Guardian Environment News

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Updated: 12 hours 32 min ago

Adani coal port faces possible 'stop order' after traditional owners object

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 10:41pm

Exclusive: Queensland government must rule on application to cease work around Abbot Point coal terminal

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Adani is facing the prospect of being ordered to cease work in the vicinity of its Abbot Point coal terminal and planned rail corridor, after Juru traditional owners applied for a “stop order” to protect sacred sites.

Guardian Australia understands the application was lodged with the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships on Thursday by lawyers for Juru Enterprises Limited (JEL).

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Categories: Environment

Fake chews? New Zealand MP fears 'existential threat' of synthetic burgers

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 5:37pm

The Impossible Burger, being served on Air New Zealand, has also drawn the ire of acting prime minister Winston Peters

A veggie burger that “bleeds” fake blood has been accused of posing an “existential threat” to New Zealand’s beef industry, amid a growing row over synthetic meat.

The Impossible Burger, which is being served on the national carrier Air New Zealand, has drawn the ire of the acting prime minister Winston Peters, who has said he is “utterly opposed to fake beef,” and the airline should be using real animal products.

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Categories: Environment

Sydney fog: spectacular misty morning delays ferries, flights and traffic

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 4:01pm

Ferries cancelled and warnings issued after thick bank of fog rolls into city

Flights and ferry services were cancelled after thick fog covered Sydney Harbour on Thursday morning. Sydneysiders shared photos of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and other landmarks as they disappeared from sight.

Domestic and international flights at Sydney Airport were delayed due to low visibility procedures in force until just before 8am.

Airservices Australia advised passengers to check with their airlines for any cancellations.

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Categories: Environment

Flying ants cause chaos during Wimbledon invasion

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 11:09am

No 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki visibly struggled with swarm during her shock defeat

Flying ants made an unwelcome return to Wimbledon on Wednesday, prompting complaints from the reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki.

The bugs, which swarm in warm weather, caused problems for players last year when the British No 1 Johanna Konta said she had swallowed some.

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Categories: Environment

First test tube rhino embryos could bring extinct species back from dead

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 10:00am

The northern white rhino is essentially extinct – just two females remain – but new research paves the way for its resurrection

The first rhino embryos have been created in a test tube and could help save the northern white rhino, which is essentially extinct.

There are just two northern white rhino (NWR) females left alive. The last male, called Sudan, died in March in Kenya, meaning the subspecies is doomed to die out unless the new IVF techniques bear fruit.

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Categories: Environment

Child's asthma death linked to illegal levels of air pollution

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 8:18am

‘Striking association’ found between nine-year-old’s hospital admissions and local spikes in air pollution

The repeated hospital admissions of a girl who died in an asthma attack at the age of nine show a “striking association” with spikes in illegal levels of air pollution around her home in London, legal documents have revealed.

Ella Kissi-Debrah, from Hither Green, near the capital’s busy South Circular Road, experienced seizures for three years prior to her death in February 2013. Her family are calling for a new inquest into her death following fresh evidence that air pollution was a contributory factor.

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Categories: Environment

Declare energy independence with carbon dividends | Joseph Robertson

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 3:00am

A carbon tax and dividend system could usher in an era of clean energy independence

Taking action on climate is about a lot more than our energy economy. Climate disruption is the leading threat to our built environment, an accelerant of armed conflict, and a leading cause of mass migration. Its effects intensify and prolong storms, droughts, wildfires, and floods — resulting in the US spending as much on disaster management in 2017 as in the three decades from 1980 to 2010.

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Categories: Environment

UK car buyers face ‘lottery’ with both ultra-clean and ultra-dirty diesels on sale

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 2:36am

New data suggests worst cars are now 32 times more polluting than the best – risking all diesels being banned from cities, say experts

Ultra-dirty new diesel engines are being sold alongside ultra-clean models in the UK, according to new data, leaving car buyers facing what experts call a “nightmare”.

On-the-road tests by testing firm Emissions Analytics found that new models of Mercedes-Benz CLS, Seat Arona and Citroen DS 7 produced tiny amounts of pollution, up to 75% below the official EU limit.

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Categories: Environment

Frydenberg tells Western Australia to pay for baited shark drumlines

Wed, 2018/07/04 - 12:49am

Conservationists criticise environment minister for pushing strategy that affects threatened species

Josh Frydenberg has challenged Western Australia over its management of sharks, proposing the state pay for a network of satellite-linked baited drumlines to protect high-traffic beaches.

Frydenberg said 176 of the Smart (shark management alert in real time) drumlines could be deployed along 260km of WA’s 12,000km coastline, covering both Perth beaches and popular surf beaches in the southwest.

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Categories: Environment

Does the moon hold the key to the earth’s energy needs?

Tue, 2018/07/03 - 10:00pm

Tidal power is the only renewable source derived from the moon. Now an extraordinary array of devices promise to unlock this vital energy potential

Using giant kites, blades and paddles, and mimicking pogo sticks, blowholes and even the human heart, groups around the world are on the cusp of harnessing the colossal power of the oceans.

The challenge is huge - seas have been battering coasts and sweeping sailors to their doom for millennia - but so is the prize: huge amounts of clean, reliable and renewable electricity for an energy-hungry world.

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Categories: Environment

Doug Ford scraps carbon tax plan and sets up climate fight with Trudeau

Tue, 2018/07/03 - 1:11pm

Decision to end program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions puts Ontario in line for showdown with federal government

Ontario’s new rightwing government has ended a carbon pricing policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s most populous province.

The move to scrap the cap-and-trade program puts the provincial Conservative government – led by Doug Ford – directly at odds with the federal government’s bid to ensure provinces have a price on carbon in place by the end of 2018.

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Categories: Environment

Is this the end of the yellow all-in-one recycling bin?

Tue, 2018/07/03 - 11:00am

Commingled bins cause contamination. Is it time to go for separate bins for glass and paper?

It was supposed to be the more efficient solution. Now as governments and local councils search for answers to Australia’s unfolding recycling crisis, the household yellow bin has emerged as both the prime culprit and a potential remedy.

The recycling industry has been in crisis mode since the beginning of the year. On 1 January, China stopped accepting 99% of Australia’s exported recycling due, in part, to their strict new rules on contamination.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt video: mother confronts EPA boss and urges him to quit

Tue, 2018/07/03 - 9:51am

Kristin Mink approached head of US Environmental Protection Agency while holding her son and listed reasons he should resign

“Hi! I just wanted to urge you to resign,” the schoolteacher Kristin Mink said as she approached Scott Pruitt at a Washington DC restaurant on Monday, apparently unfazed by Pruitt’s lunch partner and two security guards.

“This is my son,” Mink told the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency while holding her two-year-old in her arms.

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Categories: Environment

Australia needs tighter ivory sale laws to protect elephants, parliamentary committee hears

Tue, 2018/07/03 - 1:53am

Parliament looking at whether Australia’s regulations allow poached ivory and horns to be passed off as antiques

Australia’s failure to regulate the sale of elephant ivory and rhino horns could be contributing to the demise of the animals, a parliamentary committee has heard.

The committee is looking into the country’s regulations and whether they allow newly-poached ivory and horns to be passed off as antiques.

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Categories: Environment

Chicken mega-farms are how we'll feed the UK, says poultry industry head

Mon, 2018/07/02 - 11:00pm

British consumers eat chicken twice a week. Are large farms the only way forward?

Britain will need to build more mega-farms to keep it supplied with chicken, according to the head of the UK’s influential poultry lobby.

But the biggest threat to UK consumers, he believes, comes from cheap imported meat – “chlorinated chicken” – produced to lower standards as a result of post-Brexit trade deals.

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Categories: Environment

Most of Europe's rivers and lakes fail water quality tests – report

Mon, 2018/07/02 - 10:30pm

Only 40% of waterways surveyed were in a good ecological state – with England one of the worst offenders

The vast majority of Europe’s rivers, lakes and estuaries have failed to meet minimum ecological standards for habitat degradation and pollution, according to a damning new report.

Only 40% of surface water bodies surveyed by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) were found to be in a good ecological state, despite EU laws and biodiversity protocols.

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Categories: Environment

Greens announce three sets of contenders for leadership contest

Mon, 2018/07/02 - 8:01am

Joint ticket of Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry favourite to lead after Caroline Lucas steps down

Three sets of contenders have put themselves forward to become the next leaders of the Greens, it was announced on Monday, with the joint ticket of Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry seen as the strong favourite to take over in the absence of Caroline Lucas.

Lucas, the party’s sole MP and best-known figure, has spent two years as joint leader with Bartley, a councillor in Lambeth, south London. In May, Lucas said she would not stand again with the aim of “making space for other people”.

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Categories: Environment

Chicken farmer given suspended sentence for free-range egg fraud

Mon, 2018/07/02 - 7:35am

James Gigg, from Dorset, was found guilty of overstocking his henhouses

A chicken farmer has been given a suspended jail sentence for falsely claiming that eggs produced in crowded henhouses were free-range.

Eggs from James Gigg’s farm in Dorset were sold to shops and delicatessens that marketed them to customers as free-range.

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Categories: Environment

Oil company's 'draconian and anti-democratic' injunction challenged

Mon, 2018/07/02 - 6:03am

Environmental campaigners appear in London’s high court to oppose UK Oil and Gas’s attempt to ban protests at three UK sites

Six environmental campaigners have taken legal action to overturn a broad injunction which is being sought by an energy firm against protesters.

The group went to the high court in London on Monday to oppose the injunction which is being sought by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG).

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Categories: Environment

UK nuclear cleanup contract back in public hands after £122m bill

Mon, 2018/07/02 - 5:25am

Botched tender was for the disposal of materials at 12 UK sites including Dungeness

The UK government has been forced to take a multibillion-pound nuclear cleanup contract back into public ownership, after a botched tender to the private sector landed the taxpayer with a £122m bill.

The government will take over the decommissioning of Britain’s 12 Magnox sites, including the former nuclear power stations at Dungeness in Kent and Hinkley Point in Somerset.

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Categories: Environment