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Calls for inquiry into protected Queensland wetlands development assessment

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 9:40pm

FOI documents show Josh Frydenberg rejected department advice that developing the area was ‘unacceptable’

Environment groups have called for an independent probe into the government’s assessment of an apartment and marina development on protected wetlands in Queensland.

It comes after revelations the former environment minister Josh Frydenberg rejected advice from the environment department that the development was “clearly unacceptable”.

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Categories: Environment

The Virtual Builder

The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 4:05pm
Have yet to cut any wood or drive any nails - but I have "virtually" assembled this little house 5 times already - making sure all the measurements are right and all the components fit together. Just about done with the final revision. Going to great lengths with this in order for a fast build and perhaps plans for sale in the future.  49,58,39,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Are Up Again. What Now, Climate?

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 3:24pm

The fortuitous dip in emissions of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, during the past three years is over, as economies turn up. The trend in the near future looks grim, say climate scientists.

(Image credit: Christian Petersen-Clausen/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 11:38am

Government seeks to prioritise environment and end some of world’s worst traffic congestion

Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free.

Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on climate change: too much, too soon | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 11:28am
We are losing the war against climate change; the use of fossil fuels is driving higher carbon emissions when they need to be coming down

Outside of the desperate and the deluded, everyone knows that the world is in the early stages of a truly catastrophic climate change. As Sir David Attenborough told the UN climate change conference in Poland, “the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon”. We have even worked out, with scrupulous care, what we must do to avoid this or to mitigate the effects of climate change. We know what to do. We can see how to do it. There’s only one problem: we do almost nothing.

Figures released today by the University of East Anglia for the conference in Katowice show that global carbon emissions will be higher than ever before this year. In fact they will rise by nearly 3%, an astonishing and terrifying annual figure at a time when the need to diminish them has never been more urgent. The main driver of this growth has been the increased use of coal, which is rapidly approaching its previous peak level, from 2013. There is a particular irony in that this conference is being held in Poland, a country that still derives 80% of its electricity from coal, even if this is less grossly polluting than it was in the Communist era. In fact emissions there are down 30% from their peak in 1988. But far more must be done. To limit global warming to the Paris agreement goal of 1.5C, CO2 emissions would need to decline by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by around 2050.

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Categories: Environment

Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland ice melt

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 11:19am

Run-off from vast ice sheet is increasing due to manmade global warming, says study

Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland.

Run-off from this vast northern ice sheet – currently the biggest single source of meltwater adding to the volume of the world’s oceans – is 50% higher than pre-industrial levels and increasing exponentially as a result of manmade global warming, says the paper, published in Nature on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

'Brutal news': global carbon emissions jump to all-time high in 2018

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 11:00am

Rapid cuts needed to protect billions of people from rising emissions due to increase in use of cars and coal

Global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018, according to a report, dashing hopes a plateau of recent years would be maintained. It means emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts urgently needed, say scientists, to fight climate change.

The rise is due to the growing number of cars on the roads and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. However, the report’s authors said the emissions trend can still be turned around by 2020, if cuts are made in transport, industry and farming emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Funding Nemo: £600m power cable connects UK and Belgium

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 9:09am

Energy link covers 80-mile route along seabed between Richborough and Zeebrugge

A £600m cable connecting the UK and Belgium’s energy systems is about to be switched on, becoming the first of a new generation of interconnectors that will deepen the UK’s ties to mainland Europe just as it prepares to leave the EU.

The Nemo link is in the final stages of testing and from early 2019 is expected to transmit power over an 80-mile route along the seabed between Richborough in Kent and Zeebrugge, becoming the first new electricity interconnector to the continent since 2011 and the first to Belgium.

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Categories: Environment

Save millions of lives by tackling climate change, says WHO

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 8:01am

Global warming and fossil fuel pollution already killing many, UN climate summit told

Tackling climate change would save at least a million lives a year, the World Health Organization has told the UN climate summit in Poland, making it a moral imperative.

Cutting fossil fuel burning not only slows global warming but slashes air pollution, which causes millions of early deaths a year, the WHO says. In a report requested by UN climate summit leaders, the WHO says the economic benefits of improved health are more than double the costs of cutting emissions, and even higher in India and China, which are plagued by toxic air.

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Categories: Environment

Barclays customers in switch threat over tar sands investment

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 7:26am

Up to 30,000 account holders sign petition against pipeline projects in US and Canada

Thousands of Barclays customers have threatened to switch to another bank unless it promises not to invest in pipelines for oil from tar sands, dubbed the “dirtiest fuel on the planet”.

Greenpeace, which occupied a branch of Barclays on Wednesday morning and erected signs branding it “The Dirty Bank”, said 30,000 customers signed a petition calling on the lender to pledge never to fund controversial tar sands projects.

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Categories: Environment

Lost lands? The American wilderness at risk in the Trump era

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 4:14am

Exclusive: a new study reveals the vast extent of public lands being opened up to the energy industry. The Guardian heard from three communities on the frontlines

In the great expanses of the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument, the silence hits you first. Minutes pass, smooth and unbroken as glass. The smallest sound – a breath of wind, a falling rock – can seem as loud as passing traffic.

Colter Hoyt knows this landscape well. As an outdoor guide, he walks the monument almost daily. Yet these days he is full of fear. This remote paradise of red rocks, slot canyons and towering plateaus faces an uncertain future, following a controversial presidential proclamation that removed 800,000 acres from the monument and opened land up for potential energy development.

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Categories: Environment

Students left hanging during Canberra trip to confront Morrison on climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 5:50pm

Group rallies outside Parliament House after being told they needed to have a prearranged meeting organised

High school students from across Australia calling for emergency action on climate change have travelled to Canberra to confront the prime minister after he criticised them for skipping school to stage national strikes.

Students from Scott Morrison’s southern Sydney electorate of Cook – as well as Townsville, Melbourne and Brisbane – arrived at Parliament House on Wednesday morning to meet with him.

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Categories: Environment

Australian mining giants 'may be breaking law' by ignoring climate change risks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 4:06pm

Investor group finds most companies dismissing climate as a financial risk to their business, in breach of legal requirements

More than a dozen of Australia’s largest mining and infrastructure companies may be in breach of their legal duties by refusing to consider the financial risks posed by climate change, an investor action group says.

In September, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission published a report that said “the law requires” relevant companies to “include a discussion of climate risk” in their annual report.

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Categories: Environment

a day of silver...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 3:45pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Rightwing taskforce secretly approves anti-environment resolutions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 1:21pm

In Washington last week, Alec, a group that links lobbyists with state lawmakers, approved measures to boost Donald Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda

Inside a little-known bulwark of conservative state policy, in a hotel conference room in Washington DC, state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists last week voted for a slate of anti-environment measures.

Related: Progressive lawmakers call for climate change revolution

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Categories: Environment

U-turn on eco-tax rise gives President Macron fuel for thought

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 10:10am

Defeat by gilets jaunes will make others think twice before taking similar steps to cut emissions

Emmanuel Macron’s defeat by the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement over a proposed eco-tax rise is likely to come as a painful lesson for environmental policymakers at this week’s UN climate talks in Katowice.

After the most violent protests in Paris for half a century, the French president has been forced to postpone a planned eco-tax rise on fuel, showing how ecological measures can have explosive consequences if there is any suggestion they are being used to “greenwash” austerity.

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Categories: Environment

Progressive lawmakers call for climate change revolution

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 6:03am

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez emphasized need to ‘transform our energy system’ but did not discuss how to pursue it

A star-studded progressive town hall on climate change drew thousands of viewers online and hundreds in person – but offered little insight into how the US left might overcome Republican opposition and lay the groundwork to limit rising temperatures.

Related: David Attenborough: collapse of civilisation is on the horizon

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Categories: Environment

Fishermen Sue Big Oil For Its Role In Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 6:02am

The food industry is already feeling the effects of climate change, which will likely force expensive adaptations in the future. At least one sector is looking to make energy companies pay.

(Image credit: Michael Melford/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'Retreat' Is Not An Option As A California Beach Town Plans For Rising Seas

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 3:02am

Tens of millions of U.S. homes are threatened by rising seas. Communities across the country are planning for that future, but there are challenges to even having the discussion.

(Image credit: Art Wager/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

South Texas Butterfly Sanctuary Threatened By Trump's Border Wall

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/03 - 3:23pm

Construction on the first new stretch of border wall under the Trump administration is slated to begin this winter. In South Texas, the wall will cut right through a butterfly sanctuary.

Categories: Environment
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