Wednesday 20 December 2017

Checkmate: how do climate science deniers’ predictions stack up?
Graham Readfearn
The years 2017, 2016 and 2015 will make up the three hottest years on record for the planet. But there’s no convincing some people
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/dec/19/checkmate-how-do-climate-science-deniers-predictions-stack-up

China aims to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions through trading scheme
Heavily polluting power plants across China will now have to choose between paying for their emissions or cleaning up their act
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/19/china-aims-to-drastically-cut-greenhouse-gas-emissions-through-trading-scheme

Trump reaffirms pledge to build wall, exit Paris climate accord
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/trumps-national-security-plan-pledges-to-put-america-first/9270790

Acknowledge climate change as security threat
The risks of inaction grow with each passing year, and ignoring the impacts of climate change now will make it harder to mitigate and prepare for those impacts later.
https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/acknowledge-climate-change-as-security-threat/article_7ddf4d76-e425-11e7-8cf2-f33b457ae2cd.html

Checkmate: how do climate science deniers’ predictions stack up?
Graham Readfearn
The years 2017, 2016 and 2015 will make up the three hottest years on record for the planet. But there’s no convincing some people
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/dec/19/checkmate-how-do-climate-science-deniers-predictions-stack-up

Climate scientists and policymakers need to trust each other (but not too much)
Rebecca Colvin et al
Politicians are always being told to trust what climate scientists are telling them. But can you have too much of a good thing? What happens when the exchange of ideas becomes too cosy?
https://theconversation.com/climate-scientists-and-policymakers-need-to-trust-each-other-but-not-too-much-89240

Arctic under attack: Why the world must ‘act now’
Lewis Pugh
There is now runaway climate change in the Arctic.
https://news.sky.com/story/arctic-under-attack-why-the-world-must-act-now-11173140

Coalition climate review ‘a travesty’ as Australia set to increase emissions
Labor says emissions projections ‘shocking’ as Greens accuse Malcolm Turnbull’s government of ‘shifting the goalposts’
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/20/coalition-climate-review-a-travesty-as-australia-set-to-increase-emissions

Coalition’s climate policy review reveals it will loosen pollution safeguard
Turnbull government will also allow use of international carbon permits and roll over emissions reduction fund
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/19/coalitions-climate-policy-review-reveals-it-will-loosen-pollution-safeguard

Turnbull government reverses course on climate change policy
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/climate-review-turnbull-government-will-allow-companies-to-purchase-foreign-carbon-credits-20171218-h06zia.html

At a glance: Australia’s climate change policy review
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/at-a-glance-australias-climate-change-policy-review-20171219-h07ej4.html

No policy change needed: climate review
The Australian Conservation Foundation called the review a “damp squib” that kicked the can down the road until at least 2020
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/no-policy-change-needed-climate-review

Australia’s greenhouse emissions rise 5pc in two years
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased 5 per cent in the past two years, leaving a huge task for the proposed National Energy Guarantee.
http://www.afr.com/news/policy/climate/australias-greenhouse-emissions-rise-5pc-in-two-years-20171218-h06wql

BHP rebukes key mining group
BHP has threatened to leave the Minerals Council if the lobby group continues to promote coal-fired power as an energy solution.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bhp-threatens-to-quit-minerals-council-over-coal-promotion/news-story/e0c5eaf5a521f9362843b6060ebd1f57

Fuel efficiency standard for small cars ‘would save billions’
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/new-fuel-efficiency-standard-would-reduce-carbon-and-save-billions-20171219-h070gl.html

ARENA says renewables could be Australia’s next great export
ARENA launches $20m funding round for hydrogen, both for renewable energy exports and for domestic “power-to-gas” storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/arena-says-renewables-australias-next-great-export-70505/

Carbon trading proposal’s winner
Cole Latimer
http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/heavy-industry-the-winner-under-new-carbon-trading-proposal-20171219-h074os.html

AEMO plans for future (clean) grid, with no mention of base-load
Giles Parkinson
AEMO launches plan for future grid, assuming emission cuts by 2030 twice that contemplated by Australia government, and a network that will be dominated by wind, solar, storage and new transmission. And there is not a single mention of “base-load”.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-plans-for-future-clean-grid-with-no-mention-of-base-load-71052/

Turnbull’s big climate fail, and no positive change in policy
Sophie Vorrath
Turnbull government review declares its climate policy a success. New data, however, tells a different story.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbulls-big-climate-fail-no-positive-change-policy-26081/

The federal Climate Policy Review: a recipe for business as usual
Rebecca Pearse, University of Sydney
http://theconversation.com/the-federal-climate-policy-review-a-recipe-for-business-as-usual-89372

Australia’s animal welfare process is broken and corrupted
Bernard Keane
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/12/19/animal-welfare-process-broken-and-corrupted/

Clearing of 70 trees on Melbourne road for train station an ‘absolute tragedy’
St Kilda Road trees range from elms planted in late 19th century to London Plane trees planted in 1960s
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/19/clearing-of-70-trees-on-melbourne-road-for-train-station-an-absolute-tragedy

New native vegetation laws double standard
Native vegetation clearing laws have been tightened, restricting farmers from clearing along fence lines, forcing them to lock up land and employ consultants before they can even think of cutting down a tree.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/new-native-vegetation-laws-double-standard/news-story/56a05285102d3109b475d70d567de234

Farm energy: $30m to tackle power costs
Farm energy costs are the target of a new $30 million grant program to be announced by the Victorian Government today.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/farm-energy-30m-to-tackle-power-costs/news-story/971d5e1ba9dfc67a93500edb1fe7a610

Victorian Government’s native vegetation laws failure
Weekly Times editorial
There are two victims of the Victorian Government’s failure to deliver effective native vegetation clearance laws — farmers and the vegetation that sits on their land.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/victorian-governments-native-vegetation-laws-failure/news-story/de05d9afc40e152f758887fae78457d0

Transurban’s West Gate tollway is a road into uncharted territory
Crystal Legacy et al
Recent decisions to proceed with major road projects have not considered viable alternatives, despite this being a legal requirement.
http://theconversation.com/transurbans-west-gate-tollway-is-a-road-into-uncharted-territory-89164

Newcastle wants to reduce reliance on coal – but that’s easier said than done
New port chairman says the outlook for coal is ‘a threat to the port’, but Newcastle is hamstrung by the state government’s deal with its rival at Botany
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/19/port-of-newcastle-chairmans-comments-on-coal-are-basically-a-call-for-help

Why you shouldn’t call in the fumigators this summer
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/put-down-the-pesticides-why-you-shouldnt-be-spraying-your-spiders-this-summer-20171218-h06qmc.html

NSW coal fleet feels the heat, with state at risk of “system black”
NSW grid at risk of blackout from soaring temperatures – despite, and possibly because of, the state relies on coal generation more than any other grid in the world.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-coal-fleet-feels-heat-state-risk-system-black-96770/

Bring down energy costs: New program to help low income households
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/new-solar-rebate-program-for-low-income-homes-welcomed-by-canberrans-20171219-h072yh.html

Queensland farmer fined and ordered to restore cleared native vegetation
Although the landholder had a clearing permit, 132 hectares was cleared outside of the approved area
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/20/queensland-farmer-fined-and-ordered-to-restore-cleared-native-vegetation

Sunny days ahead for Gulf communities with new solar farm starting operations
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/sunny-days-ahead-for-gulf-communities-with-new-solar-farm-starting-operations/news-story/45061236115cd8af2ce3c289ce811165

More charges for Queensland’s chief scientist
Queensland’s suspended chief scientist has been slapped with additional charges by the state’s corruption watchdog.
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/more-charges-for-queensland-s-chief-scientist-20171219-p4yxw5.html

The further unravelling of Adani’s Carmichael coal project
Tim Buckley and Simon Nicholas
Another indication, amongst many, of the global transition away from coal.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/unravelling-adanis-carmichael-coal-project-18408/

SA accused of holding Murray River to ransom by Vic, NSW
South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales are in a war of words after federal and state water ministers failed to agree on whether more water should be bought off farmers and set aside to improve the health of the Murray-Darling Basin.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-12-19/murray-darling-basin-sa-accused-of-holding-river-to-ransom/9273614

Environment Department spent $700000 on taxis in four years
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/environment-department-public-servants-spent-700000-in-four-years-on-taxis/news-story/1553d3eb52e7d9e67706c7ecdba58074

Hindmarsh Island Marina is changing its name to Coorong Quays
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/hindmarsh-island-marina-is-changing-its-name-to-coorong-quays/news-story/a8a00b7f9b0e53bcf2c26d02377ae563

Tesla big battery outsmarts lumbering coal units after Loy Yang trips
Tesla big battery steps in after big Loy Yang coal unit trips, and arrests and reverses a dramatic fall in frequency – before the contracted coal unit had time to respond.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/tesla-big-battery-outsmarts-lumbering-coal-units-after-loy-yang-trips-70003/

Great Australian Bight drilling block proposal criticised as ‘completely irresponsible’
The Wilderness Society slams a Federal Government proposal to open up another oil and gas exploration block in the Great Australian Bight, close to where both BP and Chevron have withdrawn exploration plans.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/great-australian-bight-proposal-slammed/9271274

Energy expert predicts future price hike in wake of AEMC report
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5130301/energy-expert-predicts-future-price-hike-in-wake-of-aemc-report/?cs=95

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program chasing roadkill data
Motorists are being urged to report dead Tasmanian devils so roadkill and cancer trends can be analysed — particularly on the Forestier Peninsula, in the Huon and Channel areas and in the state’s North-West.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/save-the-tasmanian-devil-program-chasing-roadkill-data/news-story/c326af0ccf387dba97781ce1be28268a

Hobart City Council takes stance against fossil fuel industry
Hobart City Council is to become one of only a handful nationally to sever ties with financial institutions that support the fossil fuel industry, in line with calls from petitioners for action on climate change.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-19/hobart-city-council-takes-stand-against-fossil-fuel-industry/9270096

Experts at odds over Senate’s shark mitigation inquiry
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/senates-shark-mitigation-inquiry-falls-short-of-recommendations-20171219-h07220.html

Cash-strapped Wyatt eyes sale of WA’s property data
The cash-strapped State Government could soon privatise WA’s sensitive land information services in a multibillion-dollar “big data” bonanza after a high-level scoping study to be announced in today’s midyear Budget update.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/cash-strapped-wyatt-eyes-sale-of-was-property-data-ng-b88695283z

AWE scales up Waitsia gas reserves as bidders circle
AWE has upgraded the size of the Waitsia gas field by 80 per cent, strengthening its hand as it seeks to persuade rival bidders to sweeten their takeover offers.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/gas/awe-scales-up-waitsia-gas-reserves-as-bidders-circle-20171219-h07242

Are mosquito coils good or bad for our health?
Cameron Webb, University of Sydney
Mosquito coils can help beat the bite of mosquitoes are most effective outdoors, and best avoided in closed, indoor settings.
https://theconversation.com/are-mosquito-coils-good-or-bad-for-our-health-88548

BHP misrepresented climate stance, says coal lobby
BHP has been accused of misrepresenting the climate policies of the World Coal Association in a controversial review used by BHP to justify quitting the lobby group.
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/bhp-misrepresented-climate-stance-says-lobby-group-the-world-coal-association-20171219-h07kui

It’s time to rethink chemical exposures —“safe” levels are doing damage: Study
We’ve all heard the old adage—”the dose makes the poison.” Well—for many pollutants—it may be time to reexamine that.
http://www.ehn.org/chemical-exposures-are-small-doses-harm-2518446452.html

Your furnishings could be causing indoor air pollution
Off-gassing can pose serious risks to homeowners. Here’s what you should know about it.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/your-furnishings-could-be-causing-indoor-air-pollution/2017/12/18/626ad808-d91c-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.35eb8df1f52e

EPA says herbicide in Roundup weed killer doesn’t cause cancer, contradicting California regulators
Monsanto’s glyphosate likely does not cause cancer, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said Monday — an analysis that contrasts with California’s assessment. The state is being sued by growers and others over listing the chemical on the Proposition 65 carcinogen list.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pesticide-cancer-20171218-story.html

Exposure to environmental chemicals, even in the womb, can cause diabetes
Regulation of phthalates in plastics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the air is more strict in the European Union than in the US, and in many cases, even more so than it is in Israel.
http://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Exposure-to-environmental-chemicals-even-in-the-womb-can-cause-diabetes-518390

What needs to happen before electric cars take over the world
Electric vehicles have only a tiny market share, but the auto industry is betting billions that they will soon be as cheap as conventional cars.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/business/electric-car-adoption.html

Burning wood instead of coal in power stations makes sense if it’s waste wood
Tony Juniper
The environmentalist and advisor to Drax power station, Tony Juniper, says the wood used to create energy can be coppice thinnings and waste material
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/19/burning-wood-instead-of-coal-in-power-stations-makes-sense-if-its-waste-wood

Don’t buy crappy plastic gifts this Christmas
Nathan Davies
STOP. Put that novelty gift back on the shelf. Turn around and leave the two dollar shop.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/rendezview/dont-buy-crappy-plastic-gifts-this-christmas/news-story/e8466ceffa9917b309160e8bf3eb22d3

No real gift in giving: culture of Christmas must change
Ross Gittins
Christmas, we’re assured, brings out our best selves. We’re full of goodwill to all men (and women). We get together with family and friends – even those we don’t get on with – eat and drink and give each other presents.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/no-real-gift-in-giving-culture-of-christmas-must-change-20171219-h070oc.html

Environmental justice: What we’re watching as the year ends
Brian Bienkowski
http://www.ehn.org/environmental-justice-in-2018-2518411892.html

Environmental justice
Sheraz Zaka
Imagine what kind of lives our future generations would be living if environmental laws were not implemented, to stave off the derisive effects of environmental degradation?
https://dailytimes.com.pk/162613/environmental-justice/

The place where plastic is a dirty word
Patrick Barkham
I have seen the future. More power to the Welsh village of Aberporth where single-use plastic products are being phased out.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/18/plastic-dirty-word-welsh-village-aberporth

Do protected areas work in the tropics?
To find out if terrestrial protected areas are effective in achieving their environmental and socioeconomic goals, we read 56 scientific studies.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/12/do-protected-areas-work-in-the-tropics/

Plastics –the invisible oil spill
Pierre-Yves Cousteau
Plastic is everywhere, polluting our waters, choking marine wildlife, and even in our food and water. It is a problem of global proportions but an ambitious EU Plastics Strategy can create vital momentum
https://www.euractiv.com/section/circular-economy/opinion/plastics-the-invisible-oil-spill/