WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH 2018

How a marine heatwave generated as much CO2 as 1.6m cars
Researchers say an unprecedented ocean heatwave responsible for wiping out a range of species in WA waters seven years ago released huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — equivalent to the yearly output of two coal-fired power plants.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/ocean-heatwave-released-as-much-co2-from-shark-bay-as-1.6m-cars/9564754

A method for predicting the impact of global warming on disease
Scientists have devised a new method that can be used to better understand the likely impact of global warming on diseases mediated by parasites, such as malaria. The method uses the metabolic theory of ecology to understand how temperature affects the host-parasite relationship, and has been proofed using a model system.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/tcd-amf032018.php

Danger ahead?
A major shift in western Arctic wind patterns occurred throughout the winter of 2017 and the resulting changes in sea ice movement are possible indicators of a changing climate, says Kent Moore, a professor of physics at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uot-da032018.php

So close, yet so far: Making climate impacts feel nearby may not inspire action
Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication at Cornell University, says it is possible to make faraway climate impacts feel closer. But that doesn’t automatically inspire the American public to express greater support for policies that address it. The paper appeared in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/cu-scy031918.php

20 percent of Americans responsible for almost half of US food-related greenhouse gas emissions
On any given day, 20 percent of Americans account for nearly half of US diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, and high levels of beef consumption are largely responsible, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan and Tulane University.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uom-2po031618.php

To move Paris Accord forward, bring cities and companies on board
Much of the progress in reducing CO2 emissions is being driven by mayors, governors, premiers, and corporate executives. It’s time to acknowledge that reality and move beyond traditional diplomacy by allowing cities, states, and companies to officially sign on to the Paris Agreement.
https://e360.yale.edu/features/to-move-paris-accord-forward-bring-cities-and-companies-on-board

Katharine Hayhoe reveals surprising ways to talk about climate change
These climate-skeptic-whispering tactics have nothing to do with science.
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/katharine-hayhoe-reveals-surprising-ways-talk-about-climate-change

Brain-eating parasite among the dangers of unsafe rural water
A professor working to make drinking water safer in remote regions believes he is making slow but worthwhile progress to change behaviours.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/professor-encouraging-rural-communities-to-treat-their-water/9567366

Farming the sun’s rays: what Australia could learn from India
Should Australian farmers follow India’s lead and farm the sun’s rays?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-21/farming-the-suns-rays-australian-farmers-should-follow-india/9526812

Legal concerns over plan to roll over forestry agreements without reviews
Documents reveal government plans to extend RFAs without fresh environmental or scientific reviews
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/21/exclusive-legal-concerns-over-plan-to-roll-over-forestry-agreements-without-reviews

The new forest wars: ‘This is something we didn’t expect’
Video
Twenty years ago the regional forest agreements were introduced to protect native forests and deliver ‘ecologically sustainable forest management’. Now, with the RFAs set to be renewed, conservationists say ancient forests are being destroyed, while the timber industry says its operating under strict codes. It’s the return of the forest wars
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2018/mar/20/the-new-forest-wars-this-is-something-we-didnt-expect-video

Labor vows to block ‘largest removal of marine area from conservation, ever’
Opposition condemns Coalition plan to open more recreational and commercial fishing areas
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/20/labor-vows-to-block-largest-removal-of-marine-area-from-conservation-ever

Turnbull knows better than to deny fire weather link to climate change
Peter Hannam
Disputing climate change’s role in extreme weather is ignoring what Australian scientists know with increasing certainty.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/turnbull-knows-better-than-to-deny-fire-weather-link-to-climate-change-20180320-p4z56q.html

Inland rail’s dirty secret
Bernard Keane
The inland rail project is based on a sizeable subsidy to coal exporters just to get someone to use what its backers even admit is a white elephant.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/03/20/inland-rails-dirty-secret-subsidised-coal-exports/

The Turnbull Government’s wanton koala destruction
Sue Arnold
The Turnbull Government’s latest environmental compliance policy facilitates the destruction of endangered koalas.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-turnbull-governments-wanton-koala-destruction,11313

Journey to zero emissions electricity: How hard can it be?
Gordon Weiss
In final installment of series, we consider improving efficient and productive use of electricity, and the effect this might have on national emissions.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/journey-zero-emissions-electricity-hard-can-69354/

Just add water: myths about the Murray-Darling basin
Barry Hart
The reasons given to disallow the Murray-Darling basin plan amendment are the very problems the plan is trying to solve
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/20/just-add-water-myths-about-the-murraydarling-basin

Time to reconsider opposition to national energy policy
Canberra Times editorial
The big power companies have been reluctant to invest in new generating capacity, whether fossil fuel based or built around renewables, because there has been no clear legislative framework setting out the ground rules.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/the-act-government-should-reconsider-its-opposition-to-national-energy-policy-20180320-h0xq9b.html

Di Natale’s callous histrionics
Australian editorial
Greens leader Richard Di Natale’s blaming inaction on climate change for the bushfires and cyclone is offensive.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/di-natales-callous-histrionics/news-story/5f6fe9b9b1f73326b8f5f278a8133782

Lives ranked second for Greens
Richard Di Natale and the Greens have no shame as they politicise devastating bushfires in NSW and Victoria and the Top End cyclone.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/greens-rank-lives-and-property-second-to-climate-change/news-story/34ded47cd33bf49347204a4c64cde74e

Don’t wait: We need to talk about fire and flood now — not when the focus has cooled. 
Jan Davis
Our approach to natural disasters is outdated and dangerous
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-no-time-to-turn-away-from-facing-up-to-natural-disasters/news-story/0b5aa7132a814879c35958c1fe486442

Brewer CUB contracts 112MW solar farm, on way to 100% renewables
Australia’s biggest brewer, CUB, signs deal with new 112MW solar farm near Mildura as part of its plans to go 100% renewables by the end of this year, saying it will lower and lock in electricity costs. The shift to renewables by Australia’s manufacturing base is accelerating.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/brewer-cub-contracts-112mw-solar-farm-on-way-to-100-renewables-62138/

Duck hunting season’s quiet opening
Duck season has opened in one of the least controversial starts to the season in years.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/duck-hunting-seasons-quiet-opening/news-story/551b27bffbd43c6e592c81330db6b819

Health, schools, not Adani, on Batman voters’ radar
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/health-schools-worried-batman-voters-more-than-adani-polling-shows-20180320-p4z582.html

‘I’m furious’: Tathra councillor says now is the time to talk climate
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/i-m-furious-tathra-councillor-says-now-is-the-time-to-talk-climate-20180320-p4z5ab.html

NSW launches $47 million rescue package after China recycling ban
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/nsw-launches-47-million-rescue-package-after-china-recycling-ban-20180320-p4z5cn.html

The terrible cost of ‘green’ policies for Tathra 
Miranda Devine
THE fire that ripped through Tathra was the result of Bega Valley Shire Council’s environmental zones. They’ve been a burden to landowners for years but brought devastation at the weekend.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/the-terrible-cost-of-green-policies-for-tathra/news-story/ed781c1e6105ea11845ab3a0ec7af9b1

Once-extinct curlews spotted wandering streets in Canberra
Residents spot bush stone-curlews, a sure sign the bird once extinct bird in the ACT is making a comeback.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/curlews-popping-up-in-canberra-suburbs-after-reintroduction/9567094

‘Keep your rubbish NSW’: Queensland to bring back dumped waste levy
“Unscrupulous operators” who have been using Queensland as a dumping ground for commercial waste will be slugged a levy by the State Government, after nearly a million tonnes of rubbish was trucked in from over the border last financial year.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/dumped-waste-levy-recycled-by-queensland-to-stop-nsw-waste/9566254

Queenslanders will not be hurt by waste levy, Trad says
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/queenslanders-will-not-be-hurt-by-a-waste-levy-jackie-trad-says-20180320-p4z5af.html

Queensland risks legal issues if waste levy does not apply to all garbage
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-risks-legal-issues-if-waste-levy-does-not-apply-to-all-garbage-20180320-p4z589.html

Rio in $2.2bn Aussie coal exit
Rio Tinto has sold its Hail Creek and Valeria coal projects in Queensland to Glencore for $2.2bn.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/rio-tinto-sells-hail-creek-valeria-coalmines-to-glencore/news-story/16327e0f348fb2f5e2067154c72a9c42

Frog clinic sells assets to survive
A wildlife hospital that is struggling to meet costs of caring for sick and injured frogs is looking to host a fire sale of its assets to stave off closure.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/far-northern-frog-hospital-to-host-fire-sale-to-stave-off-closure/news-story/f8dfbebddfb6b5deb3f85016df00b069

Cruise ship’s ‘close call’ on Great Barrier Reef prompts plea for review
A recent cruise ship infringement and projections of a 250 per cent increase in shipping on the Great Barrier Reef over the next 20 years prompts calls for a review of its management.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-21/close-call-prompts-review-of-shipping-on-great-barrier-reef/9568194

Ancient oasis ‘could run dry’ because of Adani mine water plan
One of the world’s last unspoiled desert oases could dry up forever under Adani’s plan to drain groundwater for its Queensland mine, say scientific experts.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-21/adani-groundwater-plan-risks-permanent-damage-to-desert-springs/9569184

AEMO shatters some Marshall myths about South Australia energy
Assumptions that South Australia’s wholesale electricity prices are higher than other states, and that it relies more on imports, are not true.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-shatters-some-marshall-myths-about-south-australia-energy-15608/

Does a new government in South Australia spell doom for renewables?
Premier Steven Marshall has vowed to end Labor’s energy ‘experiments’, but the green energy industry is strong in the state
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/20/does-a-new-government-in-south-australia-spell-doom-for-renewables

Sanjeev Gupta full steam ahead on ‘green steel’ plant
At the same time home battery proponents are talking to the Marshall government about keeping Tesla’s “virtual power plant” but in a different form with a multitude of suppliers.
http://www.afr.com/news/south-australian-energy-sanjeev-gupta-full-steam-ahead-on-green-steel-plant-20180320-h0xpx6

Adelaide likely to fall short of population target
Adelaide is on a trajectory to fall short of its residential population growth target, and the city council needs to spend more than $260,000 on a series of strategies to attract more people, a new report says.
https://indaily.com.au/news/2018/03/20/adelaide-likely-fall-short-population-target/

Marshall’s NEG deal for Victoria
Steven Marshall may do a federal deal for funding towards a $700 million electricity transmission link to support Victoria’s baseload.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/marshalls-neg-deal-to-strengthen-victorias-baseload/news-story/42450fd0f8748c1bbbc752050919f9bb

West Tamar Council ready to roll out organic waste bins
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5295310/west-tamar-council-ready-to-roll-out-organic-waste-bins/?cs=95

Salmon farming court action about profit, court hears
Huon boss Frances Bender rejects as “offensive” a suggestion by Tassal’s barrister that salmon fishing legal action is motivated by profit and not the good of the environment.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/court-hears-salmon-farming-legal-action-motivated-by-profits/9568502

Bilingual bilby-tracking app to map endangered marsupial
The Bilby Blitz program, run by the Northern Territory-based Central Land Council, involves 20 ranger groups surveying millions of hectares for traces of the endangered mammal.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/bilby-tracking-app-maps-marsupial-across-central-australia/9568286

How FIFO activists are doing down Indigenous Australia
Many people think the Green movement and Indigenous people are kindred spirits. They couldn’t be more wrong.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/how-fifo-activists-are-doing-down-indigenous-australia-20180319-h0xpcz

Fracking gains support
A new poll has found there is overwhelming support in Darwin for lifting the ban on fracking — but across the Territory the issue remains divisive.
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/northern-territory-fracking-gains-support/news-story/bc341ddc96469ddcd24b3359368f2f70

Mayor’s push to axe trees
A Council stoush is looming as Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis is about to butt heads with his Green aldermen over his plan to rid the city and suburbs of potentially lethal African mahogany trees
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/darwin-mayor-kon-vatskalis-calls-for-african-mahogany-trees-to-be-chopped-down/news-story/5b4330b763cf5804f765ce9071d9e5ce

Darwin headed for climate doomsday, scientists warn
Darwin is going to get hotter and people will die as a result, a group of Australia’s leading climate scientists have warned
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/darwin-will-get-hotter-and-people-will-die-thanks-to-climate-change-scientists-warn/news-story/57190166f9abfbcfa838ec6dac489757

WA-designed clear glass solar windows gear up for production
WA company gears up to commercialise its “world-first” clear glass solar windows, with listing on ASX.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-designed-clear-glass-solar-windows-gear-production-52522/

Last male northern white rhino dies, leaving species on the brink of extinction
The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, the Kenyan conservancy taking care of him says, leaving only two female members of the subspecies alive in the world.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/worlds-last-male-northern-white-rhino-dies/9568284

Natural Enemies Reduce Pesticide Use
Crop variety in agriculture has a positive impact on the natural enemies of aphids. Farmers can use this insight to keep aphids at bay and cut down …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180320123519.htm

Researchers Create New Low-Cost, Sustainable Material for Reducing Air and Water Pollution
A new class of hybrid materials shows promise as an affordable and sustainable product for reducing particulate matter in air and organic pollutants …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180320084342.htm

The unholy alliance that explains why renewables are trouncing nuclear
Dave Toke
On top of the fact that it is astoundingly expensive, a number of cultural realities lie behind the problems being experienced by nuclear power.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-unholy-alliance-that-explains-why-renewables-are-trouncing-nuclear-96079/

Low-tech, affordable solutions to improve water quality
Clever, fundamental engineering could go a long way toward preventing waterborne illness and exposure to carcinogenic substances in water.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/mtu-las032018.php

Achieving healthy, climate-friendly, affordable diets in India
New research led by IIASA researcher Narasimha Rao has shown how it might be possible to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in India in an affordable way whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/iifa-ahc032018.php

Pro-environmental programs should take the factors that motivate each gender into consideration
A piece of research carried out by lecturers at the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Economics and Business has explored, from the gender perspective, the pro-environmental behavior of university students on the UPV/EHU’s Bizkaia campus. The results suggest that the set of variables affecting pro-environmental behavior differs according to gender, but that the degree of intensity that each factor exerts on this behavior also differs.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uotb-pps032018.php

British wind power output hits record
Power generation from Britain’s wind farms hit a record 14.2 gigawatts on March 17, the National Grid said on Monday.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-windpower/british-wind-power-output-hits-record-idUSKBN1GV25V

The world added nearly 30 percent more solar energy capacity in 2017
The global solar market grew 29.3 percent last year, with nations installing 98.9 gigawatts of new capacity, according to data from the industry group SolarPower Europe. While more capacity was installed in 2017, the global growth rate slowed last year, down from 49 percent in 2016, according to energy news site CleanTechnica.
https://e360.yale.edu/digest/the-world-added-nearly-30-percent-more-solar-energy-capacity-in-2017

Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet
Kim Stanley Robinson
There are now twice as many people as 50 years ago. But, as EO Wilson has argued, they can all survive – in cities
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/20/save-the-planet-half-earth-kim-stanley-robinson

Is the way we think about overpopulation racist?
Fred Pearce
Half the world lives in urban areas, yet environmental concerns about megacities often focus on developing economies. But consumption is as important as population.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/19/overpopulation-cities-environment-developing-world-racist-paul-ehrlich

My advice after a year without tech: Rewild yourself
Mark Boyle
We can’t all go and live in the woods, of course. But if we resist debt, resist gadgets, and reconnect with nature, the world might just change.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/19/a-year-without-tech-debt-gadgets-reconnect-nature

Wildfire intensity impacts water quality and its treatment in forested watersheds
The recent Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in in California’s modern history. Now, researchers report that wildfires in forested watersheds can have a variable but predictable impact on the substances that are released from soils and flow into drinking water sources. The research provides important insights for water utilities evaluating treatment options after severe wildfires.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/acs-wii022018.php

Detection, deterrent system will help eagles, wind turbines coexist better
Researchers have taken a key step toward helping wildlife coexist more safely with wind power generation by demonstrating the success of an impact detection system that uses vibration sensors mounted to turbine blades.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/osu-dds031918.php

Birds in rural France wiped out at “dizzying” rate
Bird populations are collapsing in rural France at a catastrophic rate, according to two studies published on Tuesday which drew a link to the intense use of pesticides in farming.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-birds/birds-in-rural-france-wiped-out-at-dizzying-rate-idUSKBN1GW26R

As humans change the world, predators seize the chance to succeed
Bill Bateman, Curtin University and Trish Fleming, Murdoch University
From falcons that hunt by the light of skyscrapers, to bears that sit in wait at weirs, animals are using human structures to help them catch a meal.
https://theconversation.com/as-humans-change-the-world-predators-seize-the-chance-to-succeed-93645

Monarch butterflies face the dicamba pesticide threat
Nathan Donley
The ongoing decline in populations foreshadows an ever-darkening picture for monarchs heading into a growing season where farmers are projected to use tens of millions of additional pounds of the drift-prone pesticide dicamba.
http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article205889654.html

Will invasive carp take over the Great Lakes?
Paul Hetzler
Asian carp is a term applied to a gang of four alien carp species: bighead, silver, black, and grass. These guys are expert in two domains: eating and baby-making.
https://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/allin/2018/03/18/carping-about-invasive-species/?_ga=2.50928937.1275734039.1521510395-1935464826.1450450780

Why it doesn’t pay to be just nice — you also need to be intelligent
New research has revealed how people’s intelligence, rather than their personality traits, leads to success.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uob-wid032018.php

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