Wednesday 13 December 2017

Warming temperatures to weaken wind in northern hemisphere: study
Warming temperatures caused by climate change are set to weaken wind energy in the northern hemisphere, a study shows, while a boost in wind in the southern hemisphere could turn north-east Australia into an attractive investment for wind farm energy companies.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/climate-warming-set-to-change-wind-power-globally-study-shows/9249820

How Trump’s reckless climate policy invites a judicial backlash
The worst way to do policy is through the courts. But that could be where we’re headed.
https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/12/11/16759208/trump-climate-policy-courts-juliana-public-nuisance-lawsuits

Trump’s proposed federal budget will slash climate change–related NASA missions
The administration wants to NASA to reprioritize the moon and Mars, and forget “Earth-centric research”
https://www.salon.com/2017/12/11/trumps-proposed-federal-budget-will-slash-climate-change-related-nasa-missions/

Calls for greater fossil fuel divestment at anniversary of Paris climate deal
Campaigners call for an end to fossil fuel finance and subsidies to avoid dangerous global warming at a meeting to mark two years since the signing of the landmark agreement
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/calls-for-greater-fossil-fuel-divestment-at-anniversary-of-paris-climate-deal

EU announces €9bn in funding for climate action
EU funds will be focused on clean energy, and sustainable cities and agriculture, with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also pledging $300m towards climate adaptation
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/eu-announces-9bn-in-funding-for-climate-action

California burns as the effects of climate change intensify
Norm Sanders
As the California fires continue to rage, Trump, Abbott and others can deny it all they want but climate change is to blame.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/california-burns-as-the-effects-of-climate-change-intensify,11022

We can fight climate change even under Trump & polluter-run petrocracy
Dan Becker, James Gerstenzang
GOP members of Congress are awash in campaign cash from oil and gas companies. The result is a dramatic U.S. retreat from climate leadership.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/12/we-can-fight-climate-change-even-under-trump-polluter-run-petrocracy-becker-gerstenzang-column/932003001/

Why did climate scientists emit 30,000 tonnes of C02 this weekend?
Peter Kalmus
Around 25,000 of my colleagues flew to a conference, leaving a colossal carbon footprint in their wake. This makes our warnings less credible to the public.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/climate-scientists-emit-30000-tonnes-c02

Gas supplies have increased but prices are still too high, ACCC argues
The latest report from Australia’s consumer watchdog into the gas market finds supplies are increasing but prices are still too expensive.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/gas-supply-boosted-but-still-expensive-accc-report/9252386

Electricity prices: Malcolm Turnbull to introduce ‘fairness test’
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/electricity-prices-malcolm-turnbull-to-introduce-fairness-test/news-story/784980c684d400f9e5d2a80bc20ae7d1

Australia has potential to be wind world leader
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/australia-has-potential-to-be-wind-world-leader-20171212-p4yxmj.html

GPT pulls back from solar push amid policy uncertainty
One of Australia’s largest landlords has put on hold plans to install 100,000 solar panels across 40 hectares of rooftops in its shopping centres and industrial estates because of uncertainty surrounding the Turnbull government’s energy policy.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/property/gpt-pulls-back-from-solar-push-amid-policy-uncertainty-20171212-p4yxmk.html

‘It’s magical’: $30 million for researchers capturing the power of sunshine
A research team led by a University of NSW science professor is among 20 to share in almost $30 million in federal funding, to be announced by Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Wednesday.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/its-magical-30-million-for-researchers-capturing-the-power-of-sunshine-20171211-h02u7g.html

Environment funding slashed by third since Coalition took office
Exclusive: WWF and ACF analysis shows Turnbull government plans to reduce environment spending to less than 60% of 2013-14 budget
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/13/environment-funding-slashed-by-third-since-coalition-took-office

Turnbull blows trumpet for right wing idiocy on energy
Giles Parkinson
Malcolm Turnbull now appears perfectly comfortable parroting right wing nonsense about energy policy, branding high renewable policies as “idiocy” and defending the future of coal. That may be because mainstream media won’t challenge him.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbull-blows-trumpet-for-right-wing-idiocy-on-energy-35004/

The government is miscounting greenhouse emissions reductions
Tim Baxter, University of Melbourne
https://theconversation.com/the-government-is-miscounting-greenhouse-emissions-reductions-88950

Stay inside if you can, it’s set to be the hottest day of summer (so far)
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-severe-fire-warning-as-hottest-day-so-far-of-summer-hits-20171212-h03a0n.html

West Gate Tunnel costs blow out by more than a billion dollars
The cost of Victoria’s West Gate Tunnel project, linking the West Gate Freeway to CityLink, blows out to $6.7 billion because the tunnels will be twice as long as originally planned.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/melbournes-west-gate-tunnel-project-cost-blows-out/9248994

A great deal for Transurban, but this is no way to plan a great city
“How did Transurban get such a good deal at the expense of the taxpayer?” It was an excellent question, put by Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Tuesday, about the deal cut between Premier Daniel Andrews and the toll road giant for the West Gate Tunnel.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/a-great-deal-for-transurban-but-this-is-no-way-to-plan-a-great-city-20171212-h03f7u.html

Bass Strait gasfield running out
The Bass Strait gasfields owned by ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton are running down faster than expected.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bass-strait-gasfield-running-out/news-story/8baebad709c0989982903958d77bcf88

Basin Plan water target has disastrous consequences for dairy farmers
Daryl Hoey
When Murray Darling Basin ministers meet in Albury on Tuesday next week farmers and communities will be expecting better than yet another round of political grandstanding and demands.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/basin-plan-water-target-has-disastrous-consequences-for-dairy-farmers/news-story/bddf501c5b74b062d99d319b8e371f15

The Environmental Protection Authority is asleep on the biggest job of all
Mark Wakeham
When oBikes were fished out of the Yarra River, the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) threatened the controversial share bike scheme with fines of more than $3000. When a Coolaroo company washed chemicals into a stormwater drain, it got a fine of $7929. And when someone gets caught flicking a cigarette butt out the window this summer, they can expect to cough up $317.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/the-environmental-protection-authority-is-asleep-on-the-biggest-job-of-all-20171212-h036cj.html

West Gate Tunnel Project to benefit Transurban and to a lesser extent, motorists
Terry McCrann
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/terry-mccrann/west-gate-tunnel-project-to-benefit-transurban-and-to-a-lesser-extent-motorists/news-story/bab2d9cc53fb01ffbfd029213b158856

ARENA gives perovskite solar tech a push, with $6m Greatcell grant
Commercial development of cheap, printable, Australian made perovskite solar cells boosted with $6m ARENA grant to Greatcell Solar.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/arena-gives-perovskite-solar-tech-push-6m-greatcell-grant-25510/

Glencore’s $241 million tax fight
The Tax Office says Cobar mine made $241 million from offshore marketing, but that may be the least of Glencore’s tax problems
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/ato-finds-glencores-cobar-mine-understated-241-million-income-20171211-h02e6u

Keeping Liddell open wouldn’t have worked
The Energy Security Board has to work to hard to convince the states that it understand their issues and it isn’t a puppet of the federal minister.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/agl-keeping-liddell-power-station-open-wouldnt-have-worked-20171212-h0314y

Why Sydney’s rail network went into ‘chaotic meltdown’ in peak hour
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-trains-boss-says-no-turning-back-on-new-rail-timetable-20171212-h02z6y.html

NSW’s recycling scheme a load of rubbish
Miranda Devine
What certifiable genius came up with the idea for the new container deposit scheme, aka cash for cans shambles, aka Great Big New Tax on fun?
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/nsws-recycling-scheme-a-load-of-rubbish/news-story/44bc25895dabb1574eaad6287b272150

Queensland names new energy minister – meet Dr Anthony Lynham
A post-election cabinet reshuffle has delivered a new energy minister for Queensland. Here’s what we know about Dr Anthony Lynham.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-names-new-energy-minister-meet-dr-anthony-lynham-67801/

Will Adani ever get the money it needs to build that bloody massive mine?
With major banks all around the world turning their banks on the controversial mine, Adani better dust off the ol’ guitar and get busking.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/12/12/will-adani-ever-get-the-money-it-needs-to-build-that-bloody-massive-mine/

Adani veto is Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s first official act
Indian miner Adani said it would move to plan B after Premier Annatastacia Palaszczuk used her veto to kill of any prospect of a loan from the Federal Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/adani-veto-is-premier-annastacia-palaszczuks-first-official-act/news-story/2e2f8c99714763675e196629bd3f7681

Leaders ready to convert claims to jobs in Cape York
The pot-holed road to Cape York’s self-determination has led to Palm Cove for about 400 indigenous leaders paving the way for their communities’ shared future.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/leaders-ready-to-convert-claims-to-jobs-in-cape-york/news-story/9dd21a81b3ffb43b29880f17b363477f

Cairns economy set to benefit from slew of new mining projects
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns-economy-set-to-benefit-from-slew-of-new-mining-projects/news-story/e44abd58798e3aa28ae2d1832f55d98e

Myna bird traps are proving to be a toad-ally huge success for Cairns men shed
Traps designed by Cairns Men Shed to eradicate myna birds are providing to be so toad-ally effective that theyre even trapping other pest animals.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/myna-bird-traps-are-proving-to-be-a-toadally-huge-success-for-cairns-men-shed/news-story/353c8cf181a76214e87ba3b468f32808

‘Major failure’ in biosecurity system blamed for white spot disease: inspector-general
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/major-failure-of-australia-s-biosecurity-system-to-blame-for-white-spot-disease-outbreak-20171212-p4yxn9.html

Australia still ‘totally radioactive’
A remote part of Australia subject to Hiroshima-scale devastation has drawn the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize celebrations.
http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/australia-still-totally-radioactive-60-years-after-hiroshimascale-nuclear-tests/news-story/d2b26a4b16657f4db41436b9656f6af5

AEMO relaxes constraints on wind power in South Australia
The Australian Energy Market Operator has relaxed limits on wind generation in South Australia, as it continues to review the system strength needs of the grid with the highest penetration of wind and solar in the world.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-relaxes-constraints-on-wind-power-in-south-australia-90890/

‘Tunnel vision’: Nick Xenophon blasts O-Bahn extension
The $160 million of taxpayers’ money that paid for the new O-Bahn bus tunnel would have been better spent on other projects to reduce traffic congestion, SA Best leader Nick Xenophon says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/nick-xenophon-blasts-o-bahn-extension/9249420

Adelaide commuters praise new $160 million O-Bahn tunnel from Hackney Road to Grenfell Street
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/adelaide-commuters-praise-new-160-million-obahn-tunnel-from-hackney-road-to-grenfell-street/news-story/97ca3a1f9cb68fbfee52a1973f2a981c

West Tamar Highway election promise
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5116135/west-tamar-highway-election-promise/?cs=95

Risks of fracking in NT can be mitigated, preliminary findings reveal
A draft final report into hydraulic fracturing finds the risks of unconventional mining for shale gas could be reduced or mitigated, should the NT Government decide to lift the ban.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/nt-fracking-draft-report-handed-down/9252208

Boats burned for illegal fishing in Top End
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/boats-burned-for-illegal-fishing-in-top-end/news-story/81e48807435d5d610511445585b17bc8

Territory gas fracking worth the ‘realistic risks’ if inquiry report recommendations adopted
NT News analysis
IT was an argument built on an absurd proposition and one that has now been put in its place.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/analysis-territory-gas-fracking-worth-the-realistic-risks-if-inquiry-report-recommendations-adopted/news-story/363b91b0534d9b3a79c3c442c0033ef4

Lucky winner: why this beach in WA claims the crown of Australia’s whitest sand
https://theconversation.com/lucky-winner-why-this-beach-in-wa-claims-the-crown-of-australias-whitest-sand-88393

Senate inquiry vindicates WA’s non-lethal shark strategy
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/phase-out-drum-lines-and-shark-nets-senate-inquiry-vindicates-was-nonlethal-shark-strategy-20171212-h03c4e.html

New study smashes myths about “embodied” energy in wind and solar
Building solar, wind or nuclear plants creates an insignificant carbon footprint compared with savings from avoiding fossil fuels, a new study suggests.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-study-smashes-myths-embodied-energy-wind-solar-94129/

What’s that burning? $58 billion for Beijing’s clean air
That burning smell is the $58 billion bill for getting farmers to use gas instead of coal.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-11/what-s-that-burning-58-billion-for-beijing-s-clean-air

Despite worsening air quality, India’s capital fails to take action against polluters
Despite Delhi’s worsening air quality, not a single case was filed against industries exceeding pollutant quotas between 2014 and 2016, according to new data by the National Crime Records Bureau.
http://e360.yale.edu/digest/despite-worsening-air-quality-indias-capital-fails-to-take-action-against-polluters

Battery research could triple range of electric vehicles
New research at the University of Waterloo could lead to the development of batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53418

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces
Reducing the traffic jam in batteries
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/dnl-srm121217.php

Environmental and human rights defenders challenge Mines and Money Conference
Community leaders from Colombia, the Philippines and Uganda have been in London to expose the true costs of the UK’s extensive ties to the global mining industry and oppose the Mines and Money Conference.
https://theecologist.org/2017/dec/12/environmental-and-human-rights-defenders-challenge-mines-and-money-conference

Your laundry is more toxic than you think
Conservation photographer aims to raise awareness of how microfibers pollute the world’s water through striking photos.
https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/blogs/your-laundry-is-more-toxic-than-you-think

The diet that helps fight climate change
Do we all have to go vegan to save the world?
https://www.vox.com/videos/2017/12/12/16762900/mediterranean-diet-pescatarian-climate-change

Smaller farms can cope better with climate change in India, say analysts
While the small size of the land holding is often seen as a challenge to raising incomes, it is an advantage when it comes to tackling extreme weather and rising temperatures.
http://news.trust.org/item/20171211125213-h7goe/

Waterworlds: How should we protect our most precious resource?
As new politics of protecting natural resources emerges, what does that mean for water? And who writes the rules? Three new books explore.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631551-000-waterworlds-how-should-we-protect-our-most-precious-resource/?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#link_time=1513002947

This bio-battery could charge your phone with your sweaty underpants
The stretchable fabric battery uses sweat-munching bacteria to produce electricity.
https://www.fastcodesign.com/90153815/this-bio-battery-could-charge-you-phone-with-your-sweaty-underpants

Investors target world’s biggest 100 polluting companies
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/worlds-biggest-100-polluting-companies-put-on-notice-by-investors-to-tackle-climate-change-20171212-h032o0.html

Suburban Ponds Are a Septic Buffet
Human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds, new research indicates. Researchers found that residential, suburban land use is …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171212125404.htm

China’s pollution crackdown to be a major driver for commodities
China’s attempts to reduce pollution will be a major driver of commodity demand in the near and long-term, and deliver a boost in demand for “green” commodities used to make electric vehicles and renewables, according to a new report from investment bank UBS
http://www.theage.com.au/business/china-s-pollution-crackdown-to-be-a-major-driver-for-commodities-20171212-p4yxme.html

How big oil is tightening its grip on Donald Trump’s White House
Jie Jenny Zou
The oil industry has stalled action on climate change from the inside and sold America on fossil fuels – and its influence goes back further than people realize
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/big-oil-white-house-century-of-influence

‘Utopian’ currency Bitcoin is a potentially catastrophic energy guzzler
John Quiggin
The recent upsurge in the price of Bitcoin seems to have finally awakened the world to the massively destructive environmental consequences of this bubble.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/utopian-currency-bitcoin-potentially-catastrophic-energy-guzzler-43782/

Dialogue about risks of environmental exposure begins with taking environmental justice concerns seriously
Juan Declet-Barreto
When public health officials deflect attention away from significant sources of toxic pollutants that put people at risk (and instead blame the overexposed population’s race, lifestyle, or genetics), they do a disservice to the people they are supposed to protect.
https://blog.ucsusa.org/juan-declet-barreto/dialogue-about-risks-of-environmental-exposure-begins-with-taking-environmental-justice-concerns-seriously

Mass starvation is humanity’s fate if we keep flogging the land to death
George Monbiot
The Earth cannot accommodate our need and greed for food. We must change our diet before it’s too late.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/mass-starvation-humanity-flogging-land-death-earth-food

The sad, ugly fate of our plastic trash in the ocean
Lost fishing nets, plastic twine, plastic packaging, balloon string, plastic chairs – all this trash is rising in our oceans. None of it is good for sea turtles.
http://www.ehn.org/plastic_pollution_ocean_turtles-2516639433.html

Indigenous groups unite to make Chevron pay
Indigenous groups in Canada and Ecuador have united on the battleground for one of the largest environmental claims in history as Ecuadorian villagers ask Canadian courts to enforce an Ecuadorian court order of US$9.5 billion against Chevron for extensive damages from toxic oil waste.
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/11/news/indigenous-groups-unite-make-chevron-pay

With climate change, tree die-offs may spread in the West
Forests will be decimated as trees become less resilient to drought and higher temperatures, new data suggest.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/11/science/trees-climate-die-offs-west.html

As 2017 hurricane season ends, scientists assess tropical forest harm
This Atlantic hurricane season saw six Category 3-5 storms batter the Caribbean. Some already threatened species, especially birds, took a major hit. Others endured.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/12/as-2017-hurricane-season-ends-scientists-assess-tropical-forest-harm/

Southern Africa’s Cheetah Population Much Smaller Than Believed
Populations of cheetahs in southern Africa have declined as farming and other human activities push deeper into the free-roaming cats’ range, a new study co-led by Duke University doctoral student Varsha Vijay finds.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/53423

New Maps Show Shrinking Wilderness Being Ignored At Our Peril
Maps of the world’s most important wilderness areas are now freely available online following a University of Queensland and Wildlife Conservation Society-led study published today.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53422

Governance for Deductible Gift Recipients
Joelle Tabone
It is critical for the board of a not for profit endorsed as a DGR to understand their organisation’s DGR tax concession
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/12/governance-deductible-gift-recipients/