Environment

Sierra Snowpack Smacks California's Drought

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 6:58pm

Despite one of the wettest winters on record, California Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't declared the five-year drought over yet. But the water shortages may to be over.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

Warmer Temperatures Signal Early Start To Spring Weather

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 2:31pm

Spring arrived early this year across much of the U.S. NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Jake Weltzin of the U.S. Geological Survey to find out how we know.

Categories: Environment

Heavy Rainfall Strains One Of California's Most Essential Reservoirs

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 2:31pm

Snow surveyors are measuring the health of the snow pack in the high altitude Sierra Nevada. After years of drought, much of the state is now experiencing one of its wettest years on record.

Categories: Environment

Navajo Workers At Coal-Fired Power Plant Brace For Its Closing

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 2:31pm

The largest coal-fired power plant in the Western U.S. will shut down 25 years earlier than expected. Environmentalists are celebrating, but hundreds of Navajo workers there are devastated.

(Image credit: Amber Brown/Courtesy of Salt River Project )

Categories: Environment

Infrastructure fund lacks transparency on Adani plans, warns thinktank

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 12:00pm

The Australia Institute says the $5bn northern Australia fund lags behind other agencies in process and disclosure

The progressive thinktank the Australia Institute has raised concerns about the operation of the Turnbull government’s $5bn northern Australia infrastructure fund, saying the organisation lacks resources and is not being transparent about its internal procedures.

With officials from the $5bn fund due to front Senate estimates hearings in Canberra on Thursday, the thinktank has released a report arguing the NAIF is behind other comparable government organisations in terms of process and disclosure, and in operational funding.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Private investor divests $34.8m from firms tied to Dakota Access pipeline

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 11:30am

Storebrand, a sustainable investment manager in Norway, hopes pulling shares from three groups will ‘make some sort of impact’ amid Defund DAPL movement

Norway’s largest private investor is divesting from three companies tied to the Dakota Access pipeline, a small victory for the Standing Rock movement one week after the eviction of the main protest encampment.

Storebrand, a sustainable investment manager with $68bn in assets, sold off $34.8m worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge, the company announced Wednesday. The three companies are partial owners of the pipeline.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How have you been affected by air pollution?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 10:00am

If you are campaigning against high levels of toxic air or planning to relocate because of it, we’d like to hear from you

There are 802 educational institutions in London where pupils as young as three are being exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide.

The schools, nurseries and colleges are within 150 metres of nitrogen dioxide pollution levels that exceed the EU legal limit of 40µg/m3 (40 micrograms per cubic metre of air), putting tens of thousands of children at risk from lifelong health problems.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Keep it in the ground: Shell's 1991 film warning of climate change danger uncovered

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 9:04am


Public information film unseen for years shows Shell had clear grasp of global warming 26 years ago but has not acted accordingly since, say critics

More than a quarter of a century ago, oil giant Shell made an extraordinary public film about the dangers of global warming, called Climate of Concern, which has just been rediscovered. The film, says one leading climate scientist, is one of the best he has ever seen: the science is sharp, the predictions uncannily accurate and the suggested solutions smart. The film even had an urgent message: “Action now is seen as the only safe insurance.”

Yet Shell has spent the 26 years since investing many billions in highly polluting tar sands and helping to lobby against climate action. As Bill McKibben told me: “Imagine if Shell had taken their own advice and we’d spent the last quarter century in all-out pursuit of renewables, energy efficiency, and conservation. We wouldn’t have solved the problem of global warming, but we’d be well on the way. Shell made a big difference in the world – a difference for the worse.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Apocalypse hedgehog: the fight to save Britain's favourite mammal

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 8:30am

The much-loved creature of the suburban garden is in rapid decline – with new builds, roads and badgers to blame. Can we prevent their extinction?

Hit by a car. Savaged by a dog. Slashed by a strimmer. Burnt in a bonfire. Tangled in garden netting. Poisoned by slug pellets. Caught in a postman’s discarded rubber bands. Head stuck in a tin can. Tricked out of hibernation by increasingly unpredictable winter weather. Modern life, governed by humans, designs a multitude of ingenious ways for a hedgehog to die. It is no wonder that this treasured animal, a suburban garden fixture, which consistently tops favourite-species polls and is the source of many people’s first close encounter with a wild creature, is vanishing from Britain.

This disappearance is rapid, and recent. A survey of more than 2,600 people by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine in February found that 51% of gardeners didn’t see a hedgehog at all last year, up from 48% in 2015. Barely one in 10 saw a hedgehog regularly. Scientific studies are unequivocal. Britain’s hedgehog population was calculated to be 1.55 million in 1995. Since the turn of the century it has declined by a third in urban areas and up to 75% in the countryside. A survey based on roadkill calculates that hedgehogs are declining by 3% each year. This exceeds the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list criteria, which identifies species at greatest conservation risk. Why are we obliterating hedgehogs? Will they become extinct? Or can we save them?

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Burger King animal feed sourced from deforested lands in Brazil and Bolivia

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 8:04am

Campaign group Mighty Earth says aerial drones, satellite imaging and field research show farmers carried out forest-burning for fast food giant’s soy suppliers

The hamburger chain Burger King has been buying animal feed produced in soy plantations carved out by the burning of tropical forests in Brazil and Bolivia, according to a new report.

Jaguars, giant anteaters and sloths have all been affected by the disappearance of around 700,000 hectares (1,729,738 acres) of forest land between 2011 and 2015.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Indian traders boycott Coca-Cola for 'straining water resources'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 7:57am

Campaigners in drought-hit Tamil Nadu say it is unsustainable to use 400 litres of water to make a 1 litre fizzy drink

More than a million traders in India are boycotting fizzy drinks including Coca-Cola and Pepsi after claims from from two Indian trade associations that foreign firms are exploiting the country’s water resources.

Traders in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which has a population bigger than the UK, will replace big brands with locally produced soft drinks.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Northern hemisphere sees in early spring due to global warming

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 7:43am

Spring is sprung 26 days earlier than a decade ago, causing problems for the natural cycle of plants and wildlife, Climate News Network reports

Spring is arriving ever earlier in the northern hemisphere. One sedge species in Greenland is springing to growth 26 days earlier than it did a decade ago. And in the US, spring arrived 22 days early this year in Washington DC.

The evidence comes from those silent witnesses, the natural things that respond to climate signals. The relatively new science of phenology – the calendar record of first bud, first flower, first nesting behaviour and first migrant arrivals – has over the last three decades repeatedly confirmed meteorological fears of global warming as a consequence of the combustion of fossil fuels.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Taxi drivers and business leaders call for diesel scrappage scheme

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 5:22am

Broad coalition writes to chancellor, urging him to tackle air pollution with compensation scheme for motorists

Taxi drivers and business leaders have added their voices to the growing campaign calling on ministers to introduce a diesel scrappage scheme to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution.

A broad alliance of business organisations and environmental charities has written to the chancellor, Philip Hammond, urging him to introduce a system in next week’s budget to compensate motorists switching from diesel to more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Republican hearing calls for a lower carbon pollution price. It should be much higher | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 4:00am

Staying below dangerous climate thresholds requires a carbon pollution price much higher than the federal estimate

The ‘social cost of carbon’ is an estimate of how much carbon pollution costs society via climate damages, and can also be considered the optimal carbon tax price. The US federal estimate ($37 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution) underpins at least 150 regulations across various federal agencies, and has thus become a prime target in the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back Obama’s climate policies.

Yesterday, the House Subcommittees on Environment and Oversight held a hearing on the social cost of carbon. The Republican Congressmen and their witnesses argued the federal estimate is too high, but a majority of economists think it’s too low. Not surprisingly, the Republican witnesses have been heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry. They made two main arguments: 1) that the $37 estimate should be based on domestic, not global climate impacts, and 2) that the government should have used a higher discount rate, which would result in a lower estimate.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How to switch to solar power in your home and why now is the time – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 3:00am

Every day, the sun kickstarts mini power plants in about 942,000 homes around America. We are of course talking about solar energy – and in 2017, it’s never been cheaper to invest in it for your home. The Guardian looks at key tips for installing solar panels and why now is the time to switch

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How to install solar panels at home – to save the Earth and your bank account

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 3:00am

With solar energy becoming cheaper – and federal and state authorities offering tax credits and other incentives – now is a good time to switch

Installing solar panels on the roof of your home is a big project – but it can pay dividends in more ways than one. There’s the obvious environmental benefit, but for many homeowners, the joy comes with a dollar sign attached.

Turning your home into a mini power plant can save you good money on the electric bill. Here is a guide to get you started.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Syngenta photography award 2016-17 exhibition – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 2:00am

This year’s theme is Grow-Conserve and entries will be on show in Somerset House, London, from 9 to 28 March. Winners will be announced on 8 March

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Green Investment Bank: rival bidder launches legal challenge to sale

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/01 - 1:14am

SDCL claims government has not sought value for money for taxpayer in choice of Australian bank Macquarie

A last-ditch attempt has been made to derail the government’s controversial sale of the Green Investment Bank to the Australian investment bank Macquarie.

Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL), a rival bidder for the bank, said it was launching a legal challenge to the government’s decision to select Macquarie as its preferred bidder for the £2bn deal.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Samsung and Greenpeace: what you need to know about e-waste

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/28 - 11:00pm

Greenpeace claims Samsung has 4.3m smartphones to dispose of after its Galaxy Note 7 recall. What’s the responsible way to recycle them?

At the smartphone world’s annual shindig in Barcelona, there are some things the tech giants have been trying to get people talking about – the relaunch of the Nokia 3310, BlackBerry’s new fingerprint scanner, Samsung’s virtual reality headset.

But there’s another, less glamorous story that they haven’t been so keen to promote. And that concerns the fate of their gadgets when consumers have finished with them.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australia placed on El Niño 'watch' as weather bureau puts chance at 50% for 2017

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/28 - 10:22pm

Analysis shows steady warming in the Pacific Ocean and that Australia could be in for a warmer and drier year

Australia could be heading into another El Niño year according to new analysis by the Bureau of Meteorology, which found the chance Australia would be affected by the phenomenon in 2017 had increased to 50%.

Six of the eight models used by Australian climatologists to predict El Niño and La Niña events indicate the El Niño threshold could be reached by July, while seven indicate a steady warming in the Pacific Ocean over the next six months.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content