Scotch egg company claims to have cracked problem of eggshell waste

Guardian Environment News - 19 hours 3 min ago

An egg mayonnaise supplier has partnered with scientists at Leicester University to turns leftover eggshells into a filler for plastics

Leicester-based egg processing plant Just Egg hard boils and peels 1.5m eggs a week for snacks such as egg mayonnaise and Scotch eggs, creating mountains of shells to dispose of. It’s a dilemma the company’s owner, Pankaj Pancholi, has been keen to crack since he launched the business 14 years ago.

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Categories: Environment

Battle for Wentworth: activists rub salt in Turnbull’s climate change-induced wounds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 3:10pm

As election day approaches, green groups are making one last push in the prime minister’s wealthy electorate, hoping to find leverage among the ‘small l liberals’

Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to get his party to adopt a strong policy on climate change is something he now appears to wear as a mark of pride – like a battle scar, showing how he’s fought for the cause.

“I am absolutely committed to achieving a global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to ward off unsafe global warming,” he reminded thousands of millennials and others during his Facebook-broadcast debate with Bill Shorten on 17 June.

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Categories: Environment

UN committee may again consider listing Great Barrier Reef as 'in danger'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 1:21pm

Exclusive: Lawyers, scientists and NGOs urge the UN to force Australia to do more to protect the world heritage site

The Great Barrier Reef could be considered again for an “in danger” listing by the United Nations World Heritage Committee following the devastating bleaching this year, the Guardian can reveal.

The news came as a group of prominent lawyers, scientists and NGOs wrote to the committee, urging it to ask Australia to do more to protect the reef.

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Categories: Environment

What do Apple and Patagonia have in common? Making money from solar

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 12:38pm

Businesses typically put solar panels on their roofs to support clean energy and cut emissions, but a small group of them are branching out to earn profits from selling solar electricity

What does it mean when the solar panels on your roof were purchased by a clothing company? Maybe that you are part of a significant shift in the economics of solar.

Many businesses put solar panels on their roofs to show support for a cleaner source of electricity, cut carbon emissions and perhaps even lower their energy bills. They don’t typically treat solar as a profit maker.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change is disrupting seasonal behaviour of Britain's wildlife

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 10:00am

Global warming is causing breeding and migration cycles of related plants and animals to fall out of sync with potential impacts on entire ecosystems, research shows

Climate change is disrupting the seasonal behaviour of Britain’s plants and animals, with rising temperatures having an impact on species at different levels of the food chain, new research shows.

The result could be widespread “desynchronisation” between species and their phenological events – seasonal biological cycles such as breeding and migration – that could affect the functioning of entire ecosystems, according to the large-scale study published this week in the journal Nature.

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Categories: Environment

Should Pacific Bluefin Tuna Be Listed As An Endangered Species?

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 8:42am

Environmental groups have asked the U.S. to give the prized fish protection under the Endangered Species Act. Some scientists and activists say the chances are slim but the action is long overdue.

Categories: Environment

Brian Moss obituary

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 8:29am
Environmental scientist who worked on lake restoration globally as well as in the UK, most notably on the Norfolk Broads

Lakes are the jewels in the landscape of Britain, yet have also been the dumping grounds for wastes and pollutants. The environmental scientist Brian Moss, who has died aged 72, knew this well and spent his life achieving the ecological understanding that has underpinned the management and restoration of freshwater environments in the UK and around the world. But it was his passionate and successful communication of this science to land managers and policymakers that made him stand out. Most notable was his work with the Broads Authority to return the Norfolk Broads, a much-valued system of inter-connected lakes and rivers, to a cleaner, more naturally functioning landscape for future generations to enjoy.

When Brian started working at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich in 1972, he was deeply disappointed with the Broads’ murky greenish-brown water, lack of plants, and their eroded, featureless banks. He realised that, rather than the mecca for wildlife he had thought the Broads would be, they had borne the brunt of what he called “environmental abuse”. Over the following 17 years at UEA he built a solid understanding of the functioning of these shallow lakes and, through careful experimentation, he proposed innovative solutions for their restoration.

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Categories: Environment

UK coal power station in breach of EU air pollution law

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 7:03am

Defra and the Welsh government are likely to have to pay European commission’s legal costs for breaching air pollution rules at Aberthaw power station, reports ENDS

The UK breached EU law by allowing a coal-fired power station to emit too much air pollution, the court of justice (CJEU) has said.

In a reasoned opinion, published on 28 June, the CJEU said the UK’s defence of how it regulated Aberthaw power station did not stack up and it should be forced to pay legal costs.

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Categories: Environment

Tackling illegal fishing in western Africa could create 300,000 jobs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 5:17am

Overseas Development Institute report says crackdown on illegal fishing, and building up national fleets, could generate billions of dollars for the region

If governments in western Africa could end illegal fishing by foreign commercial vessels and build up national fleets and processing industries, they could generate billions of dollars in extra wealth and create around 300,000 jobs, according to a new report (pdf).

The devastating, social, economic and human consequences of overfishing in western Africa’s coastal waters have been well documented but the report, Western Africa’s Missing Fish, by the Overseas Development Institute and Spanish investigative journalists porCausa, lays bare the extent of lost opportunities across countries including Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

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Categories: Environment

Fill Good Inc – are we close to a refill revolution?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 4:35am
Recycling plastic costs councils – and us – millions every year. It’s time refilling old bottles hit the mainstream

While Boris Johnson is busy reducing the size of Europe, his father, Stanley, is appealing to Europe to help us reduce the amount of rubbish we create.

This month, Environmentalists for Europe, the cross-party group co-chaired by Johnson senior, called on the EU to ban non-returnable bottles. Instead, the group said, consumers should be charged a 20p deposit, refundable when they take back the bottle. Or we should make all plastic bottles refillable.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland's fishing industry welcomes decision to leave the EU

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 3:49am

EU departure offers a chance to banish past overfishing and incoherent regulation, says head of industry group, despite warnings exit could hurt fisheries

Scottish fishermen’s representatives were adamant on Tuesday that Brexit would be good news for the 5,000 strong fleet, despite warnings that the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU could hurt fisheries.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said that leaving the EU would give fleets “the ability to recover proper, sustainable, rational stewardship through our own exclusive economic zone for fisheries”, comparing the situation with Norway and Iceland, which share many key North Sea fishing grounds and are not members of the EU, though they are in the European Economic Area (EEA).

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Categories: Environment

How will leaving the European Union affect our food? | Tim Lang

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 3:03am

Whoever leads negotiations on leaving the EU faces big choices - any new food policies must have health, the environment and justice at their heart

Food barely featured in the referendum, but years of jibes about Eurocrats controlling our food standards, and myths about bent bananas, left their mark. Food politics will now come to the fore in ways most consumers might not like.

This was predicted by the few studies which bothered to look at this vital area of UK life. The academic reports on Brexit unanimously anticipated not liberation but a period of turmoil and dislocation in the food system.

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Categories: Environment

Leaving EU will make it harder for UK to tackle climate change, says minister

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 3:00am

Climate and energy secretary says while decision to leave will make UK’s role harder, the government’s commitment remains the same

Brexit will make it harder for Britain to play its role in tackling climate change, the UK energy and climate secretary has said.

But Amber Rudd said that the UK remained committed to action on global warming and Whitehall sources have told the Guardian that on Thursday she will approve a world-leading carbon target for 2032.

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Categories: Environment

After 6 years of working on climate at Harvard, I implore it to show the courage to divest

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 3:00am

Despite pressure from students and staff, Harvard leaders have refused to divest

One morning in the summer of 2014, I found myself in the city of Tacloban in the Philippines. The city and surrounding area had been devastated less than a year earlier by Super Typhoon Yolanda. Thousands had been killed; bodies were found for months afterwards.

As part of an international research collaboration, I was interviewing government officials and others throughout the Philippines to assess how to improve preparedness for and response to climate-related disasters. I had already interviewed survivors in cities and villages across the country about the impacts of extreme weather. (And, incidentally, a few weeks later, I would contract dengue and chikungunya—two mosquito-borne diseases aided by climate change in their ongoing spread.) With my prior experience, I thought I was prepared for what I would hear that morning, but I wasn’t.

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Categories: Environment

Beyond Sightseeing: You'll Love The Sound Of America's Best Parks

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 1:52am

The National Park Service is racing to record soundscapes of each park that capture nature for the ear. "If we start to lose sounds of wilderness, we start to lose a piece of us," one scientist says.

Categories: Environment

‘Devastated’: scientists too late to captive breed mammal lost to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/29 - 1:12am

Australian conservationists spent five months obtaining permissions and planning for a captive breeding programme for the Bramble Cay melomys. But when they arrived on the rodent’s tiny, low-lying island, they discovered they were too late.

The Bramble Cay melomys has become more famous in extinction than it ever was in life. A mouse-like rodent, the melomys amazingly survived on a 3.6 hectare grass-covered cay (a low-lying island in a coral reef) in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef like a ratty Robinson Crusoe for thousands of years. There, it thrived off just a few plant species until human-caused climate change—in the form of rising sea levels and increasing inundations of sea water on the low-lying island—wiped it off the planet.

But, while the extinction has been reported widely, articles have missed an important point: the scientists who uncovered the rodent’s fate had planned to capture individuals and bring them back to the Australian mainland to start a captive breeding programme. They were just too late.

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Categories: Environment

Tragic lack of leadership puts red hot climate change out in the cold

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/28 - 10:40pm

Environment and climate groups publish final scorecards rating main political parties as Australians prepare to vote

If ever there was going to be a climate change election, surely this was going to be it.

As May came and the election date was announced, the implications of the global Paris agreement between more than 190 countries just months earlier were still resonating – the world was moving away from fossil fuels and the challenge to keep global warming well below 2C was agreed.

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Categories: Environment

UK light pollution 'causing spring to come a week earlier'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/28 - 10:01pm

Report is the first to examine the impact of artificial night-lighting on the seasonal behaviour of plants on a national scale

Light pollution is causing spring to come at least a week earlier in the UK, a new study has revealed.

The report, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that budburst in trees occurs up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas, with later-budding species being more affected.

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Categories: Environment

Huge helium gas find in east Africa averts medical shortage

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/28 - 3:50pm

The natural store of helium found in the Rift valley in Tanzania contains an estimated 54bn cubic feet of the noble gas

The discovery of a vast reserve of helium in east Africa has allayed fears of a global shortage of the precious gas crucial for the running of brain scanners, major scientific facilities, and parties that require floating balloons and squeaky voices.

According to independent analysts, the natural store of helium found in the Rift valley in Tanzania contains an estimated 54bn cubic feet of the noble gas, enough to inflate a similar number of party balloons, or to fill 1,200,000 hospital MRI scanners, researchers said.

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Categories: Environment

What will fill the hole left by coal?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/28 - 2:35pm

When mines close in Victoria, local people fear for their future and predict whole towns will die. But if the Coalition and Labor are serious about their climate change targets, are they also ready to replace the lost Australian jobs?

Greg Dunn, coffee in hand, has just finished a 12-hour night shift at the Hazelwood power station. He is tired, but in his low-key way, he is resigned, too. He rattles off the members of his family who have worked in the electricity industry in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, a list that almost certainly will end with him.

Dunn’s father worked as a boilermaker in the valley. His grandfather worked here too, back in gentler days when electricity was thought an essential service for governments to run. In the valley, it was the state electricity commission (SEC).

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