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Family, air quality and a strong business case: the coal executives defecting to green energy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 4:30pm

They were the masters of the fossil fuels industry. Now three former top executives are building the clean energy economy

Australian clean energy activists might have recognised some strangely familiar faces joining their ranks of late – those of their greatest adversaries in the coal industry.

Coal sector executives have been quietly switching sides to chase the lucrative profits up for grabs in green energy and – welcome or not – the experience they bring could prove vital to the increasingly desperate race to avert cataclysmic climate change. From a fifth-generation coalminer applying his hereditary knowledge to harvesting the building blocks of a clean energy economy to a fierce opponent of a price on carbon launching an energy-efficiency start-up, here are a few examples:

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Categories: Environment

Dakota Access pipeline and a feeder line leaked more than 100 gallons in March

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 3:28pm

There were two leaks – one because of a leaky part, the other after an above-ground valve failed – as crews prepared disputed $3.8bn pipeline for operation

The Dakota Access pipeline and a feeder line leaked more than 100 gallons of oil in North Dakota in separate incidents in March as crews prepared the disputed $3.8bn pipeline for operation.

Related: Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before it's fully operational

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Categories: Environment

International Eel Smuggling Scheme Centers On Maine

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 1:35pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Bill Trotter, a fishery and environmental reporter for the Bangor Daily News, about the illegal eel fishing scheme in Maine.

Categories: Environment

Will coal seam gas save Narrabri, or destroy it? – video

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 1:17pm

In the first of a series of videos on critical issues confronting regional Australia, Gabrielle Chan investigates the proposed Narrabri gas project in New South Wales. The oil and gas company Santos proposes 850 wells in the Pilliga and some locals see the opportunity for jobs. But others warn of the potential damage to the land and water supply. Now it’s up the NSW government to decide

In Narrabri, everyone has a stake in the farming v mining fight

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Categories: Environment

CSG's last stand? In Narrabri everyone has a stake in the farming v mining fight

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 1:16pm

In the first of a series of investigations into issues facing regional Australia, we report on how locals in a north-western New South Wales town are bracing to learn the fate of the state’s last coal seam gas project

Country towns are, by their nature, conservative. Change happens slowly and traditions are not discarded easily.

The conservative thinker Edmund Burke wrote that we must act as trustees of the world – what he called “temporary possessors and life renters”, rather than its “entire masters”.

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Categories: Environment

White House proposes slashing funds to clean up toxic sites despite EPA's pleas

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 11:23am

EPA plan to focus on hazardous areas that pollute air and water, often near low-income communities and minorities, was dashed by president’s budget proposal

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s vow to shift the agency back towards the “vital” work of dealing with toxic sites that pollute air and water has been dashed by a White House budget plan that would slash funding for the clean-ups.

Donald Trump’s 2018 budget plan proposes severe cuts to clean-up programs targeting some of the most toxic sites in the US, which are invariably situated near low-income communities and minorities, despite a push by the EPA to prioritize these hazardous areas.

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Categories: Environment

Al Gore at Cannes: 'Trump cannot stop the solutions to the climate crisis'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 11:10am

The former US vice-president and environmental activist said there was hope in the fight against climate change – but the world and the US had to act

Al Gore believes that Donald Trump will not halt the momentum of the climate movement even if he withdraws the US from the Paris agreement.

Speaking at a press engagement for his new documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the former US vice-president and environmental activist said that he was confident Trump would commit to the historic climate change agreement, but that even if he did not, it would still not be enough to reverse the move towards renewable energy in many American cities.

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Categories: Environment


Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 8:59am




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Categories: Environment

Australian City Of Melbourne Finds Novel Way To Protect Its Trees

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 3:15am

The city assigned every tree — tens of thousands of them — individual email addresses. If a tree is vandalized, or diseased, you report it with that email.

Categories: Environment

Trump's Fox News deputy national security advisor fooled him with climate fake news | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 3:00am

What does it say about the Trump administration that the president was fooled by a dumb, long-debunked climate myth?

As Politico reported, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, KT McFarland, gave him a fake 1970s Time magazine cover warning of a coming ice age. The Photoshopped magazine cover circulated around the internet several years ago, but was debunked in 2013. Four years later, McFarland put the fake document in Trump’s hands, and he reportedly “quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy … Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it”.

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Categories: Environment

My month with chemtrails conspiracy theorists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 2:00am

Tammi Riedl and her partner believe ‘chemtrails’ are damaging our health. They prove conspiracies have gone mainstream – and aren’t just for the right wing

Standing between beds of golden beets and elephant garlic in the garden of Lincoln Hills, a small organic farm in Placer County, California, Tammi Riedl looks up and points to a stripe of white haze running across a cloudless blue sky.

“See that?” she asks, raising her eyebrows. “What do you think that is?”

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Categories: Environment

Could citizens’ wealth funds halt the dominance of the financial elite?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/05/22 - 1:00am

The Conservative manifesto pledges to create ‘Future Britain’ wealth funds, and a shale gas fund is under discussion at the Treasury. Is the UK finally waking up to the opportunity such schemes offer for tackling inequality?

Tucked away in the Conservative Party manifesto, and largely unremarked, is a promise to create a number of UK sovereign wealth funds, to be called “Future Britain Funds”.

This builds on last year’s proposal in a Treasury Consultation Paper to create a “shale wealth fund” from tax revenue from the extraction, through fracking, of shale gas. Eventually the revenue stream could be significant. The stated aim is to ensure “the benefits of shale developments are shared by communities in which the resource is developed”.

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Categories: Environment

Adani rail line to Abbot Point not a priority, says Infrastructure Australia

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 10:11pm

Agency says it has not received a submission on the rail line from Queensland government and has not conducted any cost-benefit analysis

Infrastructure Australia has not identified a proposed rail line linking the controversial Adani coalmine with the Abbot Point port as a priority, and it has not consulted the body which is expected to stump up a concessional loan.

The chief executive of Infrastructure Australia, Philip Davies, told a Senate estimates hearing on Monday that the rail line – which has been pushed assiduously by the federal resources minister, Matt Canavan – was not “something we’ve currently identified” as a priority project.

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Categories: Environment

Lancashire's poster-place for the access revolution

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 9:30pm

Clougha Pike, Forest of Bowland Once forbidding and forbidden, ringfenced for shooting, this is still a secret, silent place

Find a big map and you’ll see there’s a monstrous, heart-shaped blank in the middle of north-west England. You’ve passed it probably, but the big roads skirt it with such circuitous subtlety you don’t notice you’re orbiting something. For years, unless you paid to shoot things, it might well have remained more a brooding feeling than a sight, its extent out of view beyond this brow or that.

But then wildest Bowland became the poster-place for the second access revolution. The first was Kinder Scout, for its trespass in 1932,which legitimised the case for national parks. Bowland epitomised the unfinished business: the Countryside Rights of Way Act.

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Categories: Environment

this won't end well...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 3:34pm
This has got to be the most pathetic scam email I have ever received.Wrong on so many levels...Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  Galatians 6:7"Therefore we must call upon God, He has promised to help: therefore let me not think Him to be false or untrue to His promises, for we can not dishonor God more than by not believing or trusting in Him. Therefore let us beware above all things of dishonoring God; and so we must be patient, trusting and most certainly believing that He will deliver us when it seems good to Him, who knows the time better than we ourselves."  Hugh Latimer 1485-1555    
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Air pollution linked to poor sleep, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 1:45pm

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and airborne particles affects sleep efficiency, says medical professor

Air pollution might be linked to poor sleep, say researchers looking into the impact of toxic air on our slumbers.

Related: Looking tired can harm your social life, say researchers

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Categories: Environment

Time for the oil industry to snuff out its flares

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 1:30pm

The World Bank reckons the 16,000 flares worldwide produce around 350m tonnes of CO2 each year, causing untold harm

The emission of air pollution from traffic in our cities is the last step for a fuel that produces air pollution at every stage of production, often starting with flaring at a distant oil well. The World Bank estimates that the 16,000 flares worldwide produce around 350m tonnes of CO2 each year.

Black carbon from sooty flames adds to the problems, especially across the northern hemisphere where it darkens arctic and mountain snow encouraging melting. The flared gas is also a wasted resource.

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Categories: Environment

Cock-of-the-rock rules the roost in Peru's Manu cloud forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 1:30pm

We had come to see one of the greatest bird spectacles in the world: the courtship display of the Andean cock-of-the-rock

Our guide unlocked the wooden door. “Here” he announced to his still sleepy audience “are the keys to paradise.” José Antonio has probably used this line before, but none of us was complaining. For as dawn broke over the Manu cloud forest, in the heart of Peru, we were assembling on a wooden platform perched on the edge of the mountainside. We had come to see one of the greatest bird spectacles in the world: the courtship display of the Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus).

Cocks-of-the-rock (note the pedantic plural) are very striking birds indeed. About the size of a collared dove, though much plumper, they sport a prominent crest, which they use to intimidate their fellow males, and attract females, in the avian equivalent of the red deer rut.

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Categories: Environment

Government warned Australian energy market is at 'crisis point'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 1:16pm

‘There is an acute danger of politicians panicking’ about energy demand and costs, Grattan Institute report warns

A new report has warned the Turnbull government the national electricity market is at “crisis point”, with rising energy prices for consumers and increasing concerns the grid cannot meet demand.

The report by the Grattan Institute says urgent action is required before summer to safeguard against the risks of blackouts, but it also cautions against political “fixes” – like Malcolm Turnbull’s Snowy Hydro 2.0 plan or the South Australian government’s plan to boost energy self sufficiency.

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Categories: Environment

Privatisation, water poverty and leaks | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/05/21 - 11:48am
Emanuele Lobina makes the case for public ownership of the water industry, while Peter Simpson of Anglian Water defends the privatised company’s record on reducing leaks

Nils Pratley (Labour’s water renationalisation plan is a damp squib, 17 May) argues that there is no need to renationalise water because regulation is enough to tame the monopolistic behaviour of the private operators. This argument is not convincing when you look at the experience with water privatisation since 1989.

Related: 'Water poverty' to rise in the UK as scarcity pushes up bills

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Categories: Environment
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