Wednesday 30 August 2017

Governments face ‘wave of legal action’ over climate change inaction as natural disasters worsen, activists warn.
Companies could also find themselves in legal trouble, environmental lawyers say.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212656318

How climate change could turn US real estate prices upside down
Floridians have long recognised climate’s threat to their homes. Amid the disaster wrought by Harvey, home buyers may look to higher ground
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/29/hurricane-harvey-climate-change-real-estate-florida

Harvey didn’t come out of the blue. Now is the time to talk about climate change.
Naomi Klein The Intercept
Now is exactly the time to talk about climate change, and all the other systemic injustices — from racial profiling to economic austerity — that turn disasters like Harvey into human catastrophes.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006329

Climate change did not “cause” Harvey, but it’s a huge part of the story.
David Roberts Vox
9 things we can say about Harvey and climate.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006324

Climate: Riding the chaotic wave.
Aaron M. Ellison The Revelator
We need new metaphors to cope with climate change.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006322

We can no longer tolerate climate change denial
SMH editorial
The United States Weather Service, normally not an agency prone to colourful language, issued an extraordinary statement on Sunday regarding hurricane Harvey, saying, “This event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown beyond anything experienced”. It is now predicted the storm could eventually drop over 150 centimetres of rain in some areas, more than any other in the region’s history.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/we-can-no-longer-tolerate-climate-change-denial-20170829-gy6he6.html

CET pressure builds as Malcolm Turnbull continues power plays
Malcolm Turnbull will ask the nation’s energy retailers to write to more than 1 million customers who are paying too much for power to advise them of better deals on offer.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/cet-pressure-builds-as-malcolm-turnbull-continues-power-plays-20170828-gy63wj

‘Critical’: Deeper carbon cuts for power sector would slice prices, RepuTex says
A weak Clean Energy Target would shift the emissions reduction burden away from the electricity sector, undermine investor certainty, and potentially leave power stations pumping out pollution into the next century, according to analysis by RepuTex.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/critical-deeper-carbon-cuts-for-power-sector-would-slice-prices-reputex-says-20170829-gy68t5.html

Finkel clean energy target too weak for Paris climate goal, analysis shows
Target will transfer pressure to other sectors of the economy to reduce their emissions, research shows
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/30/finkel-clean-energy-target-too-weak-for-paris-climate-goal-analysis-shows

Energy bills blows out retirees’ cost of living
http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/energy-bills-sends-retirees-cost-of-living-way-above-the-rate-of-inflation-20170829-gy6fvu

Fact check: Did the mining boom play no role in staving off a recession during the global financial crisis?
Australia was among a small handful of the world’s advanced economies to avoid recession during the global financial crisis. But was this by luck, design, or a combination of both?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/factcheck/2017-08-30/fact-check-mining-boom-and-the-global-financial-crisis/8849784

Turnbull doesn’t need new baseload, he just needs some balls
Giles Parkinson
No-one wants to invest in new baseload power. It makes no economic, or environmental sense. Deep down, Malcolm Turnbull understands this, but does he have the courage of his convictions, if that is what they were, to overcome the nonsense from the conservative ideologues?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbull-doesnt-need-new-baseload-he-just-needs-some-balls-74388/

PM’s big blunder on coal
Graham Richardson
Malcolm Turnbull is running out of issues on which to fight Labor. Does he have the ticker to play the energy trump card?
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/malcolm-turnbull-could-use-a-coalfired-energy-policy/news-story/c0d587d9ecb14ddc3f307aacedb2ce14

Asbestos: ongoing risk from home renovations
Tanya Segelov
While the big cases make the news, many of us may be at risk in our own homes and more should be done to protect us.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/asbestos-ongoing-risk-from-home-renovations-20170829-gy6c0i.html

New demand management plan could match “half a Hazelwood”
AER’s proposed demand management scheme could deliver flexible capacity equivalent to half the closed Hazelwood coal-plant.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-demand-management-plan-could-match-half-a-hazelwood-82617/

Cooper Energy secures funding to shore up southeast gas supply
Cooper Energy has paved the way for more gas supply into east coast markets, securing $265 million of loans and commencing a $135m equity raising to fund development of the Sole gasfield in Victoria’s offshore Gippsland Basin.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/cooper-energy-secures-funding-to-shore-up-southeast-gas-supply/news-story/86f203b3b724de1acd09a41cdd0e8292

Neighbours fume over plans for 116 homes on Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s farm
The Murdoch family’s plan to carve off a slice of the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s Cruden Farm for residential development could set a dangerous precedent for Melbourne’s green wedges, opponents say.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/neighbours-fume-over-plans-for-116-homes-on-dame-elisabeth-murdochs-farm-20170829-gy6ouc.html

Victoria is the latest state to take renewable energy into its own hands
Samantha Hepburn, Deakin University
Victoria’s plan to legislate its own renewable energy target of 40% by 2025 shows how states are increasingly taking the energy policy reins away from the federal government.
https://theconversation.com/victoria-is-the-latest-state-to-take-renewable-energy-into-its-own-hands-83097

Large bushfire in coastal wetland threatens NSW Mid North Coast settlements
Homes are under threat from bushfire in coastal wetland north-east of Kempsey.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-29/nsw-mid-north-coast-bushfire-could-burn-for-weeks/8852568

AGL, Origin ‘bid up’ power spot price
NSW power generators are pushing NSW spot power prices up as much 50 per cent through ‘opportunistic pricing’.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/agl-origin-bidding-up-power-spot-price-says-schneider/news-story/1bd3f56297527224acaf846720afb5a4

Western Bundjalung Native Title granted as judge criticises slow process
A Federal Court judge says the native title process is still taking too long in New South Wales as she recognised the rights of the Western Bundjalung people as traditional owners.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-29/western-bundjalung-native-title-granted-criticises-slow-process/8851752

Hundreds register interest in Qld renewables + storage auction
Queensland’s 400MW reverse auction for renewables and energy storage has been flooded with interest.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/hundreds-register-interest-in-qld-renewables-storage-auction-19089/

Latest mine worth $5b, hundreds of jobs
MINING leases have been granted for a project that continues the rebirth of the Queensland mining sector.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/cape-york-bauxite-mine-to-create-200-jobs-generate-5-billion-in-revenue/news-story/ef04acd3a7b0db4a3ebbb1c2745d1c1b

Not just for sushi: The push to farm seaweed off Queensland
The Sunshine State has “ideal” conditions to be the first in Australia to get into the multi-billion-dollar seaweed business, researcher says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-30/not-just-for-sushi-the-push-to-farm-seaweed-off-queensland-coast/8853678

Landfill may have caused groundwater to be contaminated near Swanbank
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/landfill-may-have-caused-groundwater-to-be-contaminated-near-swanbank-20170829-p4yvme.html

New scientific plan to save Reef
SCIENTISTS are seeking a loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to create a small “haven” on the Great Barrier Reef to protect coral from bleaching.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/scientists-seek-loan-from-naif-to-funding-for-reef-haven-to-protect-coral-from-bleaching/news-story/68bfc35b6c0d2c47e60bdcb09bea5ece

Kate on farm crusade
A UNIVERSITY graduate has been tasked with helping Far North sugarcane growers become more sustainable.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/mossman-agriculture-worker-keen-to-improve-sugarcane-growers-sustainability/news-story/ae02703250de3c7d9079bd3208b5648b

SA forestry owner to buy timber mill, keep local jobs
AN SA forestry company is buying a Mount Gambier timber mill in a deal that includes taking on its 300-plus employees — but it needs ACCC approval, because the group would get unprecedented control of the timber market.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/jobs/onefortyone-to-buy-se-timber-mill-from-carter-holt-harvey-for-about-150m-deal-needs-accc-nod/news-story/a2228c93c683e3dfb2c2fa82c2a4dddd

Divisions surround logging proposal
THE State Government has been accused of having another go at whipping up forest conflict before the election via the draft special species management plan.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/greens-say-plan-threatens-reserves-government-accuses-greens-of-hypocrisy/news-story/740f0ac366d7127961ff9fb922a87fc6

Tassal looks at new spots for seals
SALMON producer Tassal says it is looking at alternative sites for its seal location program, following a backlash from North-West fishers
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/tassal-looks-at-new-spots-to-relocate-seals/news-story/daa0c5da7ca4d16458574b614a738ee4

Zoo reveals devil breeding success
NORBERT and Niki might not know it, but they are part of the most successful Tasmanian devil breeding season at Tasmania Zoo since the program began 10 years ago.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tasmania-zoo-reveals-devil-breeding-program-success/news-story/26dd306bc6a1e2f3a5a794a08f76b8de

Conservationists seek to put final nail in pulp mill coffin
A legal battle looms over the future of the Tasmanian pulp mill permit, but the community’s Mayor is hopeful another development will take over the site.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-29/conservationists-want-pulp-mill-permits-declared-void/8853388

Pilbara solar energy exports to Indonesia the focus of new WA study
The Western Australia Government has backed a continued study and potential pilot to export solar power from the Pilbara to Indonesia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-08-29/pilbara-renewable-energy-potential-to-power-indonesia/8853238

WA could be solar exporter, but it needs a solar industry first
Report says WA’s Pilbara must first establish local solar industry if it wants to offer Indonesia competitive rates on PV generation.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-could-be-solar-exporter-but-it-needs-a-solar-industry-first-73134/

Trump’s judges: A second front in the environmental onslaught.
As the Trump administration keeps moving aggressively to roll back environmental protections, it has a potent legal weapon — the scores of federal judges that President Trump will be appointing
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006334

Photosynthesis Discovery Could Lead to Design of More Efficient Artificial Solar Cells
A natural process that occurs during photosynthesis could lead to the design of more efficient artificial solar cells, according to researchers at Georgia State University.
http://www.enn.com/energy/article/52312

NREL analysis identifies where commercial customers might benefit from energy storage
After upfront costs, batteries may reduce operating costs for customers paying demand charges
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/drel-nai082917.php

NREL, Swiss scientists power past solar efficiency records
Collaboration between researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) shows the high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/drel-nss082917.php

Don’t be salty — tiny tubes desalinate water one molecule at a time
In a paper published Thursday in Science, the group describes how carbon nanotubes of a certain size act as the perfect filter for salt–the smallest and most abundant water contaminant.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/nu-dbs082917.php

Lasers zap contaminates from soil
A recently proposed method using lasers to remove soil contaminants may be cheaper and more efficient than conventional methods
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/aiop-lzd082917.php

Scientists Power Past Solar Efficiency Records
The high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells has now been demonstrated through …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170829113905.htm

Seoul fears follow-up nuclear test
South Korea’s intelligence chief warns Pyongyang could be planning a nuclear test in 10 days
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/korean-missile-crisis-fears-gather-of-nuclear-test-only-days-away/news-story/4ee178bf3541623070553861502722cd

Wind and solar produce three times more energy than IEA admits
Erik Sauar
The IEA energy statistics underestimates the role of wind and solar in the world’s energy mix – by a factor of three. Here’s why.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-solar-produce-three-times-energy-iea-admits-73382/

Battery storage: Who’s leading on quality and brand recognition?
Warwick Johnston
Tesla and LG Chem are leading the battery storage market in terms of brand recognition, but the issue of quality throws up some other names.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/battery-storage-whos-leading-on-quality-and-brand-recognition-40808/

Misconceptions about radioactive medical isotopes
Noel Wauchope
First of all, a nuclear reactor is not essential for making medical isotopes. The IAEA lists 39 countries that use cyclotrons to produce them.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19251

High-Tech Electronics Made from Autumn Leaves
Northern China’s roadsides are peppered with deciduous phoenix trees, producing an abundance of fallen leaves in autumn. These leaves are generally burned in the colder …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170829113813.htm

Indigenous farmers fight eucalyptus damage to water source in Ecuador.
In Ecuador’s central Cotopaxi province, massive industrial eucalyptus production is presenting problems for Cotopaxi’s rural economy, which traditionally thrived on flower and broccoli production.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006350

Lakes, trees vital to health of India’s growing cities.
Indian cities must do more to nurture their lakes, trees and other natural assets which provide food and water for their poorest residents and protect urban areas from rising heat and pollution, says Indian author and academic Harini
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212656326

Caspian Sea evaporating as temperatures rise
Earth’s largest inland body of water has been slowly evaporating for the past two decades due to rising temperatures associated with climate change, a new study finds.
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52314

Intact forests crucial to Amazon ecosystem resilience, stable climate.
Three new South American studies have shown how important intact, healthy forests are for both the resilience of local ecosystems, and for local climate stability, and even for the healthy growth of forests hundreds of miles away.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2460133000469006319

How to shoot wildlife (with a camera) like a pro
Want to take better photos of your cat, dog or animals in the wild? Here’s some top tips for photographing wildlife with award-winning photographer David Stowe.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-29/david-stowe-life-as-a-wildlife-photographer/8851726

The world protests as Amazon forests are opened to mining
Beatriz Garcia, Western Sydney University
Last week Brazil opened thousands of kilometres of previously protected Amazon rainforest to mining, in a bid to combat ongoing political and economic disasters.
https://theconversation.com/the-world-protests-as-amazon-forests-are-opened-to-mining-83034