Environment

Two surfers attacked by sharks on Western Australia coast near Pro tournament

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 12:15am

Man in his 30s taken to Royal Perth hospital after being bitten on the leg while a 41-year-old surfer was treated at beach for minor injuries

Two people have been bitten by sharks while surfing off the same stretch of Western Australia’s southwest coast on Monday.

A 37-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg at Cobblestones beach in Gracetown, near the Margaret River Pro surfing tournament, just before 8am and managed to bodysurf back to shore.

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Categories: Environment

The ingenious cyclewear Victorian women invented to navigate social mores

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 10:00pm

Patents by female inventors from the 1890s reveal the creative ways women made their body mobile through clothing

Much has been written about the bicycle’s role as a vehicle of women’s liberation. But far less is known about another critical technology women used to forge new mobile and public lives – cyclewear. I have been studying what Victorian women wore when they started cycling. Researching how early cyclists made their bodies mobile through clothing reveals much about the social and physical barriers they were navigating and brings to light fascinating tales of ingenious inventions.

Cycling was incredibly popular for middle- and upper-class women and men in the late 19th century, and women had to deal with distinct social and sartorial challenges. Cycling exaggerated the irrationality of women’s conventional fashions more than any other physical activity. Heavy, layered petticoats and long skirts caught in spokes and around pedals. Newspapers regularly published gruesome accounts of women dying or becoming disfigured in cycling crashes due to their clothing.

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Categories: Environment

Coalition considers letting power companies buy offsets to cut emissions

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 8:07pm

Tony Abbott argues offsets are carbon trading but government says it could include them in energy guarantee

The Turnbull government is hedging its bets on whether to allow energy companies to use external offsets to comply with their new 26% emissions reduction target.

A new 12-page discussion paper obtained by Guardian Australia addressing the emissions reduction architecture of the national energy guarantee (Neg) suggests the government is yet to make a decision about whether domestic or international emissions offsets are in or out.

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Categories: Environment

Welcome to Australia's plastic beach – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 5:59pm

How much rubbish could you collect from a suburban beach in 30 minutes? You may find the answer confronting. Guardian Australia joins Paul Sharp and Silke Stuckenbrock from the Two Hands Project to see just how prevalent plastics are on Australia's beaches

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Categories: Environment

'Plastic is literally everywhere': the epidemic attacking Australia's oceans

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 11:00am

‘It never breaks down and goes away,’ say scientists struggling to understand the impact of widespread pollution

While heading down the Brisbane river, Jim Hinds once pulled aboard a drunken half-naked man just seconds from “going down for the last time”.

But on this day, like most other days for Hinds, it’s back to the horribly predictable as he launches his boat into the Nerang river on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

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Categories: Environment

UK government criticised for 'shocking' inaction on insulating draughty homes

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 7:15am

Citizens Advice says silence on energy efficiency plans will mean households lose out

The government’s failure to take action on insulating draughty homes has been criticised by the statutory body for energy consumers.

Related: Smart systems key to future of cheaper and cleaner energy supply

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Categories: Environment

Hidden plastics: just when you thought it was safe to dunk a teabag

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 11:00pm
Five surprising objects that contain plastic – with toxic implications for the environment

Last Tuesday, Waitrose announced plans to remove all disposable coffee cups from their stores by autumn of this year – customers will have to bring a reusable one of their own. Despite their cardboard appearance, coffee cups are actually lined with polyethylene and are hard to recycle. The cups gradually break down to form microplastics, which make their way into our waterways and food supply.

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Categories: Environment

As public pressure grows, Clipper is latest brand to end use of plastic in teabags

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 10:04pm
Firm joins PG Tips in dropping synthetic sealants as other major producers look to make bags 100% biodegradable

The UK’s longest-established Fairtrade tea brand has become the latest to ditch synthetic sealants in its teabags, amid mounting consumer pressure on manufacturers to help cut down on plastic pollution.

Clipper Teas – which champions the unbleached teabag – hopes to introduce a new, fully biodegradable bag free of polypropylene, a sealant used across the industry to ensure bags hold their shape, by the summer.

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Categories: Environment

Government sets aside £60m to fight scourge of plastic waste

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 2:30pm

Fund to be split into three pots to tackle ocean pollution, research and waste management

The government has earmarked £61.4m from the public purse to fight the rising tide of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Theresa May announced the fund ahead of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London next week.

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Categories: Environment

British farmers in turmoil as delayed spring plays havoc with growing season

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 12:26pm
A combination of the beast from the east and a dismal bank holiday weekend has put the nation’s crops on hold

Last year, asparagus growers were harvesting as early as 8 April. This spring, they are not expecting to harvest their open-field crop until the last week of April – a week later than the official start of the season, St George’s Day, 23 April. Welcome to just one of the consequences of Britain’s disastrously delayed spring.

“We have had a very challenging time,” said Guy Smith, vice president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). “March breezed in with the ‘beast from the east’ and went out with the worst bank holiday on record.” For asparagus-lovers there is at least an upside. “The combination has to be right for the crowns to push through,” explained Per Hogberg, of grower Wealmoor. “The air temperature has to be at least 12C, while the soil temperature should be between 8C and 10C. With warmer weather expected, consumers can expect a bumper crop in mid-May,” he said.

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Categories: Environment

MOT changes could bring nasty surprise for diesel drivers

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 4:00am

Motoring experts believe thousands of older diesel cars will fail revamped vehicle test

Thousands of older diesel cars could be forced off the roads from next month by a stricter emissions test that forms part of the biggest shakeup to MOTs for 20 years.

From 20 May, people taking their car to a testing station will face a completely new MOT, which motoring experts believe will lead to many more diesel car failures.

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Categories: Environment

'Suddenly my eyes and throat started burning': what caused Birling Gap's toxic cloud?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 1:00am

Last August, holidaymakers in East Sussex fell ill after a poisonous yellow cloud spread across the sky. What was it, and where did it come from?

Mark Sawyer has worked for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for nearly 30 years, and since 2001 he’s been the full-time coxswain at the Eastbourne lifeboat station. Shortly after 5pm on the Sunday of a bank holiday weekend last August, he received a report from the coastguard in Southampton about an incident at a beach seven miles west of his station. “The call we got was that there had either been a fire or an explosion at Birling Gap, and they’d got 50-plus casualties suffering from smoke inhalation or burns.” There was what looked like a layer of thick smoke hanging just above the sea.

Birling Gap is a popular National Trust spot between Beachy Head and Seaford, a dip in the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, with a steel staircase leading down to a pebble beach. At low tide there is sand and rockpools; on the cliffs above there is a visitor centre, cafe, car park and coastguard station.

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Categories: Environment

Atlantic Ocean Current Slows Down To 1,000-Year Low, Studies Show

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 2:40pm

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation — the conveyor belt of the ocean — is slowing down. Scientists disagree about what's behind it, but say it could mean bad news for the climate.

(Image credit: David Goldman/AP)

Categories: Environment

Carbon dioxide from ships at sea to be regulated for first time

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 10:22am

Shipping firms to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as part of historic agreement

Carbon dioxide from ships at sea will be regulated for the first time following a historic agreement reached after two weeks of detailed talks in London.

Shipping companies will halve their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under the plan, brokered by the International Maritime Organization and binding across its 170 member states.

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Categories: Environment

Make half of world more nature-friendly by 2050, urges UN biodiversity chief

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 9:54am

Call by Cristiana Pașca Palmer comes ahead of a major biodiversity conference in Beijing in 2020

At least half of the world should be made more nature-friendly by 2050 to ensure the wellbeing of humanity, according to the UN chief leading efforts to create a new global pact on biodiversity.

The call to strengthen the world’s life support system comes ahead of a major conference in Beijing in 2020 that many hope will be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris climate agreement.

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Categories: Environment

Indigenous environmental campaigner killed by Myanmar government

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 8:26am

Karen state activists mourning community leader Saw O Moo, who campaigned to protect a local forest and for residents’ land rights

Indigenous activists in Myanmar’s Karen state are mourning the killing of a community leader who campaigned for a peace park to protect a local forest and its residents’ land rights.

Saw O Moo was ambushed by government troops on 5 April as he was riding a motorbike with a soldier from the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a rebel group that is fighting for autonomy.

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Categories: Environment

Canada To Measure Marijuana Use By Testing Sewage

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 7:14am

People responding to surveys sometimes misstate their drug use. Canada will check wastewater for traces of drugs to more accurately assess consumption.

(Image credit: Dan Burgard)

Categories: Environment

Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 6:49am

How close the world is to a catastrophic collapse of giant ocean currents is unknown, making halting global warming more critical than ever, scientists say

Serious disruption to the Gulf Stream ocean currents that are crucial in controlling global climate must be avoided “at all costs”, senior scientists have warned. The alert follows the revelation this week that the system is at its weakest ever recorded.

Past collapses of the giant network have seen some of the most extreme impacts in climate history, with western Europe particularly vulnerable to a descent into freezing winters. A significantly weakened system is also likely to cause more severe storms in Europe, faster sea level rise on the east coast of the US and increasing drought in the Sahel in Africa.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 6:36am

Orphaned baby elephants and mating hamlets are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

MPs to pressure government on backing for Swansea tidal lagoon project

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/13 - 5:35am

Committees seek clarity on indecision over taxpayer support and price guarantees for flagship tidal clean energy scheme to harness tide power

MPs are to press ministers on why they have left investors hanging in limbo over taxpayer support for a pioneering £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea.

The business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee and Welsh affairs committee will call on government to explain why no decision has been forthcoming on the flagship scheme. The government has still not indicated whether it is minded to support the lagoon, 15 months since an independent review told ministers to back the clean energy project.

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Categories: Environment
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