Environment

Britain flouting duty to protect citizens from toxic air pollution – UN

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 2:00pm

Exclusive: Special rapporteur’s mission finds government has violated obligation to protect people’s lives and health

The UK government is “flouting” its duty to protect the lives and health of its citizens from illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution, according to the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights related to toxic waste.

Baskut Tuncak issued his warning after a fact-finding mission to the UK in January at the invitation of the government in a report that has been shared exclusively with the Guardian before it is presented to the UN human rights council this week.

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Categories: Environment

The Role Of The Coast Guard During A Hurricane

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 1:24pm

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Vice Admiral Karl Schultz about the Coast Guard's Hurricane Irma response efforts.

Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court | Editorial

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

It is possible to determine which nations and companies are responsible for damaging the climate. It’s only a matter of time before courts decide they must pay for global warming

Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate change has a role in such events. Scientists used to be circumspect at attributing any single extreme event to global warming. No longer. Now scientists make the link between climate change and droughts in Kenya, record winter sun in Britain and torrential downpours in south-west China.

The unmistakeable fingerprint of extreme weather at the crime scene of global warming seems intuitively obvious: consider that Houston is reckoned to have been hit by three “500-year floods” in three years. A 500-year flood does not have to happen only twice a millennium. But a run of three indicates that past climate is no longer a reliable guide to the present weather. The explanation is that the climate itself is changing.

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Categories: Environment

Norway goes to the polls with the future of its oil and gas industry in play

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 8:11am

Small but fast-growing Green party, which is demanding an immediate halt to gas and oil exploration, seen as potential kingmaker

When Truls Gulowsen began campaigning in the 1990s, telling Norway it had both a moral obligation and an economic interest in phasing out the industry that has made it rich was not what might be called a vote winner.

But as Norwegians go to the polls on Monday, the future of their country’s giant oil and gas business is a major electoral issue – with parties that back curbs or even a shutdown of the industry set to play a key role in post-election coalition-building.

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Categories: Environment

Company Town: 'quiet tragedy' of an Arkansas community vs the Kochs

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 6:03am

A new film tells the story of Crossett, Arkansas – a small town dominated by a Koch brothers-owned paper mill, blamed for dumping cancer-causing chemicals

The documentary Company Town opened in New York City on Friday night, for a short run at Cinema Village on East 12th Street. Introducing a sold-out screening, New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman said co-directors Natalie Kottke-Masocco and Erica Sardarian had captured one of the “quiet tragedies that are taking place all across America all the time”.

Related: Dark Money review: Nazi oil, the Koch brothers and a rightwing revolution

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Categories: Environment

Update From The National Hurricane Center

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 5:26am

We have an update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami as Hurricane Irma passes over the Florida Keys.

Categories: Environment

Surveying The Wildfires Burning Across The Western U.S.

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 5:26am

NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with Chis Wilcox of the National Interagency Fire Center about wildfires burning across the western U.S.

Categories: Environment

UK windfarms cheaper than Hinkley Point, experts claim

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 4:16am

Analysts predict sea change in energy policy as falling costs for offshore power will charge UK taxpayer at least 10% less than deal handed to new nuclear plant

Windfarms around Britain’s coast will beat the planned nuclear power station Hinkley Point on price when the winning bidders for a £290m-a-year pot of government subsidies are announced on Monday, experts predict.

Such a milestone would mark a dramatic cost reduction for a technology that was once far more expensive than atomic power, and could fuel calls for a rethink over the UK’s future energy mix.

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Categories: Environment

'Big Chicken': The Medical Mystery That Traced Back To Slaughterhouse Workers

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/09/10 - 4:00am

In the 1950s, the poultry industry began dunking birds in antibiotic baths. It was supposed to keep meat fresher and healthier. That's not what happened, as Maryn McKenna recounts in her new book.

(Image credit: Express/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Global shockwaves from electric cars will be here sooner rather than later

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 11:00pm
Governments, the oil industry and car makers are waking up to the profound changes battery-powered cars will bring

When Jaguar Land Rover followed in the tracks of Volvo last week with its shift to an electric-powered future, the car maker didn’t just talk about hybrids and batteries.

Its chief executive also showed that his company, like governments and oil firms, is finally waking up to the global shockwaves electric cars will bring about. They are far more profound than whether drivers top up via a pump or a plug.

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Categories: Environment

Shunning Evacuation Orders, Some Coastal Floridians Choose To See Irma Through

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 10:54pm

More than 6.5 million Floridians were under mandatory evacuation orders. But not all of them left. Those who stayed were bracing for a monster storm — or shrugging off another hurricane.

(Image credit: Meredith Rizzo/NPR)

Categories: Environment

‘My job is to clean up the environment. China really wants to do that’

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 6:14pm

Environmental lawyer James Thornton says China’s ‘ecological civilisation’ concept is the best response to the world’s environmental crisis

James Thornton’s specialty is suing governments and corporations on behalf of his only client – the Earth – and he’s very good at it. In his four decades of legal practice across three continents, he’s never lost a case.

Acknowledging this in 2009 the New Statesman named him one of the ten people likely to change the world; ClientEarth, the public interest environmental law firm he started in London in 2007 now employs 106 people.

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Categories: Environment

As Irma Approaches Miami, Twin Brothers Serve Up Last-Minute Coffee And Croissants

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 6:12pm

A café in Miami remained open on Saturday as customers prepared for the weather. The owners are praying for the best as this is the strongest storm they've seen in the two decades they've lived here.

(Image credit: Cassi Alexandra for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Millions flee from Hurricane Irma's path as Florida prepares for deadly hit

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 4:06pm

More than 7 million people evacuated from the path of Hurricane Irma on Saturday as one the most powerful storms in history lined up a potentially catastrophic strike on Florida.

Related: A tale of two Irmas: rich Miami ready for tumult as poor Miami waits and hopes

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Categories: Environment

Deep divide over vote on use of National Trust land for trail hunting

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 4:05pm
Animal rights campaigners claim strong support in the Midlands village that hosts a museum dedicated to the bloodsport

The fractious politics of hunting was far from the minds of Julian Smith and Becky Whitehead during a pleasant afternoon exploring Leicestershire’s only National Trust house – a 118-year-old cottage nestled in countryside just out of earshot of the M1.

Nevertheless their views were clear, before a landmark vote next month that could prohibit trust land from being used for trail hunting – where riders follow hounds in pursuit of a fox-based scent. “We would be very anti-hunting, to be honest, and very much in favour of the existing government ban on foxhunting,” said Smith, a trust member who had travelled from Nottinghamshire to visit old houses and walk in the Peak District.

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Categories: Environment

Land grab in Amazon jungle threatens dispossession, violence and murder

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 4:05pm
President Temer is courting the mining companies and their political backers by breaking into pristine rainforest

On 23 August it emerged that the president of Brazil, Michel Temer, had issued a decree abolishing the protected status of an immense area of the Amazon forest. The area is in the north of the country, beyond the Amazon river, going up to the frontiers with French Guiana and Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana). The estimated size is 4.5 million hectares, the size of Denmark or Switzerland.

The decree was shocking, but not entirely unexpected. Temer is in political difficulties, facing corruption charges and needing political allies. There are more than 30 registered political parties in Brazil, and to get anything done in Congress they form bancadas (“benches” or coalitions). One of the most powerful is the bancada ruralista, consisting of powerful, wealthy agribusiness interests (mostly cattle and soya) together with those who represent mining and other extractive industries. And, making things gloomier, the evangelicals attach themselves to this bancada.

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Categories: Environment

Shelters fill up as Florida makes final push to keep people safe from Irma

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 3:22pm

Almost a third of the entire population of Florida was under evacuation orders on Saturday afternoon, as Hurricane Irma approached and authorities made a final push to drive more than 6 million people out of danger zones, off the streets and into shelters or on to high ground.

Related: A tale of two Irmas: rich Miami ready for tumult as poor Miami waits and hopes

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Categories: Environment

Western Wildfires Continue As Eagle Creek Fire Prompts Finger-Pointing

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 2:36pm

Wildfires are still raging in multiple states across America's western region. Fire historian Steve Pyne of Northern Arizona University says it's time to rethink land use, development and forest management in light of the increasing numbers of fires we are seeing each year.

Categories: Environment

Lack Of Coverage As The Carribean Reckons With Aftermath Of Hurricane Irma

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 2:36pm

Several of the Caribbean islands were badly hit by Hurricane Irma. NPR's Michel Martin chats with Anika Kentish, a journalist and resident of the island Antigua, about how the island is dealing with the aftermath.

Categories: Environment

Hurricane Irma Evacuations Force Difficult Decisions

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 2:36pm

People in Florida have been preparing for Hurricane Irma. Some have evacuated, while others are taking shelter. And some are even trying to go on with their vacations.

Categories: Environment
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