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Saturday, 17 February

10:15

Reversing climate change: The middle gets it Centre for Climate Safety

The middle gets it. The middle is happening.
~ Paul Hawken, American author

Architect Alvyn Williams from Soft Loud House Architects about passive houses and star rating systems.
Councillors Susan Rennie and Trent McCarthy about the worlds first municipal climate emergency plan.
American Drawdown author Paul Hawken about how the middle is happening.
Leigh Ewbank about Friends of the Earth Melbournes act on climate campaign.
Rebecca Lee from the Alternative Technology Association about the coming EV Expo in Melbourne.

More info below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 203 on 94.7 The Pulse:

...

Friday, 16 February

20:05

Suspension of Federal Law Given to Dominion Energy for ACP Pipeline "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Large diameter pipe has been in storage for months

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Suspends the Law

By Beth Little, Mountain State Sierran, Volume 44, Number 2, Spring 2018

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline could not be built through the Monongahela National Forest without violating the law, so the law has been suspended.

I will explain. I say suspended because the amendments to the forests Land and Resource Management Plan included in the permit issued by the Forest Service are project-specific plan amendments. They apply only to construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The Land and Resource Management Plan is law. It contains the regulations for how the forest is to be managed. It was developed by the staff of the Forest Service, including scientists and technicians, who are charged with protecting the forest from the ravages of the late 1800s and early 1900s, when a frenzy of logging resulted in massive flooding, huge fires, loss of life, destruction of local economies and disappearance of wildlife. Unregulated practices left a wasteland that took more than a century to recover significant productivity.

The Monongahela National Forest includes the highest mountains in West Virginia and the origin of major rivers in the East. These rivers have been cutting their channels for millennia, resulting in ravines with startlingly steep slopes. To truly appreciate how steep they are, you have to stand at the top and look down what appears to be a straight drop of hundreds of feet to rushing water. It is hard to believe trees can grow on slopes so steep, but then its the trees that maintain the slopes by holding the soil on them.

The forest also gets some of the highest rainfall in the continental U.S. So, if the trees (and all other vegetation) are removed, and a heavy rainfall comes, the soil is washed away, making the rivers run with sediment.

There are four standards in the forests management plan to be modified for the pipeline construction. The shortest example: Standard SW06: Severe rutting resulting from management activities shall be confined to less than 5 percent of an activity area.

This language is specific and easy to enforce. The modified standard reads: Standard SW06: Severe rutting resulting from management activities shall be confined to less than 5 percent of an activity area w...

15:47

BCL wants to bully Bougainville into reopening Panguna Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Has BCL not learnt from history that Bougainvilleans do not like being bullied!

BCL takes Bougainville Govt to court over licence non-renewal

Radio New Zealand | 16 February, 2018

Mining company Bougainville Copper Ltd is taking an arm of the Bougainville government to court.

This came after the autonomous government in the Papua New Guinea region announced late last year a moratorium on mining at Panguna, which had been abandoned in 1989 after the civil war started.

Two companies are vying to re-open Panguna but Bougainville President John Momis said to get the nod, the successful company must first win the trust of the people and BCL is yet to do this.

Meanwhile a mining wardens meeting in central Bougainville in December turned down BCLs request for its exploration licence to be extended.

But the company is not...

12:54

Chinese looking to cut costs for Frieda river mine Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

What will be the costs for the environment and the mighty Sepik river as PanAust looks to decrease capital expenditure?

Frieda River upside options explored

PNG Industry News | 16 February 2018 

THE Frieda River copper-gold project in Papua New Guineas Sandaun Province represents PanAusts long-term strategic growth opportunity.

This was said by PanAust managing director Fred Hess when he presented the companys quarterly report for December 2017 this week.

[PanAust is wholly owned by Chinese State company, Guangdong Rising Assets Management Co. Ltd (GRAM)]

In 2017, we made strides towards making the project a reality through identifying opportunities to increase the value of the project, decrease capital expenditure, and reduce its overall risk profile. 

We will continue to evaluate these opportunities in 2018, Hess said. 

...

03:34

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: February 7 - 13, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes between February 7 and 13, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 15 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Fuego, Guatemala | Kadovar, Papua New Guinea | Mayon, Luzon (Philippines).Ongoing activity:...... Read more

East Africas Albertine Rift needs protection now, scientists say "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The equatorial ecosystems of the Albertine Rift are packed with plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Formed as tectonic plates in eastern Africa have slowly pulled away from each other for millions of years, the unique habitats in this epicenter of biodiversity have rapidly come under threat in recent decades from conflict, poverty and a booming human population. Now, a coalition of conservation groups is working with authorities to mobilize a plan to protect the cloud and lowland rainforests, the lakes and rivers, and the savannas and wetlands that stretch from Lake Albert south to Lake Tanganyika. The six landscapes of the Albertine Rift. Image courtesy of WCS. The Albertine Rift is the most important site for vertebrate conservation in Africa, with more endemic and globally threatened vertebrates than any other region of the continent, Andy Plumptre, a conservation biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Societys Africa program and the papers lead author, said in a statement. WCS, in concert with local NGOs and the governments of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, has pulled together research spanning 16 years. Theyve used these investigations to better understand the six geographic landscapes selected for the high concentrations of unique and threatened species they contain, and theyve put forth detailed plans to protect them. According to the report, the scientists estimate that it will cost about $21 million a year to set their proposals in motion, a figure they argue offers a greater bang for the buck

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