Environment

Oil tanker ablaze following collision with ship off coast of China – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 5:14am

An oil tanker has collided with a cargo ship off China's east coast, causing an oil spill and setting the tanker ablaze. China and South Korea have mounted a search-and-rescue operation to find the 32 people – 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis – reported missing


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Categories: Environment

Government pledges £5.7m to develop new northern forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 4:13am

Plan to plant 50m trees along 120-mile stretch next to M62 will provide habitat for wildlife as well as help manage flood risk

The government has pledged £5.7m to kickstart the creation of a northern forest that will stretch from Liverpool to Hull.

The plans, which are being led by the Woodland Trust, include the planting of 50m trees along a 120-mile stretch of land running next to the M62. The project is expected to cost £500m over 25 years, with more than £10m committed by the Woodland Trust and the remainder still to be raised.

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Categories: Environment

Oil tanker on fire and 32 crew missing after collision off China's coast

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 1:07am

China and South Korea mount search operation for crew of Iranian tanker spilling oil east of Shanghai after collision with Hong Kong freighter

Thirty-two people, mostly Iranians, were missing after an oil tanker collided with a cargo ship off China’s eastern coast, authorities said on Sunday.

The missing – 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis – were all from the Iranian tanker Sanchi, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes of oil condensate. It spilled oil and was floating while still on fire early on Sunday.

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Categories: Environment

Pressure grows for UK to bring in blanket ban on ivory trade

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/06 - 5:05pm
Consultation by the government shows huge public support for ending all sales

Environmental campaigners believe that public pressure is finally about to force the environment secretary, Michael Gove, to introduce a blanket ban on the commercial trade in ivory in the UK.

A consultation on what form a proposed ban should take has just closed, and the government says it will give its response soon. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which is overseeing the consultation, said there had been “a massive public response to the government’s proposed ban on ivory sales”. More than 60,000 responses were received, half of them coming in the week running up to Christmas, making it one of the biggest consultations in Defra’s history. Of the responses analysed so far, the overwhelming majority support a ban.

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Categories: Environment

Republican Opposition To Offshore Drilling

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/01/06 - 6:21am

The Trump administration is planning to allow more offshore drilling. This has put it at odds with Republicans like Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who talks with NPR's Scott Simon

Categories: Environment

The latest cutting-edge technology changing our landscapes? Trees

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/06 - 2:30am

The UK has been slow to embrace agroforestry, fearing trees compete for valuable space and water. In fact they can increase crop diversity as well as profits, as two pioneering Cambridgeshire farmers have found

“Most people round here think it’s pretty normal for the earth to just blow away,” says Lynn Briggs. “They seem to think it’s what happens and you just have to live with it. It’s even got a name – they call it fen blow.”

But when Lynn and her husband Stephen moved on to their Cambridgeshire farm in 2012 they had some radical farming notions. Against all precedent, the Briggs planted rows of fruit trees at 21-metre gaps in their cereal fields to provide both windbreaks and alternate crops. “Our neighbours thought we were absolutely crazy,” says Stephen. His soil, however, began to stay put.

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Categories: Environment

Massachusetts Hit Hard By Winter Storm

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 2:17pm

Massachusetts bore the brunt of the winter storm. Many coastal communities were flooded by a storm surge and Boston recorded its highest tide in almost a century.

Categories: Environment

What To Do If You Come Across A Frozen Iguana

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 2:17pm

On Thursday, we reported iguanas were falling from trees in Florida. Now, we explain why it is happening and what citizens should do in reaction. Bottom line: don't touch them. They are not dead. They may thaw out and attack.

Categories: Environment

Reduce waste, recycle more, and stop the burning | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 11:26am
Jenny Jones says the UK must respond proactively to news that China has banned imports of millions of tons of plastic waste

This could be the year we start burning more of our waste than recycling it (China’s plastic waste ban ‘creates a crisis for UK local authorities’, 3 January). There are already three English regions where incineration (energy from waste) has become the most likely way for councils to dispose of our waste and the amount that we recycle has flatlined in all but one area of the UK. The exception to this is Wales, partly because they use the incineration ash to make concrete and count this as recycling. We need to urgently cut down on how much we use and build the recycling infrastructure to deal with the waste ourselves. We need regulation to ensure that what we use contains a minimum percentage of recycled materials, so that we can build up the market for such products. Most urgent of all is a charge on incineration to remove the perverse incentive for councils to burn, rather than recycle.
Jenny Jones
Green party, House of Lords

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Categories: Environment

South-east England at risk of water shortages this summer, officials warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 10:00am

A year of unusually dry weather means parts of England are facing summer drought with groundwater and some reservoirs well below normal

A year of dry weather, only slightly alleviated by recent storms, has left much of south-east England facing drought this summer.

Groundwater and some reservoir levels are well below normal and only above-average rainfall in the next three months will refill them, officials warned on Friday. One water company, Southern Water, has applied for a drought permit to allow them to take more water than normally allowed from the River Medway in Kent, to try to avoid water restrictions for households in the summer.

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Categories: Environment

Radical ecologists v Big Agriculture: the rival factions fighting for the future of farming

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 9:53am

The Oxford Farming Conference and its upstart sibling, the Oxford Real Farming Conference, seem poles apart. But faced with big changes, from Brexit to the future of meat itself, a united front may be the best option

It’s a brisk five minute stroll up the high street to get from the Oxford Farming Conference to its upstart younger sibling the Oxford Real Farming Conference – but a much longer mental leap.

Stately, careful and well-connected, the OFC has been going for 80 years. Sponsored by Big Agriculture businesses such as chemistry multinational BASF and farm machinery specialists Massey Ferguson, the cloakroom creaks with waxed cotton and quilted Barbours, while the audience is overwhelmingly male, white and upwards of 40. The great and good – royalty, government ministers, international politicians – come to speak to a polite, attentive audience; this is the thoughtful end of commercial British farming, brought together over bacon baps and craft beer.

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Categories: Environment

While The Eastern U.S. Freezes, It's Too Warm In Alaska

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 7:51am

"We're way behind on winter," one resident says. Higher than average temperatures in rural Alaska are being blamed for two deaths and are preventing people from hunting for food.

(Image credit: Katie Basile/KYUK)

Categories: Environment

UK government spells out plan to shut down coal plants

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 7:34am

Government unveils phase-out plan, with one of eight remaining power stations to stop generating electricity this year

One of the UK’s eight remaining coal power stations is expected to cease generating electricity this year, the government has said as it laid out new rules that will force all the plants to close by 2025.

The coal phase-out is one of the Conservative party’s flagship green policies, and the long-awaited implementation plan comes ahead of a speech by Theresa May on the environment next week.

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Categories: Environment

Quarter of British honey contaminated with bee-harming pesticides, research reveals

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 4:59am

Although the contamination rate has fallen from a half since a partial EU ban the insecticides remain in the farmed environment posing a serious risk to bees

Almost a quarter of British honey samples remain contaminated after a partial ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, new research has revealed.

The contamination rate has fallen – it was more than half before the ban – but the study shows that the potent insecticides remain prevalent in the farmed environment and still pose a serious risk to bees and other vital pollinators.

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Categories: Environment

Will a 25p charge change Britain's throwaway coffee cup culture?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 4:31am

On a busy Guildford high street reaction to the proposed ‘latte levy’ is mixed. While many welcome the move to change peoples’ habits, for some, already feeling the squeeze of a weak pound, the 25p hit is too high

Turn any corner in the busy town centre of Guildford on a weekday morning, and someone is carrying a disposable cup bearing the logo of one of the major chains.

Each minute in the UK about 500 of these used coffee cups are thrown away. Every year consumers use and dispose of 2.5bn of them. The vast majority are not recycled.

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Categories: Environment

Giant curtain erected in Peru in bid to reveal secrets of the cloud forest

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 4:20am

Global warming is predicted to push clouds higher in the sky. One scientist hopes to understand the future of our forests by suspending a vast fog-catching mesh in the Peruvian jungle


What will happen if climate change pushes clouds higher into the sky, as models predict? One ecosystem that will be seriously affected will be cloud forests – tropical jungles persistently bathed in fog.

Until now, little research had been done on the likely impacts of rising clouds, but one scientist is planning to change that using an enormous curtain strung up in the middle of the forest.

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Categories: Environment

'Like thunder in the ground': Texans fear link between quakes and fracking waste

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 4:00am

Wastewater injection, a byproduct of fracking, is the likely culprit behind a surge of earthquakes in northern Texas – and residents want accountability

An earthquake, Cathy Wallace says, feels like “a rumble – it’s like thunder in the ground coming towards your house like a train and you can hear it and feel it coming”.

Wallace is not based in California, or in any of the US’s well-known seismic hot-spots. She lives in north Texas, historically one of the country’s least earthquake-prone regions – until the drillers came.

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Categories: Environment

MPs call for 25p charge on takeaway coffee cups ahead of possible ban

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/01/04 - 11:01pm

In UK 2.5bn disposable cups are thrown away each year, of which less than 0.25% are recycled, according to environmental audit committee report

MPs are calling for a 25p charge on takeaway coffee in a move that could see disposable cups banned in five years time.

In the UK 2.5bn takeaway coffee cups are used and thrown away each year – enough to stretch around the world five-and-a-half-times. The UK produces 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste each year, according to a report published by MPs on the environmental audit committee on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration plans to allow oil and gas drilling off nearly all US coast

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/01/04 - 3:17pm
  • Ryan Zinke unveils plan to offer leases in Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic
  • Environmental groups and some Republicans lead outcry

The Trump administration has unveiled a plan that would open almost all US offshore territory to oil and gas drilling, including previously protected areas of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans.

Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, said a new oil and gas leasing programme, which would run from 2019 to 2024, would make more than 90% of the outer continental shelf available for what would be the largest ever number of lease sales to fossil fuel companies.

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Categories: Environment

How China's Ivory Ban Could Affect Elephant Poaching In Africa

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/01/04 - 2:32pm

As China's ban on ivory goes into effect, NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to professor George Wittemyer of Colorado State University about the impacts on the global ivory trade and what it might mean for elephant poaching in Africa.

Categories: Environment
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