Around The Web

In US, utilities are investing in big batteries instead of building new power plants

RenewEconomy - Mon, 2019-03-18 10:25

If utilities spend billions on power plants it turns out they won’t need instead of investing in energy storage, their customers could pay more than they should to keep the lights on.

The post In US, utilities are investing in big batteries instead of building new power plants appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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How the Tesla big battery kept the lights on in South Australia

RenewEconomy - Mon, 2019-03-18 10:21

AEMO report highlights value of Tesla big battery in major network failure, but the response from coal and gas generators was poor and did nothing to prevent widespread outages.

The post How the Tesla big battery kept the lights on in South Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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Energy analysts forecast 'the end of coal' in Asia as Japanese investors back renewables

The Guardian - Mon, 2019-03-18 10:19

Australia’s largest export customer for thermal coal is scrapping plans to build power plants

Major Japanese investors, including those most indebted to coal, are seeking to back large-scale renewables projects across Asia, marking a “monumental” shift that energy market analysts say is “the start of the end for thermal coal”.

At the same time, Japanese banks and trading houses are walking away from coal investments, selling out of Australian mines and scrapping plans to build coal-fired power.

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Tasmanian couple hands back 118 hectares of land to local Aboriginal communities

ABC Environment - Mon, 2019-03-18 08:26
Land Rights and Native Title applications can be a lengthy process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. But returning private land is a much simpler process. 
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Curious Kids: why bats sleep upside down, and other stories of animal adaptation

The Conversation - Mon, 2019-03-18 04:48
Sometimes, two different animals will evolve to have a similar adaptation, even when they are not closely related. Flight is an excellent example. Amy Edwards, Post Doctoral Researcher, La Trobe University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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'Give us a sniff, love': giving marsupials scents from suitors helps breeding programs

The Conversation - Mon, 2019-03-18 04:48
Giving female marsupials a sniff of prospective partners increases the chance of a successful love connection. Marissa Parrott, Reproductive Biologist, Wildlife Conservation & Science, Zoos Victoria, and Honorary Research Associate, BioSciences, University of Melbourne Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Questions raised over how $1bn of emissions funding have been allocated

The Guardian - Mon, 2019-03-18 03:00

As the government announces fund top-up, changes to rules point to problems with how emissions calculated

Scott Morrison recently announced the Coalition would inject another $2bn into the emissions reduction fund – the Tony Abbott-era “direct action” policy that pays farmers and businesses from the budget to reduce greenhouse gas – but serious questions have emerged about $1bn already allocated.

Amendments to the fund rules, released for public consultation, indicate there have been problems with how emissions cuts from projects that involve managed regrowth of native forests and vegetation have been calculated.

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How diet became the latest front in the culture wars

The Guardian - Sun, 2019-03-17 22:00

The latest study warning us to eat less meat has brought angry sceptics out in droves. But who should we believe?

Sometimes, particularly when looking at the weekend newspapers, it can seem that our obsession with food and health has reached a pitch of pure hysteria. “Eat!” screams one headline. “Diet!” shouts another. Cut out carbohydrates, suggests one report. Carbs are good for you, says a different one. Lower your fat intake. No, fat’s healthy, sugar’s the problem. Coffee raises the risk of heart disease. But it lowers the risk of diabetes. And so on, until you just want to ditch the papers and watch The Great British Bake Off or MasterChef.

Food, how to cook it, what it does to you and what growing or rearing it does to the planet are issues that crowd the media. And yet, as the clamour grows, clarity recedes. An estimated 820 million people went hungry last year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. A third of all people were vitamin-deficient. Two billion were classified as overweight and 600 million as obese. It’s also estimated that 1bn tonnes of food are wasted every year – a third of the total produced. A plethora of academic reports concerning food consumption and production have been published in recent years. The latest and arguably the most far-reaching is Food in the Anthropocene: the Eat-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, which was conducted over three years by 37 senior scientists from around the world and published earlier this year.

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Coconut theology & climate change

ABC Environment - Sun, 2019-03-17 17:20
Reverend Dr Seforosa Carroll on rethinking the Christianity she grew up with in Fiji.
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The spirituality of the sea

ABC Environment - Sun, 2019-03-17 17:05
Three women share how the ocean shapes their faith, and brings them closer to God.
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Deadly air in our cities: the invisible killer

The Guardian - Sun, 2019-03-17 16:00
Traffic pollution is putting our children at risk. We meet campaigners – many of them concerned mothers – fighting back

In the winter you can taste and smell the pollution,” says Kylie ap Garth, drinking coffee in a cafe in Hackney, east London. “My eldest is eight and he has asthma. Being outside, he would have a tight chest and cough. I just assumed it was the cold weather. I didn’t realise there was a link to the cars.”

She is not exaggerating. The main road from Bethnal Green tube station is clogged with traffic, the smell of diesel fumes mixing with smoke from barbecue grill restaurants and construction dust. Anyone trying to escape from the roadside to the canal towpath finds only that the fumes are swapped with coal smoke from the canal boats.

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The People vs drought

ABC Environment - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:05
With drought intensifying in Australia, is it time to change the way we farm?
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Sinking island in the Sundarbans Delta

BBC - Sun, 2019-03-17 10:17
Thousands of people still live on the Indian island, which has shrunk in size to just 4.5 sq km.
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Protecting the eastern bettong

ABC Environment - Sun, 2019-03-17 06:45
Australia has the highest mammal extinction rate in the world. And of those that do remain, many are in danger of going the same way — including the eastern bettong.
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Have we hit ‘peak beef’?

The Guardian - Sun, 2019-03-17 00:00

Meat production is central to the debate on climate change and ethical food. But how much is too much – for people and the planet?

The meat on Richard Vines’s Wild Beef stall at Borough Market in London is purple. Puce, really; a cartoonish shade that old men sometimes go when they are really angry. Meat that is an unexpected hue would typically raise an eyebrow, but for Wild Beef’s devoted customers it’s the reason they come here. “The colour comes from the protein that’s been in the ground, the deep-rooted grasses, it gives that flavour of sweetness and that bit of fat taste as well,” explains Vines, who has 40 acres of wild pasture in Devon, on which he keeps Devon cattle and Welsh Blacks. “Dartmoor is mineral-rich country, God-given for cattle farming. Washed by the Gulf Stream, grass grows most of the year and there’s a lot of freedom for the cattle once they are up on the moor.”

For the carnivore, the chilled cabinet at Wild Beef is the promised land. There are all the familiar cuts (steaks, ribs), alongside parts of the cow you don’t see so often (cheeks and a giant, lolling tongue that is practically black). And, if you get there early and ask nicely, Vines will slip you a bag of bones from under the counter. “One thing that’s changed: people don’t sit down for Sunday lunch any more,” he says. “Just doesn’t happen, we don’t sell many joints. But I’m working out ways of making steaks all the time. Last year we did flat iron steaks; I didn’t know what they were but they sell. And 20 years ago, we used to waste buckets of liver and such like, which nobody wanted. Now the offal all goes before the meat.”

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‘Boycott Iowa’: latest twist in legal tussle between animal campaigners and US farmers

The Guardian - Sat, 2019-03-16 18:00

Twenty-five states have attempted to introduce legislation to chill animal rights activism, and six have succeeded, as a string of ‘ag-gag’ laws are overturned in courts

A US governor has signed off legislation to prop up controversial “ag-gag” laws in Iowa, just months after a federal court declared them unconstitutional.

In retaliation, animal rights activists are calling on their supporters to boycott the state as a vacation destination.

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CP Daily: Friday March 15, 2019

Carbon Pulse - Sat, 2019-03-16 08:39
A daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world.
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May WCI auction supply dips nearly 18% as California unsold volume ends

Carbon Pulse - Sat, 2019-03-16 08:33
California and Quebec will auction more than 75 million current and future vintage allowances at its May 14 sale, which will not include any California unsold permits for the first time in nearly two years.
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US Carbon Pricing Roundup for week ending Mar. 15, 2019

Carbon Pulse - Sat, 2019-03-16 08:25
A summary of legislative action on carbon pricing and clean energy bills at the US state level taken this week, including the passage of a 100% clean electricity bill in New Mexico, calls for higher GHG targets in Maine, and a carbon sequestration financial package in Washington state.
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Implementation of Ontario emissions performance standard still mired in uncertainty   

Carbon Pulse - Sat, 2019-03-16 07:57
Concerns that Ontario’s proposed emissions reduction system for large emitters could be weaker than Ottawa’s ‘backstop’ programme may not matter if the provincial government won’t commit to the policy in the long-term amid legal and political uncertainty, stakeholders said at a webinar on Friday.
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