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The Field Lab - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 5:14pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Gen X has survived its gloomy formative years. Now we will have to deal with climate change | Jason Wilson

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 5:08pm

The baby boomers gave us Trump and Brexit. Can my generation age more gracefully?

Generational politics is bullshit, but a Gen X guy would say that. I sometimes wonder, though, whether whatever is distinctive in my generation’s experience (and haunting our minds) might have something to offer the future.

After a brief flurry of interest in the 1990s, thinkpieces on my demographic quickly waned. There were never that many of us; the meat in the sandwich was and is meagre.

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Categories: Environment

Ban gas boilers in new homes by 2025, says Committee on Climate Change

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 5:01pm

Government advisers suggest homes are heated using low-carbon energy instead

Gas hobs or boilers should be banned from being installed in new homes within the next six years, government advisers have recommended.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says that from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid – with super-efficient houses and flats heated using low-carbon energy instead.

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Categories: Environment

Mexican activist shot dead before vote on pipeline he opposed

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 3:35pm

Environmental campaigners say Samir Flores Soberanes’s murder is a ‘political crime’

A Mexican environmental activist has been murdered before a referendum on a controversial thermal-electric plant and pipeline that he opposed.

Samir Flores Soberanes, an indigenous Náhuatl, was killed in his home during the early hours of Wednesday in the town of Amilcingo in Morelos state, 80 miles south of Mexico City. He was a human rights activist, producer for a community radio station and long-time opponent of the Proyecto Integral Morelos (the integral project for Morelos) – which includes the plant and pipeline.

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Categories: Environment

'Yanked from the ground': cactus theft is ravaging the American desert

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 1:46pm

Hipster tastes have fueled a spike in succulent poaching. Now conservationists are finding creative ways to rescue them

When most people drive through the Cactus Forest in Saguaro national park, their gazes are fixed skyward. Towering saguaros fill the view on either side of the road, rising 40, even 60ft high, their human-like arms outstretched.

But on a recent December afternoon, Ray O’Neil was focused on the ground. He was looking for holes. As the park’s chief ranger, O’Neil is on constant alert for an unusual menace: cactus poachers. Saguaros aren’t just beautiful to look at; they also fetch a hefty price, up to $100 a foot, on the black market, where they are enormously popular with landscapers.

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Categories: Environment

Island of garbage: the all-female voyage to battle Earth's plastic crisis

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 1:44pm

Plastic is everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere – potentially posing serious risks to our health. A crew of scientists and activists is conducting a hands-on investigation

When I arrive at the marina in Victoria on a late-July morning, the sky and water are complementary shades of azure. On the deck of the 72ft shiny-bright Sea Dragon, moored here in the island capital of British Columbia for just one day, are four young women, part of the crew of the research voyage “eXXpedition”. They’re hauling buckets of black sludge up to the deck from the ocean floor.

The team will meticulously pack the wet sand from the harbor floor into little glass jars. These jars will be added to a library of sand, water and air samples that they’ve collected over the past six weeks from across the north Pacific. They’ll ship some of those samples off to Plymouth, England, to be analyzed by eXXpedition’s marine scientist Imogen Napper. The idea is that by cataloging this library, she and the team will begin to get a better sense of what kind of plastic is out there in the ocean.

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Categories: Environment

White House climate change panel to include man who touted emissions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 12:31pm

William Happer, a physicist who has suggested higher levels of carbon dioxide are beneficial, would be on committee

The White House is planning to assess how climate change impacts national security and will involve a prominent doubter of the scientific consensus that manmade warming is putting the US at risk.

Related: US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

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Categories: Environment

Why the zebra got its stripes: to deter flies from landing on it

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 12:00pm

Pattern seems to confuse flies, researchers who dressed horses up as zebras find

The mystery of how the zebra got its stripes might have been solved: researchers say the pattern appears to confuse flies, discouraging them from touching down for a quick bite.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, involved horses, zebras, and horses dressed as zebras. The team said the research not only supported previous work suggesting stripes might act as an insect deterrent, but helped unpick why, revealing the patterns only produced an effect when the flies got close.

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Categories: Environment

How Republicans have seen red over Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 10:49am

Republicans have claimed Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional resolutions will mean the end of ice cream, hamburgers and the US military. Where are they getting it from?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the American political right’s objet socialiste du jour, recently introduced a Green New Deal – a joint Congressional resolution with Democratic senator Ed Markey calling for a “10-year national mobilization” overhauling nearly every aspect of American society to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those who have read through it will find a hopeful and ambitious but dry legislative document.

However, Ocasio-Cortez says that all Democratic presidential candidates support the Green New Deal, which has sent conservatives into a nonsensical tailspin, claiming it would mean the end of ice cream, hamburgers and the US military.

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Categories: Environment

A Bug’s Death

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 9:06am

Insects are dying. And that’s terrible news for humans.

(Image credit: Avery Kleinman/WAMU)

Categories: Environment

Extinction Rebellion co-founder 'shut out' at London fashion show

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 8:39am

Clare Farrell ‘barred’ from Bethany Williams show despite role in producing fashion line

Clare Farrell, co-founder of the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion, claimed she was barred from entering a show at London fashion week two days after helping to organise a protest against the British Fashion Council to highlight the industry’s role in fuelling climate change.

About 150 people from Extinction Rebellion formed human roadblocks and brought traffic to a standstill outside event venues on Sunday to cause disruption and urge the industry body to declare a climate emergency.

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Categories: Environment

Glencore to limit coal production after pressure from investors

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 5:59am

Church of England and large Australian superannuation funds among shareholders who pushed for environmental decision

The commodities trader Glencore has bowed to pressure from shareholders to limit coal production for environmental reasons – days after reporting that it produced nearly 130m tonnes of the fossil fuel last year.

The Switzerland-based firm, whose oil-trading operation is based in London, laid out plans to improve its environmental record, including a review of its membership of trade bodies it fears may be undermining the international Paris climate agreement.

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Categories: Environment

‘This has poisoned everything’ – pollution casts shadow over New Mexico’s booming dairy industry

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/02/20 - 4:00am

Pollution from Cannon air force base has gone unreported for decades. Now it’s threatening the US food supply

For months, Clovis, New Mexico, dairy farmer Art Schaap has been watching his life go down the drain. Instead of selling milk, he is dumping 15,000 gallons a day – enough to provide a carton at lunch to 240,000 children. Instead of working 24/7 to keep his animals healthy, he’s planning to exterminate all 4,000 of his cows, one of the best herds in his county’s booming dairy industry.

The 54-year-old second-generation dairy farmer learned last August that his water, his land, his crops – even the blood in his body – were contaminated with chemicals that migrated to his property from nearby Cannon air force base.

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Categories: Environment

Jay Inslee, potential 2020 contender, on climate: 'We need to blow the bugle'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 11:00pm

Washington state’s Democratic governor wants to ‘put the pedal to the metal’ to save the planet

The US stands virtually alone in the world in having a leader who openly dismisses the reality of climate change. But amid growing concern among Americans about the overheating planet, one potential 2020 presidential candidate is aiming to hoist climate to the top of the agenda.

Jay Inslee, the gravel-voiced governor of Washington, is poised to enter the throng of Democrats vying to dislodge Donald Trump as president in the 2020 election. He’s made some exploratory moves, visiting Nevada and New Hampshire, and said a definitive decision on running will be taken in “weeks”.

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Categories: Environment

Murray-Darling authority promises to upgrade climate science after criticism

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 8:43pm

Scientists invited to collaborate on climate change following mass fish kills and royal commission findings

In the wake of mass fish kills in the Menindee Lakes in January and scorching criticism of its stewardship of the Murray-Darling Basin, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has announced that it will upgrade its scientific work on climate change and the river system.

The authority’s chief executive, Phillip Glyde, has invited the scientific community to collaborate on its work on climate change.

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Categories: Environment

NSW government 'suppressed' report showing carcinogen risk in stadium demolition

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 7:24pm

Case against demolition ofAllianz Stadium hears government failed to investigate reports of contamination

A legal challenge to the New South Wales government’s controversial plan to demolish Sydney’s Allianz Stadium before next month’s state election has heard the government “suppressed” the release of a report showing the site was contaminated with potentially carcinogenic material.

Local Democracy Matters, a group set up to fight the amalgamation of Randwick and Waverley councils 18 months ago, is seeking to halt the demolition of the stadium before the election by arguing the government failed to follow its own planning rules.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef authority gives green light to dump dredging sludge

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 6:09pm

A million tonnes of spoil to be disposed of in marine park – prompting calls for a ban on all offshore dumping

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of more than 1m tonnes of dredge spoil near the reef, using a loophole in federal laws that were supposed to protect the marine park.

The Greens senator Larissa Waters has called for the permit – which allows maintenance dredging to be carried out over 10 years at Mackay’s Hay Point port and the sludge to be dumped within the marine park’s boundaries – to be revoked.

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Categories: Environment

like clockwork...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 4:53pm

I have always been fascinated by clock mechanisms and time measurement.  As a kid I was always taking things apart to see how they worked and I must have disassembled at least 20 clocks.  When I was a teenager, I tried making one from scratch - cutting the gears by hand with a jig saw.  I could never get the gears to mesh right.  I also spent countless hours trying to assemble a paper clock and never quite got that to work either (I still have it in a box somewhere in one of my shipping containers).   I recently found several 3D printable mechanical clocks at Thingiverse and chose the simplest one to try first.  If that works out, I will try some of the more complex ones.  53,63,44,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 4:00am

The controversial legal bill will allow citizens to sue a polluter on behalf of the lake and for penalties to be imposed

In early August 2014, Crystal Jankowski was late in her pregnancy and knew she was about due. In was hot and humid where she lived in Toledo, Ohio and she remembers just wanting to relax in a cool shower.

But the graphic designer could not take one. The water source for Toledo is Lake Erie, and an algae bloom caused in part by phosphorous runoff from farms had sickened the lake with an overload of “microcystin” bacteria. The city banned drinking the water for a week and “children, the elderly and pregnant women” were instructed not to even shower.

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Categories: Environment

What happens when you put cowboys in a room to talk politics?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/19 - 4:00am

At the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada, friends and performers with wide-ranging views met to discuss climate change, immigration and other concerns ‘without demonizing each other’

Several weeks ahead of the 35th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, Gail Steiger, a rancher and singer-songwriter from Yavapai county, Arizona, emailed a proposal to a small host of close friends and fellow performers.

“None of us fit easily in any box, but we all hold each other in high regard,” he wrote.

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Categories: Environment
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