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‘Pretty damn cool’: Ellie Goulding on rewilding as a cure for our planet – and our mental health

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 4:00am

The singer-songwriter and UN environment ambassador is a self-confessed ‘nature nerd’ and urges her fans to get ‘stuck in’ to ecological activism

I just got back from a walk in Hyde park, headphones in, Max Richter playing, after a sweltering 30C day in London. I stopped halfway to take my trainers off and pad my feet on the grass. This is where I often go when I need to breathe, and not to think.

I’ve been a nature nerd since the days of making mud pies (and grass on the side), turning up stones to see worms and woodlice, and foraging for blackberries with the other kids in the village, often to make some sort of inedible fruity soup.

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Categories: Environment

The last nuclear plant in California – and the unexpected quest to save it

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 3:00am

The Diablo Canyon facility, which provides 9% of the state’s energy, was due to shutter in 2025, but the state’s energy crunch could save it

California’s last nuclear plant was nearing the end of its life.

Tucked against picturesque bluffs along California’s central coast, the aging facility known as Diablo Canyon began operating in 1985. It was designed for a different era, with analog knobs and systems that no longer comply with the state’s environmental standards. The plant has faced controversies over its impact on underwater ecosystems, the production of toxic waste and its proximity to earthquake fault lines – and its planned closure by 2025 seemed an all-but-certain step in California’s ambitious journey toward a greener future.

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Categories: Environment

Britain’s vanishing rainforests must be protected, say campaigners

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 2:30am

Analysis reveals 73% of remaining fragments of rare temperate rainforest in England are not under protection

Nearly three-quarters of England’s remaining temperate rainforests do not have any official protection, according to new analysis, as a campaign urges the public to help identify, protect and expand what remains.

Just 18,870 hectares (46,624 acres) survives in England from an ecosystem that once stretched from Cornwall to the west of Scotland, having slowly been cleared by humans over the centuries. Seventy-three per cent of the country’s remaining fragments of temperate rainforest, a species-rich habitat, are not designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), despite their importance for biodiversity. Many are threatened by overgrazing, pollution and invasive species.

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Categories: Environment

How 'superworms' could help solve the trash crisis

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 2:08am

A new study from Australia shows that larvae of the darkling beetle can eat polystyrene — the material behind plastic foam.

(Image credit: The University of Queensland)

Categories: Environment

‘People may be overselling the myth’: should we bring back the wolf?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 10:15pm

Researchers say the return of wolves to Yellowstone in the 1990s kickstarted big changes in habitats. But that narrative is increasingly being challenged

In 1995, in Yellowstone national park, eight wolves were released from a white truck that had travelled 700 miles from Alberta, Canada. They were the first to live in the park for 70 years and the most fabled predator’s return to the world’s most famous national park inspired research that would feature in ecology textbooks for decades.

A key narrative from this event is that wolves created a “landscape of fear” in the park, which kickstarted big changes in habitats, known as trophic cascades. It is an argument used to justify releasing wolves elsewhere. But increasingly, researchers are looking at the nuances of what happened in the decades after wolves were introduced and challenging this approach.

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Categories: Environment

Australia news live updates: housing market’s first monthly decline since 2020

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 8:49pm

Samsung agrees to pay $14m penalty over misleading claims on Galaxy phones; housing market posts first monthly decline since September 2020; NSW records 26 Covid deaths, Victoria records nine. Follow all the day’s developments

Australian scientists celebrate world first

AAP is reporting that in a world first, Australian scientists have developed a device with “exquisite precision” that they say is a huge step towards a commercial quantum computer.

This is a remarkable piece of engineering. This experiment paves the way for larger and more complex quantum systems to be emulated in future.

It won’t be long before we can start to realise new materials that have never existed before.

All of this is just a fantasy because they don’t understand what actually happens at the bargaining table.

I think the Reserve Bank governor has weirdly changed his tune, he was the one who said so long as wages keep up with inflation and productivity, they are not inflationary.

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Categories: Environment

Darwin festival under fire for ‘gag clause’ preventing artists from criticising Santos sponsorship

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 8:24pm

A meeting between the board, First Nations representatives and environmental activists fails to resolve tensions over the deal, which has been described as ‘artwashing’

Artists and event producers engaged for Darwin’s 2022 festival have been presented with a gag clause in their contracts, placing severe restrictions on what they can publicly say about the sponsorship of oil and gas company Santos.

The revelations follow an open letter and petition signed by more than 3,500 people which circulated earlier this month calling on the festival to dump the sponsor. The letter described Santos’s involvement with the festival as “artswashing”, making comparisons to the tobacco industry’s marketing model of previous decades.

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Categories: Environment

Grocery store renovation underway...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 4:55pm

Grand opening in November...91,06,76,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Supreme Court may issue a ruling that could hurt Biden's climate change plans

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 1:58pm

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case that could limit the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate climate-warming greenhouse gasses.

Categories: Environment

PFAS 'forever chemicals' are everywhere. Here's what you should know about them

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 1:35pm

PFAS are all around us, so how do we navigate a world filled with harmful chemicals? We speak to an expert who guides us through what PFAS are, why they're a problem, and what can be done about them.

(Image credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Visitors line up for Yellowstone’s partial reopening after devastating floods

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 1:03pm

Three of the national park’s five entrances have opened as the damage is still being assessed after rare and record flooding

Park managers raised the gates at three of Yellowstone national park’s five entrances on Wednesday, reopening part of America’s oldest park for the first time since a devastating deluge caused historic floods that destroyed roads, bridges and buildings earlier this month.

Hundreds of cars, trucks and recreational vehicles lined the open entryways in anticipation, an indication that many visitors stuck to their plans despite uncertainty last week about when the park would reopen. Before the extreme weather, park managers were already bracing for the throngs of tourists expected this summer, following its busiest year on record, which drew more than 4.8 million people.

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Categories: Environment

Los Angeles may ban new gas stations to help combat climate emergency

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 12:54pm

The city famous for its car culture could quit building fossil fuel infrastructure – and it would be the largest city to do so yet

Los Angeles could become the largest city to prohibit the construction of new gas stations, joining a movement that seeks to limit fossil fuels at the local level as part of efforts to combat the climate crisis.

Officials in America’s second largest city, along with Bethlehem, New York, and Comox valley regional district, British Columbia, said on Wednesday morning that they were working on policies to stop the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

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Categories: Environment

The Paris-sized blind spot in the Coalition’s climate target debate | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 10:30am

Coalition MPs consider the party’s climate target as the Albanese government locks in 43%, and Sky News’s Rowan Dean asks questions that have already been answered

Coalition MPs are in the middle of a post-defeat debate over climate targets, but there appears to be a large Paris-shaped blind spot in their current commentary.

Speaking to the ABC at the weekend the opposition leader, Peter Dutton, was asked repeatedly if he would support the Albanese government’s target of a 43% cut by 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Albanese government may join US push to cut global methane emissions by 30%

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 10:30am

Exclusive: New resources minister also says ‘the pathway from coal to renewables goes only through gas’

The Albanese government could sign up to Joe Biden’s push to limit global methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by the end of the decade, as part of efforts to signal Australia has turned a corner on climate ambition.

Australia’s resources minister, Madeleine King, confirmed the new government was considering signing the global pledge, but stressed no final decision would be taken without careful consultation.

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Categories: Environment

Greens MP calls for inquiry into botched NSW police operation against Blockade Australia

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 10:30am

Sue Higginson says ‘even inconvenient’ protesting is important for democracy and labels police response ‘extreme’

A New South Wales MP has said she will push for the release of internal briefing documents relating to a botched police operation targeting environmental protesters, saying the force used by officers was “extreme”.

Sue Higginson, a Greens upper house MP, said it was clear something had gone seriously wrong during a police operation on Sunday targeting Blockade Australia protesters in the Colo Valley, in Sydney’s north-west.

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Categories: Environment

The human sensory experience is limited. Journey into the world that animals know

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 9:09am

In his new book, An Immense World, science writer Ed Yong explores the diversity of perception in the animal world — including echolocation, magnetic fields and ultraviolet vision.

(Image credit: Raymond Roig/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Yellowstone National Park partially reopens after floods

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 8:32am

Despite some major roads still being washed out, three of the massive park's five entrances opened this morning, to lines hundreds of cars long.

(Image credit: Matthew Brown/AP)

Categories: Environment

Pump up the volume: Cornish village to pilot communal grid for green energy

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 7:17am

Retired engineer’s efforts propel Stithians towards multimillion-pound project to link homes to underground low-carbon system

The environmental evangelising of a retired mechanical engineer, Brian Piper, is bringing a renewable energy revolution to the streets of a small Cornish village.

Until now, Stithians, which sits halfway between Redruth and Falmouth, was best known for its annual show, said to be the largest agricultural spectacle in Cornwall. But Piper is determined that in future the village will become known for its role in tackling climate change.

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Categories: Environment

EU plan to halve use of pesticides in ‘milestone’ legislation to restore ecosystems

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 5:26am

Proposals – the first in 30 years to tackle catastrophic wildlife loss in Europe – include legally binding targets for land, rivers and sea

For the first time in 30 years, legislation has been put forward to address catastrophic wildlife loss in the EU. Legally binding targets for all member states to restore wildlife on land, rivers and the sea were announced today, alongside a crackdown on chemical pesticides.

In a boost for UN negotiations on halting and reversing biodiversity loss, targets released by the European Commission include reversing the decline of pollinator populations and restoring 20% of land and sea by 2030, with all ecosystems to be under restoration by 2050. The commission also proposed a target to cut the use of chemical pesticides in half by 2030 and eradicate their use near schools, hospitals and playgrounds.

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Categories: Environment

8,000 green bottles … Carlsberg trials fibre beer containers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/22 - 5:14am

Brewer says wood- and plant-based design retains same ‘taste and fizziness’ as glass bottles

Carlsberg is to conduct its biggest trial of recyclable fibre beer bottles across Europe.

The bottles are made of a wood-based fibre shell and a plant-based polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymer lining.

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Categories: Environment
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