SUNDAY 17 JUNE 2018

Better be safe than sorry: Economic optimization risks tipping of Earth system elements
Optimizing economic welfare without constraints might put human well-being at risk, a new climate study argues. While being successful in bringing down costs of greenhouse gas reductions for instance, the concept of profit maximization alone does not suffice to avoid the tipping of critical elements in the Earth system which could lead to dramatic changes of our lifelihood.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/pifc-bbs061518.php

Interview: Climate Change and the Disappearing Islands of Kiribati
The Republic of Kiribati, a group of 33 Pacific Islands home to 100,000 people, sits on average  six feet above sea level. Scientists believe that at some point this century, these islands may become uninhabitable as ocean levels rise due to climate change.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/15/interview-climate-change-and-disappearing-islands-kiribati

AEMO sees rooftop solar trebling in 10 years, batteries rising 10-fold
AEMO sees rooftop solar and battery storage uptake surging in WA, but grid to remain stable even as fossil fuel plants retire. EV forecasts vary
https://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-sees-rooftop-solar-trebling-in-10-years-batteries-rising-10-fold-82069/

Electric vehicle policy support “urgent”, as sales inch up in 2017
Australia’s Turnbull government is facing mounting pressure to bring its electric vehicle policy into the 21st century, with the release of one major new report – and the leaking of another – confirming that policy support is critical to a shift to EVs.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/electric-vehicle-policy-support-urgent-sales-inch-2017/

Tritium tapped as NRMA rolls out NSW EV fast-charge network
NRMA kicks off roll-out of $10m EV fast-charging network across NSW and ACT, after tapping Brisbane-based company Tritium to supply the hardware.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/tritium-tapped-nrma-rolls-nsw-ev-fast-charge-network-71521/

Who should control household rooftop solar and batteries?
Australia has one of the highest rates of rooftop solar uptake in the world, and with the addition of battery storage, and yet more rooftop solar, it is going to be leading the world – by some distance – in the ratio of decentralised energy.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/who-should-control-household-rooftop-solar-and-batteries-82260/

Australia’s natural capital valued at $6,413 billion
The total value of Australia’s environmental assets, or natural capital, was $6,413 billion at 30 June 2017, nearly double the value of $3,369 billion in 2006-07 and an increase of ten per cent from 2015-16, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/4655.0Media%20Release12018?OpenDocument

Plan to shrink lakes under Basin Plan ‘environmental vandalism’
A water planning whistleblower warns the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is heavily influenced by vested interests and flawed science, with the plan to shrink the Menindee Lakes “nothing short of environmental vandalism”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-16/warnings-the-murray-darling-could-be-worse-off/9877476

Faecal transplants ‘could save endangered koala’
Team of researchers changes microbes in koalas’ guts in order to improve type of food they consume
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/16/koala-faecal-transplant-could-save-species

Australian teens more worried about climate change than adults
An ANU study of more than 400 year 7 students have found more than 80 per cent agreed global warming is happening now and caused by humans.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/australian-teens-more-worried-about-climate-change-than-adults-20180615-p4zlo9.html

There’s a whiff of some significant political calls in the air
Katharine Murphy
Coalition SUV lovers are grumbling about car emission standards, and Labor wonders if it has the bottle for a tax fight
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/16/theres-a-whiff-of-some-significant-political-calls-in-the-air

Want to get filthy rich: Exploiting the Earth’s resources is the surest way …
Ted Mead
Are you on Australia’s top 100 rich list?  Why not?  Well unless you are willing to exploit something or someone on a grand scale then it is unlikely you ever will be. So let’s take a closer look and see who’s making a killing out of our country’s natural resources …
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/want-to-get-filthy-rich-exploiting-the-earths-resources-is-the-surest-way-/

I like horses, but I like native animals more
Nicola Philp
Why do we place more importance on a horse running slightly better than we do on preventing yet more native animals heading over the extinction cliff?
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/i-like-horses-but-i-like-native-animals-more-20180615-p4zlqt.html

Welcome to Portland, the town that rides on the bluefin tuna’s back
Tourists are lured from across the country to Portland with the promise of catching bluefin tuna, but many hold fears that a cut to quotas could result in a major hit to the town.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-16/portland-bluefin-tuna-fishers-fear-quota-cut/9876376

Docklands area now safe after gas leak
A major gas leak at Melbourne’s Docklands saw over 300 people evacuated from the area and authorities have now declared the area safe.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/docklands-area-now-safe-gas-leak-034945713–spt.html

Turbines at southwest Victoria wind farm could put endangered birds at risk  [PAYWALL]
A $1.7 billion wind farm could be put at risk by an endangered bird.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/turbines-at-southwest-victoria-wind-farm-could-put-endangered-birds-at-risk/news-story/d12d2654776733fa4532da114e5be2af

Melbourne Airport rail link preferred route emerges  [PAYWALL]
A new Melbourne airport rail route will run through the western suburbs and via a super-sized Sunshine station to allow regional rail upgrades.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/melbourne-airport-rail-link-preferred-route-emerges/news-story/a72dd26f055f8fb991a8d11544bbd2fe

Energy bill saver announced by NSW Govt
The average NSW family could save $1000 on their energy bill using a new service that switches households to the best deal, the NSW Government has announced.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/energy-bill-saver-announced-nsw-govt-030251715–spt.html

NSW sea sanctuaries stripped of half their top-level protection: NCC
The rezoning of 10 ocean beaches and headlands to allow recreational fishing permanently has effectively halved top-level protection along the state’s coast, the NSW Nature Conservation Council says.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/nsw-sea-sanctuaries-stripped-of-half-their-top-level-protection-ncc-20180615-p4zlss.html

As the mercury drops, our power prices rise
Canberra Times editorial
ACT Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury has said he will ask for an explanation for ActewAGL’s 14.29 per cent energy bill increase.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/as-the-mercury-drops-our-power-prices-rise-20180616-p4zlvx.html

Pedestrians group wants 30km/h speed limits for Brisbane
The death of a woman in Logan this week has prompted a national lobby group for pedestrians to call for reduced speed limits in built-up areas.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/pedestrians-group-wants-30km-h-speed-limits-for-brisbane-20180615-p4zllf.html

Queensland city tops national solar panel list
Bundaberg leads the country with record number of solar installations.
https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/queensland-city-tops-national-solar-panel-list-20180615-p4zlni.html

Coal politics an open-cut minefield on all sides in Queensland
Chris O’Brien
Coal royalties are higher than expected in Queensland, and while Treasurer Jackie Trad dared not say the word in her budget speech this week, the LNP raised both the topic and eyebrows
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-16/queensland-coal-politics-an-open-cut-minefield-labor-and-lnp/9876318

Downer on the rocks in Mayo
Peter Fitzsimon
More interesting though is the notion that the rejection is due to Downer’s refusal to accept the science of climate change.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-a-sydney-bus-driver-made-his-passengers-see-the-light-20180615-p4zlsi.html

First helicopter drops of stinky cane toad sausages
Stinky sausages made of cane toad flesh have been scattered from helicopters in a wide-scale trial to help native animals survive the toxic pests.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-16/toad-sausages-dropped-from-helicopters/9857520

BP Review points to “big step backwards” in energy demand, emissions
Global energy demand grew above its 10-year average in 2017 and carbon emissions increased after three years of little-to-no growth, according to BP’s 67th annual Statistical Review of World Energy.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/bp-review-points-big-step-backwards-energy-demand-emissions-41608/

Critical plant gene takes unexpected detour that could boost biofuel yields
For decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function — produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets. But for Wellington Muchero, Meng Xie and their colleagues, this enzyme does more than advertised. They had run a series of experiments on poplar plants that consistently revealed mutations in a structure of the life-sustaining enzyme that was not previously known to exist.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/drnl-cpg061418.php

Who Is to Blame for Marine Litter?
Members of the public are more likely to blame the global marine litter crisis on retailers, industry and government, according to ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180614213703.htm

UK cycling is worth more than the steel industry – where’s the strategy?
A new report argues we’d all benefit if the government started taking the cycle industry seriously
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2018/jun/16/uk-cycling-steel-industry-strategy

Toxic Secrets: Professor ‘bragged about burying bad science’ on 3M chemicals
Fairfax Media can now reveal that Professor Giesy was accused of covertly doing 3M’s bidding in a widespread international campaign to suppress academic research on the dangers of PFAS.
https://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/toxic-secrets-professor-bragged-about-burying-bad-science-on-3m-chemicals-20180615-p4zlsc.html

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