Tuesday 24 October 2017

Electricity from shale gas vs. coal: Lifetime toxic releases from coal much higher
Despite widespread concern about potential human health impacts from hydraulic fracturing, the lifetime toxic chemical releases associated with coal-generated electricity are 10 to 100 times greater than those from electricity generated with natural gas obtained via fracking, according to a new University of Michigan study.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uom-efs102017.php

America’s first climate change refugees
Miami is raising roads and installing new pumps, but there’s one thing for certain: the rising sea won’t be held back for long.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/miamis-sea-level-is-rising-quickly-forcing-residents-out/news-story/7d886818338f5114098e93af9a8560b8

Americans want a tax on carbon pollution, but how to get one?
Dana Nuccitelli
A new study finds that Americans are willing to pay an extra $15 per month on energy bills to tackle climate change.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/oct/23/americans-want-a-tax-on-carbon-pollution-but-how-to-get-one

Buyers of environmentally friendly vehicles being ‘ripped off’
Australian car consumers are provided with poor information when it comes to buying environmentally friendly vehicles, “real-world” testing from the AAA reveals.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/environmentally-friendly-vehicles-rip-off-consumers:-report/9078038

Power prices to push up inflation
Is it time to get ready for complaints about the rising cost of electricity and talk of a hike in interest rates?
http://www.afr.com/markets/equity-markets/electricity-prices-in-the-firing-line-as-they-help-push-up-inflation-20171023-gz67so

Business offers to broker energy deal
The Business Council of Australia has offered to help broker a political consensus on the government’s National Energy Guarantee.
http://www.afr.com/news/business-offers-to-help-broker-political-deal-on-national-energy-guarantee-20171022-gz6201

Murray Darling Basin Plan: Review to be aired publicly
An expert review into environmental water-saving projects in the Murray Darling Basin is expected to be publicly released.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/water/murray-darling-basin-plan-review-to-be-aired-publicly/news-story/1489f53ac5fe5ba44567104caf808137

Labor’s $200 power bill shock
Labor’s policy of a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 would add almost $200 a year to the household bill.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/labors-energy-policy-to-deliver-200-bill-shock/news-story/4974610530733ba3f99696a954ecf87f

30 reasons to question the National Energy Guarantee. And it’s not just politics
Giles Parkinson
The Coalition’s proposed National Energy Guarantee is not a policy at all, just the idea of one. And attractive as it may be on a notional level, it is a long way short of being “workable” or even remotely effective. Here are 30 reasons why it should be approached with caution.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/30-reasons-to-question-the-national-energy-guarantee-and-its-not-just-politics-47097/

Why the NEG could be a “terrible outcome” for renewables
Sophie Vorrath
NEG design could have immediate impact on large-scale renewable energy projects, particularly those looking to by-pass control of big gen-tailers”
and go “merchant”.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/why-the-neg-could-be-a-terrible-outcome-for-renewables-81399/

Coalition’s energy policy hinges on tricky wordplay about coal’s role
John Quiggin
The new policy could end up feeding demand for coal.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coalitions-energy-policy-hinges-on-tricky-wordplay-about-coals-role-73693/

Energy prices are high because consumers are paying for useless, profit-boosting infrastructure
Bruce Mountain
https://theconversation.com/energy-prices-are-high-because-consumers-are-paying-for-useless-profit-boosting-infrastructure-86045

Replacing the Clean Energy Target with a dirty one?
Tony Pfeiffer
The decision to walk away from a Clean Energy Target makes no sense. But small communities will forge ahead with the transition to renewable energy.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/replacing-clean-energy-target-dirty-one-83795/

Investor confidence could be smashed without additional detail
Oliver Yates
This plan to provide a plan is almost the worst outcome possible for investment certainty. If more detail doesn’t emerge soon, it could be as bad for renewables as the Abbott years.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/investor-confidence-could-be-smashed-without-additional-detail-62884/

The case for an east coast gas reservation policy
Ian Verrender
When it comes to gas policy, regulation is needed to save us from ourselves. Think about that the next time you check that outrageous gas bill stuck to the fridge
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/the-case-for-an-east-coast-gas-reservation-policy/9074896

Won’t people notice if the energy policy is an echidna?
First Dog on the Moon
It’s been a long bitter journey but this government finally has something it can call an actual energy policy
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/23/wont-people-notice-if-the-energy-policy-is-an-echidna

Privatisation has failed. We need a moratorium on all new proposals
David Hetherington
We travelled the country asking people how privatisation had affected their lives. Their stories paint a grim picture
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/23/privatisation-has-failed-we-need-a-moratorium-on-all-new-proposals

Time to … plant natives
Jillian Logan
Our native plants give us lots of colour in the garden at present and also provide food for birds and insects and a home for a variety of wildlife
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/country-living/gardening/jillian-logan-native-plants-will-help-wildlife-diversity-in-your-garden/news-story/7b31f1c29a57d42af6e5e2c7bd8a5727

Victoria Renewable Energy Target written into law, without support of LNP
Labor’s VRET of 40% renewables by 2025 passes Legislative Council, without a single show of support from Liberal or National parties.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-renewable-energy-target-written-into-law-without-support-of-lnp-31448/

Mixed giving on gas rights
Royalties for farmers and giving landholders the right to veto mining companies won’t work, says a Victorian farmer paid to have a gas company explore on his southwest farm.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/gas-exploration-mixed-giving-on-rights/news-story/0e50f4e911df20f2f75a6712a3d2357a

Cars continue to rule Melbourne roads, census shows
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cars-continue-to-rule-melbourne-roads-census-shows-20171023-gz6djx.html

Labor spends $10m on spinners to win over public on transport projects
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/labor-spends-10-million-on-spinners-to-win-over-public-on-transport-projects-20171021-gz5ns0.html

Rip up CBD roads for parks: Councillor reveals vision for Melbourne
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/rip-up-cbd-roads-for-parks-councillor-reveals-vision-for-melbourne-20171020-gz5cug.html

What’s in a name? For this little rat, possibly rescue from extinction
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/an-animal-by-any-other-name-could-changing-this-species-name-help-save-it-from-extinction-20170924-gynvzg.html

More bikes coming: World’s biggest bike-share arrives in Sydney
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/worlds-biggest-bikeshare-company-ofo-to-bring-hundreds-more-bikes-to-sydney-20171023-gz69b2.html

NSW power privatisation ‘a feeding frenzy’ for big end of town
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-power-privatisation-a-feeding-frenzy-for-big-end-of-town-20171022-gz640t.html

The nation’s biggest user of public transport
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydneysiders-the-nations-biggest-users-of-public-transport-for-work-commute-20171022-gz632p.html

My plan for Sydney in 2056 won’t sit on a shelf gathering dust
Lucy Turnbull
A growing Greater Sydney is a city of opportunity. Children growing up in Sydney’s west will have university choices on their doorstep, jobs that don’t require hours of commuting by car or public transport.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/my-plan-for-sydney-in-2056-wont-sit-on-a-shelf-gathering-dust-20171023-gz6bop.html

Project Sydney: Gladys Berejiklian outlines Government’s projects and investment drive
Gladys Berejiklian
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/projectsydney/project-sydney-gladys-berejiklian-outlines-governments-projects-and-investment-drive/news-story/0e826ddc9ee41a98e10fe9a50573edfe

Bradfield’s sustainable vision for generations
Steve McCann
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/projectsydney/steve-mccann-bradfields-sustainable-vision-for-generations/news-story/4cfd6bd6a0011a156ab25e1fc1780220

Queensland energy plan ‘taking money with one hand, giving it back with the other’
The Queensland Government’s promised $300 million energy plan to give rebates on power bills will do little to help Queenslanders in the long term, the Grattan Institute says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/queensland-$300-million-power-plan-inadequate-grattan-institute/9076774

Storm damage smacks south-east Queensland hard, insurance data shows
The top-five most storm-affected regions in Queensland are in the state’s south-east, research shows, with three Brisbane suburbs accounting for a quarter of all insurance claims.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/storm-damage-smacks-south-east-qld-hard-insurance-data-shows/9075368

Qld poll may slow resolution on new policy
An early Queensland state election looms as the biggest obstacle to a swift adoption of the National Energy Guarantee.
http://www.afr.com/news/energy-qld-election-obstacle-to-swift-energy-policy-resolution-20171023-gz6hvf

Frydenberg warned not to ‘bash’ Queensland over power prices if he wants energy deal
State’s energy minister accuses federal counterpart of attacking Queensland Labor ‘on spurious partisan political grounds’
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/24/frydenberg-warned-not-to-bash-queensland-over-power-prices-if-he-wants-energy-deal

Queensland power retailer says deals hurting his business and consumers
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/queensland-power-retailer-says-deals-hurting-his-business-and-consumers/news-story/84c3bf068aa3ece6eae55ec9fd25bb9f

Photographer Steve Parish to help launch Logan’s first eco forum
Australia’s premier wildlife photographer Steve Parish will be helping Logan continue its focus on the environment when he takes part in the city’s inaugural Eco Forum this week.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/logan/photographer-steve-parish-to-help-launch-logans-first-eco-forum/news-story/35c92d0a511f05dc948134f552903b4c

Action to tackle pest fish
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will meet stakeholders this week after the pest fish spotted tilapia have been confirmed in the Walsh River.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/spotted-tilapie-found-in-walsh-river-near-chillago-and-mareeba/news-story/ba3841007ce3de72f5d9d76df6ee7e77

The road rules in Brisbane as fewer people catch public transport
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/the-road-rules-in-brisbane-as-fewer-people-catch-public-transport-20171023-p4ywlq.html

Palaszczuk’s bid to bring down power bills a bizarre approach to energy policy
Paul Syvret
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-palaszczuks-bid-to-bring-down-power-bills-a-bizarre-approach-to-energy-policy/news-story/c5f5e96e955a334ce075061aa0542d94

Should we cull sharks or leave them alone?
THE chilling attack on a 15-year-old girl in a kayak has again raised the shark culling debate. Do we eradicate an ancient species for personal comfort or accept that the sea belongs to the predator?
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/should-we-cull-sharks-or-leave-them-alone/news-story/f1a60e1deec128f937794ca5a7c8b8d2

Disgusting habit risks SA bushfire danger
HUNDREDS of South Australian smokers are putting the state at fire risk by not putting cigarette butts into bins and even flicking them from vehicles.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/smokers-risking-bushfires-in-sa-by-littering-their-cigarette-butts/news-story/e459cabbe4d776e58a166344ca72c533

Sustainability hype risks ruining edible insects for everyone
Is eating insects just totally gross or the solution to all our environmental and nutrition needs? The truth is somewhere in the middle, says a Tassie insect farmer.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/sustainability-hype-risks-ruining-edible-insect-farmers/9065414

Labor details private rail plan
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5007312/labor-details-private-rail-plan/?cs=95

Electric car hopes on the horizon
Peter Boyer
Tasmania is in a prime position to help keep automotive parts makers in work through renewables
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-electric-car-hopes-on-the-horizon/news-story/c814911f9b52fc1f9deacf415ed2b90f

NT may be east coast’s energy saviour
Cole Latimer
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/nt-may-be-east-coasts-energy-saviour-20171023-gz65zm.html

Balloon release at school graduation sparks backlash from green groups
Graduating students in WA become the target of criticism when they release balloons on their final day of school celebration.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/manea-school-under-fire-ballooon-release/9077260

Tracing toxins around the world
In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Program called for a united, global effort to reduce persistent organic pollutants (POPs) — synthetic chemicals such as PCBs, DDT, and dioxins. The compounds were known to persist and accumulate far from their sources, polluting the environment and causing adverse health effects in humans.
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/52923

Transparent solar technology represents ‘wave of the future’
See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report today inNature Energy.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/msu-tst102317.php

Electricity from shale gas vs. coal: Lifetime toxic releases from coal much higher
Despite widespread concern about potential human health impacts from hydraulic fracturing, the lifetime toxic chemical releases associated with coal-generated electricity are 10 to 100 times greater than those from electricity generated with natural gas obtained via fracking, according to a new University of Michigan study.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uom-efs102017.php

Scientists: Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions
Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 5.6 percent, researchers report in the journal Nature Climate Change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uoia-seb101717.php

Bertrand Piccard will go around the world again – with 1,000 solutions
Bertrand Piccard wants to show governments 1,000 innovations that together will make it possible to reduce energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions by half.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/bertrand-piccard-will-go-around-world-1000-solutions-20086/

Here’s why your sustainable tuna is also unsustainable
Tuna is one of the most ubiquitous seafoods. It can be eaten from a can or as high-end sashimi and in many forms in between. But some species are over-fished and some fishing methods are unsustainable. How do you know which type of tuna you’re eating?
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52921

Logged Tropical Rainforests Still Support Biodiversity Even When the Heat Is On
Tropical rainforests continue to buffer wildlife from extreme temperatures even after logging, a new study has revealed.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/52916

Scientists warn that saline lakes in dire situation worldwide
Utah and Montana researchers study Great Salt Lake in Utah
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/sje-swt102017.php

Reduced impact logging still harms biodiversity in tropical rainforests
The study looked at the impact of logging by examining its effect on forest dung beetles
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/lu-ril102317.php

Rethinking tourism and its contribution to conservation in New Zealand
Valentina Dinica, Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand’s wildlife and natural wonders are major draw cards for tourists, but tourism companies operating in national parks contribute little to conservation.
https://theconversation.com/rethinking-tourism-and-its-contribution-to-conservation-in-new-zealand-83795