Environment

Pediatrician Who Exposed Flint Water Crisis Shares Her 'Story Of Resistance'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 11:10am

After warning of elevated lead levels in her patients in Flint, Mich., Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha faced a backlash: "The state said that I was an unfortunate researcher, that I was causing near-hysteria."

(Image credit: Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Government rejects plan for £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 11:06am

Ministers say project is too expensive but decision sparks widespread criticism

The government has rejected plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, dashing industry hopes of Britain leading development of a new source of renewable energy and sparking widespread criticism.

Ministers said the project, which would have been subsidised through household energy bills for decades, was too expensive compared with alternatives such as offshore windfarms and nuclear power.

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Categories: Environment

Waste crisis: where's your recycling going now?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 11:00am

China’s limits on contamination levels have sparked a recycling industry crisis. What are local and state governments doing to solve the problem?

“Did you put the recycling out?”

It’s a phrase regularly recited in millions of households across Australia, followed by a hollow rumble as the yellow-lidded wheelie bin is hauled to the kerb. It’s a ritual that, in one form or another, takes place in more than 90% of Australian homes.

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Categories: Environment

Where have all the butterflies gone? | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 10:15am
Disappearing butterflies | Patriarchy and religion | Protesting Trump | Getaways in a Morris Minor | Ikea

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. No cabbage white butterfly caterpillars chomping through my veg is great, but where have all the butterflies gone (Letters, passim)? Not only have I not seen a single cabbage white butterfly this year but no red admirals, no peacocks and no tortoiseshells. Very worrying.
Peter Hanson
Exeter

• As she dissected the subtle and not so subtle outrages of patriarchy experienced from Virginia Woolf to “labouring women in Mexico”, I wonder what discretion or inhibition Charlotte Higgins (Patriarchy: the return of a radical idea, 22 June) exercised not to mention the pronounced patriarchy in the Catholic church (the Holy Father for goodness sake), the male-delineated roles in ultra-orthodox Judaism, and in the various iterations (institutional or cultural) of Islam, all elided (that is to say obscured) in the one word reference to “religion”.
Philip Stogdon
London

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Categories: Environment

Red deer on the Isle of Rum – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 9:23am

A team of six scientists has descended on Rum, a small island in the Inner Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland, to catch red deer calves. During the month-long initiative, overseen by the Isle of Rum Red Deer Project, newborns will be tagged so data can be gathered on them over the course of their lifetimes. The island is home to hundreds of deer and about only 30 people, all of whom live in Kinloch village on the east coast

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Categories: Environment

Flying cameras can spot lethal disease sweeping through world's olive groves

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 8:00am

Fast-spreading Xylella fastidiosa is devastating species from citrus to oak trees, but can now be detected from the air

A devastating and fast-spreading infection killing olive trees and grapevines around the world can now be detected from the air, long before symptoms are visible to the human eye.

The new technique offers hope in the battle against one of the world’s most dangerous plant pathogens, which can infect some 350 different species, including citrus and almond trees, as well as oaks, elms and sycamores. Special “hyperspectral” cameras provide an early warning system by detecting subtle changes in leaf colour.

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Categories: Environment

30 years later, deniers are still lying about Hansen’s amazing global warming prediction | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/06/25 - 3:00am

Koch paychecks seem to be strong motivators to lie

Thirty years ago, James Hansen testified to Congress about the dangers of human-caused climate change. In his testimony, Hansen showed the results of his 1988 study using a climate model to project future global warming under three possible scenarios, ranging from ‘business as usual’ heavy pollution in his Scenario A to ‘draconian emissions cuts’ in Scenario C, with a moderate Scenario B in between.

Changes in the human effects that influence Earth’s global energy imbalance (a.k.a. ‘anthropogenic radiative forcings’) have in reality been closest to Hansen’s Scenario B, but about 20–30% weaker thanks to the success of the Montreal Protocol in phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Hansen’s climate model projected that under Scenario B, global surface air temperatures would warm about 0.84°C between 1988 and 2017. But with a global energy imbalance 20–30% lower, it would have predicted a global surface warming closer to 0.6–0.7°C by this year.

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Categories: Environment

Record emissions keep Australia on path to missing Paris target

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 11:33pm

Annual carbon emissions, excluding unreliable data, higher than ever, report says

Australia’s emissions over the past year were again the highest on record when unreliable data from land use and forestry sectors are excluded, according to new data from NDEVR Environmental.

If the country’s greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, Australia will miss its Paris target by a billion tonnes of CO2, which is equal to about two years of Australia’s entire national emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Toronto pay-what-you-can store aims to tackle landfills and hunger

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 9:00pm

Initiative aims to reduce dumping of ‘waste’ and sell it at prices set by buyers

In a bright, airy Toronto market, the shelves are laden with everything from organic produce to pre-made meals and pet food. What shoppers won’t find, however, is price tags. In what is believed to be a North American first, everything in this grocery store is pay-what-you-can.

The new store aims to tackle food insecurity and wastage by pitting the two issues against each other, said Jagger Gordon, the Toronto chef who launched the venture earlier this month.

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Categories: Environment

Len McCluskey at odds with Corbyn over Heathrow expansion

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 4:02pm

Union boss and Corbyn ally urges all Labour MPs to back expansion ahead of third runway vote

Len McCluskey has written to all Labour MPs urging them to back Heathrow expansion on Monday, a move that puts the head of the Unite union directly at odds with Jeremy Corbyn.

He said they had “the opportunity to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs” by backing the government’s decision to build a third runway.

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Categories: Environment

Ofgem appoints economist Martin Cave as chairman

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 4:01pm

Decision comes as regulator prepares to impose price cap on energy bills

A champion of price caps and a critic of suppliers’ behaviour has been chosen to lead the UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem.

In an effort to toughen up the watchdog, which has been criticised for being soft on energy firms, regulatory economist Martin Cave has been selected as the regulator’s new chair just months before it is due to impose a price cap on energy bills.

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Categories: Environment

Little green bag: Morrisons turns to paper in war on plastic

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 4:01pm

Supermarket chains begins UK rollout of paper bags for loose fruit and vegetables

Morrisons is reviving traditional brown paper bags for loose fresh fruit and vegetables, in a move it says will prevent 150m small plastic bags from being used every year.

The paper bags are being rolled out from Monday and will be in all of the supermarket chain’s 493 stores by the end of the summer. Made from 100% recyclable paper, they have a see-though paper strip to help shoppers and staff identify the produce inside.

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Categories: Environment

New NT gasfields would put Paris commitment in doubt

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 11:00am

‘There’s no room for any new long-term fossil fuel developments,’ climate scientists say

A gas boom in the Northern Territory would contribute as much as 6.6% to Australia’s annual emissions, according to data in a report from an inquiry examining the risks associated with fracking.

The final report by the inquiry’s committee assessed the emissions from exploration, producing gas from the planned new gasfields and from burning that proportion of the gas destined for the domestic market.

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Categories: Environment

Frogs and dragon flies in a deadly duel | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 9:11am
The entire population of tadpoles in Peter Malpass’s pond has been eaten by dragon fly larvae

Your report (21 June) urging gardeners to be frog friendly is, of course, to be welcomed. However, cherishing amphibians raises a dilemma because one of the major threats to frog populations is predation by dragon fly larvae, rapacious creatures up to two inches long and said to be capable of eating anything not bigger than themselves. This year not a single froglet will emerge from my pond, despite the protection given to the frog spawn during the late snow and frost. The entire population of tadpoles has been eaten by dragon fly larvae. The fact that the adult dragon fly is a magnificent creature in its own right, and, like adult frogs and toads, eats creatures we might regard as garden pests, leaves me in a quandary: is it OK to kill dragon flies to protect frogs, or should I leave it to nature to sort itself out?
Peter Malpass
Bristol

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Categories: Environment

The Bountiful Benefits Of Bringing Back The Beavers

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 5:04am

Hundreds of millions of beavers used to populate the West but were hunted to near extinction. Turns out, beavers are critical to healthy water ecosystems, so now there are efforts to bring them back.

(Image credit: Larry Smith/Flickr)

Categories: Environment

Energy minister faces questions as Swansea tidal lagoon plan left in limbo

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/24 - 3:05am

Tidal Lagoon Power has to cut headcount after delays over decision on £1.3bn project

Britain’s energy minister will have to explain to MPs why no decision has been made on whether to support a tidal lagoon in Swansea – nearly 18 months after an independent government review backed the plan.

Claire Perry will face the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee on Monday afternoon to answer questions on the £1.3bn clean energy project, which has been left in limbo.

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Categories: Environment

Genetically modified animals

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/23 - 11:00pm
Despite its potential to battle disease and hunger, genetically engineered food is still controversial

Last week, scientists from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute announced they had deleted the section of DNA that leaves pigs vulnerable to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, which is estimated to cost European farmers £1.5bn a year in loss of livestock and decreased productivity. Genetically modified animals are banned from the EU food chain, but since this is a new and different technique it’s possible they’ll be appearing in bacon sandwiches in a few years.

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Categories: Environment

Up to 100 Labour MPs to back government on Heathrow third runway

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/23 - 10:00pm
Backbenchers defy Jeremy Corbyn by working behind the scenes with Tory whips

Labour MPs who disagree with Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition to the expansion of Heathrow airport have been working closely with government ministers and Tory whips to ensure the plans win parliamentary approval on Monday, in an extraordinary show of defiance against their party leader.

The extent of behind-the-scenes cooperation with the government on such an important policy issue is believed to be unprecedented and all but guarantees that the third runway plan will be passed, despite Corbyn, his shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the Labour front bench opposing the move.

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Categories: Environment
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