TUESDAY 15 MAY 2018

Uncertainty in long-run economic growth likely points toward greater emissions, climate change costs
A challenge in estimating the extent and cost of damages from climate change over the next 100 years is developing forecasts of long-run economic growth. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers from the University of Illinois and Yale University present a systematic method of integrating current models to develop forecasts of uncertainty in global and regional per capita economic growth rates through the year 2100.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uoic-uil051418.php

New phase of globalization could undermine efforts to reduce CO2 emissions
New research reveals the growth of carbon production from Chinese exports has slowed or reversed, reflecting a ‘new phase of globalization’ between developing countries that could undermine international efforts to reduce emissions. The study, involving researchers from the University of East Anglia and colleagues in China and the United States, found that trade among developing nations — known as South-South trade — more than doubled between 2004 and 2011.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uoea-npo051018.php

Climate change could be intensifying dust storms in India, experts say
India could witness an increase in the severity and frequency of dust storms and thunderstorms due to rising global temperatures, experts say.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/climate-change-could-be-intensifying-dust-storms-in-india-experts-say/

Pew: Young Republicans are more liberal on climate change
Millennials in the GOP want more government action on environmental issues than the older generation.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/young-republicans-are-slightly-more-liberal-on-climate-change/560312/

Glaring inconsistency’: National emissions jump may be underestimated
Australia’s greenhouse gases rose for a third consecutive year in 2017, led by emissions from the gas and transport sectors, according to federal government data. Environmental groups, however, say the true emissions figure may be under – estimated because large-scale land clearing – particularly in Queensland and lately in NSW – is not being accurately represented.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/glaring-inconsistency-national-emissions-jump-may-be-underestimated-20180514-p4zf75.html

The rapidly disappearing subsidies for wind and solar in Australia
Energy markets are now showing negligible value for renewable energy certificates within 2 years. It gives lie to the nonsense and scare campaigns about the “crippling” cost of wind and solar.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/the-rapidly-disappearing-subsidies-for-wind-and-solar-in-australia-42300/

Government to probe power price gouging
Allegations that electricity networks and gas companies are gouging customers hundreds of millions of dollars to pay their corporate tax bills are set to be investigated by the Australian Energy Regulator.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/government-probe-power-price-gouging-191242421–spt.html

Almost half of Australian big business moving to renewables
Climate Council says capacity of firms to generate solar power has doubled in less than two years
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/15/almost-half-of-australian-big-business-moving-to-renewables

Who are Australia’s largest carbon emitters?
The Clean Energy Regulator has named Australia’s ten biggest contributors to carbon emissions and coal plays a starring role.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/who-are-australia-s-largest-carbon-emitters-20180514-p4zf43.html

Bluefin tuna fishery under threat  [PAYWALL]
Southern Australia’s booming recreational bluefin tuna fishery is under threat, with the Federal Government demanding the states halve anglers’ bag limits, from two fish per person to one.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/sport/fishing/bluefin-tuna-federal-government-demands-states-halve-anglers-bag-limit/news-story/7c818555de87afafd81ebd0e6680d5ec

If we can’t recycle it, why not turn our waste plastic into fuel?
Muxina Konarova, The University of Queensland
Australia’s recycling crisis needs us to look into waste management options beyond just recycling and landfilling. Some of our waste, like paper or organic matter, can be composted. Some, like glass, metal and rigid plastics, can be recycled. But we have no immediate solution for non-recyclable plastic waste except landfill.
https://theconversation.com/if-we-cant-recycle-it-why-not-turn-our-waste-plastic-into-fuel-96128

Starving amidst plenty: Australia’s oil dependency problem
Binoy Kampmark
Australia is the only International Energy Agency member state to consistently fail to maintain the mandated stockpile of oil.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/starving-amidst-plenty-australias-oil-dependency-problem,11496

AC/DC: The unheralded debate in Australia’s future grid
David Leitch
There may be significant advantage in a renewables centric grid to using DC for transmission as opposed to AC.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/ac-dc-unheralded-debate-australias-future-grid-93894/

It’s no surprise emissions keep going up. There’s no price on carbon
Greg Jericho
The only thing close to climate change policy is the national energy guarantee. It’s not enough
https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2018/may/15/its-no-surprise-emissions-keep-going-up-theres-no-price-on-carbon

We must face the climate demon  [PAYWALL]
Peter Boyer says Australia is in denial about the serious ramifications of global warming.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-were-headed-back-to-the-pliocene-if-we-dont-face-climate-demon/news-story/9fe8f801a07bd59b389e582f63005b13

Solar bet for Crown Casino, with 300kW rooftop system
Melbourne’s Crown casino complex has installed one of the CBD’s biggest rooftop PV systems on its admin building.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-bet-crown-casino-300kw-rooftop-system-36775/

Two routes emerge as top tickets for airport rail
Two serious contender emerge for long-awaited airport rail link.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/two-routes-emerge-as-top-tickets-for-airport-rail-20180514-p4zf9d.html

Queen Vic Market plan in limbo after council backs down on shed fight
Plans for the Queen Victoria Market will be drastically altered by Melbourne City Council, after it backed down from a battle with heritage authorities over its proposed refurbishment of 140-year-old sheds.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/queen-vic-market-plan-in-limbo-after-council-backs-down-on-shed-fight-20180514-p4zf9e.html

It’s time to get moving on the airport rail link
Age editorial
The need for commitment on a rail line to Tullamarine airport has become urgent.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/it-s-time-to-get-moving-on-the-airport-rail-link-20180514-p4zfa5.html

First turbines from Silverton wind farm begin production
Production begins from the first turbines at 200MW wind farm near Broken Hill.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/first-turbines-silverton-wind-farm-begin-production-24796/

First Solar reaches financial close for Beryl solar farm in NSW
First Solar reach financial close for new 87MW Beryl solar farm in NSW.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/first-solar-reaches-financial-close-for-beryl-solar-farm-in-nsw-93647/

IPART gets tough on tariffs for NSW rooftop solar
IPART confirms plans to effectively penalise NSW solar households for the lower electricity prices their rooftop PV has helped to deliver, by cutting the recommended feed-in tariff in half for 2018/19.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/ipart-gets-tough-tariffs-nsw-rooftop-solar-91083/

Renewables alternative option for Narrabri
Twelve per cent of NSW’s electricity demand could be supplied by solar and wind farms in northwest NSW by 2030, a new report has found.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/renewables-alternative-option-narrabri-173204338–spt.html

Deputy premier to save young brumbies  [PAYWALL]
Young brumby stallions jousting among the ghost gums will remain part of the Snowy Mountains landscape after the NSW deputy premier vowed to save the wild horses, including a famous herd dubbed the Grey Mob.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/deputy-premier-john-barilaro-will-make-grey-mob-brumbies-a-protected-species-under-new-plan/news-story/7be3306ba041eed811ad704ae1029c08

Renewable power plan for Ginninderry comes with air pollution concerns
Steven Trask
The Environment Protection Authority warns that plans to only use electrical power at Ginninderry could create more air pollution.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/renewable-power-plan-for-ginninderry-comes-with-air-pollution-concerns-20180507-p4zdtk.html

Queensland produces “how-to” guide for electric vehicle charging
Queensland state govt backs up electric vehicle super-highway with release of Australia-first guide to installing EV chargers.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-produces-guide-electric-vehicle-charging-28901/

Townsville resort bets big on solar, efficiency
A luxury resort in Townsville in Queensland’s north is looking to cut its grid power consumption by up to 70 per cent, through a suite of cutting edge renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/townsville-resort-bets-big-solar-efficiency-19219/

Queensland coal shutdown not a reality  [PAYWALL]
Warnings of coal miners pulling the pin on production due to the Aurizon rail stoush must have come from Chicken Little.
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/queensland-coals-chicken-little-not-talking-facts-20180514-h101wc

Brisbane most expensive city for transport costs as percentage of income: report
Brisbane households spend the largest chunk of their income on transport costs compared with other Australian households, a national motoring group report has found.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-most-expensive-city-for-transport-costs-as-percentage-of-income-report-20180514-p4zf58.html

New floating bike path on Brisbane River  [PAYWALL]
Cyclists will literally be able to ride on the Brisbane River, with council revealing new plans for an above-water bike path.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/new-bike-path-built-on-the-brisbane-river/news-story/6d36a3b27fb7878680dcc3f48dcca555

$28m water upgrade for Mareeba  [PAYWALL]
The Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme is set to receive a $28 million modernisation upgrade to help give farmers access to more water for irrigating crops.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/mareebadimbulah-water-scheme-up-for-multi-million-dollar-upgrade/news-story/de5255636e36ed912af092e5671f698c

Mock spill to protest SA Bight drilling
Protesters will stage a mock oil spill outside an oil industry conference in Adelaide in opposition to planned drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/mock-spill-protest-sa-bight-drilling-173134541–spt.html

‘No way’ to Norway’s pitch for Bight drilling  [PAYWALL]
Petrol companies have descended on Adelaide for a major conference, but environmental activists — and Kangaroo Island’s mayor — have taken their protest to an oil company’s Norwegian HQ.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/big-oil-is-in-adelaide-for-its-2018-national-conference-but-local-councils-are-in-norway-to-take-on-the-company-which-wants-to-drill-the-bight/news-story/a1a3a0eec78ac0d8a240e84e3ae49265

‘Surge pricing’ mooted for car parks in Adelaide’s CBD
Demand-sensitive pricing could become an everyday feature of parking on the streets of Adelaide’s CBD as part of the city council’s smart-parking rollout.
https://indaily.com.au/news/2018/05/14/surge-pricing-mooted-car-parks-adelaides-cbd/

Kangaroo Island Mayor tells oil giant Statoil to back off, no drilling in The Bight  [PAYWALL]
Peter Clements
Kangaroo Island Council is now one of seven coastal local governments opposing the Norwegian owned Statoil’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, with Alexandrina Council voting its opposition just last week.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/peter-clements-kangaroo-island-mayor-tells-oil-giant-statoil-to-back-off-no-drilling-in-the-bight/news-story/1f72c751fcb533789462fda2b9926082

Walls of Jerusalem tourism project stalled
The approval process for a proposed eco-tourism development at the Walls of Jerusalem has been stalled after complaints by the Wilderness Society.
https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5396984/clock-stopped-on-walls-of-jerusalem-tourism-project/?cs=95

Simple equation directs creation of clean-energy catalysts
New guidelines laid down by Nebraska and Chinese researchers could steer the design of less costly, more efficient catalysts geared toward revving up the production of hydrogen as a renewable fuel. Using its equation, the team discovered several atom-framework combinations that approximate the performance of precious-metal catalysts — platinum, gold, iridium — at mere thousandths of the cost.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uon-sed051418.php

Lignin — A supergreen fuel for fuel cells
Researchers from the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University have developed a fuel cell that uses lignin, a cheap by-product from paper manufacture and one of the most common biopolymers.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/lu-l-a051418.php

Eco-friendly water treatment works best with experienced bacterial flora
Sustainable, biological filters called slow sand filters have been used to filter drinking water since the 1800s. They don’t use any chemicals, create no waste and use very little energy. New research from Lund University in Sweden shows that not only are the older filters more efficient cleaners — they could be making a comeback soon with the help of new technology.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/lu-ewt051418.php

Majorities see government efforts to protect the environment as insufficient
Majorities of Americans say the federal government is doing too little to protect key aspects of the environment, according to a new study released today by Pew Research Center. In a national survey of 2,541 US adults, 69 percent of Americans say the federal government isn’t doing enough to protect water quality of lakes, rivers and streams and 64 percent say the same about air quality. Two-thirds (67 percent) say the government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/prc-msg051018.php

In-Womb Air Pollution Exposure Associated With Higher Blood Pressure in Childhood
Children who were exposed to higher levels air pollution while in the womb had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180514083951.htm

Report blames coal-fired plant in Bali for pollution, loss of livelihoods
A power plant in Bali, Indonesia, was intended to provide up to two-fifth of the resort island’s electricity and help jump-start the economy. A Greenpeace investigation reveals persistent opposition by residents over health and environmental issues.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/report-blames-coal-fired-plant-in-bali-for-pollution-loss-of-livelihoods/

White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study
The intervention by Scott Pruitt’s aides came after one White House official warned the findings would cause a ‘public relations nightmare.’
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/14/emails-white-house-interfered-with-science-study-536950

The thinking error at the root of science denial
Could seeing things in black-and-white terms influence people’s views on scientific questions?
https://www.salon.com/2018/05/13/the-thinking-error-at-the-root-of-science-denial_partner/

Flooded Valleys And Burning Forests, The Global Face Of Renewable Energy (Part I)
Geoff Russell brings you the first of a three-part series on the global renewable energy revolution.
https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/14/renewable-energy-revolution-really-working-part-1/

I survived cancer caused by asbestos. There’s a reason we need strong regulations
Heather Von St. James
I may not be a multimillion-dollar company, but I know about the dangers of environmental contaminants through personal experience, and I’m not afraid to talk about it.
https://bangordailynews.com/2018/05/13/opinion/contributors/i-survived-cancer-caused-by-asbestos-theres-a-reason-we-need-strong-regulations/

New research says location of protected areas vital to wildlife survival
A new study, by 17 conservation scientists and environmental scholars, say the exact location of protective wild spaces is just as vital as committing to set these areas aside.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uobc-nrs051018.php

Global forests expanding: Reflects wellbeing, not rising CO2, experts say
The surprising, steady expansion of forests in many countries is a reflection of national well being and does not constitute a benefit of rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, experts say in a study published by PLOS ONE.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/tca-gfe050818.php

Happy people … happy forests?
The growth of forests globally is linked to human progress and well-being, according to a new report.
http://www.ehn.org/forests-growing-around-world-2567927628.html

Researchers May Be Underestimating Roadkill Numbers
A new study indicates that the number of wild animals killed by motor vehicles may be much higher than is generally reported or …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180514083920.htm

Proposed seismic surveys raise concern over health of marine life
The Atlantic has been free of intense air-gun blasts to probe for oil and gas for 30 years, and researchers fear for endangered North Atlantic right whales and other animals.
https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/54547/title/Proposed-Seismic-Surveys-Raise-Concern-Over-Health-of-Marine-Life/

Damming the Amazon unfettered after Brazilian purge
Philip Fearnside
In January 2018, two officials announced an end to plans for Brazilian mega-dams; both have since been replaced, and to date, no planned dams have been cancelled.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/damming-the-amazon-unfettered-after-brazilian-purge-commentary/

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