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EVs are expensive. These city commuters ditched cars altogether — for e-bikes

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2023/01/14 - 6:27am

Electric cars can help reduce climate change, but they are costly. Some commuters in the city say e-bikes are the best way to get around.

(Image credit: Eric Bourland)

Categories: Environment

Storms in the Bay Area have unleashed millions of gallons of untreated sewage water

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2023/01/14 - 5:58am

The massive storms in California have overwhelmed the San Francisco Bay area's sewage systems. Millions of gallons of untreated wastewater are pouring through streets and into the bay.

Categories: Environment

Salvadoran environmental defenders detained for decades-old crimes

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/01/14 - 4:00am

Activists worry the arrests are a move by the cash-strapped government to open the country to now banned metals mining

Five prominent environmental defenders who played a crucial role in securing a historic mining ban in El Salvador have been detained accused of civil war era and gang-related crimes, in what rights groups fear is a ruse to restart mining.

Miguel Ángel Gámez, Alejandro Laínez García, Pedro Antonio Rivas Laínez, Antonio Pacheco and Saúl Agustín Rivas Ortega were detained on Wednesday in Cabañas in northern El Salvador, accused of killing an alleged army informant more than 33 years ago during the brutal civil war that claimed 75,000 lives.

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Categories: Environment

High levels of ‘forever chemical’ found in endangered orcas in Canada

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/01/14 - 1:00am

Southern resident killer whales off British Columbia show alarming levels of 4NP chemical used in toilet paper, study finds

Canadian researchers have discovered high levels of a “forever chemical”, used in making toilet paper, in the bodies of endangered killer whales, sparking fears the toxic substance could further harm them.

Researchers in British Columbia announced they had discovered the chemical 4-nonylphenol, or 4NP, in the 12 killer whales they studied. 4NP is often used in pulp and paper processing but is also found in soap, detergents and textile processing.

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Categories: Environment

UK private renters could save billions if energy efficiency minimum is raised

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 11:01pm

Bill payers stand to collectively save billions if minimum standard raised to a C rating, research suggests

Raising the minimum standard of energy efficiency to a C rating for privately rented homes would save bill payers about £570 a year, research has found.

This would amount to annual savings totalling £1.75bn across the UK, according to the thinktank E3G in a report called Cutting Energy Bills and Raising Standards for Private Renters.

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Categories: Environment

October start set for ban in England of single-use plastic tableware

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 11:01pm

Sale by retailers and food outlets in England of single-use plastic tableware to be banned but not ‘shelf-ready pre-packaged food’ containers

Single-use plastic plates, cutlery and a range of other items will be banned in England from October, to curb their “devastating” impact on the environment, the government has confirmed.

The Department for the Environment said the ban will also cover single-use plastic bowls, trays and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.

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Categories: Environment

Soaked California prepares for more flooding as thousands remain without power

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 4:09pm

Officials urge residents to remain on guard for further damage, with 6,000 under evacuation orders

With rain-soaked California expected to see several more rounds of stormy weather over the weekend and into next week, state and federal officials pleaded with residents on Friday to stay alert to the possibility of more flooding and damage.

A series of storms has walloped the state since late December, leaving at least 19 people dead. On Friday, 6,000 people were under evacuation orders and another 20,000 households were without power, said Nancy Ward, the director of the California governor’s office of emergency services.

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Categories: Environment

beard off

The Field Lab - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 3:42pm


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Environmental group sues New York for approving crypto mining facility

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 10:10am

Lawsuit argues move to allow energy-intensive cryptocurrency miner to take over power plant violates state’s 2019 climate law

Environmental activists filed a lawsuit against a New York state agency on Friday for approving a cryptocurrency mining company’s takeover of an upstate power plant.

The group said the move violates the state’s landmark climate law that was passed in 2019 and the lawsuit is the first to test how energy-intensive crypto mining legally holds up against the state’s climate goals.

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Categories: Environment

Right to wild camp in England lost in Dartmoor court case

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 7:20am

Wealthy landowner Alexander Darwall wins case against national park after arguing right to pitch tent on moors did not exist

The right to wild camp in England and Wales has been lost, after a wealthy landowner successfully brought a case against Dartmoor national park, the last place it was possible without seeking permission.

The park authorities are understood to be consulting with lawyers and strengthening their case before appealing against the decision, which has dismayed nature lovers and right-to-roam campaigners across the country. In response to the case, the Labour party has vowed that if it wins power, it will expand the right to roam and wild camp across England.

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Categories: Environment

Game over: UK arcades face closure threat as energy bills soar by 1,000%

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 7:00am

Some operators weigh up weekend-only opening as soaring energy prices remain stubbornly high

The bright illuminations and chaotic sounds of amusement arcades are an essential part of the British seaside experience, but the lights could soon start going out as owners warn of eye-watering energy bill increases of up to 1,000%.

The jump in costs driven by soaring wholesale gas prices has had a severe impact on a sector that has barely recovered from Covid restrictions, leaving many operators looking at slashing their opening hours or closing completely.

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Categories: Environment

Carbon credits are about to play a central role in Australia’s climate response – that’s problematic | Adam Morton

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 7:00am

Carbon credits are about to play a central role in Australia’s climate response

There are three issues that will determine whether the major climate announcement the Albanese government made this week can deliver the transformational change Australia needs.

The details can be mind-numbing, but a quick summary for those still enjoying a summer break: on Monday the climate change minister, Chris Bowen, released a review into Australia’s carbon credit system. It followed expert allegations the scheme is “largely a sham” as it has failed to deliver real cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

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Categories: Environment

‘World’s longest river cruise’ could threaten endangered Ganges dolphin, experts warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 4:20am

A luxury cruise has been hailed as the start of a new age of Indian tourism. But conservationists fear the impact of increased river traffic and pollution

The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, has officially launched the “world’s longest river cruise” from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The luxury voyage will last 51 days, travelling 3,200km via Dhaka in Bangladesh to Dibrugarh in Assam, crossing 27 river systems.

The three-deck MV Ganga Vilas, with 18 suites, is the latest venture in a trend for cruise tourism in India being promoted by the government. Modi hailed the cruise industry on the Ganges as a “landmark moment”, which will herald a new age of tourism in India.

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Categories: Environment

Coastal residents fear ‘hideous’ seawalls will block waterfront views

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 4:00am

Aesthetics and social inequity are cause for concern as locals grapple with proposals to protect cities from climate change

There were more than a few issues with a recent federal plan to wall Miami off from the dangers of climate change.

The $5bn proposal involved building a massive concrete seawall in the fragile marine ecosystem of Biscayne Bay. It included using taxpayer money to elevate private waterfront mansions, while constructing a wall through the middle of downtown and sometimes low-income neighborhoods.

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Categories: Environment

Federal climate forecasts could help prepare for extreme rain. But it's years away

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 3:28am

Thanks to a new federal law, cities will get better forecasts about how climate change intensifies rainstorms. Still, it won't be in time for billions of dollars of federal infrastructure spending.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Weather tracker: record rain for California, -62C in Siberia

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 3:10am

It’s been very wet in San Francisco and parts of New Zealand, while extreme cold has swept across Russia

Over the past couple of weeks, California has seen the effects of a persistent atmospheric river bringing in constant spells of rain from the Pacific across the state. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) have released rainfall totals for some areas of California over the course of 16 days from 26 December 2022 through to 11 January 2023. Over the 16-day period downtown San Francisco received 345mm and in nearby Oakland totals reached 327.7mm, breaking their 16-day rainfall record. The significance of the flooding is only increased by having had extremely dry soils through the summer and autumn with severe droughts, therefore preventing soils from easily soaking up the intense rainfall that has occurred over recent weeks.

Tropical Cyclone Hale affected the North Island of New Zealand on 9-12 January. Severe thunderstorms brought 156.5mm to Hikuwai in Gisborne in the space of 12 hours, and more than 100mm to other places around Gisborne in the same period. Over the course of 18 hours, 219mm was recorded at Pinnacles in the Coromandel ranges and in Whitianga aerodrome on 10 January, making it the fifth wettest January day on record.

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Categories: Environment

Bills to regulate toxic ‘forever chemicals’ died in Congress – with Republican help

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 3:00am

Lobbying industry flexed muscle to ensure bills that aimed to set stricter standards on PFAS compounds went nowhere

All legislation aimed at regulating toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” died in the Democratic-controlled US Congress last session as companies flexed their lobbying muscle and bills did not gain enough Republican support to overcome a Senate filibuster.

The failure comes after public health advocates and Democratic lawmakers expressed optimism at the legislative session’s outset that bills that would protect the public from dangerous exposure to the chemicals could gain sufficient bipartisan support.

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Categories: Environment

UAE’s Cop28 president will keep role as head of national oil company

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 1:47am

Campaigners warn ‘breathtaking conflict of interest’ could jeopardise climate negotiating process

Sultan Al Jaber, the government minister for United Arab Emirates who will preside over this year’s crucial UN climate talks, will retain his roles as head of the country’s oil company and sustainable energy businesses, UAE has confirmed.

Campaigners have been angered by the decision, revealed by the Guardian on Wednesday and confirmed on Thursday by the UAE government, which they see as a clear conflict of interest, with some likening it to putting a tobacco company head in charge of an anti-smoking treaty, and warning it could jeopardise the negotiating process and hasten climate breakdown.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/01/13 - 1:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including grazing goats, a recovering vulture and relaxing monkeys

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Categories: Environment

Private jet emissions quadrupled during Davos 2022

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/01/12 - 11:00pm

Climate campaigners accuse leaders of hypocrisy as flights emit as much CO2 in a week as 350,000 cars

Private jet emissions quadrupled as 1,040 planes flew in and out of airports serving Davos during the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting.

Climate campaigners accused the rich and powerful of hypocrisy in flying in on private jets to a conference discussing climate breakdown.

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Categories: Environment
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