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Stormy Weather: Are We Well Prepared For The Next Disaster?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/05/18 - 7:06am

Is the country well prepared for a summer of record heat, flash floods and extreme weather?

(Image credit: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Will The Government Help Farmers Adapt To A Changing Climate?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/05/18 - 5:00am

The livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are intimately tied to weather and the environment. But they may no longer be able to depend on government research to help them adapt to climate change.

(Image credit: Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

Categories: Environment

Product designers 'must reduce Pringles factor' to boost recycling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/05/18 - 2:17am

Recycling Association chief cites crisp brand as one of worst examples of multiple materials being used in single product

Product designers need to retreat from “the Pringles factor” in order to make their packaging more recyclable, an environmental expert has said.

Simon Ellin, the chief executive of the Recycling Association, which represents recyclers, pointed to the snack tube as a prime example of the failure to consider recycling in design – and listed a range of other offenders from Lucozade Sport drinks to whisky packaging.

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Categories: Environment

Boutique food wraps and £18 nappies: is being eco only for the rich? | Michele Hanson

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 11:00pm

Pricey alternatives to plastic wrap and other disposable products are sending out the message that you need to be wealthy to live sustainably

I was giving the daughter a slice of cake to take away, wrapped in plastic, even though the world is drowning in the stuff, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was something to wrap my food in that didn’t leak and wasn’t wrecking the planet?”

And there is. Bee’s Wrap – made of cloth, beeswax and tree resin, washable in soap and cold water, reusable and sealed by the warmth of your hands.

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Categories: Environment

Less than 1% of surplus food from farms and manufacturers used to feed hungry

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 10:31pm

A tiny proportion of excess food is being sent to charities and is instead ending up in landfill or left to rot, figures show

Less than 1% of edible surplus food produced by UK manufacturers and farms is being sent to charities to help feed the hungry, according to new figures.

Vegetables that are perfectly edible are being left to rot in the fields, and other foods not sold to retailers are put into anaerobic digestion or sent straight to landfill, the UK’s largest redistribution charity FareShare has warned.

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Categories: Environment

New types of coffee, parsnips and roses among 1,700 plants discovered last year

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 10:01pm

From a new variety of Turkish parsnip to Madagascar coffee beans, the discoveries offer the prospect of better crops, medicinal uses and new garden displays

From new parsnips and herbs to begonias and roses, the world’s plant hunters discovered more than 1,700 new species last year, offering the prospect of better crops and new colours and scents in the garden.

The State of the World’s Plants report, led by scientists at the Royal Botanical Garden Kew in the UK and published on Thursday, reveals a cornucopia of new plants and assesses the risk to the plant world from pests and invasive species.

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Categories: Environment

Toxin-tolerant plants take root in colliery's spoil tips

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 9:30pm

Middlehope Moor, Weardale Miners who left waste rock beside the burn created a perfect habitat for the spring sandwort

On a grey day in a tree-less landscape, buffeted by a bone-chilling north-easterly wind, only the calls of curlews and oystercatchers that had returned here to breed suggested this must be spring.

But when we reached the stony, undulating, ground near the entrance to the “governor and company’s level”, a mine tunnel driven into a hillside almost two centuries ago by the London Lead Company, we found an infallible floral indicator of the season.

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Categories: Environment

Adani offered $320m deferment of Carmichael coal export royalties

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 7:02pm

Queensland premier will neither confirm nor deny deal under which full royalties due would only be paid in later years

The Queensland government has reportedly offered Adani a royalties pause worth up to $320m as the company decides whether to proceed with its Carmichael mine project.

The deal, in which Adani would pay a discounted $2m a year on exported coal in the mine’s early years, could be signed this week and has concerned some senior Labor figures, the ABC has reported.

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Categories: Environment

bee protest?

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 5:44pm
When I went to feed Ben this morning I found a swarm of bees in his trough.  That has never happened.  Pretty sure these guys were just passing by and dropped in for a drink and a swim (or perhaps to see what all the internet fuss was about) and not part of my local hive.  They were all gone by the time I had drained it down half way.  Decided it was the perfect excuse to clean out his big bowl.  Ben was quite curious about it once I tipped it up to dry out this evening.  He will be on his little bowl for a couple of days.  90,92,68,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Australian oil well leaked into ocean for months – but spill kept secret

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 3:33pm

Offshore oil and gas regulator says there was a 10,500-litre spill in April 2016 but refuses to reveal where it occurred or company responsible

An offshore oil and gas well in Australia leaked oil continuously into the ocean for two months in 2016, releasing an estimated 10,500 litres. But the spill was never made public by the regulator and details about the well, its whereabouts and operator remain secret.

In its annual offshore performance report released this week, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority included a mention of a 10,500-litre spill in April 2016. It provided limited details about, noting that it had been identified during a routine inspection.

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Categories: Environment

Many Of California's Salmon Populations Unlikely To Survive The Century

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 3:00pm

Climate change, dams and agriculture are threatening Chinook salmon, the iconic fish at the core of the state's fishing industry, a report predicts. And 23 other fish species are also at risk.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Australia's 2018 gas shortage will not eventuate, report shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 1:11pm

Predicted shortfall no longer on horizon – and opening up new coal seam gas fields will not bring down prices, researchers say

A predicted shortage of gas for electricity generation in Australia from 2018 will not eventuate, and the recent surge in domestic prices will not be mitigated by opening up new coal seam gas fields, according to a new report.

In March, the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) predicted that without national reform, Australia would face gas shortages, which would drive power outages, in 2018 and 2019.

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Categories: Environment

Air pollution kills more people in the UK than in Sweden, US and Mexico

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 11:00am

WHO figures show people in Britain are more likely to die from dirty air than those living in some other comparable countries

People in the UK are 64 times as likely to die of air pollution as those in Sweden and twice as likely as those in the US, figures from the World Health Organisation reveal.

Britain, which has a mortality rate for air pollution of 25.7 for every 100,000 people, was also beaten by Brazil and Mexico – and it trailed far behind Sweden, the cleanest nation in the EU, with a rate of 0.4.

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Categories: Environment

A Tale Of Four Famines

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 8:06am

Climate and conflict have left millions with little to no access to food in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.

(Image credit: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Pesticide that Trump's EPA refused to ban blamed for sickening farm workers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 4:00am

Nearly 50 farm workers experienced nausea and vomiting apparently caused by a pesticide whose scheduled ban was overturned by the Trump administration

A pesticide that was set to be banned before the Trump administration reversed course has been blamed for causing sickness to nearly 50 farm workers who were exposed to the chemical in California.

Spraying of Vulcan, a brand name chemical, on an orchard southwest of Bakersfield led to the pesticide drifting to a neighboring property operated by Dan Andrews Farms. A total of 47 farm workers were harvesting cabbage at the time and subsequently complained of a bad odor, nausea and vomiting. One was taken to hospital with four other workers visiting doctors in the following days.

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Categories: Environment

Whitley Awards for nature conservation 2017 winners – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/17 - 3:50am

Finalists for his year’s prestigious ‘green Oscars’ include a Turkish conservationist working with fisherman to create a marine reserve and a woman partnering with prisoners to protect the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo

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Categories: Environment

Panic over the red devils threatening to strip Tunisia of its grand palm trees

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/16 - 11:00pm

A red palm weevil infestation is decimating trees and posing a threat to the country’s date crop, a mainstay of the fragile economy

It’s an unlikely but very real crisis for a country with a teetering economy: a tiny red devil is invading Tunisia and it could cost hundreds of thousands of people their livelihoods.

Morched Garbouj, president of a Tunisian environmental group, smiled as he told the popular legend of how the red palm weevil first arrived in Tunisia. “Some people say that it was the former dictator Ben Ali’s son-in-law who brought it here. He was known for bringing in exotic animals, exotic trees, that kind of thing.” He points to the fact that the area suffering the greatest devastation is in Carthage, around the presidential palace. “Well, maybe it’s true!”

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel lobby could be forced to declare interests at UN talks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/16 - 10:33pm

Developing countries score significant victory for greater transparency from outside parties at UN climate negotiations

A push from developing countries to force fossil fuel lobbyists taking part in UN climate talks to declare their conflicts of interest has won a significant battle against resistance from the world’s biggest economies including the European Union, US and Australia.

The UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) has agreed to enhance “openness and transparency” for outside parties and will accept submissions from any stakeholder – which could be any person or group affected by climate change or climate change policy – on how it could do so.

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Categories: Environment

Mersey feat: world's biggest wind turbines go online near Liverpool

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/16 - 10:30pm

UK cements its position as global leader in wind technology as increasing scale drives down costs

The planet’s biggest and most powerful wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the Liverpool coast, cementing Britain’s reputation as a world leader in the technology.

Danish company Dong Energy has just finished installing 32 turbines in Liverpool Bay that are taller than the Gherkin skyscraper, with blades longer than nine London buses. Dong Energy, the windfarm’s developer, believes these machines herald the future for offshore wind power: bigger, better and, most importantly, cheaper.

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Categories: Environment

Tank-like oil beetle hauls out to the highway

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/16 - 9:30pm

Dartmoor A lone traveller, the beetle made progress, jointed legs paddling the ground as it hefted its giant abdomen onward

At the western edge of Dartmoor high terrain that rises in exposed granite peaks gives way to the gentle swell of undulating farmland. Step from rough ground over the cattle grids that mark the national park perimeter and the verges become thick with vegetation.

In warm weather the roadside flowers are busy with flying insects, and I take lazy pleasure in knowing such diversity is beyond my naming abilities.

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Categories: Environment
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