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Why Three Towns Are Fighting To Be The 'Ice Box Of The Nation'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 2:19pm

January is one of the coldest months out West. Three towns in Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming have historically claimed the title of "Ice Box of the Nation." But, there can only be one. International Falls, Minn., did legally secure the title in 2008, but the other two towns still unofficially claim it.

Categories: Environment

In California, Santa Barbara Community Holds Vigil For Mudslide Victims

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 2:19pm

A vigil was held Sunday night in Santa Barbara, Calif., for the 20 victims who were killed in devastating mudslides last week.

Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 11:01am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

London ‘put to shame’ by New York fossil fuel divestment

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 9:41am

Campaigners say London mayor has fudged a similar manifesto promise to divest the city’s remaining pension funds from fossil fuels

London has been put to shame by New York’s decision to divest city pension funds from fossil fuel companies, according to climate campaigners who accuse the mayor, Sadiq Khan, of fudging a similar promise he made during his election campaign.

Global efforts to drive investment away from oil, gas and coal were given a major boost last week when the biggest city in the US announced plans to sell off its $5bn holdings in fossil fuel assets and sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.

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Categories: Environment

March of the Penguins heralds Antarctic protection campaign - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 8:30am

Model penguins have appeared in cities around the world as part of a new Greenpeace campaign that is aiming to turn a huge tract of the Antarctic Ocean into the world’s biggest wildlife reserve, protecting marine life and helping to fight climate change

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Categories: Environment

British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 6:51am

Food Standards Agency reports ‘significant increase’ of harmful pathogen campylobacter in British-farmed chickens

Chickens for sale in Britain’s supermarkets are showing record levels of superbugs resistant to some of the strongest antibiotics, new research from the government has found.

The results are concerning because resistance to antibiotics among livestock can easily affect resistance among humans, rendering vital medicines ineffective against serious diseases.

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Categories: Environment

European parliament to decide future of pulse fishing

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 5:51am

Vote on controversial method will be closely watched in the UK, which will decide on the issue as part of national fishing policy after Brexit

Europe’s parliament will vote on Tuesday on the controversial issue of electric pulse fishing, in a debate that could decide the future of the fishing method.

The debate is crucial for the UK, despite Brexit, because the UK’s fleets have yet to decide whether to lobby the government post-Brexit for an expansion in pulse fishing. Tuesday’s debate and vote will give an indication of both current scientific advice on the issue, and the strength of public opinion.

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Categories: Environment

Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/15 - 4:00am

Higher temperatures increase the number of people seeking asylum in the EU

The refugee crisis – particularly in the Mediterranean area – has received large amounts of new attention in the past few years, with people fleeing from Syria and entering the European Union emblematic of the problem. There has been some research connecting this refugee problem with changes to the climate. In particular, the years preceding the Syrian refugee crisis were characterized by a severe drought that reduced farm output and led to economic and social strife there.

Separating out the influences of climate change from general social instability may be impossible, because they are intimately linked. But we do know that climate change can cause social and economic instability. We also know that these instabilities can boil over into larger problems that lead to mass exodus. The problem isn’t knowing the connection between climate and refugees exists – rather the problem is quantifying it.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland's historic sites at high risk from climate change, report says

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 11:30pm

Exclusive: Many of the country’s most famous ancient sites, from Holyrood Park to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, need urgent protection, say experts

Dozens of Scotland’s most famous historic sites are at very high risk of being badly damaged by climate change and need urgent protection, an expert survey has found.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the agency which oversees nearly 340 of the country’s most important castles, abbeys, Neolithic sites and ruins, has for the first time issued red warnings for nearly a fifth of its sites and put amber, high risk warnings against another 70%.

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Categories: Environment

Victoria may extend Yallourn coal licence despite zero-emissions pledge

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 10:52pm

Environment Victoria says extending Australia’s most polluting power station would pose an ‘unacceptable risk’ to the climate

The Victorian government is considering whether to extend the coalmining licence for Australia’s most polluting power station, Yallourn, in the state’s Latrobe Valley.

A spokesman for the resources minister, Tim Pallas, said the government’s mining industry regulator, Earth Resources Regulation, was assessing the mine licence extension application and was expected to provide advice to the minister shortly.

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Categories: Environment

Ford to invest $11bn and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles by 2022

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 10:27pm

The planned investment is significantly higher than the previously announced target of $4.5bn by 2020

Ford Motor Co will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11bn by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model line-up, the company’s chairman, Bill Ford, said on Sunday at the Detroit auto show.

The investment figure is sharply higher than a previously announced target of $4.5bn by 2020, Ford executives said, and includes the costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures.

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Categories: Environment

'Pesky little birds': corella culls planned in Western Australia

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 5:30pm

Wild flocks bred from aviary escapees pose threat to local species and ‘don’t just eat, they destroy’, mayor says

Regional councils in Western Australia are using fireworks, lethal gas, nets, and mass shooting to reduce the number of corellas, which are reportedly damaging buildings and destroying infrastructure.

The culprits are primarily eastern long-billed corellas, Cacatua tenuirostris, which were introduced to WA as a popular aviary bird.

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Categories: Environment

Householders could face fines for using fly-tippers

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 5:01pm

Action to combat unlicensed waste carriers to be taken after Environment Agency uncovers 850 illegal dumping sites in a year

Households whose rubbish ends up being dumped illegally by unauthorised disposal companies could face fines under plans being considered by the government.

Councils could be given the power to directly fine people caught using unlicensed waste carriers following a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 4:42pm
A common argument that atheists use against Christian is that they are all hypocrites...that they don't themselves live the lives they proclaim should be lived by all.  Unfortunately due to sin, no man can live up to the idea of a perfect Christian life on earth.  Bottom line?  While accepting Christ and experiencing the Holy Spirit is a start - sin is still around every corner and always an influence.  But to deny the Holy Spirit in the name of hypocrisy gives you absolutely no hope against Satan.  God is real and far more than just some part of a magical belief system.  To think otherwise or use hypocrisy as an excuse is a losing game.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Country diary 1918: fowls fill dead air with an alive gurgling call

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 3:30pm

19 January 1918 Ducks waddled across to a narrow outlet, dabbled with their beaks, flopped in, and breasted away from the current, catching an odd flake as it fell

Just after daybreak, while snow was falling, the fowls crept from their house, flew into the bare branches of apple trees, and filled the dead air with an alive gurgling call which tells that laying time has come. Ducks waddled across to a narrow outlet where a stream breaks quickly for the river, dabbled with their beaks, flopped in, and breasted away from the current, now and then catching an odd flake as it fell. Wood and field birds winged about aimlessly, larks and linnets going separately in small flocks, and one wagtail went to the margin of the water as if for company with the swimming birds. The snow turned to rain; the wood, clothed a minute ago in white, was now naked and cold. But a thrush came, trilled softly, then broke into almost full song; a starling perched on the farmhouse eaves shook the wet from his feathers, and tried to warble; rooks swung in their nest trees and called.

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Categories: Environment

Belize bans oil activity to protect its barrier reef

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 3:00am

Decision hailed as huge step forward that will safeguard both the marine environment and the country’s lucrative dive tourism industry

Some good news for the new year: in what has been called a huge step forward in protecting oceans and marine life, the Belize government has announced bold legislation to end oil activity in all of its waters.

The move is designed to protect the fragile Belize Barrier Reef world heritage site, the second-largest in the world after Australia’s and home to 1,400 species, including endangered hawksbill turtles, manatees, rays and six threatened species of shark.

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Categories: Environment

'It was like Niagara Falls': how California's rich and poor united against a tide of mud

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/14 - 12:00am

After wildfire and floods, nature has again taken its toll in California, from the rustic Verdugo mountains to Montecito’s celebrity homes

Jeanette Abney owns a big, fancy house and Elizabeth Terry rents a room in a boarding house. But this week they both ended up sleeping on cots in the same American Red Cross evacuation centre, sipping the same instant coffee, nibbling the same pastries and huddling under the same blankets. A rain-sodden poster at the entrance declared “disaster services”.

Both women were in need. A storm had drenched the Verdugo mountains, a rugged, rustic outpost of Los Angeles, and unleashed a massive mudslide, forcing them to flee to an improvised evacuation centre in the San Fernando valley.

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Categories: Environment

Rescues Continue In California Mudslide Zones

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/01/13 - 3:47pm

Search and rescue operations in Southern California continue for people still missing after this week's massive mudslides and debris flow. Many areas are still unreachable in Santa Barbara County.

Categories: Environment

Out of Trump's pie hole and into the fire...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2018/01/13 - 3:40pm
So the internet is on fire over Trumps latest alleged "behind closed doors" remarks about immigration - and this post I did on Facebook today certainly drew the fire of the bleeding heart left.  Following is my post combined with some of my replies to comments.   Disclaimer:  Trump is an idiot, but this nonsense is really not worthy of the amount of discussion it is getting and here is why:
1. Why is anyone surprised about what comes out of Trump's pie hole? 2. You can bet that over the years, all kinds of "cruel remarks" have come out of every president's mouth (behind closed doors). 3. While it may be difficult to hear about who we should welcome into this country...Trump does make a somewhat valid point. 4. The bitter truth is that immigrants from counties like Haiti do not necessarily add as much value to our population as those who come from countries where the people experience a higher level of education and economic stability. 5. In reality, when it comes to countries in the world that could be considered "shit holes" - Haiti ranks pretty high on the list.
According to a 2006 report by the Corruption Perceptions Index, the nation ranked first of all countries surveyed for levels of domestic corruption. Haiti ranked last among North American countries in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) – an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. Due to the racial caste system instituted in colonial Haiti, Haitian mulattoes (comprising 5% of the nation's population) became the nation's social elite and racially privileged and remain so to this day. Seven out of ten Haitians live on less than US$2 a day. Haiti is among the poorest — and the most unequal —countries in Latin America with 6.3 million out of 10 million Haitians unable to meet their basic food needs. Roughly 75% of Haitian households lack running water. Unsafe water, along with inadequate housing and unsanitary living conditions, contributes to the high incidence of infectious diseases. There is a chronic shortage of health care personnel and hospital resources. The infant mortality rate in Haiti is approximately 60 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to a rate of 6 per 1,000 in other countries.  Nearly half the population is illiterate. Over 80% of those who manage to graduate with a degree from a university in Haiti choose to live elsewhere because they know what a "shit hole" Haiti is. The simple fact is that immigrants were far more welcome in the 1800's only because we needed a cheap labor force to build this country. They didn't have to be smart...they just had to work hard and they were able to earn a far better wage here than they could from the shit hole countries they escaped. The problem is that if you look back at history you find that the rather large percentage of people who came to this country with little money and/or education HAD to work hard over time to build businesses, get an education for themselves and their children and become contributing members of society because there were no huge government handouts for them. With the amount of social programs we have now, there is far less incentive to do the work necessary or even learn the language for that matter, and we no longer have to fill nearly as many brute force labor jobs that don't require any education.  Those who flock here now with no money or education simply (and willingly) become a burden on society and our national debt.  FYI - Our country's motto in regard to immigrants was never "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free".  This quote comes from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus, which she wrote for a fundraiser auction to raise money for the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now sits. The poem did not receive much recognition and was quite forgotten after the auction.  In the early 1900's and after Lazarus’ death, one of her friends began a campaign to memorialize Lazarus and her New Colossus sonnet. The effort was a success, and a plaque with the poem’s text was mounted inside the pedestal of the statue.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

World's biggest wildlife reserve planned for Antarctica in global campaign

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/13 - 1:01am

Vast 1.8m sq km fishing-free zone would protect species, such as penguins, leopard seals and whales, and help mitigate the effects of climate change

A global campaign is being launched to turn a huge tract of the seas around the Antarctic into the world’s biggest sanctuary, protecting wildlife and helping the fight against climate change.

The huge 1.8m sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would ban all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and around the Antarctic Peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.

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Categories: Environment
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