Tuesday 5 December 2017

Vanishing ants a sign of habitat loss, La Trobe University research finds
Global habitat destruction has a major impact on the largest and smallest animals, resulting in less diverse species of ants and potentially catastrophic environmental effects, research from La Trobe University has found.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/vanishing-ants-a-sign-of-habitat-loss-la-trobe-university-research-finds/news-story/adbc14333ed96f6da3b1fab9266799fa

How climate change is impacting the American West right now
Many studies have modeled future impacts from climate change, but scientists have shown that warming trends are already affecting water and ecosystems in the West.
https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2017/12/04/how-climate-change-is-impacting-the-american-west-right-now

Climate change forces Alps to use artificial snow
‘The dream of skiing on Alpine snow is going to go away.’
http://time.com/italy-alps-climate-change/?xid=homepage

Understanding the Climate Impact of Natural Atmospheric Particles
Scientists have quantified the relationship between natural sources of particles in the atmosphere and climate change.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171204112938.htm

Forest gumption: How scientists are tapping everything from drones to pruning shears to stem global warming
One method of stemming greenhouse gases – by pruning excessive undergrowth that prevents forests from flourishing – is one of a slew of quixotic ideas being worked on by scientists and researchers around the world to help solve what could be the dominant issue of the next 100 years.
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/1203/Forest-gumption-How-scientists-are-tapping-everything-from-drones-to-pruning-shears-to-stem-global-warming

Top Credit Agency to Cities and States: Prepare for Climate Change or Face Lower Credit Rating
Moody’s Investors Service, one of the top credit rating agencies in the world, warned cities and states in the U.S. that unless they prepare for climate change, the agency could lower their credit ratings, making it harder for them to obtain low-interest bonds.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/53345

We the people pledge to fight climate change?
Laurence Tubiana
When the president of the United States failed to lead on climate change, the American people stepped up.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/opinion/pledge-fight-climate-change.html

Climate change cannot be mitigated without carbon capture
Akshat Rathi
Carbon capture has a bad reputation. But after a year of reporting, I’ve come to a conclusion: It’s both vital and viable.
https://qz.com/1144298/humanitys-fight-against-climate-change-is-failing-one-technology-can-change-that/

Women’s voices must be the loudest on matters of climate, governance and societal violence
Mary Robinson
No society can develop – economically, politically or socially – when half of its population is marginalised.
http://www.thehindu.com/specials/women-in-action/womens-voices-must-be-the-loudest-on-matters-of-climate-governance-and-societal-violence/article21248516.ece

The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party
Dana Nuccitelli
The GOP strategy on taxes and climate: reject evidence and expert opinion, lie, and wage culture wars
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/dec/04/the-moral-and-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-the-republican-party

Australia breaks record again for rooftop solar installs in November
A total of 120MW of rooftop solar was installed in November, knocking off five year old record set when demand was fuelled by premium
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-breaks-record-again-for-rooftop-solar-installs-in-november-26288/

‘Please Mr Minister’: Veteran in gold card plea over nuclear test
A former national serviceman involved in a 1950s nuclear test in Australia is pleading for his lifetime healthcare application to be reconsidered.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/veterans-have-gold-card-bids-rejected/9221780

AES sounds out battery project partners
US based AES Corp is in talks with potential local partners to capture part of the opportunity it sees in Australia.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/aes-corporation-sounds-out-australian-partners-to-seize-market-share-20171203-gzxybz

Get ready for a summer of spite over energy supplies
Giles Parkinson
AEMO turns to demand management and its emergency reserve due to problems in gas supply in Victoria last week, and the absence of a major coal unit. This came as conservatives continue to belittle the Tesla big battery and say they hope for a widespread blackout over summer.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/get-ready-for-a-summer-of-spite-over-energy-supplies-93654/

How weak laws and weak enforcement are failing Australian wildlife
Martin Taylor
How weakened laws in Qld and NSW are failing our wildlife and how the Australian Government is doing little to prevent it.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19447

Arrow points the way for gas
Robert Gottliebsen
Australia has taken a significant step towards solving its energy crisis with a new deal to develop vast coal gas reserves.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/arrow-points-the-way-to-solving-australias-energy-crisis/news-story/49db3cec4f7ffaabe89367ff500d292f

Plans for Australia’s first offshore wind farm gather pace
Offshore Energy has partnered with Danish renewables developer CIP on plan to build $8 billion, 2GW wind farm off Victoria’s coast.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/plans-australias-first-offshore-wind-farm-gather-pace-49478/

Environmental watchdog ‘hard on oBikes, soft on big polluters’
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorias-environmental-watchdog-ignores-big-polluters-cracks-down-on-obikes-20171204-gzyaj7.html

Track upgrades near Camberwell just the start of summer maintenance project delays for Melbourne
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/track-upgrades-near-camberwell-just-the-start-of-summer-maintenance-project-delays-for-melbourne/news-story/3ae3af9776ca301dde1c7b21dbe7b08a

Flying fox deaths in fruit netting
Victorian residents have been urged to reconsider fruit tree netting, which is killing Australian wildlife.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/flying-fox-deaths-in-fruit-netting/news-story/c75e63dfee6872f95e059929418f66b9

AGL Victorian electricity prices to rise from January 2018
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/electricity-prices-to-increase-but-some-customers-to-be-shielded/news-story/d4264487378c7efba905a2d1aecdfb3e

Vanishing ants a sign of habitat loss, La Trobe University research finds
Global habitat destruction has a major impact on the largest and smallest animals, resulting in less diverse species of ants and potentially catastrophic environmental effects, research from La Trobe University has found.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/vanishing-ants-a-sign-of-habitat-loss-la-trobe-university-research-finds/news-story/adbc14333ed96f6da3b1fab9266799fa

Unfair criticism deluges Bureau of Meteorology
Age editorial
It would be a grave mistake to discount future such warnings on the basis of the BOM having made a rare marginal mistake on this occasion.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/unfair-criticism-rains-down-on-the-bureau-of-meteorology-20171204-gzydl8.html

Why we won’t believe Bureau of Meteorology’s extreme weather forecasts
Susie O’Brien
They promised Stormageddon. They said it was a “10” storm and “uncharted territory”.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/susie-obrien/why-we-wont-believe-bureau-of-meteorologys-extreme-weather-forecasts/news-story/6d10e68b3df62015ab72ffff1c187132

Essential drops plan to increase bills, despite court victory
New South Wales state-owned electricity distribution company Essential Energy has decided not introduce power price rises for its more than 800,000 rural customers, after winning a two-year multi-million dollar court battle to be allowed to do just that.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/essential-drops-plan-increase-bills-despite-court-victory-76979/

‘People are struggling’: Passengers swelter in 1970s-era trains
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-train-passengers-swelter-in-1970sera-trains-20171204-gzy5m5.html

Graph of the Day: Queensland’s biggest solar farm powers up
The first 50MW of Genex Power’s Kidston solar and “giant water battery” project has started sending electricity to the grid. Here’s what that looks like.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-day-queenslands-biggest-solar-farm-powers-74261/

Fears about flying fox future with trees marked for removal
Flying fox displacement is back in the spotlight with the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort’s owners pushing to cut down 15 trees on the property.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/fears-about-flying-fox-future-with-trees-marked-for-removal/news-story/d1f53c5e0038046cab09579c87286466

Analysis shows mining is a ‘drag’ on Brisbane’s economy
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/analysis-shows-mining-is-a-drag-on-brisbane-s-economy-20171204-p4yxds.html

Queensland dam engineers ‘defied common sense’
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/emotional-qld-flood-class-action-begins-20171204-p4yxdj.html

Meet the nation’s most hated electricity company
If an energy company wants to make their customers angry then getting the bill wrong seems to be a pretty good start.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/meet-the-nations-most-hated-electricity-company-20171203-gzxymf.html

SA ranked one of the most attractive oil regions in the world
http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/sa-ranked-one-of-the-most-attractive-oil-regions-in-the-world-20171130-gzw8fy.html

Yes, SA’s battery is a massive battery, but it can do much more besides
Dylan McConnell, University of Melbourne
Last week in SA the “world’s largest” lithium ion battery was launched. Will its storage capacity and versatility be a game-changer for Australia’s energy market?
http://theconversation.com/yes-sas-battery-is-a-massive-battery-but-it-can-do-much-more-besides-88480

Salmon farms on land ‘still in works’
Growing salmon to full-size in land-based facilities is yet to become a viable option, industry experts say.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/salmon-industry-experts-in-town-for-salmon-conference/news-story/bf6f73fde726e53e3068c1d81beacea0

Savvy city leaders put Hobart ahead of the climate pack
Peter Boyer
Government should take note as capital hits its straps on climate action
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-savvy-city-leaders-put-hobart-ahead-of-the-climate-pack/news-story/4ee35d0230b6004219374b70c047b720

Leadership on PFAS required
NT News editorial
It is clear now the concerns around PFAS contamination in the Katherine region are far broader than we first thought or were led to believe.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/opinion/leadership-on-pfas-required/news-story/eed136ac8aee8b5708e829505443f0e6

Poisonous toad warning for Perth’s eastern suburbs
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/poisonous-toad-warning-for-perths-eastern-suburbs-20171204-gzy9qg.html

State government moves to rezone Beeliar Wetlands so Roe 8 can never be built
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/state-government-moves-to-rezone-beeliar-wetlands-so-roe-8-can-never-be-built-20171204-gzy9es.html

Key native title ruling appealed
Fortescue will ­appeal a ruling that recognised the exclusive possession rights of the Yindjibarndi people over Pilbara land.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/fortescue-to-continue-pilbara-land-rights-battle/news-story/420713ca30c13715701b29f5b3d9195b

Want an eco-friendly Christmas? Try doing your shopping online
Online shopping can actually be more environmentally friendly than traditional shopping — as long as you follow some simple rules.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/christmas-sustainable-shopping-guide-online-carbon-footprint/9223086

Players vomit as heavy smog halts Test match in India
Players don face masks and some leave the field to vomit as the third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi is interrupted by heavy pollution
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/pollution-stops-play-in-india-sri-lanka-test/9222436

A county in Utah wants to suck 77 million gallons a day out of Lake Powell, threatening the Colorado River
A plan to build one of the West’s longest and most expensive water pipelines in southwest Utah pits planning practices of the 20th century against the water-scare reality of the 21st.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-lake-powell-pipeline-20171203-htmlstory.html

Will North Korea’s Kim Jong Un destroy the environment with his nuclear bombs?
The damage could last for decades.
http://www.newsweek.com/will-north-koreas-kim-jong-un-destroy-environment-his-nuclear-bombs-729609

Microgrids keep these cities running when the power goes out
These energy islands are keeping electricity flowing in emergencies and helping integrate wind and solar. They’re keystones to a modern electric grid.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04122017/microgrid-emergency-power-backup-renewable-energy-cities-electric-grid

Satellite images show extent of air pollution worldwide
Images taken by a new European satellite show the levels and distribution of air pollutants around the world, including ash spewing from a volcano in Indonesia.
http://koin.com/2017/12/03/satellite-images-show-extent-of-air-pollution-worldwide/

Reckoning with the nuclear reactor, 75 years later
Journalists have always struggled to reconcile the destruction and the development ushered in by this famous experiment.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/12/75-years-nuclear-reactor/547151/

‘Addis has run out of space’: Ethiopia’s radical redesign
As Addis Ababa creaks under the weight of a mushrooming populace, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest housing project is under way. But who benefits?
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/dec/04/addis-ababa-ethiopia-redesign-housing-project

Shell aims to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050
The world has a puzzle to solve, a jigsaw with a spectacular number of pieces to place. If it can succeed it will win a priceless prize: it will achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to under 2C.
http://www.philstar.com/business-life/2017/12/04/1765000/shell-aims-cut-carbon-emissions-half-2050

Next generation solvent contributes to next generation biofuel production from biomass
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/ku-ngs120117.php

China spoils launch of world’s first electric cargo ship by using it to haul coal
The good news is that China has launched the world’s first all-electric cargo ship. The bad news is that it is being used to haul coal.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/china-spoils-launch-worlds-first-electric-cargo-ship-using-haul-coal-77100/

Fewer crops are feeding more people worldwide – and that’s not good
Karl Zimmerer
Over half the calories humans eat today come from corn, wheat and rice. Raising a greater diversity of types of crops and animals (agrobiodiversity) makes diets healthier and farming more resilient.
https://theconversation.com/fewer-crops-are-feeding-more-people-worldwide-and-thats-not-good-86105

Environmental injustice is rising in America. And minorities and the poor pay the price
Mustafa Santiago Ali
When you intentionally dismantle and deconstruct these basic environmental protections, you are placing the lives of vulnerable people at risk
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/03/environmental-injustice-rising-in-america-minorities-low-income

Blockchain not just about smarter grids – it could be a life saver
Chris Lim
In the case of life support, blockchain technology could make life better for everyone – improving safety for the sick while saving costs for electricity
http://reneweconomy.com.au/blockchain-not-just-about-smarter-grids-it-could-be-a-life-saver-49048/

A tough break for commercial fishermen: Pacific halibut catches likely to drop next year
Survey results showed halibut numbers were down 23 percent from last summer, according to scientists at the International Pacific Halibut Commission interim meeting.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2017/12/03/a-tough-break-for-commercial-fishermen-pacific-halibut-catches-likely-to-drop-next-year/

Politicians seek to tackle plastic litter polluting the oceans
This week several heads of state and scores of environment ministers are expected to agree for the first time to take global action against plastic polluting the world’s seas at an annual meeting of the UN environment agency in Nairobi.
https://www.ft.com/content/06784652-d67e-11e7-8c9a-d9c0a5c8d5c9

Pulp and paper giant sues Indonesian government over peat protection obligation
A subsidiary of Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper firm is suing the government over its decision to nix the company’s plans to operate on peatlands.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/12/pulp-and-paper-giant-sues-indonesian-government-over-peat-protection-obligation/

From Alaska to Amazonia: first global maps of traits that drive vegetation growth
Detailed global maps of key traits in higher plants have been made available for the first time, thanks to work led by researchers from the University of Minnesota’s (UMN) College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53344

Flying laboratory reveals crucial tropical forest conservation targets in Borneo
About 40 percent of northern Malaysian Borneo’s carbon stocks exist in forests that are not designated for maximum protections
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/cifs-flr120417.php

Medium-sized carnivores most at risk from environmental change
In a surprise ecological finding, researchers discover medium-sized carnivores spend the most time looking for food, making them vulnerable to change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/icl-mcm113017.php

Invasive plants have unprecedented ability to pioneer new continents and climates
These species pose greater global risk than previously thought
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/vt-iph112917.php

How social enterprises are building a more inclusive Australian economy
Erin I. Castellas, Swinburne University of Technology and Jo Barraket, Swinburne University of Technology
Research shows social enterprises employ more people with disabilities, female managers and long-term unemployed than regular businesses. This will be key to a more inclusive economy.
http://theconversation.com/how-social-enterprises-are-building-a-more-inclusive-australian-economy-88472