Daily Links Mar 29-31

Coal is gawn, survey says. Tell that to the coal-ition though. Perhaps it’s them that should be gawn.

Top Post
Do environmental advocacy campaigns drive successful forest conservation?
Mike Gaworecki and M. Fernanda Tomaselli
We found no evidence that advocacy campaigns on their own drive long-term forest conservation, though they do appear to be valuable in terms of raising awareness of environmental issues and driving people to take action.

Today’s Celebration
Cesar Chavez Day (California)  United States of America
Culture Day (Pohnpei)    Micronesia
Domingo de Ramos     Peru
National Day      Malta
Transfer Day      US Virgin Islands
Passover        Judaism
Magha Puja Day      Buddhism
World Backup Day      https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-backup-day/
More about Mar 31       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_31
DAYLIGHT SAVING ends tonight. Turn your clocks BACK one hour (as long as you live in civilised parts).

Climate Change
Once We Can Capture CO2 Emissions, Here’s What We Could Do With It
The carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from power plants each year doesn’t have to go into the atmosphere. Researchers are optimistic that within the next decade we will be able to …

Rapid Emissions Reductions Would Keep CO2 Removal and Costs in Check
Rapid greenhouse-gas emissions reductions are needed if governments want to keep in check both the costs of the transition towards climate stabilization and the amount of removing already emitted CO2 …

West Greenland Ice Sheet melting at the fastest rate in centuries
New study from the West Greenland Ice Sheet shows that weather patterns and summer warming combine to drive ice loss that is at the highest levels in at least 450 years.

A scheme to end the world’s worst acid trip
This geoengineering idea is potentially risky and largely untested, but it does work—theoretically.

U.S. judge dismisses Exxon suit seeking to stop climate change probes
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed Exxon Mobil Corp’s lawsuit seeking to stop New York and Massachusetts from probing whether the company misled investors and the public about climate change and the potential effects on its business.

Shell’s plan to save us from climate change makes a dangerous assumption
Avery Thompson
The necessary tech may never exist.

Climate scientists debate a flaw in the Paris climate agreement
Dana Nuccitelli
Ultimately the only thing that matters: we need to cut carbon pollution as much as possible, as fast as possible

Australia’s emissions rise again in 2017, putting Paris targets in doubt
Excluding unreliable land-use data, 2017 greenhouse emissions were again highest on record

Labor vows ‘full scientific assessment’ of logging agreements
Assessment to include climate science and threatened species impacts, ministers say

Majority of Australians support phasing out coal power by 2030, survey finds
50% of Coalition voters and 67% of Labor voters want to phase out coal, and majority also support striving to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Conservationists fear being locked out of environmental laws review
The Federal Government today announced an independent review into cutting red tape around national environmental laws, and while farmers are welcoming it, conservationists say they are being denied a voice in the process.

Solar battery installs to reach 33,000 in 2018 as economics improve
One in eight solar installations include battery storage as the economics improves. SunWiz predicts that 33,000 household storage installations in 2018, with NSW leading the market but the best returns made in South Australia.

EVs could account for over half Australia new car sales by 2030
Industry-backed report finds doubling Australia’s projected EV uptake to 2030 would deliver a $2.9bn boost to GDP, 13,400 new jobs, and save drivers an average of $800 a year.
Subsidies for solar to top $1bn [$]
Rooftop solar subsidies are on track to exceed $1 billion this year after the Clean Energy Regulator set its new target.

Australia’s greenest energy companies leave big retailers behind
Powershop and Diamond Energy have been voted as Australia’s most green energy retailers in Greenpeace’s electricity guide.

People power: consumers to help drive down electricity pricing
Consumers are being given the opportunity to help cut power bills and drive network companies pricing after distribution firms  have been criticised for partly causing high electricity prices.

Matt Canavan loves coal “unashamedly” – says it’s good for First Australians
Sophie Vorrath
Resources minister Matt Canavan says Australian coal will lift the developing world out of poverty; empower First Australians; cut carbon emissions; and catch mice. Let’s get digging!

Why Australians Need A National Environment Protection Agency to Safeguard Their Health
David Shearman
The rationale for reform is clear

Why discounts are bad for energy customers
Paul Geason
There is plenty of independent evidence that discounts on gas and electricity bills are leaving customers confused and often financially worse off.

Where is the fracking logic in this denial? [$]
Andrew Bolt
How many times will the Greens and populists deny the science that insists fracking is safe? What more must scientists do to defeat this organised ignorance

Who is Turnbull trying to fool with the National Energy Guarantee?
Giles Parkinson
Turnbull’s plan for the National Energy Guarantee depends on fooling three key constituents: his own party, as a leaked email reveals; the mainstream media; and the industry itself. The evidence suggests he is half way there.

Industrial power is expensive in Australia, isn’t it? No, not really
David Leitch
Business customers pay about half what households and small businesses pay in Australia, and their costs are about middle of the road compared to other major economies.

Combat field [$]
An increase in livestock being slaughtered by hunters is forcing desperate farmers to install hi-tech security cameras to catch armed trespassers.

One year on, Victoria counts the cost of Hazelwood closure
Wholesale electricity prices have shot up since the closure of the coal-fired Hazelwood power station, which has also caused Victoria to rely on power from other states for the first time in almost a decade, according to a new report.

Victorian platypus drownings prompt alert
Recreational Victorian fishers have been put on notice, after a spike in platypus drownings were recorded over public holiday breaks in recent years.

Victoria’s drinking water above board
Victoria’s drinking water has overwhelmingly met its quality standards for 2016/17 with one regional town in the state’s southwest finally adding fluoride.

Wind farm plan a threat to ‘lifesaving’ airport
A south-west Victorian airport instrumental in fighting the St Patrick’s Day bushfires could be forced to close if a proposed wind farm is approved by Victoria’s state planning minister.

Scientologists linked to China ask state for $1b rail to $31b city
The consortium proposing a $31 billion high-tech city on Melbourne’s western city fringe asked Victorian taxpayers to chip in more than $1 billion for a rail line to its development.

Minimum order for desal plant [$]
Victoria’s desalination plant will produce a minimum water order in the next financial year, boosting the state’s water supplies and ensuring storages don’t drop to dangerously low levels.

Victorians left in the dark for unpaid energy bills
Energy retailers disconnect almost 1000 Victorian households a week due to unpaid bills, and record numbers of customers are in hardship programs.

First Woolies stores ban plastic bags [$]
Get ready for life without free plastic carry bags at major supermarket checkouts in Victoria as Woolworths is set remove them from some sites next week.

Recycling threat may leave bins overflowing
More than a million homes could be left without recycling after a company threatened to withdraw its services unless it is given government funding and clarity on workplace prosecutions.

Hazelwood, 12 months on, and the fear-mongers have been proved wrong
Nicholas Aberle
New analysis shows that Victoria’s electricity supply held up without Hazelwood through a hot summer and avoided over four million tonnes of CO2.

New South Wales
Huge incinerator planned for Sydney’s west should not proceed: inquiry
A NSW upper house inquiry has opposed approval of a giant waste-to-energy incinerator planned for Sydney’s west, agreeing that community engagement by its proponent did not come within “a bull’s roar” of best practice.

Chinese owner no problem [$]
The Federal Treasurer says the government would support a move by Shandong Ruyi to buy the Liddell power plant.

Coalition MPs in push to nationalise Liddell coal-fired power station
A group of Coalition MPs are so intent on propping up AGL’s ailing Liddell power station they are calling on the Turnbull government to forcibly acquire the coal-fired power plant.

Thought bubble or big vision? Berejiklian’s plans for Sydney’s future
Jacob Saulwick
Within a few decades, Sydney’s public transport routes will be dramatically different. That’s if you believe the government graphics.

ACT Government’s bicycle commuting target was ambitious but commendable
Canberra Times editorial
While cyclists, academics and the ACT Government may be disappointed in the relatively slow rate at which cyclist numbers are increasing across Canberra, they can take solace in the fact definite and measurable growth has occurred.

Top marine scientists defend attack on Great Barrier Reef research
Researchers from Australia’s leading marine science agency respond to criticism by two academics that doubts much of their work

Major setback for Adani export deadline [$]
Adani coal mine has been hit with another major setback after the controversial Indian company confirmed it has scrapped its target for shipping the first coal from its Carmichael mine, according to reports.

Adani sticking to its 2020 vision [$]
As reports persist that its export timetable has been pushed back, controversial Indian miner Adani insists it is still on target.

Climate science deniers and conservative media have a new hero
Graham Readfearn
Climate science deniers and conservative media have found a new “free speech” hero — an academic who is suing his own university and thinks the multiple human threats to the Great Barrier Reef are overblown.

South Australia
Port River tragedy as two more dolphins found dead [$]
Of the seven dolphin calves born in the Port River so far this breeding season, only three have survived. The others are suspected of being hit and killed by boats — and conservationists are demanding swift action.

Council branches out into online mapping to save trees [$]
An Adelaide council has mapped more than 37,000 trees across its area on a publicly accessible website which it says is the first of its type in South Australia.

SA pays a high price for low flows from Murray [$]
A “loophole” lets farmers take water meant for the environment out of the Murray-Darling, dudding South Australians, the chair of a Federal committee says.

Simply Energy chooses Tesla for 8MW Adelaide virtual power plant
Simply Energy chooses Tesla batteries for 8MW virtual power plant in Adelaide, now rapidly emerging as a centre for technology that adds to grid security and lowers prices for consumers. Even the Coalition is excited.

Energy answers still in the wind
Tim Lloyd
The momentum that has built up in South Australia for renewable energy is now beginning to overwhelm the political stances of various parties

Tasmanian regional forest agreement delivers $1.3bn losses in ‘giant fraud’ on taxpayers
Forestry Tasmania’s total cash losses were $454m over 20 years, with a write-down of $751m in value of forest estate

Basslink Cable being fed into Bass Strait [$]
The Basslink undersea cable between Tasmania and Victoria has gone offline for the second time in three years.

TasWater to probe water theft [$]
TasWater is looking into a possible theft from its water resources.

Northern Territory
Greenie poll says ban a vote-winner [$]
Keeping its fracking moratorium in place would likely be a vote winner for the Labor Government, a phone poll of 615 people has shown

Ramp up recycling in your apartment block
Does your building just recycle the basics? Take up the challenge and see how Jimmy Thomson’s building is showing the way.

Bottle and can deposit return scheme gets green light in England
Consumers to receive small cash sum for returning plastic, glass and metal drinks containers

Aging wind farms are repowering with longer blades, more efficient turbines
Jobs and a thriving industry are growing up around the ‘repowering’ of existing wind farms, as technology upgrades increase their renewable energy production.

Natural disasters have devastating and costly impact on mental health
One of the most devastating impacts of natural disasters is the mental health impact, which lasts longer and is less visible, according to new research.

Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?
A recent study by researchers at The University of Manchester and published in the journal Food Research International has looked at the carbon footprint of chocolate and its other environmental impacts. It has done this by assessing the impacts of ingredients, manufacturing processes, packaging and waste.

Knitting electronics with yarn batteries
When someone thinks about knitting, they usually don’t conjure up an image of sweaters and scarves made of yarn that can power watches and lights. But that’s just what one group is reporting in ACS Nano. They have developed a rechargeable yarn battery that is waterproof and flexible. It also can be cut into pieces and still work.

Overcoming a battery’s fatal flaw
Electric vehicles, wind turbines or smart grids require batteries with far greater energy capacity than currently available. A leading contender is the lithium-metal battery. However, dendrite, or sharp needles, made of clumps of lithium atoms can cause the batteries to heat up, lose efficiency and occasionally short-circuit. Using supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, researchers from Texas A&M University simulated the behavior of graphene oxide nanosheets that can limit the formation of dendrites.

How an Indian professor is turning plastic trash into highways
After seeing plastic waste was a growing problem throughout the country, Rajagopalan Vasudevan devised a method for converting recycled, shredded plastic waste into flexible, long-lasting roadways.

Danish EPA examines substance content of crushed concrete
The results show that concrete contains a number of substances, including arsenic, lead, chromium and selenium.

Public willing to pay to improve water quality
Researchers from the University of Missouri have found in a nationwide survey that members of the public are more willing to pay for improved water quality than other ecosystem services such as flood control or protecting wildlife habitats.

Fresh from McDonald’s bunfight, Robeco grills companies on climate
It is a lead institution in the Climate Action 100+ campaign, launched by more than 200 investors late last year, which aims to boost climate risk disclosure and curb emissions at 100 of the world’s biggest emitting companies.

How self-driving cars could shrink parking lots
New U of T Engineering research shows that adoption of self-driving cars — also known as autonomous vehicles (AVs) — could significantly reduce the amount of valuable urban space dedicated to parking.

Kesterite solar cells: Germanium promises better opto-electronic properties than tin
Specific changes in the composition of kesterite-type semiconductors make it possible to improve their suitability as absorber layers in solar cells. As a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed, this is particularly true for kesterites in which tin was replaced by germanium. The scientists examined the samples using neutron diffraction at BER II and other methods. The work was selected for the cover of the journal CrystEngComm.

BMW unveils all-electric Mini, with plans to build them in China
BMW Group unveils all-electric version of iconic 3-door Mini, with production set for 2019 in UK, and plans underway to manufacture in China.

The link between urban design and childhood obesity
Children who live in more walkable neighborhoods have a smaller waist measurement and a lower BMI (body mass index). Those are the findings of a Montreal research team led by INRS professor Tracie A. Barnett. According to the results of the study published in Preventive Medicine by Adrian Ghenadenik (lead author) with Professor Barnett (senior contributing author), urban design is a factor in the development of childhood obesity.

Canal (Kanal) Istanbul may displace thousands, impact ocean and water quality
The ambitious Canal Istanbul project could displace thousands of people, imperil the city’s tenuous water supply, and impact ocean life, critics say.

The plastics crisis is more urgent than you know. Recycling bottles won’t fix it
John Vidal
A deposit scheme for bottles won’t make a scrap of difference. This stuff is in our food, our clothes – and in us.

Telling litterers to change is a waste of time. Here’s another solution
Ros Coward
Instead of trying to change people’s behaviour, the problem needs to be tackled at source – that means a zero-waste society.

Sustainable shopping: save the world, one chocolate at a time
Robert Edis, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research; Kanika Singh, University of Sydney, and Richard Markham, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Chocolate is proof the universe loves us and wants us to be happy. Here’s how to hunt up the best, most-sustainable and ethically-tasty chocolate eggs this Easter.

Nature Conservation
New science shows bee-killing pesticides are unnecessary on most farms
Alternatives are available for neonicotinoid insecticide seed coatings, saving farmers money and better protecting the environment.

Indonesian graftbusters put a price tag on environmental crime
Indonesia’s anti-graft agency has vowed to include environmental damages in its calculations of state losses incurred through corruption, in a move that could translate to heavier sentences and fines for crimes in the natural resources sector.

After 200 extinctions, frogs may be fighting back against fungus pandemic
Frogs are showing signs of resistance to a deadly pandemic caused by a highly contagious fungus that has wiped out around 200 species.

Alarmed conservationists call for urgent action to fix ‘America’s wildlife crisis’
One-third of species are vulnerable to extinction, a crisis ravaging swaths of creatures, conservationists say in call to fund recovery plans

Human-centered design is key to forming partnerships for large-scale conservation success
The findings, published in PLOS ONE on March 9, question previous assumptions in the field that the payments themselves are the most effective motivator of participation.

Fleet of Automated Electric Taxis Could Deliver Environmental and Energy Benefits
It may be only a matter of time before urban dwellers can hail a self-driving taxi, so researchers decided to analyze the cost, energy, and environmental implications of a fleet of self-driving ..

Draining Peatlands Gives Global Rise to Greenhouse Laughing-Gas Emissions
Drained fertile peatlands around the globe are hotspots for the atmospheric emission of laughing-gas — a powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, which is partly responsible for global warming …

The Sahara Desert Is Expanding
The Sahara Desert has expanded by about 10 percent since 1920, according to a new study.

Christ’s ‘crown of thorns’ tree may help in climate change fight, researchers say
As the sun beats down on the barren slopes around Jerusalem, a tree of the kind believed to have provided the crown of thorns in Biblical accounts of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion stands unaffected, its fruits ample and foliage green.

Do environmental advocacy campaigns drive successful forest conservation?
Mike Gaworecki and M. Fernanda Tomaselli
We found no evidence that advocacy campaigns on their own drive long-term forest conservation, though they do appear to be valuable in terms of raising awareness of environmental issues and driving people to take action.

How the internet is reshaping World Heritage and our experience of it
Cristina Garduño Freeman, University of Melbourne
Many more people experience World Heritage online than in person. While that further elevates the status of iconic sites like the Sydney Opera House, it has other more complicated consequences too.

On dangerous ground: land degradation is turning soils into deserts
Abbas El-Zein, University of Sydney
A new international report makes for bleak reading on the state of the world’s soils. It predicts that land degradation will displace up to 700 million people worldwide by mid-century.

Now for something completely different …
Is daylight saving bad for your health?
Daylight saving might mess with your body clock and leave you feeling jet lagged, but is it actually bad for your health?

Maelor Himbury