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California Lawmakers Debate 100 Percent Clean Energy Mandate

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 1:15pm

To some, it's a chance for the state to cement its environmental leadership as the Trump administration rolls back Obama-era climate change programs.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

Radiohead and Hans Zimmer collaborate for Blue Planet II teaser

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 11:12am

A prequel to the blockbuster nature documentary series will feature (ocean) Bloom, an orchestral reworking of Radiohead’s song Bloom

Radiohead have teamed with Hans Zimmer, the Oscar-winning composer for The Dark Knight, The Lion King and Gladiator, on a new piece of music – called ocean (Bloom) – that will appear on a prequel to the BBC’s flagship nature documentary series Blue Planet II.

Related: The must-watch TV of autumn 2017, from Blue Planet to Stranger Things

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Categories: Environment

US people of color still more likely to be exposed to pollution than white people

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 11:01am

New federal government-funded study finds exposure to a key air pollutant is significantly influenced by race, far more than by income, age or education

People of color are still far more likely to suffer from harmful air pollution than white people across the US and this disparity has barely improved in recent years, despite overall improvements in air quality, a new federal government-funded study has found.

Related: London’s black communities disproportionately exposed to air pollution – study

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Categories: Environment

Warriors Against Waste: These Restaurants And Bars Are Aiming For Zero

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 10:11am

Restaurateurs are challenging themselves to reduce the staggering amount of food waste that the industry generates. But can any viable business generate zero waste?

(Image credit: Xavier Buendia/Courtesy of Doug McMaster)

Categories: Environment

The role of renewables in the UK energy mix | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 9:54am
The case for new nuclear power stations is fatuous now offshore wind power has come down in cost so much, says Ian Hill. Yes, writes Will Taylor, but don’t forget the potential of tidal energy. Hold on a minute before rejecting nuclear, argue Tim Chittenden and Jim Waterton

Your excellent editorial on the reducing cost of offshore wind power (13 September) is timely in identifying the increasingly futile case for new nuclear build. It does, however, repeat the fallacy that nuclear power “is a zero-carbon technology”. The carbon emissions involved in building such immense structures, in mining and transporting uranium, and in the transport, reprocessing and storage of waste, contribute to a considerable carbon burden. Estimates vary considerably, but studies suggest that the emissions from nuclear generation could be one-10th of those of fossil fuels, but twice those of wind power.

Furthermore, the need for a continuous supply is of only limited use when consumption patterns become distorted by, for example, the increased need to charge electric vehicles overnight, as your leader identifies. What is needed now, alongside continued investment in the latest generation of renewable production, is increased investment into a wide range of storage technologies, and further research and investment into the production of renewable heat.

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Categories: Environment

MPs to reopen inquiry into plastic bottle use

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 8:33am

New inquiry will look into the viability of deposit schemes and taxes as ways to reduce impact of plastic waste on the environment

MPs are to mount a new inquiry into plastic bottles amid growing calls for a deposit scheme to reduce the impact of plastic waste in the ocean.

The investigation will also examine whether charges or taxes should be put on single-use plastic bottles and takeaway coffee cups to reduce their contribution to litter.

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Categories: Environment

Strange eel: mystery of the Texas eyeless sea beast solved

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 8:13am

Scary-looking fish found on a Texas beach after Hurricane Harvey is identified as a fangtooth snake-eel with the help of social media

The mystery of an eyeless fanged sea monster washed ashore by Hurricane Harvey has been solved by social media.

Preeti Desai, a science communicator, found the sinister-looking fish on a beach in Texas City after the storm, and asked Twitter users to help identify it.

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Categories: Environment

Crashing Cassini

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 8:06am

It's always best to go out with a bang.

(Image credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ SSI)

Categories: Environment

Once-common ash trees and antelope added to red list of endangered species – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 6:47am

North American ash trees, that face extinction due to an invasive beetle, and African antelope join the latest IUCN list that includes 25,000 species at risk of extinction

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Categories: Environment

Red list: ash trees and antelopes on the brink of extinction

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 5:00am

Scientists warn once-common species are disappearing faster than they can be counted as North America’s ash trees join IUCN’s list of endangered species due to threat of an invasive beetle

Native ash trees, abundant across North America, are on the brink of extinction as an invasive beetle ravages forests, according to the new red list of threatened species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Related: Once-common ash trees and antelope added to red list of endangered species – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Greek oil spill forces closure of Athens beaches

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 4:39am

Leak described as ecological disaster with authorities accused of failing to recognise scale of threat from sunken tanker

An emergency operation is under way to clean up an oil spill from a sunken tanker that has blackened popular beaches and bays in Athens’ Argo-Saronic gulf.

What had been thought a containable spill is being described by officials as an ecological disaster after thick tar and oil pollution drifted toward residential coastal areas.

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Categories: Environment

Elon Musk: Tesla electric lorry to be unveiled in late October

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 4:39am

Electric Semi truck will be ‘tentatively’ ready for first test rides and is ‘worth seeing in person’, but can batteries and self-driving trucks really replace diesels?

Tesla is set to launch its first electric lorry, which is expected to be able to drive itself, in late October as the company attempts to break into the commercial market.

Chief executive Elon Musk said that the “Tesla Semi truck” is “tentatively scheduled” for unveiling and first test rides one month behind schedule on 26 October in Tesla’s hometown of Hawthorne, California.

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Categories: Environment

Cyclist set to finish record-breaking 'around the world in 80 days' cycle a day early

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 3:23am

British athlete Mark Beaumont is expected to complete his world tour on Monday after 79 days in the saddle, smashing the previous record of 123 days

Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is expected to arrive in Paris on Monday 18 September, 79 days after setting off on his attempt to cycle around the world in 80 days.

The Guardian joined Beaumont in Lisbon on Wednesday, where he arrived on an overnight flight from Halifax in Canada to start the final leg of his record-breaking challenge. Despite cycling an average of 240 miles over 16 hours every day since 2 July, he looked fresh and sounded upbeat as we ticked off more miles on our way to the Spanish border. Yet he admitted the ride has taken its toll on him, both mentally and physically.

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Categories: Environment

The entrepreneurs turning carbon dioxide into fuels

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 3:13am

The race is on to prove that CO2 can be taken from the air and recycled into profitable, carbon neutral fuels. But cost and investment obstacles remain

In an industrial greenhouse about 30km from Zurich, plump aubergines and juicy cherry tomatoes are ripening to perfection. Growing Mediterranean crops in Switzerland would traditionally be energy intensive but these vegetables are very nearly carbon-neutral. The greenhouse uses waste energy from a nearby refuse plant, and carbon dioxide from the world’s first commercial direct air capture plant.

The facility, designed by Zurich-based start-up Climeworks, pumps the gas into greenhouses to boost the plants’ photosynthesis and increase their yield, it hopes, by up to 20%. Climeworks says it will extract around 900 tonnes of CO2 a year from the air.

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Categories: Environment

VIDEO: Snot Otters Get A Second Chance In Ohio

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 2:03am

North America's largest amphibian, the Hellbender salamander, is in trouble. They are endangered in several states. A team in Ohio is trying to save them before it's too late.

(Image credit: Pete Oxford/Minden Pictures RM/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Air Pollution From Industry Plagues Houston In Harvey's Wake

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/09/14 - 2:00am

Flooding in Houston and utility outages led to belches of fumes from refineries and other industrial sites. Residents of a region already struggling with air pollution wonder: Is it safe to breathe?

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Shark hunt: Sea Shepherd activists bring Timor-Leste police to Chinese-owned boat

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/09/13 - 10:49pm

Environmental activist group says it is detaining vessels for Timorese police after Chinese-owned fleet allegedly targeted sharks

The ocean activist group Sea Shepherd says it has delivered armed Timor-Leste police on to a Chinese-owned fishing vessel in a dawn raid and is detaining the vessels for the police after it was found targeting sharks.

Following a two-week hunt for the Pingtan Marine Enterprises fleet, the Sea Shepherd boat M/Y Ocean Warrior found the vessels 150km south of Timor-Leste, allegedly fishing with gill nets anchored to the bottom of the sea, which would suggest they were targeting bottom-dwellers such as sharks.

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Categories: Environment

Rare white giraffes sighted in Kenya conservation area

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/09/13 - 8:09pm

A pair of giraffes with leucism, a condition that inhibits pigmentation in skin cells, have been filmed by conservationists for the first time

A pair of rare white giraffes have been spotted in Kenya, to the delight of local residents and conservationists.

The reticulated giraffes, a mother and child, suffer from a genetic condition called leucism, which inhibits pigmentation in skin cells. Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, which explains the white giraffes’ dark eyes and other colouring.

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Categories: Environment

Asia's glaciers to shrink by a third by 2100, threatening water supply of millions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/09/13 - 5:45pm

High mountains of Asia hold biggest store of frozen water outside the poles and feed many of the world’s great rivers, including the Ganges

Asia’s mountain glaciers will lose at least a third of their mass through global warming by the century’s end, with dire consequences for millions of people who rely on them for fresh water, researchers have said.

This is a best-case scenario, based on the assumption that the world manages to limit average global warming to 1.5C (2.7F) over pre-industrial levels, a team wrote in the journal Nature.

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Categories: Environment

nuts...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/09/13 - 5:40pm
Unplanned trip to Alpine today.  The biting flies were driving Ben nuts this morning so I went to fetch another bottle of Permethrin.  The concentrate gets diluted and is applied with a spray bottle.  Ben has yet to learn that the spray bottle is his friend.  I have to chase him around to kill those pesky flies.  The good news is, fly season will be over in about a month.  95,102,58,0,B
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