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Breeding at age 73: new details of endangered orange roughy’s life cycle prompt calls to limit fishing

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 1:00pm

Australian fisheries management says there are regional differences and new data only applies to population in New Zealand

Ocean campaigners say that a New Zealand fishing fleet that trawls for orange roughy in waters off Tasmania should be “sent back” in light of new data about the vulnerable species.

Orange roughy is an endangered deep-sea species which, under Australia’s environmental laws, can still be fished in approved fisheries.

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Categories: Environment

Banks and UK supermarkets accused of backing deforestation in Brazil

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 11:05am

By funding and stocking products from Brazilian meat giant JBS, firms have also supported land-grabbing, investigation claims

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Categories: Environment

US to proceed with production of biofuels despite global food crisis

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 10:16am

Campaigners call to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuel

The US will press ahead with biofuels production, the deputy secretary for agriculture has said, despite increasing concerns over a global food crisis, and calls from campaigners to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuel.

Jewel Bronaugh, the deputy secretary of agriculture, said US farmers could continue to produce biofuels without harming food production. “We are keeping food security top of mind, but at the same time we also want to remain steadfast in the support and promotion of biofuel,” she told journalists in London, where she met the UK government to discuss a possible trade deal and cooperation on food issues.

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Categories: Environment

Energy treaty update fails to address climate crisis, activists say

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 9:01am

1994 agreement allows investors to sue governments for changes in energy policy that harm their profits

Climate activists have said a deal to update a “dangerous” energy treaty has failed to make the agreement compatible with the urgency of the climate crisis.

After more than four years of talks, 52 countries and the EU on Friday struck a deal to “modernise” the energy charter treaty, a 1994 agreement that allows investors to sue governments for changes in energy policy that harm their profits.

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Categories: Environment

UK gave airlines 4.4m free pollution permits in 2021, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 4:59am

Government generosity meant industry could pollute for free, and airlines were left with 900,000 excess permits they could keep or sell

The UK government gave airlines nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in free pollution permits in a single year, enough for the entire industry to dodge a carbon emissions cap and trade scheme entirely, according to research.

In 2021 the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS), which charges polluters per tonne of carbon emitted, handed airlines 4.4m free allowances and the industry only surrendered 3.4m back. In effect, UK taxpayers covered the entire cost of aviation industry emissions, plus some to spare.

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Categories: Environment

Electricity used to mine bitcoin plummets as crypto crisis widens

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 4:49am

Consumption down by third since 11 June, with even sharper falls among other cryptocurrency networks

The amount of electricity consumed by the largest cryptocurrency networks has decreased by up to 50% as the “crypto winter” continues to eat at the incomes of “miners” and financial contagion spreads further throughout the sector.

The electricity consumption of the bitcoin network has fallen by a third from its high of 11 June, down to an annualised 131 terawatt-hours a year, according to estimates from the crypto analyst Digiconomist. That still equates to the annual consumption of Argentina, with a single conventional bitcoin transaction using the same amount of electricity that a typical US household would use over 50 days.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 4:19am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a rare albino otter, a wild toki bird and a big-eared opossum

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Categories: Environment

California’s largest reservoirs at critically low levels – signaling a dry summer ahead

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 3:00am

Images from Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta compiled by the state show ‘a shocking drop in water levels’ compared to years past

California’s two largest reservoirs are at critically low levels, signaling that the state, like much of the US west, can expect a searing, dry summer ahead.

This week, officials confirmed that Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, was at just 55% of its total capacity when it reached its highest level for the year last month. Meanwhile, Shasta Lake, California’s largest reservoir, was at 40% capacity last month – after the state endured its driest start to a year since the late 19th century.

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Categories: Environment

How to rewild a country: the story of Argentina

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 3:00am

It began with a philanthropic couple buying a swamp but has become one of the world’s boldest experiments in restoring degraded habitats, bringing wildlife and landscapes back from the brink

Above: El Impenetrable national park, home to thousands of charismatic plants, flowers and animals, including jaguars. Below: Satellite images from Landsat and Planet Basemaps data from 1993 to 2022 show the rapid rate of development on the edges of the park

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Categories: Environment

Chinese premier calls for more coal production as electricity demand soars

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 2:56am

Records for electricity usage broken in Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu after early summer heatwaves

China’s premier has called for increased production of coal to stave off mass blackouts, as early summer heatwaves have prompted record electricity usage.

On Friday, authorities again issued high temperature warnings for about a dozen provinces across the central and northern provinces, after consecutive days in the high 30s.

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Categories: Environment

‘A deadly combination’: excessive heat adds to Arizona opioid epidemic’s toll

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/06/24 - 12:00am

Opioid fatalities – driven by synthetics such as fentanyl – in the state were up 80% last year compared with 2018 and punishing heat is making things worse

Andy Brack was out cold with his head slumped back on the driver’s seat of a white pickup truck, a faint blue tinge around his lips. His friend, Ellen, had called 911 after the 50-year-old lost consciousness while driving to the store.

Brack had been smoking fentanyl for two days straight, according to Ellen, who managed to stop the vehicle from crashing. It was around 4.30pm and boiling outside, almost 108F (42C), and the pickup didn’t have air conditioning. She was doing CPR compressions when the paramedics arrived.

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Categories: Environment

RC car trivia question:

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 4:13pm

 

What do these have to do with a modification I will be making on the rover?94,100,74,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

UK chemicals plant ready to start carbon capture rollout

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 4:01pm

Tata Chemicals Europe hopes the process will reduce the greenhouse gas’ emissions by 10% annually and supply high-purity C02 for industry

A Cheshire chemicals factory is to start capturing carbon dioxide on an industrial scale from energy generation in what is described as the UK’s first major use of the emissions-reduction technology.

Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) hopes to capture 40,000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas per year, reducing its annual emissions by 10% and providing it with a supply of high-purity carbon dioxide that could be used in products ranging from glass and washing detergents to pharmaceuticals and food.

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Categories: Environment

An Aquinnah Wampanoag elder is restoring some land to what it was before colonists

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 1:47pm

On the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe are trying to restore land to the way it looked, smelled and sounded pre-colonialism.

Categories: Environment

Think all bacteria are microscopic? Tell that to these centimeter-long monsters

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 11:01am

The largest bacteria known to science have been discovered in the Caribbean. They're visible to the naked eye and surprisingly complex.

(Image credit: Olivier Gros/The Regents of the University of California, LBNL)

Categories: Environment

Appetite for frogs’ legs in France and Belgium ‘driving species to extinction’

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 10:54am

Conservationists say exploitation of amphibians leading to depletion of native species abroad

A voracious appetite for frogs’ legs among the French and Belgians is driving species in Indonesia, Turkey and Albania to the brink of extinction, according to a report.

Europe imports as many as 200 million mostly wild frogs every year, contributing to a serious depletion of native species abroad.

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Categories: Environment

Silver lining: Australian researchers given $45m to study alternative solar panel materials

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 10:30am

Research to focus on more efficient and durable solar cells, increasing manufacturing capacity and a shift to more abundant and cheaper metals

The Albanese government has extended funding for Australia’s world-leading solar energy scientists as they race to increase panel efficiency and shift to more abundant materials, before constraints on silver and other metals hobble the industry’s growth.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will announce on Friday it will grant $45m over the next eight years to the University of NSW-based Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics. Most of the money will be spent within the first five years.

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Categories: Environment

‘Pandora’s box’: experts say Queensland’s windfall from coal royalties could set a precedent

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 10:30am

Industry and analysts predict budget measure could provide billions in additional revenue

Queensland’s rewriting of royalty rules could tip billions of dollars more into its coffers this coming year, with an analyst saying it’s a missed opportunity for New South Wales that is still open to other states and the commonwealth to mimic.

The Queensland budget this week imposed three trigger points for higher mining royalties, which the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) predicts will deliver an extra $15bn in 2022-23.

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Categories: Environment

Sunak urges banks to keep funding oil and gas firms after windfall tax

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 10:30am

Sector says £5bn energy profits levy will make investment in new projects and renewables more difficult

Rishi Sunak has asked Britain’s biggest banks to keep the money taps flowing to the oil and gas sector after slapping it with a windfall tax.

In a bruising meeting in Aberdeen on Thursday, the chancellor told oil and gas executives he is trying to ensure investment in their businesses is not curtailed.

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Categories: Environment

Sussan Ley backs Peter Dutton’s decision to oppose emissions legislation but signals future room for change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/23 - 10:30am

Deputy opposition leader criticises government’s 43% reduction target but says Liberal party’s climate position is not fixed

The deputy opposition leader, Sussan Ley, has backed Peter Dutton’s decision to oppose government legislation to cut emissions by 43% by 2030, but signalled the Coalition’s climate policy could shift before the next federal election.

In an interview with Guardian Australia, the new deputy Liberal leader said it was “sensible” for the opposition not to jettison policies it took to the May election.

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Categories: Environment
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