THURSDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2018

Gore’s vision more of a mirage
Al Gore’s vision of a dangerous climate “tipping point’’ has failed to materialise, says a top US business professor.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/al-gores-global-warming-vision-proves-more-mirage-than-material/news-story/9a8b92a59c7a7ec5254d65cf3e725085

The water will come, whether you believe in climate change or not
Tom Zirpoli
In his book “The Water Will Come,” Jeff Goodell outlines what is happening to cities along the coasts as the Earth warms, polar caps melt and our oceans rise.
http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/opinion/columnists/cc-op-zirpoli-20180130-story.html

Q&A: How will China’s new carbon trading scheme work?
Jocelyn Timperley
Last month, China announced the initial details of its much-anticipated emissions trading scheme (ETS).
http://reneweconomy.com.au/qa-how-will-chinas-new-carbon-trading-scheme-work-57769/

Massive study tracks 117 marine species showing effect of climate change
A wide-ranging underwater study is shedding light on how climate change is affecting the behaviour of marine life around Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/marine-trackers-to-show-how-climate-change-affects-sea-animal/9375360

Australian trees ‘sweat’ to survive extreme heatwaves, researchers reveal
Climate experiment shows trees release water but stop absorbing carbon in extreme heat
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jan/31/australian-trees-sweat-to-survive-extreme-heatwaves-researchers-reveal

Guardian crowdfunds for journalism
A Guardian Australia crowdfunding campaign for a new series has already exceeded its target of $50,000, and is now asking for $150,000 to support the environmental reporting.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/01/31/guardian-australia-crowdfunds-for-environmental-editorial-series/

Treasurer Scott Morrison in bid to keep food bowls out of foreign hands
Farmers will be forced to advertise the sale of their properties to locals first in a bid to stop foreigners snapping up prime Australian land in key food bowls.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/treasurer-scott-morrison-in-bid-to-keep-food-bowls-out-of-foreign-hands/news-story/70775c3e10b095547b2f9c16e3f1a79f

Electricity prices jump 12 per cent, six times the average pay rise
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/electricity-prices-jump-12-per-cent-six-times-the-average-pay-rise-20180131-p4yz4k.html

Australia cops UN climate slap as ‘green paradox’ looms
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-cops-un-investor-slap-on-climate-policy-as-green-paradox-looms-20180129-h0qc0f.html

Disappointing Reliability Review highlights failings of AEMC
David Leitch
See no problems, hear no problems, do very little. We read the AEMC’s Reliability review in the hope of finding some interesting ideas. We didn’t.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/disappointing-reliability-review-highlights-failings-aemc-79454/

Next time there’s a power outage, try relaxing
Clare Boyd-Macrae
Apart from people on life support systems, most of us could stand a few hours with no electricity.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/next-time-theres-a-power-outage-try-relaxing-20180131-h0r2dp.html

Gas restrictions push up prices
Matt Canavan
In the 1950s, the Australian government decided that we had to reduce our reliance on imported oil.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/gas-restrictions-push-up-prices-and-threaten-jobs/news-story/a9f0c86c6cb09f06c0bd3b157eb2b394

Powerful owl returns nine years after Black Saturday fires
A powerful owl, an apex predator of Kinglake National Park, is spotted there for the first time since the Black Saturday bushfires.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/powerful-owl-seen-in-kinglake-first-time-since-black-saturday/9376098

Recycling industry on the brink of collapse in Victoria
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/recycling-on-the-brink-of-collapse-in-victoria-20180131-p4yz5f.html

Police get a lift as they try to remove high-rise logging protesters
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/police-get-a-lift-as-they-try-to-remove-highrise-logging-protesters-20180131-h0rdap.html

Dark days ahead if lights left on
Victorians are being urged to “help the grid’’ by powering down airconditioners, dishwashers and lights to stave off blackouts.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/insurers-turnitoff-answer-to-heavy-electricity-use-days/news-story/c2a6b9ac37167b6fd54a12cbec92fd08

Liddell, the coal plant that “predates colour TV”, trips again
Another week, another coal unit failure, this time at AGL’s Liddell plant – you know, the one the Turnbull government wants kept open to boost grid reliability.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/liddell-the-coal-plant-that-predates-colour-tv-trips-again-39966/

Lismore opens Australia’s largest floating solar farm, could add storage
The northern New South Wales city of Lismore on Tuesday formally opened the country’s largest floating solar installation, and flagged plans to increase its size five-fold or more and to add battery storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/lismore-opens-australias-largest-floating-solar-farm-add-storage-10939/

Brisbane residents urged to cut food waste with six-week challenge
Brisbane residents are being asked to join a global movement called Love Food Hate Waste, where they are cut the amount of good food they throw away by participating in a six-week challenge.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-01/brisbane-residents-urged-cut-food-waste-six-week-challenge-call/9380386

Big surge in opposition to Adani, new polling reveals
Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said the poll showed opposition to the coal mine was growing and was a reminder our to MPs that “they must listen to the will of the people and chart a course from our dirty coal fuelled present to a clean energy powered future”.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/big-surge-in-opposition-to-adani-new-polling-reveals-20180131-p4yz4o.html

We need help’: King tide floods low-lying areas of Torres Strait
Home on Yam Island in the Torres Strait have been flooded with water as a king tide wreaks havoc on low-lying communities.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/we-need-help-king-tide-floods-lowlying-areas-of-torres-strait/news-story/876186ac2e23b20e2119d4c87e950dbe

Council bird ban slammed as ridiculous and harsh
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/council-bird-ban-slammed-as-ridiculous-and-harsh-20180131-p4yz51.html

Shorten hails cheap wind and solar, but will he stop Adani?
Giles Parkinson
Shorten says transition to renewables key to cheap and reliable energy, new industries, and the future of the reef. But he’s going to have to work hard to make this a major issue in what could be an election year, and he needs to be clear about Adani.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/shorten-hails-cheap-wind-and-solar-but-will-he-stop-adani-70396/

Tasmanian Greens announce plan to boost Parks and Wildlife Service
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5201327/tasmanian-greens-announce-plan-to-boost-parks-and-wildlife-service/?cs=95

Indigenous artworks to be sold to protect Tasmanian environment
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5201596/indigenous-artworks-to-be-sold-to-protect-tasmanian-environment/?cs=95

First orange-bellied parrot fledglings from the 2017-18 breeding season born in the Tasmania’s South-West
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/first-orangebellied-parrot-fledglings-from-the-201718-breeding-season-born-in-the-tasmanias-southwest/news-story/4e924180d1bb60ec197e6a5f1a02d1ce

Differing shades of Green a growing issue
Sean Ford
The Burnie hardwood timber mill  announcement has starkly exposed some differences between more hardcore environmentalists and more pragmatic types within the Greens.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5201211/differing-shades-of-green-growing-issue/?cs=97

Cloud over expansion of biggest lithium mine
An increasingly bitter dispute over tantalum is threatening to disrupt plans to double capacity at the world’s biggest lithium mine in Western Australia.
http://www.afr.com/business/tantalum-move-clouds-doubling-of-production-at-worlds-biggest-lithium-mine-20180131-h0r4ag

Fertilizer is fouling the air in California: Study
A large proportion of California’s nitrogen oxide—which can cause harmful ozone and a variety of health impacts—comes from heavy fertilizer use in the state’s Central Valley, according to a new study.
http://www.ehn.org/california-fertilizer-nitrogen-air-pollution-2530258544.html

Radioactive contamination found near Hanford office trailer
Radioactive contamination was found outside a Plutonium Finishing Plant office trailer at the Hanford nuclear reservation, after plant workers were relocated to that office and other offices farther from the plant.
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article197529489.html

Qantas uses mustard seeds in first ever biofuel flight between Australia and US
Blended fuel powers 15-hour Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 flight between LA and Melbourne, reducing carbon emissions by 7%.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/30/qantas-uses-mustard-seeds-in-first-ever-biofuel-flight-between-australia-and-us

Shiny cities, fields can help globe cool
Making cities and farm fields more reflective – including by painting buildings white or leaving more land unploughed after harvests – could reduce extreme heat by up to three degrees Celsius in areas where the techniques are used, scientists say.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/shiny-cities-fields-can-help-globe-cool/news-story/a962d57f73be00d4558a32e34e457baf

Cape Town highlights Melbourne water fears
Drought-stricken Cape Town could run out of water as soon as April, but South Africa is not alone in its struggle as ever more world cities battle acute water shortages.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/cape-town-highlights-melbourne-water-fears/news-story/57339ccee7be4ba98e8df4ced51077e7

To respect the Earth’s limits — or push them?
The Wizard and the Prophet,” Charles C. Mann’s new double biography of William Vogt and Norman Borlaug, presents the essential debate of environmentalism.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/books/review/the-wizard-and-the-prophet-charles-mann-william-vogt-norman-borlaug.html

Columbia engineers develop flexible lithium battery for wearable electronics
Shaped like a spine, new design enables remarkable flexibility, high energy density, and stable voltage no matter how it is flexed or twisted
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/cuso-ced012918.php

What is CRISPR gene editing, and how does it work?
Merlin Crossley, UNSW
https://theconversation.com/what-is-crispr-gene-editing-and-how-does-it-work-84591

Harnessing the power of Smart City energy management
Raman Abrol
India due to its sheer size and vast population has a lot of scope for experimentation and improvement in the Smarter Energy management segment.
http://bwsmartcities.businessworld.in/article/Harnessing-The-Power-Of-Smart-City-Energy-Management/31-01-2018-138856/

Global use of mosquito nets for fishing ‘endangering humans and wildlife’
Study warns that use of anti-malarial nets may reduce people’s protection and affect fish stocks, and calls for urgent research into potential impacts
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/31/global-use-of-mosquito-nets-for-fishing-endangering-humans-and-wildlife

Hong Kong votes to ban domestic ivory sales
Lawmakers overwhelmingly vote for the bill to abolish trade by 2021, which will shut down a massive ivory market and throw a ‘lifeline’ to elephants
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/31/hong-kong-votes-to-ban-domestic-ivory-sales

Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying
The stripy fields have been planted across England as part of a trial to boost the natural predators of pests that attack cereal crops
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/31/stripes-of-wildflowers-across-farm-fields-could-cut-pesticide-spraying

Sumatra’s ‘tiger descendants’ cling to their customs as coal mines encroach
The inhabitants of Sekalak village, in this forested region of southern Sumatra, have for generations passed down the legend of Puyang Baju Lantung, a man who was said to have transformed into a tiger to serve as the community’s guardian.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/sumatras-tiger-descendants-cling-to-their-customs-as-coal-mines-encroach/

Women on the front lines of halting deforestation
In Zimbabwe, the bulk of rural communities and urban poor still get their energy supplies from the forests, leading to deforestation and land degradation.
http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/01/women-front-lines-halting-deforestation/

Forests fall, animals die, desert looms: Uganda’s burning problem – in pictures
Charcoal is vital to everyday life in Uganda, where wood fuel is widely used for cooking and boiling water – yet producing it has disastrous consequences. Demand has increased dramatically over recent years, driven by Uganda’s population growth and urbanization.
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2018/jan/31/forests-fall-animals-die-desert-looms-uganda-in-pictures

Cambodian forest defenders killed after confronting illegal loggers
Three-person team reported to have been attacked by government forces while patrolling in the Keo Seima wildlife conservation sanctuary
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/31/cambodian-forest-defenders-killed-after-confronting-illegal-loggers

Forest conservation can have greater ecological impacts by allowing sustainable harvesting
Forest owners at greater risk of causing deforestation are more likely to participate in conservation programs when controlled harvesting is allowed, new research shows
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uom-fcc013118.php

The influence of hydropower dams on river connectivity in the Andes Amazon
Fragmentation of Andes-to-Amazon connectivity by hydropower dams
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/aaft-tio012918.php

The potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on streams
Concerns over hydraulic fracturing, an oil and gas extraction method that injects millions of gallons of freshwater and chemicals into shale, have largely focused on potential impacts on water quality. But, as scientists report in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology, “fracking” operations could have impacts on water quantity because they are withdrawing these large amounts of water from nearby streams, which house aquatic ecosystems and are used by people for drinking and recreation.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/acs-tpi012618.php

Dishonest individuals perceived as less capable
People view immoral individuals as less able to do their jobs or complete tasks effectively, study says
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/apa-dip012618.php

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