THURSDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2018

Removing Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Not Reduce CO2 Emissions as Much as Hoped
Removing fossil fuel subsidies would have only a small effect on CO2 emissions and renewable energy use, new research has shown.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207140349.htm

Climate change: Tourism is Australia’s least prepared industry, report says
Beaches, wildlife, the Great Barrier Reef, unspoilt natural wilderness and national parks all considered threatened by climate change
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/08/climate-change-tourism-is-australias-least-prepared-industry-report-says

EPA head Scott Pruitt says global warming may help ‘humans flourish’
EPA administrator says ‘There are assumptions made that because the climate is warming that necessarily is a bad thing’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/07/epa-head-scott-pruitt-says-global-warming-may-help-humans-flourish

Could soils help save the climate?
Soils are a double-edged climate sword. They are huge reservoirs of organic carbon and can act as a carbon sink. But they can also release CO2 into the atmosphere when used unsustainably.
http://www.dw.com/en/could-soils-help-save-the-climate/a-42214694

Energy efficiency market report: A “spectacular” start to 2018
Having brought 2017 to a close on a comparatively stable note, the VEEC market began 2018 in a far more spectacular fashion. ESC market has also started in a positive frame of mind.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-efficiency-market-report-spectacular-start-2018/

Garnaut says low-cost energy is coming
Leading economist Ross Garnaut says Australia is on track to have the lowest energy costs in the world.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/38859094/garnaut-says-low-cost-energy-is-coming/

Only One in Five Australians Favour Proposed Limits on Charitable Advocacy
Only one in five Australians support the Turnbull government’s proposed measures to restrict charitable advocacy, including just 36 per cent of Coalition supporters, according to a new poll.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/02/one-five-australians-favour-proposed-limits-charitable-advocacy/

Powering our future: Inquiry into modernising Australia’s electricity grid
House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy
http://apo.org.au/node/131111

Putting the pieces together to create safe public spaces for all
SriPallavi Nadimpalli, University of Melbourne; Iderlina Mateo-Babiano, University of Melbourne, and Joyati Das, University of Melbourne
For a public space to be seen as safe, welcoming and accessible, a diverse range of people need to actively use it. That’s why any space-changing project needs to engage broadly with the community.
https://theconversation.com/putting-the-pieces-together-to-create-safe-public-spaces-for-all-89961

Councils keep recycling but question of where it will go remains unresolved
Ratepayers fear they will have to pay more for their recycling collection services as councils and the State Government try to work out what to do with it after China imposed a ban on imports of low-grade and contaminated waste.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-07/victorias-recycling-situation-waste-ban-china-councils/9401302

Vic firies fight out-of-control grass fire
Firefighters are battling a large, out-of-control grass fire in Hamilton in Victoria’s southwest, but communities are not at risk at the moment.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/38867637/vic-firies-fight-out-of-control-grass-fire/

More heat on the way for northern Victoria
A total fire ban has been declared for Victoria’s Mallee region as residents brace for more extreme heat.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/38866906/more-heat-on-the-way-for-northern-victoria/

Vic firies tackle blaze at recycling plant
A blaze at a Melbourne recycling plant has been brought under control, fire crews says.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/38863265/vic-firies-tackle-blaze-at-recycling-plant/

Electricity network fails on a scorcher, 7000 homes lose power
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/thousands-of-houses-in-victoria-without-power-20180207-p4yzmy.html

Victoria slugged with high electricity price on Wednesday
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/victoria-to-be-slugged-with-high-electricity-price-on-wednesday-20180206-p4yzkh.html

Grave state of affairs with rare grasshopper likely wiped out
http://www.theage.com.au/national/grave-state-of-affairs-with-rare-grasshopper-likely-extinct-in-victoria-20180206-p4yzhp.html

Hundreds of new leadbeater’s possum colonies identified
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/hundreds-of-new-leadbeaters-possum-colonies-identified/news-story/d2ddba0f43540361a2a92a6b2cdfca20

Wild horses: Alpine National Park’s chance to heal
Phil Ingamells
Parks Victoria is about to take action on the thousands of feral horses trampling wetlands and eating out other areas of Victorias magnificent Alpine National Park.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/wild-horses-alpine-national-parks-chance-to-heal/news-story/4be6ac2db42e14b013e4f611e452775a

NSW minister altered Barwon-Darling water-sharing plan to favour irrigators
Documents show Katrina Hodgkinson changed plan to allow irrigators to extract 32% more after industry ramped up its lobbying
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/08/nsw-minister-altered-barwon-darling-water-sharing-plan-to-favour-irrigators

Trains every two minutes: Sydney Metro will get rid of troublesome bottleneck on rail network
Rodd Staples
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/trains-every-two-minutes-sydney-metro-will-get-rid-of-troublesome-bottleneck-on-rail-network-20180206-h0utcq.html

Most crucial part of Gateway project is getting the least attention
SMH editorial
How much of the row over the key link in the WestConnex project is real and how much is theatre – a pantomime to enable the various stakeholders, especially Sydney Airport, to extract the maximum out of the government and the taxpayer?
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/a-sudden-detour-on-the-motorway-20180207-h0vgpj.html

What the ACT’s landmark buildings would look like with solar panels
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/what-the-acts-landmark-buildings-would-look-like-with-solar-panels-20180206-h0uflz.html

Palaszczuk challenges Adani to prove mine finance and jobs promises
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urges Adani to prove it has finance and job creation in place for the Carmichael coal mine, as federal Labor leader Bill Shorten continues to talk down the mine’s prospects.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-07/palaszczuk-calls-on-adani-to-prove-mine-finance-in-place/9404744

30-turbine wind farm approved for Lakeland, Cape York
Construction on a new wind farm at Cape York is expected to begin later this year.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns

The struggling farmers looking to renewables for a second wind
A 123-turbine wind farm west of Brisbane won’t just be the biggest renewable energy project in the southern hemisphere, it’s also opening up a potential source of income for a community hit hard by drought.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-08/struggling-farmers-looking-to-wind-farms-for-financial-security/9406376

Australia’s biggest wind farm to generate just 20 full-time jobs
What is set to be Australia’s largest wind farm will provide only 20 full-time jobs once it goes into operation next year. Construction started yesterday on AGL’s $850 million Coopers Gap wind farm at Cooranga North, 250km west of Brisbane, 10 years after it was proposed
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/australias-biggest-wind-farm-to-generate-just-20-fulltime-jobs/news-story/27d2878c7fb0166fae22aac8b45363fb

Mayor puts heat on coalminer
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says coalmine developer Adani must start building its vast open cut mine by August.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/townsville-mayor-jenny-hill-gives-adani-sixmonth-deadline-for-coalmine/news-story/659b938b3aa239ef8048c00c4ff76c2d

They knew gravesites were here’: Archaeologists confirm Indigenous legend
Archaeologists have confirmed ancient human remains, potentially up to 6,000 years old, lie in remote Cape York.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-08/discovery-of-ancient-aboriginal-remains-confirms-burial-grounds/9404322

South Australia unveils another big battery, this time with solar
Tilt Renewables to build another SA big battery, this time next to new solar farm and the existing Snowtown wind farm. It is also looking at a 300MW/1350MWh pumped hydro project in the foothills near Adelaide.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australia-unveils-another-big-battery-this-time-with-solar-16727/

Rare bandicoot sighted in SA forest for first time since Ash Wednesday fires
A motion sensor camera captures a rare sighting of an endangered southern brown bandicoot just south of Adelaide for the first time in nearly four decades since the devastating AshWednesday bushfires.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-07/endangered-southern-brown-bandicoot-sighted-infrared-camera/9404668

Pumped hydro scheme set for SA
A disused Adelaide quarry will be turned into a pumped hydro plant to help reduce South Australian energy prices.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/38858897/pumped-hydro-scheme-set-for-south-aust/

Figures showing how much water SA should get in Murray River ‘changed without explanation’
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/figures-showing-how-much-water-sa-should-get-in-murray-river-changed-without-explanation/news-story/1f002d968b4d2928733cca96db7e9193

Tasmania Libs propose solar + battery microgrid ahead of election
Tasmania’s Liberal government promises to boost state energy security with $200k solar and battery storage “microgrid,” if re-elected.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/tasmania-libs-propose-solar-battery-microgrid-ahead-election-53213/

Hobart beaches face 100-fold increase in flood risk as climate change hits
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/hobart-beaches-face-100fold-increase-in-flood-risk-as-climate-change-hits/news-story/55b69b918bb6c8e21d27d73fcb0f3536

We must keep plenty in reserve
Kevin Kiernan
To the generations who have not had to fight to create our national parks and reserves they perhaps seem like something that has always been there, much like a mountain or a river. But these treasured places were hard won, and at great personal cost to many.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-we-must-keep-plenty-in-reserve/news-story/3332bc0290df10a8014952ca153e6046

Origin assurances over NT test fracking well questioned by scientist
Origin Energy says there’s no need for concern over a test fracking well hitting a natural fault, but a scientist says it’s worrying because it can lead to gas emissions during drilling.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-07/origin-energy-assurances-nt-test-fracking-well-fault-questioned/9406046

Bigger than Adani: the NT ‘carbon bomb’ waiting to explode
Tim Forcey
By itself, Queensland’s proposed Adani coal mine would result in 5 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, Adani is a “carbon-bomb”.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/02/07/fracking-in-the-northern-territory-creates-carbon-bomb-to-rival-adani/

The fight to stop a growing wave of waste from ‘green’ electric cars
Vehicle batteries that can power a home? It’s just one of the ideas being looked at to stem the tide of lithium-ion battery waste from electric vehicles, which is set to soar as their popularity increases.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-07/what-could-happen-to-electric-vehicle-batteries/9398100

Polluted Air May Pollute Our Morality
Exposure to air pollution, even imagining exposure to air pollution, may lead to unethical behavior, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
https://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/53842

Chemists Develop a Simple, Easy-to-Use Method to Break Down Pollutants in Water
Chemists have found out how stubborn pollutants in water can be disintegrated easily and cost-effectively. To do so researchers only need a green LED light, a catalyst and vitamin C. In this way, …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207120631.htm

New Fuel Standards Will Decrease Childhood Asthma Cases
A new study quantifies health benefits of new a standard for shipping fuel, finding it will result in a 3.6 percent reduction of childhood …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207140420.htm

Tiny Pollutants Intensify Storms in the Amazon
Ultrafine aerosol particles found in polluted urban air can contribute to more intense storms in the Amazon rainforest, with potential knock-on effects for weather and climate patterns in the region and beyond, researchers have warned.
https://www.enn.com/pollution/article/53838

Cities of the future may be built with locally available volcanic ash
Study finds adding volcanic ash reduces the overall energy required to manufacture concrete
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/miot-cot020718.php

Can the world find solutions to the nitrogen pollution crisis?
More and more nitrogen keeps pouring into waterways, unleashing algal blooms and creating dead zones. To prevent the problem from worsening, scientists warn, the world must drastically cut back on synthetic fertilizers and double the efficiency of the nitrogen used on farms.
http://e360.yale.edu/features/can-the-world-find-solutions-to-the-nitrogen-pollution-crisis

From phosphorus to uranium: Israel releases list of toxic substances soldiers are exposed to
The Defense Ministry document includes toxins that can cause severe illness, airborne particles that endanger the lungs, and even viruses
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-lists-toxic-substances-soldiers-are-exposed-to-1.5793278

If we talk about hurting ‘our’ planet, who exactly is the ‘we’?
The Anthropocene feels different depending on where you are – too often, the ‘we’ of the world is white and Western.
https://aeon.co/essays/if-we-talk-about-hurting-our-planet-who-exactly-is-the-we

Is the doughnut economy just pie in the sky?
A new analysis of “doughnut economics” suggests that we could find more efficient ways of meeting people’s needs so that a lot more of us could live a lot better without trashing the planet.
http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/02/does-a-good-life-have-to-come-at-the-expense-of-the-planet/

No drop in U.S. carbon footprint expected through 2050, Energy Department says
The U.S. alone would burn through much of the world’s carbon budget under its current policies as oil production and the natural gas boom continue.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/06022018/eia-trump-greenhouse-gas-emissions-rise-climate-change-natural-gas-wind-solar-energy

A beginner’s guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy
David Roberts
Is it the right target? Is it even possible?
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/4/4/14942764/100-renewable-energy-debate

Recovering population of Zimbabwean African lions show low genetic diversity
Low diversity of Savé Valley Conservancy lions could impact population health
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/p-rpo020118.php

Hedgehog numbers plummet by half in UK countryside since 2000
Longterm decline is blamed on loss of hedgerows and insect prey but urban hedgehogs may offer a glimmer of hope, says a new report.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/07/hedgehog-numbers-plummet-by-half-in-uk-countryside-since-2000

Australians Losing Trust in Charities
Australians are losing trust in charities, and turning to CEOs and corporate leaders to tackle social issues, according to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/02/australians-losing-trust-charities/

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