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Drew Hutton, how he galvanised the Greens and his unlikely alliance with Alan Jones

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 11:00am

Hutton cited health issues when he announced his decision to quit as president of the anti-mining group Lock the Gate

Drew Hutton, a giant of the Australian environmental movement, has announced his retirement as a leading activist in his 70th year.

Hutton, described by Australian Greens co-founder Bob Brown as the “driving force” for the party’s formation in 1992, cited health issues for his decision to quit last week as president of the anti-mining group Lock the Gate.

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Categories: Environment

Norway issues $1bn threat to Brazil over rising Amazon destruction

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 10:01am

Deforestation in the Amazon is increasing amid cuts to protection, putting Norway’s financial aid in jeopardy, says minister

Norway has issued a blunt threat to Brazil that if rising deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is not reversed, its billion-dollar financial assistance will fall to zero. The leaders of the two nations meet in Oslo on Friday.

The oil-rich Scandinavian nation has provided $1.1bn to Brazil’s Amazon fund since 2008, tied to reductions in the rate of deforestation in the world’s greatest rainforest. The destruction of forests by timber and farming industries is a major contributor to the carbon emissions that drive climate change and Norway views protecting the Amazon as vital for the whole world.

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Categories: Environment

Noruega ameaça corte de US$1 bilhão devido a aumento de destruição na Amazônia

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 9:59am

O desmatamento na Amazônia vem aumentando em meio a cortes à proteção do meio ambiente, e colocando o apoio financeiro vindo da Noruega em risco, diz ministro

A Noruega fez uma clara ameaça ao Brasil de que caso o crescente índice de desmatamento na Amazônia não seja revertido, a ajuda financeira de um bilhão de dólares vai ser reduzida a zero. Os líderes de ambos países se encontram em Oslo, nesta sexta.

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Categories: Environment

Farms hit by labour shortage as migrant workers shun 'racist' UK

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 9:30am

A 20% shortfall in migrant workers relied on to pick fruit and vegetables is blamed on Brexit making the UK seem ‘xenophobic’

Farms have been hit with a shortage of the migrant workers that Britain relies on to bring in the fruit and vegetable harvests, according to a series of new reports.

There was a 17% shortfall in May, leaving some farms critically short of pickers, according to a new National Farmers Union (NFU) survey. The decline is blamed on Brexit, with the vote to depart the EU leaving the UK seen as “xenophobic” and “racist” by overseas workers, according to the director of a major agricultural recruitment company.

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Categories: Environment

Moth Eyes Inspire Glare-Resistant Coating For Cellphone Screens

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 8:11am

The scientists who developed the anti-reflective film were inspired by tiny, light-trapping structures on moth eyes that help the insects avoid predators.

(Image credit: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Tories aim to block full EU ban on bee-harming pesticides

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 7:14am

Move to block EU ban comes despite environment secretary Michael Gove saying, ‘I don’t want to water down’ EU protections

Conservative politicians are trying to stop a complete EU ban on bee-harming pesticides, despite the new environment secretary Michael Gove’s statement earlier this week, in which he said “I absolutely don’t want to water down” EU environmental protections.

Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides but have been banned on flowering crops in the EU since 2013. However, the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) found in 2016 that use of the pesticides on all crops poses a high risk to bees. As a result, the European commission has proposed a ban on all uses outside greenhouses, first revealed by the Guardian in March.

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Categories: Environment

Great British Bee Count 2017 – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 7:14am

So far, 15,696 people have taken part in the 2017 Great British Bee Count, recording 288,341 bees, some of which are pictured here. You have eight days left to join this year’s count which will run until 30 June 2017

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Categories: Environment

David Hoyle obituary

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 5:42am

My friend David Hoyle, who has died in a car accident aged 48, was a social scientist who devoted his life to protecting African forests and natural ecosystems for the biodiversity they harbour, for the local people who depend on them, and to secure their vital role in mitigating dangerous climate change. He worked for numerous NGOs, including VSO, WWF, and WCS, which took him to many African countries as a teacher, field project manager and national director.

The second of three children born to Mike Hoyle, a management consultant, and Marion (nee Knight), a housewife, David grew up in Farnham, Surrey, completed school at Lancing college in West Sussex and read geography at Reading University before doing a master’s in natural resource management at Edinburgh.

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Categories: Environment

Primeval forest must lose Unesco protection, says Poland

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 4:34am

Environment minister Jan Szyszko has called for Białowieża to lose its heritage status, saying it was granted ‘illegally’

Poland’s environment minister, Jan Szyszko, whom green activists have criticised for allowing large-scale logging in the ancient Białowieża forest, has called for the woodland to be stripped of Unesco’s natural heritage status, banning human intervention.

Białowieża, straddling Poland’s eastern border with Belarus, includes one of the largest surviving parts of the primeval forest that covered the European plain 10,000 years ago. It also boasts unique plant and animal life, including the continent’s largest mammal, the European bison.

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Categories: Environment

Red Palm Weevils Wreak Havoc On Palm Plantations Across The Globe

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 4:00am

Thanks to globalization and climate change, the pest has spread to 60 countries, attacking coconut, date and oil palm plantations, and costing millions of dollars in damages.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mark Hoddle/Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside)

Categories: Environment

Heavy Rains And Flooding As Tropical Storm Cindy Makes Landfall

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 3:25am

States on the Gulf Coast are being hit with severe weather and floods as Tropical Storm Cindy moved inland Thursday morning in Louisiana.

(Image credit: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Categories: Environment

ExxonMobil Uses Carbon Tax Strategy To Its Advantage, Author Says

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 2:06am

ExxonMobil and several other oil companies are backing a Republican-led plan for a carbon tax. Steve Inskeep talks to Steve Coll, author of the book Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power.

Categories: Environment

The Rise Of Wind Energy Raises Questions About Its Reliability

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 2:00am

As renewables make up a bigger share of the nation's energy grid, some worry about blackouts when the wind doesn't blow. But grid operators say they're getting better at balancing energy resources.

(Image credit: Amy Sisk/Prairie Public Broadcasting)

Categories: Environment

The world needs wildlife tourism. But that won't work without wildlife

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/06/22 - 12:00am

Habitat loss, pollution, climate change, over-exploitation and poaching are all threatening a lifeline for local communities

Wildlife-based tourism is growing rapidly worldwide as the number of tourists continues to grow and as we, as travellers, seek out new and more enriching personal experiences with local cultures and wildlife. This is what inspired me to take six months unpaid leave from the grind of legal practice many years ago and backpack around South America with my little sister. Experiencing the natural beauty of places like the Amazon rainforest, Iguazú Falls and Machu Picchu and the local people fighting to protect them was life-changing.

The UN World Tourism Organisation estimates that 7% of world tourism relates to wildlife tourism, growing annually at about 3%, and much higher in some places, like our Unesco world heritage sites. A WWF report shows that 93% of all natural heritage sites support recreation and tourism and 91% of them provide jobs. In Belize, more than 50% of the population are said to be supported by income generated through reef-related tourism and fisheries.

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Categories: Environment

Flutter bye: where did all the city butterflies go?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 11:15pm

Butterflies are vanishing from cities even faster than in the countryside – from paving, pesticides or just plain heat. But some cities are luring them back

The purple plumes of railway-side buddleias are emptied of insects. A single white butterfly is dancing, alone, in a grassy park. Suburban gardens are unvisited by red admirals or small tortoiseshells.

The disappearance of butterflies from the British countryside over the past half-century is well documented, but a new study warns that they are also vanishing from UK cities, more quickly than in rural areas.

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Categories: Environment

Is TfL's new cycling plan revolutionary or a waste of time?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 11:00pm

A data map of 25 London cycling corridors could be crucial for future superhighways, but critics say it’s a distraction from getting the job done

Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, once said “in God we trust; everyone else bring data”. London has moved towards the mantra of one man who transformed a city for cycling by using a major data analysis to show where cycling routes could be built to get the greatest number of people on to two wheels.

Transport for London (TfL) has taken census data, cycle counts, surveys and data from the city’s hire bikes to identify future urban development and growth hotspots and collision data. They have created a map of 25 corridors across London, along which the greatest number of cycling trips could be generated.

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Categories: Environment

Why the coal lobby's reverse auction push might be an attempt to 'blow up' the debate

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 9:54pm

Craig Kelly’s argument that a reverse auction would allow coal power plants to compete doesn’t stack up

The latest push by pro-coal lobbyists and some Coalition MPs – for the clean energy target proposal to be dropped in favour of a reverse auction that could be used to fund a new coal power station – has left analysts wondering if they are actually trying to “blow up” the debate.

The idea was raised, after the Minerals Council of Australia – the coal lobby – suggested it to Coalition backbenchers, as part of a campaign against chief scientist Alan Finkel’s clean energy target.

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Categories: Environment

Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:30pm

Huge and unexplained bloom has fishers racing to save their nets, and scientists hurrying to study the rare animal

A rare, tiny marine creature known as the “unicorn of the sea” has swarmed in its millions on the west coast of America, ruining fishermen’s nets and baffling scientists who are scrambling to find out more about them.

Fishers along the west coast have told researchers that in some places they are unable to catch anything because the pyrosome clusters are so dense and tightly packed. Their hooks, when pulled from the ocean, wriggle with the odd-looking creatures, which are sometimes referred to as “sea pickles” or “fire bodies”.

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Categories: Environment

tweaking my sensitivity...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:30pm
Thanks to plenty of YouTube videos, I have tweaked the control sensitivity of the controller joysticks and camera gimbal movements for smoother operation of the Mavic Pro and its' camera.  The only issue I have now is that my little Samsung tablet doesn't really have enough processor speed to handle the load of data sent from the aircraft.  The screen is really hard to see in direct sunlight (there are sun shades available but they only help a little) and video sent back from the aircraft keeps breaking up and the app crashes if I try to go into the intelligent flight modes.  DJI is about to release a new super bright dedicated tablet specifically for their drones but it is a bit on the pricey side - although it has two (not just one) microSD card slots and an HDMI output port.  An Apple iPad mini 4 seems to work very well but does not have a microSD card slot for extra memory.  On the android end, the best option was the nvidia shield tablet K1 made for gamers as it had plenty of processing power to handle the load.  The problem is - that model has been discontinued and it seems they have nothing new in the pipeline for the foreseeable future.  I still have a ways to go mastering simple maneuvers before I start trying to get fancy so I will live with what I have until I make a decision on an upgrade.  And don't bother with suggestions in the comments - I am well aware of all the options available although I only listed a few above.  Keep in mind that I have done an extraordinary amount of research on this.  It's not that I don't appreciate a helping hand from time to time, but it get's frustrating because most often the suggestions I get have little to do with my real world applications.   That being said - if you personally own and fly a DJI Mavic Pro and have found a tablet that works perfectly, feel free to chime in.  If you do not own a drone but have done a google search for "best tablet for Mavic Pro" - please don't bother sharing.  Been there, done that.  97,99,72,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Australian health groups urge coal phase-out and strong emissions reduction

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 5:10pm

World-first climate and health framework from 30 health and medical groups calls for recognition of citizens’ ‘right to health’

To save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars, Australia should rapidly phase out coal power stations and establish strong emissions reduction targets, according to a coalition of 30 major health and medical groups.

Related: Australia warned it has radically underestimated climate change security threat

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Categories: Environment
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