Environment

How Slovenia is helping its ‘baby dragons’

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/08/27 - 2:30am
The eyeless subterranean salamanders that live in the watery depths of Postojna Cave are under threat – but there’s hope in sight

Postojna Cave in Slovenia is one of Europe’s longest cave networks and one of the world’s most spectacular subterranean tourist sites. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come here every year to gaze at its wonders: its huge stalactites and stalagmites, its curtains of coloured rock and bridges that have been carved out of the local limestone by the river Pivka over millions of years.

Given such glories, it is not surprising that few tourists take note of the two concrete huts draped with black polythene that have been erected in a shadowy alcove in one obscure part of the 24km-long labyrinth. But the huts contain wonders of their own. In racks of trays of water, scientists have placed specimens of one of the world’s strangest creatures: the blind aquatic salamander Proteus anguinus – or olm, as it is known locally. It constitutes a project that could have profound implications for the future of these remarkable creatures.

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Categories: Environment

Rhinoceros horn online auction: few buyers after outraged protests

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 6:24pm

Controversial three-day South African sale condemned by conservationists, but seller says it was ‘successful’

South Africa’s first online auction of rhinoceros horn – held amid outrage from conservationists – attracted fewer buyers than anticipated, lawyers for the organiser said on Saturday.

John Hume, owner of the world’s largest rhinoceros farm, organised the controversial three-day selloff which ended on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

As Houston-Area Suburbs Wait For Harvey To Blow Over, Temporary Fixes Abound

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 5:20pm

In wealthy Sierra Plantation, crews are working hard to patch roofs and clear debris from downed trees. But it's all just a temporary solution until the storm's cycle brings more damage.

(Image credit: Marisa Peñaloza/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Bee inspired: why Oslo has put ecological riches at the heart of the city

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 4:05pm

Norway wants urban gardeners to cultivate wildflowers and keep hives to reverse a decline in biodiversity

On a sloping meadow near the centre of Oslo, red-tailed bumblebees gather pollen from hairy violets, spiders spin webs between maiden’s tears while hoverflies buzz between yellow daisies and white yarrow.

Such a bucolic scene might normally be associated more with a rural past than an urban future, but it is part of a thoroughly modern attempt to reverse the decline of bee populations and put biodiversity at the heart of city planning in Norway’s capital.

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Categories: Environment

Houston Area Storm Evacuees Return To Damaged Homes

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 3:14pm

While Corpus Christi and the surrounding area got the brunt of the Hurricane Harvey, Houston received heavy rain and strong winds. Homes were damaged and there's been some minor flooding so far.

Categories: Environment

Hurricane Harvey Gets Downgraded To Tropical Storm

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 3:14pm

Hurricane Harvey made landfall north of Corpus Christi, Texas around 10 p.m. Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane. It's the most powerful storm to hit Texas in more than 50 years.

Categories: Environment

One Last Hike Of Summer

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 5:03am

A reporter takes a hike along a bird-rich wilderness trail in the Soda Range high in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

Categories: Environment

Daylight Breaks Over Hurricane Harvey's Damage

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 5:03am

The extent of the initial damage from Hurricane Harvey was becoming visible Saturday morning in Texas.

Categories: Environment

Patagonia joins forces with activists to protect public lands from Trump

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 4:00am

Native Americans and environmental advocates get help from outdoor retailers as they battle proposal to change monuments’ boundaries

Environmental activists, Native American groups and a coalition of outdoor retailers have vowed to redouble their efforts to protect public lands, after the US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, recommended on Thursday that Donald Trump change the boundaries of a “handful” of national monuments.

Related: US public lands: Trump official recommends shrinking national monuments

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Categories: Environment

'I Will Lose My Identity': Cambodian Villagers Face Displacement By Mekong Dam

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 2:18am

Thousands are being displaced by new dam construction. "I cannot leave my ancestors here," says a woman whose village will be submerged by the dam. "If I abandon them, I won't know who I am."

(Image credit: Michael Sullivan for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Neighborhoods Worry About Living Amid Oil And Gas Development

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/08/26 - 2:00am

After a deadly home explosion in Northern Colorado, residents want to change the rules on how close their homes and schools should be to oil and gas wells.

(Image credit: RJ Sangosti/Denver Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The bees are already sealing their hives for the winter ahead

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 9:30pm

Ryall, Dorset The wax cells are studded with pollen gems in carnelian, citrine, garnet – an almanac of the seasons

The bees think it’s autumn. Since mid-July they have been reducing their numbers and sealing up the hives with propolis. Dark brown, sticky when fresh, brittle as cinder toffee when dry, propolis is a glue bees make from tree sap. It’s antimicrobial and despite its bitter taste some beekeepers chew it as a remedy for a sore throat.

Bees use propolis to fill small gaps in the hive and to mummify any invaders that are too big for them to carry outside. Occasionally, you find a dead mouse inside a hive its body shrouded in propolis, pieces of varnished bone showing through as if fossilised. The ancient Egyptians revered bees and it is thought they might have learned the principle of mummification from them.

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Categories: Environment

Why the IPA's claim global warming is natural is 'junk science' | Graham Readfearn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 3:08pm

An Institute of Public Affairs-sponsored journal article has been seized on by conservative media outlets. But there are a few problems

People who work for climate science denial thinktanks tend not to spend all that much time worrying about getting stuff into scientific journals.

Perhaps because it’s easier, people who are paid to tell the public and policy makers that human-caused climate change is overblown bunk would rather pump out newspaper columns, do softball interviews or push out their own self-published reports. There’s a lot less scrutiny in that kind of public relations.

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Categories: Environment

London zoo weigh-in – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 10:56am

Each year the keepers at the zoo record the animals’ vital statistics to monitor their health and general wellbeing

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Categories: Environment

Taxpayers spend £500,000 on radios for badger cull marksmen

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 7:56am

Police call for cull shooters to be given same hi-tech system they use – but activists buy counter-devices to disrupt shooting

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds have been spent on equipping badger cull marksmen with radios that link them directly to police, the Guardian has learned.

Police have advised the government to invest in the same communications system they use to make it easier for officers to get to conflicts with cull saboteurs in remote areas where the mobile phone signal is poor.

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Categories: Environment

Moshe Szyf: How Do Our Experiences Rewire Our Brains And Bodies?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 6:09am

Many think genetic makeup is fixed from the moment we're born. But Moshe Szyf says this understanding is incomplete because our experiences and environment have the power to change our basic biology.

Categories: Environment

Robert Sapolsky: How Much Agency Do We Have Over Our Behavior?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 6:05am

Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says nearly all aspects of human behavior are explained by biology: from developments millions of years in the past to microscopic reactions happening in the present.

(Image credit: TED)

Categories: Environment

Brian Little: Are Human Personalities Hardwired?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 6:05am

Are you introverted or extroverted? It depends. When it comes to personality, psychologist Brian Little says we can actually act against our biology — especially if we pursue a "core life project."

(Image credit: Ryan Lash/TED)

Categories: Environment

Peru tribal leaders vow to halt oil output unless indigenous rights respected

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 3:42am

Amazon leaders accuse government of blocking consultation on 30-year contract with Canadian oil firm and give ministers 20 days to apply law

Indigenous leaders from the area around Peru’s largest oil field have threatened to block the government from accessing their territories and halt oil production unless an indigenous rights law is applied within 20 days.

The tribal leaders, who hail from four Amazon river basins, accuse the government of refusing to carry out a consultation process even though it is negotiating a new 30-year contract for oil block 192 with Frontera Energy, a Canadian firm, whose current contract expires in early 2019.

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Categories: Environment

Glencore document suggests mine site could revert to NT before rehabilitation complete

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 12:40am

Exclusive: Risk assessment table indicates Glencore may have little or no involvement after McArthur River Mine’s life ends

A mine expansion proposal by Glencore appears to include handing responsibility for the McArthur River Mine site to the Northern Territory government just 50-100 years into an expected 1,000-year rehabilitation and monitoring process.

Glencore is proposing to expand its operations in Borroloola for another 20 years from 2018 and, according to its draft environmental impact statement, that expansion would require up to 300 years of rehabilitation and management, and about 900 years of monitoring.

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Categories: Environment
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