MONDAY 14 MAY 2018

Cate’s red carpet gesture just a warmist stunt  [PAYWALL]
Andrew Bolt
Give Cate Blanchett another Oscar, this time for playing the modern global-warming preacher with a useless red carpet gesture to promote her green activism
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-cate-blanchetts-cannes-red-carpet-stunt-is-just-a-useless-warmist-gesture/news-story/6c31613be2aa00104efdf9ad500bb856

Minerals Council urges support for TPP
The Minerals Council of Australia wants the federal parliament to support the 11-country strong Trans-Pacific Partnership as soon as possible.
https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/05/14/06/01/minerals-council-urges-support-for-tpp

‘Flow’ battery saves YourDC founder Scott Hicks thousands on power
Scott Hicks ”went from ($1700) to a credit in our heaviest-use month”, after installing a Redflow ZCell battery at his Mannum weekender.
http://www.afr.com/news/flow-battery-saves-yourdc-founder-scott-hicks-thousands-on-power-20180511-h0zz1t

Solar and wind could ease Australia’s water shortage
Australia is one of the most vulnerable to water stress countries in the world but a shift to more renewable energy could lessen the nation’s water pressure.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/solar-and-wind-could-ease-australia-s-water-shortage-20180513-p4zf1t.html

Dozens of animals and plants join Australia’s threatened species list
What do tingle pygmy trapdoor spiders from Western Australia, silver-headed antechinus from central Queensland and Duramana fingers orchids from NSW have in common? If you’re waiting for a funny punchline, sorry – the answer is that they’re among the 41 new species of Australian plants and animals that are now officially at risk of extinction.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/dozens-of-animals-and-plants-join-australia-s-threatened-species-list-20180512-p4zexo.html

We asked people if they would trust driverless cars
Giselle Rampersad, Flinders University
Do people really trust driverless cars to carry them safely to their destinations? New research shows that we are ready to use driverless cars in certain situations but not others, yet.
https://theconversation.com/we-asked-people-if-they-would-trust-driverless-cars-96013

Is that selfie really worth it? Why face time with wild animals is a bad idea
Kathryn Teare Ada Lambert, University of New England
Kangaroos probably don’t enjoy social media photos as much as we do. Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND
https://theconversation.com/is-that-selfie-really-worth-it-why-face-time-with-wild-animals-is-a-bad-idea-96272

Respected Melbourne planning expert Michael Buxton retires from RMIT
“People have lost control of their city to the development industry and government acting on behalf of vested interests instead of the voter,” he said this week.
https://www.domain.com.au/news/respected-melbourne-planning-expert-michael-buxton-retires-from-rmit-20180512-h0zwq1/

The ban that will help boost platypus numbers  [PAYWALL]
An item believed responsible for the deaths of hundreds of platypuses has been banned after a campaign convinced major retailers like Kmart to stop selling it.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victorian-government-to-ban-dangerous-nets-that-threaten-platypuses/news-story/37e987af180291f96b9fa3b451f27a84

Government overlooks its own experts to clear way for foreign-owned mine in Hunter Valley
A South Korean mine is recommended to proceed by the New South Wales Government despite its own water experts advising the project could cause the Bylong River and local creeks to “dry up”, documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-14/bylong-mine-in-upper-hunter-to-proceed-despite-threat-to-water/9748574

Let’s get moving with the affordable medium-speed alternatives to the old dream of high-speed rail
Philip Laird, University of Wollongong
High-speed rail for Australia has been on the drawing boards since the mid-1980s but has come to nothing. Three states are developing medium-speed rail with federal funding, but NSW is missing out.
https://theconversation.com/lets-get-moving-with-the-affordable-medium-speed-alternatives-to-the-old-dream-of-high-speed-rail-95854

Whale-watching season starts early as population grows
The phenomenal growth in the humpback whale population results in some of the giant beasts of the ocean beginning their migration north almost a month early.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-13/whale-watching-season-starts-early-humpback-population-grows/9752644

Swaths of native forest near Great Barrier Reef set to be bulldozed
Federal officials plan to back the destruction of almost 2000 hectares of pristine Queensland forest in a move that threatens the Great Barrier Reef and undermines a $500 million Turnbull government rescue package for the natural wonder.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/swaths-of-native-forest-near-great-barrier-reef-set-to-be-bulldozed-20180512-p4zewb.html

Warning Cape York land-clearing approval puts Great Barrier Reef at risk
Conservation groups call on Coalition to honour reef budget pledge by overturning Kingvale station decision
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/13/warning-cape-york-land-clearing-approval-puts-great-barrier-reef-at-risk

Brisbane residents ditch public transport and get back in their cars
Brisbane’s commuter behaviour has been compared with other Australian capital cities. Brisbane was one of only two cities to have a recent decline in public transport use.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-residents-ditch-public-transport-and-get-back-in-their-cars-20180511-p4zetn.html

Car park to be converted to public parkland
A Brisbane park which was one used by military vehicles before becoming a racing club car park will be converted back into public parkland.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/car-park-to-be-converted-to-public-parkland-20180511-p4zes4.html

Go-slow trial to target select streets in bid to protect cyclists
Motorists will be forced to drive slower on select streets as part of a trial to reduce the risk of crashes with pedestrians and cyclists.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/go-slow-trial-to-target-select-streets-in-bid-to-protect-cyclists-20180508-p4ze1b.html

Ground-level war against pollution  [PAYWALL]
Travellers arriving in Cairns will be greeted with cautionary environmental messages stencilled onto Cairns Airport drains.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/great-barrier-reef-environmental-messages-painted-at-cairns-airport/news-story/8438a1a7bc13016f9a3616eba5851383

Rethink GM ban, urges scientist-turned-MP
A new Liberal MP — with a PhD in microbiology — has urged a rethink of SA’s ban on genetically modified crops, saying opponents are often motivated by “emotion and fear” rather than facts.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/time-to-rethink-sa-ban-on-genetically-modified-crops-says-liberal-mp-dr-richard-harvey/news-story/1f2bee30c0d8c9c24a395b754acbe070

West Tamar region to get FOGO bins
The West Tamar Council could be the latest municipality to add organic bins to its kerbside collection options.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5396305/organic-food-bins-tipped-for-west-tamar/?cs=95

New documentary explores Tarkine conservation effort through a runner’s eyes
The vast network of forestry roads carved through the Tarkine are littered with locked gates that block access to public vehicles.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5397184/ecological-espionage-smithton-runner-in-new-tarkine-documentary/?cs=95

When the weather brings us back to Earth
Examiner editorial
Tasmania was reminded of the might of a different mother this week.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5396912/when-the-weather-brings-us-back-to-earth/?cs=97

Perth a battleground for black cockatoos
Researchers say black cockatoos have spread their wings from the South West forests and Perth Hills into the metropolitan area, with the species now regularly seen in the city.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wildlife/endangered-red-tailed-black-cockatoos-seek-shelter-in-perth-ng-b88834626z

NW Shelf decline hits WA budget
A looming decline in North West Shelf gasfields is poised to blow a $500 million hole in Western Australia’s budget.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/looming-fall-in-nw-shelf-gas-to-hit-wa-budget/news-story/183b322163da811eec1f21f548cabce2

UK campaigners slam £1m incentive to store nuclear waste
Compensation offered to encourage local communities to allow test boreholes is described as ‘completely inadequate’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/12/incentive-compensation-nuclear-waste-boreholes-communities

From babies’ bums to fatbergs: how we fell out of love with wet wipes
We now use 14,000 of the handy cloths every second – but they are increasingly clogging rivers and putting wildlife at risk. So how can we wean ourselves off them?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/11/from-babies-bums-to-fatbergs-how-we-fell-out-of-love-with-wet-wipes

Plastics mines? Europe struggles as pollution piles up
Europe has sent just over half the plastic waste it used to ship to China to other parts of Asia since Beijing’s environmental crackdown closed the world’s biggest recycling market in January. The knotty problem is what to do with the rest.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-plastics-insight/plastics-mines-europe-struggles-as-pollution-piles-up-idUSKBN1IC0FY

This eerily real-looking fake wood is stronger than the real thing
Meet Ekoa, a flax-based “wood” that might soon be in your chairs and skateboard–and won’t contribute to deforestation.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40570576/this-eerily-real-looking-fake-wood-is-stronger-than-the-real-thing

UAE tries vertical farming to produce food with little water
Sustainable agriculture is a challenge in the arid United Arab Emirates, but a new indoor approach to farming may be the key to supplying the region with food without overdrawing from its limited water stores.
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2018/0510/UAE-tries-vertical-farming-to-produce-food-with-little-water

‘Young people are angry’: The teenage activists shaping our future
Fed up with waiting for the older generation to sort out its problems, a growing number of teenage activists are taking matters into their own hands. Here, six motivated people reveal why they’ve decided to fight for a better world.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/13/young-people-are-angry-meet-the-teenage-activists-shaping-our-future

Chile’s lithium – blessing or curse?
Salar de Atacama is rich in lithium, essential to electric cars and other low-carbon tech. But indigenous people are fighting its extraction, saying private interests are cashing in at the expense of their environment.
http://www.dw.com/en/chiles-lithium-blessing-or-curse/a-43721539

World’s largest ‘dead zone’ discovered, and it’s not in the Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico’s vast zone of low oxygen is bad, but its not the worst.
http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2018/05/worlds_largest_dead_zone_disco.html#incart_most_shared-environment

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