Trump administration authorizes 'cyanide bombs' to kill wild animals

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 11:38am

The poison-filled, spring-loaded traps, called M-44s, are used by Wildlife Services for the benefit of farmers and ranchers

The Trump administration has reauthorized government officials to use controversial poison devices – dubbed “cyanide bombs” by critics – to kill coyotes, foxes and other animals across the US.

The spring-loaded traps, called M-44s, are filled with sodium cyanide and are most frequently deployed by Wildlife Services, a federal agency in the US Department of Agriculture that kills vast numbers of wild animals each year, primarily for the benefit of private farmers and ranchers.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists produce 'Atomik' vodka from Chernobyl grain

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 7:28am

Alcohol is free of radioactivity and could help economic recovery in region

What do you call vodka produced from grain grown in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster 33 years ago?

Atomik, of course.

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Categories: Environment

A World Without Water

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 7:06am

A quarter of the world's population is at high risk of running out of water.

(Image credit: ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

U.N. Says Agriculture Must Change To Prevent Worst Effects Of Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 4:47am

Humans must drastically alter food production in order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, according to a U.N. report.

Categories: Environment

Farmers call for national strategy on climate change and agriculture

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 1:13am

An Australian farming group has called for a fully funded national strategy to deal with climate change and agriculture, warning farmers don’t have enough support to manage increasing risks associated with global heating.

It comes as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on climate change and land, released in Geneva on Thursday, found limiting global heating to below 2C can only be achieved by reducing emissions from all sectors – including land and food.

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Categories: Environment

To Slow Global Warming, U.N. Warns Agriculture Must Change

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 1:00am

The way we produce food and manage land must change radically if humans hope to avoid catastrophic global temperature rise, according to a new report by the United Nations panel on climate change.

(Image credit: Andre Penner/AP)

Categories: Environment

Climate crisis reducing land’s ability to sustain humanity, says IPCC

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 1:00am

UN report finds ecosystems never before under such threat and restoration is urgent

The climate crisis is damaging the ability of the land to sustain humanity, with cascading risks becoming increasingly severe as global temperatures rise, according to a landmark UN report compiled by some of the world’s top scientists.

Global heating is increasing droughts, soil erosion and wildfires while diminishing crop yields in the tropics and thawing permafrost near the poles, says the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Categories: Environment

How climate’s impact on land threatens civilisation – and how to fix it

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 1:00am

Revolutionising the way we use land could cut emissions, provide sustainable food and reduce poverty

Healthy land provides the food, timber and fresh water essential to humanity’s survival, but a UN report says the climate crisis is damaging this precious resource with potentially irreversible consequences.

The abuse of land by razing forests, intensive farming and loss of soils also produces a quarter of global emissions, further worsening the climate emergency, says the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Categories: Environment

Gorgon LNG plant begins long-delayed carbon capture and storage project

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/08/08 - 12:56am

Half Australia’s increase in CO2 emissions has been linked to WA project’s failure to bury its greenhouse gas underwater

Oil and gas company Chevron says a long-delayed carbon capture and storage project has begun operating at one of the country’s largest liquefied natural gas developments.

The Gorgon LNG development in the Pilbara, promised as a landmark development in burying greenhouse gas to limit emissions from fossil fuels, was supposed to start along with gas production in 2016. But the project was repeatedly delayed, with the company blaming technical issues.

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: FBI and police monitoring Oregon anti-pipeline activists

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 11:00pm

Emails show the latest example of environmental groups facing increased surveillance by law enforcement

Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas infrastructure project in Oregon and circulated intelligence to an email list that included a Republican-aligned anti-environmental PR operative, emails obtained by the Guardian show.

The South Western Oregon Joint Task Force (SWOJTF) and its members were monitoring opponents of the Jordan Cove energy project, a proposal by the Canadian energy company Pembina to build the first-ever liquefied natural gas export terminal on the US west coast, as well as a new 232-mile pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas to the port of Coos Bay.

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Categories: Environment

Alaska records warmest month ever in July with coastline barren of sea ice

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 11:00pm

Average temperature for month amid Arctic heatwave was 58.1F (14.5C), nearly 1F above previous high set in July 2004

A heatwave pulsating through the Arctic helped push Alaska to its warmest month ever recorded in July, with the state’s vast coastline left completely barren of sea ice.

Alaska’s average temperature in July was a record 58.1F (14.5C), nearly 1F above the previous monthly high set in July 2004, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Cities and towns across the vast US state, such as Anchorage, Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow) and Kodiak all had their warmest month in 125 years of record-keeping.

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear waste: residents near proposed dump told to sign draconian code of conduct

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 5:53pm

Code bans residents from taking notes or recording any part of meetings without prior agreement

Residents in small South Australian communities shortlisted for a proposed nuclear waste storage facility have been told if they want to attend community consultation meetings they have to sign a code of conduct that bans them from taking notes.

The shortlist for the proposed dump has been narrowed down to Lyndhurst or Napandee, in the Kimba shire area on the Eyre Peninsula, and Wallerberdina Station, which is near Barndioota in the southern Flinders Ranges.

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Categories: Environment

Hitting clean air targets 'could stop 67,000 child asthma cases a year'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 4:01pm

Staying within WHO pollution limits would prevent 11% of new diagnoses, study says

Almost 67,000 new cases of asthma in children across 18 European countries could be prevented every year if levels of tiny particulates polluting the air are cut to recommended levels, research suggests.

The study joins a growing body of research into the impact of air pollution on human health. A landmark study published in April estimated that 4m new asthma cases a year globally among those aged one to 18 were down to levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air.

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Categories: Environment

A Mysterious Disease Is Killing Majestic Beech Trees In American Forests

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 1:35pm

A mysterious disease is killing one of the nation's most majestic trees. The beech is an important anchor species of mature forests, but scientists suspect a microscopic worm is attacking them.

Categories: Environment

BHP faces fresh calls to quit Minerals Council ahead of pro-coal ad blitz

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 11:00am

Upcoming multimillion-dollar advertising campaign will aim to ‘invoke national pride’ in coal

Mining giant BHP is facing renewed pressure to abandon its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia after it was revealed the lobby group is directly involved in an upcoming multimillion-dollar pro-coal advertising blitz.

Documents seen by the Guardian show Coal21 – an organisation created to research low-emissions technology and shares its chief executive with the Minerals Council – is planning a cross-media advertising campaign to enhance “the public standing and reputation of Australia’s coal industry”.

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Categories: Environment

Rise in snakebites across US linked to climate crisis and sprawling suburbs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 10:38am
  • Dramatic increase in bites continues recent upward trend
  • North Carolina, Georgia and Texas on track to break records

Climate warming and the expansion of human settlements across the southern states of the US has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people bitten during encounters with venomous snakes, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The increase in bites is on track to break records in North Carolina, Georgia and Texas where copperhead snakes are the dominant species, with a total of 2,118 bites, an increase of 83 over the previous year, the newspaper said. In Florida, where the eastern coral snake and the cottonmouth are common, numbers remain average.

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Categories: Environment

Strategies for nuclear weapons and waste | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 9:59am
It is essential that Europe does not become the arena for a build-up of nuclear weapons, writes Catherine West MP. It is surely time to bury the Micawber principle, says Professor Neil Hyatt

As we mark the 74th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world is at a dangerous juncture (Editorial, 2 August). Abandonment of the INF treaty alongside President Trump’s reckless withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal only increases the likelihood of a devastating nuclear arms race. It suggests nothing has been learned from the horror of those attacks 74 years ago, the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and many more blighted.

While nuclear bombs exist in our world there is always the risk of another Hiroshima or another Nagasaki. It is essential that Europe does not become the arena for a build-up of nuclear weapons and that the UK government refuses any requests from the US to host intermediate range missiles. Our goal must be a world free of nuclear weapons, not a dangerous and destructive escalation.
Catherine West MP
Hornsey & Wood Green

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Categories: Environment

Snakes On A Plain: Invasive Species And How We Handle Them

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 8:06am

Go full monty on that python!

(Image credit: Conservancy of Southwest Florida)

Categories: Environment

What I learned writing about climate change and the US south for a year

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/07 - 3:00am

I crisscrossed a region – my own – that is mired in a culture of denial and delay. The conversation on the climate crisis has not changed fast enough

It’s 96 degrees in downtown Beaufort, North Carolina, a place where I spent much of my childhood. The sidewalk is too hot for dogs to walk on. The iconic wild horses, visible on Shackleford Banks, wade in the marsh, munching cordgrass. I’ve been watching the horses since I was in elementary school, and now I’m sharing them with my elementary school-aged daughters on summer vacation.

My girls love them, as I did. The legend is that the horses swam to safety from an old Spanish shipwreck. It’s moving to watch the small, strong horses grazing on the dunes. For now, they’ve survived the latest big hurricane, and they’re free.

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Categories: Environment

How the world’s dirtiest industries have learned to pollute our politics | George Monbiot

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 10:00pm
The fossil-fuel lobby is threatened by public concern over the climate crisis. So it’s buying influence to get the results it wants

The tragedy of our times is that the gathering collapse of our life support systems has coincided with the age of public disservice. Just as we need to rise above self-interest and short-termism, governments around the world now represent the meanest and dirtiest of special interests. In the United Kingdom, the US, Brazil, Australia and many other nations, pollutocrats rule.

The Earth’s systems are breaking down at astonishing speed. Wildfires roar across Siberia and Alaska – biting, in many places, deep into peat soils, releasing plumes of carbon dioxide and methane that cause more global heating. In July alone, Arctic wildfires are reckoned to have released as much carbon into the atmosphere as Austria does in a year: already the vicious twister of climate feedbacks has begun to turn.

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Categories: Environment
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