Key West bans some sunscreens to protect coral reefs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 6:42am

City commission voted 6-1 to bar certain chemicals blamed for harming the only living coral reef found in the continental US

Officials in Key West, the popular Florida holiday destination, have decided to ban the sale of sunscreens containing certain chemicals blamed for harming the only living coral reef found in the continental US.

Related: Back from the brink: the global effort to save coral from climate change

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Categories: Environment

One of UK's last coal power stations to close due to rising costs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 5:50am

Closure of Cottam plant in Nottinghamshire likely to lead to more than 150 job cuts

One of the UK’s last seven coal power stations will close this year after half a century of generating electricity, as the polluting fuel continues its rapid decline in the energy mix.

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Categories: Environment

Green New Deal: Ocasio-Cortez unveils bold plan to fight climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 5:18am

Blueprint for a carbon-neutral economy has been embraced by prominent Democrats and evokes FDR’s famous legacy

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is releasing a broad outline of a vision for the Green New Deal, a plan to battle economic and racial injustice while also fighting climate change.

The new congresswoman’s blueprint, co-introduced by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, aims to develop a carbon-neutral economy in 10 years, which would require huge strides in reducing the US’s reliance on oil, gas and coal. It does not set a date for ending the use of fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

A Green New Deal can give us the freedoms to allow humanity to flourish

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 5:00am

Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to redefine freedom in the face of war. The Green New Deal imagines goals for a colorful democracy

One of the biggest challenges of climate politics is that the solutions seem scarier than the problem. We worry that to truly decarbonize, we’d need an authoritarian government or endless austerity. But a big and bold enough Green New Deal could finally make us truly free.

The principles that animated the New Deal are often associated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s proposed (but never fully enacted) Economic Bill of Rights. These included rights to employment, medical care, housing, education, and social security. Those goals are tragically unrealized for many Americans, and any just version of the Green New Deal must start there. They’re familiar goals for the left, ones we’ve been fighting over for decades. But we also need to rework another New Deal-era statement of principles – FDR’s Four Freedoms.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking firms denied permission to relax earthquake rules

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 3:58am

Cuadrilla and Ineos say strict regulations around earthquakes hinder their work

The government has rejected pleas by fracking companies to review strict rules around earthquakes caused by their operations, in a major blow that could spell the end for Britain’s nascent shale industry.

Cuadrilla complained on Wednesday that it had only been able to frack a tiny section of its well near Blackpool last autumn because of the limits, and warned it would not be able to undertake commercial fracking if the regulations are not reviewed.

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Categories: Environment

PG&E Could Shut Off Power For Millions To Prevent Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 3:08am

The utility could cut power to as many as 5.4 million during extreme weather conditions. PG&E declared bankruptcy last month in the face of billions of dollars in wildfire-related liabilities.

(Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/02/07 - 3:01am

The plan is massively ambitious and faces political blockades. Proponents believe it is what's necessary to start saving the world from the threat of climate change and to reshape the U.S. economy.

(Image credit: Amr Alfiky/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Murray cod rescue: distressed fish trucked 590km to hatchery

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 8:06pm

Operation necessary to stop fish dying after flows are cut off to maintain water supplies to stock and domestic users

New South Wales fisheries workers are attempting to rescue distressed Murray cod near Menindee in the state’s west by catching them in nets and trucking them to a fish hatchery hundreds of kilometres away.

The NSW primary industries department (DPI) confirmed the operation was under way on Thursday morning and was necessary because authorities would be cutting off water flows from Menindee’s Weir 32 “in the near future to maintain town water supply”.

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2,000 baby flamingos rescued after being abandoned in South African drought

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 7:49pm

The birds are being hand-reared by volunteers as months of dry weather threatens breeding ground

Under warming red light at a rescue centre in Cape Town baby flamingos are fed, weighed and cared for. The chicks are among 2,000 that were rescued after they were abandoned by their parents as dam waters dried up in South Africa.

A special airlift for thousands of baby flamingos is under way in South Africa as drought has put their breeding ground in peril, with a reservoir that hosts one of southern Africa’s largest flamingo populations drying up.

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Categories: Environment

Meet The Snow Farmers Who Are Rescuing Winter Sporting Events

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 2:27pm

Mora, Minn., is gearing up to host the 47th annual Vasaloppet cross-country ski race despite hardly any natural snow. Instead the Snow Farmers, who make artificial snow, will line the trails.

Categories: Environment

2018 Was Earth's Fourth-Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 1:01pm

The last five years are also the five hottest years on record for average global temperature, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(Image credit: Kathryn Mersmann/NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio)

Categories: Environment

Spelling bees? No, but they can do arithmetic, say researchers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 12:00pm

Study says honeybees can learn to carry out exact numerical calculations

Honeybees can learn to add and subtract, according to research showing that while the insects have tiny brains, they are still surprisingly clever.

Researchers behind the study have previously found that honeybees can apparently understand the concept of zero, and learn to correctly indicate which of two groups of objects is the smaller.

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Categories: Environment

2018 was world's fourth hottest year on record, scientists confirm

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 11:50am
  • World 1.5F hotter than average set between 1951 and 1980
  • Current five-year stretch the warmest since records began

Global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, US government scientists have confirmed, adding to a stretch of five years that are now collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began.

The world in 2018 was 1.5F (0.83C) warmer than the average set between 1951 and 1980, said Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). This means 2018’s average global temperatures were the fourth warmest since 1880, placing it behind 2016, 2017 and 2015.

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Categories: Environment

Trump State of the Union speech: what climate change experts say

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 7:20am

Top scientists condemn State of the Union address and say future presidents must confront climate change as urgent priority

A climate scientist and a former government expert in the audience for Donald Trump’s annual address to Congress said this will probably be the last administration that can forgo talking about climate change in the State of the Union speech.

Trump did not mention rising temperatures or extreme weather, although he did tout the country’s status as the top producer of oil and gas and boast about how quickly his officials have moved to cut regulations.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking firm Cuadrilla says earthquake rules hinder its work

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 5:50am

Shale gas firm calls for lighter regulation as it reveals only 5% of Blackpool well is fracked

The shale gas firm Cuadrilla has said commercial fracking cannot go ahead in the UK unless rules on minor earthquakes are relaxed, after admitting it had only been able to frack a tiny section of its gas well near Blackpool because of seismicity regulations.

The company became the first to frack in the UK for years when it started operations last October at its Preston New Road site but was repeatedly forced to pause work for causing tremors that breached a 0.5-magnitude limit.

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Categories: Environment

Key West To Ban Popular Sunscreen Ingredients To Protect Coral Reef

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/02/06 - 5:35am

Sunscreens containing the chemicals linked to coral reef bleaching will be banned from sale in Key West, the city commission voted 6-1 Tuesday night. Industry officials say the link isn't proven.

(Image credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Categories: Environment

Pope Francis offered $1m charity donation to go vegan for Lent

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/05 - 10:00pm

Campaign targets pope because of his environmental leadership and influence over 1.2bn Catholics

Environmental campaigners have issued a challenge to Pope Francis: go vegan for Lent and receive $1m for the charity of his choice.

The purpose of the Million Dollar Vegan campaign, led by 12-year-old Genesis Butler, is to encourage people to eat less meat and dairy in order to fight climate change. Global warming cannot be beaten without huge cuts in meat eating in rich nations, research shows, while reducing consumption of animal products also tackles pollution and the destruction of forests and wildlife.

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Categories: Environment

Working USB stick found in leopard seal's year-old frozen faeces

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/05 - 8:20pm

New Zealand puts out call to find owner of memory stick spotted in frozen poo sample

A functioning USB stick has been found in the scat of a rare Antarctic leopard seal, prompting New Zealand’s national science body to launch a hunt for the owner.

Volunteers at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) recovered the device while examining the animal’s frozen faeces – which had been sitting in a freezer for over a year.

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Categories: Environment

Australian Residents Return Home After Flash Floods, Amid Warnings Of Another Storm

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/02/05 - 6:57pm

Hundreds of residents in the coastal city of Townsville are heading home after days of devastating flooding submerged entire neighborhoods. Police have reported two fatalities.

(Image credit: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The North Magnetic Pole Is Shifting East, Fast

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/02/05 - 2:22pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Nature reporter Alex Witze about a rapid shift in the Earth's magnetic poles.

Categories: Environment
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