Colorado's Anti-Fracking Measure Would Keep Wells Farther Away From Homes And Schools

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 1:28pm

A ballot measure would keep new oil and gas wells 2,500 feet away from homes and schools, the strictest setback in the nation. The oil and gas industry says that threatens its very existence.

(Image credit: Grace Hood/CPR)

Categories: Environment

Humanity is ‘cutting down the tree of life’, warn scientists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 12:00pm

More than 300 mammal species have been eradicated by human activities, say researchers

Humanity’s ongoing annihilation of wildlife is cutting down the tree of life, including the branch we are sitting on, according to a stark new analysis.

More than 300 different mammal species have been eradicated by human activities. The new research calculates the total unique evolutionary history that has been lost as a result at a startling 2.5bn years.

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Categories: Environment

Grenfell fire survivors demand answers from ministers about toxins

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 10:59am

Grenfell United group wants to know why residents were not told of soil contamination fears

Survivors of the Grenfell fire have demanded urgent meetings with ministers and senior health officials following revelations that significant amounts of toxins were found in soil close to the tower in preliminary findings of a major study.

The disclosures have prompted Grenfell United, which represents the families of the 72 people who died, to ask why no one who knew about the early results of the research had warned residents of the potential contamination problem.

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Categories: Environment

Anger and blockades as fracking starts in UK for first time since 2011

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 10:42am

Operations start at Lancashire site after protesters block entrance and nearby road

Fracking has begun in the UK for the first time since 2011 despite an attempt by protesters to blockade the entrance to the Lancashire site.

Activists from campaign group Reclaim the Power used a van to block the entrance to a site on Preston New Road near Blackpool for 12 hours from 4.30am on Monday, but the shale gas company Cuadrilla said all the equipment it needed to frack was already there and it had started the process by 1pm.

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Categories: Environment

Protesters attempt blockade at Lancashire site as fracking begins – video report

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 10:10am

Activists have attempted to blockade a fracking site in Lancashire as operations began for the first time in seven years in the UK. Campaigners from Reclaim the Power used a van to block the entrance to the site on Preston New Road near Blackpool early on Monday. One protester climbed on top of a scaffold and locked his neck to it. Police dispersed the protesters and the energy company Cuadrilla commenced with planned operations

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Categories: Environment

Craig Kelly says Coalition must kill off renewable energy subsidies

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 10:00am

Chairman of Coalition’s backbench energy committee says Morrison government should wind up program

The chairman of the Coalition’s backbench energy committee, the outspoken conservative Craig Kelly, says the government needs to axe current subsidies for households and businesses to install renewable energy technology like solar panels.

With the Morrison government in the middle of formulating its new energy policy, and with Labor now promising to maintain subsidies for households and businesses to install small-scale renewable energy until 2030, Kelly told Guardian Australia the Coalition needed to wind up the program.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking in the UK: what is it and why is it controversial?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 7:34am

As Cuadrilla starts operations in Lancashire, we examine the main arguments

Fracking restarted in the UK on Monday – the first such operation since 2011. The oil and gas firm Cuadrilla commenced work at a well in Lancashire after seeing off a last-minute legal challenge on Friday.

The aim is to extract shale gas to contribute to the country’s energy supply but environmental campaigners fiercely oppose it.

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Categories: Environment

Will Americans Embrace A Zeal For Eel? This Maine Entrepreneur Hopes So

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 5:02am

Most catches are exported to unagi-loving Asian nations, which pay up to thousands of dollars per pound. But one woman is raising and marketing eels for U.S. buyers: "Why not keep that value at home?"

(Image credit: Keith Shortall/Maine Public Radio)

Categories: Environment

There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 3:00am

Cut carbon pollution as much as possible, as fast as possible

The Paris climate agreement set a target of no more than 2°C global warming above pre-industrial temperatures, but also an aspirational target of no more than 1.5°C.  That’s because many participating countries – especially island nations particularly vulnerable to sea level rise – felt that even 2°C global warming is too dangerous.  But there hadn’t been a lot of research into the climate impacts at 1.5°C vs. 2°C, and so the UN asked the IPCC to publish a special report summarizing what it would take to achieve the 1.5°C limit and what the consequences would be of missing it.

The details in the report are worth understanding, but there’s one simple critical takeaway point: we need to cut carbon pollution as much as possible, as fast as possible.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand bird of the year: 'drunk, gluttonous' kererū pigeon wins

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 3:56pm

Often heard before it is seen, the kererū has been known to fall out of the odd tree after too much fermented fruit

A native green and bronze wood pigeon with a taste for fermented fruit has been named the 2018 bird of the year in New Zealand.

The kererū is endemic to the country and can be found in both the North and South islands, living in cities as well as rural areas. Although quiet and reclusive by nature, kererū have earned a reputation as the drunkest bird in New Zealand, and been known to fall from trees after consuming rotting fruit left lying on the ground. During the summer when fruit is in abundance drunk kererū are sometimes taken to wildlife centres to sober up.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts Underway In Florida

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 2:24pm

While water and some food is being delivered, residents in some of the harder hit areas of Hurricane Michael are growing frustrated. The extensive destruction is more than they anticipated.

Categories: Environment

Republicans join far-right figures at Montana anti-government event

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 11:52am

State politicians and Oregon occupation leader Ammon Bundy address gathering against federal land management

At a conference in Whitefish, Montana, on Saturday Ammon Bundy, a leader of a group which occupied federal land in 2016, shared a stage with Republican politicians, campaigners against Indian treaty rights and other rightwing groups.

Related: Rebel cowboys: how the Bundy family sparked a new battle for the American west

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Categories: Environment

UK scientists turn coffee industry waste into electricity

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 8:34am

Fuel cell could help Colombian farmers by using microbes to eat waste and develop energy

Scientists have turned coffee waste into electricity for the first time, in research that could help farmers and curb pollution in the developing world.

The coffee industry generates a huge amount of liquid waste during the process of turning the raw material of the tree – the coffee cherries – into the 9.5m tons of coffee the world produces each year.

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Categories: Environment

With Europe's Hamsters At Risk, Better Call The 'Hamster Commish'

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 7:41am

Vienna had a problem: A key construction site threatened the habitat of dozens of hamsters — yes, common hamsters, a protected species in Austria. Here's how the developers saved the little animals.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Michaela Vondruska)

Categories: Environment

Old-Growth Forests May Help Songbirds Cope With Warming Climate

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 6:44am

Songbirds have been in decline for decades, and it's becoming clear that climate change is a factor. Scientists are finding that old-growth forests may help the birds cope with rising temperatures.

(Image credit: Greg Davis/OPB)

Categories: Environment

Michael Recovery: Updating The Power Grid To Withstand Climate Change, Bigger Storms

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 5:00am

Hurricane Michael left a million people without power. As storms grow stronger, there are questions about how make the nation's electrical grid more resilient.

Categories: Environment

Michael Recovery: The Latest On The Recovery In The Florida Panhandle

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 5:00am

A massive relief effort is underway to help communities affected by Hurricane Michael.

Categories: Environment

When In Drought: States Take On Urgent Negotiations To Avoid Colorado River Crisis

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/10/14 - 5:00am

After years of sustained drought, water managers along the Colorado River system are renegotiating water cutbacks to seven Western states, hoping to avoid more drastic shortages in the future.

(Image credit: Luke Runyon/KUNC)

Categories: Environment

Forget coal wars, says Alan Finkel – look at emission outcomes

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/10/13 - 8:41pm

Chief scientist says Australia must use all available technologies

Australia’s chief scientist says the question facing the nation’s energy future is not about renewables versus coal but how best to create “a whole-of-economy emissions reduction strategy”.

In a prerecorded interview with Sky released on Sunday, Dr Alan Finkel responded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, which warned that greenhouse gas pollution needs to reach zero by 2050 if the world is to have any hope of stopping global warming at 1.5C.

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Categories: Environment

I'm face to face with Ningaloo's living miracles and it feels holy | Tim Winton

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/10/13 - 5:37pm

It’s a very lucky person who swims with whales – but many take heart from knowing such ecosystems exist and believe they need to be protected

I pull the outboard out of gear and let the boat’s momentum wash away until we’re dead in the water. Then I switch everything off – engine, echo sounder, even the radio – and there’s silence. Not even the sound of water lapping against the hull. Because it’s breathless out here today. The surface of the gulf is silky. The sky is cloudless, a shade paler than the water. And behind us, onshore, the arid ridges and canyons of the Cape Range are mottled pink and blond in the morning light.

There’s only the two of us aboard, and although the air and water are still enough to be dreamlike we’re not at all relaxed. In fact, each of us is craning at opposite sides of the boat, heads cocked, tense with anticipation.

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Categories: Environment
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