Environment

Direct democracy can offer a third way in the climate fight | John Gibbons

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 12:30am

With political agreement making slow progress and direct action becoming more dangerous, we must find alternatives

In the medieval legend made famous by the brothers Grimm, the German town of Hamelin is besieged by a plague of rats, until the mysterious pied piper appears and agrees, for a fee, to rid them of the infestation. The mayor then reneges on payment and the piper exacts a savage revenge on the town’s ingrates by luring away their children, who are never seen again.

The tale could also be an allegory for today’s grim intergenerational smash-and-grab – the global economy. As environmentalist Paul Hawken put it: “We have an economy where we steal the future, sell it in the present, and call it GDP.”

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Categories: Environment

How cargo bikes can help unclog London's congested roads

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 12:20am

Waltham Forest’s new zero-emissions delivery service aims to replace polluting trucks for local deliveries of food, online purchases and more

Each morning Oscar Godoy unlocks a door in a railway arch in north London, organises the day’s deliveries, and assigns jobs to his cargo bike riders. They manoeuvre the hefty bikes from the narrow lane out on to the road, past assorted vehicles from the MOT garage, the car wash and vehicle repair outfits at either end.

In the afternoons Godoy does the deliveries himself. Two weeks after the scheme’s launch he heads out, on an electric trike with a large white metal box across its rear axle, filled with the day’s first consignment from a local organic vegetable box scheme.

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Categories: Environment

Ribbiting stuff: museum app gives people chance to help in frog research

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:59pm

Australian Museum teams up with IBM to monitor the country’s native frog population by having their calls recorded

The Australian Museum has teamed up with IBM to count the country’s native frog population via a world-first app that records their calls and sends them to experts for identification.

App FrogID will give the public the chance to carry out Australia’s first such national count, which begins on Friday and is intended to support researchers’ efforts to save endangered native species. Australia has 240 named native species of frog, but the museum wants to identify what it believes are dozens more still ribbiting under the radar.

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Categories: Environment

Koala found dead with ears cut off in case of 'disgusting' animal cruelty

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:40pm

Marsupial’s body found on Hopkins Point Road at Warrnambool in Victoria’s south-west on Monday

A koala has been found dead with its ears cut off in Victoria’s south-west as police investigate a spate of animal mutilations in the area.

The koala’s body was found about two kilometres east of Hopkins bridge on Hopkins Point Road at Warrnambool on Monday by an SES worker.

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Categories: Environment

Fiji told it must spend billions to adapt to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:37pm

At COP 23 talks in Bonn, Fiji has called on developed nations to help the world’s most vulnerable build resilience to climate change

To prepare for the rising temperatures, strengthening storms and higher sea levels in the coming decades, Fiji must spend an amount equivalent to its entire yearly gross domestic product over the next 10 years, according to the first comprehensive assessment of the small island nation’s vulnerability to climate change, compiled by its government with the assistance of the World Bank.

Released half-way through the COP23 in Bonn, which Fiji is presiding over, the report highlights five major interventions and 125 further actions that it says are necessary to achieve Fiji’s development objectives, while facing the potentially devastating impacts of climate change. Combined those actions would cost about US$4.5bn over the next decade.

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Categories: Environment

Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:16pm

In Ohio, more than 100 people got sick in 2013 and 2014 when municipal drinking water was contaminated with toxins from algae blooms in Lake Erie. The CDC says these are the first known instances.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:16pm

In Ohio, more than 100 people got sick in 2013 and 2014 when municipal drinking water was contaminated with toxins from algae blooms in Lake Erie. The CDC says these are the first known instances.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

One nation, two tribes: opposing visions of US climate role on show in Bonn

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 9:10am

Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the Paris accord – but other Americans are standing with the world to help fight the ‘existential crisis’ of global warming

Deep schisms in the US over climate change are on show at the UN climate talks in Bonn – where two sharply different visions of America’s role in addressing dangerous global warming have been put forward to the world.

Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement has created a vacuum into which dozens of state, city and business leaders have leapt, with the aim of convincing other countries at the international summit that the administration is out of kilter with the American people.

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Categories: Environment

UK's biggest solar farm planned for Kent coast

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:55am

Subsidy-free plant would cover 900 acres of farmland near Great Expectations marshes at Faversham, dwarfing output of UK’s current largest solar site

An enormous solar power station is planned for the north Kent coast that would be the UK’s biggest and dwarf existing solar farms, providing a significant boost to an industry that has stalled since ministers halted subsidies 18 months ago.

Cleve Hill, a mile from the historic town of Faversham, would have five times the capacity of the UK’s current largest solar farm and provide enough power for around 110,000 households if it comes online in 2020 as proposed.

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Categories: Environment

As China Moves To Other Energy Sources, Its Coal Region Struggles To Adapt

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:52am

In Shanxi Province, coal is big business and a source of identity. Now China is closing and consolidating its coal mines under state ownership, and the region has not figured out how to rebound.

(Image credit: Alyssa Edes/NPR)

Categories: Environment

New Delhi Chief Minister Calls India's Smog-Choked Capital A 'Gas Chamber'

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 7:12am

The situation is so bad that doctors are describing it as a public health emergency and calling for the government to order an evacuation of the city.

(Image credit: R S Iyer/AP)

Categories: Environment

Scientists In Houston Tell A Story Of Concrete, Rain And Destruction

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 5:53am

As researchers and engineers analyze the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it's becoming clear that Houston's runaway development had a big role to play in flooding.

(Image credit: David J. Phillip/AP)

Categories: Environment

Is It Time To Catch The Wave Of Rebounding Atlantic Bluefin Tuna?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 5:00am

New England fishers say it's been decades since they've hauled in so many tuna, and some in the industry are urging higher quotas. But some environmental groups fear the population is still imperiled.

(Image credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Trump accused of breaking promises and ruining Scottish dunes

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 1:39am

Ecologists expect Aberdeenshire sand dunes to lose conservation protection because of president’s golf course

The spectacular dunes habitat in Aberdeenshire used by Donald Trump for his £1bn golf resort is likely to lose its legal protection because his golf course has ruined the site, conservationists say.

Expert ecologists, including one who backed the US president’s original plans for the course of 10 years ago, believe the sand dunes will be stripped of their status as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) by the government’s conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

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Categories: Environment

Killer and cure: Venom at London's Natural History Museum – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 12:00am

From snakes to spiders, wasps to scorpions, the Natural History Museum’s new Venom exhibition promises to unnerve and entice, as it explores one of nature’s deadliest forces and its power to both kill and cure

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Categories: Environment

Michael Bloomberg’s ‘war on coal’ goes global with $50m fund

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 11:45pm

Exclusive: Billionaire’s campaign has seen half of US coal plants close in six years. Now he is targeting Europe and beyond to fight climate change and air pollution

The battle to end coal-burning, backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is expanding out of the US and around the world in its bid to reduce the global warming threat posed by the most polluting fossil fuel.

Bloomberg, a UN special envoy on climate change and former mayor of New York city, has funded a $164m campaign in the US since 2010, during which time more than half the nation’s coal-fired power plants have been closed.

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Categories: Environment

UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 10:45pm

Exclusive: Research leads environment secretary to overturn government’s previous opposition, making total EU ban much more likely

The UK will back a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has revealed.

The decision reverses the government’s previous position and is justified by recent new evidence showing neonicotinoids have contaminated the whole landscape and cause damage to colonies of bees. It also follows the revelation that 75% of all flying insects have disappeared in Germany and probably much further afield, a discovery Gove said had shocked him.

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Categories: Environment

The evidence points in one direction – we must ban neonicotinoids | Michael Gove

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 10:45pm

With more and more evidence emerging that these pesticides harm bees and other insects, it would be irresponsible not to restrict their use, writes the environment secretary, Michael Gove

Two principles guide this government’s approach to the natural world. We want not just to protect but to enhance the environment. And we want our decisions to be informed at all times by rigorous scientific evidence.

Which is why when the science shows that our environment is in increasing danger we have to act. Like many others, I was deeply concerned by a recently published German study into the health of some insect populations. The Guardian covered the report in depth, not least because the statistics were so stark. Data gathered over 25 years appeared to indicate a 75% fall in the numbers of flying insects within those sites.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef ad campaign is LNP 'greenwashing' – Labor

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 9:25pm

LNP leader Tim Nicholls says the advertising plan is to ‘overcome misleading green activist scare campaigns’

A Liberal National party plan to spend $4m on a Great Barrier Reef marketing campaign if it takes power in Queensland has drawn fire as an attempt at “greenwashing” in a void of climate policy.

The LNP leader, Tim Nicholls, said the advertising was to “overcome the misleading green activist scare campaigns which have talked down our greatest natural wonder”.

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Categories: Environment
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