WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2018

Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets
Even with aggressive climate policies to limit global warming, food security in some areas will be threatened
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/apr/03/scientists-examine-threats-to-food-security-if-we-meet-the-paris-climate-targets

On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn’t work
James Robertson
There are win-win solutions to this problem.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/apr/02/on-climate-change-zero-sum-thinking-doesnt-work

PM stares down $4b demand by coal rebels
Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg are staring down demands that the government build a $4 billion clean coal power station
http://www.afr.com/news/malcolm-turnbull-stares-down-4-billion-demand-by-coal-rebels-20180402-h0y8y2

Big Power says ‘No’ to new coal plant
Suppliers estimate a new high-tech coal plant would cost $4 billion or more per 1000 MW.
http://www.afr.com/news/power-industry-says-no-to-new-coal-plant–again-20180403-h0y9vl

PM’s secret plan to save coal station
AGL is under renewed pressure to sell the Liddell power station after Alinta Energy moved to acquire the plant.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/malcolm-turnbulls-secret-plan-to-save-liddell-coal-station/news-story/7e7ffe4a4039af785b3d9de98b6fb614

Barnaby Joyce criticises lack of results on power prices as winter approaches
One of the signatories of the Coalition backbench Monash Forum’s call for government to build “Hazelwood 2.0”, Joyce described his support for the group’s manifesto as “like signing a birthday card”.
https://theconversation.com/barnaby-joyce-criticises-lack-of-results-on-power-prices-as-winter-approaches-94336

Heat on Abetz over coal stance
Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has denied his membership of a group pushing for coal-fired power stations undermines the State Government’s ambition for Tasmania to be the “battery of the nation”.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/senator-denies-procoal-power-station-membership-conflicts-with-tassie-clean-energy-push/news-story/3b35d1dc3560f474b4bf8b5701ce32f5

Abbott ‘wrong’ on migration cuts
The world’s top expert on the economics of cities is bewildered by Tony Abbott’s call to halve the nation’s immigration intake..
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-wrong-on-push-to-cut-immigration-says-cities-expert/news-story/b374c2261bf03b5283302b5db6ead8ac

New Australian wind farms reach nearly 50% capacity factor
Two new Australian wind farms are heading towards 50 per cent capacity factor – that is about the same as some ageing coal generators.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-australian-wind-farms-reach-nearly-50-capacity-factor-99179/

Environmental red tape break for farmers
Agriculture will be in the box seat when one of the biggest tangles of environmental red tape is reviewed. Farmers have welcomed the agriculture-specific, independent review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/environmental-red-tape-break-for-farmers/news-story/5c0369c0a19062847ff20e4c30562ca6

Australian cleantech stocks outperform market in latest month, quarter
Australian CleanTech Index again outperformed the ASX200 for the month of March and the third quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-cleantech-stocks-outperform-market-latest-month-quarter-83711/

PM must be wary of rebels with multiple causes
Phillip Coorey
It was the same policy issue and the same key players – Abbott, Andrews, Abetz and the Nationals – that tore down Turnbull as leader in 2009.
http://www.afr.com/news/pm-must-be-wary-of-rebels-with-multiple-causes-20180402-h0y8y5

Bitter group’s message for PM: You’re no John Monash
Mark Kenny
Coalition recalcitrants have Malcolm Turnbull in their sights as he braces for a landmark poll loss.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-bitter-group-of-troops-send-the-pm-a-message-you-re-no-john-monash-20180403-p4z7jb.html

Australia scapegoating China for our own waste woes
Louisa Bochner
Australia, as a first world country, is financially and morally obligated to deal with its waste thoughtfully.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/australia-scapegoating-china-for-our-own-waste-woes-20180403-p4z7it.html

Conservative wreckers will put Shorten in the Lodge 
Miranda Devine
Abbott’s leadership longings poison every legitimate conservative issue and with his hijacking of the so-called Monash Forum, that now includes energy policy.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/conservative-wreckers-will-put-shorten-in-the-lodge/news-story/f1d7d6c9ccb7badc6f8a3d66894b4fb6

Coal power socialists lose plot
Paul Kelly
Is the Coalition trying to destroy Turnbull’s leadership, and has it given up on the next election?
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/paul-kelly/abbottjoyce-monash-forum-undermines-turnbull/news-story/d40629f15e20eae81d3b0d47b936c37c

All power to Monash Forum
Judith Sloan
Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg would claim to share the objectives of the new Monash Forum. But they don’t
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/all-power-to-monash-forum/news-story/50621c30985e59d173471d00e79d1ae5

Energy battlefield opens up again
Australian editorial
Too much government intervention leads to calls for more.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/battlefield-opens-again-on-climate-and-energy-policy/news-story/050b0da2380589e9d5f3178c0152d497

Monarchists, coal fans, they’re the same people
Michael McGuire
Royalists and climate-change deniers are the same people. They’re living in the past, steadfastly refusing to see the facts staring them in the face
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/rendezview/michael-mcguire-monarchists-coal-fans-theyre-all-the-same/news-story/54fc740bd60291f7f520a5cc763f6ffd40

Coalition back-bench’s crazy last gasp attempt to save coal
Giles Parkinson
Monash Forum pushes for new coal fired generators, as it seeks to confirm role of National Energy Guarantee as do nothing policy. Monash Forum is said to represent more than half of Coalition backbench, which is about the same that reject climate science.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coalition-back-benchs-crazy-last-gasp-attempt-to-save-coal-76069/

NEG’s reliability guarantee needs to empower businesses through choice
Matthew van der Linden
This summer, the RERT and demand response enabled Victoria and South Australia to survive without any major blackouts.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/negs-reliability-guarantee-needs-to-empower-businesses-through-choice-54584/

Will battery storage kill “duck curve” market for gas generators?
David Leitch
Australia’s big retailers are planning major investments in gas generation. But California illustrates how that market has been shuttered by battery storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/will-battery-storage-kill-duck-curve-market-for-gas-generators-68301/

Our legacy of liveable cities won’t last without a visionary response to growth
Chris Chesterfield, Monash University
Australian cities are experiencing the third big wave of growth in their history. The response in the past was planning and investment in green infrastructure, and it’s time to do the same again.
https://theconversation.com/our-legacy-of-liveable-cities-wont-last-without-a-visionary-response-to-growth-93729

Battery storage to give affordable, long-term energy for western Vic
The new Energy Storage Initiative will deliver two large-scale battery storage projects to alleviate grid load in areas of western Victoria. …
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22988-battery-storage-to-give-affordable-long-term-energy-for-western-vic

Smoke fears as peat fires burn on
New footage has emerged of three peat fires emitting ­potentially toxic smoke and gases in the state’s southwest, which have affected regional air quality for more than two weeks and are difficult to extinguish.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/peat-fires-still-burning-at-lake-bullen-merri-lake-elingamite-and-lake-cobrico-after-two-weeks/news-story/ef760c7c86974a8ba133dc81d8a6cd00

Coal-fired power stations caused surge in airborne mercury pollution, study finds
Survey says airborne mercury pollution from stations in Victoria’s Latrobe valley increased 37% in just 12 months
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/03/coal-fired-power-stations-caused-surge-in-airborne-mercury-pollution-study-finds

Fire warning downgraded in northern Vic
Grass fires in northern Victoria are under control and an earlier alert has been downgraded.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/watch-and-act-for-vic-grass-fires/news-story/4039e1c9a5104ff68e7f1eb66497bb71

New Partnership to Deliver Blockchain Renewable Energy Trading
A new business partnership will look to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable in Melbourne, through a commercial deployment of blockchain renewable energy trading.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/04/new-partnership-deliver-blockchain-renewable-energy-trading/

Hazelwood, 12 months on, and the fear-mongers have been proved wrong
Nicholas Aberle
New analysis shows that Victoria’s electricity supply held up without Hazelwood through a hot summer and avoided over four million tonnes of CO2.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/hazelwood-12-months-fear-mongers-proved-wrong-13295/

Biggest wind farm in NSW gets tick of approval
One of the biggest wind farm projects in the country is approved by the NSW Government, with the company behind the venture saying it will create 800 jobs and increase the likelihood of Australia hitting its renewable energy targets.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/nsw-wind-farm-gets-go-ahead/9615430

Sydney’s light rail comes with heavy legal bill
The legal bill for the 14-kilometre tram line has already hit $15 million.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/sydney-s-light-rail-comes-with-heavy-legal-bill-20180403-p4z7kq.html

Genex gets development approval for next 270MW stage of Kidston solar
Genex Power says it has received development approval for the next stage of its Kidston solar project, which will end up becoming the country’s, and most likely the world’s, first major solar project paired with large pumped hydro storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/genex-gets-development-approval-next-270mw-stage-kidston-solar-82707/

What anti-Adani protestors can learn from the Jabiluka blockade
Scott Ludlam
Like anti-Adani protesters today, those who stood up at Jabiluka were attacked. It’s good to remember that people can prevail
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/03/20-years-on-from-the-jabiluka-mine-protest-we-can-find-hope-in-its-success

Clearing laws restrict good farmers
Morgan Begg
And even the experts admit they are unable to properly map regrowth.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/farmers-know-best-how-to-clear-their-own-land/news-story/13e45fa973ddb5092861c2734867cb02

Victoria power plan puts SA upgrade at risk
A taxpayerfunded coal-fired power station in Victoria could stop South Australia’s ageing gas fleet being upgraded, an energy expert warns.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/proposed-coalfired-power-station-in-victoria-could-stop-south-australias-gas-stations-being-upgraded/news-story/bafd34ed2f46040b62a50e391a621256

Warnings Tasmania’s feral deer population could reach one million, new study to investigate
Tasmania could face more than a million feral deer without proper management to control population growth.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5316852/warnings-deer-population-could-reach-one-million/?cs=5955

Uranium mine rehabilitation jeopardised by NT Resources Department, traditional owners warn
The surprise downgrading of the senior mining scientist overseeing the project for the past six years will have ramifications for the Rum Jungle rehabilitation project and will affect the long-running Finniss River land claim, traditional owners say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/uranium-mine-rehabilitation-jeopardised-nt-resources-department/9612056

Putin and Erdogan to launch Turkey’s first nuclear power plant
With ties between their countries deepening, the Russia and Turkish leaders will jointly launch the construction of the $26 billion nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean coast.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/putin-and-erdogan-to-launch-turkey-first-nuclear-reactor/9614652

The environmental impact of putting that shirt on your back
What goes into manufacturing the various textiles we wear and how do the environmental impacts of each compare?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-03/fashion-environmental-impact-of-your-favourite-textiles/9382382

BMW unveils all-electric Mini, with plans to build them in China
BMW Group unveils all-electric version of iconic 3-door Mini, with production set for 2019 in UK, and plans underway to manufacture in China.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/bmw-unveils-electric-mini-plans-build-china-14752/

Energy Hogs: Can world’s huge data centers be made more efficient?
The gigantic data centers that power the internet consume vast amounts of electricity and emit 3 percent of global CO2 emissions. To change that, data companies need to turn to clean energy sources and dramatically improve energy efficiency.
https://e360.yale.edu/features/energy-hogs-can-huge-data-centers-be-made-more-efficient

How Cape Town found water savings California never dreamed of
Cape Town officials warned taps would run dry by April 22, but the city appears to have averted disaster by slashing individuals’ average water use by half. High-income Cape Town families have cut their average water use by 80%.
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-south-africa-drought-20180401-story.html

That’s not a solar farm. This is a solar farm!
Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank plan 200GW of solar projects by 2030 to replace heavily subsidised petroleum power.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/thats-not-solar-farm-solar-farm-51282/

With ‘unforgettable’ bag, Malaysian shoppers paid to cut plastic waste
British supermarket group Tesco has launched a scheme in Malaysia based on bags with barcodes, giving customers discounts on their shopping every time they reuse the bags.
https://www.reuters.com/article/asia-environment-plastic/with-unforgettable-bag-malaysian-shoppers-paid-to-cut-plastic-waste-idUSL5N1RG07K

Portland State study links outdoor recreation with water quality concerns
People who camp, hike, fish or participate in other forms of outdoor recreation generally have a higher level of concern about water quality than those who don’t, according to a recent study co-authored by Portland State University professor Melissa Haeffner.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/psu-pss040318.php

Your wood stove affects the climate more than you might think
Heating with wood has a significant warming effect on the climate, which is cause for concern. But at the same time, burning wood also causes significant cooling.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/nuos-yws040218.php

Real-Time Monitoring Could Reduce First Nations Water Advisories by One Third
Researchers have found that drinking water advisories in First Nations communities caused by equipment malfunction, inadequate disinfection and high microbial counts could be reduced by introducing …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180403111042.htm

Use of solid fuels for heating, cooking in China associated with increased risk of death
Bottom Line: Use of coal, wood or charcoal for cooking and heating in rural China was associated with a greater risk of death, with that risk decreased by having switched to gas, electricity or central heating, or using ventilation.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/jn-uos032918.php

The quiet e-bike revolution
Rod Munro
While EVs dominate the headlines, a quiet revolution has been taking place and the fastest growing segment in the transport world now is e-bikes, or electric bicycles.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-quiet-e-bike-revolution-84526/

Police question coal carrier crew over Borneo oil spill
Indonesian police are questioning the crew of a bulk coal carrier over an oil spill off the island of Borneo that ignited and killed four fishermen and continues to pollute local waters.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/borneo-oil-spill-sees-police-question-coal-carrier-crew/9614942

US National parks to rethink plan to hike entrance fees after widespread anger
Public comment period saw more than 100,000 messages, many condemning proposal to raise fees as high as $70
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/03/national-parks-entrance-fees-plan

Britain to ban ‘abhorrent’ ivory sales
Britain says it will ban the sale of ivory, no matter how old, to help protect the world’s elephant population.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/britain-to-ban-abhorrent-ivory-sales/news-story/6bea48d0928b007501c22d53635b2f61

It’s an ecological trap
LSU researchers have discovered a new relationship between climate change, monarch butterflies and milkweed plants. It turns out that warming temperatures don’t just affect the monarch, Danaus plexippus, directly, but also affect this butterfly by potentially turning its favorite plant food into a poison.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/lsu-iae040318.php

Coral reefs protect coasts from severe storms
Coral reefs can naturally protect coasts from tropical cyclones by reducing the impact of large waves before they reach the shore, according to scientists. Tropical cyclones wreak havoc on coastal infrastructure, marine habitats and coastal populations across the world. However, Dr. Michael Cuttler, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the University of Western Australia, says that for coastlines facing a direct cyclone impact, a fringing reef can protect the beach from extensive erosion.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/acoe-crp040218.php

Astro-Ecology: Saving Endangered Animals With Software for the Stars
A collaboration between astrophysicists and ecologists is helping to monitor rare and endangered species and stop poaching. Astrophysical software and techniques are applied …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180403140424.htm

High Levels of Hazardous Chemicals Found in Plastics Collected from Lake Geneva
The first analysis of plastic litter from Lake Geneva finds toxic chemicals like cadmium, mercury and lead – – whose levels sometimes exceed the …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180403111101.htm

Phytoplankton bloom spotted by NASA in Gulf of Aden
This image of a phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Aden might look fake, but it’s very real.
https://weather.com/news/news/2018-04-02-phytoplankton-bloom-gulf-of-aden-nasa-photo

Tiny Tulum goes from beach paradise to eco nightmare
With its eco-chic hotels, yoga retreats, Mayan ruins, luscious jungles and turquoise ocean, the Mexican town of Tulum has become the new bohemian hotspot. But at a devastating cost to the environment.
http://www.dw.com/en/tiny-tulum-goes-from-beach-paradise-to-eco-nightmare/a-43231319

As whales fade, movement they spawned tries to keep up hope
A file cabinet from the early 1990s, and the documents inside tell a familiar story — whales are dying from collisions with ships and entanglements in commercial fishing gear, and the species might not survive.
https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/whales-fade-movement-spawned-hope-54194139

Insecticide threatens the next Silent Spring
Laurel Hopwood
Many scientists claim neonics are leading to the next silent spring. Will we pay attention now, before it’s too late?
http://buffalonews.com/2018/04/01/another-voice-an-insecticide-threatens-the-next-silent-spring/

Surprise can be an agent of social change
A jolt of the unexpected can have far-reaching effects, according to new research from a University of Illinois expert who studies leadership and creativity.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uoia-psc040318.php