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Queenslanders support Labor promise to veto loan to Adani, poll says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 11:12pm

More than 61% say they think the LNP should follow Labor and also promise to stop Adani getting government loan

A majority of Queenslanders support premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s promise to veto a potential federal government loan for the Adani coal project, according to polling by the Australia Institute ahead of the state election.

The finding supports evidence from interviews with voters with some who are strongly in favour of the mine itself opposed to it being subsidised by the government.

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Categories: Environment

Commonwealth Bank says its lending for coal will continue to decline

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 6:39pm

Analysts say a test of the bank’s withdrawal from coal will come when Adani’s Abbot Point terminal comes up for refinancing

The Commonwealth Bank has told its shareholders to expect its support of the coal industry to decline as it helps finance the transition to a low-carbon economy, indicating the bank is unlikely to lend to new large coal projects.

Ahead of its AGM on Thursday, the bank posted the speech of its chairwoman, Catherine Livingstone, to the ASX. In it she said climate change poses both a business risk and a responsibility for the bank.

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Categories: Environment

Dead whale washes up on Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema beach

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 6:31pm

Beachgoers have been warned to stay away from 25-tonne humpback

A dead humpback whale has washed up on the shores of Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema beach.

A biologist, Rafael Carvalho, said on Wednesday the whale appeared to have been dead for a few days. Its body was decomposing and giving off a strong smell.

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Categories: Environment

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The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 5:37pm
Just got a new life experience enhancement tool.  How did I ever survive without one of these?  79,92,51,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Morrisons to sell 'wonky' pomegranates to meet rising demand

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 5:01pm

Fruit will come in different sizes and have blemishes but will cost 30p, compared to average 74p in UK supermarkets

A UK supermarket is to be the first to sell misshapen or “wonky” pomegranates, in order to keep prices down in the face of surging demand from consumers.

Packs of four will be sold in Morrisons for £1.20 – equivalent to 30p per fruit – when the average price of a pomegranate in UK supermarkets is 74p.

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Categories: Environment

Banning bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides should be just the start | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 12:18pm
Peter Melchett of the Soil Association bemoans the power held by the chemical industry; Huw Jones writes that agricultural policy needs expert understanding, not just political opportunism; plus letters from Deb Nicholson, Graeme Taylor and Bruce Friedrich

It’s great that Michael Gove has accepted the overwhelming scientific evidence that neonicotinoids are killing bees, other insects and birds, although it is a sad commentary on how safety decisions on pesticides have been taken up to now (Plan bee – Britain to reverse opposition to ban on colony-killing pesticide, says Gove, 9 November). The fact is that the political and economic power of the chemical industry have had far more influence than the results of independent scientific research.

Michael Gove says that there “may be a case for going further” than the current temporary ban on three neonicotinoid sprays and their use on only some crops (The evidence points in one direction – we must ban neonicotinoids, 9 November). He is right – all neonicotinoids should be banned because research shows they are getting into wild flowers, turning what should be safe havens for bees and butterflies into potential killing fields. Research led by Professor David Goulson of Sussex University, part funded by the Soil Association, found that some wild flowers in the margins of crops on the edge of fields actually contained more neonicotinoids than the sprayed crop.
Peter Melchett
Policy director, Soil Association

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Categories: Environment

Climate change will determine humanity's destiny, says Angela Merkel

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 11:12am

German chancellor, UN secretary general, Emmanuel Macron and others urge world’s leaders to succeed in their negotiations in Bonn

“Climate change is an issue determining our destiny as mankind – it will determine the wellbeing of all of us,” the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has told the world’s nations gathered at a climate summit.

The delegates heard a series of strong political messages on Wednesday, urging them to use the final two days of the summit to complete important work on putting the landmark 2015 Paris deal into action. Without this, the world faces a devastating 3C or more of global warming.

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Categories: Environment

Bananapocalypse: genetic modification may save $12bn industry

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 10:00am

Researchers in Queensland modify Cavendish bananas to protect them from devastating Panama disease fungus

A multibillion-dollar banana industry at risk of a deadly disease could be saved by genetic modification that created a line of bananas resistant to Fusarium wilt tropical race 4, also known as Panama disease.

Researchers at Queensland University of Technology genetically modified Cavendish bananas using a gene found in a south-east Asian banana subspecies that naturally displayed resistance.

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Categories: Environment

Indigenous groups win greater climate recognition at Bonn summit

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 9:11am

World governments have acknowledged for the first time that ‘first peoples’ can play a leadership role in protecting forests and limiting global warming

Indigenous groups claimed a victory at the UN climate talks in Bonn on Wednesday as governments acknowledged for the first time that they can play a leadership role in protecting forests and keeping global temperatures at a safe level.

Long marginalised and often criminalised in their home countries, the “first peoples” – as they often refer to themselves – also achieved breakthroughs in terms of official international recognition of their rights, autonomy and participation in negotiations.

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Categories: Environment

India to introduce clean fuels faster to combat Delhi smog crisis

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 7:59am

Measures to slash vehicle emissions to come in two years earlier than planned in effort to reduce air pollution in capital

Measures aimed at slashing vehicle emissions will be introduced two years early, the Indian government has announced in its first major policy response to the Delhi smog crisis.

As the haze improved slightly on Wednesday – albeit to levels still considered “very poor” – the Indian petroleum ministry said it would introduce Bharat VI fuels from April next year, instead of April 2020 as originally planned.

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Categories: Environment

'Leaf Wonder' In A World Of Changing Forests

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 7:58am

Together, aesthetic awareness and scientific analysis puts us in direct, sensory relationship with the forest and gives us the ability to understand what we see, says author David George Haskell.

(Image credit: Denis Tangney Jr./Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Brazil's oil sale plans prompt fears of global fossil fuel extraction race

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 6:05am

Government proposal to give tax relief for offshore oil would increase emissions and contradicts the nation’s progressive stance in Bonn

Brazil is planning a fire-sale of its oil resources before shrinking global carbon budgets push down demand and prices, environmental groups have warned.

The focus of concern is a government proposal for up to $300bn in tax relief to companies that develop offshore oilfields that opponents claim would use up 7% of humanity’s emission budget if global warming is to be kept below 2C.

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Categories: Environment

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 5:14am

‘Very worrying finding’ from nearly 11km deep confirms fears that synthetic fibres have contaminated the most remote places on Earth

Animals from the deepest places on Earth have been found with plastic in their stomachs, confirming fears that manmade fibres have contaminated the most remote places on the planet.

The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes.

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Categories: Environment

'It has no protections': scientists fight for wildfire-burned land amid logging threat

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 5:00am

The US cashes in on timber from ‘devastated’ areas – but such land is actually ‘the rarest and most biodiverse habitat in the Sierra Nevadas’, says an expert

Less than a mile from Yosemite national park, Chad Hanson is wading through a sea of knee-high conifers that have burst from the ashes of the vast 2013 Rim fire. The US Forest Service essentially says the baby trees don’t exist.

The agency says that “catastrophic” fires have “devastated” parts of the forest, painting an eerie picture of swaths of blackened tree trunks like something out of a Tim Burton film.

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Categories: Environment

An Inconvenient Sequel – the science, history, and politics of climate change | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 4:00am

Al Gore’s new film is worth watching

Al Gore’s new movie ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ is, in some ways, similar to his groundbreaking Inconvenient Truth project, but different in other ways. Those key differences are why I recommend you watch it.

This movie successfully accomplishes a number of interweaving tasks. First, it gives some of the science of climate change. Gore gets his science right. I remember his first movie, which I thought was more steeped in science and data than this one, so based on my recollection this new picture is somewhat abbreviated. That’s a good thing because the science is settled on climate change. That is, the science is settled that humans are causing current climatic changes and the science is settled that we are observing these changes throughout the natural world.

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Categories: Environment

Oceans May Host Next Wave Of Renewable Energy

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 3:11am

Researchers say there's huge potential for harnessing ocean waves to create electricity. The Energy Department is backing one effort in Oregon.

(Image credit: Jeff Brady/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Hurricane Damage To Manufacturers In Puerto Rico Affects Mainland Hospitals, Too

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 3:09am

The island is a major center for drug and medical device manufacturing. After Hurricane Maria, those products, including small IV bags, are running short throughout the U.S.

(Image credit: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Global climate action must be gender equal | Hilda Heine

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 2:00am

Women bear the heaviest brunt of global warming, and are less empowered to contribute to solutions. A new action plan agreed at the Bonn climate talks aims to reverse this inequality, writes Hilda Heine, Marshall Islands president

The women of the Marshall Islands and the Pacific have been fighting colonialism and injustice for a long time. They bore the brunt of the long term effects of nuclear testing, and women leaders like Lijon Eknilang and Darlene Keju-Johnson brought these issues to the international stage.

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Categories: Environment

Growing number of global insurance firms divesting from fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/15 - 1:01am

Report shows around £15bn of assets worldwide have been shifted away from coal companies in the past two years as concern over climate risk rises

A growing number of insurance companies increasingly affected by the consequences of climate change are selling holdings in coal companies and refusing to underwrite their operations.

About £15bn has been divested in the past two years, according to a new report that rates the world’s leading insurers’ efforts to distance themselves from the fossil fuel industry that is most responsible for carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

NSW ombudsman releases damning report on water administration

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/14 - 9:50pm

Ombudsman reveals three previous reports provided to NSW government were buried

The NSW ombudsman has released a damning report into maladministration of the state’s water portfolio, revealing that three previous reports provided to the government were buried.

The ombudsman has taken the unusual step of lodging a special report directly with the NSW parliament, in a bid to expose what it describes as “serious system failures” in the management of the state’s water policy.

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Categories: Environment
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