Environment

Labor questions if Joyce and Nash can make legally valid decisions as ministers

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/08/18 - 1:47am

As Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash face high court cases over citizenship, the constitution says parliamentarians cannot be ministers if not validly elected

Labor has opened a new front in the Turnbull government’s citizenship crisis, raising the prospect that ministers may be unable to validly execute their ministerial duties under the constitution while there is a question about whether they have been validly elected.

Stephen Jones, the shadow minister for regional communications, wrote to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on Friday, demanding that he ask the deputy Nationals leader, Fiona Nash, to stand aside while her case is before the high court.

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Categories: Environment

Rained-out festival has left the fields in chaos

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 9:30pm

Minninglow, Derbyshire The Y Not festival site is still a mess, but a walk along the High Peak Trail underlines the resilience of nature

At the top of Gratton Dale, turning into Mouldridge Lane, the familiar white-walled pasture had been transformed. Diggers and tractors swarmed across the fields, beeping frantically. Grass had been churned up everywhere, and serried ranks of portable loos leaned like wearied soldiers. I was baffled. Was this some sort of war re-enactment?

Then I saw the word TONY spelled out in giant letters in the middle of the busiest field, only the Y was drooping and the N was the wrong way round.

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Categories: Environment

Murdered environment officer’s family says land-clearing law change would diminish his life

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 8:28pm

Alison McKenzie, whose husband Glen Turner was killed by a farmer, is ‘horrified’ broadscale tree clearing could return in NSW

The widow of a New South Wales environment officer murdered over his role in overseeing tree-clearing laws has asked the state government to reconsider deregulation that would see “the value of his life diminished”.

Alison McKenzie said her family was “horrified” that changes would allow a return to broadscale clearing that her husband Glen Turner “gave his life trying to prevent”.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland conservationists call for river-mining ban to protect Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 5:58pm

State mines minister rejects two applications at reserves west of Cape Tribulation which campaigners say should set a precedent

The “archaic” practice of mining rivers in north Queensland is making a mockery of Australia’s key policy to protect the Great Barrier Reef, wasting multimillion-dollar efforts to cut runoff pollution, its opponents say.

“Instream” mining in Queensland, the only state still allowing the excavation of rivers for gold, tin and silver, is unleashing torrents of fine sediment in one of the reef’s largest catchments.

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Categories: Environment

Leading elephant conservationist shot dead in Tanzania

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 9:56am

Wayne Lotter had received numerous death threats while battling international ivory-trafficking networks

The head of an animal conservation NGO who had received numerous death threats has been shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Tanzania.

Wayne Lotter, 51, was shot on Wednesday evening in the Masaki district of the city of Dar es Salaam. The wildlife conservationist was being driven from the airport to his hotel when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle. Two men, one armed with a gun opened his car door and shot him.

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Categories: Environment

Rare butterfly spotted in Scotland for the first time since 1884

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 8:40am

Elusive and endangered white-letter hairstreak discovered in a field in the Scottish borders could become the 34th species to live and breed in the country

Scotland has a new species of butterfly: the elusive and endangered white-letter hairstreak has been discovered in a field in Berwickshire, 100 metres from the English border.

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Categories: Environment

All work, no pay: the plight of young conservationists

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 8:39am

Qualified graduates are struggling to find paid jobs and many give up to pursue a different career. The result is a net loss for conservation work, reports Mongabay

Nika Levikov swore she would never work as a waitress again. But, today — with a master’s degree in conservation science from Imperial College London — she’s taking orders, delivering drinks, and cleaning tables to support herself.

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Categories: Environment

How Norway is selling out-of-date food to help tackle waste

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/08/17 - 4:07am

Supermarkets selling out-of-date produce and apps that identify food at risk of being binned are part of an ambitious plan to slash the nation’s food waste

“They might not taste quite the same,” says Naeeh Ahmed, 37, holding up for inspection a pack of Old El Paso soft tacos. The tower of boxes in front of him are three weeks past their best before date but Ahmed, operations manager at the Best Før supermarket in Oslo, says they’ll stay on display for a good few weeks yet. The same goes for the chocolate biscuits precariously piled up in the display – four weeks past their best before date – and the packs of Tassimo coffee pods that should have been sold in April. But all the prices reflect the product’s age: half-price for the tacos, two-thirds off the biscuits and, at 30 kroner (£3.66) for 32 pods, the coffee is also less than half its regular price.

It would be hard to find cheaper food in Oslo than that sold at Best Før. They flog the stuff that no one else has been able to get rid off. Products whose season has passed, or which have been overproduced, have been arriving at this small store since October last year when the mainstream Lentusgruppen supermarket chain heeded the call of the Norwegian government and decided to take food waste seriously. They established an offshoot in Oslo, the first of its kind in the city, selling the stuff other stores and suppliers throw away. It’s all up front – the shop looks like any other, but a large sign informs customers of the slightly different nature of the food down their aisles and in the chillers, which includes chicken fillets frozen a couple of days before going off.

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Categories: Environment

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility may be investigated by auditor general

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 11:18pm

Exclusive: NGOs urge audit following Wayne Swan’s warning Naif risks ‘misallocating billions of dollars’ in loan for Adani’s mine rail link

The controversial Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, which is mulling a $900m loan for a rail link for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, may be investigated by the auditor general.

The potential inquiry by the auditor general, who has wide-ranging access and information-gathering powers, follows interventions from a former federal treasurer and environment groups.

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Categories: Environment

Hardcore cycling in almost guaranteed rain: Scotland's no-frills 'anti-sportive'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 10:45pm

The Ride of the Falling Rain on the Hebridean island of Islay has no entry fee, route card or medals, but its laidback, friendly vibe keeps riders coming back despite the weather

The Ride of the Falling Rain is an annual cycling event on the Hebridean island of Islay that proudly describes itself as “anti-sportive”.

Held on the first Sunday in August, there is no entry fee, no feed stations, no timing chips and no medal or certificate at the end. Yet in its 14-year history, it has attracted a hard core of regulars who travel from all over the UK.

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Categories: Environment

UK fracking may produce less fuel than claimed, says geologist

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 10:01pm

Prof John Underhill argues that geology is fundamental but has been forgotten in assessments of UK’s shale gas capability

Fracking for oil and gas in the UK may produce much less fuel – and profits – than has been mooted, according to research based on seismic imaging of the country’s underlying geology.

Most of the areas in which deposits of onshore “unconventional” gas and oil are likely to be found were affected by tectonic activity along the Atlantic plate about 55m years ago.

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Categories: Environment

Brooklyn's social housing microgrid rewrites relationships with utility companies

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 10:00pm

Microgrids, promising energy self-reliance for communities, are growing in popularity as they become more affordable

Residents of a social housing complex in Brooklyn, New York, can’t stop another tempest like Superstorm Sandy from crashing through their city, but they can feel secure that it won’t cause a power cut.

In June, the 625-unit Marcus Garvey Village cut the ribbon on its very own microgrid, a localised network of electricity production and control. Rooftop solar panels produce clean power when the sun is up; a fuel cell takes in natural gas and churns out a steady current all day; when it’s more valuable to save the electricity for later, the largest lithium-ion battery system on New York City’s grid does just that.

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Categories: Environment

Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Flood Standards For Infrastructure Projects

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 2:45pm

An Obama order called for new public infrastructure projects to be built to withstand rising sea levels caused by climate change. President Trump revoked that order to accelerate the review process.

(Image credit: Michael Reynolds/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Flood Standards For Infrastructure Projects

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 2:45pm

An Obama order called for new public infrastructure projects to be built to withstand rising sea levels caused by climate change. President Trump revoked that order to accelerate the review process.

(Image credit: Michael Reynolds/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Councils must put tree safety first | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 11:22am
Sheffield’s protesters need to be aware of the danger of trees falling over, writes Paul Faupel

The sudden collapse of a 200-year-old oak in Madeira, killing 13 and injuring many others (Report, 16 August), is a salutary warning to the tree protesters of Sheffield (Report, 16 August). Local authorities and other custodians of parklands and highways have a duty to ensure that trees do not endanger the public when they deteriorate through age or disease. Inspecting trees is a specialist task best carried out by trained professionals. Doubtless Sheffield city council has been doing just that. If a tree collapsed on the protesters or damaged their properties they would be protesting against the council, and more likely suing them, for failing to safeguard them. The hapless council is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t take action.
Paul Faupel
Somersham, Cambridgeshire

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

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Categories: Environment

United By The Sun: A Solar Event For All Americans To Share (Rebroadcast)

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 8:06am

Skywatchers and astrophysicists are already gearing up for next month's "Great American Solar Eclipse."

(Image credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Three wildlife rangers killed in attack by violent militia in DRC

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 7:58am

Three wildlife rangers at DRC’s Virunga national park were killed this week in an ambush by Mai Mai rebels, bringing this year’s fatalities to eight

Three rangers have been killed and another is missing after an attack by violent militia in Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the number of fatalities in the park this year to eight.

The park rangers, Charles Paluku Syaira, Jonas Paluku Malyani and Pacifique Musubao Fikirini were murdered on the morning of Monday 14 August during a routine patrol around the park, which is home to critically endangered mountain gorilla.

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Categories: Environment

Woolly Mammoths Are Long Gone, But The Hunt For Their Ivory Tusks Lives On

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 4:18am

Last year China banned the sale of commercial elephant ivory. But that's led to another illicit trade — in woolly mammoth tusks — that is having a severe impact on Siberia's permafrost.

(Image credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL)

Categories: Environment

Britons to throw away £428m worth of barbecue food in August, study reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/16 - 2:36am

Exclusive: Nearly 12m barbecues in the UK likely to over-cater with food ranging from salads to burger rolls ending up in bins

It’s symbolised by dismal burgers and carbonised sausages served on paper plates with a splatter of ketchup. Yet with the great British summer well under way, Britons are this month set to throw away a staggering £428m worth of barbecue food, research reveals.

In August the nation will brave the changeable weather to enjoy nearly 12m barbecues, with people on average either hosting or attending at least two of the seasonal gatherings. The new research from supermarket chain Sainsbury’s shows that hosts typically over-cater to impress friends and family, with more than half (49.2%) putting on a larger than necessary spread.

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Categories: Environment

Greens push for Senate inquiry into allegations of cross-border waste dumping

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/15 - 11:01pm

ABC’s Four Corners report alleging illegal dumping in Queensland needs scrutiny, Peter Whish-Wilson says

The Australian Greens will push for a Senate inquiry into illegal waste dumping following damaging revelations on the ABC’s Four Corners program last week.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson says federal parliament must scrutinise the issues raised in the program, which exposed a network of waste transporting and freighting companies allegedly sending waste by road and rail to Queensland to avoid paying New South Wales millions of dollars in tariffs.

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Categories: Environment
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