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The Interdependence Of Humanity And Earth

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 6:27am

We owe our existence to little photosynthetic bacteria — but there is much more to this story, as life can only mutate and adapt when the planet offers the right conditions, says Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'As close as the US gets to Egypt’s pyramids': how Chaco Canyon is endangered by drilling

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 4:00am

Irreplaceable cultural resources in New Mexico are among those areas targeted for expedited drilling – and conservationists say it’s ‘like losing pages and chapters of that history book’

In Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, it is still possible to wander the maze of rooms of an ancestral Puebloan village erected roughly 1,000 years ago.

Visitors use the same staircases and duck through the same T-shaped doorways as residents did at the time. A jigsaw puzzle of rocks form walls that stand several feet thick and multiple stories tall. Where rooftops are gone, windows now let in glimpses of sky. It’s a simultaneous experience of vast space and marvelous connection.

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Categories: Environment

Snake charmer: man held in Germany found with python in his pants

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 3:36am

Darmstadt police detained 19-year-old after a drunken row with another man and said they saw ‘significant bulge in his trousers’

A man detained by police during a drunken argument in Germany may have violated animal welfare laws after being found to be carrying a baby python in his pants.

Police in Darmstadt, in the west of the country, said he was held on Tuesday night after a loud row with another man disturbed residents. They said he was searched and officers noticed “a significant bulge in his trousers”.

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Categories: Environment

Potential Trump Adviser Suggests Climate Change Regulations Are Communist Conspiracy

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 3:03am

President Trump has tapped a former Texas regulator to be his senior adviser on environmental policy. Like a string of other controversial picks, she questions the science behind climate change.

Categories: Environment

The Past And Future Of Coal In China

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 3:03am

In China's Shanxi province, farmers grew very rich prospecting for coal. Now, China has consolidated the mines and is aggressively cutting back production, for environmental reasons.

Categories: Environment

German Greens drop car and coal policies in coalition talks with Merkel

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 2:23am

Decision to drop key issues welcomed by other negotiating parties but criticised by some supporters

Germany’s Green party has agreed to compromise on key environmental issues in talks between parties hoping to form a coalition government by the end of the year.

The party’s decision to back down on its insistence over a ban on combustion engines and the closing down of coal-fired power plants was welcomed by the other negotiating parties as paving the way for official negotiations to begin.

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Categories: Environment

The seven megatrends that could beat global warming: 'There is reason for hope'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 12:00am

Until recently the battle to avert catastrophic climate change – floods, droughts, famine, mass migrations – seemed to be lost. But with the tipping point just years away, the tide is finally turning, thanks to innovations ranging from cheap renewables to lab-grown meat and electric airplanes

‘Everybody gets paralysed by bad news because they feel helpless,” says Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the landmark Paris climate change agreement. “It is so in our personal lives, in our national lives and in our planetary life.”

But it is becoming increasingly clear that it does not need to be all bad news: a series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming. From trends already at full steam, including renewable energy, to those just now hitting the big time, such as mass-market electric cars, to those just emerging, such as plant-based alternatives to meat, these trends show that greenhouse gas emissions can be halted.

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Categories: Environment

South Australia experiences dramatic fall in energy costs after gas deal

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 11:49pm

Expert says analysis shows need for more orderly transition from fossil fuels, with more notice of closure of coal plants

South Australia’s renewables-heavy electricity market has been turned upside down, moving from importing power to exporting it, and from having some the most expensive wholesale prices in the country to having some of the cheapest.

And all that appears to be a result of one gas deal secured by a generator that was blamed by many as a major cause of a blackout in South Australia in February.

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Categories: Environment

Nearly half of all fresh potatoes thrown away daily by UK households

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 11:01pm

Figures show nearly 3 million potatoes a day are wasted, at a cost of £230m a year

Nearly half of the edible fresh potatoes bought by UK householders each day are thrown away - nearly 2.7 million of them per day, and at a “staggering” annual cost of £230m, figures show.

The humble spud is the second most wasted food in the UK, behind bread, according to new official figures released on Wednesday. The new research was offered in support of a government campaign to encourage consumers to reduce their domestic food waste.

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Categories: Environment

Rare victory for rainforests as nations vow to stop 'death by chocolate'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 10:00pm

Plans by the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast drawn up after Guardian investigation revealed links between the cocoa industry and rainforest loss

The governments of Ghana and the Ivory Coast are formulating plans to immediately put a stop to all new deforestation after a Guardian investigation found that the cocoa industry was destroying their rainforests.

The west African neighbours have been drafting new measures to rescue their remaining forests and replant degraded ones.

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Categories: Environment

One in three cars in VW emissions scandal yet to be fixed, figures show

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 5:29pm

Monthly rate of fixes of vehicles with defeat devices has fallen to 2% from a previous high of 10% earlier in the year

A third of cars manufactured by Volkswagen with devices to cheat emissions tests remain unfixed, two years after the scandal erupted.

In what was coined the “diesel dupe”, VW equipped their vehicles with defeat devices designed to realise when they were being tested so they could appear to be much less polluting than in reality.

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Categories: Environment

Shark Fin Trade Faces Troubled Waters As Global Pressure Mounts

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 3:15pm

Congress is once again considering a federal ban on shark fins, used in soup. But scientists are divided about whether a ban is the best way to protect the creatures, which are imperiled worldwide.

(Image credit: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

my first bathroom selfie with a cell phone...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 2:52pm
all ready for my angiogram in the morning...
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Weatherwatch: climate change and overfishing bring explosion of jellyfish

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 2:30pm

Warmer and more acid seas cause huge blooms of jellyfish, but scientists are working on ways to convert them into something useful

The combination of climate change and overfishing is causing a population explosion in jellyfish. Since there are fewer fish to eat them, they appear off the British coast in vast swarms. This is a threat to nuclear power stations – because they can block the intake of cooling water – and to fish farms, where thousands get caught in the netting, sometimes killing hundreds of salmon by depriving them of oxygen.

Some species are poisonous, and so caution is required when jellyfish float next to you in the sea or are stranded on beaches. Their sting can be powerful.

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Categories: Environment

WHO To Farmers: Stop Giving Your Animals So Many Antibiotics

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 12:06pm

The World Health Organization is calling for strict limits on antibiotic use in animals raised for food. The guidelines could push many countries, including the U.S., to restrict drug use on farms.

(Image credit: Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

UK government sued for third time over deadly air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 11:30am

Ministers accused of ‘stubborn failure’ to tackle widespread and illegal levels of air pollution, which cause 40,000 early deaths every year

The UK government is being sued for a third time over the widespread illegal levels of air pollution, which cause 40,000 early deaths every year.

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth have already defeated ministers twice in court, forcing a new pollution plan to be drawn up in July. But ClientEarth believes even the latest strategy does not meet the legal requirement of banishing toxic air in the “shortest possible time”, as EU law requires.

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Categories: Environment

Syria signs Paris climate agreement and leaves US isolated

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 11:06am

Syria’s decision means America will be the only country outside the landmark deal if it follows through with Donald Trump’s vow to leave

Syria has decided to sign the Paris agreement on climate change, the world’s final functioning state to do so. The surprise decision, taken amid a brutal civil war in the country, will leave the US as the only country outside the agreement if it follows through on President Donald Trump’s vow to leave.

Syria’s decision brings to 197 the number of nations signed up to the landmark 2015 pact on global warming, the first in more than 20 years of UN negotiations to bind both developed and developing countries to a clear limit on temperature rises.

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Categories: Environment

Photo of elephant and calf fleeing fire-throwing mob wins top prize

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 10:21am

Photograph taken in eastern India, titled ‘Hell is here’, shows crowd hurling flaming tar balls at animals

An arresting image showing an adult elephant and its calf fleeing a mob attack has won a top Asian wildlife photography prize.

It shows the two animals running among a crowd that has hurled flaming tar balls and crackers at them, reportedly to ward the elephants away from human settlements.

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Categories: Environment

BHP opposes Minerals Council of Australia's war on activist rights

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 10:00am

Exclusive: Miner separates itself from call for environmental groups to be restricted to using 10% of funding for advocacy

BHP has said it will not support the Minerals Council’s bid to strip environmental groups of their ability to advocate for policy change.

The surprising move comes amid increasing pressure on Australia’s biggest miner to distance itself from the Minerals Council, which has taken a hardline position against any form of credible action on climate change. The government will soon table a bill aimed at limiting the ability of any charity to use donations raised from overseas on advocacy in Australia.

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Categories: Environment

Farmers must stop antibiotics use in animals due to human health risk, warns WHO

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/11/07 - 9:26am

Overuse of antibiotics in animals is contributing to growing drug resistance in humans with serious health implications, says global health body

Farmers must be prevented from using powerful antibiotics on animals reared for food, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned, because of the serious risks to human health that result.

New guidelines from the global body suggest farmers should stop using any antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in animals that are otherwise healthy, a common practice in some parts of the world, including Asia and the US. Such routine use is banned in Europe, though campaigners fear the rules are sometimes flouted.

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Categories: Environment
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