Environment

Plastics campaign calls for grassroots action to cut pollution across the UK

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 11:00pm

Individuals, schools and businesses are urged to adopt a five point plan to help make their towns and cities free of single-use plastic

Communities across the UK are being urged to spread grass roots resistance to single-use plastic to reduce the millions of tonnes of it seeping into the oceans.

Local councils, schools and businesses will be targeted in the Plastic Free Coastlines campaign that aims to ape the movement to end the use of plastic bags.

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Categories: Environment

Bees under the macro lens – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 11:00pm

Summer’s here, and so are bees. These new macro images by Alejandro Santillana are being showcased in the Insects Unlocked project at the University of Texas at Austin

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Categories: Environment

Wasteland: plastics campaign calls for grassroots action on pollution – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 11:00pm

In a film released by Surfers Against Sewage, narrated by the actor Imelda Staunton, the scale of the plastic waste that circulates on the currents of the world’s oceans is compared to a global nuclear security threat. The group is calling for people to adopt a five-point plan to reduce plastic pollution

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Categories: Environment

Asia's coal-fired power boom 'bankrolled by foreign governments and banks'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 10:28pm

The vast majority of newly built stations in Indonesia relied on export credits agencies or development banks, says study by Market Forces

The much-discussed boom in coal-fired power in south-east Asia is being bankrolled by foreign governments and banks, with the vast majority of projects apparently too risky for the private sector.

Environmental analysts at activist group Market Forces examined 22 deals involving 13.1 gigawatts of coal-fired power in Indonesia and found that 91% of the projects had the backing of foreign governments through export credit agencies or development banks.

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Categories: Environment

House of horrors: inside the US wildlife repository – photo essay

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 10:00pm

Photographer Matthew Staver and writer Oliver Milman visited the US National Wildlife Property Repository, where illegal wildlife products, from stuffed tigers to worked ivory, are stored and counted

If the US had a national house of horrors, it would probably be the federal government compound that lies on the fringes of Denver, Colorado, incongruously set within a wildlife reserve where bison languorously dawdle against a backdrop of the snow-crowned Rockies.

The National Wildlife Property Repository, operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is a warehouse of the macabre. It’s a Noah’s ark of protected deceased biodiversity that smugglers attempted to get into the US before being caught by FWS staff at airports and ports.

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Categories: Environment

Hot dogs: rising heat makes it too hot for Africa’s wild dogs to hunt

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 10:00pm

The endangered wild dogs are well adapted to high temperatures but a warming world means pup survival is plummeting, study shows

Rising temperatures are making it too hot for African wild dogs to hunt and the number of their pups that survive is plummeting, according to a new study. The research is among the first to show a direct impact of increased heat on wildlife that appears well adapted to high temperatures.

There are only 7,000 African wild dogs left in the wild and they have lost 93% of their historic ranges to humans. Research earlier in July suggested that a “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is already under way.

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Categories: Environment

More locals join push to stop oil drilling in Great Australian Bight

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 8:16pm

Holdfast Bay council wants moratorium on oil and gas exploration in bight over fears of ‘devastating impacts’ of oil spill

Local opposition to plans by multinational oil companies to drill in the Great Australian Bight has ratcheted up a notch after Holdfast Bay council passed a motion calling on the regulator to stop all such activity – the largest of five councils in the South Australian region to voice concern.

The move almost doubles the number of people living in councils opposed to drilling in the bight, bringing it to nearly 84,000 people in total, with the representatives of the roughly 38,000 people in Holdfast Bay adding their voices to those of Kangaroo Island, Victor Harbor, Yankalilla and Yorke Peninsula.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Scientist Says He Was Demoted For Speaking Out On Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 8:13pm

Joel Clement, who was director of the Interior Department's Office of Policy Analysis during the Obama administration, says in a newspaper op-ed that he was reassigned to an "accounting office."

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn't The End Of It

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 2:30pm

A researcher tallied how much has been manufactured since plastic's invention: "Eight point three billion metric tons of plastics produced so far. That's just really a staggering amount."

(Image credit: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Plastic pollution risks 'near permanent contamination of natural environment'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 11:00am

First global analysis of all mass–produced plastics has found humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or oceans

Humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world’s continents and oceans, according to a new report.

The first global analysis of all mass–produced plastics has found that it has outstripped most other man-made materials, threatening a “near permanent contamination of the natural environment”.

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Categories: Environment

Fresh legal challenge looms over Adani mine risk to endangered finch

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Australian Conservation Foundation asks environment and energy minister to revoke Carmichael mine approval

A fresh legal challenge could be brewing for Adani’s planned Carmichael coalmine. New advice has found the federal environment minister’s approval of the mine may have been unlawful in light of new scientific evidence of its impacts on the endangered black-throated finch.

As a result, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has asked the federal minister for the environment and energy, Josh Frydenberg, revoke the approval and ask Adani to resubmit its plans for consideration.

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Categories: Environment

UK threatens to return radioactive waste to EU without nuclear deal

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 10:42am

Brexit department warns EU counterparts it will ‘return waste to its country of origin’ if an agreement on nuclear cooperation cannot be reached

Britain has warned the EU that it could return boatloads of radioactive waste back to the continent if the Brexit talks fail to deliver an agreement on nuclear regulation.

In what is being taken in Brussels as a thinly veiled threat, a paper setting out the UK position for the negotiations stresses the right “to return radioactive waste … to its country of origin” should negotiations collapse.

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Categories: Environment

RSPB loses legal fight against £2bn offshore windfarm in Scotland

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 9:31am

Neart na Gaoithe project on east coast likely to go ahead after long-running court battle despite claim it threatens seabirds

A £2bn offshore windfarm in Scotland looks set to go ahead after the RSPB lost a long-running legal challenge against the plans, which the conservationists said threatened puffins, gannets and kittiwakes.

The Scottish government gave its consent to four major windfarms in the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay in 2014, but the RSPB launched a judicial review, saying it was extremely concerned at the impact on seabirds.

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Categories: Environment

Pennsylvania nuns oppose fracking gas pipeline through 'holy' land

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 9:31am

Catholic order builds chapel in middle of cornfield in attempt to use religious freedom protections to block Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

Catholic nuns in Pennsylvania are resisting plans to build a $3bn pipeline for gas obtained by fracking through its land by creating a rudimentary chapel along the proposed route and launching a legal challenge, citing religious freedom.

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ order has filed a complaint against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a bid to keep the pipeline off their land. The nuns’ lawyers argue in court papers that a decision by FERC to force them to accommodate the pipeline is “antithetical to the deeply held religious beliefs and convictions of the Adorers”.

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Categories: Environment

The coal truth: how a major energy source lost its power in Britain

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 9:16am

Coal supplied just 2% of power in the first half of 2017, marking a steep decline from just five years ago, according to analysis by Imperial College

Once the engine of the Industrial Revolution and employer of nearly 1.2 million people, the fall of old king coal in the UK has been precipitous.

Only five years ago, the fuel was generating more than 40% of the UK’s electricity, but new analysis by Imperial College London reveals coal supplied just 2% of power in the first half of 2017.

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Categories: Environment

Cornish village begins clean-up work after torrential rain and floods

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 9:10am

Scene in Coverack ‘devastating’ as forecasters warn of more potential flooding in parts of England and Wales

Dazed residents in a Cornish fishing village have begun a huge clean-up operation following a flash flood that saw a torrent of water more than a metre deep rip up roads and damage 50 properties.

As forecasters warned of more potential flooding in parts of England and Wales on Wednesday, the scene at Coverack on the Lizard peninsula was described as devastating.

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Categories: Environment

'Extreme And Aggressive' California Wildfires Force Thousands To Evacuate

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 8:48am

The Detwiler Fire has already burned approximately 45,000 acres and is just 7 percent contained. "I haven't seen these conditions in a long time," said a Cal Fire spokesman.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Late-night hosts on US healthcare: 'Hard to overstate the level of failure'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 8:32am

Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers discussed the failure of the Republican healthcare plan and rollback of environmental regulations

Late-night hosts addressed the GOP healthcare bill on Tuesday night, which collapsed after four Republican senators came out in opposition to it.

“Trumpcare is no more,” Trevor Noah of Comedy Central began. “I don’t know why we’re surprised. We all knew the words Trump and care were never destined to be together.”

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Categories: Environment

Six ways Trump is 'dismantling' the US after six months in office

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 3:00am

Trump has been paralyzed on healthcare and tax reform, but his administration has been active in eroding safeguards and protections elsewhere

Given all that Donald Trump promised the business world during his bombastic campaign, it’s tempting to dismiss the president’s first six months with a “meh”. It would also be myopic.

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Categories: Environment

Climate denial is like The Matrix; more Republicans are choosing the red pill | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/07/19 - 3:00am

The wall of Republican climate denial is starting to crack; who will be the Neo that accelerates the process?

Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt wants to hold televised ‘Red Team/Blue Team’ climate science ‘debates.’ The idea is that a ‘Red Team’ of scientists will challenge the mainstream findings of ‘Blue Team’ scientists. That may sound familiar, because it’s exactly how the peer-review process works. But climate deniers have lost the debate in the peer-reviewed literature, with over 97% of peer-reviewed studies endorsing the consensus on human-caused global warming, and the few contrarian papers being flawed and failing to withstand scientific scrutiny.

So Scott Pruitt is trying to put his thumb on the scale, giving the less than 3% of contrarian scientists equal footing on a ‘Red Team.’ John Oliver showed how to do a statistically representative televised climate debate (so brilliantly that it’s been viewed 7.4m times), but it’s probably not what Pruitt had in mind:

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Categories: Environment
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