Guardian Environment News

Syndicate content The Guardian
Latest environmental news, opinion and analysis from the Guardian.
Updated: 12 hours 32 min ago

Andrew Wheeler: 'point man for Trump' focused on undoing Obama's EPA agenda

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 10:20am

Scott Pruitt’s replacement may be a more frightening prospect for those dismayed with the Trump administration’s attitude to the environment

Scott Pruitt, who on Thursday resigned as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was a firm favourite of Donald Trump. But Pruitt was plagued by scandal and faltered in carrying out the president’s agenda of peeling back clean air and water regulations. His replacement is likely to be far more adept.

Related: Goodbye to the worst EPA administrator of all time | Richard Wolffe

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'Drunk' gull stumbles in footage released by RSPCA – video

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 10:19am

RSPCA staff have been left scratching their heads after a string of callouts to collect 'drunk' gulls. The animal welfare charity is concerned the birds have been gaining access to waste products from a local brewery or alcohol producer, making them disoriented and confused.

Jo Daniel, an RSPCA officer, said 'the birds absolutely stink of alcohol' when they collect them

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Frustration as single right whale prompts fishing ban at Canadian island

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 8:17am

Fishing is temporarily halted at Grand Manan Island after the sighting of an endangered whale, to the dismay of fishermen

In 30 years of fishing for lobster in the Bay of Fundy between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Laurence Cook has been forced off the water by high winds, winter storms and icy conditions.

But until this summer, he had never had to stay home because of a whale.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 6:00am

A rare shark sighting, flying ants and a saltwater crocodile are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

UK fishing fleets unlikely to gain from Brexit despite Gove's claims, say experts

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 3:02am

New government white paper states that Britain is planing no major changes to catch quotas

British fishing fleets will face a tough struggle to wring a substantial advantage from Brexit, despite the prime minister’s promises, owing to key concessions in the government’s fishing proposals and the difficulty of persuading other EU member states to give up their current rights in British and shared waters, the Guardian has found.

Michael Gove, the environment secretary, published a white paper on Wednesday setting out the UK’s approach to fisheries after 2020, when the Brexit transition period is likely to end. He hailed “a sea of opportunity … we can take back control of our waters and revitalise coastal communities”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt, Trump's embattled EPA chief, resigns amid ethics scandals

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 11:32pm

Donald Trump announces Pruitt’s departure on Twitter and praises him for doing an ‘outstanding job’

Scott Pruitt, the hugely controversial administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has resigned.

Related: A scandal for all seasons: Scott Pruitt's ethics violations in full

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Suspected rhino poachers eaten by lions at South African reserve

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 7:44pm

Remains of two or three people found near pride with an axe – commonly used to remove horn

At least two rhino poachers were eaten by lions on a South African game farm, according to the reserve’s owner.

A ranger taking guests on a safari drive at the Sibuya game reserve in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday afternoon discovered human remains near a pride of lions.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The ethics scandals that eventually forced Scott Pruitt to resign

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 4:39pm

Pruitt was accused of a litany of corrupt practices, any one of which would have ended the career of an ordinary politician

After months of scandals, investigations and public protest, Scott Pruitt has finally resigned as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. During his relatively short time in the role, he was accused of a litany of corrupt practices, illegal activities and misuse of public funds, any one of which would have ended the career of an ordinary politician. Pruitt was far from ordinary, though. He had such an apparent disregard for government ethics and political norms, that many questioned whether he would ever leave office. But as CNN reported that Pruitt had kept a secret diary of meetings he didn’t want the public to know about because he thought it would “look bad”, his Teflon finally flaked away.

Related: Scott Pruitt, Trump's embattled EPA chief, resigns after ethics scandals

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Trump's promise to 'drain the swamp' proves false even with Scott Pruitt out

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 3:35pm

Pruitt seemed indestructible as the administration cycled through resignations, with Trump standing by him even at the end

Towards the end of his 2016 presidential election campaign, Donald Trump discovered a new slogan: “Drain the swamp!” He admitted being surprised at how well it went down with crowds at his rallies and kept repeating it.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt is out but his impact on the environment will be felt for years

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 2:44pm

Pruitt’s actions at the EPA have left a demoralized agency where staff fear their ability to protect public health is diminished

Scott Pruitt, who has finally stepped down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency after a long-rumbling corruption scandal, rose to public prominence on the back of a series of increasingly outlandish ethical controversies.

Related: Scott Pruitt resigns: Trump's scandal-ridden EPA chief steps down

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Hidden in plain sight: what the recycling crisis really looks like

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 11:00am

The recycling industry is in crisis, yet for most Australians it’s out of mind beyond the rattle of the recycling bin pickups each week. So what does this crisis really look like? Guardian Australia visited three processing sites to find out what happens to bins once they leave the kerb

The recycling industry has been in crisis mode in Australia since January when China, which previously bought 50% of the recycling we collect, implemented a ban that cut out 99% of what we used to sell.

Recycling companies had relied on this export revenue stream to stay afloat – the amount of waste recycling we create exceeds the demand we have to buy and use within Australia. Without an outlet, some companies began stockpiling recycling or sending it straight to landfill.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Global temperature rises could be double those predicted by climate modelling

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 11:00am

Researchers say sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if 2 degree target of Paris accord met

Temperature rises as a result of global warming could eventually be double what has been projected by climate models, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries.

Sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if the world does meet the 2 degree target of the Paris accord.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Tidal power to the people | Letters

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 9:50am
Alicia Hull on tidal energy being more efficient than nuclear, Liam O’Keeffe underlines its benefits, and Sue Roaf shines a light on solar

In his letter, Jim Waterton (30 June) protests too much. If tidal energy cannot be allowed without the possibility and costs of storage being certain, how is it that nuclear has been allowed when the costs and feasibility of storing the used fuel for countless lifetimes is equally unknown and likely to be much higher?

He describes tidal energy as intermittent, when it is regular and very suitable as a base power source. In contrast, he describes nuclear power as consistent when this is far from the truth. Quite apart from their hopeless record on delivery dates, rising costs and concern that they will work, they’re also offline from time to time. The station at Sizewell is offline for maintenance for five to six weeks every 18 months. By November last year there had been 16 planned outages. But there had also been unplanned outages when dangerous faults have been identified.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Shell would support UK bringing forward petrol ban from 2040

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 7:04am

CEO says earlier date would ease investment decisions and shift consumer attitudes

Shell, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies, has backed calls for the UK to bring forward its 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales.

Ben van Beurden, chief executive of the Anglo-Dutch group, said he welcomed the idea of bringing forward the ban, as it would provide clarity and make it easier for companies like Shell to make investment decisions and also shift consumer attitudes.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Red list research finds 26,000 global species under extinction threat

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 6:46am

IUCN fears planet is entering sixth wave of extinctions with research from Australia revealing more risks to reptiles

More than 26,000 of the world’s species are now threatened, according to the latest red list assessment of the natural world, adding to fears the planet is entering a sixth wave of extinctions.

New research, particularly in Australia, has widened the scope of the annual stocktake, which is compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and revealed the growing range of risks to flora and fauna.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'Y'alright love': crow welcomes tourists to Yorkshire castle – video

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 5:44am

A pied crow's hearty greeting at Knaresborough Castle in North Yorkshire has been captured on film by two visitors. Lisa and Mark Brooks heard the bird chattering inside the castle grounds and started filming.

'I found it absolutely hilarious. It must be a local, it has a proper Yorkshire accent. We were there for 15 minutes and it switched between saying ‘darling’ and ‘love’. Other people started coming over and were just in shock,' says Lisa Brooks. 

Crows are from the corvid family of birds, which are known for the ability to mimic human voices 

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Baltic Sea oxygen levels at '1,500-year low due to human activity'

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 5:15am

Nutrient run-off from agriculture and urban sewage are likely to be to blame, scientists say

The coastal waters of the Baltic have been starved of oxygen to a level unseen in at least 1,500 years largely as a result of modern human activity, scientists say. Nutrient run-off from agriculture and urban sewage are thought to be to blame.

“Dead zones” – areas of sea, typically near the bottom, with a dearth of oxygen – are caused by a rise in nutrients in the water that boosts the growth of algae. When these organisms die and sink to the seafloor, bacteria set to work decomposing them, using up oxygen in the process.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Two amputations a week: the cost of working in a US meat plant

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 4:00am

As unions warn of serious injuries, plans to take speed limits off the lines at pig plants are causing anxiety

Amputations, fractured fingers, second-degree burns and head trauma are just some of the serious injuries suffered by US meat plant workers every week, according to data seen by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

US meat workers are already three times more likely to suffer serious injury than the average American worker, and pork and beef workers nearly seven times more likely to suffer repetitive strain injuries. And some fear that plans to remove speed restrictions on pig processing lines – currently being debated by the government – will only make the work more difficult.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Researchers race to make bioplastics from straw and food waste

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 3:24am

Scientists looking to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic are harnessing everything from wood-eating bugs to chicory

New bioplastics are being made in laboratories from straw, wood chips and food waste, with researchers aiming to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic.

The new approaches include genetically modifying bacteria to eat wood and produce useful chemicals. But the bioplastics are currently significantly more expensive to make than fossil fuel-based plastics.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Native Americans seek to rename Yellowstone peak honoring massacre perpetrator

Thu, 2018/07/05 - 2:00am

Activists also target valley named for advocate of extermination amid nationwide fight to reject legacy of racism

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment