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Namibia to auction 170 wild elephants, saying rising numbers threaten people

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 9:24pm

Increase in conflict between species and drought prompt sale of animals that are at risk of extinction due to poaching

Namibia has put 170 “high value” wild elephants up for sale due to drought and an increase in elephant numbers, the southern African country’s environmental ministry has said

An advertisement carried by the state-owned daily New Era said an increase in incidents of human-elephant conflict motivated the sale of the large mammal that is at risk of extinction due to poaching and ecological factors.

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Categories: Environment

Frydenberg proposed delisting part of wetland to allow Queensland's Toondah Harbour development

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 9:12pm

Exclusive: Letter obtained under FoI shows Frydenberg wanted to change Ramsar protections but maintain ‘ecological character’

The former federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, proposed removing protections from an area of internationally significant wetlands after he was lobbied by a developer wanting to build 3,000 apartments at Moreton Bay in Queensland.

A letter, obtained by Guardian Australia under freedom of information laws, shows Frydenberg wrote to the Queensland government in 2017 about Walker Corporation’s proposed Toondah Harbour apartment and retail complex to suggest the two governments jointly create a proposal to delist part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland.

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Categories: Environment

Australian family finds live koala in their Christmas tree

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 8:06pm

When the McCormicks came home on Wednesday, the Christmas tree in their Adelaide house had acquired a new ornament

The McCormicks went for a silver, pink and blue theme on their Christmas tree. The old plastic leaves were worn but looked beautiful with baubles on each branch and twinkling lights.

But this year the family tree included one very unexpected ornament: a wild – and somewhat confused – juvenile koala.

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Categories: Environment

Oil and gas firms urged to work towards net zero British North Sea

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 5:01pm

Report calls on oil and gas extraction to be phased out and jobs switched to clean energy

The UK’s North Sea oil and gas industry should agree to phase out production through a series of five-year targets to help its 260,00 strong workforce migrate to clean energy sectors, according to a report.

The plan would require the UK and Scottish governments to scrap a controversial policy that calls on North Sea companies to extract as much oil and gas as they can from the ageing basin.

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Categories: Environment

'We Don't Have To Live This Way': Doctors Call For Climate Action

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 4:31pm

Heat waves, air pollution and extreme weather are making people sick and, increasingly, killing people. A key report by global physicians says fossil fuels are to blame.

(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Humanity is waging war on nature, says UN secretary general

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 7:24am

António Guterres lists human-inflicted wounds on natural world in stark message

Humanity is facing a new war, unprecedented in history, the secretary general of the UN has warned, which is in danger of destroying our future before we have fully understood the risk.

The stark message from António Guterres follows a year of global upheaval, with the coronavirus pandemic causing governments to shut down whole countries for months at a time, while wildfires, hurricanes and powerful storms have scarred the globe.

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Categories: Environment

World is ‘doubling down’ on fossil fuels despite climate crisis – UN report

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 7:00am

Production must fall by 6% a year to avoid ‘severe climate disruption’ but Covid-19 funding is supporting increases

The world’s governments are “doubling down” on fossil fuels despite the urgent need for cuts in carbon emissions to tackle the climate crisis, a report by the UN and partners has found.

The researchers say production of coal, oil and gas must fall by 6% a year until 2030 to keep global heating under the 1.5C target agreed in the Paris accord and avoid “severe climate disruption”. But nations are planning production increases of 2% a year and G20 countries are giving 50% more coronavirus recovery funding to fossil fuels than to clean energy.

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Categories: Environment

Photographer confirms humans removed mysterious Utah monolith

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 6:29am
  • Four men destroyed metal pillar, saying: ‘Leave no trace’
  • Monolith had sparked intense interest and wild theories

A mysterious monolith that baffled officials and adventurers when it appeared and then swiftly disappeared in the remote Utah desert was removed by four men – not aliens, as many around the world might have hoped.

A group of friends who were photographing the monolith captured the removal last Friday night, then shared the images on Instagram.

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Categories: Environment

'Worst work in the world': US park rangers grapple with tide of human waste

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 3:15am

With toilets in short supply, ordure can harm streams and wildlife. An entrepreneur has a nifty solution

For 20 years, Richard Lechleitner had a grueling task at Mt Rainier national park: digging human waste out of backcountry toilets and carrying it down the mountains.

Staff at the park in Washington state grappled with an influx of visitors hiking far from roads, along with thousands of climbers attempting to reach the active volcano’s 14,000ft summit each year. People heeded the call of nature on Mt Rainier’s pristine glaciers, as well as in its unvarnished wilderness toilets.

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Categories: Environment

Wanted: UK site for prototype nuclear fusion power plant

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/12/02 - 12:00am

Communities are being asked to bid to host the plant, which a state-backed project plans to build by 2040

Communities in the UK are being asked to bid to host a prototype nuclear fusion power plant, which a government-backed programme plans to build by 2040.

The site does not need to be near existing nuclear power stations but will need 100 hectares of land and a plentiful water supply. Ministers say the project would bring thousands of skilled jobs and be part of its planned “green industrial revolution” to tackle the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand declares a climate change emergency

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 7:42pm

Jacinda Ardern calls climate change ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’ and pledges carbon-neutral government by 2025

New Zealand has declared a climate change emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025, in what the prime minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.

A motion tabled in parliament on Wednesday recognised “the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health through flooding, sea level rise, and wildfire”.

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Categories: Environment

UN climate summit president thanks Australian states – but not Morrison government – for backing net zero

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 7:03pm

UK energy minister Alok Sharma urges ‘all of you who have not already done so to join the race’ to net zero emissions by 2050

The British president of the next major UN climate change summit has pointedly thanked Australia’s states and territories for backing a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 while urging unnamed others – including the Morrison government – to join them.

In a speech to an Australian audience on Wednesday, Alok Sharma, the president-designate of the COP26 summit in Glasgow and a member of Boris Johnson’s Conservative cabinet, said more than 120 countries had announced carbon neutrality or net zero emissions targets and urged others to follow.

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Categories: Environment

No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 5:01pm

Singapore’s approval of chicken cells grown in bioreactors is seen as landmark moment across industry

Cultured meat, produced in bioreactors without the slaughter of an animal, has been approved for sale by a regulatory authority for the first time. The development has been hailed as a landmark moment across the meat industry.

The “chicken bites”, produced by the US company Eat Just, have passed a safety review by the Singapore Food Agency and the approval could open the door to a future when all meat is produced without the killing of livestock, the company said.

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Categories: Environment

rooting another cutting...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 4:29pm

 

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Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Whitebark pine trees are dying across the US west. Could a federal proposal protect them?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 2:13pm

The high-elevation tree – a key source of food for grizzly bears – is vulnerable to climate crisis, beetles and disease

Climate crisis, voracious beetles and disease are imperiling the long-term survival of a high-elevation pine tree that’s a key source of food for some grizzly bears across the US west.

Whitebark pine trees can live up to 1,000 years and are found at elevations up to 12,000 feet (3,600 meters), conditions too harsh for most trees to survive. The trees grow in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and western Canada, but have been all but wiped out in some areas.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Case Against Shell Begins In The Netherlands

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 1:01pm

The case was brought by a group of environmental organizations and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens. They demand that Shell be forced to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030.

(Image credit: Koen van Weel/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Wildflower meadows to line England's new roads in boost for biodiversity

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 8:43am

Highways England scheme to encourage species-rich grasslands could create hundreds of miles of rare habitats after decades of loss

Native wildflower meadows will line the verges of all new large-scale road projects under an initiative by Highways England, the Guardian can reveal.

Nodding blue harebells, clusters of yellow kidney vetch and flashes of bird’s-foot-trefoil could soon become the norm on stretches of the road network in England with the infrastructure provider committing to the creation of biodiverse grasslands as standard on all new major schemes.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis to triple flooding threat for low-income US homes by 2050

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 3:00am

A new study has found that affordable housing in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California will be at particular risk

The amount of affordable housing in the US vulnerable to coastal flooding is set to triple over the next 30 years, a new study has found in a further sign of the escalating hardships faced by low-income Americans amid an unraveling climate crisis.

Affordable housing in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California is at particular risk of flooding from worsening storms or even high tides pushed on by rising sea levels, according to research conducted by Climate Central, a New Jersey-based science organization.

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Categories: Environment

Trump’s border wall construction threatens survival of jaguars in the US

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 2:44am

Wall is going up in four sections in Arizona’s mountain ranges spanning the US-Mexico border where the cats had reappeared

By the 1960s, the North American jaguar had vanished from the southern US borderland after being hunted to extinction.

Yet in the mid-1990s, there was a remarkable discovery: the jaguar had reappeared in the Sky Islands of Arizona, a region of rugged linked mountain ranges spanning the US and Mexico border that boasts the highest biodiversity in inland North America. Since then, the large cats have been seen over a dozen times in the region, reviving hopes of a full return of the elusive predators to the US.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland budget: coal and petroleum forecasts labelled 'delusional' as royalties dive

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 1:39am

An expert questions the state government betting heavily on a coal and gas-fired recovery after the global slump in fossil fuels hits the 2020-21 budget

Queensland’s coal and petroleum royalties income has collapsed, wiping more than $2bn – about half the revenue initially forecast – from the state’s budget bottom line.

But while the global slump in the fossil fuel industry has impacted the pandemic-delayed Queensland 2020-21 budget, the state is betting heavily on a coal and gas-fired recovery in the coming years.

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Categories: Environment
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