Environment

Hawaii Officials Send Different Messages For Residents And Tourists About Active Volcano

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 1:35pm

Hawaii officials continue to warn the public about dangers from the active volcano on the Big Island, including the lava flowing toward a power plant. In the meantime, they are trying to reassure possible visitors that the tourism opportunities have not been affected.

Categories: Environment

Facebook Project Wants You To 'Buy Nothing' And Ask For What You Need

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 1:35pm

The Buy Nothing Project encourages people to share without money changing hands. In five years it has spread around the world on Facebook with the help of more than 3,000 volunteers.

(Image credit: Jeff Brady/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Pollutionwatch: Air contamination drops by 30% in China

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 1:30pm

WHO database lowers Beijing’s particulate ranking from 40th worst in world to 187th, as coal plants flagged as key culprit

Beijing is slowly shedding its image as the world’s most polluted city. In 2013, it ranked as the 40th worst city for the particulate PM2.5 in the World Health Organisation global database. Four years on, thanks in part to a crackdown on polluters, it stands in 187th place.

Air pollution in the 62 Chinese cities tracked by the WHO dropped by an average of 30% between 2013 and 2016. China’s air pollution problems are often blamed on the country’s rapid industrial growth but the problems probably date back to the 1950s.

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Categories: Environment

As The Planet Warms, We'll Be Having Rice With A Side Of CO2

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 1:04pm

Scientists found that exposing rice to high levels of carbon dioxide causes it to lose valuable nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. But some varieties are better at resisting than others.

(Image credit: Maximilian Stock, Ltd./Getty Images/Passage)

Categories: Environment

Asteroid Impact That Wiped Out The Dinosaurs Also Caused Abrupt Global Warming

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 11:30am

The crash of the space rock that slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula also warmed up the Earth's atmosphere for 100,000 years. And scientists say it's a cautionary tale for people living today.

(Image credit: SPL/Science Source)

Categories: Environment

Birds had to relearn flight after meteor wiped out dinosaurs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 9:58am

Fossil records suggest only flightless birds survived when T rex was wiped off the Earth

Birds had to rediscover flight after the meteor strike that killed off the dinosaurs, scientists say.

The cataclysm 66m years ago not only wiped out Tyrannosaurus rex and ground-dwelling dinosaur species, but also flying birds, a detailed survey of the fossil record suggests.

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Categories: Environment

Clothes moths’ part in the circle of life | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 9:41am
Taxpayer’s right to healthcare | ‘Falling’ pregnant | Female film critics | Nancy Banks-Smith | Clothes moths

You report (24 May) that Pauline Pennant, a UK citizen living overseas, pays UK taxes through her pension, earned after 30 years working with the NHS, yet is no longer entitled to free healthcare. If she is no longer entitled to this because she lives overseas, then why does she still pay UK tax on her pension and what, or who, is this deducted tax being used for?
Lin Aldridge
Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire

• Once again we read that a woman “had fallen pregnant” (Landmark conviction for forced marriage, 23 May). Since the word “fall” generally indicates a failure of some kind, isn’t it time to replace this antiquated and somewhat sexist expression with the more factual “had become pregnant”?
Dr Brigid Purcell
Norwich

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Categories: Environment

Air pollution worse inside London classrooms than outside, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 3:55am

Exclusive: study of schools in capital finds dangerous levels of fine particulate pollution within classrooms, putting children at risk

Children in London schools are being exposed to higher levels of damaging air pollution inside the classroom than outside, putting them at risk of lifelong health problems, a new study has revealed.

Related: Clean-air campaigners call for ban on school run to cut pollution

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Categories: Environment

'We can't see a future': group takes EU to court over climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 3:25am

Litigants from eight countries claim EU institutions are not protecting fundamental rights

Lawyers acting for a group including a French lavender farmer and members of the indigenous Sami community in Sweden have launched legal action against the EU’s institutions for failing to adequately protect them against climate change.

A case is being pursued in the Luxembourg-based general court, Europe’s second highest, against the European parliament and the council of the European Union for allowing overly high greenhouse gas emissions to continue until 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland draft climate change bill sets 90%-by-2050 emission reduction target

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 3:12am

Holyrood says ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions are ultimate aim but climate campaigners say target is disappointing

New targets will set Scotland on course to become one of the first countries in the world to achieve a 100% reduction in carbon emissions, the Scottish government has claimed, although it has stopped short of committing to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

The draft climate change bill, published on Thursday morning, sets a target of a 90% reduction by 2050 – which the UK Committee on Climate Change states is currently “at the limit of feasibility” – with the aim of achieving 100% reduction, or “net-zero”, as soon as possible.

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Categories: Environment

'It’s wrong to stink up other people’s lives': fighting the manure lagoons of North Carolina

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 3:00am

Pigs outstripped people in Duplin county long ago - but now the residents are fighting back

Two poles that once hoisted a clothes line stand rusting and unused in Elsie Herring’s back garden in eastern North Carolina. Herring lives next door to a field where pig manure is sprayed and the drifting faecal matter wasn’t kind to her drying clothes.

“The clothes would stink so you’d wash them again and again until they fell apart,” said Herring, whose family has lived in Wallace since her grandfather, a freed slave, purchased land in the 1890s.

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Categories: Environment

Back from the brink: chequered skipper butterfly takes to English skies again

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/24 - 1:07am

Dozens of fast-flying butterflies released in a secret location in Northamptonshire forest after disappearing in 1976

It mysteriously vanished from England after the long hot summer of 1976, but the chequered skipper butterfly is taking to the skies again as part of a bid to revive 20 endangered species.

Several dozen mostly female butterflies have been collected in Belgium and released in a secret location in Rockingham forest, Northamptonshire.

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Categories: Environment

Building the world’s largest cat-proof fence – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 6:45pm

Footage captured by the  Australian Wildlife Conservancy shows the construction of world’s largest cat-proof fence. Completed in central Australia, the 94 square kilometre sanctuary will provide protection  for endangered marsupials.

The 44km fence – made of 85,000 pickets, 400km of wire and 130km of netting – surrounds the Newhaven wildlife sanctuary, a former cattle station that has been bought by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

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Categories: Environment

Fears puffins could die out on Farne Islands as numbers plummet

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 4:01pm

National Trust finds 12% decline since 2013, with the population of one island off Northumberland down 42%

Puffin numbers at one of Britain’s most important habitats have fallen sharply, raising fears they could die out completely there within a century.

Every five years National Trust rangers carry out a census of the birds on the Farne Islands, and the latest survey has potentially grim news for the colourful seabird.

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Categories: Environment

New York city to consider banning plastic straws

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 12:18pm

If the bill becomes law, restaurants that continue to use plastic straws would be warned, then face fines between $100 and $400

A New York city council member announced on Wednesday his plan to ban plastic straws from the city of 8.5 million people, amid a growing effort across the globe to cut back on plastics.

“We depend on plastic, and that is a trend we have to reverse immediately,” said city council member Rafael Espinal, who discussed his proposed ban at a press conference on the southern tip of Manhattan, with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

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Categories: Environment

Australia completes world's largest cat-proof fence to protect endangered marsupials

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 11:00am

Feral cats kill a million native birds every night and have caused extinction of 20 native species

The world’s largest cat-proof fence has been completed in central Australia, creating a 94 square kilometre sanctuary for endangered marsupials.

The 44km fence – made of 85,000 pickets, 400km of wire and 130km of netting – surrounds the Newhaven wildlife sanctuary, a former cattle station that has been bought by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

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Categories: Environment

Contaminated Australian defence sites put spotlight on environmental record

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 11:00am

Costly rehabilitation to be largely left to developers, including on Melbourne site involving 130 chemicals

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Most of the non-residential sites being offloaded by the Department of Defence in its land disposal program are contaminated, a legacy of past environmental failings.

Defence has eight unwanted non-residential properties listed for disposal across Australia, including former rifle ranges and armaments factories.

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Categories: Environment

Cape York traditional owners call for land-clearing halt to protect burial sites

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 11:00am

Queensland government takes Kingvale station to court over clearing that Olkola people say threatens sacred sites

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The traditional owners of Kingvale Station on Cape York peninsula have said clearing occurred on the property without their knowledge and sacred burial sites that are hundreds of years old are at risk from further bulldozing.

“If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t see them,” said Mike Ross, chairman of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation in Cape York.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change 'will make rice less nutritious'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 11:00am

When scientists exposed the crop to higher levels of carbon dioxide vitamin levels fell significantly

Rice will become less nutritious as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, potentially jeopardising the health of the billions of people who rely on the crop as their main source of food, new research suggests.

Scientists have found that exposing rice to the levels of carbon dioxide that are expected in the atmosphere before the end of the century results in the grain containing lower levels of protein, iron and zinc, as well as reduced levels of a number of B vitamins.

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Categories: Environment

Hitting toughest climate target will save world $30tn in damages, analysis shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/23 - 10:00am

Almost all nations would benefit economically from keeping global warming to 1.5C, a new study indicates

Achieving the toughest climate change target set in the global Paris agreement will save the world about $30tn in damages, far more than the costs of cutting carbon emissions, according to a new economic analysis.

Most nations, representing 90% of global population, would benefit economically from keeping global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the research indicates. This includes almost all the world’s poorest countries, as well as the three biggest economies – the US, China and Japan – contradicting the claim of US president, Donald Trump, that climate action is too costly.

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Categories: Environment
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