Feed aggregator

In Australia: giant spider carrying a mouse is horrifying and impressive

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 8:54pm

Forget pizza rat and cigarette crab and prepare yourself for spider mouse, the super strong and very hungry Australian arachnid

Australia’s litany of fearsome fauna seems to have a new entry. Added to deadly snakes, man-eating crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish comes Hermie the hunstman, a spider so unusually large and strong that it had no problem carrying a sizeable mouse up the outside of a fridge.

Related: The great escape: Inky the octopus legs it to freedom from aquarium

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Environment group named in WikiLeaks email release responds to attacks

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 8:50pm

The low-profile Australian group Sunrise Project hits back at coal lobby after being criticised over funding sources shown in hacked US Democratic emails

The head of a usually quiet environmental group in Australia has hit back against News Corp and coal lobby attacks after hacked emails revealed it was partly funded from overseas.

Two emails forwarded to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta – and published by WikiLeaks – show that one of the funders of the Sunrise Project is a large US-based charitable trust, the Sandler Foundation.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Victoria's Hazelwood power station to close, French media reports say

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 7:14pm

Utility company Engie say no decision has been made regarding the future of Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power plant despite reports in Les Echos

French utility Engie has decided to close down Victoria’s coal-fired Hazelwood power station – Australia’s most polluting – at a meeting between the board and executives last week, according to a report in the French newspaper Les Echos.

However the company told Guardian Australia that no decision had been taken so far regarding the future of the plant.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Huge huntsman spider tries to eat a mouse – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 6:37pm

Arachnophobes, look away now. Footage has emerged from Queensland, Australia, that appears to show an oversized huntsman spider with a dead mouse in its clutches. The vision was shot by Jason Womal, who explained on Facebook that he was about to leave for work in the early hours of the morning when a neighbour asked if he wanted ‘to see something cool’. His video has been viewed more than 5.7m times in the 32 hours since he posted it. File it under ‘only in Australia ... ’

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Shark attack near Byron Bay leaves surfer with minor leg injuries

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 4:34pm

Attack on beach between Suffolk Park and Broken Head in northern NSW follows a weekend protest against plan to install shark nets in the area

A man has escaped a run-in with a shark on the New South Wales north coast with just a few teeth marks on his thigh.

He was taken to Byron Bay hospital by a friend about 7.30am after suffering the bite while surfing on a beach between Suffolk Park and Broken Head on Monday morning.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Flood defences 'skewed towards wealthy families and regions'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 4:01pm

Press Association study suggests flood protection funding formula tilts system towards richer households and areas

The system for allocating taxpayers’ money to flood defence schemes favours protecting wealthy families and those in the south-east, analysis suggests.

The government has said it applies a strict economic formula to deciding where funding should be spent. But an investigation by the Press Association reveals the methods to determine where funding goes focus on the value of assets protected – which could tilt the system towards richer households and those in parts of the country where house prices are higher.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'Overwhelming' case for Heathrow expansion, says commission chair

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 3:59pm

Sir Howard Davies, of the Airports Commission, lends backing to expanding UK’s largest airport instead of Gatwick

The case for Heathrow expansion is now “overwhelming”, according to the man who led the government-commissioned review of airport capacity.

Sir Howard Davies, chair of the Airports Commission, said Brexit underlined the need for a “clear strategic decision” in favour of Heathrow by ministers.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Daylight penetrates deep recesses of the woods: Country diary 100 years ago

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 2:30pm

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 27 October 1916

Surrey, October 27
Things change more rapidly in their appearance now in one day than they did in two a fortnight ago, but this is seen mostly in the valleys and the greater woods which border the streams. Under the trees you walk ankle deep in fallen leaves, thick-stemmed sycamore and chestnut, that are heavy enough to impede your way; beech in heaps in the remoter parts where a few squirrels, almost disdaining at first to move, presently scurry up a trunk and along the limbs, their bushy tails showing now on this side and then on the other; oaks as green as in September on the top but turning yellow in the bottom branches; ash drooping with the weight of late autumn; and birch becoming bare but silvered to the extremity of its hanging stems. Overhead the change which you most note is that whereas a few weeks ago daylight scarcely penetrated these recesses, misty beams now shoot through. Wood-pigeons, whirring out of the tree-tops, are as blue nearly as the sky. Then clouds come over, and when rain falls it is as if winter had suddenly closed in.

Higher on the heath there is new life rather than decay. The fume bears fresh yellow bloom, scented faintly, and where the full flower is not open there are buds under the green spikes. Red bryony, standing out of the hedges which mark off parts of the downs, has leaf buds too on the lower branches. Chaffinches fly in small flocks, and presently a hare “lops,” as the farmers say, from her form to the higher ground. Her speed increases in higher leaps as she goes, until her white tuft disappears in the tall brown grass which lines the ridge. She has gone into the turnip-field on the other side.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

A handsome pest with a taste for aromatic plants

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 1:30pm

The rosemary beetle arrived in Britain over twenty years ago, and is chewing its way through our culinary favourites – heading north at an alarming rate

If you discover your favourite aromatic plants and herbs are looking chewed this autumn the culprit is almost certainly the rosemary beetle (Chrysolina Americana), an unwelcome new addition to the UK’s gardens – thanks to climate change.

Despite its name, Americana, its original home is the Mediterranean and North Africa, but the increasing warmth of the British climate means it can now survive and thrive here. It was first seen London in 1994 and after a slow start it has rapidly spread in England and now reached Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Airport expansion’s disastrous effects, near and far | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 11:35am

The government’s decision to greenlight aviation expansion (Chris Grayling: decision on airport expansion to be made on Tuesday, theguardian.com, 23 October) is a predictable failure, but not an acceptable one. With the scrapping of vital decarbonisation policies and funding, the UK is already way off-track to meet our climate change commitments. The impacts of any new runway will be devastating to people’s lives and to the planet. Locally it will see the demolition of hundreds of homes, result in increased noise pollution, and illegal levels of air pollution – already responsible for almost 10,000 premature deaths in London every year.

But the biggest tragedy of the government’s failure is a global one. Only around 5% of the world’s population flies at all, yet the impacts of climate change – droughts, floods and heatwaves – are already hitting poorer communities in the global south, who are the least likely to ever set foot on a plane.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The Flying Preacher...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 10:34am

2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Chris Grayling: decision on airport expansion to be made on Tuesday

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 9:11am

Transport secretary denies government has already decided which plan it will back in choice between Heathrow or Gatwick

The government’s decision over which London airport expansion scheme it will finally choose is expected to come on Tuesday, after the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said the decision would be made at a cabinet committee meeting that day.

Grayling said that the government had still not decided which option to choose and would make the final decision on the day. He is expected to announce the choice to the House of Commons as soon as it has been made.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

We sent a vegetarian to see if meatless burgers can convert carnivores

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 6:59am

The Impossible Burger is making a big impression on foodies, chefs and vegetarians, but can it find its way onto the McDonald’s menu?

I hold the burger with both hands and bring it, somewhat trepidatiously, to my mouth. I commit myself to at least one bite. As I close my eyes and chew, some long dormant receptor in my mind comes alive and for a split second it’s 1986 again and I am eating a hamburger at a family cookout in Chicago.

This is the first time I’ve eaten meat in 30 years – except, this is not meat.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Detroit incinerator is hotspot for health problems, environmentalists claim

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 4:30am

The country’s biggest trash-burning facility has been issued with a notice to sue, with local residents complaining of the bad smell and pollution it produces

At the intersection of two highways just outside downtown Detroit, a hulking relic of the city’s past looms over the skyline: the largest municipal trash incinerator in the US. It’s a facility that has raised concerns of nearby residents since its construction in the 1980s.

And some days, it stinks.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Farming families confirm rival offer to Gina Rinehart's bid for S Kidman and Co

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 12:57am

Offer from mining magnate Rinehart and Chinese partner bettered by four-family consortium bidding $386m for Australia’s largest private landholding

A quartet of Australian grazier families has offered a $386m bid for the S Kidman and Co land sale, bettering an offer from mining boss Gina Rinehart and her Chinese partner Shanghai CRED.

Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield have said under their offer, Kidman would stay wholly Australian owned, the sale would not require approval from the foreign investment review board, and they would triple the size of the cattle herd marketed under the Kidman name.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Foreign invaders infiltrate Britain’s ancient woodlands

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/23 - 12:00am
Trees are coming under attack from beetles and moths that are infesting imported timber

In July 2013, a large, strangely shaped beetle emerged from the fabric of a wooden chair that had just been bought in the UK. The inch-long creature had developed inside the chair’s wooden frame before it ate its way to the surface and burst through the seat’s plastic covering – much to the alarm of its purchaser. Crucially, the furniture had been made in, and imported from, China.

Analysis by Fera Science, formerly the Food and Environment Research Agency, showed the beetle was a Japanese pine sawyer. Worse, the beetle was found to be infested with a second serious pest: the pinewood nematode worm. In combination, the beetle (Monochamus alternatus) and worm (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) have been linked to widespread damage to pine forests in China and Japan. Now it is spreading through parts of Europe.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Ecuador’s Yasuni park: where oil vies with tourism for the rainforest

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/10/22 - 11:00pm

The Sani people face a choice between encouraging ecotourism to their rainforest – one of the world’s most biodiverse – and allowing in the oil companies

Fernando was sitting on his veranda listening to the whoops and whistles of the jungle. Our visit was a surprise, but the old man was soon answering my questions, keen to talk.

“I arrived here in about 1960,” he told me. “A group of us came to start a new life. Hunting was easy. The animals were almost tame. We just used a blowpipe, no guns.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Josh Frydenberg to work with Port Melville operators over struck-down approval

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/10/22 - 7:41pm

Environment and energy minister drawn into controversial Northern Territory development after approval without environmental assessment was overturned

The federal environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, will work with the operators of a controversial oil and gas port after a court overturned a decision to approve it without an environmental impact assessment.

However it is unlikely the project will undergo the long called-for assessment but rather an earlier departmental investigation would be re-examined.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Randoff's Big Bend BBQ

The Field Lab - Sat, 2016/10/22 - 3:21pm

My friend Randy De La Fuente has been doing the smoked meat / barbecue thing on Fridays and Saturdays for awhile now, located at Far Flung River Tours.  I don't get out very often and it takes a lot to lure me away from TFL.  This morning, Randy posted a video on Facebook of today's slab of beef brisket and I suddenly got really hungry and just had to try one of his sandwiches.  It tasted even better than it looked!  79,85,48,0,B    
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

After Hurricane Matthew, Town Wonders: Rebuild Or Relocate?

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2016/10/22 - 2:11pm

Flooding from Hurricane Matthew wrecked hundreds of homes in Princeville, N.C. It's the second time the town has flooded in 20 years. Now residents debate whether to rebuild or just relocate.

Categories: Environment
Syndicate content