Environment

Killer and cure: Venom at London's Natural History Museum – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 12:00am

From snakes to spiders, wasps to scorpions, the Natural History Museum’s new Venom exhibition promises to unnerve and entice, as it explores one of nature’s deadliest forces and its power to both kill and cure

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Categories: Environment

Michael Bloomberg’s ‘war on coal’ goes global with $50m fund

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 11:45pm

Exclusive: Billionaire’s campaign has seen half of US coal plants close in six years. Now he is targeting Europe and beyond to fight climate change and air pollution

The battle to end coal-burning, backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is expanding out of the US and around the world in its bid to reduce the global warming threat posed by the most polluting fossil fuel.

Bloomberg, a UN special envoy on climate change and former mayor of New York city, has funded a $164m campaign in the US since 2010, during which time more than half the nation’s coal-fired power plants have been closed.

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Categories: Environment

UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 10:45pm

Exclusive: Research leads environment secretary to overturn government’s previous opposition, making total EU ban much more likely

The UK will back a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has revealed.

The decision reverses the government’s previous position and is justified by recent new evidence showing neonicotinoids have contaminated the whole landscape and cause damage to colonies of bees. It also follows the revelation that 75% of all flying insects have disappeared in Germany and probably much further afield, a discovery Gove said had shocked him.

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Categories: Environment

The evidence points in one direction – we must ban neonicotinoids | Michael Gove

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 10:45pm

With more and more evidence emerging that these pesticides harm bees and other insects, it would be irresponsible not to restrict their use, writes the environment secretary, Michael Gove

Two principles guide this government’s approach to the natural world. We want not just to protect but to enhance the environment. And we want our decisions to be informed at all times by rigorous scientific evidence.

Which is why when the science shows that our environment is in increasing danger we have to act. Like many others, I was deeply concerned by a recently published German study into the health of some insect populations. The Guardian covered the report in depth, not least because the statistics were so stark. Data gathered over 25 years appeared to indicate a 75% fall in the numbers of flying insects within those sites.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef ad campaign is LNP 'greenwashing' – Labor

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 9:25pm

LNP leader Tim Nicholls says the advertising plan is to ‘overcome misleading green activist scare campaigns’

A Liberal National party plan to spend $4m on a Great Barrier Reef marketing campaign if it takes power in Queensland has drawn fire as an attempt at “greenwashing” in a void of climate policy.

The LNP leader, Tim Nicholls, said the advertising was to “overcome the misleading green activist scare campaigns which have talked down our greatest natural wonder”.

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Categories: Environment

Bittern numbers in UK at record high, says RSPB

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 5:01pm

Booming of male bitterns reveals presence of at least 164 of the heron-like waders living in British wetlands, says charity

Populations of the bittern, a wetland bird that was facing extinction in the UK in the late 1990s, are at a record high, conservationists report.

Resident numbers of “Britain’s loudest bird” increased in 2017, and experts – using the foghorn-like booming call of the males to survey the species – have counted at least 164 birds at 71 sites.

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Categories: Environment

Thames dolphin found dead in south London

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 1:08pm

Dolphin first spotted nine days ago was undernourished and probably relatively aged, tests show

A two-metre-long dolphin believed to have been spotted nine days ago in London after swimming its way up the river Thames has died.

The creature, christened the Thames dolphin, was first spotted on 30 October and had since been seen ranging up and down the stretch of river that winds through the capital.

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Categories: Environment

EPA Approval Of Bacteria To Fight Mosquitoes Caps Long Quest

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 12:30pm

Scientists have long sought a way to fight mosquito-borne viruses without pesticides. For researchers like Scott O'Neill, the Wolbachia bacteria offered that chance. But they had to prove it.

(Image credit: Colyn Huber)

Categories: Environment

Coal-fired plant shifted $1bn offshore while pocketing $117m from Australian taxpayers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 11:00am

Payment to owner of Loy Yang B – one of country’s dirtiest plants – was compensation for short-lived carbon tax

The owner of one of Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants quietly moved $1bn offshore within days of pocketing $117m from taxpayers in compensation for Labor’s now-defunct carbon tax.

The revelation, contained in the Paradise Papers, has prompted renewed criticism of the “chronic failure” of Australian climate policy and warnings against future cash handouts to multinational polluters.

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Categories: Environment

Paradise Papers: Oxford and Cambridge invested tens of millions offshore

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 11:00am

Funds invested in by the universities include a joint venture to develop oil exploration and deep-sea drilling

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and nearly half of all Oxbridge colleges, have secretly invested tens of millions of pounds in offshore funds, including in a joint venture to develop oil exploration and deep-sea drilling, leaked documents from the Paradise Papers reveal.

The files show that both universities have committed significant funds to multibillion-dollar private equity partnerships based in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven popular with American and British hedge funds.

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Categories: Environment

Europe's carmakers face 30% emission cuts target

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 10:32am

New proposals to limit CO2 from passenger cars and vans by 2030 would meet climate goals, but campaigners say regulations fall short

The European commission has unveiled new proposals for limits on carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars and vans, which would compel manufacturers to cut emissions from their vehicles by nearly a third from 2030.

But the proposals will not require manufacturers to make a fixed quota of their fleet run on electricity, as some campaigners had hoped.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland farmer raises $25,000 to run ad opposing Adani water licence

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 10:00am

Angus Emmott calls for Annastacia Palaszczuk to cancel the free water licence given to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine

A Queensland farmer has raised enough money to air an advertisement during prime-time television in the state’s regional areas calling on the government to cancel the free and unlimited water licence given to Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine for 60 years.

Angus Emmott, who previously attracted almost 100,000 signatures to a petition fighting the same cause, has raised just over $25,000, allowing his group Farmers for Climate Action to buy ad space on television.

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Categories: Environment

Politicians and activists gather for COP23 Bonn climate talks - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 8:01am

The world’s nations are meeting in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd annual “conference of the parties” (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which aims to prevent dangerous global warming. This year, Fiji plays president and meeting the Paris climate goals are top of the agenda

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Categories: Environment

Don't dump your potatoes – use these easy recipes for your freezer

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 7:23am

We are binning nearly half of the fresh spuds we buy. But stashing some in the freezer can save time and make for extra-crunchy roasties

Proof, as if more proof were needed, that Britain is heading to hell in a handcart, comes with the news that we waste nearly half the potatoes we buy, throwing a shameful 5.8m potential roasties or jackets in the bin every day.

The blame could be laid at the door of supermarkets, who insist on selling spuds in vast, plastic-wrapped quantities; decant them into a cool, dark place unless using immediately. And don’t be put off if they start sprouting in the gloom; simply cut off any unnerving proboscises or green patches, before cooking.

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Categories: Environment

Germany's dirty coalmines become the focus for a new wave of direct action

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 6:47am

Not far from the UN climate talks taking place in Bonn, activists frustrated with slow progress by governments are turning up the heat at the Hambach opencast mine, highlighting Germany’s failure to live up to its green pledges

A giant black mark on Germany’s environmental record is scarred on the land an hour’s drive from the venue of this year’s UN climate talks in Bonn.

Stretching 85 kilometres wide and 400 metres deep, the opencast coalmine near Hambach forest is the biggest hole in Europe and one of the biggest single sources of carbon on the continent.

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Categories: Environment

The Interdependence Of Humanity And Earth

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 6:27am

We owe our existence to little photosynthetic bacteria — but there is much more to this story, as life can only mutate and adapt when the planet offers the right conditions, says Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'As close as the US gets to Egypt’s pyramids': how Chaco Canyon is endangered by drilling

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 4:00am

Irreplaceable cultural resources in New Mexico are among those areas targeted for expedited drilling – and conservationists say it’s ‘like losing pages and chapters of that history book’

In Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, it is still possible to wander the maze of rooms of an ancestral Puebloan village erected roughly 1,000 years ago.

Visitors use the same staircases and duck through the same T-shaped doorways as residents did at the time. A jigsaw puzzle of rocks form walls that stand several feet thick and multiple stories tall. Where rooftops are gone, windows now let in glimpses of sky. It’s a simultaneous experience of vast space and marvelous connection.

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Categories: Environment

Snake charmer: man held in Germany found with python in his pants

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 3:36am

Darmstadt police detained 19-year-old after a drunken row with another man and said they saw ‘significant bulge in his trousers’

A man detained by police during a drunken argument in Germany may have violated animal welfare laws after being found to be carrying a baby python in his pants.

Police in Darmstadt, in the west of the country, said he was held on Tuesday night after a loud row with another man disturbed residents. They said he was searched and officers noticed “a significant bulge in his trousers”.

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Categories: Environment

Potential Trump Adviser Suggests Climate Change Regulations Are Communist Conspiracy

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 3:03am

President Trump has tapped a former Texas regulator to be his senior adviser on environmental policy. Like a string of other controversial picks, she questions the science behind climate change.

Categories: Environment

The Past And Future Of Coal In China

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/11/08 - 3:03am

In China's Shanxi province, farmers grew very rich prospecting for coal. Now, China has consolidated the mines and is aggressively cutting back production, for environmental reasons.

Categories: Environment
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