Environment

China Reshapes The Vital Mekong River To Power Its Expansion

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/10/06 - 4:57am

Chinese companies are building infrastructure and dams along the vast river that runs through five Southeast Asian countries before emptying into the South China Sea.

(Image credit: Michael Sullivan for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Earth's climate monsters could be unleashed as temperatures rise | Graham Readfearn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 3:07pm

As a UN panel prepares a report on 1.5C global warming, researchers warn of the risks of ignoring ‘feedback’ effects

This week, hundreds of scientists and government officials from more than 190 countries have been buzzing around a convention centre in the South Korean city of Incheon.

They are trying to agree on the first official release of a report – the bit called the Summary for Policymakers – that pulls together all of what’s known about how the world might be affected once global warming gets to 1.5C.

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Categories: Environment

How do NHS hospitals dispose of clinical waste?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 10:23am

Waste is split into four categories – infectious, sharp, anatomical and medical – and transportation rules are stringent

The Environment Agency has launched a criminal investigation into how a major NHS supplier failed to dispose of body parts, including amputated limbs and waste from cancer treatment. What rules must UK hospitals follow to remain within the law?

What sort of waste comes out of hospitals?

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Categories: Environment

Walkers answers critics with launch of UK crisp packet recycling plan

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 8:59am

Manufacturer to collect and repurpose packaging after campaign against firm’s waste

Walkers has agreed to offer a free national recycling scheme to stop millions of empty crisp packets ending up in landfill in the UK every year after consumers heaped pressure on it to change its plastic packaging.

A social media campaign asking crisp manufacturers to make their packaging recyclable led to Royal Mail issuing a plea to members of the public last week to put empty crisp packets in an envelope before posting them back to the company.

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Categories: Environment

NHS in outsourcing talks with Mitie after body parts fiasco

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 8:23am

Waste management firm is first choice to replace supplier that allowed body parts to pile up

The NHS is in talks with Mitie about the outsourcing company taking over the disposal of body parts and hazardous waste after the existing contractor allowed huge stockpiles to build up, triggering health concerns.

NHS chiefs fear the current contractor Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) could collapse and are urgently trying to find a replacement firm to undertake some or all of the work done by the company.

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Categories: Environment

Florida red tide sweeps away Republican Rick Scott's Senate poll lead

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 6:13am
  • Governor blamed for weakening environmental protections
  • Red tide spreads to Atlantic waters off Miami and Palm Beach

Barely a month ago, Republican Rick Scott held a clear lead in the race to become Florida’s next US senator. Now a tidal wave of toxic algae threatens to engulf the campaign of the outgoing state governor, whom critics have dubbed ‘Red Tide Rick’.

Wildlife officials confirmed on Thursday that the same deadly algae bloom that overran Florida’s south-west coastline this summer, killing dolphins, fish, manatees and turtles and devastating the area’s tourism industry, had washed ashore on several Atlantic coast beaches.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 6:00am

A Malaysian sun bear, lion cubs and a fruit bat in flight are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Fracking activists to appeal against prison sentences

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 5:03am

Three activists were first people to receive jail terms for anti-fracking protests in UK

Three environmental activists who became the first people to be jailed for an anti-fracking protest in the UK are to appeal against their sentences amid growing anger over their “excessive and extraordinary” punishments.

Last week, Simon Roscoe Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, were sentenced to 16 months in prison, and Richard Loizou, 31, was given 15 months after a jury at Preston crown court convicted them of causing a public nuisance.

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Categories: Environment

'A prisoner of environment': is it time to leave the American west?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 3:00am

The western US has long been characterized by balmy weather and fresh starts, but some are weary of the unhealthy air and worry about a water shortage

Maricela Ruelas is a manager at a vineyard in Medford, Oregon. She trims, harvests – whatever needs doing. This year, she has done much of that work in a face mask.

Wildfire smoke has plagued her and her fellow workers nearly continuously for “a couple of months”, she said through a translator, leading to pounding headaches. “It was horrible, horrible this year.”

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Categories: Environment

Cuadrilla to revive UK fracking drive within days at Lancashire well

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/10/05 - 2:29am

Shale gas giant to restart controversial drilling after years of delays and protests

The UK shale industry’s long-delayed fracking drive will begin again next week, after the leading company Cuadrilla confirmed it will start working on a well in Lancashire within days.

The well at Preston New Road, between Blackpool and Preston, will be the first to be fracked in the UK since 2011, after years of hold-ups due to a moratorium, regulatory changes and planning battles.

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Categories: Environment

Charge €30 a tonne for CO2 to avoid catastrophic 4C warming | Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/04 - 11:00pm

New global policies such as carbon pricing are needed if we are to avoid an apocalyptic increase in temperature

We are following a path that will ultimately take us to a 4C-warmer world. A hot state where it is unlikely that we can generate food, water and shelter for all citizens, where sea level rise will ultimately exceed 10 metres, and where social insecurity and widespread disease will very likely be universal.

Along the way we will reach several critical tipping points. One such is at 2C – a scenario that may prompt the Earth system to shift from self-cooling by means of buffering emissions to self-warming, thereby putting us on a path to a “hothouse Earth”. At 3C we reach a point where extreme floods and droughts will force people to leave their homes; more powerful hurricanes will destroy urban infrastructure.

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Categories: Environment

Scottish GPs to begin prescribing rambling and birdwatching

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/04 - 4:01pm

Shetlanders with chronic and debilitating illnesses could be given ‘nature prescriptions’

Doctors in Shetland are to start prescribing birdwatching, rambling and beach walks in the Atlantic winds to help treat chronic and debilitating illnesses for the first time.

From Friday, doctors working in the 10 GP surgeries on the islands will be authorised by the archipelago’s health board, NHS Shetland, to issue “nature prescriptions” to patients to help treat mental illness, diabetes, heart disease, stress and other conditions.

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Categories: Environment

From London to Shanghai, world's sinking cities face devastating floods

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/04 - 4:01pm

Threat to major population centres is increasing as planners fail to prepare for impacts of global warming, report says

London, Jakarta, Shanghai and Houston and other global cities that are already sinking will become increasingly vulnerable to storms and flooding as a result of global warming, campaigners have warned ahead of a landmark new report on climate science.

The threat to cities from sea level rises is increasing because city planners are failing to prepare, the charity Christian Aid said in the report. Some big cities are already subsiding – the ground beneath Shanghai, for instance, is being pressed down by the sheer weight of the buildings above – and rising sea levels resulting from global warming will make the effects worse.

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Categories: Environment

Stuff that: Victoria looks to axe taxidermy licence fee as deer numbers rise

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/04 - 11:00am

Removal of annual $588 fee among measures proposed to cut red tape affecting deer hunters

Victoria has proposed deregulating the taxidermied deer industry as part of a draft management strategy to control the increasing feral deer population.

Deer are protected under Victorian wildlife laws along with other introduced species like pheasants and European quails and partridges, meaning they cannot be hunted without a licence.

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Categories: Environment

US plan to genetically alter crops via insects feared to be biological war plan

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/10/04 - 11:00am

Program says it will use virus-carrying insects to engineer crops, but some worry it’s a way to develop biological agents

Government-backed researchers in America are aiming to use virus-carrying insects to genetically engineer crops – raising fears the technology could be used for biological weapons.

A new article in the journal Science explores the shadowy program funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

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Categories: Environment

Labor says Australia can remain energy 'superpower' – but only if climate wars end

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/03 - 3:45pm

Pat Conroy says Australia can replace thermal coal exports with renewable energy and also develop hydrogen economy

Australia is in a position to replace thermal coal exports with the export of renewable energy technologies if the parliament can settle an energy policy and end a decade of policy chaos, the Labor frontbencher Pat Conroy says.

The shadow assistant minister for climate change and energy will use an appearance at a renewable energy conference on Thursday to argue that Australia can remain an energy export “superpower” during the transition to low-emissions energy – “it just won’t be fossilised carbon, instead it will be wind and solar power”.

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Categories: Environment

People Around The Country Are Pushing For More Information About Drinking Water

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/10/03 - 1:24pm

Communities around the country are grappling with a new kind of chemical pollution in their drinking water. The science and regulation around it aren't settled, leaving some people frustrated and in limbo.

Categories: Environment

Lemurs Provide Clues About How Fruit Scents Evolved

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/10/03 - 1:00pm

Researchers tested what kind of information the animals are able to discern from scent about whether a fruit is ripe. There's evidence that some fruits evolved to better signal ripeness to lemurs.

(Image credit: N. Rowe & Centre ValBio)

Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef: forest three times size of ACT cleared in past five years

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/03 - 11:00am

Clearing of forests in reef catchment zone show Australia a global deforestation hotspot, campaigners say

New official data shows clearing of forests near and along the Great Barrier Reef continued despite Australian government pledges to protect the natural wonder, with at least 152,000 hectares felled in 2016-17 alone.

Forests covering 770,000ha – an area about three times the size of the Australian Capital Territory – in the reef catchment zone have been bulldozed over the past five years. The area cleared last year was larger in size than that covered by new re-growth.

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Categories: Environment

Commercial fishing banned across much of the Arctic

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/03 - 7:55am

International agreement will protect vast areas of sea that have opened up as the ice melts

Commercial fishing will be banned across much of the Arctic under a new agreement signed on Wednesday in Greenland, closing down access to a vast area of sea that is newly opening up under climate change.

The moratorium on Arctic fishing will safeguard an area about the size of the Mediterranean for at least the next 16 years, as warming temperatures allow summer navigation across what was previously ice.

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Categories: Environment
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