TUESDAY 30 JANUARY 2018

‘The Franklin would be dammed today’: Australia’s shrinking environmental protections
Adam Morton
The nation is losing the political will to protect our pristine places – and biodiversity is suffering
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/30/the-franklin-would-be-dammed-today-australias-shrinking-environmental-protections

The land of ice embracing climate change
Big nations might be struggling to avoid a two-degree temperature rise, but the Arctic island of Greenland is welcoming it.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-29/greenland-land-of-ice-embracing-climate-change/9365316

Climate change: Where in New Zealand could be worst hit?
NZ has $20b of stormwater and wastewater systems that are not up to what may be coming.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11983917

Plunging costs make solar, wind and battery storage cheaper than coal
Tender by major US utility puts the cost of wind plus battery storage and solar plus battery storage below the cost of existing coal plants. It indicates that the cost of large-scale battery storage have fallen by more than half in the past year.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/plunging-costs-make-solar-wind-and-battery-storage-cheaper-than-coal-83151/

Climate change projects headline innovation agenda
The body set up by the Turnbull government to create its innovation agenda has proposed climate change projects to spur development.
http://www.afr.com/news/climate-change-projects-headline-innovation-and-science-australias-2030-plan-20180129-h0py5n

IPA joins forces with GetUp! to condemn ‘unprecedented and dangerous’ donations law
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ipa-joins-forces-with-getup-to-condemn-unprecedented-and-dangerous-donations-law-20180129-h0pw1b.html

Energy prices double in just one year
Average wholesale energy prices in Victoria and South Australia have more than doubled since this time last year amid predictions blackouts will only worsen.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/wholesale-energy-prices-doublelast-summers/news-story/bc420cd4b3da94d9b99d0df3663aef48

Charge shock to hit electric cars
Electric car drivers pay about $5000 to $10,000 more each year in all-up costs than drivers of equivalent petrol or diesel cars.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/high-charge-shock-to-ground-electric-cars/news-story/a1ae2d30e1b8ad55a848921a2a832e62

Concealing the truth about power
Robert Gottliebsen
Maybe we need more power blackouts to teach the community it has been misled about energy policy.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/governments-concealing-the-truth-about-power/news-story/68962b82dcb4d3286cd8a9909b8ee3d7

Victoria may force power companies to compensate for outages
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he will seek to compel energy companies to compensate tens of thousands of households and businesses that were left without power as the state sweltered through its hottest night of the summer.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-29/melbourne-heat-brings-hottest-night-of-summer-blackouts/9369228

Gas prices Victoria: Josh Frydenberg blames Labor for massive price hike
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victoria-stung-with-australias-biggest-price-hike/news-story/0d786ec0a0db20f271cef26202a7d34b

Tiny home batteries propping up Victoria’s coal-fired power plants
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/tiny-home-batteries-propping-up-victorias-coalfired-power-plants-20180129-h0q3rg.html

Sunday blackouts a failure of networks, not supply
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sunday-blackouts-a-failure-of-electricity-networks-not-lack-of-supply-20180129-h0pvhx.html

Victorian networks blow a fuse in heatwave – Coalition blows its mind on Twitter
Sophie Vorrath
Victoria’s blackouts on Sunday had nothing to do with any crisis of energy supply – coal, renewable or otherwise. But why let the truth get in the way of a good smear campaign?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/victorian-networks-blow-a-fuse-in-heatwave-coalition-blows-its-mind-on-twitter-94328/

Royal National Park glamping development set for court challenge
Opponents of a “glamping” development in Australia’s oldest national park vow to take legal action, saying the environment will be put at risk if construction begins.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-29/royal-national-park-glamping-development-set-for-legal-challenge/9368506

Another solar farm in pipeline for Queensland, as 120MW project approved
Another large-scale solar project looks set to go ahead on Queensland’s Fraser Coast, after plans to build a 120MW solar farm at Munna Creek got the nod from the local council last week.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/another-solar-farm-pipeline-queensland-120mw-project-approved-21188/

Linc Energy in court for allegedly breaching environmental conditions
The prosecution of Linc Energy over one of the states biggest environmental cases will take at least nine weeks and involve potentially more than 60 witnesses and include academics, consultants and former staff.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/linc-energy-in-court-for-allegedly-breaching-environmental-conditions/news-story/e27c52a962c95f8404caae8eb414677f

Is Adani’s coal mine dead?
The carmicheal coal mine is tearing QLD apart, as protesters vow to do everything possible to stop the mine in it’s tracks, but will Adani push forward with a mine that seems doomed?
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/is-adanis-coal-mine-dead/video/231e8a32d2fe9c6d58b37e49aa332f00

New council bird ban could ruffle some Brisbane feathers
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/new-council-bird-ban-could-ruffle-some-brisbane-feathers-20180129-p4yz0q.html

Farmers call for independent review of Mining Act
Farmers are calling for the State Government’s review of the Mining Act to be handled by an independent body, fearing their rights over land are being clawed away.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/farmers-call-for-independent-review-of-mining-act/news-story/c20bb01e51c56c237b02372e8f63673a

Know your NEM: Tesla big battery takes centre stage
David Leitch
Tesla big battery highlights opportunities for utility scale batteries, and more wind and solar farms are looking hard at the technology.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/know-nem-tesla-big-battery-takes-centre-stage-56143/

Exhaust fumes are as harmful as smoking, we need electric cars for healthier air
Graeme McLeay
These emissions, along with those from coal, are linked to illness and death from heart, vascular or respiratory disease, dementia, and lung cancer.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/graeme-mcleay-exhaust-fumes-are-as-harmful-as-smoking-we-need-electric-cars-for-healthier-air/news-story/fb3573d254b17fe54ce771b55b7ef59e

Making waves in Hobart on journey to nuclear treaty
Sally Attrill
This is the 96th voyage of the Peace Boat, since its first trip in 1983. During that time it has visited over 120 ports in more than 80 countries.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-making-waves-on-journey-to-nuclear-treaty/news-story/92b5046294ad9ea59a1661fd325fb60d

Monsoon to ease after dumping record rains
THE torrential monsoon rain that has lashed the Top End, dumping record rainfalls, felling trees and flooding rivers for 12 days is expected to ease from late today.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/monsoon-to-ease-after-dumping-record-rains/news-story/c73e777f7426090a75932395f53670b3

Kimberley residents facing major flooding
Hundreds of residents of Daly River in the Northern Territory’s Kimberley region are being evacuated after a major flood warning was issued.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/kimberley-residents-facing-major-flooding/news-story/3f37e6cd681c1b27385ede84625cb34c

Dangerous mahoganies must be removed from Darwin
Ashley Manicaros
Now it has to be a wake-up call as to just how unstable and dangerous these trees are. We have to start replacing mahoganies regardless of the protests
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/ashley-manicaros-dangerous-mahoganies-must-be-removed-from-darwin/news-story/445fdc49a34f979df999b7a265ee689b

Augusta residents warned to evacuate as out-of-control bushfire threatens homes
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/south-west-on-emergency-footing-as-outofcontrol-bushfire-threatens-homes-20180129-h0q5wa.html

Warning for Kelmscott residents as bush fire approaches
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/warning-for-kelmscott-residents-as-bush-fire-approaches-20180129-h0q8k8.html

An eco-friendly cuppa? Now teabags are set to go plastic-free
Co-op announces initiative to reduce Britain’s plastic waste
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/28/teabags-plastic-free-co-op-eco-friendly

Vanuatu steps up fight against coastal and marine pollution
Vanuatu is tackling coastal and marine pollution by banning single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags and polystyrene takeaway boxes from 31 January.
https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/349155/vanuatu-steps-up-fight-against-coastal-and-marine-pollution

Model predicts scenarios for energy generation using nuclear fusion
Study by a Brazilian researcher helps scientists understand and control physical processes that are essential to the success of ITER, a fusion reactor prototype designed to reproduce on a small scale the process that generates energy in the Sun.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/fda-mps012318.php

Solar heat could make power + water for Namibia: Study
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is suited to regions with good solar resource. Here’s how it can solve related water scarcity
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/s-shc012818.php

Coal phase-out: Announcing CO2-pricing triggers divestment
Putting the Paris climate agreement into practice will trigger opposed reactions by investors on the one hand and fossil fuel owners on the other hand.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/pifc-cpa012518.php

Obama man flat on battery power
Battery plants are too costly to meet long-term power storage needs, says former US energy secretary Steven Chu.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/obama-energy-secretary-steven-chu-flat-on-battery-plants/news-story/6fa3216e712fe7261a39a06f9f2056e9

Natural gas killed coal – now renewables and batteries are taking over
Dana Nuccitelli
To avoid dangerous climate change, we can’t rely on natural gas replacing coal
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/29/natural-gas-killed-coal-now-renewables-and-batteries-are-taking-over

Doomsday Clock ticking but prediction remains difficult
Tom Switzer
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/doomsday-clock-ticking-but-prediction-remains-difficult-20180128-h0pph8.html

Chile creates five national parks over 10m acres in historic act of conservation
Founder of Patagonia firm donates 1m acres of private land
President Bachelet signs ‘unprecedented’ measure into law
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/29/chile-creates-five-national-parks-in-patagonia

The Israeli taking concrete steps to save marine life
Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and her business partner designed a new concrete mix that can double biodiversity in urban waterfronts.
http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/the-israeli-taking-concrete-steps-to-save-marine-life/83343

Ecologist rates Thai coral reef decay rate as alarming
The total area experiencing coral reef damage in Thailand has increased from 30% to 77% in just one decade, according to marine ecologist Asst Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat.
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1403638/ecologist-rates-thai-coral-reef-decay-rate-as-alarming

Getting to Zero Deforestation
A new synthesis paper reveals strengths and weaknesses of corporate environmental pledges; prescribes solutions to boost …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180129131355.htm

Mammals and birds could have best shot at surviving climate change
New research that analyzed more than 270 million years of data on animals shows that mammals and birds – both warm-blooded animals – may have a better chance of evolving and adapting to the Earth’s rapidly changing climate than their cold-blooded peers, reptiles and amphibians.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uobc-mab012518.php

America’s public lands belong to all of us. We owe it to ourselves to save them
Theodore Roosevelt IV
We Americans can do better in the fight to protect our threatened heritage
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/29/this-land-is-your-land-public-theodore-roosevelt-iv