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Monarch butterflies may be thriving after years of decline. Is it a comeback?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/11/21 - 4:00am

The North American species is seeing an exponential increase in California, but the population is far short of normal

On a recent November morning, more than 20,000 western monarch butterflies clustered in a grove of eucalyptus, coating the swaying trees like orange lace. Each year up to 30% of the butterfly’s population meets here in Pismo Beach, California, as the insects migrate thousands of miles west for the winter.

Just a year ago, this vibrant spectacle had all but disappeared. The monarch population has plummeted in recent years, as the vibrant invertebrates struggled to adapt to habitat loss, climate crisis, and harmful pesticide-use across their western range.

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Categories: Environment

Indigenous community evicted as land clashes over agribusiness rock Paraguay

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/11/21 - 3:30am

Police in riot gear tore down a community’s homes and ripped up crops, highlighting the country’s highly unequal land ownership

Armed police with water cannons and a low-flying helicopter have faced off against indigenous villagers brandishing sticks and bows in the latest clash over land rights in Paraguay, a country with one of the highest inequalities of land ownership in the world.

Videos of Thursday’s confrontation showed officers in riot armour jostling members of the Hugua Po’i community – including children and elderly people – out of their homes and into torrential rain.

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Categories: Environment

Hope on two wheels: plan to turn section of A12 into cycle park

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/11/21 - 3:30am

Campaigners are pushing for a redundant 2½-mile stretch of dual carriageway in Essex to become a country park with cycling facilities

There has been traffic here for millennia, from the Roman legionaries who marched from Londinium to Camulodunum to the speedsters who now reportedly race against police cars at night. But part of the A12 in north-east Essex may finally find some peace if plans to transform a 2½-mile stretch into a country park come to fruition.

Work is due to start in 2027 on a bypass between the villages of Marks Tey and Kelvedon, west of Colchester, creating a six-lane road linking Ipswich and Harwich to London. Campaigners say the old four-lane road should be rewilded, as happened with a segment of the A2 near Gravesend, which became a Cyclopark in 2012. That site is now used by Olympic gold medallists Beth Shriever – also BMX world champion – and mountain biker Tom Pidcock.

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Categories: Environment

Climate denial is waning on the right. What’s replacing it might be just as scary

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/11/21 - 12:00am

The wrapping of ecological disaster with fears of rampant immigration is a narrative that has flourished in far-right fringe movements in Europe and the US

Standing in front of the partial ruins of Rome’s Colosseum, Boris Johnson explained that a motive to tackle the climate crisis could be found in the fall of the Roman empire. Then, as now, he argued, the collapse of civilization hinged on the weakness of its borders.

“When the Roman empire fell, it was largely as a result of uncontrolled immigration – the empire could no longer control its borders, people came in from the east and all over the place,” the British prime minister said in an interview on the eve of crucial UN climate talks in Scotland. Civilization can go into reverse as well as forwards, as Johnson told it, with Rome’s fate offering grave warning as to what could happen if global heating is not restrained.

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Categories: Environment

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 4:34pm

The worst side effect of COVID-19 is that it makes stupid people stupider and ordinary people stupid.  Some Proof that COVID-19 Makes People Stupid includes:

  1. Tens of millions are ignoring scientists and not wearing their masks.
  2. Millions of Americans think not wearing a mask to the grocery store is the same as Rosa Parks not sitting down on the bus.
  3. Tens of millions of Americans listened to a complete imbecile Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) instead of scientists.
  4. Millions of morons refuse to get vaccinated
  5. There are new conservative channels for dummies because Fox News was not stupid enough for some people.
  6. The Republican Party has abandoned the concept of reality.
  7. Vast numbers of people cannot figure out how to wear a mask. What’s so hard about covering your nose people? Remember, you breath through it.
  8. Conservative and Republican leaders are holding superspreader events so COVID-19 will kill their followers off faster.
  9. Congressional Republicans are not smart enough to reject the idiot who incited the lynch mob that almost killed them.
  10. Republicans think they can win elections by telling voters the election is rigged against them.
  11. Tens of millions of people are trying to bake bread at a times when the average supermarket has dozens of varieties of great bread for sale for under $5 a loaf.
  12. Many members of Congress are not smart enough to see that making cash payments and raising the minimum wage attracts votes.

So yes folks, coronavirus is making us stupider. Unfortunately, there is no vaccination against stupidity yet. On the positive side, COVID-19 could make humanity smarter by killing off millions of stupid people.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Climate protesters block London bridges after activists jailed

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 2:29pm

Traffic on Lambeth and Vauxhall bridges stopped in rally against jailing of Insulate Britain members

Police have arrested 30 climate activists after a major bridge in central London was blocked by a sit-down protest.

The arrests on Lambeth Bridge came after Public Order Act conditions were imposed on the protest, which had been held in support of nine Insulate Britain campaigners who were jailed this week.

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Categories: Environment

Biden mulls new protections for sage grouse in effort to reverse Trump rules

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 10:05am

Proposed regulations come after decades of loosening protections as bird loses grassland habitat across western US

The Biden administration is considering new protections for the greater sage grouse, a bird known for the strutting and puffed-up courtship displays of males, that is losing grassland habitat across the western US to climate change and pressure from industrial development.

The sage grouse, known also for a bubbling sound during courtship, is fast-becoming emblematic of Biden’s efforts to reverse Trump-era relaxations of environmental protections across vast swaths of public federal lands across the region.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change is making it harder to provide clean drinking water in farm country

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 6:50am

The largest water utility in Iowa is sounding alarms that it won't be able to keep up with cleaning the water for more than 600,000 customers as extreme weather swings become more common.

(Image credit: Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio)

Categories: Environment

Climate change is making it harder to provide clean drinking water in farm country

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 6:50am

The largest water utility in Iowa is sounding alarms that it won't be able to keep up with cleaning the water for more than 600,000 customers as extreme weather swings become more common.

Categories: Environment

Intense wildfires have killed up to 1/5 of the earth's largest trees

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 6:50am

Recent wildfires in California have highlighted the fragility of giant sequoias. The National Park Service says many were killed or badly hurt earlier this year during a blaze.

Categories: Environment

‘Heal the past’: first Native American confirmed to oversee national parks

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 4:00am

The confirmation of Charles F Sams III marks a symbolic moment for many Indigenous communities

Charles “Chuck” F Sams III made history this week in becoming the first-ever Native American confirmed to lead the National Park Service.

Sams, an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, received unanimous consent by the US Senate on Thursday after being nominated by Joe Biden in August.

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Categories: Environment

Farmers tempt endangered cranes back – by growing their favourite food

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 2:00am

In Cambodia’s fertile Mekong delta, rice farmers are switching to the varieties loved by the world’s tallest flying bird to help stop its decline

“Several years ago, I counted more than 300 cranes in the wetlands near my rice field,” says farmer Khean Khoay, as he reminisces about the regal-looking eastern sarus crane. Khoay’s village, Koh Chamkar in Kampot province, lies on the outskirts of the Anlung Pring protected landscape in south-west Cambodia, in the fertile and biodiverse Mekong delta.

The region has been enriched by centuries of silt deposited by the Mekong, the longest river in south-east Asia and a lifeline for millions who depend on its resources. But as more and more land is converted for agriculture and aquaculture, and the impacts of the climate crisis, such as erosion and saltwater intrusion, are felt, the area’s wildlife has become increasingly threatened.

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Categories: Environment

Single-use plastic plates and cutlery could be banned in England

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 1:25am

Ministers launch public consultation and will also investigate limiting wet wipes, tobacco filters and sachets

Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups could be banned in England as the government seeks to eliminate plastic waste.

Under proposals in a 12-week public consultation, businesses and consumers will need to move towards more sustainable alternatives.

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Categories: Environment

Toxic waters devastated Pacific Coast fisheries. But who’s to blame?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/11/20 - 1:00am

Union leaders say fossil fuel companies must pay for rising ocean temperatures. Not all boat captains are persuaded

Dick Ogg, a silver-haired former electrician who switched to making his living catching crabs two decades ago, is a staunch supporter of the union representing fishing boat captains along America’s western seaboard.

But when he heard that the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations was suing some of the world’s largest oil companies for causing the climate crisis, Ogg took stock of the barrels of diesel oil stacked on his vessel, the 54-foot Karen Jeanne, and wondered if the litigation was not only a mistake but hypocritical.

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Categories: Environment

part fourteen

The Field Lab - Fri, 2021/11/19 - 3:26pm
64,72,39,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Amazon deforestation in Brazil hits its worst level in 15 years

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/11/19 - 1:04pm

Deforestation in the region rose 22% compared to the year prior, according to data released just days after Brazil made new global promises to combat environmental degradation.

(Image credit: Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Ocean scientists call for global tracking of oxygen loss that causes dead zones

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/19 - 12:00pm

Scientists from six continents say a monitoring system could help protect coral reefs and fisheries around the world

A team of ocean scientists from six continents have made an urgent call for a global system to track the loss of oxygen from parts of the ocean and coastal waters that causes dead zones, where almost nothing can live.

Ocean heating caused largely by burning fossil fuels is making the problem worse, experts say, with serious consequences for communities, fisheries and ecosystems around the world.

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Categories: Environment

We Morris drivers are on board with renewables | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/19 - 10:09am

Owning a classic car doesn’t make you a little Englander or a climate change denier, writes Ian Allen

Martin Rowson’s insertion of a Morris Traveller into a fossil fuel nightmare scene sparked my interest (Political cartoon, 12 November). Nostalgia is a powerful thing, but it is clearly recognised that it is about the past. The ownership of a classic car of any sort is primarily about past memories, family, holidays and a love of simpler technologies.

It is not emblematic of a wish to reintroduce societal inequalities or to endorse a little Englander mentality. Most owners would recognise that the use of a Minor on a high mileage basis is definitely over, and some have already adopted plug-in electric as everyday transport. I am certain that most would support an economy that had repair and viable reuse at the core. Give us a break, Martin!
Ian Allen
Ely, Cambridgeshire

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Categories: Environment

Boiling of live lobsters could be banned in UK under proposed legislation

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/19 - 9:11am

Government-commissioned report finds crustaceans have feelings

Boiling lobsters alive could be banned if ministers act on a government-commissioned report that has found crustaceans have feelings.

The study, conducted by experts from the London School of Economics (LSE) concluded there was “strong scientific evidence decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs are sentient”.

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Categories: Environment

Dozens of academics shun Science Museum over fossil fuel ties

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/19 - 8:22am

Pressure mounts over museum’s sponsorship deals as open letter expresses ‘deep concern’

More than 40 senior academics and scientists have vowed not to work with the Science Museum as the row over its financial relationship with fossil fuel corporations escalates.

In an open letter, prominent figures including a former chair of the UN’s climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and several leading scientists, many of whom have worked closely with the museum in the past, say they are “deeply concerned” about its fossil fuel sponsorship deals and they are severing ties with the museum until a moratorium is announced.

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Categories: Environment
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