Environment

Climate rebels open new fronts across capital as protests escalate

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 11:00am

Activists block trade at Billingsgate fish market and target headquarters of energy company Shell to ‘raise awareness’

Climate protesters on Saturday intensified efforts to disrupt life in London, and targeted sites including Billingsgate fish market and Shell’s headquarters. They said police took at least 28 of their supporters into custody. That number means that more than 1,200 Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested in London since their protests, over the government’s “failure” to act over climate change, were launched last Monday.

And those detained include Belgian Princess Esméralda who was taken into a police van for questioning and held for about five hours after she joined a sit-in at Trafalgar Square on Thursday. “The more people from all sections of society protest, the greater the impact will be,” the 63-year-old said. Other protests launched on Saturday included one by more than 50 healthcare professionals – wearing scrubs and singing the Extinction Rebellion anthem – who gathered outside Shell’s headquarters before they marched to Parliament Square. “We are meeting outside Shell because they are one of the biggest companies involved in the oil and energy industry, and they have real power to decarbonise that industry,” said Alex Turner, 36, a paediatric and emergency doctor from Bristol. “We are protesting illegal levels of air pollution.”

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Categories: Environment

The IMF thinks carbon taxes will stop the climate crisis. That's a terrible idea | Kate Aronoff

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 6:17am

The IMF’s proposed $75-per-ton tax would exacerbate rampant inequality. There are better ways to fund decarbonization

A well-circulated statistic this week, from a new book by the University of California, Berkeley, economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, shows that the richest 400 families in the United States now pay a lower tax rate than the bottom 50% of families. Those 400 families – the 0.01% – own more wealth than 60% of households in the US. The top 0.1% own more than 80%. Rates for the top 0.01% and the bottom 50% have been creeping closer since 1960. Also this week, the Guardian’s polluters series found that just 20 private and state-owned fossil fuel producers are responsible for 35% of manmade carbon dioxide and methane emissions over a similar period.

On Thursday, the IMF suggested a $75-per-ton global carbon tax is the most efficient way to fight greenhouse gas emissions and keep warming below 2C. The tax is, if anything, far too low.

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Categories: Environment

Wildfires In Southern California

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 5:12am

Wildfires in Southern California have burned over 47,000 acres and forced tens of thousands to evacuate. High winds and dry conditions are causing the fires to spread quickly.

Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel bosses must change or be voted out, says asset manager

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 4:02am

State Street chief says it could use shareholder powers to force boards to act on climate

The world’s biggest fossil fuel companies must take action on climate change or their directors could face being voted out of their jobs, the head of one of the world’s leading asset managers has warned.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Ron O’Hanley, the chief executive of State Street, said his firm could consider taking the radical step of voting against the reappointment of entire company boards if they were not taking sufficient action to deal with the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

How real is Saudi Arabia's interest in renewable energy?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 4:00am

Ambitious plans have not been matched by progress, but there may finally be signs of change

It was the largest renewables project ever announced: $200bn (£158bn) worth of solar panels stretching across hundreds of square kilometres of the Saudi Arabian desert.

The massive solar initiative was billed by the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as a “huge step in human history” when it was unveiled in March last year. It was cancelled by October.

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Categories: Environment

World's top three asset managers oversee $300bn fossil fuel investments

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 4:00am

Data reveals crucial role of BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard in climate crisis

The world’s three largest money managers have built a combined $300bn fossil fuel investment portfolio using money from people’s private savings and pension contributions, the Guardian can reveal.

BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, which together oversee assets worth more than China’s entire GDP, have continued to grow billion-dollar stakes in some of the most carbon-intensive companies since the Paris agreement, financial data shows.

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Categories: Environment

PHOTOS: After The Storm, Haitians In The Bahamas Depend On The Kindness Of Strangers

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/10/12 - 4:00am

One woman turned her home into an ad hoc shelter for Haitians displaced by the storm and facing discrimination.

(Image credit: Cheryl Diaz Meyer for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Extinction Rebellion: elderly protesters arrested and charged in Tasmania

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 9:16pm

Four people, all aged 77, among nine protesters arrested and charged at Launceston protest

Four Tasmanians aged in their late 70s are among a swag of climate activists charged over a protest in Launceston.

About 100 people attended the Extinction Rebellion protest in Launceston on Friday and police say most were well-behaved, but nine refused to move on when the demonstration’s permitted time ran out.

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Categories: Environment

'If they don't do it, we will': Greta Thunberg rallies climate strikers for long haul

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 7:28pm

At rally in Denver, Swedish activist again scolds leaders for ignoring science

Young people must be prepared to strike for a long time for action on climate change and not back down, the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has told a rally in Denver.

Thunberg said she and fellow youth activists would not beg those in power to act because she expected leaders to keep ignoring them.

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Categories: Environment

Wildfires Continue To Burn, Force Evacuations In Southern California

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 2:20pm

Wildfires in Southern California have burned dozens of homes overnight and are forcing mandatory evacuations. They're being fueled by dry conditions and fanned by 70 mph winds.

Categories: Environment

Intentional Blackouts In Northern California Continue

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 1:18pm

The intentional blackout in northern California is now in its third day. The longer it lasts, the harder it is for residents, businesses, and governments to cope.

Categories: Environment

Moderate Liberals urged to break ranks and vote for climate emergency motion

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 12:00pm

Adam Bandt says every MP ‘capable of supporting this motion’ since it does not condemn the government

The Greens have intensified efforts ahead of the return of federal parliament next week to lobby moderate Liberals to break ranks and vote for a motion declaring a climate emergency.

With parliament set to resume on Monday, the lower house Greens MP Adam Bandt has written to all parliamentarians in the House urging them to support the climate emergency motion, which would be seconded by independent Zali Steggall, and has the support of most of the crossbench.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on the polluters: days of reckoning | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 10:30am
Fossil fuel companies have worked for decades to shape attitudes and undermine science. The crisis dictates that they must now be confronted

The huge differences in the voting records of MPs on climate issues, revealed in the Guardian’s rankings today, should immediately disabuse anyone of the notion that Britain’s elected politicians are united – apart from a handful of contrarians – in their efforts to limit global heating.

True, a consensus exists in the UK and most of Europe with regard to the necessity of cutting emissions. That is in stark contrast to countries such as the US and Australia, where leading politicians deny climate science and promote fossil fuel extraction. But acceptance of the evidence that shows the next decade will be crucial for efforts to restrict global temperature rises to 1.5C is the basis for action, not a substitute for it. Politicians should be judged on what they do. And our research shows that the voting record of most Conservative MPs over the past decade, on 16 parliamentary divisions ranging from fracking to renewable energy subsidies and vehicle emissions, is abysmal. They are five times more likely to vote against climate measures than MPs from other parties, with the prime minister, Boris Johnson, among several dozen MPs to get the lowest possible score of zero.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 8:53am

A stockpiling squirrel, a lolling black bear and a greater bilby returned to the wild

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Categories: Environment

EPA Proposes New Regulations For Lead In Drinking Water

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 8:08am

The new proposal is being criticized for not proactively replacing lead service lines across the nation. It also keeps the same threshold for lead in drinking water that the U.S. currently has.

(Image credit: Paul Sancya/AP)

Categories: Environment

Will a push for plastics turn Appalachia into next ‘Cancer Alley’?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 6:13am

Critics say ethane expansion will not only prolong fracking but could also trigger a public health disaster

Construction cranes climb into the sky and sprawl across the massive petrochemical facility that will turn a byproduct of fracked gas into plastic on the banks of the Ohio River, just outside Pittsburgh.

Even at a distance, from the car park of a cancer treatment centre on a nearby hilltop, Royal Dutch Shell’s 386-acre site is a behemoth. It will anchor yet more gas, plastics and chemicals infrastructure in the tristate region of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

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Categories: Environment

Political polarisation over climate crisis has surged under Trump

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 6:00am

Revealed: divide exacerbated by fossil fuel industry’s record contribution to Republicans

Donald Trump’s presidency has ushered in an era of unprecedented polarisation between Republican and Democrat lawmakers when it comes to voting on measures to tackle the climate crisis, while the fossil fuel industry now almost entirely favours Republicans in campaign contributions.

The two main US political parties regularly voted along the same lines on clean air and clean water provisions in the 1970s but started to diverge in the 1990s. They now occupy opposite ends of the spectrum, according to data collated by the nonpartisan group the League of Conservation Voters (LCV).

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Categories: Environment

Guardian climate score: how did your MP do?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 6:00am

Use our interactive tool to explore MPs’ records on 16 climate votes

Parliament declared a climate emergency in May, but what do MPs’ voting records indicate about their commitment to the issue?

The Guardian’s climate ranking shows readers their MP’s record on 16 indicative climate votes between 2008 and 2018. Each MP has been assigned a score between 0% and 100% based on their voting record, represented as a dot on the graphic below.

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Categories: Environment

Border Wall Construction In Arizona Bulldozes Cactus Columns

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/10/11 - 2:10am

President Trump's border wall is going up between Arizona and Mexico, and it's generating controversy because of its proximity to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Native Americans lands.

Categories: Environment

Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/10/10 - 11:00pm

Firm’s public calls for climate action contrast with backing for conservative thinktanks

Google has made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.

Among hundreds of groups the company has listed on its website as beneficiaries of its political giving are more than a dozen organisations that have campaigned against climate legislation, questioned the need for action, or actively sought to roll back Obama-era environmental protections.

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Categories: Environment
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