FRIDAY 9 MARCH 2018

A ‘pit bull’ for climate could soon sit next to Trump
An ascendant aide in the Trump White House has warned of the threats posed by climate change, has argued for taxing carbon, has promoted wind power and was even endorsed by the Sierra Club.
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060075783

Small islands look to cities for climate change ideas
“As small island states, it is easy for us to be lost in the wider discourse.”
http://news.trust.org/item/20180307215215-poyzb/

The Trump administration just failed to stop a climate lawsuit brought by 21 kids
A federal appellate court sent the case back to the lower court for trial.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/07/the-trump-administration-just-failed-to-stop-a-climate-lawsuit-brought-by-21-kids/?utm_source=rss_energy-environment&utm_term=.1ea3ffca88a4

As climate change parches Somalia, frequent drought comes with conflict over fertile land
Special correspondent Jane Ferguson and videographer Alessandro Pavone report on how climate change is threatening a way of life that has sustained Somalia for millennia.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/as-climate-change-parches-somalia-frequent-drought-comes-with-conflict-over-fertile-land

Big Oil knew: Part 1
Oil companies have known for decades that climate change is real and about the disasters it would cause. But that’s not the story they told the public.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ET3y7Bu4gI&feature=youtu.be

Future tense: how the language you speak influences your willingness to take climate action
Astghik Mavisakalyan, Curtin University; Clas Weber, University of Western Australia, and Yashar Tarverdi, Curtin University
Research suggests that speakers of “present-tensed” languages such as German and Finnish – in which the future can be describe in the present tense – are more likely to support stronger climate policies.
https://theconversation.com/future-tense-how-the-language-you-speak-influences-your-willingness-to-take-climate-action-92587

You can deny environmental calamity – until you check the facts
George Monbiot
Rosy worldviews that rely on avoiding inconvenient truths should always set alarm bells ringing.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/07/environmental-calamity-facts-steven-pinker

NEG could have ‘dire’ effect on energy market
Smaller energy retailers have warned the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee could entrench the power of big generator-retailers and increase prices.
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/turnbulls-national-energy-guarantee-could-have-dire-consequences-for-energy-market-20180307-h0x6o7

Minerals Council lobbies for changes to native title laws
The mining industry’s peak body says potentially hundreds of mining projects are in doubt because of changes to the law.
http://www.afr.com/news/minerals-council-lobbies-for-changes-to-native-title-laws-20180308-h0x740

Green shoots in a red sea
Young professionals have the means to swing traditional Labor seats to the Greens.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/gentrified-former-labor-seats-are-now-the-greens-heartland/news-story/ceefbf35c742eadb3d8e8ddb3cb8eb57

Snowy Hydro won’t lower prices
Snowy Hydro will operate ‘business as usual’ after a federal government takeover, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/snowy-hydro-wont-depress-power-prices-says-frydenberg/news-story/fdef3578c3e949b2bd4a001fbd66deca

Canavan backs clean coal
Resources Minister Matthew Canavan has declared carbon ­capture and storage should be embraced in Australia.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/carbon-capture-can-do-the-job-says-canavan/news-story/a320692f9c8216f26ba74b51433d3733

Biggest joke about NEG? It addresses just 2 seconds of outages
Much-hyped National Energy Guarantee will address problems that cause just an average 2 seconds of outages a year, and is “pointless” on emissions. Coalition urged instead to aim for 70% renewables.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/biggest-joke-about-neg-it-addresses-just-2-seconds-of-outages-54403/

Australian homes, business installed 6.5 solar panels per minute in 2017
It’s official: CER data says Australian homes and businesses installed record total of 1057MW of solar, mostly on rooftops, in 2017.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-homes-business-installed-6-5-solar-panels-per-minute-2017/

Work to resume on West Gate Tunnel after minister overrides attempt to block project
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/work-to-resume-on-west-gate-tunnel-after-minister-overrides-attempt-to-block-project-20180308-p4z3eb.html

VicForests charged over alleged illegal logging in Gippsland forest
https://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/vicforests-charged-over-alleged-illegal-logging-in-gippsland-forest-20180308-p4z3hv.html

Victoria’s true air quality is unknown
The state’s environment watchdog has come under fire for failing to properly monitor Victoria’s air pollution.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/inadequate-air-pollution-monitoring-in-vic/news-story/bde4d016bd8017b4b304b39d3776c9f4

Comprehensive plan needed to unlock our bay’s potential 
A key business group has called for a comprehensive plan to ensure the continuing viability of Port Phillip Bay, which it describes as a significant environmental and commercial asset for millions of people.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/future-melbourne/port-phillip-needs-comprehensive-plan-to-maximise-potential-victorian-chamber-of-commerce-and-industry/news-story/fd4db912a5f8b9c1fab9453a17c73053

RMIT’s “cheaper, cleaner” proton battery has li-ion firmly in sights
Australian RMIT team make “crucial step” towards cheap, sustainable energy storage after demonstrating rechargeable “proton battery” prototype.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/rmits-cheaper-cleaner-proton-battery-li-ion-firmly-sights-49756/

Pas-de-deux: Two big coal units trip at same time in Victoria
Two big coal units fail simultaneously in Victoria, taking total trips to 44 since start of summer, and 13 for brown coal generators since Christmas. Tesla battery hopped in again.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/pas-de-deux-two-big-coal-units-trip-at-same-time-in-victoria-36587/

Politics driving on the road to nowhere
Matt Johnston
The road users and taxpayers stuck in traffic are the ones who will pay if parliament’s road works circus continues
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/matt-johnston-politics-is-driving-along-on-the-road-to-nowhere/news-story/248ad838a063e5e4abf553fdf7cf1aef

The Gippsland Lakes debacle
Anthony Amis
In 2015 the Victorian Auditor-General delivered a damning report on the mismanagement of Victoria’s 10 Ramsar-listed wetlands.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19607

Alleged NSW water thieves to be prosecuted after ABC investigation
The NSW Government will prosecute several people over alleged water theft on the Barwon-Darling, eight months after Four Corners investigated the issue.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/nsw-water-theft-barwon-darling-government-prosecuting/9527364

Berejiklian government cops spray over water figures
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/waternsw-reveals-cynical-legal-action-as-critical-water-report-lands-20180308-p4z3d8.html

Victim looks to Trump for redress
A decision to expropriate coal exploration licences has had a devastating effect on a wheelchair-bound girl in Newcastle.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/barry-ofarrell-victim-looks-to-trump-for-nucoal-redress/news-story/75bbed706f35045131606a936384ec95

Sydney company linked to N Korea coal sale
A Sydney-based property company has been accused of brokering a sale of coal to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions, a confidential report says.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/sydney-company-linked-to-n-korea-coal-sale/news-story/6dccd3ef5dcb1876d2c0c3cc9bca9c4a

Engineer could have put NSW on right track before we bought $2 billion worth of new trains
Chris Walton
Most people are gobsmacked to hear that engineers working on everything from approving your plans for a house extension to managing huge projects like WestConnex do not have to be registered or licensed, unlike other professionals like electricians, architects, doctor and nurses.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/nsw/engineer-could-have-put-nsw-on-right-track-before-we-bought-2-billion-worth-of-new-trains-20180308-p4z3gx.html

‘This is a serious flood’: North Queensland braces for major peak
Residents in Ingham are being told to prepare for properties to be flooded and areas to be cut off for days, with the Herbert River expected to reach its highest level in nearly a decade early Friday morning.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/flood-warning-for-ingham-residents/9528970

Queensland Labor reintroduces land-clearing laws to parliament
Land-clearing rates escalated after laws weakened by Campbell Newman’s government
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/08/queensland-labor-reintroduces-land-clearing-laws-to-parliament

Bill Shorten is buffeted by the politics of Adani
Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra
Adani is being seen as a test of Shorten’s commitment to policy integrity versus his willingness to say and do whatever is politically expedient.
https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-bill-shorten-is-buffeted-by-the-politics-of-adani-93091

Shorten’s green flight of fantasy
Australian editorial
The Opposition Leader appears beholden to the ACF lobby.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/shortens-green-flight-of-fantasy/news-story/3a19fed88a504ac42d79e0633977b3bf

New SA hydrogen plant to be ‘world’s largest’
The Crystal Brook facility in South Australia’s Mid North will generate 20,000kg of hydrogen daily.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/worlds-largest-solar-and-wind-hydrogen-plant-proposed-for-sa/9526706

Green groups target Adelaide festivals ahead of SA election – and reviews are mixed
Culture meets politics as environmental groups distribute scorecards rating the major parties’ environment policies
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/08/green-groups-target-adelaide-festivals-ahead-of-sa-election-and-reviews-are-mixed

Uncontrolled fire hits roads in the ranges
Firefighters are battling an uncontrolled fire near Kangaroo Creek Reservoir in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges which is affecting roads and posing a threat to safety.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/law-order/uncontrolled-bushfire-threatens-safety-in-southern-mount-lofty-ranges/news-story/3392e1f34f3d39fe5a0f95e899fc2f14

Labor commits $25m to world’s largest renewables plant
The State Government has pumped $1 million into a plan by French company, Neoen, to build the world’s largest solar and wind hydrogen plant — if it gets approved.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sa-election-2018/labor-commits-25m-in-funding-to-worlds-largest-solar-and-wind-hydrogren-plant-which-is-still-unapproved/news-story/b7807bc569ece0fc5bc5ff1d6b8a5e33

Energy answers blowing in the wind
One million dollars will be spent to determine if Tasmania’s wind farms can play a role in stabilising the electricity grid.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/wind-farm-trial-to-see-if-tassie-can-stabilise-national-grid/news-story/55b7068be69ee852ea2bd9aef4312be7

Landmark case challenges land clearing based on climate change impact
Northern Territory government-approved land clearing likely to cause up to 3 megatonnes of C02-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/09/landmark-case-challenges-land-clearing-based-on-climate-change-impact

Chance of cyclone to increase next week
The chance of a tropical cyclone forming in the northern region would increase next week, according to the Bureau of Meteorology
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/chance-of-cyclone-developing-to-increase-next-week-according-to-the-bureau-of-meteorology/news-story/98db39cf2c7e5a468e5f190b8c53518f

Wyatt blasts ‘unworkable’ Aboriginal heritage laws
ABORIGINAL Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt says the Aboriginal Heritage Act fails to deliver benefits to indigenous people.
https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-politics/overhaul-of-unworkable-wa-aboriginal-heritage-laws-overdue-wyatt-ng-b88768154z

Authorities could have licence to kill white ibis
Home owners in Perth’s hills could soon start hearing gun shots.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/authorities-could-have-licence-to-kill-white-ibis-bc-5747458025001

Northern Star snaps up WA mine
Northern Star Resources has inked a deal to buy a South Kalgoorlie gold mine off Westgold Resources for $80m.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/northern-star-to-buy-south-kalgoorlie-gold-mine-for-80m-from-westgold-resources/news-story/9566644685ef8aab906f2bedf03b135f

Manure could heat your home
Farm manure could be a viable source of renewable energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uow-mch030718.php

Once degraded, Brazilian savanna does not regenerate naturally
According to study, after being converted to pastures, areas of the so-called ‘Cerrado’ become closed forest with poor biodiversity if not appropriately managed. This biome works as the source for much of Brazil’s main river basins, and boasts biodiversity levels higher than tropical forests at the microscale.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/fda-odb030818.php

Air pollution linked to brain alterations and cognitive impairment in children
A new study performed in the Netherlands has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children. The study, published in Biological Psychiatry, reports that the air pollution levels related to brain alterations were below those considered to be safe.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/e-apl030818.php

Analysis: UK carbon emissions in 2017 fell to levels last seen in 1890
Carbon Brief analysis shows the UK’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels fell by 2.6% in 2017, driven by a 19% decline in coal use.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/analysis-uk-carbon-emissions-2017-fell-levels-last-seen-1890/

Wind turbines are getting taller, bigger, and more powerful
The latest model has blades longer than football fields.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/3/8/17084158/wind-turbine-power-energy-blades

Sustainable shopping: how to stop your bathers flooding the oceans with plastic
Natalie Welden, University of Portsmouth
https://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-how-to-stop-your-bathers-flooding-the-oceans-with-plastic-92660

There’s more to the compact city than getting dense
Claire Collie, University of Melbourne
Ruth and Maurie Crow were early advocates of the compact city. They also warned 50 years ago that a clear justice intent was needed to shape cities for their citizens rather than vested interests.
https://theconversation.com/theres-more-to-the-compact-city-than-getting-dense-92034

Getting past Trump—This is how democracies die
Richard Heinberg
Donald Trump’s 13-month tenure (so far) as president of the United States has been an exhausting sprint for onlookers concerned about the state of the global ecosystem and the fate of industrial civilization.
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-03-07/getting-past-trump-this-is-how-democracies-die-part-1/

How the leopards that live in a city park are saving lives in Mumbai
Leopards are often thought of as a threat to humans, but rather than being a problem in Mumbai, they may actually be helping by keeping the more dangerous stray dog population down.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/how-leopards-in-a-city-park-save-lives-in-mumbai/9528624

Last male northern white rhino on mend after infection threatened species
The rhino, named Sudan, is recovering from an infected leg that raised fears over the past week he might have to be put down before scientists could help him reproduce.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/worlds-last-male-northern-white-rhino-sudan-could-be-on-the-mend/9526632

Study says Mekong River dams could disrupt lives, environment
A new article from University of Illinois and Iowa State University scientists lays out what dam construction could mean for residents and the environment in the region.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uoic-ssm030818.php

Global fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in 2300, UCI study finds
Scientists expect the world’s fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in the year 2300, with those in the North Atlantic down nearly 60 percent and those in much of the western Pacific experiencing declines of more than 50 percent.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uoc–gft030218.php

New concern over plastic pollution in Scottish coastal waters after Greenpeace research
Some of Scotland’s most remote and unspoilt waters are saturated with tiny plastic particles that threatens seabirds and other sealife, a major survey has revealed.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16071288.Video__New_concern_over_plastic_pollution_in_Scottish_coastal_waters_after_Greenpeace_research/

Blue economy: Not just for the fish
Moving to a “blue” economy is crucial for the sustainability in our world’s oceans, say experts at the 5th World Ocean Summit happening in Mexico this week. But what is “blue economy” actually about?
http://www.dw.com/en/blue-economy-not-just-for-the-fish/a-42850624

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