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A Wayward Weedkiller Divides Farm Communities, Harms Wildlife

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/10/07 - 2:52am

When a drifting weedkiller hit America's farming heartland this summer, it damaged crops and friendships. The chemical could also be bad news for other vegetation, as well as bees and butterflies.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Hidden cost of feeding grain to farm animals to hit $1.32tn a year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 11:45pm

Campaigners say humans must address the huge hidden costs of industrial farming, such as wasted food and calories

Our habit of feeding human foods, such as grain and soya, to farm animals will cost us $1.32tn (£1tn) a year by 2050 globally, according to environmental campaigners.

The hidden costs of the industrial farming system are vast, and urgently need to be brought into clear focus, Peter Stevenson of Compassion in World Farming told the Extinction and Livestock conference in London. “There’s a worrying disconnect between the retail price of food and the true cost of production. As a result, food produced at great environmental cost can appear to be cheaper than more sustainably produced alternatives.”

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Categories: Environment

Marchers across the world demand justic for wildlife

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 8:00pm

Paula Kahumbu: The Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions brings people in cities across the world together to demand action to save threatened wildlife from extinction

Today, 7 October 2017, thousands of people are gathering in more than 100 cities all over the world to show solidarity with wildlife in the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions. This year’s theme ‘Justice for All’ draws attention to the dire threat to these species as a result of international wildlife crime.

In my home city Nairobi, the planning for this march has involved tens of organizations, including NGOs, local and national government agencies, universities, schools, companies, diplomatic embassies and local communities. More than 100 young volunteers have helped with preparations and will be present on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.

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Categories: Environment

Most Australians oppose Adani mine, poll shows, amid national protests

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 6:59pm

Thousands of people gather at 40 locations across the country on Saturday as part of the Stop Adani Alliance

New polling shows the majority of Australians oppose Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine going ahead, and an even bigger number are against Queensland allowing the company to receive a $1bn federal loan.

The polling, commissioned by the Stop Adani Alliance, was released on Saturday as thousands of people are expected to attend rallies at dozens of locations around the country, expressing their opposition to the project.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 3:01pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Inconvenient facts about livestock farming | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 10:35am
Readers respond to George Monbiot’s call for an end to raising animals for food

George Monbiot’s fear of the few remaining British farmers (Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming, 4 October) reached new levels when he wrote that the “rich mosaic of rainforest and other habitats that once covered our hills has been erased” and blamed us for the tectonic drift that moved Britain from the equator towards the Arctic, perhaps 300m years ago. In the rest of his article he mixed unrelated science from all over the globe with the peculiar claims of noted eccentrics, and suggested that we should plough unsuitable land to grow soya, which will not grow in this climate, to produce artificial meat in urban factories.

He didn’t mention inconvenient features of the British ruminant livestock industry, such as the fact that most feed that animals get other than grass is made up of byproducts of the human food industry such as brewers’ grains, sugar beet and fruit-juice pulp, most of which would have to go to landfill if cows and sheep did not recycle it. Without the income from this form of recycling, the price of food in the shop would increase. We do need to moderate excessive meat consumption, and we do need to act on climate change, but this article sows confusion that will delay necessary change.
Huw Jones
St Clears, Carmarthenshire

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Categories: Environment

Your bag for life doesn't have to carry a food poisoning risk. Here's what to do

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 8:42am

Environmental health officers are urging consumers not to switch back to plastic following recent warnings that raw foods can spread harmful bacteria. So how can you keep your reusable bags hygienic?

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is urging consumers to continue to shop for food with reusable “bags for life”, fearing that worries about the food poisoning risks could trigger a backlash and even a resurgence in the use of thin plastic bags.

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Categories: Environment

Friday News Roundup - International

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 8:06am

The Secretary of State has gone public about what might've been said in private. Under mounting pressure, the King of Spain has been speaking out. And the Nobel prize committee has given the world a lot to talk about.

(Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The Tories must seize this chance to make UK homes energy efficient

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 7:56am

Politicians may debate the merits of a cap on energy bills but making our leaky houses energy efficient is the solution that all political parties should unite behind

As the letters began to fall off the slogan behind Theresa May during her leader’s speech at the Conservative party conference, it was hard not to see symbolism. Not just of a premiership under threat, but also of a signature policy falling apart within hours of being announced.

The cap on energy bills was a pledge in the Conservative manifesto and the prime minister promised to introduce the legislation to make it happen. The Conservatives had at first dismissed an energy price cap as a reckless intervention in the market that would kill competition. But by the 2017 election the policy had been adopted by Theresa May and there was cross-party support.

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Categories: Environment

Queen bemoans aircraft noise at Windsor retreat in message to gardeners

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 7:45am

Monarch refers to impact of Heathrow flight path on Frogmore House, on 70th anniversary of Gardeners’ Question Time

In Queen Victoria’s day, the garden at Frogmore House in Windsor was a tranquil haven. It is less so for the present-day queen, it would seem.

In a special message for the 70th anniversary of Gardeners’ Question Time, Queen Elizabeth referred to the impact of the Heathrow flight path on the historic retreat, first made popular by Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, in the 1700s.

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Categories: Environment

Leopard captured after 36 hours on the loose at Indian car plant

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 7:44am
  • Big cat was spotted on CCTV by guards at country’s largest car factory
  • Animal will be released into wild after medical examination

A leopard on the loose inside India’s largest car factory has been caught and tranquillised after sparking a frantic 36-hour search by 200 police and wildlife officials.

Related: The leopards of Mumbai: life and death among the city's 'living ghosts'

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Categories: Environment

Britain's wildlife needs urgent new protections ahead of Brexit, say MPs

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 7:12am

EU laws that have protected hundreds of conservation sites and the species that live in them for decades could be watered down or lost with the EU withdrawal bill

Hundreds of treasured wildlife habitats across the UK that have been protected for decades by the European Union must be urgently maintained and preserved with a new environment act, MPs and campaigners say.

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Categories: Environment

EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 6:53am

EU opts for public awareness campaign on the impacts of plastics on the environment saying a tax would not be sustainable

The EU has ruled out penalties on single-use plastic products, in favour of raising public awareness of the damage consumer plastics are doing to the world’s oceans.

Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European commission, said a tax would “not be sustainable”, but that changing the way plastic was produced and used could work. “The only sustainable method is to create recyclable plastic and take out microplastics. You can’t take out microplastics with a tax. You need to make sure things are reused, and not put in the ocean.”

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 6:29am

A lost leopard, a wounded rhino and a sunbathing iguana are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Climate change in the Caribbean – learning lessons from Irma and Maria

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 3:43am

Increasingly unfamiliar and unpredictable weather events mean that business as usual is not an option for these islands to survive

As a Caribbean climate scientist, I am often asked to speak about how climate change affects small islands. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, one of two category five storms to batter the eastern Caribbean in just a week, three words resonate in my mind.

The first word is “unfamiliar”. Scientific analysis shows that the climate of the Caribbean region is already changing in ways that seem to signal the emergence of a new climate regime. Irma and Maria fit this pattern all too well. At no point in the historical records dating back to the late 1800s have two category five storms made landfall in the small Caribbean island chain of the eastern Antilles in a single year.

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Categories: Environment

Peru urged to ban oil firms from isolated indigenous peoples' land

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 3:25am

Indigenous leaders say operations in the remote Amazon violate rights and risk fatal epidemics

There are more indigenous peoples living in “isolation” in Peru than any country in the world except Brazil. All live in the Amazon - the majority in poorly-protected reserves, or areas where reserves have been proposed but never established, or “protected natural areas” such as national parks.

For years indigenous federations and other civil society organisations in Peru and abroad have worked for the territories of indigenous peoples in “isolation” to be made off-limits, citing Peruvian and international laws, emphasising their rights to self-determination, and stressing their vulnerability to contact because of their lack of immunological defences and the risk of epidemics and fatalities. The biggest dangers - in terms of outsiders entering their territories, exploiting resources and/or actively seeking contact - are oil and gas companies, loggers and logging roads, narco-traffickers, evangelical missionaries, Catholic priests, artisanal miners and highways.

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Categories: Environment

Sadiq Khan asks car manufacturers to give funds towards tackling London’s toxic air

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 2:34am

Mayor has written to BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen urging them to contribute funding to help combat UK pollution as they have done in Germany

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has written to three leading car manufacturers asking them to contribute to the fund set up to tackle the capital’s air pollution crisis.

Khan has accused BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen of “double standards” after it emerged they had paid £223m to the German government’s Sustainable Mobility Fund for Cities earlier this year, but have given nothing to the UK.

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Categories: Environment

EPA's Scott Pruitt Vows To Speed Toxic Superfund Site Cleanup

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 2:00am

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to clean up toxic Superfund sites faster. We visit one place where the process has dragged on for decades.

Categories: Environment

Protect indigenous people to help fight climate change, says UN rapporteur

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/06 - 1:53am

World leaders must do more to defend custodians of natural world whose lives are at risk from big business, says UN rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

Global leaders must do more to protect indigenous people fighting to protect their land and way of life if the world is to limit climate change, according to the UN special rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

Speaking ahead of key climate talks in Bonn next month she urged politicians to recognise that indigenous communities around the world were the most effective custodians of millions of hectares of forest “which act as the world’s lungs”.

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Categories: Environment

Essen's experiment: can going green revive a post-industrial city economy?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/10/05 - 11:30pm

The German city is working to shake off the coal dust of the industrial Ruhr, but will green tourism be profitable enough to regain its former economic strength?

The shores of Baldeneysee, a ribbon of a lake that feeds into the Ruhr river near Essen, are busy. Schoolchildren cannonball into the water as sunbathers sit on beach chairs, nurse their beers and watch the paddleboarders pass by.

It wasn’t always like this. “When I was a little boy in the 70s, every morning we used to sweep coal dust and ash off our window panes,” recalls Frank Martini, an Essen resident. “Emissions from the furnaces and ovens of coal and steel industries stained our clothes left outside to dry.”

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Categories: Environment
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