Environment

Feed the birds: stop the demonising and tell us how to do it properly

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 3:28pm

It’s maligned in Australia but if some simple rules are observed, bird feeding is a great way to connect with the wild world

There’s a sulphur-crested cockatoo that visits my balcony daily. She lives in a hollow tree nearby, and every day at around 7.30am, she flutters up to the railing outside the living room windows of my third-floor apartment. She lets out a polite, low croak to let me know she’s there, and I come out and give her a handful of birdseed.

Interacting with birds is really good for us, mentally and physically.

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Categories: Environment

Share your best Australian bird pictures for bird of the year 2017

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 3:27pm

We’d like to see your best – or indeed most underwhelming – bird images of the year, whether or not the subject features on our shortlist

As we prepare to reveal the winner of the Australian bird of the year 2017, we want to see your best (or your most underwhelming) photos of Australian birds.

Whether it’s a hi-res calendar worthy masterpiece, or the quick out-of-focus snap on your phone, share your Australian native bird images, videos and stories with us, and we’ll feature the best (or worst) on site and in the live blog as we get ready to announce the winner after the poll closes today.

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Categories: Environment

Thoroughbred Horses Killed In California Wildfire

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 3:22pm

NPR'S Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Dan Dunham, trainer at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center. Several thoroughbred horses were killed there, caught in a California wildfire.

Categories: Environment

Hundreds Of Thousands Flee California Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 3:22pm

The fires in Southern California have forced many residents to evacuate multiple times within just a few days. That's leading to confusion about where to head next.

Categories: Environment

Tony Whitten obituary

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 10:54am
Passionate advocate for some of the world’s least-known creatures and for new approaches to wildlife conservation

Tony Whitten, who has died aged 64 in a cycling accident, was an inspirational figure in global conservation circles thanks to his collaboration with religious groups and his passionate advocacy for some of the world’s least-known creatures. Like the snails, beetles and mites that he championed, Whitten was never a household name, but his influence as a mentor and explorer – particularly in the caves and rocky environments of Asia – was such that 11 species have been named after him. He was also instrumental in the first fatwa declared against the illegal wildlife trade.

At the time of his death, he was senior adviser at Flora & Fauna International, one of the world’s oldest conservation organisations, and had recently established a specialist group on karst habitats – the crags, caves, sinkholes and disappearing streams formed by the dissolution of limestone and other soluble rocks – for the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 7:00am

Amazon river dolphins, a foraging raccoon and a snow-covered swan lake are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Review to assess emergency response to Sussex chemical haze

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 6:50am

Government announces review that will examine whether emergency responders should be required to take air samples

The government has launched a review of the emergency response to the mysterious chemical haze on Sussex beaches that caused 150 people to seek hospital treatment in August.

It follows criticism by MPs and victims over the failure of investigators to identify the source of the haze, which occurred at Birling Gap and Beachy Head on 27 August. Some of those affected, who reported breathing problems for weeks afterwards, said the incident exposed a lack of preparedness and potential vulnerability to more dangerous gas leaks or chemical attacks.

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Categories: Environment

Ventura county is burning. My hometown is climate change's latest victim | Steven Thrasher

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 6:25am

Affordable housing has been lost to the California wildfires, leaving poor people without homes – and without hope of help from federal government

An unbearable amount of Ventura county in southern California, where I was born and raised, is simply gone. And as I hear about site after site from my childhood simply disappearing into scorched earth, I am realizing that climate change is not only erasing the present, it is also destroying the physical touchstones to my own past.

Related: Wildfire rages in southern California – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Can Your Ceramic Cookware Give You Lead Poisoning?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 6:00am

Mass-produced crockpots and other ceramic food containers are probably safe, but handmade earthenware might merit a home test.

(Image credit: Joy Ho for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Ski resort will devastate Unesco world heritage site in Bulgaria, says WWF

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 4:12am

Expansion of budget ski resort Bansko into Pirin national park will be disastrous for centuries-old forests home to brown bears and wolves

A budget ski resort expansion is poised to carve 333km of new slopes and 113km of ski lifts through a Unesco world heritage site of “outstanding universal value”, according to documents obtained by WWF in a lawsuit.

The 400sq km Pirin national park in Bulgaria is one of Europe’s best preserved homes for large mammals such as brown bears and wolves, which roam its glacial lakes, alpine meadows and dense forest.

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Categories: Environment

'People seem happier': how planting trees changed lives in a former coal community

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 1:00am

The National Forest has not only transformed an industrial landscape, it has given people a new sense of belonging and wellbeing, created jobs and boosted wildlife – benefits that could be replicated across the country

Former miner Graham Knight puts his cup of tea down on the cafe table and looks out through the large glass windows. Trees frame every view; a small herd of cows meander through a copse of silver birch towards a distance lake.

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Categories: Environment

‘Death spiral’: half of Europe’s coal plants are losing money

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/08 - 12:01am

Air pollution and climate change policies are pushing coal-fired electricity stations to the brink, says a new report. Closing them would avoid €22bn in losses by 2030

More than half of the European Union’s 619 coal-fired power stations are losing money, according to a new report. As a result, the industry’s slow plans for shutdowns will lead to €22bn in losses by 2030 if the EU fulfils its pledge to tackle climate change, the report warns.

Stricter air pollution rules and higher carbon prices are set to push even more plants into unprofitability, according to the analysts Carbon Tracker, with 97% of the plants losing money by 2030. Furthermore, rapidly falling renewables costs are on track to make building new wind and solar farms cheaper than continuing to run existing coal plants by the mid 2020s.

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Categories: Environment

Malawi suffers blackouts as drought exposes 98% reliance on hydro power

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 7:47pm

Shire river, which generates almost all of the country’s power, has fallen to critical levels, leaving major cities struggling

Large parts of Malawi have been plunged into darkness as water levels at the country’s main hydro power plant fell to critical levels due to a severe drought, according to its electricity company.

The impoverished southern African country which relies on hydroelectricity has been hit by intermitted blackouts since last year, but the outages have recently worsened, lasting up to 25 hours.

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Categories: Environment

Water costs in Australia to double within 20 years, report claims

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 6:28pm

Infrastructure Australia says governments should privatise state-owned metropolitan water utility businesses

Australians can expect to pay double for their water supply within 20 years unless there are big reforms, a report from Infrastructure Australia says.

It says a lack of investment in ageing infrastructure, population growth in urban centres and climate change will play a part in pushing up prices.

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Categories: Environment

Feathers and flight: birds in Australian fashion

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 5:24pm

From Florence Broadhurst to Romance Was Born, Australian designers have long looked to birds for design inspiration

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Categories: Environment

Sports Direct and its staffing agencies paid workers £1m too little

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 5:01pm

Retailer, Best Connection and Transline named and shamed by government after having to repay £946,000 in total

Sports Direct and its employment agencies Best Connection and Transline have been named and shamed by the government for paying workers less than the legal minimum wage, underpaying them by nearly £1m.

The companies make up three of the top four underpayers in the latest list published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

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Categories: Environment

Is The Tide Of Antibiotic Use On Farms Now Turning?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 4:13pm

For the first time, government statistics show America's pigs, cattle, and poultry are getting fewer antibiotic drugs. Public health advocates call the new figures encouraging.

(Image credit: Don Ryan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why are ferocious wildfires plaguing southern California?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 3:12pm

A combination of short and longer-term events have conspired to spark a ring of fires that have dotted the Los Angeles area

The exhausted firefighters battling fires that have menaced Los Angeles wouldn’t normally expect to be dealing with such ferocious conflagrations with Christmas just a few weeks away.

Related: California wildfires: winds pose ‘extreme danger’ for Los Angeles

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Categories: Environment

California Wildfires Fanned By Santa Ana Winds

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 2:38pm

The largest wildfire in Southern California is in Ventura County north of Los Angeles. Fast-moving winds have caused the fire to scorch more than 95,000 acres since Monday night.

Categories: Environment

Violence In Jerusalem Follows Trump's Decision To Recognize City As Israel's Capital

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 2:38pm

Palestinians demonstrated and clashed with Israeli troops in protest of President Trump's declaring the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. But mostly they're considering their next steps.

Categories: Environment
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