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Electric cars averaged more travel than petrol vehicles in Australia in past year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 12:00pm

Expert says claims that EVs will ‘end the weekend can be put to bed’ by new figures

Australian electric vehicle drivers are on average driving further than people with petrol vehicles as infrastructure improves, new statistics show.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics for the first time looked at how electric vehicle drivers use their cars and found that in the 12 months to 30 June 2020 they had travelled 69 million km.

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Categories: Environment

Don’t add to e-waste mountain, campaign urges UK shoppers

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 10:16am

Material Focus says tech superseded by purchases on Black Friday and beyond can be donated or recycled

Black Friday and pre-Christmas spending sprees will create an e-waste mountain as 5m unwanted electrical items are binned or put in storage in Britain, a campaign group has warned.

The end-of-November sales event triggers the commercial run-up to Christmas and is followed days later by the Cyber Monday e-commerce frenzy, with retailers offering cut-price deals on a range of goods from mobile phones to laptops and smart speakers.

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Categories: Environment

Some climate campaigners praise Biden for releasing emergency oil reserves

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 7:00am

Move appears to contradict president’s climate crisis goals but some say it defends the economy ‘against disruption’

In a surprising move, some climate crisis campaigners have praised Joe Biden for ordering the release of emergency oil reserves in an attempt to reduce energy prices across the country.

On Tuesday, the president announced the release of a record 50m barrels of oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, in coordination with other countries including China, India and the UK.

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Categories: Environment

What happens when America’s coal plants die?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 6:00am

Facing economic and environmental pressures, coal plants are closing across the US, leaving communities to work out how to keep afloat

When the coal-fired power plant just outside the tiny town of Nucla, Colorado, closed in 2019, it had the makings of a disaster.

The plant, which opened in 1959, shut down three years ahead of schedule when it ran out of coal, leaving the town shocked and facing the loss of its largest employer. The facility provided nearly half the tax revenue to the region, said Deana Sheriff, executive director of the West End Economic Development Corp, which serves Nucla and the surrounding area between Telluride and Grand Junction in western Colorado.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 5:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including sparring polar bears, hungry hedgehogs and a green cat

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Categories: Environment

The need to trespass: let people in to protect nature, says guerrilla botanist

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 5:00am

Naturalist and campaigner Dave Bangs says limiting access to the countryside makes it harder to save our ancient landscapes

In a prehistoric bog where iguanodons once roamed and the early Britons first smelted ore into iron, what looks like a tiny orange candle peeps through the mire. It sends my companion into a paroxysm of joy.

“That’s good! That’s new!”

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Categories: Environment

The butterflies are back! Annual migration of monarchs shows highest numbers in years

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 3:00am

The annual winter monarch butterfly migration, which has seen steep declines in recent years, seems to be making a comeback. Biologists are encouraged and confused by the trend.

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Battery power: five innovations for cleaner, greener electric vehicles

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 2:00am

EVs are seen as key in transition to low-carbon economy, but as their human and environmental costs become clearer, can new tech help?

While the journey to a low-carbon economy is well under way, the best route to get there remains up for debate. But, amid the slew of “pathways” and “roadmaps”, one broad consensus exists: “clean” technology will play a vital role.

Nowhere is this truer than for transport. To cut vehicle emissions, an alternative to the combustion engine is required.

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Categories: Environment

‘Reaching back to the horse and cart’: Morrison government’s gas plan panned

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/26 - 1:00am

Plan to ‘unlock basins’ for domestic and export criticised as ‘out of sync’ with global trends and climate action

The Morrison government’s latest plan to spark a “gas-led recovery” from the Covid pandemic and bolster gas supplies has been panned as out of step with market trends and at odds with a net zero 2050 goal.

The national gas infrastructure plan, released on Friday, calls for the development of at least one major new gas basin before 2030 to meet projected domestic and export needs. Opening up new gas fields, though, will also require additional pipelines.

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Categories: Environment

Death and destruction follow a Siberian coal mine fire

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 2:22pm

A devastating fire swept through a Siberian coal mine Thursday, killing 52 miners and rescuers about 820 feet underground, Russian news reports said.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Environment

Activists take court action against Boris Johnson over climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 1:21pm

Three people claim government is breaching right to life and family life by not doing what is needed to prevent disaster

Three young people are taking legal action against the prime minister, accusing him of breaching his legal obligations to take “practical and effective measures” to tackle the climate crisis.

In a high court hearing in London on Thursday, Adetola Onamade, 24, Jerry Amokwandoh, 22, and Marina Tricks, 20, claimed the government was breaching their rights under the Human Rights Act to life and to family life by failing to do what was necessary to avert environmental disaster.

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Categories: Environment

Thanksgiving 2021

The Field Lab - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 1:16pm



Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Canada taps into strategic reserves to deal with massive shortage ... of maple syrup

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 12:33pm

While high gas prices have pushed President Biden to tap into the US's strategic oil reserves, America's neighbor to the north is also dealing with a shortage of another so-called "liquid gold".

(Image credit: Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Categories: Environment

In defence of Science Museum’s sponsors | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 10:48am

Bob Ward, an adviser on two of the museum’s energy exhibitions, responds to a campaign letter expressing concern over its fossil fuel ties

As an independent and unpaid adviser on two of the Science Museum’s energy exhibitions, I was disappointed to see your report about the campaign letter against it (Dozens of academics shun Science Museum over fossil fuel ties, 19 November), which risks delaying the rollout of clean energy. The well-meaning signatories state that they are severing links with the museum until each sponsor from the energy industry “demonstrates a credible plan to phasing out fossil fuels in line with the Paris 1.5C target”.

The museum’s Our Future Planet exhibition has two major sponsors, Shell and UK Research and Innovation, the government funding body that has provided support for many of the signatories on the letter. Shell has set a target of cutting all sources of its emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, like many countries that have pledged to keep in reach the 1.5°C target. The company undoubtedly needs to do much more, but its plan so far has persuaded ethical investors, such as the Church of England pensions board, to remain engaged. Cries of “greenwash” every time the company invests in the pursuit of, or information about, net zero are unlikely to accelerate its transition away from fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

Artworks to highlight air pollution’s role in death of London girl

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 10:02am

Breathe: 2022 by Dryden Goodwin will pay tribute to Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah of Lewisham

Public artwork that pays homage to Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose exposure to air pollution contributed to her death at the age of nine, will go on display close to her south London home next year.

Breathe: 2022 by Dryden Goodwin will appear at sites close to the South Circular road, which runs within 25 metres of the house where Ella lived. The artwork – a centrepiece of events marking Lewisham’s year as London borough of culture – revisits Goodwin’s 2012 creation Breathe, which depicted his five-year-old son inhaling and exhaling.

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Categories: Environment

‘Keep the bastards honest’: former Australian Democrats leader joins high-profile group backing independents

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 9:30am

Exclusive: Meg Lees joins former Liberal leader John Hewson and Labor veteran Barry Jones on Climate 200 advisory council

As Scott Morrison comes to the end of a ragged parliamentary week, the organisation bankrolling independents challenging Liberal incumbents in their urban heartland has amassed an election war chest of more than $4m, and bolstered its advisory body.

The former leader of the Australian Democrats, Meg Lees, has joined the advisory council of Climate 200, as has the former Liberal party leader John Hewson, and the Labor veteran Barry Jones.

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Categories: Environment

Carl, Kenosha’s ‘outlaw’ turkey, raises spirits in Wisconsin

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/25 - 1:00am

The rambunctious bird has inspired charity events, Halloween outfits and even been awarded a local celebrity prize

A Wisconsin city has been buoyed by a “rebel” wild turkey, residents say, with the bird inspiring charity events and Halloween outfits and even being awarded a local celebrity prize.

The turkey, named Carl, has charmed locals in Kenosha ever since his arrival more than two years ago, and has since garnered a huge following. A Facebook group dedicated to the turkey, who stands at 2ft tall and is covered in rich brown plumage, has more than 5,000 members and is flooded by reports of sightings.

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Categories: Environment

The jailing of a young climate protester is a prime example of Australia’s authoritarian drift | Isabelle Reinecke

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 9:09pm

Federal and state governments should spend more time trying to improve people’s lives and less time trying to keep them quiet

For the past 20 years, human rights experts and lawyers have been sounding the alarm on Australia’s democracy and the increasing tendency among state and federal governments towards suppressing dissent from the community. Even more alarmingly, the criminalisation of protest and increasingly inflammatory rhetoric from police and politicians is accompanied by moves to neuter the legal frameworks established to hold lawmakers accountable.

The jailing of a 22-year-old climate change protester is a prime example of this authoritarian tendency. Eric Serge Herbert was sentenced to 12 months in prison for his part in a two-week anti-coal protest under the banner of Blockade Australia. Herbert had blocked a coal train by climbing it in the Hunter region of New South Wales. Perhaps he got off lightly: the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, had threatened to charge protesters who block rail lines with laws designed for those who wilfully seek to harm or kill rail passengers, which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years.

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Categories: Environment

North American fertilizer shortage sparks fears of higher food prices

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 5:54pm

Warning to ‘get your fertilizer now’ as farmers postpone nitrogen purchases, raising threat of rush on supplies before planting season

A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season.

Farmers apply nitrogen to boost yields of corn, canola and wheat, and higher fertilizer costs could translate into higher meat and bread prices.

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Categories: Environment

How high will emissions be from Woodside’s giant new gas project in Western Australia? | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/11/24 - 4:02pm

The company argues gas will do more than other sources of energy to help the world reach net zero – but it’s only comparing it with coal

There’s little doubt greenhouse gas emissions from a new $16bn mega gas project off the Western Australia coast will be enormous after it drills into a vast new reservoir of fossil fuels.

But just how high will the emissions be from the Scarborough development – confirmed by Woodside and BHP this week?

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Categories: Environment
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