Environment

Banning dangerous chemicals could save the US billions | Leonardo Trasande

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:00pm

It’s a myth that environmental regulations stifle economic productivity. Harmful chemicals cost the US $340bn a year

The Trump administration has argued that environmental regulations hold back economic productivity. Yet history suggests that the opposite is the case.

Look at phasing out lead in gasoline. To this day, the US receives a $200bn annual economic stimulus package each year because lead levels in children plummeted when the US Environmental Protection Agency moved to protect children.

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Categories: Environment

A parent's guide to avoiding potentially toxic chemicals

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:00pm

Exposure to potentially toxic substances that are part of modern life only adds to the many anxieties of parenting. Here’s what action you can take

From strapping zip ties on to cabinets to popping plastic covers into outlets, new parents do what they can to control their newborn’s environment. But beyond the visible, there are more obscure health concerns from additives and contaminants found in unexpected places.

Exposure to our environment begins even before birth. Studies have shown that some chemicals, like PFAS and flame retardants, in everyday products can pass from mother to fetus through the umbilical cord, and after birth through breast milk. Socioeconomic status and race also affect lifetime exposure. Minority and low-income individuals are disproportionately affected by pollution and toxic chemicals.

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Categories: Environment

'No faith in coal': religious leaders urge Scott Morrison to take climate action

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 7:38pm

Open letter calls on the prime minister to block all new coal and gas projects, including Adani

More than 150 religious leaders have called on Scott Morrison to acknowledge the world faces a climate emergency and block all new coal and gas projects, including Adani’s Carmichael mine.

In an open letter headed “no faith in coal”, the leaders say the climate crisis is a profoundly moral problem and Australia’s response will be crucial in addressing it.

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Categories: Environment

G20 countries triple coal power subsidies despite climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 4:01pm

Major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all aid for fossil fuels

G20 countries have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis.

The bloc of major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies.

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Categories: Environment

Oregon Republicans Are On The Lam Over A Climate Bill

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 1:05pm

Senate Republicans in Oregon have refused to come to the Capitol, denying the legislature the quorum needed to vote on a cap-and-trade bill. The state police has been sent to retrieve them.

(Image credit: Sarah Zimmerman/AP)

Categories: Environment

How Georgia Became A Surprising Bright Spot In The U.S. Solar Industry

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:51am

Solar is booming in Georgia, and it's not because of state mandates supporting renewable energy or concerns about climate change. Instead, powerful market forces are driving the growth.

(Image credit: Silicon Ranch)

Categories: Environment

HMRC pushes steep VAT increase for new solar-battery systems

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:21am

Treasury proposes rise from 5% to 20%, while the tax on coal will stay at lower rate

Homes hoping to shrink their carbon footprints by installing a solar-battery system face a steep VAT increase from October under new laws proposed by HMRC.

The Treasury put forward legislation on Monday to raise VAT for home solar-battery systems from 5% to 20%, on the same day that MPs are debating the government’s new net zero carbon target for 2050.

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Categories: Environment

Labour to give Bank of England role in tackling climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:09am

John McDonnell says Bank would monitor City firms’ progress on carbon emissions

Labour plans to give the Bank of England powers to help check the readiness of City firms to cut carbon emissions and invest responsibly to tackle the climate emergency.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, announced proposals for an unprecedented expansion of the central bank’s role at the heart of policymaking, with officials at Threadneedle Street supporting the Treasury in checking on progress towards carbon targets.

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Categories: Environment

The £1.4bn question: 1,800 miles of cycle routes or 10 minutes off a car journey?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 8:06am

Greater Manchester’s Bee Network has just £160m of the cash it needs, unlike a junction near Bedford

Almost exactly a year ago, Chris Boardman – the Olympic champion turned walking and cycling commissioner – unveiled a bold vision: Greater Manchester was to turn itself into a Dutch-style cycling paradise by building a 1,000-mile network of walking and biking routes called Beelines, after Manchester’s civic symbol, the worker bee.

A year on, the scheme has changed its name to the Bee Network after a rather embarrassing copyright infringement, and has expanded to cover 1,800 miles. Yet so far, work has only begun on one tiny section – a bit of towpath in Wigan known as the “muddy mile” – and the first wodge of money has already gone.

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Categories: Environment

Jay Inslee targets fossil fuel interests with new presidential promises

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 5:00am
  • Washington governor’s campaign centers on climate crisis
  • Announcement to be made in threatened Florida Everglades

Washington governor Jay Inslee will set his sights on powerful fossil fuel interests on Monday, by introducing a new portion of the presidential campaign he has centered on addressing the climate crisis.

Related: Mike Pence repeatedly refuses to say climate crisis is a threat to US

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Categories: Environment

Humans have made 8.3bn tons of plastic since 1950. This is the illustrated story of where it's gone

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/23 - 10:00pm

Until recently we didn’t know how much plastic was piling up around us. When we found out, the picture wasn’t pretty

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Categories: Environment

First Dog on the Moon and the guest of honour in the desert who never turned up | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/23 - 9:57pm

Rangers and scientists and a white cartoonist converge for the night parrot but where is the night parrot???

Greetings from Paruku. I’m here at the Species of the Desert Festival having a lovely time. We are 12 hours drive eastish from Broome on the shores of (currently empty) Lake Gregory (Paruku) near the community of Mulan. It is very in the middle.

This festival is a gathering of Indigenous rangers who live and work on country and also sometimes get together at events like this to share knowledge, do some organising and have a friendly chat. For a humble and very white cartoonist from rural Tasmania it is another world and I am feeling very lucky to be here and thoroughly enjoying myself – although the red dust gets into literally everything, even one’s undies (sorry TMI but it really does).

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Categories: Environment

The reason Australia doesn't have nuclear power: the workers fought back | Jeff Sparrow

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/23 - 6:24pm

Workers have been fighting uranium mining for decades – the environment needs mass civil disobedience

What do Clive Palmer, Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, Barnaby Joyce, Mark Latham, Jim Molan, Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz and David Leyonhjelm have in common?

No doubt many answers will come to to mind. But whatever else unites them, they all support nuclear power.

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Categories: Environment

Mike Pence repeatedly refuses to say climate crisis is a threat to US

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/23 - 12:24pm
  • Trump VP resists direct questioning in CNN interview
  • EPA moved this week to roll back Obama Clean Power Plan

At the end of a week in which the Trump administration rolled back Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Mike Pence declined repeated invitations to say the human-induced climate crisis is a threat to US national security.

Related: Arrests at protest over New York Times' 'unacceptable' climate coverage

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Categories: Environment

Considering 'Managed Retreat'

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/06/23 - 5:17am

When does it make sense to give up adapting to climate change and simply retreat? A first-of-its-kind conference this past week explored the difficult and contentious issues around that concept.

Categories: Environment

Abandoning A Floodzone

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/06/23 - 5:17am

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Fran O'Connor of Sayreville, N.J., about letting her home be bought and demolished after multiple rounds of flooding.

Categories: Environment

Tents, toilets, transport: eco-friendly festivals tackle the unholy trinity

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/22 - 11:00pm
Event organisers have already gone to war on plastic bottles and diesel generators, with the full support of music fans

When Chris Johnson first started putting on outdoor parties with his mates, they were small, impromptu and shambolic – or “really good fun”, as he puts it. Seventeen years later and he and the same four university friends are still pioneering in their field of partying, albeit Shambala is now a four-day festival in rural Northamptonshire with 15,000 people that has set an industry standard for its eco-credentials.

“We’re a purpose-led organisation, the point of it existing is to contribute something to the world,” says Johnson, “and the environment is an important part of our outlook; we have a responsibility – but also an opportunity to experiment.”

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Categories: Environment

America's corn belt farmers face uncertainty after rain … and more rain

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/22 - 10:00pm

Cold, rainy weather has meant severe planting delays for farmers from Ohio to Nebraska – and next week’s acreage report takes on heightened importance

In his 32 years of farming, Steve Fourez says he’s almost never been so late planting corn and soybean crops on the 500 acres he farms in east-central Illinois.

Normally by the start of May he’s finished planting corn, and soybeans are seeded soon after. This year, Fourez said, he wrapped up planting on 6 June, as cold, grey and rainy weather kept him idle. Fourez’s experience is playing out across the corn belt, a deeply fertile agricultural region stretching roughly from Ohio to Nebraska.

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Categories: Environment

Promises of a green energy jobs boom in Scotland are proving to be so much hot air | Kevin McKenna

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/22 - 10:00pm

The government stands accused of failing to protect workers as it sold off projects to EDF and other foreign firms

In the renewables sector, the Scottish government has been perfecting a form of political alchemy over the last decade. In this, Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers have succeeded in spinning mere optimism into hard political currency.

The title of its manifesto for the 2011 Holyrood election asked voters to “Re-elect a Scottish Government Working For Scotland” and claimed that developing the low-carbon economy would create “around 130,000 jobs”. At the current growth rate of real jobs in this sector, you wouldn’t bet on that figure of 130,000 being reached before that big asteroid with Earth’s name on it finds its bearings.

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Categories: Environment

Great Pacific garbage patch: giant plastic trap put to sea again

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/22 - 7:31pm

Floating boom is designed to trap 1.8tn items of plastic without harming marine life – but broke apart last time

A floating device designed to catch plastic waste has been redeployed in a second attempt to clean up a huge island of garbage swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.

Boyan Slat, creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, announced on Twitter that a 600 metre (2,000ft) long floating boom that broke apart late last year was sent back to the Great Pacific garbage patch this week after four months of repair.

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Categories: Environment
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