The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/12 - 6:00am

A rhinoceros hornbill and a white moray eel are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Fracking to restart in England after last-minute legal bid fails

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/12 - 5:33am

High court rejects request to temporarily block Cuadrilla operation in Lancashire

The first fracking in the UK for seven years will start on Saturday, the shale gas company Cuadrilla has confirmed, after campaigners lost a last-minute legal challenge to block the operations.

Lancashire resident Robert Dennett won an interim injunction last Friday against Lancashire county council, putting a temporary halt to the start of fracking at a well outside Blackpool.

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Categories: Environment

Canada's Wild Salmon Caravan Connects Future Of Fish And Indigenous People

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/10/12 - 5:02am

Warming oceans and development threaten the West Coast's wild salmon. So activists started a traveling celebration to draw attention to the plight of the sockeye in Canada's Fraser River.

(Image credit: Murray Bush/Wild Salmon Caravan 2018)

Categories: Environment

'We need some fire': climate change activists issue call to arms for voters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 10:00pm

Campaigners say more than 15m people who care about the environment did not vote in the 2014 midterms – can they create a ‘green wave’ this November?

Among the motivating issues for voters in US elections, the environment is typically eclipsed by topics such as healthcare, the economy and guns. But the upcoming midterms could, belatedly, see a stirring of a slumbering green giant.

“The environmental movement doesn’t have a persuasion problem, it has a turnout problem,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, the founder of the Environmental Voter Project, which is aiming to spur people who care about the natural world and climate change to the ballot box. “This group has more power than it realizes. In the midterms we want to flood the zone with environmentalists.”

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife group investigates claim night parrot photos were staged

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 8:49pm

Academic Penny Olsen suggests ecologist John Young staged discoveries related to endangered night parrot

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is investigating claims that photos it published which point to sightings of the endangered night parrot were staged.

Former AWC ecologist John Young is credited with taking the first photograph of what has been dubbed the “world’s most mysterious bird” in Queensland in 2013. Last year Young said he had found a feather from the night parrot on Kalamurina Station, around northern Lake Eyre in South Australia, describing the July discovery as significant “beyond what I could have imagined”.

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Categories: Environment

Sadiq Khan announces 100 new drinking fountains for London

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 12:25pm

Mayor’s plan builds on success of this year’s scheme to build 20 fountains across the capital

London could soon be awash with drinking fountains, with 100 new installations in the pipeline across the capital.

This year plans for 20 fountains were unveiled in a joint venture between the mayor of London and partners, with recent figures suggesting those installed so far have already dispensed thousands of litres of water to thirsty members of the public.

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Categories: Environment

Legal bid to delay land-clearing over risk to Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 12:00pm

Exclusive: Kingvale station’s proposed clearing of 2,000 hectares could be held up for months

Federal approval to clear more than 2,000 hectares of Queensland native forest in the catchment for the Great Barrier Reef could potentially be held up for months after the Environmental Defender’s Office launched court action to prevent it.

The federal court proceedings against the state environment minister and the owners of Kingvale station come as the federal environment minister, Melissa Price, extended the time to make a decision on the controversial Kingvale proposal to 31 October.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricane Michael brings new threat to Florida's victims: toxic red tide

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 10:27am

Biologists fear that the storm surge carried with it red tide toxins that can cause respiratory distress and flu-like symptoms

If destroyed homes, lost livelihoods and mass power outages were not enough to be dealing with, Florida’s victims of Hurricane Michael are facing another potential problem – the state’s toxic red tide.

In the days leading up to the monster storm’s landfall on Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) found cells of the Karenia brevis organism that causes red tide at two water sampling points close to Panama City and Mexico Beach where the storm swept ashore.

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Categories: Environment

Victims of Hurricane Michael are represented by climate deniers | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 3:00am

Elections have consequences. Denying science has consequences. And we are reaping what we sow.

Floridians are staring down a very powerful Category 4 typhoon that is causing extensive damage. The high winds, heavy rains, and storm surge will cost billions of dollars.

We know that climate change is making these storms stronger. The storms feed off of warm ocean waters, and those waters are much warmer now because of climate change. I have written about the science in more detail here and here. But basically, Michael strengthened because it passed over really warm waters. Waters that were hotter because of human-caused warming.

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Categories: Environment

In A Drying Climate, Colorado's 'Water Cop' Patrols For Water Thieves

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/10/11 - 2:08am

Sheriff's Deputy Dave Huhn's job has become more important after a series of hot, dry summers have made farmers more desperate for water, and more willing to steal it or go to battle over it.

(Image credit: Luke Runyon/KUNC)

Categories: Environment

UK's housing stock 'needs massive retrofit to meet climate targets'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 11:01pm

Hundreds of millions of pounds must be spent to achieve 80% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, report shows

Hundreds of millions of pounds must be spent on the UK’s draughty housing stock to meet the government’s climate change targets, with progress so far too slow to make the difference needed.

Repairing existing homes to a high standard, with insulation and renewable energy technology, would cut consumer bills and bring health improvements, a new report shows.

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Categories: Environment

People burning wet wood on inefficient stoves 'poisoning themselves'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 10:14pm

Study highlights ‘shocking contribution’ of domestic wood and coal fires to air pollution, which causes 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK

People burning wet wood on inefficient stoves are poisoning themselves and their neighbours, according to a new report from a leading thinktank.

The IPPR study highlights the “shocking contribution” domestic wood and coal fires make to the UK’s air pollution crisis, which causes 40,000 early deaths a year and devastating health problems for hundreds of thousands of others.

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Categories: Environment

Sinking Santa Cruz: climate change threatens famed California beach town

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 10:00pm

Similar challenges are sprouting up along the coast, and the golden sands and beach properties that define the state at risk

On a recent overcast October afternoon, yet another section of West Cliff Drive, the premier seafront street in Santa Cruz, California, was roped off as workers toiled to prevent it from crumbling into the Pacific Ocean.

The erosion gnawing away at this prized road, and the famed surfing beaches it overlooks, is emblematic of the relentless threat that climate change poses to California’s coastline. As the sea level rises and storms of growing strength smash into the coast, the golden sands and beach properties that have come to define the state are at risk.

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Categories: Environment

Canavan condemns business emissions self-regulation to meet Paris target

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 8:49pm

Minister says plan to coordinate climate response in absence of government policy interferes with democracy

Big business has entered discussions about a self-regulated suite of measures to help Australia meet its Paris commitments, weeks after the Morrison government abandoned the national energy guarantee.

The resources minister, Matt Canavan, accused Australia’s biggest energy companies of interfering in the democratic process, as climate experts and environmental groups lashed the government over the development on Thursday.

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Categories: Environment

Wyoming Proposes Its Own Methane Regulations As Federal Level Sees Rules Relaxed

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 1:22pm

The Trump administration is rolling back regulations on methane, saying that should be left to states. So Wyoming is stepping in with its own proposal, which even some oil and gas companies support.

Categories: Environment

Why Experts Have A Hard Time Predicting A Hurricane's Intensity

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 1:22pm

Hurricane forecasters still face the challenge of predicting a storm's intensity. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with meteorologist Angela Fritz of The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang about why.

Categories: Environment

We label fridges to show their environmental impact – why not food?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 10:04am

Mandatory environmental labels would change how we produce and consume in three far-reaching ways.

If you buy a washing machine, a fridge or a television in Europe, it comes with a sticker. Thanks to a 1992 EU directive, all appliances must be labelled with their energy efficiency.

So why has our food system – which threatens 10,000 species with extinction, emits about 30% of greenhouse gases, and drives 80% of our nitrogen and phosphorus pollution – only ever had voluntary ecolabels?

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Categories: Environment

Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 10:00am

Major study also finds huge changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying Earth’s ability to feed its population

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses.

The research also finds that enormous changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying the planet’s ability to feed the 10 billion people expected to be on the planet in a few decades.

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Categories: Environment

U.N. Report Says We Have About A Decade To Turn Around Climate Change Effects

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 7:06am

Are we ready to do what it takes to save the planet?

(Image credit: MIKE LEYRAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

UK 'will have to intervene in market to meet climate obligations'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/10 - 6:39am

Top climate adviser says UN warnings will force the government to act in ways that will be controversial and politically fraught

The UK’s obligations in response to this week’s warnings from the UN over global warming will be controversial and politically fraught, taking the country into “uncharted territory” and testing the political consensus on climate change, the its top climate adviser has warned.

The government will have to regulate industry and intervene in the market in ways that will prove controversial in parliament, predicted Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). He is charged with advising ministers on how swift and how deep cuts in emissions should be and how they can be achieved, and his committee will start work on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advice shortly.

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Categories: Environment
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