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‘Your generation got us in this mess’: children of big oil employees discuss the climate crisis with their parents

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/12/07 - 1:00am

Two generations of energy workers discuss how their family has responded to the climate emergency

Are you a fossil fuel industry insider? We want to hear from you

What do you do when your family has deep ties to the oil and gas industry, yet all agree that burning fossil fuels is accelerating the climate crisis?

For one family, the fossil fuel industry’s role in stoking the climate emergency is more than just a dinner table debate. It’s their legacy. Andy and Wendy met in the 70s while working as engineers for Exxon. They spent decades working in oil and gas while raising their children.

Andy, 65, retired engineer,

Wendy, 62, retired engineer

Liz, 33, environmental safety manager

Dara, 35, Liz’s husband and engineer

James, 31, IT consultant

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s bumper crop: record agricultural production forecast to total $78bn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 7:06pm

Prediction for 2021-22 comes despite flooding and rain damage in the country’s east

Agricultural production will be the largest total volume of commodities Australia has ever produced, with a historic gross production value of $78bn, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences is predicting.

Despite flood and rain damage in the eastern states, the estimation in the Abares Agricultural Commodities report for the December quarter in 2021-22 is an upward revision of $5.4bn from the outlook issued in September, which was already considered record-breaking for surpassing $70bn.

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Categories: Environment

California officials determine cause of city’s ‘stench of death’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 5:20pm

Fire at warehouse storing beauty products caused large quantities of chemicals to enter canal, killing plants

Since early October, residents of Carson, California, have been sickened by a noxious smell coming from the Dominguez Channel that has been likened to “a rotten egg” or “the stench of death”. Now, officials have pinpointed a cause: a fire at a warehouse that stored beauty and wellness products.

South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency tasked with investigating the foul stench, said on Friday that the large warehouse fire, which began on 30 September and took several days to extinguish, caused vast amounts of chemicals to flow into the 15-mile canal. That spurred a die-off of plants living in the waterway, which in turn produced huge amounts of hydrogen sulfide, a flammable and colorless gas that can be harmful to human health.

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Categories: Environment

Before the renovation...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 4:53pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Labor reaches out to religious communities with faith and climate summit

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 2:27pm

Kristina Keneally expresses support for every school to require all staff to ‘live out and profess’ its values

Labor will extend an olive branch to religious communities through a faith and climate summit on Thursday, Kristina Keneally has revealed.

The ALP’s deputy leader in the Senate announced the outreach effort in a webinar with the Christian lobby group FamilyVoice on Monday evening, in which she also expressed support for every school to require all staff to “live out and profess” its values.

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Categories: Environment

The activist facing jail for rescuing a sick goat from a meat farm

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 12:42pm

Wayne Hsiung’s trial on theft and trespass charges could set a legal precedent for the ‘right to rescue’ agricultural livestock

On a rainy night in February, 2018, animal rights activist Wayne Hsiung sneaked into a small scale North Carolina farm and, depending on your perspective, either stole or rescued a baby goat. The maneuver was highly risky – on a live stream, Hsiung tells his audience what awaits: an electric fence, barking dogs and armed security guards, according to the farm’s website.

Undeterred, Hsiung and his co-conspirators filled their pockets with dog treats and broke into the Sospiro farm, owned by farmer Curtis Burnside.

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Categories: Environment

Robert Habeck: from translating English verse to German high office

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 9:13am

Ted Hughes felt the soon-to-be minister for economy and climate was ‘on the same wavelength’

The man who will spend the next four years trying to bring about a green transformation of Germany’s coal-hungry industry once faced another daunting challenge in a previous, less publicly exposed career: translating the most controversial poems in recent British history from English into German.

As Germany’s next vice-chancellor and minister for economy and climate, Green party co-leader Robert Habeck will be one of the most powerful politicians not just in Germany but Europe, overseeing a new super-ministry that will span general economic policy, renewable energy and the expansion of the country’s electricity grid, with a mooted budget upwards of €10bn.

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Categories: Environment

All coral reefs in western Indian Ocean ‘at high risk of collapse in next 50 years’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 9:00am

Reefs from Seychelles to South Africa may become functionally extinct due to global heating and overfishing, study finds

All coral reefs in the western Indian Ocean are at high risk of collapse in the next 50 years due to global heating and overfishing, according to a new assessment.

From Seychelles to the Delagoa region off the coast of Mozambique and South Africa, the reef systems are at risk of becoming functionally extinct by the 2070s, with a huge loss of biodiversity, and threatening the livelihoods and food sources for hundreds of thousands of people.

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Categories: Environment

Old UK oilwells could be turned into CO2 burial test sites

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 5:00am

Exclusive: Consortium of energy firms and universities says underground storage of hydrogen can also be investigated

Exhausted oil and gas wells would be turned into the UK’s first deep test sites for burying carbon dioxide next year, under plans from a consortium of universities and energy companies.

There are hundreds of active onshore oil and gas wells in the UK. But as they come to the end of their lives, some need to be redeployed for trials of pumping CO2 underground and monitoring it to ensure it does not escape, the group says. The test wells could also be used to assess how hydrogen can be stored underground.

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Categories: Environment

Calif. rules to protect outdoor workers from smoke are rarely enforced, probe finds

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 3:10am

California has strict protections for farm workers who labor outside when air quality is poor. But the state's worker safety agency rarely cites employers not in compliance with those regulations.

Categories: Environment

I can’t charge my electric car cheaply because I’m too close to an RAF base

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/12/06 - 12:00am

I can’t have Octopus Energy’s Go tariff because the meter would interfere with air force systems

A few months ago I decided to switch energy supplier and moved to Octopus Energy’s Go tariff, principally because it offers cheap electric car charging overnight at a rate of 5p/kWh.

I applied to have the required smart meter installed. But after being given a date, I was later declined on the basis that smart meters cannot work at my address because they interfere with the missile early warning system at RAF Fylingdales.

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Categories: Environment

Australia Covid live news update: Qld border to reopen 13 December, Palaszczuk says; SA premier advised to close border with NSW over Omicron

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 9:51pm

Annastacia Palaszczuk brings forward Qld border reopening; Steven Marshall ‘very concerned’ by Omicron as SA records four Covid cases; Victoria records 1,073 new cases and six deaths, NSW records 208 cases, ACT six; Katherine lockdown extended as NT records one case; Australia could be renewables ‘superpower’ but has wasted time, Chris Bowen says. Follow all the developments live

A New South Wales government plan to control feral horses in Kosciuszko national park will allow horses to remain in the only known habitat of one of Australia’s most imperilled freshwater fishes and risks pushing the species closer to extinction.

Conservationists say allowing horses to continue to roam around some sections of the park will put vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems at risk.

There are lot of reasons even though they don’t get as sick as adults, they have a pretty strong role in spreading it back to family members and of course that can include parents and also, of greater concern, the grandparents. The older you are, the impacts of getting seriously ill or worse with Covid is greater.

The other reason is just so kids can do what kids are meant to do – go to school, play with their friends, do sport, do exercise, do social things.

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Categories: Environment

China ‘modified’ the weather to create clear skies for political celebration – study

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 9:28pm

Researchers say Beijing used cloud-seeding to create artificial rain and lower pollution in July, in latest example of ‘blueskying’ efforts

Chinese weather authorities successfully controlled the weather ahead of a major political celebration earlier this year, according to a Beijing university study.

On 1 July the Chinese Communist party marked its centenary with major celebrations including tens of thousands of people at a ceremony in Tiananmen Square, and a research paper from Tsinghua University has said an extensive cloud-seeding operation in the hours prior ensured clear skies and low air pollution.

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Categories: Environment

‘Captured’ by coal: NSW government overturns decision to block mine expansion

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 7:13pm

Decision to reject Dendrobium plans has been reversed despite potential damage to drinking water

The New South Wales government has been accused of being “captured” by the coal industry after it overturned a planning commission decision to block a mine expansion that it found could cause irreversible damage to drinking water and release significant heat-trapping gas.

The deputy premier, Paul Toole, and planning minister, Rob Stokes, declared on Saturday the Dendrobium mine expansion near Wollongong – proposed by BHP spin-off South32 – was “state significant infrastructure” due to its role providing coal for the Port Kembla steelworks.

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Categories: Environment

as seen from Hwy 118

The Field Lab - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 2:48pm


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Communities of color face disproportionate exposure to pollution

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 6:09am

Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Michael S. Regan, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, about the Biden administration's approach to environmental justice.

Categories: Environment

Des Moines, Iowa, is in a stinky situation

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 6:09am

Ayesha Rascoe asks Des Moines city official SuAnn Donovan about an ongoing battle against bad odors in the city's downtown.

Categories: Environment

There is an environmental impact each time you hit 'buy now.' Here's an alternative

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 6:00am

Overconsumption from the holiday shopping season can have negative an environmental impact. But there are ways to make gift giving more sustainable.

(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Hot news from two billion years ago: plankton actually moved mountains

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/12/05 - 1:30am

Our planet’s geology shaped life on Earth. But now scientists reveal it worked the other way around too

The mighty forces that created our planet’s mountains in ancient days got some unexpected help, scientists have discovered. Their research shows some of Earth’s greatest ranges got a boost from primitive lifeforms whose remains lubricated movements of rock slabs and allowed them to pile up to form mountains.

If it had not been for life on Earth, the surface of our planet would have been flatter and a lot more boring, say scientists at Aberdeen and Glasgow universities where the research was carried out.

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Categories: Environment

A gray wolf’s epic journey ends in death on a California highway

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/12/04 - 11:00pm

OR-93 traveled further south than any wolf had in a hundred years. Even after death, he continues to inspire

The young gray wolf who took experts and enthusiasts on a thousand-mile journey across California died last month, ending a trek that brought hope and inspiration to many during a time of ecological collapse.

The travels of the young male through the state were a rare occurrence: he was the first wolf from Oregon’s White River pack to come to California and possibly the first gray wolf in nearly a century to be spotted so far south.

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Categories: Environment
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