Feed aggregator

Mariana trench live feed: engrossing viewing from deepest place on Earth

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 8:41pm

Rare footage from 11km underwater streams on Youtube from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel

A live video feed of the Mariana trench – the deepest place on Earth – is proving engrossing viewing for those above sea level.

Related: James Cameron dives into the Mariana Trench – in pictures

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Dementia patients calm down when they're not too hot and not too cold

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 7:50pm

New research has shown the aged care provider Warrigal that sustainable design affects residents’ wellbeing, as well as its bottom line

It’s something none of us like to think about. Aged care is a service many people benefit from, although most of us shudder at the thought of leaving the comfort of home during the last stages of our lives.

Yet given our ageing population, it’s a sector that is in increased demand – and struggling to keep up. According to the recently released 2016 Residential Aged Care Sustainability Review from the global tax advisory firm RSM, projections show the need for aged care in the next 40 years will rise by 68%. And it suggests that $32.9bn needs to be invested in capital stock over the next decade.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Shame on you: six new things to feel guilty about | Brigid Delaney

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 6:06pm

There’s probably a German word for enjoying an autumn swim thanks to global warming, but since I am Catholic the only word I can think of is ‘guilt’

Yippee! I’ve said every day I’ve woken up this week, looked out the window and seen that today is yet another beach day when we should be rugging up.

“How great is this? The backpackers have gone home, the sun is shining, the water is still warm, and it’s May!” I say to a fellow swimmer on Bondi beach.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Relief in sight for BHP as Brazilian judge agrees dam burst claim

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 5:46pm

The $5bn deal with the government could weaken the huge class action faced by the mining giant and its local partner Vale

A Brazilian judge has ratified the settlement BHP Billiton and Vale signed with the Brazilian government in March to cover damages for a deadly dam spill last year.

Related: BHP Billiton faces legal spat in which all tactics are deemed fair

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Air pollution warnings issued as UK temperatures set to soar

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 4:04pm

Hot weekend means people with lung or heart problems should avoid outdoor strenuous activity, warns Defra

Air pollution warnings have been issued with temperatures forecast to climb towards 27C (80F) in south-east England and the Midlands this weekend.

Some parts of Britain will be hotter than areas of the Mediterranean, but the warm weather will be accompanied by moderate levels of air pollution, which can cause breathing difficulties in vulnerable people. Areas of south-west England and western Scotland could be at higher risk by Sunday. The highest levels are expected in Northern Ireland.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The Environmental Cost Of Growing Food

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 2:53pm

Economists are working on ways to put a price on the environmental damage of growing food. Take sugar: Half of what we eat comes from beets, half from cane. Each has an impact, in very different ways.

Categories: Environment

One year in, Richard Di Natale faces first verdict on Greens' new pragmatism

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 2:52pm

The party leader goes into the election with ambitious plans, having shown his willingness to negotiate with the Coalition

Here’s a quote from Margaret Thatcher warning about climate change. In the 1980s.

“For generations, we have assumed that the efforts of mankind would leave the fundamental equilibrium of the world’s systems and atmosphere stable.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Sugar Vs. Sugar: Which Crop Is More Environmentally Friendly?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 1:31pm

NPR explores whether one version is better for the environment than the other.

Categories: Environment

For butterflies, timing is everything

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 1:30pm

Patrick Barkham on how the late flowering of food species can spell disaster for butterflies emerging after winter

For me, spring truly begins when the first male orange tip passes on its ceaseless jinking search for females. It was late this year, and this small white butterfly with unmistakable orange tips to its wings only materialised in my garden last week.

What worried me was not its tardiness but its food plant’s. The garlic mustard on which superbly-camouflaged (and occasionally cannibalistic) orange tip caterpillars feed (they also devour that lovely spring flower, lady’s smock, in damper spots) had barely sprouted any leaves last week.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Obama's Flint visit boosted morale – but it doesn't make the water safe to drink

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 11:39am

President railed against ‘corrosive attitude’ of hands-off government – but those unable or unwilling to drink their own water need pragmatism, not politics

Four months after he declared a state of emergency in Flint over its toxic water crisis, Barack Obama’s first visit to the Michigan city was as much about repudiating the philosophy of shrunken, hands-off government as it was about the lead-laced liquid that residents still have to drink and bathe in.

The president’s address to a restive crowd he called “feisty” included an obligatory sip of Flint water. “This isn’t a stunt,” Obama insisted, while stressing that people could drink the water, if it is properly filtered.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

This housing crisis needs solutions that stand up | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 11:33am

The new mayor of London (Opinion, theguardian.com, 4 May) will need the massed support of the 47% of their constituents who rent their homes if they are to implement an affordable living rent at one third of income. That desperately needed London policy will sail into a perfect gale of national policy crosswinds.  

The Department for Communities and Local Government tells us, in windy language worthy of Yes Minister, “the maximum rent for an affordable rent property, when it is first let to a new tenant, is 80% of the market rate, inclusive of service charges, or the ‘social rent rate’ (exclusive of service charges), whichever is higher. Providers should then apply the 1% reduction, introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2016, in the following relevant years”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Plans for coal-fired power in Asia are 'disaster for planet' warns World Bank

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 11:02am

Experts have offered stark warnings that proposed power plants in India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia would blow Paris climate deal if they move ahead

Plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be a “disaster for the planet” and overwhelm the deal forged at Paris to fight climate change, the president of the World Bank said on Thursday.

In an unusually stark warning, the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, noted that countries in south and south-east Asia were on track to build hundreds more coal-fired power plants in the next 20 years – despite promises made at Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions and pivot to a clean energy future.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Elon Musk: 'We need a revolt against the fossil fuel industry'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 8:44am

Tesla chief says educating the public on climate issues is essential in countering oil and gas lobby’s influence over big political decisions, reports Edie.net

Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk has accused politicians of bowing to the “unrelenting and enormous” lobbying power of the fossil fuel industry, warning that a global “revolt” may be needed to accelerate the transition to more sustainable energy and transport systems.

Speaking at the World Energy Innovation Forum at the Tesla Factory in California on Wednesday, Musk claimed that traditional vehicles and energy sources will continue to hold a competitive edge against greener alternatives due to the vast amounts of subsidies they receive.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Q&A: Everything you need to know about air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 8:07am

As the UK is hit with another wave of air pollution we look at the causes and effects, what you should do and what action is being taken

Stagnant air from continental Europe, which has picked up pollution from industry and agriculture, is being blown over the UK from the south-east. This air combines with pollutants already present in the air from UK sources, such as nitrogen oxides and particulates from diesel vehicle engines, to produce air pollution.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Oil firms have 10 years to change strategy or face 'short, brutish end'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 8:02am

Business models employed by multinationals such as Shell and BP are no longer fit for purpose, warns energy expert

International oil companies such as Shell and BP must completely change their business model or face a “nasty, brutish and short” end within 10 years, one of Britain’s most influential energy experts has warned.

Paul Stephens, a fellow at Chatham House thinktank, said in a research paper the oil “majors” were no longer fit for purpose – hit by low crude prices, tightening climate change regulations and their own wrongheaded strategies.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta: rush for mega-mergers puts food security at risk

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 7:30am

Recent deals in the global agrochemical and seed industry, driven by financial motivations, are a threat to farmers, prices and the environment

The global agrochemical and seed industry is undergoing profound upheaval, with a spate of mergers and attempted mergers consolidating the sector and raising concerns about the future of the food system.

It began last year when Monsanto started looking for a partner, trying three times (unsuccessfully) to link up with Syngenta. By the end of 2015, Dow and DuPont announced they were teaming up. Subject to regulatory approval, the new $130bn company – DowDuPont – plans to split into three parts, one of which will focus exclusively on agricultural chemicals and seeds and is set to command a hefty market share. It is estimated DowDuPont could account for around 40% of the corn and soybean seed market in the US.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How safe does protected status keep the world's national parks?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 7:07am

Protected areas and habitats are being downgraded and delisted so often, to accommodate mining, logging or population growth, the problem even has its own acronym. Environment 360 reports

It’s the saddest truism in wildlife conservation: When politicians announce that they are setting aside precious habitat “in perpetuity”, what they really mean is until somebody else wants the land.

Protected areas now get reopened so often under the pressure of population and economic growth that the trend has spawned an acronym, PADDD, for “protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement.” There’s also a web site, PADDDtracker.org, jointly maintained by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation International.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Gas delivery startups want to change the world – but will they blow it up first?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 5:00am

Whether or not the practices are safe, some wonder why companies are pouring resources into an area that so many are trying to innovate out of existence

It is hard to imagine a less hospitable niche for a startup to enter than gasoline – a combustible commodity that is (one hopes) being innovated into obsolescence.

And yet, over the past 18 months, at least six startups have launched some variation on the theme of “Uber for gas” – your car’s tank gets refilled while it is parked somewhere.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Why did the death of Cecil the lion cause such an uproar?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 4:51am

Analysis of the huge news and online response to his death could offer conservationists an opportunity to turn the ‘Cecil moment’ into a ‘Cecil movement’, reports Conservation Magazine

When the story of Cecil the lion’s death at the hands of an American hunter hit the media, the global response was “the largest reaction in the history of wildlife conservation,” according to a new paper. Researchers from Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (or WildCRU, the same organization that had tracked the lion since 2009) analyzed the traditional and social media response to the hunting incident. They found that a combination of elements in the story may have made it go viral in a different way than the average internet sensation. And conservationists may subsequently have a golden opportunity to transform the “Cecil moment” into a “Cecil movement”.

To recap the sequence of events around Cecil’s death: Around 10pm on 1 July 2015, a hunter from Minnesota named Walter Palmer sent an arrow into the side of a 13-year-old male African lion nicknamed ‘Cecil’ on privately owned property outside of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. This arrow failed to kill the beast, but the second one, shot some 11 hours later, did.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

When in drought: the California farmers who don’t water their crops

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/05 - 4:00am

Dry farming forgoes modern irrigation and, farmers say, produces much tastier crops. In a drought-stricken state, should others follow suit?

There’s something different about Will Bucklin’s grape vines. At first it’s hard to notice, but a drive through northern California’s Sonoma Valley, past waves of green, manicured vineyards, makes it clear. The black ribbon of PVC irrigation pipe that typically threads the vines is curiously absent here – because Will doesn’t water his crops.

Bucklin’s Old Hill Ranch, purchased by his stepfather Otto Teller in 1980, claims to be the oldest-rooted vineyard in the area. Teller fell in love with the vineyard because it was one of the few that still “dry-farmed”. Dry farming is a method that bypasses artificial irrigation, relying instead on seasonal rainfall and working the soil in such a way that it holds on to water for the drier months.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content