Wednesday 23 August 2017

Climate migrants might reach one billion by 2050.
Currently, forecasts vary from 25 million to 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322307626

Methane hydrate is not a smoking gun in the Arctic Ocean
Clathrate (hydrate) gun hypothesis stirred quite the controversy when it was posed in 2003. It stated that methane hydrates — frozen water cages containing methane gas found below the ocean floor – can melt due to increasing ocean temperatures.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/c-cf-mhi082217.php

Super cheap solar – and why that’s good for Australia’s mining sector
Solar pioneer Martin Green says solar PV will fall to $US10/MWh within a few years, but this will be good news for Australia’s mining industry because the fall in Australia’s thermal coal exports will be offset by a factor of more than 5 by demand for other resources.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/super-cheap-solar-and-why-thats-good-for-australias-mining-sector-55652/

AEMC backs down on rooftop “solar tax” proposal
Energy market rule maker backs down on proposal to charge solar households to export excess PV generation back to the grid.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemc-backs-rooftop-solar-tax-proposal-90225/

New treatment for wombats ‘scratching themselves to death’ could be a game-changer
Across Australia there are cases of wombats scratching themselves to death because of mange, a skin disease caused by mites. But a new chemical treatment is providing fresh hope.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/new-treatment-for-wombats-with-mange-could-be-game-changer/8831800

Does Australian renewable energy save the earth – or just cost it?
Geoff Carmody
OK, let’s continue dreaming. Assume the ACT’s 100% renewables target applies nationally.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19234

Victoria to unveil wind and solar tenders in push for 40% renewables
Major renewable energy tender announcements expected from Victoria, along with more details of state renewable energy target architecture.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-unveil-wind-solar-tenders-push-40-renewables-78135/

Why you are squeezing on to trams and trains
DO YOU feel like catching Melbourne public transport is becoming more of a crush? It’s no wonder — there have been an extra 42 million journeys compared to five years
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victorian-public-transport-42-million-more-journeys-made-than-five-years-ago/news-story/f820d67c1d44875c740ffc53c5c8245f

Victoria needs to ‘wake up’ and plan for its growing population
Victoria is underprepared for its booming population and needs to embrace higher density living if it is to keep up with demand for new homes, the Urban Development Institute of Australia says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-23/housing-shortage-in-victoria-as-supply-cant-keep-up-with-growth/8830596

Fish ‘apartments’ show Opera House is attune to its neighbours
A project to install an artificial reef alongside the Sydney Opera House will hopefully revitalise marine life in the harbour and restore natural habitats.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/sydney-opera-house-to-trial-artificial-reef/8830756

Independent mine gets multibillion-dollar refinancing
Approval has been given for the largest independent coal mine in Australia to refinance its senior secured bank facilities for $1.2 billion.
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/21726-independent-mine-gets-multibillion-dollar-refinancing

NSW landowners upset at plans for development buffer
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/yass-valley-council-plans-5km-nodevelopment-zone-on-act-border-20170821-gy0qrc.html

Blows traded over B-Line bus capacity boost
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/blows-traded-over-passenger-capacity-boost-from-bline-buses-to-northern-beaches-20170822-gy1bcf.html

NSW Premier warms to fast trains for NSW
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-premier-gladys-berejiklian-warms-to-idea-of-bullet-trains-for-nsw-20170822-gy1rwm.html

Light rail detail still lacking as Government releases consultation results
Canberra Times editorial
Despite the release of the report on public consultation over Stage Two of the light rail, voters are no closer to knowing what it will cost, when it will be finished or even where the track will run than ever.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/light-rail-detail-still-lacking-as-government-releases-consultation-results-20170822-gy1ph1.html

Battle of north and south over shark traps
ANIMAL activists from interstate are demanding Queensland remove its shark protection systems in the north of the state.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/shark-drum-lines-near-great-barrier-reef-under-fire-from-southern-activists/news-story/0ba02a685646199414fda38d21c4ff1f

Stats weigh economics against marine health
THE value of agriculture has grown by more than $1.3 billion in the Great Barrier Reef catchment since 2007.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/abs-data-shows-13-billion-growth-in-agriculture-in-reef-catchment/news-story/afc164ede49d278704e0cbd495e15c96

Traditional owners lose appeal to block Adani mine
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/traditional-owners-lose-appeal-to-block-adani-mine-20170822-gy1gwa.html

Ex-justice to dig into dumps to stop NSW rubbish coming to Qld
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/exjustice-to-dig-into-dumps-to-stop-nsw-rubbish-coming-to-qld-20170822-gy1dfp.html

‘Making money from the sun’: SA solar installations jump
South Australia’s solar energy installations have hit a level not seen since 2012, when generous feed-in tariffs were still offered by the State Government.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/solar-installation-reaches-new-levels-in-south-australia/8829002

Second battery to free us from Victoria
ANOTHER large battery to store renewable energy — about one-third the size of the state’s Elon Musk-backed project — will be built by summer’s end.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/federal-energy-minister-josh-frydenberg-to-announce-30-million-30mw-battery-on-yorke-peninsula/news-story/1761482fa9b94831f7dc53bcdbe779d5

Arena to provide $12m for new battery at Dalrymple electricity substation
Josh Frydenberg says ElectraNet will build and own the battery and lease out the commercial operation to AGL Energy
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/23/arena-to-provide-12m-for-new-battery-at-dalrymple-electricity-substation

Fire sale question on plantations
THE delay in the announcement of the sale of Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s pulpwood plantations has prompted questions from Labor about the potential for a “fire sale”.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/delay-in-announcement-of-sale-of-pulpwood-plantations-prompts-questions-about-a-fire-sale/news-story/836717ac8f69078da266002dad986dfe

Mange not reducing wombat numbers
TASMANIA’S wombats appear to be winning the battle against a disease that almost wiped out the entire population in a national park.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/monitoring-shows-mange-is-not-reducing-the-states-wombat-population/news-story/2103e9eb8e052da609849a86336832f8

Has the search for clean water smashed a metallic glass ceiling?
Researchers at Perth’s Edith Cowan University develop a type of metallic glass that can strip impurities from waste water in a matter of minutes.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/metallic-glass-hailed-as-water-treatment-breakthrough/8828270

Recycling rates dismal as more rubbish heads to the tip
A key plank of WA’s waste management strategy is in disarray with household recycling rates in freefall despite rocketing landfill levies and ambitious environmental targets.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/recycling-rates-dismal-as-more-rubbish-heads-to-the-tip-ng-b88564027z

Mitchell Freeway extension
How much time are people really saving since the Mitchell extension opened?
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/mitchell-freeway-extension-bc-5547815054001

Poo dump at Antarctic base set to end thanks to ‘germ-zapping’ tech
In good news for penguins and seals, the 12-year-old practice of dumping poo and kitchen waste into the sea at one of Australia’s Antarctic bases is set to end with “germ-zapping” technology soon to be in use.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/davis-antarctica-wastewater-treatment-plant-set-for-2018-launch/8831080

Chernobyl: City of ghosts.
‘Don’t drink water from the river,’ says guide to the most contaminated place on the planet.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322306648

How deeply will rising temperatures cut into crop yields?
Corn and wheat are both at risk, according to a new study that calculates the impact on agriculture for each degree Celsius that global temperatures rise.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322306646

Nuclear and coal lobbies threaten to scupper renewables in South Africa
South African power utility Eskom recently repeated that it will not conclude supply contracts with developers of new renewable energy
http://reneweconomy.com.au/nuclear-and-coal-lobbies-threaten-to-scupper-renewables-in-south-africa-38140/

California grid survives solar eclipse, as Australia prepares for 2028
California’s solar-centric grid manages eclipse without a hitch. In Australia, preparations already being made for 2028 eclipse.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/california-grid-survives-solar-eclipse-as-australia-prepares-for-2028-2028/

BHP back in black, to quit shale
BHP Billiton will try to exit its US shale assets, as it swung back to a $US5.9bn net profit but missed expectations.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bhp-billiton-posts-annual-net-profit-of-us589-billion/news-story/ff222dcfacdb247a3de614ebc555f026

What blackout? How solar-reliant power grids passed the eclipse test
Dev Tayal, Curtin University
The solar eclipse offered electricity network operators a “live drill” in how to cope with fluctuating output from renewable energy. They passed with flying colours.
https://theconversation.com/what-blackout-how-solar-reliant-power-grids-passed-the-eclipse-test-82825

‘Meat’ The Double-Edged Sword That Might One Day Eliminate Animals From Our Diet
Geoff Russell
There’s good GMO, and then there’s bad GMO. And there’s natural GMO as well. Geoff Russell gives you a simple guide to one of the really good ones which might one day remove meat from our diet.
https://newmatilda.com/2017/08/22/meat-double-edged-sword-might-one-day-eliminate-aminals-diet/

Where’s the kelp? Warm ocean takes toll on undersea forests.
The likely culprit for the loss of kelp, according to several scientific studies, is warming oceans from climate change, coupled with the arrival of invasive species.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469005384

What’s the annual value of trees? $500 million per megacity, study says
In the megacities that are home to nearly 10 percent of the world’s 7.5 billion people, trees provide each city with more than $500 million each year in services that make urban environments cleaner, more affordable and more pleasant places to live.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/scoe-wta082217.php

Targeted Forest Regeneration: A Blueprint for Conserving Tropical Biological Diversity?
Targeted forest regeneration among the largest and closest forest fragments in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and the …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170822092458.htm

Orange Is the New Green: How Orange Peels Revived a Costa Rican Forest
In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Today, that area is …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170822111033.htm

Endangered whales won’t reach half of pre-hunting numbers by 2100, study says
Research finds endangered Antarctic blue, fin and southern right whales struggling to recover despite hunting bans
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/22/endangered-whales-wont-reach-half-of-pre-hunting-numbers-by-2011-study-says

Sea the possibilities: to fight climate change, put seaweed in the mix
Adam Bumpus, University of Melbourne
Tonight on the ABC’s Catalyst, scientist Tim Flannery asks if seaweed can save the world. It’s a bold claim for algae, but seaweed could play a key role in keeping climate change in check.
https://theconversation.com/sea-the-possibilities-to-fight-climate-change-put-seaweed-in-the-mix-82748