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Microplastics in water not harmful to humans, says WHO report

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 4:01pm

Experts find no proof minuscule particles are a threat to health but say more research is needed

Microplastics are increasingly found in drinking water, but there is no evidence so far that this poses a risk to humans, according to a new assessment by the World Health Organization.

However, the United Nations body warned against complacency because more research is needed to fully understand how plastic spreads into the environment and works its way through human bodies.

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Categories: Environment

How Arctic Fires Are Impacting Earth's Atmosphere

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 3:02pm

More than two million acres of forest have burned in Alaska this year. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with climate change researcher Nancy Fresco about the impact these fires have on the Earth's atmosphere.

Categories: Environment

Tens Of Thousands Of Fires Ravage Brazilian Amazon, Where Deforestation Has Spiked

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 1:57pm

Researchers say there's been a huge rise in the number of fires compared with last year. That's likely linked with a similar leap in deforestation since President Jair Bolsonaro took office.

(Image credit: NASA via AP)

Categories: Environment

Wildlife Staff Outside Denver Work To Stop The Spread Of Plague Among Prairie Dogs

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 1:31pm

An outbreak of plague has struck a prairie dog population outside of Denver. NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with research wildlife biologist Dean Biggins about the risks to the region's ecology.

Categories: Environment

Six sentences of hope: Defining a unifying vision in the face of the climate crisis | Richard Flanagan

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 11:00am

A sense of futility haunts us all, so I sought to distill in as few words as possible what could be done by us as a people. Writing them, I felt my despair lift

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In 1971, the Liberal Billy McMahon – routinely judged the worst Australian prime minister ever, an achievement not to be underestimated in a nation where the worst routinely rule – created a new portfolio: Environment, Arts and Aboriginal Affairs. Nobody wanted the job: given it, Peter Howson observed that he was responsible for “trees, boongs and poofters.”

What’s changed with our conservative rulers over the last half century? On the evidence of the shame the prime minister, Scott Morrison, visited on all Australians last week at the Pacific Islands Forum, not very much. There he tried to pressure Pacific leaders to remove from the final forum communique and climate change statement all references to coal, to limiting warming to less than 1.5C, and to setting out a plan for net zero emissions by 2050.

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Categories: Environment

Nearly 200 US cities are seeing more extremely hot days, analysis finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 9:00am

198 had an increase in the average number of days each year that felt 90F or hotter and 106 cities had an increase in ‘danger’ days that felt 105F or hotter

Nearly 200 US cities have seen an increase in the number of days each year that soar beyond a heat index of 90F (32.2C) or higher, according to an analysis of the last four decades.

Related: How US cities are scrambling to protect people from extreme heat

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Categories: Environment

Los Angeles to build world's largest wildlife bridge across 10-lane freeway

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 8:34am

An $87m corridor will extend over Highway 101 to reconnect the ecosystem and possibly save mountain lions from extinction

Engineers in southern California are hard at work designing the biggest wildlife corridor in the world, to extend over US Highway 101 to the north-west of Los Angeles.

The corridor will connect different parts of the Santa Monica Mountain chain, which is crucial to the future of mountain lions – but it will help other species as well. The $87m bridge has entered its final design phase and is on track to open in 2023.

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Categories: Environment

More U.S. Towns Are Feeling The Pinch As Recycling Becomes Costlier

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 4:00am

The U.S. recycling industry is facing a quandary: Too much of the plastic we use can't be recycled, and taxpayers increasingly are on the hook for paying for all that trash to hit the landfills.

(Image credit: Rebecca Davis/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Montara oil spill: site's new operator rejects suggestion it couldn't afford second clean-up

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/08/21 - 1:16am

Jadestone CEO says it could cover the cost of cleaning up a major spill, even though company has never made a profit

The new operator of the site of Australia’s worst ever oil spill has dismissed concerns it might not have the financial capacity to clean up should disaster strike again.

Ten years ago on Wednesday an estimated 40 million litres of oil leaked from a faulty rig in the Montara field, in the Timor Sea, and for 10 weeks spread over tens of thousands of square kilometres of ocean.

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Categories: Environment

Cooling goo sidewalks and other strange new weapons in the war on urban heat

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 10:00pm

Los Angeles faces a doubling of its extreme heat days but has fresh ideas to keep residents cool - and tackle the inequality of who suffers

Los Angeles can sometimes feel like a sprawling hellscape of heat: in the northern valleys and the southern city, metal playground equipment, car steering wheels, even the ground itself effectively become weaponized.

The more than 300 days of sunshine a year that for generations have made LA such an attractive place to live and visit are becoming a grave liability due to the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: emails raise ethical questions over Trump official's role in gas project

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 10:00pm

Documents obtained by the Guardian suggest interior secretary is promoting effort tied to his former firm

The US interior secretary, David Bernhardt, is promoting a fossil fuel project for which his former employer, a lobbying firm, is a paid advocate, e-mails obtained by the Guardian suggest.

Experts say Bernhardt is probably violating ethics guidelines issued by the Trump administration with the stated goal of “draining the swamp”. Based on these rules, Bernhardt should be recused from specific issues involving a former client for at least two years.

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Categories: Environment

Glencore to expand controversial mining operations at McArthur River in Northern Territory

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 8:44pm

Mine has been subject to allegations of contaminating environment and mismanagement of toxic waste

Glencore has been given the green light to start work on its plans to vastly extend its controversial mining operations at McArthur River in the Northern Territory.

The resource company, McArthur River Mine (MRM), has sought to extend its mining operation until 2048, which will add on a further 1,000 years of rehabilitation and monitoring.

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Categories: Environment

Global engineering firm Aurecon cuts ties with Adani amid pressure from activists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 7:16pm

Investor action group says Carmichael coalmine project makes Indian giant ‘brand kryptonite’

The global engineering and consultancy firm Aurecon has severed a longstanding business relationship with the Adani Group, amid ongoing efforts by anti-coal activists to target firms working for the Indian conglomerate’s Australian mining arm.

Adani Australia released a statement on Wednesday saying it was “surprised” by the decision but that the “concerted campaign” against the Carmichael project by environmental groups had not succeeded, and that construction of the central Queensland thermal coalmine was under way.

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Categories: Environment

Big irrigators take 86% of water extracted from Barwon-Darling, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 5:50pm

Lower Darling pushed into drought three years early because of sheer volume of water extraction by just a few licence holders

A handful of big irrigators are responsible for 86% of water extracted from the Barwon-Darling river system, pushing the lower Darling into drought three years early, an expert report has found.

The NSW Natural Resources Commission released the report by the Australian Rivers Institute professor Fran Sheldon on Monday night, after it received criticism for the claim that extraction of water by cotton growers had pushed the river system into hydrological drought three years early.

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Categories: Environment

Two tigers seized from traffickers every week, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 4:01pm

Closure of tiger farms among urgent steps needed to protect species, wildlife summit hears

Two illegally smuggled tigers per week are being seized by officials, according to a report, but this represents only a tiny fraction of those being killed.

The report, by the wildlife trade experts Traffic, was released at a summit of 183 countries under the Convention in the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), where many delegates have called for stronger action.

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Categories: Environment

I think the Mavic Pro is OK...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 3:19pm
Second drone test since my crash.  Hovered nicely at 400 ft. (part way to the moon).  90,96,76,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

How The Flying Shame Movement Got Off The Ground

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 2:54pm

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Umair Irfan, who covers climate change and the environment for Vox, about the flying shame movement and what can be done about carbon emissions from air travel.

Categories: Environment

Why Sea Level Rise Varies Across The World

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 2:09pm

The sea level is rising more in some coastal places than in others. But why is that? It has to do with wind, currents, glaciers and even the last Ice Age.

Categories: Environment

U.S. Recycling Industry Is Struggling To Figure Out A Future Without China

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 12:27pm

China is no longer taking the world's waste. The U.S. recycling industry is overwhelmed — it can't keep up with the plastic being churned out. This doesn't bode well for our plastic waste problem.

(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Notre Dame Repair Crews Are Back To Work, But Paris' Lead Concerns Remain

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/08/20 - 10:27am

Environmental and labor groups complain the cleanup should have begun sooner, and they are concerned about health risks in Paris.

(Image credit: Francois Mori/AP)

Categories: Environment
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