FRIDAY 11 MAY 2018

“Stuart McMillen is a young cartoonist based in Canberra. His comics provide insights into things that matter. Stuart’s artwork appeals particularly to teenagers, however adults like it too.”
…..
I Used to Be Racist
Growing up in regional Australia in the 1990s, Stuart McMillen adopted the casual racism of the schoolyard. As an adult, Stuart had to educate himself out of these racist attitudes.
http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comic/i-used-to-be-racist/
…..

…..
“No follow up” from Trump over staying in climate pact-UN
The rules of the Paris Agreement mean that Trump cannot formally pull out before November 2020, around the time of the next U.S. presidential election.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180509154353-w3u79/

When the wind slows
Near-surface wind speeds over landmasses across the planet have dropped by as much as 25% since the 1970s, and climate scientists are taking note.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/climate/when-the-wind-slows

Extra climate talks scheduled for Bangkok after stalemate in Bonn
Karl Mathiesen and Megan Darby
Difficult progress in Bonn has prompted the UN to schedule a long-anticipated extra session for climate talks in the Thai capital.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/extra-climate-talks-scheduled-for-bangkok-after-stalemate-in-bonn-32738/

We don’t know what climate change will cost — that doesn’t mean we can ignore it
Robert S. Pindyck and James H. Stock
We do not know how much damage the next hurricane will do, but that doesn’t mean we should pretend the cost is zero.
http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/386952-we-dont-know-what-climate-change-will-cost-that-doesnt-mean-we-can

NAB to fund energy fintech Brighte, backed by Mike Cannon-Brookes [PAYWALL]
National Australia Bank has applied its special lending framework designed to support fintech start-ups to offer a scalable, debt financing package to Brighte, the home energy lender backed by Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.
http://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/financial-services/nab-to-fund-energy-fintech-brighte-backed-by-mike-cannonbrookes-20180510-h0zw8e

Another two solar farms join NSW and Queensland grids
The solar rush continues, with two new solar farms at Longreach in Queensland and Manildra in NSW start exporting to the grid.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/another-two-solar-farms-join-nsw-and-queensland-grids-42867/

AMP investors roast AMP’s David Murray on climate views
Colin Kruger
Forget AMP’s women problem, activists highlighted David Murray’s climate scepticism.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/companies/amp-investors-roast-amp-s-david-murray-on-climate-views-20180510-p4zeg4.html

Australia must ban wild animals in the circus  [PAYWALL]
Jeroen van Kernebeek
More than 40 countries around the world have restrictions on wild animals in circuses, and it’s time Australia joined them, writes Jeroen van Kernebeek.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/australia-must-ban-wild-animals-in-the-circus/news-story/3455d6931ad686e01cc0b3a546238c5a

Climate Change? What Climate Change: The 2018 Budget
Jonathan Moylan
If a government’s budget is a measure of its beliefs and priorities, then clearly the Turnbull government still thinks climate change is not real and…
https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/10/climate-change-climate-change-2018-budget/

Trimmed CEFC budget signals end of renewables boom
Giles Parkinson
Modest CEFC budget drawdown – after a stellar 2017/18 – is yet another sign that the investment boom in large scale wind and solar is coming to an end.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/trimmed-cefc-budget-signals-end-renewables-boom-64141/

Ever wondered why we need airport rail? Catch Skybus in peak hour
You could easily argue that Skybus is the best bus service anywhere in Victoria.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/ever-wondered-why-we-need-airport-rail-catch-skybus-in-peak-hour-20180504-p4zdci.html

Timer harvesting logs off in possum habitat  [PAYWALL]
Logging in five parts of the Central Highlands has been temporarily halted by a legal challenge from an environment group.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/friends-of-leadbetters-possums-wins-injunction-over-timber-harvesting/news-story/5dc35f70fe78d49e50e237e33835c0e7

Assessing benefits from the Regional Rail Link project
Victorian Auditor-General
The Regional Rail Link (RRL) project was, at the time of its approval and delivery, one of the largest and most expensive rail projects ever built in Victoria, with an estimated final cost of $3.65 billion. This audit assessed whether the RRL project is realising expected benefits.
http://apo.org.au/node/171356

Pumped hydro slowly starts to put its head up
David Leitch
NSW is getting excited about pumped hydro, but many projects will only get up if supported by analysts such as Rosie Scenario and Phil Wright.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/pumped-hydro-slowly-starts-put-head-54001/

Qld polluter Linc Energy to be sentenced
A failed Queensland energy company, which polluted a large part of the Darling Downs with hazardous contaminants, is set to be sentenced.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld-polluter-linc-energy-sentenced-173045269–spt.html

Where to now for the Stop Adani movement
Margaret Gleeson
Since the project was first proposed in October 2010, Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, rail and port project has generated opposition, initially from local resident and conservation groups.
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/where-now-stop-adani-movement

Rare western quolls back in SA desert after more than 60 years [PAYWALL]
Under the cover of dusk, 10 western quolls wandered into the inland South Australian desert this week, marking their return to the landscape for the first time in more than 60 years.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/rare-western-quolls-back-in-sa-desert-after-more-than-60-years/news-story/e0255fe39bc5acb05b82acf6144724e7

South Australia’s second big battery suffers another delay
Delays in South Australia’s second big battery, and in Victoria projects, underline the remarkable achievement of building Tesla big battery in just 100 days.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australias-second-big-battery-suffers-another-delay-29382/

Infigen looks to add big battery to Lake Bonney wind farm
Infigen cites success of Tesla big battery in proposal for 25MW/52MWh battery addition to its Lake Bonney wind farm.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/infigen-looks-add-big-battery-lake-bonney-wind-farm-58083/

Seeing the wood for the trees [PAYWALL]
Martin Moroni says a balance needs to be found between reservation and good management.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees-means-harvesting-making-using/news-story/e2b9e55256f28c62a89fa68c4ffddeaa

Forest fires key priority for Hobart council [$]
Ron Christie says climate change brings unprecedented bushfire risks to our city.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-forest-fires-key-priority-for-hobart-council/news-story/292a2f39a4e30016211fba42df77c3cc

Chinese backing for new NT mine [PAYWALL]
One of China’s largest lithium hydroxide and carbonate producers, is injecting funds into the company planning to set up the Northern Territory’s first lithium mine near Darwin
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/chinas-sichuan-yahua-industrial-group-backs-northern-territorys-first-lithium-mine-near-darwin/news-story/8f96cb2931212c5c6abc265c5727172f

North Korean nuclear test had energy of 10 Nagasaki bombs and moved mountain
Geophysicists calculate the depth and strength of a clandestine nuclear bomb test in North Korea last September, saying the blast probably also caused a subterranean tunnel system at the test site to collapse.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-05-11/north-korea-nuclear-test-satellites-seismic-monitoring/9746676

New technology could slash carbon emissions from aluminium production
Development could transform how one of the world’s most common materials is made
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/10/new-technology-slash-aluminium-production-carbon-emissions

Can Sioux tribes pull off largest ever clean energy project on tribal land?
The Oceti Wind Project aims to overcome financial, cultural and bureaucratic barriers to tribal renewable development.
https://energynews.us/2018/05/09/midwest/can-sioux-tribes-pull-off-largest-ever-clean-energy-project-on-tribal-land/

Campaigners attack plan for new watchdog to protect environment after Brexit
Independent body will be backed by law requiring ministers to ‘have regard to’ core principles but green experts say targets should be included in legislation
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/10/new-watchdog-to-protect-environment-after-brexit-gove-announces

This startup wants to replace cars (and subways) with elevated pods
Transit X’s plan would set up fast-moving, solar-powered personal transit units to whisk you anywhere you wanted to go.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40568132/this-startup-wants-to-replace-cars-and-subways-with-elevated-solar-pods

The surprising appeal of funding community parks
Worried about urban equity? Or obesity rates and public health? Or environmental education for young people? Grantmaking for parks is a way to achieve a range of goals. We look at what’s happening in Austin.
https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2018/5/9/many-things-the-surprising-appeal-of-funding-community-parks

Social investors see the light on clean energy for the poor
After learning that three babies died in a government hospital in the Sierra Leone city of Bo last November when a power cut switched off machinery keeping them alive, London-based energy adviser Michael Liebreich decided to act. He set up Project Bo to provide a solar electricity and battery system to supply uninterrupted power to the hospital’s oxygen devices and baby “warmers”.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180510110015-0lepa

These smart sewers are part of a growing trend connecting infrastructure to the internet
Under the streets of South Bend, Ind., a high tech experiment is underway. This sewer system is smart. The infrastructure can sense flow and divert water to prevent flooding. It’s part of a growing trend of cities across the U.S. connecting infrastructure to the internet of things.
https://www.npr.org/2018/05/08/609493403/these-smart-sewers-are-part-of-a-growing-trend-connecting-infrastructure-to-the –

Nuclear power is half of America’s clean electricity. Here’s how to save it
With no price on carbon, here’s how states are keeping nuclear power plants open.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/5/10/17334474/nuclear-power-renewables-plants-retirements-us

Five tech breakthroughs that will make you love the bus
Here are five potential game-changers for your least-loved mobility mode.
https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/05/five-breakthroughs-that-could-make-you-love-the-bus/559832/

Growing up – why the UAE’s first vertical farm could be a regional gamechanger
Badia Farm grows greens in a controlled, indoors environment using hydroponic technology and LED lights.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180510130013-u3r2i

The stunning hypocrisy of US automakers
Jeremy Deaton
After the auto bailout, Ford, GM and Chrysler pledged to support stricter fuel standards. Now, they are working with President Trump to weaken those rules.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/stunning-hypocrisy-us-automakers-16619/

Good signage in national parks can save lives. Here’s how to do it right
Pascal Scherrer, Southern Cross University and Betty Weiler, Southern Cross University
New research shows what type of signs are most effective at communicating safety messages in national parks – and what not to do.
https://theconversation.com/good-signage-in-national-parks-can-save-lives-heres-how-to-do-it-right-93483

Maasai herders driven off land to make way for luxury safaris, report says
Tanzanian government accused of putting indigenous people at risk in order to grant foreign tourists access to Serengeti wildlife
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/10/maasai-herders-driven-off-land-to-make-way-for-luxury-safaris-report-says

Can India’s “People’s Forest” also serve as a haven for rhinos?
Jadav Payeng, India’s “Forest Man,” transformed a barren island in Assam state into a 550-hectare (1,360-acre) forest that hosts rare species including rhinos, tigers and elephants. Some conservationists fear that the animals living on the island are vulnerable to poaching, since the forest lacks formal protected status. Payeng, however, resists seeking formal protected status for the forest, fearing it would limit local peoples’ access to the forest’s resources.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/can-indias-peoples-forest-also-serve-as-a-haven-for-rhinos/

What if our forests don’t come back?
New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument holds clues to what may happen to forests affected by massive fires.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2297996/fires-changing-forests

Bubbling up: Listening to photosynthesis may help reef conservation
Marine scientists using underwater microphones have managed to eavesdrop on the sound of photosynthesis.
https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/bubbling-up-listening-to-photosynthesis-may-help-reef-conservation

How to save the high seas
As the United Nations prepares a historic treaty to protect the oceans, scientists highlight what’s needed for success.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05079-z

Coming to terms with nature
Bill McKibben
Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters. These four gave their moment—and ours—a unique and compelling way to perceive the interconnections within a society, as well as its relationship to its surroundings.
https://www.thenation.com/article/always-connect/

Palm oil producers are wiping out orangutans – despite multinationals’ promises
Chris Packham
Some of the world’s biggest companies are failing in their pledge to stop deforestation by 2020.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/10/palm-oil-orangutans-multinationals-promises-deforestation

Well, is the world improving or not?
Don Aitkin
News that the world’s human peoples seem to be steadily improving their lot in life ought to reduce our fears of angry mobs invading our shores because we have it and they don’t.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19725

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