Wednesday 26 July 2017

If you missed it, this article is well worth reading – especially if you feel a bit burned out with the climate change fight. It reminds me a lot of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

So what if we’re doomed?
Brian Calvert High Country News
Climate chaos, mass extinction, the collapse of civilization: A guide to facing the ecocide
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322360373

Our Paris carbon budget may be 40% smaller than thought.
A new study published in Nature Climate Change notes that the agreement didn’t define when “pre-industrial” begins.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359871

Could spraying particles into marine clouds help cool the planet?
The idea of geoengineering, also known as climate engineering, is very controversial. But as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in our atmosphere, scientists are beginning to look at possible emergency measures.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/uow-csp072517.php

A new model yields insights into glaciers’ retreats and advances
A University of Alaska Fairbanks study looking at the physics of tidewater glaciers has yielded new insights into what drives their retreat-and-advance cycles and the role that climate plays in these cycles.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/uoaf-anm072417.php

Climate change poses threat to European electricity production
The vulnerability of the European electricity sector to changes in water resources is set to worsen by 2030 as a consequence of climate change.
http://www.enn.com/climate/article/51959

Is a conservative climate movement heating up?
Optimists see hope in growing GOP support for renewable energy, but many Republicans still steer clear of anything that says climate change.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359849

Climate change and the catastrophe of Trumpism
Sam Ben-Meir
In its attack on the very foundations of science, Trumpism constitutes an epistemic disaster: we are facing a crisis in terms of knowledge and objective inquiry.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19179

Bernie Sanders and Al Gore on solving the climate crisis.
Bernie Sanders, Al Gore The Guardian
In this excerpt from The Bernie Sanders Show, Sanders talks to Gore about his new film, An Inconvenient Sequel.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359866

Nationals’ Matt Canavan quits as resources minister in latest citizenship blow
http://theconversation.com/nationals-matt-canavan-quits-as-resources-minister-in-latest-citizenship-blow-81570

Growth in Responsible Investment is Backed by Better Than Average Financial Returns
Ethical, impact and environmentally sustainable investments are now outperforming mainstream investments, a new report has found.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/07/growth-responsible-investment-backed-better-average-financial-returns/

$40b rail makeover aims to sell Australia
Can $40 billion of new urban rail transform how the world views Australian design and innovation? These architects hope so.
http://www.afr.com/brand/afr-magazine/australian-metro-lines-getting-40-billion-makeover-20170307-gusjsv

Big four banks slash lending to coal miners
http://www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/big-four-banks-slash-lending-to-coal-miners-20170720-gxf9u8.html

2017 AEMC retail energy competition review – final report
Australian Energy Market Commission
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has released its fourth annual review of the state of competition in retail energy markets across the national electricity market which includes Queen
http://www.apo.org.au/node/99791

AEMC, utilities in denial as consumers flick switch to solar, batteries
Giles Parkinson
AEMC attempts to defend incumbent gen-tailers by saying how delighted customers are with their electricity service and pricing, and blaming renewables as the biggest black cloud on the horizon. They have to be kidding, right?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/base-cost-renewables-when-wind-and-solar-finally-kill-coal-72324/

Energy efficiency: The unsexy solution for a Clean Energy Target
Richard McIndoe
The CET has become another political stick to beat the government with. To be more accurate, it’s a stick with which the Coalition beats itself.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-efficiency-unsexy-solution-clean-energy-target-76298/

COAG confirms States need to act alone as Coalition’s climate failure continues
David Shearman
States go it alone as Coalition fails to deliver on climate, while Turnbull calls people who criticise coal “delusional”.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/coag-confirms-states-need-to-act-alone-as-coalitions-climate-failure-continues,10534

How politics turned the Murray-Darling basin into a sinkhole for billions
Lin Crase
Playing politics with water management has meant expert advice is often overlooked, and that’s true in the case of the publicly funded multibillion-dollar Murray-Darling Basin Plan
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/lin-crase-is-it-time-to-ditch-murray-darling-basin-plan/8741404

How to kill a river system
Richard Kingsford
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/the-tragedy-of-the-murraydarling-river-system-is-manmade-20170725-gxi35b.html

Ashes to ashtrays: Melbourne lights up cigarette recycling scheme
Cigarette butts from across Melbourne are being shipped to the United States to be recycled into street furniture, shipping pallets and ashtrays.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/cigarette-butts-recycled-in-melbourne-scheme/8738538

Feral pigs: Agriculture Victoria urges people to stay away
HUNTERS and others using public land have been urged not to go looking for or disturbing feral pigs.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/feral-pigs-agriculture-victoria-urges-people-to-stay-away/news-story/6a288cdafbf97d37bf5492e23394fc0f

Asbestos dispute escalates over $2 billion Alphington ‘Tesla town’
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/alphington-must-wait-for-tesla-town-as-dispute-over-asbestos-cleanup-escalates-20170724-gxhlp9.html

Volunteers create Eden out of industrial wasteland
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/volunteers-create-an-urban-eden-out-of-industrial-wasteland-in-altona-north-20170724-gxhpfu.html

Former NSW water minister, top bureaucrat to be referred to ICAC after ABC investigation
A senior water official and the state’s former water minister, Kevin Humphries, will be referred to the state corruption watchdog over their relationship to irrigators and lobbyists, Labor said, following an expose into alleged mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin plan by the ABC.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/nsw-ministers-call-for-urgent-overview-of-water-issues-lame-acf-says-20170724-gxhyb4.html

NSW to investigate Murray-Darling Four Cornersallegations
The NSW Government commits to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan while announcing it will conduct an inquiry into allegations broadcast in an ABC Four Cornersinvestigation on Monday night.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-07-25/nsw-announces-inquiry-into-murray-darling-basin-plan-management/8742036

Property ‘green tax’ will cost you $20K
EXPERTS are warning the price of new properties will rise by $20,000 because of a new government “green tax” that will force developers to “offset” any native vegetation they remove.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/green-tax-will-push-up-prices-of-new-properties-by-20000/news-story/1dddadf8fed48b9d84d3ded69e7aa5d1

Does paying road tolls improve our quality of life?
The NRMA says paying a toll to drive on a motorway might dent the hip pocket, but it gives motorists value for money with the amount of time it saves.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/road-tolls-improve-quality-of-life-says-nrma/8741378

New levy to pay for parks, schools, transport
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-levy-on-70000-homes-around-parramatta-to-pay-for-parks-schools-transport-20170725-gxi44p.html

Shenhua coal ‘buyout’ should prompt mining reform
SMH editorial
It’s high time the parliament took a reformist shine to the state’s mining act.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/shenhua-coal-buyout-set-a-low-watermark-that-should-prompt-mining-reform-20170722-gxgmdh.html

Gladys gives lobbyists’ green light
Andrew Clennell
FACTIONAL politics are winning out over voter interests in the state government’s quest for renewables
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-clennell-gladys-berejiklian-has-given-the-lobbyists-a-green-light/news-story/1188a4d400bedad76f1a4a37bc5ff5bb

Environment and Energy Department boss quits
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/environment-and-energy-department-boss-gordon-de-brouwer-quits-20170725-gxia4k.html

Lighthouse buys second solar farm in Queensland
Australian investment funds buys second solar farm in Queensland from Germany’s BayWa, which plans another 280MW of solar PV.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/lighthouse-buys-second-solar-farm-queensland-92778/

Our car dependency is not getting better
IT’S the bane of most city dwellers’ existence but new statistics show inner-city residents only have themselves to blame for the amount of cars on the road.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/innercity-living-trend-does-nothing-to-curb-car-dependency/news-story/ed575f3b7f6497ba324e0944cb056304

‘Some people can’t afford electricity’
ENERGY affordability is at crisis point, with jobs being slashed and the bottom 10 per cent of earners forking out a huge proportion of their disposable income.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/electricity-affordability-queensland-householders-doing-it-tough/news-story/ddfd0c46f4ee3673bc57e2f81b418add

Study shows croc numbers growing
CROCODILE populations in Queensland have been rising, placing more people in direct conflict with the dangerous reptiles in northern Queensland with the rate of attacks from the predators growing at an average of 1.3 per year.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/report-confirms-that-queenslands-saltwater-crocodile-populations-are-rising/news-story/b7b133196c99bb7b10ee0309c2d3dd49

FNQ mining projects take shape
CAPE York’s mining scene is undergoing a major transformation amid growing international demand for high-quality bauxite.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/fnq-mines-emerge-as-demand-for-highgrade-bauxite-strengthens/news-story/f6193f529802a45aceec0a616336c960

Fears for development of northern Australia after Canavan citizenship bungle
Efforts to develop northern Queensland could lose momentum after Matthew Canavan’s resignation from Federal Cabinet, the Townsville Mayor says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-26/matt-canavan-citizenship-resigns-north-queensland-mayors/8742882

Greens’ move to increase coal royalties rejected
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/greens-move-to-increase-coal-royalties-rejected-20170725-gxind2.html

Tourism up, renewables up, but major projects collapsing
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-five-hits-and-five-misses-of-the-queensland-economy-20170725-gxii4n.html

Footage from 2015 of tree clearing on Cape York’s Olive Vale station.
Video
2015 footage of tree clearing on Cape York’s Olive Vale station and some drone footage (supplied by the ACF) of new cleared sites.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/tree-clearing-on-cape-york%E2%80%99s-olive-vale-station/8738600

Revelations from the New Acland coal mine case
David Shearman
The Land Court recommendation against expansion of New Acland Coal mine has exposed Queensland’s – and Australia’s – deeply flawed environmental and health assessment process.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/revelations-new-acland-coal-mine-case-82775/

Why train services are worse when QR claims they are better
Bill O’Chee
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/the-hermit/why-train-services-are-worse-when-queensland-rail-claims-they-are-better-20170725-gxiooq.html

SA Water Minister ‘shocked’ by Murray-Darling Basin Plan revelations
SA’s Water Minister launches a scathing attack of the New South Wales Government’s conduct of Murray-Darling Basin water management and repeats calls for a judicial inquiry.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/sa-water-minister-shocked-by-basin-plan-findings/8742324

Throw the book at water thieves
Karlene Maywald
ANY individual or corporation involved in stealing water from the Murray Darling Basin must face the full force of the law
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/karlene-maywald-any-individual-or-corporation-involved-in-stealing-water-from-murray-darling-basin-must-face-full-force-of-the-law/news-story/c0d31d2de8edf562344c6b74e61a6071

SA will not sit by and watch Murray die
Advertiser editorial
SOUTH Australians have fought too hard and too long for protection of the River Murray to allow the latest insult and threat to the great waterway to go unchallenged.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/the-advertiser-editorial-26-july-2017-sa-will-not-sit-by-and-watch-murray-die-end-of-an-era/news-story/27182ec8b43f45d39be4c713fb3866ce

Tasmanians divided over fish farming
TASMANIANS are torn over Tassal’s Okehampton Bay fish farm, new polling reveals.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/mercuryreachtel-poll-shows-479-per-cent-of-tasmanians-oppose-okehampton-bay-fish-farm/news-story/01937d62d226dc273a725887e4ed2184

Tasmanian salmon farm will threaten endangered calving whales, conservationists warn
Fears are raised about the impact a proposed salmon farm could have on calving southern right whales on Tasmania’s east coast.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/salmon-proposal-at-okehampton-bay-risk-calving-whales/8742134

Nuclear waste sparks $17m claim
Traditional owners who want a nuclear waste dump on their land are suing the Northern Land Council for more than $17m.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/nuclear-waste-fight-sparks-17m-claim/news-story/1fa95bb665d1dbdb653d0e2e8b7df0e9

Perth cyclists could run the road under new no-stop proposal
Cyclists could ride through red lights and stop signs in Perth under a proposal to be considered by the Road Safety Minister.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/perth-cyclists-could-run-the-road-under-new-no-stop-proposal-ng-b88548227z

Who will clean up Silicon Valley’s e-wasteland?
There’s no federal law requiring e-waste to be recycled, and procedures nationwide are often fragmented and cumbersome.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359830

The illegal gold mining boom that’s poisoning Colombia.
At illegal gold mines unprotected workers use mercury to process ore — is this a recipe for poisoning a country?
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359347

Study shows India can integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into its electricity grid
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed the technical and economic viability of integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into India’s grid by 2022.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/drel-ssi072517.php

A new optimization model could bring higher solar-power integration
Researchers show the benefits of demand-response applications in large-scale simulations for optimal performance in residential photovoltaic systems
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/aiop-ano072517.php

See the abandoned WWII base on Greenland leaking toxic waste.
The U.S. military left behind crumbling asbestos-ridden buildings, countless barrels filled with leaded aviation fuel, corroding metal trucks, and possibly even hundreds of cases of undetonated dynamite.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359519

Google enters race for nuclear fusion technology
The tech giant and a leading US fusion company develop a new computer algorithm that significantly speeds up progress towards clean, limitless energy
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/25/google-enters-race-for-nuclear-fusion-technology

Household batteries will be key to UK’s new energy strategy.
Batteries and renewable power sources are on the verge of bringing about an “epochal transformation” of the UK that could make energy clean, abundant and very cheap, according to a cabinet minister.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359873

UNIST hits new world efficiency record with perovskite solar cells
A recent study, affiliated with UNIST finds key to produce a new cost-efficient way to produce inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs) which sets a new world-record efficiency performance of 22.1 % in small cells and 19.7 percent in 1-square-centimeter cells.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/unio-uhn072517.php

Rio ‘suspected’ of corruption
The UK Serious Fraud Office’s first comment on Rio Tinto payments shows it believes a full investigation is warranted.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/rio-tinto-in-uk-corruption-probe-over-activities-in-guinea/news-story/d3e744e83846832c0adf02fd1c4f0a97

On the origins of environmental bullshit
David Schlosberg
This anti-environmentalist tactic of countering critiques of industrial impacts on the planet with lies, obfuscation and defamation has a long history. It goes back at least to establishment attacks on the US municipal housekeeping movement in the progressive era of the late 19th and early 20th century.
http://theconversation.com/on-the-origins-of-environmental-bullshit-80955

Has the moment for environmental justice been lost?
Talia Buford ProPublica
Given how President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359857

Green links to Grenfell tragedy becoming clearer
Miranda Devine
YOU can’t overlook the deadly green ideas that contributed to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/what-price-the-mania-for-carbon-reduction/news-story/a30c53a100ac6b8ef47e128352e5e299

Nature under siege in one of Europe’s biggest cities.
Moscow authorities have pledged to “renovate” this city of 12 million, and give it a “European” look. But biologists warn that Moscow’s natural habitats are disappearing at an alarming speed, with biodiversity at stake.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359837

Alien species invasions and global warming a ‘deadly duo’, warn scientists.
Foreign animals and plants can cause huge damage, with the march of Argentine ants in the UK a new example of how climate change is boosting the threat.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3246038150322359024

Antibiotics come with ‘environmental side effects,’ experts say
Researchers writing in Microchemical Journal are bringing attention to the fact that commonly used antibiotic drugs are making their way out into the environment, where they can harm microbes that are essential to a healthy environment.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/e-acw072517.php

Coral gardening is benefiting Caribbean reefs, study finds
Researchers provide science benchmarks for the restoration and recovery of threatened corals
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/uomr-cgi072517.php

Dozens of Laotian elephants ‘illegally sold to Chinese zoos’
Laos accused of breaching Cites treaty to protect endangered species and China of encouraging trade in live animals
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/25/dozens-of-laotian-elephants-illegally-sold-to-chinese-zoos

Humans are losing touch with nature – it’s a tragedy with no quick fix.
Deborah Orr
British alienation with the countryside points towards the same problem as the rise in alcoholism and gambling addiction: we’ve lost our place in the world.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/24/humans-losing-touch-nature-alcoholism-gambling