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Annus mirabilis: all the things that went right in 2017

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/26 - 1:00am

It was a tale of two years – the best of times and the worst of times. But not everything went wrong – from Mata’s 1% to orangutans, we look at the good

How was it for you? A bit grim? Many people will be eager to see the back of 2017, the year of Trump, Twitter, terrorism, Yemen, Libya and the plight of the Rohingya, as well as environmental degradation and almost daily doomsday warnings about the multiplying threats to sustainable life on earth.

But the big, bold headlines tell only half the story – perhaps not even that much. Away from the hysteria of daily news, it is possible to discern progress, joy, breakthroughs and that rarest commodity of all: optimism.

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Categories: Environment

The best of the wildlife photography awards 2017 – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/26 - 1:00am

Winning images from national and international wildlife photography competitions of the year

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Categories: Environment

World’s largest plastics plant rings alarm bells on Texas coast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/26 - 12:00am

Communities fear impact on environment, as fossil fuel companies target region in multi-billion dollar push to increase global plastic production

Donald Trump’s state visit to Saudi Arabia in May will perhaps be best remembered by his participation in an all-male sword dance where he awkwardly waved a ceremonial blade in step with his cabinet and their Saudi counterparts.

But a little-noted deal signed prior to the ceremony is set to worsen a vast problem the world has yet to fully confront – plastic pollution.

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Categories: Environment

$180bn investment in plastic factories feeds global packaging binge

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/12/26 - 12:00am

Colossal funding in manufacturing plants by fossil fuel companies will increase plastic production by 40%, risking permanent pollution of the earth

The global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and food chains, is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years after multibillion dollar investments in a new generation of plastics plants in the US.

Fossil fuel companies are among those who have ploughed more than $180bn since 2010 into new “cracking” facilities that will produce the raw material for everyday plastics from packaging to bottles, trays and cartons.

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Categories: Environment

Christmas 2017

The Field Lab - Mon, 2017/12/25 - 11:02am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Norway leads way on electric cars: 'it’s part of a green taxation shift'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/25 - 7:42am

Nearly a third of all new cars sold in the country this year will be plug-in models and experts expect that share to skyrocket

While tourists explore Oslo’s history in the grounds of the centuries-old Akershus fortress, below their feet is a harbinger of the city’s future.

Here in the catacombs sit scores of Teslas, Nissan Leafs and BMW i3s, plugged into the charging points of the world’s largest public garage for electric cars.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking to begin in earnest in 2018 after tough year for industry

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/25 - 7:00am

Firms leading UK push for shale gas say ‘we will see results next year’ after 12 months of opposition, protests and a ban in Scotland

British shale gas companies have said domestic fracking will finally begin in earnest in 2018, after another year passed without serious progress amid strong opposition.

Industry figures said next year would be crucial for the sector, as companies start the process of hydraulic fracturing to extract gas trapped underground in shale rock.

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Categories: Environment

UK frackers are running out of time

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/25 - 7:00am

Binding carbon commitments and the falling cost of renewables could prove a perfect storm for investors

The UK’s shale gas industry is in a race against time to establish itself before climate change regulations shut it down. As its stands, the frackers are off the pace.

With no wells yet tested for gas flow, the industry does not yet know if large-scale production is possible or what the cost of the gas will be, and it won’t know until 2020 at best. Protests and planning problems have delayed exploration, but the real difficulty is the UK’s legally binding carbon targets.

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Categories: Environment

Electric and plug-in hybrid cars whiz past 3m mark worldwide

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/25 - 6:29am

Rapid growth is due to falling battery costs, government incentives and car makers competing to build new models

The number of fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the world’s roads has passed the 3m mark, as manufacturers ramp up their plans for mass production of battery-powered vehicles.

Related: Norway leads way on electric cars: 'it’s part of a green taxation shift'

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Categories: Environment

Pascal's Wager...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2017/12/24 - 3:12pm
I really hate to see these kinds of in your face "christian" shares on Facebook (especially this time of year) that try to use some kind of convoluted logic to suggest why a belief in God is a good idea and then throw in a little denial shaming.  To use the failed argument that, " I would rather live my life believing in God and serving Him, and find out I was right, than not believe in Him and not serve Him, and find out I was wrong" is not a very effective debate tactic because it assumes you yourself are not sure but it is better to be safe than sorry.  I also have a problem with the phrase "belief in God".  After all...people say they "believe" things for any number of reasons - many of which may not in reality be true, but they continue on regardless.  The word "belief" has a certain connotation which leads people to assume that you merely choose to think something is true because you prefer to.  When it comes to a debate about the existence of God, using words like "belief" and "faith" won't get you very far.

If you want the ever illusive "empirical evidence" to back up your belief in God, you won't find it in scientific or philosophy textbooks.  Just open yourself up to Jesus Christ and personally experience the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in your daily life.  Faith is not about stretching your imagination - it is about coming to know that He will keep all His promises to you.

Romans 12I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be yer transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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