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Chris Grayling advises motorists to 'think hard' before buying diesel

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 5:38pm

Transport secretary recommends low-emission cars after it emerges that thousands of children breathing toxic air

Drivers should “think long and hard” before buying a diesel car and instead consider purchasing a low-emission vehicle, the transport secretary has said, as the government considers a strategy to tackle air pollution.

Chris Grayling’s intervention took place as the Guardian revealed that tens of thousands of London’s children were attending schools in areas with levels of toxic air in breach of EU legal limits. The minister also said the government had a legal duty to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide from diesel cars, which account for four in 10 vehicles on British roads, after a high court ruling in November ordered the authorities to reduce levels of the toxic fume in the “shortest possible time”.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 4:04pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Taxpayers to pay for oil spill clean-ups under petroleum resource rent tax

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 12:00pm

Treasury confirms companies would be able to claim tax deduction for expenses incurred from cleaning up pollution

Australian taxpayers will be forced to subsidise the clean-up costs of oil spills in the Great Australian Bight thanks to the terms of the controversial petroleum resource rent tax.

Treasury officials have confirmed that oil companies would be able to claim a tax deduction under the PRRT for expenses incurred cleaning up oil spills.

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Categories: Environment

We need a recipe to save the red squirrel | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 11:34am
Squirrel cull | Housebuilding | PPE and LSE | More leftovers | La La Land

The easiest way to protect the red squirrel (Report, 24 February) is for us to eat the grey ones. The latter are too plentiful and should be easy to trap. Many of us have no problem eating rabbits, so the greys could be a cheap addition to our diet. The bird population would also benefit from a cull of these pests. So, Delia, could we please have a recipe for écureuil à la bourguignonne?
Donald Blow
Kirkcaldy, Fife

• John Harris (What’s the point in building a million new homes if they’re not fit to live in?, 22 February) writes honestly of the difficulties facing new home owners when the rush to build leads to corners being cut. We are also aware of houses being sold leasehold, some with onerous clauses which double ground rent every few years. Caveat emptor.
Brenda Banks
Teignmouth, Devon

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 9:45am

A jaguar killing an anteater, a green tree python and the winner of the underwater photographer of the year are among this week’s images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: thousands of children at London schools breathe toxic air

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 8:01am

Exclusive: 802 schools, nurseries and colleges are in areas where levels of nitrogen dioxide breach EU legal limits

Tens of thousands of children at more than 800 schools, nurseries and colleges in London are being exposed to illegal levels of air pollution that risk causing lifelong health problems, the Guardian can disclose.

A study identifies 802 educational institutions where pupils as young as three are being exposed to levels of nitrogen dioxide that breach EU legal limits and which the government accepts are harmful to health.

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Categories: Environment

Drastic cooling in North Atlantic beyond worst fears, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 7:51am

Climatologists say Labrador Sea could cool within a decade before end of this century, leading to unprecedented disruption, reports Climate News Network

For thousands of years, parts of northwest Europe have enjoyed a climate about 5C warmer than many other regions on the same latitude. But new scientific analysis suggests that that could change much sooner and much faster than thought possible.

Climatologists who have looked again at the possibility of major climate change in and around the Atlantic Ocean, a persistent puzzle to researchers, now say there is an almost 50% chance that a key area of the North Atlantic could cool suddenly and rapidly, within the space of a decade, before the end of this century.

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Categories: Environment

Environmental Groups Say California's Climate Program Has Not Helped Them

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 7:06am

California's signature climate plan is under attack from environmental justice groups. Some say the cap-and-trade program hasn't done anything to clean up the air in low-income communities.

(Image credit: Maya Sugarman/KPCC)

Categories: Environment

Welsh oak could be the first British winner of European Tree of the Year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 6:16am

Shortly before the close of voting the Brimmon oak, for which a bypass was relocated, is close behind a Polish oak and a Czech lime tree

It is old, squat, and bent a bypass. Now an ancient oak saved from being destroyed by a new road has become the first British tree with a cracking chance of winning the European Tree of the Year competition.

The Brimmon oak led the contest in the early stages, polling more than 10,000 votes. Three days before the end of the voting period, the Welsh tree was in third place, just behind the hot favourite, an oak tree from Poland, and a lime tree in the Czech Republic.

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Categories: Environment

Government intervention has led to higher energy bills, claims Lords report

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 4:09am

Committee urges new energy commission that would prioritise low energy bills and security rather than low carbon emissions

Ministers should establish a new energy commission to spur on construction of power stations because successive governments have failed to encourage enough fresh power capacity in the UK, according to a House of Lords report.

Subsidy-backed growth in renewable energy projects, such as windfarms, has deterred the construction of new conventional power plants, the economic affairs committee claimed.

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Categories: Environment

OMG measurements of Greenland give us a glimpse of future sea rise | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 4:00am

The Oceans Melting Greenland project is taking important measurements to determine how fast sea levels will rise

If you meet a group of climate scientists, and ask them how much sea levels will rise by say the year 2100, you will get a wide range of answers. But, those with most expertise in sea level rise will tell you perhaps 1 meter (a little over three feet). Then, they will immediately say, “but there is a lot of uncertainty on this estimate.” It doesn’t mean they aren’t certain there will be sea level rise – that is guaranteed as we add more heat in the oceans. Here, uncertainty means it could be a lot more or a little less.

Why are scientists not certain about how much the sea level will rise? Because there are processes that are occurring that have the potential for causing huge sea level rise, but we’re uncertain about how fast they will occur. Specifically, two very large sheets of ice sit atop Greenland and Antarctica. If those sheets melt, sea levels will rise hundreds of feet.

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Categories: Environment

Government pension scheme begins ditching oil and gas investments

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 3:21am

National Employment Savings Trust to move investments into new climate change fund and scale back shares in firms such as Shell and ExxonMobil

A giant pension scheme with more than 4 million members is shifting almost 10% of its investments into a new climate change fund designed to move people’s money out of fossil fuels and into renewable energy.

Nest (National Employment Savings Trust), a publicly owned scheme set up by the government, said it was moving £130m into the fund because it wanted to protect its worker members from the risks associated with climate change by reducing their exposure to companies with reserves of coal, oil and gas.

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Categories: Environment

Craig Kelly backs Abbott on renewable energy target and immigration

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/02/24 - 12:25am

Liberal MP calls for RET to be frozen and immigration to be explicitly linked to issue of housing affordability

The chairman of the Turnbull government’s backbench environment and energy committee has backed Tony Abbott’s call to wind back the renewable energy target, and cut the immigration rate to boost housing affordability.

The Liberal MP Craig Kelly told Guardian Australia on Friday the RET needed to be frozen where it is at the moment, and the government needed to explicitly link the issues of immigration and housing affordability.

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Categories: Environment

Red squirrels: 5,000 volunteers sought to save species – and help kill invasive greys

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 11:01pm

Wildlife Trusts’ biggest-ever recruitment drive will see volunteers monitor populations, educate children – and bludgeon grey squirrels to death

An army of 5,000 volunteers is being sought to save the red squirrel from extinction by monitoring populations, educating children – and bludgeoning grey squirrels to death.

The Wildlife Trusts’ biggest-ever recruitment drive is focused on areas of northern England, north Wales and Northern Ireland where invasive grey squirrels first introduced by the Victorians are driving the retreating red squirrel population to extinction.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's 'biggest ever' antivenom dose saves boy bitten by funnel web spider

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 8:48pm

NSW central coast schoolboy, aged 10, was given 12 vials of antivenom after he was bitten by a male spider hiding in a shoe

A 10-year-old NSW central coast boy is lucky to be alive after a deadly funnel web spider bite necessitated what is believed to be the largest dose of antivenom administered in Australian history.

Matthew Mitchell was rushed to Gosford hospital after he was bitten on the finger by the male funnel web, which was hiding inside a shoe, on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef could face another big coral bleaching event this year

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 8:44pm

New report to UN world heritage committee criticises Australia’s lack of planning in dealing with effects of climate change

The Great Barrier Reef faces an “elevated and imminent risk” of more widespread coral bleaching this year, the reef authority has warned the Queensland government.

An alert from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says more of the reef is showing built-up heat stress than this time last year, just before its worst-ever bleaching event killed off a quarter of all coral.

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Categories: Environment

PHOTOS: The Final Hours Of A Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 5:53pm

On Thursday morning, law enforcement cleared out the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.

(Image credit: Angus Mordant for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Energy positive: how Denmark's Samsø island switched to zero carbon

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 3:48pm

The small island’s energy makeover took less than a decade and was spurred on by local commitment, providing a template for how regional Australia could transition to renewables

Anyone doubting the potential of renewable energy need look no further than the Danish island of Samsø. The 4,000-inhabitant island nestled in the Kattegat Sea has been energy-positive for the past decade, producing more energy from wind and biomass than it consumes.

Samsø’s transformation from a carbon-dependent importer of oil and coal-fuelled electricity to a paragon of renewables started in 1998. That year, the island won a competition sponsored by the Danish ministry of environment and energy that was looking for a showcase community – one that could prove the country’s freshly announced Kyoto target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21% was, in fact, achievable.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 3:06pm
Shot and edited this weeks film this morning.  The burros hit their mark perfectly.  76,87,43,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Police remove last Standing Rock protesters in military-style takeover

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/23 - 2:52pm

Armed occupation brought an anticlimactic and forlorn end to the camp, which had been home to thousands of activists opposing the Dakota Access pipeline

Dozens of national guard and law enforcement officers marched into the Dakota Access pipeline protest encampment on Thursday in a military-style takeover, one day after a deadline for the camp’s eviction.

Related: Police make arrests at Standing Rock in push to evict remaining activists

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Categories: Environment
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