FRIDAY 13 APRIL 2018

New satellite to spot planet-warming industrial methane leaks
Multimillion dollar project will scan and make public methane leaks from oil and gas plants that are a major contributor to global warming
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/12/new-satellite-to-spot-planet-warming-industrial-methane-leaks

Climate change and extreme weather: Science is proving the link
Pinning down blame for complex weather events isn’t straightforward. But cutting-edge science is rapidly shrinking the space to argue that the crazy weather we’re experiencing isn’t due to greenhouse gas emissions.
http://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-and-extreme-weather-science-is-proving-the-link/a-43323706

‘We are not a force to be ignored’: Young people take up climate activism
Youth-led climate organizations are springing up around the globe. Their desire for change stems from personal experience of and worry about climate change, as well as a desire to hold their governments to account for failing to act swiftly enough on the problem.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180411121123-7pbv6

Warm weather is here to stay thanks to an ocean heat wave
It’s warmer than average and we’ll have to wait at least another month until service returns to normal for much of the country, according to the weather bureau.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/weather-outlook-ocean-heat-wave/9644290

States threaten to call off energy deal if renewables undermined
Queensland and Victoria hedge bets about national energy guarantee, saying they won’t compromise on keeping strong renewables targets
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/12/states-threaten-to-call-off-energy-deal-if-renewables-undermined

Dumb reasons to say no to solar on your apartment
Don’t be fooled by crazy arguments against solar – but put in place some basic ways to save energy too.
http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/five-dumb-reasons-and-one-good-one-for-saying-no-to-solar-on-your-apartment-20180411-h0ynaf

Clustering solar and wind farms considered to cut costs
The Australian Energy Market Commission has begun investigating the creation of renewable energy zones in order to bring more green power into the grid.
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/clustering-solar-and-wind-farms-considered-to-cut-costs-20180412-p4z99m.html

How to save Australia’s remaining farmland
Only 10 per cent of Australia is arable and much of that land is being rapidly swallowed up by housing as governments respond to the growing demand for affordable housing. So what can be done to save precious farming land?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-04-13/how-to-save-australias-remaining-farmland/9627516

The foreign donation bill is a smokescreen to attack civil society
Lee Rhiannon
The government claims they’re finally listening to Australians and addressing political donation reform. But they’re not
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/12/the-foreign-donation-bill-is-a-smokescreen-to-attack-civil-society

New electoral law could still hobble charities
Krystian Seibert, Swinburne University of Technology
A parliamentary committee has identified major flaws in the Australian government’s proposed changes to electoral law, which have big implications for charities.
https://theconversation.com/new-electoral-law-could-still-hobble-charities-93788

Immigration debate chips away at Coalition hell-bent on self destruction
David Crowe
No issue has the power to divide Australians like a call to turn away migrants.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/immigration-debate-chips-away-at-coalition-determined-to-self-destruct-20180412-p4z96y.html

Punters stuck in the middle of Australia’s energy war
Sarah Martin
When Josh Frydenberg called for stance that put consumers first, he seemed to be talking common sense. But this is politics, after all.
https://thewest.com.au/opinion/sarah-martin/punters-stuck-in-the-middle-of-australias-energy-war-ng-b88804934z

Energy policy still in works [PAYWALL]
John Durie
The feds are backing the national energy guarantee but bizarrely show they don’t have a lot of faith in the market-based system.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/john-durie/malcolm-turnbulls-energy-policy-still-a-work-in-progress/news-story/bcf55b2029082af264c1d089fe6a45a7

Josh Frydenberg handed a poisoned chalice [PAYWALL]
Sheradyn Holderhead
Josh Frydenberg has been given the task of getting all energy ministers to agree on the National Energy Guarantee reforms process. It won’t be an easy sell for a government struggling in the polls
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/sheradyn-holderhead-turnbull-has-handed-josh-frydenberg-the-poisoned-chalice-of-driving-the-energy-issue/news-story/8bb004ef5f7eae43f4772c39f3791048

Craig Kelly slams RenewEconomy: “Shameless propaganda arm of green rent seekers”
Sophie Vorrath
It’s official, Craig Kelly MP doesn’t rate RE. And while we don’t mind that so much, we do mind his serial bending of the truth to beat up renewables, deny climate change, and shore up coal.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/craig-kelly-slams-reneweconomy-shameless-propaganda-arm-of-green-rent-seekers-99670/

Poverty of vision is holding back Australia’s energy transition
David Leitch
There is broad and consistent support for renewable energy both globally and in Australia, but our policies need to wake up to 21st Century.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/poverty-of-vision-is-holding-back-australias-energy-transition-70974/

Forest too dry for burn-offs [PAYWALL]
More than 200,000ha of Crown land across Victoria has been targeted for planned burns this year, but unseasonally dry conditions are hampering the efforts of CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria’s crews to get the job done.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/planned-burns-some-victorian-forests-too-dry-for-burnoffs/news-story/49a3527fd2126b03f78c0dc0b4cba532

Mouse woes mount [PAYWALL]
Mice are making themselves at home across large swathes of Victoria’s cropping regions.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/cropping/mouse-woes-mount-across-victorias-cropping-regions/news-story/5dfb1bbc4dc8b67f6e03438a4a59bfbd

Protection teams a force for nature [PAYWALL]
Phillip Island has a track record for going that extra step to protect native wildlife, writes SARAH HUDSON.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/country-living/phillip-islanders-go-to-great-lengths-to-protect-native-wildlife/news-story/d70f5bc255d16298867ee91fd53795f5

Victorian coal to keep lights on in Japan, says Turnbull
On one of Victoria’s hottest mid-April days on record, Australian and Japanese leaders gathered at the base of Loy Yang, the state’s biggest power plant, to launch a project to secure the long-term future of its vast brown coal reserves.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/victorian-coal-to-keep-lights-on-in-japan-says-turnbull-20180412-p4z94j.html

Victoria renewables auction attracts 3,500MW of bids, as state warns on NEG
Victoria says its renewables auction six-times over-subscribed, and warns it won’t accept NEG in current form.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-renewables-auction-attracts-3500mw-of-bids-as-state-warns-on-neg-15132/

Reality check on a half-billion-dollar brown coal hydrogen project
Is the brown coal to hydrogen plant a carbon-emitting white elephant, or can it make Australia a new energy world leader?
https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/reality-check-on-a-half-billion-dollar-brown-coal-hydrogen-project-20180412-p4z98n.html

What’s my line? Route dispute could delay airport rail by five years
An airport rail line won’t start construction for at least half a decade, despite promises from both sides of government it will proceed.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/what-s-my-line-route-dispute-could-delay-airport-rail-by-five-years-20180412-p4z99u.html

Visions for Gippsland’s future
Simone Fox Koob
The backdrop may be the same, but visits by Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull to coal country this week were miles apart.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/pollies-peddling-different-visions-for-gippslands-future/news-story/253a303b88e9a032e10ba6e5ba7c8951

Turnbull’s brown coal hydrogen horror show: $500m for 3 tonnes
Giles Parkinson
Turnbull hails half a billion dollar, year long project that will turn Victoria brown coal into just three tonnes of hydrogen fuel. Has the world gone completely mad?
https://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbulls-brown-coal-hydrogen-horror-show-500m-for-3-tonnes-70932/

After 60 years of discussion, airport rail link may take off
Clay Lucas
Malcolm Turnbull says there’s no doubt a funding deal will be done. But what are the pros and cons of each possible route?
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/airport-rail-routes-the-pros-and-cons-20180412-p4z97u.html

Why the airport rail link barely stacks up and shouldn’t happen yet
Peter Martin
Just months ago in December, Infrastructure Victoria published the most comprehensive analysis yet of Victoria’s infrastructure needs. It examined 300 potential projects, many of them desperately needed, and pronounced the Melbourne Airport Rail Link only “supported in principle”.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-the-airport-rail-link-barely-stacks-up-and-shouldn-t-happen-yet-20180412-p4z995.html

Nuclear waste from Australia’s only reactor ready to be dumped
Spent fuel rods from a nuclear reactor in Sydney’s south are to be taken overseas for reprocessing for the first time in 10 years. But after a secretive operation, they will end up back here.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/nuclear-waste-from-australias-only-reactor-needs-to-be-removed/9643428

Major Murray-Darling Basin water-saving plan questioned
The NSW Government makes revisions to a key water-saving proposal under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/nsw-government-concerns-menindee-lakes-plan-could-be-detrimental/9643910

Andrew Forrest fast tracks gas plan
Jennifer Hewett
Andrew Forrest wants to accelerate his radical plan to bring new sources of LNG to desperate industrial customers in NSW by the end of next year if possible.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/andrew-forrest-fast-tracks-gas-plan-20180412-h0yotw

No plan to protect Queensland’s green-haired turtle from extinction
The Mary river turtle is just one of many endangered Australian reptile species which have fallen between the conservation cracks
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/13/no-plan-to-protect-queenslands-green-haired-turtle-from-extinction

‘They might just disappear’: warning over ‘punk’ turtle’s future
Queensland’s rare Mary River turtles are reaching pension age with very few teenagers to rejuvenate the species in a critical ‘Night of the Living Dead’ scene.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/they-might-just-disappear-warning-over-punk-turtle-s-future-20180412-p4z9a0.html

Greenies now bugging seafood lovers [PAYWALL]
The fishing industry is up in arms after marine greenies issued a warning for seafood lovers to stop eating some of Queensland’s most iconic delicacies, including Moreton Bay bugs.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/greenies-bugging-our-fishers-with-call-to-take-seafood-off-menu/news-story/a8f2960e812a09b6bcf28fe133fb0cf4

Laws a threat to hike prices [PAYWALL]
The Liberal National Party has warned that Queensland’s controversial proposed vegetation laws could lead to higher fruit and vegetable prices at the checkout.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/lnp-warns-avegetationclearing-laws-will-raise-produce-prices/news-story/3969ceafc98ca985c27fedd334ab40e1

Clear the obstacles in transport funding [PAYWALL]
Courier Mail editorial
While Queensland and southern states have received good news in infrastructure funding this week, the announcements have reminded us of the shortcomings and flaws of the current system.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-clear-the-obstacles-in-transport-infrastructure-funding/news-story/c537d22e1320acaaade07a4eb607c461

Defence Dept to take extra 500 samples as part of toxin inquiry [PAYWALL]
The Defence Department will take an extra 500 ground samples from the Edinburgh RAAF base and neighbouring properties as it tries to better understand the extent of potentially dangerous contamination in the area.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/toxin-inquiry-defence-department-to-take-500-ground-samples-from-edinburgh-raaf-base/news-story/658fbe702d62d34203d315f5eb8d8b0f

Fish farm opponents dealt blow after Tassal’s twin victories
Two separate decisions rejecting arguments against salmon giant Tassal’s east coast expansion plans have dismayed opponents who had pinned their hopes on stopping the Okehampton Bay fish farm facility on environmental grounds.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/tassal-okehampton-bay-expansion-victory-over-opponents/9644784

Quirky creatures ready to be spotted [PAYWALL]
A rare dinosaur-era fish has been bred in captivity in Tasmania – and the babies are ready to meet and greet.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/no-fishy-business-here-as-quirky-creatures-ready-to-be-spotted/news-story/a76f8c98fd681520562cbd01c3d3fe06

Forestry boss calls time on tumultuous career [PAYWALL]
The hunt is on for a new CEO to lead Tasmania’s peak forest industry group.
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/search-begins-to-replace-forest-industries-association-of-tasmania-ceo-terry-edwards/news-story/5074c2003bafccd6da8c426e87c6a9ce

Left to pick up the pieces of wildlife carnage [PAYWALL]
Jen Cheverton
As carers we do our best, but it’s not a patch on nature
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-left-to-pick-up-the-pieces-of-wildlife-carnage/news-story/0f3259901e6359bb1ff595a008f49668

Fracking decision next week
The Gunner Government will announce its fracking decision within the next week as the NT budget blows out to a $4.1 billion deficit
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/territory-debt-expected-to-blow-out-to-41-billion/news-story/5b2c6782c4687340ef141184a49cfff2

Emission-reduction burden set to hit WA hard
The mining and industry sector, disproportionately located in WA, will have to do more of the heavy lifting for the National Energy Guarantee.
https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-politics/national-energy-guarantee-to-hit-wa-hard-due-to-scale-of-mining-industry-ng-b88803966z

The scary cost of Perth’s urban sprawl
The City of Fremantle says the state could save $23 billion by 2030 – if only it changed what it was doing.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/city-of-fremantle-says-wa-can-save-30-billion-over-30-years-if-it-cuts-down-on-urban-sprawl-ng-b88804403z

New Zealand bans new oil exploration in quest for net zero emissions
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says offshore oil and gas exploration permits will no longer be issued by her Government as it seeks to reduce the country’s net greenhouse emissions to zero by 2050.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/new-zealand-no-longer-issuing-oil-and-gas-exploration-permits/9645092

World’s first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden
The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/12/worlds-first-electrified-road-for-charging-vehicles-opens-in-sweden?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

World’s largest brewer develops greener way to put bubbles in beer
Gas bubbles will be generated without boiling, which AB InBev says will cut its CO2 emissions.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/11/worlds-largest-brewer-ab-inbev-develops-greener-bubbles-in-beer

Air-pollution trackers seek to fill Africa’s data gap
At ten elementary schools on the outskirts of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, newly installed air-quality monitors are quietly collecting data to study how air pollution affects children’s health, in an effort to address a major public-health gap in sub-Saharan Africa.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-04330-x?utm_source=twt_nnc&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=naturenews&sf186754681=1

The Brazilian villagers turning plastic pollution into profit
After plastic waste contributed to deadly floods in Recife, one neighbourhood took action. Now people can earn a living by cleaning up the river in a scheme being imitated around the world.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/12/the-brazilian-villagers-turning-plastic-pollution-into-profit

World’s first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden
Stretch of road outside Stockholm transfers energy from two tracks of rail in the road, recharging the batteries of electric cars and trucks
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/12/worlds-first-electrified-road-for-charging-vehicles-opens-in-sweden

Dhaka again ranked world’s most polluted city
Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka has once again ranked as the most polluted city in the world.
http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/environment/2018/04/11/dhaka-ranked-worlds-polluted-city/

PNG gasfield upgraded [PAYWALL]
Oil Search and its partners have taken another step towards an expansion of the PNG liquefied natural gas project.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/key-png-gasfield-upgraded-oil-search/news-story/3f561b9cdcecedf5161843d465f264d9

Did drinking give me breast cancer?
The science is clear that alcohol raises the risk of cancer, but boozemakers don’t want you to know. And they have worked long and hard to distract you from learning.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/04/did-drinking-give-me-breast-cancer/

Marketing makes our favourite animals seem common as they slide towards extinction
We see so many iconic animals in marketing and media that we may be forgetting their populations in the wild are actually dwindling, researchers say.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-13/marketing-makes-endangered-animals-seem-common/9634478

A sperm race to help save one of New Zealand’s threatened birds, the sugar-lapping hihi
Helen Taylor
Inbreeding and male infertility could be impeding the recovery of one of New Zealand’s threatened birds – the stitchbird, or hihi. Hihi sperm might hold the answer, and help raise funds for conservation.
https://theconversation.com/a-sperm-race-to-help-save-one-of-new-zealands-threatened-birds-the-sugar-lapping-hihi-94650

The year is 2050, and as climate change takes hold the bees will be the first to fall
Delicate ecosystems are slowly spinning out of balance, one species at a time.
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/climate-change-norfolk-species-conservation

Seas are rising too fast to save much of the Mississippi River Delta, scientists say
The river has brings tons of sediment downstream, forming new land, but it can’t keep pace with the fast-rising seas.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/11/seas-are-rising-too-fast-to-save-much-of-the-mississippi-delta-scientists-say/?utm_term=.fb44a0e16d27

Boat noise is distracting, confusing, and lethal to aquatic animals
There is growing evidence that noise produced by humans can disrupt fishes’ ability to find food, reproduce, and avoid predators.
https://undark.org/article/underwater-noise-pollution-aquatic-animals/

A drop in the ocean?
As the world’s marine ecosystems face ever-increasing threats, is the trend toward huge, remote reserves a promising new development or a worrisome distraction?
http://www.biographic.com/posts/sto/a-drop-in-the-ocean

Activists fear for environmental protection under Indonesia’s revised Criminal Code
A highly contentious set of revisions to Indonesia’s Criminal Code threatens to undermine the fight against environmental offenders and polluters, activists warn.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/04/activists-fear-for-environmental-protection-under-indonesias-revised-criminal-code/

British butterflies suffered seventh worst year on record in 2017
Annual monitoring shows many native species suffered further falls, and two declining species had their worst seasons on record
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/11/british-butterflies-suffered-seventh-worst-year-on-record-in-2017

Young, hive-bound bees befuddled by common chemicals
Even bees that never leave the hive can be exposed to insecticides and herbicides that affect their sense of taste and reduce their ability to learn.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/young-hive-bound-bees-befuddled-by-common-chemicals

Farmland birds in France are in steep decline
Two surveys in France, one national and one regional, show a loss of bird populations in agricultural areas. Pesticides may be the culprit.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/science/farmland-birds-decline.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ftrilobites

The world’s richest 1% are getting richer – and it’s not going to stop any time soon
The world’s richest 1 per cent of people will control close to two-thirds of all global wealth by the year 2030, according to a report produced by the House of Commons library, the research arm of the UK’s parliament.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/the-world-s-richest-1-percent-are-getting-richer-and-it-s-not-going-to-stop-any-time-soon-20180412-p4z956.html

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