Environment

Recent Natural Disasters Revive Political Discussions On Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/09/13 - 4:40am

Following Irma, some Republican officials in Florida are calling on the Trump administration to address climate change. Will stronger storms and record flooding change this political debate?

Categories: Environment

Rod Sims contradicts Coalition MPs' claims AGL is abusing market power

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/09/13 - 2:53am

Head of ACCC shoots down talk AGL is breaching act, but says lack of energy competition is pushing up bills

The head of Australia’s competition watchdog has quashed accusations from government MPs that AGL is misusing its market power by refusing to sell the Liddell power station to a rival – but says a lack of competition in the energy sector is inflating power prices for consumers.

Ahead of a major speech next week to the National Press Club on energy, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, said AGL refusing to sell Liddell was not a breach of competition laws.

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Categories: Environment

UK cities expected to get millions of pounds for green energy projects

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 10:00pm

Ministers are thought to be planning to offer £3m for initiatives such as solar panels on social housing

Green energy projects run by cities and local authorities around the UK stand to receive millions of pounds of government support, providing another fillip for renewable power just a day after the subsidised price of windfarms hit a record low.

The Guardian understands that ministers this autumn will offer more than £3m to help local leaders build low carbon initiatives, such as installing solar panels on social housing.

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Categories: Environment

UK apple growers' labour shortage 'pushing them towards cliff edge'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 4:01pm

Industry body warns over need for seasonal workers after Brexit as growers face 20% shortfall in supply of labour

UK apple growers are in the grip of a 20% shortfall in the supply of seasonal labour, pushing them towards “a cliff edge” as Brexit nears, the industry has warned.

At the start of the annual British apple harvesting season with more than 20 indigenous varieties going on sale in supermarkets, the main trade body for both apples and pears says worries about future labour availability are at the top of its lobbying agenda.

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Categories: Environment

Florida tourist industry counts the cost of Irma's devastation

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 11:54am

The state’s $90bn industry is taking a beating in the wake of the hurricane, and it’s small businesses that could be hardest hit

Barely a month ago, Florida proudly announced a record-setting number of visitors to the Sunshine State – more than 60 million tourists coming to enjoy its theme parks, beaches and other attractions since January.

Now, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, tourism is facing a major challenge. The devastation caused by one of history’s largest storms, especially in the popular Florida Keys, is a direct strike at the $90bn industry that fuels the state’s economic engine, with the harm caused incalculable, experts say, at least in the short term.

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Categories: Environment

Campaigners challenge injunction against anti-fracking protesters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 10:50am

Lawyers for two anti-fracking campaigners argue in high court that injunction obtained by Ineos curtails protester rights

The legality of a wide-ranging injunction obtained against anti-fracking protesters by a multinational firm is to be examined in a three-day court hearing.

Two campaigners have launched a legal challenge against the injunction obtained by Ineos, the petrochemicals giant. Joe Corré, the son of the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Joe Boyd, say it is draconian, oppressive and dramatically curtails protesters’ rights.

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Categories: Environment

Third of Earth's soil is acutely degraded due to agriculture

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 10:18am

Fertile soil is being lost at rate of 24bn tonnes a year through intensive farming as demand for food increases, says UN-backed study

A third of the planet’s land is severely degraded and fertile soil is being lost at the rate of 24bn tonnes a year, according to a new United Nations-backed study that calls for a shift away from destructively intensive agriculture.

The alarming decline, which is forecast to continue as demand for food and productive land increases, will add to the risks of conflicts such as those seen in Sudan and Chad unless remedial actions are implemented, warns the institution behind the report.

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Categories: Environment

Portuguese men o' war wash up on Cornish coast in large numbers

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 10:07am

Creatures, which can deliver a painful and occasionally fatal sting, have been blown in from the open ocean by strong winds

An “unprecedented” number of Portuguese men o’ war have washed up on the Cornish coastline in recent days, causing lifeguards to close a beach on Monday and issue safety advice.

More than 140 of the floating tentacled organisms, which can deliver a painful sting that can be fatal in rare circumstances, have been spotted off the Cornish coast in the last three days, according to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. They are reported to have been blown in by strong south-westerly winds.

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Categories: Environment

Vast fatberg blocks London sewage system – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 9:07am

CCTV footage from under Whitechapel in east London shows a fatberg that weighs as much as 11 double decker buses and is the length of two football pitches blocking the sewer. It is mostly made up of fat, wet wipes and nappies, and is expected to take three weeks to clear

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Categories: Environment

'Total monster': fatberg blocks London sewage system

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 7:06am

Thames Water must break up congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies to prevent raw sewage flooding streets

A fatberg weighing the same as 11 double decker buses and stretching the length of two football pitches is blocking a section of London’s ageing sewage network.

The congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies is one of the biggest ever found and would have risked raw sewage flooding on to the streets in Whitechapel, east London, had it not been discovered during a routine inspection earlier this month.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricane Irma Blasts Into The Record Books With Lasting Intensity

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 3:59am

Hurricane Irma was the longest-lasting powerful hurricane or typhoon ever recorded, worldwide. It kept 185-mph winds for 37 hours — longer than any storm on record.

(Image credit: CIRA/CSU and NOAA/NESDIS/RAMMB)

Categories: Environment

Trump promised to hire the best people. He keeps hiring the worst. Nasa is next | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 3:00am

Trump’s Nasa nominee Jim Bridenstine is a climate denier who wants to end the agency’s climate research

According to 2016 election exit polls, only 38% of voters considered Donald Trump qualified to be president. 17% of those who thought him unqualified voted for Trump anyway, perhaps because he promised that as a wealthy businessman, he would be able to hire the best people to advise him. That was a claim his daughter Ivanka explicitly made in her speech at the Republican National Convention:

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Categories: Environment

Brazil investigates alleged slaughter of Amazonian tribespeople by gold miners

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 2:41am

Eight to 10 members of a remote indigenous group were allegedly killed by men working for illegal prospectors in Javari Valley

Brazilian authorities are investigating reports of a massacre of up to 10 people from an isolated tribe in the Amazon by illegal gold miners.

The killings, alleged to have taken place in Javari Valley, are claimed to have been carried out by men working for gold prospectors who dredge illegally in the region’s rivers.

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Categories: Environment

Barnaby Joyce pulls back from repeating claim AGL is 'shorting' market

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 2:35am

Deputy PM tells Coalition party room AGL’s refusal to sell Liddell power station is about market behaviour but declines to repeat allegation on Sky News

The deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has pulled back from a comment he made to the Coalition party room on Tuesday that AGL was “shorting” the market by refusing to sell the ageing Liddell coal-fired power plant to a competitor.

Joyce would not repeat the accusation during an interview on Sky News late on Tuesday – but he insisted the company had not provided a reasonable answer to the question of why it would decommission the New South Wales plant if a rival generation company wanted to buy it.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricanes wreak the havoc of climate change – but is a green energy solution in sight? | Jonathan Watts

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 2:07am
In the wake of hurricanes Irma and Harvey, the market has finally bought into the business case for renewable energy. The price of change is getting cheaper

Like the debate over gun control, the public discussion in the US about whether to take action on the climate has often been characterised as a struggle between powerful lobbies and violent reality.

After each campus shooting or hurricane disaster, there is a brief uptick of concern followed by a gradual return to entrenched positions as the National Rifle Association or the oil industry reassert their influence, inevitably raising the question: just how bad do things have to get to reach a tipping point?

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Categories: Environment

Indigenous groups decry Tasmania off-road vehicle plan: 'this is destruction'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 1:10am

Tasmanian government plans to cover midden sites in Tarkine with rubber mats to protect from damage caused by reopening off-road tracks

Indigenous groups have criticised a Tasmanian government proposal to cover ancient midden sites with rubber mats to protect them from damage caused by reopening off-road vehicle tracks in the Tarkine, saying it is disrespectful and will cause further damage.

The Hodgman government referred the proposal to federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday as part of a three-year-long attempt to reopen the tracks, which were closed by the former Labor government in an attempt to protect an extensive network of archeological and cultural sites.

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Categories: Environment

300 tonnes of diseased pig carcasses – the latest example of China's pollution crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/09/12 - 12:20am

Villagers near illegal burial site in Zhejiang had complained for years of a terrible stench around their homes

Stomach-churning symbols of the environmental calamity facing China have never been in short supply: exploding watermelons, toxic running tracks, rivers that flow the colour of blood.

Now, the world’s number one polluter brings you: porcine mass graves.

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 finalists – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/09/11 - 11:01pm

A hungry arctic fox, mating sea angels and playful brown bears are among the creatures captured by photographers for this year’s competition. The exhibition opens on 20 October at the Natural History Museum

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Categories: Environment

Florida Keys facing potential 'humanitarian crisis' in Irma aftermath

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/09/11 - 3:40pm

Military crews were on standby with body bags for possible fatalities in the Keys while millions remain without power across Florida

The horrific scale of Hurricane Irma’s trail of devastation across Florida has becoming evident as the remnants of the most powerful storm in Atlantic history limped north into Georgia, turned towards Alabama, and was downgraded to a tropical depression.

Related: Floridians battered by Irma maintain climate change is no 'big deal'

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Categories: Environment

Volunteer hunters wanted to cull Grand Canyon bison

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/09/11 - 3:04pm

The National Park Service is looking at a reduction plan that would allow volunteers to shoot bison using non-lead ammunition

The National Park Service plans to thin a herd of bison in the Grand Canyon through roundups and by seeking volunteers who are physically fit and proficient with a gun to kill the animals that increasingly are damaging park resources.

Some bison would be shipped out of the area and others legally hunted on the adjacent forest. Within the Grand Canyon, shooters would be selected through a lottery to help bring the number of bison roaming the far northern reaches of the park to no more than 200 within three to five years.

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Categories: Environment
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