Environment

Moshe Szyf: How Do Our Experiences Rewire Our Brains And Bodies?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 6:09am

Many think genetic makeup is fixed from the moment we're born. But Moshe Szyf says this understanding is incomplete because our experiences and environment have the power to change our basic biology.

Categories: Environment

Robert Sapolsky: How Much Agency Do We Have Over Our Behavior?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 6:05am

Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says nearly all aspects of human behavior are explained by biology: from developments millions of years in the past to microscopic reactions happening in the present.

(Image credit: TED)

Categories: Environment

Brian Little: Are Human Personalities Hardwired?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 6:05am

Are you introverted or extroverted? It depends. When it comes to personality, psychologist Brian Little says we can actually act against our biology — especially if we pursue a "core life project."

(Image credit: Ryan Lash/TED)

Categories: Environment

Peru tribal leaders vow to halt oil output unless indigenous rights respected

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 3:42am

Amazon leaders accuse government of blocking consultation on 30-year contract with Canadian oil firm and give ministers 20 days to apply law

Indigenous leaders from the area around Peru’s largest oil field have threatened to block the government from accessing their territories and halt oil production unless an indigenous rights law is applied within 20 days.

The tribal leaders, who hail from four Amazon river basins, accuse the government of refusing to carry out a consultation process even though it is negotiating a new 30-year contract for oil block 192 with Frontera Energy, a Canadian firm, whose current contract expires in early 2019.

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Categories: Environment

Glencore document suggests mine site could revert to NT before rehabilitation complete

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/25 - 12:40am

Exclusive: Risk assessment table indicates Glencore may have little or no involvement after McArthur River Mine’s life ends

A mine expansion proposal by Glencore appears to include handing responsibility for the McArthur River Mine site to the Northern Territory government just 50-100 years into an expected 1,000-year rehabilitation and monitoring process.

Glencore is proposing to expand its operations in Borroloola for another 20 years from 2018 and, according to its draft environmental impact statement, that expansion would require up to 300 years of rehabilitation and management, and about 900 years of monitoring.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 11:23pm

A shag in the Farne Islands, coral reefs in recovery in Belize, and a fox near Chernobyl are among this week’s images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Rhino horn sales: banking on extinction

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 10:05pm

Paula Kahumbu: The sale of rhino horn in South Africa won’t help save rhinos, but it will benefit organised crime

South Africa has just launched the first ever legal rhino horn auction. If you are based in South Africa and would like to buy some rhino horn you can place your bid here.

This is not a government auction, although it is sanctioned by the South African government. It has been organised by private rhino rancher, John Hume, who took the government to court and won the right to sell 265 rhino horns weighing about 500 kg. Trade in rhino horn is illegal in most countries, but the black market value of one kilogram is said to be USD 100,000—more than the price of platinum.

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Categories: Environment

Australian firm unveils plan to convert carbon emissions into 'green' concrete

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 4:30pm

Initiative to convert CO2 into solid carbonates aims to produce building materials on commercial scale by 2020

An Australian pilot project capturing carbon emissions and storing them in building materials aims to have a full-scale production plant by 2020.

Mineral Carbonation International, an Australian company developing carbon-utilisation technology will officially launch its technology and research program at the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Semi-automated truck convoys get green light for UK trials

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 4:01pm

Government allocates £8.1m to trials of ‘platooning’ which proponents say could cut congestion and hauliers’ fuel costs

The government has given the go-ahead for the first trials of convoys of semi-automated trucks on UK motorways.

Up to three wirelessly connected HGVs will travel in convoy, with acceleration, braking and steering controlled by the lead vehicle, a concept named platooning. Each lorry will have a driver in the cab ready to retake control at any time.

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Categories: Environment

Historic Surrey gardens under threat from road-widening scheme

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 4:01pm

Grade II*-listed Garden Wisley could lose 10,000 sq metres of woodland if proposals are approved, warns horticultural charity

Related: Everything in the garden is political – even at Hampton Court Palace | Patrick Barkham

One of the country’s most important horticultural gardens is under threat from a road-widening scheme, the Royal Horticultural Society has said.

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Categories: Environment

Under threat: the three national monuments in Trump's sights

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 2:59pm

As interior secretary recommends boundary changes to Donald Trump, three national monuments are reportedly at risk of being reduced in size

In April, Donald Trump ordered a sweeping review of 27 national monuments, from Maine to Oregon. The monuments were set aside over the last three decades by Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama. Trump’s review sought to explore whether the protected land should be opened up to create economic opportunities for industries such as oil, gas, mining and timber.

Related: US public lands: Trump official recommends shrinking national monuments

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Categories: Environment

Federal Protection For Utah National Monument Threatened

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 1:52pm

Five Native American tribes have homeland that borders the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah. Gavin Noyes, the executive director of Utah Dine Bekeyah, a coalition of those tribes, talks to NPR's Robert Siegel.

Categories: Environment

25 Years Later: Hurricane Andrew's Devastation Lingers

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 1:52pm

Twenty-five years ago, Hurricane Andrew slammed into south Florida. It was the last Category 5 storm to hit the U.S., and its impact is still felt today by those who survived the hurricane.

Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Moves To Shrink National Monuments

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 1:52pm

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says some National Monuments protecting federal public land designated during the Obama administration will be downsized, including a big reduction of Utah's Bears Ears.

Categories: Environment

25 Years Later: How Hurricane Andrew Impacted Emergency Response

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 1:52pm

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate about the important changes inspired by the historic Category 5 storm, in computer modeling, housing codes and insurance.

Categories: Environment

Texas Coast Prepares For Strengthened Hurricane Harvey

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 1:52pm

The National Hurricane Center now says Harvey will be a major hurricane when it arrives in Texas late Friday. The overnight escalation surprised planners who were told it would be a tropical storm.

Categories: Environment

The Trump administration's national monuments 'review' is a sham | Brian Calvert

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 11:41am

The reasoning the president gave for the review, which could affect 27 national monuments, are demonstrably untrue

  • Brian Calvert is the editor-in-chief of High Country News, a Colorado-based magazine that covers the American West

I have been trying to find one good policy reason for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to go after national monuments, but the fact is, there are none.

Zinke, a pro-energy Montanan who speciously claims to be a conservationist, has undertaken an unprecedented review of national monuments dedicated under the Antiquities Act at the behest of Donald Trump. He delivered his recommendations for shrinking a hit-list of 27 monuments on August 24. But his review is a sham, and so is the presidential directive that ordered it.

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Categories: Environment

Coal in decline: Adani in question and Australia out of step

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 11:00am

Special report: India and China are shifting away from coal imports and coal-fired power while a mega-mine is planned for Queensland. Where does this leave coal in Australia?

The Paris-based International Energy Agency was born in a crisis. In the wake of the 1973 oil shock, as Arab petroleum producers withheld supply from countries that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur war, the then US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, called on the OECD to set up a new body to ensure its members would always have the reliable and affordable energy they needed.

Over time, as the agency has expanded its focus to map broader energy trends, it has sometimes faced accusations of conservatism – that it has underestimated the uptake of renewable energy, and has been overly bullish about the future of fossil fuels. But last month it released a report that pointed to a rupture more far reaching than the 70s oil embargo.

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Categories: Environment

David Attenborough sees 'signs of hope' for the environment

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 10:36am

Broadcaster says he is more optimistic about the future of the planet after a global shift in attitudes to the natural world

Sir David Attenborough has said he is more encouraged about the future health of Earth than he has been for some time after a “worldwide shift” in attitudes about concern for the natural world and the damage that humans are doing to the planet.

The veteran wildlife broadcaster said there are “signs of hope” for the health of the planet and called the Paris climate change agreement a “big advance” in an interview at the Edinburgh TV festival despite President Donald Trump’s disengagement.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil abolishes huge Amazon reserve in 'biggest attack' in 50 years

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/24 - 10:07am

President dissolves Renca to attract investment in region thought to contain gold as critics warn of irreversible damage

The Brazilian president Michel Temer has abolished an Amazonian reserve the size of Denmark, prompting concerns of an influx of mineral companies, road-builders and workers into the species-rich forest.

The dissolution of the Renca reserve – which spans 46,000 sq km on the border of the Amapa and Para states – was described by one opposition senator Randolfe Rodrigues of the Sustainability Network party, as the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years”.

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Categories: Environment
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