Kilauea's Wrath Threatens Power Plant — And Hawaii's Most Powerful Industry

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 10:21am

The volcano's lava has crept near a geothermal energy plant, risking the release of dangerous fumes. Meanwhile, the fiery flow is already hurting a major tourist stop and the locals who rely on it.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Journalists barred from EPA summit on harmful water contaminants

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 10:10am

The Associated Press, CNN and the environmental-focused news organization E&E were barred by the EPA from Scott Pruitt’s event

Journalists from national news organizations were barred from a summit in Washington on harmful water contaminants on Tuesday, convened by the embattled environmental protection agency (EPA) chief, Scott Pruitt. One reporter was manhandled out of the building.

Pruitt is already engulfed in a scandal over his use of taxpayer money and closeness to lobbyists, actions he has been obliged to defend in a string of congressional hearings in recent weeks, amid calls for him to quit or be fired. He is being investigated for possible federal ethics violations including spending for round-the-clock security guards, first-class plane tickets and a $43,000 soundproof telephone booth.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration plan to scrap hunting rules condemned as 'new low'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 10:04am

Proposal would repeal Obama-era rules that ban shooting of bear cubs and other controversial hunting practices in Alaska

The Trump administration is attempting to repeal a rule that bans the shooting of bear cubs, use of dogs and bait to hunt bears, and killing caribou from motorboats in Alaska’s federal wildlife refuges.

The proposal would scrap a 2015 regulation by the National Park Service that restricts controversial hunting and trapping practices on about 20m acres of federal land in Alaska.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists Take A Ride On The Pacific's 'Shark Highway'

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 8:46am

Biologists knew the sharks sometimes traveled from waters off Costa Rica south to the Galapagos Islands, but they'd never actually witnessed it.

(Image credit: Andy Mann/Waitt Foundation/Pacifico )

Categories: Environment

12 conservation success stories - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 7:50am

On international day for biological diversity, the IUCN celebrates successful conservation action with images and stories of 12 species and the efforts underway to improve their status

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Categories: Environment

Is Britain's fox population desperate for Chris Packham's roadkill?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 7:48am

The wildlife presenter has revealed he is storing roadkill in his freezer to feed foxes, as recent reports suggest their numbers are in sharp decline

The next time you’re at Chris Packham’s house, rifling through his kitchen looking for a snack, for God’s sake, don’t look in the freezer. That’s where Packham keeps his “enormous quantity” of roadkill.

What exactly is Packham doing with an enormous quantity of roadkill in his freezer? It’s a fair question. Should a nationally renowned wildlife presenter be running over wildlife in the first place?

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Categories: Environment

Shell investors revolt over pay and maintain pressure over climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 7:21am

Oil firm grilled over carbon emissions, but defeats motion calling for tougher targets

Shell investors have rebelled over the company’s executive pay, as the Anglo-Dutch oil company came under pressure to take stronger action on climate change.

While chief executive Ben van Beurden’s €8.9m (£7.79m) pay package for 2017 was approved, more than a quarter of shareholders voted against the firm’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson joins US in criticising Russia to Germany gas pipeline

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 7:21am

Foreign secretary says Nord Stream 2 could leave Europe reliant on ‘malign’ Russia

The UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has joined the US in condemning “divisive” German plans to press ahead with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, arguing it could leave European energy consumers heavily dependent on “a malign Russian state”.

The giant pipeline, and the terms on which it is built, has become the litmus test of a dispute on how Europe can reach a working relationship with Moscow and yet defend its liberal values from a Russian threat.

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Categories: Environment

Death toll climbs in Karachi heatwave

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 3:57am

Charity says at least 65 people have died in Pakistani city as temperatures exceed 40C

An intense heatwave across south Asia has killed dozens of people with sustained temperatures in excess of 40C (104F) coinciding with power cuts and Ramadan, when many Muslims avoid eating or drinking water.

At least 65 people have died in Karachi in recent days according to the charitable organisation that runs the central morgue in the Pakistani port city, as volunteers handed out water to labourers and others working outside in temperatures as high as 44C.

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Categories: Environment

Great British Bee Count 2018 - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 3:54am

As the fifth annual Great British Bee Count gets under way, wildlife and gardening experts are calling on the public to grow weeds to help Britain’s bees. The count, which will provide the first national health check for wild bees and other pollinators, runs until 30 June

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Categories: Environment

Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 3:00am

In June, a California groundskeeper will make history by taking company to trial on claims it suppressed harm of Roundup

At the age of 46, DeWayne Johnson is not ready to die. But with cancer spread through most of his body, doctors say he probably has just months to live. Now Johnson, a husband and father of three in California, hopes to survive long enough to make Monsanto take the blame for his fate.

On 18 June, Johnson will become the first person to take the global seed and chemical company to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of its popular Roundup herbicide products – and his case has just received a major boost.

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Categories: Environment

London one of worst capitals in Europe for clean, safe transport, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 2:15am

Exclusive: UK capital has the most expensive public transport, third-worst air quality and is one of most dangerous to walk and cycle, study of 13 cities reveals

London is trailing behind other major European capitals in its effort to create a clean, affordable and safe transport system, according to a new report.

The study of 13 cities found London has the joint third worst air quality after Moscow and Paris, as well as the most expensive public transport and the highest number of cycling accidents.

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Categories: Environment

Nothing Certain In Search For 'Regulatory Certainty' At EPA

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 2:00am

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt often cites the need for "regulatory certainty." But even some supporters of his sweeping rollbacks say they're creating the opposite.

(Image credit: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

Rangers find 109,217 snares in a single park in Cambodia

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/05/22 - 12:43am

Snares – either metal or rope – are indiscriminately killing wildlife across Southeast Asia, from elephants to mouse deer. The problem has become so bad that scientists are referring to protected areas in the region as “empty forests.”

A simple brake cable for motorbikes can kill a tiger, a bear, even a young elephant in Southeast Asia. Local hunters use these ubiquitous wires to create snares – indiscriminate forest bombs – that are crippling and killing Southeast Asia’s most charismatic species and many lesser-known animals as well. A fact from a new paper in Biodiversity Conservation highlights the scale of this epidemic: in Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom National Park rangers with the Wildlife Alliance removed 109,217 snares over just six years.

“Some forests in Vietnam don’t have any mammals left larger than squirrels,” Thomas Gray, the lead author of the new paper and the Science Director for Wildlife Alliance, said. “Given how diverse these forests formally were this must be having substantial impacts on ecosystem services and the [forest’s] entire biodiversity.”

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Categories: Environment

Snowy 2.0 can 'out-compete' any new coal plants, chief says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/05/21 - 11:16pm

Market shift to renewables means scheme’s economic case stacks up, senators told

The head of the government’s Snowy 2.0 project says the expanded scheme would be able to “out-compete” any new coal-fired power.

Snowy Hydro’s managing director and chief executive, Paul Broad, told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday the project would perform better than any new coal plants, including those being pushed for by government backbenchers , because of the increasing market shift toward renewables.

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Categories: Environment

UK’s new air pollution strategy ‘hugely disappointing’, says Labour

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/05/21 - 10:01pm

Consultation proposes reducing pollutants, including particulates from wood burners and ammonia from farms – but does little to tackle diesel emissions

A new clean air strategy published by the UK government has been criticised as “hugely disappointing” by the Labour party. Other groups said it did little to tackle the dirty diesel vehicles that are the main source of toxic air in urban areas.

The new strategy, announced on Tuesday by environment secretary, Michael Gove, aims to crack down on a wide range of pollutants. These include particulates from wet wood and coal burning in homes, ammonia emissions from farms and dust from vehicle tyres and brakes.

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Categories: Environment
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