FRIDAY 27 APRIL 2018

‘We’re doomed’: Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention
The 86-year-old social scientist says accepting the impending end of most life on Earth might be the very thing needed to help us prolong it
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention

What steps can the UK take to reach net zero emissions by 2050?
The government has pledged to review its long-term climate targets. Renewable energy, housing and and transport are just some areas where new policies could cut emissions fast
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/20/what-steps-can-the-uk-take-to-reach-net-zero-emissions-by-2050

No Future for Egoists — That’s What Their Brain Says!
Some people are worried about the consequences of climate change, while others consider them too remote to have an impact on their well-being. Researchers examined how these differences are reflected …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180425120245.htm

New study addresses the role of health in climate lawsuits
Researchers at the George Washington University (GW) are at the forefront of analyzing how climate lawsuits shape the nation’s response to climate change. A new analysis investigates the role of health concerns in climate litigation since 1990 and finds that although health is cited in a minority of cases, it may have critical potential for protecting communities from the effects of climate change and coal fired power plants.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/gwu-nsa042418.php

Climate ‘could become like tobacco litigation’  [PAYWALL]
The pace of inquiries from companies seeking reassurance about any potential liability has quickened, says climate lawyer Martijn Wilder.
http://www.afr.com/news/climate-litigation-could-become-like-tobacco-actions-martijn-wilder-20180405-h0yctd

‘Climate change is making us stronger’ — Resilient Bolivian women adapt to climate change
In rural Bolivia, making a sustainable living is becoming difficult for smallholders. But the country’s women, who are traditionally responsible of farming, are demonstrating resilience to the effects of climate change.
http://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-is-making-us-stronger-resilient-bolivian-women-adapt-to-climate-change/a-43524082

The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary
Climate change could make thousands of tropical islands ‘uninhabitable’ in coming decades, new study says.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/25/climate-change-could-make-thousands-of-tropical-islands-uninhabitable-in-coming-decades-new-study-says/?utm_term=.a1263fae334b

Nobel laureate teaches the tricky work of talking about climate change
When Mario Molina won the Nobel Prize for his research on CFCs, it came with a new responsibility: To communicate science and influence policy. To that end, he visited 3M on Wednesday and will meet U students and faculty today.
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/04/25/nobel-laureate-teaches-the-tricky-work-of-talking-about-climate-change

The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels
Ploy Achakulwisut
We should account for the costs of disease and death from fossil fuel pollution in climate change policies
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/apr/26/the-missing-maths-the-human-cost-of-fossil-fuels

Climate Change: The fiduciary responsibility of politicians & bureaucrats
Ian Dunlop
After three decades of global inaction, none more so than in Australia, human-induced climate change is now an existential risk to humanity.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/climate-change-fiduciary-responsibility-politicians-bureaucrats-59891/

Here’s how Australia’s recycling system can be fixed for just $150m
With China refusing to import mixed recyclable material, the Greens have proposed a $500 million investment to reboot the local recycling industry. But the industry itself has laid out a roadmap it says will cost just $150 million.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/how-to-fix-the-recycling-system-in-australia/9699408

Recycling ‘not dead in the water’ but rethink needed to stay afloat
As a crisis in recycling prompts a rethink in the way we recycle, people may wonder when or even if putting rubbish in their yellow bins will become as simple as disposing of general waste.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/recycling-not-dead-in-water-but-china-ban-impact-remains-unclear/9688390

Advisory group pens unprecedented letter to try save Murray-Darling Basin Plan
An apolitical, community advisory group in the Murray-Darling Basin has taken the unprecedented step of writing to politicians asking for its support in key legislation.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/unprecedented-letter-to-try-save-murray-darling-basin-plan/9698136

Frydenberg refuses to repent as Alan Jones tries to exorcise energy blasphemy
The Sydney shock jock accused the energy minister of selling his soul. But then Frydenberg turned the tables
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/26/frydenberg-refuses-to-repent-as-alan-jones-tries-to-exorcise-energy-blasphemy

Energy giants will be forced to pay billions more in tax
The move could also deliver the Turnbull government a shock victory on its stalled company tax cuts.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/energy-companies-will-pay-more-under-budget-changes-that-could-also-secure-company-tax-win-20180426-p4zbui.html

Redflow seeks $18 million to scale up flow battery production
Redflow seeks new funds to scale up production and target markets in Australia and overseas. It is also contemplating move into China.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/redflow-seeks-18-million-scale-flow-battery-production-62976/

Carp kill fallout
Anglers are calling for a major restocking program to boost the Murray Darling Basin’s native fish populations.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/sport/fishing/anglers-call-for-native-fish-restocking-in-murray-darling-basin/news-story/61805a61089897de148f9d0505f35921

Who’s missing out on Australia’s rooftop solar boom?
Report identifies four key markets that have so far been overlooked in Australia’s rooftop solar boom – a 7GW gap that could be worth nearly $9bn to the (so far) very small number of canny start-ups that are working to find their way around the barriers.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/whos-missing-out-on-australias-rooftop-solar-boom-36261/

Westpac joins growing corporate push into wind and solar
Westpac joins growing corporate push into wind and solar with a tender for 150GWh of renewable energy. It’s cleaner, and cheaper!
https://reneweconomy.com.au/westpac-joins-growing-corporate-push-wind-solar-92050/

China’s ban is our opportunity
SMH editorial
Why have we been sending our rubbish across the world for someone else to deal with?
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/china-s-ban-is-our-opportunity-20180426-p4zbtz.html

China’s recycling ‘ban’ throws Australia into a very messy waste crisis
Jenni Downes, University of Technology Sydney
Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg is meeting with his state and territory counterparts today. Top of their agenda? The recycling crisis precipitated by the China “ban”.
https://theconversation.com/chinas-recycling-ban-throws-australia-into-a-very-messy-waste-crisis-95522

Relief from the crush: More trains for city’s busiest lines
The Andrews government is racing to ease the strain on frustrated commuters by completing three major rail projects before the November election.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/relief-from-the-crush-busiest-rail-lines-set-for-a-big-timetable-boost-20180426-p4zbwh.html

High-speed trains to link Geelong and Melbourne under fresh plan
Trains travelling up to 300 kilometres an hour could one day link Victoria’s two largest cities.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/high-speed-trains-to-link-geelong-and-melbourne-under-fresh-plan-20180426-p4zbqn.html

Premier pledges nearly $1 billion for country roads
The Andrews government is promising the biggest road maintenance blitz Victoria has ever seen, with $941 million in next week’s pre-election budget to fix the state’s crumbling country roads.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/premier-pledges-nearly-1-billion-for-country-roads-20180426-p4zbqu.html

Lord mayoral candidate Sally Capp proposes High Line park in Melbourne
Melbourne could get its own version of New York’s iconic High Line park in an ambitious $300 million plan by lord mayoral candidate Sally Capp.
https://www.theage.com.au/melbourne-news/lord-mayoral-candidate-sally-capp-proposes-high-line-park-in-melbourne-20180426-p4zbq5.html

Toll road to kill off future Doncaster rail: public transport group
The North East Link, the costliest road expansion plan in Victoria’s history, will kill off future plans for a railway line to Doncaster, a transport users group has warned
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/toll-road-to-kill-off-future-doncaster-rail-public-transport-group-20180426-p4zbqs.html

The Victoria mansion leading the exodus off the grid
Ever get the idea that the quitting the grid was reserved for low energy users, austere consumers or those unable to connect? Think again.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/the-victoria-mansion-leading-the-exodus-off-the-grid-24644/

Time to clean up our liveable city  [PAYWALL]
Sally Capp
Melbourne’s ever-growing mounds of rubbish are not in keeping with its status as one of the world’s most liveable cities
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/sally-capp-time-to-clean-up-our-liveable-city/news-story/9b119538cdc8ab0358b2dc074f249abe

Victoria can lead the way on recycling  [PAYWALL]
Matt Johnston
I recently helped clean a house after a party where many beverages in recyclable material had been consumed. The process was slow and painful.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/matt-johnston-victoria-can-lead-the-way-on-recycling/news-story/d7c107eb171a6a7b09f94b0c937cecfc

AGL announces new gas-fired power plant for 2022
AGL says it will build a new gas-fired power plant near Newcastle to replace the aging coal-fired Lidell Power Station, which will close in 2022, to complement the industry’s move towards clean energy.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/agl-announces-newcastle-gas-fired-power-station/9701122

AGL gas plan only part of shortfall: govt
AGL Energy’s plans to build a $400 million gas-fired power plant will only make up part of the shortfall created when the coal-fired Liddell plant closes, Josh Frydenberg says.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/agl-gas-plan-only-part-of-shortfall-govt/news-story/7e58b8fab73740281b0e07aa8b201bf5

ICAC misled parliament: NuCoal  [PAYWALL]
NuCoal and Cascade Coal have called for an inquiry into ICAC, accusing the agency of misleading parliament.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/nucoal-says-icac-misled-parliament-calls-for-inquiry/news-story/fbaf9d3153516c8b4f1d9d0fb986ea95

Canberra at risk of ‘eruptive fire behaviour’ due to burn-off backlog: Bushfire Council
ACT authorities are working to get on top of a “growing backlog” of prescribed burns, following warnings in a confidential report about funding issues and the increased risk of “severe landscape fires” in the Canberra region.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/canberra-burns-backlog-risks-eruptive-fire-behaviour/9694132

Westside’s new park is finally opening
It’s been a long wait, but the west basin’s new park on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin will officially open this weekend.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/westsides-new-park-is-finally-opening-20180115-h0ichd.html

ACT biosecurity exercise protects Australia’s $90 million bees
Bees are worth about $90 million a year to Australia, and their value is set to continue increasing as long as the country stays free of deadly pests and diseases.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-biosecurity-exercise-protects-australia-s-90-million-bees-20180426-p4zbsq.html

Hazard reduction burn planned for Black Mountain Nature Reserve
Smoke is likely to be visible across Canberra on Thursday as 17.5 hectares is burnt in the Black Mountain Nature Reserve.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/hazard-reduction-burn-planned-for-black-mountain-nature-reserve-20180426-p4zbpu.html

Clive Palmer seeks approval for ‘monster mine’ next door to Adani
Clive Palmer applies for federal environmental approval for a new mine in the Galilee Basin, which documents suggest could produce 33 per cent more coal than Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/clive-palmer-seeks-approval-for-monster-mine-near-adani/9698680

A readymade garbage dump: Queensland allows ‘bare minimum’ mine rehab
Site of former Ebenezer coalmine near Ipswich will remain a cratered landscape after authorities apparently lose key environmental documents
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/a-readymade-garbage-dump-queensland-allows-bare-minimum-mine-rehab

Minister urges waste industry transition amid recycling crisis
Expanding waste-related industries is on the Queensland government’s agenda, as the nation grapples with the consequences of China’s decision to stop taking our recycling.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/minister-urges-waste-industry-transition-amid-recycling-crisis-20180426-p4zbqq.html

$400m reef rescue plan in federal budget
Next month’s federal budget will reportedly include $400 million for a rescue plan for the Great Barrier Reef.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/400m-reef-rescue-plan-in-federal-budget/news-story/f2470fa56b60dfa30742d21e6354eb49

Big Queensland business first to use Tesla Powerpack to go off-grid
An increasing number of Australian small and medium businesses are using solar and battery storage to go off-grid. But is it worth it? Here’s what one Queensland company has found.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/big-queensland-business-first-use-tesla-powerpack-go-off-grid-77891/

State ‘complicit’ in power price gouging  [PAYWALL]
More than a quarter of the average household power bill is going to the Queensland Government in profits on state-owned networks charges.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/how-the-state-government-profits-from-household-power-bills/news-story/8e9d0dd26f1960e984425c636cd1210f

Biggest winners, and biggest losers, of network monopoly game
Hugh Grant
Queensland’s excessive electricity prices are presenting major hardship for residential consumers and destroying the international competitiveness of Queensland businesses.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/biggest-winners-and-biggest-losers-of-network-monopoly-game-36731/

How to kill a river system three times as salty as the sea
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is six years in and Australian taxpayers have spent $8 billion on it so far — yet the internationally significant ecosystem at the end of the basin, the Coorong, is dying.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-27/coorong-murray-darling-basin-how-to-kill-a-river-system/9698108

Experts urge caution over Leigh Creek project’s environmental risks
Two groundwater experts criticised aspects of an environmental impact report for the controversial Leigh Creek underground coal gasification pilot mine just days before the new Minister for Energy and Mining issued environmental objective approval.
https://indaily.com.au/news/2018/04/26/experts-urge-caution-leigh-creek-projects-environmental-risks/

Global warming? Go ask the birds
Philip White ponders the meaning of 2018: panic in the avian world, served with less wine of more flavour and lower alcohols.
https://indaily.com.au/eat-drink-explore/wine/2018/04/26/global-warming-go-ask-birds/

Climate change forces SA Health rethink  [PAYWALL]
Health threats from extreme weather events and diseases spread by mosquitoes have prompted SA Health to prioritise adapting to climate change in a new blueprint.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/technology/disease-threat-forces-sa-health-to-prioritise-adapting-to-climate-change/news-story/fc734296a4580dda2c60320f8e8ac463

South Australian wildlife at highest risk of extinction rated by Threatened Species Recovery Hub  [PAYWALL]
When bushfire swept through two conservation parks in the east of the state, a tiny bird with distinctive emu-like tail feathers was wiped out in South Australia.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australian-wildlife-at-highest-risk-of-extinction-rated-by-threatened-species-recovery-hub/news-story/6f0516bab6b07bfebe85b1c01dbed6c1

TasWater ‘negligent’ for not being open about E. coli testing: cafe owner
A cafe owner in South Hobart says TasWater was irresponsible for taking water samples yesterday without explaining why.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/tas-hobart-suburb-on-e-coli-alert/9698760

Cable car talks alarm residents  [PAYWALL]
It was meant to quell community concerns but instead a meeting with the Mount Wellington Cable Car Company has heightened fears some Old Farm Rd residents have over the proposal.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/old-farm-rd-residents-say-concerns-heightened-after-a-meeting-with-cable-car-proponents/news-story/5d034cf0a85e8de03f0e83ba630721d7

Residents face extended boil-water alert  [PAYWALL]
About 1000 South Hobart residents will have to boil their water during the weekend because of the E. coli detection in the area.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/boil-water-alert-for-south-hobart-residents-after-e-coli-detection/news-story/f6725f96567a1db0e78e7e509c9f8611

State first to achieve zero net emissions benchmark  [PAYWALL]
Tasmania has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to produce zero net emissions, reaching the target more than 30 years ahead of the State Government’s 2050 timeline.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/state-first-to-achieve-zero-net-emissions-benchmark/news-story/8dcd67070511f508260b2b1df78f75f4

Disagreement over investment led to mass Moon Lake walk out
Investment in farm infrastructure has been revealed as one of the triggers that led to the mass resignation of Moon Lake and VDL Farms executives this week.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5366513/vdl-irrigation-investment-a-no-brainer/?cs=95

Indigenous rangers left out to dry [PAYWALL]
It’s been a long and anxious wait for indigenous ranger organisations in the Territory, as they hope for a formal funding commitment to arrive before deal expires in June
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/indigenous-rangers-in-the-northern-territory-left-waiting-for-formal-funding-agreement/news-story/51f868eb3e08369ca59517ef0cf0072c

Perth train commuters to benefit from $2b Federal Government funding
Perth commuters will be the big winners from a Metronet funding deal between the State and the Commonwealth, with almost $2 billion in Federal funds to flow to WA’s rail network.
https://thewest.com.au/news/transport/perth-train-commuters-to-benefit-from-2b-federal-government-funding-ng-b88817781z

20MW solar farm to power crypto-currency mining in Collie
20MW solar farm that will produce power for crypto-currencies approved for the coal town of Collie in Western Australia.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/20mw-solar-farm-power-crypto-currency-mining-collie-79355/

Bin liners to takeaway containers – ideas to solve your plastic conundrums
Those dedicated to going plastic-free wonder how to dispose of cat litter or buy cleaning products sans packaging. Share your problems – and solutions
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/bin-liners-to-takeaway-containers-ideas-to-solve-your-plastic-conundrums

‘If I were the president, I’d get rid of you’: Scott Pruitt lacerated at ethics hearing
EPA administrator blames media and his job’s learning curve as lawmakers grill him over lavish spending and ethical controversies
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/scott-pruitt-epa-congressional-hearing-house-committee

‘Infinitely’ recyclable polymer shows practical properties of plastics
Chemists make a major step toward waste-free, sustainable materials that could one day compete with conventional plastics
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180426141530.htm

Low octane: The surprising reason shale oil makes a poor fuel for high-tech cars and trucks
For financially troubled shale drillers, that’s bad news, since it suggests demand for their oil could fall even if the price of a higher-octane oil barrel rises.
https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/24/octane-surprising-reason-shale-oil-makes-poor-fuel-high-tech-cars-and-trucks

Paladin may shut loss-making Langer Heinrich uranium mine [PAYWALL]
Paladin Energy has flagged the potential closure of its flagship Langer Heinrich uranium mine, just two months after it returned to the Australian Stock Exchange after an $800 million debt re­structuring.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/paladin-may-shut-lossmaking-langer-heinrich-uranium-mine/news-story/53c1dda5b5b01ff36771af7b683aaafc

Nuclear accidents make mutant bugs and birds
Biologist Timothy Mousseau has spent years collecting mutant bugs, birds and mice around Chernobyl and Fukushima. In a DW interview, he shares some surprising insights into the effects of nuclear accidents on wildlife.
http://www.dw.com/en/nuclear-accidents-make-mutant-bugs-and-birds/a-19098683

Chernobyl: The people who’ve stayed
More than three decades after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, a 30-kilometer-area around it is labeled “uninhabitable.” Some refused to abandon their homes and returned. Ukrainian photographer Alina Rudya met them.
http://www.dw.com/en/chernobyl-the-people-whove-stayed/g-43509391

Europe’s current approach to food, agriculture, and the environment is not sustainable
The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council along with the InterAcademy Partnership are calling for European policy-makers to urgently re-think their approach to food and agriculture. Calling for a ‘food systems approach,’ the national science academies say that the current siloed policy approach to food, agriculture, climate change, and health — both at the EU and Member State levels — is not the way forward.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/eas-eca042318.php

Mw 5.4 Pohang earthquake tied to geothermal activity?
The Mw 5.4 Pohang earthquake that occurred near a geothermal site in South Korea last year was likely triggered by fluid injection at the geothermal plant, two separate reports conclude.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/aaft-5p042318.php

Ferrari tests silent hybrid sports car, in first signs of shift to electric
Staunch combustion engine purist Ferrari is changing its tune, testing a hyrbid sports EV, and promising a “world’s fastest” hybrid SUV in 2020.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/ferrari-tests-silent-hybrid-sports-car-in-first-signs-of-shift-to-electric-96066/

Over 40 companies pledge to cut UK plastic pollution
More than 40 companies, including Britain’s biggest supermarkets, Coca Cola, Nestle and Procter & Gamble, have bowed to growing pressure to tackle pollution by committing to cut plastic use over the next seven years.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-plastic/over-40-companies-pledge-to-cut-uk-plastic-pollution-idUSKBN1HX14N

Dirty air can harm the brain and stress the body
New research shows that polluted air can mess with the bodies — including the brains — of even healthy kids and teens.
https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/dirty-air-can-harm-brain-and-stress-body

Hey millennials, don’t fall for Shell’s pop star PR
Graham Readfearn
Shell is lining up superstars to sing in videos about solar panels, hydrogen cars, clean cooking stoves and lights powered by a bag of rocks and gravity
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2018/apr/25/hey-millennials-dont-fall-for-shells-pop-star-pr

Whitley awards for nature conservation 2018 winners – in pictures
Six conservationists have been recognised for their work with local communities to protect threatened wildlife and habitat around the world
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2018/apr/26/whitley-awards-for-nature-conservation-2018-winners-in-pictures

Reefs that experience frequent temperature changes most likely to resist coral bleaching
Reefs subjected to high sea temperature fluctuations on daily or tidal timescales leading up to ocean warming event are better able to resist coral bleaching, such that a 1 degree C increase in daily temperature range reduces the odds of more severe bleaching by a factor of 33.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/bu-rte042618.php

Land degradation compromises wellbeing of 3.2 billion people, study says
The UN-backed study also shows that land degradation is causing significant losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as water purification, food security and energy provision.
http://www.eco-business.com/news/land-degradation-compromises-wellbeing-of-32-billion-people-study-says/

At this refugee camp, residents are replanting 40,000 trees
The quest for firewood decimated the environment around this camp for people displaced by Boko Haram. A new project wants to reforest the area, creating work, food, and a better environment.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40563628/at-this-refugee-camp-residents-are-replanting-40000-trees

Novel Ecosystems Provide Use for Some Native Birds
Ecosystems that have been altered by human activities can provide suitable habitat for native birds, according to scientists in the United States and …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180426141544.htm

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