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‘All this on our doorstep’: conservation and resistance on Gallows Down

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/18 - 3:00am

The writer Nicola Chester views the Berkshire hill close to her village home as a focal point of belonging and guardianship towards nature

High on a ridge above the village of Inkpen in the North Wessex Downs, a gibbet looms like a sentinel. “Every time you come up, you just have to give it a pat. It’s the most grisly thing,” laughs Nicola Chester. The gibbet was used to display the bodies of two murderous lovers in 1676. Since then, the centuries have seen the gibbet brought low by lightning, political vandalism and rot, only to be resurrected each time with oak trees felled from the same estate.

Chester titled her award-winning nature memoir, On Gallows Down: Place, Protest and Belonging, after the macabre structure, and the hill that takes its name. “It’s a beacon for home, but also a ‘sending off’ place. A hotspot for migrating birds. A gathering place for stories and a conduit for protest. From it, you can see every chapter of my book, and all the places I’ve ever lived,” she says.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/18 - 1:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including migrating crabs, a rescued leopard and a monkey carrying a puppy

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Categories: Environment

The teenage miners of Jharia: growing up in India’s coalfields – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/18 - 12:00am

Young girls illegally work the mines in north-east India, risking disease and death, while trying to better their lives at school

  • Words by Elle Kurancid, photography by Walaa Alshaer
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Categories: Environment

Delicious meals for $20 a week: June Xie on changing the way you cook

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 11:00pm

The New York cook behind Budget Eats is a master of kitchen improvisation. She takes the Guardian food shopping

When June Xie was in the third grade, her teacher announced that they were going to compile a classroom cookbook, with each student bringing in a family recipe. It made Xie’s stomach sink.

“That’s such an American tradition, written down recipes with exact amounts,” Xie says, in the living room of her apartment in Woodside, Queens. “I grew up with Chinese immigrant parents: home cooking was just chop your vegetables, throw them in a wok with oil, season it with salt and maybe some kind of spice and serve it alongside rice. There was no sauteeing onions for seven minutes exactly. When it’s done, it’s done.”

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Categories: Environment

‘I’ve had a gutful’: emotional Eugowra resident confronts Dominic Perrottet in flood-devastated town

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 6:43pm

Weary NSW residents have been warned to expect disaster to continue into the new year with more rain forecast

An emotional former police officer has confronted the New South Wales premier over the response to a flash-flooding “tsunami” that decimated Eugowra.

One woman died, two men remain are missing and the town’s 750 residents are facing months of recovery after powerful flash flooding flattened much of the town on Monday morning.

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Categories: Environment

early morning

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 4:24pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Canada rejects Arctic mine expansion project after years of fierce protest

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 1:19pm

Community members and campaigners have hailed the move as a win for vulnerable marine ecosystem and wildlife

Canada has rejected a mine expansion project in the Arctic after years of uncertainty and fierce protest, in what community members and campaigners say is a win for the vulnerable marine ecosystem and wildlife.

Baffinland Iron Mines’ planned expansion to its Mary River site would have seen it double output to 12m tonnes of iron ore. To bring the ore to market, the mine also said it needed to build a 110km railway to a port near the community of Pond Inlet as well as doubling its shipping.

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Categories: Environment

US approves largest dam removal in history to save endangered salmon

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 1:11pm

Four dams on California-Oregon border to be decommissioned on Klamath River, which fish use to reach spawning grounds

A US agency seeking to restore habitat for endangered fish gave final approval on Thursday to decommission four dams straddling the California-Oregon border, the largest dam removal undertaking in US history.

Dam removal is expected to improve the health of the Klamath River, the route that Chinook salmon and endangered coho salmon take from the Pacific Ocean to their upstream spawning grounds, and from where the young fish return to the sea.

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Categories: Environment

The largest dam demolition in history is approved for a Western river

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 12:54pm

The destruction of four dams on the lower Klamath river will open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat. U.S. regulators approved the plan Thursday in a unanimous vote.

(Image credit: Gillian Flaccus/AP)

Categories: Environment

Getting rid of fossil fuels at a climate summit is harder than you’d think

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 12:22pm

The most significant step came in last year’s Glasgow Cop26 when countries reached a pained consensus supporting a ‘phase down’ of coal power

You could be forgiven for thinking getting rid of fossil fuels might be the easy point of agreement at a global summit to address the climate crisis. But you would be wrong. Instead, the issue has become a major point of contention as the Cop27 conference in Egypt staggers into its final stage.

Despite vast amounts of evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has never been formal agreement at climate talks that the world should reduce fossil fuel use. The most significant step in that direction came in last year’s Glasgow pact, which reached a pained consensus supporting a “phase down of unabated coal power”.

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Categories: Environment

UN chief warns of ‘breakdown in trust’ with no deal in sight at Cop27

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 11:45am

With only one full day of official talks left, there are no clear agreements on key issues including funding for loss and damage

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has flown to the attempted rescue of troubled climate talks in Egypt, warning of a “breakdown in trust” between rich and poor governments that could scupper hopes of a deal.

He urged countries reaching the final day of the Cop27 UN climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh to find common ground. “There has been clearly, as in past times, a breakdown in trust between north and south, and between developed and emerging economies,” he said. “This is no time for finger pointing. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction.”

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Categories: Environment

Climate talks are wrapping up. The thorniest questions are still unresolved.

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 10:25am

Despite new agreements to limit methane emissions and beef up weather forecasts, vulnerable countries aren't getting any more help and the Earth is headed for catastrophic warming.

(Image credit: Bronte Wittpenn/Bloomberg via Getty)

Categories: Environment

Lost and found: how a single clue led to the rediscovery of a crab not seen for 225 years

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 9:00am

The label on a specimen of Afzelius’s crab simply said ‘Sierra Leone’. But it was enough for an expedition to track it down along with another ‘lost’ freshwater crab

Tracking down rare species believed to be extinct is never easy, but when Pierre A Mvogo Ndongo travelled to Sierra Leone in January 2021 to search for “lost” species of land-dwelling crabs, the feeling of looking for a needle in a haystack was particularly powerful due to the size of the “haystack”. For one of the species, Afzelius’s crab (Afrithelphusa afzelii), last seen in 1796, the only clue was the label on a specimen that simply said: “Sierra Leone.”

Mvogo Ndongo’s expedition was primarily looking for the rainbow-coloured, land-dwelling Sierra Leone crab Afrithelphusa leonensis, lost to science for 65 years and thought to be possibly extinct – one of the species on wildlife charity Re:wild’s 25 “most wanted lost species” list. He also hoped – but never expected – to find, Afzelius’s crab (Afrithelphusa afzelii).

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Categories: Environment

Chancellor extends energy windfall tax to ‘low carbon’ generators

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 8:24am

Jeremy Hunt proposes to raise £14bn by also raising levy to 35% and extending it by two years

Jeremy Hunt hopes to raise £14bn next year after increasing the windfall tax on oil and gas companies and reining in the profits of low carbon electricity generators.

The chancellor also confirmed that the existing windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas operators, the energy profits levy (EPL), will be raised from 25% to 35% and extended by two years, until March 2028.

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Categories: Environment

Australia may have to stop making key cancer medicine if it doesn’t build nuclear waste dump, peak body says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 7:00am

Ansto chief says it may not be able to keep producing nuclear medicine if it runs out of waste storage space at its Lucas Heights facility

Australia’s peak nuclear organisation has warned it could be forced to cease production of life-saving cancer medicine if a controversial nuclear waste dump, planned for South Australia, is scrapped.

The chief executive of Australia’s Nuclear Science Technology Organisation (Ansto), Shaun Jenkinson, said the federal government organisation would not be able to keep producing nuclear medicine if it ran out of waste storage space at its Lucas Heights facility.

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Categories: Environment

New battery technology could be a ‘game changer’ for regional Australian communities

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 7:00am

The CEO of Swiss company Energy Vault says its gravity storage technology can be built anywhere you can build a 20-storey building

The head of a Swiss energy company which has plans to build a large storage battery in Townsville says its technology will be a “game changer” for rural communities because it can be built anywhere – provided the locals don’t mind having a structure that is as tall as a 20-storey building.

Energy Vault has pioneered a gravity energy storage system that uses surplus energy to raise 35-tonne blocks, made out of recycled materials, to the top of the tall battery structure. Energy is released by lowering those blocks.

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This article was amended on 18 November 2022 to make it clear that the Meadow Creek project will be a conventional battery energy storage system.

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Categories: Environment

Hunt’s modest environmental goals show party is out of tune with voters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 6:59am

Autumn statement backs nuclear power and offshore wind, but says nothing on onshore wind and solar

Ramping up energy efficiency is a no-brainer when it comes to cutting energy bills, ensuring security of supply and reducing climate-heating emissions. In Jeremy Hunt, the Conservatives appear to have found a brain. In the autumn statement, he pledged to double annual energy efficiency investment with new funding of £6bn.

That is the good news. The bad news is that doubling does not happen until 2025, when the energy bills crisis may be over and the climate crisis will be even worse. Hunt is the fourth chancellor of 2022 and the chaos in the Tory party has meant unnecessary delays in making people’s homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

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Categories: Environment

Wasted food, hungry Americans – is donating surplus produce a solution?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 4:00am

Gleaning, the act of harvesting unused or surplus produce and distributing it to food insecure people is one solution to the interconnected challenges of hunger and food waste

As the Mar Vista Farmers Market in Los Angeles came to an end, a small team of volunteers in bright orange aprons handed out large cardboard boxes to be filled with unsold heirloom tomatoes, apricots, berries, green peppers, lettuce and eggplants that would have otherwise gone to waste. After being weighed and cataloged, the boxes were stacked into neat piles and picked up by three local organizations that serve people in need.

The event was hosted by the North Hollywood, California-based Food Forward. Founded in 2009, the non-profit aims to fight hunger and prevent food waste by rescuing surplus produce from backyards, public orchards, farmers markets and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. The group gleans and donates an average of 250,000lb of food each day to more than 340 hunger relief partners throughout 12 California counties, six adjacent states and tribal lands, feeding 150,000 people their five daily servings of fruits and vegetables in the process.

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Categories: Environment

Coping with climate change: Advice for kids — from kids

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 3:00am

Climate anxiety is on the rise in younger generations, as they face inheriting a hotter planet. Here's their advice on how to cope with those feelings.

(Image credit: Eli Imadali)

Categories: Environment

Draft Cop27 agreement fails to call for ‘phase-down’ of all fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/11/17 - 12:30am

Document will provide basis for negotiations over coming days and is likely to be significantly reworked

The UN climate agency has published a first draft on Thursday of what could be the overarching agreement from the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt However, much of the text is likely to be reworked in the coming days.

The reaction from some NGOs has been swift and frustrated, with one Greenpeace representative saying it paved the way for “climate hell”.

Reuters contributed to this report

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Categories: Environment
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