THURSDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2018

Should Australia recognise the human right to a healthy environment?
Meg Good, University of Tasmania
Australia is one of only 15 nations (a list that also includes Canada and the United States) that does not recognise the human right to a healthy environment at the federal level.
http://theconversation.com/should-australia-recognise-the-human-right-to-a-healthy-environment-92104

Sea levels could rise an extra 60cm if emission reductions are delayed until 2035: study
A new study estimates sea levels could rise between 0.7 and 1.2 metres by 2300, but scientists warn delays in meeting Paris emissions targets could push them even higher.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-02-21/sea-level-rise-impacted-by-missed-paris-target-study-finds/9465290

Humans are responsible for nearly all modern global warming
In case anyone ever suggests to you that, sure, global warming is real, but we don’t know how much is caused by humans – well, yes we do.
https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/02/humans-are-responsible-for-nearly-all-modern-global-warming/

What climate change means for glaciers, storms, fires, clouds and more
It is very likely that human activities have contributed to observed Arctic warming, sea ice loss, glacier mass loss, and a decline in snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere.
https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/2684/what-climate-change-means-for-glaciers-storms-fires-clouds-and-more/

CEFC targets greener farming, with $100m investment in CSIRO-linked agri fund
CEFC backs Macquarie fund, linked with CSIRO, to boost energy efficiency, sustainability – and productivity – in agribusiness.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/cefc-targets-greener-farming-100m-investment-csiro-linked-agri-fund-74239/

Calling citizen scientists: more data needed to protect echidnas
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/22/calling-citizen-scientists-more-data-needed-to-protect-echidnas

Basin plan drains jobs from towns
Almost a quarter of all jobs across the Murray Darling Basin’s south have evaporated in the past 15 years — with the majority lost since federal water buyouts began in 2007.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/murray-darling-basin-plan-forty-towns-drained-of-water-and-jobs/news-story/98de4e73f3ad5a5166b94bd09e8bf50e

Foxes on run
Fire and dingoes could be the key to controlling foxes.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/wild-dogs-fire-dingoes-could-be-key-to-fox-control/news-story/cdc4faf7eac49d6c31d065656eddeb87

Greenwashing the property market: why ‘green star’ ratings don’t guarantee more sustainable buildings
Igor Martek and M. Reza Hosseini, Deakin University
Buildings are central to creating more sustainable cities, and green ratings are often used to assess how well a building measures up against this goal. But the current system has serious flaws.
http://theconversation.com/greenwashing-the-property-market-why-green-star-ratings-dont-guarantee-more-sustainable-buildings-91655

Squabbling Nats need water on the brain
Ed Gannon
While all the attention in the past fortnight has been on National Party leader Barnaby Joyce and his extramarital affair, an issue of far greater importance to a huge chunk of Australia has played out largely unnoticed
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/ed-gannon-squabbling-nats-need-to-have-water-on-the-brain/news-story/b8d9c7adc130b284800fc40eac861d08

Deregulate and go back to coal
Alan Moran
Our energy security is undermined by subsidies for uneconomical wind and solar.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/deregulate-energy-market-and-go-back-to-coal/news-story/1aac05b3a81530160e0ee14ecbd1f60e

Greens use Labor’s Adani indecision to ramp up Batman campaign
Activists seize upon Labor’s contradictory messages on Queensland coalmine in battle for inner-city Melbourne
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/21/greens-use-labors-adani-indecision-to-ramp-up-batman-campaign

Review on failing channel network
The Victorian  Government will launch a major inquiry into rationalisation of Goulburn Murray Water’s channel network, as the corporation struggles to deal with less water and less revenue flowing into its coffers.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/goulburn-murray-water-review-on-failing-channel-network/news-story/f3b59e2f684f8c3032728cb6b3dd8f85

‘What Matthew Guy did at Fishermans Bend stinks’
The state government has cast doubt on billions of dollars worth of apartment projects at the precinct.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/fishermans-bend-planning-freeze-casts-doubts-on-4-5b-in-development-20180221-p4z15r.html

Metro Tunnel to open a year early
Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel is on track to open 12 months earlier than expected. But first, Grattan St will be shut to motorists for five years from tomorrow.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/metro-tunnel-is-a-year-ahead-of-schedule-premier-daniel-andrews/news-story/48847fd1eaaf899c171dfff573d05dee

NSW inquiry hears ‘urgent need’ for fairer electricity prices
Social service groups tell a NSW Upper House inquiry into electricity prices that electricity providers need to make “no-frills” plans available to all low-income households.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/electricity-prices-urgent-need-for-low-income-households/9471718

Hunters Hill residents wary of latest announcement on uranium contamination
Residents on Sydney’s lower north shore dismiss the Government’s latest plans to clean up land contaminated by a uranium smelter more than hundred years ago as “a hollow promise”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/hunters-hill-uranium-contamination-residents-wary/9468272

What Canberra is throwing away: 2017 rubbish report
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/heres-what-canberra-is-throwing-away-2017-rubbish-report-20180220-h0we4y.html

Anti-Adani doco screening axed for safety reasons, not politics, council says
Townsville City Council has dismissed environmentalists’ claims that the screening of a documentary on the Stop Adani protest movement was cancelled for political reasons, insisting public safety concerns were the real concern.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/council-denies-politics-behind-axing-of-stop-adani-documentary/9468218

Don’t only blame water buybacks for job losses
Jobs have been slashed in irrigated agriculture throughout communities along the River Murray since water buybacks and other moves to save the ailing waterway started.
http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/murray-darling-basin-authority-analysis-shows-river-communities-hit-hard-by-job-losses/news-story/40ac7d1fe7f5309f06b7af564f17aae8

SA to be powered by 75pc renewables by 2025 under new target
SA Labor commits to a 75 per cent Renewable Energy Target within seven years but, according to one analyst, the aim may not be as ambitious as it sounds.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/sa-to-be-powered-by-75-per-cent-renewables-by-2025/9470408

Energy-saving projects under threat in SA, peak body claims
Government departments are now being told to find their own funding to improve the efficiency of South Australian buildings they occupy, a peak energy group says, but the State Government says there is still funding, especially for new buildings.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/sa-energy-efficiency-program-funding-concern/9469362

SA backs second renewables-to-gas hydrogen plant, in Tonsley
Government-backed power-to-gas plant in Adelaide to store renewable electricity and distribute it in gas network as hydrogen.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/sa-backs-second-renewables-gas-hydrogen-plant-tonsley-53911/

Carnegie to build renewable micro-grid on old Holden site in Elizabeth
Carnegie Clean Energy wins $3m SA govt grant to build 2MW/500kWh battery and renewable microgrid on old GM Holden site.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/carnegie-to-build-renewable-micro-grid-on-old-holden-site-in-elizabeth-30944/

SA Labor to offer renewable energy loans
Premier Jay Weatherill has pledged $100 million in loans for South Australians to buy solar panels and household batteries.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/sa-labor-to-offer-renewable-energy-loans/news-story/f9c2f7f86df51ea042c8b2b7b629e4ee

Frydenberg fumes as Weatherill does the vision thing on renewables and storage
Giles Parkinson
Frydenberg goes to Adelaide and is trumped again by Weatherill’s big vision. Leading analysts say SA Premier stands apart.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/frydenberg-fumes-as-weatherill-does-the-vision-thing-on-renewables-and-storage-49885/

Labor’s rash energy experiment
Australian editorial
South Australia is doubling down on a renewable gamble.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/labor-risks-family-budgets-in-rash-energy-experiment/news-story/1ded1248daa667882864c2326d75cfe3

New 3D images of Tasmanian tigers reveal evolutionary secrets
Researchers say it’s the first time a series of wholly-preserved specimens of an extinct species has been digitally scanned, creating a unique timeline of early development from joeys aged just a few days old to fully-grown juveniles.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/new-3d-images-of-tasmanian-tigers-used-by-researchers/9471196

New Cradle visitor centre loses view, says Bob Brown
Plans for new facilities at Cradle Mountain have quietly been changed to privatise views of the iconic peak, the Bob Brown Foundation says.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/new-cradle-mt-visitor-centre-loses-prime-view-says-bob-brown-foundation/news-story/d1b57e98e8fec2794847400f1c3951a9

World’s first solar fuels reactor for night passes test
Solar powered chemistry has one downfall — reactions stop at night. Now scientists have a solution.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/s-wfs022018.php

Morocco turns the Sahara desert into a solar energy oasis
Morocco says it wants to be the Saudi Arabia of solar energy. Its flagship project is a first-of-its-kind, $9-billion energy plant called Noor, meaning “light” in Arabic, and the size of the city of Paris.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/morocco-turns-the-sahara-desert-into-a-solar-energy-oasis

City noise might be making you sick
For a century, urban commotion has been treated as individual moral failing. Fixing it will require systemic changes to environmental noise.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/city-noise-might-be-making-you-sick/553385/

BP projects oil output to peak in late 2030s
Due to the rapid development of electric vehicles and travel-sharing services, global consumption of oil will decline about 20 years from now, the British oil and gas giant has predicted in its latest industry outlook.
http://www.dw.com/en/bp-projects-oil-output-to-peak-in-late-2030s/a-42663463

#EveryDropCounts: World’s use of water outstripping population
Water use is growing at twice the rate of population growth, and, if this trend is not reversed, two-thirds of the global population will face water stress by 2025.
https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/everydropcounts-worlds-use-of-water-outstripping-population-13402849

Building a backup bee
The world’s largest almond grower is creating a novel replacement for the embattled honeybee.
https://thefern.org/2018/02/building-backup-bee/

Japan task force echoes foreign minister calls to back renewables over coal, nuclear
Japan is the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas and the third-biggest importer of coal used for power generation
http://news.trust.org/item/20180220083421-bb7gd/

Brazil’s fundamental pesticide law under attack
The bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby is pushing for total deregulation of pesticides, with potentially harmful health and environmental impacts.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/brazils-fundamental-pesticide-law-under-attack/

How employers can design workplaces to promote wellness
Libby Sander, Bond University
http://theconversation.com/how-employers-can-design-workplaces-to-promote-wellness-91983

Bali beaches swamped by garbage as tourists, hotel workers sweep up each morning
It’s garbage season in Bali, as an annual and worsening tide of trash swamps the beaches of the holiday island, polluting the sand making the prospect of a swim less than appealing.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/bali-beaches-swamped-by-garbage/9467974

‘It’s our home’: Pygmies fight for recognition as forest protectors in new film
The word “pygmy” conjures images of hunter-gatherers living deep in the Congo rainforest, far removed from the modern world. But that modern world is closing in on them, as the forests in which they live fall to provide the rest of the world with timber and make way for huge industrial farms.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/its-our-home-pygmies-fight-for-recognition-as-forest-protectors-in-new-film/

Climate warming causes local extinction of Rocky Mountain wildflower species
warmer, drier conditions decimated experimental populations of Northern rock jasmine, a mountain wildflower.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/uoca-cwc022018.php

Feds say lynx no longer need protection, despite bleak outlook
The US government announced in January that it plans to remove the Canada lynx from the Endangered Species list.
http://aspenpublicradio.org/post/feds-say-lynx-no-longer-need-protection-despite-bleak-outlook

Under projected rates of sea level rise, a bleak future for Pacific coast tidal wetlands
US Pacific coastal wetland resilience and vulnerability to sea-level rise
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/aaft-upr022018.php

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