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Cotton buds and plastic straws could be banned in England next year

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/19 - 12:36am

Consultation to start later this year as Theresa May continues drive against single-use plastic waste

Cotton buds, plastic drinking straws and other single-use plastics could be banned from sale in England next year in the next phase of the campaign to try to halt the pollution of the world’s rivers and oceans.

Theresa May hopes to use the announcement to encourage the Commonwealth heads of government to join the fight as the meeting opens formally on Thursday. “The Commonwealth is a unique organisation with a huge diversity of wildlife, and environments – so it is vital we act now,” the prime minister will say, urging all Commonwealth countries to participate.

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Categories: Environment

New guidance to help consumers make better meat choices

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 10:01pm

Campaign draws up eight principles to guide people who want to be healthier and reduce their environmental impact

Eating less meat has long been advocated for our health and that of the planet, but the choices we make within that advice can be just as important, according to a new report.

Choosing lamb, for instance, means the animal is almost certain to have been grass-fed and free range, as sheep are not factory farmed in the same way as pigs or chickens. Meat from pasture-fed animals also tends to have higher levels of “good” fats, which are healthier.

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Categories: Environment

Japan's renewable energy puzzle: solar push threatens environment

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 9:08pm

As the country rushes to cut carbon emissions by 26%, campaigners worry that forests and wildlife are being trampled

The tens of thousands of solar panels resting on the surface of the Yamakura dam reservoir have finally begun to earn their keep.

This floating solar farm in Chiba prefecture is the biggest of its kind in Japan – and one of the largest in the world – covering 180,000 square metres, or roughly equivalent to 25 Wembley stadium pitches.

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Categories: Environment

Ipswich axes kerbside recycling that would cost residents a 'few extra dollars per week'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 8:37pm

Queensland council’s mayor, Andrew Antoniolli, says every other council will feel brunt of China’s recycling crackdown
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The mayor of Ipswich city council, Andrew Antoniolli, has warned every council will feel the brunt of China’s recycling clampdown and ratepayers will eventually foot the bill.

The local government body has come under fire for dumping recyclable waste in landfill because it would have cost $2m a year to comply with China’s tighter imported recycling regulations.

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Categories: Environment

Researchers forced to sell chocolates to save Queensland 'punk' turtle from extinction

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 6:12pm

Recovery plan for threatened Mary river turtle and other species drafted in 2013 but never approved
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Conservationists trying to save the Mary river turtle have had to resort to selling turtle chocolates and soliciting donations from the United Arab Emirates to try to help save the endangered reptile from extinction.

And a Mary river catchment committee that developed a recovery plan for the turtle and four other Mary River species has been waiting years for the federal government to approve the finished plan, which is in draft form and awaiting official sign-off.

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Categories: Environment

Ben has a health issue...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 4:18pm

I recently discovered that Ben is exhibiting signs of rectal prolapse - not uncommon in cattle.  My friend Terry Burger (Ben's godmother - she has known him since he was a pup) sent me some medicine.  Her husband Paul is a veterinarian and they are both well versed in large livestock care.  Never thought I would be applying Preperation H to a longhorn's butt hole.  She also sent some Panalog that I have to inject into his rectum with a large plastic syringe.  This should be interesting.  Ben is about to take trust to a whole new level.  I will spare you a photo of his infirmity,  but there might be a video coming soon...  78,85,53,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day – equal to a pound per person

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 11:05am

Research shows people with healthy diets rich in fruit and vegetables are the most wasteful and calls for better education for consumers

Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, with people who have healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables the most wasteful, research has found.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef: 30% of coral died in 'catastrophic' 2016 heatwave

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 11:00am

Report chronicles ‘mass mortality’, the extent and severity of which has shocked scientists
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Scientists have chronicled the “mass mortality” of corals on the Great Barrier Reef, in a new report that says 30% of the reef’s corals died in a catastrophic nine-month marine heatwave.

The study, published in Nature and led by Prof Terry Hughes, the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, examined the link between the level of heat exposure, subsequent coral bleaching and ultimately coral death.

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Categories: Environment

Swarms Of Tiny Sea Creatures Are Powerful Enough To Mix Oceans, Study Finds

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 10:43am

Each night, the organisms gather in a "vertical stampede" to feed at the ocean's surface. Research suggests the columns of swimming animals can create large downward jets that help churn the waters.

(Image credit: Isabel Houghton / J.R. Strickler /courtesy of Stanford / University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Categories: Environment

A millennial’s guide to the great outdoors

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 7:35am

They may be duff at identifying birds and flowers, but some young people are at least showing an interest. So here are our tips for experiencing the best of British nature

If, like me, you are a fiftysomething trying to cope with the modern world, you will be pleased to hear that millennials are struggling, too. As well as being unable to do mental arithmetic, ironing and spelling, they are also – according to a recent Bupa survey – unable to identify birds and wild flowers.

Despite this, there has been a surge in interest among some millennials, with the organisation A Focus on Nature encouraging a new generation of young people to connect with the natural world.

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Categories: Environment

Clean energy projects stifled by Tory reforms, says Labour

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 7:14am

‘Outrageous financial demands will have serious repercussions across the renewables sector’

Labour has accused the government of holding back clean energy projects in the UK by allowing energy networks to impose “outrageous” charges on renewables developers.

This week, two of the six companies that run the country’s local electricity grids began making green energy firms pay for an estimate of how much it will cost to connect their solar and windfarms.

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Categories: Environment

Balkan dam projects could result in loss of one in 10 European fish species

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 6:07am

Exclusive: Plans for a network of hydropower plants in three countries would cause ‘chain reaction’ for endangered species, report warns

Nearly one in 10 of Europe’s fish species will be pushed to the brink of extinction by a constellation of hydropower plants planned in the western Balkans, new research has found.

Eleven endemic species would be wiped out, seven more would be critically endangered, four types of sturgeon would be devastated and the number of endangered species would double to 24, according to the University of Graz report.

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Categories: Environment

Iceland sets target of 191 kills as country resumes whaling

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 4:05am

Authorities grant whalers a quota to hunt the endangered fin whale this summer after a two-year pause

Icelandic fishermen will resume their hunt for the endangered fin whale this year after a two-year pause and have set a target of 191 kills for the season.

An apparent loosening of Japanese regulations on Icelandic exports had made the resumption of the hunting commercially viable again, the country’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur, announced.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists unveil 10,000 sq ft model of Mississippi delta to help save coastline

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 4:00am

At twice the size of a regulation basketball court, the enormous replica will be used to work out an ambitious water-diversion plan

Scientists working to stop rising seawater damaging the fragile ecosystems of the Louisiana coastline have unveiled a massive new weapon: an enormous replica of the lower Mississippi delta.

At some 10,800 sq ft, the model is more than twice the size of a regulation basketball court. Housed at Louisiana State University’s center for river studies, the “Lower Mississippi River Physical Model” will help experts work out how best to enact a state plan to fight coastal erosion.

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Categories: Environment

Glacier loss is accelerating because of global warming | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/18 - 3:00am

As climate scientists predicted, glaciers are vanishing due to rapidly warming temperatures.

With global warming, we can make predictions and then take measurements to test those predictions. One prediction (a pretty obvious one) is that a warmer world will have less snow and ice. In particular, areas that have year-round ice and snow will start to melt.

Alpine glaciers are large bodies of ice that can be formed high in mountains, typically in bowls called cirques. The ice slowly flows downwards, pulled by gravity, and is renewed in their upper regions. A sort of balance can occur where the loss of ice by melting or flowing at the bottom is equal to the gain of snow and ice by precipitation.

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Categories: Environment

Destroying the world's natural heritage: 'Komodo is reaching a tipping point'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/17 - 9:00pm

The Indonesian national park boasts some of the world’s best dive sites and spectacular marine life, but illegal fishing and unsustainable tourism is threatening its Unesco status

It was the unusual thrashing on the water that caught their attention. As those onboard the dive boat in Indonesia’s Komodo national park drew closer, it became clear it was a green turtle entangled in rubbish and thick fishing net.

The divers managed to lift it out of the water, cut the blue bind from its shell and then set the turtle free, but dive operator Ed Statham says it is just one of the increasing and alarming signs the Unesco heritage site is fast being destroyed.

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Categories: Environment

Deep-sea mining possibly as damaging as land mining, lawyers say

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/17 - 8:02pm

Environmental and legal groups warn of potential huge effects on Indigenous people and the environment

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The “new global gold rush” over deep-sea mining holds the same potential pitfalls as previous resource scrambles, with environmental and social impacts ignored and the rights of Indigenous people marginalised, a paper in the Harvard Law Review has warned.

A framework for deep-sea mining – where polymetallic nodules or hydrothermal vents are mined by machine – was first articulated in the 1960s, on an idea that the seabed floor beyond national jurisdiction was a “common heritage of mankind”.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists explain how plastic-eating enzyme can help fight pollution – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/17 - 7:27pm

Scientists in Britain and the US say they have engineered an enzyme that eats plastic, a breakthrough that could help in the fight against pollution. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. The team from the University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory hope to one day produce the enzyme on an industrial scale

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Categories: Environment

cross county

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/04/17 - 4:18pm
Had a traveler camp at TFL Sunday night.  Tobias Foglia was looking for a rustic campground out my way and ended tenting it right behind my house.  He was pretty beat having just peddled 65 miles from Alpine.  The perfect overnight guest - he brought his own food, cookware, stove, and bedroom.  He has been cycling cross country since he left Boston last September...on his way to San Diego.  After his night here, he was planning on a couple of nights down in the national park before continuing his journey west.  89,97,56,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

As Climate Costs Grow, Some See A Moneymaking Opportunity

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/04/17 - 1:25pm

Extreme weather cost Americans over $300 billion last year. Scientists say climate change will bring more of that. Entrepreneurs and businesses see a new market in gauging risk.

(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment
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