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‘Eco mermaid’ sets world record for monofin swimming at 26.22 miles

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/14 - 6:52am

Merle Liivand swam in choppy waters off Miami coast to raise awareness about importance of clean oceans

In the Little Mermaid, Ariel sings a whole song about wishing to be part of a world where people get to walk. Merle Liivand, on the other hand, wanted to do the opposite – and now holds the world record for the farthest swim as a mermaid.

Liivand swam 26.22 miles wearing a silicone monofin, in just over 11 hours in choppy waters off the coast of Miami on 7 May.

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Categories: Environment

Power shortages could hit eastern Australia as energy market operator scrambles to avoid outages

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/14 - 2:55am

Aemo cancels alert on potential blackouts in Victoria but electricity shortfalls forecast to continue in Queensland and New South Wales

Eastern Australia has faced another day of electricity shortages requiring regulators to order generators back into the market to avoid power outages and blackouts as a long cold snap rolls on.

Each of the five states in the national electricity market (Nem) – from Queensland to Tasmania – had a forecast shortfall of electricity, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

A sighting reveals extinction and climate change in a single image

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2022/06/14 - 2:30am

A group of researchers photograph a woolly mammoth tusk on the banks of the Koyukuk River in Alaska.

(Image credit: Adrienne Ghaly)

Categories: Environment

A&E for trees: pioneering clinic in India provides lifeline for poorly plants

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/14 - 1:15am

An on-call team at Amritsar’s tree hospital nurses sick neems and gives new life to troubled banyans

Sahib Singh clambers up a portable ladder, reaches out and, with the help of a few tools, tugs at the banyan tree and successfully removes it. The uprooted plant, which had sprouted from a wall inside the living room, is placed in a plastic bag filled with fertilised black soil. “We will replant this on the hospital lawn,” Singh says over Skype, while climbing back down the ladder. The operation lasts barely 20 minutes.

The removal of the banyan tree, considered sacred in Hinduism, is the first of three calls attended by Singh in his tree ambulance on one day in May. He is a gardener and part of the team at the Pushpa Tree and Plant Hospital and Dispensary, in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, launched in January 2020.

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Categories: Environment

Africa must forgo gas exploration to avert climate disaster, warn experts

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/14 - 1:00am

Call comes after former UN climate envoy urged African countries to exploit their natural gas reserves

Africa must embrace renewable energy, and forgo exploration of its potentially lucrative gas deposits to stave off climate disaster and bring access to clean energy to the hundreds of millions who lack it, leading experts on the continent have said.

Their call came as the UN secretary general, António Guterres, warned that exploring for gas and oil anywhere in the world would be “delusional”.

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Categories: Environment

The 1977 White House climate memo that should have changed the world

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/14 - 12:30am

Years before the climate crisis was part of national discourse, this memo to the president predicted catastrophe

In 1977 Star Wars hit movie theaters, New York City had a blackout that lasted 25 hours, and the Apple II personal computer went up for sale. It was also the year that a remarkable one-page memo was circulated at the very highest levels of US government.

Years before the climate crisis was part of national discourse, this memo outlined what was known – and feared – about the crisis at the time. It was prescient in many ways. Did anyone listen?

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Categories: Environment

Declassified files reveal British interest in Falkland Islands oil

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 11:00pm

Ministers keen to claim UK right to potential deposits before and after 1982 war with Argentina

British ministers were keen to exploit oil around the Falkland Islands before and after the 1982 conflict, declassified British government documents show.

In a previously unpublished letter, the former chancellor Norman Lamont said the revenues from Falklands oil should go to the British government, not the Falkland islanders.

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Categories: Environment

Australia news live updates: NSW Liberal candidate calls for recount of Gilmore; at least 30 Covid deaths

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 8:49pm

Andrew Constance calls for recount in Gilmore; AEMO warns of blackouts in NSW and QLD; senate winners formally elected in ACT and NT; ASX plunges on open; Robert Hughes due to be deported; Victoria records 15 Covid deaths, WA and Queensland record six, NSW records three. Follow live

Lack of reserve notice from energy regulator

It’s going to be a long day by the looks of it when it comes to “lack of reserve” notices and intervention by the Australian Energy Market Operator, such as this early one in NSW:

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Categories: Environment

We needed China deal to protect ‘domestic security’, says key Solomon Islands official

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 8:17pm

Exclusive: Collin Beck, who is believed to have been involved in negotiating the pact, offers most comprehensive defence yet of the controversial deal

The controversial security deal struck between Solomon Islands and China that caught the western world off guard was needed to maintain internal security and help fight climate change, a leading Solomon Islands official has said, defending his country’s right to choose its allies.

Speaking to the Guardian in his first interview since the deal between China and Solomon Islands was leaked, Collin Beck, the permanent secretary of foreign affairs and a senior figure in the Solomons government, also said Australia should question whether it had been “fair” to Solomon Islands in its intense scrutiny of the deal.

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Categories: Environment

Record flooding and mudslides force closure of Yellowstone national park

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 7:17pm

The entire park, spanning parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, will remain closed to visitors as officials assess damage to roads and bridges

Record flooding and rockslides following a burst of heavy rains prompted the rare closure on Monday of all five entrances to Yellowstone national park at the start of the summer tourist season, the park superintendent said.

The entire park, spanning parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, will remain closed to visitors, including those with lodging and camping reservations, at least through Wednesday, as officials assess damage to roads, bridges and other facilities.

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Categories: Environment

New mylar...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 3:50pm
...for the solar oven reflector.100,105,83,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Yosemite officials seek witnesses after 30 park sites vandalized

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 3:21pm

Spray-painted graffiti measuring several feet square appears on boulders and other sites

Officials at Yosemite national park are appealing to the public for information and witnesses after more than 30 sites in the park were vandalized with spray paint last month.

Park officials are asking anyone who was on the trail to the top of Yosemite Falls on 20 May and who saw people carrying cans of spray paint and tagging the area to contact the National Park Service.

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Categories: Environment

Big electricity consumers in Queensland cut use to avoid blackouts as NSW faces shortages

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 3:06pm

Market operator in talks with large consumers as country faces energy crisis mainly due to poorly performing coal-fired generators

Some of Queensland’s biggest consumers agreed to cut their power use on Monday to help the grid avoid blackouts, and similar requests could be made in New South Wales on Tuesday if regulators maintain forecasts for potential electricity shortfalls.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) on Monday afternoon started talks with big consumers under its Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (Rert) scheme to head off a gap projected at one stage to be 1,454 megawatts in Queensland at 5.30pm.

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Categories: Environment

Bolsonaro says ‘something wicked’ done to Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 11:00am

Brazil president comments on journalist and Indigenous expert’s fate amid unconfirmed claims bodies have been found in Amazon

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has said he believes “something wicked” was done to the missing British journalist Dom Phillips and the Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, amid unconfirmed claims their bodies had been found in the Amazon.

British relatives of Phillips said they had been contacted by the Brazilian embassy in London on Monday morning and informed that two unidentified bodies had been found during the search operation.

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Categories: Environment

Dutch group targets hydrogen-fuelled commercial flight in 2028

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 10:32am

Consortium plans to adapt turboprop aircraft with 40-80 seats to run on environmentally friendly fuel

The world’s first hydrogen-fuelled commercial flight of a passenger plane could take place between Rotterdam and London in six years’ time, under a plan to make short-haul air travel more environmentally friendly.

The 2028 target set by a Dutch consortium is ambitious. Airbus announced its intention 18 months ago to be the first to offer zero-emission commercial aircraft models running on hydrogen, by 2035.

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Categories: Environment

UK close to deal with EDF to keep coal-fired power station open

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 6:39am

French firm in talks to extend life of Nottinghamshire plant to shore up Britain’s winter energy supplies

The UK government is close to striking a deal to keep a coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire open longer than planned as ministers attempt to shore up Britain’s energy supplies.

UK officials are in negotiations with the French energy company EDF over plans to extend the operations of the West Burton A power station near Retford.

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Categories: Environment

Weather tracker: heatwaves could add to energy problems across Europe

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/06/13 - 1:30am

Analysis: high temperatures will lead to a surge in energy demand for cooling but drought in Spain has reduced energy from hydropower

The extreme heat affecting Iberia this week has led to temperatures peaking at over 40C in some parts of Spain over the past days – that’s 7-9C above the seasonal average in some locations like Andalucia.

The hot and dry weather has worsened the drought issues across the region, with many water reservoirs recording extremely low levels of storage at the start of the summer season, following a very dry winter (especially January/February) and a very dry May too. Spain generates more than 10% of its electricity from hydropower plants, so this will have some serious implications for energy production and availability/prices.

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Categories: Environment

Ukraine helps feed the world – but its farmers, seeds and future are in danger | Michael Fakhri and Sofia Monsalve

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/06/12 - 11:25pm

Even in the midst of war, we have to think about recovery. Seeds are what make future life possible. Without seeds, it is very difficult to rebuild a food system

The war in Ukraine has made the food crisis triggered by the pandemic worse. People in Ukraine not only fear for their lives but are facing possible food shortages. Because Ukraine and Russia are major producers and exporters of agricultural commodities, the conflict is also having major impacts on global supply chains. The Ukrainian government has said that 22m tons of grain are stuck in the country due to the Russian blockade of its ports. Traders and financial speculators have further driven up wheat and cooking oil prices.

Not only are Ukrainian farms and fields being destroyed by Russian forces, but we are also very troubled by reports that Ukraine’s national seed bank has been partly destroyed amid fighting in Kharkiv in the north-east, where almost 2,000 crop samples rest in underground vaults. If Ukraine’s farmers cannot farm and the country’s seed banks are destroyed, its future is in peril.

Michael Fakhri is UN special rapporteur on the right to food and a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law. Sofia Monsalve is secretary general of the food rights organization Fian International

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Categories: Environment

As Phoenix swelters, the nights are even worse than the boiling days

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/06/12 - 11:00pm

Temperature topped 110F on four consecutive days and has not fallen below 80F at night-time for the past week in the Arizona city, breaking several records

After a record-breaking daytime temperature in Phoenix last Friday, the onset of night offered little relief from the sweltering heat. As the clock struck midnight it was still a staggering 100F (38C) outside and just a few degrees cooler inside 60-year-old Sareptha Jackson’s home.

Jackson lay naked and as still as possible on the bed next to an old portable air conditioning unit in the bedroom window, but couldn’t relax or get comfortable. She eventually got up around 2am to make rice and beans for the following day because the air conditioner and electrical appliances won’t run together, so it’s too hot to cook during the day.

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Categories: Environment

Freezing indoors? That’s because Australian homes are closer to tents than insulated eco-buildings | Philip Oldfield

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/06/12 - 7:18pm

Our national building standards need to be overhauled to fight climate change and energy poverty – and improve our lives

As winter sets in, and temperatures plummet, it can sometimes feel as cold inside as it does outside. The reason for this is the poor thermal performance of houses in Australia. Our homes need to be rapidly improved to combat climate change, tackle energy poverty and improve our everyday lives.

Minimum building standards for energy and comfort in Australian houses lag far behind many regions. Fifty years ago, it was the oil crises of the 1970s that triggered the creation of building energy standards across Europe and North America, and a widespread switch to double-glazing, increased insulation and concern for energy efficiency. In Australia, it wasn’t until the 1990s that minimum insulation requirements emerged. Only in 2003 did the Building Code of Australia set housing energy efficiency standards across the country.

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Categories: Environment
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