Environment

Government doesn't know if exported rare birds are still in German facility, Senate hears

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/18 - 9:25pm

Australian officials have not visited the centre where hundreds of rare and endangered birds were sent

The federal environment department does not know if hundreds of rare and endangered Australian birds exported to a German organisation headed by a convicted kidnapper and extortionist are still at the group’s facility in Brandenburg.

Department officials told Senate estimates on Monday night their wildlife compliance unit was investigating after Guardian Australia reported the government had been warned birds sent to the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) could be sold to collectors at a huge profit.

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Categories: Environment

Bulk carrier runs aground on Solomon Islands reef spilling oil

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/18 - 8:48pm

Cyclone delays cleanup after ship runs aground in rough seas near Rennell Island

Solomon Islands authorities are scrambling to clean up an oil spill caused after a bulk carrier came aground about a fortnight ago on a coral reef on the southern coast.

Category 2 cyclone Oma and rough weather had delayed efforts to salvage the ship, MV Solomon Trader.

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Categories: Environment

Iowa operatives say ethanol worship is now as corny as The West Wing

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/18 - 4:00am

Support for the biofuel and its economic impact used to be key in the caucus state. Then Ted Cruz opposed it and won

For decades, supporting ethanol was considered the price of admission for the Iowa caucuses. Government backing for production of the corn-based biofuel was seen as a sacred cow. Presidential candidates who opposed it either skipped the state or changed their mind. There was even an episode of The West Wing that revolved around candidates grudgingly endorsing ethanol in order to save their political bacon.

Related: Leftwing Democrats steal the 2020 spotlight but can centrists fight back?

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Categories: Environment

NSW Labor pledges state-owned renewable energy company to power three million homes

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/17 - 9:33pm

Environment groups hail Michael Daley’s promise a ‘game-changer’ that would slash state’s carbon emissions by 12%

A New South Wales Labor government would establish a state-owned renewable energy company to support the rollout of enough renewable energy to power more than three million homes across the state in the next decade.

On Monday the NSW opposition leader, Michael Daley, announced that if elected on 23 March, Labor would deliver seven gigawatts of extra renewable energy by 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef coral at risk of bleaching from Queensland flood waters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/17 - 9:10pm

Marine park authority fear freshwater bleaching after scientists report ‘extensive’ flood plumes and drop in water salinity

Freshwater bleaching of corals could occur this year as a result of flood waters from Queensland’s overflowing rivers pouring into the Great Barrier Reef, the marine park authority has warned.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority told Senate estimates hearings in Canberra on Monday that there is a chance corals hit by mass bleaching in 2016 or 2017 could be damaged again by one of several impacts from the flooding disaster.

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Categories: Environment

Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market | Giles Parkinson

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/17 - 8:41pm

The South Australian battery pockets $4m as the market looks to unlock multiple potential value streams

The Tesla big battery at Hornsdale in South Australia continues to make its mark on the Australian energy market, pocketing another $4m in the fourth quarter from the provision of frequency and ancillary services.

Related: South Australia's Tesla battery on track to make back a third of cost in a year

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Categories: Environment

Food waste bins should be collected weekly, says Michael Gove

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/17 - 5:01pm

Drive to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle and cut waste’ could include plastic tax and deposit scheme

Millions of homes could have their food waste bins collected weekly, if new proposals from the environment secretary are implemented in the wake of a government consultation on the UK’s waste system.

Michael Gove’s proposed measures to ensure consistent recycling collections come after a number of councils cut the frequency of collections, leaving residents with overflowing bins.

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Categories: Environment

Florida's farmers plot new course after Hurricane Michael's deadly tear

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/17 - 4:00am

Storm’s assault through Panhandle has left growers moving away from traditional farming towards alternatives like hemp and hops

Hurricane Michael’s deadly tear through Florida’s Panhandle four months ago will help fuel a transformation of the state’s agricultural industry, experts are predicting, with significant numbers of growers moving away from traditional farming and towards a future of alternative crops such as hemp and hops.

Related: Florida: seafood industry struggles to recover after Hurricane Michael

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Categories: Environment

Sharp rise in methane levels threatens world climate targets

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/17 - 12:00am

Experts warn that failure to act risks spike in global temperatures

Dramatic rises in atmospheric methane are threatening to derail plans to hold global temperature rises to 2C, scientists have warned.

In a paper published this month by the American Geophysical Union, researchers say sharp rises in levels of methane – which is a powerful greenhouse gas – have strengthened over the past four years. Urgent action is now required to halt further increases in methane in the atmosphere, to avoid triggering enhanced global warming and temperature rises well beyond 2C.

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Categories: Environment

Labour green group urges Corbyn to back second Brexit vote

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/02/16 - 1:22pm

Socialist Environment and Resources Association says leaving EU will do untold damage to countryside

The only environmental group affiliated to the Labour party has written to Jeremy Corbyn calling on him to back a second referendum on Brexit and to campaign for remain.

It warns that leaving the EU will have devastating consequences for millions of British people, drastically undermine UK farmers, and do untold damage to the countryside.

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Categories: Environment

UK fracking industry pushes for review of earthquake limits

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/02/16 - 9:00am
Firms say regulations forcing operations to stop if they trigger tremors greater than 0.5 magnitude threaten viability

The UK’s nascent fracking firms are headed for a crunch moment that will determine whether the industry has a future, according to observers and insiders.

The past fortnight has seen a concerted lobbying drive by two of the leading shale companies calling for the government to review rules on earthquakes caused by their operations.

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Categories: Environment

As More Electric Cars Arrive, What's The Future For Gas-Powered Engines?

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/02/16 - 5:01am

The vast majority of American cars run on gasoline. But analysts say that's poised to change as electric vehicles take over the market — albeit not as quickly as environmental activists might like.

(Image credit: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Sky Islands And Starry-Eyed Frogs: Breathtaking Photos Of Remote Ecosystems

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/02/16 - 5:00am

Prasenjeet Yadav wants his photos to make people care about the environment — whether it's grasslands vanishing in southwest India or windmills taking over a lizard's habitat.

(Image credit: Prasenjeet Yadav )

Categories: Environment

US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/02/15 - 12:00pm

Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect

When the parking lot in the bustling tourist zone of downtown Annapolis floods, the employees at Pip’s Dock Street Dogs restaurant take off their socks and shoes, wrap their legs in trash bags and wade out into the water.

A lot of the time, it’s not even raining. High tides intensified by sea-level rise are just pushing the water inland, overwhelming the drainage system.

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Categories: Environment

'It is our future': children call time on climate inaction in UK

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/02/15 - 11:11am

Thousands of young people take time out of school to join protests across the country

Some wore school uniform, with ties askew in St Trinian’s fashion, others donned face paint, sparkly jackets and DM boots. The youngest clutched a parent’s hand as people gathered in the sunshine in Parliament Square in London, a few metres from the politicians they say are letting down a generation.

They carried homemade placards, with slogans full of humour, passion and hope that the voices of thousands of children and young people would be heard.

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Categories: Environment

School pupils call for radical climate action in UK-wide strike

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/02/15 - 10:51am

Thousands of young people walk out of lessons in protest at political inaction over crisis

Thousands of schoolchildren and young people have walked out of classes to join a UK-wide climate strike amid growing anger at the failure of politicians to tackle the escalating ecological crisis.

Organisers said more than 10,000 young people in at least 60 towns and cities from the Scottish Highlands to Cornwall joined the strike, defying threats of detention to voice their frustration at the older generation’s inaction on the environmental impact of climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Climate strike: thousands of students take to UK streets in call to stop global warming – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/02/15 - 9:03am

Walkouts held in towns and cities across Britain in protest at environmental crisis

3.47pm GMT

We’re going to wind up the blog now. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch to share your stories. Here’s our most recent news story.

Related: Climate strike: UK school pupils take part in call for urgent action

3.30pm GMT

The climate change strikers have found an unusual source of support: Conservative MPs who have issued comments applauding those who took time off school or college to join the protests.

They include Claire Perry, the energy minister, who said: “I’m incredibly proud of young people who feel strongly that we need to take action.” She was joined by the former higher education minister Sam Gyimah, who tweeted approvingly: “Best to see this as an applied citizenship lesson on one day of the year.”

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Categories: Environment

J. Marshall Shepherd: How Does Bias Shape Our Perceptions About Science?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/02/15 - 7:34am

Why do many people dismiss issues like climate change, despite strong scientific evidence? Climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd examines how different forms of bias shape how we perceive science.

(Image credit: TED)

Categories: Environment

Week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/02/15 - 7:30am

Hungry polar bears, the oldest known breeding bird and a new frog species in this week’s gallery

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Categories: Environment

Scorched film sets: a Hollywood park after wildfires

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/02/14 - 2:48pm

Recent blazes scorched 90% of the federally protected Santa Monica Mountains – destroying a 1950s Hollywood set and affecting biodiversity. But life is slowly coming back

The fire came quickly. Fueled by dry, blustering winds, officials were unable to contain the Woolsey fire before it scorched the canyons of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, taking close to 97,000 acres and 1,500 properties with it.

One of the great casualties was the Santa Monica Mountains national recreation area. Nearly 90% of the federally owned land burned in the November 2018 blaze. The park is home to popular hiking trails, a rich ecosystem of plant and wildlife, including mountain lions and coyotes, as well as famous spots such as the Paramount Ranch’s “Western Town” (a well-known Hollywood set location), the historic 1927 Peter Strauss Ranch house, a research field station and ranger residences. Nearly all of them burned to the ground.

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Categories: Environment
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