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US environmental agency to conduct internal inquiry over Ohio train wreck

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 11:00pm

EPA’s response to the derailment has drawn intense criticism from East Palestine residents and public health experts

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog division is opening an investigation into the handling of the East Palestine train wreck which caused a toxic disaster in the small Ohio town.

An agency spokesperson declined to comment on why it is launching the investigation, but a public memo from the EPA office of inspector general states that it will “conduct interviews, gather data, and analyze a variety of issues, including hazardous waste disposal, air and water monitoring, soil and sediment sampling, and risk communication”.

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Categories: Environment

‘A second chance’: Peru sanctuaries help rescued monkeys back into the wild

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 10:30pm

At two wildlife centres in the Madre de Dios region, the victims of illegal mining activities embark on a long journey of rehabilitation

“She used to fight every time I tried to feed her, but she recognises it’s me now,” says Cinthia Pariguana-Garriazo, a veterinary nurse at Taricaya eco reserve. It is 6am, and she is coaxing a squealing baby spider monkey called Rain into accepting breakfast – a syringe filled with liquefied fruit and medicine.

Rain is fed every four hours and requires regular physical contact with Pariguana-Garriazo, her primary carer. Over the next few months, she will be gradually introduced to solid food and to other spider monkeys and her contact with humans will dwindle. From there, it’s a long process of rehabilitation before her release back into the wild. Juveniles can expect to stay at Taricaya for at least three years.

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Categories: Environment

Australia politics live: Chris Minns’ path to NSW majority government narrows; Hawke and Keating minister John Kerin dies

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 9:01pm

Minority Labor government in NSW looking likely as two more seats called for Coalition. Follow live

Sorry – I am told by a couple of senators that it was “technically” 4.13am.

So expect to see a few bleary-eyed senators in the coffee lines this morning.

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Categories: Environment

UK ‘strikingly unprepared’ for impacts of climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 4:01pm

Government’s official advisers point to ‘lost decade’ in efforts to protect lives and livelihoods

The UK is “strikingly unprepared” for the impacts of the climate crisis, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which said there had been a “lost decade” in efforts to adapt for the impacts of global heating.

The CCC, the government’s official climate adviser, said climate damages will inevitably intensify for decades to come. It has warned repeatedly of poor preparation in the past and said government action was now urgently needed to protect people and their homes and livelihoods.

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Categories: Environment

Poole harbour oil spill washes up on wildlife haven Brownsea Island

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 11:58am

Exclusive: National Trust concerned at danger to rich mix of ecosystems including lagoon, woodland, salt marsh and reedbed

Oil from the Perenco pipeline leak in Poole harbour has washed up on the shores of Brownsea Island, an internationally important wetland and marine conservation zone.

Nearly 200 barrels of reservoir fluid – a brine mixture that is about 15% oil – leaked into the waters of Ower Bay on Sunday from the pipeline sparking a major incident and urgent clean-up operation.

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Categories: Environment

Insect infamy: rare beetle named for former California governor

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 8:52am

Bembidion brownorum, named for Jerry Brown, was last seen in 1966, but hadn’t been named until one was collected on his ranch

Scientists are naming a rare species of beetle in honor of the former California governor Jerry Brown after finding one at his ranch.

Bembidion brownorum was last seen in 1966, but it hadn’t been named or described until one was collected near a creek on Brown’s ranch in Colusa county, about an hour’s drive north-west of Sacramento, the University of California, Berkeley announced on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

The Maldives are 99% water, so why can so few teenagers swim?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 7:41am

A lack of swimming skills among young people, especially girls, stops them working in local industries and getting involved in conservation

Azha Abdul Azeez lives in Malé, the capital of the Maldives archipelago, surrounded by the idyllic Indian Ocean. But she “grew up in the house” and the water that makes up so much of Abdul Azeez’s home – a rich habitat including coral reefs, turtles, manta rays and exotic fish – terrifies her because she never learned to swim.

“[My parents] were worried that something might happen to me. I think that’s why they didn’t send me [swimming] when I was little,” she says.

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Categories: Environment

Return of the Gedi: space mission that maps Earth’s forests saved from destruction

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 11:30pm

Nasa grants last-minute reprieve to invaluable climate and biodiversity scanner on International Space Station, due to be incinerated in Earth’s atmosphere

Nasa has extended the life of a key climate and biodiversity sensor for scanning the world’s forests which was set to be destroyed in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (Gedi) mission – pronounced like Jedi in Star Wars – was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2018, and has provided the first 3D map of the world’s forests.

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Categories: Environment

Meatball from long-extinct mammoth created by food firm

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 10:00pm

Exclusive: Australian company resurrects flesh of lost species to demonstrate potential of meat grown from cells

A mammoth meatball has been created by a cultivated meat company, resurrecting the flesh of the long-extinct animals.

The project aims to demonstrate the potential of meat grown from cells, without the slaughter of animals, and to highlight the link between large-scale livestock production and the destruction of wildlife and the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

‘We are very vulnerable’: cyclone-hit Vanuatu pins climate hopes on UN vote

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 5:49pm

Pacific nation is sponsoring resolution that will ask ICJ to rule on consequences for climate inaction

Last month, twin cyclones tore through Port Vila, the capital of the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. The category-four storms left corrugated iron roofs crumpled like leftover wrapping paper, flooded the streets with waste-ridden mud, cut residents off from water and electricity for several days, and sent many fleeing to hastily established evacuation centres.

Devastation of this sort is becoming more common throughout the Pacific, where rising sea levels are leaving shorelines increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather made more intense by climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Train carrying hazardous materials derails in North Dakota

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 12:09pm

A Canada Pacific train derailed on Sunday night, affecting 31 of its 70 cars, and spilling petroleum used to make asphalt

A train carrying hazardous materials derailed in North Dakota late on Sunday night in the latest toxic railway accident to hit the US.

The incident happened less than two months after a train derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, causing a raging fire and leaking cancerous chemicals near the small town of East Palestine.

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Categories: Environment

Calls for answers over Poole harbour oil spill as cleanup continues

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 10:20am

Extinction Rebellion leads protest and council leader expresses anger over damage done to protected site

Environmental activists, biodiversity experts, politicians and nature lovers are demanding answers over an oil leak in Poole harbour, a site internationally recognised for its ecological importance.

Nearly 200 barrels of reservoir fluid – a brine mixture that is about 15% oil – leaked into the waters of Owers Bay on Sunday afternoon from a pipeline operated by the energy company Perenco.

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Categories: Environment

Labor agrees to absolute cap on emissions to secure Greens backing for safeguard mechanism climate bill

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 9:53am

Adam Bandt says deal puts ‘significant hurdles’ in the way of new coal and gas but Chris Bowen insists it will not kill off new investment

The Albanese government’s signature climate bill targeting big polluters is a step closer to passing after a deal with the Greens including an absolute cap on emissions.

The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, announced the deal on the safeguard mechanism bill on Monday, taking credit for “a big hit on coal and gas” that could effectively block half of 116 proposed new fossil fuel projects.

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Categories: Environment

'Environmental disaster': sailor shows oily sludge polluting water in Poole harbour – video

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 8:43am

A sailor in Poole in Dorset posted a video on social media on Sunday showing an oily substance he had noticed leaking into the water in the harbour. He collected some of the 'horrible, oil kind of sludge' in a plastic bottle. The public is being urged to avoid using the water and beaches within Poole after the harbour regulator said a leak occurred at a pipeline operated by gas company Perenco. The incident, which took place at Wytch Farm oilfield, resulted in approximately 200 barrels of 'reservoir fluid' being released from the UK’s largest onshore field

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Categories: Environment

Philadelphians rush to buy bottled water despite officials claiming water is safe after spill

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 8:30am

Residents show skepticism to officials insisting tap water is uncontaminated after chemical spill in the Delaware River

Residents in Philadelphia and nearby areas have been buying bottled water after a chemical spill upstream in the Delaware River in neighboring Bucks county, despite officials’ latest advisory insisting tap water was safe to drink at least up to midnight Monday.

The concerns came after a leak late Friday evening at the Trinseo Altuglas chemical facility in Bristol Township spilled between 8,100 and 12,000 gallons of a water-based latex finishing solution into the river, Bucks county health officials said Sunday.

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Categories: Environment

It’s not perfect, but the Labor-Greens climate deal should limit emissions and fossil fuels. That matters | Adam Morton

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 7:00am

The agreement delivers important changes to the safeguard mechanism. But there is still a lot of work to do

The safeguard mechanism is a better policy to deal with major industrial greenhouse gas emissions after a deal between the Albanese government and the Greens.

It is not perfect, it is needlessly complicated and there are still things to be ironed out about how some of the headline changes will work. But it is an improvement.

Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup

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Categories: Environment

Older people like me need to start protesting for our planet | Bill McKibben

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 6:38am

I’m proud to be part of Third Act, a climate activist organization for people over the age of 60

The brutal truth is that last week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report didn’t have the effect it should have had, or that its authors clearly intended. Produced by thousands of scientists who synthesized the work of tens of thousands of their peers over the last decade, and meticulously drafted by teams of careful communicators, it landed in the world with a gentle plop, not the resounding thud that’s required.

In China, the world’s biggest emitter, official attention was focused instead on Moscow, where Xi Jinping was off to do a little male bonding with fellow autocrat Vladimir Putin, incidentally the world’s second largest producer of hydrocarbons. In America, the historical emissions champ, we were riveted by the possibility that would-be autocrat Donald Trump might be indicted. In the New York Times, our planet’s closest thing to a paper of record, the IPCC report was the fourth story on the website.

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Categories: Environment

Exxon in the classroom: how big oil money influences US universities

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 1:30am

Students at Princeton describe unease that Exxon employee had an office on campus, while dozens of universities have big oil links

The lecturer looked, and sounded, the part. Sporting a pale blue shirt and Princeton University ID badge, he had his own office on campus, a short stroll from the room where several dozen students were gathered to hear him confidently talk about the challenges in moving away from fossil fuels.

Tim Barckholtz is not a Princeton professor, however. He is a senior scientific adviser at ExxonMobil, the oil giant that has done so much to both perpetuate and downplay the climate crisis. Barckholtz, an affable figure who has fronted adverts for Exxon touting its emissions reduction research, spent around six months sitting in and contributing to lectures and research groups, based in his own office space at the elite university.

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Categories: Environment

Australia politics live: Bob Brown says Chris Bowen would ‘bring the house down’ if he amended emissions cap

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/03/26 - 9:00pm

Follow today’s news live

Fletcher won’t offer ‘gratuitous advice’ on Moira Deeming move

The vote on whether or not first term Victorian upper house Liberal Moira Deeming will remain in the Liberal party is to be held today (there is a party room meeting in just under two hours).

What I support is that the leader in Victoria and the party room in Victoria.

My Victorian state colleagues will make the decision that they determine is in the best interests of the Liberal party but, more importantly, of the people of Victoria who they seek to serve.

I’m not going to be offering commentary on these matters.

I’m not going to be commenting on hypotheticals.

My view is that we are a party with a diverse range of views. And what’s very important is that we can have a vigorous exchange of views within our party room. We take our internal party democracy, democratic process very seriously. And that is how it should be. And look, I’m not going to get into ruling in or ruling out particular viewpoints on this or any other issue in an abstract, hypothetical way.

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Categories: Environment

Poole harbour: major incident declared over leak from oilfield

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/03/26 - 7:40pm

About 200 barrels of reservoir fluid leak into the Dorset harbour, a site of special scientific interest

The public is being urged to avoid using the water and beaches within Poole harbour in Dorset, south-west England, after an oil leak caused a major incident to be declared.

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC), the harbour regulator, said a leak occurred at a pipeline operated by gas company Perenco, under Owers Bay on Sunday.

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Categories: Environment
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