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UK fracking backlash: seven of eight plans rejected in 2018

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/08 - 7:37am

South Yorkshire rejection of Ineos drill application adds to refusals, which include those from Tory councils

The application by Ineos to explore for shale gas in South Yorkshire has been rejected by local councillors, bringing the number of planning decisions that have gone against fracking companies this year to seven.

Rotherham metropolitan borough turned the application by the UK-based petrochemicals firm to drill a well near the village of Woodsetts on grounds that it could harm wildlife and cause traffic problems.

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Categories: Environment

Chinese panda park to be twice the size of Yosemite

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/03/08 - 5:03am

National park will bolster local economy while providing animals with unbroken habitat

The Bank of China has pledged at least 10bn yuan (£1.1bn) to create a vast panda conservation park in south-west Sichuan province, the Chinese forestry ministry has said.

Related: What sound do pandas make? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Jules Howard

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Categories: Environment

Murray-Darling water theft allegations: NSW to prosecute irrigators

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 8:07pm

Regulator WaterNSW to begin court action against members of Harris and Barlow families, months after issue hit headlines

WaterNSW has moved to prosecute a number of landowners on the Murray-Darling river system for water theft, eight months after the ABC brought the matter into the national spotlight.

Today’s announcement came on the day the state ombudsman, Michael Barnes, released a scathing report on the regulator, criticising it for giving him grossly inflated figures on the number of enforcement actions and prosecutions it had initiated to enforce water laws in the past 15 months.

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Categories: Environment

Record-high wool price leaves Australian growers in shear delight

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 5:13pm

Strong demand from China, as well as European fashion houses and US sportswear companies, is proving a boom for the industry

The price of wool has reached an historic high after decades of poor returns and Australian woolgrowers are saying the market is stronger than it has been in 30 years.

The price signal, the eastern market indicator, reached a record $18.30 per kilogram this month, double where it was eight years ago. The hike has been driven by strong demand from China and European fashion houses, as well as growing interest from shoe and sportswear companies in the US.

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Categories: Environment

Green groups target Adelaide festivals ahead of SA election – and reviews are mixed

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 4:51pm

Culture meets politics as environmental groups distribute scorecards rating the major parties’ environment policies

Renewable energy groups are targeting Adelaide’s festival season ahead of the South Australian election with scorecards rating the major parties’ environmental policies, with the Greens and Labor leading the way.

A scorecard distributed by the Australian Conservation Foundation gives its only five-star rating for renewables to the Greens. Labor gets a glowing four-and-a-half star rating for its heavy investment in renewable energy; Nick Xenophon’s SA Best receives a lukewarm two stars, while the Liberals are panned with a scathing half-star rating.

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Categories: Environment

cleaning and baking...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 2:30pm
The west side of the greenhouse finally reached a tipping point as far as the mess is concerned.  Another big load headed to the landfill soon.  Video coming Friday. 

Baked another test batch then headed down to Study Butte to visit my bread mentor India Wilson.  She is partly responsible for my latest bread efforts ever since she had a sample years ago of some of my first experiments.  Seems that every time our paths crossed,  she she would ask me when am I going to bake more bread in my solar oven.  She gracefully gave me some samples of a few of her latest efforts.  63,74,45,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

A Look At Just How Invasive The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Is

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 2:20pm

The brown marmorated stink bug first showed up in the United States about 20 years ago, and has been terrorizing homeowners and farmers ever since. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Kathryn Schulz, who writes about the invasive insect in the latest issue of The New Yorker.

Categories: Environment

Climate change tightens grip on US west coast despite progressive aspirations

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 12:20pm

California, Washington and Oregon have led criticism of Trump’s climate policies, but change hasn’t been easier closer to home

California’s exposure to climate change has been laid bare with warnings that San Francisco faces a far worse threat from rising seas than previously thought, while the agricultural heart of the state will increasingly struggle to support crops such as peaches, walnuts and apricots as temperatures climb.

The findings, from two new scientific studies, come as California’s neighboring west coast states Oregon and Washington have both faltered in their legislative attempts to address climate change and deliver a rebuke to Donald Trump’s dismissal of the issue.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking delayed at North Yorkshire site until autumn

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 11:26am

Third Energy to halt shale gas project in Kirby Misperton until completion of approval process

Third Energy has postponed plans to frack for shale gas at a site in North Yorkshire until the autumn.

Related: The village that took on the frackers

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Categories: Environment

Gorilla sanctuary workers in eastern DRC kidnapped by militia

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 10:11am

Eighteen hostages are alive and abductors are demanding a large ransom, local sources say

Eighteen employees of a gorilla sanctuary in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have been abducted by a militia group, sources have said.

An official with an NGO said the abduction took place on Monday in the area of Nzovu, in Kahuzi-Biega national park. They said an armed group called the Mai-Mai Raia Mutomboki was responsible.

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Categories: Environment

Another oil firm seeks sweeping injunction against UK protesters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 9:52am

Critics say legal move by UK Oil and Gas, that could see protesters at its sites jailed and fined, is draconian and anti-democratic

Another firm is seeking a sweeping injunction against environmental protesters, drawing accusations that the legal move is “draconian and chillingly anti-democratic”.

UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) has applied for a broad injunction to prevent campaigners from mounting protests that it says would unlawfully interfere with its operations.

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Categories: Environment

Monkey business: Florida wildlife sanctuary animal 'theft' declared hoax

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 9:01am

Josue Santiago, head of the We Care Wildlife Sanctuary, charged with the false reporting of a crime after claiming ad inspired thefts

The mysterious disappearance of dozens of exotic animals from a Florida wildlife sanctuary after a fake “help yourself” advertisement appeared online has been solved, according to detectives: the alleged late-night theft was nothing more than monkey business contrived by the sanctuary’s owner.

Josue Santiago, 41, head of the We Care Wildlife Sanctuary, remained in his own cage at the Miami-Dade county jail on Wednesday, charged with the false reporting of a crime. Meanwhile, seven ring-tailed lemurs, five marmosets, three red-handed tamarins, a white-faced capuchin and assorted other “stolen” animals, including rare birds and tortoises, worth a combined $53,400, were being cared for at a refuge in North Carolina, where Santiago is alleged to have taken them before returning to Miami and staging Sunday’s break-in.

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Categories: Environment

A 'Floating Fillet': Rice Farmers Grow Bugs To Replenish California's Salmon

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 6:00am

Insect-rich floodplain water once supported the threatened fish, but it has been diverted. The project's end goal is to improve the likelihood that Chinook survive the trek to the ocean and back.

(Image credit: Ezra David Romero/Capital Public Radio)

Categories: Environment

'History in the making': California aims for world's highest farm animal welfare law

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 5:48am

New law would ban the sale of all eggs, pork or veal from a caged animal, putting the state ahead of the EU – if campaigners can get enough signatures

They call Chris Winn the signatures guy. A delivery driver by day, he spends his free time drumming up support for animal rights. “When I did the shark fin ban I got 4,000 signatures,” says Winn, 53. “Usually I’m the top guy in California.”

Now he’s on a new mission. It’s a cold Saturday afternoon in San Francisco and Winn is jubilant, bundled in a hat and sweatshirt, scouting for signatories for a proposed law that would ban the sale of any eggs, pork or veal that comes from an animal that spent its life in a cage. If passed it would be the most progressive farm animal welfare law in the world.

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Categories: Environment

Iowa stores may be forced to sell eggs from battery hens

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 5:47am

A bill that would require some stores selling only cage-free eggs to offer lower-welfare eggs as an affordable option risks a ‘major set-back’ for animal welfare, say critics

Iowa grocery stores selling cage-free eggs may soon be required to stock eggs from battery hens as well.

The bill would affect two of Iowa’s largest supermarkets, HyVee and Fareway Stores, and national chains such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Target, as well as smaller independent grocers. That’s because the bill is pegged to a government food-assistance program for low-income pregnant women, mothers and children, known as WIC. Stores that accept WIC vouchers would have to offer caged eggs alongside eggs that come from cage-free, free range or enriched colony cage environments.

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Categories: Environment

Reformer or rogue? Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – video profile

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/03/07 - 12:24am

Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, heir to the Saudi Arabian throne, grabbed the world’s attention with a series of reforms in the kingdom, pushing back against the highly conservative establishment. His aim is to make Saudi Arabia a more open nation. However, the war in Yemen and his diplomatic rivalry with Iran have caused the international community to question how radical his changes really are as he begins a series of diplomatic visits to the UK and US

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Categories: Environment

Norway boosts whaling quota despite international opposition

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/06 - 11:10pm

Fisheries minister announces 28% increase, but environmentalists say steep drop in number of minkes killed is sign of a dying industry

Norway has announced a 28% increase of its annual whaling quota to 1,278 whales in a bid to revive the declining hunt amid international controversy.

Whalers have for several years failed to meet the quotas set by Oslo and the number of whaling boats has plunged.

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Categories: Environment

Return of pine martens could save Britain's red squirrels, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/06 - 11:01pm

Areas with growing pine marten populations have seen grey squirrel numbers fall as they provide easy prey for the predators – unlike native reds, a new study shows

The invasion of grey squirrels that has decimated native reds across the UK is reversed when pine martens prowl the woods, new research has shown. Unlike reds, grey squirrels appear to be easy meat for the predator.

Pine marten populations have also been drastically reduced in the past. But where they are recovering, they send grey squirrel numbers plummeting while reds thrive, according to scientists.

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Categories: Environment

Feed-in tariffs could be cut back due to high take-up of solar power

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/03/06 - 8:22pm

Experts warn the grid could be over-supplied during low demand periods

Governments should change the way feed-in tariffs are paid to homeowners or the high take-up of solar power might force them to be drastically cut back, one of Australia’s top energy experts says.

On Tuesday the Clean Energy Regulator released new data which showed a record 3.5m solar panels were installed on Australia rooftops last year.

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Categories: Environment

fans from the UK

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/03/06 - 5:59pm
It just so happens that a new fan from England was already planning a trip to Terlingua when the new Ben Fogle episode on The Field Lab aired in the UK.  She connected with me on Facebook and stopped by for a visit today - and brought me some English snacks and a set of tea towels for my bread baking experiments.  She was out with one of her sons to track down a piece of property she bought out here 14 years ago (sight unseen off the internet).  Turns out her 20 acres is land locked on a section of the ranch that has no direct road access...but at least she owns a little chunk of Texas.  Ben approved of their visit.  64,75,34,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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