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Meet the latest recruit to the UK flood defence team: the beaver

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/16 - 2:00pm
Villagers in the Forest of Dean back plans to release a beaver family to protect their homes by damming waterways

Beavers could be put to work building dams to stop a village from flooding in the Forest of Dean, in what would be the first such scheme on government land.

The Forestry Commission has been an enthusiastic advocate for the release of a family of beavers into a large fenced area surrounding Greathough brook above the village of Lydbrook, on land owned by the commission.

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Categories: Environment

Paws for thought: drivers warned to look out for animal stowaways

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/16 - 8:04am

Warning comes after koala found clinging to axle of vehicle in Australia and three kittens survive 311-mile trip from Netherlands to UK under car bonnet

Motorists are being urged to be vigilant after two reports of animals becoming trapped under vehicles on opposite sides of the world.

In Australia, a koala survived a 16km (10 mile) trip clinging to the axle of a four-wheel drive vehicle before the driver stopped and heard the cries of the traumatised animal.

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Categories: Environment

Chris Boardman: 'Energy gel? I'd rather have a sandwich'

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/16 - 3:00am

The former cycling world champion and Manchester’s first walking and cycling commissioner on riding safely, favourite rides and why he won’t use Strava

So, you’re the first cycling and walking commissioner for Greater Manchester. How come?

Because Andy Burnham [the mayor of Greater Manchester] phoned and asked me. I was quite taken aback, because do I have any qualifications? No. But I was taken with his enthusiasm. From the first few seconds it was pretty scary because I have been on the other side of the fence campaigning and lobbying [as British Cycling’s policy advisor] and saying what should be done, and then someone else says “go on, then” – you’re in a difficult position if you don’t want to be a hypocrite.

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Categories: Environment

Nine of the best bikes for all budgets

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/16 - 3:00am

Whether you’re commuting, touring or competing we’ve sourced the perfect bikes, from entry-level through mid-range to high spec

6KU Detroit, £325

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear power plants may not keep Britain's lights on, say Lib Dems

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/16 - 12:00am

Party raises concerns over nuclear costs as Vince Cable says record low wind power prices should lead to ‘radical reappraisal’

New nuclear power stations may not be the best option for keeping Britain’s lights on and meeting the country’s carbon targets, the Liberal Democrats have said.

The party said there were legitimate concerns over nuclear’s cost and the risks it would not be delivered on time, just days after windfarms secured state support far more cheaply than the Hinkley Point C atomic power station.

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Categories: Environment

UK legal claims grow over exposure at work to toxic diesel fumes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 11:30pm

Unions warn effects of exposure to diesel pollution is ticking time bomb for business, likening situation to ‘early days of asbestos’

Legal claims over exposure to diesel exhaust fumes at work are growing as unions warn toxic air in the workplace is a ticking time bomb on a par with asbestos.

Royal Mail and at least one local authority are among major employers who are being sued over their alleged failure to protect staff from the damaging health effects of diesel pollution from vehicles. More cases are lined up, according to lawyers and unions involved in supporting workers.

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Categories: Environment

Ride in style: our pick of women's cycling fashion – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 3:50pm

Increasingly, cycle brands are speeding beyond traditional performance wear into clothes that look everyday but have technical tweaks for riding. Tops are sweat wicking, jeans have extra stretch and shorts are reinforced around the inner thigh, and they look good too

See our pick of men’s clothes and accessories

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 3:45pm

91,95,72,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Flint water crisis: expert says lead levels normal but warns against celebration

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 11:33am

Virginia Tech researcher who has tested city’s water supply says people should continue using water filters – and ‘crisis of confidence’ in government remains

An expert who has warned about dangerous lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water declared on Friday a qualified end to the crisis.

Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards made the announcement at a news conference two years to the day after he stood in front of Flint’s city hall with residents and other researchers to highlight a serious lead contamination problem in the financially struggling industrial city’s water supply.

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Categories: Environment

UK's largest 'disco soup' attracts 1,000 people to London market

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 9:50am

Hundreds of volunteers gather to prepare soup and dance as part of global movement to inspire action against food waste

Visitors to a community food market and bar in south London on Friday were presented with an unusual combination of pleasures: a soup disco.

Volunteers and customers at Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle gathered to chop vegetables and tear basil leaves while professional chefs directed them and DJs from the nightclub Ministry of Sound spun records in the background.

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Categories: Environment

Green groups claim 'important victory' in challenge to legal costs rules

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 9:19am

Environmental campaigners say rules now favour those who want to hold government to account – not the other way round

Conservation and environmental groups have claimed an “important victory” in their high court challenge to new legal costs rules which they say make it much harder to bring cases to protect the environment.

In February, the government scrapped fixed-cost caps that limited how much people and charities had to pay if they lost a case against a public body.

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Categories: Environment

Charities condemn rejection of changes to Lobbying Act

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 8:53am

Campaign groups fear most vulnerable will be left without a voice and say act has chilling effect on freedom of speech

Charities have condemned ministers for rejecting changes to the Lobbying Act which were made by a government-commissioned review body. Campaign groups say they will be left unable to speak out for vulnerable and marginalised people in society because the law has a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

The Lobbying Act restricts what non-governmental organisations can say in the year before a general election.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 7:58am

Rescued Sumatran orangutans, a stranded manatee, and brown bears near Ljubljana, Slovenia, are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Overfishing of North Sea may reduce after MEPs vote on fishing quotas

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 3:26am

Defra welcomes European vote which aims to secure long-term sustainability of North Sea fish stocks

The European parliament has voted on a series of measures likely to reduce overfishing in the North Sea which will affect the UK’s fishing fleet until Brexit takes effect and potentially beyond.

The vote ensures that there will be limits to fishing quotas so that they cannot exceed levels regarded as sustainable by scientists. The outcome had been in doubt as MEPs voted on Thursday, but several amendments aimed at watering down the proposals were rejected.

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Categories: Environment

Half of Canada's monitored wildlife is in decline, major study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 3:00am

New report paints a bleak picture for wildlife in a country that is home to a quarter of the Earth’s wetlands, 8,500 rivers and more than 2m lakes

A new analysis looking at the long-term trends of more than 900 species of wildlife in Canada has found that half of them have seen their populations decline, including several species already listed as threatened or endangered.

The Living Planet Report Canada, released on Thursday by World Wildlife Fund Canada, paints a bleak picture for wildlife in a country that is home to a quarter of the earth’s wetlands, 8,500 rivers and more than 2m freshwater lakes.

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Categories: Environment

The idea that climate scientists are in it for the cash has deep ideological roots

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/15 - 1:43am

Author and academic Nancy MacLean says cynicism about the motives of public servants, including government-backed climate scientists, can be traced to a group of neoliberals and their ‘toxic’ ideas

You’ll have heard that line of argument about cancer scientists, right?

The one where they’re just in it for the government grant money and that they don’t really want to find a cure, because if they did they’d be out of a job?

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Categories: Environment

California’s big battery experiment: a turning point for energy storage?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 11:00pm

The world’s largest lithium-ion battery installed after the Aliso Canyon gas blowout has become a test case for the grid storage industry

On a paved expanse next to an electrical substation in Escondido, 30 miles north of downtown San Diego, sits a row of huge silver boxes. The site resembles a barracks, but instead of soldiers, the 24 containers house racks of battery packs.

This is the largest lithium-ion battery in the world, according to its developers. When the local grid needs more power, these batteries deliver, almost instantaneously. They can discharge up to 30 megawatts – roughly equivalent to powering 20,000 homes – and can sustain that level for up to four hours.

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Categories: Environment

Miner supplying Mt Piper power station seeks urgent hearing over invalid licence

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 7:46pm

Centennial Coal, whose licence was ruled invalid after its Springvale mine was found to be polluting Sydney’s water, wants matter resolved in two weeks

The miner that supplies Energy Australia’s Mount Piper coal power station with coal has sought an urgently expedited court hearing to establish how it can continue to operate without a valid licence.

But Centennial Coal did so without making a formal application for an early hearing and without evidence supporting the need for it, leaving the judge appearing sceptical of the claim.

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Categories: Environment

EU report on weedkiller safety copied text from Monsanto study

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 4:01pm

Exclusive: EU’s food safety watchdog recommended that glyphosate was safe but pages of report were identical to application from pesticide maker

The European food safety authority (Efsa) based a recommendation that a chemical linked to cancer was safe for public use on an EU report that copied and pasted analyses from a Monsanto study, the Guardian can reveal.

Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s $4.75bn (£3.5bn) a year RoundUp weedkiller brand and a battle over its relicensing has split EU countries, with a final decision on its authorisation expected in early November.

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Categories: Environment

the good ol' days...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 3:31pm

Recently, my friend Steve Hills from upstate NY posted a photo of the view from his office from a carpentry job he is working on which prompted me to dig up this old photo of when he was helping me rebuild my house after my fire in Spencertown.  Note: My front porch back there was almost twice the size of my house here.  95,103,71,0,T
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