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How can we get control over our electricity prices? | Christopher Zinn

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/08/09 - 12:15am

Turnbull has directed the power companies to help people lowering their bills. Only an empowered consumer is able to navigate market options effectively

  • Christopher Zinn is a campaigner who founded and runs determinedconsumer.com.au

There are many reports and inquiries, both current and gathering dust, into the shameful state of our electricity market and its unprecedented and ruinous price rises.

But there’s one belief they nearly all cling to, as does the prime minister from his meeting with energy chiefs today in Canberra, and it’s as fundamental as the positive and negative wires.

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Categories: Environment

Glencore's Wandoan coalmine wins approval from Queensland government

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 8:02pm

Decision enrages environmental groups, with Lock the Gate calling it a ‘very dark day for farming’ in the state

Glencore’s multibillion-dollar Wandoan coalmine proposal has been granted mining leases years after it was shelved amid falling commodity prices and a ramped-up global response to climate change.

On Tuesday Queensland’s natural resources and mines minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, approved three 27-year leases covering 30,000 hectares for the first stage of its $7bn mine near Roma.

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Categories: Environment

end of an era...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 5:28pm













Looks like my 9.5 year old AGM's have finally lost their will to live...or take a charge.  These (the two batteries on the right) were part of my original Frankenstein set up that powered lighting and ventilation (including the swamp cooler) in my hut.  I did this with a split system to compare a couple of lead acid batteries to a couple of AGM's.  The 2 batteries on the left are second generation - the originals died almost 4 years ago.  This mess is still charged with my original Harbor Freight solar panels.  Good news is Ron Mohr of Green Desert Living is about to get in another load of surplus AGM's so it will soon be time to clear the cobwebs and reboot (and rewire) this system.  86,99,73,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Bristol zoo gives rare spiders a leg-up with breeding programme

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 4:11pm

More than 1,000 of the endangered species, which come from one island off Portugal, have hatched in captivity in a world first

In what is believed to be a world first, one of the rarest spiders has been bred in captivity at Bristol Zoo Gardens. More than 1,000 Desertas wolf spiderlings, classed as critically endangered, have hatched. Keepers hand-reared some from tiny eggs as they are so precious. At birth, they measure 4mm across, but they will grow to 12cm, with a 4cm body.

The species is found in a single valley on Deserta Grande, one of the Desertas islands near Madeira, Portugal. There are about 4,000 adults left in the wild and it is hoped that some of the spiderlings can be returned to their home.

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Categories: Environment

PHOTOS: A 'Massive' Wildfire Is Now Blazing In Greenland

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 3:54pm

NASA satellites detected the blaze just over a week ago. Since then, the rare wildfire in western Greenland has continued to burn through a region far better known for its ice and snow.

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Categories: Environment

Scientists Fear Trump Administration Will Counter Climate Report

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 1:22pm

A comprehensive government report on climate change has leaked to the public. The report clearly states that humans are changing the climate, and the consequences could be serious. Those views are at odds with statements by many in the Trump administration.

Categories: Environment

Paris climate deal: US tells diplomats to dodge foreign officials' questions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 1:07pm

Secretary of state Rex Tillerson directs staff to make clear US wants to help other countries use fossil fuels, diplomatic cable shows

US diplomats should sidestep questions from foreign governments on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, according to a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters.

The cable, sent by the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to embassies on Friday, also said diplomats should make clear the United States wants to help other countries use fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

U.S. Already Feeling Consequences Of Global Warming, Draft Report Finds

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 12:27pm

The document states that humans are causing climate change. The findings are at odds with statements by President Trump and key members of his administration.

(Image credit: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Dam it! How beavers could save Britain from flooding

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 8:38am

Since their trial reintroduction in Devon, the animal’s engineering skills have reduced floodwater and created a paradise for local wildlife. Should we bring them back for good?

At a secret location in the rolling pasture of west Devon lies a marshy patch of farmland protected by £35,000-worth of solar-powered electric fencing. This isn’t to keep people out but to restrain the tree-chomping, river-damming residents of these three hectares. Outside the fence is a typical small valley, with a trickle of a stream, willow thickets and pasture grazed by cattle. Inside the enclosure, the tiny stream has been blocked by 13 dams, creating pools and half-metre-wide canals. These have been built by Britain’s newest wild mammal, the beaver, which uses its waterways like we do – to transport goods. And as the beavers have coppiced trees, the willow thicket has been replaced with sunny glades of wild flowers – marsh thistles, watermint, meadowsweet – which dance with dragonflies and butterflies.

“The beavers have transformed this little trickle of a stream into a remarkable, primeval wetland,” says Mark Elliott, lead beaver project officer of Devon Wildlife Trust, which released two beavers here in 2011. “This is what the landscape would have looked like before we started farming, and it’s only six years old. That’s the amazing thing.”

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Categories: Environment

Baby, It's Cold Inside

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 7:18am

AC is central to American life — more than 8 out of 10 homes have it.

(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The Trump administration's solution to climate change: ban the term | Bill McKibben

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 2:00am

The US Department of Agriculture has forbidden the use of the words ‘climate change’. This say-no-evil policy is doomed to fail

In a bold new strategy unveiled on Monday in the Guardian, the US Department of Agriculture – guardians of the planet’s richest farmlands – has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding the use of the words.

Under guidance from the agency’s director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, a list of phrases to be avoided includes “climate change” and “climate change adaptation”, to be replaced by “weather extremes” and “resilience to weather extremes”.

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Categories: Environment

Go See It, Eclipse Chasers Urge. 'Your First Time Is Always Special'

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 2:00am

A small number of passionate "shadow lovers" roam the world to be at exactly the right place when the moon blots out the sun. One man has seen 33 — and calls each "one of the top events of my life."

(Image credit: Courtesy of Fred Espenak)

Categories: Environment

打压盗猎盗伐,别小看了旅游业的本事

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/08/08 - 1:56am

当野生动植物的存亡关系到当地居民切身利益时,他们就会成为野生动植物的最佳保护者,约翰·斯坎伦写到。

随着全球游客人数不断增长,旅行者们钟情于探索地方文化和观赏野生动植物,寻求更为丰富、更新奇的个人体验,以野生动植物为基础的旅游业正在全球范围内迅速升温。而这也促使我几年前决定从法律事业的苦海中暂时抽身,申请了6个月的无薪假期,和妹妹一起背上行囊走上了南美之旅。欣赏亚马逊雨林、伊瓜苏瀑布、马丘比丘等地的自然美景,了解保护这些美景的当地人,改变了我的一生。

联合国世界旅游组织估计,全球7%的旅游与野生动植物旅游相关,并以每年3%的速度增长,而且增长率在世界遗产地等地区还要高得多。世界自然基金会的一份报告显示,全球自然遗产中有93%支持娱乐和旅游活动,91%提供就业机会。据说在伯利兹城,超过50%的人口以珊瑚礁相关的旅游和渔业为生。

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Categories: Environment

Australian teen just 'unfortunate' to be attacked by meat-loving sea fleas

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 7:15pm

It’s safe to go back in the water, says marine biologist who identified the miniature attackers as lysianassid amphipods

The “meat-loving” marine creature that ate at the legs of a Melbourne teenager has been identified as a flesh-eating sea flea, known as a lysianassid amphipod.

Marine biologist Dr Genefor Walker-Smith said the creatures, which left 16-year-old Sam Kanizay with significant bleeding from his legs, were a small, scavenging crustacean that usually fed on dead fish or sea birds.

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Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Revises Conservation Plan For Western Sage Grouse

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 6:03pm

A task force lays out changes that could loosen protections for the bird species renowned for its elaborate mating dance. The rules take into account "local economic growth and job creation."

(Image credit: David Zalubowski/AP)

Categories: Environment

Canary Island tourists warned to avoid toxic 'sea sawdust' algae

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 5:34pm

Global warming helping spread of micro-algae, forcing the closure of several beaches including popular Teresitas at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Tourists have been warned to avoid blooms of toxic micro-algae that have been proliferating in hot weather in the sea off Spain’s Canary Islands.

Tenerife in particular is awash with visitors at this time of year but some of those having a dip in the Atlantic ocean have come out scratching themselves after brushing up against the tiny algae.

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Categories: Environment

Federal Report Calls For $275 Million To Stop Asian Carp

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 4:59pm

The invasive species have been caught mere miles from Lake Michigan. Scientists fear if they invade the lake, they could spread throughout the Great Lakes.

(Image credit: John Flesher/AP)

Categories: Environment

Syrian Refugee And German Scientist Make An Unlikely Team

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 1:40pm

In Leipzig, Germany, two scientists from very different backgrounds are working on a unique research project.

(Image credit: Erik Nelson Rodriguez for NPR )

Categories: Environment

New species of grass snake identified in England

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 12:17pm

Recognition of barred grass snake as distinct species different to common cousin increases native total to four

England is home to four kinds of wild snake, not three as was previously believed, according to scientists.

The barred grass snake, Natrix helvetica, is now recognised as a species in its own right distinct from the common or eastern grass snake (Natrix natrix).

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Categories: Environment

Time to face up to the electric car revolution | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/08/07 - 10:52am
We should beware of myths about electric vehicles, says David Bricknell; but John Richards still worries about the environmental impact of their batteries

Your editorial perpetuates a number of myths about electric vehicles (Car drivers are heading into a future far from their dreams, 7 August). You say “Tesla has just started selling its first electric car aimed squarely at the middle classes”, reinforcing the views recently posted online by fossil fuel lobby groups that EVs are only for the rich while being subsidised by the poorer. The Tesla 3 is directly cost competitive with similar cars with internal combustion engines and cheaper when including running costs, and there is now a growing second-hand market.

You say Tesla sales are “a remarkable figure for a machine with a fairly short range and a very limited number of specialised charging stations”. The Tesla 3 has an EPA rated range of 310 miles – this is not a “fairly short range”.

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Categories: Environment
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