Warming climate could see butterfly loved by Churchill return to UK

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 10:30pm

Former PM unsuccessfully tried to reintroduce black-veined white in 1940s, but conditions may now allow species to prosper

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Categories: Environment

2018 Hurricane Season Will Bring Another Battery Of Storms

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 2:48pm

Forecasters are cautioning the public to brace themselves, predicting 14 tropical storms this year. Seven are expected to become hurricanes and three of those are expected to be major hurricanes.

(Image credit: NASA /AP)

Categories: Environment

After Raising Concerns About Scott Pruitt, A Number Of EPA Officials Were Demoted

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 1:24pm

A number of Environmental Protection Agency officials have been demoted or reassigned after raising concerns about the way EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is managing the agency, according to a report from The New York Times.

Categories: Environment

Another Place Plastics Are Turning Up: Organic Fertilizer From Food Waste

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 11:34am

Turning food waste into fertilizer is popular in parts of Europe and is catching on in the U.S. But tiny plastics are also making their way into that fertilizer — and into the food chain.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Mark Carney warns of climate change threat to financial system

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 8:46am

Bank of England governor says firms must acknowledge risks to avoid ‘catastrophic impact’

The governor of the Bank of England has warned of the “catastrophic impact” climate change could have for the financial system unless firms do more to disclose their vulnerabilities.

Telling banks and insurers they would need to provide more information about the risks they might face from climate change, Mark Carney said failure to do so would have damaging effects for financial stability.

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Categories: Environment

Deadly oil spill devastates Borneo port city – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 7:35am

The Indonesian port city of Balikpapan, on the island of Borneo, has declared a state of emergency after an oil spill spread along the coast, killing several people when it ignited. The leak, caused by a burst undersea pipe belonging to the state oil company Pertamina, has spread at least 16 miles (26km) and coated large swaths of the coast in thick black sludge

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 6:08am

Whales, howler monkeys and signs of spring are among the pick of wildlife images from around the world

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Categories: Environment

Pee and pesticides: Thoreau's Walden Pond in trouble, warn scientists

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 5:17am

Immortalised for its beauty by Henry David Thoreau, the Massachusetts pond is under threat from increased human activity and climate change according to a new study

The water of Walden Pond, which Henry David Thoreau described in 1854 as “so transparent that the bottom can easily be discerned at the depth of 25 or 30 feet”, is no longer quite so clear according to a new study.

The Massachusetts pond was made famous in Walden, the transcendentalist writer’s account of the years he spent next to it in order to “live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life”. The pond has been greatly affected by human activity. Everything from forest fires in the 19th century, to wood-cutting operations, the use of pesticides in the 1960s and increasing tourism have affected the water quality, according to the paper. Over half of the phosphorus in the lake in the summer “may now be attributable to urine released by swimmers”, while a footpath to Thoreau’s cabin “caused large amounts of soil to wash into the lake”.

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Categories: Environment

'We know we may be killed': the rangers risking their lives for Virunga's gorillas

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/04/06 - 5:00am

The huge national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most dangerous conservation projects in the world. But thanks to the efforts of a committed force of rangers, populations of endangered species are recovering and locals say the park offers hope for the whole region

It is dawn on the shores of Lake Edward and the sun is rising over the volcanoes on the eastern skyline. Mist lies over the still water. In the forest there are elephant, hippopotamus and buffalo. Guarding them are 26 rangers in a single fortified post.

Then the silence is rudely broken. There are shouts, scattered shots, volleys from automatic weapons. Waves of attackers rush through the brush and trees. Some are close enough to hurl spears and fire arrows.

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Categories: Environment

The cycling club helping homeless women regain independence

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 11:15pm

Two Sustrans staff members explain how offering residents of a women’s hostel the freedom of cycling is helping to improve their mental wellbeing

A cycling session at Queen Mary homeless women’s hostel in London starts with some reflection in the tea room. Eleven women discuss how they’re doing this week, how the cycling went for them last week and what they’re hoping to build on in today’s session. Then they push their bikes to a local basketball court to practise in the safety of an off-road environment. Supported by instructors from Westminster council’s training team, they practise riding by themselves; pushing off, cycling in a straight line, looking over one shoulder, turning, keeping going.

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Categories: Environment

BP plan to drill in Great Australian Bight risked 750km oil spill, documents show

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 9:30pm

Under company modelling major spill would pollute beaches and could disrupt southern right whale migration

Up to 750km of coastline was put at risk of contamination from possible oil spill by BP’s plan to drill in the Great Australian Bight, newly released documents show.

Government documents released under freedom of information laws show a major oil spill in the sensitive seascape would pollute up to 750km of beaches and shoreline, according to BP’s own modelling. The company also thought drilling could disrupt migration of the endangered southern right whale.

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Categories: Environment

Birdpocalypse? Thousands of corellas cause havoc after swooping on Adelaide

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 8:43pm

Drones and fireworks deployed to disperse flocks that are stripping trees and annoying residents with squawking and droppings

They come at dawn and dusk.

At first they arrive by the tens, then the hundreds, some sticking to the treeline, others mustering on the oval.

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Categories: Environment

In March, Portugal Made More Than Enough Renewable Energy To Power The Whole Country

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 3:24pm

The country produced renewable power equal to 103.6 percent of mainland Portugal's electrical demand — a feat "unmatched in the last 40 years," the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association says.

(Image credit: Armando Franca/AP)

Categories: Environment

AGL hits back at Barnaby Joyce claim it is 'shorting' the energy market

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 11:00am

‘It is not possible to short a market by giving seven years’ notice of closure,’ company says as dispute over Liddell power station flares up

AGL Energy has categorically rejected arguments from the Turnbull government that it is abusing its market power, saying if it wanted to benefit commercially from the closure of the Liddell power plant it would have shuttered the facility with no warning.

An AGL spokesman hit back at an accusation from the former deputy prime minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce that it was “shorting” the market by hanging on to the ageing coal-fired power plant. “It is not possible to short a market by giving seven years’ notice of closure,” the spokesman said.

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Categories: Environment

It's not perfect but implementing Murray-Darling plan in full can work | Jamie Pittock

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 11:00am

Rivers will be lost, Indigenous communities and pastoral and tourism industries affected if not enough water is returned

The latest proposal to cut 605bn litres of water from flowing down the Murray-Darling river system will test the nation’s faith in water reform.

Transparency, accountability, trust: these have sadly gone missing from the nation’s plan for the health of the river system. Allegations of water theft, inequity for downstream communities and poor governance have all shaken the foundations of faith in the plan that state and federal governments agreed to in 2012.

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Categories: Environment

The wheel turns for the Rolling Stones’ butterflies | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 9:41am
Emmanuel Macron | Butterfly Conservation | Country diary magic | Porton Down | Football fans

Why is Emmanuel Macron always described as a “centrist” in the Guardian (Strike chaos sets rail workers on collision course with Macron, 4 April)? He is hellbent on reducing employment rights and taking on the unions. He may be young and his party new on the political scene, but he is a conservative. Why not describe him as such?
Martin Childs

• As the Rolling Stones are touring in Britain this year – the 50th anniversary of the founding of Butterfly Conservation (Patrick Barkham’s Butterflywatch, 31 March) – the band should give a generous donation to the charity in recognition of the harm they did to thousands of large white butterflies released during their Hyde Park concert to remember Brian Jones.
Jacky Creswick

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Categories: Environment

Bollywood star Salman Khan sentenced to five years for killing antelopes

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 5:48am

Actor says he will appeal against sentence after being convicted of poaching blackbucks in 1998

The Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been sentenced to five years in jail for poaching a protected species of Indian antelope, in the latest twist to an off-screen life almost as dramatic as the epics he has starred in.

A court in Rajasthan state on Thursday found Khan, one of the world’s best-paid actors, guilty of illegally hunting the two blackbucks from his car window while filming in Jodhpur in 1998.

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Categories: Environment

Jersey royal potatoes delayed by 'beast from the east'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 5:28am

Severe winter weather postpones season by at least three weeks and yield could be 20% lower

The jersey royal season is at least three weeks late after the “beast from the east” delayed the planting of the spring crop.

The potato’s short season, usually from April to mid-July, has been affected by hard frosts and almost double the 30-year average of rainfall in December and January, which growers say left the ground saturated and “undesirable for planting”.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change threatens rare British orchid that tricks bees into mating

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 4:37am

Researchers find that warmer temperatures are upsetting the seasonal relationship between the early spider orchid and pollinating bees

It is one of the most cunning and elaborate reproductive deceits: the early spider orchid (Ophrys sphegodes) wafts a floral bouquet into the air that mimics the irresistible scent of a virgin female solitary mining bee, tricking gullible male bees into attempting intercourse with several flowers, thereby ensuring the plant’s pollination.

But the sexual success of this rare and declining orchid in Britain is imperilled by climate change, researchers have found.

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Categories: Environment

American conservatives are still clueless about the 97% expert climate consensus | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/05 - 3:00am

Now there’s a handbook for that

Gallup released its annual survey on American perceptions about global warming last week, and the results were a bit discouraging. While 85–90% of Democrats are worried about global warming, realize humans are causing it, and are aware that most scientists agree on this, independents and Republicans are a different story. Only 35% of Republicans and 62% of independents realize humans are causing global warming (down from 40% and 70% last year, respectively), a similar number are worried about it, and only 42% of Republicans and 65% of independents are aware of the scientific consensus – also significantly down from last year’s Gallup poll.

The Trump administration’s polarizing stance on climate change is probably the main contributor to this decline in conservative acceptance of climate change realities. A recent study found evidence that “Americans may have formed their attitudes [on climate change] by using party elite cues” delivered via the media. In particular, the study found that Fox News “is consistently more partisan than other [news] outlets” and has incorporated politicians into the majority of its climate segments.

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Categories: Environment
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