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'Unprecedented' Wildfire Season Threatens California's Wine Region

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/09/28 - 4:28pm

The fires, which have scorched nearly 6,000 square miles in California, now threaten to tear through communities in the state's picturesque wine country, forcing thousands to evacuate.

(Image credit: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Tesco sets 300% sales target for plant-based alternatives to meat

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/28 - 4:01pm

In UK first, supermarket’s five-year commitment aims to offer more sustainable options

Tesco is to become the first UK retailer to set a sales target for plant-based alternatives to meat as it steps up efforts to offer shoppers more sustainable options.

The UK’s largest supermarket will on Tuesday commit to boosting sales of meat alternatives by 300% within five years, by 2025. Over the past year, demand for chilled meat-free foods – the most popular line including burger, sausage and mince substitutes – has increased by almost 50%, the retailer said. As a result, it is expanding into more categories and creating larger “centrepiece” dishes for two people as well as family-sized portions.

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Categories: Environment

Q+A: Australia’s fossil fuel industry will collapse within 20 years, Mike Cannon-Brookes says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/28 - 2:52pm

Atlassian billionaire tells Q+A panel China’s move to become carbon neutral by 2060 spells doom for Australia’s coal and gas production

Australia’s fossil fuel industry will collapse within 20 years as China abandons coal imports and pledges to become carbon neutral before 2060, businessman Mike Cannon-Brookes has warned.

On a climate-focused episode of Q+A, the Atlassian cofounder also criticised the government’s promised “gas-led recovery” and said it was “laughable” Australia did not have a 2050 emissions target.

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Categories: Environment

New super-enzyme eats plastic bottles six times faster

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/28 - 12:38pm

Breakthrough that builds on plastic-eating bugs first discovered by Japan in 2016 promises to enable full recycling

A super-enzyme that degrades plastic bottles six times faster than before has been created by scientists and could be used for recycling within a year or two.

The super-enzyme, derived from bacteria that naturally evolved the ability to eat plastic, enables the full recycling of the bottles. Scientists believe combining it with enzymes that break down cotton could also allow mixed-fabric clothing to be recycled. Today, millions of tonnes of such clothing is either dumped in landfill or incinerated.

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Categories: Environment

Adani legal action sparks fears journalists could be targeted over Carmichael mine leaks

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 11:28pm

Activist being sued by mining giant says it offered to drop case if he identified how ‘information they say is confidential information has been allegedly used’

Lawyers for Adani have sought to identify people who obtained leaked information about its Carmichael coal project, raising concerns that journalists could be dragged into “conspiracy” legal proceedings launched by the miner against an environmental activist.

The activist, Ben Pennings, from the group Galilee Blockade, is being sued by Adani for conspiracy, intimidation and breach of confidence.

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Categories: Environment

Why we need media reporting guidelines for road safety

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 11:00pm

Language and accuracy matter, as they can contribute to making the roads less safe for non-motorists and how the law is applied

There’s a problem with how we talk about our roads. From news reports on “accidents” to who gets blamed for road danger in comment pieces, our media sources sometimes flip the sources of death and injury on their head.

Language and accuracy matter, and too often reporting contributes to making the roads less safe.

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Categories: Environment

M&S brings back its 'shwopping' clothes recycling scheme

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 4:01pm

From Thursday customers can hand over fruits of lockdown clearouts for donation to Oxfam

Marks & Spencer will this week bring back its popular UK “shwopping” scheme which is aimed at keeping clothing out of landfill, six months after it was mothballed because of coronavirus.

Customers can from Thursday donate their unwanted clothes, shoes, bras and accessories of any brand or condition in 287 stores with clothing sections.

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Categories: Environment

World leaders pledge to halt Earth’s destruction ahead of UN summit

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 4:01pm

France, Germany and UK among more than 60 countries promising to put wildlife and climate at heart of post-Covid recovery plans

World leaders have pledged to clamp down on pollution, embrace sustainable economic systems and eliminate the dumping of plastic waste in oceans by the middle of the century as part of “meaningful action” to halt the destruction of nature on Earth.

Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson are among 64 leaders from five continents warning that humanity is in a state of planetary emergency due to the climate crisis and the rampant destruction of life-sustaining ecosystems. To restore the balance with nature, governments and the European Union have made a 10-point pledge to counteract the damage to systems that underpin human health and wellbeing.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 1:38pm

 Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Sri Lanka returns illegal waste to Britain

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 10:09am

21 containers violated international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material

Sri Lanka has shipped back to Britain container-loads of waste that the Colombo government said were brought into the island in violation of international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material.

The 21 containers – holding up to 260 tonnes of rubbish – first arrived by ship in the capital Colombo’s main port between September 2017 and March 2018, customs told AFP, adding that they departed Sri Lanka on Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

China's carbon pledge will require complete inversion of existing system

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 8:19am

Country will need to kick addiction to coal and build eye-watering amount of wind and solar capacity

China’s President Xi Jinping stunned climate action observers in a speech at the United Nations general assembly last week with a pledge to reach “peak carbon” before 2030, and drive down emissions to virtually zero by 2060.

The pledge from the world’s biggest climate polluter is considered by environmentalists to be the most important step in tackling the climate crisis since the Paris Climate Agreement galvanised global governments to reduce carbon emissions in an attempt to cap global heating well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrialisation levels.

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Categories: Environment

California Grants Joshua Trees Temporary Endangered Species Protections

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 4:42am

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Brendan Cummings, who authored a petition asking the state of California to protect the western Joshua Tree from climate change.

Categories: Environment

Apples from 'perfect harvest' rot on the ground as demand for cider slumps

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 12:00am

In what should be a vintage year because of ideal growing conditions, farmers are forced to abandon fruit where it falls

On a sloping hill just south of Dartmoor, boughs are laden with brightly coloured Devon crimson, pig’s snout, tale sweet and slack-ma-girdle. Gabriel David wanders through his five-acre orchard and acknowledges this exceptional yield of heritage cider apples: “It should be an absolutely vintage year,” he says.

“After such amazing sunny weather in lockdown, the apple blossom was perfect. The bees were everywhere: it was a stunning spring. Then it rained at just the right time so our cider apples are bigger, with a higher sugar content, resulting in a greater complexity of flavours.”

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Categories: Environment

As Election Nears, Trump Expands Moratorium On Exploratory Drilling In Atlantic

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 5:02pm

The move extends a moratorium Trump imposed earlier this month. The oil industry opposes the move. Trump's detractors say Trump is playing politics ahead of a close election battle.

(Image credit: Steve Helber/AP)

Categories: Environment

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 2:56pm


FYI - the global daily infection rate is still going up with a new record high of 361,390 cases on Thursday.  1.  I went to Alpine yesterday and visited a local watchmaker who told me he thinks the pandemic is a joke.  2.  Stopped by to visit friends who own an antique store and it was filled with unmasked tourists even though there is a sign on the door that says "masks required".  3.  There is a rodeo in town this weekend and apparently they are all Covid deniers - and probably Trump supporters.  Thanks to these yahoos, look for a big bump in local infections in the next two weeks.  94,101,65,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

What are the key technologies in the Coalition's low emissions roadmap, and can they deliver?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 1:00pm

From clean hydrogen, energy storage and low-carbon materials to carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon

The Coalition government this week released its much-anticipated Low Emissions Technology Statement that targeted five different technologies for rapid development: clean hydrogen, energy storage, low-carbon materials (steel and aluminium), carbon capture and storage and soil carbon. The plan was immediately criticised by many experts for shunning proven renewable energy generation, but others were cautiously optimistic. Here we take a closer look at some of the key technologies mentioned and whether they can deliver.

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Categories: Environment

Trump's public lands chief axed after court rules he was serving unlawfully

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 11:12am

William Perry Pendley not confirmed by Senate to role as acting Bureau of Land Management director, as required by constitution

A federal judge has ruled that a controversial Trump official who has overseen a vast weakening of public lands protections cannot continue in his position since he has not been approved by the Senate.

Related: Donald Trump set to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to supreme court – live

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Categories: Environment

Texas residents warned of tap water tainted with brain-eating microbe

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 10:42am
  • Communities around Houston are potentially contaminated
  • Naegleria fowleri enters body through nose, travels to brain

Texas officials have warned residents of some communities near Houston to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality warned the Brazosport Water Authority late on Friday of the potential contamination of its water supply by Naegleria fowleri.

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Categories: Environment

Native Americans honor Lolita the orca 50 years after capture: 'She was taken'

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 2:15am

For years, the nation has tried to bring Lolita, also known as Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut, back to her family from the Miami Seaquarium

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Categories: Environment

California braces for dangerous heat as wildfire battle continues

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/25 - 4:43pm

Triple-digit temperatures could spark new fires just a few weeks after a record heatwave

California is bracing for another dangerously warm weekend, with dry winds, parched vegetation, and triple-digit temperatures threatening to ignite new fires and complicating containment efforts in an embattled state.

With only a few weeks’ reprieve after a record heatwave in early September, firefighters have made progress in containing the dozens of blazes tearing across the region. But fatigued crews – many of whom have spent weeks fighting on the frontline – are preparing for a potentially rough week ahead.

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Categories: Environment
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