Environment

Turnbull, Frydenberg and Abbott's electorates back 50% renewables target

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 11:09pm

ReachTel poll finds majority in three Liberal-held seats support carbon pricing, and more ambitious renewable policy

Voters in the electorates held by Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg and Tony Abbott would be more likely to support the government’s new energy policy if it ensured Australia had at least 50% renewable energy by 2030, according to a new opinion poll.

The ReachTel poll, commissioned by progressive thinktank the Australia Institute, shows a majority of voters in those Liberal-held seats support carbon pricing, and would support more policy ambition in driving renewable energy into the power grid.

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Categories: Environment

The eco guide to new mindful activism

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 10:00pm

Placard-bearing angry activists have their place, but their are other, gentler ways to make a difference

Activists are the vital foot soldiers of the environmental movement. But is the classic activist model – placard-bearing and angry – actually effective? There’s a suggestion that if you’re not shouting in the face of The Man 24 hours a day, do you actually care?

Sarah Corbett warns that angry activists are in danger of burning out

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Categories: Environment

Frydenberg 'absolutely confident' energy prices will fall but gives no guarantee

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 5:49pm

Energy minister says he believes Labor and Coalition can agree on reliability obligations but differ on emissions targets

The energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, has stopped short of guaranteeing prices will come down under the Turnbull government’s new energy policy, but says he’s “absolutely confident” power prices will fall.

Frydenberg also indicated the major parties might be able to come to terms on the mechanism, which imposes reliability and emissions reduction obligations on electricity retailers.

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Categories: Environment

High court proves we have free speech against environmental wreckers | Bob Brown

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 2:00pm

Adani and the loggers should watch out – we have a right to peaceful protest to protect our environment

The high court has drawn a line in the sand against laws which burden the right of Australians to peaceful protest.

The court made no judgement on Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman’s decision to flatten the Lapoinya state forest in northwest Tasmania against the wishes of the local community. But it struck down his Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 aimed at stopping people from protesting effectively against such forests being logged.

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Categories: Environment

Is Congress about to wreck America's natural treasures?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 12:38pm

The Antiquities Act has been used to preserve some of the most beloved US lands and landmarks but it is facing assault from Trump and Congress

One-hundred-eleven years and a few months ago, Theodore Roosevelt signed the landmark law that helped cement his place as America’s conservation president.

Related: National park ban saved 2m plastic bottles – and still Trump reversed it

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Categories: Environment

British apple boom brings back hundreds of forgotten varieties

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 12:02pm

As events across the UK celebrate Apple Day this weekend, we talk to the growers preserving the country’s ‘lost’ harvest

Britain is enjoying a remarkable apple boom, as hundreds of new community orchards revive lost varieties and contribute to a thriving heritage market.

According to Steve Oram, who is the apple diversity officer at the wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species: “We are adding new orchards to the register all the time. Some are in allotments, others in schools and even housing developments.

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Categories: Environment

'Impossible To Save': Scientists Are Watching China's Glaciers Disappear

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 3:39am

Xinjiang has nearly 20,000 glaciers, half of China's total. They're all receding at a record pace — and will continue to melt, some scientists warn, even if global temperatures stop rising.

(Image credit: Rob Schmitz/NPR)

Categories: Environment

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It's a catastrophe

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/21 - 12:00am

Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean. Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming

Thirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide “fog”, he managed to extract all the small living things in the canopies of 19 individuals of one species of tropical tree, Luehea seemannii, in the rainforest of Panama. He recorded about 1,200 separate species, nearly all of them coleoptera (beetles) and many new to science; and he estimated that 163 of these would be found on Luehea seemannii only.

He calculated that as there are about 50,000 species of tropical tree, if that figure of 163 was typical for all the other trees, there would be more than eight million species, just of beetles, in the tropical rainforest canopy; and as beetles make up about 40% of all the arthropods, the grouping that contains the insects and the other creepy-crawlies from spiders to millipedes, the total number of such species in the canopy might be 20 million; and as he estimated the canopy fauna to be separate from, and twice as rich as, the forest floor, for the tropical forest as a whole the number of species might be 30 million.

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Categories: Environment

'A world where a 12-year-old can cycle safely' is the aim, but minister expects others to deliver

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/20 - 11:30pm

Jesse Norman wants to make cycling safer, but sees local authorities and charities like Sustran as key facilitators, not government

Jesse Norman, the transport minister whose brief includes cycling, has only been in the job for six months but has already prompted controversy by insisting that cyclists follow the Highway Code, something criticised here on the Bike Blog.

In his office at the Department for Transport in Westminster, he comes across as affable and open – and talks the talk when it comes to bikes for transport.

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Categories: Environment
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