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FEMA Drops 'Climate Change' From Its Strategic Plan

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 8:49pm

The agency's strategic planning document does not mention the potential impact of a changing climate on the rising risk of natural hazards.

(Image credit: Cliff Owen/AP)

Categories: Environment

No longer 'alternative', mainstream renewables are pushing prices down | Simon Holmes à Court

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 7:40pm

While the government insists that renewables have made our grid unreliable, lights have stayed on and prices are dropping

On the first day of autumn tens of thousands of Victorians received a welcome surprise from their power company — their electricity bills were going down. Prices were cut 5% because the retailer increased their investment in renewable energy.

This will likely come as a surprise to many. Since the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, decided that bashing renewables would play well for them — perhaps more so in the party room than in the electorate — hardly a day goes by without claims that renewables have made our grid unreliable and have pushed prices sky high.

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Categories: Environment

Energy sector must use new tech to ensure the vulnerable aren't left behind

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 6:45pm

With the arrival of energy optimisation technologies, governments and industry must find a way to deliver efficient energy to everyone

A Choice survey revealed last year that electricity bills have become the biggest worry for Australian households. According to the report, more than 80% of Australians are concerned with rising costs, with South Australians and West Australians most concerned about the price of their energy.

The report followed the March 2017 announcement of an ACCC inquiry into retail electricity pricing, as directed by treasurer Scott Morrison. The report is due out in June 2018.

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Categories: Environment

Honey Oat Wheat

The Field Lab - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 3:15pm
First test batch of the last Field Lab Solar Oven bread offering to go into production...Honey Oat Wheat. Needs a little more "spring". Second test batch prepped for baking tomorrow. Not only do I have to get the taste, texture, and look just right - but I also have to tweak the recipes for each batch to fit "X" amount of one quart dutch ovens. I probably would have done better in high school chemistry had they included bread baking. The ancient tradition of bread depends on a cascade of complex chemical reactions.  70,79,50,0,B  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Endangered sharks, dolphins and rays killed by shark net trial

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 2:48pm

Only one target shark caught in NSW nets in two months, while 55 other marine creatures killed or trapped

Shark nets on the New South Wales north coast have caught just a single target shark in the past two months, while continuing to trap or kill dolphins, turtles, and protected marine life.

A single bull shark was caught in the nets around Ballina in January and February, while 55 other animals were either killed or trapped.

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Categories: Environment

Pollutionwatch: Cold snap worsens air quality

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 2:30pm

Particle pollution increases as the wind slows down and chilly weather prompts the lighting of more wood fires

The last days of the “beast from the east” cold spell caused air pollution problems across large parts of the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Within the UK particle pollution reached between five and 10 on the UK government’s 10-point scale over parts of south Wales and areas of England south of a Merseyside to Tyneside line, except the far south-west.

Pollution from industry, traffic and home wood and coal burning can stay in the air for a week or up to 10 days. This means that pollution emitted in one part of Europe can cause problems hundreds of miles away. If the wind slows down then particle pollution can build up over a whole region.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists Are Amazed By Stone Age Tools They Dug Up In Kenya

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 12:12pm

The discovery suggests an earlier start to the Middle Stone Age in Africa than previously documented. It also offers clues to early social networks and symbolic art by human ancestors.

(Image credit: Jay Reed/NPR )

Categories: Environment

Awkward questions about biodiversity | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 9:41am
Academics and environmental campaigners from the Beyond Extinction Economics (BEE) network say challenging questions about confronting the risk to global biodiversity were left unanswered by a recent Guardian briefing article

Damian Carrington are to be congratulated on a wide-ranging and informative article on the urgency and scale of the current global threat to biodiversity and the Guardian (What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us?, theguardian.com, 12 March). However, we of the Beyond Extinction Economics (BEE) network have reservations about the article’s diagnosis of its causes, and proposals for addressing the crisis.

First, to say “we” or “human activity” is responsible for biodiversity loss sidesteps the more serious challenge of identifying the specific socio-cultural, and, more centrally, economic drivers of destruction. Second, to slip easily from population rises to industrial development, housing and farming as the causes of the destruction of wild areas evades critical questions about what sort of industry, producing what sort of consumer goods and what kind of farming and food distribution system – let alone questions as to who has the power to decide and who gets to consume and who doesn’t.

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Categories: Environment

New oil threat looms over England's national park land, campaigners warn

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 9:21am

More than 71,000 hectares of protected countryside in the south-east face risk of drilling

More than 71,000 hectares (177,000 acres) of protected countryside, including national park land, in the south-east of England are at risk from a new wave of oil drilling, environmental campaigners have warned.

Under threat are areas of outstanding natural beauty in the Weald, which runs between the north and south downs, and the South Downs national park, Greenpeace said.

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Categories: Environment

It's 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out | Richard Wiles

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 7:47am

Making up for years of delay and denial will not be easy, nor will it be cheap. Climate polluters must be held accountable

Fifty years ago, the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) delivered a report titled Sources, Abundance, and Fate of Gaseous Atmospheric Polluters to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade association for the fossil fuel industry.

The report, unearthed by researchers at the Center for International Environmental Law, is one of the earliest attempts by the industry to grapple with the impacts of rising CO2 levels, which Stanford’s researchers warned if left unabated “could bring about climatic changes” like temperature increases, melting of ice caps and sea level rise.

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Categories: Environment

VIDEO: We Went Foraging For Winter's Wild Edibles

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 4:00am

People might not think of winter as a fruitful season for foraging wild edibles, but nutritionist and expert forager Debbie Naha says there's actually a lot out there that you can find year-round.

(Image credit: NPR)

Categories: Environment

Who owns water? The US landowners putting barbed wire across rivers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 3:00am

New Mexico is a battleground in the fight over once public waterways, sparking fears it could set a national precedent

As Scott Carpenter and a few friends paddled down the Pecos river in New Mexico last May, taking advantage of spring run-off, the lead boater yelled out and made a swirling hand motion over his head in the universal signal to pull over to shore. The paddlers eddied out in time to avoid running straight through three strings of barbed wire obstructing the river.

Swinging in the wind, the sign hanging from the fence read “PRIVATE PROPERTY: No Trespassing”.

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Categories: Environment

Sheffield MPs urge council to pause tree felling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 2:43am

Protests continue to grow over controversial PFI contract that has resulted in thousands of trees being cut down

Two Labour MPs in Sheffield have called on the city’s Labour-run council to pause tree felling in the city, as protests grow over a controversial road maintenance contract that has resulted in thousands of trees being cut down and replaced with saplings.

Related: For the chop: the battle to save Sheffield’s trees

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Categories: Environment

Marine Biologist Studies Climate's Effects On Adelie Penguins

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/03/15 - 2:02am

The Antarctica peninsula is shrinking as global temperatures rise. David Greene talks to scientist James McClintock about why warm weather is killing off penguin populations.

Categories: Environment

Camera attached to a minke whale captures rare footage – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 11:26pm

For the first time ever, scientists in Antarctica have attached a camera to a minke – one of the most poorly understood of all the whale species.  The camera (attached with suction cups) slid down the side of the animal – but stayed attached – providing remarkable video of the way it feeds.

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Categories: Environment

UK car industry must pay up for toxic air 'catastrophe', super-inquiry finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 11:01pm

Unprecedented joint inquiry by four committees of MPs demands polluters pay for air pollution causing ‘national health emergency’

The car industry must pay millions of pounds towards solving the UK’s toxic air crisis under the “polluter pays” principle, according to an unprecedented joint inquiry by four committees of MPs.

The MPs call the poisonous air that causes 40,000 early deaths a year a “national health emergency” and are scathing about the government’s clean air plans. These judged illegal three times in the high court, with the latest plan condemned as “woefully inadequate” by city leaders and “inexcusable” by doctors.

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Categories: Environment

'Age and beauty': Darwin farewells one of its six heritage-listed trees

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 8:32pm

After death of milkwood tree, which predates European settlement, five other heritage listed trees left in Northern Territory capital

A heritage-listed Darwin tree that survived at least two devastating cyclones, the arrival of European settlers and a Japanese bombing has died, leaving just five listed trees in the Northern Territory city.

The milkwood tree in downtown Darwin was given protection in 2006 as a rare example of the vegetation that covered the Darwin peninsula before European arrival in 1869.

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Categories: Environment

WHO launches health review after microplastics found in 90% of bottled water

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 6:46pm

Researchers find levels of plastic fibres in popular bottled water brands could be twice as high as those found in tap water

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic. A previous study also found high levels of microplastics in tap water.

In the new study, analysis of 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands found an average of 325 plastic particles for every litre of water being sold.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 5:05pm
Three loaves perfected...one more to go.  63,69,48,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

If business leaders want to regain our trust, they must act upon climate risk | Ian Dunlop

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 4:29pm

Empty rhetoric from corporates is not enough as climate change is accelerating far faster than expected

Business leaders seem astonished that community trust in their activities is at an all-time low, trending toward the bottom of the barrel inhabited by politicians. To the corporate leader dedicated to the capitalist, market economy success story of the last 50 years, that attitude is no doubt incomprehensible and downright ungrateful.

Related: Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by 'crazy' temperature rises

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Categories: Environment
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