Deadly cliffside collapse underscores California's climate-fueled crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 10:00pm

Tragedy in Encinitas comes as nearly 75% of state’s coastlines erode, endangering lives, homes, and infrastructure

Three women were killed last week while sunning on a beach in Encinitas, California, when the bluff above them gave way.

The sudden tragedy that befell Anne Clave; her mother, Julie Davis; and her aunt Elizabeth Cox, who had gathered at the resplendent coastline in the seaside community north of San Diego to celebrate Cox surviving cancer, made headlines around the world. But cliff erosion continues to imperil people and property around the state. California is falling into the sea piece by piece, and coastal conditions will only grow more dire with worsening climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Windfarm operators taken to court over South Australian blackout

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 6:26pm

Australian Energy Regulator alleges operators failed to ensure continuity of supply

Australia’s energy regulator has launched court action against four windfarm operators, alleging they failed to meet performance requirements during 2016’s statewide South Australian blackout.

About 850,000 homes lost power on 28 September that year, when severe weather conditions led to significant damage to SA transmission lines, causing voltage disturbances. The event heightened a fractious national debate about energy policy.

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Categories: Environment

'Fight for our lives': Fiji calls world leaders 'selfish' as it lays out climate crisis blueprint

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 5:15pm

Minister says archipelago in grave situation through no fault of its own as he unveils plan for net zero emissions and village relocation

Fiji will introduce one of the world’s most ambitious legislative programs to tackle the climate crisis, and has labelled the global community’s decision to set aside the call for global heating to be capped at 1.5C “grossly irresponsible and selfish”.

In a speech to the Fijian parliament on Wednesday morning announcing the upcoming climate change act, Fiji’s attorney general and minister for economy and climate change, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, called global heating “a fight for our lives and our livelihoods”.

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Categories: Environment

Fossils of largest parrot ever recorded found in New Zealand

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 4:01pm

Bird estimated to have weighed about 7kg has been named Heracles inexpectatus

Fossils of the largest parrot ever recorded have been found in New Zealand. Estimated to have weighed about 7kg (1.1st), it would have been more than twice as heavy as the kākāpo, previously the largest known parrot.

Palaeontologists have named the new species Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its unusual size and strength and the unexpected nature of the discovery.

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Categories: Environment

UK risks losing out to Europe in home battery boom, report warns

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 11:56am

Controversial tax hike could leave country lagging behind as continent powers ahead

The UK risks being left behind in Europe’s home battery boom because of a controversial tax hike on solar-battery systems, according to a report.

The energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie has predicted that Europe’s home battery capacity could climb fivefold in the next five years as more households plug their rooftop solar panels into battery packs.

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Categories: Environment

New Evidence Shows Popular Pesticides Could Cause Unintended Harm To Insects

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 11:00am

Studies are revealing new, unintended threats that neonicotinoid pesticides pose to insects. The chemicals, widely used by farmers, are difficult to control because they persist in the environment.

(Image credit: Alejandro Tena)

Categories: Environment

US states face water crisis as global heating increases strain on supplies

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 5:51am

New Mexico tops the list, followed by California, Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska as problem could intensify with global heating

A handful of US states – including New Mexico and California – are facing significant strains on their water supplies that will only intensify with global heating, according to new rankings.

Related: Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world's population, say experts

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Categories: Environment

Pakistan Tests A Plastic Bag Ban In Islamabad

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/08/06 - 1:59am

On Aug. 14, Pakistan will become the latest country to ban single-use plastic bags. The nation uses 55 billion bags a year, and many wind up clogging rivers and littering the countryside.

Categories: Environment

Glencore mine could be forced to sell coal only to Paris agreement signatories

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 8:03pm

Approval of the Wambo open-cut coalmine in the NSW Hunter Valley may be linked to the countries it exports to

Mining company Glencore could be forced to only sell coal from a new mine in New South Wales to signatories of the Paris climate agreement, under a proposal floated by the state’s independent planning commission.

Opposed by Glencore and its joint-venture partner in the mine, Peabody, the condition would see approval of the Wambo open-cut coalmine in the state’s Hunter Valley linked to the countries it exports to.

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Categories: Environment

Give Up Your Gas Stove To Save The Planet? Banning Gas Is The Next Climate Push

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 1:25pm

As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, natural gas is becoming a target. The city of Berkeley, Calif., just became the first to ban it in new homes, but it may not be the last.

(Image credit: Astrid Tschuden/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Whaley Bridge residents deny risking emergency crews' lives

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 12:08pm

20 people have refused to leave extended evacuation zone despite repeated warnings

An elderly married couple among the Whaley Bridge residents criticised by police for refusing to leave their homes at risk of catastrophic flooding have rejected claims they are needlessly putting emergency crews’ lives at risk.

Malcolm Venton and Lorraine Ellis say they could not leave their two border collies, Meg and Amy. The couple were asked to leave on Saturday when the evacuation zone was extended, but decided to hunker down, despite the threat of a huge wave rushing out of the damaged Toddbrook reservoir.

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Categories: Environment

UK economy under worst strain for seven years as car sales slump

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 10:28am

Figures expected to confirm fall in GDP as Brexit hits automotive and service sectors

The British economy is showing the greatest signs of strain for seven years amid a continued decline in car sales and as the service sector struggles to grow with Brexit looming.

According to the latest snapshot from the beleaguered UK motor industry, car sales dropped for the fifth consecutive month in July. New car registrations fell by 4.1% to 157,198, the weakest sales in July since 2012, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

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Categories: Environment

Environmental activist murders double in 15 years

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 8:00am

Death toll almost half that of US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, data shows

Killings of environmental defenders have doubled over the past 15 years to reach levels usually associated with war zones, according to a study that reveals how murders of activists are concentrated in countries with the worst corruption and weakest laws.

At least 1,558 people in 50 states were killed between 2002 and 2017 while trying to protect their land, water or local wildlife, says the analysis, which calculates the death toll is almost half that of US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

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Categories: Environment

Cuadrilla seeks extension to drill for shale gas until 2021

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 6:07am

The fracking company will ask Lancashire council to change its licence, which ends in November

UK shale gas company Cuadrilla will ask for extra time to drill for shale gas at its Lancashire fracking site after its November deadline.

Within the next month the fracking pioneer will ask Lancashire county council for permission to continue its drilling campaign until at least the spring of 2021.

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Categories: Environment

Losing The Eternal Blue Sky In Mongolia

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/08/05 - 4:31am

Its environment and population are enduring major shifts as the country goes big on mining and as effects of climate change set in. See Mongolia's changes close up in this immersive photo essay.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Carpe noctem! The joy of cycling through the night

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/08/04 - 11:00pm

Friday Night Ride to the Coast has been spreading the joy of night riding for almost 15 years

If you missed this year’s Dunwich Dynamo, or feel that it’s a little too big, chaotic or (whisper it) competitive, you might trying catching the next Friday Night Ride to the Coast.

This is a carefully organised event run by “the Fridays”, a club devoted to the singular cause of safely delivering you at a conversational pace from the Smoke to the sea. They do this every month from spring through autumn, requiring only third party insurance and an annual membership fee of £2.

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Categories: Environment

Recycling crisis escalates as another Victorian recycling firm gets waste ban

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/08/04 - 5:42pm

Phoenix Environmental Group banned by EPA from accepting rubbish at its Coolaroo facility

Another Melbourne recycling company has been banned from accepting rubbish, just days after a major recycling player went into liquidation.

Phoenix Environmental Group has been told to stop accepting waste at its Coolaroo facility – the third time Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority has slapped a ban on the company.

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Categories: Environment

Warm weather may make 2019 a boom year for butterflies, say experts

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/08/04 - 4:01pm

Last summer, overall numbers of butterflies in England were up 110% on 2017 figures

The common blue butterfly could be booming in the UK thanks to recent spells of hot weather, according to a conservation charity.

Experts are predicting that the July heatwave and Met Office forecasts for above-average temperatures in August might mean that the common blue has its “best ever summer”, Butterfly Conservation said.

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Categories: Environment

Whaley Bridge residents refusing to evacuate put lives at risk, says police chief

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/08/04 - 11:40am

Derbyshire’s deputy chief constable said there are about 20 properties with residents refusing to leave

A police chief who has been at the forefront of a near disaster in a Derbyshire town has said some residents who refused to leave their homes had put lives at serious risk.

About 400 mainly local people packed a school hall to discuss the damaged dam in Whaley Bridge which is still at risk of collapse.

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Categories: Environment

Fears of 'Chernobyl on ice' as Russia prepares floating nuclear plant

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/08/04 - 5:00am

Scepticism and safety concerns persist before vessel begins 4,000-mile Arctic journey

“I feel like I’m one of the first cosmonauts going into space,” said Vladimir Irminku, one of the chief engineers of the Akademik Lomonosov, as he stood on the deck of the giant, box-like platform on a chilly summer morning at Kola Bay in the Barents Sea.

Russia is planning to dispatch the vessel, its first floating nuclear power station, on a 4,000-mile journey along the Northern Sea Route, in a milestone for the country’s growing use of nuclear power in its plans for Arctic expansion.

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Categories: Environment
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