Appliance makers and home builders are in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the energy efficiency program. Energy Star is among 50 EPA programs that would be eliminated under the president's budget plan.
(Image credit: Paul Sakuma/AP)
Long before it became a "superfood" in the U.S., schisandra was made into soups and jams and prized as a medicinal plant. Now the berry is at the center of a dramatic new approach to conservation.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Josef Brinckmann)
The new cycling and walking investment strategy is the first legislation of its kind to legally bind the government to long-term funding for cycling and walking provision
Unless you’re an avid transport campaigner, it’s likely that among the rush of government announcements made last week, you will have missed one very important one: the publication of the cycling and walking investment strategy (CWIS),
The government’s intention to launch a CWIS was first announced in January 2015. It took more than two years, but we now have the first legislation of its kind in England to bind the government with legal commitments to invest in cycling and walking provision.Continue reading...
Rachel Martin speaks with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former chairman of the Sierra Club Carl Pope about how cities should respond to climate change. Their book is Climate of Hope.
Figsbury Ring, Wiltshire Sewn like gems into the sward, these little blue flowers take shelter in the lee of the earthwork rings
Bluer than the sky, bluer than the sheen on rooks and the lustre of oil beetles, the milkwort flowers are sewn like gems into the sward. Polygala calcarea is the chalk milkwort, with a gentian-blue far brighter than the common milkwort flowers I’m used to seeing on Wenlock Edge. High on Salisbury Plain, open to the winds and shafts of sunlight through distant showers, the little blue flowers take shelter in the lee of earthwork rings, an archaeological monument within the largest remaining area of calcareous grassland in north-west Europe.
Milkwort gets its name not from increasing milk yield in grazing cattle but from herbalists prescribing it to new mothers to aid breastfeeding, although I’m not sure anyone would now. It has also been used as an anti-inflammatory and a hepatoprotector (against liver damage), but perhaps its most important cultural role here was that it was collected at Rogationtide.Continue reading...
Scientists reveal unique, intimate form of communication between humpback mothers and calves as well as silent method to initiate suckling
Newborn humpback whales and their mothers whisper to each other to escape potential predators, scientists reported Wednesday, revealing the existence of a previously unknown survival technique.
“They don’t want any unwanted listeners,” researcher Simone Videsen, lead author of a study published in Functional Ecology, said.Continue reading...
In November, America’s beleaguered rural citizens voted against the status quo – but that’s exactly what Trump’s new agriculture secretary looks set to ensure
Donald Trump owes his election in no small part to the support of farm country. But since entering office, almost all his actions and pronouncements have betrayed an abysmal understanding of farm and rural concerns. No surprise, then, that food and farm advocates have looked eagerly to Sonny Perdue, who was sworn in as agriculture secretary on Tuesday, to educate and temper the president on their issues.
The new secretary has his work cut out for him. The president unveiled a budget blueprint last month that slashed funding for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) by 21%.Continue reading...
Global index reveals 60% of asset owners are now taking some action, but warns there is still ‘enormous resistance’ to managing climate risk
For the first time a majority of global investor heavyweights recognise the financial risks of climate change, according to the results of a major global index rating how investors manage such risks.
But despite the advances, the Asset Owner Disclosure Project chairman, John Hewson, has warned there is still an “enormous resistance” to managing climate risk.Continue reading...
Constitutional experts say government is on ‘very dodgy ground’ claiming election purdah forces it to postpone publishing pollution strategy
The government’s attempt to delay publishing its air pollution strategy because of the election is “dishonest” and leaves ministers on “very dodgy ground”, according to constitutional experts.
The government had been under a court direction to produce tougher draft measures to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution, which is responsible for thousands of premature deaths each year, by 4pm on Monday. The original plans had been dismissed by judges as so poor as to be unlawful.Continue reading...
By early next year, Beijing will require automakers in China to ensure that at least 8 percent of all vehicles they manufacture are electric.
(Image credit: Rob Schmitz/NPR)
As the UN forum on indigenous issues meets in New York, we, the Munduruku people of Brazil, demand an end to the destruction of our territory
We, the Munduruku people, send our thoughts and words to you who live far away. We echo the cry for help from our mother, the forest, and from all the indigenous peoples in Brazil.
Our home of Mundurukânia and all 13,000 of our people are threatened by the Brazilian government’s plans to build more than 40 hydroelectric dams in the Tapajós basin, as well as an industrial waterway and other major projects.Continue reading...
Critics say air pollution issue is public health and not political issue and ministers must defend delay in high court
The government has been ordered back to the high court to explain its last-minute bid to delay publication of the UK’s clean air plan.
Politicians and environmental groups had complained that ministers were “hiding behind the election” after they said they could not publish the proposals because of election purdah.Continue reading...
Forced into the militia as a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rodrigue Katembo has now been awarded a Goldman prize for risking his life fighting to protect his country’s wildlife
As an enforced child soldier, Rodrigue Katembo saw his little brother die and had to carry the news to his mother. Now 41, he remains on the frontline – but today he protects the extraordinary wildlife in the national parks of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from armed militias.
It is exceptionally dangerous work: 160 park rangers have been killed protecting Virunga national park in the last 15 years, outnumbered 10 to one by militias and poachers. Around the world, about 1,000 rangers have died in the line of duty over the last decade. But Katembo, who is awarded the prestigious Goldman environmental prize on Monday, is resolute, despite the attacks he has endured and the risks he continues to run.Continue reading...
America’s leaders are playing Russian roulette with our future
Redglass Pictures and StarTalk Radio created a short film in which the brilliant scientist and communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson – though not specifically talking about the science marches – perfectly articulated the motivations behind them.Continue reading...
Joël Meriko Ari and Gerome Bolimola Afokao discovered a group of men with a freshly slaughtered elephant carcass. The rangers leave behind 11 children
Elephant poachers have killed two wildlife rangers in a shootout in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), reports African Parks, a not-for-profit conservation group that manages 10 protected areas across Africa in partnership with governments and local communities.
While out patrolling on 11 April, ranger Joël Meriko Ari and Sgt Gerome Bolimola Afokao of the DRC armed forces heard gunshots, African Parks reported. The patrol unit followed signs and tracks until they discovered a group of six poachers who were chopping up a freshly slaughtered elephant carcass.Continue reading...
Spring on hold until weekend as forecasters predict Arctic blast will be replaced by hail and thunderstorms through to Wednesday
A blast of late winter weather has brought snow flurries to many parts of northern England and the Midlands.
Towns as far south as Norwich woke to a sprinkling of snow on Tuesday morning, with Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the north-east also reporting wintry showers.Continue reading...
Emperor penguins are perfectly adapted to survive harsh Antarctic conditions but their habitat is threatened due to climate change. To celebrate World Penguin Day, the WWF has chosen its top 10 emperor penguin factsContinue reading...
Shell-sponsored group says wind is ‘increasingly the cheapest form of electricity’ and urges Tories to review ban on subsidised onshore windfarms
Conservative opposition to windfarms risks the UK missing out on one of the cheapest sources of electricity, according to the head of a Shell-funded industry group.Continue reading...
Tindale Tarn, Cumbria A flock of sand martins skim the choppy water and tufted duck bob on the dark grey water
Buffeted sideways by the gale, we descend to Tindale Tarn, a small lake in the RSPB reserve of Geltsdale. Skylarks spring up from rough pasture around the stony track to sing shrill and sweet as piccolos in a stormy sky. This land, once mined for coal and lead, is an important breeding area for upland birds; curlew, redshank and lapwing call as we huddle in the open-sided hide by the tarn.
A flock of sand martins skim the choppy water, having come here to feed from their nests in a nearby sand quarry. A cormorant is fishing, and tufted duck bob on the dark grey water. Wind catches the surface and runs with it, making flurries of waves. The back of a mute swan, neck submerged, resembles a plump meringue. The female sits on a nest close to the hide, dragging reedy stems around her body with her orange beak, primping and perfecting the huge mound.
Wax moth larvae are usually bred as fish bait, but a chance discovery has revealed their taste for plastic – which could be used to beat polluting plastic
For caterpillars that are bred as premium fish bait, it must rank as a better life. Rather than dangling on the end of a hook and wondering what comes next, the grubs are set to join the war on plastic waste.
The larvae of wax moths are sold as delicious snacks for chub, carp and catfish, but in the wild the worms live on beeswax, making them the scourge of beekeepers across Europe.