SATURDAY 24 MARCH 2018

Global emissions rose in 2017, but US and China both made progress
Fossil fuels met the bulk of new global energy demand in 2017, a shift from recent years when clean energy led the way. Still, renewables grew, IEA says.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22032018/global-carbon-emissions-data-clean-energy-market-fossil-fuels-trends-iea-report-paris-climate-agreement

Chevron’s lawyer says climate change is real, and it’s your fault
In a court hearing in San Francisco, oil companies publicly backed the science of climate change.
https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/22/17151532/climate-tutorial-san-francisco-oakland-lawsuits-judge-alsup-chevron-exxon

In 20 years, wildfires will be six times larger in the US West
Because of drought and rising temperatures, wildfires in the West will grow so large and regular they could reshape entire forests.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2289216/20-years-wildfires-will-be-six-times-larger

Labor attacks Greens for dithering over marine park plan
Tony Burke says if the Greens back the plan, the ‘largest removal’ of a conservation area will be locked in for a decade
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/23/labor-attacks-greens-marine-park-plan

Coalition accuses green groups of misleading public on forestry agreements
Anne Ruston says National Parks Association “engaged in a campaign to mislead the Australian people” after groups make public submissions on RFAs
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/23/coalition-accuses-green-groups-of-misleading-public-on-forestry-agreements

Native forest protections are deeply flawed, yet may be in place for another 20 years
David Lindenmeyer, ANU
State governments are poised to renew some of the 20-year-old Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) without reviewing any evidence gathered in the last two decades.
https://theconversation.com/native-forest-protections-are-deeply-flawed-yet-may-be-in-place-for-another-20-years-93004

Marine parks decision risks making ocean tragedy even worse
Julia Baird
As the full horror of our ocean plastic problem was revealed to us this week, our government said they were going to allow commercial and recreational fishing in great swathes of previously protected marine parks.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/marine-parks-decision-risks-making-ocean-tragedy-even-worse-20180323-p4z5ut.html

Recycling worry a waste anyway 
Judith Sloan
Virtue-signallers ignore the fact plastic bags are environmentally safer than alternatives.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/recycling-worry-is-a-waste-anyway/news-story/c5d89a6789d965f99f77992100af2ec0

Peat fires continue to burn forcing Victorian residents to leave homes
Homes are evacuated in south-west Victoria due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-23/victorian-peat-fires-continue-burning-forcing-residents-to-leave/9579008

New migrants drive NSW population growth as birth rate slumps
New arrivals are powering the state’s population growth with overseas migration accounting for 80 per cent of the increase in the NSW population last year.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/new-migrants-drive-nsw-population-growth-as-birth-rate-slumps-20180322-p4z5rm.html

Not getting a social licence to operate can be a costly mistake, as coal seam gas firms have found
Hanabeth Luke, Southern Cross University
My research on coal seam gas firms and social licence reveals what’s at stake if they get it wrong, and how they might get it right in the future.
https://theconversation.com/not-getting-a-social-licence-to-operate-can-be-a-costly-mistake-as-coal-seam-gas-firms-have-found-93718

Tree clearing changes could put green energy future in jeopardy, Qld Govt warned
The Queensland Government is warned it may struggle to meet its renewable energy target if it pushes ahead with its controversial proposal to tighten tree clearing laws.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-23/tree-clearing-changes-could-threaten-clean-green-energy-agenda/9581902

‘Disgust’ as proposal at abandoned mine canned
Farmers who live near one of Queensland’s biggest abandoned mines believe they have just lost their last chance for a toxic environmental legacy to be reversed.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-24/central-queensland-farmers-disgusted-mining-proposal-canned/9581976

New Queensland planning law puts transparency and accountability at risk
Philippa England, Griffith University
Changes under Queensland’s recently instituted Planning Act give councils much more leeway in their decision-making, which makes it harder for appeals against decisions to succeed.
https://theconversation.com/new-queensland-planning-law-puts-transparency-and-accountability-at-risk-93121

Communities torn as SA outback slated to become nuclear waste dumping ground
South Australia’s new Government indicates it will back a nuclear waste dump in the state’s outback, as communities remain divided about the proposal.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-23/sa-gov-backs-nuclear-waste-dump-amid-community-tensions/9262948

Total fire ban declared for part of SA
South Australia’s County Fire Service has issued a total fire ban for the Mt Lofty Ranges ahead of hot weather and strong winds.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/total-fire-ban-declared-for-part-of-sa/news-story/7ceacc5549507c13f2c2b247c9ba117e

Podcast: Zero poverty, jobs for everyone and no carbon emissions?
Zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero carbon emissions – is it possible in South Australia?
https://indaily.com.au/podcasts/2018/03/23/podcast-zero-poverty-jobs-everyone-no-carbon-emissions/

Industry veteran warned of ‘disaster’ in fish farm expansion on Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour
As Tasmania’s environmental watchdog admits the science was wrong behind increasing Macquarie Harbour fish farming, an industry veteran says it was always going to be a disaster.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-24/salmon-farmer-in-macquarie-harbour-says-expansion-a-disaster/9582564

Tasmanian citizen scientists bag hundreds of species and a ‘monster’ crayfish
A biodiversity survey in Tasmania’s Tarkine region recorded at least 375 species including a freshwater crayfish weighing in at more than 3 kilograms.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-03-24/bioblitz-bags-giant-freshwater-crayfish/9572546

Explainer: Why do whales become stranded? 
An estimated 150 whales have stranded themselves in Western Australia’s Hamelin Bay, incredibly the second such event to occur on the same date at the exact same location. But a whale expert says the search for answers to these tragic events is frustrating.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-23/why-do-whales-become-stranded/9581792

What mode of transport is best in Perth’s peak hour traffic?
We tested bikes, electric bikes, buses, trains and cars from four locations across Perth in an Amazing Race-style competition to see which mode of transport will get you to the CBD fastest in peak hour traffic.
https://thewest.com.au/news/transport/what-mode-of-transport-is-best-in-perths-peak-hour-traffic-bc-5756743703001

Quokkas to get more protection after Instagram ‘cruelty’ slam
Two days after it was revealed Instagram compared “quokka selfies” to animal abuse, the state government has announced a new effort to monitor and protect the iconic WA species.
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/quokkas-to-get-more-protection-after-instagram-cruelty-slam-20180323-p4z5w1.html

New solar cell works rain or shine
A new hybrid solar cell works in rainy weather by generating electricity from the movement of raindrops sliding on its surface.
http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/03/new-solar-cell-works-rain-or-shine/

The hydrogen-powered car’s big setback
A two-year trial to offer cars that consume Earth’s most common element and emit only water will end over high costs.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-23/the-hydrogen-powered-car-s-big-setback

Why the world needs to recycle its wastewater
World Water Day is drawing attention to the growing threat of water scarcity. Some countries are making the most of every drop they use – but others are still squeamish about reusing wastewater
http://www.dw.com/en/why-the-world-needs-to-recycle-its-wastewater/a-43078934

Sustainable shopping: if you really, truly need a new phone, buy one with replaceable parts
Miles Park, UNSW
The most sustainable phone is the one you already own. But if you’re in the market for a new handset, consider choosing one with replaceable parts to avoid having to replace the whole thing again.
https://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-if-you-really-truly-need-a-new-phone-buy-one-with-replaceable-parts-93069

Earth Hour – You can’t hold a candle to it
Russell Grenning
What’s all the buzz about Earth Hour? In fact, your average candle does more damage on the carbon pollution front than a night light.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19617

Keep off our land, indigenous women tell Ecuador’s president
Women’s movement demand an end to unrestricted oil drilling and mining on indigenous lands and action on violence against land defenders in first meeting with president Lenin Moreno
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/23/keep-off-our-land-indigenous-women-tell-ecuadors-president

How bees defend against some controversial insecticides
Some bees have enzymes that allow them to resist toxic compounds in some neonicotinoid pesticides.
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/how-bees-defend-against-some-controversial-insecticides?tgt=nr

Plastic within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is ‘increasing exponentially,’ scientists find
The stretch of ocean now contains 79,000 tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, a research survey has found.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/22/plastic-within-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-is-increasing-exponentially-scientists-find/?utm_term=.e3e876f4fc57

Environmentalists skeptical of ‘breakthrough’ on bee-friendly pesticides
Researchers say a new discovery may help to create pesticides that don’t kill bees. But critics say we need to move away from a ‘chemical mindset’ altogether.
http://www.dw.com/en/environmentalists-skeptical-of-breakthrough-on-bee-friendly-pesticides/a-43064516

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