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Farmers challenge Nationals' claim drought unrelated to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/06/06 - 1:38am

Farmers and National party voters say they are ‘increasingly frustrated’ at the lack of action on climate change

Farmers have challenged National party claims that conditions in drought-stricken regions in eastern Australia should not be politicised by attributing them to climate change.

Farmer and former Nationals leader John Anderson said this week that while the drought was the worst he had experienced, it was not unprecedented.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland ministers will be targeted if state funds roads for Adani, warn activists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 11:17pm

If Labor decides to finance infrastructure for the Carmichael mine, it would be a betrayal of trust and break a key election promise, say anti-coal protesters

Activists say they will relaunch a disruption campaign targeting Queensland government ministers and MPs after reports the government has considered financing road upgrades required for access to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine.

The ABC reports that documents, obtained under right-to-information laws by the consultancy Energy and Resource Insights, reveal ongoing discussions about upgrades to the local dirt roads.

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Categories: Environment

I climbed Everest expecting a rubbish dump but what I found surprised me | Ben Fogle

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 11:00pm

A huge clean-up is returning the world’s highest mountain to its former glory

Just over two weeks ago I was standing on the roof of the world, both figuratively and literally. I was 8,848 metres up on the summit of Mount Everest. It was the culmination of many years’ hard work, and the realisation of a childhood dream.

I have been overwhelmed by the tide of goodwill and support but one thing has become increasingly apparent. In many people’s minds, Everest has lost her crown. She has become a mountain synonymous with death, exploitation and pollution.

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Categories: Environment

'Impossible-to-cheat' emissions tests show almost all new diesels still dirty

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 10:30pm

Other new research shows diesel vehicles cause 88% of the £6bn annual damage to people’s health from car and van exhaust in the UK

Emissions tests that are impossible for carmakers to cheat show that almost all diesel car models launched in Europe since the “dieselgate” scandal remain highly polluting.

The test uses a beam of light to analyse the exhaust plume of a car as it passes and automatic number plate recognition to link the measurement to a specific model. More than 370,000 such measurements taken in the UK, France and other countries have been compiled into new rating system called The Real Urban Emissions Initiative (True) and made available to the public on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

Lava Claims 'Hundreds' More Homes On Hawaii's Big Island, Officials Say

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 5:20pm

Lava from Kilauea volcano has filled Kapoho Bay and inundated a section of coastline that was once covered with lush forest and dotted by homes.

(Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

Categories: Environment

Coles and Woolworths’ plastic bag ban and the choices that remain

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 4:00pm

What is and isn’t being phased out? And how effective will the new policy be?

By the end of June, most of Australia’s major supermarkets will have stopped handing out single-use plastic bags.

Woolworths, Coles, and the Queensland and Western Australian governments are all phasing out lightweight shopping bags, potentially preventing billions of bags from finding their way into landfill or oceans.

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Categories: Environment

Pumped hydro projects unveiled as Tasmania bids to be 'battery of the nation'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 3:22pm

State and federal governments to confirm that 14 lake sites have been earmarked

Pumped hydro projects generating energy at twice the scale of the much-vaunted Snowy 2.0 scheme will be identified across Tasmania on Wednesday, with modelling suggesting the proposal could deliver thousands of jobs between now and 2028.

The Turnbull and Hodgman governments will confirm that 14 pumped hydro sites have been earmarked across the state with a combined potential generation capacity of up to 4,800 megawatts.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 3:16pm
Been doing a lot of baking with the solar oven this year so I thought I would freshen up the outside with a new skin.  Discovered the excessive heat has taken quite a toll on the insides - even through a layer of sheet metal (this charred piece was the bottom of the oven).  As bad as it was, the good news is the flash point of wood is 572° so it's doubtful the oven would have ever gone up in flames (although that would certainly make for a good video).  Getting parts and extra insulation tomorrow so I can start baking again by the weekend.   Just ordered aluminum plate and ceramic insulation for the smaller solar ovens I will be selling soon.  100,108,71,0,B  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Kakadu uranium mine closure planning ignores impact on Jabiru township

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 3:00pm

Ranger mine, which ceases operations in 2021, releases plan for rehabilitation, but fails to mention town of 1,000

Operators of a controversial uranium mine inside Kakadu national park have released their plans to close it, but make no mention of how the shutdown will affect the nearby town that has relied on the mine for its survival.

The Ranger mine, which in its more than 30-year existence has had a number contamination and fire incidents, including one that prompted a six-month shutdown, will stop operations by January 2021 and close by January 2026.

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Categories: Environment

Iran launches plan to bolster uranium enrichment

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 12:12pm

Move piles pressure on European states scrambling to salvage nuclear deal

Iran has launched a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity with new centrifuges, raising the pressure on European diplomats scrambling to rescue the crumbling nuclear deal after the US pulled out.

“If conditions allow, maybe tomorrow night at Natanz [plant], we can announce the opening of the centre for production of new centrifuges,” said the vice-president, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, according to conservative news agency Fars on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Heathrow's third runway gets go-ahead from Chris Grayling

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 12:06pm

Tory splits mean government may have to rely on Labour and SNP to win parliamentary vote

The government has finally given the green light to the plan to build a third runway at Heathrow after years of delays and opposition from campaigners.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, told MPs the announcement represented a “historic moment” that showed ministers had a clear vision to build “a Britain fit for the future”. Critics claim it will damage the environment and could end up costing the taxpayer billions.

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Categories: Environment

Heathrow's third runway: the crucial battlegrounds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 10:19am

The plan to expand Heathrow still faces hurdles, including environmental impacts and whether the sums add up

Heathrow has long argued it is in effect full, with the number of flights capped on its two runways. Its contention is that only a major hub airport, with connecting flights adding passengers from around Britain, can sustain the long-haul route network that an island nation requires, particularly in regards to trade with emerging markets and the post-Brexit environment. It is a point of view shared by many business leaders and the Department for Transport. Most international airlines want to fly to Heathrow rather than other London airports, and most cargo goes the same way.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on Heathrow expansion: better never than so late | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 10:07am
A third runway at Heathrow airport is ultimately indefensible on environmental grounds

The decision to go ahead with the third runway at Heathrow was taken two years ago; Chris Grayling’s confirmation yesterday marked the point when it seemed to its promoters that enough of the opposition on the ground had been defeated, so it was safe to proceed with a final vote in three weeks’ time. If that is won, and all goes according to plan, the bulldozers will go in around 2021, when the inevitable cycle of cost overruns and slipping deadlines can begin, 31 years after the project was first mooted. By then the UK may be two years into a lengthy “transitional” post-Brexit period, and the bright economic forecasts which are used to justify the plan may be no more use than hot air balloons.

There is a case that air travel has made life better for many people and that more of it would continue to do so. Nearly two-thirds of Heathrow’s present traffic is leisure flying. Mass tourism has boosted the economy of many countries and greatly enlarged our experience of the world, and perhaps our sympathies as well. However unpleasant the experience of a modern airport can be, through which we are run like rats in a maze of shopping malls and security checks, it still seems better to many of us than being trapped in our own countries all year round. Heathrow as it stands today is an unimposing portal to Britain. Failing to expand it is simply sabotaging the country. Beyond that, the country is dependent, like all others, on air freight. So the plans for expansion are in some ways well motivated. We can even overlook the fact that they are promoted by Mr Grayling, a man notoriously unable to make even trains run on time.

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Categories: Environment

India will abolish all single-use plastic by 2022, vows Narendra Modi

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 9:57am

Country will also introduce a campaign against marine litter and a pledge to make 100 national monuments litter-free

India will eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, has announced.

The pledge is the most ambitious yet of the global actions to combat plastic pollution that are taking place in 60 nations around the world. Modi’s move aims to drastically stem the flow of plastic from the 1.3 billion people living in the fastest growing economy in the world.

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Categories: Environment

Can't Stand The Heat? Tell Us How You're Coping With Rising Temperatures

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 8:51am

Have hotter days (and nights) changed your daily routines or long-term plans? Has your business had to adapt to higher temperatures?

(Image credit: Matt York/AP)

Categories: Environment

Is Heathrow's third runway really going to happen?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 5:55am

Government has given the green light, but there are still many more potential obstacles

The cabinet has endorsed as official policy a revised national policy statement on aviation, whose key point is to enable Heathrow expansion, specifically a third runway to the north-west of the existing airport. A wider vote will now take place within 21 sitting days in parliament, or by 10 July.

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Categories: Environment

Day Zero: how Cape Town stopped the taps running dry – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 5:28am

Early this year, the South African government announced that Day Zero was looming – a moment, after three years of unprecedented drought, when dam levels would be so low that taps would be turned off and people would have to fetch water at communal collection points.

After taking remedial measures, Capetonians managed to push back the date of Day Zero until next year. We visited the city to find out how the threat of an apocalyptic disaster has changed lives

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Categories: Environment

Families around the world join war on plastic - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 3:24am

To celebrate World Environment day, Reuters photographers met people from Athens to Singapore trying to play their part as the war on plastics becomes a key political topic

Eight million tonnes of plastic - bottles, packaging and other waste - are dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, the United Nations Environment Program said in December.

While governments and retailers started clamping down on plastic bags through bans and small fees more than a decade ago, the focus has now increasingly turned to eradicating throwaway items such as straws and takeaway food and drink packaging.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's large fish species declined 30% in past decade, study says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/06/05 - 12:26am

Call for fisheries changes after study says excessive fishing mostly to blame

The number of large fish species in Australian waters has declined by 30% in the past decade, mostly due to excessive fishing, a new study says.

Marine ecology experts are calling for changes to fisheries management after publication of the study by scientists from the University of Tasmania and the University of Technology (UTS), Sydney.

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Categories: Environment

Coral decline in Great Barrier Reef 'unprecedented'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/04 - 11:08pm

Reef monitoring program shows northern section has lost half of its coral cover

A steep decline in coral cover right across the Great Barrier Reef is a phenomenon that “has not been observed in the historical record”, a new report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science says.

The institute, Australia’s government-backed marine research agency, periodically releases results of a long-term reef monitoring program. Each reef along the Queensland coast is visited by researchers every two years to assess its condition and coral cover.

The latest results, released on Tuesday, detail how major bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 have impacted on different sections of the reef. AIMS said it had no previous record of bleaching events occurring in successive years.

“Over the 30-plus years of monitoring by AIMS, Great Barrier Reef reefs have shown their ability to recover after disturbances, but such ‘resilience’ clearly has limits,” the report says.

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Categories: Environment
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