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A big proposed wind project in Idaho faces major local opposition

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 4:20pm

Opposition is mounting to what would be one of the biggest wind energy projects on federal public land. A neighboring former Japanese internment camp has a constituency fighting it.

Categories: Environment

Canadian minister calls for emergency order to save country’s last spotted owls

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 9:52am

Steven Guilbeault wants to block logging of critical old-growth forest to prevent owls from going extinct in British Columbia

Canada’s environment minister plans to use a rare emergency order to protect the last of an endangered owl species in an area where critical old-growth forest is slated for further clearcutting.

Steven Guilbeault advised the environmental groups Ecojustice and the Wilderness Committee that he believed the spotted owl was facing “imminent threats to its survival” and he would use the powers to block further destruction of its habitat in British Columbia, the groups announced on Thursday afternoon.

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Categories: Environment

Apples and pears could be next UK food shortage, farmers warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 9:20am

Growers say they do not get paid enough by supermarkets, as supply of leeks also comes under threat

Apples and pears could be the next food shortage in the UK, after it emerged that British growers are planting just a third of the number of trees needed to maintain orchards, saying their returns from selling to supermarkets are unsustainable.

Ali Capper, head of the British Apples & Pears trade association which represents about 80% of the industry in the UK, said 1m new trees would have to be planted each year to maintain the UK’s 5,500 hectares (13,590 acres) of production.

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Categories: Environment

All fish tested from Michigan rivers contain ‘forever chemicals’, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 7:35am

Researchers found PFAS chemicals – used to make products resistant to heat and water – in all samples of 12 species of fish

All fish caught in Michigan rivers and tested for toxic PFAS contained the chemicals – and at levels that present a health risk for anyone eating them, according to a new study.

Researchers checked 100 fish samples that represented 12 species in the Huron and Rouge rivers.

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Categories: Environment

Hemp: the green crop tied down by red tape in the US

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 4:00am

Stalky plant is not approved as a livestock feed, holding back a sustainable industry that could invigorate agriculture

Ken Elliott runs a hemp oilseed and fiber processing facility in Fort Benton, Montana. His company, IND Hemp, grinds up the stalky plant so that it can be used for a variety of purposes, such as snacks, grain, insulation and paper. About 20 truckloads of spent biomass lie in heaps on his property.

Elliott estimates he could make a couple million dollars if he sold this leftover stuff as livestock feed. Hemp seedcake would make a great substitute for alfalfa – rich in fatty acids, proteins and fiber. His cattle rancher buddies are hit hard by the soaring costs of hay and would love to get their hands on this alternative. One buffalo herder wanted to buy the whole lot.

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Categories: Environment

Parts of US see earliest spring conditions on record: ‘Climate change playing out in real time’

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 3:00am

Parts of Texas, Arkansas, Ohio and Maryland, along with New York, are all recording their earliest spring conditions on record

Blooming daffodils in New York City. Leaves sprouting from red maples in North Carolina. Cherry blossoms about to bud in Washington. Record winter warmth across much of the eastern US has caused spring-like conditions to arrive earlier than ever previously recorded in several places, provoking delight over the mild weather and despair over the unfolding climate crisis.

In New York, one of several US cities to experience its warmest January on record, spring conditions have arrived 32 days before the long-term normal, which is its earliest onset of biological spring in 40 years of charting seasonal trends by the National Phenology Network.

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Categories: Environment

'The Great Displacement' looks at communities forever altered by climate change

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 3:00am

Jack Bittle's book takes a look at several communities that have been affected by climate change, and how the lives of their residents — those who have survived — have been altered by extreme weather.

(Image credit: Simon & Schuster)

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 1:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a rescued alligator, a curious seal and the ‘Snettisham Spectacular’

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Categories: Environment

‘Nobody has answers’: Ohio residents fearful of health risks near train site

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/24 - 12:00am

Locals who live near the site of the toxic train derailment describe ‘burning eyes and throat’ as experts say the EPA is needlessly putting their health at risk

When crews conducted a controlled burn of giant quantities of toxic vinyl chloride in the wake of the train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, they nullified the risk of a potentially deadly explosion.

But the preventative burn created new potential risks over the horizon. Compounds such as dioxins, chlorinated PAHs and other chemical byproducts of vinyl chloride combustion, some of which are highly toxic, can accumulate in the environment, and could pose a long-term health threat in the East Palestine area and downwind.

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Categories: Environment

Beauty breeds obsession: the fight to save orchids from a lethal black market

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 11:00pm

Behind the scenes of its 20th orchid show, the New York Botanical Garden toils to rescue endangered plants

On a brisk February morning, a line formed outside the New York Botanical Garden’s vaulted conservatory. Inside, winter layers discarded, visitors gazed at a mossy rock covered in bright, perfect orchids rising towards the white-boned dome of the greenhouse: the opening piece of the garden’s 20th orchid show, designed by the botanical artist Lily Kwong.

Pots spilled over with showy peach and fuchsia phalaenopsis orchids; some had white petals splotched with crimson, like a wine stain on a dress shirt. There were highlighter-bright cattleyas, a white spidery star orchid in bloom and beguiling Asian lady slippers. A woman in a floral dress crouched over the glossy, grotesque petals of a paphiopedilum. “They’re trouble,” she said.

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Categories: Environment

Counting the cost of Uganda’s east Africa oil pipeline – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 11:00pm

Oil companies plan to pump crude oil from Lake Albert, Uganda to the coast of neighbouring Tanzania, with the goal of producing 1.4bn barrels over the next two decades. But the pipeline project has created a human tragedy for those living in its 900-mile path

Photographs by Sadak Souici. Words by Théophile Simon for La Chronique d’Amnesty International France

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Categories: Environment

Car pollution kills more Australians than crashes, new research finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 7:32pm

The University of Melbourne study estimated that 11,105 people die prematurely from transport emissions, many more than past figures

Pollution from motor vehicles could be killing thousands more people than road accidents, with new research finding more than 11,000 Australians die prematurely every year from transport emissions.

The study from the University of Melbourne also found vehicle pollution could be putting more than 19,000 people in hospital for heart and lung issues, and causing asthma cases to spike by 66,000 each year.

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

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Categories: Environment

EPA administrator says there are no concerns after derailment in East Palestine

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 2:31pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Michael Regan, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, about the response after the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Categories: Environment

All motors running...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 2:11pm
There sure are a lot of wires when you got three microcontrollers and six stepper motors all hooked up. First try at powering up and nothing happened (I had my common grounds mixed up). Now that all of them are working consistently, I have to set their timing and synchronization. Then it will be time for some "cable management". 76,82,60,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

US beach town bans balloons to save the ocean

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 11:09am

Experts say more cities should join the growing legislative trend to reduce trash, save birds and protect against wildfires

Laguna Beach – the California city known for surfers, waves, rolling hills – grabbed headlines this week for enacting a strict ban on the sale and use of balloons. The city council passed the resolution on Tuesday night, citing wildfire risk and the fact that balloons are a huge source of marine trash. Beginning in 2024, balloons of all types will not be permitted to be used on public property or at city events, with violators facing fines of up to $500. Residential homes will be exempt.

The move is part of a growing trend. Maryland and Virginia banned intentional balloon releases in 2021, Hawaii followed suit in 2022, with New York and Florida now considering similar measures. And like plastic bags and other pollutants, experts say balloon bans could catch on more widely as awareness rises of the harms that the popular celebratory item causes to the environment.

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Categories: Environment

Environment secretary urges Britons to ‘cherish’ turnips amid food shortages

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 10:58am

Thérèse Coffey’s championing of UK ‘specialisms’ causes one Labour MP to retort: ‘Let them eat turnips!’

The UK environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has caused a furore after she suggested people should “cherish” seasonal foods such as turnips as bad weather cleared supermarket shelves of tomatoes and other fresh produce.

“It’s important to make sure that we cherish the specialisms that we have in this country,” Coffey told parliament. “A lot of people would be eating turnips right now rather than thinking necessarily about aspects of lettuce and tomatoes and similar.”

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Categories: Environment

Here's the most thorough explanation yet for the train derailment in East Palestine

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 10:04am

A wheel bearing on the train's 23rd car overheated to a dangerous degree, a new NTSB report says. An earlier warning may have helped to prevent the derailment, officials said.

(Image credit: Matt Freed/AP)

Categories: Environment

Cutting air pollution improves children’s lung development, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 9:51am

Conclusions from long-term survey in Sweden come days after 10th anniversary of Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death in London

Reducing air pollution could improve lung function development in children and cut the numbers of young people with significant pulmonary impairments, research suggests.

The impact of air pollution on health has become a topic of intense concern in recent years, with research suggesting it can affect every organ in the body and the World Health Orgazisation noting children’s developing organs and nervous systems are more susceptible to long-term damage.

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Categories: Environment

Frozen memories: rare Antarctic expedition images – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 7:00am

The National Archives of Australia has restored and made public hundreds of rare and fragile images, digitised from glass plate negatives and lantern slides, of early 20th century British and Australian Antarctic expeditions

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Categories: Environment

The American climate migration has already begun | Jake Bittle

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/02/23 - 4:11am

Last year, 3 million were displaced in the US. Millions more will follow – and neither they, the government or the housing market are ready

Over the past decade, the US has experienced a succession of monumental climate disasters. Hurricanes have obliterated parts of the Gulf Coast, dumping more than 50in of rain in some places. Wildfires have denuded the California wilderness and destroyed thousands of homes. A once-in-a-millennium drought has dried up rivers and forced farmers to stop planting crops. Many of these disasters have no precedent in living memory, and they have dominated the headlines as Americans process the power of a changing climate.

But the disasters themselves are only half the story. The real story of climate change begins only once the skies clear and the fire burns out, and it has received far less attention in the mainstream media.

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Categories: Environment
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