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Queensland accused of breaking ‘no public funds for Adani’ promise

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 9:21pm

Activists target Aurizon after Palaszczuk refuses to rule out vetoing freight company’s application for Naif funding to build rail line

The former Queensland state-owned freight rail business Aurizon is the latest target of anti-Adani activists, after the Palaszczuk Labor government refused to rule out vetoing the company’s taxpayer-funded loan to build the Galilee basin rail line.

Opponents of the mine have accused the state government of attempting to break its promise of “no public funds for Adani’ through a “backdoor” by continuing to consider Aurizon’s application for federal government funds to build the central Queensland rail line.

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Categories: Environment

Tasmania launches roadkill campaign to reduce 500,000 native animal deaths

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 8:25pm

Drivers urged to stop throwing food out of windows, which attracts wildlife to the roadside

The motorists lobby in Tasmania has launched a joint campaign to reduce roadkill, saying that 500,000 native animals are killed on the state’s roads each year.

That equates to about one dead native animal per head of Tasmania’s population, giving the state one of the highest roadkill rates in the world.

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Categories: Environment

U.K. Lawmakers Want To Battle Waste With A 'Latte Levy' On Disposable Cups

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 3:16pm

The British Parliament is considering a 34-cent tax on to-go cups to encourage diners to bring their own reusable containers. The goal is to replicate the success of Britain's tax on plastic bags.

(Image credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Night Became Day In Detroit As Meteor Lit Up Sky

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 2:16pm

A meteor streaked over southeast Michigan Tuesday night, creating a sonic boom so loud it shook houses. After seeing the spectacle in the night sky, thousands of people took to social media to share what they witnessed.

Categories: Environment

Nearly All Of The National Park System Advisory Board Has Resigned

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 2:16pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks to former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, who has resigned from the National Park System Advisory Board. He, along with eight others, have said that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to meet with the board once since being confirmed last March.

Categories: Environment

Strange Weather Triggered Bacteria That Killed 200,000 Endangered Antelope

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 12:51pm

Over a three-week span in 2015, more than 200,000 saiga antelope suddenly died in Kazakhstan. The animals would be grazing normally, then dead in three hours. A new study points to heat and humidity.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Joint saiga health monitoring team in Kazakhstan (Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity, Kazakhstan, Biosafety Institute, Gvardeskiy RK, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK))

Categories: Environment

25 staff laid off at agency key to May's plastic reduction pledge

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 10:07am

Wrap, the agency responsible for tackling waste, blames government cuts for the redundancies, that come just a week after the prime minister’s pledge

Just one week after Theresa May and Michael Gove promised to eradicate the scourge of plastic waste, government budget cuts have forced a key agency charged with tackling the problem to make more than a tenth of its staff redundant, a move campaigners said could sabotage progress.

About 25 people are losing their jobs at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), the body’s chief executive confirmed on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland councils say they won't own Adani airport despite paying $34m

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 10:03am

Councils backtrack on previous statements and say they do not own the site or have any say in how facility is built

Two Queensland councils that together contributed $34m to an airport serving Adani’s coalmine have contradicted previous statements and now say they do not own the site or have any say in how the facility is built.

Townsville and Rockhampton councils announced in October that they would spend $18.5m and $15.5m respectively on an airport hundreds of kilometres away at the Carmichael coalmine as part of a funding deal with Adani.

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Categories: Environment

Cotton growers facing complete crop loss after alleged herbicide drift

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 10:00am

5,000 hectares of cotton thought to be affected by off-target spray drift, says Bernie Bierhoff of Walgett Cotton Growers’ Association

On Christmas Day farmers around Walgett in north-west New South Wales noticed their infant cotton plants had begun to wither. Leaves began to curl and die, killing some plants and stressing others.

Within days, it was clear Walgett was facing a serious incident that had affected nearly 6,000 hectares (60 sq km) of cotton farms reaching as far as Burren Junction, and Rowena.

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Categories: Environment

Is it possible to live without plastic? Readers' tips for tip-free living

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 7:30am

We asked you to recommend the best ways to reduce your plastic consumption and avoid excess waste. Here’s what some of you said

For 70 years, the world’s plastic usage has grown inexorably from humble beginnings to a position where humanity now produces roughly its own weight in plastic every year.

But is there a turning point in view? Guardian revelations about the scale of plastic waste and the threat it poses has finally prompted the authorities to take the issue seriously. Michael Gove is considering a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, Sadiq Khan is looking at new water fountains to contain the plastic proliferation, and now Theresa May has set out her own plastic-free stall.

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Categories: Environment

Nearly 1m tonnes every year: supermarkets shamed for plastic packaging

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 7:29am

Exclusive: Guardian investigation unwraps truth about supermarket plastics after big brands refuse to divulge packaging secrets

Britain’s leading supermarkets create more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste every year, according to an investigation by the Guardian which reveals how top chains keep details of their plastic footprint secret.

As concern over the scale of unnecessary plastic waste grows, the Guardian asked Britain’s eight leading supermarkets to explain how much plastic packaging they sell to consumers and whether they would commit to a plastic-free aisle in their stores.

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Categories: Environment

EDF could build second nuclear plant 'for 20% less than Hinkley Point'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 4:30am

Company claims a plant at Sizewell in Suffolk would be £4bn cheaper than £20bn project

EDF Energy has claimed it could build a second new nuclear power station in Britain that would be 20% cheaper than the £20bn Hinkley Point C project under construction in Somerset.

The French state-owned company said a new plant at Sizewell on the Suffolk coast would be cheaper because of replication in construction techniques, existing grid connections and the exploration of new finance models.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 4:00am

In short, from a practical standpoint, as little additional warming as possible

In an interview with Reuters last week, Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said,

The climate is changing. That’s not the debate. The debate is how do we know what the ideal surface temperature is in 2100?

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Categories: Environment

Majority Of National Park Service Board Resigns, Citing Administration Indifference

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 3:42am

The chairman of the board, former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, said in a letter that the Department of the Interior showed no interest in engaging with board members.

(Image credit: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

Like Florida, Maryland Wants To Be Exempt From Offshore Drilling

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/17 - 3:03am

Now that the Trump administration has excluded Florida from its offshore drilling proposal, other places want the same. They're making their case as the public comment period gets underway.

Categories: Environment

Heathrow to unveil shorter third runway plan in bid to cut costs

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/16 - 11:01pm

Proposal sees 300 metres cut from runway in effort to help reduce costs to £15bn, but opponents say move changes forecasted economic benefits

Heathrow is to unveil proposals for a shorter, cheaper third runway in a public consultation to help push its expansion plans through.

The airport will propose cutting 300 metres from the length of the northwestern runway, a scheme approved by the government following the Airports Commission process, in an attempt to cut costs.

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Categories: Environment

Wagamama to mark Earth Day by ditching plastic straws

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/16 - 5:01pm

Asian food chain says it will hand out biodegradable paper alternative on request from 22 April

Wagamama has become the latest restaurant chain to commit to end the use of plastic straws.

From Earth Day on 22 April, the Asian food chain will switch to a biodegradable paper alternative, which will be available on request.

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Categories: Environment

Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/01/16 - 3:43pm

The law that requires America to turn some of its soybeans into diesel fuel for trucks has created a new industry. But it's costing American consumers about $5 billion each year.

(Image credit: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

cold snap

The Field Lab - Tue, 2018/01/16 - 1:42pm
Another little bit of winter is here... 28,34,29,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Natural gas has role in UK energy mix | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/16 - 10:15am
40% of UK primary energy was derived from natural gas in 2016, a 50% increase from 1990, writes Ken Cronin

Your editorial (Fracking’s day may have passed, 10 January) was keen to downplay the role of onshore gas in the UK’s future energy mix, and was deeply concerning. Natural gas has a role to play for many decades, and this is backed up by the National Grid, the government and other forecasters. 40% of UK primary energy was derived from natural gas in 2016, a 50% increase from 1990. In the UK, a projected annual gas demand of 68bcm in 2030, which is 90% of 2015 economy-wide consumption, is in keeping with the Committee on Climate Change’s fifth carbon budget. Natural gas is the largest energy source for UK homes and businesses, providing us with heat, power and vital feedstocks needed for our industries.

The site at Balcombe is not a site that will use hydraulic fracturing as there is not a need to – that was made clear by the company. You also refer to Ineos wanting to access gas in sensitive areas – this is despite the company confirming they have no plans to access site of special scientific interest (SSSI) areas for the purposes of the survey being carried out in the East Midlands, and this being confirmed by the governing authority, the local council.

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Categories: Environment
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