SATURDAY 10 MARCH 2018

Eyelash-Sized Plants Reveal Climate Change — And Citizen Scientists Help Identify Them
A motley band of citizen scientists — including a high school student and a retired businesswoman — teamed up with a …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180309095528.htm

Snowy 2.0 put on development fast-track as environmental concerns rise
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/snowy-2-0-put-on-development-fast-track-as-environmental-concerns-rise-20180309-p4z3l4.html

Oz Minerals looks to solar and storage, signs line deal with solar tower plant
Oz Minerals to build solar and storage plant at flagship mine in first move to use renewables to supply big mining projects. It also signs a deal to share costs of new transmission line with developer of solar tower plant.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/oz-minerals-looks-to-solar-and-storage-signs-line-deal-with-solar-tower-plant-31398/

Snowy insists 2.0 good for wind and solar, not so good for coal
Snowy Hydro insists that its Snowy 2.0 plans will bring in an 800MW of extra wind and solar, and won’t underpin the future of coal. And, it says, it is “not anti-battery”.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/snowy-insists-2-0-good-wind-solar-not-good-coal-35985/

What reliability issue? Retailers raise concern about “gold-plating” from NEG
Group of 10 retailers question “reliability” obligation of NEG, saying there is no gap in short term and technology changes likely to fix any that may arise.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/reliability-issue-retailers-raise-concern-gold-plating-neg-45025/

‘Sovereign risk’ econobabble has lost all meaning
Richard Denniss
The phrase is simply used to dress up the self-interest of powerful groups as being in the national interest.
https://www.theage.com.au/opinion/richard-denniss-sovereign-risk-econobabble-has-lost-all-meaning-20180309-h0x8r3.html

Politicians should rely more on science, less on populist gut feelings
Crispin Hull
These days we are seeing more donor-based policy than policy developed through evidence or randomised trials.
https://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politicians-should-rely-more-on-science-less-on-populist-gut-feelings-20180309-h0x8po.html

Environmental regulators
Tanya M. Howard
In the wake of the murder of NSW compliance officer Glen Turner, environmental law enforcers are tackling resistance to regulation born not just of corporate greed but of human nature.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/environment/2018/03/10/environmental-regulators/15206004005916

Tomorrow’s grim, global, green dictatorship
Viv Forbes
The key slogan of the Green religion is
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19610

Victorian forestry agency charged over alleged rainforest logging
Victorian Government owned logging agency, VicForests has been charged with alleged illegal logging of rainforest in eastern Victoria.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-09/vicforests-charged-over-alleged-illegal-logging-of-rainforest/9531468

Recycling resumes, but at a heavy cost to councils, homeowners
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/recycling-resumes-but-at-a-heavy-cost-to-councils-homeowners-20180308-p4z3dm.html

C’mon Melbourne we need to appreciate how good the bay is
Melburnians don’t have a full understanding of the benefits that Port Phillip Bay offers and a comprehensive plan is need to ensure its continuing viability, a key business group says.
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

NSW Government’s land-clearing law quashed in court, deemed invalid
In a breakthrough victory, the Land and Environment court today ruled the NSW Government’s land-clearing laws were made unlawfully, and are therefore invalid.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-09/nsw-government-land-clearing-law-quashed-in-court-invalid/9531640

Labor leader backs Abbott on migration
‘Groaning under the weight of people’, NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley says Tony Abbott push to cut immigration has merit.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/nsw-labor-leader-luke-foley-backs-tony-abbott-on-migration-rollback/news-story/fbeb41575171ba6f5647dfba653b6fcc

How will Canberra look in 2040? The ACT govt wants your say
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/how-will-canberra-look-in-2040-the-act-government-wants-your-say-20180309-h0x8vk.html

Former Queensland energy minister in hot water over board appointment
An executive whose resume was privately emailed to then-energy minister Mark Bailey by a union mate was appointed to the Energy Queensland board two weeks later.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-09/mark-bailey-in-hot-water-again-over-private-email-use/9529670

Communities cut off in Queensland’s rising floodwaters
https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/39459529/communities-cut-off-as-floodwaters-rise-in-northern-queensland/

South-east Queensland’s whiskered songbird at risk of extinction
https://www.smh.com.au/national/queensland/south-east-queensland-s-whiskered-songbird-at-risk-of-extinction-20180309-p4z3pq.html

Canavan takes Adani fight to US
Resources Minister Matt Canavan warns anti-coal activists could ‘consign hundreds of millions of people to poverty’ in US speech.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/matt-canavan-takes-coalitions-adani-fight-to-us/news-story/860b941d2803da4a3333e408a0f1e31d

Taxpayers could foot $80m bill for Linc clean-up
The State Government could be stuck with a multimillion-dollar mess after a court ruled liquidators for Linc Energy were not responsible for cleaning up environmental contamination around the former underground coal gasification site at Chinchilla.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/taxpayers-may-have-to-pick-up-linc-energy-cleanup-bill-after-liquidators-appeal-upheld/news-story/57f988675e10a0c38666212607e24e72

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef: going beyond our backyard to protect the reef
Georgina Gurney, James Cook University
https://theconversation.com/citizens-of-the-great-barrier-reef-going-beyond-our-backyard-to-protect-the-reef-86858

Libs won’t rebuild Adelaide’s suburban tram network
The Liberal Party has promised to scrap the planned reconstruction of Adelaide’s suburban tram network as part of its public transport policy, which also involves splitting up the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
https://indaily.com.au/news/politics/2018/03/09/libs-wont-rebuild-adelaides-suburban-tram-network/

Krill show surprising skill at breaking down plastics
Krill in the Southern Ocean are able to break down plastic pollution, with a Griffith University study finding they are unknowingly ingesting micro-plastics and breaking them down into nano-plastics.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-09/krill-waging-war-on-ocean-plastics/9530632

Activists on a mission as duck season opens
AnimalsTasmania says it stands ready to protect native waterbirds as duck season opens tomorrow.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/rescuers-ready-to-save-ducks-as-shooting-season-opens-in-tasmania/news-story/cb3106a08187f7852fbdb08f29c527c8

Concern NT’s largest land-clearing permit did not consider climate change
The decision to grant NT’s largest single permit for land clearing is being challenged out of concern the clearing will ramp up greenhouse gas emissions.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-09/single-largest-land-clearing-approval-challenged-greenhouse-gas/9533294

WA is one of three places in the world bucking a warming trend — and fishers are set to benefit
Unusual weather patterns and cooler ocean currents are helping what is expected to be a bountiful season for WA salmon fishers, with large schools of fish already forming off the coast.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-09/bumper-wa-salmon-season-on-the-cards/9529714

Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists
Carbon-free fusion power could be ‘on the grid in 15 years’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/09/nuclear-fusion-on-brink-of-being-realised-say-mit-scientists

How do we reduce food waste? Think like granny
Before health buzzwords and supermarket chains, our grandparents were the masters of reducing food waste not because it was fashionable, but because it was necessary.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-10/what-our-grandparents-can-teach-us-about-reducing-food-waste/9531092

California hits new big solar peak – 50% of total demand
California notches new solar records for peak production and supply, boosted by a couple of mild and sunny early Spring days.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/california-hits-new-big-solar-peak-50-total-demand-78420/

Agricultural sustainability project reached 20.9 million smallholder farmers across China
An effort to improve crop yields and reduce fertilizer use applied top-down and bottom-up approaches to reach 20 million smallholder farmers across China.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uop-asp030818.php

Startup scales up CNT membranes to make carbon-zero fuels for less than fossil fuels
Mattershift, an NYC startup with alumni from MIT and Yale has achieved a breakthrough in making carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes at large scale. Tests confirming that Mattershift’s large-scale CNT membranes match the characteristics and performance of small prototype CNT membranes previously reported in the scientific literature were published today in Science Advances. The startup is developing the technology’s ability to combine and separate individual molecules to make fuel from CO2 removed from the air.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/m-ssu030718.php

Egg whites could power a clean energy future
A Japanese researcher has found a way to use molecules from a protein-based chemical found in egg whites to generate hydrogen more efficiently.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/egg-whites-could-power-a-clean-energy-future-43846/

Auctions didn’t make wind power cheaper, study finds
Study confirms wind prices only look low because they are reported as though future electricity were already being generated today.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/auctions-didnt-make-wind-power-cheaper-study-finds-62144/

Green juggernauts are recalibrating societies
Romilly Madew
Three global juggernauts – carbon, technology and human rights – are recalibrating the way our societies operate. And that demands a rethink of the way we build.
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/green-juggernauts-are-recalibrating-societies-20180308-p4z3gv.html

Locked in a forest
Argonne researchers have found that in the next 100 years, already existing reforestation in the country could help topsoil absorb an additional 2 billion tons of carbon. Their work is detailed in a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/dnl-lia030918.php

Increasing tree mortality in a warming world
A mix of factors is contributing to an increasing mortality rate of trees in the moist tropics, where trees in some areas are dying at about twice the rate that they were 35 years ago.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/dnnl-itm030818.php

Study Predicts Wildlife of Africa’s Albertine Rift Will Be Threatened by Climate Change
A new study predicts that the effects of climate change will severely impact the Albertine Rift, one of Africa’s most biodiverse regions.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180309095536.htm

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

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