Tuesday 12 September 2017

Many tipped the report on alleged water corruption to be a whitewash. Instead, it’s a grenade
Linton Besser
The Government has released a wide-ranging report into allegations made by Four Corners over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and it reveals ICAC is taking an interest in the damning claims
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/murray-darling-basin-plan-grenade-report-icac-four-corners/8893456

Pope blasts climate change doubters: Cites moral duty to act.
Pope Francis has sharply criticized climate change doubters, saying history will judge those who failed to take the necessary decisions to curb heat-trapping emissions blamed for the warming of the Earth.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4057999804430504426

UN climate panel to put human behaviour under microscope.
At the top of the United Nation panel’s to-do list is drilling down into regional impacts of and adaptation to climate change.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430504429

Cold region ‘tipping point’ now inevitable
The decline of cold regions called periglacial zones is now inevitable due to climate change, researchers say.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uoe-cr091117.php

‘You cannot negotiate with the climate’ – Shaw.
Charging carbon polluters and using funds to plant a billion trees would create “tens of thousands” of jobs, NZ Green party leader James Shaw says.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212635300

How Openings in Antarctic Sea Ice Affect Worldwide Climate
In a new analysis of climate models, researchers reveal the significant global effects that these seemingly anomalous polynyas can have.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/52451

‘Politics is failing this planet’
AS Hurricane Irma lashes Florida, the Greens have warned climate change is the single greatest threat to Australia’s national security.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/climate-change-is-a-national-security-threat-claim-greens/news-story/1c115aa8c42c47d2f526dc35208536ef

How honest carbon pricing works.
Toronto Sun editorial
Why aren’t politicians (save for the Green Party) interested? Because the sole purpose of carbon fee and dividend is to reduce emissions, not increase government revenues.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212634014

Stop talking right now about the threat of climate change. It’s here; it’s happening.
Bill McKibben The Guardian
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – we need to rethink how we live without delay.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212634493

Irma and Harvey: very different storms, but both affected by climate change
Andrew King
https://theconversation.com/irma-and-harvey-very-different-storms-but-both-affected-by-climate-change-83800

Animal law enforcement an ongoing battle for NFPs
The enforcement of animal cruelty laws should be the responsibility of the police, not the RSPCA, according to an expert in animal law. …
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/sme-law/21850-animal-law-enforcement-an-ongoing-battle-for-nfps

Stockland stacks up big solar play
http://www.afr.com/real-estate/stockland-stacks-up-big-solar-play-20170911-gyeuyn

Climate change boosting energy bills
Climate change is making it harder for commercial landlords to cut their energy and emissions tallies.
http://www.afr.com/real-estate/climate-change-boosting-energy-bills-sustainable-building-leader-lendlease-says-20170911-gyezru

Job losses, hacking worries and ethical questions — but get used to driverless cars
Driverless cars come with ethical questions, hacking concerns and fears of widespread job losses but their potential to slash the road toll is great, the standing committee on innovation says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/driverless-cars-job-losses-hacking-issues-and-ethical-questions/8893384

‘Time is running out’: Ex-UN climate chief has some advice for Turnbull
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/grandmother-plant-exun-climate-chief-christiana-figueres-has-advice-for-pm-20170910-gyerob.html

Vesey sold shares before meeting
AGL Energy chief Andy Vesey offloaded $1.24 million of company shares before yesterday’s meeting with Malcolm Turnbull.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/agl-energy-chief-sold-12m-of-shares-before-meeting-turnbull/news-story/24bc4bc1906b1b6c81b7fa1e360e54a4

Most Australians want government to regulate power prices – Guardian Essential poll
Poll shows 81% support for more investment in renewables, as Labor remains ahead on a two-party preferred basis, at 54% to the Coalition’s 46%
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/12/most-australians-want-government-to-regulate-power-prices-guardian-essential-poll

AGL having its cake and eating it
Judith Sloan
The government must act and this does not involve doling out even more favours to the unreliable renewables sector.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/how-agl-is-having-its-cake-and-eating-it/news-story/bf9a12ef3adea6287c3e9dcb8fe2573a

Next generation: the long-term future of the National Electricity Market
Grattan Institute
The continuing policy uncertainty and the challenges of a changing energy mix need to be addressed to ensure the NEM delivers efficient and secure electricity in the long run.
http://apo.org.au/node/106206

Gas, not coal, the key to fixing electricity mess
Ian Verrender
Fixing the gas price crisis is the short-term fix to Australia’s soaring electricity prices but the long game is greater investment in renewables and energy storage
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/gas-not-coal-the-fix-to-australias-soaring-electricity-prices/8890818

Nationals demand “coal target” as energy politics spirals into loony fog
Giles Parkinson
Barnaby Joyce seems to think that switching off a coal plant in 2022 will cause the lights to go out in 2017. Is there any hope that the smart conversations going on behind the scenes will ever be reflected in policy? Don’t count on it.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nationals-demand-coal-target-as-energy-politics-spirals-into-loony-fog-37878/

Time for pragmatism, not panic, for the electricity market
David Blowers
Governments, understandably, want to make sure the lights stay on. But now is the time for perspective, not panic.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/time-pragmatism-not-panic-electricity-market-65155/

Big utilities about to pay price of saying no to coal and COALition
Giles Parkinson
Coalition has known about bidding practices for years, but it has taken AGL’s refusal to play ball on Liddell to prompt it into action.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/big-utilities-about-to-pay-price-of-saying-no-to-coal-and-coalition-58615/

The Turnbull-Frydenberg investment bank: Bullying, cronyism and Captain’s picks
David Leitch
Despite Finkel, despite our COP 21 obligations, Turnbull does nothing. No electricity policy, no vehicle emission standards, no policy in other areas of the economy. Worst of all, the Liddell negotiations are a gross misuse of the AEMO reports for political purposes.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-turnbull-frydenberg-investment-bank-bullying-cronyism-and-captains-picks-46765/

What about the people missing out on renewables? Here’s what planners can do about energy justice
Jason Byrne, Tony Matthews
https://theconversation.com/what-about-the-people-missing-out-on-renewables-heres-what-planners-can-do-about-energy-justice-82975

The Turnbull Government has run out of energy
John Passant
Energy prices have doubled since the Coalition scrapped the carbon tax; now subsidies for renewables may also go.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-turnbull-government-has-run-out-of-energy,10706

Energy blame game solves little
Australian editorial
The federal government needs a coherent electricity policy.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/energy-blame-game-solves-little/news-story/7398e92362b7f8431aa3c0dd82789bc3

Politics of power prices leaves us in the cold
Parnell McGuiness
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/parnell-mcguinness-the-politics-of-power-prices-is-leaving-us-out-in-the-cold/news-story/eca4d979bbd04438e6acd77b5dc1c381

Even a swooping magpie is a reminder of the natural world
James Norman
It’s magpie swooping season – the time of year when male birds seek to protect eggs and chicks from potential predators.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/even-a-swooping-magpie-is-a-reminder-of-the-natural-world-20170911-gyevsi.html

After Grenfell, time to act on Australia’s risky buildings
SMH editorial
A Senate committee of inquiry has prudently recommended banning a type of flammable cladding used in countless Australian buildings.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/after-grenfell-time-to-act-on-australias-risky-buildings-20170911-gyf67q.html

‘It’s scary’: Why foxes are being scalped and hung from trees in Victoria
A fox bounty in Victoria offering $10 a scalp does not appear to be working well for some parts of the state, with carcasses reportedly appearing on display in public parks in the Mornington Peninsula.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/37040694/fox-bounty-reportedly-not-working-on-mornington-peninsula-vic/

Possum’s endangered status under review
VICTORIA’S faunal emblem, the leadbeater’s possum, will have its critically endangered listing reviewed after a successful push from the logging industry.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/logging-industry-wins-battle-for-review-into-leadbeaters-possum-endangered-status/news-story/ec5d1da380d032871e23c1f7d597d8ba

Owner axes solar station plans
THE new owner of a solar project near Mildura which the Victorian government wasted $15 million on says it was “not commercially viable”.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/solar-power-station-proposed-near-mildura-axed/news-story/6ecd3d5d2c8f54b2fbdd5d14ae5e9ed8

MCG to be lit up by fan power
FAN power is set to literally light up the MCG in ­an energy-­sharing deal allowing Victorian solar customers to trade power from their homes for VIP experiences at …
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/home-power-to-be-sent-to-mcg/news-story/ef6ca9f356abdc24a7168e25e3996ce5

Radical push to re-regulate electricity prices in Victoria
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/energy-retailers-prepare-to-fight-radical-push-to-reregulate-electricity-prices-in-victoria-20170911-gyf3ui.html

AGL appears committed to closing Liddell plant despite meeting with PM
Energy provider AGL appears to be ruling out selling or extending the life of the Liddell power station, despite the Federal Government declaring that is still an option.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/agl-appears-committed-to-closing-liddell-power-station/8893822

Give us 90 days to find a better power plan: AGL
AGL has asked the government for a reprieve so it can plan to replace the lost electricity generation caused by the Liddell power plant clos…
http://www.afr.com/news/give-us-90-days-to-find-better-plan-than-liddell-agl-tells-malcolm-turnbull-20170910-gyeqo4

NSW government weighs proposal for 146MW solar farm near Bathurst
Photon Energy Australia plans to develop 146MW solar farm on outskirts of Bathurst have gone before NSW Department of Planning for approval.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-government-weighs-proposal-146mw-solar-farm-near-bathurst-47888/

‘Systemic fix’ needed for NSW water, damning report finds
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/systemic-fix-needed-for-nsw-water-management-damning-report-finds-20170911-gyeu6m.html

Top water bureaucrat stood down over misconduct claims
Top NSW water bureaucrat Gavin Hanlon has been stood down to face misconduct allegations after an interim report into claims of water theft in the northern ­Murray-Darling Basin found serious and systemic problems with ­irrigation water compliance, rules and enforcement.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/top-water-bureaucrat-stood-down-over-misconduct-claims/news-story/8def129350754ff6888d6274ebf21d5e

Many tipped the report on alleged water corruption to be a whitewash. Instead, it’s a grenade
Linton Besser
The Government has released a wide-ranging report into allegations made by Four Corners over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and it reveals ICAC is taking an interest in the damning claims
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/murray-darling-basin-plan-grenade-report-icac-four-corners/8893456

For energy security, the failing Liddell coal plant is the last thing we need
Ben Oquist
Confusion reigns over whether the government will, or can, keep the ageing power station going. But there’s a much better way to ensure grid reliability
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/12/for-energy-security-the-failing-liddell-coal-plant-is-the-last-thing-we-need

Century of die-offs taking toll in central Great Barrier Reef
Chemical dating of the Great Barrier Reef’s sensitive branching corals reveals a history of massive die-offs over the past century, particularly in the past 30 years, from which these corals have not recovered.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-09-12/century-of-die-offs-takes-toll-on-reef-building-coral-on-gbr/8892944

North Stradbroke Island wetlands date back to last ice age: researchers
North Stradbroke Island off Brisbane is home to wetlands dating back 200,000 years and might have been an important refuge during periods of extreme weather, researchers find.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/north-stradbroke-island-sediment-core-project-qld/8878758

Five companies in running to build huge solar farm in Qld coal centre
Five companies short-listed to tender for job developing up to 450MW renewable energy hub in Qld coal centre of Gladstone.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/five-companies-running-build-huge-solar-farm-qld-coal-centre-32961/

Clubs, bars cry foul over litter patrols
CLUBS and bars are demanding council litter inspectors back off after thousands of revellers were fined in a “zero tolerance” blitz around late-night venues.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbane-club-and-bar-owners-want-city-council-to-back-off-on-litter-patrols/news-story/cf081bbc3c294e5cacb7113beeccb8b6

Wanted: Rubbish truck drivers to dish dirt on waste dumped in Qld
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/public-submissions-are-open-for-investigation-into-interstate-waste-dumping-in-queensland-20170911-p4yvuu.html

Emergency crews have watch on several fires
FIRE crews are continuing to monitor a bushfire burning between Cardwell and Tully which closed the Bruce Highway yesterday.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/bilyana-east-trinity-turtle-cove-burn-as-dry-conditions-spark-fires/news-story/f8eed3c745c39e6ee37d1dfcfdbec590

Adani’s mine is a black hole for big brands
Julien Vinmcent
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/adanis-mine-is-a-black-hole-for-brands-20170911-gyf3om.html

SA puts energy security target on back-burner after AEMO steps in
South Australia abandons plans for energy security target this summer after AEMO intervention on gas plants, and due to lack of competition in market.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/s-a-puts-energy-security-target-on-back-burner-after-aemo-steps-in-86049/

South Australia launches tender for hydrogen plant, buses
SA govt seeks proposals to build hydrogen production facility and refuelling station, and supply at least six hydrogen cell buses.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australia-launches-tender-hydrogen-plant-buses-77090/

Scientists trace ancient Aboriginal fire practices on remote Tasmanian island
A core sample taken from a remote Tasmanian island suggests Aboriginal people were using fire management on the island at least 41,000 years ago, experts say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/scientists-tracing-ancient-aboriginal-fire-practice-on-tasmania/8891626

Circle work in Tasmanian conservation area stokes 4WD track anger
As the Tasmanian Government moves to reopen contentious four-wheel drive tracks on the west coast, there’s anger over more damage caused by vehicles being driven around in circles in the Arthur-Pieman area.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/anger-over-more-damage-at-arthur-pieman-conservation-area/8890194

Greens take Tarkine issue to the Senate
THE Greens have tabled a motion asking the Senate to put pressure on the Federal Government to not support Tasmania’s application to open up closed tracks in the Tarkine.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/motion-tabled-asking-senate-to-tell-federal-government-to-reject-tarkine-tracks-application/news-story/d16c558bbc4e6abf797340112a02134f

Energetic approach will pay off
Peter Boyer
Residents are eligible to join a bulk-buy of heat pumps, insulation, low-wattage lighting, rooftop solar panels and energy-efficient hot water systems
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-energetic-approach-will-pay-off/news-story/ba352746ce00edf7f063784df8ffd790

PWC ordered to fix treatment plant stinking up Darwin’s suburbs
The Northern Territory’s power and water utility is put on notice to resolve an odour issue in some of Darwin’s northern suburbs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/power-and-water-told-to-urgently-fix-stink-in-darwins-suburbs/8893326

Arguments for expanding McArthur River Mine ‘almost comical’
Glencore’s economic arguments for being allowed to keep expanding its controversial McArthur River Mine do not withstand scrutiny according to analysis by the Australia Institute.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/mcarthur-river-mine-expansion-economic-arguments-questioned/8891316

Recycled water tariff could increase bills ‘by 1,000 per cent’
Water stakeholders in NSW voice concerns a new pricing model could spark a steep increase in bills for some of the city’s most iconic developments including Central Park and Barangaroo.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/fears-of-price-rise-over-water-recycling-schemes-in-nsw/8892162

Taking to the treetops to track wedge-tailed eagles
They might be fearsome raptors and Australia’s largest bird of prey, but wedge-tailed eagles are increasingly falling victim to drones, cars and accidental poisoning.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/tracking-the-wedge-tailed-eagles-from-the-treetops/8886346

New study shows organic farming traps carbon in soil to combat climate change.
Organic farms were found to have 26 percent more long-term carbon storage potential than conventional farms.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-4057999804430504453

WA grid could reach 85% renewables – and cheaper than ‘clean coal’
Repowering WA’s South West Integrated System grid with renewables would not increase the wholesale electricity price, new modelling shows.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-grid-reach-85-renewables-cheaper-clean-coal-46180/

Huge boost for renewables as offshore windfarm costs fall to record low.
Green groups say record low price should sound death knell for Hinkley Point C after subsidy auction sets price for windpower below even lowest forecast
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-6766923627212634492

Air pollution cuts 3 years off lifespans in Northern China
Innovative study finds a well-intentioned home heating policy contributed to higher pollution in Northern China, shaving years off hundreds of millions of lives.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uoc-apc091017.php

Trump says he cares about people in coal country. So why halt a study on their health?
Washington Post editorial
We need to know the effects of mountaintop-removal coal mining.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430504448

Conspiracies, corruption and climate.
Paul Krugman New York Times
It’s not just Rush Limbaugh: Know-nothings are running America.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430504450

Five big global crises that got worse while the world watched Hurricane Irma
Peter Hartcher
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-five-big-crises-that-got-worse-while-the-world-watched-irma-20170911-gyeuxu.html

Indonesia’s songbirds at risk as competitions drive illegal wildlife trade
On any given week in Indonesia, there are thousands of songbird competitions, and the growing demand for competitors is threatening already endangered species.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/indonesias-songbirds-at-risk-as-competitions-drive-illegal-trade/8886512

Desert Locusts: New Risks in the Light of Climate Change
The desert locust is an invasive species that is both well known and feared because of the large-scale agricultural damage it can cause
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170911095911.htm

Biodiversity Proves Its Real-World Value
Hundreds of experiments have shown biodiversity fosters healthier, more productive ecosystems. But many experts doubted whether these experiments would hold up in the real world. A Smithsonian and University of Michigan study published today in the journal Nature offers a decisive answer: Biodiversity’s power in the wild does not match that predicted by experiments—it surpasses it.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52445

Master plan to protect sea.
A master plan on the use of Vietnam’s sea is being built by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, a necessary move according to experts.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212634491

Drones and wildlife – working to co-exist
Pip Wallace, University of Waikato; Iain White,University of Waikato, and Ross Martin, University of Waikato
The drone market is booming, with some unwanted consequences for wildlife. A new study argues that threatened species might need extra protections.
http://theconversation.com/drones-and-wildlife-working-to-co-exist-83488

‘Do not shoot weapons at Irma’: Florida sheriff
A Facebook page inviting Floridians to shoot their weapons into the approaching Hurricane Irma prompts a sheriff to issue a stern warning to residents saying “it will have very dangerous side effects”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/hurricane-irma-sheriff-advised-people-not-to-fire-into-storm/8890872