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Poland starts logging primeval Bialowieza forest despite protests

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 6:32pm

More than 180,000 cubic metres of forest to be cut down in area that is home to Europe’s largest mammal and tallest trees

Poland has started logging in the ancient Bialowieza forest, which includes some of Europe’s last primeval woodland, despite fierce protests from environmental groups battling to save the World Heritage site.

“The operation began today,” national forest director Konrad Tomaszewski said of the plan to harvest wood from non-protected areas of one of the last vestiges of the immense forest that once stretched across Europe.

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Categories: Environment

Taronga zoo to light up for Sydney's Vivid festival – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 6:31pm

Giant animals will light up Sydney’s Taronga zoo as part of the Vivid festival. The festival centerpiece features 10 animal lanterns representing the endangered species the zoo is committing to helping, as part of its centenary celebrations. The animal sculptures will include a Sumatran tiger, Asian elephant, sun bear and a platypus, which will go on display as part of the annual lights festival, starting Friday

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Categories: Environment

over easy...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 3:37pm
Cooked another chicken in the solar oven yesterday.  Forgot to take the reflector (wind catcher) off when I was finished.  Must have gotten a little gusty last night from just the right direction.  The wind snapped the weld on the swivel post.  Luckily the cast iron pizza pan didn't break the glass and the reflector only has mild damage.  86,93,67,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Air pollution could increase risk of stillbirth, study suggests

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 3:30pm

Exposure to vehicular and industrial emissions heightens risk during pregnancy, researchers say

Exposure to air pollution may increase the risk of stillbirth, new research suggests.

Stillbirths, classed as such if a baby is born dead after 24 weeks of pregnancy, occur in one in every 200 births. Around 11 babies are stillborn every day in the UK, with aproximately 3,600 cases a year.

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Categories: Environment

Insurance companies taking too big a risk on fossil fuels, report says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 1:29pm

The US insurance industry is the second largest institutional investor in oil, gas and coal – but it risks losing money if it doesn’t change its investment strategy

The US insurance industry, the country’s second largest institutional investor in oil, gas and coal with $459bn in fossil fuel investments, needs to divest or face serious threats to its financial stability, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report, funded by Ceres, a Boston-based sustainability advocacy group, analyzes investment data from the country’s 40 largest insurance companies, including Prudential, AIG, Metlife, State Farm and Allstate. The report doesn’t quantify the potential financial losses but points out the economic challenges that have bedeviled the fossil fuel industry, such as low oil prices and the bankruptcy filings of 69 North American oil and gas producers since the beginning of 2015.

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Categories: Environment

NSW last in class on Climate Council report card for renewable energy use

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 12:57pm

South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory take the green podium for their efforts and policies pushing renewable energy targets

New South Wales is the worst Australian state at driving renewable energy, and South Australia and the ACT lead the pack, a report produced by the Climate Council has found.

The results came just weeks after South Australia closed its last coal power station, and the ACT announced a target to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking is a futile betrayal of our national interest | John Ashton

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 12:41pm
Imposing the extraction of shale gas on communities in England undermines our already fragile democracy

Drinkers in the Ashfield Country Manor Hotel face a dilemma. There is no other pub in the quiet working village of Kirby Misperton in Ryedale. But the landlord has banned discussion on his premises of the very topic that people most want to talk about, because of the strong feelings it arouses. Those feelings are about to get stronger.

In the face of overwhelming local opposition, North Yorkshire county council has authorised fracking operations at Kirby Misperton, and in doing so has breathed new life into a faltering industry and placed the village on the frontline of what looks set to become a bitter national struggle.

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Categories: Environment

Drone footage captures Cambodian canal overrun by rubbish – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 12:03pm

Drone footage shot by Khmer Times shows mass pollution in the Cambodian Phnom Penh waterways, with the canal system blocked by rubbish ranging from plastic to sewage. The canals and waterways in Phnom Penh are some of the most polluted in the region, leading environmental activists to call on the government to immediately take action

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Categories: Environment

What we must do to avert antibiotic catastrophe | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 11:38am
Letters from Vickie Hawkins of Médecins Sans Frontieres UK, Margaret Batty of WaterAid, Professor Stuart Reid of the Royal Veterinary College and two others

Jim O’Neill’s report has rightly brought into focus the urgent need to finance and develop new antibiotics (Radical plan to halt scourge of drug resistance, 19 May). But what about the tools that already exist?

We know that vaccinations dramatically reduce the number of infections taking hold in the first place. Jim O’Neill says that if every child was vaccinated against pneumonia, it would potentially avert 11.4 million days of antibiotic use per year in children under five. What his report doesn’t do is join the dots and recommend that the companies that already produce these life-saving vaccines lower the price to improve coverage rates.

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Categories: Environment

Has Donald Trump dug himself into a bunker with his climate change views? | Tim Dowling

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 10:16am
The Republican candidate has been dismissive of global warming. But when it comes to his golf course in Ireland, he seems to be taking the threat seriously

A golf-and-hotel complex on the west coast of Ireland has applied to construct extensive dune erosion defences to mitigate the effects of erosion “due to sea level rise and increased Atlantic storminess”. An investigation by the US news website Politico found that the environmental impact statement included with the application specifically uses climate change to justify the defence scheme. “If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct … it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates,” it says.

Why is this interesting? Because the resort in question is the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel. The golf course, for as long as it remains above water, is owned by a US presidential candidate, who has dismissed global warming as a “total hoax”. He’s also called it “bullshit” and a con, and although he now claims it was a joke he once tweeted that global warming was invented by the Chinese to make US manufacturing less competitive.

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Categories: Environment

Leading US union SEIU makes fighting climate change a campaign priority

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 9:54am
  • Members of 2m-strong union add environmental justice to priority list
  • Union says climate change disproportionately affects its low-income members

One of the US’s largest unions voted to use political pressure to fight climate change on Tuesday, citing events such as Hurricane Sandy, the California drought and the water situation in Flint, Michigan, as examples of how the phenomenon disproportionately affects its members.

Related: Obama's methane rule an aggressive step toward tackling climate change

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Categories: Environment

Bee swarm clinging to car boot has Welsh town abuzz

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 9:37am

Park ranger and beekeepers help remove thousands of bees after queen was thought trapped in back of a car in Haverfordwest

Thousands of bees left a town buzzing after swarming on to the boot of a car.

The insects are believed to have swarmed on to the back of a silver Mitsubishi Outlander after their queen got stuck in its boot.

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Categories: Environment

Exxon investors aim to force reckoning with impact of climate change policies

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 9:27am

Group of largest shareholders will vote for resolution calling on firm to publish annual assessment of business impact of policies such as Paris Agreement

ExxonMobil will face a revolt from some of its biggest and most influential shareholders on Wednesday as they fight to force the world’s largest oil company to open up about the effect of climate change on its future profits.

Investors managing more than $10tn (£6.9tn) of assets will vote in favour of a resolution calling on Exxon to “publish an annual assessment of long term portfolio impacts of public climate change policies” following the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature rise to less than 2C (3.6F).

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Categories: Environment

Glastonbury festival fined over sewage leak

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 9:13am

Judge finds festival had low culpability for incident in 2014 that led to death of 42 fish in Whitelake river and is ‘impressed’ with its response to incident

Glastonbury festival has been ordered to pay £31,000 after thousands of gallons of human sewage leaked out of a steel container tank, seeped into a stream and killed fish.

The Environment Agency claimed during a hearing that the event had grown more quickly than its ability to deal with so much waste.

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Categories: Environment

Body Shop 'bio-bridges' to regenerate forests and connect wildlife habitats

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 9:09am

Programme in partnership with World Land Trust will create corridors of natural habitat to prevent threatened species from being cut off from each other

A programme to regenerate thousands of acres of forest and link habitats in wildlife-rich parts of the world has been launched.

The “bio-bridges” scheme, which creates corridors of natural habitat to prevent threatened wildlife populations being cut off from each other, is being run by the Body Shop in partnership with the World Land Trust.

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Categories: Environment

North Yorkshire council fracking decision a 'declaration of war'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 9:04am

Industry welcomes decision in Kirby Misperton but campaigners vow to fight council’s approval

Anti-fracking campaigners have accused North Yorkshire council of declaring war on people’s rights to clean air and water after it approved the first operation to frack for shale gas in five years.

Campaigners opposed to the development outside Kirby Misperton – a village in Ryedale near the North York Moors national park – launched a “people’s declaration” in an attempt to stop the process going ahead. There have also been calls for a judicial review from Friends of the Earth and Frack Free Ryedale, which led the campaign against the application by Third Energy.

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Categories: Environment

Unreliable car emissions tests harming fight against air pollution, expert says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 8:06am

On the road and lab test discrepancies undermining efforts to curb toxic air levels as UN environment assembly admits global response is not up to scratch

The growing gulf between laboratory tests and real world air pollution from cars is hampering efforts to cut the toxic air that kills millions of people a year worldwide, a leading expert has warned.

The UN admitted on Tuesday that the global response to air pollution is not up to scratch, after it was revealed last week by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that harmful airborne particulates had risen by 8% in cities around the world.

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Categories: Environment

No deadline set for final decision on Hinkley nuclear plant

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 6:26am

Energy minister tells MPs that no time limit has been set for EDF to make a final investment decision on the much-delayed nuclear plant

The UK has set no deadline for the final go-ahead to the much-delayed Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, energy minister Andrea Leadsom told a committee of MPs on Tuesday.

The head of the company aiming to build the new reactors, French state-owned EDF, told the same hearing he could not give a date for the decision nor confirm that it would start generating electricity in 2025, as previously pledged.

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Categories: Environment

'Riding roughshod over democracy': residents on fracking in North Yorkshire

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 6:06am

Despite thousands of objections shale gas tests in Kirby Misperton were approved on Monday. Locals living in the area tell us their concerns

After a verdict on Monday that will see the first operation to frack for shale gas in five years in North Yorkshire, anti-fracking campaigners have accused the county council of declaring war on people’s rights to clean air and water.

Tests for shale gas can now take place in the village of Kirby Misperton, in the Ryedale district, after councillors gave the green light to UK firm Third Energy. We asked those living in the area their views on fracking and whether they’ll continue protesting.

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Categories: Environment

UN calls for overhaul of national laws to tackle wildlife crime

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/05/24 - 5:00am

Countries urged to outlaw possession of wildlife and timber illegally harvested or traded elsewhere

Governments around the world need to pass national laws outlawing the possession of wildlife and timber that has been illegally harvested or traded elsewhere, a new report by the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) urges.

At present, unlisted but endangered flora and fauna can be legally sold in other nations, even if it was illicitly taken from the countries of origin, due to a lack of coverage in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

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Categories: Environment
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