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As Polar Ice Cap Recedes, The U.S. Navy Looks North

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/12 - 9:38am

The Pentagon has long acknowledged climate change has broad implications for national security. That is especially clear in the Arctic, where melting ice is opening new shipping lanes.

(Image credit: Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/12 - 9:30am

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing changes to a landmark environmental law that would allow it to fast-track some forest management projects, including logging and prescribed burning.

(Image credit: Don Ryan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Adani coalmine: minister loses legal challenge on water pipeline assessment

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/12 - 4:19am

Australian Conservation Foundation says case shows federal government hasn’t scrutinised Carmichael project

The federal government will have to reassess water infrastructure for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine after conceding in a legal challenge that was lodged with the federal court.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has succeeded in its appeal against the government’s assessment of Adani’s north Galilee water scheme, with the federal government admitting it failed to properly consider public responses to the proposal and even lost some submissions.

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Categories: Environment

Why Food Reformers Have Mixed Feelings About Eco-Labels

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/12 - 2:02am

Grocery stores are full of food with labels like organic, cage-free or fair trade that appeal to a consumer's ideals. But there's often a gap between what they seem to promise and what they deliver.

(Image credit: Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

More Wildfires Bring Focus On How All That Smoke May Harm Firefighters

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/12 - 2:00am

Wildland firefighters face a growing danger from smoke, as wildfires become more frequent and intense. It's a hazard that scientists and fire agencies are only beginning to understand.

(Image credit: Jes Burns/OPB)

Categories: Environment

Revealed: Mobil sought to fight environmental regulation, documents show

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 10:00pm

Oil giant looked to make tax-exempt donations to universities and civic groups in the early 1990s to promote the company’s interests

Oil giant Mobil sought to make tax-exempt donations to leading universities, civic groups and arts programmes to promote the company’s interests and undermine environmental regulation, according to internal documents from the early 1990s obtained by the Guardian.

Related: How Mobil pushed its oil agenda through 'charitable giving'

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Categories: Environment

How Mobil pushed its oil agenda through 'charitable giving'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 10:00pm

The Mobil Foundation funded universities and civic groups in the 90s, documents reveal, but largesse was not disinterested

A two-foot-wide pipe connecting the Mobil oil company’s Idoho offshore platform to a terminal near Nigeria’s eastern border ruptured in January 1998, spewing crude oil directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

Dr David Page visited Nigeria after the spill and offered his views of its impact to the New York Times, which were published in special report dated 20 September that year. Page’s arrival on the scene was anticipated years earlier in Mobil’s plans, internal Mobil Foundation documents newly obtained by the Guardian reveal.

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Categories: Environment

Chernobyl writer urges Instagram tourists to 'respect' nuclear disaster site

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 6:55pm

Spike in visitors, including some who pose in little more than a g-string, prompts writer of HBO hit to speak out

The writer of the acclaimed HBO drama series Chernobyl has spoken out about the proliferation of lewd and inappropriate selfies taken by tourists visiting the nuclear disaster site in Ukraine.

Since the five-part miniseries about the 1986 catastrophe at the former Soviet Union power plant began airing in May, tourism at the site has reportedly increased by 30–40%. Social media influencers visiting the site have been subject to criticism in recent days for using renewed interest in the disaster to stage glamour shots for their Instagram accounts.

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Categories: Environment

Indian villages lie empty as drought forces thousands to flee

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 6:00pm

Sick and elderly left to fend for themselves with no end in sight to water crisis

Hundreds of Indian villages have been evacuated as a historic drought forces families to abandon their homes in search of water.

The country has seen extremely high temperatures in recent weeks. On Monday the capital, Delhi, saw its highest ever June temperature of 48C. In Rajasthan, the city of Churu recently experienced highs of 50.8C, making it the hottest place on the planet.

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Categories: Environment

Darwin’s finches sing out-of-tune call after parasites deform beaks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 4:01pm

Concern over mating as malformed beaks and nostrils lead to ‘subpar songs’ - study

Tree finches made famous by Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galápagos islands in the 19th century have gone out of tune because of parasitic infections that damage the birds’ beaks and nostrils.

Researchers found that male finches that picked up the fly parasite had malformed beaks and enlarged nostrils that led to “subpar songs”, making it harder for the birds to find mates and reproduce.

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Categories: Environment

The Field Lab Rain Gauge

The Field Lab - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 2:27pm
Are you a true off-gridder? Here is a test. My "rain gauge" has 150 gallons of rainwater in it after the last 24 hours. This was caught off a roof surface that is 352 square feet. How much rain actually fell? 80,86,63,?,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Atmospheric carbon levels are leaping. We can't afford more years like this

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 9:11am

Each year of high emissions adds to the stock of carbon in the air, bringing us closer to catastrophe

One of the many ironies of the climate crisis is that as temperatures change and extreme weather becomes more common, we need more energy to maintain comfort. Hotter summers have driven an increase in power-hungry air conditioning and cooler temperatures in some places – which may be driven by the melting Arctic – raise demand for heating.

BP’s report that carbon emissions from energy use have risen at the fastest rate in nearly a decade reflects those forces, as well as continuing demand from a rising global population and expanding industries.

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Categories: Environment

Villagers say gas well application is 'a joke', as inquiry opens

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 8:59am

Ineos, owned by UK’s richest man, wants to overturn ban on well next to sheltered housing

Villagers have accused Britain’s richest man of making “a joke of local democracy” after his petrochemical firm applied to overturn a council’s decision to stop it from drilling a shale gas well in the Yorkshire countryside.

Residents in the village of Woodsetts, in South Yorkshire, said the plans by Ineos to carry out test drilling would “ruin so many people’s lives” and “devastate” the local community.

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Categories: Environment

Greenpeace North Sea oil rig protest prompts injunction

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 7:05am

Group says it will continue protest at company’s continued drilling despite climate crisis

Greenpeace has been served with an injunction to prevent its climate protesters continuing their occupation of an oil rig just offshore in Scotland.

Two Greenpeace activists boarded the platform in the Cromarty Firth north of Inverness on Sunday night in protest at BP’s continued drilling in the North Sea despite the climate crisis.

Two other activists replaced them on Monday night, taking possession of a derrick below the main deck of the platform.

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Categories: Environment

Carbon emissions from energy industry rise at fastest rate since 2011

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 6:42am

BP report reveals swings in global temperatures are increasing use of fossil fuels

Carbon emissions from the global energy industry last year rose at the fastest rate in almost a decade after extreme weather and surprise swings in global temperatures stoked extra demand for fossil fuels.

BP’s annual global energy report, an influential review of the market, revealed for the first time that temperature fluctuations are increasing the world’s use of fossil fuels, in spite of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Yorkshire village faces petrochemical giant in anti-fracking fight

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/11 - 1:40am

Ineos, owned by UK’s richest man, wants to overturn ban on well next to sheltered housing

A petrochemical company owned by Britain’s richest man is attempting to overrule a Yorkshire council to drill a shale gas well next to a sheltered housing development.

Residents in Woodsetts, Rotherham, have crowdfunded £10,000 to pay a lawyer to help them oppose the application by Ineos to carry out test core drilling on a field just outside the village.

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Categories: Environment

Could the Cycle to Work scheme start an ebike revolution?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/10 - 11:00pm

New guidance on £1,000 ‘cap’ means more expensive ebikes are available as part of scheme

Over the weekend, new guidance on the Cycle to Work scheme was announced by the Department for Transport (DfT), making it clear that ebikes are eligible for it. This clarification could encourage a new demographic on to two wheels, and provide huge benefits to disabled and elderly people.

The scheme is a complicated but well-used salary sacrifice scheme in which employees can get bikes, tax-free, via their employers. It starts with a year-long loan, which most people extend until the bike is worth so little they can “buy” it for a nominal sum or extend the hire for a percentage of the bike’s value. (After five or six years, HMRC considers a bike to have a negligible value).

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Categories: Environment

The problem with billionaires fighting climate change is the billionaires | Kate Aronoff

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/10 - 11:00pm

It’s great that philanthropists are pouring money into environmental causes. But it would be better for the planet if billionaires didn’t exist at all

During a commencement address this week, Michael Bloomberg announced that he’s spending $500m to help the United States move closer to a carbon-neutral future. We should be very grateful that Bloomberg isn’t running for president: the money he’s pouring into Beyond Carbon will fund some great and necessary work, like his injection into the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign several years back. But it would be much better for the planet if billionaires like him didn’t exist at all.

As Axios recently reported, the 1% and the world’s biggest companies have more money than they know what to do with, and they’re either hoarding it or pouring it into things like stock buybacks to make the wealthy even wealthier. Hedge funds and private equity funds are snapping up privatized public goods like water and electricity, while rich households are spending their extra cash on asset managers who’ll help them place bets on the next Theranos. Corporate profits have grown as wages have stagnated, all while some of the most useless and destructive parts of our economy balloon.

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife Biologists Disagree On The Most Effective Way To Control Coyotes

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/06/10 - 1:35pm

The federal government kills thousands of coyotes every year to keep them from preying on livestock and big game. But some wildlife biologists say killing coyotes isn't the best way to control them.

Categories: Environment

Charlie Schaffer wins 2019 BP portrait award

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/10 - 12:00pm

Award comes amid criticism of BP’s funding and sponsorship of National Portrait Gallery

A portrait of an English literature student posing in a fake fur coat has won one of the UK’s most prestigious art prizes, which has been overshadowed by criticism of the oil company BP’s sponsorship of the award.

The Brighton-based artist Charlie Schaffer was announced as the winner of the 2019 BP portrait award, with the judges saying the composition had a strong sense of a living presence and managed to be traditional and contemporary at the same time.

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Categories: Environment
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