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Canada taps into strategic reserves to deal with massive shortage ... of maple syrup

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 12:33pm

While high gas prices have pushed President Biden to tap into the US's strategic oil reserves, America's neighbor to the north is also dealing with a shortage of another so-called "liquid gold".

(Image credit: Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Categories: Environment

In defence of Science Museum’s sponsors | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 10:48am

Bob Ward, an adviser on two of the museum’s energy exhibitions, responds to a campaign letter expressing concern over its fossil fuel ties

As an independent and unpaid adviser on two of the Science Museum’s energy exhibitions, I was disappointed to see your report about the campaign letter against it (Dozens of academics shun Science Museum over fossil fuel ties, 19 November), which risks delaying the rollout of clean energy. The well-meaning signatories state that they are severing links with the museum until each sponsor from the energy industry “demonstrates a credible plan to phasing out fossil fuels in line with the Paris 1.5C target”.

The museum’s Our Future Planet exhibition has two major sponsors, Shell and UK Research and Innovation, the government funding body that has provided support for many of the signatories on the letter. Shell has set a target of cutting all sources of its emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, like many countries that have pledged to keep in reach the 1.5°C target. The company undoubtedly needs to do much more, but its plan so far has persuaded ethical investors, such as the Church of England pensions board, to remain engaged. Cries of “greenwash” every time the company invests in the pursuit of, or information about, net zero are unlikely to accelerate its transition away from fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

Artworks to highlight air pollution’s role in death of London girl

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 10:02am

Breathe: 2022 by Dryden Goodwin will pay tribute to Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah of Lewisham

Public artwork that pays homage to Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose exposure to air pollution contributed to her death at the age of nine, will go on display close to her south London home next year.

Breathe: 2022 by Dryden Goodwin will appear at sites close to the South Circular road, which runs within 25 metres of the house where Ella lived. The artwork – a centrepiece of events marking Lewisham’s year as London borough of culture – revisits Goodwin’s 2012 creation Breathe, which depicted his five-year-old son inhaling and exhaling.

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Categories: Environment

‘Keep the bastards honest’: former Australian Democrats leader joins high-profile group backing independents

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 9:30am

Exclusive: Meg Lees joins former Liberal leader John Hewson and Labor veteran Barry Jones on Climate 200 advisory council

As Scott Morrison comes to the end of a ragged parliamentary week, the organisation bankrolling independents challenging Liberal incumbents in their urban heartland has amassed an election war chest of more than $4m, and bolstered its advisory body.

The former leader of the Australian Democrats, Meg Lees, has joined the advisory council of Climate 200, as has the former Liberal party leader John Hewson, and the Labor veteran Barry Jones.

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Categories: Environment

Carl, Kenosha’s ‘outlaw’ turkey, raises spirits in Wisconsin

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 1:00am

The rambunctious bird has inspired charity events, Halloween outfits and even been awarded a local celebrity prize

A Wisconsin city has been buoyed by a “rebel” wild turkey, residents say, with the bird inspiring charity events and Halloween outfits and even being awarded a local celebrity prize.

The turkey, named Carl, has charmed locals in Kenosha ever since his arrival more than two years ago, and has since garnered a huge following. A Facebook group dedicated to the turkey, who stands at 2ft tall and is covered in rich brown plumage, has more than 5,000 members and is flooded by reports of sightings.

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Categories: Environment

The jailing of a young climate protester is a prime example of Australia’s authoritarian drift | Isabelle Reinecke

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 9:09pm

Federal and state governments should spend more time trying to improve people’s lives and less time trying to keep them quiet

For the past 20 years, human rights experts and lawyers have been sounding the alarm on Australia’s democracy and the increasing tendency among state and federal governments towards suppressing dissent from the community. Even more alarmingly, the criminalisation of protest and increasingly inflammatory rhetoric from police and politicians is accompanied by moves to neuter the legal frameworks established to hold lawmakers accountable.

The jailing of a 22-year-old climate change protester is a prime example of this authoritarian tendency. Eric Serge Herbert was sentenced to 12 months in prison for his part in a two-week anti-coal protest under the banner of Blockade Australia. Herbert had blocked a coal train by climbing it in the Hunter region of New South Wales. Perhaps he got off lightly: the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, had threatened to charge protesters who block rail lines with laws designed for those who wilfully seek to harm or kill rail passengers, which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years.

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Categories: Environment

North American fertilizer shortage sparks fears of higher food prices

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 5:54pm

Warning to ‘get your fertilizer now’ as farmers postpone nitrogen purchases, raising threat of rush on supplies before planting season

A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season.

Farmers apply nitrogen to boost yields of corn, canola and wheat, and higher fertilizer costs could translate into higher meat and bread prices.

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Categories: Environment

How high will emissions be from Woodside’s giant new gas project in Western Australia? | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 4:02pm

The company argues gas will do more than other sources of energy to help the world reach net zero – but it’s only comparing it with coal

There’s little doubt greenhouse gas emissions from a new $16bn mega gas project off the Western Australia coast will be enormous after it drills into a vast new reservoir of fossil fuels.

But just how high will the emissions be from the Scarborough development – confirmed by Woodside and BHP this week?

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Categories: Environment

A famously far-ranging gray wolf is found dead in Southern California

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 3:41pm

The Oregon-born gray wolf gained a following this year when it became the first to travel to Southern California in a century. Wildlife officials say it appears to have been struck by a vehicle.

(Image credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

Categories: Environment

some old trim removal...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 2:33pm



Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Australia’s most expensive goat – a ‘very stylish buck’ – sells for record $21,000

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 2:03pm

Sold at auction in western NSW, Marrakesh has orders from his new owners to ‘go forth and multiply’

The owner of Australia’s most expensive goat has described his new acquisition as a “very stylish buck”.

Andrew Mosely knew he would have to break the $12,000 Australian record to buy Marrakesh, a goat that went on sale in the western New South Wales town of Cobar on Wednesday. But he did not expect he would have to pay almost double that, forking out $21,000 to see off another keen bidder at auction.

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Categories: Environment

Was Bulb as green as it claimed to be?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 1:14pm

Analysis: less than 5% of the green power the supplier provided to homes was sourced directly from renewable energy projects last year

The collapse of Bulb Energy this week follows a steady decline in its promises to customers.

Britain’s fastest-growing energy supplier set itself apart as a challenger to legacy energy giants by claiming to offer better service and energy that was cheaper and greener. But was Bulb as green as it claimed to be?

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on the energy crisis: a Bulb goes out | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 11:41am

Bulb has become the biggest energy supplier to go under since August. Its collapse brings the crisis to a new climax

The crisis in the UK’s energy market has been growing in scale and seriousness for months. This week it claimed its latest corporate victim – and reached a tipping point. Bulb is the 23rd energy supplier to fail since August, but, unlike minnows such as Igloo and Neon Reef, it cannot easily be taken over by a rival. With turnover of £1.5bn, it is simply too big.

Bulb will instead enter “special administration” and be run on behalf of the government until it can be broken up or sold off. Meanwhile, its 1.7 million customers will remain with the company and get the same corporate branding on their bills, even while taxpayers stump up for any immediate costs. Any final losses will be passed on to households through their fuel bills.

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Categories: Environment

Atlantic fishing nations agree to ban catches of mako, world’s fastest sharks

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 11:26am

Conservationists hail move as ‘critical breakthrough’ to protect endangered shortfin mako, prized for meat, fins and sportfishing

North Atlantic fishing nations have pledged to ban catches of the shortfin mako, the world’s fastest shark, in an attempt to save the endangered species.

Conservationists, who have for years sought to better protect the mako, said the ban was a “critical breakthrough”. The effort to ensure agreement between fishing nations was led by the UK, Canada and Senegal.

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Categories: Environment

‘It’s as if we’re in Mad Max’: warnings for Amazon as goldmining dredges occupy river

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 10:04am

Hundreds of illegal goldmining dredges converge in search of metal as one activist describes it as a ‘free-for-all’

Environmentalists are demanding urgent action to halt an aquatic gold rush along one of the Amazon River’s largest tributaries, where hundreds of illegal goldmining dredges have converged in search of the precious metal.

The vast flotilla – so large one local website compared it to a floating neighbourhood – reportedly began forming on the Madeira River earlier this month after rumours that a large gold deposit had been found in the vicinity.

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Categories: Environment

Cry of the curlew has given way to silence | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 9:57am

Northumberland national park | Solar panels | Care costs | Influencers | Housework

It’s not just Wales that is depleted of curlews (New initiative aims to save curlew from extinction in Wales, 22 November). Forty years ago, I regularly walked stretches of Hadrian’s Wall in the Northumberland national park to the constant warbling of curlews, which was almost deafening. This year, I did some of the same walks in total silence. I was deeply saddened by the absence of the beautiful, haunting song of the curlew, which is, ironically, the symbol of the Northumberland national park.
John Rippon

• Alice Renton makes a good point about solar panels in new-build homes (Letters, 23 November). But I recently saw an electric van with solar panels taped and tied to the roof and bonnet – the driver claimed it extended his range by five or six miles, even though it was just a rough-and-ready job. When will electric vehicle manufacturers start building solar panels into the bodywork?
Stephen Ingamells
Ilford, London

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Categories: Environment

Household power bills to fall by about $77 a year as developers bet on renewables

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 9:30am

Australian Energy Market Commission says Queensland and Victoria will enjoy biggest falls by 2024 as new large-scale solar plants join electricity grid

The advance of renewable energy across Australia is driving down household electricity bills, and will result in average savings of about $77 a year by 2024, the Australian Energy Market Commission said in its annual survey.

Queensland is projected to lead the way among the states in the National Electricity Market, with a typical household’s bill to drop by 10%, or close to double the national average fall of 5.7%. That will cut the typical Queensland residential bill from $1,226 in 2020-21 to $1,100 by 2023-24.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's Barrier Reef erupts in color as corals spawn

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 2:07am

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is spawning in an explosion of color as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder recovers from life-threatening coral bleaching episodes in 2016, 2017 and last year.

(Image credit: Gabriel Guzman/AP)

Categories: Environment

How wild turkeys’ rough and rowdy ways are creating havoc in US cities

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 12:00am

Booming populations are a conservation success story, but not all terrorised residents are happy about it

There’s a violent gang stalking urban America.

In New Hampshire a motorcyclist crashed after being assaulted. In New Jersey, a terrified postman rang 911 after a dozen members attacked at once. And in Michigan, one town armed public workers with pepper spray.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis pushes albatross ‘divorce’ rates higher – study

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/11/23 - 8:14pm

Researchers say warmer waters mean birds are travelling further for food and becoming more stressed, triggering relationship breakdowns

Albatrosses, some of the world’s most loyally monogamous creatures, are “divorcing” more often – and researchers say global heating may be to blame.

In a new Royal Society study, researchers say climate change and warming waters are pushing black-browed albatross break-up rates higher. Typically after choosing a partner, only 1-3% would separate in search of greener romantic pastures.

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Categories: Environment
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