March of the Penguins heralds Antarctic protection campaign - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 8:30am

Model penguins have appeared in cities around the world as part of a new Greenpeace campaign that is aiming to turn a huge tract of the Antarctic Ocean into the world’s biggest wildlife reserve, protecting marine life and helping to fight climate change

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British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 6:51am

Food Standards Agency reports ‘significant increase’ of harmful pathogen campylobacter in British-farmed chickens

Chickens for sale in Britain’s supermarkets are showing record levels of superbugs resistant to some of the strongest antibiotics, new research from the government has found.

The results are concerning because resistance to antibiotics among livestock can easily affect resistance among humans, rendering vital medicines ineffective against serious diseases.

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European parliament to decide future of pulse fishing

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 5:51am

Vote on controversial method will be closely watched in the UK, which will decide on the issue as part of national fishing policy after Brexit

Europe’s parliament will vote on Tuesday on the controversial issue of electric pulse fishing, in a debate that could decide the future of the fishing method.

The debate is crucial for the UK, despite Brexit, because the UK’s fleets have yet to decide whether to lobby the government post-Brexit for an expansion in pulse fishing. Tuesday’s debate and vote will give an indication of both current scientific advice on the issue, and the strength of public opinion.

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Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 4:00am

Higher temperatures increase the number of people seeking asylum in the EU

The refugee crisis – particularly in the Mediterranean area – has received large amounts of new attention in the past few years, with people fleeing from Syria and entering the European Union emblematic of the problem. There has been some research connecting this refugee problem with changes to the climate. In particular, the years preceding the Syrian refugee crisis were characterized by a severe drought that reduced farm output and led to economic and social strife there.

Separating out the influences of climate change from general social instability may be impossible, because they are intimately linked. But we do know that climate change can cause social and economic instability. We also know that these instabilities can boil over into larger problems that lead to mass exodus. The problem isn’t knowing the connection between climate and refugees exists – rather the problem is quantifying it.

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Scotland's historic sites at high risk from climate change, report says

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 11:30pm

Exclusive: Many of the country’s most famous ancient sites, from Holyrood Park to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, need urgent protection, say experts

Dozens of Scotland’s most famous historic sites are at very high risk of being badly damaged by climate change and need urgent protection, an expert survey has found.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the agency which oversees nearly 340 of the country’s most important castles, abbeys, Neolithic sites and ruins, has for the first time issued red warnings for nearly a fifth of its sites and put amber, high risk warnings against another 70%.

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Victoria may extend Yallourn coal licence despite zero-emissions pledge

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 10:52pm

Environment Victoria says extending Australia’s most polluting power station would pose an ‘unacceptable risk’ to the climate

The Victorian government is considering whether to extend the coalmining licence for Australia’s most polluting power station, Yallourn, in the state’s Latrobe Valley.

A spokesman for the resources minister, Tim Pallas, said the government’s mining industry regulator, Earth Resources Regulation, was assessing the mine licence extension application and was expected to provide advice to the minister shortly.

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Ford to invest $11bn and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles by 2022

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 10:27pm

The planned investment is significantly higher than the previously announced target of $4.5bn by 2020

Ford Motor Co will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11bn by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model line-up, the company’s chairman, Bill Ford, said on Sunday at the Detroit auto show.

The investment figure is sharply higher than a previously announced target of $4.5bn by 2020, Ford executives said, and includes the costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures.

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'Pesky little birds': corella culls planned in Western Australia

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 5:30pm

Wild flocks bred from aviary escapees pose threat to local species and ‘don’t just eat, they destroy’, mayor says

Regional councils in Western Australia are using fireworks, lethal gas, nets, and mass shooting to reduce the number of corellas, which are reportedly damaging buildings and destroying infrastructure.

The culprits are primarily eastern long-billed corellas, Cacatua tenuirostris, which were introduced to WA as a popular aviary bird.

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Householders could face fines for using fly-tippers

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 5:01pm

Action to combat unlicensed waste carriers to be taken after Environment Agency uncovers 850 illegal dumping sites in a year

Households whose rubbish ends up being dumped illegally by unauthorised disposal companies could face fines under plans being considered by the government.

Councils could be given the power to directly fine people caught using unlicensed waste carriers following a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

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Country diary 1918: fowls fill dead air with an alive gurgling call

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 3:30pm

19 January 1918 Ducks waddled across to a narrow outlet, dabbled with their beaks, flopped in, and breasted away from the current, catching an odd flake as it fell

Just after daybreak, while snow was falling, the fowls crept from their house, flew into the bare branches of apple trees, and filled the dead air with an alive gurgling call which tells that laying time has come. Ducks waddled across to a narrow outlet where a stream breaks quickly for the river, dabbled with their beaks, flopped in, and breasted away from the current, now and then catching an odd flake as it fell. Wood and field birds winged about aimlessly, larks and linnets going separately in small flocks, and one wagtail went to the margin of the water as if for company with the swimming birds. The snow turned to rain; the wood, clothed a minute ago in white, was now naked and cold. But a thrush came, trilled softly, then broke into almost full song; a starling perched on the farmhouse eaves shook the wet from his feathers, and tried to warble; rooks swung in their nest trees and called.

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Categories: Environment

Belize bans oil activity to protect its barrier reef

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 3:00am

Decision hailed as huge step forward that will safeguard both the marine environment and the country’s lucrative dive tourism industry

Some good news for the new year: in what has been called a huge step forward in protecting oceans and marine life, the Belize government has announced bold legislation to end oil activity in all of its waters.

The move is designed to protect the fragile Belize Barrier Reef world heritage site, the second-largest in the world after Australia’s and home to 1,400 species, including endangered hawksbill turtles, manatees, rays and six threatened species of shark.

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'It was like Niagara Falls': how California's rich and poor united against a tide of mud

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 12:00am

After wildfire and floods, nature has again taken its toll in California, from the rustic Verdugo mountains to Montecito’s celebrity homes

Jeanette Abney owns a big, fancy house and Elizabeth Terry rents a room in a boarding house. But this week they both ended up sleeping on cots in the same American Red Cross evacuation centre, sipping the same instant coffee, nibbling the same pastries and huddling under the same blankets. A rain-sodden poster at the entrance declared “disaster services”.

Both women were in need. A storm had drenched the Verdugo mountains, a rugged, rustic outpost of Los Angeles, and unleashed a massive mudslide, forcing them to flee to an improvised evacuation centre in the San Fernando valley.

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Rescues Continue In California Mudslide Zones

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/01/13 - 3:47pm

Search and rescue operations in Southern California continue for people still missing after this week's massive mudslides and debris flow. Many areas are still unreachable in Santa Barbara County.

Categories: Environment

World's biggest wildlife reserve planned for Antarctica in global campaign

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/13 - 1:01am

Vast 1.8m sq km fishing-free zone would protect species, such as penguins, leopard seals and whales, and help mitigate the effects of climate change

A global campaign is being launched to turn a huge tract of the seas around the Antarctic into the world’s biggest sanctuary, protecting wildlife and helping the fight against climate change.

The huge 1.8m sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would ban all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and around the Antarctic Peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.

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Categories: Environment

Animal welfare groups call for higher standards for farmed chickens

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/13 - 12:01am

Retailers and restaurants urged to sign up to new cross-European guidelines amid growing concerns over cruelty in intensive meat production

New welfare standards for farmed chickens have been demanded by a large coalition of European animal protection groups, including the RSPCA, in a bid to address growing concerns about inhumane conditions in the intensive and large-scale production of meat.

Supermarkets and restaurants are being urged to sign up to the new blueprint, which represents the first time a single set of requirements has been agreed on across the continent.

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Scientists Say A Fluctuating Jet Stream May Be Causing Extreme Weather Events

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/12 - 2:54pm

A new study says unusual patterns of the polar jet stream circling the Northern Hemisphere may have led to dramatic weather in Europe and North America.

(Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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California Woman Shares Story Of Mudslide Survival

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/12 - 2:16pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Rita Bourbon, who survived the California mudslides in her home, but sadly found her neighbor's body in her backyard.

Categories: Environment

It's Becoming Increasingly Hard For California Homeowners To Get Insurance

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/12 - 2:16pm

Insurance companies are increasingly dropping homeowners in California because of wildfire risk. There's concern the problem will grow worse after this year's destructive fire season.

Categories: Environment

Southern California Hillsides Remain Vulnerable After Deadly Mudslides

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/12 - 12:47pm

Deadly mudslides occured in Santa Barbara County, Calif., after heavy rain pushed debris down fire-scarred hillsides. If it rains again, more debris could be swept down the mountains.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef tourism spokesman attacks scientist over slump in visitors

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

Col McKenzie calls on government to stop funding work of Terry Hughes, saying tourists ‘won’t do long-haul trips when they think the reef is dead’

A Queensland tourism representative has called one of the Great Barrier Reef’s leading researchers “a dick”, blaming the professor for a downturn in tourism growth at the state’s greatest natural asset.

Col McKenzie, the head of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, a group that represents more than 100 businesses in the Great Barrier Reef, has written to the federal government asking it to stop funding the work of Professor Terry Hughes, claiming his comments were “misleading” and damaging the tourism industry.

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