TASMANIA’S BIG DRY HAS APPLE ISLE’S RENEWABLE ENERGY UNDER A CLOUD

Great Lake was a series of wetlands around a smaller freshwater lake before it was dammed in 1967. With a surface area of 176 sq km it is Australia’s largest permanent natural freshwater lake. Lake St Clair, about 50km west, is Australia’s deepest natural lake, and the combined Lake Pedder-Lake Gordon system, in the world heritage-listed west coast, is the country’s biggest man-made water storage.

These lakes are the main storages for the Hydro Tasmania network, which can generate 9,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy. Tasmania’s annual requirement is about 10,800GWh.

In an ordinary year, Davy says, another 1,000GWh was provided by two Hydro-owned wind farms, Woolnorth, off Tasmania’s north-west coast, and Musselroe, in the north-east. The balance is purchased from mainland providers through the Basslink cable. Or it would be, if the cable hadn’t broken in December.

By Calla Wahlquist; more at The Guardian, 30 April, 2016

WHAT NOBODY DARES SAY TO YOU ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE …

… we were confirmed in our understanding that the world’s biggest companies, including Exxon, have known for decades … the harm fossil fuels is doing to humans and our atmosphere, but they press ahead anyway.

We heard about compliant governments, particularly in the USA, who create laws and trade deals that foster the use of these fuels. About how our own government signed the climate change deal in Paris (which is already out of date in any case – the much-touted 2C limit has already been surpassed) while in the same week it was approving the world’s largest coal mine.

By Elizabeth Fleetwood; more at Tasmanian Times, 25th April 2016

The big green furphy: experts bust degradable plastic bag myth

Next time you accept a degradable plastic bag at the supermarket, think again – you may be doing little to help the environment and adding dangerous microplastics to rivers and oceans, experts say.

The warning has prompted a Senate committee to call for a public awareness campaign to explain the differences between degradable, biodegradable, compostable and traditional plastic bags – and how they should be disposed of – to educate consumers who mistakenly believe they are doing the right thing.

By Nicole Hasham; more at The Guardian, 25th April 2016