Guardian Environment News

Syndicate content The Guardian
Latest environmental news, opinion and analysis from the Guardian.
Updated: 4 hours 39 min ago

Don't blame wildfires on climate change – it's environmentalists' fault, says Zinke

Mon, 2018/08/13 - 1:34pm

US interior secretary Ryan Zinke blames environmentalists for the devastation in California and calls for an increase in logging

The US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, has blamed environmentalists for California’s ferocious wildfires and claimed, contrary to scientific research, that climate change had “nothing to do” with them. Instead, he said the fires were worsened because of limits on logging.

“America is better than letting these radical groups control the dialogue about climate change,” Zinke told KCRA, a TV station in northern California, on Sunday. “Extreme environmentalists have shut down public access. They talk about habitat and yet they are willing to burn it up.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Dirty coal: health fears of a town covered in dust from disused power station

Mon, 2018/08/13 - 11:00am

Senate inquiry to visit Port Augusta to investigate mistakes made after the closure of the Northern power plant

For the residents living near the site of South Australia’s demolished coal-fired power plant, the coming months could be their third straight summer of dust.

A flawed rehabilitation of an ash dam has led to potentially hazardous particles being blown across Port Augusta and its 14,000 residents for the last two years.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

CSIRO unaware of $444m reef grant before announcement

Mon, 2018/08/13 - 11:00am

Staff at government scientific agency will likely be seconded to help administer funds, documents show

The CSIRO was not aware a $443.8 m grant would be offered to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and staff at the agency are likely to be seconded to the charity to help administer the funds, according to documents tabled in the Senate.

The documents, tabled on Monday, show the agency “didn’t have visibility” before the government announced the grant on 29 April, with correspondence from senior staff noting the prime minister’s office appeared to be involved.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Tax havens shielding companies responsible for deforestation and overfishing

Mon, 2018/08/13 - 8:00am

70% of vessels implicated in illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing are registered in tax havens, report finds

Money channelled through secretive tax havens has been used to fuel deforestation in the Amazon and illegal fishing around the world, racking up a heavy environmental toll but leaving few ways for businesses to be held to account.

Billions of pounds worth of finance has travelled through countries internationally recognised as tax havens, and has been traced by researchers to activities that contribute to environmental destruction, such as growing soy and beef in deforested areas of the Amazon, and expanding a network of largely unregulated fishing vessels operating under “flags of convenience”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'Urinoir' furore: Paris residents peeved at eco-friendly urinals

Mon, 2018/08/13 - 8:00am

Île Saint-Louis residents demand removal of bright-red receptacles with no stall

A set of eco-friendly but completely exposed urinals that have been introduced to the streets of Paris are provoking uproar among residents.

One of the bright-red “urinoirs” installed on the Île Saint-Louis, not far from Notre Dame Cathedral and overlooking tourist boats passing on the Seine, has caused particular indignation.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Trump reignited his war with California, but his Tweet got burned | Dana Nuccitelli

Mon, 2018/08/13 - 3:00am

Trump is trying to accelerate the key contributor to California’s expanding wildfires – climate change

Last week, 18 wildfires were burning at once in California, including its largest in history, destroying over 1,100 homes and forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate. The smoke made the air in the state’s Central Valley unhealthy to breathe for a record 15 consecutive days, as I can personally attest.

Fun fact: there are currently no clouds at all over NorCal. The opaque skies from #SanFrancisco to #Sacramento to #Redding to #Lake Tahoe are the exclusive product of dense #smoke from numerous large #wildfires. #CarrFire #RanchFire #DonnellFire #FergusonFire #CAfire #CAwx pic.twitter.com/feVtfkDJTT

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

AI identifies heat-resistant coral reefs in Indonesia

Sun, 2018/08/12 - 9:00pm

Coral Triangle could be key to conserving the world’s reefs as Indonesia corals survive worst coral bleaching event in history.

A recent scientific survey off the coast of Sulawesi Island in Indonesia suggests that some shallow water corals may be less vulnerable to global warming than previously thought.

Between 2014 and 2017, the world’s reefs endured the worst coral bleaching event in history, as the cyclical El Niño climate event combined with anthropogenic warming to cause unprecedented increases in water temperature.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef Foundation not aware of 'due diligence' for $444m grant

Sun, 2018/08/12 - 6:35pm

Foundation’s managing director appears to contradict Frydenberg’s assurance that ‘extensive due diligence’ took place

The managing director of a foundation given $443.8m for the Great Barrier Reef says she was not aware the government was conducting due diligence on the charity before it awarded them the grant.

Anna Marsden told ABC radio on Monday the government had not contacted anyone at the foundation when it was determining whether the not-for-profit could administer the grant.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Orca mother finally abandons dead calf she carried for more than two weeks

Sun, 2018/08/12 - 5:32pm

Researchers say endangered killer whale who lives off the coast of Seattle is back to feeding and frolicking with her pod

Researchers say an endangered killer whale thatcarried her dead calf on her head for more than two weeks has finally abandoned the calf’s body and is back to feeding and frolicking with her pod.

The Center for Whale Research in Washington state says it watched the orca, known as J35, chase a school of salmon in Haro Strait west of San Juan Island, between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, on Saturday afternoon.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Michael Gove accused of letting wealthy grouse moor owners off the hook

Sun, 2018/08/12 - 6:08am

Papers show UK environment secretary suggested owners voluntarily end controversial practice of burning heather to head off threat of compulsory ban

Michael Gove, the environment secretary, has been accused of letting the owners of large grouse moors who are alleged to be damaging the environment off the hook.

The accusation from campaigners concerns the owners’ practice of repeatedly burning heather on their moorland estates to help boost the numbers of grouse for shooting.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Homebase to review sale of Monsanto weedkiller after US cancer verdict

Sat, 2018/08/11 - 9:08am

Roundup was ruled by a Californian jury to have caused Dewayne Johnson’s lymphoma

One of the UK’s largest DIY retailers is reviewing the sale of Roundup weedkiller products amid mounting concerns about their use, after a US jury found that the herbicide had caused a terminally ill man’s cancer.

The manufacturer of the weedkiller, Monsanto, has insisted that British consumers are safe to continue using Roundup products, which are widely sold at DIY stores and used by British farmers. But a spokesperson for Homebase said it would be reviewing its product range after the ruling in California.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Rising sea levels leave Belgium’s St Tropez ‘fighting for its life’

Sat, 2018/08/11 - 6:00am

Proposed offshore island to protect a haunt of Sinatra and Dietrich would be its ruin, says long-time mayor

It is known affectionately as Belgium’s answer to St Tropez – a town once frequented by Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich and which has inspired the pop art of Keith Haring and surrealism of René Magritte, who painted the walls of the town’s casino.

But now the chic, if slightly faded, seaside resort of Knokke-Heist is, in the words of its mayor, Count Leopold Lippens, in a “fight for its life”. The Flemish government, in an attempt to limit the damage to the Belgian coast from rising sea levels, has announced plans for an artificial island of 40 hectares (99 acres) 1.2 kilometres from the sandy beach, to act as a bulwark against the waves. Belgium has, until now, been slow to respond to climate change and its coast has suffered severe damage during recent storms.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

All change as millennial parents turn to cloth nappies

Sat, 2018/08/11 - 6:00am

Families keen on saving money and stopping plastic waste ditch the disposables

If the idea of cloth nappies conjures images of towelling squares loosely held by a large safety pin, think again. Modern versions have come a long way and are now available in bright colours and a variety of materials, including cotton, bamboo, microfibre and hemp.

Growing consumer concern over plastic waste, and a more pragmatic desire to save money, means boom times for the reusable nappy industry.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

EPA staff opposed agency’s new rules on asbestos use, emails reveal

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 1:20pm

Emails obtained by New York Times show workers worried that companies could get away with using asbestos in ways the EPA did not list

The Environmental Protection Agency’s own staffers objected to a controversial new US rule governing the use of cancer-causing asbestos, according to internal emails.

Related: EPA ordered to ban pesticide linked to learning disabilities

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

A California town ravaged by wildfire – in pictures

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 12:54pm

The Carr fire, one of 13 large fires burning in California, was ignited in late July when a trailer tire blew out and created sparks as it ground on the asphalt. It killed seven people and destroyed 1,077 homes in the small city of Redding, in the far north of the state. New photos released by the city show the extent of the damage

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 7:52am

A Sumatran orangutan, fireflies mating and a sea lion cooling off in record-breaking Californian heat are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The chips are down in Belgium as heatwave hits supply of frites

Fri, 2018/08/10 - 2:15am

Reduced yields are putting national dish and ‘symbol of Belgium’ under threat

Food vendors in Belgium are praying for rain as the hot weather threatens the supply of the country’s national dish, frites.

The Europe-wide heatwave has shrunk Belgium’s early crop of potatoes by about one-third compared with an average year. Without significant rainfall over the next few weeks, the key September and October harvests could be smaller still.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Adani knew of Abbot Point pollution risk before spill, conservationists say

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 11:40pm

It and the Queensland government were aware polluted water could spill during 2017 cyclone, says Mackay Conservation Group

Adani and the Queensland government were aware that polluted water could be released from the company’s Abbot Point coal terminal during cyclone Debbie in 2017, conservationists say.

Adani was granted a temporary emissions licence on 27 March last year, before cyclone Debbie made landfall, to pollute the nearby Caley Valley wetlands in an area referred to as W1.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

As panic about climate change sets in, I’m thinking about escape – to Canada | Emma Brockes

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 10:00pm

The summer of heatwaves and forest fires leaves my friends feeling helpless and a little hysterical. And who can blame us?

The New York Times has devoted an entire edition of its magazine, some 30,000 words, to a terrifying piece about climate change. With 2C warming – an unlikely best-case scenario at this point, scientists were quoted as saying – the planet faces “long-term disaster”. With 3C warming, we are looking at “the loss of most coastal cities”. The possibility that the Earth might warm by 5C, wrote the author, Nathaniel Rich, had prompted some of the world’s leading scientists to warn of the end of human civilisation.

Related: Huge rise of people at risk from wildfires as western US population grows

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand will ban plastic bags

Thu, 2018/08/09 - 6:04pm

Retailers given six months to stop providing lightweight plastic bags or face fines of up to NZ$100,000

New Zealand will ban single-use plastic bags over the next year, the government has announced.

Retailers in the country will be given six months to stop providing lightweight plastic bags, or face fines of up to NZ$100,000 (£51,000).

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment