TUESDAY 12 JUNE 2018

There is no quick fix for climate change
A plan to turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel sounds great in theory, but poses a number of problems.
https://newrepublic.com/article/148926/no-quick-fix-climate-change

Antarctic ocean discovery warns of faster global warming
A group of scientists, including one from the University of Arizona, has new findings suggesting Antarctica’s Southern Ocean — long known to play an integral role in climate change — may not be absorbing as much pollution as previously thought.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/antarctic-ocean-discovery-warns-of-faster-global-warming-21865

The Wall Street Journal keeps peddling Big Oil propaganda
Dana Nuccitelli
The WSJ disguises climate misinformation as “opinion.”
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jun/11/the-wall-street-journal-keeps-peddling-big-oil-propaganda

Australia’s emissions reduction target ‘unambitious, irresponsible’
New Australia Institute paper finds neither Coalition nor Labor’s pollution reduction targets would see us doing our fair share
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/12/australias-emissions-reduction-target-unambitious-irresponsible

Australia’s fight against feral cats could turn to gene drive technology
Feral cats kill thousands of native animals every minute — now a controversial plan to use gene drive technology as …
https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2018/06/08/australias-fight-against-feral-cats-could-turn-to-gene-drive-technology/

Australia’s extinction crisis
Our threatened species list is growing but there’s a few species we need to watch out for — and some you might never have even heard of.
https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/conservation/bush-heritage-identifies-five-key-species-aussies-should-protect-to-save-the-environment/news-story/a3bf32e44ec7a6e81a969bb5f08fe1b8

Citi sees 10pc battery vehicle uptake by 2030  [PAYWALL]
Research by Citigroup forecasts 10 per cent battery electric vehicle penetration by 2030 as a base case scenario, or as little as 5 per cent if China and Europe falter on their targets.
https://www.afr.com/markets/citi-sees-10pc-battery-electric-vehicle-market-share-by-2030-20180611-h118ct

New policy hub to tackle ‘vested interests’ in energy sector
Australia’s energy debate needs greater scrutiny and independent economic analysis, according to the head of a new policy centre launching this week.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/new-policy-hub-to-tackle-vested-interests-in-energy-sector-20180611-p4zkqa.html

This humble Australian bee is helping to disrupt the plastics industry
It doesn’t make honey, live in a hive or have yellow stripes, but the unassuming Australian masked bee holds the key to disrupting the trillion-dollar global plastics industry.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/this-humble-australian-bee-is-helping-to-disrupt-the-plastics-industry-20180530-p4zic7.html

How traffic signals favour cars and discourage walking
David Levinson, University of Sydney
Everyone doesn’t simply wait their turn at traffic lights. Signals are set up to enable a ‘green wave’ for cars and adjust to heavy traffic, making walkers wait longer no matter how many there are.
http://theconversation.com/how-traffic-signals-favour-cars-and-discourage-walking-92675

Australia relies on volunteers to monitor its endangered species
Matthew H Webb, Australian National University; David M Watson,Charles Sturt University, and Dejan Stojanovic, Australian National University
For decades, state and federal governments have shed environmental budgets and staff. Now it’s up to volunteers to fill the gap.
http://theconversation.com/australia-relies-on-volunteers-to-monitor-its-endangered-species-97532

Leaders must act on climate change now
Marianne Cannon
Working within the medical and health sector means I have seen first-hand the effects climate change is already inflicting on our wellbeing.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5454638/poor-policy-leaders-must-act-on-climate-change-now/?cs=97

Low energy electronics in centre’s sights
Creating electronics that run using very little energy is the focus of a new research centre based in Melbourne.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/low-energy-electronics-centres-sights-140123339–spt.html

Vic faces national energy policy pressure
The Victorian government is facing pressure from a renewable energy group to negotiate for a more ambitious national emissions reduction target.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic-faces-national-energy-policy-pressure-140113498–spt.html

Warning tunnel project costs could blow out to $10b
Stand-off between unions and contractors continues, sparking fears turmoil could spread to other projects.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/west-gate-tunnel-stand-off-to-blow-out-costs-and-delays-opposition-20180611-p4zktz.html

Mountaintop dam to lock-in future of skiing at Mt Buller
Victoria’s busiest snow resort, Mt Buller, says its long-term future has been secured after it received a $7.5 million grant to build a 100-megalitre dam on the mountaintop.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/mountaintop-dam-to-lock-in-future-of-skiing-at-mt-buller-20180611-p4zkua.html

Racetrack or lake? Row over what to do with Hazelwood
Everyone agrees the former mine site must be rehabilitated, but debate about the final outcome is heating up.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/racetrack-or-lake-debate-heats-up-over-future-of-hazelwood-20180611-p4zkt6.html

An immersed tube has been proposed for a tram link to the Fishermans Bend redevelopment  [PAYWALL]
A novel alternative to the controversial plan for a Yarra River tram bridge to the Fishermans Bend redevelopment has been floated.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/an-immersed-tube-has-been-proposed-for-a-tram-link-to-the-fishermans-bend-redevelopment/news-story/63ebaf0907a65d4c4272eda56f246c28

Feral horses are incompatible with a world heritage area. It’s one or the other
After the NSW government gave them heritage protection with the brumby bill, I had no choice but to quit the NSW threatened species scientific committee
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/11/feral-horses-are-incompatible-with-a-world-heritage-area-its-one-or-the-other

Prices soar as solar, wind power fails  [PAYWALL]
Wind and solar power equal to about one-third of the coal-fired power that dropped out of the NSW market last week also failed to deliver in cloudy, wet conditions, helping to drive market ­prices higher as demand soared.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/prices-soar-as-solar-wind-power-fails/news-story/2a4fe2bcf990fdf040ce46a98adbbbdd

ActewAGL asked to cut power prices for ACT consumers
Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury has asked the ACT’s main electricity provider if it could cut power prices, in line with AGL’s moves interstate.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/actewagl-asked-to-cut-power-prices-for-act-consumers-20180611-p4zkr7.html

Trad devoting $100m in budget to foster state’s first waste to energy plant
Treasurer Jackie Trad will use her first state budget to devote money from Queensland’s new waste levy to foster the development of waste to energy projects.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-11/queensland-budget-bid-to-encourage-waste-to-energy-projects/9857812

Queensland budget dreams of electric super highway
More public chargers will be installed on Queensland’s “electric vehicle super highway”, in a $2.5 million pledge to be revealed on Tuesday’s budget.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-budget-dreams-of-electric-super-highway-20180611-p4zksl.html

Soaring coal price boosts Adani mine prospects  [PAYWALL]
Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine would be viable at current thermal coal prices, analysts say, as the Indian company pushes on with efforts to secure federal approvals to extract billions of litres of water for the mine.
https://www.afr.com/business/mining/soaring-coal-price-boosts-adani-mine-prospects-20180611-h118gl

Stop Adani protester Coal Man at Cairns Ironman Triathlon.  [PAYWALL]
A black-clad protester calling himself ‘Coal Man’ and accomplices invaded the Cairns Ironman finishing area to protest against a contentious mining proposal.
https://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/antiadani-protester-coal-man-crashes-cairns-ironman/news-story/3b8a9c2017e685078653d825012fdef0

Seed to harvest in 28 days: The vertical antidote to ‘get big or get out’
Two regional Queenslanders behind a hi-tech invention for growing green produce in industrial settings are taking their vertical farm system to the world.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-11/vertical-farming-seed-to-harvest-in-28-days/9845544

Resources to help dig us out of a hole  [PAYWALL]
The Courier-Mail can reveal that the booming resources sector has given Treasurer Jackie Trad a billion more reasons to smile, helping to triple the Budget’s forecast operating surplus.
https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/resources-to-help-dig-queensland-out-of-a-hole/news-story/6a9082f3ab446b8dda49f44b503a8c51

Rare white magpie sighting delights South Australian birdwatchers
Birds SA does not believe albinism is responsible for white magpie’s appearance in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.
www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-10/white-magpie-a-rare-genetic-mutation/9853858

Yew need to go — tree complaints soar in SA suburbs  [PAYWALL]
South Australia’s suburban squeeze — along with facets like solar panels which require full sun — have been blamed for neighbourhood disputes about trees exploding in recent years.
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/thousands-of-neighbours-are-doing-battle-over-trees-as-blocks-are-divided-and-solar-panels-shaded-by-nextdoors-flora/news-story/fadce4fb576130a61eb976dd34400e10

Councils out of depth over oil drilling  [PAYWALL]
Graeme Bethune
It is ironic South Australia’s local government is being manipulated to oppose oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight. They are not experts
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/graeme-bethune-the-great-australian-bight-is-australias-chance-of-finding-another-major-oil-basin/news-story/e331e682426dea02d90a361ea238bf5d

Freycinet Peninsula draft master plan released for public comment
A visitor ‘gateway hub’ is the jewel in the crown of a draft master plan for the Freycinet Peninsula.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5460942/new-visitor-centre-proposed-for-freycinet-national-park/?cs=95

Breaking the mainland power link could cost Tasmanians  [PAYWALL]
Phil Bayley
Unlinking Tasmania from mainland prices could backfire
https://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-breaking-the-power-link-could-cost-tasmanians/news-story/9c807ab46b88fae9e3911a051da9930a

How did deadly asbestos come to pepper Darwin’s beautiful beaches?
Be careful what rocks you collect at the beach, you may be picking up one of the many pieces of asbestos that find their way onto the Northern Territory’s coastline.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-12/why-does-asbestos-pepper-darwin-beaches-what-being-done-about-it/9837262

Brussels criticised for delays in banning toxic chemicals
European commission’s inaction is putting people’s health at risk, law firm says
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/11/brussels-criticised-over-delays-in-banning-toxic-chemicals

30 percent of the UK’s natural gas could be replaced by hydrogen, cutting carbon emissions
Almost a third of the natural gas fueling UK homes and businesses could be replaced by hydrogen, a carbon free fuel, without requiring any changes to the nation’s boilers and ovens, a pioneering study by Swansea University researchers has shown.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/su-3ot060718.php

Wastewater treatment plants are key route into UK rivers for microplastics
Water samples from UK rivers contained significantly higher concentrations of microplastics downstream from wastewater treatment plants, according to one of the first studies to determine potential sources of microplastics pollution.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uol-wtp061118.php

Warmer climate will dramatically increase the volatility of global corn crops
Warmer temperatures by the end of this century will dramatically increase the volatility in global supplies of corn, the most widely grown crop in the world.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uow-wcw060618.php

Choice matters: The environmental costs of producing meat, seafood
A new study appearing online June 11 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment considers which food type is more environmentally costly to produce: livestock, farmed seafood or wild-caught fish.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uow-cmt060618.php

Predicted environmental changes could significantly reduce global production of vegetables
The global production of vegetables and legumes, which are an important part of healthy diets, could be significantly reduced through predicted future changes to the environment, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/lsoh-pec060818.php

Society needs to flip its disaster spending, insurance report says
Communities would get more value by spending before a disaster, instead of after.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/society-needs-to-flip-its-disaster-spending-insurance-report-says/

Let’s call gang violence what it is: pollution
From academia to activism, more and more people are recognizing that gang violence is an environmental health issue and should be treated like one.
https://earther.com/lets-call-gang-violence-what-it-is-pollution-1826680838/amp?__twitter_impression=true

India’s pollution levels are some of the highest in the world. Here’s why
Eleven out of the 12 most polluted cities on a World Health Organization list were in India.
https://www.vox.com/2018/5/8/17316978/india-pollution-levels-air-delhi

Turbocharge for lithium batteries
A team of material researchers from Juelich, Munich, and Prague has succeeded in producing a composite material that is particularly suited for electrodes in lithium batteries.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/fj-tfl061118.php

Solar cells combining silicon with perovskite have achieved record efficiency of 25.2 percent
In Neuchâtel, Switzerland, researchers from EPFL and CSEM have combined silicon- and perovskite-based solar cells. The resulting efficiency of 25.2 percent is a record for this type of tandem cell.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/epfd-scc061118.php

The world’s top 10 battles for environmental justice
Environmental justice activism is to this age what the workers’ movement was for the industrial age – one of the most influential social movements of its time. Yet, despite its consistent progress since the 1970s, environmental justice protests seem to get lost in the morass of information on broader environmental issues.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/the-world-s-top-10-battles-for-environmental-justice

China, exploring renewables, tests a solar highway
Western countries have been looking into putting solar panels on roads for years. The Chinese have done it, installing panels on a downhill section of a mountain road.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/business/energy-environment/china-solar-roads-renewables.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness-energy-environment

We can design better intersections that are safer for all users
Paul Salmon and Gemma Read, University of the Sunshine Coast
When cars, trucks, bikes and pedestrians come together at an intersection, design makes the difference between collisions and safety. pxhere
https://theconversation.com/we-can-design-better-intersections-that-are-safer-for-all-users-92178

What a giant snake can teach us about designing cities for the future
William Laurance
We need to make our urban areas more welcoming to wildlife. Here are five ways we can do so.
https://ensia.com/voices/urban-wildlife/

Chris Packham warns of ‘ecological apocalypse’ in Britain
Springwatch presenter says Britain is increasingly ‘a green and unpleasant land’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/11/chris-packham-springwatch-warns-of-ecological-apocalypse-britain

Doing right by the whales
UCSB marine ecologist Erin Meyer-Gutbrod and colleagues urge a more proactive conservation management strategy for the North Atlantic right whale.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uoc–drb061118.php

How the Desert Botanical Garden is working to save Monarch butterflies
Monarch butterfly populations have dropped 90 percent in the past two decades. The Desert Botanical Garden’s milkweed program can help them survive.
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2018/06/09/desert-botanical-garden-save-monarch-butterflies-milkweed/677830002/

Africa’s most famous trees are dying, and scientists suspect a changing climate
Scientists describe an ‘event of an unprecedented magnitude’ among Africa’s oldest and largest baobab trees.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/06/11/africas-most-famous-trees-are-collapsing-and-scientists-suspect-a-changing-climate/?utm_term=.89d7639a60b1

Wild at heart  [PAYWALL]
Conservation is the key to success at Africa’s best nature reserves and national parks.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/a-choice-of-african-safaris-for-the-wild-at-heart/news-story/4dd20727f7c159e8c41541967c000361