Polar Vortex Causes Midwest States Of Emergency As Cold Pushes Farther South

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 3:45am

Wind chill warnings stretch from the Dakotas into Western Pennsylvania. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, and the governors of Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois have declared emergencies.

(Image credit: Pinar Istek/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Australia’s record on emissions and sustainability condemned by OECD review

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/29 - 8:27pm

Paris agreement target will not be met without changes to policy and threatened species at risk unless funding increased

Australia is not on track to meet its 2030 emissions targets under the Paris agreement and needs to bring its environment policies into line with the “scale of the challenge” the country is facing, one of the world’s pre-eminent economic institutions says.

In a major report on Australia’s environmental performance, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development also finds the status of Australia’s biodiversity is “poor and worsening” and the government’s national threatened species strategy will fail unless it is expanded and funding increased.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil Arrests 5 In Dam Collapse As Death Toll Rises To 65

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/29 - 3:51pm

Reports say three of those arrested were involved in getting the mining project licensed, and two were consultants with a company that certified the dam for safety.

(Image credit: Andre Penner/AP)

Categories: Environment

'The river is dying': the vast ecological cost of Brazil's mining disasters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/29 - 10:11am

Water resources are tapped with often reckless abandon and poor regulation. And it looks set to go on under new president

The Brazilian government has been urged to step up punishments for environmental crimes after the deadliest mining disaster in decades.

The torrent of mud and iron ore tailings that engulfed the community of Brumadinho on Friday continues to inflict a toll on residents, river systems and freshwater species.

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Categories: Environment

Adani mine: environmental laws designed to protect black-throated finch led to bird's decline

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/29 - 10:00am

Of 775 projects overlapping bird’s habitat, government only refused one, study reveals

Environmental laws that formally protect the endangered black-throated finch have also sanctioned the broadscale destruction of its natural habitat, leaving the species at risk of extinction, a new study says.

The study, led by University of Queensland research fellow April Reside, and published on Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Policy, charts the exile of the black-throated finch from more than 80% of its former range.

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Categories: Environment

Discovery of biggest UK gasfield in a decade raises industry hopes

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/29 - 9:04am

Gas from Glengorm reservoir under North Sea could meet about 5% of annual demand

A Chinese-led consortium has discovered the UK’s biggest gasfield in more than a decade, leading experts to say there is life yet in the country’s offshore sector.

Drilling found the equivalent of about 250m barrels of oil could be recovered from the Glengorm reservoir in the central North Sea, about 5% of the UK’s annual gas demand.

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Categories: Environment

Drier Conditions Force Researchers To Find New Rice Farming Method

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/29 - 3:01am

Rice farmers in Nepal are improving yields by more than 50 percent using a technique that sows fewer plants per acre but produces more rice per plant. It also uses less water.

Categories: Environment

Menindee fish kill: NSW water minister says he's 'not downplaying' latest deaths

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 9:54pm

Niall Blair says deaths are like nothing ‘we’ve ever seen in the state before’ while touring Lower Darling River site

The New South Wales primary industries minister, Niall Blair, has admitted that “we’ve seen nothing like this” while touring the site of another massive fish death in the Lower Darling River at Menindee.

The mass death incident in the Lower Darling, the third in a month, has left stretches of the Lower Darling upstream from Menindee covered in a carpet of dead fish.

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Categories: Environment

Joshua Tree national park 'may take 300 years to recover' from shutdown

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 5:51pm

National park saw ‘irreparable’ damage including vandalism, ruined trails and trees cut down, says former superintendent

The former superintendent of Joshua Tree national park has said it could take hundreds of years to recover from damage caused by visitors during the longest-ever government shutdown.

“What’s happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years,” Curt Sauer said at a rally over the weekend, according to a report from the Desert Sun. Sauer retired in 2010 after running the park for seven years.

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Categories: Environment

Insects worm their way into Selfridges food hall in ‘bug bars’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 5:01pm

Store to sell pasta and granola bars made from ground buffalo worm and cricket flour

Pasta, protein bars and granola bars made from insect flour are to go on sale in Selfridges to highlight alternative proteins for inclusion in mainstream diets.

Amid growing awareness of the environmental impact of livestock farming – and the benefits of reducing meat consumption – the British department store is the latest retailer to tap into the rising recognition of the benefits of eating insects on both nutritional and environmental grounds.

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Categories: Environment

States Along Colorado River Working To Avert Crisis From 19-Year Drought

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 4:04pm

A 19-year drought has created a crisis for states along the Colorado River. They face a deadline this week to come up with a deal to share water, or the federal government says it will step in.

Categories: Environment

Murray Darling Basin Plan breaches Water Act, royal commission to find

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 3:55pm

Commissioner to find $13bn plan to restore river took into account factors other than the environment’s needs when it set the amount of water needed to be bought back from irrigators

The Murray Darling Basin Plan is likely in breach of the commonwealth act that underpins it – the Water Act 2007, the South Australian royal commission into the plan is expected to find.

The report of the royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan is being handed to the state governor on Tuesday but it is up to the SA government when it is released.

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Categories: Environment

California Wildfire Insurance Claims Total $11.4 Billion For November 2018

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 3:30pm

PG&E, the state's largest utility, has filed for bankruptcy protection due to its potential liabilities. The company says it expects no disruption to services during its Chapter 11 process.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Does The World Need A New Buzzword — 'Syndemic' — To Describe 3 Big Crises?

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 1:26pm

A new report in 'The Lancet' uses a not-too-familiar term to describe looming global problems that appear to be interconnected.

(Image credit: Rick Elkins, Josh Sommers, Chris Minihane/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Bear in mind: lost boy's tale of ursine guardian 'likely to be fantasy'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 11:40am

Three-year-old Casey Hathaway said a bear helped him survive two nights in the woods but animal experts say it would be a first

The story of a three-year-old boy who said he survived two nights alone in the woods due to the assistance of a friendly bear should not encourage people to seek out their own relationships with bears, a leading ursine expert has warned.

Related: Three-year-old boy missing in woods for two days says friendly bear kept him safe

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Categories: Environment

Scientists create super-thin 'sheet' that could charge our phones

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 9:00am

Breakthrough means large sheets of energy-harvesting material can be produced

We have all been there. In a rush to leave the house we grab our phones and head out the door, realising all too late that the battery is dead because we forgot to plug it into the tablecloth.

Or perhaps we have not. But this could be the future that scientists hope to usher in with electronic sheets that charge our mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets by harvesting energy from the world around us.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil Dam Disaster: 60 People Are Dead, With Hundreds More Missing

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 8:59am

The dam that collapsed last week held more than 3 billion gallons of mud and mine waste. A mine worker says he heard a loud sound — and when he turned, he saw a "mountain of mud" sweeping toward him.

(Image credit: DigitalGlobe/Maxar/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

How California's Worst Oil Spill Turned Beaches Black And The Nation Green

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 3:29am

In 1969, oil from an offshore well left beaches in Santa Barbara, Calif., coated with crude and littered with dead birds. The country's reaction helped create the modern environmental movement.

(Image credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Puerto Ricans Concerned That $20 Billion Recovery Plan Is 'Not For The People'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/28 - 3:00am

Island officials will have discretion to spend the federal money as they see fit. But some worry the government's plans will leave local communities behind.

(Image credit: Erika P. Rodríguez for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Improving UK cycling rates could save NHS £319m, says report

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/01/27 - 5:01pm

Ministers urged to make activity more popular outside London to boost public health

The NHS could save £319m over the next 21 years if cycling in major UK cities becomes as popular as in London, according to a report by an environmental charity.

About 34,000 incidences of type 2 diabetes, stroke, breast cancer and depression would be prevented in seven key cities between 2017 and 2040, if cycling increased at the same rate as in London since the millennium, according to analysis from Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity.

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Categories: Environment
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