Environment

Angela Merkel signs deal with German states to put brakes on green energy

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 7:57pm

Pact addresses concerns that burgeoning output from renewables is putting strain on electricity grid and pushing up prices

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has hammered out a deal with state premiers on the latest reform to Germany’s renewable energy law aimed at curbing the costs and controlling the speed of the roll-out of green power sources.

After a meeting with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states that stretched into the early hours of Wednesday, the government agreed to cap the expansion of onshore wind power at 2.8 gigawatts in capacity per year.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Scientists say Flint's water safe enough for hand-washing and showering

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 6:43pm

Professor who first confirmed the contamination said sampling found lead levels are steadily declining and municipal water can be used for personal cleanliness

Municipal water in Flint, Michigan, has improved significantly and is suitable for personal cleanliness uses, scientists said Tuesday in a bid to calm fears raised by actor Mark Ruffalo and others who have questioned the safety of the supply that flows into the city’s bathtubs and showers.

Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech engineering professor whose testing last summer confirmed the lead contamination of Flint’s water, said sampling in recent months has found that lead levels are steadily declining, although they remain too high for people to drink from the tap without a filter. Also trending downward are bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease, while byproducts from disinfectant chemicals are at normal levels, he and other specialists said.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The third man: Greens leader Richard Di Natale campaigns his own way

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 3:13pm

He may have been excluded from the leaders’ debate but that hasn’t kept his party out of the media spotlight this election campaign – far from it

Richard Di Natale was at home on his farm on Sunday night, watching Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten on television.

His two rivals were taking part in the second “leaders’ debate” of the 2016 election campaign, without his participation.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Richard Di Natale views coral bleaching while snorkelling – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 3:09pm

The Australian Greens leader examines coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef while snorkelling at Lizard Island in Queensland. Richard Di Natale also dives at Michaelmas Cay, where he is joined by his deputy, Senator Larissa Waters. All footage provided by the Australian Greens

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Surfer in critical condition after shark attack in Western Australia

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 2:55pm

Ben Gerring, a 29-year-old mine worker, was surfing at Falcon Beach south of Perth when he was mauled by a shark and has reportedly lost a leg

A surfer is fighting for his life after being mauled by a shark off a beach south of Perth.

It’s believed 29-year-old Ben Gerring has lost a leg above the knee.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Weather Technology Falters Amid Communication Breakdown

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 1:28pm

Springtime is severe weather time in many parts of the United States. Strong storms and tornadoes can be a daily occurrence. Technology has improved to warn people days in advance, but effectively communicating severe weather remains elusive.

Categories: Environment

I’ve spent a lifetime with gorillas. Shooting them should be a last resort | Ian Redmond

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 11:17am
The killing of Harambe after a child fell into his enclosure at Cincinnati zoo was a tragedy. Lethal force is not the only way to deal with these reasoning animals

The tragic events at Cincinnati zoo last Saturday triggered an outpouring of emotion all over the world. Shock at the killing of a splendid young silverback, Harambe, mixed with relief that the four-year-old boy came through it relatively unscathed (though doubtless traumatised). What lessons can we learn from such a sad turn of events?

Related: Cincinnati zoo visitors leave flowers for gorilla fatally shot after grabbing boy

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Can Planting More Milkweed Save Monarch Butterflies? It's Complicated

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 9:56am

Conservationists have long blamed farmers' use of pesticides for decimating the milkweed that monarch caterpillars like to eat. But scientists say simply planting more milkweed isn't the answer.

Categories: Environment

OkCupid for unwanted fruits and veg: tech joins the fight against food waste

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 9:48am

A crop of web and mobile developers from Silicon Valley and beyond are stopping blemished produce from ending up in landfills

When Zoe Wong moved to the San Francisco Bay Area three years ago, she fell in love with the fresh and abundant produce from surrounding farmers’ markets. Wong grew up in Hong Kong, where fruits and vegetables were scarce and imported. After attending college in upstate New York, she moved to California, the largest agricultural state in the country.

Soon, though, Wong discovered something was off. “At the market, I’d see farmers getting ready to throw out boxes and boxes of fruit and vegetables they couldn’t sell,” she says. “I was shocked.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Want to help fight climate change? Start with reproductive rights

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 9:30am

With overpopulation a key environmental concern, safe access to birth control, abortion and reproductive health services offer a simple solution

An often-ignored factor when examining environmental issues and climate change is the powerful role played by women. In the developed world, although women still struggle to achieve parity in issues of pay and opportunity, we typically hold the most sway in household decisions. According to the Wall Street Journal, women control nearly three-quarters of consumer spending in the US and two-thirds in the UK, including “making the decision in the purchases of 94% of home furnishings … 92% of vacations … 91% of homes … 60% of automobiles”.

This massive buying power means that most of the time, women hold the reins when it comes to making large, environmentally friendly decisions like deciding to vacation close to home rather than taking another long-haul flight, buying a modestly sized dwelling rather than a McMansion, and choosing a compact hybrid car rather than a gas-guzzling SUV.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Why matching fish farming with crop irrigation is a win for parched Southwest

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 8:55am

Farmers in the Southwest are turning a harsh, dry climate to their advantage by raising fish

East of Lake Tahoe, an organic farmer and his son are putting the finishing touches on what is perhaps a counterintuitive approach to water conservation in a dry climate: a 32,000-sq ft greenhouse that will grow tomatoes, peppers and fish in the heart of the Nevada desert.

Mark O’Farrell, the owner of Hungry Mother Organics in Minden, Nevada, plans to have his desert fish farm operational by August, when he’ll begin to produce an estimated 36,000 to 50,000 tilapia per year.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Secrets of killer whale evolution revealed by genetic study

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 8:42am

Orcas exist in every ocean, adapting to different conditions and diets. Genome sequencing has allowed insights into their evolution - and similarity to humans

Geneticists have deciphered the brief history of the killer whale: the predator that exists in every ocean but has evolved over the generations to hunt in disciplined packs, and specialise in a range of diets.

The lesson is that genetic mutations that may have favoured survival in changing circumstances were then enhanced by natural selection – and by social learning within killer whale family groups.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Salt in their veins and fire in their bellies: fishermen battling for Brexit

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 4:00am

The EU referendum has united an often fractious industry, with skippers in ports from northern Scotland to Cornwall desperate to dump imposed quotas

William Whyte has a new flag flying from the rigging of his vast blue-hulled trawler, its fabric snapping in the brisk breeze coming in off the North Sea. It features the cartoon of a militant-looking fish wearing armour, a union jack shield at its waist and the legend “Fishing for Leave”.

These flags are appearing on boats around Britain’s coast. The country’s trawlermen are placing themselves in the vanguard of the campaign to quit the EU. There is talk of a flotilla massing on the Thames, as the country’s fishing fleets press the case for Brexit.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Fatal crocodile attack on woman in Queensland revives calls to allow hunt

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 2:34am

Shooting safaris should be allowed to control the reptiles’ numbers, which had ‘exploded’, says MP Bob Katter, criticising rival Warren Entsch for saying ‘You can’t legislate against human stupidity’

A suspected fatal crocodile attack on a missing tourist in Australia’s far north-eastern wilderness has revived a perennial dispute about how to deal with a protected predator.

Photographer Cindy Waldron was reportedly taken by a saltwater crocodile during a moonlight walk through shallow water at a beach in Queensland’s Daintree national park on Sunday.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Pros And Cons Of Proposed Maine Woods National Park

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 2:10am

A plan to establish a national park in Maine's North Woods could receive a boost from the White House by the end of the year. A long simmering battle has been brewing over the area's future.

Categories: Environment

Prescribed Burns Help Rebirth Sequoias After 2015 Wildfire

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/05/31 - 2:10am

The giant sequoias of California are experiencing a rebirth. A massive wildfire in 2015 threatened numerous sequoia groves. The charred ground is coming back to life, in part, because of the fire.

Categories: Environment

Close encounters on a bear mountain

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/30 - 9:30pm

Tara national park, Serbia The extraordinary thing is not how comfortable local people are around bears but how they live in almost parallel worlds

Sitting in a forest hut for three hours watching a glade fill with shadows tests to the limits all that modern life has made of us, especially our capacities for patience, stillness, silence.

Not that I expected the objects of our vigil to reciprocate. On the contrary, brown bears in this park can be 250kg, so I was assuming that they might give warning of their approach: inadvertent rustling perhaps, or anxious alarm calls from nearby birds. Not a bit of it: what was so affecting was how the bears brought the stillness with them. On one occasion an animal walked right by us and while just 4 metres away we heard nothing.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Q&A: Di Natale decries major parties' support for coalmines as 'great tragedy' – video

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/30 - 8:07pm

Greens leader Richard Di Natale criticises Labor and the Coalition for their commitments to new coalmines, accusing them of taking huge donations from the fossil fuel lobby and harming the future of renewables on ABC’s Q&A program on Monday. When asked about his plans for central Queensland, Di Natale says: ‘I tell you what we won’t be doing is opening up a new coalmine and killing the Great Barrier Reef.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How Greg Hunt and his department turned good news into an international scandal

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/30 - 7:24pm

The full draft of the Unesco report on climate change reveals many mentions of Australia were actually positive

Greg Hunt has conducted one of the strangest manoeuvres of his already rather gymnastic career, over the erasure of Australia from a United Nations report on climate change.

Guardian Australia had broken the story that all mentions of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef had been scrubbed from the report at the request of the environment department.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Josh Frydenberg targets Labor candidates opposed to new coalmines

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/30 - 5:59pm

Resources minister says candidates are challenging Bill Shorten’s authority on coal and Adani’s Carmichael mine

The resources minister, Josh Frydenberg, has taken aim at a number of outspoken Labor candidates who oppose new coalmines and called on Bill Shorten to clarify the party’s position.

The Courier-Mail has reported Labor’s candidate for North Sydney, Peter Hayes, tweeted: “[Australia’s] defence of coal mining and export is in the same league as heroin poppy cultivation and exports elsewhere!”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content