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Beached sperm whale in Cleethorpes feared to have died

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 1:01pm

Distressed mammal was reported at lunchtime on Friday, but marine rescue service arrived too late to save it

A sperm whale is feared to have died after it washed up on the Lincolnshire coast.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) was called at about 12.15pm on Good Friday to help with a “large stranded whale” on the beach at Cleethorpes. The charity said the whale had been spotted “upright in the water” at about midday, but by the time it reached the beach, it was stranded on its side.

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Categories: Environment

California: stunning shift as parched reservoirs replenished by storms

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 9:05am

Reservoirs whose water levels had plummeted during punishing drought have recovered – but officials warn of ‘weather whiplash’

Water levels fell so low in key reservoirs during the depth of California’s drought that boat docks sat on dry, cracked land and cars drove into the center of what should have been Folsom Lake.

Those scenes are no more after a series of powerful storms dumped record amounts of rain and snow across California, replenishing reservoirs and bringing an end – mostly – to the state’s three-year drought.

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Categories: Environment

Green groups sue to stop Ohio from leasing state parks for oil and gas drilling

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 8:55am

New law – condemned as ‘illegitimate giveaway to the oil and gas industry’ – requires state parks to be leased to interested parties

Environmental groups have launched a last-minute effort to halt an extraordinary new law in Ohio that requires government agencies to lease state parks and other public state lands to the oil and gas industry.

A temporary injunction filed on Thursday seeks to put the brakes on legislation that requires state parks to be leased for fracking and which redefines the potent greenhouse gas methane as “green energy”. The law was due to go into effect on 7 April, but the court has not yet responded to the injunction.

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Categories: Environment

Coal seam gas waste plan risks washing ‘5m tonnes of salt into the Murray-Darling Basin’

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 8:00am

Critics say a proposal to dispose of salt from waste brine by burying it in lined landfill is ‘not a long-term solution’

Local landholders and advocacy groups in southern Queensland have criticised the state government’s plans to store millions of tonnes of coal seam gas waste in lined landfills, saying it risks contaminating the Murray-Darlin Basin.

They have also questioned the integrity of the government’s long-awaited waste management action plan for coal seam gas brine, saying it relies on research from oil and gas lobby group the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) and the University of Queensland Centre for Natural Gas, whose donors include Arrow Energy, Australia Pacific LNGand Santos.

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Categories: Environment

Toxic PFAS not necessary to make fabric stain repellent, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 3:00am

Research found that ‘forever chemicals’ had ‘no practical benefit’ in repelling water and stains as compared with untreated fabric

A new peer-reviewed study calls into question how well PFAS-based products repel water and stains in furniture, shoes, clothing, carpeting, outdoor gear and other consumer goods made of fabric.

Most water and stain repellents applied to fabrics worldwide use toxic PFAS as a main ingredient, and though the controversial chemicals are in thousands of products, water and stain repellency are two of their main consumer functions.

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Categories: Environment

Leaks from Minnesota nuclear power plant raise safety fears across US

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 3:00am

Leaks were contained and posed no danger, official reports say, but past disasters continue to cause fears of power source

In December, Janica Jammes started a microgreens business in the basement of her home in Big Lake, Minnesota, just across the river from Xcel Energy’s nuclear plant in Monticello.

At least once each day, she uses water from her well to nourish the plant trays. She delivers her product to customers within a 10-mile radius and says the business has been a success.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/07 - 12:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife photographs, including a rare leopard, very deep-swimming fish and baby ducks

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Categories: Environment

‘I still can’t handle the big ones’: the new wave of spider hunters scouring Britain’s heaths

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 10:00pm

Having already discovered the presumed extinct great fox-spider, Mike Waite goes hunting on MoD land armed with a pair of his wife’s tights, an old medicine syringe and plastic cups

As a spider-hunting specialist, Mike Waite’s artillery of choice is a pooter. It’s a homemade sucking contraption made from his daughter’s old Calpol syringe and a pair of his wife’s tights (“I like to think they were old ones”), which he uses as a filter so he doesn’t inhale any spiders.

I’m with Waite, from Surrey Wildlife Trust, on Brentmoor Heath, which is partly owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and managed by the trust. It sounds like New Year’s Eve, with continuous bangs from the shooting range. We’re in the buffer zone, on lowland heathland, where the public are allowed and spiders are just waking up from their winter slumber. We see a wolf spider, a gorilla jumping spider, and a raft spider (which recently featured on David Attenborough’s Wild Isles) all in a single morning.

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Categories: Environment

Value of Australian lithium exports tipped to match thermal coal in five years

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 8:00am

Revenue from mining key metal used in EV batteries to triple by 2027-28 while thermal coal exports set to fall by more than 70%

Exports of Australian lithium – a key metal used in batteries – are expected to earn as much as sales of thermal coal within five years, as the world increasingly embraces clean energy and the market value of fossil fuels falls.

New data released by the Australian government forecasts local lithium production will double and the industry’s revenue will triple by 2027-28 compared with last financial year.

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Categories: Environment

State actor still main suspect behind Nord Stream sabotage, says investigator

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 6:54am

Swedish prosecutor casts doubt over theories that independent group was responsible for pipeline blasts

The Swedish prosecutor investigating the Nord Stream sabotage attack has said the “clear main scenario” was that a state-sponsored group had been involved, seemingly casting doubt over theories that posited an independent group was responsible for the pipeline blasts.

Mats Ljungqvist told Reuters on Thursday that though a non-state-backed plot was still theoretically possible, the type of explosive used in the bombings ruled out a “large portion of actors”.

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Categories: Environment

Greenhouse gas emissions rose at ‘alarming’ rate last year, US data shows

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 6:15am

Noaa report shows rapid increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide

Record temperatures, devastating floods and superstorms are causing death and destruction across the planet but humans are failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions fueling the climate emergency, new US data shows.

Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide – the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity that are the most significant contributors to global heating – continued to increase rapidly during 2022, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

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Categories: Environment

UK agency has backed billions’ worth of aviation deals since Paris agreement

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 4:00am

Government’s UKEF criticised for ‘locking us all into more carbon emissions for decades to come’ with assistance for the sector

A UK government agency has financially supported the high-carbon aviation industry with billions of pounds since the Paris climate agreement was adopted, it can be revealed.

The effective subsidy for new airports, aircraft and maintenance comes despite the agency believing the oil-dependent sector is unlikely to begin cutting emissions “materially” before the next decade.

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Categories: Environment

A US city received $500,000 to remove lead pipes – and still hasn’t spent it

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 3:00am

Troy, New York, has yet to remove a single lead pipe five years after getting the money. What went wrong?

In 2018, almost 30 cities across New York state received federal money to carry out a specific, urgent task: removing lead service lines that poison drinking water.

The city of Troy – which sits across the Hudson River and just north of Albany – was among them, receiving $500,000. But five years later, city leaders have failed to spend a single dollar of that money, and have yet to remove a single lead pipe.

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Categories: Environment

Rains bring California lake back from the dead: ‘We’re surrounded by water’

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 3:00am

Tulare Lake was drained a century ago. Now locals fear flooding as agencies rush in sandbags and rebuild levees

Kayode Kadara is worried about the rising waters near his home. Just a few months ago, this landscape in California’s Central Valley was a dry basin filled with pistachio and almond groves.

Then a winter of historic rain and snow brought Tulare Lake – a huge freshwater body drained a century ago by agricultural canals – rushing back from the dead. Workers from state agencies have brought sandbags in by helicopter, rebuilt levees and constructed walls to hold the deluge back.

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Categories: Environment

Harvard professor lobbied SEC on behalf of oil firm that pays her lavishly, emails show

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/06 - 2:00am

Environmental law professor Jody Freeman urged to cut ties with ConocoPhillips, which pays her more than $350,000 a year

The Harvard environmental law professor at the centre of a conflict-of-interest row lobbied the regulator on behalf of the oil and gas company that pays her more than $350,000 a year, a new investigation can reveal.

Emails seen by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) show that Jody Freeman facilitated a meeting between a director at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and ConocoPhillips, one of the world’s worst polluters that is pushing to weaken forthcoming climate regulations. The company’s Willow drilling project in Alaska was recently approved by the Biden administration, despite scientists warning it will be catastrophic for global heating.

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Categories: Environment

Not for the pot: how ‘V-notching’ lobsters may help save them

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/05 - 10:30pm

Cornishman Ned Bailey has caught and returned ‘notched’ lobsters for years as part of a broader effort to preserve stocks. But many fishers do not

Ned Bailey has spent the best part of four decades fishing off the south coast of Cornwall. Today, in his yellow oilskins and accompanied by his wind-tousled collie spaniel, the 58-year-old is doing the rounds in the Falmouth estuary, hauling up a string of rust-darkened lobster pots.

He tosses out stray crabs, several starfish and a squirming conger eel. Every so often he pulls out a lobster: if the carapace is over 90mm (3.5in) long, he keeps it; if not, it’s thrown back into the sea, in line with regulations.

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Categories: Environment

Australia news live: Dutton has ‘chosen to spread misinformation and confusion’ on voice referendum, regional Indigenous leaders say

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/05 - 8:58pm

Coalition of 13 regional Indigenous leaders points out Australian parliament’s votes are only 227 among nearly 18 million. Follow the day’s news live

Former Tasmanian Liberal premier condemns party’s opposition to voice

Tasmania is the last Liberal state government left in the country and its former premier has taken to social media this morning to speak out against the federal party’s decision to oppose the voice to parliament.

Should the Liberal party maintain its opposition to the voice it will simply accelerate its increasing irrelevance.

I have asked for Cyber Security NSW to issue advice to NSW government employees, to implement this change as soon as possible.

I will no longer be using TikTok.

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Categories: Environment

Ministers treating coastal areas like ‘open sewers’, says Labour

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/05 - 4:03pm

Shadow minister submits bill to curb spills as Environment Agency reveals sewage was dumped for almost 1m hours last year

Ministers have treated coastal communities as if they are “open sewers”, Labour has said, after a damaging analysis of Environment Agency (EA) data revealed sewage was dumped for almost a million hours last year.

In total, the data – which was analysed by the party – shows 141,777 sewage-dumping events occurred across 137 constituencies on the coasts of England and Wales in 2022.

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Categories: Environment

Police appeal for return of platypus spotted travelling on Brisbane train

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/05 - 3:01pm

Two people were seen boarding the train with the animal wrapped in a towel

A platypus believed to have been taken from the wild and transported on a Brisbane train urgently needs to be returned to its natural environment, officials say.

Two people were spotted boarding the train at Morayfield on Tuesday with a platypus wrapped in a towel, Queensland police said.

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Categories: Environment

Climate experts hit back at Australian politician’s bizarre theory about gravity’s role in global heating

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/04 - 5:00pm

Gerard Rennick met with scorn, derision and plenty of corrections over viral tweet and claim that scientists are ‘cancelling gravity’

An Australian senator has attempted to undermine the entire theory of the greenhouse effect with a bizarre viral claim that scientists have been ignoring gravity’s role in heating the planet.

The tweet from the Queensland senator Gerard Rennick, a member of the conservative Liberal National party of Queensland which is part of the main opposition Coalition, has gone viral this week and has been met with scorn, derision and plenty of corrections from high-profile climate scientists.

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Categories: Environment
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