WEDNESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2018

Humans need to become smarter thinkers to beat climate denial
A new paper shows that climate myths consistently fail critical thinking tests
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/feb/06/humans-need-to-become-smarter-thinkers-to-beat-climate-denial

Ozone is missing from the atmosphere and scientists don’t know why
The gas that helps protect us from harmful UV radiation isn’t where it should be, according to satellite measurements.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-02-06/lower-stratosphere-atmosphere-ozone-layer-decline-climate/9400164

Floods are getting worse, and 2,500 chemical sites lie in the water’s path
Extreme weather linked to climate change has increased the frequency and severity of flooding, amplifying the risk of toxic spills at chemical sites.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/06/climate/flood-toxic-chemicals.html

The Arctic is full of toxic mercury, and climate change is going to release it
The frozen soils hold “twice as much mercury as the rest of all soils, the atmosphere, and ocean combined,” scientists wrote Monday.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/02/05/the-arctic-is-full-of-toxic-mercury-and-climate-change-is-going-to-release-it/?utm_term=.5b8de50046d6

Effects of climate change can complicate the politics of military bases, study finds
Using an abandoned U.S. military base in Greenland as a case study, new Brown research explores how the impact of climate change on domestic and overseas military bases could cause a host of political and diplomatic problems.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/bu-eoc020518.php

Reducing the footprint of a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide
Scientists at USC have found a new catalyst that more efficiently converts methane to olefins
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/uosc-rtf020518.php

Labor to join the Greens in a bid to stop Murray-Darling Basin Plan changes
The Opposition will back a Greens’ disallowance motion in the Senate to stop the Federal Government from changing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-02-06/murray-darling-labor-backs-greens-disallowance/9400160

Murray Darling Basin targets: Farmer fury at Labor move
Irrigators and farm groups have slammed the Greens and Labor for trying to block changes to the Murray Darling Basins environmental water targets, saying their decision will cost rural communities.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/murray-darling-basin-targets-farmer-fury-at-labor-move/news-story/f6ecde765dfa846955288893a5d4adbe

Turnbull’s power play: Snowy 2.0 vs battery storage
Snowy 2.0 report confirms that $8 billion project would likely boost coal and lift emissions. Worse, it takes an “us and them” approach to battery storage, and uses some pretty silly battery costings to justify its case.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbulls-power-play-snowy-2-0-vs-battery-storage-59178/

Smart meters energy crisis not reducing bills or boosting supply as keeping coal-fired plants open
Miranda Devine
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/smart-meters-a-dumb-answer-to-energy-crisis/news-story/b7eda462757d6e9ed4e91c8e6541b98b

Cape Town is almost out of water. Could Australian cities suffer the same fate?
Ian Wright, Western Sydney University
https://theconversation.com/cape-town-is-almost-out-of-water-could-australian-cities-suffer-the-same-fate-90933

Pesticide bans might give us a buzz, but they won’t necessarily save the bees
Caroline Hauxwell, Queensland University of Technology
Australian bees have so far avoided the ‘colony collapse’ devastating hives around the world, but there’s growing pressure for a ban on certain insecticides blamed for bee deaths.
https://theconversation.com/pesticide-bans-might-give-us-a-buzz-but-they-wont-necessarily-save-the-bees-90960

Murray Darling Basin backflip reflects badly on Nationals
Peter Hall
Federal Water Minister David Littleproud’s opinion piece in The Weekly Times last week is one of the biggest policy backflips in rural political history and signals an astounding willingness by the National Party to sell Murray Darling Basin irrigators down the river.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/murray-darling-basin-backflip-reflects-badly-on-nationals/news-story/8a7b59a7fb0e24173f9f25762e5b5862

Wild horses: Brumby supporters say Parks Victoria trap plan ‘is a cull’
Brumby supporters have accused Parks Victoria of disguising a proposal to cull wild horses as a trapping plan
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/wild-horses-brumby-supporters-say-parks-victoria-trap-plan-is-a-cull/news-story/1012f956590fb334e1910b17585527ed

Cat plague is back after nearly 40 years in hiding
Mark Westman, University of Sydney
A deadly feline disease is spreading between cats after hiding in nature for nearly 40 years.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/cat-plague-is-back-after-nearly-40-years-in-hiding/9401794

Gold Coast dunes levelled for Commonwealth Games beach volleyball
Southern Gold Coast residents are shocked and angry sand dunes are being bulldozed to make way for beach volleyball practice courts for April’s Commonwealth Games.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/gold-coast-dunes-levelled-commonwealth-games-beach-volleyball/9401270

Labor pushes for federal investigation into Adani
Opposition says commonwealth has responsibility for sensitive wetlands contaminated near Great Barrier Reef
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/06/labor-pushes-for-federal-investigation-into-adani

Labor warns Shorten over Adani
Labor frontbenchers have urged Bill Shorten to shift the Adani debate away from “green’’ issues
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/labor-warnings-for-bill-shorten-on-opposing-adani/news-story/110faeced8162de304964496052b7c5c

‘ALP to pay’ for Adani sell-out
Mike Brunker has a message for Labor: if you turn your back on Adani, say goodbye to north Queensland at the next election.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/shorten-to-pay-for-sellout-on-adani-say-queensland-voters/news-story/4288c535e71ac796a0612e659fafbce0

The clash that’s killing our reef: expert
A coral reef scientist says the government is doing the exact opposite of what is needed to ensure the survival of the Great Barrier Reef.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/38851179/australias-fossil-and-coral-conflict/

Only London and New York beat Brisbane to electrical power worldwide
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/only-london-and-new-york-beat-brisbane-to-electrical-power-worldwide-20180206-p4yzjh.html

‘It’s about Adani’: Did India deny me a journalist’s visa because of a story?
Amruta Slee
India is the world’s largest democracy, but its failure to issue ABC journalists with visas or provide an official explanation highlights growing concern about freedom of expression
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/visa-fiasco-poses-questions-about-indian-democracy-adani/9399700

Adani mine: Jobs at risk if Bill betrays Queenslanders
Courier Mail editorial
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-real-jobs-at-risk-if-bill-betrays-queenslanders-on-adani/news-story/fb3dc70f22ff9d8fb7cbbcdc1c53203c

Adani: Will Bill Shorten change Labor’s development policy history?
Dennis Atkins
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-history-shows-bill-shorten-is-smack-in-the-middle-of-byelection-and-adani-minefield/news-story/cf260f387aebd162a174211fe8442a1f

Shorten stalling for time
Dennis Shanahan
Bill Shorten can’t give a straight answer on his position on the development of the $16bn Adani coal project.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/dennis-shanahan/shorten-stalling-for-time-on-adani-mine-hoping-project-falls-over/news-story/72a42e1715b88ca7a45fbcdd3529a05f

SA bracing for a three-day heatwave
South Australia will have very hot conditions over the next three days, continuing the hot start to 2018.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/38853384/sa-bracing-for-a-three-day-heatwave/

Last-ditch effort to save orange-bellied parrot from extinction
A last-ditch effort to save one of Australia’s most endangered but least understood birds from the brink of extinction is underway.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/last-ditch-effort-to-save-orange-bellied-parrot-from-extinction/9401180

Woodchip mill concerns dominate community election forum in Tasmania’s far south
In Dover, in Tasmania’s far south, the key election issue occupying people’s minds is the impact of a proposed $42 million woodchip mill.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/abc-hobart-hears-what-dover-locals-want-from-new-government/9399734

Vietnam jails activist for 14 years for livestreaming pollution march
Hoang Duc Binh had posted footage on Facebook of fishermen protesting following a huge chemical spill from a steel plant
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/06/vietnam-jails-activist-for-14-years-for-livestreaming-pollution-march

Kingston Beach bliss as pollution signs lifted
Kingborough Council will step up measures to prevent pollution flowing into Kingston Beach waters after high bacteria levels forced the area to close all weekend.
http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/kingston-beach-bliss-as-pollution-signs-lifted/news-story/a80ccc22fd4b6dd8d5ef597dcc3d0e0c

Fracking inquiry rejects accusation against Origin, NT Government
The Northern Territory Government and Origin Energy are accused of misleading a hydraulic fracturing inquiry and providing it with false information regarding a failed well, but the inquiry’s chair supports Origin in its rejection of the claim.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-06/origin-energy-nt-government-cover-up-misleading-fracking-inquiry/9401030

How fumes from farms are harming our health — and what we can do about it
Ammonia from farm animal waste and fertilizers plays a surprising role in producing health-harming air pollution.
https://ensia.com/features/ammonia/

Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future?
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. And as the race to find energy sources to replace our dwindling fossil fuel supplies continues, hydrogen is likely to play a crucial role.
https://www.enn.com/energy/article/53832

Farm sunshine, not cancer: Replacing tobacco fields with solar arrays
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/mtu-fsn020518.php

Smart new method to manufacture organic solar cells
Asymmetric photocurrent extraction in semitransparent laminated flexible organic solar cells
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/lu-snm020518.php

Texas A&M develops new type of powerful battery
A multi-institution team of scientists led by Texas A&M University chemist Sarbajit Banerjee has discovered an exceptional metal-oxide magnesium battery cathode material, moving researchers one step closer to delivering batteries that promise higher density of energy storage on top of transformative advances in safety, cost and performance in comparison to their ubiquitous lithium-ion (Li-ion) counterparts.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/tau-tad020518.php

Production of solar fuels inches closer with discovery by Caltech scientists
Research uncovers mechanism behind water-splitting catalyst
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/ciot-pos020618.php

Edinburgh University divests from all fossil fuels
Move makes it the largest university fund in the UK to ditch all coal, oil and gas holdings, following a long student campaign
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/06/edinburgh-university-divests-from-all-fossil-fuels

UK built half of Europe’s offshore wind power in 2017
Capacity is growing fast and turbines getting bigger – some almost as large as the Shard
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/06/uk-built-half-of-europes-offshore-wind-power-in-2017

There are more mammal species than we thought
A recent study published in the Journal of Mammalogy, at Oxford University Press, highlights that over 1000 new species of mammals have been described globally during the last dozen years, a finding that contradicts the notion that our mammalian relatives are well known.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/oupu-tam020518.php

Serious shortcomings in aging tests of new solar cell materials
Researchers at Aalto University have found that only a fraction of stability tests done on new types of solar cells meet proper requirements. Tests lack common standards and should have been done in real-world conditions and in groups of several cells.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/au-ssi020618.php

Crikey’s pocket guide to lesser known alternative energy sources — Part II
Chris Wood
How do ocean power and solar thermal energy work?
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/02/06/crikeys-pocket-guide-to-lesser-known-alternative-energy-sources-part-ii/

Nearly 50 marine species in Irish waters face extinction
Irish Wildlife Trust calls for full legal protection for threatened sealife.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/nearly-50-marine-species-in-irish-waters-face-extinction-1.3381452

New alien species invasions still rising globally
Up to 16% of all species on Earth could qualify as potential alien species and if they invade new regions, impacts will be difficult to predict, according to new research involving UCL.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/ucl-nas020118.php

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