SATURDAY 21 APRIL 2018

Earth Day and the hockey stick: a singular message
Michael E. Mann
On the 20th anniversary of the graph that galvanized climate action, it is time to speak out boldly.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/earth-day-and-the-hockey-stick-a-singular-message/

Americans who accept climate change outnumber those who don’t 5 to 1
Seventy percent of Americans now accept that climate change is happening, outnumbering those who don’t by a 5 to 1 ratio, according to a new survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
https://e360.yale.edu/digest/americans-who-accept-climate-change-outnumber-those-who-dont-5-to-1

Americans on climate change: all talk, little action
An exclusive OZY and SurveyMonkey Earth Day poll shows that not many people make hard choices for the environment.
https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/americans-on-climate-change-all-talk-little-action/86170

‘Instability, uncertainty and chaos’ — how climate change threatens national security
Anyone who disregards the threats of climate change and sea-level rise “is stupid,” says retired Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw.
http://therevelator.org/climate-change-national-security/

Brazil’s actual forest-related CO2 emissions could blow by Paris pledge
Brazil is reporting its CO2 emissions within U.N. guidelines, but the nation’s true carbon releases due to forest degradation, wildfires and other key sources could be far higher.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/04/brazils-actual-forest-related-co2-emissions-could-blow-by-paris-pledge/

What is eating away at the Greenland ice sheet?
A living carpet of microbes, dust and wind-blown soot is exacerbating ice melt as Arctic temperatures rise, and it’s raising alarms about sea level rise.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/19042018/greenland-ice-sheet-melting-climate-change-arctic-pollution-sea-level-rise-algae-black-carbon

Labor warns national energy plan will lead to renewables lag
The Federal Government is facing an uphill battle to convince some states to back the National Energy Guarantee, with some leaders saying the plan’s targets are too low to drive any new investment in renewable energy.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/labor-warns-national-energy-guarantee-will-lead-to-renewables/9682214

Hold the applause for NEG breakthrough
We’re on the way to building the machinery to deliver on our Paris emissions reduction and energy reliability goals – but are still shy of a Paris-compliant emissions policy.
http://www.afr.com/news/neg-agreement-a-couple-of-goals-up-at-half-time-20180419-h0z0ez

Here’s a wheelie good way to get rid of food waste
More councils are including food scraps in their green waste collections, while others find novel solutions for leftovers.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/scrap-value-leftovers-join-green-bin-collection-in-war-on-food-waste-20180413-p4z9g0.html

‘National Sword’ cuts deep into Australia’s recycling industry
China’s decision to restrict the importation of foreign recycling will have an impact on councils across Australia, local government groups say.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/national-sword-cuts-deep-into-australia-s-recycling-industry-20180420-p4zas4.html

How to spot a koala when you can’t see one
Conservation relies on data, not dreams, of koalas — but these Australian icons are notoriously hard to spot.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-21/koala-song-helps-scientists-collect-habitat-saving-data/9676770

What does each state want from the NEG?
Chris Woods
The Council of Australian Governments meets today to have their say on the NEG, and not every state and territory is going in with a smile.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/04/20/heres-what-each-state-wants-from-the-neg/

States wave through NEG that is even worse than thought
Giles Parkinson
States quickly agree on approval for more work to be done on National Energy Guarantee. But concerns remain about the emissions target, and new analysis that suggests the electricity sector is being asked to address just 5 per cent of required reductions.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/states-wave-through-neg-that-is-even-worse-than-thought-33879/

NEG modelling assumes electricity to deliver just 5% of emission cuts
Owen Kelp
Given the electricity sector accounts for around one-third of national emissions, it must be asked why the government is only seeking to achieve 5% of the required abatement from the NEM.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/neg-modelling-assumes-electricity-deliver-just-5-emission-cuts-79031/

Malcolm Turnbull channels John Howard for energy fix [PAYWALL]
Renee Viellaris
For many Australians, their high energy bill makes no sense.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/analysis-malcolm-turnbull-channels-john-howard-for-energy-fix/news-story/f5093d482c4d834977bb8b3ae8583d7d

Coalition builds new tower for Abbott to smash to pieces
Peter Hartcher
After a decade of disastrous policy, federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was given the task of building a new policy out of nothing more than a box of matches, an incendiary and an unstable Coalition.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/coalition-builds-new-tower-for-abbott-to-smash-to-pieces-20180420-p4zaui.html

Phony peace? Challenges to energy plan sent back to modelling board
Peter Hannam
Somewhere down the track lies possibly Josh Frydenberg’s biggest challenge.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/phony-peace-challenges-to-energy-plan-sent-back-to-modelling-board-20180420-p4zatf.html

It’s time to get really smart about e-bikes
Alan Pears
We need more focus on e-bikes and low speed EVs. My dream is a fold-up e-scooter with an integrated bag so it can become a wheelie bag on public transport.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/pears-report-time-get-really-smart-e-bikes-44810/

Economic gains of higher immigration don’t add up
Crispin Hull
If higher GDP is the best argument for continuing Australia’s increased immigration intake, it is a very poor one.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/economic-gains-of-higher-immigration-don-t-add-up-20180419-p4zame.html

Victoria demands new detailed analysis on NEG after COAG meeting
Meeting on Friday between energy ministers almost derailed by disagreement over how Energy Security Board should proceed
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/20/victoria-demands-new-detailed-analysis-on-neg-after-coag-meeting

Councils consider rate rise to tackle recycling crisis
Victorian homeowners will ultimately bear the brunt of China’s decision to ban foreign waste, with the state’s peak local government body estimating ratepayers will be stung an extra $60 a year to cover recycling costs.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-21/victorian-councils-consider-rate-rise-to-tackle-recycling-crisis/9680058

Locals fear the worst if logging restarts round tiny Gippsland town
Residents of the pretty hill town of Noojee fear their way of life is about to be shattered, as logging contractors prepare to move in this week to clearfell 35 hectares of native forest on the edge of town.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/locals-fear-the-worst-if-logging-restarts-round-tiny-gippsland-town-20180420-p4zapc.html

Rental efficiency standards a winner with voters
Anne Martinelli
Polling shows 80% of voters support efficiency standards for rental homes, which should encourage the Victorian government to finally deliver this critical reform as part of its review of rental laws.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/rental-efficiency-standards-winner-voters-23264/

Hazard reduction burns planned for the weekend
ACT firefighters will carry out hazard reduction burns over the weekend, including one adjacent to Parliament House and the US Embassy.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/hazard-reduction-burns-planned-for-the-weekend-20180420-p4zaq6.html

Council backflips on recycling dump, wants fewer pizza boxes in yellow bins
The Mayor of Ipswich, west of Brisbane, says the Council will reverse its decision to send the city’s recycling to the tip, but asks residents to pitch in by keeping unrecyclable waste out of their yellow-lid bins.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/ipswich-council-backflips-on-dumping-recycling/9681682

Why were the Gold Coast’s old train lines ripped up?
On the Gold Coast, transport, and particularly how you get to Brisbane, is one of the city’s biggest frustrations and constant talking points.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/why-were-the-gold-coasts-old-train-lines-ripped-up/9676344

Rental solar scheme targets 15,000 Queensland investment homes
Queensland property groups join forces to install solar and smart technology on 15,000 investment properties across the state, offering bill crunching PV to landlords and renters.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/rental-solar-scheme-targets-15000-queensland-investment-homes-56856/

Native title and mining leases [PAYWALL]
James Norman
A series of legal battles to prevent mining exploration on Olkola land in Cape York has highlighted the limitations of native title and Aboriginal land rights without the right of veto.
https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/indigenous-affairs/2018/04/21/native-title-and-mining-leases/15242328006122

Councils call for State Government funding to cover recycling costs
South Australian councils call on the State Government to release millions of dollars of funding to “buffer” ratepayers from rate hikes to cover skyrocketing recycling costs, following China’s ban on importing materials.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/sa-councils-unlikely-to-scrap-recycling-but-need-help-in-costs/9680502

Traffic plans are essential to city’s future
Examiner editorial
Any development in our region always begs the question about parking and/or traffic.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5354166/traffic-plans-are-essential-to-citys-future/?cs=97

‘People are scared’: NT residents given bottled water after lead found
Indigenous residents in the Northern Territory mining town of Borroloola are calling on the Health Department to blood test families, amid revelations their water supply has been contaminated with lead.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/borroloola-water-supply-tests-positive-to-lead-contamination/9677638

Burrup Peninsula industry and World Heritage proposal ‘go together’, Premier says
WA Premier Mark McGowan says two new possible major developments tipped for the ancient peninsula would not impact plans to seek World Heritage listing for the area.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/potential-further-industrial-development-on-burrup-peninsula-wa/9677310

WA’s multi-billion-dollar carbon farming potential
Landholders in Western Australia are given approval to participate in the Commonwealth Emissions Reduction Fund, however land tenure limitations may hold pastoralists back.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-04-20/carbon-farming-approval-for-western-australian-pastoralists/9672784

Graph of the Day: Why EV uptake could match solar PV
New IEA report reveals a striking resemblance between the path electric vehicle penetration is currently on, and the path solar PV has been charting.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-day-ev-uptake-match-solar-pv-97130/

18 cosmetic products found to contain high levels of mercury and other potent undeclared ingredients
The authority said that some of these products had mercury levels exceeding the permissible limit by more than 27,000 times.
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/18-cosmetic-products-found-to-contain-high-levels-of-mercury-and-other-potent-undeclared

One of the world’s filthiest industries just agreed to clean up its act
The shipping industry sets sail toward a carbon-free future.
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/04/one-of-the-worlds-filthiest-industries-just-agreed-to-clean-up-its-act/

Greenpeace to Apple: Forget the robots and make iPhones repairable
Apple has made important strides in its green efforts, but it continues to oppose efforts to make iPhones more repairable.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40561811/greenpeace-to-apple-forget-the-robots-and-make-iphones-repairable

Giant plastic ‘berg blocks Indonesian river
A crisis of plastic waste in Indonesia has become so acute that the army has been called in to help.
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43823883

The electric vehicle boom is coming. What can we learn from early adopters?
From tiered electric rates to equitable taxes, experienced communities have a lot to teach when it comes to managing the anticipated influx of EVs.
https://ensia.com/features/electric-vehicles/

Eight years after Deepwater Horizon, is another disaster waiting to happen?
A safety watchdog formed after BP oil spill could be the next Trump administration casualty
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2018/04/20/21686/eight-years-after-deepwater-horizon-another-disaster-waiting-happen

The revolutionary giant ocean cleanup machine is about to set sail
Boyan Slat dropped out of school to work on his design for a device that could collect the trillions of pieces of plastic floating in the ocean. After years of work, it’s ready to take its first voyage.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40560810/the-revolutionary-giant-ocean-cleanup-machine-is-about-to-set-sail

The woman risking her life to save a village from lead poisoning
Phyllis Omido has spent several years battling the Kenyan government to save a village poisoned by deadly lead from a factory. It has come at a high price for her and her family.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/20/africa/cost-activism-kenya/index.html

Desalination may save shrinking Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, where the Bible says Jesus walked on water, is drying up along with the springs and streams that feed it—and Israel is looking to desalination to restore it.
https://www.bna.com/desalination-may-save-n57982091327/

Ethical cocoa schemes no panacea for struggling farmers
Global chocolate makers are buying more cocoa sourced through schemes aimed at stamping out poverty as they rush to make their supply chains more ethical ahead of self-imposed 2020 deadlines.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cocoa-sustainability-farmers-analysis/ethical-cocoa-schemes-no-panacea-for-struggling-farmers-idUSKBN1HQ1UE

Earth Day: Why Corporates Can’t Save The Planet
Lee Rhiannon
It’s all well and good to celebrate environmentalism, but when corporates move in on the action, something else is going on.
https://newmatilda.com/2018/04/20/earth-day-corporates-cant-save-planet/

US official appeared to delay protections for endangered species at behest of oil group
The energy friendly agenda inside Trump’s interior department is revealed in records obtained by the Guardian and the watchdog groups Documented and the Western Values Project
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/20/vincent-devito-trump-interior-department-endangered-species-delay-oil-industry

United in noise: How species deal with our racket
When humans get loud, the impacts are far-reaching for fish, mammals, birds, insects and even plants. The effects are similar, and similarly bad.
http://www.dw.com/en/united-in-noise-how-species-deal-with-our-racket/a-43453632

Prescribed burns can become self-defeating quickly
When the Forest Service decides on a prescribed burn, it follows national standards for a burn plan which lays out everything from the objectives of a fire to a “Go/No …
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/prescribed-burns-can-become-self-defeating-quickly/article_70c6158d-94cc-581b-8de1-d84399fd2b39.html

Mourning all creatures great and small
Mick Pope
Species loss is a real problem. It is one of the nine planetary boundaries for a safe operating space for humanity, along with issues like climate change, ozone depletion, the pollution of our waterways with fertilisers and so on.
http://www.ethos.org.au/online-resources/Engage-Mail/mourning-all-creatures-great-and-small

We can make large dams more friendly to the environment
William Chen
We’re unlikely to tear them all down, but math can help us figure out how to reduce their ecosystem impact.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/we-can-make-large-dams-more-friendly-to-the-environment/

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