Deputy prime minister calls for critically endangered status to be downgraded to try to save Victorian logging jobs
Barnaby Joyce is pushing for the conservation status of the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum to be downgraded to open up areas of protected forests in Victoria for logging, in an effort to save 250 jobs at the Heyfield sawmill.
Joyce wrote to Victorian premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday criticising the decision to reduce the sawlog quota offered to Heyfield mill operators Australian Sustainable Hardwood from 155,000 cubic metres a year to 80,000 cubic metres in 2017-18 and 60,000 cubic metres in 2018-19 and 2019-20, in order to protect habitat used by the possum.Continue reading...
Residents and greens groups demand action to stop plan to plunder natural resources by companies that pay next to nothing to remove water
A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand.
An export company is proposing to collect 800m litres a month of the “untapped” glacial waters of Lake Greaney and Lake Minim Mere, mountainous dams that are fed by rainfall on the Southern Alps.
Governments are using the confected gas crisis to push destructive projects like the Pilliga gas project on communities that don’t want them
It’s ludicrous to say there is a gas crisis in Australia when we are set to overtake Qatar to become the world’s biggest gas producer. Australia has plenty of gas to meet our needs and the world has three times as much fossil fuel reserves that can be used to keep global temperature rises below 2C.
We have so much gas that we export most of it. The gas companies are shipping off huge amounts of it because they can reap greater profits overseas, leaving Australian households and businesses to squabble over what’s left at inflated prices.Continue reading...
Australian Automobile Association finds fuel use on average 25% higher than claimed on consumption label displayed on new cars
New cars are using vastly more fuel on the road than in laboratory tests, raising further questions about the veracity of car manufacturers’ claims in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
The Australian Automobile Association-commissioned research found fuel use was on average 25% higher than claimed on the government-mandated fuel consumption label displayed on all new cars.Continue reading...
California put itself on a collision course with the Trump Administration as the state's clean air agency moved forward with stricter emissions requirements for trucks and cars.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale says funding will mean ‘healthier communities’ and ‘more Indigenous ranger jobs for families to stay on country’
A $100m funding package to Landcare will include $15m for new Indigenous protected areas, raising hopes of further federal support for the environmental policy and its related Indigenous ranger program.
The funding, secured by the Greens last year in a deal with the government over the backpacker tax, has been undetailed until now, and will also support Landcare projects, the work of Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network, and a small grants program for sustainable agriculture.Continue reading...
EPA head Scott Pruitt, who sued to halt plan as Oklahoma’s AG, claims ending restrictions on coal power plants will be ‘pro-growth and pro-environment’
Donald Trump will on Tuesday sign an executive order to unravel Barack Obama’s plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Sunday, claiming the move would be “pro-growth and pro-environment”.Continue reading...
Ofgem considering further steps to protect billpayers as a result of suppliers’ failure to cut back-bills’ limit from 12 to six months
Britain’s leading energy providers are under fire again after missing a deadline to help households with smart meters avoid being hit with unexpected bills.
Electricity and gas suppliers, including the big six and smaller providers, had pledged that by the end of 2016 they would cut back on sending backdated or catchup bills to customers whose smart meters inaccurately measured their energy usage. However, not one of the big six or dozens of smaller suppliers have met the self-imposed target of cutting the limit for back-bills from 12 months to six months.Continue reading...
Kristine Tompkins, whose husband founded The North Face clothing company, tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro about her decision to donate a million acres of land she owns in Patagonia to Chile's government.
The beluga whale is one of the most extraordinary species of marine creature known to science. It is a gregarious, pure white Arctic dweller that emits strange, high-pitched twitters that have given it its nickname: the sea canary. Belugas are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “near threatened” list, because of past whaling and the impact of water contamination.
Now scientists have discovered that Delphinapterus leucas is facing a new global threat. Like many other species that live in the far north, their lives are being disrupted by global warming, according to Thomas Brown of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (Sams), who has been studying belugas for several years.Continue reading...
It’s desperately important that we redouble our efforts to combat pollution and waste
Recycling is a bit like fitness. The moment you stop putting in the effort, you lose your muscle.
This was on my mind as I watched microwavable black plastic containers whizzing up a conveyer belt at a recycling depot in Kent. This is progress. Innovation in plastic chemistry means these trays can now be recycled.Continue reading...
The soggy boots of the team slide backwards in the black mud as they struggle up towards the ridge line separating the forest edge from one of the last unexplored places on Earth.
The rain is an incessant barrage of watery bullets firing down through the tree canopy. Thunder crashes. Tangles of vines and spider webs make for a Hollywood movie scene of truly impenetrable jungle.Continue reading...
In the mid-2000s, in a room at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, Professor Julian Bayliss used Google Earth to discover a hidden rainforest in Northern Mozambique which is home to dozens of new species of flora and fauna. Professor Bayliss and Alliance Earth Director Jeffrey Barbee ventured with a team into the heart of the forest.
To find out more about the expedition click hereContinue reading...
Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future globally as concerns over safety and cost dog the industry. But in the UK, foreign investors are queueing up to back projects. The latest is South Korea. Its biggest power company is in talks to join the consortium backing a nuclear power station in Cumbria, in a sign of the continuing allure of Britain’s atomic ambitions to international companies. Kepco said last week it was interested in taking a stake in NuGen, which is 60% owned by Japan’s Toshiba and 40% by France’s Engie, confirming what had been an open secret in the industry for months.
Kepco’s president, Cho Hwan-eik, said that once the terms of a potential deal were ironed out, “we will be the first to jump into the race”.Continue reading...
Dent Fell, west Cumbria Runners in the Jarrett’s Jaunt race have little time to appreciate the fell’s panoramic views of the Solway Firth
By hump-backed Wath Brow bridge, weary fell runners step gingerly down slippery banking into the icy waters of the river Ehen, swollen by overnight rain. Ah, the blessed relief as they rub and knead their calves with fingers and thumbs, jabbing deep into the muscles, soothing aches caused by scaling fellsides so steep they sometimes needed hands to help.
Related: Cumbria’s iron manContinue reading...
The state government’s determination to open up protected land for logging is a saga that moves from ridiculous to absurd
I thought I’d seen the turbid depths of policy driven by ideology and perceived political self-interest, but then I turned my attention back to the Tasmanian forest “wars”.
I first started reporting on this issue in 1988 when Bob Hawke and his environment minister Graham Richardson appointed a former judge, the late Michael Helsham, to investigate whether parts of the Tasmanian forest were worthy of world heritage listing. That resulted in the first of many agreements over the decades (in 1989, 1997, 2005 and 2013) in which federal and state governments paid hundreds of millions of dollars to “end the forest wars once and for all” by restructuring the industry and determining which forests should be protected and which should be open to logging.
Evidence of doctored paperwork found at Areva-owned forge, which has made parts for Hinkley Point
An international team of inspectors has found evidence of doctored paperwork and other failings at a forge in France that makes parts for nuclear power stations around the world.
The UK nuclear regulator said the safety culture at the site, which has produced forgings for British plants including Sizewell B and the planned new reactors at Hinkley Point, fell short of expectations.Continue reading...
Campaigners will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, Galilee Blockade says
A group of activists say the mining contractor Downer Group is the “prime target” of a civil disruption campaign to force it to walk away from a $2bn deal to build and run Adani’s proposed Queensland coalmine.
Galilee Blockade organisers warn members of their network will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, among other actions that will cost Downer money until it exits a non-binding contract over the contentious Carmichael site .Continue reading...
Sarah Mukherjee accuses the EU proposal to ban neonicotinoids from fields of being “political” (Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides, March 24). Damn right. If she means supporting the long-term interests of people over the short-term blinkered interests of a few businesses, I can hardly think of a better definition of the word.
From DDT to lead in petrol, businesses have fought tooth and nail against legal restrictions, until they came and the predicted disasters never happened. But why stop at fields and neonics? Our parks and gardens have become vital havens for all kinds of wildlife and yet our garden centres are filled with wildlife-unfriendly herbicides and pesticides, ironically shelved alongside the “bee and butterfly friendly” plants. At least farmers can argue, whether or not you agree, that their livelihoods and our food is at stake. Little is at stake if we ban all poisons from our parks and gardens, beyond a few weeds on our paths and some greenfly. Future generations will be astounded that we took so long.
Malaysian activist Bill Kayong fought to save forest lands from logging and oil palm development. Like a troubling number of environmental campaigners around the world, he paid the highest price, reports Yale Environment 360
Environmentalists at risk: read part one in this series
It was 8.20am on 21 June 2016. Bill Kayong, an up-and-coming political activist in Miri, a coastal oil town in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, was 15 minutes into his morning commute, waiting in his pickup truck at a traffic light across from a shopping mall. Suddenly, two bullets shattered the side window and struck him in the head, killing him instantly.
Kayong was one of dozens of people killed while defending environmental and human rights causes in 2016. His life was taken just one day after a report from the human rights group Global Witness revealed that the previous year had been “the worst on record for killings of land and environmental defenders”, with 185 people around the world killed while taking a stand against development projects ranging from dams, to mines, to logging, to agricultural plantations.Continue reading...