The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/05/15 - 12:00pm

The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including a leaping peacock and deer on a platform of the West Highland Line

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Large areas of London to be made car-free as lockdown eased

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/05/15 - 5:23am

Mayor Sadiq Khan says city needs to be repurposed for people as it emerges from coronavirus restrictions

Large areas of London are to be closed to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely as the coronavirus lockdown is eased, Sadiq Khan has announced.

In one of the biggest car-free initiatives of any city in the world, the capital’s mayor announced on Friday that main streets between between London Bridge and Shoreditch, Euston and Waterloo, and Old Street and Holborn, will be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

US coronavirus hotspots linked to meat processing plants

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/05/15 - 4:45am
  • Analysis shows factories a source of virus transmission
  • Workers and unions urge health and safety overhaul

Almost half the current Covid-19 hotspots in the US are linked to meat processing plants where poultry, pigs and cattle are slaughtered and packaged, which has led to the virus spiking in many small towns and prompted calls for urgent reforms to an industry beset by health and safety problems.

Related: 'Chaotic and crazy': meat plants around the world struggle to contain Covid-19 outbreaks

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Canada: Wet'suwet'en sign historic deal to negotiate land rights

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/05/15 - 3:00am

Agreement with British Columbia and Ottawa may help settle pipeline dispute but other Indigenous groups are unhappy

A group of Indigenous leaders have struck an unprecedented deal with Canada’s government to resolve a dispute over territorial rights near the site of a controversial pipeline project which provoked fierce protests, police raids and a nationwide rail blockade.

At a virtual signing ceremony on Thursday, hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en people agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the federal government and the province of British Columbia – a landmark agreement many hope will grant the Wet’suwet’en title rights to 22,000 sq km of territory.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

US national park reopenings raise fears of coronavirus outbreaks

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/05/15 - 2:30am

Rural towns on the edge of parks split between fear of infection and imperative to revive tourism-dependent economies

On Wednesday, Zion national park in Utah, one of the most popular natural attractions in the US, received its first visitors in more than a month as the Trump administration continued its push to reopen the nation’s outdoors as well as it cities and businesses.

Related: 'Please don't come': calls to close US national parks over virus fears

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

RSPB flooded with reports of birds of prey being killed

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 11:00pm

Charity says lockdown has been seen as green light to target birds in belief there is less chance of getting caught

The RSPB has been “overrun” with reports of birds of prey being illegally killed since lockdown began.

Police have been called out to investigate multiple cases of raptors being shot, trapped or suspected of having been poisoned, with the charity saying most incidents were on or close to sporting estates managed for game bird shooting.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Keep pet cats indoors, say researchers who found they kill 230m native Australian animals each year

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 9:51pm

Australia’s 3.7m domestic cats wreak environmental havoc and should be contained, authors of new study say

Domestic cats are killing an estimated 230m native Australian birds, reptiles and mammals every year, according to new research that quantifies the pet’s national toll on native animals for the first time.

Researchers said owners of Australia’s 3.7m domestic cats needed to make sure their pets were indoors or contained to reduce their impact on native species.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

NSW south coast residents battling to save unburnt bushland ask Sussan Ley to intervene

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 3:41pm

Endangered species have sought refuge in forest slated for housing development, says Manyana community group

A dispute over plans by a property developer to raze a local forest on the bushfire-ravaged south coast of New South Wales has been escalated to the federal environment minister amid concerns the project could threaten endangered species.

Residents of Manyana have been protesting against plans by Ozy Homes to clear 20 hectares of unburnt mature-growth forest to make way for nearly 180 housing lots.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Why shouldn't Greta Thunberg speak at CNN's coronavirus town hall?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 11:08am

Thunberg isn’t a Covid-19 expert, but she’s world-renowned activist using her platform to inform people about the pandemic

Shortly after CNN announced yesterday that 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg would join a panel of experts discussing the coronavirus, the backlash began.

“What place does Greta Thunberg have in this town hall?” asked the New York magazine journalist Yashar Ali. On the other side of the spectrum, Fox News pundits and Donald Trump Jr also took issue with Thunberg’s name being on that list.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The Atom: A Love Affair review – changing reactions to nuclear power

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 4:00am

This inconclusive documentary charts the scary history and, in the era of climate crisis, revised views about the prospects for nuclear power

Vicki Lesley’s sprightly, inconclusive documentary tackles a perennially controversial subject: nuclear power and its contested ethical status. Like almost all documentaries these days, this begins with a clip of some sonorous 1950s propaganda film – shorthand for the hilariously naive, reactionary stance that we’ve supposedly overcome. It is an amusing gimmick, but in danger of being overused here.

Nuclear power was idealistically embraced after the war as part of our white-hot technological future (a notable partisan was once Labour politician Tony Benn) but then rejected with the news of terrifying accidents, notably the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979. (Lesley perhaps should have mentioned the very real importance of James Bridges’ movie The China Syndrome, a nuclear-disaster drama that came out just before Three Mile Island; praised as prophetic and genuinely instrumental in popularising anti-nuclear attitudes.)

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Lockdown on the family farm has turned me into a small-scale Attenborough

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 3:30am

Rural self-isolation has given one Guardian writer a chance to reappraise – and video – the natural world she grew up with

I’ve moved back to my parents’ farm in Sevenoaks, Kent, after an absence of 10 years. Old school photos hang on my bedroom wall, my dad still has a fax machine, the radio in the kitchen is 1.5ft long and the freezer is full of meat. Veganism is off the menu.

Like many children, boredom was a familiar foe growing up. Two of my brothers, now in their 30s, have moved back home too, and we have to look to each other for entertainment. We’ve dusted off board games – last week we played Catan every evening – and have familiar arguments about who helps out the least around the house.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Flights Into The Stratosphere Study Changes To Atmospheric Rivers

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/05/14 - 2:36am

Scientists are racing to better understand atmospheric rivers, bands of moisture that start in the tropics and can bring torrential rain to the U.S. They're projected to intensify with climate change.

Categories: Environment

Deaths and hunger strikes point to mental health crisis on stranded cruise ships

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/13 - 11:45pm

As tensions rise over failure to repatriate workers, plight of crews highlighted by the apparent suicide of a Ukrainian woman in Rotterdam

Several deaths, a hunger strike and disturbances on board cruise ships have raised fresh concern about what crew members say is the deteriorating mental health of staff stranded aboard cruise ships still floating at sea.

A worldwide standoff between cruise companies and health authorities has left approximately 100,000 crew stranded at sea. Many have spent more than a month self-isolating in cabins, unable to leave, and have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australia's native guava plant close to being wiped out by invasive disease – study

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/13 - 5:25pm

‘They are the living dead,’ researcher says of last trees in the wild to have escaped fungal disease myrtle rust

An invasive plant disease may be ready to claim its first victim in the wild with Australia’s native guava now almost extinct, a study has found.

Monitoring of 66 populations of native guava in Queensland and New South Wales has found 23% “could not be located” with another 61% reduced only to root suckers below a dead canopy.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Farmers lose legal challenge to cancellation of Derbyshire badger cull

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/13 - 12:09pm

Wildlife groups welcome ruling as high court dismisses judicial review by NFU on all grounds

Farmers have lost a challenge to the government’s cancellation of the badger cull in Derbyshire in a high court ruling that has been welcomed by wildlife groups.

A judicial review of the environment secretary’s decision to halt a planned expansion of the cull to Derbyshire last September brought by the National Farmers’ Union was dismissed on all grounds.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Norway’s giant oil fund ditches stake in Australia's AGL over fossil fuel concerns

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/13 - 10:30am

Trillion-dollar fund also puts BHP on ‘observation list’ carrying risk of future divestment

Norway’s gigantic sovereign wealth fund has dumped its stake in the Australian energy company AGL, which owns coal-fired power stations including the carbon-intensive Liddell plant in New South Wales, after tightening up its rules on fossil fuels.

Norges Bank, which manages the US$1.1tn Government Pension Fund Global, has also put Australian mining giant BHP on an “observation list”, placing it at risk of divestment in the future.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Russian supertrawlers off Scottish coast spark fears for UK marine life

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/13 - 10:00am

Environmentalists call for crackdown on ‘destructive’ vessels after fleet spotted

A fleet of Russian supertrawlers has been spotted fishing off the coast of Scotland in a protected area, raising concerns by environmentalists over the impact of industrial vessels on marine life in UK waters.

The 11 vessels, among the largest trawlers in the world, have spent “significant time” fishing in the Wyville-Thomson Ridge, a British special area of conservation (SAC), according to data analysed by Greenpeace.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Murray-Darling systems not assessed for endangered listing after officials warned Coalition would not support it

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/12 - 5:02pm

Exclusive: FoI documents reveal struggling systems were ‘clear candidates’ for protection but Sussan Ley ‘unlikely to support’ it

Struggling river and wetland systems in the Murray-Darling Basin were not assessed for listing as critically endangered after officials warned the Morrison government would not support protecting them.

Environment department staff said the two ecological communities were “clear candidates” for assessment for a critically endangered listing, documents released under freedom of information show. But the environment minister, Sussan Ley, was “unlikely to support” their inclusion on the 2019 list of species and habitats under consideration for protection, they told the threatened species scientific committee.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Microplastics discovered blowing ashore in sea breezes

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/12 - 11:00am

Finding could help solve mystery of where plastic goes after it leaks into the sea

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of mismanaged waste could be blowing ashore on the ocean breeze every year, according to scientists who have discovered microplastics in sea spray.

The study, by researchers at the University of Strathclyde and the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées at the University of Toulouse, found tiny plastic fragments in sea spray, suggesting they are being ejected by the sea in bubbles. The findings, published in the journal Plos One, cast doubt on the assumption that once in the ocean, plastic stays put, as well as on the widespread belief in the restorative power of sea breeze.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australia needs 'fast-attack strategies' to stop megafires forming, bushfire experts say

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/12 - 10:30am

Exclusive: group of former fire and emergency services leaders tell bushfire royal commission rapid detection technologies are vital

Australia should deploy new “fast-attack strategies” to combat bushfires and stop small remote blazes turning into unstoppable mega fires, a group of 33 former fire and emergency services leaders have said.

In a submission to the bushfires royal commission, the group said climate change was increasing the risk of extreme bushfire seasons.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content