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George Christensen signals he won’t vote for Finkel's clean energy target

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/14 - 1:33am

LNP backbencher says he and most of the Nationals won’t vote for any clean energy target that penalises coal

The LNP backbencher George Christensen has signalled he won’t vote for a new clean energy target because it won’t end the decade long climate wars – because Labor will “out Finkel us on Finkel”.

Christensen said on Wednesday evening that he saw no prospect of achieving policy stability on climate and energy policy through bipartisanship, because the gulf between the major parties was too wide.

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Categories: Environment

Fatal crocodile attacks rising in Northern Territory, data shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/06/14 - 12:06am

Report shows 14 people died following attacks between 2005 and 2014, compared with 10 deaths in the 33 years to 2004

The number of people being killed by crocodiles in the Top End is on the rise, new data shows.

A study by the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Royal Darwin Hospital and the Menzies School of Health Research has found croc-related deaths have jumped since hunting was outlawed in 1971.

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Categories: Environment

The pipeline feeding billions to Putin ... evading sanctions on the way

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 11:00pm

Nord Stream 2 will transport gas from Russia to Europe, endangering habitats, fuelling climate change and funding Putin’s regime for decades

Tough western sanctions on Russia may be squeezing the economy – but that’s only half the story. The other half you can understand better by attending a public hearing into a project that will finance the Putin regime for another 50 years.

The project is called Nord Stream 2. It involves piping gas directly from Russia to Germany through the Baltic sea, and it is unaffected by sanctions. Its progress means that Europe is excoriating the Putin regime diplomatically while at the same time promising to inflate the same regime with billions of gas dollars.

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Categories: Environment

Satellite Eye on Earth: May 2017 – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 10:43pm

Vesuvius in Italy and volcanoes in northern Tanzania, lights going out in Syria, and flooding in Sri Lanka are among images captured by Nasa and the ESA this month

A vertical view of Vesuvius in southern Italy, taken by the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the International Space Station. The Proxima mission is named after the closest star to the sun, continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations. The mission is part of the ESA’s plan to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work while preparing for future voyages of exploration further into the solar system.

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Categories: Environment

Finkel's target boosts coal industry and does little to cut emissions, modelling shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 10:08pm

Jacobs Group modelling suggests clean energy target is also more expensive than an energy intensity scheme

The clean energy target recommended in the Finkel review does relatively little to reduce emissions, extends the life of coal power plants and is more expensive than the alternative energy intensity scheme, the modelling behind the report shows.

Released today, five days after the report itself, the economic models that inform the report reveal the main thing the policy achieves is giving some confidence to power generators – including coal power stations – so they can make informed decisions about investments.

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Categories: Environment

'If we stopped poaching tomorrow, elephants would still be in big trouble'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 10:00pm

Ivory poaching is the most immediate, urgent threat to Africa’s elephants. But even if that can be tackled, they will have to fight humans for land, food and water

It is the dead of night. The day’s red-dust heat has given way to a cooling breeze. A hundred frogs chirp urgently. Tim and his crew are preparing for another stealth raid. Their mission is highly dangerous and now there’s a new threat: armed men are following them.

This is the scene repeated nightly on the eastern fringes of Amboseli national park in Kenya, close to the border with Tanzania. Tim is an elephant who, along with a group of up to 12 other males, has developed a taste for the tomatoes and maize growing on local farms on the outskirts of the park. The armed men are park rangers who have been tasked with keeping him from the crops – and saving his life.

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Categories: Environment

Side street routes to avoid city pollution can cut exposure by half

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 10:00pm

Clean air signposts and online walking maps to sidestep diesel fumes would benefit public health, finds study

Taking a side street route when walking through a city cuts a person’s air pollution exposure by half, according to a new study.

Signposting these clean air routes and providing online maps would keep people away from heavily polluted main streets and would benefit their health, the researchers said. In fact the UK group behind the research have developed a new interactive map of London that allows people to put in any route and be shown a low-pollution walking option.

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Categories: Environment

too hot...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 4:33pm
Kind of ironic that I just uploaded the final installment of the Pepino how to and we have a week of weather that it just can't handle.  (A poignant reminder to those who might try to build one that Pepino has its' limits.)  Although it is quite effective keeping the hut cool for sleeping once the sun and the temperature goes down - when we get a string of 100+ degree days in a row, I have to run my AC for a couple of hours in the late afternoon to stay comfortable.  This is the time of year that we weed out 50% of the new arrivals that think they can live out here.  99,103,73,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

What's The Difference Between Famine And Hunger? A Food FAQ

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 12:25pm

We asked our readers what they wanted to know about world hunger? So many thoughtful questions came in that we did a roundup of queries about hunger and famine.

(Image credit: Hanna Barczyk for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Voters prefer low emissions target to carbon trading – Guardian Essential poll

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 12:00pm

People were less happy to consider coal generation with 100% capture and storage as a ‘low emission’ energy source

Australian voters would back a new low emissions target over emissions trading as a policy to reduce carbon pollution, but are not sure about including “clean” coal in the mix, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.

The latest survey of 1,785 voters, which follows Tuesday night’s three-hour Coalition party room meeting in which significant concerns were ventilated about the Finkel review, also taps significant community concerns about the rising threat of terrorism in Australia.

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Categories: Environment

Global demand for coal falls in 2016 for second year in a row

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 10:00am

UK leads trend away from coal, with use down 52.5%, while China continues to consume less of the dirtiest fossil fuel

Global demand for coal has fallen for the second consecutive year, according to a BP study, helped by the US and China burning less of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

The UK was described as the “most extreme example” of the trend away from coal, which has resulted in use of the fuel returning to levels not seen since the start of the industrial revolution.

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Categories: Environment

'Industroyer' virus could bring down power networks, researchers warn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 8:35am

Discovery of new malware shows vulnerability of critical infrastructure, just months after the WannaCry ransomware took out NHS computers

Six months on from a hacking attack that caused a blackout in Kiev, Ukraine, security researchers have warned that the malware that was used in the attack would be “easy” to convert to cripple infrastructure in other nations.

The discovery of the malware, dubbed “Industroyer” and “Crash Override”, highlights the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, just months after the WannaCry ransomware took out NHS computers across the UK.

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Categories: Environment

EDF Energy's Vincent de Rivaz to step down after winning Hinkley battle

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 6:27am

Chief executive will leave post in October after 15 years, having secured deal with UK government over Somerset nuclear plant

The man who helped secure Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation will step down as chief executive of EDF Energy in October, marking the end of a 15-year tenure.

Vincent de Rivaz is the longest-serving CEO among the heads of the UK’s big six energy suppliers and will be replaced on 1 November by Simone Rossi, who leads the company’s international division.

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Categories: Environment

Carlsberg aims for zero carbon emissions after Trump's Paris pullout

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 5:17am

Danish brewer to eliminate brewery emissions and halve its water usage by 2030 as part of sustainability drive

Carlsberg has unveiled plans to reduce its brewery carbon emissions to zero, singling out Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement as a motivating factor.

The Danish brewer, whose beers also include Holsten Pils and San Miguel, said it would eliminate brewery emissions and halve its water usage by 2030 as part of a new sustainability drive.

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Categories: Environment

'Too early to say' if Coalition will back clean energy target, Frydenberg says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 4:50am

Three-hour meeting fails to resolve government’s position on Finkel review but energy minister denies there’s a backbench revolt

Josh Frydenberg says it is too soon to say if the Coalition party room will support a clean energy target after a three-hour extraordinary meeting in which a number of government colleagues raised concerns about the core recommendations of the Finkel review.

Speaking on ABC on Tuesday night, the energy and environment minister said MPs were “concerned about the future of coal” and about rising electricity prices, and he stressed the proposed clean energy target did not prohibit the building of new coal-fired power stations.

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Categories: Environment

Meet the Virginia Democrat who may set a blueprint for the party against Trump

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/13 - 3:00am

Tom Perriello’s progressive campaign for governor could be a model for Democrats preparing to run against Trump in the midterm elections

“The state ends at Roanoke, we are the forgotten corner of Virginia,” says local Democratic activist Oliver Keene of Tazewell, where 20% of the town lives in poverty. “In our eyes, past Roanoke, nobody cares about us. We don’t exist.”

Campaigning for statewide office, most Democratic candidates have typically ignored the deep red Appalachian corner of the state where Trump won many of the counties by 70% margins.

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Categories: Environment

Multi-million dollar upgrade planned to secure 'failsafe' Arctic seed vault

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/12 - 11:00pm

Improvements aim to ensure the vault’s role as an impregnable deep freeze for the world’s most precious food seeds after a recent flooding by melting permafrost

The Global Seed Vault, built in the Arctic as an impregnable deep freeze for the world’s most precious food seeds, is to undergo a multi-million dollar upgrade after water from melting permafrost flooded its access tunnel.

No seeds were damaged but the incident undermined the original belief that the vault would be a “failsafe” facility, securing the world’s food supply forever. Now the Norwegian government, which owns the vault, has committed $4.4m (NOK37m) to improvements.

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Categories: Environment

Melodious encounter with a family of redstarts

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/12 - 9:30pm

West Sussex The male calls three times, then segues into a short, complex phrase of tweets and whistles

The wind crashes through the tree tops, like the sea breaking on the shore, the great pines and silver birches that encircle the heathland swaying and shimmering. A red admiral butterfly rises from the heather, but it is snatched up by the wind and tumbles away too quickly for me to follow it.

I walk along the muddy track that threads between the trees. Where only last week the ground had been dry and parched, offering very little moisture to thirsty animals and birds, now all the pools are replenished with just one day’s heavy rain. I stop to watch three goldfinches drink from a puddle in front of me.

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Categories: Environment

Battery storage and rooftop solar could mean new life post-grid for consumers

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/12 - 4:51pm

The Finkel report offers glimpse of opportunity for consumers and businesses to play the electricity market

To illustrate the impact of battery storage on the electricity network in Australia, Prof Guoxiu Wang likes to compare it to the invention of refrigeration.

“Before people invented the fridge, we produced food, we consumed food immediately,” says Wang, director of the Centre for Clean Energy Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney. “With the development of appropriate electricity storage technology, the electricity is like our food – you can store it and whenever you need that electricity, you can use that immediately.”

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Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Wants To Shrink Bears Ears National Monument

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/06/12 - 4:43pm

Whether the new monument, considered sacred to Native Americans, should be abolished or reduced is the first part of a review of national monuments under an executive order by President Trump.

(Image credit: George Frey/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment
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