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Feral horses are incompatible with a world heritage area. It's one or the other | David M Watson

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/10 - 7:49pm

After the NSW government gave them heritage protection with the brumby bill, I had no choice but to quit the NSW threatened species scientific committee

Last year, I drove up to the New South Wales high country with my oldest son. We arrived at Geehi, found a camp site, rigged up our rods and waded into the crystal clear water, hoping to snag a trout. Between casts, my attention was drawn to a pair of black cockatoos, sailing overhead. Looking up, I noticed the main range of Kosciuszko. Ancient and imposing, granite worn smooth by rain and snow, embroidered with lichens and wildflowers. I don’t know how long we stood there, in silent awe of the jagged peaks, but it’s a treasured moment frozen in time.

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Categories: Environment

Enjoy the ride?

The Field Lab - Sun, 2018/06/10 - 12:18pm
So social media is flooded with "suicide awareness" this week. FYI - almost 100 regular people kill themselves every day in the US - but a couple of celebrities off themselves and suddenly everyone is all about suicide awareness?  I think Matt Walsh hit the nail on the head here.  This quote from Anthony Bourdain that has been making the rounds on Facebook sends a very dangerous message straight from Satan.  With a life philosophy like that, it's not surprising that Bourdain chose to end the ride....  1 Corinthians 6 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Romans 12: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Anti-Adani protesters target construction firm Wagners over $30m contract

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/10 - 11:00am

Queensland company contracted to build airstrip for troubled Carmichael coalmine

Anti-Adani activists say they have launched an escalating disruption campaign against Queensland construction company Wagners, which is being targeted over a $30m contract to build an airstrip for the Carmichael coalmine.

Members of the group Galilee Blockade entered a Wagners industrial site at Pinkenba near the Port of Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, dressed as superheroes, as a precursor to further protests.

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Categories: Environment

The Swansea Bay tidal power lagoon would bring many benefits | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/10 - 9:45am
Countries around the world are closely following the UK’s decision on tidal power, writes Nicholas Stern

You reported that the government is planning to reject the Swansea Bay tidal power lagoon because it is considered too expensive (UK taxpayers to help fund new nuclear plant, 5 June).

The government has not yet announced its decision but it should, in any case, first publish its internal economic analysis of the proposed scheme so that its rigour and robustness can be checked. I have offered, as a former chief economist of the World Bank and head of the UK Government Economic Service, to have a constructive look at the analytical work. That offer stands; the analysis should be in the public domain and subject to scrutiny before a decision is taken.

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Categories: Environment

A scandal for all seasons: those Scott Pruitt ethics violations in full

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/10 - 3:00am

Lobbyists, hand lotion and Chick-fil-A – it’s hard to keep up with the scandals engulfing the EPA administrator

Scott Pruitt, the seemingly immoveable administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has an eclectic, almost itinerant, taste in corruption scandals.

Pruitt is best known for the ethical quagmires in this administration, shared with other Trump cabinet members, such as indulging in taxpayer-funded first class travel and spending much of his time playing an amenable host to corporations he is meant to regulate.

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Categories: Environment

Why do so many Mormons back Trump? Some say it's about the land

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/10 - 3:00am

Trump’s Utah campaign chief shrugs off Stormy Daniels and praises cuts to parks: ‘The land belongs more to me than you’

In February 2017, weeks after the inauguration of Donald Trump, a conservative political operative named Don Peay trudged up a steep, sagebrush-covered hillside outside Salt Lake City. Peay served as Trump’s campaign manager in Utah and is a hunting advocate who has gone out shooting with prominent rightwingers such as Dick Cheney, Ted Nugent and Donald Trump Jr.

Peay wanted to point out a particular parcel of public land that used to be overrun by highly invasive cheat grass. Several years ago, he worked with local land managers to revegetate it with native plants favored by deer and elk.

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Categories: Environment

Colonialism did not just create slavery: it changed geology

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 11:00pm
Researchers suggest effects of the colonial era can be detected in rocks or even air

It brought riches to Britain and many other European nations; played a major role in enslaving more than 10 million Africans; and created the first global markets in cotton, tobacco and sugar. But now colonialism has been accused of having an even greater influence. It is claimed that it changed the Earth’s very makeup.

This is the view of two UK scientists who believe the impact of colonialism was so profound it can be detected in Earth’s air and rocks, an idea revealed in The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene, by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin, published last week.

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Categories: Environment

Charles Mann: ‘The relationship between population and consumption is not straightforward’

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 11:00pm
The science journalist’s new book boils decades of environmental debate down to the starkly contrasting approaches of two key figures

Charles C Mann is a science journalist, author and historian. His books 1491 and 1493, looking at the Americas before and after Columbus, were widely acclaimed. His new book, The Wizard and the Prophet, examines the highly influential and starkly contrasting environmental visions of Norman Borlaug (the Wizard) and William Vogt (the Prophet). Borlaug (1914-2009) was instrumental in the green revolution that vastly expanded the amount of food humanity has been able to cultivate. Vogt (1902-1968) was a pioneering ecologist who argued that humans had exceeded the Earth’s “carrying capacity” and were heading for cataclysm unless consumption was drastically reduced. One believed in scientific ingenuity as the answer to our problems, the other was convinced that it only deepened the crisis.

What made you frame this story of humanity’s future in terms of these two individuals?
It really started the night my daughter was born 19 years ago. I was standing in the parking lot at three in the morning and it suddenly popped into my head that when Amelia, my daughter, became my age there would be almost 10 billion people in the world. And I believe that centuries from now, when historians look back at the time when you and I have been alive, the big thing that they’ll say happened is that hundreds of millions of people in Asia and Latin America and Africa lifted themselves from destitution to something like the middle class. So not only will there be 10 billion people but all those people will want the same things you and I want – nice homes, nice car, nice clothes, the odd chunk of Toblerone, right? And so I stood there in the parking lot and thought to myself: how are we meant to do this? I’m a science journalist, so when I was talking to researchers, I’d say: “How are we going to feed everybody, how are we going to get water for everybody, house everybody? What are we going to do about climate change?” After a while I realised that the answers I was getting fell into two broad categories, each of which had a name that kept being associated with it: one was Borlaug, the other Vogt.

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Categories: Environment

the ramp bunny...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 5:00pm
This is Notchi (notch in his ear). When it is really hot out, he spends most of the day under the ramp to my porch. He and George are the only two bunnies here (out of about 60) that I recognize well enough to name.  Video coming Monday... 92,99,77,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

'Australia doesn’t realise’: worsening drought pushes farmers to the brink

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 3:00pm

Liverpool plains farmer Megan Kuhn says cows are being slaughtered because there is no way of feeding them after years of extreme weather

In the south-west corner of NSW’s Liverpool plains, in an area called Bundella, farmer Megan Kuhn runs beef cattle and merino sheep with her husband, Martin.

They have 400 breeding cows that will calve in six weeks. Shortly, 89 of those cows will leave the property, sold to an abattoir because the cost of feeding the animals during drought has become too great.

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Categories: Environment

Cal Fire Finds PG&E Equipment Responsible For Several Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 2:14pm

California fire officials have blamed Pacific Gas and Electric Company power lines for wildfires that tore through Northern California in October.

Categories: Environment

Body of woman killed by alligator found in Florida lake

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 1:55pm
  • Shizuka Matsuki, 47, was walking dogs near lake in Davie
  • Alligator captured and killed by officials

Florida officials confirmed on Saturday divers had found the body of a woman who was killed by an alligator while walking her dogs near a lake in south Florida. The 12ft 6in alligator involved was captured and killed.

Related: Miami woman bitten and likely killed by alligator, officials say

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Categories: Environment

Pope Francis tells oil bosses world must reduce fossil fuel use

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 5:36am

Pontiff says clean energy is needed as climate change risks destroying humanity

Pope Francis has told oil company chiefs that the world must switch to clean energy because climate change risks destroying humanity.

“Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation,” he said at the end of a two-day conference at the Vatican.

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Categories: Environment

Mud, sweat and tears on the Dorset Gravel Dash | Laura Laker

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/09 - 12:30am

The 100-mile on- and off-road bike-packing event is undoubtedly a challenge, but there is a true sense of adventure

Twenty-two miles from the end of a gruelling, beautiful and intensely varied 100 mile cross-country bike ride through Dorset, the rear derailleur on my bike clacked, pinged and, in the manner of a wounded fly, ended its journey upside down, immobile and missing several parts.

I stood on the dirt track peering down at it, wondering how I’d finish the ride, before my riding buddies set about trying to get me pedalling once more.

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Categories: Environment

The 'dark fleet': Global Fishing Watch shines a light on illegal catches

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/08 - 8:22pm

Low light imaging data being used to expose unregulated and unreported fishing on the high seas

New data is being used to expose fleets of previously unmonitored fishing vessels on the high seas, in what campaigners hope will lead to the eradication of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

Global Fishing Watch (GFW) has turned low light imaging data collected by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) into the first publicly available real-time map showing the location and identity of thousands of vessels operating at night in waters that lie beyond national jurisdiction.

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Categories: Environment

PG&E Power Lines Blamed For Northern California Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/06/08 - 6:49pm

A state report finds that the utility's equipment coming into contact with trees caused the fires that ravaged the region, including the wine country.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

Miami woman bitten and likely killed by alligator, officials say

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/08 - 6:23pm

Florida woman was identified from evidence collected from a necropsy after she disappeared while walking her dogs by a lake

A woman who disappeared while walking her dogs near a lake in Miami, Florida on Friday was bitten and likely killed by an alligator that was later captured, wildlife officials said.

A necropsy confirmed the alligator bit Shizuka Matsuki, 47, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said in a statement. They believe Matsuki was killed and were searching for her body. Commission spokesman Rob Klepper said they were able to positively identify the woman from evidence collected from the necropsy of the alligator, but he wouldn’t specifically say what that evidence was.

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Categories: Environment

Move over Elon: global energy prize goes to Australia's solar guru

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/08 - 3:18pm

UNSW professor Martin Green, who revolutionised photovoltaics, says sun’s power is ‘the best option out there’

The “father of PV” – University of New South Wales professor Martin Green – has become the first Australian to win the global energy prize from a shortlist that included Tesla’s Elon Musk.

UNSW said Green had been selected from 44 contenders from 14 countries by a committee of leading scientists to share the $820,000 prize with Russian scientist Sergey Alekseenko, an expert in thermal power engineering.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2018/06/08 - 3:06pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Josh Frydenberg urged to step in to save national park from NSW brumby plan

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/08 - 3:00pm

Conservationists say federal environment minister has obligation to protect areas of national significance

Conservationists have called on the federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, to intervene to protect the Kosciuszko national park from brumbies after a New South Wales bill was passed giving heritage protection to the feral horses.

The Australian Conservation Foundation says the federal government has an obligation under national environment law to protect areas of national significance, including the national heritage-listed Australian Alps national parks and reserves.

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Categories: Environment
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