Daily Links Oct 30

Leaving to my descendants a new Cretaceous is not bequeathing to them a great gift. But we need to be thinking at this scale over these time intervals regarding our uncontrolled experiment with the only planet we have.

Post of the Day

90% of world’s children are breathing toxic air, WHO study finds

Report says air pollution is having a devastating impact on children worldwide, storing up a public health time bomb



Today’s Celebration

Chante – messes – Haiti

King’s Birthday – Cambodia

More about Oct 30


Climate Change

Japan launches greenhouse gas satellite

The satellite will orbit the earth at an altitude of 613 kilometres to gather data on methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.



Study sheds light on why a warmer world may equal a wetter Arctic

As the Arctic warms, it’s predicted to get wetter. But why? A new study looks to history for answers, examining what happened in the region during a period of warming some 8,000 years ago. The research finds evidence that in this ancient time, western Greenland became more humid, a trend often linked to increased precipitation. The study further shows that two different climactic processes may have contributed to this elevated humidity.



We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

A New Cretaceous is not the new normal: the Holocene was a gift that humanity took for granted.



Bitcoin can push global warming above 2 degrees C in a couple decades

The electricity requirements of Bitcoin have created considerable difficulties, and extensive online discussion, about where to put the facilities or rings that compute the proof-of-work of Bitcoin. A somewhat less discussed issue is the environmental impacts of producing all that electricity.



Climate change is reshaping our environment right now

It’s reshaping aspects of our environment that many of us thought were static.



As price of climate change climbs, consider how much we could save

Marina Schauffler

Costs in dollars, to the environment and to living things could fall if we reduce emissions and adapt quicker.



Migration: A form of climate change adaptation?

Jack Durrell

The recent publication of the IPCC special report on global warming was a reminder that averting the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change requires immediate action.




Home battery scheme to shore up power supply ahead of summer

Parts of South Australia and Victoria are expecting a sweltering start to November, with the upcoming heat an early test to the power grid ahead of summer.



Rising fuel prices hit economy but LNG, coal exports ‘soften the blow’

Rising fuel prices over the past couple of years are probably costing households more than $10 billion annually, but energy exports are offsetting some of the blow to Australia’s economy.



Clean energy is cheap, surging – and headed for a fall

Solar and wind projects are transforming Australia’s power grid, but unclear policies will slow new investments



Plan for coal power closures, says CFMEU [$]

“We can wring our hands and say ‘it’s terrible’ or we can put the workers and the communities first,” says mining union chief Tony Maher.



Company that helped power price surge voted best electricity retailer

A national survey has found customer satisfaction with their electricity retailer has fallen year-on-year but the company that helped kickstart the power price spike has been voted the nation’s best.



Could lower emissions cut your power bills?

Ian Verrender

A major reason for our power crisis is that the chaotic about-turns in climate policy during the past 15 years have deterred power companies from investing in new generation. It’s a simple equation: less supply equals higher prices



Australia’s dangerous fantasy: diverting population growth to the regions

John Daley and Jonathan Nolan

Efforts by governments to redirect population growth to regional Australia have never worked. Even if such policies could be made to work, they probably wouldn’t be worth the costs.



It’s clear why coal struggles for finance – and the government can’t change that

Samantha Hepburn

How long can coal realistically keep chugging along?



Time to go nuclear

Tristan Prasser

Lifting Australia’s ban on nuclear power can only be a good thing, providing new economic opportunities and an alternative pathway to clean and plentiful energy.



Global climate has warmed, but scientists divided on why that is so [$]

Michael Asten

The anti-Liberal swing in Wentworth is prompting soul-searching on whether the federal government’s climate-change policy was a major factor.




Vic energy retailers held to new standard

New rules have been put in place to ensure Victorian customers get better deals from their electricity and gas providers, with the changes effective from July.



North East Link backed, but holes in economic case revealed

The $15.8 billion North East Link has been given the tick of approval by the nation’s lead infrastructure adviser, but an audit of the toll road warns that some of the project’s benefits may have been overblown.



Forget tunnels and trains, buses are an immediate solution

Population growth in Melbourne’s outer suburbs has significantly exceeded the state average, accounting for 49 per cent of growth in Melbourne and 44 per cent of the state’s growth. Essential infrastructure and services have not kept pace.



Newspoll hit to Guy ahead of Vic poll

In a joint statement, groups including Environment Victoria, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Asylum Resource Centre and Victorian Trades Hall Council, has asked for an end to “dirty politics”.



Your energy bill is about to change … for the better [$]

Sick of your energy company always giving better deals to other customers without telling you? Sweeping new market rules are about to change that, and all you will need to do is look at your bill. See what it will look like.



New South Wales

Dinosaurs reveal the path towards extinction

A dinosaur exhibit at Taronga Zoo shines a light on what may happen to animal species in the event of rapid environmental change.



Origin Energy’s pumped hydro expansion plan wins ARENA backing

Origin Energy’s bid to nearly double capacity of Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Storage Scheme in NSW has won $2m in federal government funding.



Locals warned not to swim or fish in Parramatta River after large sewage spill

An investigation is underway after large amounts of raw sewage spilled into the Parramatta River in western Sydney, just days after the announcement of a plan to open three new swimming spots along the river.



Roaming domestic cats

Allen Greer

NSW law considers a cat a “nuisance” only if makes a noise that unreasonably interferes with your peace, comfort or convenience, or repeatedly damages your property. And the burden of proof is on you.




Why the ACT Government doesn’t want you to buy solar panels from this man

The ACT Fair Trading Commissioner is urging customers in the market for solar panel installation to avoid a Canberra businessman after allegations surfaced that he took upfront payments without providing products or services.




Reef authority gets new chairman from company involved in altering scientific report

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority reveals its new chairman as Dr Ian Poiner — who has until now led a different organisation, which has been at the centre of a governance crisis engulfing the authority.



Sleeping giant becomes beachside gold mine [$]

Land once considered only valuable for artillery target practice has emerged as the hottest new oceanfront community in the country.



South Australia

South Australia opens biggest household battery storage support scheme

South Australia’s Liberal government officially opened the country’s biggest support scheme for household battery storage, with up to 40,000 homes able to access grants and low-interest finance for both battery storage and new rooftop solar installations.



$440m hydro power plant planned for leafy suburb [$]

Plans to build a $440 million hydroelectric power station and nature park on a vast former dump site in one of Adelaide’s exclusive foothill suburbs have moved forward, with a State Government decision to ban housing on the site.



Could this rubbish idea make energy? [$]

Adelaide’s lord mayoral candidates are divided over an idea to convert household rubbish into energy.



Salmon industry wins approval for further fish farming expansion in Storm Bay

Tasmania’s salmon producers are given the green light to expand their operations in Storm Bay, but opponents say their call for a halt on the approval was ignored and will cause “bitter disappointment” in the community.



Bike plan a wheel winner for business [$]

A new Bike Friendly Business program will help local businesses benefit from the surge in cycle tourism.



Activists eager to stunt Tassie tourism, says Martin [$]

Tasmania’s peak tourism industry body has hit out at “hysterical campaigning” against a planned tourism development in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.



Western Australia

WA off-grid school runs 100% on solar and battery

New-build, off-grid school north of Perth becomes first in Australia to be powered completely by rooftop solar and battery storage.




Thousands of ships could dump pollutants at sea to avoid dirty fuel ban

Owners planning to install ‘emissions cheat’ systems to avoid having to buy cleaner, more expensive fuel



Free movement can protect humans from environmental threats

Greater freedom of movement and investments in human rights and social opportunities can help protect humans from environmental threats like rising sea levels, new research says.



A solar cell that does double duty for renewable energy

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, have developed an artificial photosynthesis device called a “hybrid photoelectrochemical and voltaic (HPEV) cell” that turns sunlight and water into two types of energy – hydrogen fuel and electricity.



25 cities that are committed to going zero-waste

Rapid population growth will continue to increase solid waste, creating serious environmental and health consequences, unless we take action. These places are going waste-free, and have already taken important steps in the process.



Crystals that clean natural gas

A metal-organic framework that selectively removes impurities from natural gas could allow greater use of this cleaner fossil fuel.



90% of world’s children are breathing toxic air, WHO study finds

Report says air pollution is having a devastating impact on children worldwide, storing up a public health time bomb



Australian mining plant in Malaysia faces radioactive waste inquiry

As China, the world’s largest producer of rare earth metals, scales back its export operations, the future of Australia’s industry is under a cloud.



Finally, a robust fuel cell that runs on methane at practical temperatures

Either exorbitantly expensive fuel or insanely hot temperatures have made fuel cells a boutique proposition, but now there’s one that runs on cheap methane and at much lower temperatures. This is a practical, affordable fuel cell and a ‘sensation in our world,’ the engineers say.



Climate change and renewables driving new mining boom, mining chief says

The mining industry is addressing climate change head-on as it prepares for a new boom driven by renewable energy demand, a global mining council chief says.



Manganese may finally solve hydrogen fuel cells’ catalyst problem

Manganese could advance one of the most promising sources of renewable energy: hydrogen fuel cells. In a study published today in Nature Catalysis, a University at Buffalo-led research team reports on catalysts made from the widely available and inexpensive metal. The advancement could eventually help solve hydrogen fuel cells’ most frustrating problem: namely, they’re not affordable because most catalysts are made with platinum, which is both rare and expensive.



Spain scraps solar tax in energy market shakeup that threatens coal

A new government is reversing outdated policies in Europe’s sunniest country.



Where does your recycled plastic go? Perhaps into future highways.

With China refusing to be the world’s garbage dump, landfills absorb the plastic waste.



Big brands pledge to turn tide on global plastic waste

The initiative comes as public pressure mounts on manufacturers and retailers to pare back the deluge of plastic packaging that is clogging landfills and choking the seas.



Most Americans underestimate minorities’ environmental concerns — even minorities

A new study shows most Americans underestimate just how concerned minorities and lower-income people are about environmental threats, including members of those groups.



The moral rot of fossil fuels

Mitchell Anderson

Petroleum’s corrupting influence is on wretched display more than ever before.



Nature Conservation

World’s top fishing nations to be given millions to protect oceans

Bloomberg Philanthropies to launch major grant for coastal communities to improve the health of oceans



Alterations to seabed raise fears for future

The ocean floor as we know it is dissolving rapidly as a result of human activity. The seabed plays a crucial role in controlling the degree of ocean acidification by neutralizing the acidity of the water. But due to human activities, the level of CO2 in the water is so high, and the water so acidic, that the calcite on the ocean floor is simply being dissolved.



UK bumblebee population trends

Data collected by Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) volunteers to assess the country’s changing bumblebee populations have been analyzed in a new way for the first time at the University of Kent — and show mixed results about their decline, with cause for concern for two species.



Animal species becoming extinct in Haiti as deforestation nearly complete

Species of reptiles, amphibians and other vertebrates are becoming extinct in Haiti as deforestation has claimed more than 99 percent of the country’s original wooded areas.



Honeybees at risk from Zika pesticides

Up to 13 percent of US beekeepers are in danger of losing their colonies due to pesticides sprayed to contain the Zika virus, new research suggests.



China’s controversial Antarctic plan

CHINA’S creeping expansion on Australia’s doorstep continues as the country is eyeing a new project on the icy continent of Antarctica.



Germany: Thousands protest to save Hambach Forest

Thousands of people have protested to save the last 200 hectares of western Germany’s ancient Hambach Forest. The forest is at risk of being felled to allow energy giant RWE to continue its lignite mining operations.



This entire island has vanished

Now you see me, now you don’t. The disappearance of an entire island — home to hundreds of endangered species — has baffled scientists.



We can’t save the climate without also saving the trees

Scientists agree: Preserving forests is critical to combating climate change.





Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042