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No more green rhetoric. A sustainable future is vital and possible

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/11 - 5:16am

Climate change is at the heart of Labour’s industrial strategy, which means investing in green tech and renewable energy, and divesting from fossil fuels

The climate crisis is the most significant issue facing humanity. Natural disasters are already displacing entire communities. More intense droughts are leading to unprecedented levels of food insecurity and hunger across the globe. This summer saw hurricanes, floods and fires affect hundreds of millions of people from India to Niger, Haiti to Houston. The UK is also vulnerable to climate impacts, with more destructive storms, prolonged floods, and heatwaves becoming the norm.

Our climate reality is increasingly unpredictable and daunting. However, it is also opening the space to collectively reimagine a different future for the UK. Fossil fuels helped ignite the first industrial revolution, but we now know that their continued use will threaten our very existence. Within the UK we have the skills, ingenuity and people to drive the next energy revolution, powered by renewables. For us to make this change a success, our politics must have environmental sustainability and social justice at its core.

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Categories: Environment

Meat tax ‘inevitable’ to beat climate and health crises, says report

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/11 - 4:55am

‘Sin taxes’ to reverse the rapid global growth in meat eating are likely in five to 10 years, according to a report for investors managing over $4tn

“Sin taxes” on meat to reduce its huge impact on climate change and human health look inevitable, according to analysts for investors managing more than $4tn of assets.

The global livestock industry causes 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and meat consumption is rising around the world, but dangerous climate change cannot be avoided unless this is radically curbed. Furthermore, many people already eat far too much meat, seriously damaging their health and incurring huge costs. Livestock also drive other problems, such as water pollution and antibiotic resistance.

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Categories: Environment

Battling a tide of sewage in Brazil: ‘For 17 days we lived with our feet under water’ | Ciro Barros and Iuri Barcelos

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/11 - 4:25am

Residents near the world’s fourth largest hydroelectric power plant say the Belo Monte dam has made their houses prone to floods of waste water

A line on the wall of Carlos Alves Moraes’ house shows the highwater mark of the flood which hit his neighbourhood in August. Houses near the lagoon are built on stilts to protect against seasonal rains, but now, because of the dam, they are prone to flooding throughout the year, he says.

“We spent 17 days in August living here with our feet under water,” he says.

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Categories: Environment

California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/11 - 4:00am

California is burning in December. Climate scientists predicted global warming will make Christmas wildfires more commonplace.

In Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol,’ the Ghost of Christmas Future appears to Ebenezer Scrooge to show what will happen if he doesn’t change his greedy, selfish life. California’s record wildfires are similarly giving us a glimpse of our future hellish climate if we continue with our current behavior.

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Categories: Environment

Why did climate scientists emit 30,000 tonnes of C02 this weekend? | Peter Kalmus

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/12/11 - 1:00am

Around 25,000 of my colleagues flew to a conference, leaving a colossal carbon footprint in their wake. This makes our warnings less credible to the public

This weekend, 25,000 Earth, Sun, and planetary scientists from across the US and abroad flew to New Orleans for the annual American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting. These scientists study the impact global warming is having on Earth. Unfortunately, their air travel to and from the meeting will contribute to that warming by emitting around 30,000 tonnes of CO2.

As an Earth scientist and AGU member myself, I know the importance of their work. Still, there’s something wrong with this picture. As scientists, our work informs us – with dreadful clarity and urgency – that burning fossil fuel is destroying the life support systems on our planet. There’s already more than enough science to know we need to stop. Yet most scientists burn more than the average American, simply because they fly more.

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Categories: Environment

'Not ashamed': dolphin hunters of Taiji break silence over film The Cove

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 9:32pm

Members of the tiny Japanese community, which was vilified in the 2009 documentary, speak to the Guardian about fishing and their way of life

Taiji is still in darkness when a dozen men gather at the quayside and warm themselves over a brazier. While the rest of the town sleeps, they sip from cans of hot coffee, smoke cigarettes and talk in hushed tones.

As soon as the sun edges above the peninsula, they take to their boats, steering out to sea in formation in search of their prey: the dolphin.

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Categories: Environment

Bird keepers at Sydney's Taronga zoo name their favourite Australian birds – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 9:00pm

As the result of the bird of the year poll is made public, Taronga keepers Brendan Host, Lille Madden, Ashleigh Page, Mark Domenici, Leanne Golebiowski and Michael Shiels select their favourites

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Categories: Environment

North Atlantic right whales on the brink of extinction, officials say

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 5:56pm

Fishing nets and lack of food blamed for pushing number of the world’s most endangered marine animal to just 450

Officials with the US federal government say it is time to consider the possibility that endangered right whales could become extinct unless new steps are taken to protect them.

North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world, and they have endured a deadly year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said there are only about 450 of the whales left and 17 of them have died so far in 2017.

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Categories: Environment

Conspiracy theories and celebrity endorsements: how bird of the year played out online

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 5:31pm

The white ibis provoked strong feelings on Twitter throughout the three-week campaign, and the result was never going to please everyone

The three-week campaign to select Australia’s bird of the year has been bitterly fought out on social media, and Monday’s result provoked another round of celebration and recriminations.

Swooping in with an incredible 19,926 votes, of a total of almost 150,000, the Australian magpie took the title, having quietly gained ground over the white ibis (19,083), which had a commanding early lead.

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Categories: Environment

Wales is second best household waste recycler in the world

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 5:01pm

Eco-friendly policies place country second to Germany but England lags far behind other countries according to new research

Wales ranks second in the world for recycling household waste but England lags far behind other European countries, according to new research.

Policies brought in by the Welsh government and a target to be zero waste by 2050 have driven the country up the league table to come in just under Germany. With recycling rates of 63.8% for municipal solid waste, which includes household plastic and other packaging, Wales is set to become the world leader for recycling by next year, according to a report from the environmental analysts Eunomia.

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Categories: Environment

Magpie edges out white ibis and kookaburra as Australian bird of the year

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 4:54pm

Top three birds all backed by more than 10,000 votes in Guardian Australia and BirdLife Australia poll that attracted 150,000 votes

Australian bird of the year results – as it happened

The Australian magpie has been crowned Australian bird of the year for 2017, upsetting the early favourite, the white ibis, and winning 13.3% of the vote.

The magpie received 19,926 votes, followed by the Australian white ibis with 19,083 votes and the laughing kookaburra with 10,953 votes.

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Categories: Environment

Magpie wins Australian bird of the year poll – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 4:40pm

Australian magpie pips the ibis and laughing kookaburra in the Guardian Australia/BirdLife Australia poll after weeks of controversy, a powerful owl voting hack and a strong #teambinchicken social media push

11.28pm GMT

There is a magpie carolling outside my window, calling time on our live coverage of the 2017 Australian bird of the year vote. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic campaigning for our avian friends. We really do have an astonishing variety of birds in Australia and we should celebrate them more often.

I will leave you with some soothing words from Dr John Martin for the ibis lobby, who are still smarting from their shock loss this morning.

Their colonisation of urban areas, and associated shift to a fast-food diet, is a remarkable example of their adaptability …

Truly, if you asked anyone a month ago if the Australian white ibis would come second in a popular vote as the bird of the year I struggle to imagine even one person seriously predicting this result. I would have said it was unlikely to place in the top 50. This is a stunning result.

Related: The mighty ibis did not win Australian bird of the year but it's still a winner | John Martin

11.20pm GMT

More scenes from behind the scenes of the bird of the year vote.

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Categories: Environment

Magpies: how I learnt to grudgingly admire – and then love – the bird of the year | Paul Daley

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 4:30pm

They’re feared for their fierce protection of sovereignty and dive-bombing trespassers, but all is forgiven listening to a pair of magpies warbling in a gumtree

Anodyne eastern suburbs Melbourne seemed less dangerous than any other place in the world when I was a primary school kid.

There was the creek with its tadpoles, turtles and occasional foxes. There was, inevitably, a local haunted house. And there was the path.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 4:04pm
Having a personal relationship with God begins the moment we realize our need for Him, admit we are sinners, and in faith receive Jesus Christ as Savior and know the truth that is The Holy Spirit. God, our heavenly Father, has always desired to be close to us, to have a relationship with us. Before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), both he and Eve knew God on an intimate, personal level. They walked with Him in the garden and talked directly to Him. Due to the sin of man, we became separated and disconnected from God.  Joining a church will not necessarily enhance that relationship.  Don't rely on a self worshiping cult...skip "playing church"...just Jesus in the environment He has created is all you need.
James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.   
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The mighty ibis did not win Australian bird of the year but it's still a winner | John Martin

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 3:50pm

It fell short of victory by a few hundred votes. For a bin chicken, that’s something to celebrate

What happened? Am I missing something, do people actually “like” ibis? I know they didn’t win, but hell, they came second – that’s a win for the bin chicken, surely?!

I like ibis, and I’ve occasionally met people who admit to liking ibis, but overwhelmingly I hear and read comments from people expressing that they do not like ibis. Despite this, the Australian white ibis has become an icon – to individuals, music, documentaries and government. It’s revered by our modern society like its cousin the Sacred Ibis was in ancient Egypt as the god Thoth. Of course, in this instance my interpretation of the word “revered” includes being the butt of many, many jokes and even more memes.

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Categories: Environment

Australian bird of the year 2017: the top 10 – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 2:11pm

So how did your feathered favourite fare? Meet the winners of the 2017 Guardian Australia/BirdLife Australia bird of the year poll. After weeks of controversy, argument over the voting system and at least one hack, the results are in. There's been plenty of colour but here's the result in black and white …

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Categories: Environment

Delays causing needless exposure to dangerous toxins in Australia, advocates say

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 10:01am

A process to review air pollution standards for two toxins began two years ago but consultations are only just starting

Australians are being placed at risk by stalled government action on two dangerous pollutants mainly emitted by coal-fired power stations, environmental experts have warned.

Air pollution places a significant burden on the health of Australians, causing 3,000 deaths each year and a mortality cost of between $11bn and $24bn, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

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Categories: Environment

Northern Territory land-clearing approvals increase nearly tenfold

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 10:00am

Exclusive: environmental groups call on government to freeze land-clearing permits and enforce stricter controls

Australia’s deforestation and land-clearing crisis is spreading from the east coast to the Northern Territory, where land targeted for clearing has increased nearly tenfold in just a few years, with applications approved for enormous amounts of clearing in the past two years.

Vast tracts of land are set to be stripped of native vegetation, with the trees burned, and regrowth controlled with toxic chemicals, in the jurisdiction with limited environmental oversight. On one station alone, an area about one-fifth the size of the ACT is planned to be cleared, most of it intended to allow more cattle to be run.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's greenhouse gas emissions highest on record

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 10:00am

Exclusive: Renewable energy and proper climate policy are key to dropping emissions, carbon consultancy chief says

Australia’s emissions over the past year were the highest on record, when relatively unreliable emissions from land use are excluded, according to estimates by the carbon consultancy NDEVR Environmental.

Greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise in recent quarters, with the most recent the second highest for any quarter since 2011, despite electricity emissions being driven down by wind generation.

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Categories: Environment

North Atlantic right whales could become extinct, US officials say

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/12/10 - 6:49am
  • Noaa scientist: ‘You do have to use the extinction word’
  • Study suggests whales leave protected areas to feed

US federal officials say it is time to consider the possibility that North Atlantic right whales could become extinct, unless new steps are taken to protect them.

Related: North Atlantic’s greatest survivors are hunted once more

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Categories: Environment
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