Tuesday 11 July 2017

That climate hiatus: what’s really going on.
Some puzzles, like the climate hiatus, may seem entirely academic. But they do answer big questions about long-term warming predictions
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000468996386

‘We’re moving forward without him’: Al Gore says Donald Trump isolated on climate change
The United States will meet or exceed its Paris Agreement emissions targets despite an increasingly isolated US President withdrawing from the pact, according to the former vice-president.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-10/donald-trump-isolated-on-climate-change-says-al-gore/8693806

Is activism or moderation the surest path to decarbonization?
Robert Fares Scientific American
It’s hard not to conclude that it is more effective to work with those you disagree with and make them believers than publicly shame them. After all, if we ever want to fully decarbonize we’ll need to win over conservatives like Rick Perry, right?
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2946413885455644355

Record half year for rooftop solar after another bumper month
Australia records highest installation rate for rooftop solar in six months to June, as homes and businesses prepare for soaring grid charges.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/record-half-year-rooftop-solar-another-bumper-month-25483/

It’s economics, stupid! Days of ‘baseload only’ power over
RepuTex report affirms renewables a ‘lay down misere’ to out-compete, and replace, traditional fossil-fuel sources in Australia.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/its-economics-stupid-days-of-baseload-only-power-over-41172/

Investors pour $1.5bn into Australian solar and wind energy in Q2
Investment in wind and solar energy in Australia jumped 77 per cent, year-on-year, as part of a major global recovery, says BNEF.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/investors-pour-1-5bn-australian-solar-wind-energy-q2-27188/

Households urged to make money while the sun shines
Households are increasingly being empowered not only to save, but potentially to make, money from their rooftop solar panels and batteries.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-10/rooftop-solar-profitable-says-energy-company-sonnen/8694070

Battery sector fights fire rules
The fast-growing solar battery storage industry is engaged in a furious 11th-hour battle to kill new regulations.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/battery-sector-fights-firerisk-rules/news-story/437830c088190aae9dbb120dd9810e1c

‘Set target or feel price pain’
One of the nation’s biggest energy suppliers has increased pressure on the PM to push through a clean energy target.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/set-clean-energy-target-or-feel-price-pain-says-gas-boss/news-story/b7874a48ba8410b6fc03140a4bcc60be

Economist pans use of research
ANU economist Warwick McKibbin has dismissed claims by Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/economics/economist-warwick-mckibbin-pans-labors-annexing-of-his-research/news-story/25da6c23d81688805712b25e2605c570

Gas exports to blame: Gore
Al Gore says Australia’s rising electricity bills may be due to our high level of gas exports.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/gas-exports-not-renewables-to-blame-for-high-power-bills-says-al-gore/news-story/9ca7f20c5671d6d95887545f005933b3

Tapping into new water habits
Melbourne and Brisbane are among the country’s thriftiest water users
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/households-tap-into-new-water-habits/news-story/44b8870b00e4874e5ab6e491125572c4

Why it makes sense to pair a battery with a wind farm
Attaching a giant battery system to a wind or solar farm makes sound financial sense.
http://www.afr.com/news/why-it-makes-sense-to-pair-a-battery-with-a-wind-farm-20170708-gx7i95

‘Disappointing’: Third of big companies silent on climate risks
http://www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/acsi-says-one-in-three-asx200-companies-dont-disclose-climate-risks-20170710-gx82zs.html

Onus on Australia to take diplomatic initiative in protecting Antarctica
Government needs to get on the front foot to ensure plans for Marine Protected Areas are not watered down by other parties
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/08/onus-on-australia-to-take-diplomatic-initiative-in-protecting-antarctica

Climate science denier Marc Morano promotes discredited movie in Australia
Notorious climate science denier Marc Morano is heading to Australia to promote his discredited filmClimate Hustle
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/climate-science-denier-marc-morano,10484

Abbott, Bernardi: fossils in the age of renewables
Peter FitzSimons
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-and-cory-bernardi-are-irrelevant-the-renewables-revolution-is-here-20170709-gx7vgp.html

Can Elon Musk’s battery storage plant smash Australia’s gas cartel?
Giles Parkinson
Elon Musk and Tesla’s big battery is breaking open the gas cartel. New analysis shows margins for the big utilities will jump $2 billion over next three years because they control market bidding. Battery storage developers like Tesla and Sonnen will change that.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/can-elon-musks-battery-storage-plant-smash-australias-gas-cartel-46233/

Should corridors be protected for HSR?
Alan Davies
Infrastructure Australia reckons protecting corridors for East Coast High Speed Rail would save billions, but the case hasn’t been made that the project makes sense
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/07/10/corridors-protected-hsr/

Electric car revolution may backfire
Matt Ridley
If the state pushes one type of technology too hard it puts at risk the creation of a more efficient alternative
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/how-the-electric-car-revolution-could-backfire-on-taxpayers/news-story/9c71639be7fee780ab9e5d22a3bbff3c

A three-point plan to nowhere
Judith Sloan
The minister blames the states, but our energy woes are all about the renewable energy target.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/sorry-josh-frydenberg-but-its-a-threepoint-plan-to-nowhere/news-story/efdbbf098118dfec6160dc79c4dd6675

Technology is blind to political labels
Richard Denniss
If word processors were invented today they would no doubt be seen through the left-right prism. Like a dying star, the 18th century political binary of left and right produces far more heat as the end of its life approaches. Is a wind turbine really ‘left wing’? Is a grid scale battery ‘progressive’?
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/technology-is-blind-to-political-labels-20170710-gx82qx

Why a population of, say, 15 million makes sense for Australia
Peter Martin et al
https://theconversation.com/why-a-population-of-say-15-million-makes-sense-for-australia-78391

Delaying action on car emissions will make Australia more vulnerable
Bonnie McBain
https://theconversation.com/delaying-action-on-car-emissions-will-make-australia-more-vulnerable-80744

No wonder the government tries to hide its emissions reports. They stink
Greg Jericho
As every greenhouse gas emissions report since June 2014 has shown, the end of the carbon price has led to an increase in emissions. What’s the plan, prime minister?
https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2017/jul/11/no-wonder-the-government-tries-to-hide-its-emissions-reports-they-stink

How you rate the city’s trains really depends on where you live
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/how-you-rate-melbourne-trains-depends-on-which-side-of-the-tracks-you-live-on-20170705-gx5beu.html

South32 dips as coalmine closes
South32 shares have dropped after it said its Appin coalmine in NSW would remain closed for an “extended” period.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/south32-shares-dip-as-appin-coalmine-closes/news-story/92a156f6824c1f9294f89b349cf606dd

Confirmed: We’re being ripped off by tolls
SYDNEY drivers are getting ripped off and deserve a more benefit-based pricing system, with higher tolls for fast lanes and lower tolls for slower lanes, a leading transport expert says.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydneys-toll-roads-expert-confirms-drivers-are-getting-ripped-off/news-story/54792b13fd7a2d29c721ff7063cdd3aa

Why privatisation won’t make Sydney’s buses run on time
The Liberals cite complaints over delays as a reason to hand over services to private operators – as if they can part traffic in the manner of Moses
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/09/privatisation-wont-make-sydneys-buses-run-on-time-and-expect-new-problems

While corals die along the Great Barrier Reef, humans struggle to adjust.
It turns out a reef filled with neon coral is not normal. Healthy coral is usually earth-toned. The bright pinks, blues and yellows some tourists saw in their dive along the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef are the first signs that coral is dying.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455644357

UNESCO says Great Barrier Reef isn’t in danger, experts disagree.
UNESCO has said that World Heritage Site the Great Barrier Reef isn’t in danger, a decision that has sparked concern among climate scientists and environmental campaigners.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2946413885455644341

Queensland dismisses claim state-owned generators behind high electricity prices
The Queensland Government defends its role in electricity pricing after federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg accuses their state-owned generators of ‘gaming the system’.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-10/queensland-defends-electricity-prices-amid-frydenberg-claim/8694832

Adani protesters rally at Cabinet event
PROTESTERS have donned white in memory of bleached coral and chanted against the Adani Carmichael coal mine outside the Cairns Convention Centre.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/stop-adani-cairns-protesters-gather-outside-cabinet-drinks-in-cairns/news-story/ea56f1099c99c0043768abb079942092

Recycling scheme could impact on ratepayers, council says
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/recycling-scheme-could-impact-on-ratepayers-council-says-20170706-gx5soy.html

World’s biggest battery leaves other ventures in its shadow
A bold plan by Tesla’s Elon Musk to build the world’s biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia raises doubt about a project being planned by another energy company for Port Augusta.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-10/zen-energy-reconsiders-battery-plan-after-tesla-deal/8694018

Whyalla set for $1bn upgrade
The new owners plan invest $1 billion to upgrade the plant to make it self-sufficient in energy and to lift production.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/upgrade-to-make-whyallah-steel-plant-selfsufficient-in-energy/news-story/5c712e56a889bc8c744bcfd023d52c85

SA’s back-up generators to cost $110m
GENERATORS to provide back-up power to SA — part of the State Government’s energy plan — will cost $110 million. Now the Premier has been accused of using the Tesla battery announcement as a smokescreen.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/under-treasurer-david-reynolds-confirms-backup-generators-as-part-of-state-governments-energy-plan-will-cost-110m/news-story/873fa29923a6b15c0ac0a26bb21ed245

What does toxic soil at sports ground mean for players?
HUNDREDS of tonnes of toxic soil has been discovered adjacent to a popular Adelaide sports oval during drainage works – players just want to know what it means for them.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/north-northeast/what-does-toxic-soil-at-sports-ground-mean-for-players-council-vows-to-keep-locals-updated/news-story/a601992aabca9280d076e94a8b6d23fc

SA power plan not without risk
Graham Lloyd
This “world’s biggest battery” is like a baby sitter who will soothe a troubled infant until the grown ups get home.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/south-australias-battery-bandaid-for-a-serious-power-problem/news-story/aa19ddeb3a376cd7d0ef8606806a2eef

SA takes charge with its giant battery
Simon Hackett
AMERICAN billionaire Elon Musk will help South Australia become a world leader in the use of battery storage
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/simon-hackett-elon-musk-tesla-project-sets-up-south-australia-as-world-leader-in-battery-storage/news-story/8967fec94d89fc62fa3b165526b38da3

Mole Creek boil water alert lifted
MOLE Creek residents and tourists can drink water straight from the tap for the first time in 70 years now a historic boil water alert has been lifted.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/mole-creek-boil-water-alert-lifted-after-70-years/news-story/9bc6924cd19a63eb53c9498fa1630cc5

Calls for salmon industry change
Environment Tasmania says more needs to be done to protect finfish, despite new draft legislation.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4782300/calls-for-salmon-industry-change/?cs=5312

‘Positive cities’ can improve the earth as well as people’s lives.
Urban areas can improve the planet as well as people’s lives if we design them to be much more resourceful with energy, water, food and minerals.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455644352

Hundreds of scientists call for caution on anti-microbial chemical use.
More than 200 scientists outline a broad range of concerns for triclosan and triclocarban and call for reduced use worldwide
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2017/june/triclosan-warning

Despite the myth, sustainable farming methods can lead to high-yield agriculture. (Part 1 of 2)
According to government data, the rate of increase of farm yields for many crops was higher in the pre-green revolution period when compared to later years.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455644335

When it comes to sustainable development, the US is failing (by a lot).
And according to the United Nations, it should not be a country that others look to as a good example of (shockers ahead) gender equality and climate action.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455644344

In the fast lane — conductive electrodes are key to fast-charging batteries
Drexel Univ. Researchers use mxene to push charging rate limits in energy storage
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/du-itf071017.php

A simple solution for terrible traffic
Cities plagued with terrible traffic problems may be overlooking a simple, low-cost solution: High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) policies that encourage carpooling can reduce traffic drastically, according to a new study co-authored by MIT economists.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/51772

PV plant built on nuke site as renewables surpass nuclear
A 1MW plant on the site of half-built nuclear power plant in Tennessee is a harbinger of things to come in the US and global
http://reneweconomy.com.au/pv-plant-built-on-nuke-site-as-renewables-surpass-nuclear-91681/

Cheap wind and solar mean US will meet beat Paris targets despite Trump
Morgan Stanley says renewables will be cheapest new generation almost everywhere by 2020, helping many countries exceed their Paris goals – even Trump’s America.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/cheap-wind-solar-mean-us-will-meet-beat-paris-targets-despite-trump-27946/

Explainer: What the Tesla big battery can and cannot do
Details of how the Tesla storage array is configured, what it will do and won’t do, and what it will cost.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-what-the-tesla-big-battery-can-and-cannot-do-42387/

New way to predict when electric cars and home batteries become cost effective
The future cost of energy storage technologies can now be predicted under different scenarios, thanks to a new tool created by Imperial researchers.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/icl-nwt070717.php

Could Concrete Help Solve the Problem of Air Pollution?
Sulfur dioxide, a major contributor to air pollution, is removed from the air by concrete surfaces, new …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707211420.htm

The dream of ‘clean coal’ is burning up.
Washington Post editorial
Scarce research dollars should go into newer and better technologies.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000468996555

Trump-Pruitt war on science, environment
Peter Boyer
The United State’s new Environmental Protection Agency chief is a disaster.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-the-trumppruitt-war-on-both-science-and-the-environment/news-story/86c4ba80d7fbf8491f15038c15249d7a

Market-driven compaction is no way to build an ecocity
Brendan Gleeson, University of Melbourne
Achieving the goal of sustainable cities depends on rolling back the market after decades of privatisation and deregulation.
https://theconversation.com/market-driven-compaction-is-no-way-to-build-an-ecocity-80199

Global Meltdown? Nuclear Power’s Annus Horribilis
Jim Green
https://newmatilda.com/2017/07/09/global-meltdown-nuclear-powers-annus-horribilis/

Earth’s sixth mass extinction event already under way, scientists warn.
A ‘biological annihilation’ of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is already well underway and is more severe than previously feared, according to new research.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000468997037

Decline in hummingbird population linked to insecticide.
Some species of North American hummingbirds are in severe decline and a British Columbia research scientist says one possible cause might be the same insecticide affecting honey bees.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455644334

Oil Spill Impacts May Perturb Entire Food Webs
Oil spills not only have a direct impact on species and habitats, but may also set off a cascade of perturbations that affect the entire food web, new research …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170710103446.htm

Climate change lets invaders beat Alpine plants in mountain race
Rising temperatures and mountain roads are helping invasive weeds to overwhelm native Alpine flowers
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2140136-climate-change-lets-invaders-beat-alpine-plants-in-mountain-race/

Oil spill impacts in coastal wetland
Although evidence of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill may not be visually obvious today, crude oil can still be found in Louisiana coastal marshes.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/asoa-osi070617.php

The uninhabitable Earth.
David Wallace-Wells New York Magazine
It is, I promise, worse than you think.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2946413885455644350