TUESDAY 13 MARCH 2018

Climate change is a disaster foretold, just like the first world war
Jeff Sparrow
The warnings about an unfolding climate catastrophe are getting more desperate, yet the march to destruction continues.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/12/climate-change-is-a-disaster-foretold-just-like-the-first-world-war

Scott Pruitt’s terrible plan to ‘objectively’ assess climate science
David Roberts
We should use “red team exercises” to respond to climate change, not deny it.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/8/2/16082020/pruitt-red-team-exercise

Queensland rooftop solar reaches 2GW, but NSW now biggest market
The state of Queensland broke through the 2GW (gigawatt) level for rooftop solar installations in February, although it was overtaken for the first time in several years by New South Wales as the biggest market for installations.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-rooftop-solar-reaches-2gw-nsw-now-biggest-market-60172/

Dream shattered: ‘Disaster’ tipped for Aussie ‘way of life’
Australian businessman Dick Smith predicts “disaster” for the Aussie “way of life” he grew up loving, as new population data is released.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/is-australia-prepared-for-an-exploding-population-influx/news-story/3a5b3ef230ae618b0612fbd27a276e6c

Australian tests expose VW ‘fix’ on fuel, emissions
World-first testing in Australia on recalled VW cars shows they use up to 14 per cent more fuel after an enforced pollution fix, and still emit four times the allowable level of noxious gases.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/australian-tests-expose-vw-fix-on-fuel-emissions/news-story/efce4694723aaa6e8c13be5ea95143f5

Q&A: Population growth is not the problem; infrastructure is
Australia’s growing population is putting strain on services and causing more Australians to question immigration policy — but the Q&A audience hears nothing will change until politicians have a lot more courage.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-13/qanda-austrlia-population-growth-reveals-discontent-on-planning/9540352

EnergyAustralia sounds the alarm on Snowy Hydro
EnergyAustralia chairman Graham Bradley has raised the alarm about a potential threat to competition from a full federal government-owned Snowy Hydro.
http://www.afr.com/news/policy/energyaustralia-chairman-graham-bradley-sounds-alarm-about-snowy-hydro-ownership-20180311-h0xbwm

Don’t gold-plate power: BCA
Energy regulators have been warned to avoid “gold-plating” the electricity supply industry and driving up costs.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/dont-goldplate-power-through-onerous-neg-reliability-rules-bca-urges/news-story/603bb15b257cffc75b72e18b140e3bc1

East coast gas prices jump 40pc
East coast wholesale gas prices paid by business and energy users jumped by nearly 40 per cent last year, according to EnergyQuest.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/pressure-on-energy-users-as-east-coast-gas-prices-jump-40pc/news-story/13bbceb6ab38ee273e32aefa6ac04b80

Australia can avoid Germany’s renewable energy mistakes
Australia can avoid Germany’s renewable energy mistakes and create a more sustainable lower cost system, but it needs to be smarter about the way we use power.
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/australia-can-avoid-germany-s-renewable-energy-mistakes-20180312-p4z3zh.html

Right wing push to slash incentives for rooftop solar
Giles Parkinson
Right wing politicians and media pushing trumped up figures to call for reduction in rooftop solar incentives in a campaign reminiscent of the “$100 lamb roast.”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/right-wing-push-slash-incentives-rooftop-solar-15113/

Know your NEM: Time to focus on ISP, and dump the NEG
David Leitch
What’s interesting this week: AEMO’s Integrated System Plan [ISP]; Distributed Energy Resources [DER] development
http://reneweconomy.com.au/know-your-nem-time-to-focus-on-isp-and-dump-the-neg-16689/

We banned cigarette ads – now we should ban car ads, too
Arwen Birch
Just like cigarettes, we are being mislead and the image promoted is a far cry from the reality of poor health outcomes and mounting costs.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/we-banned-cigarette-ads-now-we-should-ban-car-ads-too-20180312-p4z3y8.html

Not selfish to want a backyard
Judith Sloan
We need to review immigration, not just build higher.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/highrise-residential-blocks-in-suburbs-are-not-the-solution/news-story/f3ba55ec0c2894c47a3cd92ea7607103

Yes, kangaroos are endangered – but not the species you think
Karl Vernes, University of New England
https://theconversation.com/yes-kangaroos-are-endangered-but-not-the-species-you-think-93203

More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise
Ian Wright, Western Sydney University
https://theconversation.com/more-of-us-are-drinking-recycled-sewage-water-than-most-people-realise-92420

Greens pledge to ban petrol cars by 2030
The Greens will up the ante over climate change ahead of Saturday’s Batman by-election by calling for all new petrol cars to be banned by 2030.
http://www.afr.com/news/ban-petrol-cars-by-2030-greens-up-ante-over-climate-change-ahead-of-batman-20180311-h0xbwg

Hey Greenies, leave those trees alone
The Greens’ reputation as tree huggers may be at risk due to overzealous campaigners in the byelection for the Melbourne seat of Batman.
The party has landed in a spot of gentle bother with the local council, which has asked the party to leave its trees alone.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/hey-greenies-leave-those-trees-alone-20180312-p4z3xy.html

The Price Of Protest: Choosing Between Forests Or Freedom
In the 1980s and 1990s, a vibrant environmental movement took the fight to the government to save some of NSW’s most iconic forests.
https://newmatilda.com/2018/03/12/price-protest-choosing-forests-freedom/

Tollway construction to expose Sydney Harbour to toxic ‘plumes’, study finds
Sydney’s Western Harbour tollway project will expose north shore and inner-west communities to heavy construction noise and parts of the harbour to toxic sediments, according to a preliminary environmental study marked “cabinet-in-confidence” seen by the ABC and Fairfax Media.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/western-harbour-toll-construction-to-produce-toxicity-study/9537082

Commuters can now ‘tap on’ with credit cards  – but there’s a catch
The contactless payment system is already working on ferries and will soon expand to trains.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/39483958/commuters-can-now-tap-on-with-credit-cards-but-theres-a-catch/

WaterNSW took almost a year to act on water theft accusations: EDO
The NSW government took almost a year to begin legal action against a big irrigator on the Barwon-Darling River after being alerted of water extraction that put Broken Hill’s water supply at risk.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/waternsw-year-act-theft-accusations-edo-20180311-p4z3u5.html

Premier pulled back on migration
Senior NSW ministers urged Premier Gladys Berejiklian last year to enter the immigration debate.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/nsw-premier-gladys-berejiklian-demurred-on-migrant-debate/news-story/a79e4ad3ece27dc0760af5d738501534

Adani yet to sign final royalty deal for Carmichael mine
Adani has yet to sign a royalty agreement with the Queensland government despite being months away from locking in finance for its Carmichael mine.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/adani-yet-to-sign-final-royalty-agreement-for-165b-carmichael-mine-20180312-h0xcdy

Bill Shorten’s stance on Adani coalmine leaves voters cold – GuardianEssential poll
Highest level of support was for Greens’ anti-Adani position with Turnbull government’s position second
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/13/bill-shortens-stance-on-adani-coalmine-leaves-voters-cold-guardian-essential-poll

Can Queensland Labor end broadscale land clearing, as promised?
Green groups welcome proposed changes to land-clearing law but there are still reasons to doubt they are enough to halt the crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/12/can-queensland-labor-end-broadscale-land-clearing-as-promised

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef: going beyond our backyard to protect the reef
Georgina Gurney, James Cook University
New global communities of concerned citizens can help protect iconic places such as the Great Barrier Reef. But the scope of these remote communities must extend beyond mere ‘slacktivism’.
https://theconversation.com/citizens-of-the-great-barrier-reef-going-beyond-our-backyard-to-protect-the-reef-86858

Bill Shorten Waffles About Adani Because Labor Is In The Pocket Of Big Coal
Michael Brull
The ALP’s ‘on-again off-again’ position on the Carmichael mega-mine is entirely consistent with the party’s recent history
https://newmatilda.com/2018/03/12/bill-shorten-waffles-adani-labor-pocket-big-coal/

South Australia pays the price of big system peaks
South Australia is once again being assailed for having the most expensive wholesale electricity prices in the country – and new data underlines why it is the state most vulnerable to extraordinary jumps in prices at times of high peaks and interrupted supply.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australia-pays-price-big-system-peaks-85072/

Campers woken by bushfire threat south of Adelaide
Four separate bushfires on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide, might have been deliberately lit, police say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/suspicious-fires-at-deep-creek-camping-area-and-maslin-beach/9538038

Analysts differ on OZ power plan 
OZ Minerals’ South Australian power transmission solution has drawn a mixed reaction from analysts.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/analysts-differ-on-oz-power-plan/news-story/d9d5efa33b94c0ddfa3336622967ab45

Could be SA’s biggest mine — but there’s no green light 
Pleas to grant exploration rights for a project that could be bigger than Olympic Dam have been “completely ignored” by the State Government — which says the deal is very “complex”.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/sa-business-journal/lake-gairdner-mining-project-could-be-sas-biggest-mine-but-explorer-rudy-gomez-has-to-wait/news-story/d86515812ef85e2e2b5d4fd16c5c21f5

Record rubbish haul collected from remote Tasmanian beaches
More than 112,000 pieces of garbage including a “toxic wave of plastics” are collected by volunteers from remote beaches in Tasmania’s World Heritage area.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/an-annual-clean-up-of-some-of-tasmania27s-most-remote-beaches-/9538398

Application submitted for Ross Bridge to become National Heritage
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5278040/application-submitted-for-ross-bridge-to-become-national-heritage/?cs=95

No new fruit flies found in Tasmania
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5279213/no-new-fruit-flies-found-in-tasmania/?cs=95

Experts to guide families on bushwalks
Tasmanian families can now experience some of the state’s most scenic bushwalks in the company of experts as the Autumn Walks program kicks off.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/expert-guides-to-help-families-tackle-wilderness-walks/news-story/4fd105fedd039b5b574696b8fbaede33

Carnegie eyes another 10MW solar and battery project in W.A.
Carnegie Clean Energy negotiates plans for 10MW solar farm, with up to 10MWh battery storage, in an industrial estate in south-western W.A.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/carnegie-eyes-another-10mw-solar-battery-project-w-15491/

WA suburb to trial community battery ‘bank’ for rooftop solar deposits
A Western Australian suburb south of Perth is set to trial a community energy storage scheme that will allow solar households to store their excess rooftop generation in a shared battery, installed locally.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-suburb-trial-community-battery-bank-rooftop-solar-deposits-26782/

Bunbury fire sparked by ‘man who flicked cigarette’
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/bunbury-fire-sparked-by-man-who-flicked-cigarette-20180311-h0xc1o.html

‘Seashore landfilling’ and other waste woes
Lebanon’s waste is literally spilling beyond its shores.
https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2018/03/09/lebanon-trash-seashore-landfilling

Radiation is put to good use for once in Chernobyl
The infamous nuclear wasteland is now home to a clean energy experiment.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-03-12/radiation-is-put-to-good-use-for-once-in-chernobyl

Clearing the radioactive rubble heap that was Fukushima Daiichi, 7 years on
The water is tainted, the wreckage is dangerous, and disposing of it will be a prolonged, complex and costly process.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/clearing-the-radioactive-rubble-heap-that-was-fukushima-daiichi-7-years-on/

France to commit 700 million euros to International Solar Alliance
France will commit 700 million euros to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday at the founding conference of the organization, reiterating the European country’s commitment to the alliance and clean energy.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-solar-alliance/france-to-commit-700-million-euros-to-international-solar-alliance-idUSKCN1GN0JU

Injured nuclear workers finally had support. The Trump administration has mothballed it
An advisory board of scientists, doctors and worker advocates helped ensure that nuclear workers exposed to toxins received proper compensation. The terms of nearly all board members expired last month – and no new members have been appointed.
https://www.propublica.org/article/injured-nuclear-workers-finally-had-support-the-trump-administration-has-mothballed-it

Can California’s carbon queen recycle pollution?
Etosha Cave started a company to repurpose CO2 emissions into fuel and other usable products.
https://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/can-californias-carbon-queen-recycle-pollution/83719

How protons can power our future energy needs
John Andrews, RMIT
https://theconversation.com/how-protons-can-power-our-future-energy-needs-93124

Belize is expanding its marine protected area in a big way
The government of Belize will expand its network of no-take zones, a type of marine protected area, from three percent to over 10 percent by the end of 2018.
https://www.caribjournal.com/2018/03/11/belize-expanding-marine-protected-areas-big-way/ #

Saving the albatross: ‘The war is against plastic and they are casualties on the frontline’
Following his shocking photographs of dead albatross chicks and the diet of plastic that killed them, Chris Jordan’s new film is a call to action to repair our broken relationship with planet Earth
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/12/albatross-film-dead-chicks-plastic-saving-birds

Saving the yellow-eyed penguin – a photo essay
Photographer Murdo MacLeod visits New Zealand’s South Island where conservationists are seeking to protect the endangered yellow-eyed penguin from predation, disease and habitat destruction
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/12/yellow-eyed-penguin-photo-essay-murdo-macleod

Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists
A study reveals highest microplastic pollution levels ever recorded in a river in Manchester, UK and shows that billions of particles flooded into the sea from rivers in the area in just one year
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/12/microplastic-pollution-in-oceans-is-far-greater-than-thought-say-scientists