Portugal Wrests Control Over Wildfire That Killed More Than 60 People

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 1:58pm

Investigation into what ignited the wildfires, and why they proved so deadly, is just beginning. Some people want a ban on plantings of eucalyptus: a common tree that is extremely flammable.

(Image credit: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Seaford Head search operation launched after large cliff fall

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 11:40am

East Sussex fire and rescue service says it has been called to support coastguard, although no one has been reported missing

A search operation has been launched by firefighters and the coastguard after a large cliff fall, although no one has been reported missing.

East Sussex fire and rescue service says it has been called in to support the coastguard in the search at Seaford Head, which partially collapsed on Wednesday afternoon.

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Categories: Environment

'Ocean Elders' urge Malcolm Turnbull to reject Adani coalmine

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 11:00am

Prominent oceanographers and global leaders write to Australian prime minister and Queensland premier

A group of prominent oceanographers and global leaders has written to Malcolm Turnbull urging him to reject the proposed Adani Carmichael coalmine, which it says will have a devastating impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

The letter from the group Ocean Elders, which includes the renowned marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle, argues that if it goes ahead the coalmine will damage international efforts to mitigate climate change by increasing global carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Worried about climate change? I blame men | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 10:35am
Climate change | Inflammatory language | Plagiarism | The cryptic crossword | North-south divide

Normally I would write to complain about such a gendered phrase as “man-made” (Opinion, 17 June). In the case of “man-made climate change” however, I’m inclined to let it pass. On balance it seems likely that rather more men than women do bear responsibility for the changes which are leading our planet to fry. “Anthropogenic” is a much more elegant word though.
Sylvia Rose
Totnes, Devon

• Virginia Cumming (Letters, 21 June) calls out the Daily Mail for inflammatory language. On page 25, Aditya Chakrabortty declares that “Britain still murders its poor” (Opinion, 21 June) Mote and Beam?
J Moorhead
Gorstage, Cheshire

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Categories: Environment

Scientists rescue ice from melting Bolivian glacier – before it disappears

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 9:04am
  • Samples from Illimani mountain will be taken to Antarctica for preservation
  • Researchers say global warming is rapidly melting the glaciers of the Andes

A team of international scientists are transporting samples of ice from a melting glacier in Bolivia to Antarctica, for study and preservation before the glacier disappears.

The international “Ice Memory” expedition of 15 scientists took samples from the glacier on Illimani mountain in the Andes and will store them in Antarctica at the French-Italian base of Concordia.

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Categories: Environment

Top global banks still lend billions to extract fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 9:00am

Analysis of world’s lenders reveals many claim green credentials while still financing fuels like tar sands, oil and coal

Some of the world’s top banks are continuing to lend tens of billions for extracting the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels, according to a report of top lenders.

Finance provided for these fossil fuels – tar sands and other unconventional oil and gas, as well as coal and liquefied natural gas – amounted to $87bn for the top 37 banks in 2016. That represented a slump of more than a fifth compared with the $111bn raised the previous year, and was also down on 2014’s total of $92bn.

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Categories: Environment

Al Gore: battle against climate change is like fight against slavery

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:12am

Former US vice-president says green revolution is bigger than industrial revolution and happening at faster pace than digital revolution

The fight against global warming is one of humanity’s great moral movements, alongside the abolition of slavery, the defeat of apartheid, votes for women and gay rights, according to the former US vice-president and climate campaigner, Al Gore.

The battle to halt climate change can be won, he said, because the green revolution delivering clean energy is both bigger than the industrial revolution and happening faster than the digital revolution.

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Categories: Environment

Domestic appliances guzzle far more energy than advertised – EU survey

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 4:13am

In echo of ‘defeat device’ scandals, one TV increased energy consumption by 47% when tested in real-world viewing

TVs, dishwashers and fridge freezers have been found to guzzle up to twice as much energy as advertised on their energy labels, in a wide-ranging EU product survey.

When tested under real-world conditions, the €400,000, 18-month investigation found widespread overshooting of the goods’ colour-coded A-G energy classes, due to the outmoded and selective test formats on which these have been based.

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Categories: Environment

To lead on climate, leave the ivy tower | Ralien Bekkers, Hillary Aidun, Emily Wier, Geoffrey Supran

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 3:00am

On behalf of students and alumni from all Ivy-Plus universities, we call on our institutions to join the “We Are Still In” coalition

America’s top universities expend considerable efforts to lead in the rankings, but last week they fell short—missing a critical opportunity to show moral leadership on climate change. If top schools want to lead on climate action, they should join the “We Are Still In” coalition, a collection of states, cities, businesses, and universities promising to support the Paris Climate Agreement.

President Trump’s decision to pull out of the international climate accord was swiftly rejected by local and state officials, as well as members of the business and academic community. Over 1,000 leaders have signed on to the “We Are Still In” pledge—including mayors and governors representing about 120 million people. More than 200 colleges and universities have joined. Leadership from these institutions sends a powerful message to President Trump and the globe: even if the federal government reneges on its international commitments, Americans are stepping up to fill the gap.

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Categories: Environment

Conservationists Try To Thwart Climate Change By Planting In Cold Spots

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 2:00am

In the north woods of Minnesota, foresters are planting thousands of pine trees to try to protect them from climate change.

Categories: Environment

Chief scientist defends electricity market review against claims of political motivation

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 11:34pm

Alan Finkel insists his review was independent and says building a new coal-fired power plant would not have long-term impacts on Australia’s electricity market

Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has defended his review into the electricity market against accusations its content was politically motivated.

Speaking to the press club in Canberra on Wednesday, Finkel said also if the federal government incentivised a new coal-fired power plant to be built, it would not have long-term impacts on the electricity market.

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Categories: Environment

Heatwaves are national emergencies and the public need to know

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 11:00pm

Lethal risks of extreme weather are under-reported and government must stop cutting public awareness funds

Hundreds of people across the UK are likely to be killed by a natural disaster this week, but their deaths will not be the subject of ministerial statements or newspaper reports, even though a failure of government policy is partly responsible.

The heatwave conditions are causing preventable deaths partly because large swaths of the population wrongly believe that extremely hot days are becoming less common.

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Categories: Environment

Major publishers move to defend Greenpeace in dispute with logging firm

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 10:30pm

Firms including Penguin Random House and HarperCollins have spoken out about timber company’s ‘dangerous’ moves to quash campaigners’ claims

The world’s biggest book publishers have been dragged into a bitter dispute between a US logging company and environmental campaigners Greenpeace. It follows legal action taken by the logging company, Resolute Forest Products, which campaigners and publishers fear has implications for freedom of speech.

The dispute centres on claims by Greenpeace about the company’s logging practices in sections of Canada’s boreal forest, which are home to indigenous peoples as well as endangered wildlife. Greenpeace alleges that Resolute: “Is responsible for the destruction of vast areas of Canada’s magnificent boreal forest, damaging critical woodland caribou habitat and logging without the consent of impacted First Nations.”

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Categories: Environment

'Tassal’s pulp mill moment': the battle over Tasmania's $30m salmon farm

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 4:30pm

More than 1,000 people, spread across 300 boats, protested against the shallow-water fish farm at Okehampton Bay

A proposed $30m salmon farm development on Tasmania’s pristine east coast and legal challenges against Tassal’s other operations are creating a storm of opposition that has been compared to campaigns against the infamous Gunns pulp mill.

More than 1,000 people, spread across 300 boats and Hobart’s Constitution Dock, staged a protest on Sunday opposing Tassal’s development of a new shallow-water fish farm at Okehampton Bay near Triabunna, about 90km from Hobart.

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Categories: Environment

Why Is China Snatching Up Australian Farmland?

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 1:40pm

In the past year, Chinese investment in Australia's overall agricultural sector has skyrocketed, from $300 million to $1 billion. It's all to feed the world's largest, fastest-growing consumer class.

(Image credit: Auscape/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

London mayor issues emergency air quality alert amid heatwave

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 12:24pm

Rising temperatures and southerly winds expected to bring toxic air to large parts of England and Wales on Wednesday

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has triggered the capital’s emergency air quality alert as soaring temperatures combined with southerly winds are expected to bring dangerously toxic air to large parts of England and Wales on Wednesday.

The emergency alerts will see warnings displayed at bus stops, on road signs and on the underground.

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Categories: Environment

Australia warned it has radically underestimated climate change security threat

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 12:01pm

Senate inquiry starts as report into political, military and humanitarian risks of climate change across Asia Pacific released

As the Senate launches an inquiry into the national security ramifications of climate change, a new report has warned global warming will cause increasingly regular and severe humanitarian crises across the Asia-Pacific.

Disaster Alley, written by the Breakthrough Centre for Climate Restoration, forecasts climate change could potentially displace tens of millions from swamped cities, drive fragile states to failure, cause intractable political instability, and spark military conflict.

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Categories: Environment

Ten years ago Turnbull called out Peter Garrett on climate. What went wrong? | Graham Readfearn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 12:00pm

After a decade of policy backflips and uncertainty, we are now being sold ‘technology neutral’ energy policy. But we need it to be discriminatory – and favour clean power

Ten years ago today Malcolm Turnbull was getting stuck in to a debate in Parliament House with Peter Garrett about climate change.

Climate change, said Turnbull, was “an enormous challenge and probably the biggest one our country faces, the world faces, at the moment.”

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Categories: Environment

Closure of UK’s largest gas storage site ‘could mean volatile prices’

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 11:32am

Shuttering of Rough facility off Yorkshire coast by British Gas owner Centrica will increase dependence on imports, say critics

The closure of the UK’s largest gas storage plant has prompted warnings that the country faces more volatile winter gas prices and is becoming too dependent on energy imports.

British Gas’s owner, Centrica, said it was permanently closing the Rough facility off the Yorkshire coast because it had become unsafe and uneconomic to reopen the facility, which had been temporarily shut over safety fears.

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Categories: Environment

London mayor considers pay-per-mile road pricing and ban on new parking

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 10:36am

Sadiq Khan wants to cut 3m car journeys a day and encourage cycling and walking in effort to reduce congestion and air pollution

London is to consider pay-per-mile road pricing and banning car parking in new developments under plans to cut 3m car journeys a day in the capital.

A transport strategy to be published on Wednesday by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, will set targets to ensure 80% of journeys are made by public transport, walking or cycling.

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Categories: Environment
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