5 Years After Hurricane Sandy, A Neighborhood Is Largely Deserted

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/10/29 - 3:23pm

Five years after Hurricane Sandy, residents of a coastal Staten Island neighborhood are selling their homes to the state, leaving behind barren and decrepit land.

Categories: Environment

Did The EPA Censor Its Scientists?

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/10/29 - 6:08am

Last week, EPA scientists were pulled from speaking at a meeting where they would address climate change. New EPA leaders were quickly accused of censoring their own scientists, says Adam Frank.

(Image credit: stevegeer/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Categories: Environment

Bats And Tequila: A Once Boo-tiful Relationship Cursed By Growing Demands

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/10/29 - 5:07am

As the tequila industry surges, the early harvesting and cloning of agave are disrupting the ecosystem of some species — leading some groups to go to bat for the hardworking nighttime pollinators.

(Image credit: Merlin Tuttle/Bat Conservation International)

Categories: Environment

The eco guide to sanitary products

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 11:00pm

Menstrual pads are hard to talk about, and also an eco disaster on our beaches – but we need to change our ways

This column nearly didn’t happen. When a manufacturer of eco friendly menstrual pads bounded up to me and asked me brightly in public: “Are you a flusher or a binner?” I stared at her in total horror. Menstrual products and their disposal represent one of the last great consumer taboos – odd in a society which cheerfully discusses the vajazzle. It’s a taboo that powers a huge environmental issue. In their 2016 beach clean-up, the Marine Conservation Society found 20 tampons and sanitary items per 100 metres of shoreline.

Why not embrace the rise of the reusables?

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Categories: Environment

Queensland Labor keeps promise on Great Barrier Reef coal-ship loading ban

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 5:21pm

Exclusive: Election-eve ban aims to cut contamination from coal and oil spills to help struggling reef

The Queensland Labor government has banned the loading of coal ships at sea in the Great Barrier Reef marine park, following through on its 2015 election promise.

The environment minister, Steven Miles, signed off on the ban on Saturday, in response to public concerns after the environment department last month flagged allowing so-called trans-shipping in the marine park under certain rules.

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Categories: Environment

Battle for the mother land: indigenous people of Colombia fighting for their lands

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 4:05pm

The 50-year civil war is over but, in the Cauca Valley, indigenous communities are on frontline of fight against drug gangs, riot police and deforestation

In pictures: Colombia’s land battles shatter the peace in Cauca Valley

A green-and-red flag flies over a cluster of bamboo and tarpaulin tents on the frontline of an increasingly deadly struggle for land and the environment in Colombia’s Cauca Valley.

It is the banner for what indigenous activists are calling the “liberation of Mother Earth”, a movement to reclaim ancestral land from sugar plantations, farms and tourist resorts that has gained momentum in the vacuum left by last year’s peace accord between the government and the leftwing guerrillas who once dominated the region – ending, in turn, the world’s longest-running civil war.

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Categories: Environment

Forget cod and salmon: Britons urged to rediscover the humble Cornish sardine

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 4:01pm
Though regarded as among the tastiest fish, 90% of the catch goes to Europe. Now a supermarket campaign aims to change that

At close to midnight, the crew of the Rachel Anne are surprisingly cheerful, given they have spent seven hours fruitlessly searching the English Channel for sardines. Scanning the screens in the wheelhouse, Richard Chamberlain, the skipper, suddenly spots a red blob on the echo-sounder which indicates a sizeable shoal is close by. “It’s looking good,” he shouts, checking its location and satisfied that it is a “tight” (and therefore plentiful) shoal, and not too deep. “Let’s shoot.”

The nocturnal silence off Cornwall is shattered as a huge circular net is catapulted or “shot” overboard by a hydraulic winch and – engine revving – the boat lurches ahead in a giant curve, the net unfurling behind.

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Categories: Environment

'All Is Not Lost': These Experts Help Save Hurricane-Soaked Heirlooms

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 2:41pm

Hurricane victims can replace chairs, cars, even homes. But they can't replace family photos or VHS tapes of grandma. So the Smithsonian and FEMA have dispatched a "heritage task force" to Texas.

(Image credit: Allison Lee/Houston Public Media)

Categories: Environment

EPA Cancels Scientist Discussion Of Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 5:09am

New York Times reporter Lisa Friedman talks with Melissa Block about EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's latest moves to curb his agency's regulations and shift the focus away from climate change.

Categories: Environment

Assessing The Damage To Puerto Rico's Rain Forest

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 5:09am

The trees in the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico were raked bare by Hurricane Maria. Grizelle Gonzalez from the International Institute of Tropical Forestry talks with NPR's Melissa Block.

Categories: Environment

Nestlé, Hershey and Mars 'breaking promises over palm oil use'

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 2:10am

This year’s Halloween confectionery will contain palm oil grown on land that should lawfully be habitat to orangutans, rhinos and clouded leopards, despite commitment to clean up supply chains

Nestlé, Mars and Hershey have been accused of breaking pledges to stop using “conflict palm oil” from deforested Indonesian jungles, just days before the annual Halloween confectionery frenzy.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says consumers have been “deceived” by promises from the brands to clean up their supply chains which were subsequently delayed, revised or watered down.

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Categories: Environment

Organic or starve: can Cuba's new farming model provide food security?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/28 - 2:00am

Once it grew only sugar and was heavy handed with fertilizers and pesticides, now Cuba is in the grip of a small-scale organic farming revolution

In the town of Hershey, 40 miles east of Havana, you can see the past and the future of Cuban farming, side by side.

The abandoned hulk of the Camilo Cienfuegos sugar plant, shut along with 70 other cane refineries in 2002, towers over the town. But in the lush hills and grasslands around Hershey, fields of cassava, corn, beans, and vegetables are a sign that there is life after sugar.

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Categories: Environment

US winter has shrunk by more than one month in 100 years

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 5:56pm

Scientists find that climate change has helped push first frosts later across the country

The length of the US winter is shortening, with the first frost of the year arriving more than one month later than it did 100 years ago, according to more than a century of measurements from weather stations nationwide.

The trend of ever later first freezes appears to have started around 1980, according to data from 700 weather stations across the US going back to 1895 and compiled by Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

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Categories: Environment

'Way off the planet': regional businesses use renewables to slash costs

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 4:00pm

From solar to running generators, some have quit the energy grid and several others are showing interest in ‘defecting’

In the heart of Queensland’s mining belt, a businessman who has grown his enterprise mostly off the back of the coal industry sees the energy sector going only one way.

“I think renewable energy is where the market’s going – what we class as the energy revolution,” says Jason Sharam.

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Categories: Environment

Trump to shrink two national monuments following Zinke's proposal

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 2:41pm

President will reverse protections established by two Democratic presidents on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, sparking fury from environmentalists

Donald Trump is shrinking two national monuments in Utah, accepting the recommendation of interior secretary Ryan Zinke to reverse protections established by two Democratic presidents, a Republican senator said Friday.

Related: National Park Service wants to sharply raise entry fees at most popular parks

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Categories: Environment

Farming sector aims to cut antibiotics use to help tackle human resistance

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 10:56am

Taskforce from UK’s pig, dairy and poultry farming sectors will aim to bring down use seen as major cause of increasing antibiotic resistance

Farming organisations have set new targets to reduce the use of antibiotics in raising animals for food, in an effort to cut the widespread overuse that has been blamed as a significant factor in increasing medicinal resistance among humans.

The chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, has repeatedly said that the rapidly increasing resistance to antibiotics and the rise of resistant “superbugs” is one of the greatest threats to human health, which could make even routine operations life-threatening in future.

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Categories: Environment

Sheffield councillor cleared of breaching tree-felling order

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 9:25am

Green party’s Alison Teal accuses Sheffield council of behaving like ’bullies’, saying their pursuit of her for protest was ‘frightening for democracy’

A Green party councillor has been found not guilty of breaching a court order while trying to stop trees being felled in Sheffield.

Alison Teal, the councillor for Nether Edge and Sharrow, could have faced up to two years in jail for allegedly ignoring an injunction brought by Sheffield city council over its controversial programme, which has resulted in about 5,500 mature trees being chopped down.

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Categories: Environment

Ryan Zinke: cowboy in Trump's cabinet taking aim at America's public lands

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 8:09am

Interior secretary Zinke calls himself a ‘Teddy Roosevelt guy’ – but he’s quietly dismantling environmental protections and yielding to oil industry interests

He recently posed for a GQ magazine photo shoot with a fly fishing rod in front of snow-capped Montana peaks.

He rode a horse – named Tonto – down the National Mall to his first day of work at the Interior Department.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 6:32am

Vaquita, Fynbos flowers and the world’s only alpine parrot are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Subsidy plan for coal and nuclear plants 'will cost US taxpayers $10.6bn a year'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/27 - 3:00am

Non-partisan analysis reveals the cost of energy secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to give handouts to some of the country’s oldest and dirtiest power plants

A Trump administration plan to subsidize coal and nuclear energy would cost US taxpayers about $10.6bn a year and prop up some of the oldest and dirtiest power plants in the country, a new analysis has found.

The Department of Energy has proposed that coal and nuclear plants be compensated not only for the electricity they produce but also for the reliability they provide to the grid. The new rule would provide payments to facilities that store fuel on-site for 90 days or more because they are “indispensable for our economic and national security”.

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Categories: Environment
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