FRIDAY 2 MARCH 2018

Q&A: What does all this snow mean for climate change?
Why are scientists worried about freezing temperatures in winter, is the beast from the east a freak event – and what is the polar vortex?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/what-does-snow-mean-climate-change-beast-from-the-east-polar-vortex-freezing-temperature

No laughing matter, yet humor inspires climate change activism
Melting icecaps, mass flooding, megadroughts and erratic weather are no laughing matter. However, a new study shows that humor can be an effective means to inspire young people to pursue climate change activism. At the same time, fear proves to be an equally effective motivator and has the added advantage of increasing people’s awareness of climate change’s risks.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/cu-nlm030118.php

Will Washington become the first state to tax greenhouse gases?
With just over a week before the Washington Legislature adjourns for the year, the question recurs: Will legislators make Washington the first state in the nation to tax greenhouse-gas emissions to fight climate change?
http://www.invw.org/2018/02/28/will-washington-become-the-first-state-to-tax-greenhouse-gases/

A spotter’s guide to climate skeptics
David Finnigan
David Finnigan has had a number of run-ins while working on his controversial new play about climate deniers. Here, he argues they fall into one of a few camps.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/03/01/a-spotters-guide-to-climate-skeptics/

Seed deposit at Doomsday Vault ensures Australia’s plant future
Australia’s ability to survive a global catastrophe is now a little stronger, “backed up” in a remote seed vault deep within in a mountain on the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/australia-makes-deposit-in-to-doomsday-vault-to-ensure-survival/9496308

Robo-taxis are coming: Why nearly 100% of Australian car travel could be electric by 2030
Shared electric vehicles, or “robo-taxis” could become the dominant form of car transport in Australia within 10 years – taking the share of EVs to 95 per cent and accelerating the push to a 100 per cent renewable grid.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/robo-taxis-coming-nearly-100-australian-car-travel-electric-2030/

New solar focused energy retailer calls for “prosumer” investors
New, solar-focused energy retailer DC Power Co is set to disrupt the market, and it hopes to be majority owned by Australia’s rooftop solar households.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-solar-focused-energy-retailer-calls-prosumer-investors-69870/

Graph of the Day: And Australia’s top 10 corporate emitters are…
Clean Energy Regulator’s latest list of Australia’s top 10 corporate emitters shows the biggest emitter has twice the emissions of the next biggest.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-and-australias-top-10-corporate-emitters-are-75489/

Government buys out states’ Snowy Hydro shares for $6b
The Federal Government announces it will spend $6 billion buying out New South Wales’ and Victoria’s shares in Snowy Hydro Limited, bringing it one step closer to starting work on the Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/government-buys-out-states-snowy-hydro-shares-for-$6b/9500908

Spikes, records and Tesla: How the energy market survived summer
Now summer is over, how did the energy market fare? The ABC invited energy experts to identify noteworthy events and trends from the past three months.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/how-the-energy-market-survived-summer/9492000

GM cotton gets nod to roll out
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator has approved the commercial release of a genetically modified cotton.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/cropping/genetically-modified-cotton-gets-nod-to-roll-out/news-story/399aff82d011b3d8d02e05db37a3a41a

Victorian hunters ‘regularly breaking law’, body responsible ‘failing’
Victoria’s Agriculture Minister refuses to rule out shutting down the Game Management Authority following a damning leaked report.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/report-slams-victorias-game-management-authority-over-duck-hunt/9499334

Cheap wind and solar allows Powershop to cut tariffs to customers
Powershop announces 5% price drop for Victorian customers, one month after huge deal to buy three hydro plants, output of solar and wind farms.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/cheap-wind-and-solar-allows-powershop-to-cut-tariffs-to-customers-66928/

Asbestos find shuts down part of $11 billion rail project
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/asbestos-find-leads-to-shutdown-of-part-of-melbourne-metro-project-20180301-p4z2dd.html

Temporary road closures for big projects should be permanent: expert
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/temporary-road-closures-for-big-projects-should-be-permanent-expert-20180228-p4z26t.html

Skin trade ok
The export of 100,000 Victorian kangaroos a year has been approved by the Federal Government.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/kangaroo-skin-exports-approved-by-federal-government/news-story/92a8769226fec7fcacbb4a56fb9a6d21

Inner city park gets green light
Thousands of Southbank’s high-rise residents have been promised a new green “backyard”, complete with village green and community garden. Check out the park plan for City Rd here.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/city-of-melbourne-set-to-approve-new-park-and-community-garden-at-southbanks-boyd-hub/news-story/16e4546f1370f442509ec203adb2b616

Playwright takes on Andrew Bolt, climate change sceptics and Breitbart News
David Finnigan’s play Kill Climate Deniers has finally opened in Sydney, four years after it was shut down by attacks from conservative media and climate change sceptics.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/kill-climate-deniers-playwright-takes-on-bolt-breitbart/9478748

Kangaroo cull to rise with restriction on harvesting licences axed
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/kangaroo-cull-to-increase-with-restriction-on-harvesting-licences-axed-20180301-p4z2ao.html

Plastic-Free Boy is the 12-year-old on a mission to save the world — one school at a time
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/plastic-free-boy-takes-on-plastic-pollution/9493710

Time to stop rubbishing a waste levy
Terry Sweetman
Nobody wants new taxes, but it’s the only option to stop New South Wales treating Queensland like its own personal rubbish dump
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/time-to-stop-rubbishing-a-waste-levy/news-story/d5555524bcf7981ea39071768e598054

AEMO points to rooftop solar’s critical role in “remarkable” heat event
AEMO highlights critical role played by rooftop solar in meeting a week of demand in “remarkable” heatwave in Queensland in February.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-points-to-rooftop-solars-critical-role-in-remarkable-heat-event-70187/

Shorten says Adani mine decision will be made when Labor is in government
‘Labor does not rip up contracts, and we don’t create sovereign risk,’ leader says, in cooling of recent comments
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/mar/01/shorten-says-adani-mine-decision-will-be-made-when-labor-is-in-government

Shorten ‘should tell Adani truth’
The Greens have challenged Bill Shorten to clarify his position on Queensland’s Adani coalmine.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/greens-call-for-shorten-to-come-clean-on-adani-policy/news-story/511c39d18574e10a8aca91995ff2c394

The Godfather of onshore gas in Qld is back
Incitec Pivot and Richard Cottee are re-uniting to try and orchestrate a win-win situation in Queensland.
http://www.afr.com/business/incitec-lures-cottee-back-to-queenslands-coal-seams-20180301-h0wuyy

E. coli found in drinking water at troubled worksite
Queensland Health confirms the bacteria at the troubled Second Range Crossing project as several workers fall ill.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/queensland/e-coli-found-at-troubled-toowoomba-second-range-crossing-worksite-20180301-p4z2cr.html

Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome found in South Australia
The Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome virus has been detected in feral Pacific oysters in South Australia’s Port River.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-01/poms-found-port-river-south-australia/9500308

Coober Pedy fears for precious water source as company seeks oil, gas
The Great Artesian Basin supplies Coober Pedy with its water and some in the outback town think it could be compromised by a plan for exploration drilling seeking oil and gas.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/water-in-the-great-artesian-basin-could-be-polluted-for-million/9493640

Launceston’s Plastic-free push for Clean Up Australia Day 2018
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5255574/launcestons-plastic-free-push-for-clean-up-australia-day-2018/?cs=95

‘Ten years of my life’: joy in Point Peron as marina proposal dumped
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/ten-years-of-my-life-joy-in-point-peron-as-marina-proposal-dumped-20180301-h0wvbz.html

‘Unstoppable’: Russia has built an ‘invincible’ nuke
Vladimir Putin has detailed an “unstoppable” intercontinental ballistic missile and the rocket’s range apparently showed the US as a target.
http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/vladimir-putin-says-russia-has-developed-an-unstoppable-nuclear-missile/news-story/e856895f2baf3d8bebb484a93fdd04ed

Five things crucial to a renewable energy future
From water to silicon, Sustainable Energy takes a look at five things crucial to the renewable energy transition.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/28/five-things-crucial-to-a-renewable-energy-future.html

Food abundance driving conflict in Africa, not food scarcity
In Africa, food abundance may be driving violent conflict rather than food scarcity, according to a study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a publication of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. The study refutes the notion that climate change will increase the frequency of civil war in Africa as a result of food scarcity triggered by rising temperatures and drought.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/dc-fad022818.php

Converting CO2 into usable energy
Scientists show that single nickel atoms are an efficient, cost-effective catalyst for converting carbon dioxide into useful chemicals.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/dnl-cci022818.php

Fukushima radiation still high: Greenpeace
A new report by Greenpeace says Fukushima, the sight of 2011’s nuclear accident after an earthquake, still has radiation 100 times higher than normal.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/fukushima-radiation-still-high-greenpeace/news-story/9e0eb100271bcf45113160eef181dc0c

Protests over feared stench and pollution from NZ’s biggest chicken farm
Proposed Northland farm would burn up to 40 tonnes of manure and dead birds every day.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/101823697/protests-over-feared-stench-and-pollution-from-nzs-biggest-chicken-farm

Study shows smartphones and data centres harm the environment
Data centres and smartphones will be the most damaging information and communications technologies to the environment by 2040, according to new research from W Booth School’s Lotfi Belkhir.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/mu-sss030118.php

Hope For The Environment in 2018?
Georgia Gibson
Georgia Gibson takes a look at the most exciting initiatives around the world in 2018.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/03/hope-environment-2018/

Andes dams twice as numerous as thought are fragmenting the Amazon
Study: 142 existing and under construction Andean dams are fragmenting the Amazon, putting ecosystems at risk and impacting up to 30 million people. Another 160 dams are planned.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/andes-dams-twice-as-numerous-as-thought-are-fragmenting-the-amazon/

‘We need to act’: Scientists urge prioritization of intact forests
A new study in Nature describes how intact forests are critically important for mitigating climate change, maintaining water supplies, safeguarding biodiversity and even protecting human health.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/huge-gamble-scientists-urge-prioritization-of-intact-forests/

Ecotourism Direct Payment Approach for Wildlife Sightings Reduces Illegal Hunting
A new study finds that an ecotourism strategy based on ‘direct payments,’ where local people are compensated for the amount …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180301103603.htm

Nature Can Reduce Pesticide Use, Environment Impact
Farmers around the world are turning to nature to help them reduce pesticide use, environmental impact and, subsequently, and in some cases, …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180301103715.htm

As biodiversity declines, so does public attention
There are two environmental crises right now: climate change and biodiversity loss. Why are people, particularly journalists, only paying attention to one of them?
http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/02/biodiversity-ignored-by-press/

More jobs key to dealing with Lake Chad crisis, UNESCO says
Protecting the shrinking lake – and preventing a worsening humanitarian crisis – will require helping people find work, UN official says
http://news.trust.org/item/20180228132444-1ihvp/

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