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National Australia Bank stops all lending for new thermal coal projects

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 7:57pm

Move makes NAB the first major Australian bank to phase out support for industry but it will continue to finance projects already on its books

National Australia Bank says it will halt all lending for new thermal coal mining projects, becoming the first major Australian bank to phase out support of thermal coal mining.

While the bank will continue providing finance for coal projects already on its books, NAB said an orderly transition to a low-carbon Australia was critical for the economy and for continued access to secure and affordable energy.

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Categories: Environment

Court challenge to logging in Victorian highlands could have national impact

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 7:08pm

Green groups’ case against logging in central highlands mountain ash forests could have repercussions for NSW and WA

Green groups are challenging the validity of a Victorian forestry agreement in the federal court in a case that could have repercussions for the Australian logging industry as a whole.

Environmental Justice Australia, acting on behalf of Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum, has argued that the regional forest agreement covering Victoria’s central highlands region, which is home to the critically endangered possum, is invalid because the Victorian government failed to perform the requisite reviews.

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Categories: Environment

3 Reasons Why California's Fire Risk Won't Dampen Anytime Soon

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 2:41pm

The Thomas Fire, the fifth largest wildfire in California history, is a harbinger of things to come in the West.

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

Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 1:21pm
Prep wasn't so bad and the procedure was a breeze.  It sure was clean in there.  No complications...nothing out of the ordinary...one tiny polyp removed.  The bottom right photo is the ileocecal valve - the valve between the ileum of the small intestine and the cecum of the large intestine; prevents material from flowing back from the large to the small intestine.  No special diet requirements after the procedure today and won't have to enjoy this experience again for 5 years.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

How to feed the world while curbing our appetite for destruction | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 12:15pm
There is enough food for everyone, says Chrissie Hynde – if everyone takes only their fair share and stops eating animals. Others suggest improving farming production methods, tackling population growth and taxing meat

Although I strongly agree with and appreciate George Monbiot’s efforts to shed light on the destructive nature of industrialised farming and its effects on animals and environment (We can’t go on eating like this, 11 December), I do not see the wisdom of tarring the entire farming community with the same brush.

Small family farms, where the profits are just enough to sustain the running of the farm, actually replenish the environment and provide for local communities. A non-slaughter farm is humane, realistic and beneficial all around. We need farmers. There is enough food for everyone if everyone takes only their fair share and stops killing and eating the animals.

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Categories: Environment

Winemakers Worry Wildfires Will Leave Whiff Of Ashtray In Their Wine

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 11:52am

Grapes exposed to smoke from wildfires can absorb compounds that carry over into wine and ruin the flavor. The problem is only expected to grow as extreme weather events become more frequent.

(Image credit: George Rose/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Without The U.S. Government, The World Unites To Fight Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 9:33am

The One Planet Summit went on without President Trump Tuesday. But state and local leaders in attendance renewed calls for adherence to the Paris Agreement targets, says blogger Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: Thibault Camus/AP)

Categories: Environment

Global warming made Hurricane Harvey deadly rains three times more likely, research reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 6:00am

The unprecedented downpour and severe flooding was also 15% more intense due to climate change, which is making weather more violent around the world

Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented deluge, which caused catastrophic flooding in Houston in August, was made three times more likely by climate change, new research has found.

Such a downpour was a very rare event, scientists said, but global warming meant it was 15% more intense. The storm left 80 people dead and 800,000 in need of assistance.

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Categories: Environment

Tesco faces legal threat over marketing its food with 'fake farm' names

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 4:41am

Charity accuses UK supermarkets of misleading customers with fake farm branding and claims Tesco is damaging the reputation of a real farm with the same name

Major UK supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Lidl are being urged to stop using controversial “fake farm” branding on own-brand meat products, with a food charity claiming they are misleading shoppers.

The Feedback charity is backing the owner of a genuine farm called Woodside Farm – a name Tesco has also used on its value pork range since 2016 – and is threatening legal proceedings if the retail giant does not drop the name Woodside Farms.

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Categories: Environment

Scottish fishermen say EU is taking 'hardline' quotas stance pre-Brexit

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 4:36am

As annual fisheries negotiations conclude, fishermen’s federation says ‘entrenched views’ in EU could affect future talks

Scottish fishermen have raised concerns that the EU is adopting a hardline stance over quotas as a prelude to Brexit negotiations.

Annual negotiations over fishing quotas – expected to be the penultimate talks the UK participates in before leaving the EU – were concluded in Brussels early on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 4:00am

As America is battered by climate-intensified weather disasters, Republican politicians are trying to slash climate research funding

The United States is great in many respects. But we certainly aren’t perfect; we’ve made some pretty silly choices. One of the dumb choices politicians in the United States want to make is to defund climate science so we wont be able to prepare for increased disasters in the future. We can see how shortsighted this in when compared alongside with the costs of disasters.

Just think about the respective magnitudes. Estimates put the costs of the three big 2017 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) at approximately $200 billion. It is somewhat challenging to estimate the actual cost because not only is there rebuilding that must occur, but there are also lingering damages from loss of power, dislocation of people, and other long-lasting factors. Some reports estimate that the damage may end up being as high as $300 billion – a staggering amount.

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Categories: Environment

English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 12:20am

Neonicotinoids, banned on flowering crops, were found in nearly all rivers tested, increasing concerns over their impact on fish and birds

Rivers in England are contaminated with powerful insecticides, new testing has revealed, increasing concerns over the impact of the toxic chemicals on fish and birds.

Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the European Union in 2013 due to the harm they cause to bees and other vital pollinators. Following even more evidence of harm, an EU vote to extend the ban to all outdoor uses is expected soon.

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Categories: Environment

'Last year I gave the kids briquettes and everyone yelled at me!' Christmas with Ian | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 12:14am

Ian the Climate Denialist Potato surprises his loved ones with a festive report on climate emissions. Or would they rather get an inflatable Greg Hunt doll?

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Categories: Environment

Northern Territory to decide about fracking ban only after inquiry's final report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 7:54pm

Draft report from hydraulic fracking inquiry has found the practice can be safe if risks are better mitigated

The Northern Territory government will wait until next year to make a decision on lifting its moratorium on fracking, despite federal calls for it to “get on with the job” after a long-running inquiry found it could be safe if risks were better mitigated.

The inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the NT released its draft final report on Tuesday with 120 recommendations, which it said must be implemented in full to “reduce the risk to an acceptable level”.

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Categories: Environment

Shark nets create false sense of safety and should be phased out, inquiry finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 7:12pm

Upper house committee says nets damage other marine wildlife and recommends replacement of lethal drum lines

Shark nets in place across Australia to protect beachgoers should be phased out as they cause more harm than good, a Senate inquiry has found.

An upper house committee examined shark mitigation and deterrent measures in Australia, and specifically the use of mesh nets in New South Wales and Queensland.

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Categories: Environment

Court upholds Obama-era ban on new Grand Canyon uranium mines

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 3:23pm

Celebration of the ruling by environmentalist has been tempered by expectations that the Trump administration will side with mining interests to end the ban

A powerful court ruled on Tuesday that an Obama-era ban on new uranium mines around the Grand Canyon should stay in place, though celebration on the environment side was tempered by expectations the government itself will now side with mining interests to end the ban. A separate, but linked, ruling on an older mine was a defeat for a Native American tribe.

The mining industry and a coalition of Republicans in Arizona and Utah had hoped for court support to tear down an order from the Obama administration in 2012 that protected a million acres of land around the Grand Canyon from mining development for 20 years. But they lost in the ninth circuit court of appeals in San Francisco on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 3:19pm

Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change

The World Bank will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change.

In a statement that delighted campaigners opposed to fossil fuels, the Bank used a conference in Paris to announce that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019.

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Categories: Environment

California Firefighter On Battling The Thomas Wildfire

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 2:33pm

The Thomas Fire is now the fifth-largest fire in modern California history. NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with battalion chief Fred Burris about what battling this wildfire is like.

Categories: Environment

It's what's for dinner...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 2:28pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Firefighters Struggle To Contain Southern California's Thomas Fire

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 2:03pm

Firefighters made some progress controlling the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, which is the fifth-largest in the state's history. Other fires in the area are mostly contained.

(Image credit: Kenneth Song/AP)

Categories: Environment
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