Environment

When the sweet turns sour: Queensland split between sugar and solar

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/02 - 7:30pm

As solar farms spread across the central agricultural regions of the sunshine state, opponents are becoming increasingly vocal

Colin Ash has spent a working lifetime in the cane fields near the Pioneer River in central Queensland, out past Marian, where the mill has processed sugar for more than 130 years.

“You can’t get sentimental about things,” he says from the front seat of his truck as he drives slowly around the boundary of his property. “You’ve got to pay your bills.”

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Categories: Environment

Whale dies from eating more than 80 plastic bags

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/02 - 6:44pm

Pilot whale was found barely alive in Thai canal and vomited up five bags during fruitless rescue attempts

A whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, with rescuers failing to nurse the mammal back to health.

The small male pilot whale was found barely alive in a canal near the border with Malaysia, the country’s department of marine and coastal resources said.

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Categories: Environment

Bairnsdale's bat battle – photo essay

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/02 - 6:07pm

A 10-year fight between a group of residents and the East Gippsland shire council over grey-headed flying foxes is heating up again

The Australian town of Bairnsdale in Victoria – 300km east of Melbourne – is known as the gateway to east Gippsland’s natural wonders. It is also the scene of a 10-year battle between a group of residents and the East Gippsland shire council over a colony of grey-headed flying foxes that roost along the town’s Mitchell River.

In 2014, the council received federal government approval to clear critical habitat in a three-stage process, the first occurring in 2015. The debate is now heating up in the approach of stage-two clearing, which the council intends to complete by the end of 2018.

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Categories: Environment

Rebuilding Puerto Rico, As Hurricane Season Returns

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/06/02 - 2:43pm

To answer the question of whether Puerto Rico is prepared for this year's hurricane season, you have to understand how far the island has come since Hurricane Maria.

Categories: Environment

Up in smoke: what did taxpayers get for their $2bn emissions fund?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/02 - 1:00pm

Before the latest auction figures, Adam Morton investigates the plan Turnbull once called ‘a recipe for fiscal recklessness’

At some point in June, the Australian government will announce it has spent up to $2.3bn over three years on a scheme that the prime minister believes is a reckless waste of public money.

Related: Land-clearing wipes out $1bn taxpayer-funded emissions gains

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Categories: Environment

Flooding And Rising Seas Threaten America's Oldest Farmland

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/06/02 - 3:35am

Some of the oldest farmland in America is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. But as sea levels rise, saltwater is killing crops and threatening a way of life.

(Image credit: Jennifer Ludden/NPR)

Categories: Environment

President Trump Orders Help For Coal And Nuclear Plants

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 2:26pm

President Trump has ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate steps to help financially troubled coal and nuclear power plants.

(Image credit: Reid Frazier/Allegheny Front)

Categories: Environment

Victoria pledges to remove 1,200 brumbies to protect alps and calls on NSW to act

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 1:00pm

Environment minister says up to 2,500 wild horses are causing ‘significant damage’ to plant and animal species

The Victorian government has signed off on a plan to remove more than 1,200 feral horses from the Alpine national park, saying the impact of the animals on sensitive ecosystems has reached critical levels.

Two weeks ago the New South Wales government announced a proposal to protect Kosciuszko national park brumbies, which conservation advocates have labelled a “disaster” for Australia’s environmental heritage.

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Categories: Environment

Cuadrilla secures new injunction against fracking protesters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 10:12am

Energy firm obtains expanded injunction ahead of plans to begin large-scale fracking at Preston New Road site

A major energy firm has secured an expanded injunction against protesters after it took a big step towards starting fracking on a substantial scale.

Cuadrilla Resources went to court to obtain the injunction against all campaigners who opposed its drilling operations at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire. The injunction was granted on Friday on a temporary basis amid growing criticism of the corporate use of injunctions to counter protests. At least five companies have chosen to use them as legal weapons in this way.

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Categories: Environment

Businesses will act on climate despite Trump, says ex-UN climate chief

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 9:09am

Christiana Figueres was also scathing of those who say it is inevitable that the global warming limit set out in the Paris agreement will be broken

Businesses are moving forward faster than ever on climate change despite the intransigence of US president Donald Trump, the former climate chief of the UN has said.

“There is a big difference between the economics of climate change and the politics of climate change,” said Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change, who oversaw the landmark Paris agreement on climate change.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 7:42am

Blue-throated bee-eaters, a baby anteater and a dehydrated fruitbat are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Greenpeace activists abseil into Total's AGM – video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 5:55am

Four Greenpeace activists climb down into Total's AGM to protest against the oil company’s plans to drill in the mouth of the Amazon and French Guiana. The abseilers descended as the Total chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné, began his presentation, while many people protested outside the venue

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Categories: Environment

Greenpeace protesters abseil into oil firm Total's AGM

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/01 - 5:26am

Activists join about 250 others who oppose drilling in Amazon and French Guiana

More than 250 Greenpeace activists hijacked Total’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Paris to protest at the oil company’s plans to drill in the mouth of the Amazon and French Guiana.

Four activists descended by ropes from the ceiling above the stage, as the Total chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné, began his presentation, with at least 20 more gaining access to the Palais des Congrès. Some of the activists chained themselves to fixtures in the hall with the proceedings disrupted by chants and the blowing of whistles. The remainder of the 250-strong group protested outside the venue.

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Categories: Environment

The New York pigeon – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 11:00pm

Andrew Garn is a native New Yorker who grew up surrounded by the city’s ubiquitous pigeons. For over a decade he has photographed, rehabilitated and observed the birds, documenting the entire spectrum of their development from newborn “squeakers” to fully fledged adults. The New York Pigeon: Behind the Feathers by Andrew Garn, with text by Emily S Rueb and Rita McMahon, is published by powerHouse Books and available in the UK at The Guardian Bookshop

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Categories: Environment

The festival putting Edinburgh on the international cycling map | Kim Harding

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 11:00pm

It’s not perfect, but the city has ambitious plans for cycling, and the Festival of Cycling offers a chance to celebrate progress

In theory, Edinburgh might not look like the perfect city for cycling. Apart from the weather there are the (in)famous hills, then there’s the … (add your own excuses here.) But things are changing.

Currently the city council is committing 10% of its transport budget to cycling, a first for a UK city, as well as introducing 20mph speed limits across a large area. And in September, Edinburgh will finally be getting its own bikeshare scheme, which will include a proportion of e-bikes to help beat the hills.

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Categories: Environment

Paris deal: a year after Trump announced US exit, a coalition fights to fill the gap

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 9:00pm

Cities, states and companies are taking their own steps on behalf of the planet. But their power to minimize Trump’s damage is limited

Donald Trump barely had time to leave a sun-drenched Rose Garden after announcing the US exit from the historic Paris climate change agreement before the backlash began.

The voluntary deal, aimed at curbing global temperature rise to under 2C, was “draconian” and would cause a “very diminished quality of life” for Americans, Trump said on 1 June last year. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” the president added.

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Categories: Environment

Dutch fishermen to sail fleet into Amsterdam in wind turbine protest

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 9:00pm

Workers say they are taking action in response to vast amount of windfarms being constructed in their waters

The Netherlands may be the land of the windmill, but fishermen are planning a major protest on Saturday against the Dutch government’s latest wind turbine construction in the North Sea, with an armada of fishing boats sailing into Amsterdam.

After alighting from at least 15 boats at the back of Amsterdam’s central station, it is understood that hundreds of fishermen will march to the capital’s Damrak canal, where they will upend bags of small fish deemed too small for sale by the EU, and cover them with red dye.

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Categories: Environment

Companies And Regulators Move Toward Full Ban On Plastic Straws To Help Alleviate Pileup

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 1:20pm

Plastic straws make up an alarming percentage of waste around the world. Bon Appetit, a large food service company, announced Thursday it is banning plastic straws in all 1,000 of its cafes across the U.S.

Categories: Environment

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 11:00am

Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock - it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

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Categories: Environment

Last Straw For Plastic Straws? Cities, Restaurants Move To Toss These Sippers

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/31 - 11:00am

As awareness grows about the environmental toll of single-use plastics, U.S. retailers and regulators alike are finding ways to decrease their use. And straws have become a prime target.

(Image credit: Barbara Woike/AP)

Categories: Environment
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