Wednesday 16 August 2017

China is about to have the world’s biggest carbon market.
As the United States reverses its climate policies, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter is in the midst of setting up a national carbon-trading system.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3246038150322319342

Understanding Alternative Reasons for Denying Climate Change Could Help Bridge Divide
Scientists have explored alternative reasons for climate change denial, specifically economic, social or cultural influences …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170815095049.htm

Russian scientists deny climate model of IPCC
Massive emissions of methane in the Arctic become a significant source of greenhouse gases, a study reveals
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/tpu-rsd081517.php

Study gives first proof that the Earth has a natural thermostat
New data provides the first proof that the Earth has a natural thermostat which enables the planet to recover from extremes of climate change – but the recovery timescales are significant.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/gc-sgf081517.php

Case for climate change grows ever stronger.
USA Today editorial
Scientists studying Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are finding ever more troubling evidence.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322319309

The truth about inconvenient truths: ‘big issue’ documentaries don’t always change our behaviour
Kim Borg, Monash University and Bradley Jorgensen,Monash University
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth woke up the world to climate change. But with its sequel hitting cinemas now, it’s not clear that ‘big issue’ documentaries make a difference in the long term.
http://theconversation.com/the-truth-about-inconvenient-truths-big-issue-documentaries-dont-always-change-our-behaviour-82376

Ecologists protest Australia’s plans to cut funding for environment-monitoring network.
Scientists say the move will reduce the country’s capacity to predict future ecosystem changes
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322319307

Australian government can’t be trusted with Great Barrier Reef, says parliament.
Australia’s parliament has passed a bill admonishing the government for failing to protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/2460133000469005314

Coal pumps $255m into research
Clean coal research will get a $225 million boost from the thermal coal industry.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/thermal-miners-pump-another-225m-into-clean-coal-research/news-story/ef332e00f520a113ac3bb431870a55ce

‘Black hole’: Pollution from coal-fired power worse than overseas, survey finds
Australia’s biggest coal-fired power stations are permitted to dump toxic pollutants on nearby populations far in excess of overseas counterparts, even those in China, a survey by Environmental Justice Australia found.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/black-hole-pollution-from-coalfired-power-worse-than-overseas-survey-finds-20170813-gxvhce.html

Pace of renewable energy shift leaves city planners struggling to keep up
Tony Matthews, Griffith University and Jason Byrne,Griffith University
Traditional urban planning is being stretched by the pace at which renewable energy systems are being installed. New codes and guidelines are needed to manage emerging conflicts over land use.
http://theconversation.com/pace-of-renewable-energy-shift-leaves-city-planners-struggling-to-keep-up-82206

Know your NEM: Will the LRET be met?
David Leitch
Will Australia’s large-scale renewable energy target be met on time? And what will happen if we move to a CET? Plus AGL’s uncontroversial result; and crunching numbers on SolarReserve’s Port Augusta project.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/know-your-nem-will-the-lret-be-met-36957/

Has the case been made for the West Gate Tunnel?
Alan Davies
More problems are coming to light with the proposed West Gate Tunnel in Melbourne
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/08/15/case-made-west-gate-tunnel/

New toll funnels more cars onto one of city’s most congested roads
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-m4-toll-funnels-more-motorists-onto-sydneys-parramatta-road-20170815-gxwaob.html

Barr says NSW open to Talgo trains, faster rail
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/barr-says-nsw-open-to-talgo-trains-as-procurement-begins-20170814-gxvzgi.html

‘Queensland is not a free-for-all’: Investigation into transport of waste
The Queensland Premier orders an independent investigation into the dumping of interstate waste after Four Corners last week revealed an organised network sending rubbish by road and rail to avoid paying New South Wales landfill levies.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-15/queensland-government-review-waste-dumping-interstate/8810508

Step inside Brisbane’s greenest hotel
A CUTTING-edge new development in inner Brisbane is also shaping as the city’s most sustainable hotel.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/business-confidential-property-development-business-news-and-gossip/news-story/f79de4bf3751efa310cbfeac3c01f0dd

Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan
Allegations by Indian customs of huge sums being siphoned off to tax havens from projects are contained in legal documents but denied by company
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/16/adani-mining-giant-faces-financial-claims-as-it-bids-for-australian-coal-loan

No closure order for mines breaching coal dust laws
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/queensland-mines-escape-closure-or-prosecution-for-dust-monitoring-failures-20170815-gxwvpc.html

‘Suspicious device’ deemed safe at water treatment plant
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/suspicious-device-found-by-supervisor-at-water-treatment-plant-southwest-of-brisbane-20170815-gxww9t.html

Solar thermal supporters and locals welcome greenlighting of power plant
The Port Augusta community and its clean energy supporters have welcomed the news that the world’s largest solar thermal power station will be built in the region.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-15/port-augusta-welcomes-solar-thermal-power-plant-announcement/8810394

Graph of the Day: South Australia’s shifting fuel mix
After a low-wind month in June, July’s high wind output means very little reliance on Victorian imports and lower exposure to high-priced gas in SA.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-south-australias-shifting-fuel-mix-20165/

Vow of $50 bill cuts with solar
Jay Weatherill has promised a $50 cut to the average power bill when a $650m solar thermal power plant is running.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/jay-weatherill-promises-50-power-bill-cuts/news-story/68215c33498ecbe58468ce056434d2a5

Call to focus on lowering electricity bills
THE State Government must closely monitor the South Australian energy market to ensure increased competition results in lower bills for consumers, an expert says.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/government-urged-to-scrutinise-energy-retailers-and-ensure-benefits-flow-to-consumers/news-story/82c2b5d7257dddb8a51ab93efb984836

Can Hills be free of freight trains?
A FRESH push to have freight trains removed from the hills is gaining speed, with Mitcham Council pledging $10,000 to a new investigation into the longstanding issue.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/mitcham-council-pledges-10000-for-aother-study-into-removing-freight-trains-from-adelaide-hills/news-story/7571036d94148b254b2c5d2556594a54

Solar plant can take heat off our power
Advertiser editorial
BY the end of this decade Port Augusta will have a massive tower generating enough power to supply all the state’s schools, hospitals, police stations, government offices, and electrified trams and trains.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/the-advertiser-editorial-august-15-2017-solar-plant-can-take-heat-off-our-power/news-story/6387fb2661ae5f0795d675d893e22b7c

People power replaces smoke with mirrors
Daniel Spencer
NOT only has the solar power plant changed the future of Port Augusta, it sends a clear message to the rest of Australia that renewable energy with storage is the future
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/daniel-spencer-port-augusta-solar-power-plant-sends-a-message-that-renewable-energy-is-the-future/news-story/21166f3efa2a7373749861ca924b30c9

State’s renewable energy security plan
THE State Government will commit to making Tasmania totally energy self-sufficient and powered by renewables, in the wake of two reports on energy security.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/public-accounts-committee-report-says-tasmania-must-become-selfreliant-on-energy/news-story/05b3036d16f4b06a6ca999baf1633756

Water reform debate rages
The first day of debate over the TasWater takeover has started in Parliament.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4857924/water-reform-debate-rages/?cs=95

Energy crisis report says keep Tamar Valley Power Station
The public accounts committee set up to examine Tasmania’s energy crisis recommends holding onto the Tamar Valley Power Station, as well as greater transparency from Hydro Tasmania.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/report-recommends-retaining-tamar-valley-power-station/8810664

The power and politics of Indigenous anti-mine art
Northern Territory Indigenous leaders protest against mining on their land, in bold statements painted on their bare chests and arms for an exhibition at the Darwin Festival.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/darwin-festival-power-and-politics-of-indigenous-anti-mine-art/8810290

Suburban lake’s multi-million-year history just beneath the surface
Lake Richmond, a freshwater lake south of Perth, was recently permanently added to WA’s heritage register, but unlike historic buildings its story goes back millions of years.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-15/lake-richmonds-multi-million-year-history-lies-beneath/8805798

Manganese surge sparks jobs boom
A surge in the price of manganese has prompted the resurrection of the Woodie Woodie manganese mine in WA.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/manganese-price-surge-sees-jobs-boom-as-woodie-woodie-reopened/news-story/997ce7482b21ed1bbce4d0418fb75e3a

Big plans for the northern corridor for 2029
There are visionary plans in the works for the city of Joondalup, according to Mayor Troy Pickard.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/big-plans-for-the-northern-corridor-for-2029-bc-5541399562001

Can endocrine disruptors elevate risk of breast cancer?
Research suggests chemicals in the environment might help breast cancer grow.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469005318

US wind and solar power helped prevent up to 12,700 deaths in 2015.
Air pollution is estimated to cut short the lives of 40,000 people a year in the UK.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469005316

After electric cars, what more will it take for batteries to change the face of energy?
The belief that electric vehicles are going to be a big business very soon is ever more widely held
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322319344

What does “climate-smart agriculture” really mean? New tool breaks it down.
A Trinidadian scientist has developed a mechanism for determining the degree of climate-smart agriculture compliance with respect to projects, processes and products.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322319332

A solution for Hong Kong’s plastic waste crisis: Turn it into fuel.
A wide range of plastics cannot be recycled, or cannot be recycled any further, and end up in a landfill. Such plastics are an excellent, high energy feedstock for gasification.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469005310

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material
Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today’s leading technology, lithium-ion batteries.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52167

University of Sydney charges ahead on zinc-air batteries
University of Sydney researchers have found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks preventing zinc-air batteries from overtaking conventional lithium-ion batteries as the power source of choice in electronic devices.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52166

Solar Panels: Nanotechnology Gives Green Energy a Green Color
Solar panels have tremendous potential to provide affordable renewable energy, but many people see traditional black and blue panels as eyesores.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170815120504.htm

‘Smart home’ gadgets promise to cut power bills but many lie idle – or can even boost energy use
Yolande Strengers, RMIT University and Larissa Nicholls,RMIT University
Smart appliances, which let you control lights and power outlets via your phone, promise to cut energy bills. But research suggests these gadgets are confusing, and can just as easily raise power use.
http://theconversation.com/smart-home-gadgets-promise-to-cut-power-bills-but-many-lie-idle-or-can-even-boost-energy-use-82252

When and how will growth cease?
Jason G. Brent MAHB
Since Earth and the resources it can provide humanity are finite, both population and economic growth must cease sometime in the future.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322319314

Why fashion needs to think harder about how to tackle its waste problem
Mark Liu, UTS
The scale of fast fashion is so massive it can easily eclipse sustainability initiatives. We need investment in new technologies to revolutionise the industry.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/fashion-waste-more-research-needed-to-tackle-industry-problem/8807972

Nature Conservation
Scientists in search for ‘Goldilocks’ oyster to adapt to climate change
Scientists in NSW are studying the trade-offs in oysters which have shown to be resilient to climate change effects.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-15/scientists-studying-how-oysters-adapt-to-climate-change/8804502

Climate Change Projected to Significantly Increase Harmful Algal Blooms in US Freshwaters
Harmful algal blooms known to pose risks to human and environmental health in large freshwater reservoirs and lakes are …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170815120444.htm

Frogs That Adapt to Pesticides Are More Vulnerable to Parasites
Amphibians can evolve increased tolerance to pesticides, but the adaptation can make them more susceptible to parasites, according to a team that includes researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52169

University of Delaware look at adding silicon to soil to strengthen plant defenses
To help plants better fend off insect pests, researchers are considering arming them with stones.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52164

Organised gangs making billions from trade in endangered animals
Few countries recognise or investigate the links between wildlife crime — now worth between $9 billion and $29 billion a year — and money laundering, according to a new report that urges stronger measures be introduced to combat the practice.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/wildlife-crime-increasingly-used-as-front-for-money-laundering/8810292

Bolivia approves highway through Amazon biodiversity hotspot
National park which is home to thousands of indigenous people loses protected status to allow for construction of 190-mile road
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/15/bolivia-approves-highway-in-amazon-biodiversity-hotspot-as-big-as-jamaica