Environment

Rising temperatures linked to increased suicide rates

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 8:00am

Scientists warn the impact of climate change may be as large as economic recessions, which are known to increase self-harm

Rising temperatures are linked to increasing rates of suicide, according to a large new study. The researchers warn that the impact of climate change on suicides may be as significant as economic recessions, which are known to increase rates of self-harm.

The links between mental health and global warming have not been widely researched but the new work analysed temperature and suicides across the US and Mexico in recent decades. It found that the rate of suicide rose by 0.7% in the US and by 2.1% in Mexico when the average monthly temperature rose by 1C.

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Categories: Environment

Dr Seuss's Lorax 'inspired by orange Kenyan monkeys'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 8:00am

Moustachioed animals’ relationship with whistling thorn acacia trees resembles that of the Lorax with truffulas, researchers say

“I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees,” says the eponymous hairy hero of Dr Seuss’s children’s book after he climbs out of the stump of a truffula tree. An irate orange figure with a bristling moustache, the Lorax is an environmental activist who wastes no time in berating the axe-wielding Once-ler, a shady money-grabbing interloper who lays waste to the environment to produce peculiar knitted outfits called thneeds.

Now researchers say the book may have been inspired by the things Seuss saw on a trip to Kenya, and that the bristly character may have been based on the orange moustachioed patas monkeys indigenous to the area.

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Categories: Environment

Indian police 'took tea break' before attending to lynching victim

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 7:08am

Inquiry into response to fatal attack by Hindu cow vigilantes on Muslim man Akbar Khan

Indian police have begun an inquiry into officers alleged to have taken a tea break instead of taking a critically injured lynching victim to hospital.

Akbar Khan died of his injuries after being attacked by a gang of Hindu cow vigilantes in Alwar district, Rajasthan state, on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

UK electric car drivers face paying more to charge at peak times

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 4:59am

Ofgem outlines measures to ensure more drivers can use the electricity network

British electric car drivers face having to pay more to power their car if they refuse to shift their charging to off-peak times, in a move designed to lessen their burden on the electricity network.

There are currently 160,000 plug-in cars on UK roads but rapid growth means their impact on the energy system must be managed carefully, said energy regulator Ofgem.

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Categories: Environment

Starbucks is banning straws – but is it really a big win for the environment?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 4:00am

The coffee giant has announced that it is phasing out straws. But are the new lids it’s introducing actually any better?

This month, Starbucks joined a growing movement to ban single-use plastic straws, announcing it would eliminate the items from its stores by 2020. In their place, the company will be introducing strawless lids, which have a sippable protrusion. It will also make alternative-material straws available.

Starbucks already has strawless lids available in more than 8,000 of its North American stores. These were developed for its “Nitro” coffee beverages which have a creamy top and are best drunk without a straw. Now, however, the coffee chain will be making the Nitro lids standard for all cold beverages, most of which now come with straws. Cold beverages make up more than 50% of Starbucks’s beverage mix, an increase from 37% just five years ago.

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Categories: Environment

Garden photographer of the year: macro winners – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 4:00am

International photographic competition, which runs in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, awards special prize for the best close-up images

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Categories: Environment

Scientists detect a human fingerprint in the atmosphere's seasonal cycles | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 3:00am

In the troposphere, scientists detected a human-caused signal in the seasonal cycle

We know that humans are causing Earth’s climate to change. It used to be that “climate change” mostly referred to increasing temperatures near the Earth’s surface, but increasingly, climate change has come to mean so much more. It means warming oceans, melting ice, changing weather patterns, increased storms, and warming in other places.

A recent study has just been published that finds ‘fingerprints’ of human-caused warming someplace most of us don’t think about – in the higher atmosphere. Not only that, but these scientists have found changes to the seasonal climate – how much the temperature varies from winter to summer to winter – and the changes they found matched expectations.

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Categories: Environment

Spring Is Springing Sooner, Throwing Nature's Rhythms Out Of Whack

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 2:01am

A warming climate is knocking nature's rhythms out of sync. High in the Rocky Mountains, scientists have been tracking the impact for decades.

(Image credit: Nathan Rott/NPR)

Categories: Environment

War on Waste returns: Craig Reucassel dishes dirt on recycling crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:46pm

Host of ABC sleeper hit of 2017 reflects achievements of season one, and what still needs to change

Who would have thought a show about garbage could be so compelling?

The success of last year’s sleeper hit War on Waste was a happy surprise to its presenter, Craig Reucassel, and the team behind the ABC TV show – not least because of how responsive audiences were to many of its suggestions. Sales of reusable coffee cups shot up, worm farm suppliers struggled to keep up with demand and the #BantheBag campaign helped to spur supermarkets to get rid of single-use plastic bags.

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Categories: Environment

‘We’ve suffered enough’: Durham locals fight new open-cast coal mine

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:30pm

The Banks Group mine is going ahead despite fears it will devastate the local environment

From the end of her garden June Davison can see and hear the heavy machinery stripping away the valley. Soon there will be explosions and dust to add to the 12 hour thrum of engines as the coal is stripped from below the earth.

After 40 years of local opposition that has helped keep this area of the Derwent valley in County Durham untouched, open-cast mining has begun between the villages of Dipton, Leadgate and Medomsley, once home to a deeply entrenched mining community around what was South Medomsley colliery.

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Categories: Environment

Rich countries pushing 'dirty energy' in Africa, report claims

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:00pm

Study finds that while wealthy nations advocate renewables at home, 60% of aid to African energy projects went on fossil fuels

Wealthy governments have been accused of promoting fossil fuel development in Africa at the expense of clean energy.

Analysis showed 60% of public aid for energy projects was spent on fossil fuels, compared with just 18% on renewables.

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Categories: Environment

UK's plastic waste may be dumped overseas instead of recycled

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 4:01pm

Millions of tons of plastic sent abroad for recycling may be being dumped in landfill

Millions of tons of waste plastic from British businesses and homes may be ending up in landfill sites across the world, the government’s spending watchdog has warned.

Huge amounts of packaging waste is being sent overseas on the basis that it will be recycled and turned into new products. However, concerns have been raised that in reality much of it is being dumped in sites from Turkey to Malaysia.

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Categories: Environment

Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 4:01pm

Study says the date by which we consume a year’s worth of resources is arriving faster

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days.

As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded.

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Categories: Environment

Sanjeev Gupta: Coal power is no longer cheaper – and we'll prove it

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 11:00am

The British billionaire investing in South Australia believes renewables are the future of energy, because it makes economic sense

The British billionaire who rescued the Whyalla steelworks from administration and is spending more than $2bn on clean energy and green steel developments in regional South Australia says most Australians are yet to grasp that solar power is now a cheaper option than new coal-fired electricity.

Sanjeev Gupta, an industrialist whose family-owned GFG Alliance group of companies has been credited with resurrecting Britain’s steel industry, says he considered investing in coal generation in the state’s Upper Spencer Gulf after buying Arrium’s steel mill last year but found solar backed by “firming” storage technologies made better economic sense.

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Categories: Environment

Cashless future far from certain | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:43am
Cash will continue to be a universal form of payment, says Tim Halford, and Hilary Chivall warns against society being totally dependent on electricity for online transactions

Cash is dying, contactless is king – we’ve heard it so many times. Voices in the payment industry and the media are quick to decry the end of cash payments. Talk of the cashless society (Brett Scott, 19 July) is ubiquitous. In their enthusiasm, many forget that a cashless future is far from certain.

Your article argues that Washington DC’s move to make it illegal not to accept cash will protect the 10% of its citizens who remain unbanked. This issue isn’t US specific. The UK has 1.5 million unbanked citizens, who rely on cash payments to partake in society. Reports show that cash is still one of our favourite payment methods, with many using it as a budgeting tool. Moving towards cashless payments would devastate the livelihoods of our most vulnerable, and go against the preferences of UK consumers.

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Categories: Environment

One Child's Outsized Influence On The Debate Over Plastic Straws

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 5:12am

One of the most common statistics that comes up in conversations around plastic straw waste comes from a study conducted by Milo Cress when he was just nine years old.

(Image credit: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Goiat the bear may be expelled from Pyrenees over horse killings

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 4:27am

Brown bear’s fate could be worse still after he riles farmers with attacks on livestock

After two years of roaming and a string of attacks on horses, sheep and goats, Goiat the brown bear could soon find himself declared ursus non gratus in the Pyrenees. Or worse.

Goiat, who is thought to be between 12 and 14 years old, was brought to Catalonia from his native Slovenia in June 2016 as part of an EU project to consolidate the bear population in the mountains that straddle Spain and France.

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Categories: Environment

'Cruel blow for pensioners': Labor promises to undo Coalition's energy plan

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/07/21 - 7:02pm

Shorten and Burney vow to restore supplement under threat for new welfare recipients

Labor says it will reverse the Coalition’s plan to axe the clean energy supplement, which is worth hundreds of dollars a year, for those who went onto welfare after September 2016.

While Labor has consistently opposed the as-yet unlegislated measure, on Sunday the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, and the shadow human services minister, Linda Burney, promised that if the supplement was cut, Labor would restore it. The payment is worth $365 a year for singles and $550 for couples.

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Categories: Environment

Have you been affected by the drought in Australia?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/07/21 - 5:54pm

We’d like to hear from people who’ve been affected by the drought in New South Wales and other states in east Australia. Share your experiences

A record dry spell has caused the worst drought in 100 years in parts of eastern Australia. Farmers with livestock in parts of New South Wales have been some of the most affected as low rainfall and a dry winter have depleted the grass needed to feed livestock.

Farmers are having to buy expensive feed to keep animals alive and the extra costs are putting some livelihoods at risk. The NSW government recently approved an emergency drought relief package of $600m, at least $250m of which will cover low-interest loans to assist eligible farms. Though the package has been welcomed there are concerns among farmers that it’s not enough.

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Categories: Environment

Labour pledges to reinstate Agricultural Wages Board

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/07/21 - 4:04pm

Jeremy Corbyn to announce policy that aims to raise rural workers’ living standards in areas of high inequality

Labour has pledged to improve the pay and conditions of rural workers in England by reinstating the Agricultural Wages Board, which was abolished five years ago.

Jeremy Corbyn will announce the policy on Sunday at the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in Dorset, which commemorates the history of trade unionism and agricultural workers’ struggle for fair pay.

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Categories: Environment
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