TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2018

From little things, big things really can grow
Jenny Stewart
The push for sustainability might seem to be stalled, but social change can be sudden.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/from-little-things-big-things-really-can-grow-20180202-h0swra.html

The challenges of understanding impact of climate change in Antarctica
Understanding exactly what is going on in Antarctica has long been fraught for climate scientists, but what is happening on the continent could soon be felt around the world.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-05/challenges-understanding-climate-change-impact-antarctica/9398192

Time to end ‘green washing’ of climate investments
Tony Boyd
Two of Europe’s leading advocates of financing for carbon reduction projects have told Chanticleer urgent action is needed to address the problem of “green washing”.
http://www.afr.com/brand/chanticleer/time-to-end-green-washing-of-climate-investments-20180204-h0tmvs

‘Everything is made into a political issue’: rethinking Australia’s environmental laws
Public should be given a greater say on development plans, experts say
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/06/everything-is-made-into-a-political-issue-rethinking-australias-environmental-laws

Murray-Darling basin plan could collapse if changes blocked, Coalition says
Infrastructure projects that aim to improve water efficiency due to be introduced by minister
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/05/murray-darling-basin-plan-could-collapse-if-changes-blocked-coalition-says

Threat to grid from electric cars
An expected surge in electric ­vehicle use would require billions of dollars to be spent upgrading the electricity network.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/electric-cars-trigger-fears-over-rush-to-charge/news-story/8322852cf7b01848b898bfdfadc4d337

More price pain as power spikes
Smart meters for all consumers are being touted as a solution to grid reliability, a move set to push prices higher in peak periods.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/smart-meter-price-pain-as-power-spikes/news-story/b85bf16d6f125e7184eca065363e486f

Higher costs here to stay
Graham Lloyd
There is an elegant but sinister element to the electricity industry’s true feelings about soaring energy prices.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/electricity-retailers-tell-users-to-get-used-to-high-prices/news-story/c21cbb72c3014fa96d3b34f463c5a837

Crikey’s pocket guide to lesser known alternative energy sources
Chris Woods
We’re all familiar with the state of solar and hydro, but the energy sector in Australia is bustling with other options. We take a gander at some of these.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/02/05/less-famous-renewable-energy-sources-and-how-theyre-going/

Police to be placed in ‘high-risk’ Victorian schools under Coalition plan
Police officers will be embedded at 10 high-risk secondary schools around Victoria under the Coalition’s plan to tackle youth crime if it wins this year’s state election.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-05/police-officers-to-be-placed-in-high-risk-vic-schools-opposition/9395874

Proposal to tax Vic criminals
A new proposal by the top victims’ rights advocate would see criminals in Victoria taxed.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/38842047/proposal-to-tax-vic-criminals/

Gun laws set to pass Vic upper house
Victorian upper house politicians are set to pass a bill to crack down on gun crime as parliament resumes for 2018.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/38841327/gun-laws-set-to-pass-vic-upper-house/

Anti-coal climate charity 350.org under probe over political campaigning
A climate activist group that has hijacked the Batman by-election faces the loss of its charity status and tax perks over its overt political campaigning.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/anticoal-climate-charity-350org-under-probe-over-political-campaigning/news-story/264326a044d85996e31f7a39878a166a

Sydney families struggling to keep energy costs down
A new report is warning Sydney households could be slugged an extra $430 by the end of next year, unless inflated gas prices are brought under control.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/38838067/sydney-families-struggling-to-keep-energy-costs-down/

‘Outrageous’: Farmers, Broken Hill mayor call for $467m pipeline halt
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/outrageous-farmers-broken-hill-mayor-call-for-467-million-pipeline-halt-20180205-h0u04k.html

Adding fuel to the Pilliga Forest fire
Rosemary Vass
As climate change adds intensity to bushfires, Santos intends to increase its methane-emitting gas wells in the Pilliga Forrest.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/adding-fuel-to-the-pilliga-forest-fire,11165

Cane toad an unlikely hero helping to protect endangered turtles
One of Queensland’s most hated pests is being used to deter predators of an endangered turtle in Queensland, keeping goannas away from breeding beaches near Agnes Water.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-05/cane-toads-protecting-turtles-goannas-wreck-beach/9396136

Labor weighs Adani options as Canavan says Australia needs to ‘get these jobs going’
Coalition pressures Queensland government to back Aurizon proposal to build rail link
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/05/labor-weighs-adani-options-as-canavan-says-australia-needs-to-get-these-jobs-going

Queensland Premier says no Labor contradiction on Adani
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/queensland-premier-says-no-labor-contradiction-on-adani-20180205-p4yzg1.html

Bill Shorten suffering ‘doublethink’ over Adani coal mine
Des Houghton
When visiting Queensland he backs mining, while in the Green-Left enclaves of inner-city Melbourne he condemns it.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/bill-shorten-suffering-doublethink-over-adani-coal-mine/news-story/db5e42de81e846278dd8a04a82c4b473

Jobs promise flows from SA’s virtual power plant plan
Putting solar panels and Tesla batteries into more South Australian homes will create hundreds of jobs, Premier Jay Weatherill says as he spruiks Labor’s energy plans ahead of next month’s state election.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-05/510-jobs-from-tesla-virtual-power-plant-pledge-sa-premier-says/9396968

Construction to begin on SA power station
AGL Energy is set to start building a 210 MW power station in South Australia to replace some turbines at its ageing Torrens Island Power plant.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/38832311/construction-to-begin-on-sa-power-station/

Overturning Murray-Darling laws could backfire for river
Moves to overturn Murray-Darling legislation could backfire spectacularly and leave South Australia with far less water in the river than it needs, federal Water Minister David Littleproud says
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/overturning-murraydarling-laws-could-leave-sa-with-far-less-river-water-minister-warns/news-story/10f5ce3240bcb4dca74e2353a51673f6

Tesla big battery is already bringing Australia’s gas cartel to heel
Giles Parkinson
Incident in January shows how Tesla big battery is already breaking the stranglehold of the gas cartel in South Australia’s electricity market. And for the first time, a wind farm bid in FCAS to keep prices down.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/tesla-big-battery-is-already-bringing-australias-gas-cartel-to-heel-39541/

TasWater takeover plan ‘sweetened’, with concessions to councils
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5210075/taswater-takeover-plan-sweetened-with-concessions-to-councils/?cs=95

Bob Brown hits out at ‘destruction’ of Tarkine logging
New drone footage has emerged that protesters say shows ancient forest being destroyed in the Tarkine, with the Bob Brown Foundation again calling on the State Government to halt logging in the area.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/bob-brown-hits-out-at-destruction-of-tarkine-logging/news-story/5b2971b4173e94afd69736377fe25f42

Top End shale gas would blow carbon budget, TAI says
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/top-end-shale-gas-development-would-blow-australias-carbon-budget-tai-says-20180204-h0tc5m.html

How getting down and dirty in nature helps mind and body
A walk in the park lowers disease risk, improves mental health and prolongs life. And while it may seem logical to chalk these benefits up to exercise, it’s quite not as clear-cut as that.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-02-05/nature-park-forest-immune-system-inflammation-mental-health/9387714

Asda joins wave of supermarkets pledging to cut plastic waste
Series of measures includes reducing plastic in its own-brand packaging by 10% – but does not go as far as cutting it out altogether
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/05/asda-joins-wave-of-supermarkets-pledging-to-cut-plastic-waste

Big business, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up plastic waste
Geraint Davies
Plastic is destroying our oceans, yet big corporations are still being given money to produce cheap plastic. It’s time for polluters to pay for the damage they cause
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/05/big-business-not-taxpayers-should-pay-to-clean-up-plastic-waste

Leading investigator of ivory, rhino horn trade stabbed to death in Kenya
Esmond Bradley-Martin, a leading American investigator into the illegal ivory and rhino horn trade, has been found stabbed to death in his home, Kenyan police and officials have said.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/leading-investigator-of-ivory-esmond-bradley-martin-dies/9398530

Salt used to cure deadly disease in frogs
Scientists think they’ve hit upon a simple solution to a deadly fungus that’s caused the extinction of hundreds of frogs species worldwide.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-05/salt-curing-frogs-worldwide-from-chytrid-fungus/9390882