Tuesday 21 November 2017

Save frogs with the help of your mobile
Jodi Rowley
We urgently need everyone to take part in Australia’s first national frog count. The Australian Museum’s FrogID citizen science project will map the distribution of frogs across the continent, understand what habitats each species need, identify frog species that are doing well and those that are not, and come up with a plan to make sure we don’t lose any more frog species.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5067699/save-frogs-with-the-help-of-your-mobile/?cs=97

Climate change: Too little, too slow
Some EU states have agreed to accelerate emissions cuts before 2020, but in Ireland emissions are increasing.
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/climate-change-too-little-too-slow-1.3297655

Ex-UN climate chief sees climate action ‘explosion’ in coming decade
In the next five to 10 years, the world will see an “explosion” of positive action on climate change, not only in terms of efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions but also in people’s daily lives, says former U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-emissions/ex-un-climate-chief-sees-climate-action-explosion-in-coming-decade-idUSKBN1DG35C

That time conservatives saved the planet from climate change
What happened to the conservatism that enabled the Montreal Protocol, the landmark environmental agreement signed 30 years ago by Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/conservatives-ozone-montreal-protocol-1.4409482

New research indicates likely hydrological implications of rapid global warming
Researchers studying a rapid global warming event, around 56 million years ago, have shown evidence of major changes in the intensity of rainfall and flood events. The findings indicate some of the likely implications should current trends of rising carbon dioxide and global warming continue.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uob-nri112017.php

An island nation turns away from climate migration, despite rising seas
The people of Kiribati face a choice: Move to land in another country or try to build resilience off the coconut trade — for as long as their islands are livable.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20112017/kiribati-climate-change-refugees-migration-pacific-islands-sea-level-rise-coconuts-tourism

At climate summit, two global energy alliances emerge
As the summit of governments known as COP23 reached its conclusion in Bonn, Germany this week, two clear alliances have emerged in the global energy landscape.
http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/climate-summit-two-global-energy-alliances-emerge/

Researchers pin down one source of a potent greenhouse gas
A study of a Lake Erie wetland suggests that scientists have vastly underestimated the number of places methane-producing microbes can survive—and, as a result, today’s global climate models may be misjudging the amount of methane being released into the atmosphere.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53218

Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change
After months of intense hurricanes, heat waves, and droughts, a survey finds a record number of Americans worried about climate change
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/nov/20/battered-by-extreme-weather-americans-are-more-worried-about-climate-change

‘It’s a delicate place’: Nasa captures 20 years of Earth’s seasonal changes
Video
A Nasa oceanographer explains how the US space agency successfully captured 20 years of changing seasons to form a striking new global map. The projection of the Earth and its biosphere is derived from two decades of satellite data from September 1997 to September 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2017/nov/18/its-a-delicate-place-nasa-captures-20-years-of-earths-seasonal-changes-video

Carbon pricing takes off
Catherine McKenna and Feike Sijbesma:
As is often said, climate change represents both a challenge and an opportunity. By pricing carbon pollution and harnessing our collective abilities, we can address the former and seize the latter.
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-change-carbon-pricing-business-by-catherine-mckenna-and-feike-sijbesma-2017-11

The climate crisis? It’s capitalism, stupid
Benjamin Y. Fong
The work of saving the planet is not technical, it’s political.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/opinion/climate-capitalism-crisis.html

Capitalizing on climate unity
Hilda Heine and Kevin Rudd
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States – the world’s largest historical carbon dioxide emitter – from the Paris agreement dealt the accord a major blow. But it is hard not to take heart from the resolve Trump’s decision has unleashed, both globally and within the US itself.
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bonn-climate-talks-paris-agreement-commitments-by-hilda-heine-and-kevin-rudd

COP’s talkfest is the ultimate copout
Noah Te Rama Thomas Pene
We are at a juncture that calls for us to stand up and fight for our planet or lose it forever
https://newint.org/blog/2017/11/20/cop23-maori-talk

Finkel pushes for more energy storage to keep bills down, maintain reliability
Power bills will go up and energy supply will be less reliable unless Australia develops better storage systems, according to Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/energy-storage-needed-to-keep-bills-down-finkel-report-warns/9167610

Finkel ‘shows we’re right’
Bill Shorten seizes on new report by Alan Finkel as evidence Labor’s 50 per cent renewables target is “the right path”
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/finkel-shows-were-right-bill-shorten/news-story/3827c0d877c1cc82c2fffa0849ba4b97

Is going #offgrid as green as it sounds?
While Australians take to home batteries in their droves, some say there are better ways to save the environment.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-11-19/offgrid-may-not-be-as-green-as-it-seems/9154266

Schott: Modelling assumptions change, but result more or less the same
Kerry Schott scolds government for “spitting the dummy” on Clean Energy Target, but defends design of NEG, saying it clear that more renewables have weakened energy system.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/schott-modelling-assumptions-change-but-result-more-or-less-the-same-97327/

Energy policy must go beyond fuel source, US energy commissioner tells Australia
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/energy-policy-must-go-beyond-fuel-source-us-energy-commissioner-tells-australia-20171120-gzoziy.html

Renewables the only solution: Acciona
The global head of energy at Acciona says the uncertainty of Australia’s future energy policy is no deterrent for investment in renewables.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/wind-energy/acciona-aims-to-more-than-double-australian-renewables-capacity-20171113-gzkt4u

Solar heads to 1c/kWh before 2020 after Mexico sets record low
Australia solar research leader Martin Green says solar heading to a price of 1c/kWh before 2020 after latest record auction result.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-heads-to-1ckwh-before-2020-after-mexico-sets-record-low-62163/

Why do people light bushfires? A convicted arsonist explains
Convicted arsonist Dave explains what went through his mind on the day he lit a fire on the outskirts of Melbourne.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/why-do-people-light-bushfires-a-convicted-arsonist-explains/9162190

What is Australia’s favourite bird? Have your say in the Guardian’s 2017 poll
In a new poll, run in conjunction with BirdLife Australia, we want you to tell us your best-loved native bird
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/20/what-is-australias-favourite-bird-have-your-say-in-the-guardians-2017-poll

Ethics trumps short-term returns
The short-term cost of implementing ethical strategies will be offset by long-term sustainability, says Australia’s foremost business ethicist.
http://www.afr.com/leadership/ethics-trumps-shortterm-returns-but-hypocrites-will-be-discovered-20171116-gzmgbv

The role of energy storage in Australia’s future energy supply mix
Australian Council of Learned Academies  (ACOLA)
The project examines the scientific, technological, economic and social aspects of the role that energy storage can play in Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy to 2030, and beyond.
http://apo.org.au/node/120131

Australia under new pressure to get serious about climate in 2018
Giles Parkinson
COP23’s “Talanoa dialogue” will put pressure on major economies – like Australia – to upgrade their commitments to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-under-new-pressure-to-get-serious-about-climate-in-2018-61812/

Know your NEM: Waiting for COAG to vote on the NEG
David Leitch
Federal Government is something of a lame duck and, in our view, lacks moral authority in the area of energy policy.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/know-nem-waiting-coag-vote-neg-15156/

Frydenberg’s solar defence: Bernardi has panels and didn’t sign up to Paris
Giles Parkinson
Frydenberg defends lack of solar panels, saying Cory Bernardi has them, and didn’t sign up for Paris climate target. Say what?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/frydenbergs-solar-defence-bernardi-panels-didnt-sign-paris-75495/

‘Finkel’s new energy report’ isn’t new and it isn’t by Finkel
David Blowers, Grattan Institute
https://theconversation.com/finkels-new-energy-report-isnt-new-and-it-isnt-by-finkel-87763

Shooting ourselves in the foot?
Ross Elliott
Whatever your position on renewable energy for our domestic needs might be, trying to scuttle our second biggest export earner is reckless economics and irresponsible politics.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19421

Save frogs with the help of your mobile
Jodi Rowley
We urgently need everyone to take part in Australia’s first national frog count. The Australian Museum’s FrogID citizen science project will map the distribution of frogs across the continent, understand what habitats each species need, identify frog species that are doing well and those that are not, and come up with a plan to make sure we don’t lose any more frog species.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5067699/save-frogs-with-the-help-of-your-mobile/?cs=97

Another coal unit falls over, leaving Victoria power supply at risk
Failure of another coal power unit in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley has prompted the market operator to warn of supply shortages – and it’s not even summer yet.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/another-coal-unit-falls-over-leaving-victoria-power-supply-at-risk-10440/

‘This ain’t gonna work’: Underpass plan ‘risks city’s liveability’
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/matthew-guys-underpass-plan-could-undercut-melbournes-liveability-expert-says-20171120-gzp1je.html

Malcolm Turnbull promise to cut power bills set to fail
Terry McCrann
The news that Victorian gas and electricity costs are going to rise in the new year by around $9 to $10 a week for the average family has shredded the centrepiece of the Turnbull Government’s proposed “keeping the lights on” new energy policy.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/terry-mccrann/malcolm-turnbull-promise-to-cut-power-bills-set-to-fail/news-story/811c9946d4e91bda6d3cf9f949062373

Nesting little terns prompt plan B for NSW beach project
Little terns migrate from Asia every year, but this time around they have picked a rather inconvenient new home on top of a mound of dredged sand set aside for a beach replenishment project on the NSW mid-north coast.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/nesting-little-terns-prompt-plan-change-beach-project-nsw/9154922

Free rego for Sydney’s toll road users to cost up to $100m
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/rego-cashback-for-sydneys-regular-toll-road-users-to-cost-state-up-to-100-million-20171120-gzoscw.html

Endangered smoky mice getting hot and steamy thanks to classic tactics
Scientists are falling back on the cliches — food and flowers — as they play Cupid in the hopes of boosting numbers of the critically endangered native smoky mouse.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/smoky-mouse-breeding-encouraged-with-food-and-flowers/9168904

Queensland Election 2017: Secret report reveals cost of emergency water transport to Rockhampton
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-2017/queensland-election-2017-secret-report-reveals-cost-of-emergency-water-transport-to-rockhampton/news-story/8d2d568ee500238b5f5e0b7997efa934

LNP moves to revive a multibillion-dollar Bruce Highway pledge
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/lnp-moves-to-revive-a-multi-billion-dollar-election-commitment-20171120-p4yx3m.html

Trusting in science pays off for farmers after a dry start in SA
Broadacre farmers north-east of Adelaide are reaping a better than average crop after utilising science to make the most of a dry start to winter.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/sa-better-than-average-crop-after-a-dry-drought-start/9168342

CFS crews battle grass fire on Kulde Rd near Tailem Bend
CFS crews are continuing to work on a fire near Tailem Bend in the state’s Murraylands but say the threat has now reduced.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/cfs-fire-crews-battle-grass-fire-on-kulde-rd-near-tailem-bend/news-story/23e7de8379c9a78790de3bf424164ac0

About 6000 Adelaide Hills residents affected by power blackout
Thousands of Adelaide Hills residents have had their power restored after an unexpected blackout.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/about-6000-adelaide-hills-residents-affected-by-power-blackout/news-story/bb49aec16250c9ec0d52cdda0059e8db

Greenfields Wetlands closed to the public because of dangerous snake sightings
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/north-northeast/greenfield-wetlands-closed-to-the-public-because-of-dangerous-snake-sightings/news-story/564b766c1d3b04ea4ffc43f13269de9f

Wombats ‘dozed’, burnt during private land clearing, Tasmanian group says
Wombat Rescue Tasmania is calling for an education campaign after burrows were apparently destroyed in the state’s north during a gorse-clearing operation.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/wombat-warning-after15-animals-disappear-after-burn-off/9167908

State of the Forests Tasmania report released
A new report shows there has been a growth of 1000 full-time equivalent jobs in the forestry industry over three years even though the overall sector now represents just 1.6 per cent of total jobs in Tasmania. This is compared to 5 per cent a decade ago
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5066980/state-of-forests-revealed-in-report/?cs=95

Barnett claims forestry employment boom
THE State Government has claimed a boom in forestry jobs with the release of a survey which counts park rangers as “forestry sector” workers.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/resources-minister-guy-barnett-claims-forestry-employment-boom/news-story/b4b4f86cf11689028829376e1f419b77

Gas pipeline negotiations headed for arbitration
Negotiations between Hydro Tasmania and Tasmanian Gas Pipeline over gas transmissions have been referred to arbitration.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/gas-pipeline-negotiations-headed-for-arbitration/news-story/f51bc424c818e0bef3dd430a1176a608

Some like it hot in the city
The Tasmania Fire Service will remain on high alert over the next three days as high temperatures and zero chance of rain increase the risk of bushfire.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/high-temperatures-and-zero-chance-of-rain-for-tasmania-until-thursday-put-firefighters-on-alert/news-story/da7958f6eb61447866525eabd6dd0652

The Monsanto Papers, Part 1 — Operation: Intoxication
In order to save glyphosate, the Monsanto corporation has undertaken an effort to destroy the United Nations’ cancer agency by any means possible.
http://www.ehn.org/monsanto-glyphosate-cancer-smear-campaign-2509710888.html

Blue Planet made you feel guilty about plastic pollution? These scientists could have the answer
You could fill 1000 Royal Albert Halls with single-use plastic waste in the UK.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/plastic-pollution-oceans-blue-planet-recycling_uk_5a129f36e4b0e97dffee4081

Massive infrastructure projects are failing at unprecedented rates
Big fossil-fuel, mining, hydroelectric, and other “mega projects” are struggling thanks to competition from newer, cleaner technologies and a firestorm of market and civil forces.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/mega-projects-fail-infrastructure-energy-dams-nuclear/

The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has opened in Iceland—turning carbon dioxide into stone
http://www.ehn.org/the-worlds-first-negative-emissions-plant-has-opened-in-iceland-turning-carbon-dioxide-into-stone-quartz-2510789810.html

Spin current from heat: New material increases efficiency
Electronic devices such as computers generate heat that mostly goes to waste. Physicists at Bielefeld University have found a way to use this energy: They apply the heat to generate magnetic signals known as ‘spin currents’.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/bu-scf112017.php

Reusing waste energy with 2-D electron gas
Novel approach utilizes high mobility two-dimensional electron gas, boosting thermoelectric conversion efficiency.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/hu-rwe112017.php

Hydrogen cars for the masses one step closer to reality, thanks to UCLA invention
2-in-1 device also uses supercapacitor to store energy that could power computers and smartphones
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uoc–hcf111717.php

Artificial photosynthesis gets big boost from new catalyst
U of T Engineering system takes inspiration from plants to convert electrical energy to chemical energy at 64 percent efficiency, the highest yet reported for renewable carbon fuels
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uotf-apg111617.php

Homes should not be abandoned after a big nuclear accident
New research suggests that few people, if any, should be asked to leave their homes after a big nuclear accident, which is what happened in March 2011 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uob-hsn111717.php

What, me worry? Humans are blind to imminent environmental collapse
William E. Rees
A curious thing about H. sapiens is that we are clever enough to document — in exquisite detail — various trends that portend the collapse of modern civilization, yet not nearly smart enough to extricate ourselves from our self-induced predicament.
https://www.thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/11/16/humans-blind-imminent-environmental-collapse/

Reduce, reuse, reboot: why electronic recycling must up its game
Lucy Siegle
With global e-waste projected to hit 50m tonnes next year, consumers need to put pressure on technology firms to make their products more repairable.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/20/electronic-recycling-e-waste-2017-gadgets

The future of plastics: reusing the bad and encouraging the good
Kim Pickering, University of Waikato
Tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year, but a switch away from petroleum-based products to bio-derived and degradable composites could lessen marine pollution.
https://theconversation.com/the-future-of-plastics-reusing-the-bad-and-encouraging-the-good-87001

How gold is killing the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants
And as the price of gold stays high, the healthy Amazon disappears … an ounce and an acre at a time with huge areas turned into deserts and wastelands.
https://albertonrecord.co.za/160582/enviro-monday-gold-killing-amazon-rainforest-inhabitants/

ANWR: 5 things you should know about oil and gas drilling in Alaska
Here are five things you should know about the debate over oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/19/congress-moves-drill-baby-drill-alaska-anwr-refuge-heres-what-you-should-know/874187001/

Thinking big by burning small
Creative management of grazing through the use small fires can draw back herbivores to grazing areas that are avoided by animals
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uotw-tbb112017.php

Motorcycle crashes cause 5 times as many deaths as car accidents, 6 times the health costs
Motorcycle accidents are costly in terms of lives and health care costs. Compared with car accidents, motorcycle accidents cause 3 times the injuries, 6 times the medical costs and 5 times the deaths, found new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/cmaj-mcc111517.php