Buddleia is a symbol of our national neglect | Adrian Chiles

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 11:00pm

The purple shrub thrives in dereliction and decay. How much better things would be if it had nowhere to grow

A couple of years ago, I was with a TV director, standing on Soho Road in Handsworth, Birmingham. There was a break in filming while someone faffed around with something. This gave the two of us chance to pause and admire a derelict pub called the Red Lion. It was built at the start of the last century and remains, for all its dilapidation, a magnificent sight.

My colleague pointed at a bush, thriving improbably out of a crack high up in the terracotta facade. “That,” he said, “is a buddleia. It’s incredibly hardy, it can take root anywhere.”

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Categories: Environment

'Asthma alley': why minorities bear burden of pollution inequity caused by white people

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 11:00pm

Mott Haven in the South Bronx is a classic example where black and Hispanic residents experience a particularly insidious ‘environmental inequality’

Daniel Chervoni looked out at the busy street from the small community park he tends as a gardener in the South Bronx and clenched his fist as another Fresh Direct diesel truck roared by, spewing exhaust as it took a popular short-cut through the neighborhood.

“They are the reason for our pain, this is why the lungs of Mott Haven’s residents are suffering,” he said.

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Categories: Environment

'Laws are so weak': action needed to stop Australia's animal extinction crisis – senators

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 7:07pm

Existing legislation requires ‘complete overhaul’ to prevent the decline of species, committee warns

A Senate committee examining Australia’s animal extinction crisis has recommended new environment laws to try to halt the decline of threatened species.

The laws, proposed in an interim report by the committee, would include a new, independent national environmental protection authority that would have sufficient powers and funding to enforce compliance with environment law.

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Categories: Environment

Campaign to save oceans maps out global network of sanctuaries

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 4:01pm

Study creates blueprint to safeguard marine life and enable ocean recovery

Academics have mapped out a network of sanctuaries they say are required to save the world’s oceans, protect wildlife and fight climate breakdown.

The study, ahead of a historic vote at the UN, sets out the first detailed plan of how countries can protect over a third of the world’s oceans by 2030, a target scientists and policy makers say is crucial in order to safeguard marine ecosystems and help mitigate the impacts of a rapidly heating world.

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Categories: Environment

Uprooted Cherry Trees In Nashville Spark Protest Against NFL Draft

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 1:23pm

While the cherry blossoms bloom in Nashville, a controversy has sprouted up about plans to remove a few of them to make way for a stage for the upcoming NFL draft.

Categories: Environment

Bavaria to pass 'save the bees' petition into law in landmark move

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 11:04am

Weight of 1.75m signatures persuades German state to bypass referendum and order action to protect pollinators

Bavaria has announced that it will pass into law a popular “save the bees” petition that promises drastic changes in farming practices – without putting it to a referendum first.

The landmark move comes amid increasingly alarming warnings from scientists that nearly half of all insect species are in rapid decline – a third of the crucial pollinators threatened with extinction.

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Categories: Environment

Protesters hail legal victory over fracking firm's injunction

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 8:54am

Appeal court judges rule in favour of campaigners against ‘draconian’ Ineos injunction

Campaigners have hailed a legal victory against a multinational company that took out a “draconian and anti-democratic” injunction against protesters.

On Wednesday, three court of appeal judges ruled in favour of activists who wanted to overturn the wide-ranging injunction that had been granted to the petrochemicals business Ineos, which is owned by Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe, and aspires to become a leading fracking company.

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Categories: Environment

Every Breath You Take: An Indoor Smog Story

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 8:38am

Just keep breathin' and breathin' and breathin' and breathin'...

(Image credit: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Scientists invent 'transparent wood' in search for eco-friendly building material

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/04/03 - 2:00am

New material could replace plastic or glass in construction of energy-efficient homes

In an era of glass and steel construction, wood may seem old-school. But now researchers say they have given timber a makeover to produce a material that is not only sturdy, but also transparent and able to store and release heat.

The researchers say the material could be used in the construction of energy-efficient homes, and that they hope to develop a biodegradable version to increase its eco-friendly credentials as an alternative to plastic, glass or even cement.

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Categories: Environment

Toxic air will shorten children's lives by 20 months, study reveals

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/04/02 - 8:01pm

Global air pollution crisis is taking its greatest toll on children in south Asia

The life expectancy of children born today will be shortened by 20 months on average by breathing the toxic air that is widespread across the globe, with the greatest toll in south Asia, according to a major study.

Air pollution contributed to nearly one in every 10 deaths in 2017, making it a bigger killer than malaria and road accidents and comparable to smoking, according to the State of Global Air (SOGA) 2019 study published on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

Federal Judge Imposes New Probation Terms On PG&E To Reduce Wildfire Risk

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/04/02 - 4:03pm

The utility company is already on probation for its felony conviction related to a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

New York Is Set To Be First U.S. City To Impose Congestion Pricing

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/04/02 - 3:54pm

Motorists will pay a flat daily fee to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street. The new program aims to reduce traffic gridlock while generating revenue for the city's stressed transit system.

(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Flooding And The Food Chain

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/04/02 - 7:40am

How much could infrastructure damage to the Midwest cost? And how will it affect the region's farmers?

(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Canada warming at twice the global rate, climate report finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/04/02 - 7:29am

Report by Environment and Climate Change Canada suggests the majority of warming is the result of burning fossil fuels

Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, a landmark government report has found, warning that drastic action is the only way to avoid catastrophic outcomes.

“The science is clear – Canada’s climate is warming more rapidly than the global average, and this level of warming effectively cannot be changed,” Nancy Hamzawi, assistant deputy minister for science and technology at Environment and Climate Change Canada, told reporters on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

Step 1: Build A House. Step 2: Set It On Fire

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/04/02 - 3:18am

After back-to-back hurricanes and wildfires, insurers are looking for more-resilient construction materials. That means building model homes and then blowing off their roofs or setting them on fire.

(Image credit: Ryan Kellman/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Should we stop using the word ‘cyclist’?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/01 - 11:00pm

A recent study found many drivers see people who use bikes as less than human. Part of the problem is the language we use

As the repair man rummaged around in my gas oven, I tried to explain something to him about cyclists.

“We ‘cyclists’ are no more a homogenous group than you ‘vannists,’” I said.

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Categories: Environment

'Defending our existence': Colombian tribe stands in way of oil exploration

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/01 - 10:00pm

In part three of our series, the Siona people stress opposition to any operations on their territory

Pablo Maniguaje, an indigenous Siona man, is wearing a white-sleeved tunic and peccary tooth necklace. To the right, out of sight, is the Putumayo River, running downstream towards Peru and the main trunk of the Amazon.

Maniguaje is talking about his territory. He is keen to emphasise its importance to the Siona people. “The trees, the water, the air … That’s life for us,” he said. “What else is there?”

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Categories: Environment

Growing Corn Is A Major Contributor To Air Pollution, Study Finds

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/04/01 - 12:28pm

A study ties an estimated 4,300 premature deaths a year to the air pollution caused by corn production in the U.S. In some regions, the per-bushel health costs exceed the corn's market price.

(Image credit: Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

‘It’s no longer free to pollute’: Canada imposes carbon tax on four provinces

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/01 - 11:07am

Trudeau cited international commitments to fight global warning as premiers say they would challenge the measure

Canada has imposed a landmark carbon tax on four provinces which had defied Ottawa’s push to combat climate change, prompting unhappy premiers to say they would challenge the measure.

Related: How to make a carbon tax popular? Give the proceeds to the people

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Categories: Environment

Japan's war on whales isn't over – the Australian government must keep fighting | Darren Kindleysides

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/04/01 - 10:00am

Australia’s global leadership on whale conservation will be tested as Japanese hunters move to a different hemisphere

Japan’s whaling fleet arrived back at the port of Shimonoseki on the weekend with a barbaric tally of 333 dead whales that are no longer swimming freely in the Southern Ocean.

If the work of the Japanese whalers is anything like last year, more than 100 pregnant females and 50 or so juveniles will have been killed. But from now on, things are different.

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Categories: Environment
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