6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday 19 April 2018
St Kilda Town Hall Council Chambers
99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 3182
Click here to find out more and register for this free event.

Warming climate to nearly double demand for cooling appliances
Researchers predict energy use for air conditioners and refrigeration to jump 90% on 2017 levels

It’s time to admit that half measures can’t stop climate change
As climate scientists call for a dramatic transformation of the world’s economy, a new set of deniers is starting to coalesce around something easier.

UK to review climate target raising hopes of a zero emissions pledge
The government pledged in 2016 to enshrine a zero target in law to meet its Paris commitments, but has yet to pass any legislation

Renewable energy capacity set to exceed ‘impossible’ target by 2020
The Renewable Energy Target the Abbott government scrapped as impossible is now in sight, but Australia still faces a 118 million-tonne shortfall in its commitment to cut CO2 emissions, according to new research.

Turnbull’s national energy guarantee could have ‘no meaningful emission reduction’
Research says additional 9,271MW of wind and solar required to deliver the Neg emissions reduction target

The great Australian garbage map: 75% of beach rubbish made of plastic
Data compiled from rubbish collected by volunteers aims to encourage industry to control plastic pollution at the source

United energy approach needed [PAYWALL]
A host of large-scale industry groups fear state-based renewable energy targets will trigger higher energy costs.

Ill winds blow away numbers [PAYWALL]
Unfavourable winds appear to have clipped the wings of wind farms.

Plastic bag bans are coming. Here’s what you need to know
From plastic bags to straws, the push to phase out single-use plastics is growing, but will the bans work?

Retailers to pocket carbon credits from customers’ rooftop solar
Big retailers may be allowed to pocket carbon credits from rooftop solar systems paid for and installed by households.

Shaping a nation: Population growth and immigration over time
Department of the Treasury (Australia), Department of Home Affairs (Australia)
Population growth and population distribution affect most areas of public policy. This paper examines the benefits that population growth and migration bring to Australia, while remaining alive to the challenges brought by a larger population.

Peta Credlin boasted about admonishing Josh Frydenberg. How is that OK?
Katharine Murphy
It isn’t new for media folk to blur the lines between bystander and bit player – but it is corrosive

Don’t believe the hype on natural gas. It’s a fossil fuel just like coal
Fiona Stanley, Graeme Pearman and Richard Yin
The scale of growth of Australia’s natural gas industry is inconsistent with our Paris commitments

Stuck in traffic, blaming immigration [PAYWALL]
Jennifer Hewett
Try persuading people stuck in traffic jams or on overcrowded public transport that congestion from rising population is being addressed, let alone resolved, innovatively or otherwise.

Are there hidden costs to high immigration?
John Daley
Immigration has lifted our GDP but if state governments don’t get planning policy right, the federal government should think about curtailing immigration

Migration debate is more nuanced than critics think
Canberra Times editorial
Large scale migration will only be sustainable if it is integrated into a well thought out program of national development.

Energy ministers’ duty to collaborate
Age editorial
There is an opportunity to end a decade of political failure that has constrained investment in the clean-energy technologies needed to mitigate climate change.

I reckon there are more sharks [PAYWALL]
Fred Pawle
After years of research, scientists say they have no clue about great white numbers.

Australia’s slow march towards a National Energy Guarantee is gathering pace
David Blowers, Grattan Institute
The finer policy details of the of the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) have begun to leak onto newspaper front pages and websites, ahead of Friday’s crucial meeting of federal and state energy ministers.

Contrary to common belief, some forests get more fire-resistant with age
Philip Zylstra, University of Wollongong
New research shows that fire follows fire in the Australian Alps, and old-growth forests are less flammable.

Reliability guarantee? It now exists in name only
Giles Parkinson
Energy Security Board has finally got smart about reliability, and dumped plans promised to conservatives that would try and turn wind and solar plants into “base-load” generators. This is a huge development, and a victory for smart economics, and engineering.

Renewables beware: Labor may not be able to change emissions target
Giles Parkinson
Signs that federal Labor could “accommodate” the proposed National Energy Guarantee, on the basis that weak emissions targets could be improved later, should be treated with caution.

Greens release $5 billion plan to fix ‘inadequate’ train network
The Melbourne Metro Tunnel will be “inadequate” on the day that it opens if key sections of track are not expanded and services not increased, the Victorian Greens have argued in their state election pitch.

Recycling crisis deepens: council ups bin charges by $68, blames China
One of the first Victorian councils to raise its charges for bin collection has blamed the hike on China no longer taking Australia’s recycling waste.

oBike crackdown: Councils to push Victorian government into introducing dockless bike share rules
Bicycle dumping is prompting local councils to push the Victorian government to regulate dockless bike share schemes such as oBike.

Victoria’s biggest solar farm connected to grid – now for new Tesla battery
Ganawarra solar farm connects to grid, with work to begin on a new Tesla big battery to commence within weeks.

Assault and batteries
Geoff Carmody
The Victorian batteries can power 39,200 homes for one hour. Ignoring industry, for homes this is a drop in the power demand bucket.

Barilaro to push nuclear power [PAYWALL]
Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro will declare nuclear power ‘inevitable’ in a speech to be given on Wednesday.

Labor targets Barwon for 2019 NSW election, with Greens’ help
The Labor Party targets the tightly held NSW National Party state seat of Barwon, saying water policy might help it win the seat at the 2019 NSW election.

National energy guarantee will ‘lock in’ poor climate outcomes, ACT says
ACT will push for improvements as federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg urges states and territories to get behind scheme

Funding boost set to attract more tourists to Snowy Mountains in summer
It’s been a well kept secret among locals that summer in the Snowy Mountains rivals that of it’s winter wonderland. Now a multi million dollar funding investment is set to draw tourists to the area all year round.

The plan to stop Canberra’s feral peacock invasion that’s dividing the city
ACT authorities are now proposing an annual trapping program to stop the Canberra peacock invasion before it spreads any further, including to the nearby Red Hill reserve.

Diesel-busting portable solar technology wins ARENA backing
ARENA awards $289,725 for Canberra company to design, manufacture and test its rapidly redeployable Container Roll Out Solar System.

You asked about the Arboretum trees …
Peter Kanowski
It’s time to defend both the design and tree choice at the National Arboretum, without pretending that either were perfect.

Get ready to bin the bag [PAYWALL]
Cairns shops are on track for the scheduled plastic bag ban, with fines of over $6000 for failing to comply.

Cairns to bat-ter up for fun fest [PAYWALL]
You’d “bat-ter” believe it, some of the Far North’s most misunderstood animals will be celebrated in fine style this weekend.

Commuters protest cut in peak-hour trains [PAYWALL]
Seaford line commuters have flocked to sign a petition protesting significant cuts to services to certain stations in a new timetable released last week.

SA to push for new interconnector [PAYWALL]
South Australia will push plans for a new electricity connection to the eastern states in a ministerial meeting on Friday, arguing it can bring down prices and help the country lower emissions.

The biggest bushfire threat is morons [PAYWALL]
Claire Sutherland
A lowlife put my kid and his mates at risk on a total fire ban day, and it took a little girl to stop him. When will idiots get the message about fire safety?

Critically endangered orange-bellied parrots released from captivity with wild parrot
A group of captive orange-bellied parrots fitted with transmitters is released with a wild parrot from Tasmania in the hope it will lead the group to the island for the summer breeding season.

Fracking set to resume in the Northern Territory as moratorium lifted
The NT Government agrees to lift a moratorium on the fracking industry and adopt all recommendations from a recent inquiry, with exploration work set to begin mid-2019.

Opponents angered, vow to keep up the fight [PAYWALL]
Environmental campaigners opposed to fracking say they have not given up the fight following Tuesday’s green light

Voter backlash to follow decision [PAYWALL]
Whichever side of the fence they stand on, Territorians feel strongly about fracking

Time to accept fracking in NT [PAYWALL]
NT News editorial
NT Government’s decision today to remove its fracking ban will likely not be the news many Territorians want to hear when waking up this morning

Shark attacks reignite drumline debate as state and federal ministers clash
The WA Government throws up the possibility of a SMART drumline trial to combat the threat of great whites as the state comes to grips with two shark attacks in one day, but does not give any funding or timeframe commitments.

Remembering Laeticia: Are non-lethal measures the future of shark safety?
Just when our communities begin to recover from last years shark attacks, reports flood in on Monday morning of two surfers attacked near Gracetown in the south-west.

Tunnelling resumes on Forrestfield Airport Link
Tunnelling resumed today after a review into the tunnelling operation recommended several changes to the process.

Gorgon project to create 700 jobs for WA
The $5.1 billion second stage of the Gorgon project will have a peak workforce of 700 local people in late 2021 and potentially 1400 over the course of the project, according to one of the State’s leading resource sector forecasters.

A Chance to Curb Abuse in Mineral Supply Chains
Monitoring of Companies’ Sourcing Practices Should Be Prioritized

How the Pilbara was formed more than 3 billion years ago
David Murphy et al
The remote Pilbara region of Western Australian formed many billions of years ago when the Earth was much hotter and the crust softer than it is today.

A plastic-eating enzyme evolved in a recycling plant, so scientists decided to make it eat faster
Scientists engineer an enzyme that digests PET plastics used in millions of tonnes of plastic bottles — but there is still a way to go.

I kept all my plastic for a year – the 4,490 items forced me to rethink
Daniel Webb accrued a mountain of plastic – including many packets of Hula Hoops – and made it into a mural, now on display at Dreamland in Margate. We are overproducing and overconsuming, he says, and recycling is not the answer

Murdered land activist adds to rising death toll in Brazil’s Amazon
Anti-palm oil campaigner Nazildo dos Santos Brito is the third victim in four weeks as land conflicts increase in the country’s Pará state

Graphene – once a hot investment – could be next battery breakthrough [PAYWALL]
Researchers are studying ways to use graphene in batteries, and the material has the potential to significantly boost performance in a much-needed technology.–once-a-hot-investment–could-be-next-battery-breakthrough-20180416-h0ytqu#ixzz5CxkJ81j3

Army research rejuvenates older zinc batteries
Army scientists, with a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, have created a water-based zinc battery that is simultaneously powerful, rechargeable and intrinsically safe.

Rich people buy electric cars because they feel lucky
Many Bentley customers believe they have obtained their wealth because of luck. So says Bentley Motors’ new chairman and chief executive officer, Adrian Hallmark, during an interview in Geneva.

Electric water taxi trialled in Switzerland
ABB trials “futuristic new design” of electric water taxi on Lake Geneva – a “milestone” in the development of zero emissions transport.

The biggest health risk after Fukushima: diabetes
Studies show that lifestyle diseases impact human health far more than radiation and cancer after the nuclear disaster.

Experts fail to find origin of nuclear pollution cloud over Europe
International experts have not been able to find what caused a cloud of radioactive pollution that spread over Europe last year and prompted fears of a nuclear leak, Swedish authorities said on Monday.

The bounce back: How climate change is threatening Thailand’s rubber farmers
As floods threaten the livelihoods of Thailand’s rubber farmers, global tire makers are turning to innovative sources of the material — including dandelions.

‘Lightweight PR and greenwash’ – BP’s low-carbon plan dismissed
Environmentalists call strategy ’20th century response to a 21st century problem.’

Why sustainable cities don’t need electric cars
Martin Brueckner
Electric cars are praised as the answer for green and clean mobility. But the overall sustainability of electric vehicles is far from clear. Our entire transport paradigm may need to be rethought

What children can teach us about looking after the environment
Rebecca Koomen, Max Planck Institute
New research shows that children as young as six have the social skills necessary to cooperate and sustain a shared resource.

Earth, wind and liars
Paul Krugman
On energy, Trump and company are trying to stop technological progress.

Future of energy is electric, and increasingly green
Fereidoon Sioshansi
The future will not only be electric, but green electric, and the transition will happen a lot quicker than most people think.

The global crisis of plastic pollution
Emily Atkin
Cleaning up the ocean will require an international agreement on par with the Paris climate accord.

Amazon coral reef would be ruined by planned oil drilling, scientists say
The 56,000 sq km reef is thought to contain dozens of undiscovered species, in an area where a French company intents to drill for oil

Could eating rare-breed animals save them from extinction?
Tucking in to less popular meats could help preserve those breeds, according to a farming charity. Here are six varieties it thinks might benefit

Honeybees Are Struggling to Get Enough Good Bacteria
Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study …

More Than 12,000 Marine Creatures Uncovered During West Java Deep-Sea Exploration
Scientists who participated in the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018 had collected more than 12,000 creatures during their 14-day …

Poland ‘broke law with forest logging’
The European Union’s highest court has ruled Poland broke EU environmental law with large-scale logging in the Bialowieza forest, an ecologically important World Heritage site and home to the rare European bison.

Chinese chronicles show modern demise of snub-nosed monkeys
Population growth, agriculture, hunting, and deforestation have all adversely impacted the range of snub-nosed monkeys, and have particularly intensified as China’s population has doubled over the last 60 years, fragmenting the primate’s habitat.

Six ways to improve water quality in New Zealand’s lakes and rivers
Troy Baisden, University of Waikato
The ecological health of New Zealand’s lowland rivers and lakes is in decline, but principles borrowed from drinking water safety could help reverse the degradation.

New study finds that workplace anxiety isn’t always a bad thing
Researchers have developed a new comprehensive model of workplace anxiety. It includes triggers for anxiety in the workplace and its effect on employee performance.