TUESDAY 17 APRIL 2018

ZERO IMPACT MAN
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday 19 April 2018
St Kilda Town Hall Council Chambers
99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 3182
 
Click here to find out more and register for this free event.

Climate scientist calls on students to speak out for sake of the planet and their future
Renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann visited the Berkshires on Friday and spoke to audiences on the political “war on science” and why he remains optimistic despite the influence of special interests polluting the public discourse.
https://theberkshireedge.com/climate-scientist-calls-on-students-to-speak-out-for-sake-of-the-planet-and-their-future/

Surviving climate change, then and now
An archeological dig in Italy reveals that prehistoric humans made it through a major natural disaster by cooperating with each other — and that’s a lesson for our future.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uom-scc041318.php

Effects of climate change on communally managed water systems softened by shared effort
Shared fates and experiences in a community can help it withstand changes to water availability due to climate change, a recent study by Sandia National Laboratories researchers found.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/dnl-eoc041618.php

The courts are deciding who’s to blame for climate change
Dana Nuccitelli
Oil companies? The government? The public? All of the above share the blame.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/apr/16/the-courts-are-deciding-whos-to-blame-for-climate-change

The plastic tsunami: pollution across Australia’s coastlines – in pictures
With Australia’s beaches and oceans covered in rubbish, Tangaroa Blue volunteers spend days trying to clean things up. While these images are not beautiful or professionally taken, they are the harsh reality of the world’s plastic pollution problem.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2018/apr/17/the-plastic-tsunami-pollution-across-australias-coastlines-in-pictures

Labor states urged to reject ‘woefully inadequate’ emissions reduction target
Environment group says states must not rubber stamp Malcolm Turnbull’s government’s national energy guarantee
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/16/labor-states-urged-to-reject-woefully-inadequate-emissions-reduction-target

Do-nothing energy guarantee is as empty as the PM
The Australian Conservation Foundation has warned that a low emissions reduction target for electricity would put at risk the states’ own energy plans and any chance of effective climate change action.
https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/04/do-nothing-energy-guarantee-is-as-waste-of-time/

Push on with NEG, industry urges [PAYWALL]
Broad support is increasing the chances of the National Energy Guarantee moving into full policy-design stage.
http://www.afr.com/news/push-on-with-neg-and-dont-sweat-details-says-industry-20180416-h0yub3

Australia to join global health and climate change initiative
Australia is set to join a global initiative tracking progress on health and climate change, say University of Sydney and Macquarie University authors of a Perspective in today’s Medical Journal of Australia.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uos-atj041218.php

Coalition considers letting power companies buy offsets to cut emissions
Tony Abbott argues offsets are carbon trading but government says it could include them in energy guarantee
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/16/coalition-considers-letting-power-companies-buy-offsets-to-cut-emissions

Peabody sees wider role for coal [PAYWALL]
Peabody Energy boss Glenn ­Kellow believes high-efficiency, low-emission coal has a role to play in Australia.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/peabody-sees-role-for-coal-in-energy-policy/news-story/4d5985a56033376c98383c8d239b76f8

Climate truce in sight as Labor warms to National Energy Guarantee
Labor would retain the Turnbull government’s cornerstone energy policy but legally enforce deeper emissions cuts on the electricity industry, suggesting elusive bipartisan action on the climate crisis is within reach.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/climate-truce-in-sight-as-labor-warms-to-national-energy-guarantee-20180416-p4z9yb.html

Wind farms on track to deliver $10.5bn back to host communities
Report finds up to $21.5m a year going directly to host communities through wind farm benefit sharing mechanisms; billions to broader regional economies.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-farms-on-track-to-deliver-10-5bn-back-to-host-communities-86989/

NEG: a bipartisan agreement to disagree?
Oliver Yates
An agreement to disagree is not good for energy policy
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/neg-a-bipartisan-agreement-to-disagree-20180416-p4z9xg.html

Don’t believe the label: ‘flushable wipes’ clog our sewers
Ian Wright, Western Sydney University
The manufacturer of White King “flushable” wipes has been fined A$700,000 because these are not, in fact, flushable. The wipes, advertised as “just like toilet paper”, cannot disintegrate in the sewerage system, and cause major blockages.
https://theconversation.com/dont-believe-the-label-flushable-wipes-clog-our-sewers-94982

The wanton worship of woody weeds
Viv Forbes
Greens gaze in rapture at the trees but ignore the valuable grasses beneath their feet – native plants like Mitchell Grass and Kangaroo Grass and cultivated grasses like wheat, barley, oats, sorghum and sugar cane.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19672

Coalition squibs on emissions in new energy policy paper
Giles Parkinson
Coalition refuses to budge on emissions targets for NEG, despite considerable shift on technical details of emissions and reliability obligations from Energy Security Board.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/coalition-squibs-on-emissions-in-new-energy-policy-paper-77441/

Know your NEM: Expect price hikes from the NEG
David Leitch
The redesigned NEG is likely to cause electricity prices to rise before they fall.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/know-your-nem-expect-price-hikes-from-the-neg-97509/

5 impacts of living with solar + storage in an apartment
Bjorn Sturmberg
It’s been over a year since we “flicked the switch” at Stucco, turning on the first big battery bank in an Australian apartment.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/5-impacts-of-living-with-solar-storage-in-an-apartment-17381/

New sky rail station opens – and residents are happy 
More trains are taking to the air in city’s south-east after the latest stretch of the controversial sky rail was opened.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/new-sky-rail-station-opens-and-residents-are-happy-about-it-20180416-p4z9wx.html

Victoria won’t sign Turnbull energy plan without renewables commitment
Victoria is holding out on signing up to the national energy guarantee, saying it will only back a plan that supports its own targets.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/victoria-won-t-sign-turnbull-energy-plan-without-renewables-commitment-20180416-p4z9yp.html

How many Coalition MPs does it take to launch 400 ‘brown coal’ jobs?
Belinda Jones
The Turnbull Government’s “brown coal to hydrogen” project is poised to create 400 jobs, but at what cost?
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/how-many-mps-does-it-take-to-launch-400-brown-coal-to-hydrogen-jobs,11402

NSW promises to protect Barwon-Darling flow as it is attacked over basin plan
Former Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder says NSW ‘actively undermined’ Murray-Darling basin plan
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/16/nsw-promises-to-protect-barwon-darling-flow-as-it-is-attacked-over-basin-plan

Barwon-Darling to get environmental flows [PAYWALL]
The northern part of the Murray-Darling Basin will be flushed with gigalitres of environmental water as the NSW and Commonwealth governments attempt to prevent the long-suffering rivers drying out.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/murraydarling-basin-barwondarling-to-get-environmental-flows/news-story/a0a7a872cf1edea3b543e72c8c27aac6

Spanish contractor vows to finish Sydney’s light rail project
The Spanish contractor building Sydney’s light rail line insists it will still complete the troubled project despite its $1.1 billion lawsuit against the state government, and claims the company is on a “go slow”.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/spanish-contractor-vows-to-finish-sydney-s-light-rail-project-20180416-p4z9tx.html

Lucas Heights nuclear reactor: The untold threat of the Sydney bushfires
Noel Wauchope
As fires raged in Sydney, there hasn’t been a peep about the fire hazard to Lucas Heights nuclear complex.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/sydney-bushfires-raged-towards-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor,11401

NSW faces biggest problems on energy, yet it does the least
David Leitch
NSW has raised $38 billion from energy asset sales, yet has reinvested not a single dollar – despite facing the fact that most of its coal fired power stations will close in the next 14 years.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-faces-biggest-problems-on-energy-yet-it-does-the-least-34537/

ACT has amassed more than 4000ha of rural land, still buying
The ACT government has amassed more than 4000 hectares of rural land in the past four years and is in talks to buy more, despite an audit underway into a series of past purchases.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-has-amassed-more-than-4000ha-of-rural-land-still-buying-20180416-p4z9xq.html

The quest to manufacture electric cars in Queensland
A small Australian company is looking to make a big dent in the country’s infant electric vehicle industry.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/the-aussie-tesla-start-up-plans-to-build-electric-cars-in-australia-20180413-p4z9fj.html

Metro set for bauxite shipment [PAYWALL]
Brisbane-based Metro Mining is formally starting production at its Bauxite Hills mine in northern Queensland.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/metro-set-for-first-bauxite-shipment/news-story/1c2b7fe8aec52d0e8223bfcb9573813e

What happens if the Reef comes to grief [PAYWALL]
Opinion
The Government’s plan for Australia’s marine sanctuaries doesn’t stack up – not for the environment, not for the economy, and not for the flow-on benefits to human health and well-being.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-protection-of-marine-ecosystems-risks-being-watered-down/news-story/b47c52e0a1bd9b01a44d1c80ea88e40

Port Augusta residents say power station remediation problems making them sick
The clean-up of decommissioned coal-fired power stations is a new challenge for Australia, and one regional South Australian community says it is being denied clean air which is leading to health problems as current remediation on the site is not sufficient.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-16/port-augusta-power-station-clean-up/9653688

Salmon producer Tassal off the hook over water restrictions, says TasWater
TasWater says salmon company Tassal is not to blame for stage one water restrictions at Orford and Triabunna, but concedes it “didn’t help”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-16/tassal-off-hook-over-water-restrictions/9663260

Sawfish find a surprise to science, but it was there in Indigenous art 
When Lisa Smiler went fishing in Wattie Creek, she certainly wasn’t expecting to catch a 2.7-metre sawfish.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-16/saw-tooth/9662032

Gunner green lights fracking [PAYWALL]
The Territory Government will today lift its moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of onshore gas
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/fracking-given-green-light-by-nt-government/news-story/e6c02f2e0e0eeb837be33154b41a299c

Time to accept fracking in NT [PAYWALL]
NT News editorial
The NT Government’s decision today to remove its fracking ban will likely not be the news many Territorians want to hear when waking up this morning
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/opinion/time-to-accept-fracking-in-nt/news-story/7fa1f506d38d77a305e32506c3aee5a7

WA to look at smart drum lines
Smart drum lines allow authorities to tag and release captured sharks using an alert system.
https://thewest.com.au/news/sharks/wa-to-look-at-smart-drum-lines-after-two-surfers-mauled-ng-b88807453z

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-create-mutant-enzyme-that-eats-plastic-bottles

While coal ash kills Americans, the EPA stands by
Coal ash is a proven health risk, and it’s killed tens of innocent people. The Trump administration, however, wants to roll back federal regulations. Why?
https://www.thedailybeast.com/while-coal-ash-kills-americans-the-epa-stands-by

Recycling renewables
Can we close the loop on old batteries, wind turbines, and solar panels to keep valuable materials out of the trash?
https://cen.acs.org/energy/renewables/Recycling-renewables/96/i15

Solar power’s new look: More landscape-friendly siting
Will Annapolis landfill’s panels light the way to alternatives for rural farmland sites?
https://www.bayjournal.com/article/solar_powers_new_look_more_landscape_friendly_siting

Chemical Sleuthing Leads to Detection of Little-Known Flame Retardant in the Environment
Chemists have published research findings on their discovery of a new and relatively unknown flame retardant in the environment.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180416101146.htm

Thin film converts heat from electronics into energy
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a thin-film system that can be applied to sources of waste heat to produce energy at levels unprecedented for this kind of technology.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uoc–tfc041218.php

Indigo’s scientists are replacing pesticides with bacteria
While the science behind microbiome treatments is promising, the company has a long road ahead.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-16/indigo-s-scientists-are-replacing-pesticides-with-bacteria

Musk says Tesla Model 3 back on track, production set to grow “four-fold”
Elon Musk tells interview Model 3 production has settled at 2,000 a week, should grow “three or four-fold” by Q2 2018.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/musk-says-tesla-model-3-back-on-track-production-set-to-grow-four-fold-16790/

Explainer: These six metals are key to a low-carbon future
The deployment of renewables and electric vehicles is expected to skyrocket as the world strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-six-metals-key-low-carbon-future-95544/

Who’s defending Canada’s national interest? First Nations facing down a pipeline
Martin LuKacs
Justin Trudeau is bailing out a Texas oil billionaire. He should be bailing out Canada’s workers and the climate.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2018/apr/16/whos-defending-canadas-national-interest-first-nations-facing-down-a-pipeline

Carbon-free shipping is possible, so why aren’t we doing it?
Michael Le Page
New UN-agreed limits on carbon emissions from shipping don’t go far or fast enough, especially as we already have the tech to make shipping carbon-free.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2166351-carbon-free-shipping-is-possible-so-why-arent-we-doing-it/

Europe’s electricity networks are underused and can cope with electric cars
Christos Kolokathis and Michael Hogan
Electricity distribution networks in Europe run at well below their full potential, and could learn from AirBNB nd Uber to easily incorporate EVs.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/europes-electricity-networks-underused-can-cope-electric-cars-90913/

Is Germany’s Hambach Forest doomed by coal?
Germany’s Hambach Forest sits in the crosshairs of coal mining, stirring debate about conservation and energy production.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/04/hambach-forest-germany-logging-coal-conservation-science/

Logging in tropical forests jeopardizing drinking water
A team of researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and other groups have found that increasing land clearing for logging in Solomon Islands-even with best management strategies in place — will lead to unsustainable levels of soil erosion and significant impacts to downstream water quality.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/wcs-lit041618.php

Climate change mitigation project threatens local ecosystem resilience in Ethiopia
To increase forest cover in the Global South in order to mitigate climate change does not always have positive effects, as shown in a new study undertaken by Stockholm University in southern Ethiopia. It can also threaten biodiversity and the survival of unique alpine plants.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/su-ccm041618.php

Lawmakers want the EPA to ignore impacts of pesticides on endangered species
Lori Ann Burd
According to the latest push by House Republicans, pesticides — all of them — are so safe there’s no longer any need to bother asking experts to determine their harm to our most endangered species before approving them.
http://www.ehn.org/warm-ocean-waters-bring-an-unwelcome-resident-to-the-outer-banks-bull-sharks-the-washington-post-2560676269.html

When three months from now feels right around the corner
If you’ve ever noticed yourself thinking about the timing of a plan in two opposing ways – something that feels longer off than your actual time calculation — you’re on to something. New research shows our different ways of estimating time don’t necessarily move in lock-step.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uotr-wtm041618.php