Prime minister defends fossil fuel as part of Australia’s energy mix as critical Senate bloc opposes ‘green lawfare’ changes
Malcolm Turnbull has declared coal will be part of Australia’s energy mix for “many, many, many decades to come” as a critical Senate bloc expressed opposition to so-called “green lawfare” changes designed to limit the legal standing of conservation groups in court proceedings.
Turnbull made the bullish observation about coal during a radio interview in Brisbane on Tuesday morning, arguing that the effort to “strangle the Australian coal industry is not going to do anything to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions”.Continue reading...
Jade Fitzpatrick says reports of attacks often make them sound ‘bigger and scarier’ and he will be surfing again within days
Jade Fitzpatrick is still in shock a day after escaping the jaws of a 2.7-metre great white off the New South Wales north coast, but he says reporting of attacks should be kept in perspective and netting beaches is not the solution.
The 36-year-old surfer suffered three puncture wounds to his upper thigh when his surfboard bore the brunt of the attack off a beach between Suffolk Park and Broken Head near Byron Bay on Monday morning.Continue reading...
Australian radio hosts broadcasts show critical of climate ‘alarmists’ from Cairns before launching the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef website
A new Great Barrier Reef conservation site has been launched by the Australian broadcaster Alan Jones, who has declared that climate change was a hoax and said the reef was “fine”.
Experts, including the federal government, agree that climate change is the biggest threat facing the reef.Continue reading...
Heathrow service to megacity Chengdu is not commercially viable, says airline on eve of decision about new runway
Chengdu was where British business would fly to and build trade links if only Heathrow was big enough, according to prominent backers of airport expansion.
But less than three years after British Airways found a Heathrow slot to fly to the Chinese megacity, and on the eve of a decision to build a new runway, the airline has dropped the route because it is not commercially viable.Continue reading...
In the report on the stranding of a fin whale on Holkham Beach (Rare fin whale washed up on Norfolk beach, 22 October), Dr Ben Garrod of Anglia Ruskin University states that “you never get [fin whales] in the North Sea”. I certainly saw one six miles off Hartlepool in about 1978. There was flat calm and hot sun, and there were great rafts of seabirds. The whale jumped clear of the water six or seven times, mostly through the rafts of birds. I estimated the whale to be as long as our 12 metre yacht. Later I mentioned this to a fisherman at Hartlepool, who told me that this only happened on days like I described. He was obviously familiar with the sight.
Great Smeaton, North Yorkshire
• Hawaiian Airways’ plan to weigh their passengers (Report, 24 October) is a good idea. Skybus planes from Cornwall to the Scilly Isles have always done so. As you board the eight-seater Islander, they tell each passenger (by name) where to sit so the weight is evenly distributed. The process is very discreet; the check-in desk incorporates scales. On one occasion, our combined weight was so great that the luggage had to travel separately on the next flight. They never divulged who had caused the overload, but we knew!
Hailed as a significant call for action, the pope’s encyclical has not had the anticipated rallying effect on public opinion, researchers have found
The pope’s call for action on climate change has fallen on closed ears, research suggests.
A study by researchers in the US has found that right-leaning Catholics who had heard of the pope’s message were less concerned about climate change and its effects on the poor than those who had not, and had a dimmer view of the pope’s credibility.Continue reading...
Annual funding for local air quality management in England has been restored to previous levels, reversing a chronic decline, reports The ENDS Report
The government has stumped up £3m to fund English local authorities’ work to monitor and improve air quality.
The air quality grant for 2016/17 was announced on 6 October and is six times greater than the amount allocated for the current financial year. It is the first funding round to be managed by DEFRA and the Department for Transport’s Joint Air Quality Unit.
CO2 in the atmosphere is expected to be above 400 parts per million on average over 2016 and will not dip below that mark for generations, UN says
The world is in a new era of “climate change reality”, with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reaching a symbolic threshold which it will not fall below for many generations, scientists have said.
In 2015, for the first time, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were at 400 parts per million (ppm) on average across the year as a whole, the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) annual greenhouse gas bulletin reveals.Continue reading...
Luiz Alberto Araújo, a local government official in Pará state, was gunned down in front of his family: ‘It sends a message that no one is untouchable’
It was just after sunset in Altamira, a small town nestled on a curve of the Xingu river in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, when Luiz Alberto Araújo, the secretary for the environment on the city council, arrived home with his family.
To paraphrase Donald Trump, this is radical atmospheric change and Republicans won’t even mention the words
Climate change’s impacts on extreme weather and society are becoming increasingly clear and undeniable. While we are making progress in solving the problem, we’re still moving too slowly, and one of the two political parties governing the world’s strongest superpower continues to deny the science. This led astrophysicist Katie Mack to make the following suggestion, related to a common refrain from Donald Trump and Republican Party leaders:
Maybe governments will actually listen if we stop saying "extreme weather" & "climate change" & just say the atmosphere is being radicalizedContinue reading...
The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska shuts down Monday, 17 years ahead of schedule. It is just the latest U.S. nuclear plant to close because it can't compete with other cheaper energy.
Prime minister floats plan to reintroduce controversial laws to limit right of conservation groups to mount court cases
The government plans to reintroduce controversial laws to limit the legal standing of conservation groups mounting court cases if it thinks the new Senate will support them, Malcolm Turnbull has revealed.
At a press conference in Sydney on Monday Turnbull expressed concern that “systematic, well-funded” environmental campaigns were targeting major projects and flagged a renewed attempt to pass the law.Continue reading...
Social science can help explain why people disagree over controversial technologies and – most importantly – surface hidden assumptions
It’s been another turbulent month in the long-running saga over the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Having looked as if she might be contemplating a rethink, Theresa May unveiled an apparently decisive approval just before the Conservative Party conference. But with longstanding issues still unaddressed – and new problems emerging even since the PM’s announcement – the debate over Hinkley is far from over.
Now might be a good moment, then, to reflect on the contribution that social science can make to these kinds of controversies over science and technology. Of course, what counts as useful in any given controversy will depend on your perspective. It is inherent to democracy that different values and interests yield contrasting conclusions. This is especially so over deeply-fractured faultlines like those which run through the UK’s commitments to nuclear power.Continue reading...
John Vidal takes to the skies with US photographer J Henry Fair on an aerial toxic tour of south Wales
The small Cessna plane banks steeply and J Henry Fair of Charleston, South Carolina, hangs his camera out of the small window to film straight down the chimneys of the Lafarge Tarmac cement plant in Aberthaw, south Wales.
“Man, look at the gunk coming out of that guy. He’s burning rubber as fuel! That’s really environmental, huh?” he shouts as the 25-knot, force six wind whips off the sea and tosses the light aircraft around.Continue reading...
Environmental artist J Henry Fair captures the beauty and destruction of industrial sites to illustrate the hidden impacts of the things we buy – the polluted air, destroyed habitats and the invisible carbon heating the planetContinue reading...
Car industry successfully lobbied for loopholes to dilute EU laws limiting toxic particulates emissions for new cars, the Guardian has learned
New European cars with petrol engines will be allowed to overshoot a limit on toxic particulates emissions by 50% under a draft EU regulation backed by the UK and most other EU states.
Campaigners say that a simple €25 (£22) filter could drastically cut the pollution, but the Guardian has learned that car-makers have instead mounted a successful push for loopholes and legislative delay.Continue reading...
Forget pizza rat and cigarette crab and prepare yourself for spider mouse, the super strong and very hungry Australian arachnid
Australia’s litany of fearsome fauna seems to have a new entry. Added to deadly snakes, man-eating crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish comes Hermie the hunstman, a spider so unusually large and strong that it had no problem carrying a sizeable mouse up the outside of a fridge.Continue reading...
The low-profile Australian group Sunrise Project hits back at coal lobby after being criticised over funding sources shown in hacked US Democratic emails
The head of a usually quiet environmental group in Australia has hit back against News Corp and coal lobby attacks after hacked emails revealed it was partly funded from overseas.
Two emails forwarded to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta – and published by WikiLeaks – show that one of the funders of the Sunrise Project is a large US-based charitable trust, the Sandler Foundation.Continue reading...
Utility company Engie say no decision has been made regarding the future of Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power plant despite reports in Les Echos
French utility Engie has decided to close down Victoria’s coal-fired Hazelwood power station – Australia’s most polluting – at a meeting between the board and executives last week, according to a report in the French newspaper Les Echos.
However the company told Guardian Australia that no decision had been taken so far regarding the future of the plant.Continue reading...
Arachnophobes, look away now. Footage has emerged from Queensland, Australia, that appears to show an oversized huntsman spider with a dead mouse in its clutches. The vision was shot by Jason Womal, who explained on Facebook that he was about to leave for work when a neighbour asked if he wanted ‘to see something cool’. His video has been viewed more than 5.7m times in the 32 hours since he posted it. File it under ‘only in Australia ... ’Continue reading...