Environment

Dakota Access pipeline: appeals court refuses tribes' request to stop oil flow

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/18 - 1:28pm
  • Two tribes sought emergency order to stop oil flow while suit plays out
  • DC court ruling means controversial pipeline could start work Monday

An appeals court on Saturday refused a request from two Native American tribes for an “emergency” order that would prevent oil from flowing through Dakota Access pipeline.

Related: Native Americans take Dakota Access pipeline protest to Washington

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Categories: Environment

The climate change battle dividing Trump’s America

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/18 - 11:00am
Climate change denial and energy conspiracy are high on the president’s agenda, but US scientists are fighting back

Ever since Donald Trump became US president, certain sectors of American society have felt particularly embattled. His statements on Mexicans and Muslims are notorious, but there is another community, less heard about, that has also been sent reeling: scientists.

If politics has never been a world that is overly respectful to empirical research, Trump’s victory exploited a growing popular suspicion of expertise, and a tendency to seek out alternative narratives to fact-based analysis. Conspiracy theories, anti-vaccination campaigns and climate change deniers have all traded on this rejection of science, and their voices have all been heard, to differing degrees, in the new administration. But for the science community perhaps the most provocative act so far of Trump’s short time in office was the appointment of Scott Pruitt, a Republican lawyer and climate change sceptic, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Categories: Environment

Torrey Canyon disaster – the UK's worst-ever oil spill 50 years on

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/18 - 1:00am

The UK’s biggest ever oil spill in 1967 taught invaluable lessons about the response to disasters, toughened up shipping safety and stirred green activism

“I saw this huge ship sailing and I thought he’s in rather close, I hope he knows what he’s doing,” recalled Gladys Perkins of the day 50 years ago, when Britain experienced its worst ever environmental disaster.

Related: Torrey Canyon oil spill 1967 - in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Did George Orwell shoot an elephant? His 1936 'confession' – and what it might mean

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/18 - 1:00am

George Orwell wrote a shocking account of a colonial policeman who kills an elephant and is filled with self-loathing. But was this fiction – or a confession? An Orwell expert introduces the original story

British imperialism being a largely commercial concern, when Burma became a part of the empire in 1886 the exploitation of its forests accelerated. Since motorised transport was useless in such hilly terrain, the timber companies used elephants. These docile, intelligent creatures were worth their weight in gold, hauling logs, stacking them near streams, launching them on their way and sometimes even clearing log jams that the foresters could not shift.

In the 1920s a young would-be poet, an ex-Etonian named Eric Blair, arrived as a Burma Police recruit and was posted to several places, culminating in Moulmein. Here he was accused of killing a timber company elephant, the chief of police saying he was a disgrace to Eton. Blair resigned while back in England on leave, and published several books under his assumed name, George Orwell.

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Categories: Environment

From the archive: the Torrey Canyon oil spill disaster of 1967

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/18 - 1:00am

How the Guardian reported the grounding of the Torrey Canyon supertanker and what was then the world’s worst oil spill

On 18 March 1967, the Torrey Canyon, one of the world’s biggest tankers, ran aground between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly, leaking more than 100,000 tonnes of crude oil into the sea. It was the UK’s worst oil spill to date, causing major environmental damage with more than 20,000 sea birds contaminated. The first Guardian report about the disaster appeared on 20 March.

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Categories: Environment

A window into the life of the wood

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 10:30pm

New Forest To some, fallen timber makes for an untidy forest. There was a time when the woodsmen would have cleared much of it away. Not now

We’re standing deep into the trees, looking through an oval porthole constructed from the boughs of a toppled oak. The sun is filtering through the still bare canopy to light up the story of this wood. As we look through the window, we are taken into its past, present and future.

The brown of autumn’s leaf drop mingles with the emerald-green of mosses. To one side, dark-green stems of butchers’ broom promise flashes of ripened scarlet berries in months to come. The stiletto blades of bluebells are just breaking free of the blanket of fallen leaves that has protected their bulbs through the winter months. Already they suggest a scene transformed, as yesterday’s base-brown becomes a wash of blue. Tall, erect trunks stand like sentinels in a painted backdrop, and mid-stage lies a tangle of branches, looking as though some huge beast has shed its antlers.

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Categories: Environment

A good-looking bird: the bush stone-curlew that loves its own reflection

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 9:41pm

Bird appears on campus in Queensland where it was spotted standing in front of a glass door admiring itself

A bird that was photographed staring at its own reflection has risen to fame in Australia after university students made it its own Facebook page.

The bush stone-curlew appeared on campus at Queensland University of Technology in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, on Tuesday, where it was spotted standing in front of a glass door, apparently admiring itself.

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Categories: Environment

Norwegian Pension Fund Divests From Companies Behind DAPL

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 1:19pm

KLP is pulling millions of dollars it has invested in companies building and owning the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision was reportedly driven by pressure from Norway's indigenous Sami peoples.

(Image credit: Nati Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

#CuriousGoat: Ask Us About Climate Change And Global Well-being

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 11:47am

What questions do you have about the toll that climate change is taking — and about possible solutions?

(Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Birds, fluorescent frogs and Tasmania's glowing sea – green news roundup

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 8:02am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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Categories: Environment

Peru floods kill 67 and spark criticism of country's climate change preparedness

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 7:57am

Devastating downpour, caused by high ocean temperatures, could not have been predicted, president said, months after state of emergency declared for wildfires

Sixty-seven people have been killed and thousands more forced to evacuate by intense rains which damaged 115,000 homes and destroyed more than 100 bridges in Peru’s worst floods in recent memory.

“We are confronting a serious climatic problem,” said Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in a broadcast to the nation on Friday afternoon. “There hasn’t been an incident of this strength along the coast of Peru since 1998.”

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Categories: Environment

CO2 emissions stay same for third year in row – despite global economy growing

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 7:25am

International Energy Agency report puts halt in emissions from energy down to growth in renewable power

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy have not increased for three years in a row even as the global economy grew, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Global emissions from the energy sector were 32.1bn tonnes in 2016, the same as the previous two years, while the economy grew 3.1%, the organisation said.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 7:00am

Nesting bald eagles, Adélie penguins and a newly hatched Komodo dragon are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Japanese government held liable for first time for negligence in Fukushima

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 3:25am

Court rules government should have used regulatory powers to force nuclear plant’s operator to take preventive measures

A court in Japan has ruled that negligence by the state contributed to the triple meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 and awarded significant damages to evacuees.

Although courts have awarded damages arising from the disaster in other cases, Friday’s ruling is the first time the government has been held liable.

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Categories: Environment

California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 1:46am

A rainy winter has brought an early spring to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Southern California. Wildflowers are in bloom. How can seeds survive years of drought and then put on such a display?

(Image credit: Nina Gregory/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Plant thought extinct for 200 years sparks legal action against Sydney development

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/17 - 12:33am

New South Wales environmental defenders office takes action against developers of freight terminal after the shrub hibbertia fumana found on site

A newly rediscovered rare plant – thought to have become extinct almost 200 years ago – has sparked a legal action in Sydney’s west against a development that threatens the flower’s only known location.

About 370 specimens of Hibbertia fumana – a small flowering shrub endemic to Sydney – were found on the grounds of the proposed 83-hectare Simta Moorebank transport hub late last year.

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Categories: Environment

Kakadu aerial cull kills more than 6,000 horses, buffalo and pigs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 11:48pm

Number of feral animals in Australia’s largest national park has risen to more than 30,000, manager says

More than 6,000 wild horses, buffalo, pigs and donkeys have been killed in Kakadu national park as part of a new feral animal management plan negotiated with traditional owners.

The cull, conducted by helicopter shooters over 24 days, destroyed 3,654 horses, 1,965 buffalo, 294 pigs and a small number of donkeys.

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Categories: Environment

Tasmanian government defends reversing moratorium on logging old growth forests

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 10:52pm

Bill passes house in middle of night in tumultuous day which sees Labor opposition leader replaced just hours after announcing retirement

The Tasmanian government is defending a controversial plan to to reverse a moratorium on logging old growth forests, despite the forestry industry warning it risks damaging the Tasmanian brand and undermining attempts at sustainable forestry certification.

The Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill 2017 passed the lower house of the Tasmanian parliament at 3.30am on Friday, following a 12-hour debate.

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Categories: Environment

Dabchick antics enliven a futile vole quest

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 10:30pm

Cromford, Derbyshire The towpath is popular with Derbyshire folk making their version of the passeggiata, often with dogs, and the water vole is easily spooked

William Jessop was a generous man, always ready to give a fellow engineer a leg up. Building the Cromford canal, in the Derbyshire Dales, he hired Benjamin Outram, the son of a local investor, as his assistant. Their great work terminates at Cromford Wharf, once a harbinger of the industrial revolution, now dozing in the evening sunshine, its crumbling stonework the colour of honey.

The northern section of the canal, five miles from the wharf to Ambergate, is a site of special scientific interest, noted for being a last redoubt for water voles, a change of use I doubt Jessop could have foreseen.

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Categories: Environment

Ian Chappell stands by Adani mine letter despite being called 'elitist' by Coalition MP

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/03/16 - 10:04pm

Adani ‘categorically’ rejects letter signed by 91 prominent Australians as protesters confront Queensland premier during tour of Adani’s Indian HQ

Cricket great Ian Chappell has stood by his opposition to the Adani mine proposal as part of a group of prominent Australians branded “elitist wankers” by a federal government MP and “a very small group of misled people” by the Indian miner.

Chappell said it was “worthwhile” if joining his brother Greg in an open letter calling on the Indian miner to abandon its coal plan thrust the issue into the public spotlight in its cricket-loving homeland.

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Categories: Environment
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