Tuesday 8 August 2017

The nitrogen problem: Why global warming is making it worse.
Headlines have tended to fixate on the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone.” But the problem is already much broader than that, says senior author Anna M. Michalak, citing a series of recent incidents caused by nitrogen pollution.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322336574

US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’, emails reveal
Exclusive: series of emails show staff at Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service advised to reference ‘weather extremes’ instead
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/07/usda-climate-change-language-censorship-emails

Al Gore’s carbon footprint doesn’t matter.
Emily Atkin
Conservatives say environmentalists are hypocrites if they consume more energy than the average American. It’s a deceitful, disingenuous argument.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322336576

Illegal dumping happening under the eye of the regulator
Australia’s waste industry is being undermined by unscrupulous middle-men contracted to shift rubbish interstate to avoid paying landfill levies. Regulators and governments know about this practice but have repeatedly failed to act.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/four-corners-australias-organised-waste-trade/8782866

New coal plant may be Coalition price for clean energy target
There is increased speculation that the Coalition government is prepared to spend taxpayers money on a new clean/cleaner/cleanish/not-quite-so-dirty coal plant in an effort to get conservative support for a clean energy target and even to appease
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-coal-plant-may-be-coalition-price-for-clean-energy-target-87576/

Oversight for environment groups
The Minerals Council of Australia blasts lack of regulation around more than 600 registered environmental organisations.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/mca-demands-more-oversight-for-environment-groups/news-story/493f2890f8dd5c670754501e7f532666

EnergyAustralia profits fall 18pc
EnergyAustralia, one of the nation’s three big power generator and retailers, has posted a 18pc profit drop.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/energyaustralias-profits-slide-18pc/news-story/676dac777e80f889c26471ec0b234064

Don’t let toll road operators make ‘outrageous returns’
http://www.afr.com/business/dont-let-toll-road-operators-make-outrageous-returns-toll-group-ceo-20170807-gxqood

Energy retailers scramble for common ground
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/energy-retailers-look-for-common-ground-ahead-of-pms-energy-meeting-20170807-gxqows

PM’s power play on energy
MONEY hungry energy companies could be forced to switch customers to cheaper contracts under a new plan being considered by the Federal Government.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-energy-crisis-power-companies-could-swap-customers-to-cheaper-contracts/news-story/a76190bf6f11f7f3a944921375f9681f

Making the energy transition more equitable and inclusive
Cassandra Goldie
The transition to a clean, affordable and equitable supply of energy is finely on the agenda in Australia, compounded by soaring electricity prices and the mostly favourable response to the Finkel review.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/making-energy-transition-equitable-inclusive-70100/

Poles and wires: Consumers using less, paying more
David Leitch
Malcolm Turnbull should have a word with network owners and regulators this week, as well as the gentailers. Network charges per unit of electricity have more than doubled.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/poles-and-wires-consumers-using-less-paying-more-29950/

Route, tunnel options released for Melbourne’s ‘missing’ North East Link
Four route options are unveiled for what has been called Victoria’s highest-priority road project, Melbourne’s missing North East Link, and all include expensive tunnelling and would require property acquisitions, the State Government says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/expensive-tunnelling-will-be-used-to-build-north-east-link/8780314

North East Link routes slammed by mayor
DEBATE is raging over the preferred route of the North East link toll road as it emerged the project could cost taxpayers up to $23 billion
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/north-east-link-toll-road-proposed-routes-slammed-by-mayor/news-story/091b0555bea754bdaa21e987adb1c968

How using cigarette butts in road construction could cut pollution
More than a million tonnes of cigarette butt waste is created around the world every year — creating a massive pollution problem. Now, Melbourne researchers say they’ve come up with a solution, by mixing the butts into asphalt for road construction
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/cigarette-butt-roads-could-help-reduce-pollution-waste/8775566

Moreland Council launches hydrogen-powered garbage truck scheme
Moreland Council and the Victorian State Government announce $1m spending on commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station for …
http://reneweconomy.com.au/moreland-council-launches-hydrogen-powered-garbage-truck-scheme-35203/

Exxon’s Dory could ease gas crunch
Wood Mackenzie says a 2 trillion cubic feet gas development could materially alter the supply situation.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/exxons-bass-strait-prospect-could-ease-east-coast-gas-shortage/news-story/840e24a74776de594a617b098d326246

The curious case of Brighton’s flesh-eating sea critters
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/flesheating-bugs-at-brighton-beach-what-really-ate-sam-and-why-20170807-gxqsab.html

Leaked report backs Wollongong to western Sydney rail link
A new leaked report backs the case for an inland rail link from Wollongong to south-west Sydney, the second report in a week to do so.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/wollongong-to-south-west-sydney-rail-link-backed-by-two-reports/8775226

Secret documents show Whitehaven’s ‘history of willing negligence.’
Whitehaven Coal has been labeled a “rouge operator”, after documents obtained through a freedom of information request show all four of the company’s Namoi coal mines breached at least one of their license conditions in the past six years.
http://www.nvi.com.au/story/4837352/secret-documents-show-whitehavens-history-of-willing-negligence/

Minister told of sweetheart water deals
MINISTER Niall Blair was informed of concerns in 2015 that a National Party donor was allegedly getting sweetheart deals on irrigation before he lobbied to change the law.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/minister-niall-blair-lobbied-to-change-laws-to-help-donor/news-story/e8559c502f9141e15931ae4810a12032

NSW EPA blasts conflicts of interest in forestry bill
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/nsw-epa-critical-of-conflicts-of-interest-complexity-of-native-forestry-bill-20170806-gxqlk8.html

Northern beaches schools not the only ones that need protection from emissions
Sunil Badami
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/northern-beaches-schools-not-the-only-ones-that-need-protection-from-emissions-20170806-gxqjwh.html

Queensland opens registrations for 100MW energy storage auction
Queensland govt opens registrations for reverse auction, with aim of installing 100MW of energy storage before 2020, alongside 400MW new solar and wind.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-opens-registrations-for-100mw-energy-storage-auction-91729/

Equis plans 1,000MW solar farm in heart of Queensland’s gas country
Equis to build 1000MW solar farm in heart of Qld coal and gas country, looking for more opportunities in NSW, South Australia.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/equis-plans-1000mw-solar-farm-in-heart-of-queenslands-gas-country-90246/

Rubbish to keep state running
A landfill ­centre will run a solar farm and extract gas out of decomposing rubbish to create electricity.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/rubbish-to-keep-south-australia-in-power/news-story/9c54023d03e99e21ac2966ee52c246d9

See the river like never before
THE first artist impressions of a $43 million riverside upgrade have been released as part of a bold plan to transform Brisbane’s waterway into a gateway to Moreton Bay.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/new-43m-boat-moorings-to-transform-brisbane-river-as-gateway-to-moreton-bay-islands/news-story/d514356ac0b92fa8643569e97e9c27ce

We’re using less water … but we’ll pay more
SOUTHEAST Queensland households are facing higher, fixed water bills … because they have been too waterwise.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/seqwater-demands-higher-fixed-water-bills/news-story/5b8266cec38e72de248b40006ef9b356

Forest bid driven by recycled tyres
MORE than 100 tyres have been turned into bollards to keep vehicles out of the Daintree Rainforest.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/rubber-tyres-recycled-to-help-protect-daintree-rainforest/news-story/99046a3b8bac8215c0de1137161e9084

United push for tourism
THE Far North’s tourism bodies aim to forge stronger ties and drive further industry growth through the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/fnq-tourism-bodies-to-band-together-under-new-agreement/news-story/38028419429a6ea7a5ac7e1109eecea7

Red fire ants break containment lines in south-east Qld
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/red-fire-ants-reach-new-ground-after-nests-found-west-of-brisbane-20170807-gxr9r9.html

Queenslanders blame something they don’t have – renewables – for rising energy bills
Giles Parkinson
Queenslanders apparently blame renewables for price rises, even though they have any. But don’t get between a poll and a Murdoch campaign.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/queenslanders-blame-something-dont-renewables-rising-energy-bills-97890/

It’s official: SA has world’s highest power prices
SOUTH Australia has passed Denmark to claim the world’s most expensive power prices and the best way to beat it making your own electricity and shunning the grid, a leading energy expert says.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-has-the-worlds-highest-power-prices-carbon-and-energy-markets-director-bruce-mountain-says-so-get-off-the-grid/news-story/ace134e45e7f6f7f92f48acedb2d2b2e

Warning against groundwater in seven sites
HOMES in seven sites across Adelaide are being warned not to use groundwater because of toxic chemicals that can cause kidney and liver cancer — and bores could be banned.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/groundwater-contamination-in-seven-prompts-epa-to-consider-banning-extraction-of-bore-water/news-story/12e04d22d21745ca148cca85eb23e404

Where will 300,000 tonnes of old RAH rubbish end up?
WRECKING balls will level the old Royal Adelaide Hospital later this year, creating 300,000 tonnes of waste. It’s all got to go somewhere — and one of SA’s most politically notorious sites is a lead contender.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/landfill-from-old-royal-adelaide-hospital-demolition-could-go-to-gillman-site/news-story/19e4991a54f3014ad1ac65327f62f2a3

SA’s energy policy: five steps forward, two steps back
Nicky Ison
South Australia’s energy security target could increase electricity prices while providing an incentive for power companies to pump out more carbon emissions.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/sas-energy-policy-five-steps-forward-two-steps-back-25987/

Tasmanian fishers angry over relocation of ‘increasingly aggressive’ seals
There are calls for an inquiry to address the state’s rogue seal problem after more than 2,000 were relocated from salmon farms in the past financial year.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/relocation-of-seals-from-salmon-farms-angers-north-west-fishers/8780414

Tassie battle between ecotourism, forestry playing out in Derby
Plans to allow logging in the forest that is home to Derby’s world-renowned mountain bike trail are dividing the small Tasmanian town.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/tasmanias-battle-between-ecotourism-forestry-plays-out-in-derby/8766304

Beer brew fundraiser to help save endangered giant freshwater lobsters
Conservationists say the first case of a crowdfunded beer designed to help save Tasmania’s giant freshwater lobster will be sent to Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/beer-brew-crowdfund-to-save-giant-lobsters/8780104

TasWater takes aim at ‘schoolyard bully’
THE head of TasWater has fired the first shot ahead of a final session of State Parliament set to be dominated by the Liberals’ TasWater takeover bid.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/taswater-chief-miles-hampton-labels-government-a-schoolyard-bully-over-its-planned-takeover/news-story/b53bc9d5462d0390cec559ef19c3f466

Woeful record of state-run businesses key to TasWater stand
David Downie
Takeover to deliver more problems like we have seen with GBEs
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-woeful-record-of-staterun-businesses-key-to-taswater-stand/news-story/e75041279f29df178ba760906405952b

Diesel has to die – there is no reverse gear on this.
Daimler says diesel is worth fighting for but there is no comeback for the toxic technology and the fight must now be to save lives.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322337071

Benefits of Advanced Wood-Burning Stoves Greater Than Thought
Advanced wood-burning stoves designed for use in the developing world can reduce air pollution more than anticipated, because gaseous emissions from traditional wood stoves …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170807112840.htm

Business steps up efforts to cut waste.
From recycled paint to rented jeans, businesses large and small are looking at ways to cut waste, use fewer resources and help create a “circular economy” in which raw materials and products are repeatedly reused.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322337085

Tesla drivers claim Model S distance record of 670 miles on one charge.
Elon Musk congratulates Italian owners club, which claims new distance record while consuming equivalent of only eight litres of petrol.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322336575

Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 trillion per year.
A new study finds 6.5 percent of global GDP goes to subsidizing dirty fossil fuels.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322337070

A 20-minute city sounds good, but becoming one is a huge challenge
Carolyn Whitzman, University of Melbourne
While many talk about 30-minute cities, some aim for residents to be able to get to most services within 20 minutes. But cities like Melbourne have an awful lot of work to do to achieve their goal.
http://theconversation.com/a-20-minute-city-sounds-good-but-becoming-one-is-a-huge-challenge-80082

Explainer: what is silicosis and why is this old lung disease making a comeback?
Susan Miles, University of Newcastle
We’re seeing the resurgence of an old lung disease in people who make and install the type of engineered stone product you might find in your kitchen or bathroom.
http://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-silicosis-and-why-is-this-old-lung-disease-making-a-comeback-80465

The Guardian view on electric cars: They’ll change the world.
Guardian editorial
Car drivers dream of freedom and autonomy but the future may be robotic public transport.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322337098

On Transition (!).
Erik Lindberg Resilience.org
We need an official Transition Movement that tells the truth about climate, energy, and our ecology.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322337065

Weaning itself from elephant ivory, China turns to mammoths.
Promoters of ivory from the extinct animals say it’s an ethical alternative. Others fear it may give cover to the black-market elephant ivory trade.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322336579

Tibet’s fragile ecosystem is in danger. China must change its flawed environmental policy.
Rising temperatures on the roof of the world make Tibet both a driver and amplifier of global warming. China’s unchecked mining and dam building has to be reigned in
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322337069

Small Streams Have a Big Influence on Our Lives
Small streams make up 70-80 percent of the total channel length of river networks, and they strongly influence downstream portions these networks. The role small streams — known as headstreams — …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170807112846.htm

Afforestation With Non-Native Trees Alters Island Soils
A healthy global debate has occurred concerning the benefits of using non-native trees for restoring some aspects of ecosystem function in degraded habitats. In many cases, the stresses associated …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170807104024.htm

Complex Causes of Maldives Flooding
The causes of coastal flooding in the Maldives are more complex than previously thought, according to a new study. Researchers examined wave and sea level data around historic flood events and found …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170807082332.htm

One man’s mission to protect Iraq’s rivers for future generations.
For the past seven years, Nabil Musa has been traveling — oftentimes on a paddleboard or in a raft — around the Kurdistan region of Iraq on a one-man mission to promote the importance of clean waterways for current and future generations.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322337079

Fracking is causing invasion of harmful non-native plants in Pennsylvania forests, PSU researchers say.
Invasive, non-native plant species are “rapidly invading” northern forests in Pennsylvania because of fracking in the Marcellus shale basin, a group of Penn State researchers say.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322337082

Marine reserves a solution to bycatch problem in oceans
Reserves help fishermen catch the fish they want and protect the ones they don’t
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/uoc–mra080417.php

Drought-affected trees die from hydraulic failure and carbon starvation
Finding improves predictive models of how trees die in response to heat, drought, and other climate stresses
https://phys.org/news/2017-08-drought-affected-trees-die-hydraulic-failure.html

Canadians do the right thing
THE Canadian government says it will “bring all the resources necessary” to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, after 10 of the mammals died in the Gulf of St Lawrence in the past two months
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/fishing/canadians-do-the-right-thing/news-story/4c40ff24f4e269a50450c708cc28eb22

Could a robot do your job? Find out now
New data provides the answer. Search our database to find out how your job is affected — if you’re game.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-08/could-a-robot-do-your-job-artificial-intelligence/8782174