Environment

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility may be investigated by auditor general

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 11:18pm

Exclusive: NGOs urge audit following Wayne Swan’s warning Naif risks ‘misallocating billions of dollars’ in loan for Adani’s mine rail link

The controversial Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, which is mulling a $900m loan for a rail link for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, may be investigated by the auditor general.

The potential inquiry by the auditor general, who has wide-ranging access and information-gathering powers, follows interventions from a former federal treasurer and environment groups.

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Categories: Environment

Hardcore cycling in almost guaranteed rain: Scotland's no-frills 'anti-sportive'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 10:45pm

The Ride of the Falling Rain on the Hebridean island of Islay has no entry fee, route card or medals, but its laidback, friendly vibe keeps riders coming back despite the weather

The Ride of the Falling Rain is an annual cycling event on the Hebridean island of Islay that proudly describes itself as “anti-sportive”.

Held on the first Sunday in August, there is no entry fee, no feed stations, no timing chips and no medal or certificate at the end. Yet in its 14-year history, it has attracted a hard core of regulars who travel from all over the UK.

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Categories: Environment

UK fracking may produce less fuel than claimed, says geologist

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 10:01pm

Prof John Underhill argues that geology is fundamental but has been forgotten in assessments of UK’s shale gas capability

Fracking for oil and gas in the UK may produce much less fuel – and profits – than has been mooted, according to research based on seismic imaging of the country’s underlying geology.

Most of the areas in which deposits of onshore “unconventional” gas and oil are likely to be found were affected by tectonic activity along the Atlantic plate about 55m years ago.

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Categories: Environment

Brooklyn's social housing microgrid rewrites relationships with utility companies

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 10:00pm

Microgrids, promising energy self-reliance for communities, are growing in popularity as they become more affordable

Residents of a social housing complex in Brooklyn, New York, can’t stop another tempest like Superstorm Sandy from crashing through their city, but they can feel secure that it won’t cause a power cut.

In June, the 625-unit Marcus Garvey Village cut the ribbon on its very own microgrid, a localised network of electricity production and control. Rooftop solar panels produce clean power when the sun is up; a fuel cell takes in natural gas and churns out a steady current all day; when it’s more valuable to save the electricity for later, the largest lithium-ion battery system on New York City’s grid does just that.

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Categories: Environment

Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Flood Standards For Infrastructure Projects

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 2:45pm

An Obama order called for new public infrastructure projects to be built to withstand rising sea levels caused by climate change. President Trump revoked that order to accelerate the review process.

(Image credit: Michael Reynolds/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Flood Standards For Infrastructure Projects

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 2:45pm

An Obama order called for new public infrastructure projects to be built to withstand rising sea levels caused by climate change. President Trump revoked that order to accelerate the review process.

(Image credit: Michael Reynolds/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Councils must put tree safety first | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 11:22am
Sheffield’s protesters need to be aware of the danger of trees falling over, writes Paul Faupel

The sudden collapse of a 200-year-old oak in Madeira, killing 13 and injuring many others (Report, 16 August), is a salutary warning to the tree protesters of Sheffield (Report, 16 August). Local authorities and other custodians of parklands and highways have a duty to ensure that trees do not endanger the public when they deteriorate through age or disease. Inspecting trees is a specialist task best carried out by trained professionals. Doubtless Sheffield city council has been doing just that. If a tree collapsed on the protesters or damaged their properties they would be protesting against the council, and more likely suing them, for failing to safeguard them. The hapless council is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t take action.
Paul Faupel
Somersham, Cambridgeshire

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Categories: Environment

United By The Sun: A Solar Event For All Americans To Share (Rebroadcast)

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 8:06am

Skywatchers and astrophysicists are already gearing up for next month's "Great American Solar Eclipse."

(Image credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Three wildlife rangers killed in attack by violent militia in DRC

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 7:58am

Three wildlife rangers at DRC’s Virunga national park were killed this week in an ambush by Mai Mai rebels, bringing this year’s fatalities to eight

Three rangers have been killed and another is missing after an attack by violent militia in Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the number of fatalities in the park this year to eight.

The park rangers, Charles Paluku Syaira, Jonas Paluku Malyani and Pacifique Musubao Fikirini were murdered on the morning of Monday 14 August during a routine patrol around the park, which is home to critically endangered mountain gorilla.

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Categories: Environment

Woolly Mammoths Are Long Gone, But The Hunt For Their Ivory Tusks Lives On

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 4:18am

Last year China banned the sale of commercial elephant ivory. But that's led to another illicit trade — in woolly mammoth tusks — that is having a severe impact on Siberia's permafrost.

(Image credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL)

Categories: Environment

Britons to throw away £428m worth of barbecue food in August, study reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 2:36am

Exclusive: Nearly 12m barbecues in the UK likely to over-cater with food ranging from salads to burger rolls ending up in bins

It’s symbolised by dismal burgers and carbonised sausages served on paper plates with a splatter of ketchup. Yet with the great British summer well under way, Britons are this month set to throw away a staggering £428m worth of barbecue food, research reveals.

In August the nation will brave the changeable weather to enjoy nearly 12m barbecues, with people on average either hosting or attending at least two of the seasonal gatherings. The new research from supermarket chain Sainsbury’s shows that hosts typically over-cater to impress friends and family, with more than half (49.2%) putting on a larger than necessary spread.

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Categories: Environment

Greens push for Senate inquiry into allegations of cross-border waste dumping

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 11:01pm

ABC’s Four Corners report alleging illegal dumping in Queensland needs scrutiny, Peter Whish-Wilson says

The Australian Greens will push for a Senate inquiry into illegal waste dumping following damaging revelations on the ABC’s Four Corners program last week.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson says federal parliament must scrutinise the issues raised in the program, which exposed a network of waste transporting and freighting companies allegedly sending waste by road and rail to Queensland to avoid paying New South Wales millions of dollars in tariffs.

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Categories: Environment

Floods and devastation in India, Nepal and Bangladesh – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 11:00pm

Hundreds of people have been killed and millions displaced across the region as rescue missions set up shelters and strive to get food and water to victims

Nearly 250 people have died in the last few days as a result of flooding and landslides that have devastated parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Millions of people have been displaced across the region, and 245 people are recorded to have been killed by collapsed buildings or by drowning.

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Categories: Environment

Fish mistaking plastic debris in ocean for food, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 10:30pm

Behavioural evidence suggests marine organisms are not just ingesting microplastics by accident but actively seeking them out as food

Fish may be actively seeking out plastic debris in the oceans as the tiny pieces appear to smell similar to their natural prey, new research suggests.

The fish confuse plastic for an edible substance because microplastics in the oceans pick up a covering of biological material, such as algae, that mimics the smell of food, according to the study published on Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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Categories: Environment

Adani $900m rail line loan should be ruled out after fraud allegations, opponents say

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 7:09pm

Consideration of loan described as ‘untenable’ after allegations hundreds of millions siphoned into tax havens

The government should immediately suspend any consideration of a federal loan to Adani or an any associated entity, environmental groups have said in response to the Guardian’s reporting on Wednesday about fraud allegations faced by Adani in India.

The Adani Group allegedly fraudulently siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from India into tax havens – a practice enabled by Indian government tax breaks. Details of the allegations, and documents from India’s directorate of revenue intelligence, have been published by the Guardian today.

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Categories: Environment

Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 3:57pm

Exclusive: Allegations by Indian customs of huge sums being siphoned off to tax havens from projects are contained in legal documents but denied by company

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A global mining giant seeking public funds to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.

Indian conglomerate the Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists Move To Establish Wildlife Preserve At Guantanamo Bay

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 1:29pm

In the 15 years since the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was established to house suspected terrorists, a green buffer surrounding the facility to keep out the world has reverted back to the wild. Now some scientists would like to turn it into a protected research area.

Categories: Environment

Can We Feed The World With Farmed Fish?

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 12:01pm

New research suggests there is space on the open ocean to farm essentially all the seafood humans can eat — and then some. But such volumes of fish and shellfish could not be grown without costs.

(Image credit: Maxim Zmeyev/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Can We Feed The World With Farmed Fish?

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 12:01pm

New research suggests there is space on the open ocean to farm essentially all the seafood humans can eat — and then some. But such volumes of fish and shellfish could not be grown without costs.

(Image credit: Maxim Zmeyev/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Rare Canadian oriole to fly thousands of miles back home – on passenger jet

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 11:25am
  • Bullock’s oriole who ended up in Ottawa to fly home on Air Canada flight
  • Small orange-plumed female first spotted in capital in late 2015

Nearly two years ago, she was spotted perched on an apple tree in Ontario – thousands of miles from her natural habitat – capturing the attention of birdwatchers across Canada.

Now a Bullock’s oriole who ended up in the Ottawa area is set to finally fly home to western North America – in the passenger cabin of an Air Canada flight.

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Categories: Environment
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