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UK government to introduce grants to make homes more energy efficient

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 6:20am

Three-year scheme to provide up to £15,000 for middle-income households will start in April 2023

The business secretary, Grant Shapps, will announce a plan next week to offer grants of up to £15,000 to middle-income households to make homes more energy efficient, according to reports.

The scheme, called “eco plus”, will run from April and target middle-earners to enable them to fund work on their homes such as installing cavity-wall insulation or smart heating controls.

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Categories: Environment

Ulez to be expanded across whole of Greater London from August

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 5:42am

Mayor says ultra-low emission zone has been ‘transformational’ and expansion will benefit 5m more people

London’s ultra-low emission zone will be expanded across the entire capital from next August, a move that the mayor said would bring cleaner air to 5 million more residents.

Drivers of older, polluting cars will have to pay £12.50 a day to use their vehicle across Greater London from 29 August 2023.

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Categories: Environment

Will Germany’s energy policy lead to economic failure? | Hans-Werner Sinn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 4:07am

Despite ambitious green goals, the country’s over-reliance on Russian gas has forced it back to coal and expensive imports

Say what you will about Vladimir Putin, but his war on Ukraine did open European eyes to some long-underrated truths. One is that even after more than 70 years of relative peace on the continent, neglecting military security poses grave dangers. Another is that the “green dream” of modern economies powered exclusively by renewable energies remains out of reach – and reliable access to cheap energy supplies remains essential.

While the first truth became starkly apparent as soon as Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on 24 February, the second has only gradually penetrated public awareness. In fact, many have called for an embargo on European imports of Russian gas, arguing that this would not only undermine Moscow’s ability to wage its war, but also accelerate progress toward green Nirvana – all at minimal cost to Europe in terms of lost GDP.

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Categories: Environment

Alarming manatee death toll in Florida prompts calls for endangered status

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 4:00am

Mammals were downgraded from endangered to threatened in 2017, even as pollution and habitat loss drive starvation

The deaths of almost 2,000 manatees in Florida’s coastal and inland waterways over the last two years has provoked an alliance of environmental groups to demand an urgent reclassification of the species to officially endangered.

The advocates, led by the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity, insist the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made a critical error in 2017 by prematurely downgrading the status of the giant aquatic mammals from endangered to merely threatened.

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Categories: Environment

Humans v nature: our long and destructive journey to the age of extinction

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 3:00am

The story of the damage done to the world’s biodiversity is a tale of decline spanning thousands of years. Can the world seize its chance to change the narrative?

The story of the biodiversity crisis starts with a cold-case murder mystery that is tens of thousands of years old. When humans started spreading across the globe they discovered a world full of huge, mythical-sounding mammals called “megafauna”, but by the end of the Pleistocene, one by one, these large animals had disappeared. There is no smoking gun and evidence from ancient crime scenes is – unsurprisingly – patchy. But what investigators have learned suggests a prime suspect: humans.

Take the case of Genyornis, one of the world’s heaviest birds, which was more than 2 metres tall and weighed in excess of 200kg. It lived in Australia until, along with many other megafauna, it went extinct 50,000 years ago. In North America, giant beavers weighing the same as a fridge and an armadillo-like creature called a glyptodon, which was the size of a small car, existed until about 12,000 years ago, when they, too, went extinct. In all, more than 178 species of the world’s largest mammals are estimated to have been driven to extinction between 52,000 and 9,000BC.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 1:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a fox squirrel, a Balkan lynx and wild turkeys

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Categories: Environment

Bear rewilding in Trentino, Italy – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/25 - 12:00am

The number of bears in the Italian Alps is gradually increasing after a successful rewilding project that involved bringing bears from Slovenia. Photojournalist Luca Rotondo visited Trentino to take a look at what was happening

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Categories: Environment

Clive Palmer’s Queensland coalmine will harm future generations, court finds in landmark climate ruling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 7:05pm

First Nations challenge over Galilee mine approval succeeds in land court, but final decision rests with state government

A Queensland court has found the plans of a company owned by Clive Palmer to dig Australia’s largest thermal coalmine in central Queensland infringe upon the human rights of future generations, in landmark climate case.

The Queensland land court’s president, Fleur Kingham, said the case was not about whether any new coalmine should be approved, but “whether this coalmine should be approved on its merits”.

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Categories: Environment

The littlest rat catchers: New Zealand schoolchildren trap and kill 600 pests in 100 days

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 6:48pm

As part of an attempt to rid Stewart Island of the rodents, children as young as five have taken part in a rat catching competition, with remarkable results

In a tiny school on the southern-most tip of New Zealand, the children are lining up their kill.

Big brown rats with long tails, their stomachs caked in blood. Smaller rats, stiff from the refrigerator, tails in a tangle.

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Categories: Environment

‘Point of no return’: Chris Packham leads calls for Rishi Sunak to attend Cop15

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 5:01pm

Conservationist says if world leaders do not go to the summit a strong deal to halt and reverse nature loss is at risk

Chris Packham is urging the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, to attend a key nature summit to protect the planet for the sake of his great-grandchildren because we are “very close to the point of no return”.

The Cop15 biodiversity summit being held in Montreal from 7-19 December is the nature equivalent of the recent Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, with governments from all over the world expected to agree targets to halt the destruction of the natural world. But world leaders are not expected to attend the once-in-a-decade meeting where the next 10 years of targets will be agreed.

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Categories: Environment

Tesla recalls more than 15,000 Australian electric vehicles over faulty tail lights

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 4:35pm

Model 3 and Model Y light issue can be fixed with software update but leads to EV manufacturer’s third recall in Australia this month

More than 15,000 Tesla electric vehicles are being recalled in Australia over faulty rear lights that authorities warned “could increase the risk of an accident causing serious injury or death”.

The recall, issued late on Thursday, affects 15,914 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in Australia sold in 2022.

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Categories: Environment

Thanksgiving 2022

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 2:55pm

58,73,38,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Johnson and Truss join rebels against Sunak keeping new onshore wind ban

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 12:13pm

About 20 Conservative MPs want to end longstanding de facto block on new wind farms in England

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have joined a growing Tory backbench rebellion against Rishi Sunak’s refusal to allow new onshore wind projects in England, in another challenge to the levelling up bill.

The former prime ministers are among about 20 Conservative MPs to have signed an amendment tabled by Simon Clarke, who served as a minister under Johnson and Truss, that would end the de facto ban on new onshore wind that has been in place since 2014.

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Categories: Environment

Eight glasses of water a day excessive for most people, study suggests

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 12:00pm

‘One size fits all’ guidance could lead to 20m litres of drinking water being wasted each day in UK, scientists say

A recommendation to drink eight glasses of water a day is likely to be excessive for most people, according to scientists.

The suggestion has become accepted wisdom and often appears in health guidance. The latest work, however, the most rigorous study to date on water turnover, reveals that people have a wide range of water intakes. Many people only require about 1.5 to 1.8 litres a day, lower than the two litres typically recommended, the research suggests.

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Categories: Environment

Lost and found: noisy, tame and very active, Argentina delights in giant otter’s return

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 9:00am

Decades after the world’s biggest otter disappeared from the country, a kayaking trip revealed a lone male swimming in the Bermejo River

“This really is a big animal,” says Sebastián Di Martino, conservation director of Rewilding Argentina, emphasising the “giant” in giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). “It can be 1.7 metres long … the biggest otter in the world.”

Until its recent rediscovery, the giant otter was feared extinct in the country as a result of habitat loss and hunting. “Family groups were last seen in the 1980s in the Misiones province of north-eastern Argentina,” Di Martino says. “In the Bermejo River, the last sightings occurred 130 years ago, in 1898.”

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Categories: Environment

Tobacco companies can’t sponsor Australian arts. Should fossil fuel giants be banned too?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 7:00am

A 350.org database shows almost two dozen arts organisations are still reliant on mining money – but some are hunting for alternatives

Pressure is building on arts and cultural institutions to sever ties with fossil fuel companies, with a number of Australia’s major arts companies still relying on sponsorship, while those operating in natural resource-rich states face the biggest challenges in securing alternative funding.

There are now at least two Australian-based organisations – Comms Declare and 350.org – that track down sponsorship deals and lobby arts, sporting, cultural and other not-for-profit and government institutions to abandon lucrative partnerships with coal, oil and gas companies.

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Categories: Environment

Are electric vehicles about to become affordable? – with Lenore Taylor

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 7:00am

For years the majority of Australians have been shut out of the electric vehicle market. But after Labor passed a bill that will phase out public support for petrol-based hybrids, electric cars are finally poised to become cheaper and more accessible.

In this episode of Full Story, Gabrielle Jackson talks to Lenore Taylor and Mike Ticher about the new electric car discount, and the road to zero emissions vehicles.

Read more:

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Categories: Environment

‘He kind of amps them up’: ‘Kevin’ the ringleader as turkeys terrorize Massachusetts town

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 4:00am

Residents of Woburn near Boston subjected to attacks and intimidation by group of wild turkeys – and especially Kevin

It’s the time of year when millions of turkeys across the US might justifiably fear for their safety, but in one Massachusetts town the birds have turned the tables, ganging up to “terrorize” residents with pecks, kicks and loud clucking.

People in Woburn, north-west of Boston, have been subjected to a barrage of attacks and intimidation by a group of five wild turkeys, with the situation forcing some to take up improvised weapons and residents reporting being trapped in their homes.

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Categories: Environment

Consider making less food and composting leftovers this Thanksgiving, experts say

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 3:01am

By composting leftovers, a process that converts organic materials into nutrient-rich soil, people can help reduce the amount of trash being dumped into landfills.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Ignore false claims and bad journalism – most LTNs do reduce traffic | Andrew Gilligan

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/24 - 1:00am

Objections to active travel infrastructures are now picking and choosing data to fit the narrative

I’m starting to wonder if anyone is ever going to make an honest argument against cycling and walking infrastructure again. They do exist. People used to say things like “I want to drive and park wherever I like”, or “why should cyclists and pedestrians inconvenience my much more important car journey?”.

Those are still the basic objections, but these days most prominent opponents realise that it sounds a bit politically incorrect. You need some higher public interest ground, however shaky, to pitch your tent on.

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Categories: Environment
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