Feed aggregator

Size does matter: wine glasses are seven times larger than they used to be

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/14 - 4:11am

In the 1700s the average-sized wine glass could hold just 66ml of the tipple. Today it’s not unusual to be handed a glass that holds almost half a litre

Our Georgian and Victorian ancestors may have enjoyed a Christmas tipple but judging by the size of the glasses they used they probably drank less wine than we do today.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found that the capacity of wine glasses has ballooned nearly seven-fold over the past 300 years, rising most sharply in the last two decades in line with a surge in wine consumption.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/14 - 4:00am

But it’s political corruption, not public opinion that’s blocking American climate policy

There’s a debate between social scientists about whether climate change facts can change peoples’ minds or just polarize them further. For example, conservatives who are more scientifically literate are less worried about global warming. In essence, education arms them with the tools to more easily reject evidence and information that conflicts with their ideological beliefs. This has been called the “smart idiot” effect and it isn’t limited to climate change; it’s also something we’re seeing with the Republican tax plan.

However, other research has shown that conservatives with higher climate-specific knowledge are more likely to accept climate change – a result that holds in many different countries. For example, when people understand how the greenhouse effect works, across the political spectrum they’re more likely to accept human-caused global warming.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Sheffield council votes to fell trees planted in memory of war dead

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/14 - 3:06am

Campaigners condemn move to chop down tribute to local soldiers in long-running row over £2bn renovation

Councillors in Sheffield have voted to fell dozens of trees planted 98 years ago in honour of fallen soldiers in a move attacked by critics as “the first publicly sanctioned desecrations of a war memorial”.

Campaigners have fought a long battle with Sheffield city council over the fate of the trees, planted in 1919 as a “living memorial” to soldiers killed in the first world war.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

In 10 years' time trains could be solar powered

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/14 - 12:00am

A technique has been devised that allows electricity to flow directly from solar panels to electrified train tracks to the trains themselves making solar powered trains more feasible than ever before

Last week, my 10:10 colleague Leo Murray co-authored a new report on solar-powered trains with Nathaniel Bottrell, an electrical engineer at Imperial College.

It’s exciting stuff. We think solar could power 20% of the Merseyrail network in Liverpool, as well as 15% of commuter routes in Kent, Sussex and Wessex. There’s scope for solar trams in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham, London and Manchester too, and there’s no reason it should just be a British thing either. We’re especially excited about possibilities in San Francisco, Mexico City, India and Spain, but trains and trams all over the world could be running on sun in a few years time.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Fueling dissent: how the oil industry set out to undercut clean air

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/14 - 12:00am

After casting doubt on climate change for decades, skeptic consultants have turned their attention to air pollution

On sunny days, when his classmates run out to play, Gabriel Rosales heads to the school nurse for a dose of Albuterol.

The fine mist opens his airways, relaxing the muscles in his chest. Without it, recess could leave the nine-year-old gasping for breath. He gets a second dose at the end of the day before heading home from St John Bosco Elementary School, in San Antonio, Texas.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

‘A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 11:00pm

Scientists have identified 2 million species of living things. No one knows how many more are out there, and tens of thousands may be vanishing before we have even had a chance to encounter them. By Jacob Mikanowski

The Earth is ridiculously, burstingly full of life. Four billion years after the appearance of the first microbes, 400m years after the emergence of the first life on land, 200,000 years after humans arrived on this planet, 5,000 years (give or take) after God bid Noah to gather to himself two of every creeping thing, and 200 years after we started to systematically categorise all the world’s living things, still, new species are being discovered by the hundreds and thousands.

In the world of the systematic taxonomists – those scientists charged with documenting this ever-growing onrush of biological profligacy – the first week of November 2017 looked like any other. Which is to say, it was extraordinary. It began with 95 new types of beetle from Madagascar. But this was only the beginning. As the week progressed, it brought forth seven new varieties of micromoth from across South America, 10 minuscule spiders from Ecuador, and seven South African recluse spiders, all of them poisonous. A cave-loving crustacean from Brazil. Seven types of subterranean earwig. Four Chinese cockroaches. A nocturnal jellyfish from Japan. A blue-eyed damselfly from Cambodia. Thirteen bristle worms from the bottom of the ocean – some bulbous, some hairy, all hideous. Eight North American mites pulled from the feathers of Georgia roadkill. Three black corals from Bermuda. One Andean frog, whose bright orange eyes reminded its discoverers of the Incan sun god Inti.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

National Australia Bank stops all lending for new thermal coal projects

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 7:57pm

Move makes NAB the first major Australian bank to phase out support for industry but it will continue to finance projects already on its books

National Australia Bank says it will halt all lending for new thermal coal mining projects, becoming the first major Australian bank to phase out support of thermal coal mining.

While the bank will continue providing finance for coal projects already on its books, NAB said an orderly transition to a low-carbon Australia was critical for the economy and for continued access to secure and affordable energy.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Court challenge to logging in Victorian highlands could have national impact

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 7:08pm

Green groups’ case against logging in central highlands mountain ash forests could have repercussions for NSW and WA

Green groups are challenging the validity of a Victorian forestry agreement in the federal court in a case that could have repercussions for the Australian logging industry as a whole.

Environmental Justice Australia, acting on behalf of Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum, has argued that the regional forest agreement covering Victoria’s central highlands region, which is home to the critically endangered possum, is invalid because the Victorian government failed to perform the requisite reviews.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

3 Reasons Why California's Fire Risk Won't Dampen Anytime Soon

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 2:41pm

The Thomas Fire, the fifth largest wildfire in California history, is a harbinger of things to come in the West.

(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 1:21pm
Prep wasn't so bad and the procedure was a breeze.  It sure was clean in there.  No complications...nothing out of the ordinary...one tiny polyp removed.  The bottom right photo is the ileocecal valve - the valve between the ileum of the small intestine and the cecum of the large intestine; prevents material from flowing back from the large to the small intestine.  No special diet requirements after the procedure today and won't have to enjoy this experience again for 5 years.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

How to feed the world while curbing our appetite for destruction | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 12:15pm
There is enough food for everyone, says Chrissie Hynde – if everyone takes only their fair share and stops eating animals. Others suggest improving farming production methods, tackling population growth and taxing meat

Although I strongly agree with and appreciate George Monbiot’s efforts to shed light on the destructive nature of industrialised farming and its effects on animals and environment (We can’t go on eating like this, 11 December), I do not see the wisdom of tarring the entire farming community with the same brush.

Small family farms, where the profits are just enough to sustain the running of the farm, actually replenish the environment and provide for local communities. A non-slaughter farm is humane, realistic and beneficial all around. We need farmers. There is enough food for everyone if everyone takes only their fair share and stops killing and eating the animals.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Winemakers Worry Wildfires Will Leave Whiff Of Ashtray In Their Wine

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 11:52am

Grapes exposed to smoke from wildfires can absorb compounds that carry over into wine and ruin the flavor. The problem is only expected to grow as extreme weather events become more frequent.

(Image credit: George Rose/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Without The U.S. Government, The World Unites To Fight Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 9:33am

The One Planet Summit went on without President Trump Tuesday. But state and local leaders in attendance renewed calls for adherence to the Paris Agreement targets, says blogger Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: Thibault Camus/AP)

Categories: Environment

Global warming made Hurricane Harvey deadly rains three times more likely, research reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 6:00am

The unprecedented downpour and severe flooding was also 15% more intense due to climate change, which is making weather more violent around the world

Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented deluge, which caused catastrophic flooding in Houston in August, was made three times more likely by climate change, new research has found.

Such a downpour was a very rare event, scientists said, but global warming meant it was 15% more intense. The storm left 80 people dead and 800,000 in need of assistance.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Tesco faces legal threat over marketing its food with 'fake farm' names

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 4:41am

Charity accuses UK supermarkets of misleading customers with fake farm branding and claims Tesco is damaging the reputation of a real farm with the same name

Major UK supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Lidl are being urged to stop using controversial “fake farm” branding on own-brand meat products, with a food charity claiming they are misleading shoppers.

The Feedback charity is backing the owner of a genuine farm called Woodside Farm – a name Tesco has also used on its value pork range since 2016 – and is threatening legal proceedings if the retail giant does not drop the name Woodside Farms.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Scottish fishermen say EU is taking 'hardline' quotas stance pre-Brexit

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 4:36am

As annual fisheries negotiations conclude, fishermen’s federation says ‘entrenched views’ in EU could affect future talks

Scottish fishermen have raised concerns that the EU is adopting a hardline stance over quotas as a prelude to Brexit negotiations.

Annual negotiations over fishing quotas – expected to be the penultimate talks the UK participates in before leaving the EU – were concluded in Brussels early on Wednesday.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 4:00am

As America is battered by climate-intensified weather disasters, Republican politicians are trying to slash climate research funding

The United States is great in many respects. But we certainly aren’t perfect; we’ve made some pretty silly choices. One of the dumb choices politicians in the United States want to make is to defund climate science so we wont be able to prepare for increased disasters in the future. We can see how shortsighted this in when compared alongside with the costs of disasters.

Just think about the respective magnitudes. Estimates put the costs of the three big 2017 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) at approximately $200 billion. It is somewhat challenging to estimate the actual cost because not only is there rebuilding that must occur, but there are also lingering damages from loss of power, dislocation of people, and other long-lasting factors. Some reports estimate that the damage may end up being as high as $300 billion – a staggering amount.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 12:20am

Neonicotinoids, banned on flowering crops, were found in nearly all rivers tested, increasing concerns over their impact on fish and birds

Rivers in England are contaminated with powerful insecticides, new testing has revealed, increasing concerns over the impact of the toxic chemicals on fish and birds.

Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the European Union in 2013 due to the harm they cause to bees and other vital pollinators. Following even more evidence of harm, an EU vote to extend the ban to all outdoor uses is expected soon.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'Last year I gave the kids briquettes and everyone yelled at me!' Christmas with Ian | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/13 - 12:14am

Ian the Climate Denialist Potato surprises his loved ones with a festive report on climate emissions. Or would they rather get an inflatable Greg Hunt doll?

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Northern Territory to decide about fracking ban only after inquiry's final report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/12 - 7:54pm

Draft report from hydraulic fracking inquiry has found the practice can be safe if risks are better mitigated

The Northern Territory government will wait until next year to make a decision on lifting its moratorium on fracking, despite federal calls for it to “get on with the job” after a long-running inquiry found it could be safe if risks were better mitigated.

The inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the NT released its draft final report on Tuesday with 120 recommendations, which it said must be implemented in full to “reduce the risk to an acceptable level”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content