FRIDAY 8 JUNE 2018

Can this state finally put a price on carbon?
After a decade of failed carbon taxes, Washington state is pushing to pass the country’s first “carbon fee.” Will this time be different?
https://www.wired.com/story/can-this-state-finally-put-a-price-on-carbon/

Senate Committee Says Further Regulatory Burden on Charities Unnecessary
A Senate committee report into the political influence of donations has stated there is “no justification” for imposing a further regulatory burden on charities, but Coalition Senators have expressed concerns that “politically-active charities” are seeking to influence elections.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/06/senate-committee-says-regulatory-burden-charities-unnecessary/

Move to renewables a ‘good thing’, says Nationals’ agriculture minister
David Littleproud says climate is changing and Australia must ‘use the best science available’
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/07/move-to-renewables-a-good-thing-says-nationals-agriculture-minister

Energy bosses say power companies need to work together, or else
Energy chiefs say government intervention in the electricity sector is gaining momentum and the industry needs to work together, or face the consequences.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/energy-bosses-say-power-companies-need-to-work-together-or-else-20180607-p4zk34.html

Canberra ups ante on power  [PAYWALL]
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has defended the government’s interventions in the electricity market.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/frydenberg-defends-intervention-in-power-markets/news-story/b6ff48cfd9bdfff514cdd2d4096cd12f

Fish market assures consumers amid concerns over seafood sustainability
While Australians are eating more fish each year, consumers are being assured that domestic fisheries are sustainable although concerns remain over global stocks.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/sydney-fish-market-consumers-seafood-sustainability/9840910

Climate change-related disaster relief is increasing demand on Defence, Senate hears
Australia’s Defence Department has spelled out clearly to a Senate enquiry that climate change is increasing demand and will create “concurrency pressures” for the Defence Force as a rise in disaster relief operations continues.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/adf-sees-climate-change-related-disaster-relief-demands-rise/9842458

We need to talk about integrated national planning
David Williams
A more efficient plan is needed to prevent Sydney and Melbourne from becoming too congested, writes David Williams
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/we-need-to-talk-about-integrated-national-planning,11575

What’s behind scare campaign on rooftop solar “blackout” threat
Giles Parkinson
Scare campaigns about blackouts, this time caused by rooftop solar, are again in mainstream media. We explain what’s going on here, why the claims are dubious, and why the market operator, networks and software companies want to control your rooftop solar system.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/whats-behind-scare-campaign-on-rooftop-solar-blackout-threat-78729/

Littleproud and the post-Joyce life of the Nats  [PAYWALL]
Phillip Coorey
With Barnaby Joyce out of the way, the Nationals are now tentatively sidling away from his anti-climate dogma to try to grow their voter base.
https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/david-littleproud-and-the-postbarnaby-joyce-evolution-of-the-nats-20180606-h1124g

Too little fuel in our tank  [PAYWALL]
David Fawcett
Australia is completely vulnerable to any interruption to petrol, oil or gas supplies.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/low-fuel-reserves-endanger-australias-security/news-story/bf7f5d88df120e92a77dac0703450fe6

Law needs to catch up with CSG  [PAYWALL]
James Dunn
Australia’s regulatory frameworks have been slow to respond to the build-up of the coal-seam gas industry.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/regulation-needs-to-catch-up-with-csg/news-story/b10bdf1808c817fcf40680f3b161baa7

Australian fished populations drop by a third over ten years, study finds
Graham Edgar, University of Tasmania and Trevor J Ward, University of Technology Sydney
Australia was thought to have some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, but a recent count has found that fish numbers have plummeted by a third.
http://theconversation.com/australian-fished-populations-drop-by-a-third-over-ten-years-study-finds-97689

Wedge-tailed eagles found dead after suspected mass poisoning
Hundreds of birds, including protected wedge-tailed eagles, are killed in eastern Victoria as wildlife carers raise concerns about the animals being targeted with poisons and traps.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/wedge-tailed-eagles-ssuspected-poisoned-in-east-gippsland/9845124

Cape Conran caretakers reflect on life in the wilderness
After nearly two decades as caretakers of one of Victoria’s most remote and picturesque coastal parks, the Puglisi family packs up and says goodbye.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/cape-conran-caretakers-call-it-a-day-after-almost-20-years/9829740

Is rail keeping up? Commuter says no  [PAYWALL]
Matt Johnston
While there ain’t much a state government can do about oil giants screwing us, one of the consequences of sustained high petrol prices can be a shift from cars to public transport.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/matt-johnston-is-rail-keeping-up-commuter-says-no/news-story/d455e14a162c0b6c0fe707707acae69d

Warragamba Dam: NSW Government accused of attacking world heritage, moratorium demanded
‘The NSW Government has been accused of ignoring their obligations to protect the Greater Blue Mountains world heritage area in their plan to raise the Warragamba Dam.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/warragamba-dam-battle-heats-up-as-environmentalists-raise-issues/9840694

Fallout continues from NSW brumbies plan
The NSW government’s controversial plan to protect wild horses has copped backlash from conservationists and led to the resignation of a government advisor.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nsw-brumbies-bill-a-global-embarrassment/news-story/e205775500628fb2bb72b28fb04d1bf8

Plans to shut down Sydney line for six weeks dumped
The closures have been ditched but questions remain over how to find time to convert the line to carry metro trains.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/state-bows-to-pressure-over-length-of-bankstown-rail-closures-20180607-p4zk4g.html

Passing the brumby bill is a backward step for environmental protection in Australia
Don Driscoll, Euan Ritchie and Tim Doherty, Deakin University
The ‘brumby bill’ which passed the NSW upper house late last night, is an embarrassing step backwards for the state.
https://theconversation.com/passing-the-brumby-bill-is-a-backward-step-for-environmental-protection-in-australia-97920

Cleaning your teeth helping to clean up the environment
A childcare centre is seeking donations of old toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and floss containers to win a recycled garden set.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/cleaning-your-teeth-helping-to-clean-up-the-environment-20180607-p4zk25.html

The average Canberra heating bill is about to go up significantly
A 12 per cent hike in electricity prices means Canberrans are going to feel the pain of heating their homes this winter.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/canberra-heating-bills-to-increase-300-per-year-on-average/9845720

Crosshairs on feral pigs [PAYWALL]
Cassowary Coast Regional Council has ramped up efforts to deal with problem pigs as Mission Beach residents become increasingly frustrated with the porcine invaders.
https://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cassowary-coast-council-adds-staff-member-to-deal-with-pig-problem/news-story/fd12213120f8c101039c0c1dcee0b0ef

DNA detectives dig deep for bandicoots [PAYWALL]
A team of SA and WA scientists are sifting through hundreds of bandicoot skin and fur samples at the South Australian Museum in a bid to help preserve the remaining species before they become extinct, and perhaps find a few new ones along the way.
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/old-dna-could-save-bandicoots-from-extinction/news-story/ffe17f4446fee02fe9a093eecbe96ae8

Battery of the Nation could need four new interconnectors
Tasmania’s bid to become battery of nation could require as many as four new interconnectors to be installed between the island state and mainland Australia.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/battery-of-the-nation-could-need-four-new-interconnectors-60312/

Pumped hydro: How does it work and what’s the fuss?
The Tasmanian and Federal Governments are pushing ahead with plans to make Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s vision of Tasmania as “the battery of the nation” a reality — so what is pumped hydro and how does it work?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/how-does-pumped-hydro-power-work/9843804

Perth drivers spending more time stuck in traffic
Perth drivers travelling to work are spending an extra 96 hours stuck in traffic every year due to worsening traffic on our roads.
https://thewest.com.au/news/traffic/perth-traffic-jams-add-96-hours-to-annual-work-commute-ng-b88859387z

Rare black kookaburra spotted in WA backyard
A black kookaburra is spotted in Western Australia in what is believed to be the first sighting in decades.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/rare-black-kookaburra-spotted-wa-backyard/9845764

Job of ending coal in Germany handed to 31-member committee
Commission will set phase-out timeline for coal, but greens warn it may be too weak to salvage Germany’s reputation as a climate leader.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/job-of-ending-coal-in-germany-handed-to-31-member-committee-76869/

Simple things you can do to help reduce your power bill today
With the depths of winter almost upon us, there’s no better time to adopt best energy-saving practice and keep from being walloped too hard by rising power prices.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/keeping-power-bills-down-as-canberra-sees-price-hike/9845320

Consumer food choices can help reduce greenhouse emissions contributing to climate change
Changes in diet have been proposed as a way to reduce carbon emissions from the food system. A new study provides the latest and most comprehensive estimate of greenhouse gas emissions generated by US consumer food purchases, and assesses how those choices could affect diet and climate change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/tuhs-cfc060718.php

Rethinking disposable straws – for the sake of the oceans
A movement to ban single-use plastic straws and bags is gaining momentum around the world.
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2018/0607/Rethinking-disposable-straws-for-the-sake-of-the-oceans

Plastic pollution is a problem — these kids are working for a solution
We have five questions for teenagers Carter and Olivia Ries, founders of One More Generation and the One Less Straw campaign.
http://therevelator.org/plastic-straws-problem-solution/

Bikeshare could increase light rail transit ridership
Coupling bikeshare with public transit could be an important component when trying to increase light rail transit (LRT) ridership, according to a new study out of the University of Waterloo.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uow-bci060618.php

Global solar forecasts lowered as China cuts support policies
China’s unexpected move to slash incentives for solar power has sent stocks into a free fall and prompted analysts to lower forecasts for global installations this year amid expectations that a glut of excess panels would send prices tumbling.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-solar/global-solar-forecasts-lowered-as-china-cuts-support-policies-idUSKCN1J231I?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter

How to suck carbon dioxide from the sky for fuels and more
Someday, the gasoline you buy might come from carbon dioxide pulled out of the sky rather than from oil pumped out of the ground. By removing emitted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into fresh fuels, engineers at a Canadian firm have demonstrated a scalable and cost-effective way to make deep cuts in the carbon footprint of transportation with minimal disruption to existing vehicles.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/cp-hts053118.php

Widespread uranium contamination found in India’s groundwater
A Duke-led study has found widespread uranium contamination in groundwater aquifers — a chief source for drinking water and irrigation — in 16 Indian states. The primary source of the contamination is natural, but human factors such as groundwater-table depletion and nitrate pollution may exacerbate the problem. Studies have linked exposure to uranium in drinking water to chronic kidney disease.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/du-wuc060718.php

Nuclear is flowering all over  [PAYWALL]
Tony Grey
Safety in storage has improved significantly over the decades.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/time-to-wise-up-nuclear-power-is-flowering-all-over/news-story/e11b9a9c5a1bfda3c4bc0c808d61ac83

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10
Julie Snorek, Autonomous University of Barcelona
The Environmental Justice Atlas highlights the most pertinent findings of environmental conflicts facing the world today.
https://theconversation.com/tracking-the-battles-for-environmental-justice-here-are-the-worlds-top-10-97616

If we all became vegan tomorrow
Chris Saltmarsh and Harpreet Kaur Paul
The Guardian repeats the myth that becoming vegan is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth.
https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2018/06/06/vegan-climate-carbon

A manifesto to save Planet Earth (and ourselves)
Simon Lewis, Mark Maslin
Scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin believe humans are not on an inevitable course to self-destruction.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44389413

Superbugs are going to eat us alive
Riju Agrawal
Drug-resistant diseases are on the rise. Only a global effort to prevent overuse of antibiotics can halt the threat.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/06/superbugs-are-going-to-eat-us-alive/

Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ forecasted to exceed the size of Connecticut
Scientists have predicted the dead zone, or area with little to no oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will become larger than the state of Connecticut by the end of July, according to a new report. While there are more than 500 dead zones around the world, the northern Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the world.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/lsu-gom060518.php

How Much Is Wildlife Tourism Affecting the Animals It Targets?
A new study reveals that white shark activity increases dramatically when the animals are interacting with cage-diving …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180607082550.htm

Indigenous people in the Amazon are using drones to save their land
As logging and palm oil industries continue to decimate the Amazonian rainforest, the people who live in it are taking tech into their own hands to fight back.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40582207/indigenous-people-in-the-amazon-are-using-drones-to-save-their-land

Pollution hits fungi that nourish trees – study
Scientists say pollution could have unpredictable effects on Europe’s forests by damaging fungi.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44382889

Why are so many Florida honeybees dying?
We know honeybees are under siege. But Florida honeybees are in even bigger trouble. Hurricane Irma in September added to their existing challenges.
http://www.tampabay.com/features/consumer/Why-are-so-many-Florida-honeybees-dying-_168148061

How corrupt elections fuel the sell-off of Indonesia’s natural resources
A major driver of Indonesia’s deforestation and land rights crisis is the corrupt sell-off of land and resources by politicians, often to raise money for expensive political campaigns.
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/06/how-corrupt-elections-fuel-the-sell-off-of-indonesias-natural-resources/

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