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G7 leaders to hold emergency talks over Amazon wildfires crisis

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 6:15pm

Brazil’s handling of fires to top agenda in Biarritz as France and Ireland threaten to block trade deal

Amazon fires: what is happening and is there anything we can do?

Leaders of the world’s major democracies are due to hold emergency talks this weekend on the wildfires engulfing the Amazon, as international efforts to force Brazil to change its deforestation policies gathered momentum.

As heads of state and government were due to arrive at the G7 in Biarritz on Saturday, France and Ireland threatened to block the Mercosur free-trade agreement between the EU and South American nations if the government of Jair Bolsonaro does not stop the deforestation of the Amazon, which experts say has fuelled the fires. Other EU members were under pressure to walk away from the Mercosur (Southern Common Market) deal, which is already unpopular among European farmers.

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Categories: Environment

Jair Bolsonaro claims 'profound love' for Amazon rainforest as criticism intensifies

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 6:03pm

President uses TV speech to criticise ‘disinformation’ about fire crisis, saying it cannot be used as pretext for sanctions

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has professed to feeling “profound love and respect” for the Amazon as fires continued to rage in the world’s biggest tropical rainforest and criticism of his environmental policies intensified.

In a televised address to the nation – met with pot-banging protests in several Brazilian cities – Bolsonaro said he was “not content” with the situation in the Amazon and was taking “firm action” to resolve it by deploying troops to the region.

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Categories: Environment

Inbreeding crisis: hybrid helmeted honeyeaters introduced into wild to stop species dying out

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 5:50pm

Only 230 of the sub-species remain in the wild, a population that will become unsustainable without interbreeding

• The Guardian Australia/Birdlife Australia bird of the year poll will return in October

Researchers have introduced three dozen hybrid helmeted honeyeaters into the wild in an attempt to prevent the critically endangered bird from dying out because of inbreeding.

On Friday, the juvenile birds were released into the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, which holds the only wild population of critically endangered helmeted honeyeaters, in an unusual attempt at genetic species rescue.

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Categories: Environment

Plan clears way for mining and drilling on land stripped from Utah monument

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 4:50pm

Management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante, downsized by Trump administration in 2017, criticized as ‘a giveaway to fossil fuel’

A new US government plan had cleared the way for coal mining and oil and gas drilling on land stripped from Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante monument by the Trump administration two years ago.

The plan, released by the Bureau of Land Management on Friday, would also open more lands to cattle grazing and recreation and acknowledges there could be “adverse effects” on land and resources in the monument.

Trump drastically shrank the southern Utah monument in 2017, as well as the nearby Bears Ears national monument, in what represented the largest elimination of public lands protections in US history. Some 800,000 acres were removed from the Grand Staircase.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 2:45pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

What Satellite Imagery Can Tell Us About The Fires Burning In The Amazon

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 2:16pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Doug Morton of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center about what satellite imagery can tell us about the cause and extent of the fires in Brazil.

Categories: Environment

Brazilians Take To The Streets To Protest Deforestation Of The Amazon

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 2:16pm

Brazilians have taken to the streets in protest over destruction being done to the Amazon through wildfires and tree cutting. They say the new right-wing president is fueling the destruction.

Categories: Environment

Why Norway And Germany Have Frozen Money Going To The Amazon Fund

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 1:40pm

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Nature correspondent Jeff Tollefson about the Amazon Fund and the web of diplomacy aiming to prevent deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

Categories: Environment

Keystone Pipeline's Alternate Route Gets The Go-Ahead From Nebraska Court

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 12:34pm

A group of activists, Native American tribes and local landowners had challenged the controversial pipeline's 2017 approval. But the state Supreme Court unanimously rejected that challenge Friday.

(Image credit: Nati Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

PHOTOS: The Amazon Rainforest, Ablaze In Brazil

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 10:20am

There have been 74,155 fires in Brazil so far this year, mostly in the Amazon, and about half of which have ignited in just the past month. Some world leaders are raising the alarm.

(Image credit: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Keystone XL pipeline set to go ahead as court lifts last major hurdle

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 7:39am

State’s highest court rejects attempt to derail project by opponents who want to force developer to reapply for state approval

Nebraska’s highest court lifted one of the last major hurdles for the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday when it rejected another attempt to derail the project by opponents who wanted to force the developer to reapply for state approval.

The pipeline faces intense resistance from environmental groups, Native American tribes and some landowners along the route who worry about its long-term impact on their groundwater and property rights. But in Nebraska, many affected landowners have accepted the project and are eager to collect payments from the company.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 7:08am

Endangered white rhinos, breeding cycads and fires in the Amazon rainforest

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Categories: Environment

Unsafe Lead Levels Detected In Drinking Water In Newark, N.J.

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 2:04am

Residents of Newark are receiving bottled water after elevated lead levels were detected in their drinking water. But there's confusion over who should get the bottled water.

Categories: Environment

In Brazil, Tens Of Thousands Of Fires Ravage Amazon Rainforest

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 2:04am

NPR's David Greene talks to Jake Spring, a reporter for Reuters, about much of Brazil's Amazon rainforest being ravaged by fire. There's been an 80 percent increase in fires over the last year.

Categories: Environment

News Brief: Rainforest Fires, G-7 Summit, Iran's Economy

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/08/23 - 2:04am

Wildfires are spreading in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. The G-7 summit opens Saturday in France. And Iranians answer this question: Who do you blame for Iran's economic troubles?

Categories: Environment

Sea turtles at risk as Trump weakens protections of animals endangered by climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/22 - 11:00pm

Administration’s move is a ‘head in the sand approach’ that will further imperil creatures threatened by the climate crisis

Life as a sea turtle is already harrowing. Emerging alone from a shell to crawl through a deadly gauntlet of predatory birds, dogs and ants, all for the goal of reaching the ocean, a place where fish swallow you whole and fragments of discarded plastic slowly suffocate you.

Now climate change – in the form of sea level rise, rising temperatures and fiercer storms – is adding further, existential hardships and in the US a recent weakening of endangered species protections by the Trump administration will further imperil sea turtles and other creatures threatened by the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

'There is no silver lining': why Alaska fires are a glimpse of our climate future

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/22 - 10:00pm

For residents of Anchorage, July’s wildfire and unprecedented temperatures plus the current McKinley Fire confirm that global heating has changed life forever

Major fires are burning this week in south-central Alaska, lengthening the state’s wildfire season, which has usually ended by the beginning of August.

They come after Alaska’s hottest July on record, during which its largest city, Anchorage, had a temperature pass 90F (32C) for the first time. On top of that, the area has seen little rain this summer, resulting in extremely dry conditions.

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Categories: Environment

Australian thermal coal exporters warned of falling demand from India

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/22 - 8:45pm

Report says outlook in India is ‘finely balanced and uncertain’ despite resources industry’s high hopes

Thermal coal exporters face “significant risk” that demand from India will decline, a report by the Australian office of the chief economist says.

It also warned of long-term uncertainties in the market considered a “great hope” by miners.

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Categories: Environment

Rail line in Hampshire is world's first to be powered by solar farm

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/22 - 5:33pm

Pilot scheme on Network Rail’s Wessex route could pave way for direct powering of trains

The world’s first solar farm to power a railway line directly is due to plug into the track near Aldershot, paving the way for solar-powered trains.

From Friday, about 100 solar panels at the trackside site will supply renewable electricity to power the signalling and lights on Network Rail’s Wessex route.

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Categories: Environment

Democratic National Committee rejects mounting calls for climate crisis debate

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/22 - 1:58pm

Members cited concerns over changing party rules and opening the door for a flood of single-issue events

The Democratic National Committee has rejected mounting calls for a party-sponsored debate on the climate crisis, voting down a resolution that would have dedicated one of the 12 Democratic debates entirely to the issue.

Calls for a DNC-sanctioned climate debate have been building for months. In poll after poll, climate has been one of the most important issues to likely Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential election. But little time has been devoted to the topic in debates to date: a scant 15 minutes in the first set of debates, and just over 20 in the most recent two.

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Categories: Environment
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