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Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:30pm

Huge and unexplained bloom has fishers racing to save their nets, and scientists hurrying to study the rare animal

A rare, tiny marine creature known as the “unicorn of the sea” has swarmed in its millions on the west coast of America, ruining fishermen’s nets and baffling scientists who are scrambling to find out more about them.

Fishers along the west coast have told researchers that in some places they are unable to catch anything because the pyrosome clusters are so dense and tightly packed. Their hooks, when pulled from the ocean, wriggle with the odd-looking creatures, which are sometimes referred to as “sea pickles” or “fire bodies”.

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Categories: Environment

tweaking my sensitivity...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:30pm
Thanks to plenty of YouTube videos, I have tweaked the control sensitivity of the controller joysticks and camera gimbal movements for smoother operation of the Mavic Pro and its' camera.  The only issue I have now is that my little Samsung tablet doesn't really have enough processor speed to handle the load of data sent from the aircraft.  The screen is really hard to see in direct sunlight (there are sun shades available but they only help a little) and video sent back from the aircraft keeps breaking up and the app crashes if I try to go into the intelligent flight modes.  DJI is about to release a new super bright dedicated tablet specifically for their drones but it is a bit on the pricey side - although it has two (not just one) microSD card slots and an HDMI output port.  An Apple iPad mini 4 seems to work very well but does not have a microSD card slot for extra memory.  On the android end, the best option was the nvidia shield tablet K1 made for gamers as it had plenty of processing power to handle the load.  The problem is - that model has been discontinued and it seems they have nothing new in the pipeline for the foreseeable future.  I still have a ways to go mastering simple maneuvers before I start trying to get fancy so I will live with what I have until I make a decision on an upgrade.  And don't bother with suggestions in the comments - I am well aware of all the options available although I only listed a few above.  Keep in mind that I have done an extraordinary amount of research on this.  It's not that I don't appreciate a helping hand from time to time, but it get's frustrating because most often the suggestions I get have little to do with my real world applications.   That being said - if you personally own and fly a DJI Mavic Pro and have found a tablet that works perfectly, feel free to chime in.  If you do not own a drone but have done a google search for "best tablet for Mavic Pro" - please don't bother sharing.  Been there, done that.  97,99,72,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Australian health groups urge coal phase-out and strong emissions reduction

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 5:10pm

World-first climate and health framework from 30 health and medical groups calls for recognition of citizens’ ‘right to health’

To save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars, Australia should rapidly phase out coal power stations and establish strong emissions reduction targets, according to a coalition of 30 major health and medical groups.

Related: Australia warned it has radically underestimated climate change security threat

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Categories: Environment

Adani mine 'not a positive thing for Australia', Labor's Mark Butler says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 4:56pm

Exclusive: Shadow climate change minister rubbishes idea of federal finance for coal-fired power and says ALP will not back an energy target that includes it

• We need to talk about Finkel (and Adani) – Australian politics live podcast
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The shadow climate change minister, Mark Butler, has blasted the idea that the commonwealth could finance new coal-fired power stations, and is holding to Labor’s declaration that it will not support a clean energy target if coal is in the mix.

In an interview with Guardian Australia’s politics live podcast, Butler has also articulated a significantly tougher line on the controversial Adani coalmine than the Labor leader, Bill Shorten – saying it would “not be a positive thing for Australia for the Adani mine to go ahead”.

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Categories: Environment

Global banks reduce lending to dirtiest fossil fuel companies by billions in 2016

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 2:00pm

World’s largest banks lent $87bn to oil, coal and LNG companies in 2016 – a 22% drop from a collective $111bn worth of lending in 2015

The world’s biggest banks have reduced their lending to some of the most carbon-intensive sectors of the fossil fuel industry by billions of dollars, marking a potentially seismic shift against coal investment, a new study says.

The report commissioned by environmental groups tracked the lending decisions of 37 banks across Australia, the US, Europe, Canada, China and Japan in the first calendar year since the signing of the Paris climate agreement.

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Categories: Environment

Portugal Wrests Control Over Wildfire That Killed More Than 60 People

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 1:58pm

Investigation into what ignited the wildfires, and why they proved so deadly, is just beginning. Some people want a ban on plantings of eucalyptus: a common tree that is extremely flammable.

(Image credit: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Seaford Head search operation launched after large cliff fall

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 11:40am

East Sussex fire and rescue service says it has been called to support coastguard, although no one has been reported missing

A search operation has been launched by firefighters and the coastguard after a large cliff fall, although no one has been reported missing.

East Sussex fire and rescue service says it has been called in to support the coastguard in the search at Seaford Head, which partially collapsed on Wednesday afternoon.

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Categories: Environment

'Ocean Elders' urge Malcolm Turnbull to reject Adani coalmine

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 11:00am

Prominent oceanographers and global leaders write to Australian prime minister and Queensland premier

A group of prominent oceanographers and global leaders has written to Malcolm Turnbull urging him to reject the proposed Adani Carmichael coalmine, which it says will have a devastating impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

The letter from the group Ocean Elders, which includes the renowned marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle, argues that if it goes ahead the coalmine will damage international efforts to mitigate climate change by increasing global carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Worried about climate change? I blame men | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 10:35am
Climate change | Inflammatory language | Plagiarism | The cryptic crossword | North-south divide

Normally I would write to complain about such a gendered phrase as “man-made” (Opinion, 17 June). In the case of “man-made climate change” however, I’m inclined to let it pass. On balance it seems likely that rather more men than women do bear responsibility for the changes which are leading our planet to fry. “Anthropogenic” is a much more elegant word though.
Sylvia Rose
Totnes, Devon

• Virginia Cumming (Letters, 21 June) calls out the Daily Mail for inflammatory language. On page 25, Aditya Chakrabortty declares that “Britain still murders its poor” (Opinion, 21 June) Mote and Beam?
J Moorhead
Gorstage, Cheshire

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Categories: Environment

Scientists rescue ice from melting Bolivian glacier – before it disappears

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 9:04am
  • Samples from Illimani mountain will be taken to Antarctica for preservation
  • Researchers say global warming is rapidly melting the glaciers of the Andes

A team of international scientists are transporting samples of ice from a melting glacier in Bolivia to Antarctica, for study and preservation before the glacier disappears.

The international “Ice Memory” expedition of 15 scientists took samples from the glacier on Illimani mountain in the Andes and will store them in Antarctica at the French-Italian base of Concordia.

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Categories: Environment

Top global banks still lend billions to extract fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 9:00am

Analysis of world’s lenders reveals many claim green credentials while still financing fuels like tar sands, oil and coal

Some of the world’s top banks are continuing to lend tens of billions for extracting the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels, according to a report of top lenders.

Finance provided for these fossil fuels – tar sands and other unconventional oil and gas, as well as coal and liquefied natural gas – amounted to $87bn for the top 37 banks in 2016. That represented a slump of more than a fifth compared with the $111bn raised the previous year, and was also down on 2014’s total of $92bn.

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Categories: Environment

Al Gore: battle against climate change is like fight against slavery

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 6:12am

Former US vice-president says green revolution is bigger than industrial revolution and happening at faster pace than digital revolution

The fight against global warming is one of humanity’s great moral movements, alongside the abolition of slavery, the defeat of apartheid, votes for women and gay rights, according to the former US vice-president and climate campaigner, Al Gore.

The battle to halt climate change can be won, he said, because the green revolution delivering clean energy is both bigger than the industrial revolution and happening faster than the digital revolution.

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Categories: Environment

Domestic appliances guzzle far more energy than advertised – EU survey

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 4:13am

In echo of ‘defeat device’ scandals, one TV increased energy consumption by 47% when tested in real-world viewing

TVs, dishwashers and fridge freezers have been found to guzzle up to twice as much energy as advertised on their energy labels, in a wide-ranging EU product survey.

When tested under real-world conditions, the €400,000, 18-month investigation found widespread overshooting of the goods’ colour-coded A-G energy classes, due to the outmoded and selective test formats on which these have been based.

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Categories: Environment

To lead on climate, leave the ivy tower | Ralien Bekkers, Hillary Aidun, Emily Wier, Geoffrey Supran

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 3:00am

On behalf of students and alumni from all Ivy-Plus universities, we call on our institutions to join the “We Are Still In” coalition

America’s top universities expend considerable efforts to lead in the rankings, but last week they fell short—missing a critical opportunity to show moral leadership on climate change. If top schools want to lead on climate action, they should join the “We Are Still In” coalition, a collection of states, cities, businesses, and universities promising to support the Paris Climate Agreement.

President Trump’s decision to pull out of the international climate accord was swiftly rejected by local and state officials, as well as members of the business and academic community. Over 1,000 leaders have signed on to the “We Are Still In” pledge—including mayors and governors representing about 120 million people. More than 200 colleges and universities have joined. Leadership from these institutions sends a powerful message to President Trump and the globe: even if the federal government reneges on its international commitments, Americans are stepping up to fill the gap.

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Categories: Environment

Conservationists Try To Thwart Climate Change By Planting In Cold Spots

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/06/21 - 2:00am

In the north woods of Minnesota, foresters are planting thousands of pine trees to try to protect them from climate change.

Categories: Environment

Chief scientist defends electricity market review against claims of political motivation

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 11:34pm

Alan Finkel insists his review was independent and says building a new coal-fired power plant would not have long-term impacts on Australia’s electricity market

Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has defended his review into the electricity market against accusations its content was politically motivated.

Speaking to the press club in Canberra on Wednesday, Finkel said also if the federal government incentivised a new coal-fired power plant to be built, it would not have long-term impacts on the electricity market.

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Categories: Environment

Heatwaves are national emergencies and the public need to know

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 11:00pm

Lethal risks of extreme weather are under-reported and government must stop cutting public awareness funds

Hundreds of people across the UK are likely to be killed by a natural disaster this week, but their deaths will not be the subject of ministerial statements or newspaper reports, even though a failure of government policy is partly responsible.

The heatwave conditions are causing preventable deaths partly because large swaths of the population wrongly believe that extremely hot days are becoming less common.

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Categories: Environment

Major publishers move to defend Greenpeace in dispute with logging firm

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 10:30pm

Firms including Penguin Random House and HarperCollins have spoken out about timber company’s ‘dangerous’ moves to quash campaigners’ claims

The world’s biggest book publishers have been dragged into a bitter dispute between a US logging company and environmental campaigners Greenpeace. It follows legal action taken by the logging company, Resolute Forest Products, which campaigners and publishers fear has implications for freedom of speech.

The dispute centres on claims by Greenpeace about the company’s logging practices in sections of Canada’s boreal forest, which are home to indigenous peoples as well as endangered wildlife. Greenpeace alleges that Resolute: “Is responsible for the destruction of vast areas of Canada’s magnificent boreal forest, damaging critical woodland caribou habitat and logging without the consent of impacted First Nations.”

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 5:05pm
Is is always a bad sign when you go to a chicken coop and see feathers everywhere.  Something managed to get into the pen two nights ago and killed Manny.  Chupa was in his own personal pen and was unharmed.  (I have been keeping them separated since they started fighting a couple of weeks ago.)  Strange thing is, Chupa was just as vulnerable in his pen as Manny was.  I reinforced the main pen and Chupa made it through last night unscathed.  I couldn't find my game cam so I just got a new one today.  Perhaps I will find what evil is lurking out there tonight.  93,96,74,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

'Tassal’s pulp mill moment': the battle over Tasmania's $30m salmon farm

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 4:30pm

More than 1,000 people, spread across 300 boats, protested against the shallow-water fish farm at Okehampton Bay

A proposed $30m salmon farm development on Tasmania’s pristine east coast and legal challenges against Tassal’s other operations are creating a storm of opposition that has been compared to campaigns against the infamous Gunns pulp mill.

More than 1,000 people, spread across 300 boats and Hobart’s Constitution Dock, staged a protest on Sunday opposing Tassal’s development of a new shallow-water fish farm at Okehampton Bay near Triabunna, about 90km from Hobart.

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Categories: Environment
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