Environment

Open thread: 'redefine nothing' – what are your tips for reducing food waste?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 6:41pm

Radish tops can be used in soups and pretty much any sad vegetable or fruit can be rescued by pureeing – submit your tips for ‘zero waste’ cooking

In the never-ending string of “days attached to apparent causes”, Friday is Food Revolution Day, pioneered by the high-profile happy chappy Jamie Oliver, friend to all but sugar.

Youth Food Movement Australia, which organises volunteer-run food projects across the country, says the amount of food thrown out by one household annually equates to one in five bags and costs $1,000 a year.

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Categories: Environment

Canada's Trans Mountain oil pipeline clears hurdle despite fears for seaway

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 6:14pm

Regulator admits risks but recommends Trudeau government approve project to ramp up shipping of tar sands crude via Salish Sea tribal fishing grounds

Canada’s energy regulators have recommended the approval of the Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline, which has drawn environmental and tribal protests over the dramatic increase it would mean to the number of oil tankers moving through the waters between the US and Canada.

The National Energy Board recommended the federal government conditionally approve Kinder Morgan Canada’s plan to nearly triple pipeline capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The $5.4bn Trans Mountain project would carry oil from Alberta ’s oil sands to near Vancouver, British Columbia, to be loaded on to tankers for export to Asian and US markets. It would mean a sevenfold increase to shipping through the Salish Sea.

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Categories: Environment

Energy schemes to add £100 to UK household bills within five years

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 4:01pm

Energy subsidies designed to keep lights on and support low-carbon electricity will have risen 124% by 2020-21, review finds

Households will be paying £100 more for their annual bills within five years to fund four government policies designed to keep the lights on and support low-carbon electricity, according to a review.

Independent consultancy Cornwall Energy said energy subsidies will have risen by 124% by 2020-21 due to the cost of the capacity market, renewable obligations, contracts for difference and feed-in tariff schemes.

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Categories: Environment

Canada approves sale of genetically modified salmon

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 2:59pm
  • Agencies: modified fish as safe and nutritious as conventional salmon
  • Growth hormone genes from two fish allow it to grow twice as fast

Health authorities in Canada have approved a fast-growing, genetically altered salmon as safe for consumption, paving the way for it to become the first genetically modified animal to be allowed on Canadian dinner plates.

After four years of testing, Health Canada and the Canadian food inspection agency said on Thursday they had found the salmon developed by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies to be as safe and nutritious as conventional salmon.

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Categories: Environment

California Will Let Local Authorities Assess Water Conservation Goals Amid Drought

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 1:44pm

This will replace mandatory state-driven standards. It's happening because California's drought — now entering its fifth year — is easing in some parts of the state but not others.

Categories: Environment

The Bank of England’s governor should be feeling hot | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 11:05am
Baby death statistics | House prices surge | Spending a penny | How to greet a hare

Dividing a small rate of deaths in the worst area by the even smaller rate in the best areas makes the worst look twice as bad (UK baby deaths ‘still influenced by where you live’, 17 May). But 99.21% of babies survive in the worst areas and 99.59% in the best areas. (Infant mortality is expressed as per 1,000 births precisely because it is so low, so a difference of less than 10 per thousand equates to less than a 1% difference.) If employment rates or exam results were this close, governments would call it a great success.
Peter West
London

• The housing market sees a 2.5% price surge in March and the average London home increased in value by £28,000 in one month (Report, 18 May). This is a capital gain greater than my son’s annual take-home pay as a sixth form teacher in Islington, but according to the Bank of England the market is “on watch” for evidence of overheating. Is Mark Carney wearing an asbestos suit?
John Bailey
Farnborough, Hampshire

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Categories: Environment

Humans damaging the environment faster than it can recover, UN finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 9:56am

Radical action is needed to combat increasing rate of environmental damage to water sources, land, biodiversity and marine life, report shows

Degradation of the world’s natural resources by humans is rapidly outpacing the planet’s ability to absorb the damage, meaning the rate of deterioration is increasing globally, the most comprehensive environmental study ever undertaken by the UN has found.

The study, which involved 1,203 scientists, hundreds of scientific institutions and more than 160 governments brought together by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), concludes that without radical action the level of prosperity that millions of people in the developed world count on will be impossible to maintain or extend to poorer countries.

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Categories: Environment

Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory 'could damage exotic fish populations'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 9:52am

Australian conservationists warn that Pixar sequel could increase pressure on marine populations, after the first film led to surge in popularity of pet clownfish

Australian conservationists have warned that the release of new Pixar film Finding Dory could increase pressure on wild populations of exotic fish on the Great Barrier Reef and elsewhere.

Researchers from the University of Queensland and Flinders University teamed up a decade ago for the Saving Nemo Conservation Fund, named after the Disney-owned studio’s 2003 animated smash Finding Nemo, in which a clownfish searches the oceans for his missing son.

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Categories: Environment

Don’t be eco-friendly just to do a good deed – do it to make your mark

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 9:29am

Researchers have found people will act in a more environmentally helpful way when they consider what kind of legacy they hope to leave behind

In the face of an overwhelming amount of data suggesting that climate change poses an immediate and catastrophic threat to our very existence, we remain largely inert. The stakes truly could not get any higher, yet many of us steadfastedly refuse to change our behaviour.

What’s it going to take?

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Categories: Environment

RHS study aims to find best way to tackle slugs and snails in gardens

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 9:27am

Project with chemicals company BASF will look at mulch, slug pellets and nematodes to find best method of fighting the pests

A study is being launched to discover the best way to tackle what many gardeners see as their ultimate foes – slugs and snails.

The one-year research project will examine the use of mulch, slug pellets and nematodes, a form of biological control of slugs and snails. It is being conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the chemicals company BASF, the only UK producer of nematodes.

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Categories: Environment

Bayer in talks to buy GM food company Monsanto

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 7:29am

German pharmaceuticals giant approaches world’s biggest seed firm over ‘negotiated acquisition’ set to be worth at least $40bn

The German drugs and chemicals group Bayer has pounced on Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, with an unsolicited takeover offer likely to be worth more than $40bn (£27bn).

Bayer, which invented aspirin in the 19th century, said executives from both companies had met to “privately discuss a negotiated acquisition of Monsanto Company” to create a “leading integrated agriculture business”.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking investors losing patience with planning delays, says industry boss

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 6:46am

Head of Cuadrilla’s warning to UK energy minister over ‘unnecessary delays’ comes ahead of Yorkshire shale gas planning decision

The backers of fracking in the UK do not have “limitless patience” for planning delays, according to a leading industry boss.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, warned that despite the government’s promise to fast track fracking, the planning process remains a slow lane. The comments come just ahead of a planning decision in Yorkshire on Third Energy’s application for shale gas exploration.

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Categories: Environment

Why air pollution in schools is such a big deal – and what to do about it | Ian Colbeck

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 5:14am

About 3,000 British schools are in areas where air quality is poor, with those in poorer communities suffering more

Former London mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of holding back negative findings from a 2013 report on the city’s air pollution.

The report stated that 433 of London’s 1,777 primary schools were in areas where nitrogen dioxide concentrations breached EU limits. Nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, is an air pollutant that when inhaled can aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. It has been estimated that in 2010 there were 5,900 deaths in London associated with long term exposure to NO2.

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Categories: Environment

How much do you know about bees? - quiz

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 4:43am

Despite our professed concern for bees, a YouGov poll for Friends of the Earth found that most of us can’t recognise a honey bee. Take the green group’s quiz to see how much you know

• The Great British Bee Count take place from 19 May-30 June

How many different species of bees are in the UK?

1

3

100

250-plus

Which of these foods is not pollinated by bees?

Strawberries

Rice

Apples

Almonds

Bees pollinate what percentage of the world's main crops?

25%

33%

75%

90%

How many of the UK’s bee species make honey?

1

3

100

250+

When bees visit plants what are they after?

Water

Scent

Mating ritual

Pollen

Which of these items of clothing depends on pollination by bees?

Silk tie and scarf

Cotton jeans and socks

Woolly jumper

Polyester walking gear

What is the main cause of bee decline?

Pesticides

Habitat loss

Disease

Climate change

How can I most help bees?

Grow different plants for bees to visit all year round

Deck your patio area

Mow the lawn

Use a pesticide to get rid of aphids

Which one of the following do you think is the honey bee?

Tawny Mining Bee

Honey Bee

Bumblebee

Hoverfly

5 and above.

Not bad.

8 and above.

Buzzing brilliant!

0 and above.

Oh dear.

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Categories: Environment

Climate scientists, mourning Earth's losses, should make their voices heard | Sarah Myhre

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 3:00am

Climate scientists are feeling the need to engage in social leadership before it’s too late

It’s easy to find a news hook to begin an opinion piece on climate change. Coral bleaching, record-setting heat waves, and expensive, deadly wildfires are a weekly occurrence in the news cycle. But, as climate warming advances, extreme events won’t be newsworthy – they’ll be expected.

We scientists are the gatekeepers of the basic information that fuels decision making by nations, businesses and communities. As these public entities are more and more threatened by the advancing impacts of climate warming, from flooding, to water scarcity, to the spread of tropical diseases, our role as objective scientists has to change. We are so skilled at many, many detailed and quantitative tasks, but, as you would expect from a community of introverts, we are not great at shining that brilliant light back on ourselves.

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Categories: Environment

Greenpeace activists scale British Museum to protest BP sponsorship

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 2:54am

Museum temporarily closes as activists hang huge banners renaming the new BP-sponsored Sunken Cities Egypt exhibition as ‘Sinking Cities’

Greenpeace activists have climbed the British Museum and have hung banners off its columns in protest at BP’s sponsorship of its new ancient Egypt exhibition.

The museum was temporarily closed for around four hours on Thursday during the protest because of “visitor safety reasons.”

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Categories: Environment

Why Rain Barrels Are Now Legal In Colorado

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 2:18am

Who owns rain that falls from the sky? In the West, this is a topic of serious discussion and lawmaking. This summer, after much debate, Colorado will allow homeowners to use rain barrels.

Categories: Environment

UK farmers to cut antibiotic use to combat drug resistance

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 1:49am

Taskforce will work with farming leaders and government to replace and reduce antibiotic use for livestock

A new taskforce to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming in the UK is being set up in response to government concerns on the growing resistance of diseases to antibiotic medicines.

The alliance for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) said it would work with organisations including farming leaders, food companies and government to find ways to replace antibiotic use where possible, and reduce it where not.

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Categories: Environment

London borough installs 6,000 solar panels over marketplace

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 10:01pm

£2m scheme by Hounslow council on Western International Market will be biggest solar scheme by any local authority, and use batteries to store energy

A London council is unveiling a vast installation of 6,000 solar panels on a wholesale market rooftop, which it says is the largest such array put up by a local authority.

The London Borough of Hounslow says its £2m investment in solar, which has been installed on the roof of Western International Market, is also the first by a council to adopt battery storage to maximise the power from the panels.
The 1.73 megawatt (MW) array of 6,069 panels and four 60kW lithium batteries system now generates half the site’s required electricity.

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Categories: Environment

In regional Australia, messages about fairness can't drown out the three word slogans | Jason Wilson

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 7:44pm

For areas on the wrong side of a boom, ‘jobs and growth’ makes sense – in the absence of a better-articulated vision for northern Australia, symbolism matters

I’m back in Townsville for a family funeral. The relationship between the present and the past is at the top of my mind. Right now, all that means is I’m finding it hard to envision the future of the city I see around me. I’m not the only one.

I didn’t make it to Malcolm Turnbull’s press conference – there are arrangements to be made, relatives to visit. In any case, in local media he’s been inescapable.

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Categories: Environment
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