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Namibia says anthrax could be to blame for deaths of more than 100 hippos

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/10/09 - 8:37am
  • Hippos died in Bwabwata national park in country’s north-east
  • Environment minister says crocodiles may have eaten some of the carcasses

More than 100 hippos have died in Namibia in a remote national park in the past week, the country’s environment minister said on Monday, warning that anthrax could be to blame.

Images from the Bwabwata national park in north-east Namibia showed dozens of lifeless hippos, some flat on their backs, others with just their heads visible above murky water.

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Categories: Environment

India's supreme court bans Diwali fireworks in Delhi to tackle pollution

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/10/09 - 6:57am

Ruling made in effort to halt spike in toxic smog that led to closure of schools, power stations and construction sites last year

India’s supreme court has banned the sale of fireworks in Delhi during the upcoming Diwali festival, hoping to prevent the usual spike in toxic air pollution levels that accompany the holiday.

Last year’s Hindu festival of lights, in which tens of thousands of firecrackers are burst in Delhi over several days, left the city sheeted in toxic smog that forced the closure of schools, power stations and construction sites.

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Categories: Environment

Secrecy around air pollution controls in cars faces legal challenge

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/10/09 - 5:16am

New EU rules that allow car firms to keep their emissions control systems secret from the public risk another dieselgate and should be made illegal, say environmental lawyers

New EU rules that allow car manufacturers to keep pollution control systems secret from the public should be declared illegal, according to environmental lawyers.

The systems can legally cut emissions controls under certain conditions on the road, meaning more pollution is produced. But keeping these strategies secret risks another “dieselgate” scandal, according to ClientEarth lawyers, who announced on Monday that they are seeking to challenge the regulation in the European Union’s court of justice.

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Categories: Environment

Trump’s plan to bail out failing fossil fuels with taxpayer subsidies is perverse | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/10/09 - 3:00am

Coal can no longer compete in the free market, so the Trump administration wants to prop it up with taxpayer subsidies

The conservative philosophy of allowing an unregulated free market to operate unfettered often seems to fall by the wayside when the Republican Party’s industry allies are failing to compete in the marketplace. Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently provided a stark example of this philosophical flexibility when he proposed to effectively pull the failing coal industry out of the marketplace and instead prop it up with taxpayer-funded subsidies.

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Categories: Environment

'Simply stunning': your favourite cycle rides around the world

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/10/09 - 12:27am

Our readers on their most cherished cycling routes, from remote Scottish islands to Japanese mountain ranges

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Categories: Environment

Beautiful light projections on the Tasman Glacier highlight impact of climate change – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 5:41pm

A short film shot by Heath Patterson captures photographer Vaughan Brookfield and Tom Lynch's journey to a New Zealand glacier equipped with hundreds of kilograms of gear and a light projector. Their plan was to project images on to the rapidly receding Tasman Glacier. Brookfield says: 'We want to remind people of the effects humans are having on the environment' 


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Categories: Environment

NSW to approve coalmine blocked by courts for polluting Sydney's drinking water

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 4:33pm

State energy minister Don Harwin says mine that supplies Lithgow’s Mount Piper power station is ‘vital for energy security and affordability’

The New South Wales government will introduce legislation to approve an underground coalmine that was blocked by the courts because it was polluting Sydney’s drinking water.

On Monday the state’s energy minister, Don Harwin, announced the government would overturn a decision by the NSW court of appeal to block the extension of the Springvale colliery.

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Categories: Environment

Three quarters of councils collect general waste once a fortnight

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 4:01pm

With pressure to boost recycling and cut costs, landfill waste in England is collected less frequently – with six councils collecting it once in three weeks

More than three quarters of English councils now pick up household rubbish which cannot be recycled or composted just once a fortnight, a survey reveals.

With councils under pressure to boost recycling and cut costs, some have gone further, with six local authorities picking up residual household waste only once every three weeks.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricane Nate Spares Southern States, Weakening To Tropical Depression

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 2:40pm

The central Gulf Coast is cleaning up from Hurricane Nate. The Category 1 hurricane downed trees and power lines, and caused flooding on the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines.

Categories: Environment

Tasmanian shy albatross embrace artificial nests in bid to boost population

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 10:00am

Birds reproduce only on three remote islands and are listed as ‘vulnerable’

The Tasmanian shy albatross has embraced the idea of settling down in an artificial, specially constructed nest, according to scientists who are trying to boost the population of the endangered seabird.

A trial of the nests was announced in June to help the breeding success of the endangered species, which biologists believe are vulnerable to the environmental effects of climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Fatal extraction: how demand for hippos’ teeth is threatening them with extinction

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 7:00am

The black market’s insatiable demand for ivory has turned poachers’ attention away from well-protected elephants to more vulnerable hippos

It seems almost incomprehensible that the desire for an ivory ornament or piece of jewellery justifies the slaughter of a majestic elephant, but as their populations continue to crash, the ever-hungry black market has become creative in order to satisfy its greed. Now, ivory hunters are setting their sights on everything from arctic narwhals to fossil mammoths. But one unexpected victim of this barbaric practice is the humble hippopotamus. A new study says that a rise in demand for hippos’ teeth is threatening the mammal with extinction.

In many ways, it takes a lot of effort to kill an elephant. They are legally well protected in most countries where they range and international regulations are clear. Also, smuggling large tusks internationally is highly conspicuous. Hippos offer a cheaper and, in many ways, “easier” ivory option. The simple truth is that they are not high on the priority list of the international conservation community. Find a group of wild-living African elephants and, often, they will either be tracked with radio collars or will be the focus of long-term conservation research, intensive ecotourism or determined law-enforcement efforts. Not so with hippos. Unlike their famous savannah cousins, they don’t come with a protective human entourage, meaning poachers can take their time. Additionally, they are not protected especially well at either a national or international level.

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Categories: Environment

Strange and beautiful things under a microscope – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/10/08 - 4:00am

A competition, now in its 43rd year, dedicated to showcasing the beautiful and bizarre as seen under a light microscope attracted over 2,000 entries from 88 countries. Here’s a selection of the winning and commended images from the 2017 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

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Categories: Environment

going live...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 4:57pm
Working on live streaming video again.  Stay tuned...
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Hurricane Nate Expected To Hit Gulf Coast As Category 2

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 3:36pm

Hurricane Nate is intensifying as it takes aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast. People from southeast Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle are bracing for Nate, which forecasters say could strengthen to a Category 2 storm.

Categories: Environment

As Residents Start To Return, Devastated Barbuda Struggles To Rebuild

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 3:36pm

The Caribbean island had to evacuate all its residents when Hurricane Irma hit last month. NPR's Michel Martin catches up with reporter Anika Kentish, who has been following the story of their return.

Categories: Environment

Nearly 70% of Australians oppose government loan for Adani mine – poll

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 3:18pm

ReachTel poll commissioned by Australia Institute shows people believe extending finance to coalmine would damage the country’s reputation

Polling released on Sunday shows Australians are mostly opposed to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, and even more strongly opposed to it getting any government assistance.

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Categories: Environment

Rescue of the olive ridley sea turtle

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 11:00am
Of the millions of eggs laid by the endangered olive ridley sea turtles on one Costa Rican beach, few survive both predators and poachers. But how could allowing local villagers to harvest the eggs be a solution?

Dawn on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast and the dark figure of a man at the water’s edge gradually becomes distinct under a pinkening sky. I switch off my torch. Jairo Quiros Rosales and I are the only people to be seen on this broad black beach, the volcanic sands of which stretch north for several miles. Jairo is beckoning, so I hurry down to him, scanning the beach and murky shoreline. As the light grows, I make out the funereal vultures flecking the distance, and assorted mutts appear from the gloom to sniff the night from the sands.

And then I see them: about 100 metres further up the beach, like strange, regularly humped stones, hundreds of olive ridley sea turtles are making their way from the ocean on to the beach to lay their eggs. This is the arribada. It means “the arrival” in Spanish, and I have been waiting more than a month to see it.

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Categories: Environment

How green is Britain’s record on renewable energy supply?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 8:19am

About half of the power generated in the UK comes from low-carbon sources – here’s a breakdown of the four main sources of electricity

As one of the UK’s renewable energy chiefs has pointed out, electric cars won’t tackle climate change if they run off fossil fuels. Matthew Wright, managing director of Dong Energy UK, said that although plug-in cars could cut local air pollution, it would be a “pyrrhic victory” if they increased greenhouse gases from coal and gas power stations.

“The fit between renewable energy and electric is a natural [one],” he argued. E.ON, one of the big-six energy suppliers, agrees: its dedicated new electric car tariff is supplied with 100% renewable power.

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Categories: Environment

Trump EPA plan will roll back Obama standards on power plant emissions

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 6:15am
  • Measures expected soon are part of promise to revive coal industry
  • Ex-EPA chief: ‘This administration has no intention of following the law’

The Trump administration is moving to roll back the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s attempt to slow global warming, seeking to ease restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Related: Walruses face 'death sentence' as Trump administration fails to list them as endangered

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Categories: Environment
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