Wednesday 29 November 2017

Corporations make big climate promises only to retreat after a few years, study finds
Sustainable capitalism is basically an oxymoron.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/corporate-sustainability-climate-change_us_5a1c7002e4b0e9bc3368d93e

American leaders should read their official climate science report
The United States Global Change Research Program report paints a bleak picture of the consequences of climate denial
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/nov/27/american-leaders-should-read-their-official-climate-science-report

Disrupting sensitive soils could make climate change worse, Stanford researchers find
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53300

Could climate change affect people’s personalities?
People’s personalities may be shaped by the temperatures of the places in which they grew up, a new study suggests.
https://www.livescience.com/61033-climate-temperature-personality.html

This is one international climate agreement Trump supports.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol would cut HFCs, potent greenhouse gases widely used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
http://www.ehn.org/this-is-one-international-climate-agreement-trump-supports-insideclimate-news-2513063202.html

Corporations make big climate promises only to retreat after a few years, study finds
Sustainable capitalism is basically an oxymoron.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/corporate-sustainability-climate-change_us_5a1c7002e4b0e9bc3368d93e

Can China actually lead on climate change?
Sam Geall
China has the ambition of being an environmental leader and is putting its money where its mouth is. But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to lead
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-29/china-beijing-renewable-energy-climate-change-pollution/9191176

A fresh start for climate change mitigation in New Zealand
Robert McLachlan, Massey University
As part of its 100-day priority plan, New Zealand’s new government has pledged to set a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, which means phasing out fossil fuels and products that burn them.
https://theconversation.com/a-fresh-start-for-climate-change-mitigation-in-new-zealand-87245

How to build a climate resilient Asia beyond COP23
Pieter Nuboer
Climate change is a ticking time-bomb—and nowhere will be harder hit than Asia. So what can companies and governments do to build resilience against climate change?
http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/how-to-build-a-climate-resilient-asia-beyond-cop23/

To protect pensions, companies should be required to come clean on climate risk
Keith Stewart
Companies selling fossil fuels are facing their Netflix moment, as cheap solar panels and electric vehicles are poised to do to coal-fired power stations and gas stations what online streaming did to Blockbuster.
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/27/opinion/protect-pensions-companies-should-be-required-come-clean-climate-risk

AEMO ready for summer heat after finding 2GW of new capacity
AEMO says it “ready for summer”. While it expects no major outages, the biggest risk remains catastrophic failure of network or fossil fuel assets, and highlights importance of demand response, storage, solar PV, and new market rules.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-ready-for-summer-heat-after-finding-2gw-of-new-capacity-88519/

AEMC confirms 5-minute settlement to begin in 2021
Big win for battery storage in change to market settlement periods that will be introduced …. in four years time.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemc-confirms-5-minute-settlement-to-begin-in-2021-2021/

Australian shareholders should be told of climate risk to profits, says thinktank
Centre for Policy Development urges companies to adopt standardised analysis of climate’s impact on business
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/29/australian-shareholders-should-be-told-climate-risk-to-profits-says-thinktank

Paper to canvass options on native title system
The Turnbull government will pursue the most significant ­improvements to the native title system since its inception 25 years ago by releasing an “options paper” to help shape a draft bill early next year.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/paper-to-canvass-options-on-native-title-system/news-story/1ac682febad00ddd24137f48774686e9

Roundup weedkiller future in Australia not clear after EU renews glyphosate license for only five years
Scientists in Australia worry that removing glyphosate will mean a return to more toxic substances.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-11-28/glyphosate-renewed-for-five-years-in-europe/9199740

Summer operations 2017-18
Australian Energy Market Operator
AEMO has released its 2017/18 summer readiness report, which outlines all actions taken to best prepare the National Electricity Market to meet Australian energy consumer requirements.
http://apo.org.au/node/121171

Australian cities and their metropolitan plans still seem to be parallel universes
Robert Freestone, UNSW and Stephen Hamnett, University of South Australia
The State of Australian Cities Conference begins in Adelaide today. In major cities across the nation, there’s a stark contrast between lofty planning goals and the sprawling reality on the ground.
http://theconversation.com/australian-cities-and-their-metropolitan-plans-still-seem-to-be-parallel-universes-87603

Getting your $110k worth: Woodside reveals lobbying bang for buck
Bernard Keane
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/11/28/getting-your-moneys-worth-company-reveals-political-bang-for-their-buck/

Don Burke’s puzzling right-wing political background
Charlie Lewis
Don Burke is apparently, apart from anything else, a gardener who hates conservation, and is connected to right-wing groups who lobby for old-growth foresting.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/11/28/don-burkes-right-wing-political-background/

Fighting losing battle as recognition of renewable power grows
Peter Boyer
National Energy Guarantee is poorly named
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-fighting-losing-battle-as-recognition-of-renewable-power-grows/news-story/c7066053c7e0d897df392a3cecefe323

Explainer: why we shouldn’t be so quick to trust energy modelling
Hugh Saddler, Australian National University
Much of Australia’s energy debate is centred around ‘models’ of various policies. But how do they work? And what can they really tell us?
https://theconversation.com/explainer-why-we-shouldnt-be-so-quick-to-trust-energy-modelling-88228

Snowy cash row brews
If Victoria’s share of Snowy Hydro is to be sold, independent MP Suzanna Sheed says the proceeds must be spent in irrigation communities.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/snowy-hydro-cash-row-brews/news-story/e5398ac4e197d10ec669a5429ac5e17a

Protesters slam wind farm plans
Western District residents are gearing up to fight what has been described as “thousands of hectares of whirring metal blades”
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/willatook-wind-farm-protesters-slam-plans-for-whirring-metal-blade-battering/news-story/74a6186dcf5567acb049469e16755557

Summer patrols set to protect St Kilda’s penguin colony from thoughtless tourists taking selfies
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/summer-patrols-set-to-protect-st-kildas-penguin-colony-from-thoughtless-tourists-taking-selfies/news-story/f14073dc3b3aa800456a65244b0ce1f4

Fresh power price hike warnings as families urged to shop around
Power bill pain is spreading as more electricity retailers say they will raise prices next year.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/fresh-power-price-hike-warnings-as-families-urged-to-shop-around/news-story/0d217b15d12566dabbec9a6eb44a374f

$5b in April, $16b in November: Transport boom comes at a price
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cost-of-andrews-governments-transport-projects-soars-above-45-billion-20171128-gzu9zl.html

Snow job sells an old story
Weekly Times editorial
the “for sale” sign is up again in Victoria. This time around, Labor and the Coalition are preparing to sell off the state’s 29 per cent shareholding in the Snowy Hydro Scheme to the Commonwealth.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/snowy-hydro-scheme-snow-job-sells-an-old-story/news-story/2e88d0cbea50759781ca4b9d9ea3f88a

Origin pumps up Eraring coal power
Origin Energy is poised to cash in on the jump in wholesale power prices after the closure of the Hazelwood power station, having ramped up production at its huge Eraring coal plant in NSW.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/origin-energy-to-cash-in-on-hazelwood-closure-20171128-gzuc3z

Great Barrier Reef: scientists identify potential life support system
Researchers say ‘source reefs’ could produce larvae and help repair damage by bleaching and starfish
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/great-barrier-reef-scientists-identify-potential-life-support-system

GBRMPA chief scientist keeping close eye of reef bleaching
THE Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says it is still too early to say whether there will be more mass coral bleaching on the Reef this summer.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/lifestyle/gbrmpa-chief-scientist-keeping-close-eye-of-reef-bleaching/news-story/c93c2961cda13739d7acb21c060c7a39

Resilience of Great Barrier Reef offers opportunities for regeneration
Regionally connected undisturbed reefs could provide larvae necessary to regenerate damaged reefs, but researchers warn that effective local protection is required
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/p-rog112117.php

Teresa Palmer is face of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef
Hollywood star Teresa Palmer is the face of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef in a new global “social spawning” campaign.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/teresa-palmer-is-face-of-citizens-of-the-great-barrier-reef/news-story/3a93ea407b6eb599e54530224915e54f

Queensland on cusp of new gas boom
Queensland is on the cusp of a new gas boom with exploration for shale gas to start in the Cooper Basin.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/queensland-on-cusp-of-new-gas-boom/news-story/672e70c0e99914b12c6d7b4eef166f69

Boatie pays respect to big croc inhabiting Cairns’ Trinity Inlet
A boatie who has photographed a large crocodile basking on the banks of Trinity Inlet says people need to respect the reptiles in their natural environment.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/boatie-pays-respect-to-big-croc-inhabiting-cairns-trinity-inlet/news-story/a30c6621438b427aa2653d10a15dfd48

Canavan demands Adani clarity
Matt Canavan has demanded Annastacia Palaszczuk clarify her vow to block a federal loan for the Adani mine.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/canavan-demands-clarity-on-adani-rail-line-from-palaszczuk/news-story/4d9da6320f224f34d11816cc44c57749

The Queensland election outcome is a death knell for Adani’s coal mine
John Hewson
http://theconversation.com/the-queensland-election-outcome-is-a-death-knell-for-adanis-coal-mine-88148

Adani’s Carmichael mine unpopular as state election results show
Dennis Atkins
Despite some boasting from environmental and social activist groups, no one knows for sure just what impact the behemoth Adani Carmichael mine in Far North Queensland had at the weekend state election.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-adanis-carmichael-mine-unpopular-as-state-election-results-show/news-story/fc6d73295603494edd2a05bfbfe4969b

Better than Adani
Ross Muir
Another project in the region needs urgent attention.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/a-queensland-project-better-than-adanis-carmichael-mine/news-story/16d8a06e5cc251d314baf602a63623aa

SA Liberals foreshadow inquiry into ‘scandalous’ power plant purchase
The Liberals believe the purchase of nine turbines to protect South Australia from power shortages is a “stinking rotten scandal” because of the secrecy involved.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-28/sa-liberals-foreshadow-inquiry-into-power-plant-purchase/9200740

Cooper Basin fracking expansion examined in new report
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/new-report-into-potential-fracking-expansion-in-the-cooper-basin/news-story/1d522d54e55df9a550dcbf7e6b386cc7

BHP aims to make a decision about a $2.76 billion expansion of Olympic Dam in the next few years
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/bhp-aims-to-make-a-decision-about-a-276-billion-expansion-of-olympic-dam-in-the-next-few-years/news-story/1a9f517cb561e7f46ea58cfbdc7983f3

River Murray royal commissioner gets powers to compel interstate witnesses to co-operate
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/river-murray-royal-commissioner-gets-powers-to-compel-interstate-witnesses-to-cooperate/news-story/87a278dee1f95d3e2bed42756563d45a

Proposal by Hong Kong billionaire for Cleland Wildlife Park labelled ugly by state Opposition
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/proposal-by-hong-kong-billionaire-for-cleland-wildlife-park-labelled-ugly-by-state-opposition/news-story/b3321cf893d6849bc337cfde3db63398

SA Government signs contract to purchase diesel generators when their lease ends in 2019
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-government-signs-contract-to-purchase-diesel-generators-when-their-lease-ends-in-2019/news-story/ef847ba79f66df27b9aee8da6e497144

CFS, MFS firefighters plus water bombers contain grass fire in Mount Osmond
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/law-order/cfs-mfs-firefighters-plus-water-bombers-attack-grass-fire-in-mount-osmond/news-story/b9a13b7c94d6a5c8c0c9bc192ba3ab4d

Testing time for biggest battery
The world’s largest lithium-ion battery being built in SA is in its final testing phase ahead of its connection to the grid on Friday.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/final-tests-before-sa-flicks-the-switch-on-world-biggest-battery/news-story/5239c65562b80cd217468710d4a9d0b4

BHP’s Olympic growth still financially challenged
Matthew Stevens
It always comes as a shock to see just how uncompetitive Olympic Dam actually sits on the slate of BHP Billiton’s mines.
http://www.afr.com/business/bhps-olympic-growth-still-financially-challenged-20171128-gzuh56

The State Government says a new Game Species Unit will be set up to investigate the potential of a wild venison industry in Tasmania.
http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/new-game-council-strategy-could-result-in-wild-deer-being-shot-and-processed-for-the-table-in-tasmania/news-story/b0cc2248f030c7b5f0f96a6220cab66c

MOD granted environmental approvals
MOD Resources has progressed obtaining a number of environmental approvals in and around its T3 copper project in Botswana.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/breaking-news/mod-granted-environmental-approvals/news-story/efa6ea3ca5424620ebe1c5aad28d5756

Controversial glyphosate weedkiller wins new five-year lease in Europe
EU votes to reauthorise the pesticide, ending a bitterly fought battle that saw 1.3 million people sign a petition calling for a ban
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/27/controversial-glyphosate-weedkiller-wins-new-five-year-lease-in-europe

Stella McCartney calls for overhaul of ‘incredibly wasteful’ fashion industry
UK fashion designer backs Ellen MacArthur foundation campaign to stop the global fashion industry consuming a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/28/stella-mccartney-calls-for-overhaul-of-incredibly-wasteful-fashion-industry

In Harm’s Way: About Half of Hydraulically Fractured Wells Exist Within 2 to 3 Kilometers of Domestic Groundwater Systems
About half of hydraulically fractured wells exist within 2 to 3 kilometers of domestic groundwater systems, warn …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171127160009.htm

Trudeau government to introduce new law in 2018 to make polluters pay
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/27/news/trudeau-government-introduce-new-law-2018-make-polluters-pay

China takes economic hit as environment nears ‘point of no return’
Campaign to clean up China’s polluted skies could come at the cost of country’s growth.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/27/news/economy/china-crackdown-pollution-economy/index.html

Turning emissions into fuel
MIT-developed method converts carbon dioxide into useful compounds.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/miot-tei112717.php

Blowing away fears wind farms cause disease
http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/health/mens-health/blowing-away-fears-that-wind-turbines-cause-disease-20171127-gztyaw

Brazilian ethanol can replace 13.7 percent of world’s crude oil consumption
Expansion of sugarcane cultivation for biofuel in areas not under environmental protection or reserved for food production could also reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide by up to 5.6%, according to a study by researchers in Brazil, the US and Europe
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/fda-bec112817.php

Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity a year than Ireland
Network’s estimated power use also exceeds that of 19 other European countries, consuming more than five times output of continent’s largest windfarm.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/27/bitcoin-mining-consumes-electricity-ireland

NREL develops switchable solar window
Demonstration device dynamically responds to sunlight by transforming from transparent to tinted while converting sunlight into electricity
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/drel-nds112817.php

‘I am not buying things’: why some people see ‘dumpster diving’ as the ethical way to eat
Chamila Perera, Swinburne University of Technology
Young people are taking to bins to protest food waste.
http://theconversation.com/i-am-not-buying-things-why-some-people-see-dumpster-diving-as-the-ethical-way-to-eat-86536

Heritage building preservation vs sustainability? Conflict isn’t inevitable
Sara Wilkinson, University of Technology Sydney and Hilde Remøy, Delft University of Technology
When talking about heritage, we need to be clear about our definitions and our objectives for each building. Then we can work on achieving the optimum balance of heritage and sustainability.
https://theconversation.com/heritage-building-preservation-vs-sustainability-conflict-isnt-inevitable-83973

Fixing the world’s most fragile cities
Robert Muggah
Climate change, economic inequality, and political unrest are making some of the world’s fastest growing cities dangerously unstable. But even the most fragile places are fixable.
https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/11/where-are-the-worlds-most-fragile-cities/546782/

Balkan hydropower projects soar by 300% putting wildlife at risk, research shows
More than a third of about 2,800 planned new dams are in protected areas, threatening rivers and biodiversity
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/27/balkan-hydropower-projects-soar-by-300-putting-wildlife-at-risk-research-shows

Long-Term Logging Study Demonstrates Impacts on Chimpanzees and Gorillas (Republic of Congo)
Research has shown human disturbance can have detrimental effects on great ape populations but now there is new evidence ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171127105957.htm

Improving Urban Green Spaces Increase Thermal Comfort of Citizens
The link between urban green spaces and the thermal comfort sensation of people has been the focus of new research. The results provide significant suggestions to improve thermal comfort of …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171128092311.htm

The Amazon effect: how deforestation is starving São Paulo of water
When a devastating drought two years ago brought this metropolis of 21 million to the brink, the army prepared to barricade reservoirs. Could it happen again?
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/nov/28/sao-paulo-water-amazon-deforestation?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

Seeking the source of the vanishing Great Salt Lake
Human consumption — not seasonal fluctuations or climate change — is primarily to blame for the Great Salt Lake’s desiccation, according to a recent analysis.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/science/great-salt-lake-utah-vanishing.html

Environment: a legal milestone
Irish Times editorial
Irish High Court’s recognition of constitutional right to environmental protection is to be commended
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/environment-a-legal-milestone-1.3307113

Scientists challenge the status quo
Alex Kelly
The pharmaceutical oligopoly wrings every drop of profit it can out of selling insulin to the developed world but gives minimal support to “risky” markets in poorer countries. New competitors are squeezed out by economies of scale, or never manage to overcome the barriers to entry. But scientists are challenging the status quo through something known as the Open Science initiative.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/scientists-challenge-the-status-quo-20171101-gzd2hn.html