Ex-cyclone Debbie: authorities fear deaths in floods

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 1:29pm

• SES says it could not respond to calls overnight
• Lismore faces inundation as water flows over levee
• More than 80,000 without power in south-east Queensland

Authorities fear deaths overnight in northern New South Wales as the region and neighbouring south-east Queensland continue to be hit by heavy rain and flooding.

The acting deputy commissioner of the NSW State Emergency Service, Mark Morrow, said there had been more than 130 calls for help overnight and not all of those who called could be reached.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change: global reshuffle of wildlife will have huge impacts on humanity

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 11:00am

Mass migration of species to cooler climes has profound implications for society, pushing disease-carrying insects, crop pests and crucial pollinators into new areas, says international team of scientists

Global warming is reshuffling the ranges of animals and plants around the world with profound consequences for humanity, according to a major new analysis.

Rising temperatures on land and sea are increasingly forcing species to migrate to cooler climes, pushing disease-carrying insects into new areas, moving the pests that attack crops and shifting the pollinators that fertilise many of them, an international team of scientists has said.

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Categories: Environment

Bank of England considers palm oil for £20 polymer notes

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 9:48am

Switching from animal fat derivative may prove tricky as WWF issues caution over environmental impact of using palm oil

The Bank of England is considering plans to replace the animal fat in its polymer bank notes to assuage complaints from vegans and religious groups.

The Bank, however, risks running straight into another row, because the most practical alternative to animal fat, it says, is palm oil – and that is likely to spark protests from environmentalists unless it can be sustainably sourced.

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Categories: Environment

A Forgotten Shipwreck Imperils Washington's Oysters

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 8:53am

The sunken Hero, an Antarctic research vessel from the 1960s, is leaking oil into Willapa Bay, where more than half of the state's oysters are grown. And no one knows how to remove it.

(Image credit: Molly Solomon/Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Categories: Environment

Real-life Sharknado? Cyclone Debbie washes up shark on Australian street

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 8:51am

A journalist filming floods in the aftermath of the storm found a dead bull shark in the town of Ayr, prompting residents to draw connections to Sharknado

An Australian journalist covering flooding from Cyclone Debbie was shocked to come across a dead bull shark that was apparently swept up in the deluge.

The WIN News reporter Philip Calder told News Corp that he was in the town of Ayr to shoot video of a flooded road and couldn’t believe it when he came across a shark in a puddle. He said the shark was “the talk of the town” and many local people had turned out to touch it.

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Categories: Environment

El Salvador makes history as first nation to impose blanket ban on metal mining

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 4:49am

Campaigners celebrate victory for ‘water over gold’ after country unaninmously ushers through historic bill to end all forms of metal mining

El Salvador has made history after becoming the first country in the world to ban metal mining.

Lawmakers in the water-parched country passed the ban in a unanimous vote on Wednesday, declaring El Salvador a mining-free territory.

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Categories: Environment

The curious disappearance of climate change, from Brexit to Berlin | Andrew Simms

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 4:00am

The word climate does not appear once in the letter triggering the UK’s departure from Europe. But it’s not just in London that the issue seems to be slipping from the political stage

The word climate does not appear once in the letter triggering the UK’s departure from Europe. Despite the world experiencing a second, successive, record annual rise in carbon dioxide concentrations, on one level the omission is hardly surprising.

When the environment minister, George Eustice, revealed that the government had commissioned no research at all on the likely impact of Brexit on environmental policy it reflected how low green issues had fallen on the political agenda. Just how far is revealed by the fact that more than 1,100 EU environmental safeguards will need translating into UK law.

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Categories: Environment

Good news for elephants: China's legal ivory trade is 'dying' as prices fall

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 3:41am

Elephant conservationists hopeful that demand for ivory in China is falling amid government clampdown on ivory sellers, but experts remain wary of poaching

The wholesale price of raw legal ivory has dropped by almost two thirds since China, the world’s largest ivory importer and trader, announced plans to close down its domestic market, according to new research.

Researchers working for the conservation organisation Save the Elephants visited Beijing and Shanghai, as well as six cities whose markets had never been surveyed before: Changzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Suzhou and Tianjin. The researchers, Lucy Vigne and Esmond Martin, concluded that the legal trade in ivory is dying.

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Categories: Environment

EPA Says It Will Allow Continued Sale Of Controversial Pesticide

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 2:14am

The EPA is not going ahead with a proposed ban on a pesticide called chlorpyrifos, saying there's still scientific uncertainty over its safety. Environmental groups say it can harm young children.

Categories: Environment

God and coal: Trump won on both issues in West Virginia but inspires doubt

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 2:00am

Voters in the state elected Trump in hope he’d revive its core industry and inject more religion into American life – but many are unsure of whether he’ll deliver

Pastor Jerry Morrell was not playing to his audience. “I was asked if Donald Trump is a man of God,” the evangelical preacher told the congregation of The Way of Holiness church on the outskirts of Buckhannon, West Virginia. “I said: ‘No, I don’t see him as a man of God. Or, at this point, a godly man. I think he’s a man whose heart can be touched by God. I think he may be open to that’.”

A silence fell. The cries of acclamation greeting much of the Pentecostal pastor’s sermon drained away.

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Categories: Environment

South Australia to get $1bn solar farm and world's biggest battery

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/30 - 12:41am

System will include 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries, with operations set to begin by end of 2017

A huge $1bn solar farm and battery project will be built and ready to operate in South Australia’s Riverland region by the end of the year.

Related: Elon Musk, meet Port Augusta: four renewable energy projects ready to go

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Categories: Environment

Reusable incentives could slash disposable coffee cup waste

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 11:39pm

Free reusables, 25p charge on disposables and green slogans in cafes could cut some of 2.5bn cups thrown away each year, finds study

Incentives such as a tax on disposable coffee cups or free reuseable replacements could help cut the number thrown away in the UK every year by between 50m and 300m, according to new research.

An estimated 2.5bn throwaway coffee cups are used in the UK every year by consumers buying coffee from chains and cafes, creating approximately 25,000 tonnes of waste.

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Categories: Environment

Cedar cuts a bold dash among the grey ranks

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 9:30pm

Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire Spring hasn’t ignited its neighbours but this red-barked giant is vibrant in the sunlight

A banner of red falls amid ranks of anaemic grey: if sentient, this tree would have to be either mortified or cocksure, cutting such a bold dash in demure company. I shamble through ankle-snagging greenery and brownery as if through stubborn snow. My steps are crisp and disturb a sweet smell.

I get to the tree. It’s magnificent: 40 metres at least. It seems all trunk, until odd, brief branches pop from its bark, lichen-greened serpents from a mythical head. Higher, and finally, the serpent branches thicken and burst with evergreen.

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife activists discover pit full of native waterbirds 'dumped' by hunters – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 9:28pm

Video provided by Coalition Against Duck Shooting shows muddy pits full of dead birds they allege were shot and dumped by hunters who exceeded their bag limit on the opening weekend of Victoria’s duck hunting season

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Categories: Environment
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