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Nationals' push for coal-fired power leaves voters cold in Guardian Essential poll

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 12:00pm

Concerted effort to talk up the merits of coal wins over only 18% of voters, but renewables love fades if bills rise quickly

A concerted push by federal Nationals to build more coal-fired power plants as part of the Turnbull government’s energy policy overhaul has been given the thumbs down by voters, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.

Related: The Guardian Essential Report, 20 June results

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 9:32am

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 8:00am

Study shows risks have climbed steadily since 1980, and the number of people in danger will grow to 48% by 2100 even if emissions are drastically reduced

Nearly a third of the world’s population is now exposed to climatic conditions that produce deadly heatwaves, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes it “almost inevitable” that vast areas of the planet will face rising fatalities from high temperatures, new research has found.

Climate change has escalated the heatwave risk across the globe, the study states, with nearly half of the world’s population set to suffer periods of deadly heat by the end of the century even if greenhouse gases are radically cut.

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Categories: Environment

Global warming brews big trouble in coffee birthplace Ethiopia

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 8:00am

Rising temperatures are set to wipe out half of Ethiopia’s coffee-growing areas, with loss of certain locations likened to France losing a great wine region

Global warming is likely to wipe out half of the coffee growing area in Ethiopia, the birthplace of the bean, according to a groundbreaking new study. Rising temperatures have already damaged some special areas of origin, with these losses being likened to France losing one of its great wine regions.

Ethiopia’s highlands also host a unique treasure trove of wild coffee varieties, meaning new flavour profiles and growing traits could be lost before having been discovered. However, the new research also reveals that if a massive programme of moving plantations up hillsides to cooler altitudes were feasible, coffee production could actually increase.

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Categories: Environment

John Oliver on the coal industry: 'Trump needs to stop lying to miners'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 7:42am

On Last Week Tonight, the host discussed the coal mining industry’s loss of jobs and Donald Trump’s promises to revive it during his presidential campaign

John Oliver addressed the topic of coal mining on his show Sunday night, exploring the industry’s loss of jobs and the factors that have led to it.

“Coal,” he began, “basically cocaine for Thomas the Tank Engine. We’ve heard a lot about coal this past year, particularly from President Trump. In fact, arguably the key reason that we have this cautionary Bible story in the White House was his ability to connect with mining communities during the campaign.”

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Categories: Environment

Mozambique: 6,000 animals to rewild park is part-funded by trophy hunting

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 7:17am

Donation of animals by Zimbabwe wildlife conservancy to stock war-torn park could not have happened without big-spending hunters

Call it Noah’s Ark on lorries. Dozens of trucks rolled over the Zimbabwe savanna carrying elephants, giraffe, African buffalo, zebras, and numerous other large iconic mammals. Driving more than 600km of dusty roadway, the trucks will deliver their wild loads to a new home: Zinave national park in Mozambique. The animals are a donation from Mozambique’s Sango Wildlife Conservancy – a gift that the owner, Wilfried Pabst, says would not be possible without funds from controversial trophy hunting.

“In remote places and countries with a weak tourism industry and a high unemployment rate, it is very difficult – or almost impossible – to run a conservancy like Sango without income from sustainable utilisation,” Pabst said.

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Categories: Environment

Wyoming Toads Begin To Recover As States Seek Endangered Species Act Overhaul

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 7:14am

Western lawmakers and members of Congress are pushing to change the Endangered Species Act. They want states to have more control over which animals and plants the act protects.

(Image credit: Cooper McKim/Wyoming Public Radio)

Categories: Environment

Storms cut Big Sur off from the world. But for a price, the trip of a lifetime awaits

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 5:00am

Winter storms lashed this stretch of coastal California, rendering many parts inaccessible, but now wealthy tourists are helicoptering in to this exclusive idyll

When winter storms hammered the 90-mile ribbon of coastal California known as Big Sur, the results were calamitous.

A bridge collapsed in the north and landslides buried chunks of highway further south, cutting off segments totaling 35 miles in between. People fled, abandoning homes and businesses.

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Categories: Environment

New South Korean president vows to end use of nuclear power

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 1:49am

Moon Jae-in said he would lead country towards a ‘nuclear-free era’ following fears of a Fukushima-style meltdown

South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has vowed to phase out the country’s dependence on nuclear power, warning of “unimaginable consequences” from a Fukushima-style meltdown.

Moon, a left-leaning liberal who won last month’s presidential election by a landslide following the impeachment and arrest of Park Geun-hye, said he would increase the role of renewable energy and lead South Korea towards a “nuclear-free era”.

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Categories: Environment

In thrall to the nightjar's ghostly song

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/06/18 - 9:30pm

Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent As if wanting us to appreciate more fully the weird loveliness of its song, the nightjar flew towards us

We found the nightjar on the edge of a young conifer plantation, just before 10pm. The weather rumbled ominously in the background as dusk settled around us, the trees soughing and shushing in the breeze. Willow warblers carolled in the canopy and a fat woodcock roded over.

Luke lit a cigarette, I slapped at midges. We saw the nightjar before we heard him (which is unusual). Just enough light to see white wing patches, plumage like wave ripples on sand. He flew over, tentative, circling, standing on the handle of his tail and clapping his wings a few times, before arrowing off into the trees.

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Categories: Environment

100 years ago: tireless swifts climb, dive and glide

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/06/18 - 2:30pm

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 21 June 1917

The soil responds quickly now to every genial touch. Meadows and clover fields which, after they had been cut and the hay gathered, appeared brown and sere two days ago were this morning, after a spell of rain, as green almost as in spring. The foot sank among rich young leaves and blades along the ditch side below, where wild pink roses have opened as if by some quick stroke or call. On the very top of flowering brambles yellowhammers perched, preening their feathers, and started a little song the last note of which drew out longer than the others. There was a pause and a spell of silence until the song was run through again, the heads of the birds bobbing yellow in the sunshine all the while.

With a rising wind at evening, grey clouds, almost black, came sweeping up the down, scattering the white fruit of dandelions. In the distance they seemed heavy and low enough to envelop you in darkness, but presently it was nothing but a slightly damp flicker wafting across your face. Higher the sky was a clear blue, with long thin flecks depending, which scarcely moved, and in the middle distance swifts circling, diving, now going higher with a tireless flutter of wings, then gliding as they pleased without apparent sign of any kind of power. No matter which way you turn now there are always swifts, and within a few minutes a pair will come down with sharp but sweet cries as they dash above and around. Another and yet another two or three will join them, until, waywardly, all shoot up towards the sky again. So many are they that a lark, strong as his singing is, seems lonely.

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Categories: Environment

think before you speak...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2017/06/18 - 2:25pm
Matthew 12: 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

A weird encounter in deepest Amazonia

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/06/18 - 1:30pm

With its unusual name and even more unusual habits, the hoatzin is a clear frontrunner for the title of the world’s most bizarre bird

We left Romero Rainforest Lodge just before sunrise, heading down the Manú River and into the unknown. The sickly-sweet scent of uvos – a mango-like fruit – wafted across the murky waters, hanging heavy in the humid air.

As dawn broke, birds started to appear out of nowhere. Flocks of sand-coloured nighthawks lived up to their name, hawking acrobatically over the surface of the water to seize unseen insects with their broad bills. As the sky began to lighten, they were joined by black skimmers: elegant, tern-like birds whose huge bill is longer at the bottom than the top, as we could see when one kept pace with our speedboat. Overhead, pairs of gaudy blue-and-yellow macaws flew high over the rainforest, as if in slow motion.

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Categories: Environment

Weather system revamp hopes to bring sunshine to US economy

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/06/18 - 6:00am

New legislation requires NOAA to improve weather research and forecasting, boosting industries from farming and airlines and improving the public warning system

Farmers have been obsessed with weather for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks and Babylonians sought guidance on planting and harvest by surveying the sky for patterns in clouds and stars and by communing with gods – through prayers and animal sacrifices. Modern-day farmers, such as Steve Pitstick, a fifth-generation farmer in Illinois, count on sophisticated instruments for predicting the weather instead.

Related: Thank you: with your help, we raised $50,000 to cover America's public lands

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Categories: Environment

Go To New York City For The Whales

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/06/18 - 4:45am

Humpback whales have been showing up in the waters around New York City. Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with founder of Gotham Whales Paul Sieswerda, who says it's because of environmental efforts.

Categories: Environment

The eco guide to fair trade lite

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/06/17 - 10:00pm

Sainsbury’s has launched a new ‘Fairly Traded’ tea range. Well and good, but the fear is they may seek to swerve Fairtrade’s tough regulations

We know the drill. An appealing product gets listed by a major retailer, becomes well loved by consumers only for that retailer to replace it with an own-brand version.

Sainsbury’s says its new system is up to date, focusing more on climate change

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Sat, 2017/06/17 - 5:50pm
Just had the hottest day so far this year.  Good news is we had a nice overnight low and along with really low humidity, Pepino was able to keep up extraordinarily well.  Just cranked on the AC at 7:30 PM for a little extra end of the day cool down.  On days like this it is good to have an indoor project like working out details for future videos.  105,107,68,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The latest threat to Antarctica: an insect and plant invasion

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/06/17 - 1:54pm
Rise in tourism and warmer climate bring house flies – and the growth of mosses in which they can live

Antarctica’s pristine ice-white environment is going green and facing an unexpected threat – from the common house fly. Scientists say that as temperatures soar in the polar region, invading plants and insects, including the fly, pose a major conservation threat.

More and more of these invaders, in the form of larvae or seeds, are surviving in coastal areas around the south pole, where temperatures have risen by more than 3C over the past three decades. Glaciers have retreated, exposing more land which has been colonised by mosses that have been found to be growing more quickly and thickly than ever before – providing potential homes for invaders. The process is particularly noticeable in the Antarctic peninsula, which has been shown to be the region of the continent that is most vulnerable to global warming.

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Categories: Environment

Record levels of green energy in UK create strange new world for generators

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/06/17 - 8:43am

As renewables play a greater role in the British market, they are making the price of power increasingly unstable

As the sun shone on millions of solar panels and unseasonable gusts turned thousands of turbine blades last Sunday, something remarkable happened to Britain’s power grid.

For a brief period, a record 70% of the electricity for the UK’s homes and businesses was low-carbon, as nuclear, solar and wind crowded out coal and even gas power stations. That afternoon was a glimpse into the future, of how energy provision will look in 13 years’ time because of binding carbon targets.

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Categories: Environment

Photos Of Somalia: The Drought, The People, The Captured Porcupine

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/06/17 - 4:00am

In Somalia, photographer Nichole Sobecki saw how the worsening drought is transforming people's lives.

(Image credit: Nichole Sobecki )

Categories: Environment
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