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The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 5:05pm
Three loaves perfected...one more to go.  63,69,48,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

If business leaders want to regain our trust, they must act upon climate risk | Ian Dunlop

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 4:29pm

Empty rhetoric from corporates is not enough as climate change is accelerating far faster than expected

Business leaders seem astonished that community trust in their activities is at an all-time low, trending toward the bottom of the barrel inhabited by politicians. To the corporate leader dedicated to the capitalist, market economy success story of the last 50 years, that attitude is no doubt incomprehensible and downright ungrateful.

Related: Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by 'crazy' temperature rises

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Categories: Environment

Death by a thousand cuts: the familiar patterns behind Australia's land-clearing crisis

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 1:09pm

The land-clearing crisis has been hastened by individual decisions, but it’s supported by a network of power brokers, lawmakers and enforcement agencies

The broadscale denuding of the unique Australian landscape is the result of thousands of landholders making a tapestry of individual decisions.

Over the past few years, millions of hectares of land has been cleared of native vegetation, exacerbating climate change, the decline of threatened species and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

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Categories: Environment

Biofuels can help solve climate change, especially with a carbon tax | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 3:00am

We’re not yet optimizing biofuel production for both economic and environmental factors

Facing the reality of human-caused warming, we now look for ways to reduce the problem so that future generations will not inherit a disaster. So, what can we do now to help the future?

The easiest answer is to use energy more wisely and quit wasting our precious resources. Second, we can increase our use of clean energy, particularly wind and solar power. These are great starts but we will still need some liquid fuels and for those, we can make decisions about the best fuels for the environment. There has been extensive conversation recently about biofuels and how they may help solve the climate problem.

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Categories: Environment

Green Investment Bank: why did ministers dodge the real problem? | Nils Pratley

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 2:51am

Government should have got binding commitments a private owner would continue to invest

The government’s £1.6bn sale last year of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to the Australian financial outfit Macquariewas a shambles, it was argued here at the time, and now the public accounts committee agrees. The rough summary of its report runs as follows: in their eagerness to trim a few quid from the national debt ministers accepted a few airy pledges from Macquarie about future investment and called them commitments.

The MPs’ verdict makes a nonsense of the government’s claim that a sale would deliver “the best of both worlds” – value for money and a new owner that would definitely use GIB to support UK energy policy and invest in low-carbon infrastructure. The price tag looks OK since the Treasury made a profit of £186m, but the boast about Macquarie’s good intentions has been exposed as an exercise in hopeful assumptions. The Aussie financiers may decide to play ball, but, if they don’t, there is little the government will be able to do.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's kerbside recycling system in crisis following China ban

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/14 - 12:24am

Recycling industry in Victoria and NSW on verge of collapse, Senate inquiry told

Australia’s kerbside recycling systems are at risk of collapse, a Senate inquiry has heard. China’s ban on importation of recyclable rubbish has left councils and state governments in Victoria and New South Wales scrambling to find space to stockpile growing mounds of waste.

An estimated half of Australia’s recyclable waste was going to China before the ban, the hearing was told, although the precise share of waste exported was not known.

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Categories: Environment

Toast bread straight from the freezer to avoid waste, campaign urges

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 11:01pm

UK households throw away 24m slices of bread each day, says anti-food waste campaign

Around 24m slices of bread are thrown away every day in the UK – more than a million an hour – because people do not get around to using it in time and worry it is stale.

Now a new campaign from the anti-waste charity Love Food Hate Waste is urging consumers to freeze bread and toast it straight from the freezer, and to consider eating toast as a snack at any time of day.

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Categories: Environment

Mummy's boys: young ibises all wrapped up as presents for the gods

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 6:30pm

They might be disparaged as bin chickens now but in ancient Egypt they were revered

In Australia they’re reviled as bin chickens. But in ancient Egypt, ibises were revered and offered as gifts to the gods.

Two mummified ibises have given researchers at the University of Sydney a riveting insight into their ancient appeal.

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Categories: Environment

Cape York property with tree-clearing plans given part of $4m reef funding

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 5:23pm

Conservationists say proposal would make sediment problems on the reef – which funding is designed to prevent – much worse

A property in Queensland with one of the biggest tree-clearing proposals in Australia, and which is specifically identified by experts as a risk to Great Barrier Reef water quality, is one of the beneficiaries of a $4m federal government reef water quality program.

Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Andrew Picone said that it showed the federal government “isn’t taking its reef commitments seriously” since the proposed clearing would exacerbate the very problem the funding is meant to mitigate.

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Categories: Environment

Green Investment Bank sell-off process 'deeply regrettable', say MPs

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 5:01pm

Committee says government should have got stronger commitments on bank’s future

MPs have accused the government of a “deeply regrettable” failure to put in place strong guarantees that the UK’s green investment bank will continue to support renewable energy after its privatisation.

The public accounts committee said it was unclear whether the bank would continue to support the government’s energy policy or climate change goals, because the bank’s new owner is not legally bound to stick to its green aims.

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Categories: Environment

World’s great forests could lose half of all wildlife as planet warms – report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 5:01pm

From the Amazon to Africa, WWF report predicts catastrophic losses of as much as 60% of plants and 50% of animals by the end of the century

The world’s greatest forests could lose more than half of their plant species by the end of the century unless nations ramp up efforts to tackle climate change, according to a new report on the impacts of global warming on biodiversity hotspots.

Mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds are also likely to disappear on a catastrophic scale in the Amazon and other naturally rich ecosysterms in Africa, Asia, North America and Australia if temperatures rise by more than 1.5C, concludes the study by WWF, the University of East Anglia and the James Cook University.

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Categories: Environment

a new void...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 4:23pm

Finally found a new home for all that insulation that was gifted to me six years ago.  I kinda miss those piles already.  62,69,48.0.B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Birdwatch: beguiling song of the serin

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 2:30pm

The liquid tinkling of this tiny finch adds to the springtime chorus in Spain but can we expect to see the bird in Britain?

Under a fiercely blue sky, the sun shines down on groves of oranges and almond blossom. I am in the mountain village of Sella, in Spain’s Alicante province, enjoying a sneak preview of spring – a month or more before it arrives in Britain.

The migrant birds are not yet back, but half a dozen different butterflies are on the wing and birdsong fills the air. The scratchy sound of Sardinian warblers, the metallic song of the black redstart, and, from every little bush and tree, the liquid tinkling of serins.

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Categories: Environment

Plastic tax: coffee cups and food packaging could face levy

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 12:23pm

Phllip Hammond accused of delaying action after he announces consultation

Everyday single-use plastic items such as disposable coffee cups, takeaway boxes and polystyrene packaging could be hit with charges akin to the 5p levy on plastic bags, the government has warned.

The Treasury said it was looking at changes to taxation and new levies to tackle plastic waste, but campaigners and politicians accused the government of delaying action.

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Categories: Environment

UK farmers to be given first ever targets on soil health

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 9:52am

New bill will be first step by ministers to protect and restore soil as fears grow over a future soil fertility crisis

A new bill will be brought before parliament this year mandating, for the first time, measures and targets to preserve and improve the health of the UK’s soils, amid growing concern that we are sleepwalking into a crisis of soil fertility that could destroy our ability to feed ourselves.

The UN has warned that the world’s soils face exhaustion and depletion, with an estimated 60 harvests left before they are too degraded to feed the planet, and a 2014 study in the UK found matters are not much better, estimating 100 harvests remaining.

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Categories: Environment

Extreme winter weather becoming more common as Arctic warms, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 9:00am

Scientists found a strong link between high temperatures near the pole and unusually heavy snowfall and frigid weather farther south.

The sort of severe winter weather that has rattled parts of the US and UK is becoming more common as the Arctic warms, with scientists finding a strong link between high temperatures near the pole and unusually heavy snowfall and frigid weather further south.

A sharp increase in temperatures across the Arctic since the early 1990s has coincided with an uptick in abnormally cold snaps in winter, particularly in the eastern US, according to new research that analyzed temperature data from 1950 onwards.

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Categories: Environment

Bye, Bye Birdies?

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 8:18am

It's the 100th anniversary of one of the nation's first environmental laws, which protects migratory birds.

Categories: Environment

Rain or shine: new solar cell captures energy from raindrops

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 6:15am

New device is designed to prevent power output plummeting when the sun isn’t shining – but practical application is still some years off

A solar panel that can generate electricity from falling raindrops has been invented, enabling power to flow even when skies cloud over or the sun has set.

Solar power installation is soaring globally thanks to costs plunging 90% in the past decade, making it the cheapest electricity in many parts of the world. But the power output can plummet under grey skies and researchers are working to squeeze even more electricity from panels.

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Categories: Environment

Krill fishing poses serious threat to Antarctic ecosystem, report warns

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/13 - 1:01am

Greenpeace finds industrial fishing taking place in the feeding grounds of whales and penguins, with vessels involved in oil spills and accidents

Industrial fishing for krill in the pristine waters around Antarctica is threatening the future of one of the world’s last great wildernesses, according to a new report.

The study by Greenpeace analysed the movements of krill fishing vessels in the region and found they were increasingly operating “in the immediate vicinity of penguin colonies and whale feeding grounds”.

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Categories: Environment

Q&A: Australia's immigration rate should be cut in half, Bob Carr says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/03/12 - 4:13pm

Former foreign affairs minister says the benefits of immigration could be preserved but effects managed by slowing down rate

The former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr has called for Australia to cut its immigration rate in half, declaring that the country’s experiment of running the fastest rate of immigration in the world was an experiment that was failing.

Monday’s ABC Q&A program concentrated on just one issue: Australia’s immigration levels and the pressures on our cities. As well as Bob Carr, the panel included experts on housing, development, the environment and migration policy.

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Categories: Environment
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