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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

Country diary 1917: forest in the grip of a black frost

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/24 - 3:30pm

28 December 1917 In the sombre foliage of the forest firs we heard the short, high-pitched notes of the goldcrest, and saw two or three of the tiny birds hunting for insects

Iron-hard roads rang beneath our feet and cat-ice between the ruts scrunched and crackled; a black frost had the forest in its grip. Under the firs was a litter of stripped cones and scattered flakes; the squirrels, in spite of the frost, had been busy, and over and over again we disturbed them from their hunt amongst the fallen needles and sent them scurrying up the straight boles. It was in the sombre foliage of these forest firs that we heard the short, high-pitched notes of the goldcrest, and saw two or three of the tiny birds hunting for insects – hibernating insects too insignificant for larger birds to worry with.

Related: Walking in the winter woods: Country diary 100 years ago

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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

Laughing parrots, backflipping robots and saviour viruses: science stories of 2017

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/24 - 2:15am
Leading scientists pick the dozen most significant discoveries and developments of 2017 – from a steep decline in flying insects to a virus that can kill bacteria

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Categories: Environment

3 Months After Irma, The State Of Barbuda

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/12/23 - 3:37pm

In September, Hurricane Irma cut across the Atlantic. Barbuda is among the tiny islands in the Caribbean that suffered some of the worst damage. Freelance journalist Anika Kentish has an update.

Categories: Environment

The New Normal? Scientists Say The Fire Season Is Getting Longer And More Destructive

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/12/23 - 3:37pm

This year looks to go down as the worst year on record for wildfires in California. NPR's Ray Suarez discusses with UCLA professor Glen Macdonald about what we can expect moving forward.

Categories: Environment

How Sea Shepherd lost battle against Japan’s whale hunters in Antarctic

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/12/23 - 2:00pm

The Southern Ocean was a sanctuary – but now Japan’s boats have military hardware and conservationists can no longer track them

A fleet of Japanese ships is currently hunting minke whales in the Southern Ocean. It is a politically incendiary practice: the waters around Antarctica were long ago declared a whale sanctuary, but the designation has not halted Japan’s whalers, who are continuing a tradition of catching whales “for scientific research” in the region.

In the past, conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd have mounted campaigns of harassment and successfully blocked Japan’s ships from killing whales. But not this year. Despite previous successes, Sea Shepherd says it can no longer frustrate Japan’s whalers because their boats now carry hardware supplied from military sources, making the fleet highly elusive and almost impossible to track. As a result the whalers are – for the first time – being given a free run to kill minke in the Southern Ocean.

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Categories: Environment

prop guards...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2017/12/23 - 1:59pm
A little close proximity rehearsal for the next monday (Christmas) matinee...49,62,28,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Tesco pledges to end edible food waste by March 2018

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/12/23 - 7:43am

Supermarket announces plans to donate surplus stock to local charities, and urges other chains to follow suit

Tesco is to become the only UK retailer to no longer waste food fit for human consumption.

The company’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, has urged other supermarket chains to follow Tesco’s lead and adopt the changes that it will implement by March 2018.

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Categories: Environment

New lab-bred super corals could help avert global reef wipeout

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/12/23 - 1:00am

Pioneering research on cross-species coral hybrids, inoculations with protective bacteria and even genetic engineering could provide a lifeline for the ‘rainforests of the oceans’

New super corals bred by scientists to resist global warming could be tested on the Great Barrier Reef within a year as part of a global research effort to accelerate evolution and save the “rainforests of the seas” from extinction.

Researchers are getting promising early results from cross-breeding different species of reef-building corals, rapidly developing new strains of the symbiotic algae that corals rely on and testing inoculations of protective bacteria. They are also mapping out the genomes of the algae to assess the potential for genetic engineering.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2017/12/22 - 4:00pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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