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Texas sinkholes: oil and gas drilling increases threat, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/27 - 4:37am

Ground rising and falling in region that has been ‘punctured like a pin cushion’ since the 1940s, new study finds

Oil and gas activity is contributing to alarming land movements and a rising threat of sinkholes across a huge swath of west Texas, a new study suggests.

Related: 'Like thunder in the ground': Texans fear link between quakes and fracking waste

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Categories: Environment

Labor and Greens fail in first attempt to disallow Coalition's marine park plans

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/27 - 2:02am

Parties have the option of redrafting the disallowance and resubmitting it as soon as Wednesday

A first attempt by Labor and the Greens to disallow controversial new marine park management plans proposed by the Turnbull government last week has failed in the Senate after the government flipped the order of business and brought on the chamber debate.

The Turnbull government on Tuesday night pulled its proposal to lower the tax rate for big business to 25% and abruptly changed the order of business in the Senate to force consideration of Labor’s disallowance motion on the marine parks.

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Categories: Environment

Energy Supplies And Prices Have Grown More Unpredictable

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/03/27 - 2:00am

Energy analysts are getting worse at predicting how much oil and gas will come out of the ground in the future, a new study finds.

(Image credit: Charlie Riedel/AP)

Categories: Environment

Hotting up: how climate change could swallow Louisiana's Tabasco island

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 10:00pm

With thousands of square miles of land already lost along the coast, Avery Island, home of the famed hot sauce, faces being marooned

Avery Island, a dome of salt fringed by marshes where Tabasco sauce has been made for the past 150 years, has been an outpost of stubborn consistency near the Louisiana coast. But the state is losing land to the seas at such a gallop that even its seemingly impregnable landmarks are now threatened.

The home of Tabasco, the now ubiquitous but uniquely branded condiment controlled by the same family since Edmund McIlhenny first stumbled across a pepper plant growing by a chicken coop on Avery Island, is under threat. An unimaginable plight just a few years ago, the advancing tides are menacing its perimeter.

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Categories: Environment

Victoria calls on federal government to fund fresh reviews of forestry agreements

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 8:03pm

A row between state and federal ministers has thrown Victoria’s long-term native forest logging agreements into disarray

The future of long-term native forest logging agreements in Victoria is uncertain because of a row with the federal government over the need to carry out fresh scientific assessments.

Three of Victoria’s regional forest agreements (RFAs) – in east Gippsland, the central highlands and the north east regions – were extended on Monday on a short-term basis, to 31 March 2020.

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Categories: Environment

Plans to mine 6.2bn tonne Queensland coal deposit quietly revived

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 4:37pm

Site owner appears to have no employees or premises and its phone is disconnected

Plans to mine a vast coal deposit in north Queensland have been quietly revived, despite the failed sale of the project last year and the collapse of an associated company.

Guardian Australia understands that Wilton Coking Coal made two applications to the Queensland government for coal production permits in the Bowen basin in January.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil senate considers lifting ban on sugarcane production in Amazon

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 4:21pm

The bill condemned by environmentalists would allow ethanol production, driving more deforestation and unravel protections

A bill being rushed through Brazil’s senate would lift a ban on the cultivation of sugarcane for ethanol fuel in the Amazon, driving more deforestation and making it harder for the country to meet its commitments under the Paris Climate Deal.

The bill, which has been roundly condemned by environmentalists, companies and even Brazil’s union of sugarcane producers (UNICA), marks the latest move by a conservative congress to unravel Amazon protections.

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Categories: Environment

Clockwork Orange? Why Russian Ski Slopes Are Being Blanketed In The Strange Color

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 11:43am

The skies over Crete were an eerie orange, too. Why the tangerine tint? Powerful storms in North Africa blew sands from the Sahara across the Mediterranean.

(Image credit: Margarita Alshina/AP)

Categories: Environment

Hydrogen-powered transport key to climate targets, says Shell

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 10:39am

Oil firm says gas could account for 10% of global energy consumption by end of century

Planes and trucks powered by hydrogen will be a crucial part of efforts to cut carbon emissions to safe levels, according to oil giant Shell.

For the first time, the Anglo Dutch firm, which is facing calls by activist shareholders to take stronger action on global warming, has mapped out how the world could hit the Paris climate deal’s target of keeping temperature rises below 2C.

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 10:22am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Renewables generated more electricity than brown coal over summer, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 10:00am

Renewable energy also produced 40% more than gas and was exceeded only by black coal

Renewable energy generated more electricity than brown coal during Australia’s summer for the first time in 2017-18, according to a new report by Green Energy Markets.

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Categories: Environment

Jeremy Corbyn puts new focus on inequality but the old challenges loom

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 8:18am

Labour’s vision to reshape the world order will require political will to end tax evasion and create a fairer global economy

In the foreword to Labour’s new policy paper, Jeremy Corbyn characterises the party’s vision for development as “a progressive, outward-looking, global view, driven by social justice and human rights”. So far, so expected.

For those who remember the Blair-Brown era of Make Poverty History, the most exciting shift is the plan to tackle rising inequalities alongside the more familiar focus on reducing poverty, treating inequality and poverty as two sides of the same coin.

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Categories: Environment

Land degradation threatens human wellbeing, major report warns

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 6:30am

More than 3.2bn people are already affected and the problem will worsen without rapid action, driving migration and conflict

Land degradation is undermining the wellbeing of two-fifths of humanity, raising the risks of migration and conflict, according to the most comprehensive global assessment of the problem to date.

The UN-backed report underscores the urgent need for consumers, companies and governments to rein in excessive consumption – particularly of beef – and for farmers to draw back from conversions of forests and wetlands, according to the authors.

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Categories: Environment

What to do if you hit a pothole while cycling

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 3:28am

The UK’s pothole problem is getting worse and cyclists risk serious injury if they hit one. Here’s what to do if you find one and how to claim compensation if needed

The UK’s pothole problem is bad and getting worse, with a recent report by Alarm revealing 24,000 miles of road will need essential maintenance in the next year. While hitting one in a car may mean a trip to the garage, if you are cycling the outcome can be far worse.

A BBC 5 Live questionnaire found half of almost 5,000 cyclists had suffered a pothole-related accident, with 1,516 injured as a result, 207 of those seriously. More than 10% of respondents said they missed work because of a pothole crash, and 31% were put off cycling. This survey was backed up by a mass freedom of information report from Cycling UK, which revealed cycling pothole crash compensation claims to councils in England and Wales are 10 times higher than motoring claims because of the higher risk of personal injury.

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Categories: Environment

Yosemite's secretive Starbucks: cafe opens in park, to delight and dismay

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 3:00am

A new Starbucks provides convenience and caffeine to visitors, but to many it represents a trend of commercialism and 25,000 people petitioned to stop it from opening

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Categories: Environment

Study: wind and solar can power most of the United States | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 3:00am

Wind, solar, and storage could meet 90–100% of America’s electricity needs

In order to combat climate change, we need to rapidly move from fossil fuel energy to clean, renewable energy. The two energy sources I am most interested in are wind and solar power; however, there are other sources that have great potential.

Some people doubt how much wind and solar can supply to a country’s electricity grid. This is a particularly challenging question to answer in part because both solar power and wind power fluctuate in both space and time. We all know solar panels work well during the day, when the sun shines – they don’t work so well at night. And wind turbines only send electrons when the wind is blowing.

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Categories: Environment

Dairy’s ‘dirty secret’: it's still cheaper to kill male calves than to rear them

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/26 - 12:00am

Dairy farms need female cows to produce milk but with little demand for male calves many farmers can’t afford to keep them beyond birth

The number of male calves being killed straight after birth is on the rise again, despite efforts by the dairy industry to end the practice known as ‘the dirty secret’.

A Guardian analysis shows that it can cost a farmer up to £30 per calf to sell it on for beef or veal, while early disposal costs just £9. A growing number of farmers feel compelled to take the latter option, with 95,000 killed on-farm in the most recent set of figures.

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Categories: Environment

beware of evil concupiscence...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2018/03/25 - 10:05am
Colossians 3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.  8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
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