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Illegal trade in rhino horn thriving in China, NGO investigation reveals

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/07/18 - 9:46am

Elephant Action League’s sting operation shows how horns are trafficked from Africa and enter into China via Vietnam, alleging official complicity

Rhinoceros horn can be easily bought in China despite it being illegal since 1993. The rhino horn products in antiques shop are far from antique. They are new and most likely been illegally trafficked from Africa to Vietnam and then into China.

A new report from Elephant Action League (EAL), Grinding Rhino: An Undercover Investigation on Rhino Horn Trafficking in China and Vietnam, shows how rhino horn makes its way into shops in China, the largest illegal market for rhino horn in the world. EAL’s 11-month investigation, called Operation Red Cloud, targeted the supply chain, exposing the players, the networks, and the means by which rhino horn is trafficked into China.

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Categories: Environment

California lawmakers extend program to cut emissions in bipartisan vote

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/07/18 - 9:26am

Cap-and-trade system, which aims to help state cut greenhouse gases 40% by 2030, stands against Trump policies: ‘That’s what good government looks like’

California legislators have voted to extend a centerpiece program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, burnishing the state’s reputation as a bulwark against Donald Trump’s demolition of climate change measures.

Related: 'Grow food on Mars': LA startups tackle climate change with inventive solutions

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Categories: Environment

Rise of mega farms: how the US model of intensive farming is invading the world

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/07/18 - 8:06am

Demand for cheaper food and lower production costs is turning green fields into industrial sheds to process vast amounts of meat and poultry

Since the days of the wild west frontier, the popular image of American farming has been of cowboys rounding up steers on wide open ranches, to whoops, whips and hollers. Today, the cowboys on their ranches under wide open skies have been replaced by vast sheds, hulking over the plains, housing tens of thousands of animals each, with the noises and smells spreading far beyond their fences.

The US has led the world in large-scale farming, pioneering the use of intensive livestock rearing in hog farms, cattle sheds and sheep pens. There are now more than 50,000 facilities in the US classified as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), with another quarter of a million industrial-scale facilities below that threshold.

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Categories: Environment

State hackers 'probably compromised' energy sector, says leaked GCHQ memo

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/07/18 - 6:20am

UK’s National Cybersecurity Centre warned of connections ‘from multiple UK IP addresses to state-sponsored threats’, according to reports

The UK energy sector is likely to have been targeted and probably compromised by nation-state hackers, according to a memo from Britain’s National Cybersecurity Centre.

The NCSC, a subsidiary of GCHQ, warned that it had spotted connections “from multiple UK IP addresses to infrastructure associated with advanced state-sponsored hostile threat actors, who are known to target the energy and manufacturing sectors,” according to Motherboard, which obtained a copy of the document.

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Categories: Environment

'Grow food on Mars': LA startups tackle climate change with inventive solutions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/07/18 - 4:00am

Dozens of startups are inventing ways to keep LA cool with products and services that aim to avert environmental disaster – and yield profits

Drought, floods, wildfires and heat waves – climate change and extreme weather events are wreaking havoc in California, especially in Los Angeles. The city has recently baked in record temperatures with a long, hot summer still stretching ahead.

It is the new normal: climate models predict the number of extreme heat days, defined as more than 95F, will triple by the middle of the century.

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Categories: Environment

Let buyers borrow more on greener homes, urges report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/07/18 - 3:59am

Making energy ratings a factor in mortgage offers could let people borrow up to £11,500 more, says Lenders group

Homebuyers could take out bigger mortgages if the energy ratings of properties were factored into the lending criteria of banks and building societies, government-funded research has found.

Although estate agents are legally bound to display energy performance certificates (EPCs) in property listings, few buying decisions hinge on energy bill costs and the efficiency of a home is not considered in affordability calculations by lenders.

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Categories: Environment

Barnaby Joyce calls for energy compromise but says Labor must shift on coal

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 11:46pm

Deputy prime minister says Australia has a ‘moral responsibility’ to provide the world with energy from exported fossil fuels

Barnaby Joyce has told a clean energy summit that coal is crucial to Australia’s energy policy, saying the government has “a moral responsibility” to provide the world with the energy from exported fossil fuels.

Speaking in Sydney on Tuesday, the Nationals leader met Bill Shorten’s offer of bipartisanship around a clean energy target with his own call for compromise.

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Categories: Environment

M&S slashes plastic use in food packaging to cut waste

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 10:01pm

More than 140 products including crisps and popcorn put in smaller, redesigned packets with reduced air pocket, but same amount of food

A major UK supermarket has slashed the amount of packaging used for its popular snacks such as crisps and popcorn by reducing the pocket of air at the top of the bag.

As a result of so-called ‘Project Thin Air’, more than 140 of Marks & Spencer’s best-selling products have been redesigned and repackaged in smaller, less bulky packets containing the same amount of food as before.

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Categories: Environment

Polluted air 'poisoning thousands' across north of England, warns report

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 10:01pm

Air pollution is ‘the tobacco of the 21st century’ says report, which calls on government to introduce radical measures to improve air quality

Dangerous levels of air pollution in towns and cities across the north of England are threatening the health of hundreds of thousands of people and stifling economic growth, according to a new report.

The analysis by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North describes air pollution as “the tobacco of the 21st century” and says that while there has been a growing concern about the problem in London, many residents in regional towns and cities are unaware of the threat to their health.

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Categories: Environment

Meet the thistle propagator-in-chief

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 9:30pm

Blackwater, Norfolk Pollinated flowers means more plants next year – and more thistles means more bees

After explaining to a visitor the lengths to which I go to encourage marsh and spear thistles on my fen, I was amused to hear her describe the troubles she takes to keep them from her garden. I know they’re prickly customers, but why do people dislike them?

What I cherish most is the sheer architectural grandeur of the summer plant. Each fully open flowerhead has a kind of declarative beauty – a blend of spine-fringed awkwardness and inner sensuous velvet. No wonder nations have hitched their wagons to the thistle’s star-like bloom. Even in autumn, when they are desiccated and devoid of seed floss, and possibly enwrapped in old spider’s web, they retain an aura of dignity.

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Categories: Environment

2017 Farms, Films, Food: A Santa Fe Celebration

Home Grown New Mexico - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 4:15pm
Below is an event many of you might be interested in. Check it out!

Photo courtesy of Edible

DETAILS
What: Farms, Films, Food: A Santa Fe Celebration
Where: Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe
When: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The second 2017 Farms, Films, Food: A Santa Fe Celebration (co-presented by Center for Contemporary Arts, the Street Food Institute, and the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute) will be on Wednesday, August 2.  This free event celebrates Santa Fe’s unrivaled love of great food, local agriculture, and world-class cinema.

Farms, Films, Food: A Santa Fe Celebration offers free food samples from a cooking demonstration by local chefs or farmers, tours of Muñoz Waxman Gallery, presentations from community partners, affordable meals from the Street Food Institute and Kebab Caravan (including specials using locally-sourced produce), and two free screenings designed for food lovers and families.

The food trucks will offer Farmers’ Market specials, featuring local ingredients largely sourced from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market.

The featured speaker, Don Bustos, and food demo chef, Chef Michelle Chavez, will both be addressing the importance of heirloom and land race varieties as we work to maintain a vast diversity of varieties.

SCHEDULE:
5-6:45pm
-Food trucks (Street Food Institute, Kebab Caravan, and Freezie Fresh)
-Axle Contemporary
-Muñoz Waxman Gallery tours
-Ask A Farmer: Victoria Montoya, Montoya Orchards & Wicked Kreations (fruit wines)
Smoothie Bike

5:20-6pm
-Cooking Demonstration with Chef Michelle Chavez (Coriander Catering)

6:10-6:30pm
-Featured Speaker: Don Bustos, Santa Cruz Farms

6:45pm
-Screening of My Neighbor Totoro

7pm
-Screening of Food Evolution


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Thunderstorms and possible floods forecast for large parts of UK

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 4:01pm

South and east England, Midlands and Wales to be hit by storms on Tuesday, with north of England affected on Wednesday

Thunderstorms and potential flooding have been forecast for large parts of the UK on Tuesday, prompting weather warnings from the Met Office.

Storms were expected to hit the south and east of England, the Midlands and Wales on Tuesday evening, while the north of England would be affected on Wednesday, forecasters said.

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Categories: Environment

Flying squad: start of annual roll call of Queen's swans

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 3:45pm

Swan upping, a five-day event to count the swans on the river Thames, began as a ritual to check supplies for feasts but is now more about conservation

The annual count of swans belonging to Queen Elizabeth II has begun on the river Thames.

Related: Royal swan upping – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Matt Canavan on Q&A: exporting Adani coal does not affect Australia's emissions

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 3:16pm

Resources minister tells Q&A audience Adani’s Queensland mine would not stop Australia meeting its Paris climate change commitments because the coal is burned overseas

The federal minister Matthew Canavan has defended government support for Adani’s Carmichael mine by saying coal burned overseas will not stop Australia meeting its Paris climate commitments.

Canavan also denied the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had politicised the defence force by using a backdrop of masked soldiers to announce plans to enable military handling of domestic terrorist threats, telling the ABC’s Q&A program it wasn’t a “campaign announcement”.

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Categories: Environment

My week without plastic: 'I found a toothbrush made of pig hair'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 3:10pm

We produce 300m tonnes of plastic a year – 5m tonnes of which ends up in the oceans. How easy is it to ditch the excess packaging and learn to love shampoo in solid bars?

It’s in shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, clothes and biros. It’s even in teabags. Plastic is everywhere.

In some cases this brings clear benefits – plastic has brought advances including domestic pipes, composite materials for lighter aircraft and wind-turbines, as well as blood bags – but, for consumers, it is largely cosmetic: a cheap signifier of hygiene and a mainstay of convenience.

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Categories: Environment

US millionaire who learned the value of punctuation the hard way | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 11:19am
Punctuation | Solar-powered legs | Dogs and litter | Crossword themes | Puzzle change

Punctuation is indeed important (Letters, 17 July). The story goes that an American millionaire’s wife, travelling through Europe, came across a beautiful diamond ring for sale for $1,000. She sent a telegram: “Can I buy?” “No price too high” came the reply. So she purchased the ring and her husband was furious. He had meant “No; price too high” – and it is said that after that incident the telegram companies introduced the convention of inserting the word “stop” at the necessary places.
Fr Alec Mitchell
Denton, Greater Manchester

• Almost everyone in the world already owns a solar-powered vehicle (Letters, 15 July). Our legs run (or walk) on the products of photosynthesis at a rate of one small banana, or the calorie equivalent in other foods, per mile. To double this fuel economy, attach a bicycle.
Jo Gibson
Liverpool

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Categories: Environment

Queensland must wean itself off coal, says Jackie Trad – but not yet

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 11:00am

Deputy premier says the state’s coal-fired power stations will be among the last to close in the nation, despite 2050 zero emissions target

Queensland’s plan to slash carbon pollution would generate “ongoing discussion” about shutting coal-fired power stations, despite expert advice that the need for closures was more than a decade away, the deputy premier, Jackie Trad, has said.

While the Palaszczuk government was determined to drive Queensland’s transformation from Australia’s biggest carbon polluter to a zero net emitter by 2050, it would rely for now on the economics of renewable energy and the “goodwill and leadership of industry” where national political leaders had failed, she said.

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Categories: Environment

Bill Shorten says Labor willing to pass Finkel legislation to prevent climate 'brawling'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 11:00am

Labor leader says opposition will back clean energy target ‘if the economic and environmental case stacks up’

Bill Shorten says Labor is prepared to pass legislation giving effect to the Finkel review this year, and has called for the Turnbull government to sit down with the opposition to craft a bipartisan solution.

The Labor leader will use a speech to a clean energy summit in Sydney to make a pitch for a “sensible centre” in climate policy, arguing that Australia cannot afford to lose another decade “to brawling and name-calling”.

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Categories: Environment

Five park rangers killed in DRC in tragic weekend for wildlife defenders

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 10:13am

An ambush by local rebel forces led to five deaths in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, while another ranger died in Virunga

Four Congolese park rangers and one porter have been killed in an ambush in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A large group of journalists and park rangers were attacked on Friday 14 July in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve by an armed local rebel group. It is believed that the journalists – one from the US, two Dutch, and one Congolese – were covering a story about the work of the rangers in the forest.

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2017/07/17 - 10:03am

80,82,69,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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