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NSW treasurer Matt Kean says federal Nationals ‘can resign from the ministry’ if they don’t back net zero

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 5:43pm

Kean also took a swipe at MPs supporting nuclear power, saying they are ‘chasing a unicorn’

The New South Wales treasurer, Matt Kean, says the Nationals will need to decide if they want to resign and “support a Labor government” if they don’t back a federal commitment of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The comments come ahead of a critical Nationals party room meeting in Canberra on Sunday afternoon, which will consider the party’s position after it sent a list of demands to the prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Thursday.

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Categories: Environment

US west coast braces for ‘atmospheric river’ as huge storm brews

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 2:45pm

Northern California faces flash flood risk and threat of mudslides, especially in fire-charred areas

A huge Pacific storm is poised to unleash conditions known as an “atmospheric river”, with torrential rains and strong winds putting about 10 million people at risk of flash floods in parts of northern California this weekend.

The incoming tempest has raised fears of mudslides, especially in areas charred during record-setting wildfires this summer.

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Categories: Environment

Reaping the wind turbines: the little town in the Great Dividing Range split by green energy plan

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 12:00pm

Those born in the small NSW town of Nundle are generally in favour of a new windfarm, while many tree changers object

In the small town of Nundle, a story of rural change is playing out. The picturesque little New England town of 289 people, nestled in the Great Dividing Range, has traditionally relied on farming and increasingly tourism to keep it ticking over.

The Hills of Gold Wind Farm has reversed the usual expected lines of division. A section of those born and working in the district are generally in favour of the green energy project and the income it may bring, while tree changers or retirees are opposed.

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Categories: Environment

Poor EV take-up to cost Australia’s health system $1tn by 2050, modelling shows

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 12:00pm

Converting every vehicle to electric by 2035 would halve costs, Australian Conservation Foundation report finds

Australia may be left with almost a $1tn health bill by 2050 if it doesn’t boost the take-up of electric vehicles, according to a new report released on Sunday.

But this could be slashed in half by setting an ambitious target to convert every car in the country to electric by 2035.

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Categories: Environment

Turning over a new leaf: the humble hedge stages a remarkable comeback

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 7:00am

Agriculture turns full-circle as the trend for ripping out hedges is reversed… and farmers hail the ecological benefits

The emerald-green five-year-old hawthorn hedge glistens in autumnal sunshine. In the cider apple orchard and grass pastures below, younger hedges shoot off towards a fast-flowing trout stream.

History has come full circle in Blackmore Farm, which nestles in the foothills of the Quantocks in Somerset. The owner, Ian Dyer, remembers helping his father, who arrived as a tenant farmer in the 1950s, grub out old hedges in the 1960s and 1970s. But – like increasing numbers of landowners – he has hired a hedgelayer to bring back his hedges to provide habitats for wildlife, capture carbon and slow water pouring off fields into rivers.

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Categories: Environment

Saudi Arabia pledges net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 6:17am

Although the kingdom will aim to reduce emissions within its own borders, there is no indication it will slow down investments in oil and gas or move away from the production of fossil fuels.

(Image credit: Amr Nabil/AP)

Categories: Environment

Nick Offerman on why he finds solace in the outdoors

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 5:02am

The actor and author has a new book, Where the Deer and the Antelope Play. He talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why walking in the woods makes him feel better and how to experience nature in a city.

(Image credit: Jon Maret)

Categories: Environment

Anxiety from climate change isn't going away. Here's how you can manage it

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 4:00am

Feeling anxious about the climate crisis is a totally normal response, says ecotherapist Phoenix Smith. Here's how you can manage those feelings for the decades to come.

(Image credit: Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Britain’s oil and gas workers want a green transition – but the industry doesn’t | Erik Dalhuijsen

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 1:00am

I’ve worked in oil for decades, and seen what happens when jobs dry up with no plan B. Now industry leaders must face reality too

Moving to a green energy system and a zero-emissions society without leaving people behind is an enormous challenge. Many oil and gas workers are actually ready for the change, but the oil and gas industry itself is slowing the process, holding back real progress.

Having worked in the oil industry in Aberdeen and abroad for decades, what I have seen feels like the industry applying all of its power to self-preservation, in the face of the immutable truths that fossil fuels will one day run out and that we must keep what of them remains in the ground.

Erik Dalhuijsen is a consultant petroleum and sustainability engineer and a climate change activist living in Aberdeen

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Categories: Environment

Air source heat pumps: how the costs and savings stack up

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 12:00am

The lowdown as householders are being urged to replace their old boilers with greener alternatives

Householders are being encouraged to ditch their old gas and oil-fired boilers and replace them with new clean, green heat pumps.

In the run-up to the Cop26 climate summit, the UK government has set out plans to offer grants to help households install air source heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems over the next three years.

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Categories: Environment

Wrong side of the law. Right side of history: the activists arrested in the name of the planet

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 12:00am

From grassroots campaigners to Hollywood actors, 21 climate rebels tell their stories

Tap on each activist to read their story

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Categories: Environment

China, India and Brazil must set out their plans to cut emissions | The Secret Negotiator

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/10/23 - 12:00am

An insider says keeping temperatures within 1.5C above pre-industrial levels rests with big developing countries in G20

As we get closer to the beginning of Cop26, I worry that the main goal – keeping temperature rises within 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – is slipping away.

The Covid-19 pandemic offered the opportunity for a global reset. We could rebuild in a way that was green and with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Every week we’ll hear from negotiators from a developing country that is involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and will be attending the Cop26 climate conference.

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Categories: Environment

Crown gives go ahead to rival ‘net zero carbon’ North Sea schemes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 11:00pm

Exclusive: crown estates accused of greed in selling rights to ‘incompatible’ carbon capture and windfarm projects

A clash between two multibillion pound “net zero carbon” schemes is brewing in the North Sea after the Queen’s property manager granted development rights for one patch of seabed to two different projects at the same time.

The crown estate will earn millions of pounds after agreeing to lease an area off the Yorkshire coast to the latest phase of the giant Hornsea offshore windfarm, as well as to a scheme led by BP which plans to begin storing carbon dioxide under the seabed. This has prompted concern that the giant wind turbines could interfere with seabed sensors for the carbon storage project.

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Categories: Environment

feeding time

The Field Lab - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 3:57pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Former PMs apologise to Pacific leaders for Australia’s apathy on climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 12:00pm

Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull lash out at Morrison government’s ‘cynical indifference’ and assure Pacific leaders ‘a majority’ of Australians ‘are in your corner’

Former Australian prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, and former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, have accused the Morrison government of “cynical indifference” and “empty rhetoric” when it comes to climate action, saying the commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 was the “bare minimum” that needed to be done.

The broadside came in a letter to Pacific leaders, in which the Australian politicians said they shared the “alarm and disappointment” of Pacific heads of government at the suggestion Australia will not table a new and increased target for the reduction of emissions ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow next month.

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Categories: Environment

Cost of flights to rise as Rishi Sunak prepares to raise air passenger duty

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 11:05am

Exclusive: chancellor to boost green credentials by hitting environmentally damaging long-haul flights

Travellers to destinations including Australia, South Africa and Japan can expect to pay more to fly, as Rishi Sunak prepares to overhaul air passenger duty in next week’s budget to reflect the environmental damage wrought by long-haul flights.

The chancellor is keen to burnish his green credentials after a week in which he was accused of failing to back Boris Johnson’s net-zero pledges with sufficient resources.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on climate secrets: leaked documents reveal rising stakes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 10:30am

Lobbying on behalf of fossil fuels should surprise no one. But the world must follow the science

There should be no surprise about leaked documents showing governments lobbying hard against clauses in an upcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that they regard as detrimental to their interests. Ever since the start of the UN process aimed at preventing unchecked global heating (known as Cop, short for Conference of the Parties), countries have sought to protect their own industries, economies and people – particularly the fossil fuel businesses that have powered capitalist development since the Industrial Revolution.

Last time the nations met, in Madrid in 2019, progress was scuppered by a wall of resistance with President Trump perched on top. The hope was that with Trump gone, and a US administration in place that recognises the need for action, such blockages could be overcome. This remains the aim in the run-up to the conference opening in Glasgow next weekend. Given the warnings from scientists, who are unequivocal about the dangers, there is no rational alternative than to persist with the attempt at global climate governance that the Cop represents. As the British Treasury acknowledged in a review published this week, the cost of inaction will be higher than the cost of action.

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Categories: Environment

‘The cusp of a reuse revolution’: startups take the waste out of takeout

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 5:00am

More than 70% of Americans report ordering takeout or delivery one to three times a week – resulting in hundreds of billions of single-use products

The first question Lauren Sweeney set out to answer when she co-founded DeliverZero, a platform for ordering meals in reusable containers, was: do other people care about takeout packaging waste? “Is it just me standing in front of recycling bins with sushi containers knowing they’re not going to be recycled?” she asked herself at the time.

It wasn’t just her. In November 2019, she and two partners launched the DeliverZero website, where people could place takeout orders that would arrive in reusable boxes instead of the standard disposables. Despite offering food from only a few restaurants in one Brooklyn neighborhood and having a “very bad” user interface the app quickly took off.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 4:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a hungry jay, rescued turtles and a lone wolf

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Categories: Environment

U.S. coal production is up sharply after hitting a 50-year low last year

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/10/22 - 3:15am

As the Biden administration prepares to negotiate reductions in fossil fuel use at the Glasgow climate summit at the end of the month, U.S. coal production is actually up significantly this year.

(Image credit: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment
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