WEDNESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2018

Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by ‘crazy’ temperature rises
Record warmth in the Arctic this month could yet prove to be a freak occurrence, but experts warn the warming event is unprecedented
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/27/arctic-warming-scientists-alarmed-by-crazy-temperature-rises

Welcome to the age of climate migration
Extreme weather due to climate change displaced more than a million people from their homes last year and could reshape nation.
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/welcome-to-the-age-of-climate-migration-w516974

‘What am I gonna go home to? Water?’: The climate refugees settling in America’s heartland
The Marshall Islands has a new capital, in a sense: Springdale, Arkansas.
https://mashable.com/2018/02/25/marshall-islands-arkansas/?utm_cid=hp-h-2#cxeDtL5yp5qT

Women are an “unstoppable” force for climate action
Anne Hidalgo
Today there is perhaps no greater responsibility for powerful women than to lead efforts for a healthier and greener future.
http://news.trust.org//item/20180226162646-5s84u/?source=gep

ACF welcomes its first female president, Mara Bún
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is pleased to announce businesswoman, activist and executive, Mara Bún, as its new president.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/acf-welcomes-first-female-president-mara-bun-73655/

Networks say new wind, solar project proposals still flooding in
Transgrid still swamped by new wind and solar project proposals, despite expectation that RET will be met with current commitments.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/networks-say-new-wind-solar-project-proposals-still-flooding-in-31704/

Frischknecht to step down as head of ARENA
Founding CEO Ivor Frischknecht to step down as head of Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the key player in Australia’s renewable energy innovation.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/frischknecht-to-step-down-as-head-of-arena-68096/

Excluding Charities Makes Foreign Donations Ban “Entirely Ineffective” Says Cormann
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann believes excluding charities from a foreign donations ban would “make such a ban entirely ineffective”, despite Labor leader Bill Shorten’s assertion that reform can occur without “silencing” the charity sector.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/02/excluding-charities-makes-foreign-donations-ban-entirely-ineffective-says-cormann/

It’s time to find out if Australia’s threatened species projects are actually effective
A Senate estimates hearing has been told how little auditing takes place on such projects. But no big deal, it’s just the environment, right?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/27/australia-threatened-species-projects-effective-audit

Energy mess deters US investors: Liveris
Andrew Liveris has told America’s corporate bosses and Australian political leaders that paralysis over energy policy was a key deterrent to foreign investment.
http://www.afr.com/news/energy-policy-paralysis-an-investment-killer-andrew-liveris-20180227-h0wpc2

Energy market tipping point is coming, and fast
Kasnish Shah & Tim Buckley
Utilities’ shift to renewables will accelerate as prices fall further, compounded by tech improvements, cheap financing, and the proliferation of clean-energy policies.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-market-tipping-point-coming-fast-53726/

How smart meters can cut power bills for switched-on consumers
Sangeetha Chandrashekeran, Gavin Duffy and Martin Gill
Householders are not reaping the full benefits from the haphazard smart meter rollout across Australia, although the ability of retailers to block access to daily usage data is also to blame
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/australian-power-prices-smart-meters-energy-retailer-electricity/9488542

FactFile: the facts on shark bites and shark numbers
Jane Williamson, Macquarie University and Vincent Raoult, University of Newcastle
How many shark encounters have there been at your local beach? Explore our interactive map to see 20 years of incidents between humans and sharks in coastal waters around Australia.
https://theconversation.com/factfile-the-facts-on-shark-bites-and-shark-numbers-76450

Know your NEM: Bad news keeps coming on NEG
David Leitch
NEG is largely a smokescreen designed to bury electricity policy under a motherhood blanket. The policy is supposed to endure for decades but its major design issues have to be decided in weeks. This is just nuts.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/know-your-nem-bad-news-keeps-coming-on-neg-66122/

Is Australia’s new Deputy PM another anti-wind climate denier?
Sophie Vorrath
As we farewell one anti-renewables, climate denying, coal loving Deputy PM, are we about to see more of the same? New man has attacked climate science, demonised wind, and signed off on Tony Abbott’s refusal of free solar panels for the Lodge.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/is-australias-new-deputy-pm-another-anti-wind-climate-denier-56686/

It’s time electricity prices started to come down
Rosemary Sinclair
This year will determine whether we see another decade of electricity price rises, or whether we finally get things under control.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/it-s-time-electricity-prices-started-to-come-down-20180227-p4z1yh.html

Wild dog trap and camera thefts harm farmers’ containment efforts
Victorian authorities are investigating an increase in the number of wild dog trap and camera thefts as farmers count the cost and call for more trappers.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-02-27/wild-dog-trap-and-camera-thefts-harm-farmers-efforts/9487738

Final straw? Darebin bans balloons, other plastics from council parks
Balloons, water bottles and other plastics, including bags, straws and cups, are to be banned from public land in part of Melbourne’s north.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/final-straw-darebin-bans-balloons-other-plastics-from-council-parks-20180227-p4z209.html

Victoria’s major projects: Why the hold-up?
Paul Fletcher
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Andrews Labor government is holding up crucial projects to score political points.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/victoria-s-major-projects-why-the-hold-up-20180227-p4z1yb.html

Bring the waste home
SMH editorial
It is time for the waste, and the blame, to be brought home to NSW.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/bring-the-waste-home-20180227-h0wqcb.html

Sydneysiders don’t want a bigger population. They are voting with their feet
Conal Hanna
There’s a chart that shows what would happen to Sydney if we kept foreign immigration to net zero.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/sydneysiders-don-t-want-a-bigger-population-they-are-voting-with-their-feet-20180226-p4z1tw.html

Poor infill design contributes to increased Canberra flood risk
Canberra’s floodways were once cutting edge.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/poor-infill-design-contributes-to-increased-canberra-flood-risk-20180227-h0wq5k.html

Queensland ‘most expensive’ state in nation for gas: review
Homes in south-east Queensland using reticulated gas pay more than twice the national average for their supply, a review of the nation’s gas pricing reveals.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/queensland-most-expensive-state-in-the-nation-for-household-gas/9489964

Sceptical Shorten open to revoking Adani mine licence, businessman says
Environmentalist Geoff Cousins says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told him that if Labor wins government they could withdraw the Adani mine licence.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/geoff-cousins-accuses-bill-shorten-of-reneging-on-adani-deal/9490238

Duped at the dump: Recycling rort as the truth is buried
https://www.smh.com.au/national/duped-at-the-dump-recycling-rort-as-the-truth-is-buried-20180219-p4z0v7.html

Downpour is the silver lining for drinking water supplies
https://www.smh.com.au/national/queensland/downpour-is-the-silver-lining-for-drinking-water-supplies-20180227-p4z1wn.html

‘Stop turning a blind eye’: Environment Minister calls out NSW over recycling
An interstate stoush broken out, with Queensland’s Environment Minister telling NSW to “stop turning a blind eye”, while her counterpart accused her of “talking tough”.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/stop-turning-a-blind-eye-environment-minister-calls-out-nsw-over-recycling-20180227-p4z1yy.html

Cairns in line for plastics recycling plant
The innovators behind FNQ Plastics have created a new business with the sole purpose of establishing the first recycling plant in Cairns to convert would-be waste into finished products for sale.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns-in-line-for-plastics-recycling-plant/news-story/aa6bde58ddbcb4eca3eaceb39fb36c6d

Work to dredge Trinity Inlet not far away
The fate of the State Government’s $120?million plan to dredge the Trinity Inlet will be revealed today with all indications work will start in the coming months.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/start-date-for-longawaited-trinity-inlet-dredging-plan-expected-to-be-handed-down-today/news-story/9144ddd6af7a8cbb28a84602fb53dfec

Horrific images of sheep guts ‘ripped out’ highlight SA’s wild dog scourge
Pictures of a badly wounded sheep with its stomach hanging outside its body highlight the losing battle pastoralists are facing against wild dogs in South Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/sheep-stomachs-ripped-open-as-wild-dogs-continue-to-attack/9486148

Xenophon’s SA BEST unveils community electricity co-op plan
SA BEST promises cut state power prices by up to 20%, build new renewables, with community electricity retailer scheme.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/xenophons-sa-best-unveils-community-electricity-co-op-plan-11721/

Fruit fly incursion source still under investigation
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5254792/fruit-fly-incursion-source-still-under-investigation/?cs=95

New delay for Battery Point walk
The future of a Battery Point walkway has been thrown into doubt after the Hobart City Council decided to use the funding for other major projects.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/new-delay-for-battery-point-foreshore-walk/news-story/3f13c4383f4c23017e45e60e4b91eb55

High-flying protest against cable car
Skilled highliners from the United States have walked across the face of Mt Wellington’s Organ Pipes to share message that no cable car is welcome up Hobart’s iconic summit.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/activists-launch-highflying-protest-against-cable-car/news-story/87d9bd4184ab3510d0cfefbb34251f56

Climate scientists appeal for NT fracking ban to stay
More than 30 of Australia’s leading climate scientists and doctors write an open letter to the NT Government calling on it not to allow fracking to open new gas fields.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-27/fracking-ban-in-nt-should-stay-say-leading-climate-scientists/9486380

Former premier Colin Barnett calls for trans-Australia gas pipeline
https://thewest.com.au/business/oil-gas/former-premier-colin-barnett-calls-for-trans-australia-gas-pipeline-ng-b88757887z

What if every car sold in the world was an electric vehicle?
BP considers scenario where only electric vehicles are sold after 2040. It also considers peak oil, ponders the rise of shared car ownership, and predicts a faster rise for renewables and faster decline for coal. But it still doesn’t get it.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/what-if-every-car-sold-in-the-world-was-an-electric-vehicle-23470/

Global EV growth to pass 25 million a year in 2025, says study
New report forecasts 25 million global EV registrations a year by 2025, after 55% growth in uptake was recorded in 2017. Meanwhile, in Australia…
http://reneweconomy.com.au/global-ev-growth-to-pass-25-million-a-year-in-2025-says-study-85361/

Energy storage leap could slash electric car charging times
Development of new material for supercapacitors has potential to raise range to that of petrol cars
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/26/energy-storage-supercapacitors-electric-car-batteries-charging-times

German cities can ban older diesel cars to cut pollution
German cities will be able to ban older, more polluting vehicles from some areas in a landmark ruling.
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43211946

How biofuels from plant fibers could combat global warming
Scientists, companies and government agencies are hard at work on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. In recent years, biofuels produced from corn have emerged as a fuel source to power motor vehicles and, perhaps, airplanes.
https://phys.org/news/2018-02-biofuels-fibers-combat-global.html

Congress just got a whole lot of F’s on their environmental report card
“We’ve seen the parties have gotten further and further apart.”
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/02/congress-just-got-a-whole-lot-of-fs-on-their-environmental-report-card/

Wind and solar could meet most but not all US electricity needs
Wind and solar power could generate most but not all electricity in the United States, according to an analysis of 36 years of weather data by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira, and three Carnegie-affiliated energy experts. But to bump up to 100 percent of electricity coming from solar and wind power would require significant and costly energy infrastructure changes to overcome seasonal cycles and extreme weather events.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/cifs-was022318.php

Pesticides kill
Overuse of pesticides and harmful chemicals in fruits and vegetables has caused negative impact on human health, and such unchecked practice has also led to degradation of soil fertility.
https://thehimalayantimes.com/opinion/editorial-pesticides-kill/

Judge orders California agricultural officials to cease pesticide use
A state court has ordered the state to stop spraying chemicals to control pests that endanger agriculture. The state will have to re-do its environmental impact of the program.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pescticide-decision-20180226-story.html

This city fights crime with gardening
Picking up trash and mowing vacant lots makes Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, neighborhoods safer.
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/city-fights-crime-gardening

Why New Zealand should not explore for more natural gas reserves
Ralph Sims, Massey University
https://theconversation.com/why-new-zealand-should-not-explore-for-more-natural-gas-reserves-91544

Can lab-grown meat feed – and save – the world?
Paul Shapiro
If you view the prospect of meat without animals as “unnatural” you might recall just how unsustainable, inhumane, and unnatural contemporary meat production has become.
https://www.reuters.com/article/shapiro-meat/column-commentary-can-lab-grown-meat-feed-and-save-the-world-idUSL2N1QG225

Prosperity doesn’t have to kill the planet
Peter Boyer
There is a way to both accumulate wealth and care for the environment.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/being-rich-and-prosperous-does-not-have-to-kill-the-planet/news-story/122482960fdaeafe3e3c50d139371459

North Atlantic right whales may face extinction after no new births recorded
Declining fertility and rising mortality, exacerbated by fishing industry, prompts experts to warn whales could be extinct by 2040
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/26/north-atlantic-right-whale-extinction-no-births-fishing

Ecologists up in arms over Cape Town’s plans to ease water crisis by drilling into aquifer
A plan to drill into aquifers in the mountains near Cape Town, South Africa, to address the city’s water crisis could harm the region’s rich biodiversity, ecologists say.
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/ecologists-arms-over-cape-town-s-plans-ease-water-crisis-drilling-aquifer

Scientists predict king penguins face major threats due to climate change
The researchers say the problem is that the animals’ primary source of food is moving farther away from places where they can breed. They’re likely going to have to swim farther for their dinner.
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/26/588811506/scientists-predict-king-penguins-face-major-threats-due-to-climate-change

Largest Chinook salmon disappearing from West Coast
The largest and oldest Chinook salmon — fish also known as ‘kings’ and prized for their exceptional size — have mostly disappeared along the West Coast, according to a new University of Washington-led study.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/uow-lcs022718.php

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