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Malawi suffers blackouts as drought exposes 98% reliance on hydro power

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 7:47pm

Shire river, which generates almost all of the country’s power, has fallen to critical levels, leaving major cities struggling

Large parts of Malawi have been plunged into darkness as water levels at the country’s main hydro power plant fell to critical levels due to a severe drought, according to its electricity company.

The impoverished southern African country which relies on hydroelectricity has been hit by intermitted blackouts since last year, but the outages have recently worsened, lasting up to 25 hours.

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Categories: Environment

Water costs in Australia to double within 20 years, report claims

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 6:28pm

Infrastructure Australia says governments should privatise state-owned metropolitan water utility businesses

Australians can expect to pay double for their water supply within 20 years unless there are big reforms, a report from Infrastructure Australia says.

It says a lack of investment in ageing infrastructure, population growth in urban centres and climate change will play a part in pushing up prices.

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Categories: Environment

Feathers and flight: birds in Australian fashion

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 5:24pm

From Florence Broadhurst to Romance Was Born, Australian designers have long looked to birds for design inspiration

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Categories: Environment

Sports Direct and its staffing agencies paid workers £1m too little

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 5:01pm

Retailer, Best Connection and Transline named and shamed by government after having to repay £946,000 in total

Sports Direct and its employment agencies Best Connection and Transline have been named and shamed by the government for paying workers less than the legal minimum wage, underpaying them by nearly £1m.

The companies make up three of the top four underpayers in the latest list published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

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Categories: Environment

Is The Tide Of Antibiotic Use On Farms Now Turning?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 4:13pm

For the first time, government statistics show America's pigs, cattle, and poultry are getting fewer antibiotic drugs. Public health advocates call the new figures encouraging.

(Image credit: Don Ryan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why are ferocious wildfires plaguing southern California?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 3:12pm

A combination of short and longer-term events have conspired to spark a ring of fires that have dotted the Los Angeles area

The exhausted firefighters battling fires that have menaced Los Angeles wouldn’t normally expect to be dealing with such ferocious conflagrations with Christmas just a few weeks away.

Related: California wildfires: winds pose ‘extreme danger’ for Los Angeles

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Categories: Environment

California Wildfires Fanned By Santa Ana Winds

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 2:38pm

The largest wildfire in Southern California is in Ventura County north of Los Angeles. Fast-moving winds have caused the fire to scorch more than 95,000 acres since Monday night.

Categories: Environment

Violence In Jerusalem Follows Trump's Decision To Recognize City As Israel's Capital

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 2:38pm

Palestinians demonstrated and clashed with Israeli troops in protest of President Trump's declaring the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. But mostly they're considering their next steps.

Categories: Environment

Stressed-Out Narwhals Don't Know Whether To Freeze Or Flee, Scientists Find

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 1:22pm

After being caught in a net, narwhals appear to get confused about what to do. Researchers say the whales' befuddlement could provide clues about how they will adapt to a changing Arctic.

(Image credit: Flip Nicklin/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Patagonia files claim against Trump over removing Bears Ears protections

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 11:32am

The company says Donald Trump is exceeding the powers of his office by enacting the largest removal of protection from federal lands in history

A trail run that began years ago in the desert of Utah has brought outdoor retailer Patagonia to an unexpected – and considerably less scenic – crossroads, at a federal courthouse in Washington DC.

Related: Trump slashes size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments in Utah

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Categories: Environment

The brush-turkey is an Aussie battler – and it needs your help | Alicia Burns

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 10:00am

Brush turkeys are often the last holdouts against gentrification. But they still face peril in urban environments and researchers are enlisting citizen scientists to understand how they can better survive

It’s hard not to look at the brush turkey as the avian archetype of the Aussie battler – persisting and thriving, even though the odds are stacked against it. These birds’ work ethic in the face of almost impossible living conditions, environmental hardship and sometimes outright hostility is truly something to behold.

And without diminishing the likely (and deserved) victory of the majestic white ibis in this year’s Bird of the Year poll, it must be said that this year there has also been a lot of talk about – and love and loathing aimed at – the Australian brush turkey.

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Categories: Environment

On this day 10 years ago...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 9:08am
After spending 2 weeks in Alpine planning, McCoys dropped off my first load of building supplies on December 7, 2007.  I was camped on a spot 7 miles from my property where I began building the panels for my house.   Bottom photo is the virgin spot where TFL emerged.  33,36,32, .03",W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Power from mini nuclear plants 'would cost more than from large ones'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 8:30am

UK government study finds electricity would be nearly one-third pricier than it would from plants such as Hinkley Point C

Electricity from the first mini nuclear power stations in Britain would be likely to be more expensive than from large atomic plants such as Hinkley Point C, according to a government study.

Power from small modular reactors (SMRs) would cost nearly one-third more than conventional large ones in 2031, the report found, because of reduced economies of scale and the costs of deploying first-of-a-kind technology.

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Categories: Environment

Chinese ban on plastic waste imports could see UK pollution rise

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 4:58am

Chinese restrictions from January will hit UK recycling efforts and risk plastic waste being stockpiled or ending up in landfill, warn industry leaders

A ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste by the Chinese government from January could see an end to collection of some plastic in the UK and increase the risk of environmental pollution, according to key figures in the industry.

Recycling companies say the imminent restrictions by China – the world’s biggest market for household waste – will pose big challenges to the UK’s efforts to recycle more plastic.

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Categories: Environment

Does Disaster Relief Favor Some States Over Others?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 3:18am

California House members have sent a letter requesting $4.4 billion in federal wildfire relief. Steve Inskeep talks to Rep. Jeff Denham, one of the Republican lawmakers who signed the letter.

Categories: Environment

'We're fighting for our way of life': Republican tax bill presents grave threat to Alaska's tribal groups

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/07 - 12:00am

The Senate tax bill could prise open the vast Arctic national wildlife refuge to oil and gas drilling, and the Gwich’in fear they could be erased from their home

For tribal people in northern Alaska, a Republican tax overhaul that was hastily cobbled together in congressional backrooms 3,000 miles away has raised fears that their entire way of life could be erased from this frigid corner of the US.

The Senate’s tax bill may land a decisive blow in a 30-year environmental battle over the Arctic national wildlife refuge, a vast untrammeled area hailed as America’s Serengeti by conservationists, by finally prising open the wilderness to oil and gas drilling. The region’s Gwich’in people fret that their primary food source, caribou, may be lost, and with it the future of the tribe itself.

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Categories: Environment

'Are you kidding me?' Actors denounce the ibis in Australian bird of the year poll – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/06 - 11:33pm

There was not a lot of love for the ibis on the red carpet for the 2017 Aacta awards in Sydney on Wednesday. Nominees were asked to cast their votes in the Australian bird of the year poll – and passions ran high.
• Lion blitzes Aacta awards as Russell Crowe comments cut from broadcast

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Categories: Environment

Birds of a feather: BirdLife Australia's 2018 calendar – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/06 - 7:10pm

The annual calendar features stunning shots of the red-tailed black cockatoo and the red-capped robin, as well as the shy and unobtrusive painted button-quail, and the crested shrike-tit, which is heard more often than it’s seen

• Vote for Australia bird of the year 2017

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Categories: Environment

Senior Volkswagen Executive Sentenced In Diesel-Emissions Scandal

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/12/06 - 4:01pm

Oliver Schmidt admitted to conspiring to defraud the United States by misleading federal regulators about the emissions of diesel cars and violating clean air laws.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Environment

3 years ago

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/12/06 - 3:18pm

34,45,45, .64",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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