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Birds, fluorescent frogs and Tasmania's glowing sea – green news roundup

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 8:02am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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Categories: Environment

Peru floods kill 67 and spark criticism of country's climate change preparedness

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 7:57am

Devastating downpour, caused by high ocean temperatures, could not have been predicted, president said, months after state of emergency declared for wildfires

Sixty-seven people have been killed and thousands more forced to evacuate by intense rains which damaged 115,000 homes and destroyed more than 100 bridges in Peru’s worst floods in recent memory.

“We are confronting a serious climatic problem,” said Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in a broadcast to the nation on Friday afternoon. “There hasn’t been an incident of this strength along the coast of Peru since 1998.”

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Categories: Environment

CO2 emissions stay same for third year in row – despite global economy growing

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 7:25am

International Energy Agency report puts halt in emissions from energy down to growth in renewable power

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy have not increased for three years in a row even as the global economy grew, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Global emissions from the energy sector were 32.1bn tonnes in 2016, the same as the previous two years, while the economy grew 3.1%, the organisation said.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 7:00am

Nesting bald eagles, Adélie penguins and a newly hatched Komodo dragon are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Japanese government held liable for first time for negligence in Fukushima

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 3:25am

Court rules government should have used regulatory powers to force nuclear plant’s operator to take preventive measures

A court in Japan has ruled that negligence by the state contributed to the triple meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 and awarded significant damages to evacuees.

Although courts have awarded damages arising from the disaster in other cases, Friday’s ruling is the first time the government has been held liable.

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Categories: Environment

California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 1:46am

A rainy winter has brought an early spring to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Southern California. Wildflowers are in bloom. How can seeds survive years of drought and then put on such a display?

(Image credit: Nina Gregory/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Plant thought extinct for 200 years sparks legal action against Sydney development

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 12:33am

New South Wales environmental defenders office takes action against developers of freight terminal after the shrub hibbertia fumana found on site

A newly rediscovered rare plant – thought to have become extinct almost 200 years ago – has sparked a legal action in Sydney’s west against a development that threatens the flower’s only known location.

About 370 specimens of Hibbertia fumana – a small flowering shrub endemic to Sydney – were found on the grounds of the proposed 83-hectare Simta Moorebank transport hub late last year.

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Categories: Environment

Kakadu aerial cull kills more than 6,000 horses, buffalo and pigs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 11:48pm

Number of feral animals in Australia’s largest national park has risen to more than 30,000, manager says

More than 6,000 wild horses, buffalo, pigs and donkeys have been killed in Kakadu national park as part of a new feral animal management plan negotiated with traditional owners.

The cull, conducted by helicopter shooters over 24 days, destroyed 3,654 horses, 1,965 buffalo, 294 pigs and a small number of donkeys.

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Categories: Environment

Tasmanian government defends reversing moratorium on logging old growth forests

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 10:52pm

Bill passes house in middle of night in tumultuous day which sees Labor opposition leader replaced just hours after announcing retirement

The Tasmanian government is defending a controversial plan to to reverse a moratorium on logging old growth forests, despite the forestry industry warning it risks damaging the Tasmanian brand and undermining attempts at sustainable forestry certification.

The Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill 2017 passed the lower house of the Tasmanian parliament at 3.30am on Friday, following a 12-hour debate.

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Categories: Environment

Dabchick antics enliven a futile vole quest

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 10:30pm

Cromford, Derbyshire The towpath is popular with Derbyshire folk making their version of the passeggiata, often with dogs, and the water vole is easily spooked

William Jessop was a generous man, always ready to give a fellow engineer a leg up. Building the Cromford canal, in the Derbyshire Dales, he hired Benjamin Outram, the son of a local investor, as his assistant. Their great work terminates at Cromford Wharf, once a harbinger of the industrial revolution, now dozing in the evening sunshine, its crumbling stonework the colour of honey.

The northern section of the canal, five miles from the wharf to Ambergate, is a site of special scientific interest, noted for being a last redoubt for water voles, a change of use I doubt Jessop could have foreseen.

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Categories: Environment

Ian Chappell stands by Adani mine letter despite being called 'elitist' by Coalition MP

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 10:04pm

Adani ‘categorically’ rejects letter signed by 91 prominent Australians as protesters confront Queensland premier during tour of Adani’s Indian HQ

Cricket great Ian Chappell has stood by his opposition to the Adani mine proposal as part of a group of prominent Australians branded “elitist wankers” by a federal government MP and “a very small group of misled people” by the Indian miner.

Chappell said it was “worthwhile” if joining his brother Greg in an open letter calling on the Indian miner to abandon its coal plan thrust the issue into the public spotlight in its cricket-loving homeland.

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Categories: Environment

Seawater could provide the solution to South Australia's power woes

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 8:48pm

The state lacks the rainfall, rivers and mountains to run a conventional hydro system, but the ocean could step in

The federal government has announced a $2 billion plan to expand the iconic Snowy Hydro scheme. It will carry out a feasibility study into the idea of adding “pumped hydro” storage capacity, which it says could power up to 500,000 homes.

Hydro is one of the oldest and most mature electricity generation technologies. And pumped hydro storage – in which water is pumped uphill for later use, rather than simply flowing downriver through a hydro power station – is the dominant form of energy storage globally.

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Categories: Environment

Body of Ryan Teasdale, 11, found after he went missing in NSW floods

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 6:24pm

Boy’s body recovered from creek bed after he was sucked into a storm water drain in an Unanderra park while riding a bodyboard

The body of an 11-year-old boy who was sucked into a storm water drain in the New South Wales Illawarra region has been recovered in a nearby creek bed.

Ryan Teasdale was last seen riding a bodyboard with his brother and friends in Riley Park in Unanderra on Thursday afternoon as torrential rain swept through the area. His brother raised the alarm about 4.30pm when he couldn’t find him.

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Categories: Environment

Barnaby Joyce says states should follow South Australia on coal seam gas

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 6:21pm

Deputy prime minister wants bans lifted on exploration and development, and royalties paid to landholders

The Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce, has called for states to lift the bans on coal seam gas and has urged them to follow South Australia’s plan to pay royalties as compensation to landholders.

The deputy prime minister, who is also the minister for agriculture, said lifting the gas bans should not occur on a carte blanche basis because of the need to protect prime agricultural land and productive aquifers. However, he did not say how prime agricultural land should be defined.

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Categories: Environment

White House calls climate change funding 'a waste of your money' – video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 5:46pm

The administration has unveiled President Donald Trump’s first budget, including a proposed 31% cut in funding to the Environmental Protection Agency. The cuts would remove funding for the Clean Power Plan and scrap all climate change research programs and partnerships. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney confirmed on Thursday that the new administration had no interest in funding to combat climate change, saying: ‘We’re not spending money on that any more. We consider that to be a waste of your money’

• Budget would gut EPA programs tackling climate change and pollution

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Categories: Environment

Haddock from UK waters removed from sustainable seafood list

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 5:01pm

MCS takes some haddock fisheries off green list – but Scottish fishermen accuse it of ‘dressing advocacy up as science’

It is among the most popular fish in the UK, but haddock may soon be off the menu in some fish and chip shops because of dwindling stocks.

Haddock from three North Sea and west of Scotland fisheries have been removed from the Marine Conservation Society recommended “green” list of fish to eat, after stocks fell below the acceptable levels in 2016.

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Categories: Environment

How an Indigenous renewable energy alliance aims to cut power costs and disadvantage

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 3:53pm

First Nations lobby group will support remote communities looking to make transition – and tackle climate change

Like so many of the Indigenous communities dotted across the Australian continent, the remote communities in north-west New South Wales are struggling. “These are not happy places,” says the Euahlayi elder Ghillar Michael Anderson.

Many of the 300 or so residents of Anderson’s hometown of Goodooga rely on welfare, he says. Exorbitant electricity bills – up to $3,000 a quarter for some households – further exacerbate the poverty. “We’re always at the end of the power line, so the service that is there is quite extraordinary in terms of cost.”

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Categories: Environment

A New Zealand River Now Has The Legal Rights Of A Human

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 3:09pm

Lawmakers granted the Whanganui River the rights of legal representation on Wednesday. The vote caps over a century of struggle by the local Maori people, who see the waterway as a sacred ancestor.

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

bigger is better...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 3:05pm

Fought with the revamped solar fryer for a couple of hours.  Figured out why I abandoned the project 7 years ago - just not enough surface area.  The goal all along has been to cook a batch of Jiffypop with it.  Let's face it - Jiffypop is a show in itself and cooking it with solar is a win-win.  Just not enough sun bouncing back to create enough heat to pop...the oil needs to be 450° for the magic to happen.  Cashed in some Chupa mug bucks on paypal for a dish with roughly double the surface area.  Also ordered another 200 one inch mirrors as it will take about 600 to cover the bigger dish.  That video will have to wait a week or two.  87,91,48,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Hazelwood transition deal gives my wife and me a future in our hometown | Mark Richards

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 2:54pm

It’s not only 150 workers and their families who will benefit from the transfer scheme in the Latrobe Valley – small businesses will also reap the benefits

I was thrown a lifeline last Friday. Along with at least 150 of my work colleagues, and hopefully many more, I will be given the opportunity to continue to work in the Latrobe Valley power industry, despite the closure of the Hazelwood power station, my workplace of the last 28 years.

The closure of Hazelwood was announced in early November for the end of March and my redundancy effective at 7am on April Fools Day (seriously). The 750 or so workers all knew that Hazelwood was one of the oldest and certainly the most emissions-intensive power station in Australia. We knew it was going to close. But in the last few years the owners had been employing new young people, and they had been told that the jobs would last until at least 2025 in their interviews.

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Categories: Environment
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