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A team of biologists researching sea snakes in the mining town of Weipa in Australias remote Cape York Peninsula have accidentally discovered a venomous snake thats new to science. The black-and-white snake, now named Vermicella parscauda or the Cape York bandy-bandy, belongs to a group of snakes called bandy-bandies that live in burrows and feed on a specialized diet of blind snakes. So far, scientists know of only five species of bandy bandies, all found in Australia. The hoop snake (Vermicella annulata) is the most commonly encountered bandy-bandy, the researchers report in a study published in Zootaxa. Since bandy-bandies are burrowing snakes, the sight of a small one on a concrete block by the sea surprised Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, and his colleague Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands. We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble [that was] waiting to be loaded onto a ship, Fry said in a statement. Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, searching for snakes near Weipa, Queensland. Image courtesy of Bryan Fry. Frys team found another snake of the same kind near Weipa, and spotted another dead individual that had been run over by a car near the bauxite mine. They found two more specimens of the snake in museum collections, resulting in five specimens from the same small area. On examination by my student, Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually
Tim Daiss | Oilprice | 16 July 2018
As liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets mature, trying to establish itself against decades of crude oil dominance, developments far removed from most of the action are taking unusual turns that could in time impact the entire LNG value chain.
Until recently, tiny Papua New Guinea (PNG) was the envy of the worlds LNG producers. Not only did its PNG LNG export project come online without much delay but it also avoided the quandary, affecting nearby Australia whose LNG development has been marred by budget over runs running into the billions, continual project start delays and industry troubling feuds between worker groups and project developers.
PNG LNG project loses its shine
The ExxonMobil-led $19 billion PNG project came online in mid-2014 and started shipping LNG to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for 72 percent of all global LNG demand. By 2017, the project was producing some 8.3 million tonnes of LNG, an increase of 20 percent from the original design specification of 6.9 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).
By last year, ExxonMobils PNG p...
Australias Murray Darling basin covers more than a million square kilometers, 14 percent of the countrys landmass. Its the site of tens of thousands of wetlands, but increasing demand for water has stretched its resources to the limit. Many of the basins wetlands and floodplain forests are declining several former wetlands and forests have even been consumed by bushfires, which are becoming more frequent every year. Yet when Australian officials sought to introduce strict water allocation rules, they met with fierce resistance from farmers in the region who depend on irrigation for their livelihood. This is just one example of the ongoing conflicts over ecological water allocations featured in a new report released by the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water, an initiative led by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). More than seven-and-a-half billion humans currently occupy planet Earth together with an estimated three trillion trees, and both of these populations require water. According to the GFEP report, the growing human population and climate change are exacerbating a looming global water crisis that has already hit home in places like the Murray Darling basin but the crisis could potentially be averted if humans paid more attention to the links between forests and water. This international effort to highlight the interlinkages between forests, water, people and climate is very timely, given the pressures we now face on both human society and natural ecosystems, Caroline Sullivan, an environmental economist at Australias Southern Cross University
Jewel Topsfield | Sydney Morning Herald | 17 July 2018
Major Australian mining companies face the prospect of higher royalties, tough restrictions on fly-in fly-out workers and the potential nationalisation of assets under reforms under consideration by the cash-strapped Papua New Guinea government.
The proposed law changes have sparked warnings from the countrys peak mining body that they would pose significant deterrents to investment in future projects and threaten the existing operations of current mines.
Several Australian Securities Exchange listed companies including Newcrest, Highlands Pacific and St Barbara Limited operate mines in Papua New Guinea, which has significant resources including gas, gold, copper, cobalt and nickel.
A whale rescued from a shark net off the Gold Coast yesterday is the fourth humpback whale entangled in Queenslands shark nets this winter, prompting Humane Society International to call for their abolition.
Head of campaigns, Nicola Beynon, said the society was relieved to hear that the whale trapped on the Gold Coast has been freed, but extremely concerned by the distress it will have suffered.
Whale entanglements show the extreme folly of shark nets, because entangled whales can actually attract great white sharks to the area. Whale entanglements also pose a serious safety risk to the rescuers who work to free the animals, which defeats their purpose as a public safety measure, she said.
Commenting on the latest rescue, Sea Worlds curator of mammals and birds, Mitchell Leroy, said the rescue operations carried out by Sea World and the Department of Fisheries were incredibly dangerous.
The animal can panic and lash its tail out. They are massive heavy things and its very easy for them to destroy a boat and severely injure, if not kill people.
The society predicts more whales will be ensnared before the end of the migration season. After wintering in Queensland waters, the humpbacks are at even greater risk of shark net entanglement on their return journey when accompanied by their new-born calves and swimming closer to shore.
Last year there were eight humpback whales caught in Queensland shark nets, including a stillborn calf that was found after its mother was entangled in a net off Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast.
Ms Beynon said there are more effective ways to protect both marine and human life than lethal shark nets.
The Queensland government is stuck in the dark ages on this one, she added.
Whales are a star attraction for the Queensland tourism economy. The least the Queensland government could do is give them safe passage by removing these death traps, continued.
The problem of plastic pollution has come to the fore, thanks to
the work of environmental groups who have highlighted the toll it
is taking on the oceans and marine life. Much of the damage comes
from the sheer volume of plastic items that are used just once and
then thrown away. This website by a
company called SLOActive that markets sustainable, eco-friendly
swimwear has data on the harm that plastics are doing and what we
can do to mitigate the damage. The numbers are staggering. About
1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic are said to annually enter the
worlds oceans via rivers.
The problem of microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are created near the end point of the plastic degradation process, is now coming to the fore. As the website says:
Scientific research surveys have revealed that microplastics are widespread throughout the worlds oceans, and are having a negative impact on marine life, as well as the health of humans who rely on seafood as a staple protein source. Polystyrene beads and plastic pellets are not easily digested so tend to accumulate in the digestive tract of marine animals who consume them. This can result in the animal feeling full, causing it to stop feeding, leading to emaciation and ultimately death from starvation, or it can cause an intestinal blockage that can also be fatal. When a predator feeds on a fish that has a gut full of undigested polystyrene or plastic, this is passed on to the predator who in most cases will also have problems digesting it.
In Australia , two major retailers have stopped issuing plastic bags and some states have banned them. An Australian senate committee has issued a report recommending that all single use plastics be banned by the year 2023. Some US states and cities are also taking steps towards the elimination of single-use plastics. In the US, Starbucks has made a big media splash by vowing to eliminate plastic straws from its stores by 2020.
The two targets currently in the news are disposable plastic bags and plastic straws. In the US, stores hand out these bags far too readily. If you buy even a single small item, the cashier will immediately slip it into a plastic bag and give it to you and I have to ask them to take it out again and just give me the item and keep the bag. If I know I will be buying....
Tim Bickmore No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia. 16 July 18 When I was speaking to Adi Paterson, whos the CEO of ANSTO, I said, I dont really favour the intermediate-level waste coming here, because I worry about it becoming stranded waste if the political landscape changes.
He said: Why wouldnt you want the intermediate-level waste? Without it, theres no real economic benefit for the community. So the CEO of ANSTO is telling me that, without the intermediate-level wasteand this will in the long run just be a low-level waste facilitytheres no economic benefit. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/
Since my previous submission I have been trying to gain more information from CSIRO about the Waste and Storage Facility at Woomera. I have also asked them for their expert opinion on aspects of the facility using their international experience in Nuclear Facilities and processes. I have had direct contact with a Senior Principle Research Scientist at CSIRO who had previously presented to us when our Agricultural group went on a tour to ANSTO. During this Ag trip he told me that he would try and get me a tour of Woomera, since returning despite his efforts he was unable to gain access to the Woomera facility. He had been very forthcoming with his expert opinion and information until I was using the information he had giving me to question certain issues with the Department.
I have now been advised that if I want further information from CSIRO I will need to go directly to the Department of Industry Innovation and Science or via the Kimba Consultative Committee. It seems that the only expert opinions we are allowed to have are those who read off the Department script.
I would like to take this opportunity to recall a conversation I had with Bruce Wilson on this same Ag trip where he assured us that the Kimba Consultative Committee would be made up of people with equal numbers for and against the facility. After my recent conversations with CSIRO I am concerned that the international models which this...
Tim Bickmore No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia So, it would seem that apart from dump promotions the HCDB has no other purpose.
the firm was bought out by Californian contracting giant Jacobs. The government continues to award contracts to Jacobs on defence-related projects.
Australia handed out millions in aid contracts to company accused of bribery, Guardian , Sinclair Knight 15July18Merz, a donor to both Labor and Liberal parties, won contracts worth $489m for Asia-Pacific projects.
The Australian government awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid contracts to a company that was found to have been systematically bribing high-level Vietnamese officials.
Australian consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), a donor to both the Labor and Liberal parties, was a significant corporate player in the governments foreign aid program for more than a decade, winning 83 contracts worth $489m for projects across the Asia-Pacific.
But Guardian Australia can reveal evidence of widespread corruption by the firm as it operated in one south-east Asian nation and allegations over dealings in another.
In Vietnam, the firm was found to have repeatedly bribed public officials to secure work on three aid projects funded by the World Bank.
[The firm used] comparably sophisticated means of affecting and covering up the illegitimate payments through the use of third-party agreements, ghost contracts, and fake invoices, the World Banks independent integrity arm alleged, according to a sanctions decision.
Different SKM subsidia...
Lawmaker says he cant get info on waste plan https://www.abqjournal.com/1195897/legislator-citizens-deserve-to-have-answers-about-nuclear-facility.html, By Maddy Hayden / Journal Staff Writer July 12th Albuquerque Journal
A legislator says he isnt getting any answers out of the administrat...
New figures released by energy analytics firm EnAppSys show renewables have already overtaken nuclear for electricity generation. Wind, solar and biomass power stations supplied 28.1% of power across April, May and June, with nuclear at 22.5%, the third quarter in a row that renewables have outstripped nuclear.
Trump maternal island in the UK. Why didnt the UK keep him? Or, his paternal home of Germany? If in 2004 the Bush administration worked with Canada and France to kidnap and deport the legitimate, democratically elected, President of Haiti Jean Bertrand Aristide, and take him to a foreign country, across the Atlantic, then 
Originally posted on Mining Awareness + : Whatever NuScale is, or is not, it clearly isnt new. The Bible must have foreseen the nuclear industry when it said that there was no new thing under the sun. While there might be something new about it, certainly its scale is not. And, it seems mostly a remake of
The worlds biggest battery, a ground-breaking greenhouse project to grow tomatoes in the desert and a solar schools challenge in Western Australia are among the finalists announced in the 2018 Clean Energy Council Awards.
Renault makes electric Zoe available to individual consumers in Australia after modest sales to fleet owners.
After a record 2017, there is now more than 1900MW of solar PV farms under construction across Australia, and 35GW in various stages of development.
ACCC report identifies too little competition in market, but chooses to leave status quo in place. That wont help energy prices.
Development approval given for 300MW solar farm near Gladstone, yet another sign of transformation of the states coal industry centre.
The attached Draft Agenda for the 34th Narrabri Gasfield Project Community Consultative Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday the 17th of July 2018 are provided below for the information of the community.
The state government have developed CCC guidelines which can be found here. Under Section 6 Communication with the broader community, the guidelines say;
Committee members are encouraged to discuss concerns and disseminate information about the project to the wider community, including stakeholder groups.
34th CCC Meeting Agenda 2018 July Meeting Agenda_Draft.pdf
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