Wednesday 15 November 2017

A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way
Reena Tiwari, Curtin University
The secret of creating attractive, liveable places sounds deceptively simple: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people.
http://theconversation.com/a-city-that-forgets-about-human-connections-has-lost-its-way-86214

Global insurance plan aims to defuse potential climate damage ‘bombshell’
A scheme unveiled at the UN climate summit aims to help protect 400 million poor people from extreme weather by 2020 – but not everyone is convinced
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/14/global-insurance-plan-aims-to-defuse-potential-climate-damage-bombshell

Study Settles Prehistoric Puzzle, Finds Carbon Dioxide Link to Global Warming 22 Million Years Ago
Fossil leaves from Africa have resolved a prehistoric climate puzzle — and also confirm the link between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53154

‘Tobacco at a cancer summit’: Trump coal push savaged at climate conference
The US administration’s attempt to portray fossil fuels as vital to reducing poverty and saving US jobs is ridiculed in Bonn
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/13/bonn-climate-summit-trump-fossil-fuels-protest

Climate change and water woes drove ISIS recruiting in Iraq
Battered by shifting resources, desperate farmers were driven into terror recruiters’ clutches. Can it happen again?
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/climate-change-drought-drove-isis-terrorist-recruiting-iraq/

How climate change could lead to more wars in the 21st century
A new book offers a dark picture of humanity’s future.
https://www.vox.com/world/2017/11/14/16589878/global-climate-change-conflict-environment

Can carbon-dioxide removal save the world?
CO2 could soon reach levels that, it’s widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/20/can-carbon-dioxide-removal-save-the-world

Seeking to slow climate change, lawsuits look to the constitution
Climate activists will argue in an Oslo court this week that Norway’s plans for Arctic oil exploration are unconstitutional, in an emerging branch of law where plaintiffs are trying to enlist a nation’s founding principles to limit warming.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-lawsuit/seeking-to-slow-climate-change-lawsuits-look-to-the-constitution-idUSKBN1DD1C7

UK Labour vows to factor climate change risk into economic forecasts
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell to say ‘overwhelming challenge of climate change’ must be addressed from very centre of government
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/13/labour-vows-to-factor-climate-change-risk-into-economic-forecasts

Artificially cooling planet ‘risky strategy,’ new research shows
Proposals to reduce the effects of global warming by imitating volcanic eruptions could have a devastating effect on global regions prone to either tumultuous storms or prolonged drought, new research has shown.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uoe-acp111017.php

Climate change upped the odds of Harvey’s extreme rains, study finds
It could be the first of many studies of climate change and the extreme 2017 hurricane season.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/11/13/climate-change-upped-the-odds-of-harveys-extreme-rains-study-finds/?utm_term=.84e367114a77

COP23: Fiji’s ‘presidency of the oceans’?
Covering most of the planet, oceans have long been ignored within the UN climate talks – but with Fiji chairing this year’s climate negotiations, this may be starting to change.
https://newint.org/blog/2017/11/14/COP23-oceans

Fossil fuel emissions hit record high after unexpected growth: Global Carbon Budget 2017
Pep Canadell et al
After three years in which global carbon emissions scarcely rose, 2017 has seen them climb by 2%, as the long-anticipated peak in global emissions remains elusive.
http://theconversation.com/fossil-fuel-emissions-hit-record-high-after-unexpected-growth-global-carbon-budget-2017-87248

Why Governor Jerry Brown was booed at the Bonn climate summit
Bill McKibben
For all their tough-on-carbon rhetoric, Brown and other leaders are ignoring a key component of the fight against global warming.
https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/why-governor-jerry-brown-was-booed-at-the-bonn-climate-summit

Rooftop solar changes unsettle industry, raising fears worse to come
Confusion over RET regulation changes has revealed large cracks in the faith of the renewable energy industry, which – still recovering from the Abbott years – is spooked by the National Energy Guarantee, and possible future policy changes, just as the market is hitting its stride.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-changes-unsettle-industry-raising-fears-worse-to-come-68389/

High energy costs make vulnerable households reluctant to use air conditioning: study
Larissa Nicholls, RMIT University; Halley McCann, RMIT University; Karyn Bosomworth, RMIT University, and Yolande Strengers, RMIT University
Cooling off this summer will be more expensive than ever, putting at risk the very young, the elderly and people with health conditions.
http://theconversation.com/high-energy-costs-make-vulnerable-households-reluctant-to-use-air-conditioning-study-86624

Business withdraws support for 100ha resort near Great Ocean Road 
A proposed multi-million-dollar hotel near one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, the Great Ocean Road, loses support from the local business group as hundreds of residents rally against the development.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/apollo-bay-luxury-resort-proposal-divides-tiny-tourist-town/9147460

Northcote byelection: Greens tap into groundswell of support for forest protection
Conservation groups unite to push Greens plan to create Great Forest national park, a topic that resonates with voters
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/15/northcote-byelection-greens-tap-into-groundswell-of-support-for-forest-protection

Project Looks to Boost Renewable Energy Use at NFPs
A new program is set to be launched in Melbourne, which will enable not-for-profit organisations to install and benefit from renewable energy systems.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/11/project-looks-boost-renewable-energy-use-nfps/

Doubts grow over giant battery plan to cut blackout risk
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/doubts-grow-over-giant-battery-plan-to-cut-blackout-risk-20171114-gzlafk.html

Fight begins in forest
Ricky Muir
Plans for a Great Forest National Park in Victoria will have consequences greater than most people realise
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/great-forest-national-park-proposal-fight-begins-in-forest/news-story/1c4dcd8e21db722a6aa0092932dacce4

Male cyclists of Melbourne, thanks for your company!
Meg A’Hearn
To promote cycling among women, agitate for more funding and infrastructure.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/male-cyclists-of-melbourne-thanks-for-your-company-20171114-gzl34p.html

There’s only one winner from the West Gate Tunnel – and it isn’t us
Pat Love
I was initially neutral about the project, but after reading the statement and listening to many of the 500 local and municipal submitters and their experts presenting to the inquiry and advisory consultation, I now oppose it too.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/theres-only-one-winner-from-the-west-gate-tunnel–and-it-isnt-us-20171109-gzi6md.html

NSW Planning Act overhaul leaves appeals, climate gaps
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/nsw-overhaul-of-planning-act-leaves-major-appeals-climate-gaps-green-groups-20171114-gzl4as.html

What’s planned for one of Kingston foreshore’s last prime spots
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/plans-for-sixstorey-mixed-development-for-kingston-foreshore-prime-waterfront-spot-20171113-gzkr86.html

‘The Adani mine is an outrage’
They know how to make a million and these two successful Australian businessman say claims about Adani’s coal mine are delusional.
http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/australia-business-leaders-michael-myer-and-geoff-manchester-oppose-adanis-coal-mine-project/news-story/f60abb21915d09eb398f2570b856a9bd

Profits of Adani’s Carmichael mine company tumble, leaving it in financial peril
Owner of Carmichael project can’t walk away from mine without descending further into distress, says energy expert
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/15/profits-of-adanis-carmichael-mine-company-tumble-leaving-it-in-financial-peril

Premier pledges Great Barrier Reef support
Queensland Labor Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk is campaigning in Cairns, visiting the Great Barrier Reef to renew her party’s commitment to the World Heritage Area.
http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/state/2017/11/15/premier-pledges-great-barrier-reef-support.html

SA Government refuses to reveal cost of new power generators
The Premier and the Energy Minister will only say the generators are part of a $550 million power plan and that the price tag remains commercial-in-confidence.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/south-australian-government-refusing-to-say-generators-cost/9150508

Lincoln Gap may treble battery size, as wind and solar lead new era
Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly squeeze another wind farm into South Australia’s already high renewables grid, along comes another project.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/lincoln-gap-may-treble-battery-size-wind-solar-lead-new-era-20527/

Tasmanian devil’s future secure, fundraisers to ‘sail off into the sunset’
The leader of a team credited with helping to save Tasmanian devils from extinction says with many members aged in their 70s and the devils’ future looking good, it is time for a well-earned rest.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/tasmanian-devil-island-fundraising-program-winds-up/9147124

Audit ‘strengthens’ case for TasWater to stay with councils
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5056769/audit-strengthens-case-for-taswater-to-stay-with-councils/?cs=95

Southern woodchips export port plan
An export facility planned for woodchip processing in the state’s South is predicted to generate $55 million a year and support 145 jobs.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/planned-huon-valley-facility-expected-to-add-55m-to-economy-each-year-and-create-145-jobs/news-story/7a8f84496fa6c9df2bb27670319693f8

Lucky devils had Bruce
Mercury editorial
SAVING the Tasmanian devil from almost certain extinction in just a decade must surely rank among Australia’s greatest environmental achievements.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/lucky-devils-had-bruce/news-story/1e252e52e39550436e6918e8f2991d0a

Home test finds outback drinking water has chlorine levels suitable for pool
A regional WA couple tests their drinking water with a pool test kit and finds the chlorine levels are the same as those required for their swimming pool.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/outback-drinking-water-hits-same-chemical-level-as-backyard-pool/9150204

WA wind, solar industry in turmoil as green fund cements govt monopoly
Synergy’s new “green fund” will cement its near monopoly powers, and put up to $1bn of wind and solar developments at risk, industry warns.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-wind-solar-industry-in-turmoil-as-green-fund-cements-govt-monopoly-15273/

Carnegie jacks up CETO capacity in bid to take wave power mainstream
ASX-listed renewables developer Carnegie Clean Energy has revealed a number of major upgrades to its ground-breaking wave energy technology, the CETO 6, as it works towards its goal of building large-scale wave farms.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/carnegie-jacks-up-ceto-capacity-in-bid-to-take-wave-power-mainstream-64918/

Why Perth drivers are paying more: Transport costs skyrocket
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/why-perth-drivers-are-paying-more-transport-costs-skyrocket-20171114-gzl2et.html

Demersal reversal: WA’s ‘insurance snapper’ ready to hit to the water
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/demersal-reversal-was-insurance-snapper-ready-to-hit-to-the-water-20171107-gzgeoo.html

Survey shows vast extent of WA coral bleaching
Up to 80 per cent of coral reefs in parts of Western Australia’s Kimberley Region were severely affected by recent global bleaching, scientists say.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/fishing/survey-shows-vast-extent-of-wa-coral-bleaching/news-story/9671bac9b03e774e9fabdea09055ad97

Switching to organic farming could cut greenhouse gas emissions, study shows
Study also finds that converting conventionally farmed land would not overly harm crop yields or require huge amounts of additional land to feed rising populations
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/14/switching-to-organic-farming-could-cut-greenhouse-gas-emissions-study-shows

Miniature robots could cut pesticide use on farms in future
Robots could also reduce food waste and help harvest crops, but they may not be commercially available for some years to come, say experts
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/14/miniature-robots-could-cut-pesticide-use-on-farms-in-future

Synthetic circuits can harvest light energy
By organizing pigments on a DNA scaffold, an MIT-led team of researchers has designed a light-harvesting material that closely mimics the structure of naturally occurring photosynthetic structures.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/53143

Even IEA says coal boom is dead, hails the solar age
Even the conservative IEA is calling the end of the coal era, and hailing new age of renewables as the world addresses climate, energy poverty and health.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/even-iea-says-coal-boom-is-dead-hails-the-solar-age-96994/

In Drive to Cut Emissions, Germany Confronts Its Car Culture
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53144

New Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security
A new map was released today detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way.
http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/53140

Time’s ticking as ‘Doomsday Clock’ scientists meet
With tensions running high amidst the continued North Korean nuclear threat, members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists are getting ready for their annual meeting in Chicago on November 6.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/53142

Butterfly wing inspires photovoltaics: Light absorption can be enhanced by up to 200 percent
Nanostructures optimize light absorption in black butterflies — principle can be transferred to photovoltaics for improving light harvesting in thin-film solar cells — cell efficiency increase
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/kift-bwi111417.php

A fast reactor system to shorten the lifetime of long-lived fission products
A team of scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) working in collaboration with   Tohoku University, Tokyo City University and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency has proposed a novel approach to tackle the problem of radioactive waste disposal.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/tiot-afr111317.php

Neutrons Probe Oxygen-Generating Enzyme for a Greener Approach to Clean Water
A new study sheds light on a unique enzyme that could provide an eco-friendly treatment for chlorite-contaminated water supplies and improve water …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171113195004.htm

California’s plastic bag ban is reducing litter
Until Prop 67 was approved in 2016, the plastic bags industry sold about 15 billion plastic bags to California consumers every year
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/11/13/editorial-success-californias-first-in-the-nation-plastic-bag-ban-works/

Indonesia coal power push neglects rural households, chokes urban ones
There’s so much power surging into the capital, Jakarta, that it could end up killing residents from the air pollution expected to be generated by seven new coal-fired power plants.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/indonesia-coal-power-push-neglects-rural-households-chokes-urban-ones/

Floating cities, no longer science fiction, begin to take shape
At times, the story of the seasteading movement seems to lapse into self-parody, but there are now companies, academics, architects and even a government working together on a prototype by 2020.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/business/dealbook/seasteading-floating-cities.html

Electronic waste still cannot be recycled in Vietnam
The ‘mountain of electronic waste’ in Vietnam is receiving an additional 100,000 tons of waste each year.
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/189943/electronic-waste-still-cannot-be-recycled-in-vietnam.html

California may reach 50% renewable power goal by 2020 — 10 years early
Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an ambitious law ordering California utility companies to get 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. They may hit that goal a decade ahead of schedule.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-may-reach-50-renewable-power-goal-by-12354313.php

Deadly air pollution becomes a common enemy for India and Pakistan
From his office in the smog shrouded city of Lahore, environment official Saif Anjum pores over reams of pollution data and lists the actions being taken by Pakistan’s largest province to combat the toxic air. He said they have arrested hundreds of crop-burning farmers and closed construction sites and industrial furnaces.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-13/deadly-air-pollution-confronts-nuclear-armed-south-asian-rivals

Based on a true story
The 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” seemed like a successful David versus Goliath story. But in realty, it wasn’t a happy ending.
https://www.revealnews.org/article/based-on-a-true-story/

The ‘population bomb’ will only explode if we rely on government to defuse it
Tom Welsh
Prince William has been woefully misunderstood.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/04/population-bomb-will-explode-rely-government-defuse/

A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way
Reena Tiwari, Curtin University
The secret of creating attractive, liveable places sounds deceptively simple: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people.
http://theconversation.com/a-city-that-forgets-about-human-connections-has-lost-its-way-86214

Reflections from a Field Builder: The Next 25 Years of Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing
Lisa Woll
While offering the standard disclaimer that past performance is no guarantee of the future, I nevertheless offer some predictions for, and reflections about, the future of sustainable and impact investing.
http://www.enn.com/business/article/53153

Time for a global agreement on minerals to fuel the clean energy transition
Damien Giurco et al
https://theconversation.com/time-for-a-global-agreement-on-minerals-to-fuel-the-clean-energy-transition-87186

The GOP’s dirty attack on rural America’s clean water
Paul Bland
The factory farm lobby is now so powerful, if poisoned by a factory farm, you may soon be unable to do anything about it.
http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/359830-the-gops-dirty-attack-on-rural-americas-clean-water

Lunching ranger discovers species lost for 40 years
In 1975 two conservationists discovered a gorgeous salamander in the rainforests of Guatemala. No one ever saw it again – and Jackson’s climbing salamander was feared extinct – until last month when local forest guard, Ramos León-Tomás, sat down in the forest for lunch.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2017/nov/14/lunching-ranger-discovers-species-lost-for-40-years

Pesticides May Cause Bumblebees to Lose Their Buzz, Study Finds
Pesticides significantly reduce the number of pollen grains a bumblebee is able to collect, a new University of Stirling study has found.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/53155

Poison-Ivy an Unlikely Hero in Warding Off Exotic Invaders?
The invasive Japanese knotweed causes much more severe damage to floodplain forests along the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, USA, than previously thought.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171113123626.htm

Why tolerate Tarmac-geddon in the countryside?
Patrick Barkham
Are we prepared to sacrifice the natural wealth of a national park to shave 10 minutes off a journey?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/13/why-tolerate-tarmac-geddon-countryside-arundel-bypass-national-park

Krispy Kreme’s free donuts on diabetes day
Krispy Kreme has been attacked for the timing of its promotional giveaway of doughnuts on World Diabetes Day.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/krispy-kremes-free-donuts-on-diabetes-day/news-story/db275d946f27ae2c3ce5b78dc78774a2