Canadian climate science faces crisis that may be felt globally, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/22 - 3:20pm

In a letter to Justin Trudeau, 250 scientists highlight their concern over the imminent end of a research program to better understand climate change

Canadian climate science is facing a looming crisis whose repercussions could be felt far beyond the country’s borders, hundreds of scientists have warned, after the Canadian government failed to renew the country’s only dedicated funding program for climate and atmospheric research.

Related: Indigenous Canadians face a crisis as climate change eats away island home

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Categories: Environment

Peru passes law allowing roads through pristine Amazon rainforest

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/22 - 1:18pm
  • Pope warned on Friday of threat to Amazon and its peoples
  • New roads in border areas could affect five indigenous reserves

Peru has approved a law that would allow roads to be built in the most remote and pristine region of its Amazon rainforest, a haven for isolated indigenous groups and an area of primary forest rich in mahogany trees.

Related: Pope Francis says Amazon indigenous people under greater threat than ever

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Categories: Environment

Bob Katter says there is an 'unpleasant odour' to Adani-linked airport

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/22 - 10:00am

Townsville and Rockhampton councils to spend $34m on airport hundreds of kilometres from either city

Outspoken federal MP Bob Katter has questioned why two Queensland councils are paying $34m to build an airport to service a massive Adani coalmine, saying there is an “unpleasant odour” to the deal.

In October Townsville and Rockhampton councils announced they would spend $18.5m and $15.5m respectively on an airport, hundreds of kilometres away from either city, at the Carmichael coalmine, as part of a funding deal with Adani.

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Categories: Environment

Pioneering wolf becomes first sighted in Belgium for a century

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/22 - 9:54am

Researchers have tracked Naya from eastern Germany into the Netherlands and now Flanders

The first recorded wolf on Belgian soil for at least 100 years has made her bloody mark.

Farmers in north-east Flanders have been put on high alert after evidence emerged that Naya, a female originally from eastern Germany that has been making a pioneering trek across Europe, had killed two sheep and injured a third near the Belgian town of Meerhout.

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Categories: Environment

Fears for future of UK onshore wind power despite record growth

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/22 - 9:35am

2.6GW of capacity built in 2017 before subsidies ban industry says will make generation dearer

A record amount of onshore wind power was built in the UK last year, but government policy has been stalling the sector and risked increasing energy bills for consumers, the industry has warned.

Turbines capable of generating 2.6GW were installed across Britain in 2017 as developers rushed to meet the government deadline for securing subsidies. The previous record was 1.3GW in 2013.

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Categories: Environment

Switching to electric cars is key to fixing America's 'critically insufficient' climate policies | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/22 - 4:00am

Nearly 60% of US carbon pollution comes from power and transportation, and power is already decarbonizing fast

In order to meet its share of the carbon pollution cuts needed to achieve the 2°C Paris international climate target, America’s policies are rated as “critically insufficient” by the Climate Action Tracker. The Trump Administration has taken every possible step to undo the Obama Administration’s climate policies, including announcing that America will be the only world country to withdraw from the Paris agreement, and trying to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

In 2020, the next American president will have to make up the lost ground and come up with a plan to rapidly accelerate the country’s transition away from fossil fuels. Currently, transportation and power generation each account for about 30% of US greenhouse gas emissions, so those sectors represent the prime targets for pollution cuts.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef to get $60m rescue package from government

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 9:01pm

Malcolm Turnbull announces $36.6m will be spent on ‘supporting farmers stopping runoff’ to improve water quality

Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $60m rescue package for the Great Barrier Reef which includes research on developing “resilient” coral, and paying farmers to pollute less.

The package, to be spent over 18 months, will also include an increased number of reef officers and vessels targeting crown of thorns starfish outbreaks.

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Categories: Environment

UK flood warnings issued as cold snap ends with heavy rain

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 5:28pm

Homes evacuated and rail services disrupted after snow gives way to warmer weather

Flood warnings have been issued and treacherous conditions forecast across the UK as the recent cold snap gives way to milder temperatures.

Heavy rain and meltwater have swollen rivers in parts of England and Wales, where the the Environment Agency has issued eight flood warnings and 52 flood alerts.

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Categories: Environment

Living Well Now: What Does It Take?

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 1:55pm

Shaping our lives around fulfilling social, intellectual and creative potential — keys to happiness — is more compatible with sustainability than pursuing unlimited wealth, says author Randall Curren.

(Image credit: WangAnQi/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Categories: Environment

Search restarts for area willing to host highly radioactive UK waste

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 8:52am

Right geology and local consent are key in consultation due to be launched this week

The government is expected this week to begin a nationwide search for a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste dump to store highly radioactive material for thousands of years.

Britain has been trying for years to secure a site with the right geology and local communities which would volunteer to host a £12bn geological disposal facility (GDF), as a long-term solution for the most dangerous waste from nuclear power stations.

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Categories: Environment

Lloyd's of London to divest from coal over climate change

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 8:35am

Firm follows other big UK and European insurers by excluding coal companies from 1 April

Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest insurance market, has become the latest financial firm to announce that it plans to stop investing in coal companies.

Lloyd’s will start to exclude coal from its investment strategy from 1 April. The definition of what is a coal company and the criteria for divestment will be set over the coming months.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration could be sued over pesticide threat to orca and salmon

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 6:45am
  • Fishing industry and environmentalists mull lawsuits
  • EPA tried to delay report detailing chemicals’ harm to wildlife

Commercial fishermen and environmental groups could file lawsuits against the Trump administration, if it fails to follow a recommendation by one of its own agencies to protect salmon, sturgeon, orca and other endangered species in the Pacific north-west.

Related: Common pesticide can make migrating birds lose their way, research shows

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Categories: Environment

Class war in the American west: the rich landowners blocking access to public lands

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 4:00am

Private landowners present a rising threat to the millions of acres set aside for public use by blocking access to public lands

The Diamond Bar X is a postcard-perfect slice of Montana solitude. A former cattle ranch that’s been parceled up into sprawling home sites, it sits not far outside Augusta, a cowboy town beneath Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, where the Great Plains crash into majestic snow-peaked mountains to dramatic effect.

The area is prime habitat for elk and grizzlies, people are few, and its residents have easy access to countless miles of trails and streams on the adjacent public lands.

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Categories: Environment

We must hope for real answers about Carillion. We don’t usually get them

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/21 - 12:00am
Underbidding for contracts to bring in cash – if that is what has happened – is a dangerous practice. We need to know

The collapse of Carillion, the building and outsourcing company, throws up so many questions about the state of UK business and government services it is difficult to know where to begin.

Lifting the lid on Carillion’s strategic plans, it is clear that the company’s board mistook tactical nous for strategy. Not that there was much common sense in taking a building company and morphing it into a conglomerate that tries to meld together the management of prisons, hospitals and schools as if they were all the same.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's biodiversity strategy a global embarrassment, green groups say

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/20 - 5:29pm

Extinction prevention plan branded ‘deeply inadequate’ after environment department publishes paper without targets

The federal government’s latest strategy to protect Australian plants and animals facing extinction has been branded “deeply inadequate” and “a global embarrassment” by environment groups.

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that a new 13-page document had quietly replaced the old 100-page biodiversity conservation strategy just before Christmas on the Department of Environment’s website.

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Categories: Environment

On the Amazon’s lawless frontier, murder mystery divides the locals and loggers

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/20 - 5:05pm

The violent murder of Sairá Ka’apor, in a logging town in Brazil’s Maranhão state, is still unsolved. But the story is all too familiar for the indigenous people fighting to protect the forest

Sairá Ka’apor patrolled one of the most murderous frontiers in the world, a remote and largely lawless region of the Brazilian Amazon where his indigenous community has fought for generations to protect their forest land.

Armed with clubs, bows and arrows, GPS trackers and crude guns, he and fellow members of Ka’apor Forest Guard drove off – and sometimes attacked – loggers who intruded into their territory, the 530,000-hectare Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land, which is roughly three times the area of Greater London and contains about half of the Amazon forest left in Brazil’s northern Maranhão state. That vigilante role came to an end last April when Sairá was stabbed to death in Betel, a logging town close to Ka’apor territory.

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Categories: Environment

Britain risks losing green protections after Brexit

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/20 - 5:05pm
Friends of the Earth, National Trust and others voice ‘serious concerns’ that UK will not cooperate with EU

A coalition of leading environmental groups says there is a “significant risk” that British environmental protections will be reduced after Brexit, despite the government’s positive rhetoric.

Greener UK, which represents 13 campaign groups including WWF, National Trust, RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance and the Wildlife Trusts, says there are “serious concerns” that the government will not cooperate with the European Union after Brexit on environmental issues which need international agreement. Although the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has made several recent announcements, such as the 5p levy on plastic bottles, Greener UK believes there may be a “lack of willpower to ensure high standards across the UK”.

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Categories: Environment

Gloucestershire is building a big bonfire of waste. To last for eternity

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/20 - 5:04pm
A 70-metre-high waste incinerator is being built next to the M5

Marooned on the flatlands between the Severn river and the Cotswolds escarpment, Stonehouse in Gloucestershire isn’t the sort of place to make the news. But, of late, outrage has been the dominant emotion here as construction traffic has brought what was a country village to a standstill. Blue plastic barriers proliferate, mobile traffic lights are set down apparently at random and workers clad in hi-vis saunter about with the swagger of the new sheriff in town.

While the slow crawl of traffic to and from the M5 is frustrating, it is the cause of the blockage that is more troubling. Stonehouse is being dug up to lay a cable to service the giant waste monster being built next to junction 12 of the M5, an edifice that its opponents warned would grow to four times the size of nearby Gloucester cathedral, a glorious testament to the grand folly of another age.

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Categories: Environment

How The Shutdown Will Impact National Parks

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/01/20 - 4:17pm

Visitors to national parks across the United States will see the impact of the government shutdown. Many parks will remain open but services are being discontinued.

Categories: Environment

Millions spent on Great Barrier Reef projects against expert advice

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/20 - 12:00pm

One $2.2m experiment involves giant fans to cool water down, despite government’s own advisers highlighting risks

Millions of dollars of commonwealth money is being handed to tourism-linked groups for Great Barrier Reef protection, despite official advice recommending against the projects, or repeatedly finding them to be failing.

The contracts include millions of dollars for tourism operators to cull out-of-control coral-eating crown of thorns starfish. Funds continue to be distributed, despite researchers employed to evaluate the program repeatedly finding it to have failed, and potentially having made the problem worse.

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Categories: Environment
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