Daily Links Mar 22

Top Post
A change in UN human rights law could help you clean up the environment
Pressure is building for the United Nations to recognize a clean environment as a human right, in order to give more protection to environmentalists. But changing these decades-old treaties could be an uphill struggle.

Today’s Celebration
Arab League Day    Syria
Day of the People’s Party  Laos
Emancipation Day   Puerto Rico
Nauryz Meyrami (Traditional Spring Holiday)  Kazakhstan
Novruz Bayram    Azerbaijan
North American Wildlife Celebration  United States of America
World Day for Water   http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/water/
More about Mar 22     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_22

Climate Change
New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world
University of Cincinnati geography professor Tomasz Stepinski created a new interactive map that allows students or researchers to compare the climates of places anywhere in the world. The map draws on five decades of public meteorological data recorded from 50,000 international weather stations around the Earth. And it uses prediction models to display which parts of the globe will experience the most or least climate change in the next 50 years.

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions would help spare cities worldwide from rising seas
Coastal cities worldwide would face a reduced threat from sea level rise if society reduced greenhouse gas emissions, with especially significant benefits for New York and other US East Coast cities, new research indicates.

Explainer Can extreme weather events be attributed to climate change?
Every time there is an extreme weather event it seems to trigger a whirlwind of climate change discussion. But how do scientists decide if climate change is involved?

New data confirm increased frequency of extreme weather events
New data show that extreme weather events have become more frequent over the past 36 years, with a significant uptick in floods and other hydrological events compared even with five years ago

Climate change victims need money to survive, not words
There is an opportunity in May to help people hit hardest by climate change; governments must take it

Can climate litigation save the world?
Courts are a new front line of climate action with cases against governments and oil firms spiralling, and while victories have so far been rare the pressure for change is growing

Climate change will not make us nicer
A recent study found that people who grow up in places with mild weather are more agreeable and outgoing. What does that mean in a world of climate extremes?

8 answers to the judge’s climate change questions in cities vs. fossil fuels case
San Francisco and Oakland want to hold fossil fuel companies liable for sea level rise costs. In an unusual move, the judge ordered a climate tutorial for the court.

Even business lobbyists say Australia can run on 50% renewables
Can Australia reach 50% renewables without compromising grid stability? The experts – and even the major energy stakeholders of business and industry – all say yes. We’re just waiting on the right policy.

‘Monty Pythonesque’: $80m water buyback was 25% more than asking price
Australia Institute says commonwealth paid far more than initial price for Condamine-Balonne river system buyback

Indigenous group ‘offered $10m in water’ to help pass Murray-Darling plan
Fred Hooper says he interpreted offer as an attempt to get him to persuade Labor to support Coalition’s plan to reduce water for environmental flows

As the Libs claim South Australia, states are falling into line behind the National Energy Guarantee
Kate Griffiths, Grattan Institute
As prime minister, Paul Keating used to say that when you change the government, you change the country. On Saturday South Australians changed their government, and now the country’s energy policy could finally change – and for the better, if current policy uncertainty is put to bed.

Murray-Darling Basin Plan doomed by well-intentioned ‘nonsense’
Chris Woods
With the plan now falling apart, experts are shining a light on its flaws and forging a new path towards meaningful action.

Alarmist Greens are wrong again [$]
Andrew Bolt.
Whenever we have a natural disaster, the Greens screech about global warming — but as usual they’re wrong.

Neoen starts work on next Tesla big battery project in Victoria
Neoen begins work on new Tesla big battery and 194MW wind farm that will provide 100% renewables to biggest glass-house in Australia.

Victoria plan to use old mines for pumped hydro heads to next stage
Victoria government backed plan to convert disused Bendigo mineshafts into pumped hydro energy storage will undergo full feasibility studies.

The $50 million plan to shore up Victoria’s energy grid
Two large-scale batteries connected to the Victorian energy grid will be installed in regional Victoria to help boost the state’s electricity supply in a project worth $50 million.

New South Wales
NSW solar tariff cut – reward for slashing power price peaks
NSW pricing regulator flags a cut to state’s solar feed-in tariff, linked to fall in wholesale power prices rooftop solar helped deliver.

NSW Labor refuses to approve forestry agreements based on ‘out-of-date’ science
In wake of Guardian Australia report, Penny Sharpe says regional forest agreements must include climate change as a consideration

NSW government’s power plan reveals huge renewable energy resources
The Berejiklian government has identified three priority renewable energy zones in NSW that potentially have seven times the capacity of the state’s coal-fired power plants.

Global bottled-water boom sparks local fight
It’s the new battle in the bush. On one side is Australia’s $800-million-a-year bottled water industry and its suppliers, on the other, rural residents who fear their most precious resource is being squandered.

Dry autumn blamed for delayed backburning program last year

Loopholes in Queensland’s new land-clearing laws ‘would allow broadscale razing’
Environmental Defenders Office to urge Palaszczuk government to amend proposed laws

Coffee-loving worms munch through old grinds to improve farmers’ pastures
It is not just office workers who rely on a coffee to get them through their day, tens of thousands of worms are also getting their daily fix at a farm in far north Queensland.

‘You won’t come out alive’: Katter crocodile plan resurfaces
Tourists would be allowed to go on a croc hunting safari, under a revived proposal by the Katter’s Australian Party.

Palaszczuk defends property tax raid
The Premier says she is happy to be compared to Robin Hood as she defended tax rises she insists will only hit a small number of wealthy Queenslanders – but her Government is struggling to explain how a new waste levy won’t hit us in the hip pocket.

South Australia
Marshall feels blow-back as Tesla battery comments hit raw nerve
New premier Steve Marshall is feeling the heat for placing the future of Tesla’s battery plans in doubt. Maybe now he will go the whole hog and target nearly 100,000 homes with storage.

Kaurna people granted native title rights in Adelaide, 18 years on
It’s been an emotional moment for the traditional land owners of Adelaide, with a federal court finally granting the Kaurna people ownership to most of the area almost two decades after their applications were first lodged.

Tesla claims it’s being shortchanged for providing power too quickly
Tesla claims it has not been paid for more than a third of the electricity its batteries have generated in South Australia because they are providing it too fast to be counted.

Cotton farm made $52m — selling water to us [$]
A Cayman Islands-based company that owns one of Australia’s largest cotton farms made a $52 million profit selling water to the Federal Government, The Australia Institute says.

Tasmanians back in love with their state
Tasmania’s population is growing at its highest rate in more than a decade because fewer people are moving away due to a new found sense of affection for the island, a demographer says.

Northern Territory
Cyclone watch issued for north-eastern Top End communities
Coastal communities in north-east Arnhem land should prepare now for the predicted Tropical Cyclone Nora, which is expected to hit the region on Friday.

Central Australia onshore gas exploration increases, while minerals slowly recover
Santos confirms it is continuing exploration in the Northern Territory’s Southern Amadeus Basin, as an annual geoscience conference hears about the state of the mining industry in Central Australia.

Santos’s offshore gas project gets greenlight
The offshore petroleum regulator has approved Santos’s major offshore multibillion-dollar LNG development in the Northern Territory, allowing it to keep the gas flowing at Darwin.

Call for NT climate policy as greenhouse gas emissions rise
The Northern Territory Government should introduce a targeted climate policy, green groups say, amid new figures revealing a 10-year increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Western Australia
Cyclone Marcus has hit category five and is heading for Perth, but you don’t need to panic
Forecasters say a maximum-strength tropical cyclone that battered Darwin is set to curve around the WA coast and is charting a course direct for Perth, but here’s why there is no cause for alarm.

Protesters rally as WA agency plans native forest logging increase
The state’s logging agency has moved to increase logging of jarrah, marri and karri forest by up to 50 per cent, even as black cockatoo species relying on these trees are upgraded to “endangered” status.

Turning cities into sponges: how Chinese ancient wisdom is taking on climate change
Landscape architect Kongjian Yu is making ‘friends with water’ to mitigate extreme weather events in modern metropolises

Scientists plan to shoot down space junk with a laser
Space junk is a real problem, and Australian scientists want to use powerful ground-based lasers to shoot it all away.

20 per cent of Americans make half their country’s food-related greenhouse emissions
For people eating more than their share, even a small reduction in red meat consumption could make a big difference.

Green power economics ‘have shifted’
Falling renewables costs and escalating power bills have put a green power and rooftop solar back on the agenda for US data centre giant Equinix.

Potassium Gives Perovskite-Based Solar Cells an Efficiency Boost
A simple potassium solution could boost the efficiency of next-generation solar cells, by enabling them to convert more sunlight …

Study finds hormone-disrupting chemicals near fracking wells
Dozens of chemicals that can affect the fertility of humans and animals are being found in the air near unconventional oil and gas development, according to a new study.

This father-daughter team says it has a cheaper, safer way to bury nuclear waste
Startup Deep Isolation wants to use fracking tech to drill horizontal disposal tunnels a mile below the Earth’s surface.

A change in UN human rights law could help you clean up the environment
Pressure is building for the United Nations to recognize a clean environment as a human right, in order to give more protection to environmentalists. But changing these decades-old treaties could be an uphill struggle.

Subsidy-free renewable energy projects set to soar in UK, analysts say
The UK is well on the way to a new era of subsidy-free renewable energy projects that will largely kill off prospects for new gas power stations, according to industry analysts.

The dysfunctional megacity: Why Dhaka is bursting at the sewers
Cities can be dense without being overpopulated. But in the world’s most crowded city, the drains can’t cope – creating a grim new job.

Plight of Phoenix: How long can the world’s ‘least sustainable’ city survive?
Set deep in the Valley of the Sun, the lush and sprawling ‘megapolis’ has a problem – the rivers.

Solar power’s greatest challenge was discovered 10 years ago. It looks like a duck
A researcher discusses the “duck curve” he helped discover.

World Water Council’s Braga: Water crises could be coming to your backyard
Governments should increase resilience to cope with droughts and flooding due to climate change, says World Water Council’s Benedito Braga as the World Water Forum gets underway, or else face water crises in the future.

Why are we so fat despite our best efforts?
Bruce Blumberg
If you only focus on diet and exercise you’re missing a huge influence—chemicals in our environment that promote weight gain.

Fukushima seven years later: case closed?
Franck Guarnieri, Mines ParisTech
On March 11, 2011, a nuclear disaster struck Japan. Translated testimony by the power plant’s manager reveals how close the world came to a greater catastrophe — and how much there is to be learned.

If we want water security, we must diversify water supply
Scott Houston
If we want water security, we need to diversify our water sources to include underground storage, stormwater capture, recycled wastewater and more.

Nature Conservation
Europe faces ‘biodiversity oblivion’ after collapse in French birds, experts warn
Authors of report on bird declines say intensive farming and pesticides could turn Europe’s farmland into a desert that ultimately imperils all humans

Last male northern white rhino’s death highlights ‘huge extinction crisis’
The tragic death of Sudan the rhino should act as a warning of the need to act to prevent mass extinctions around the world, say conservationists

‘We’re sleepwalking into a mass extinction’ say scientists
Species that live in symbiosis with others, which often occur in the most delicately balanced and threatened marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, are the slowest to recover their diversity if damaged, according to a team of UK scientists.

Conservation Costs Can Be Higher Than Bargained for
Sweeping policies that reward people in environmentally sensitive areas for returning their farmlands to nature have been lauded as ecological triumphs.But a new study shows that over time some participants may become conservation martyrs.

How Trees Coexist: Understanding Biodiversity
One of the most fascinating topics in ecology is the exploration of interactions between plants, specifically in long-lived organisms, such as trees.

US National Parks Increasingly Important for Bird Conservation in Face of Climate Change
US national parks could become even more important for the conservation of bird species in the face of climate change, according to a new …

How America’s brutal 15-year war in Iraq changed its environment forever
Living green in a country ravaged by war and insecurity.

There’s so much plastic in the oceans scientists want to study it from space
“Boy, what an advance it would be to be able to see the world in a snapshot.”

Being a bird was once a simple affair. Flying. Eating. Mating. But now their habitats are under siege
Study finds that national parks will be important refuges as the climate changes.

Maelor Himbury