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Science-Loving Teens From Ghana And D.C. Geek Out Together

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 11:35am

They competed in the first World Smarts STEM Challenge. We got to know the team that worked on a water purifier using neem leaves and ... cilantro.

(Image credit: Ryan Eskalis/NPR)

Categories: Environment

‘Moore’s law’ for carbon would defeat global warming

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 11:00am

A plan to halve carbon emissions every decade, while green energy continues to double every five years, provides a simple but rigorous roadmap to tackle climate change, scientists say

A new “carbon law”, modelled on Moore’s law in computing, has been proposed as a roadmap for beating climate change. It sees carbon emissions halving every decade, while green energy continues to double every five years.

The carbon law’s proponents are senior climate-change scientists and they argue it provides a simple, broad but quantitative plan that could drive governments and businesses to make urgently needed carbon cuts, particularly at a time when global warming is falling off the global political agenda.

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Categories: Environment

Tony Abbott backs calls to keep Hazelwood power plant open

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 10:30am

Former prime minister joins debate as Australian Industry Group says it is not confident the risks to the country’s energy grid are being managed

Tony Abbott has supported calls to keep the Hazelwood power plant open to avoid power shortages.

“If we are serious about tackling Australia’s looming energy crisis, the last thing we should be doing is closing 20% plus of Victoria’s (and 5% of Australia’s) base load power supply,” the former prime minister wrote in the Herald Sun on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 9:20am

Exclusive: Draft regulations seen by the Guardian reveal the European commission wants to prohibit the insecticides that cause ‘acute risks to bees’

The world’s most widely used insecticides would be banned from all fields across Europe under draft regulations from the European commission, seen by the Guardian.

The documents are the first indication that the powerful commission wants a complete ban and cite “high acute risks to bees”. A ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states.

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Categories: Environment

Rick Perry ‘deeply troubled’ by election of gay Texas A&M student president

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 9:12am

The energy secretary weighed in on the election at his alma mater in an opinion piece this week, implying voters were intimidated by ‘quest for diversity’

During his time as Texas governor, Rick Perry sought to crack down on electoral misconduct despite scant evidence it was a problem.

Now in Washington as Donald Trump’s energy secretary, the former Republican presidential candidate is keeping up his interest in the topic. He has written an article casting doubt on the process that saw Texas A&M University elect its first openly gay student body president amid a controversy over glow sticks.

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Categories: Environment

Share your photos of these newly recognised cloud formations

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 5:36am

As the International Cloud Atlas adds 11 “new” formations, including wave-like clouds known as asperitas, we’d like to see your pictures from around the world

Wave-like clouds long seen but never officially categorised in English-language meteorological circles now have their place in the International Cloud Atlas.

Related: Stunning 'new' cloud formations captured in updated atlas – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Let there be light: Germans switch on 'largest artificial sun'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 5:19am

Scientists hope experiment, which can generate temperatures of around 3,500C, will help to develop carbon-neutral fuel

German scientists are switching on “the world’s largest artificial sun” in the hope that intense light sources can be used to generate climate-friendly fuel.

The Synlight experiment in Jülich, about 19 miles west of Cologne, consists 149 souped-up film projector spotlights and produces light about 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth.

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Categories: Environment

Second appeal rejected in battle over Arnhem Land bauxite royalties

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/23 - 12:02am

Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation vows to continue fight against the Northern Land Council after another legal setback

A long-running court battle involving two powerful Indigenous clans and the Northern Land Council is set to continue after the federal court again rejected an appeal by one group seeking a better split of mining royalties.

The Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation, of north-east Arnhem Land, has vowed to continue its fight after the setback. It first launched legal action against the Northern Land Council (NLC) in 2014 after a dispute between RAC and the rival Gumatj clan over royalties from the Gove bauxite mine and refinery failed to reach a resolution.

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Categories: Environment

Two quit Australian climate authority blaming government 'extremists'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 11:30pm

John Quiggin and Danny Price resign over Coalition’s ‘rightwing anti-science activists’ and climate change political point-scoring

Two members of the Climate Change Authority have resigned, with one accusing the government of being beholden to rightwing, anti-science “extremists” in its own party and in the media.

John Quiggin told Guardian Australia he informed the federal minister for environment and energy, Josh Frydenberg, of his resignation on Thursday. It follows the resignation of fellow climate change authority member, Danny Price, who quit on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Night parrot sighting confirmed in Western Australia for first time in 100 years

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 10:46pm

Birdwatchers ‘elated’ after snapping photo of the endangered species in state’s arid interior in discovery that could significantly impact on mining developments

A night parrot has been photographed in Western Australia, adding another twist to the mysterious history of the species that was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in Queensland four years ago.

It is the first verified sighting of the bird in WA for almost 100 years and follows a history of unverified sightings, disbelieved reports and futile ecological surveys that rivals the hunt for the (presumably still) extinct Thylacine in Tasmania.

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Categories: Environment

Prickly nettles made pliant for the pot

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 10:30pm

Sandy, Bedfordshire Tiny spears pierce my trousers and the skin of my knee, releasing toxins that tingle with fiery heat

Under a hawthorn hedge and all along the bank grows one of Britain’s most feared and reviled plants. I kneel down before it and feel its power. Its hairs, just a few millimetres long and looking like icicle spears, have pierced both my trousers and the skin of my knee, releasing toxins that tingle with fiery heat.

Even so, I reach out to grasp one of these plants between thumb and forefinger. I have come not to curse nettles, but to pick them, for their stinging hairs have no answer to gardening gloves, and their ferocious leaves can be tamed in a saucepan.

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Categories: Environment

More than half Australian snake bite deaths since 2000 occurred at victim’s home

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 5:41pm

Almost three-quarters of the 35 victims were male, and 20% were bitten while trying to pick up or kill snake

More than half of the deaths caused by snake bites in Australia since 2000 have occurred in or around the victim’s home, a nationwide review has found.

The coronial-based retrospective study of fatalities from January 2000 to December 2016 found that, of the 35 deaths recorded by the National Coronial Information Service, 16 were a direct result of the bite.

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Categories: Environment

Maine lawmaker seeks discrimination protection for climate change deniers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 4:24pm

State representative introduced a bill that would limit the state attorney general’s ability to investigate or prosecute people based on their political speech

Maine laws protect people from discrimination based on factors such as race, disabilities and sexual orientation, and a Republican lawmaker wants to add a person’s beliefs about climate change to that list.

State representative Larry Lockman has introduced a bill that would limit the state attorney general’s ability to investigate or prosecute people based on their political speech, including their views on climate change. It would also prohibit the state from making decisions on buying goods or services or awarding grants or contracts based on a person’s “climate change policy preferences”.

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Categories: Environment

mail order

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 3:52pm

Two deliveries today.  The big dish and more Jiffypop.  I actually ordered the Jiffypop from Amazon Monday and got it today.  Had to take that drastic measure because I needed more for my cooking experiment and they were sold out in Study Butte (thanks to the "spring breakers").  Nice thing is, I didn't have to drive all the way to Alpine and it was only a couple of dollars more including delivery right to my door.  88,96,55,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Arctic ice falls to record winter low after polar 'heatwaves'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 11:00am

Extent of ice over North pole has fallen to a new wintertime low, for the third year in a row, as climate change drives freakish weather

The extent of Arctic ice has fallen to a new wintertime low, as climate change drives freakishly high temperatures in the polar regions.

The ice cap grows during the winter months and usually reaches its maximum in early March. But the 2017 maximum was 14.4m sq km, lower than any year in the 38-year satellite record, according to researchers at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) and Nasa.

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Categories: Environment

Congress Rolls Back Obama-Era Rule On Hunting Bears And Wolves In Alaska

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 10:09am

The Senate voted Tuesday to lift a 2016 ban on certain hunting practices — like trapping and aerial shooting — on national wildlife refuges there. Now the bill heads to President Trump to be signed.

(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Why More Farmers Are Making The Switch To Grass-Fed Meat And Dairy

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 7:11am

Advocates of grass-grazing cattle say it's better for the environment and the animals. But there's another upside: Grass-fed meat and dairy fetch a premium that can help small farms stay viable.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Maple Hill Creamery)

Categories: Environment

Thames Water hit with record £20m fine for huge sewage leaks

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 6:37am

Massive fine reflects change in sentencing as previously low penalties failed to deter water firms from polluting England’s rivers and beaches

Thames Water has been hit with a record fine of £20.3m after huge leaks of untreated sewage into the Thames and its tributaries and on to land, including the popular Thames path. The prolonged leaks led to serious impacts on residents, farmers, and wildlife, killing birds and fish.

The fine imposed on Wednesday was for numerous offences in 2013 and 2014 at sewage treatment works at Aylesbury, Didcot, Henley and Little Marlow, and a large sewage pumping station at Littlemore.

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Categories: Environment

Honduras, where defending nature is a deadly business

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 4:00am

In the first in a series, Yale Environment 360 reports from Honduras where Berta Cáceres fought to protect native lands and paid for it with her life – one of hundreds of victims in this disturbing global trend

They came for her late one evening last March, as Berta Cáceres prepared for bed. A heavy boot broke the back door of the safe house she had just moved into. Her colleague and family friend, Gustavo Castro, heard her shout, “Who’s there?” Then came a series of shots. He survived. But the most famous and fearless social and environmental activist in Honduras died instantly. She was 44 years old. It was a cold-blooded political assassination.

Berta Cáceres knew she was likely to be killed. Everybody knew. She had told her daughter Laura to prepare for life without her. The citation for her prestigious Goldman Environmental prize, awarded in the US less than a year before, noted the continued death threats, before adding: “Her murder would not surprise her colleagues, who keep a eulogy – but hope to never have to use it.”

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Categories: Environment

Will China's children solve its crippling water shortage problem?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/22 - 3:35am

China is home to 21% of the world’s population but just 7% of its freshwater. One NGO teaches young people to make tackling water scarcity a priority

In Beijing’s Tongzhou Number Six school, around 100 impeccably-behaved middle school students are being lectured about water.

The visiting teacher tells them that, among other things, they should take shorter showers, buy less clothes, eat less meat and drink tea rather than coffee, to help alleviate China’s water scarcity problems.

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Categories: Environment
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