Tuesday 17 October 2017

Our cities need fewer cars, not cleaner cars
Venkat Sumantran, Charles Fine and David Gonsalvez
Electric cars won’t eradicate gridlocks and air pollution, but carbon footprints could be cut by favouring pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/16/our-cities-need-fewer-cars-not-cleaner-cars-electric-green-transport

The diplomat behind the Paris climate agreement says the world is moving forward without Donald Trump.
Christiana Figueres
Christiana Figueres remains optimistic about tackling global warming.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4566925153911788720

Magic words that put the brakes on
Peter Boyer
An accusation of political correctness is a powerful tool, especially on issues like climate change
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-magic-words-that-put-the-brakes-on/news-story/362d503a448951af6a4a1ec70e566d9d

Abbott tells it like it is
John Stone
Tony Abbott’s London speech was one of the most outstanding speeches in years by any Australian politician.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/abbotts-speech-tells-it-like-it-is-on-global-warming/news-story/d8d96960c3744a53bb69a994f9e2ad6a

How rooftop solar is saving billions on energy bills for all consumers
New study highlights billions of dollars saved through rooftop solar installations, as ACCC defends manipulation of markets by major generators as “rational behaviour”, says nothing can be done about “gold plating” of networks, and argues against measures to encourage
http://reneweconomy.com.au/how-rooftop-solar-is-saving-billions-on-energy-bills-for-all-consumers-56676/

Cabinet dumps Clean Energy Target for new ‘affordable, reliable’ power plan
A Clean Energy Target recommended by Australia’s chief scientist will not be adopted, with the Federal Government instead proposing a new plan to bring down electricity prices.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/cabinet-dumps-clean-energy-target-for-new-plan/9056174

Turnbull’s man to be new energy ‘tsar’ under alternative to Clean Energy Target
The PM is entrusting his former chief of staff with a key role in cracking down on electricity rip-offs, as the Government looks for alternatives to the Chief Scientist’s recommendation of a Clean Energy Target.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/drew-clarke-former-turnbull-staffer-appointed-to-new-energy-role/9054792

Energy retailers claim their margins are flat
Big energy retailers says the ACCC’s report on electricity prices fails to prove their margins are inflated.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/big-electricity-retailers-reject-accc-claim-of-fat-profits-20171016-gz1u7b

Massive US fund backs climate change at Origin
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/massive-us-fund-backs-climate-change-at-origin-20171016-gz1x4v.html

Green schemes face the axe, as climate announcement looms
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-elected-to-unhcr-as-criticisms-surround-congo-election-20171016-gz25vd.html

Shareholder resolutions – saving the planet, or just hot air?
http://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/shareholder-resolutions–saving-the-world-or-wasting-everyones-time-20171012-gz0115.html

RedT scores Monash energy deal
Vanadium-based batteries that store larger amounts of renewable energy will debut in Australia at Monash University.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/redt-scores-monash-energy-deal/news-story/00e0a25647bb557d4ce5903d9013fa3d

2.7m Aussies not disaster-ready
ANALYSTS have issued fresh warnings to homeowners heading into what’s expected to be an extreme summer, after new figures showed 2.7 million Aussies weren’t disaster-ready.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/real-estate/queensland/new-warning-that-27m-aussies-are-not-ready-for-disaster-season/news-story/ec8ed3ffe98118378664096173ac5f5d?rsf=syn:news:nca:cm:spa

Retail electricity pricing inquiry: preliminary report
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
This ACCC preliminary report into the electricity market highlights significant concerns about the operation of the National Electricity Market, which is leading to serious problems with affordability for consumers and businesses.
http://apo.org.au/node/114256

Australia wind and solar power overtake gas in September
Tristan Edis
Not long ago, energy market modellers thought we’d be building gas turbines everywhere to hit our emissions targets. How quickly things change.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-wind-and-solar-power-overtake-gas-in-september-99981/

Why coal fired power stations don’t work so well when they are old
Peter Todd
Given the safety risks and a huge number of other problems that need to be repaired and managed, it is no wonder that AGL is …
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-fired-power-stations-dont-work-well-old-72946/

Axe the Clean Energy Target? The ACCC doesn’t think so
Stephen Long
If you hear anyone saying a report by the Australian competition watchdog supports the ditching of the Clean Energy Target, don’t buy it — it’s just political spin
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/accc-report-does-not-back-killing-the-clean-energy-target/9054432

Australian neoliberalism meets its conqueror: electricity
Bernard Keane
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/16/australian-neoliberalism-meets-its-conqueror-in-electricity/

No quick fix for businesses skewered by power prices
Jennifer Hewett
Tony Abbott’s simple line that it’s all about getting coal back into the investment mix remains powerful to some disgruntled voters.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/no-quick-fix-for-businesses-skewered-by-power-prices-20171016-gz1v9y

Watchdog report exposes myths
Graham Lloyd
The ACCC report into electricity pricing has blown away some myths and delivered some hard truths to the government.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/accc-energy-price-report-exposes-myths/news-story/dfd70174e6517727d0fc55e258749ce7

Energy repairs we need to make
Robert Gottliebsen
As we debate what to do with power, there are four aspects of the crisis that will be buried in political correctness.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/repairs-needed-to-australias-power-system/news-story/608c5d62a868c9f79a54dcd824a4b211

Energy situation is ridiculous
Daily Telegraph editorial
Australia’s energy situation is a simple state of affairs that successive federal and state governments have allowed to become ridiculously complicated. And, as any engineer will aver, with complexity comes additional expense.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-energy-situation-is-ridiculous/news-story/ddcb7f19b697b99bca50e150fc824be7

Storage on hold as Victoria still reviewing battery tender
Clock ticks down on Victoria government’s plans to have two large scale battery storage projects in place by January 1, with the winners still not
http://reneweconomy.com.au/storage-hold-victoria-still-reviewing-battery-tender-30192/

‘Polluting our waterways’: 44 oBikes pulled from Yarra River
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-express-tuesday-october-17-2017-20171016-gz261n.html

Over 120 electricity and gas connections cut off a day
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/more-than-100-victorian-electricity-and-gas-connections-cut-off-every-day-20171016-gz1pgw.html

Greening the west: assessment of the functioning and implications of collaborative efforts to achieve urban greening in Melbourne’s west
Centre for Urban Research (RMIT)
A major urban greening initiative across six local councils has dramatically reshaped western Melbourne’s tree cover, making the area more liveable and cooler, this RMIT University study has found.
http://apo.org.au/node/114376

Bong Su is dead, broken by cramped and impoverished zoo conditions
Peter Stroud
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/bong-su-is-dead-broken-by-cramped-and-impoverished-zoo-conditions-20171013-gz0kcn.html

NSW network to trial 1MWh grid support battery, as new suburbs boom
MPower tapped by Endeavour Energy to install 1MWh battery on network in NSW, in a trial hoped to save $1m a year on grid costs.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-network-to-trial-1mwh-grid-support-battery-as-new-suburbs-boom-41536/

Greenpeace dumps load of coal at CommBank head office
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/greenpeace-dumps-100-bags-of-coal-at-commonwealth-bank-headquarters-20171015-gz1ju6.html

Queensland Labor strategist announces he will stop lobbying for Adani
Cameron Milner says he will no longer represent Adani to government as ALP prepares for an election
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/16/queensland-labor-strategist-announces-he-will-stop-lobbying-for-adani

Outrage over mass slaughter of wallabies in far north Queensland
Up to 100 wallabies have been killed in the grounds of the Mareeba Turf Club in far north Queensland with wildlife carers believing they were shot with arrows.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/outrage-over-mass-slaughter-of-wallabies-in-far-north-queensland/9053958

More rain set to fall
CAIRNS could receive more than its monthly average in rainfall this week as deluges are expected across much of the Queensland coast.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/bureau-of-meterology-predicts-showers-to-continue-in-cairns/news-story/5cbef198b63571d8e01542f813f123fa

Hardluck states for power bills
Here’s a surprising finding on energy prices. Queensland, not South Australia, has the highest electricity bills.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/the-hardluck-states-for-power-bills-queensland-pips-south-australia/news-story/aa866a009765b288bbffa1571fa57567

Door left open to remove Adani approvals
LABOR’S energy spokesman has opened the door to rescinding Federal environmental approvals for the Adani mine if it wins government, saying it would “depend on what legal arrangements” were in place.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/labor-leaves-door-open-to-remove-adani-approvals/news-story/26aba48d19cf359c16a665516aca4246

Pauline Hanson and Adani cop sprays in Midnight Oil’s Brisbane return
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/pauline-hanson-and-adani-cop-sprays-in-midnight-oil-s-brisbane-return-20171015-p4ywh7.html

The environmental annihilation that is Adani and coal: A grazier’s fight
Bruce Currie
Queensland grazier Bruce Currie is fighting the inevitable destruction of his livelihood posed by the Adani and GVK Hancock coal mines.
https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-environmental-annihilation-of-adani-and-coal-one-farmers-fight,10825

Is it too cheap to visit the ‘priceless’ Great Barrier Reef?
Michael Vardon
https://theconversation.com/is-it-too-cheap-to-visit-the-priceless-great-barrier-reef-83717

Off-track
The government’s plan to reopen 4WD tracks in the Tarkine has hit the skids.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4991471/off-track/?cs=95

Drinking water risks ‘being overlooked’
THE  Northern Territory’s drinking water was declared an “extreme” risk level for a public health incident that was “likely” to occur last year, according to an independent report obtained by the NT News
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/extreme-drinking-water-risks-overlooked-by-power-and-water/news-story/93e7f81f0fa0bf435d2cfd7d832308ec

‘Miners are dying’: The human cost of WA’s FIFO economy
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/miners-are-dying-the-human-cost-of-was-fifo-economy-20171012-gyzp0y.html

WA Government set to announce plans for new $262 million plant to turn treated sewage into drinking water
A new recycling plant to turn treated sewage into drinking water will be built for $262 million after the State Government moved to shore up Perth’s scheme supplies.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/wa-government-set-to-announce-plans-for-new-262-million-plant-to-turn-treated-sewage-into-drinking-water-ng-b88630353z

This is what America’s eco city of the future looks like
Georgetown mayor Dale Ross is ‘a good little Republican’ – but ever since his city weaned itself off fossil fuels, he has become a hero to environmentalists
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/16/texas-town-georgetown-energy-green

Desperate Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site.
In Puerto Rico, water is being pumped to people by water authorities from a federally designated hazardous-waste site.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4566925153911787903

Raw sewage ‘flowing into rivers across England and Wales.’
A WWF analysis reports that 40% of rivers are polluted with sewage that can harm wildlife and put human health at risk.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4566925153911789688

‘Tide has turned’: Global rating agency says climate economics trump politics.
S&P analyst calls the economic viability of assets such as coal mines and coal-fired power stations “vastly impaired.”
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/1195107355338417214

Toward efficient high-pressure desalination
The desalination industry, a critical source of potable water in many arid regions, generated more than $13 billion last year and is expected to double within a decade. Most desalination plants today use a process called reverse osmosis (RO), which forces water through huge rolls of membranes, leaving the salt behind. One of the most expensive operational challenges for such plants is the fouling of these membranes by microorganisms.
http://www.enn.com/sci-tech/article/52851

Nuclear power’s deepening crisis
Jim Green
There are clear signs of a nuclear slow-down in China, the only country with a large nuclear new-build program.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19354

What is the Iran nuclear deal and why is Trump so huffy about it?
Charlie Lewis
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/16/what-is-the-iran-nuclear-deal-and-why-is-trump-so-huffy-about-it/

The world is going slow on coal, but misinformation is distorting the facts
Adam Morton
A recent story on 621 plants being built globally was played up in various media – but the figure is way off the mark
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/16/world-going-slow-coal-misinformation-distorting-facts

The war on coal is over. Coal lost.
Dana Nuccitelli
Coal can’t compete with cheaper clean energy. The Trump administration can’t save expensive, dirty energy.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/oct/16/the-war-on-coal-is-over-coal-lost

Our cities need fewer cars, not cleaner cars
Venkat Sumantran, Charles Fine and David Gonsalvez
Electric cars won’t eradicate gridlocks and air pollution, but carbon footprints could be cut by favouring pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/16/our-cities-need-fewer-cars-not-cleaner-cars-electric-green-transport

Transition sacred.
Erik Lindberg Resilience.org
As Pope Francis has put it, we need an “ecological conversion.”
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/1195107355338417209

The internal combustion engine is dead, long live the electric car
Matthew Watkins
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/the-internal-combustion-engine-is-dead-long-live-the-electric-car-20171016-gz1rj7.html

Renewed hope for protection of East Antarctic waters
Off the back of a 2016 agreement to protect sections of the Ross Sea around Antarctica, there is renewed hope a proposal for similar protection in the continent’s east will get the green light.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/optimism-agreement-will-be-reached-to-protect-east-antarctic-wa/9054788

‘Every single one of us’ must reduce plastic in oceans, says David Attenborough
Naturalist Sir David Attenborough calls for global action to reduce the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans, saying “one species has the future in the palm of its hands”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/attenborough-urges-action-on-plastic-pollution/9053078

New study finds nature is vital to beating climate change
Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting climate change than previously thought, according to the most comprehensive assessment to date of how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and stored in forests, farmland, grasslands and wetlands using natural climate solutions.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/tnc-nsf101117.php

Harvey Runoff Menaces Texas’ Coral Reefs
The more than 13 trillion gallons of floodwater from Hurricane Harvey have created a massive plume of freshwater in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening the coral reefs of the Flower Garden Banks …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171016102805.htm