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US to label nuclear waste as less dangerous to quicken cleanup

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/05 - 2:33pm

Energy department says labeling some waste as low-level at sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina will save $40bn

The US government plans to reclassify some of the nation’s most dangerous radioactive waste to lower its threat level, outraging critics who say the move would make it cheaper and easier to walk away from cleaning up nuclear weapons production sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina.

The Department of Energy said on Wednesday that labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson challenged by Labour over climate science

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/05 - 12:25pm

Rebecca Long-Bailey questions how much authority the government has on issue

Boris Johnson has been challenged by Labour to clearly disavow his previous denial of climate science, after several other Conservative leadership hopefuls said they accepted the reality of the climate emergency.

A dividing line between the candidates opened up on the issue after Andrea Leadsom, a Brexit-supporting former cabinet minister, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, and Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, told a One Nation group hustings on Tuesday night they would tackle the climate emergency as a global crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Thousands could perish annually in US if global heating not curbed, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/05 - 11:00am

Every year nearly 5,800 people are expected to die in New York, 2,500 in Los Angeles and more than 2,300 in Miami

Thousands of heat-related deaths in major US cities could be avoided if rising global temperatures are curbed, new research has found.

On current global heating trends, thousands of people are set to perish due to the heat every year across 15 major US cities, in an analysis by a team of British and American researchers.

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Categories: Environment

Joe Biden's team alters climate policy plan after plagiarism allegations

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/05 - 6:45am
  • Some passages appeared to borrow from others without citation
  • Biden campaign says citations were ‘inadvertently’ left out

Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign has amended his climate policy plan hours after it was released on Tuesday because a handful of passages did not credit some of the sources in the proposal, prompting allegations of plagiarism.

Related: Trump faces growing Republican revolt over Mexico tariffs – live updates

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Categories: Environment

1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/05 - 5:28am

Chief Vicki Christiansen says the danger is now year-round, thanks to hazardous conditions in forests, rampant home development and the changing climate.

(Image credit: Shuran Huang/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Home solar panel installations fall by 94% as subsidies cut

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/05 - 4:41am

Labour accuses UK government of ‘actively dismantling’ solar power industry

The Labour party has accused the government of “actively dismantling” the UK’s solar power industry after new installations by households collapsed by 94% last month.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, used prime minister’s questions to challenge the government’s record on climate action after scrapping subsidies for domestic solar panels from April.

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Categories: Environment

Britain will fail without coal – archive, 5 June 1956

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:30pm

5 June 1956: Investment in coal mining should be carried out on a massive scale argues the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation

The OEEC has delighted Mr Aubrey Jones, the Minister of Fuel and Power, with its report on the future of fuel supplies in Europe (summarised on page 4). The main conclusion of the report is that nuclear energy is only going to make a small contribution to the increased supply of energy that will be needed in the next twenty years.

Related: The demise of UK deep coal mining: decades of decline

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Categories: Environment

State Of The Water Supply

The Field Lab - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 3:29pm
Well it looks like the dry season is finally over.  Got an inch of rain over the past two nights.  Up until last week, TFL got only a half inch of rain over the past 6 months.  My total storage capacity is 20,000 gallons and I was down to 9,225 gallons as of Saturday.  All my catchment surfaces combined yield 2,000 gallons per inch of rain - and if the arroyo runs, I can pump an additional 3,000 gallons after a good rain event.  Sunday night I got 1/2" of rain and caught 1,000 gallons off my roofs and pumped 2,500 gallons out of the arroyo.  Monday night I got another 1/2" of rain - so another 1,000 gallons off my roofs...but it was too late to pump the arroyo again.  As of today, I now have 13,725 gallons on tap.  Chance of more rain tonight so this might get updated.  83,91,66,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Teen activists face US government in crucial hearing over climate trial

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 3:12pm

The suit accuses the federal government of violating young people’s constitutional rights by contributing to the climate crisis

Twenty-one youth activists faced off with the US government in an Oregon courthouse on Tuesday, where their attorneys petitioned a panel of judges to let their climate case go to trial. Until it does, their attorneys argued, fossil fuel development should be halted on public lands.

The case of Juliana v the US charges the federal government with violating the constitutional rights of youth by perpetuating systems that contribute to climate breakdown. Those young people – who range in age from 11 to 23 and hail from all corners of the nation – argue that the constitution gives them and future generations a right to an environment free of climate catastrophe.

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Categories: Environment

How Extreme Weather Is Affecting People's Opinions Of Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 3:03pm

An increasing body of research finds people's beliefs about climate change can be changed by big disasters, like the current flooding across America's heartland.

Categories: Environment

The 'Great Dying' Nearly Erased Life On Earth. Scientists See Similarities To Today

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 1:36pm

It was the biggest extinction in Earth's history. A new Smithsonian exhibit notes that some of the same things that killed over 90% of ocean species 250 million years ago are happening now.

(Image credit: Lynette Cook/Science Source)

Categories: Environment

Carnival Cruise Lines Hit With $20 Million Penalty For Environmental Crimes

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 11:22am

The company has a long history of dumping plastic trash and oily waste from its ships, with violations dating back to 1993. In 2016, its Princess subsidiary agreed to pay $40 million for pollution.

(Image credit: Casey Rodgers/AP)

Categories: Environment

'Crackpot stuff': Coalition MPs' call for nuclear power inquiry rejected by Greens

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 11:00am

Sarah Hanson-Young says the Nationals who have raised nuclear energy are ‘lunatic cowboys’

The Greens have labelled Coalition MPs pushing for an inquiry into nuclear power as “lunatic cowboys”, pledging to block any move to overturn Australia’s nuclear ban in the Senate.

As conservative MPs move to establish a Senate inquiry into nuclear power when parliament returns next month, the Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has invited the former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to debate her in the “town he thinks it should be built”.

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Categories: Environment

$3 Million Settlement Revealed In High-Profile Fracking Case

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:50am

The settlement is now public because of computer error. Pennsylvania families, whose ordeal was detailed in a Pulitzer-winning book, claimed air, groundwater and soil contamination.

(Image credit: Reid R. Frazier/The Allegheny Front/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

Categories: Environment

France to ban destruction of unsold consumer products

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:31am

More than €650m worth of new goods destroyed or thrown away each year, says PM

France’s prime minister has announced a crackdown on the destruction of unsold or returned consumer products, a move that will affect luxury goods brands and online retailers such as Amazon.

Edouard Philippe said a ban on destroying non-food goods – including clothes, electrical items, hygiene products and cosmetics – would come into force within the next four years.

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Categories: Environment

Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon surges to record high

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:14am

Environmentalists fear 2019 will be one of worst years for deforestation in recent memory

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon surged last month to the highest May level since the current monitoring method began, prompting concerns that president Jair Bolsonaro is giving a free pass to illegal logging, farming and mining.

The world’s greatest rainforest – which is a vital provider of oxygen and carbon sequestration – lost 739sq km during the 31 days, equivalent to two football pitches every minute, according to data from the government’s satellite monitoring agency.

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Categories: Environment

Latest data shows steep rises in CO2 for seventh year

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 8:58am

Readings from Hawaii observatory bring threshold of 450ppm closer sooner than had been anticipated

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by the second highest annual rise in the past six decades, according to new data.

Atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas were 414.8 parts per million in May, which was 3.5ppm higher than the same time last year, according to readings from the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, where carbon dioxide has been monitored continuously since 1958.

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Categories: Environment

Carnival Corp. Agrees To $20 Million Fine For Pollution Violations

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 2:00am

Executives with Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise line, were in court explaining why its ships continue to dump plastics and other pollutants into waters in the Caribbean and Alaska.

Categories: Environment

'A horrible way to die': how Chernobyl recreated a nuclear meltdown

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 10:00pm

From ‘painting on’ radiation sickness to making the explosion less ‘Die Hard’, the acclaimed drama has gone to great lengths to evoke the chaos and terror of the Soviet-era disaster

We were lucky to have survived the Cold War without a nuclear attack. The pop culture of that chilly era warned what the bomb would do: the crisping of the skin; the slow agony of radiation sickness; the pollution of the land; and the death of cities.

The bomb didn’t explode, but some people experienced a fragment of this horror. The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 brought explosions, radiation sickness, evacuations, contaminated earth and, finally, medals awarded and memorials erected. It was war after all – but not against the west; this was another type of nuclear enemy.

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Categories: Environment

Australian musicians band together to invest in solar farms

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 1:26pm

Exclusive: Midnight Oil, Cloud Control, Vance Joy and Regurgitator join FEAT., a new platform encouraging their industry to back sustainability

In the spring of 2017, immediately after the release of the Australian band Cloud Control’s third album, Zone, the band’s keyboard player, Heidi Lenffer, was contemplating what their upcoming tour would cost. But this time she wasn’t just thinking about the money; she was thinking about emissions. Independent bands are used to running on a shoestring budget – a carbon-conscious Lenffer wanted Cloud Control to run a more environmentally efficient operation, too.

She began asking climate scientists in the field, and connected with Dr Chris Dey from Areté Sustainability. Dey crunched the numbers for Cloud Control’s two-week tour, playing 15 clubs and theatres from Byron Bay to Perth.

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Categories: Environment
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