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Scott Pruitt vows to slash climate and water pollution regulations at CPAC

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/02/25 - 2:47pm

Head of the EPA told the conservative audience they would be ‘justified’ in believing the environmental regulator should be completely disbanded

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has vowed to roll back flagship regulations that tackle climate change and water pollution, telling a conservative audience in Maryland they would be “justified” in believing the environmental regulator should be completely disbanded.

The Trump appointee signalled that the president is set to start the work of dismantling climate and water rules as early as next week. Pruitt said the administration will “deal” with the Clean Power Plan, Barack Obama’s centrepiece policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the Waters of the United States rule, which gives the EPA wider latitude to reduce pollution of waterways.

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Categories: Environment

Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/02/25 - 1:37pm

Scientists at Vatican conference are searching for a solution to the manmade ‘major extinction event’

One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere.

“The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week.

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Categories: Environment

Brexit brings new questions about investing down on the farm

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/02/25 - 9:00am
When Common Agricultural Policy payments come to an end, what will they be replaced with? And what should that be spent on?

Compared to most industries subject to the ups and downs of global markets, farming is a cottage industry. Where mining has a few operators dominating the scene, agriculture involves thousands of producers in each country.

That simple fact works against the high levels of investment agriculture minister Andrea Leadsom would like to see in the run-up to a hard Brexit.

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Categories: Environment

Tracks in the snow where carnivores passed in the night

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 10:30pm

Achvaneran, Highlands The tracks went straight down the garden, through the fence and over the burn with one leap. It knew where it was going

The previous night’s snowfall had been just right for tracking: about 4cm at dusk, then no more until after light. So I was out early and picked up the first tracks under the beech tree at the bottom of the garden, a stoat. It had been quartering the ground, hunting, but did not make a kill until it reached the large pond. There the tracks suddenly veered; a leap sideways and a few specks of blood on the snow revealed where it had taken its prey, probably a mouse or vole.

Related: Daylight encounter hungry pine marten

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Categories: Environment
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