Environment

Why Peter Stark's 'Frozen Alive' Story Still Resonates More Than 20 Years Later

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/01/31 - 2:36pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with author and historian Peter Stark about his second-person narrative "Frozen Alive" in Outside Magazine which deals explicitly with hypothermia's physiological effects.

Categories: Environment

Here's How PG&E's Bankruptcy Might Hurt California's Ambitious Climate Goals

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/01/31 - 1:43pm

PG&E is key to helping California meet its ambitious goal of zero carbon electricity by mid-century. Now there's concern that the utility's bankruptcy may set that back.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

European colonization of Americas killed so many it cooled Earth's climate

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/01/31 - 11:07am

Research finds killing of native people indirectly contributed to a colder period by causing deaths of around 56 million by 1600

European colonization of the Americas resulted in the killing of so many native people that it transformed the environment and caused the Earth’s climate to cool down, new research has found.

Settlers killed off huge numbers of people in conflicts and also by spreading disease, which reduced the indigenous population by 90% in the century following Christopher Columbus’s initial journey to the Americas and Caribbean in 1492.

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Categories: Environment

What is the polar vortex – and how is it linked to climate change?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/01/31 - 8:14am

The polar vortex has broken into ‘two swirling blobs of cold air’, bringing the most frigid conditions in decades to the midwest

As its name suggests, the polar vortex is found around the north pole. It’s a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that keeps bitterly cold air locked around the Arctic region. This circulation isn’t considered a single storm, or even a weather pattern as such.

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Categories: Environment

Will PG&E's Bankruptcy Hurt California's Ambitious Energy Efficiency Goals?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/01/31 - 3:01am

There is concern that California's climate goals could suffer a set back because of PG&E's bankruptcy filing. The utility is key to helping the state's grid become 100 percent carbon free.

Categories: Environment

Tesla's Challenge: Leaving Behind The Lap Of Luxury

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/01/31 - 3:01am

Tesla is finally turning a profit selling premium electric cars. But CEO Elon Musk doesn't want to make money just selling luxury cars to the world's elite. He's still aiming for the masses.

(Image credit: David Zalubowski/AP)

Categories: Environment

Murray-Darling basin royal commission report finds gross maladministration

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 9:11pm

South Australian report also finds negligence and unlawful actions in drawing up multibillion-dollar deal to save river system

The head of the royal commission into the Murray-Darling basin plan has recommended a complete overhaul of the scheme, including reallocating more water from irrigation to the environment.

Releasing its report on Thursday, the South Australian Murray-Darling basin royal commission found the original plan ignored potentially “catastrophic” risks of climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Medical Effects Of Extreme Cold: Why It Hurts And How To Stay Safe

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 8:56pm

Frostbite can nip ears in just a few minutes in the sort of temperatures many Americans are facing this week. Pull that hat down and curb the drinking; alcohol can impair your judgment of temperature.

(Image credit: Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Federal Judge Blasts PG&E's Commitment To California Wildfire Safety

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 8:17pm

In unusually frank language, the judge said he fears the potential for more fires in 2019 if the utility company does not take drastic action.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Thai Officials Close Schools As Toxic Air Pollution Chokes Bangkok

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 7:02pm

Fine particulate matter floating through the murky haze that hangs over the city has reached harmful levels, leading the government to shutter more than 400 public schools.

(Image credit: Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Veganuary ends on record high with 250,000 participants

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 5:01pm

Pledges for 2019 plant-based campaign exceeded those in previous four years combined

A record 250,000 people worldwide signed up to the Veganuary movement this year by embracing plant-based diets this month, the campaign has revealed.

As more consumers drop all meat and dairy products from their diet for health or ethical reasons, the charity behind the annual event said the record figures and strong global support had made 2019’s Veganuary the most popular since its launch in 2014. Many more people are thought to have taken part in the event without signing the official pledge.

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Categories: Environment

Shark attacks around world fell by about one-quarter in 2018

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 4:34pm

Four fatalities recorded, with the US and Australia experiencing the most attacks

The number of shark attacks around the world fell by about one-quarter last year, with the US and Australia reporting the highest number of them.

There were four fatalities worldwide, in line with the long-term average of six, according to the annual release of the Florida-based International Shark Attack File.

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Categories: Environment

Winter Storms To Heat Waves, How Better Climate Data Can Make Us More Prepared

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 4:00pm

Scientists are getting more and better data on our changing climate. Now, there's a push to use it to help people cope with the extremes we know are coming.

(Image credit: Joe Wertz/StateImpact Oklahoma)

Categories: Environment

With Better Data On Climate Change, Scientists Predict Extreme Conditions Earlier

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 3:58pm

Scientists are getting more and better data on our changing climate. Now, there's a push to use it to help people cope with the extremes we know are coming.

Categories: Environment

What happened to our electricity system in the heat? Coal and gas plants failed | Nicky Ison

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 2:51pm

We still have time to avert the worst impacts of climate change, but heatwaves are now an inevitable part of Australia’s future

Heatwaves and blackouts have been the talk of the town as temperatures climbed over 40C in all states except Tasmania, and once again the commentariat have gone into a renewable-generated bluster. Chris Uhlmann and Alan Moran blamed the high prices on wind power, Pauline Hanson called for people to use more power and Judith Sloan called demand management a bribe.

There were three notable things that happened with our energy system during what will become the new normal of extreme heat.

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Categories: Environment

Why Is It So *&%# Cold? Come Warm Up In The Answer Vortex

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 2:24pm

The polar vortex has brought air so incredibly cold it may set low-temperature records. Will it ever be warm again?

(Image credit: Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Star pupils: students inspire key study on alarming starfish decline

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 12:00pm

Virus outbreak among sea stars coincided with warm waters, researchers found after sixth graders held fundraiser for survey

Five years ago, a sixth grade class in land-locked Arkansas heard about a mass die-off of starfish on the west coast and felt compelled to help.

Related: Mussels lose grip when exposed to microplastics – study

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Categories: Environment

BP and BHP offered Cambridge University millions despite calls to divest

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 8:15am

Investments not the only financial link between fossil fuels and elite university

Cambridge University had been offered two new multimillion pound donations from global fossil fuel corporations as it considered calls made last year to divest its endowment fund from oil and gas companies.

Documents seen by the Guardian show the university management was aware of a proposed £20m donation offered by BHP – subsequently withdrawn – and £2m from BP, as it considered whether to fully divest its fortune from fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

The key to winning victories against big oil? Perseverance | Bill McKibben

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 4:00am

Vermont’s Middlebury College has reversed its course on fossil fuel companies and is leading the way on renewable energy

Vermont’s Middlebury College announced on Wednesday that it was divesting its holdings in fossil fuel companies. Given that more than a thousand institutions with endowments totaling more than $8tn have made similar pledges, it might not seem so newsworthy – but Middlebury was one of the first to reverse course. Six years ago the college flatly rejected divestment, and the shift makes it clear why big oil’s purchase on our economy and our society is eroding.

Much of the explanation, of course, stems from local factors, and since I’m employed there I’ve had a firsthand view. The college’s students never gave up, passing on the activist torch to each new entering freshman class – indeed, some of the students who pioneered the fight were on hand for today’s announcement. And along the way the college got a new president: religion scholar Laurie Patton proved an adept conciliator able to help her institution move.

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Categories: Environment

Polar Vortex Causes Midwest States Of Emergency As Cold Pushes Farther South

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/30 - 3:45am

Wind chill warnings stretch from the Dakotas into Western Pennsylvania. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, and the governors of Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois have declared emergencies.

(Image credit: Pinar Istek/Reuters)

Categories: Environment
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