Environment

Trump Administration Moves Forward With Proposal To Re-Define Waterway Protections

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/04/15 - 1:15pm

The Trump administration's revisions to the Waters of the U.S. rule will strip federal water protections from millions of miles of rivers. The impact will be even more pronounced in the arid Southwest.

Categories: Environment

'Body eruption': the aphids that sacrifice themselves for colony

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/15 - 12:00pm

Scientists study species that releases huge quantities of bodily fluids to plug nest holes

While humans might change their locks to deal with intruders, a species of aphid opts for a communal sacrifice, releasing huge quantities of a sticky bodily fluid to plug holes in their nests.

Researchers who studied the makeup of the fluid found the process for nest repair was similar to what happens when aphids are wounded, involving the release of substances that clot and form a scab. This means similar mechanisms underpin both individual immunity and so-called social immunity – when organisms work together to protect their communities from enemies and disease.

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Categories: Environment

'Environment crisis': Wilderness Society pursues parties over election commitments

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/15 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Green group’s intervention seen as a hurry up to Labor, which is yet to produce its final policy

An influential green group is seeking concrete commitments from the major parties and potential crossbenchers for an overhaul of environmental protection laws and the establishment of new independent regulatory agencies, before Australians cast their votes on 18 May.

Lyndon Schneiders, the national campaigns director of the Wilderness Society, wrote widely to politicians on Monday seeking agreement to an ambitious legislative and regulatory overhaul – but the hurry up is directed predominantly at Labor, which has offered an in-principle commitment but has not yet produced a final policy, and the people likely to form the crossbench in the next parliament.

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Categories: Environment

Thousands block roads in Extinction Rebellion protests across London

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/15 - 10:59am

Climate group occupies major landmarks in campaign that could last several days

Thousands of people have blocked well-known landmarks including Waterloo Bridge in central London, bringing widespread disruption to the capital in a “climate rebellion” that organisers say could last several days.

Parents and their children joined scientists, teachers, long-term environmentalists and other protesters both young and old to occupy major junctions and demand urgent action over the escalating ecological crisis.

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Categories: Environment

'We're not a dump' – poor Alabama towns struggle under the stench of toxic landfills

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/04/14 - 10:00pm

Imports of waste from across the country have turned parts of the state into ‘a toilet bowl’ – and residents are fighting back

West Jefferson, Alabama, a somnolent town of around 420 people north-west of Birmingham, was an unlikely venue to seize the national imagination. Now, it has the misfortune to be forever associated with the “poop train”.

David Brasfield, a retired coalminer who has lived in West Jefferson for 45 years, thought at first the foul stench came from the carcass of a shot pig. By the time he realized that human feces was being transported from 1,000 miles away to a nearby landfill site, a scene of biblical pestilence was unfolding upon West Jefferson.

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Categories: Environment

Fukushima: removal of nuclear fuel rods from damaged reactor building begins

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/04/14 - 9:31pm

Workers begin to empty storage pool – but more critical removal of melted fuel from reactors themselves will be more challenging

Workers at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have begun removing fuel rods from a storage pool near one of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns eight years ago.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said on Monday that work had begun to remove the first of 566 used and unused fuel assemblies in reactor building No 3.

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Categories: Environment

Tornadoes and flooding in southern US kill at least six, including three children

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/04/14 - 1:35pm
  • Nearly 90,000 customers left without power
  • At least 25 taken to hospitals in east Texas
  • 55 homes destroyed in town of Franklin

Powerful storms swept across the southern US on Sunday, after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least six people, including three children, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town.

Nearly 90,000 customers were without power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia as of midday Sunday.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on Extinction Rebellion: one small step | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/04/14 - 10:34am
Disrupting traffic is not enough – we must disrupt our progress towards climate catastrophe

The planned choking of traffic in central London on Monday by climate activists of Extinction Rebellion falls somewhere between street theatre and direct action. If it is successful it will be costly for the demonstrators, some of whom plan to be arrested, burdensome for bus passengers who can’t get to work, and vexing for car drivers who (unlike those in emergency vehicles) will be held up. And yet, should it fail, the long-term costs of climate change will be immense for almost everybody now alive and for all our descendents, too.

In the short term, the rage of the frustrated motorist remains one of the most powerful political forces in countries like ours. The gilets jaunes movement in France started off in part as a protest against price rises on petrol; the Blair government sustained its first big defeat at the hands of lorry drivers in the fuel protests of 2000, which destroyed a sensible and ecologically necessary plan to raise fuel taxes steadily over time to discourage the use of fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

Seychelles president issues underwater plea to protect oceans

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/04/14 - 2:40am

Danny Faure gives speech from submersible 120 metres below surface of Indian Ocean

The president of the Seychelles has made a plea for stronger protection of the “beating blue heart of our planet”, in a speech delivered from deep below the ocean’s surface.

Danny Faure’s call for action, billed as the first live speech from a submersible, came during a visit to an ambitious British-led science expedition exploring the Indian Ocean depths.

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Categories: Environment

Europe at risk from spread of tropical insect-borne diseases

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/04/13 - 10:59pm
Scientists warn of danger from dengue fever in hotter, wetter climate in northern latitudes

Insect-borne diseases such as dengue fever, leishmaniasis and encephalitis are on the rise and are now threatening to spread into many areas of Europe, scientists have warned.

Outbreaks of these illnesses are increasing because of climate change and the expansion of international travel and trade, the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases was told in Amsterdam on Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

Richard Di Natale warns Bill Shorten he ignores the Greens at his peril

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/04/13 - 7:50pm

Greens leader reached out to opposition after it committed to the Neg as a way to end the climate wars

Richard Di Natale has warned Bill Shorten should ignore the Greens at his peril when it comes to climate change action.

The Greens leader committed to hold Labor to account in the Senate on its pledge to legislate the coalition’s national energy guarantee.

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Categories: Environment

'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/04/13 - 7:00pm

With dozens of events next week, many hope arrival of climate punks who’ve swept the UK will be a watershed moment

Bea Ruiz, a veteran progressive coordinator, has been telling scores of first-time climate change protesters they face being harassed and beaten by police next week. Most seem happy with the deal.

“I told a 72-year-old volunteer that he will probably be targeted by police,” said Ruiz, who is based in Eureka, California and is helping organize the first US rollout of Extinction Rebellion, a group founded in the UK that has grabbed attention through disruptive protests leading to mass arrests.

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Categories: Environment

Endangered North Atlantic right whales experience mini baby boom

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/04/13 - 10:36am
  • Researchers herald sightings of two more mother and calf pairs
  • Population of rare whale species is only around 411

Endangered North Atlantic right whales are experiencing a mini baby boom in waters off New England, researchers on Cape Cod have said.

Related: No North Atlantic right whales killed in Canadian waters in 2018

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Categories: Environment

Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/04/13 - 5:16am

Some environmentalists say food production needs a fundamental reboot, with crops that stay rooted in the soil for years, like Kernza, a prairie grass. Even General Mills says it likes the idea.

(Image credit: Olivia Sun/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Extinction Rebellion calls on protesters to block London streets

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/04/13 - 12:00am

About 2,300 climate activists have already signed up to help obstruct busy roads next week

Environmental campaigners are hoping to mobilise thousands of people to block the streets of central London around the clock next week, in their latest attempt to raise public awareness and provoke action over the destruction of the biosphere.

About 2,300 volunteers have signed up with Extinction Rebellion to obstruct some of the capital’s busiest roads for at least three days.

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Categories: Environment

High-cat diet: urban coyotes feast on pets, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/04/12 - 1:38pm

A study of coyote scat in LA found the animals are attracted to fruit in gardens, where they are also finding cats and dogs

Doug McIntyre let his cat, Junior, out of the house on a sunny summer morning last June.

As Junior walked down the path and into the world, he paid special attention. “I had a funny feeling … just an odd sensation that something was off,” McIntyre, a journalist and radio host, recalled in a column at the time.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/04/12 - 8:55am

Frogs’ legs, a bee on cowslips and a brown bear with its cub

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Categories: Environment

Flanders stream so polluted 'water could be used as pesticide'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/04/12 - 8:45am

Scientists say stream dubbed ‘most polluted in Europe’ is reminder of effects of intensive farming

Winding between green meadows in the west Flanders countryside, the Wulfdambeek stream is fondly remembered as a place local boys would fill up their water bottles before football games.

But research from the University of Exeter has offered a sharp reminder of how intensive farming methods are changing the face of the northern European countryside in ways scientists claim are not being properly understood.

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Categories: Environment

Students bring fresh wave of climate strikes to UK streets

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/04/12 - 8:11am

Young people demand action from politicians at synchronised rallies across Britain

Thousands of students and activists have taken to the streets of more than 50 British towns and cities demanding urgent action on climate change for the third time in as many months.

The organisers of the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement said “sizeable events” took place in London, Sheffield, Manchester and Brighton, among other towns and cities. They mirrored events around the world, as protesters from cities as far apart as Helsinki and Delhi took to the streets.

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Categories: Environment

Lost river returns to Somerset 70 years after it dried up

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/04/12 - 7:57am

Restoration of unnamed tributary of River Chew offers new habitat for rare wildlife

A lost river has returned to the Somerset countryside for the first time in 70 years, and with it a new habitat for several species of rare and threatened wildlife.

The unnamed tributary of the River Chew from the Mendip Hills down to the River Avon was severed by a dam in 1956, when the valley was flooded to form the Chew Valley Lake reservoir that supplies Bristol and Bath.

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