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Queensland government workers exposed to 'gene-altering' chemical

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Medical experts say exposure to toxic fumigant EDB in fruit fly eradication program ‘likely’ to have caused illnesses
• How Queensland government workers paid the price for fruit fly eradication

Queensland government biosecurity workers were exposed to a carcinogenic and gene-altering chemical for an extended period, including for six months after its use was banned amid health and safety concerns.

A leading occupational medical expert says that workers’ exposure to the highly toxic fumigant ethylene dibromide (EDB) in the mid-1990s was “more likely than not” the cause of debilitating and serious illnesses suffered over two decades.

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear power doesn't stack up without a carbon price, industry group says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 11:00am

Nuclear could provide cheap energy but would only be competitive with gas and coal if carbon pollution is priced, nuclear association says

Australia would need to adopt a carbon price for nuclear power to be economically viable, a peak lobby group for the sector says, as it welcomes a push by the Nationals for a fresh Senate inquiry into the idea.

The Australian Nuclear Association, which advocates for nuclear science and technology, said nuclear power could provide cheap, reliable, carbon-free energy in Australia, but it would only be cost competitive with gas and coal generation if pollution was priced.

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 10:04am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Climate crisis seriously damaging human health, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 9:57am

National academies say effects include spread of diseases and worse mental health

A report by experts from 27 national science academies has set out the widespread damage global heating is already causing to people’s health and the increasingly serious impacts expected in future.

Scorching heatwaves and floods will claim more victims as extreme weather increases but there are serious indirect effects too, from spreading mosquito-borne diseases to worsening mental health.

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Categories: Environment

'Underland' Connects Us To Dazzling Worlds Beneath Our Feet

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 6:52am

The beauty of Robert Macfarlane's writing, and of the natural world it describes, is immense. His words also act as a warning, ensuring a recognition of human harms to the environment.

(Image credit: W.W.Norton & Co. )

Categories: Environment

'So much land under so much water': extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 11:00pm

As relentless rain wreaks havoc in the farm belt, many struggle to cope

Even with half of the houses on her street underwater, Dina Barker looked at the numbers and calculated that it was worth holding out.

The rate at which water was pouring out of the rain-swollen Keystone dam less than 10 miles up the Arkansas River had been enough to submerge most of Barker’s neighbourhood in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, last week. But her house sits on a small rise just feet from the pop-up lake that rose in hours as the surging river broke the town’s flood walls.

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Categories: Environment

Pensions must do right thing on climate crisis, says minister

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 10:01pm

Call for support for schemes moving people’s money from fossil fuels into renewables

Pension schemes should be supported for moving people’s money out of fossil fuels and into renewables because the financial risks from the climate crisis are “too important to ignore”, a government minister will say on Monday.

The pensions minister, Guy Opperman, is due to tell a conference that pension and investment managers must “do the right thing” and take their environmental and social responsibilities seriously to help combat the climate emergency.

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Categories: Environment

'They are amazed': New York City sees extraordinary leap in whale sightings

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 10:00pm

A total of 272 whales were spotted last year, compared with five in 2011, thanks to legislation mopping up pollution, experts say

For most New Yorkers, wildlife spotting is confined to squirrels, the odd raccoon and anguished encounters with rats. But in the waters surrounding the city a very different animal experience is quietly booming: sightings of whales.

A total of 272 whales were spotted in New York City waters last year, according to the citizen science group Gotham Whale. That is an extraordinary leap from 2011, when just five of the huge cetaceans were witnessed frolicking near the most populated urban area in the US.

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Categories: Environment

We must mobilise for the climate emergency like we do in wartime. Where is the climate minister? | Ian Dunlop and David Spratt

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 5:59pm

Unfortunately, much scientific knowledge produced for climate policymaking is conservative and reticent

The second Morrison ministry contains no one with nominal responsibility for “climate” in any sense, despite the fact that it is the greatest threat facing the country. Angus Taylor, who spent much of his pre-parliamentary career fighting windfarms, claiming repeatedly that there is “too much wind and solar” in the system, is now minister for energy and emissions reduction. No mention of climate here, despite the fact that climate is what it is all about, or should be.

Sussan Ley has been made the environment minister, but more intriguing, David Littleproud is minister for water resources, drought, rural finance, natural disaster and emergency management. Let’s take another look at this: water (or lack thereof) … drought … disaster … emergency management.

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Categories: Environment

temptation...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 1:00pm
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

To Some Solar Users, Power Company Fees Are An Unfair Charge

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 6:01am

Alabama has some of highest solar fees in the U.S. and critics say it's hurting solar customers. It's one of several states where utilities are proposing or raising fees for homes with rooftop solar.

(Image credit: Julia Simon for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Mapping For Future Floods

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 5:22am

The flood risk maps put out by the federal government are notoriously outdated. Many elected officials have suggested fixing the problem by prioritizing funding for a mapping technology called LiDAR.

Categories: Environment

Candidate to run global food body will 'not defend' EU stance on GM

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 3:57am

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle tells US she would be more open to its interests in UN role

Europe’s candidate to run the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which guides policymakers around the world, has promised the US she will “not defend the EU position” in resisting the global spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In a bid for US support, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle told senior US officials at a meeting in Washington on 15 May that under her leadership the FAO would be more open to American interests and accepting of GMOs and gene editing, according to a US official record of the meeting seen by the Guardian.

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Categories: Environment

A 99, sprinkles and no diesel: here come the electric ice-cream vans…

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 12:00am

Battery equipment that can make 600 cones an hour being trialled as concerns over diesel pollution rise

The Mr Whippys of Britain have not had the best start to the year. Ice-cream vans have been facing mounting criticism after campaign groups and parents complained they were delivering their vanilla cones and 99s with a topping of diesel fumes.

This weekend, however, they are savouring a double helping of good news: not only have temperatures been soaring, helping to boost custom up and down the country, but an all-new, non-polluting electric ice-cream van may be about to hit the roads.

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Categories: Environment

Scotch on the rocks: distilleries fear climate crisis will endanger whisky production

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/01 - 11:00pm

Scotland’s whisky-makers reveal they had to halt production in 2018 heatwave because they ran out of water

Scotland’s nature conservation agency last week painted an apocalyptic vision of a country devastated by the climate crisis, from polluted rivers to eroded peatlands and forests devoid of birds. Now comes a warning about another part of Scottish culture which could, it is feared, also be hit by global heating: whisky.

Scottish distilleries have revealed that during last year’s blistering heatwave, they had to halt production because they ran out of water. In a summer marked by high temperatures and little rainfall, water levels in springs and rivers fell so low that in the Scottish Highlands some whisky makers missed up to a month’s production.

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Categories: Environment

Germany’s love of fast cars runs into the barricades in Berlin

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/01 - 11:00pm
New road that requires demolition of homes and cultural spaces stirs fury in country where Greens recently surged in polls

The cement mixer, decorated with disco ball glass, shimmered in the late afternoon sunlight, rotating gently as ravers danced at the foot of a Berlin bridge. Almost a thousand people showed up last weekend for what looked like an impromptu dance party but was actually a protest designed to draw attention to a €560m German government plan to plough a motorway through three Berlin city neighbourhoods.

Despite the fact that German voters last week elevated the Green party to second place in the European parliamentary elections, the country’s Social Democrats and Christian Democrat politicians are moving ahead with plans to erect a six-lane highway that would require the demolition of several popular cultural spaces, nightlife venues and apartment blocks, plus part of a park.

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Categories: Environment

new doves update...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2019/06/01 - 1:21pm
All feathered out now...ready to leave the nest in about a week.85,99,71,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Save the polar bears, of course … but it’s the solenodons we really need to worry about

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/01 - 5:48am

Helping the critically endangered mammal is vital because it’s the last survivor on its branch of the evolutionary tree

Solenodons are some of Earth’s strangest creatures. Venomous, nocturnal and insectivorous, they secrete toxins through their front teeth – an unusual habit for a mammal. More to the point, the planet’s two remaining species – the Cuban and the Hispaniolan solenodon, both highly endangered – have endured, virtually unchanged, for the past 76 million years. Other related species have become extinct.

And that makes solenodons very important, according to Professor Sam Turvey, of the Zoological Society of London. “They are the last fruits on an entire branch of the tree of evolution,” said Turvey, who was last month awarded one of the most prestigious awards in zoology, the Linnean medal, for his work on evolution and human impacts on wildlife. “There are no close counterparts to solenodons left on Earth, yet they have been on the planet since the time of the dinosaurs.”

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Categories: Environment

No Move To Tighten Building Codes As Hurricane Season Starts In Florida

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/06/01 - 5:48am

Last year, Hurricane Michael shredded thousands of houses in Panama City, Fla., and surrounding areas that have long had some of Florida's weakest building codes.

(Image credit: William Widmer for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Extreme weather in the US: tornadoes, floods and snow – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/01 - 3:00am

Severe weather has spawned multiple tornadoes, flooding and even snow across America’s Midwest and Northeast

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Categories: Environment
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