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Carnival Cruise Lines Hit With $20 Million Penalty For Environmental Crimes

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 11:22am

The company has a long history of dumping plastic trash and oily waste from its ships, with violations dating back to 1993. In 2016, its Princess subsidiary agreed to pay $40 million for pollution.

(Image credit: Casey Rodgers/AP)

Categories: Environment

'Crackpot stuff': Coalition MPs' call for nuclear power inquiry rejected by Greens

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 11:00am

Sarah Hanson-Young says the Nationals who have raised nuclear energy are ‘lunatic cowboys’

The Greens have labelled Coalition MPs pushing for an inquiry into nuclear power as “lunatic cowboys”, pledging to block any move to overturn Australia’s nuclear ban in the Senate.

As conservative MPs move to establish a Senate inquiry into nuclear power when parliament returns next month, the Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has invited the former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to debate her in the “town he thinks it should be built”.

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Categories: Environment

$3 Million Settlement Revealed In High-Profile Fracking Case

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:50am

The settlement is now public because of computer error. Pennsylvania families, whose ordeal was detailed in a Pulitzer-winning book, claimed air, groundwater and soil contamination.

(Image credit: Reid R. Frazier/The Allegheny Front/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

Categories: Environment

France to ban destruction of unsold consumer products

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:31am

More than €650m worth of new goods destroyed or thrown away each year, says PM

France’s prime minister has announced a crackdown on the destruction of unsold or returned consumer products, a move that will affect luxury goods brands and online retailers such as Amazon.

Edouard Philippe said a ban on destroying non-food goods – including clothes, electrical items, hygiene products and cosmetics – would come into force within the next four years.

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Categories: Environment

Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon surges to record high

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 9:14am

Environmentalists fear 2019 will be one of worst years for deforestation in recent memory

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon surged last month to the highest May level since the current monitoring method began, prompting concerns that president Jair Bolsonaro is giving a free pass to illegal logging, farming and mining.

The world’s greatest rainforest – which is a vital provider of oxygen and carbon sequestration – lost 739sq km during the 31 days, equivalent to two football pitches every minute, according to data from the government’s satellite monitoring agency.

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Categories: Environment

Latest data shows steep rises in CO2 for seventh year

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 8:58am

Readings from Hawaii observatory bring threshold of 450ppm closer sooner than had been anticipated

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by the second highest annual rise in the past six decades, according to new data.

Atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas were 414.8 parts per million in May, which was 3.5ppm higher than the same time last year, according to readings from the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, where carbon dioxide has been monitored continuously since 1958.

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Categories: Environment

Carnival Corp. Agrees To $20 Million Fine For Pollution Violations

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/04 - 2:00am

Executives with Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise line, were in court explaining why its ships continue to dump plastics and other pollutants into waters in the Caribbean and Alaska.

Categories: Environment

'A horrible way to die': how Chernobyl recreated a nuclear meltdown

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 10:00pm

From ‘painting on’ radiation sickness to making the explosion less ‘Die Hard’, the acclaimed drama has gone to great lengths to evoke the chaos and terror of the Soviet-era disaster

We were lucky to have survived the Cold War without a nuclear attack. The pop culture of that chilly era warned what the bomb would do: the crisping of the skin; the slow agony of radiation sickness; the pollution of the land; and the death of cities.

The bomb didn’t explode, but some people experienced a fragment of this horror. The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 brought explosions, radiation sickness, evacuations, contaminated earth and, finally, medals awarded and memorials erected. It was war after all – but not against the west; this was another type of nuclear enemy.

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Categories: Environment

Australian musicians band together to invest in solar farms

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 1:26pm

Exclusive: Midnight Oil, Cloud Control, Vance Joy and Regurgitator join FEAT., a new platform encouraging their industry to back sustainability

In the spring of 2017, immediately after the release of the Australian band Cloud Control’s third album, Zone, the band’s keyboard player, Heidi Lenffer, was contemplating what their upcoming tour would cost. But this time she wasn’t just thinking about the money; she was thinking about emissions. Independent bands are used to running on a shoestring budget – a carbon-conscious Lenffer wanted Cloud Control to run a more environmentally efficient operation, too.

She began asking climate scientists in the field, and connected with Dr Chris Dey from Areté Sustainability. Dey crunched the numbers for Cloud Control’s two-week tour, playing 15 clubs and theatres from Byron Bay to Perth.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland government workers exposed to 'gene-altering' chemical

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Medical experts say exposure to toxic fumigant EDB in fruit fly eradication program ‘likely’ to have caused illnesses
• How Queensland government workers paid the price for fruit fly eradication

Queensland government biosecurity workers were exposed to a carcinogenic and gene-altering chemical for an extended period, including for six months after its use was banned amid health and safety concerns.

A leading occupational medical expert says that workers’ exposure to the highly toxic fumigant ethylene dibromide (EDB) in the mid-1990s was “more likely than not” the cause of debilitating and serious illnesses suffered over two decades.

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear power doesn't stack up without a carbon price, industry group says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 11:00am

Nuclear could provide cheap energy but would only be competitive with gas and coal if carbon pollution is priced, nuclear association says

Australia would need to adopt a carbon price for nuclear power to be economically viable, a peak lobby group for the sector says, as it welcomes a push by the Nationals for a fresh Senate inquiry into the idea.

The Australian Nuclear Association, which advocates for nuclear science and technology, said nuclear power could provide cheap, reliable, carbon-free energy in Australia, but it would only be cost competitive with gas and coal generation if pollution was priced.

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 10:04am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Climate crisis seriously damaging human health, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 9:57am

National academies say effects include spread of diseases and worse mental health

A report by experts from 27 national science academies has set out the widespread damage global heating is already causing to people’s health and the increasingly serious impacts expected in future.

Scorching heatwaves and floods will claim more victims as extreme weather increases but there are serious indirect effects too, from spreading mosquito-borne diseases to worsening mental health.

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Categories: Environment

'Underland' Connects Us To Dazzling Worlds Beneath Our Feet

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/06/03 - 6:52am

The beauty of Robert Macfarlane's writing, and of the natural world it describes, is immense. His words also act as a warning, ensuring a recognition of human harms to the environment.

(Image credit: W.W.Norton & Co. )

Categories: Environment

'So much land under so much water': extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 11:00pm

As relentless rain wreaks havoc in the farm belt, many struggle to cope

Even with half of the houses on her street underwater, Dina Barker looked at the numbers and calculated that it was worth holding out.

The rate at which water was pouring out of the rain-swollen Keystone dam less than 10 miles up the Arkansas River had been enough to submerge most of Barker’s neighbourhood in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, last week. But her house sits on a small rise just feet from the pop-up lake that rose in hours as the surging river broke the town’s flood walls.

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Categories: Environment

Pensions must do right thing on climate crisis, says minister

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 10:01pm

Call for support for schemes moving people’s money from fossil fuels into renewables

Pension schemes should be supported for moving people’s money out of fossil fuels and into renewables because the financial risks from the climate crisis are “too important to ignore”, a government minister will say on Monday.

The pensions minister, Guy Opperman, is due to tell a conference that pension and investment managers must “do the right thing” and take their environmental and social responsibilities seriously to help combat the climate emergency.

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Categories: Environment

'They are amazed': New York City sees extraordinary leap in whale sightings

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 10:00pm

A total of 272 whales were spotted last year, compared with five in 2011, thanks to legislation mopping up pollution, experts say

For most New Yorkers, wildlife spotting is confined to squirrels, the odd raccoon and anguished encounters with rats. But in the waters surrounding the city a very different animal experience is quietly booming: sightings of whales.

A total of 272 whales were spotted in New York City waters last year, according to the citizen science group Gotham Whale. That is an extraordinary leap from 2011, when just five of the huge cetaceans were witnessed frolicking near the most populated urban area in the US.

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Categories: Environment

We must mobilise for the climate emergency like we do in wartime. Where is the climate minister? | Ian Dunlop and David Spratt

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 5:59pm

Unfortunately, much scientific knowledge produced for climate policymaking is conservative and reticent

The second Morrison ministry contains no one with nominal responsibility for “climate” in any sense, despite the fact that it is the greatest threat facing the country. Angus Taylor, who spent much of his pre-parliamentary career fighting windfarms, claiming repeatedly that there is “too much wind and solar” in the system, is now minister for energy and emissions reduction. No mention of climate here, despite the fact that climate is what it is all about, or should be.

Sussan Ley has been made the environment minister, but more intriguing, David Littleproud is minister for water resources, drought, rural finance, natural disaster and emergency management. Let’s take another look at this: water (or lack thereof) … drought … disaster … emergency management.

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Categories: Environment

temptation...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 1:00pm
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

To Some Solar Users, Power Company Fees Are An Unfair Charge

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/06/02 - 6:01am

Alabama has some of highest solar fees in the U.S. and critics say it's hurting solar customers. It's one of several states where utilities are proposing or raising fees for homes with rooftop solar.

(Image credit: Julia Simon for NPR)

Categories: Environment
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