MONDAY 26 MARCH 2018

Good news about renewables: but the heat is still on to cut fossil fuel use
New data shows global emissions are at a historic high. Political leaders must now consider imposing serious penalties
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/25/renewables-good-news-heat-on-cut-fossil-fuel-use

Research finds extreme temperature fluctuations linked to increased rates of heart attacks
Cardiology researchers in Michigan recently linked extreme day-to-day changes in temperatures to a significant increase in heart attacks, a finding that raises the disturbing possibility of yet another harmful effect of our warming planet on human health.
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/24/research-finds-extreme-temperature-fluctuations-linked-increased-rates-heart-attacks/

U.S. military prepares for climate change
America’s military forces are preparing for the multiple threats posed by climate change.This is nothing new, but it has been obscured by some of the more sensational debates.
http://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20180323/friday-editorial-us-military-prepares-for-climate-change

Consumers should be compensated for their excessive ‘gold-plated’ power bills: report
The Grattan Institute says over-investment in the poles and wires of the power grid has left consumers paying “too much for something they neither want nor need”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/grattan-urges-consumers-to-be-compensation-for-energy-grid-22g/9585284

Bungle at Barnaby Joyce’s pet agency prolongs rat infestation on Lord Howe Island
With its white sands, clear waters and jutting mountains, Lord Howe Island is a slice of world heritage-listed paradise in the Pacific Ocean. There’s just one problem – it is besieged by rats.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/bungle-at-barnaby-joyce-s-pet-agency-prolongs-rat-infestation-on-lord-howe-island-20180320-p4z57i.html

How the ‘armpits of our coastline’ help fight climate change
They can stink like fish and rotten eggs, breed swarms of mosquitos and lack the glamour of coral reefs, but mangroves, with other coastal habitats, are vitally important to our climate — and they’re under threat.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-03-26/blue-carbon-mangroves-seagrass-fight-climate-change/9564096

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect us
Julian Burnside
While Adani fights a $12,000 fine for environmental pollution- small change for them – ordinary people have been hit with fines that could stop them putting food on the table, paying school fees and keeping up their rent or mortgage repayments. And our leaders toss lumps of coal around in parliament.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/everyday-heroes-compelled-to-break-the-law-when-government-fails-to-protect-us-20180325-p4z64n.html

You’re paying too much for electricity, but here’s what the states can do about it
Kate Griffiths, Grattan Institute
State-owned power networks have spent up to A$20 billion more than was needed on the electricity grid, and households and businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania are paying for it in sky-high power bills.
https://theconversation.com/youre-paying-too-much-for-electricity-but-heres-what-the-states-can-do-about-it-93654

Sawmillers call for access to Victorian parks and water catchments
Sawmillers say industry in ‘wind-down mode’ as state government discusses logging agreements extension
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/26/exclusive-sawmillers-call-for-access-to-victorian-parks-and-water-catchments

‘White hot, smoldering lake bed’ – peat fires force evacuations
Hundreds are being checked for carbon monoxide poisoning amid fears fires in south-west Victoria could burn for months to come.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/white-hot-smoldering-lake-bed-peat-fires-force-evacuations-20180325-p4z650.html

Pledge to ditch renewables target could cost Guy in sandbelt: poll
Most voters in four of Melbourne’s most marginal seats support moves to boost renewables in Victoria at the expense of coal, a poll has found.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/pledge-to-ditch-renewables-target-could-cost-guy-in-sandbelt-poll-20180323-p4z5xu.html

Half of Sydney’s offices are aiming for a greener skyline — and it’s paying off
Sydney’s big end of town is emerging as a global leader in emissions reductions, with half the city’s offices set to reach their agreed upon goal years before the target date, and they’re saving millions in the process.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/sydney-corporate-achievers-cutting-emissions/9573558

ALP promises cool schools as parties converge on Penrith battleground
A state Labor government would spend $300 million upgrading airconditioning for thousands of school classrooms and double funding for public libraries, the opposition announced at the official launch of its campaign for next year’s election.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/alp-promises-cool-schools-as-parties-converge-on-penrith-battleground-20180325-p4z65o.html

Warragamba dam wall plan ‘would flood 50 Aboriginal heritage sites’
Green groups join traditional owners to oppose plan which they say would also wipe out pockets of threatened plants
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/25/warragamba-dam-wall-plan-would-flood-50-aboriginal-heritage-sites

Class action looms on Tathra fire
Law firm Slater and Gordon has invited victims of the Tathra bushfire to register their interest in a potential class action lawsuit.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/tathra-bushfire-victims-invited-by-slater-and-gordon-to-register-for-class-action/news-story/466b93621b481ed1cb71d39bb6b62ed5

It’s one thing to build a city – but we have to live in it too
Andy Marks
How will liveability find room to breathe in the tightly wound confines of Green Square, an area hurtling towards a population density of 22,000 people per square kilometre?
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/it-s-one-thing-to-build-a-city-but-we-have-to-live-in-it-too-20180325-p4z655.html

Tathra bushfire ‘The New Normal’
Matthew Knott
Last week’s fire in Tathra was not your ‘normal’ Australian bushfire. When the fire bore down on our community chaos and confusion ensued, gas tanks exploded and plumes of black smoke rose.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5299735/destructive-bushfire-in-tathra-the-new-normal/?cs=97

Why are our power prices so high?
David Blowers
The cost of the electricity grid in NSW has almost doubled in a decade — and we’re all paying for it through our power bills.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/david-blowers-why-are-our-power-bills-so-high-were-paying-for-mistakes-of-the-past/news-story/2cd606626304b32fca7dc68bee76180f

Compliance issues in ACT energy efficient scheme
Industry concerns have been raised after more than 1000 compliance flaws were discovered in a government energy efficiency audit covering only a small fraction of building approvals.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/compliance-issues-in-act-energy-efficient-scheme-20180320-h0xr3n.html

Pesticide impact on prawns in Queensland must be heeded: Reef scientist
One of Australia’s leading marine pollutant and reef water scientists has issued a dire warning about the health of Queensland’s prawn industry in the wake of the latest CSIRO report into pesticides in the state’s waterways.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/pesticide-impact-on-prawns-in-queensland-must-be-heeded-reef-scientist-20180322-p4z5rx.html

Wheelie bin fines a load of rubbish 
More than 20 Queensland councils are set to adopt waste and recycling laws that would allow for residents to be fined more than $2500 for leaving their wheelie bins out.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/queenslanders-could-be-slugged-with-2500-late-wheelie-bins-fine/news-story/0259fe48c8d80fa169fb1b68a11f9ab1

Labor electricity shocker costing us
THE State Government has been accused of adding to the financial pain of Queenslanders through poor decisions that have locked in spiralling prices that are only likely to get worse.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/grattan-institute-says-palaszczuk-governments-poor-decisions-adding-400-a-year-to-queensland-electricity-bills/news-story/e7ddfda3c3b2d9e745a0b9d0d205fa24

Nora downgraded after crossing coast
Cyclone Nora has been downgraded to a category 2 storm after crossing the western coast of Cape York early today, but heavy rainfall and wind gust warnings remain in place for far north inland Queensland.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/weather/cyclone-nora-far-north-queensland-on-high-alert/news-story/a4a3fc9ccacdfabcef721b756f153717

A different kind of green waste
Household rubbish collection in some Adelaide suburbs would be powered by renewable energy under a proposal to slash costs and reduce carbon emissions.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/city/east-waste-looking-at-electric-garbage-trucks-powered-by-renewable-energy-to-slash-costs-and-reduce-emissions/news-story/d2dda62d10a5b94ddb6095d73671fb46

China struggles to kick its coal habit even as it pledges to increase renewable energy use
China, the world’s biggest polluter, pledges to drastically cut its use of fossil fuels and increase renewable energy by 20 per cent by 2030. But many question whether the rhetoric is matching reality.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/china-pledges-to-drastically-cut-fossil-fuels/9500228

Battling the pollution of ‘microfibre bomb’ swimwear
There’s no way you’d be able to tell just by looking at them but Allerton Swimwear’s bathers are all made from fabric regenerated from discarded plastic bottles and fishing nets collected from the bottom of the ocean.
https://www.theage.com.au/business/small-business/battling-the-pollution-of-microfibre-bomb-swimwear-20180322-p4z5rc.html

How light pollution is damaging our world
Earth’s nights are getting brighter, creating an environmental nuisance that kills our wildlife, costs taxpayers and makes it increasingly difficult to see and study the stars.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-26/how-light-pollution-is-damaging-our-world/9464026

Your asthma puffer is probably contributing to climate change, but there’s a better alternative
Brett Montgomery, University of WA
The HFC most often found in asthma metered dose inhalers, norflurane, is 1,430 times more potent than the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide. Another, apaflurane, is 3,220 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
https://theconversation.com/your-asthma-puffer-is-probably-contributing-to-climate-change-but-theres-a-better-alternative-92874

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