Wildlife ranger killed in Zambia leaves behind seven children

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 8:16am

Rodrick Ngulube was shot by poachers in West Petauke game management area, after rangers discovered carcasses of a warthog and zebra

At 7am on 12 February, 37-year-old wildlife ranger Rodrick Ngulube was gunned down by poachers in Zambia’s West Petauke game management area, according to reports from the country’s Game Rangers Association.

Ngulube and fellow rangers had been tracking seven poachers since the night before when the incident occurred. The slain ranger is survived by his wife and seven children.

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Categories: Environment

'We are rewriting the textbooks': first dives to Amazon coral reef stun scientists

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 7:00am

Scientists have discovered the river reef is far bigger, and more important, than first thought – a biodiversity hotspot on a par with the Great Barrier Reef. Now they face a race to protect it from big oil

There is a flickering, bright glimmer of sky as the two-person submarine descends beneath the muddy equatorial waters to a place no human has ever seen – a vast, complex coral reef at the mouth of the world’s greatest river.

Thirty metres under the murky plume of the sediment-heavy Amazon, the sub enters a darker, richer world. A school of curious remora fish approaches the two-tonne machine. Crabs and starfish loom in its eerie lights. A metre-long amberjack swims past, then a two-metre ray.

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Categories: Environment

Alpine ski resorts could lose up to 70% of snow cover by 2100 – experts

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 6:40am

New study says global warming likely to see snowfall replaced by rain across the Alps, with knock-on effects for tourism-dependent villages

Alpine ski resorts are facing the loss of up to 70% of their snow cover by the end of the century, experts have said.

Even in the best-case scenarios, global warming is likely to see snowfall replaced by rain across the Alps, according to a report in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal the Cryosphere.

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Categories: Environment

The Environmental Consequences Of A Wall On The U.S.-Mexico Border

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 6:01am

Discussions of a border wall happen at the intersection of environmental and civil rights.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

How The EPA Became A Victim Of Its Own Success

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 5:50am

The Trump administration faces protests for its plan to aggressively rein in the EPA, an agency created by President Richard Nixon. But environmental protection was not always so politically divisive.

(Image credit: Charles Tasnadi/AP)

Categories: Environment

London to introduce £10 vehicle pollution charge, says Sadiq Khan

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 3:43am

Mayor says owners of more polluting cars will have to pay extra levy from October to drive within congestion charge zone

Older, more polluting cars will have to pay a £10 charge to drive in central London from 23 October, the city’s mayor has said.

Confirming he would press ahead with the fee, known as the T-charge, Sadiq Khan said: “It’s staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems. If we don’t make drastic changes now we won’t be protecting the health of our families in the future.

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Categories: Environment

Welcome home, Lonesome George: giant tortoise returns to Galapagos

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 1:30am

After almost five years with taxidermists in New York, Lonesome George has returned home. He may be dead, but his legacy is very much alive

Lonesome George is back in Galapagos.

Following the death of the celebrity tortoise in June 2012, his remains were sent to New York to be preserved by expert taxidermists. With the support of the Galapagos Conservancy, the last Pinta tortoise was the star of a highly successful exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in 2014. Today, he flies back to the Galapagos Archipelago after almost five years on his whirlwind taxidermy tour.

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Categories: Environment

'Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/17 - 12:00am

Stefano Boeri, the architect famous for his plant-covered skyscrapers, has designs to create entire new green settlements in a nation plagued by dirty air

When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it. Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust.

Last week, the Italian architect, famed for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscraper complex in Milan, unveiled plans for a similar project in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing.

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Categories: Environment

Omens turn to charm in Ted Hughes' badlands

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 10:30pm

Mexborough, South Yorkshire No longer ‘more or less solid chemicals’, the gunmetal waters of the Don are clean enough for salmon

There were wisps of snow in the liverish sky over Main Street, Mexborough. I passed a shop offering cash for clothes, 40p a kilo, across the road from a tattoo parlour, and then stopped outside its shuttered neighbour. This was, from 1938, the family home of Ted Hughes. The poet’s parents ran it as a newsagent’s.

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Categories: Environment

Tiny plastic pellets found on 73% of UK beaches

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 5:01pm

Great Winter Nurdle Hunt finds thousands of pellets used in plastic production washed up on shorelines around country

A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters of them are littered with tiny plastic pellets.

The lentil-size pellets known as “nurdles” are used as a raw material by industry to make new plastic products.

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Categories: Environment

A Daughter Of Coal Country Battles Climate Change — And Her Father's Doubt

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 3:36pm

In southwestern Pennsylvania, collapsed mining and steel industries led to economic and environmental downturn. A divided father and daughter work to find common ground to save their hometown.

(Image credit: Stephanie Strasburg for WBEZ)

Categories: Environment

Afraid of the rise of a Canadian Trump? Progressive populism is the answer | Martin Lukacs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 1:42pm

Anti-establishment sentiment is surging to a record high—the question now is who will capture and channel it.

Believe Canada is immune to Trump-like conservatism? That the country could never be swept by a right-wing populist scapegoating the vulnerable, promising to bring back jobs, and beating the drum of law-and-order? Think again. The conditions for such an eruption are on stark display.

A poll released this week reveals a stunning lack of trust in government among people in Canada—and a dramatic drop since Justin Trudeau came to power. No less than 80 percent think the Canadian elite are “out of touch” with ordinary people. 60 percent believe mainstream politicians won’t solve our problems. As in the rest of the world, it is no different here: anti-establishment and populist sentiment is surging like never before.

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Categories: Environment

Taxpayers won't be left with mine clean-up costs, NSW government says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 12:22pm

Department of Industry responds to Australia Institute report warning of risks, saying strict conditions are imposed

The New South Wales government has rejected criticisms of its handling of disused mine sites, saying rehabilitation bonds and strict regulations gave it a high degree of confidence that taxpayers would not be lumped with clean-up costs.

The Australia Institute released a report on Wednesday on disused mine sites across the state.

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Categories: Environment

Richard Burton obituary

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 8:33am
Architect who was a pioneer in design for energy conservation

Richard Burton, who has died aged 83, was a third of the architectural partnership of Ahrends, Burton & Koralek (ABK), alongside Peter Ahrends and Paul Koralek. It is not particularly rare that three architects should meet as students and go on to practise together, but most unusual that all three should be involved in design and should remain lifelong friends. The partnership survived controversy when its competition-winning extension to the National Gallery in London was dubbed a “monstrous carbuncle” by the Prince of Wales in 1984 and cancelled, and it became one of the few practices founded in the early 1960s to span the gulf between the public and private sectors.

Of the partners, Burton was perhaps the least affected by the prince’s diatribe, for he had already forged an independent path in the design of low-rise housing, hospitals and energy efficiency, in the last of which he was a pioneer; he and the prince should have got on. Burton subsequently took charge of the firm’s design of the British embassy in Moscow, completed in 2000, after building a house for himself and his wife, Mireille, in Kentish Town, north London, which he opened to the public on Open House weekends.

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Categories: Environment

The South Has Been Slow To Harness Its Wind, But That's Changing

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 7:33am

There are several reasons the region is lagging in wind energy — including lower wind speeds. But now North Carolina is home to the first large-scale commercial wind farm in the Southeast.

(Image credit: Sarah McCammon/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Crop-Protecting Fungicides May Be Hurting The Honey Bees

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 7:00am

Bees have been dying in unprecedented numbers. A new study has found that fungi-destroying chemicals may make it harder for bees to metabolize their food. And if they can't get energy, they can't fly.

(Image credit: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone/Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Categories: Environment

Scientists study ocean absorption of human carbon pollution | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 4:00am

Knowing the rate at which the oceans absorb carbon pollution is a key to understanding how fast climate change will occur

As humans burn fossil fuels and release greenhouse gases, those gases enter the atmosphere where they cause increases in global temperatures and climate consequences such as more frequent and severe heat waves, droughts, changes to rainfall patterns, and rising seas. But for many years scientists have known that not all of the carbon dioxide we emit ends up in the atmosphere. About 40% actually gets absorbed in the ocean waters.

I like to use an analogy from everyday experience: the ocean is a little like a soda. When we shake soda, it fizzes. That fizz is the carbon dioxide coming out of the liquid (that is why sodas are called “carbonated beverages”). We’re doing the reverse process in the climate. Our carbon dioxide is actually going into the oceans.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil's forgotten state: oil and agribusiness threaten Amapá forests – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 3:30am

Pristine Amazon rainforest and conservation areas are being rapidly opened up to dams, gold mining and soya plantations in Brazil’s least developed state

Read more: Amazon’s final frontier under threat from oil and soya

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Categories: Environment

Millions of premature births could be linked to air pollution, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/16 - 12:00am

Premature births across 183 countries may be associated with fine particulate matter, a common air pollutant, with Africa and Asia especially affected

Air pollution could be a contributing factor in millions of premature births around the world each year, a new report has found.

Nearly 15 million babies are born annually before reaching 37 weeks gestation. Premature birth is the leading cause of death among children younger than five years old, and can cause lifelong learning disabilities, visual and hearing problems, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

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Categories: Environment

Urban butterfly declines 69% compared to 45% drop in countryside

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/15 - 11:01pm

Pesticides, paving and higher temperatures have put huge strain on butterflies in cities over past two decades, finds study

Butterflies have vanished from towns and cities more rapidly than from the countryside over the past two decades, according to a new study.

Industrial agriculture has long been viewed as the scourge of butterflies and other insects but city life is worse – urban butterfly abundance fell by 69% compared to a 45% decline in rural areas over 20 years from 1995.

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Categories: Environment
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