Environment

Trump administration to strip pollution protections, harming vital wildlife

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 9:30am

List of waterways land users must obtain permits to pollute to be scaled back, which could also allow pollution in drinking water

The Trump administration is planning to strip Obama-era pollution protections from thousands of US streams and millions of acres of wetlands, in a move environmentalists warn will harm vital wildlife and could allow pollution into drinking water.

Related: Ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt used personal email for government work

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration sued by wildlife groups over offshore drilling tests

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 9:25am
  • Seismic air guns could harm dolphins and whales
  • ‘This action is unlawful and we’re going to stop it’

Environmental groups have sued the Trump administration over offshore drilling tests, which could harm hundreds of thousands of marine mammals such as dolphins and whales.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, claims the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act when it issued five permits for the use of seismic air guns.

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Categories: Environment

Miracle On Your Street: How The Post Office Handles Holidays

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 8:06am

Is the USPS headed for a revamp?

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Fracking paused in Blackpool after biggest tremor to date

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 8:03am

Minor quake near Cuadrilla site is on par with one in 2011 that led to moratorium

Residents of Blackpool have reported feeling the tremors of an earthquake from nearby fracking operations that started two months ago.

The minor earthquake was not only the biggest yet but was on a par with one in 2011 that led to a moratorium on fracking.

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Categories: Environment

U.N. Climate Change Summit Enters Crucial Final Week

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 3:05am

World leaders are gathered in Poland this week to discuss climate change. The U.S. hosted a meeting on coal, a highly polluting fuel, that many developing nations depend on.

Categories: Environment

Protesters disrupt pro-fossil fuel event at COP24 – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 1:37am

Indigenous and youth groups disrupted a US-sponsored event at the UN climate talks in Poland. Wells Griffith, a Trump administration adviser speaking on a panel, said the US would continue extracting fossil fuels and warned against ‘alarmism’ over climate change. Climate expert Andrew Light, from the World Resources Institute, said the panel’s discussion would have no impact on the outcome of the COP24 climate talks and it only proved that ‘once again the United States is isolated with respect to the global community on this critically important issue’

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Categories: Environment

Why Scientists Are Talking About Attribution Science And What It Is

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 4:39pm

As negotiators struggle to hammer out the rule book for a global climate agreement, scientists meeting in Washington, D.C., have yet more evidence linking climate change and extreme weather.

Categories: Environment

Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 3:08pm

Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’

Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the United Nations climate talks in Poland.

Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible, as well as the use of emission-free nuclear energy”.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change a 'secondary' issue, says Brazil's environment minister

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 10:52am

Appointed by president-elect Bolsonaro, Ricardo Salles calls environmental fines ‘ideological’

Brazil’s new environment minister believes that global warming is “secondary”, that many environmental fines are “ideological” and has been accused of altering plans for an environmentally protected area in order to favour businesses.

Ricardo Salles, the former environment secretary for São Paulo state, was recommended for his new role by business and agribusiness groups and announced as minister in a tweet on Sunday by the far-right president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s renewables sector doubles output in boom year

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 10:00am

Clean Energy Council warns surge ‘could come to an end if the energy policy debate is left to languish unresolved’

Australia’s renewables sector has doubled its output over the past 12 months, with more than $20bn of projects now under construction, but the current boom will not last without policy certainty, according to the Clean Energy Council.

The council, which represents solar, wind, energy efficiency, hydro, bioenergy, energy storage, geothermal and marine businesses, along with more than 5,000 solar installers, has released new figures claiming a record year for Australia’s renewables industry – with more than 80 wind and solar farms under construction, and rooftop solar installations now topping two million homes.

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Categories: Environment

Protesters disrupt US panel's fossil fuels pitch at climate talks

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 9:21am

Official event praising coal, oil and gas met with laughter and chants of ‘shame on you’

A Trump administration presentation extolling the virtues of fossil fuels at the UN climate talks in Poland has been met with guffaws of laughter and chants of “Shame on you”.

Monday’s protest came during a panel discussion by the official US delegation, which used its only public appearance to promote the “unapologetic utilisation” of coal, oil and gas. Although these industries are the main source of the carbon emissions that are causing global warming, the speakers boasted the US would expand production for the sake of global energy security and planned a new fleet of coal plants with technology it hoped to export to other countries.

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Categories: Environment

City frogs have sexier calls than country frogs, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 9:02am

Researchers discover urban male túngara frogs call more, and with more complex vocalisations, than rural peers

Living in a forest might sound romantic, but city life makes males more attractive to the opposite sex – at least if you are a túngara frog.

Researchers have discovered that urban males of the species have more attractive calls than their rural peers.

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Categories: Environment

UK’s nuclear plans in doubt after report Welsh plant may be axed

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 5:26am

Hitachi’s £16bn Wylfa station on Anglesey is next proposed project after Hinkley Point C

Fresh doubts have been raised over prospects for the UK’s new nuclear power programme after a report that Hitachi is considering axing plans for a plant in Wales.

The Japanese conglomerate’s mooted 2.9GW nuclear power station on Anglesey is next in line in the UK’s nuclear plans after EDF Energy’s 3.2GW Hinkley Point C scheme in Somerset.

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Categories: Environment

How One Company Pulls Carbon From The Air, Aiming To Avert A Climate Catastrophe

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 3:01am

A U.N. climate report says the only way to avoid the worst climate impacts will be to suck carbon emissions out of the air. Researchers are trying to find a feasible way to do that.

(Image credit: Jeff Brady/NPR)

Categories: Environment

The new abnormal: why fires like Paradise will happen again and again

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/10 - 2:00am

Of the traumatic consequences of climate change, scientists consider increasingly ferocious wildfires to be one of the most starkly apparent

Ruth McLarty, an experienced surgeon, was fairly certain she was about to die in a particularly grisly way. Surrounded by a hellish inferno of burning trees and cars, McLarty reasoned the flames would engulf her long before the smoke could choke her to death.

Trapped in nearby vehicles, some of McLarty’s colleagues made similarly macabre calculations. Two nurses, stuck in the back of a stalled police car, contemplated shooting each other. Another nurse rolled down her window and gulped in the smoke. McLarty edged her car away from a burning wreckage, fired off some final messages to her sister and called her daughter, who said she could hear the roar of the blaze over the phone.

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Categories: Environment

Global commitment to climate change dies on the floor of a committee and Australia is silent | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/09 - 11:39pm

Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin goes to COP24

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Categories: Environment

BP faces shareholder challenge over carbon targets

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/09 - 5:01pm

Company is among energy firms being urged to set goals in line with Paris agreement

BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil face a shareholder challenge to set carbon targets in line with the Paris climate agreement, as a green group seeks to repeat its success in pressuring Shell to set environmental benchmarks.

When Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, laid out an ambitious long-term carbon target last year, he acknowledged the role played by a resolution on carbon targets submitted by Dutch activist shareholders Follow This.

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Categories: Environment

Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/09 - 5:01pm

UN summit urged to end all coal burning and introduce substantial taxes on emissions

Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning. Without these, the world faces a financial crash several times worse than the 2008 crisis, they said.

The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date. They say fossil fuel subsidies must end and substantial taxes on carbon be introduced.

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Categories: Environment

Former U.S. Science Envoy: The Tone Of Climate Talks Is Now 'Quite Grim'

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/12/09 - 3:23pm

NPR's Michel Martin talks with Daniel Kammen, former science envoy to the State Department, about the U.N. climate talks being held in Poland.

Categories: Environment

Australia's silence during climate change debate shocks COP24 delegates

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/09 - 2:17pm

Country accused of tacitly supporting oil allies’ rejection of the latest science

As four of the world’s largest oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from “welcoming” a key scientific report on global warming, Australia’s silence during a key debate is being viewed as tacit support for the four oil allies: the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait.

The end of the first week of the UN climate talks – known as COP24 – in Katowice, Poland, has been mired by protracted debate over whether the conference should “welcome” or “note” a key report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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