund-bankroll-wind-solar-farms-54299/

Research examines impact of coral bleaching on Western Australia’s coastline
The 2016 mass bleaching event is the most severe global bleaching event to ever be recorded. New research records the impact of this event to the rugged reefs of Western Australia.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/acoe-rei110217.php

‘Too much to ask?’: Nelson urges France not to build wind farm near WWI battle site
The director of the Australian War Memorial pleads with French authorities to rethink building a proposed wind farm near the site of one of the most significant battles in Australian military history.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/french-wind-farm-proposed-for-wwi-battle-site-where-diggers-died/9130412

Uncharted territory: Why we all need cleaner cargo ships
The industry’s reliance on high-carbon fuel poses a major stumbling block for global efforts to rein in pollution.
http://grist.org/article/shipping-industry-destroying-climate-progress-were-all-to-blame/

Wind and solar power advance, but carbon refuses to retreat
As the United Nations convenes a climate conference in Bonn, leaders might consider whether phasing out nuclear energy is doing more harm than good.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/business/climate-carbon-renewables.html

Carl Icahn subpoenaed over bid to change biofuel policy
Federal investigators have issued subpoenas for information on Carl Icahn’s efforts to change biofuel policy while serving as an informal adviser to Donald Trump.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/oil/carl-icahn-subpoenaed-over-attempt-to-change-biofuel-policy-while-trump-adviser-20171108-gzhm6j

German minister warns EU against toughening car emissions targets
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that he is against any toughening of European car emissions targets by 2025, warning that stricter rules would cost jobs and growth.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-germany-emissions/german-minister-warns-eu-against-toughening-car-emissions-targets-idUSKBN1D71M5

Employee volunteerism? Only if you think your boss is ethical
Study: Willingness to support corporate social responsibility initiatives contingent on ethical profile of your boss
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uov-evo110817.php

Gas is the future of energy, World Oil report says
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/gas-is-the-future-of-energy-world-oil-report-says-20171108-gzh0lh.html

Big Meat and Big Dairy’s climate emissions put Exxon Mobil to shame
Juliette Majot and Devlin Kuyek
It is time to stop the dairy and meat giants from destroying the climate and shift our support to making our small farmers, herders and ranchers resilient.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/07/big-meat-big-dairy-carbon-emmissions-exxon-mobil

The killer responsible for more yearly deaths than AIDS, malaria and TB combined
Washington Post editorial
A major study published last month in the Lancet, a British medical journal, found that there is a global killer responsible for more yearly deaths than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined: pollution.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-killer-responsible-for-more-yearly-deaths-than-aids-malaria-and-tb-combined/2017/11/07/6fbba7f2-b5d7-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?utm_term=.74c4c5faba14

I’ve always wondered: do nuclear tests affect tectonic plates and cause earthquakes or volcanic eruptions?
Jane Cunneen, Curtin University
Human-induced earthquakes have been reported from every continent except Antarctica. We asked a geologist to investigate whether North Korea’s nuclear tests could trigger geological changes.
https://theconversation.com/ive-always-wondered-do-nuclear-tests-affect-tectonic-plates-and-cause-earthquakes-or-volcanic-eruptions-86915

Movies and TV choose to tell us different stories about the cities of today
Sebastien Darchen et al
https://theconversation.com/movies-and-tv-choose-to-tell-us-different-stories-about-the-cities-of-today-85533

Australian uranium miner goes bust ? so who cleans up its mess in Africa?
Morgan Somerville and Jim Green
Paladin’s Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi, the ‘warm heart of Africa’, needs to be rehabilitated and Paladin hasn’t set aside nearly enough money for the job.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19394

Canary in the climate mine: Arctic seabird’s future is on thin ice
Alone on a remote northern Alaska island, biologist George Divoky has been monitoring a population of sea ice-dependent black guillemots for four decades. Now he fears he’s watching the colony in a slow-motion collapse as temperatures rise and its prey disappears.
https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/articles/2017/11/08/canary-in-the-climate-mine-arctic-seabirds-future-is-on-thin-ice

Extensive Loss of Trees in African Savannas: Blame Human-Started Fires Not Elephants
Elephants are often blamed for extensive loss of woody vegetation in Northern Botswana, but study results suggest that this may not be the …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171108124158.htm

Seagrass Biodiversity Is Both a Goal and a Means for Restoration
Planting multiple seagrass species, rather than a single species, could be better for restoring damaged coastal ecosystems in Indonesia’s Coral …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171108131836.htm

Dozens of New Wildlife Corridors Identified for African Mammals
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have identified 52 potential wildlife corridors linking protected areas across Tanzania.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/53088

Cleaning Up Aquatic Pollution With Mussels
Scientists and activists alike have been looking for a solution to the problem of aquatic nutrient pollution. Now one group reports that ribbed mussels are up to the clean-up …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171108092339.htm

Ecological Restoration success higher with natural measures than active measures
Letting nature take its course appears the best method for tropical forest restoration
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uoc-ers110717.php

Australians born overseas prefer the online world for their news
Usha M. Rodrigues, Deakin University
New research shows that Australians from diverse backgrounds are turning away from traditional media and heading online, a trend that has great significance for media companies.
https://theconversation.com/australians-born-overseas-prefer-the-online-world-for-their-news-84355