TUESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2018

In defense of biodiversity
Carl Safina
A number of biologists have recently made the argument that extinction is part of evolution and that saving species need not be a conservation priority. But this revisionist thinking shows a lack of understanding of evolution and an ignorance of the natural world.
http://e360.yale.edu/features/in-defense-of-biodiversity-why-protecting-species-from-extinction-matters

Departing Swan takes aim at Coalition “right wing thugs” over carbon price
Retiring Labor stalwart Wayne Swan cites losing carbon price debate to “vicious” Abbott-led scare campaign as major regret.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/departing-swan-takes-aim-at-coalition-right-wing-thugs-over-carbon-price-54126/

Wombats, sharks, possums, frogs: Australia’s animals at risk of extinction
Hundreds of Australian animals are endangered, and while they could be saved, government intervention is urgently needed
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2018/feb/13/wombats-sharks-possums-frogs-australias-animals-at-risk-of-extinction

‘A national disgrace’: Australia’s extinction crisis is unfolding in plain sight
More than 1,800 plant and animal species and ecological communities are at risk of extinction right now
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/13/a-national-disgrace-australias-extinction-crisis-is-unfolding-in-plain-sight

Court rules on cattle DNA patent
The Federal Court has passed a complex judgment on a Cargill JV’s plan to patent the genome of all Australian cattle.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/court-rules-on-cattle-industrys-beef-with-cargill-joint-ventures-gene-patenting-plan/news-story/7bf63d1b6a3d4dbad36fb823a6ec1c14

Ciobo’s Crocodile Dundee ad hides dark truth of wildlife mismanagement
Sue Arnold
The Turnbull Government’s failed policies, which are bringing wildlife to the brink of extinction, are ignored in its latest star-studded tourism campaign.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/ciobos-crocodile-dundee-ad-hides-dark-truth-of-wildlife-mismanagement,11180

Who’s afraid of electric vehicles? Busting the Kelly myths
Nigel Morris
Who knows what EV nightmare Craig Kelly had over Christmas, but clearly it spooked him. Let’s compare his claims with real word facts.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/whos-afraid-of-electric-vehicles-busting-the-kelly-myths-60864/

Kawasaki eyes Latrobe Valley coal for hydrogen
Japanese giant Kawasaki aims to use Latrobe Valley brown coal to produce hydrogen in a project which would dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions and offer huge economic benefits for the region.
http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/5222756/kawasaki-eyes-latrobe-valley-coal-for-hydrogen/

Metro Tunnel rail project cuts part of St Kilda Road to one lane each way
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/metro-tunnel-rail-project-cuts-st-kilda-road-to-one-lane-each-way-20180212-p4z001.html

Buried at sea: State hunts for underground home for carbon emissions
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/buried-at-sea-state-hunts-for-underground-home-for-carbon-emissions-20180211-p4yzy9.html

Victorian farmers to lose out on water plan
Victorian farms stand to lose billions of litres of water and hundreds of jobs if a Greens-led bid to block changes to the Murray-Darling Basin plan succeeds.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/murray-darling-basin-plan-changes-would-hurt-victorian-farmers/news-story/0fa0fe5ccb1a2510409bbb9733f83393

Editorial: Sydney’s not so light rail system
Telegraph editorial
Sydney’s light rail system comes with a heavy bill. About $200,000 of that bill is being spent so that two light rail bureaucrats can skip over to Europe every couple of months for the crucial business of liaising with project contractors.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/the-daily-telegraph-editorial-sydneys-not-so-light-rail-system/news-story/61eb59772549839ac543e0a1439953f4

Gardeners powerless to stop green thumbs with light fingers
Thieves are pillaging plants from front yards across the Brisbane region, getting off scot-free despite the best efforts of residents and landscapers.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-12/gardeners-powerless-to-stop-green-thumbs-with-light-fingers/9416384

Science or silence? My battle to question doomsayers about the Great Barrier Reef
Peter Ridd
The reef is supposedly almost dead from the combined effects of a warming climate, nutrient pollution from Australian farms, and smothering sediment from offshore dredging.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19565

High hopes for planned hydrogen venture in SA
A small hydrogen-fuelled power plant at Port Lincoln in South Australia might feed into the electricity grid, its proponent says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-12/hydrogen-power-plant-port-lincoln/9422022

“State’s biggest” solar + battery storage microgid to power SA Produce Markets
A $10.5m microgid combining 2.5MW solar PV, 4.2MWh of Tesla battery packs, 2.5MW diesel generator will power SA wholesale fruit and vege market, save stall holders $500k a year.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/states-biggest-solar-battery-storage-microgid-power-sa-produce-markets-50528/

Plan for $1b hills fast train
A superfast rail link from Adelaide to Mt Barker would relieve travel woes for motorists, capitalise on tourism and prepare for population growth, according to a South Australian transport expert.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-transport-expert-luigi-rossi-proposes-1bn-superfast-train-from-adelaide-to-mt-barker/news-story/91b6df1b67196ff91b7b908869ba275b

Pledge to reduce national parks entry fees for Tasmanians
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5223405/pledge-to-reduce-national-parks-entry-fees-for-tasmanians/?cs=95

Outback fire almost twice the size of Singapore rips through remote SA and NT
A bushfire in remote parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory has burnt through an area larger than some countries — but it seems not that many people have actually noticed.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-12/outback-bushfire-burns-huge-remote-area-in-sa-and-nt/9423092

Carnegie to build W.A.’s largest micro-grid at Kalbarri
Carnegie wins WA contract to build state’s largest microgrid, ensuring renewables and batteries can lift reliability of supply for Kalbarri.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/carnegie-to-build-w-a-s-largest-micro-grid-at-kalbarri-95650/

Rockingham and Australind bushfire warnings downgraded
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/outofcontrol-bushfire-threatens-homes-in-australind-20180211-h0vwo8.html

The US military is spending millions to replace toxic firefighting foam with toxic firefighting foam
The U.S. military is spending billions to clean up drinking water contaminated with toxic firefighting foam while continuing to use dangerous new formulas.
https://theintercept.com/2018/02/10/firefighting-foam-afff-pfos-pfoa-epa/

The Queen declares war on plastic after David Attenborough documentary
Queen Elizabeth has declared war on plastic, banning straws and bottles from the Royal estates
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/11/queen-declares-war-plastic-david-attenborough-documentary/

Tax breaks and the Google startup bringing geothermal heat into U.S. homes
By cutting costs and laying pipes for entire communities, Dandelion is trying to make emissions-free heating and cooling from the earth more affordable.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11022018/geothermal-heat-pump-infographic-google-startup-dandelion-tax-breaks-low-emissions-hvac

He fought for Iran’s environment and was arrested. Now, he’s dead
Authorities say a well-known Iranian-Canadian professor killed himself in a Tehran prison, after he and other environmentalists are arrested. His family is demanding answers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/world/middleeast/iran-environmentalist-dead-prison.html

Plans to restrict environmental legal challenges approved in Ireland
The proposed measures include limiting the time challengers have to make applications and requiring that groups have been in existence for over three years before they can object.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/plans-to-restrict-environmental-legal-challenges-approved-1.3388650

New fuel cell demonstrates exceptional power density and stability
Discovery heightens the viability of incorporating fuel cells into a sustainable energy future
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/nu-nfc021218.php

China winning global battery race
Chinese firms dominate the cobalt supply chain that begins in Congo, giving them a leg-up in the electric-car game.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/china-is-winning-the-global-race-to-control-batteries/news-story/b67f26399c9e5888825e3d6d61ebb4cb

Fixing cities’ water crises could send our climate targets down the gurgler
Peter Fisher, RMIT University
Cities all over the world are facing growing challenges to provide clean, reliable water. And many of the fixes, such as desalination plants, have a huge carbon footprint.
https://theconversation.com/fixing-cities-water-crises-could-send-our-climate-targets-down-the-gurgler-82822

Microplastics pollute most remote and uncharted areas of the ocean
First data ever gathered from extremely remote area of the South Indian Ocean has a surprisingly high volume of plastic particles, say scientists
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/12/microplastics-pollute-most-remote-and-uncharted-areas-of-the-ocean

Coral reefs require ‘radical interventions’ to save them from destruction, say top marine scientists
Scientists are ‘ready to take risks’ in effort to save vital marine ecosystems
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/coral-reefs-radical-interventions-save-destruction-global-warming-bleaching-a8205316.html

Global Warming Could Cause Key Culinary Crops to Release Seeds Prematurely
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180212121238.htm

Underreporting in International Wildlife Trade
Researchers have established several key trends in wildlife trade following an in-depth study on international wildlife trade data. The findings shed light on the market forces driving the movement …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180212112016.htm

Tree-dwelling animals can ‘climb’ away from climate change, study finds
Animals that live in trees in the tropics are likely to be better at crossing mountains and dealing with climate change compared to ground-dwelling animals, a new study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment suggests.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/tree-dwelling-animals-can-climb-away-from-climate-change-study-finds/

Hawaii looms as paradise lost
Sewage from cesspools is threatening the US state’s drinking water, coral reefs, famous beaches and tourism industry.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/hawaiis-cesspools-threaten-drinking-water-tourism/news-story/b0d528683ee7de3ac12243a85c5c8d29

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