Environment

Scientists Who Want To Study Climate Engineering Shun Trump

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:07am

The controversial study of climate engineering — aka deliberately messing with Earth's temperature — was finally starting to regain a measure of respectability. And then came President Trump.

(Image credit: Pixza/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Government badger cull kill targets 'deliberately set too low'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:06am

Lower cull targets are easier to achieve but risk increasing instances of TB in cattle rather than reducing them, warns expert

The government’s killing targets for the controversial badger cull in England are “deliberately being biased down”, according to a leading animal population expert.

The badger cull, now rolled out to seven counties in England, is part of efforts to reduce the scourge of tuberculosis in cattle but has been heavily criticised by scientists.

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Categories: Environment

Fear of solar geoengineering is healthy – but don't distort our research

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 1:30am

Models suggest solar geoengineering could reduce climate change and our independently assessed studies are vital to understanding its full potential

Even if the world were to cut emissions to zero tomorrow, global temperatures and sea levels would rise for decades. If our roll of the climate dice is unlucky, they could rise for centuries. It is in this context that some climate researchers have begun to reluctantly take seriously ideas first proposed in the 1960s: the possibility of using solar geoengineering to help restore the world’s climate, alongside aggressive actions to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions to zero and below.

Fear of solar geoengineering is entirely healthy. Its mere prospect might be hyped by fossil fuel interests to thwart emissions cuts. It could be used by one or a few nations in a way that’s harmful to many. There might be some yet undiscovered risk making the technology much less effective in reality than the largely positive story told by computer models.

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Categories: Environment

A strong parliament will be nature’s last line of defence during Brexit

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 1:30am

EU membership has given Britain vital environmental laws. Any changes to legislation must be done with full public scrutiny to protect us from exploitation

When Theresa May fires the Brexit starting gun by triggering article 50, she will start a process that could dramatically reshape almost every aspect of British life – from our economy, laws, and place in the world to our natural environment. The difficult choices our politicians make in just a few years could change the face of Britain for generations to come.

Even before the tough bargaining with the EU and other countries start in earnest, another, more domestic negotiation process will get underway – the constitutional power struggle between parliament and government over who will have the final say on the momentous Brexit decisions. A lot will ride on the outcome of this tug of war, and that includes the fate of many vital environmental safeguards we take for granted.

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Categories: Environment

Westinghouse bankruptcy move casts shadow over world nuclear industry

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 1:20am

Plight of US firm, which has technology in about half world’s reactors, deals blow to building of new plants

The US bankruptcy filing by nuclear giant Westinghouse has been branded a major blow to the prospects for new atomic power globally.

The nuclear arm of Toshiba proudly states “we are nuclear energy” on its website, a boast underpinned by its technology being in around half the world’s reactors.

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Categories: Environment

Cyclone Debbie rescue efforts hit by flooding amid 'phenomenal' rain

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 12:54am

Category-four storm has damaged thousands of north Queensland properties and communities face days without power

• Police search for owners of cars found in floodwaters – as it happened

Cyclone Debbie has damaged thousands of north Queensland properties, leaving some residents homeless in communities that face days without power after being cut off by floodwaters.

The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the scale of Tuesday’s disaster was “significant” and it would take months for the communities worst hit by the category-four cyclone to recover.

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Categories: Environment

Cycle freight: why the bike is good for moving more than people

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 11:20pm

Better infrastructure for transporting people by bike is great. But cycle freight could free up roads and transform cities and towns too

The plastic bike basket I bought online was billed as “large”, but even so I was amazed when it arrived. This was a behemoth – a cavernous, black box into which you could as easily fit a decent-sized dog as a bag of shopping.

Fitted to my new commuter bike, the initial effect was comical. But such worries were soon forgotten given how astonishingly useful it proved.

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Categories: Environment

An extraordinary battle between sperm whales and orcas – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 11:15pm

While observing sperm whales off the Sri Lankan coast, Philip Hoare came face to face with eight hunting orcas who had no fear of the 100-strong sperm whale pod

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Categories: Environment

Cyclone Debbie's cooling effect won't prevent Great Barrier Reef bleaching, scientist says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 9:41pm

OceanWatch had expressed hope cyclone could have alleviated pressure the reef is under and prevented further bleaching

The cooling effect of Cyclone Debbie will not be enough to prevent further mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, a leading marine scientist has said.

The category-four tropical storm made landfall on the north Queensland coast on Tuesday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen were among the worst hit, though Hamilton, Hayman and Daydream islands were also affected.

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Categories: Environment

Nearly extinct tigers found breeding in Thai jungle

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 8:09pm

Hopes rise for critically endangered big cats, with only 221 Indochinese tigers thought to remain in Thailand and Myanmar

The critically endangered Indochinese tiger has been found to be breeding in a Thai jungle, providing hope for a subspecies whose total population may number only a couple of hundred.

Conservation authorities in Thailand, along with two international wildlife organisations, released photographs of new tiger cubs in the country’s east.

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Categories: Environment

Jane Goodall calls Trump's climate change agenda 'immensely depressing'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 6:32pm

Renowned primatologist is dismayed by Trump administration’s climate skepticism, but says people have ‘woken up’ to the dangers of doing nothing

The leading conservationist Jane Goodall has condemned Donald Trump’s bid to rip up America’s climate change policies as “immensely depressing” and flying in the face of scientific evidence.

The US president signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at dismantling Barack Obama’s clean power plan, intended to limit greenhouse gases from power plants. Trump’s move calls US commitment to the Paris accord into question.

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Categories: Environment

Conservative Liberals watching Trump's lead on climate, key backbencher says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 6:28pm

Craig Kelly, who chairs backbench committee on environment and energy, says he thinks Paris agreement is ‘cactus’

Australia will need to review its participation in the Paris agreement on climate change if Donald Trump follows through with his threat to withdraw from the treaty, according to the chair of the Turnbull government’s backbench committee on environment and energy.

Craig Kelly told Guardian Australia on Wednesday he’d predicted immediately after Trump’s election that the Paris climate deal was “cactus” and he stood by that assessment.

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Categories: Environment

EU leads attacks on Trump's rollback of Obama climate policy

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 2:59pm

Europe poised to take baton from US as leader in global efforts to fight climate change, with America’s commitment to Paris accords at risk

The European Union has led criticism of Donald Trump’s effort to unravel Barack Obama’s measures to combat climate change, suggesting that Europe will now take the lead in global efforts.

The US president signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at eliminating the clean power plan, Obama’s landmark policy to set limits on the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants emit. America’s commitment to the Paris accord of nearly 200 countries now hangs in the balance.

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Categories: Environment

Mayor Of Wyoming Coal Town Reacts To Trump's Climate Order

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 1:32pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Louise Carter-King, mayor of Gillette, Wyo., about the impact that President Trump's executive order loosening regulations on coal will have on the the town.

Categories: Environment

Trump Signs Executive Order Rolling Back Regulation On Carbon Emissions

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 1:32pm

President Trump signed a sweeping set of executive orders on Tuesday that aim to dismantle the Obama administration's efforts to combat climate change.

Categories: Environment

Trump rolls back Obama-era climate regulations – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 1:05pm

Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to undo a slew of Obama-era climate change regulations that his administration says is hobbling oil drillers and coalminers, a move environmental groups have vowed to take to court. The decree’s main target is Barack Obama’s clean power plan that required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants – a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015

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Categories: Environment

Trump moves to dismantle Obama's climate legacy with executive order

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 12:16pm

Environmentalists decry ‘embarrassing’ order to review Obama’s clean power plan and other regulations, as White House claims victory for coal industry

Donald Trump launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama’s climate change legacy on Tuesday with a sweeping executive order that undermines America’s commitment to the Paris agreement.

Watched by coalminers at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, the president signed an order to trigger a review of the clean power plan, Obama’s flagship policy to curb carbon emissions, and rescind a moratorium on the sale of coalmining leases on federal lands.

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Categories: Environment

Impact of job losses in Hazelwood may outweigh health benefits, AMA says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 12:09pm

Australian Medical Association says health impacts of unemployment and blackouts need to be considered when closing brown-coal power plants

The head of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Michael Gannon, has said the health benefits of closing down brown-coal power plants need to be considered against the health impacts of unemployment and blackouts.

The Hazelwood power station will permanently close on Friday, affecting 500 staff and 300 contractors who will lose their jobs. Hazelwood, in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, is Australia’s dirtiest power station and one of the most polluting power stations in the world.

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Categories: Environment

Alien intelligence: the extraordinary minds of octopuses and other cephalopods

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 12:00pm

After a startling encounter with a cuttlefish, Australian philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith set out to explore the mysterious lives of cephalopods. He was left asking: why do such smart creatures live such a short time?

Inches above the seafloor of Sydney’s Cabbage Tree Bay, with the proximity made possible by several millimetres of neoprene and a scuba diving tank, I’m just about eyeball to eyeball with this creature: an Australian giant cuttlefish.

Even allowing for the magnifying effects of the mask snug across my nose, it must be about 60cm (two feet) long, and the peculiarities that abound in the cephalopod family, that includes octopuses and squid, are the more striking writ so large.

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Categories: Environment

Trump has launched a blitzkrieg in the wars on science and Earth’s climate | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/03/28 - 11:55am

Trump’s anti-science budget, anti-climate executive orders, and general disdain for scientific expertise come at a bad time

Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order taking aim at America’s climate policies. On the heels of a report finding that the world needs to halve its carbon pollution every decade to avoid dangerous climate change, Trump’s order would instead increase America’s carbon pollution, to the exclusive benefit of the fossil fuel industry.

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Categories: Environment
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