Encounters with our most dramatic raptor

Guardian Environment News - 7 hours 15 min ago

Beulah, Powys Before he took off with his lifeless prey, the falcon’s unnerving brazen eye met mine, and seemed to ask whose business was it but his alone?

To a wild moorland valley in hope of catching first flight of eyasses, or nestling hawks, from rocky bluffs above. How long peregrines have nested here I don’t know. These magnificent falcons have long been hard-pressed: shot in wartime for predating on carrier-pigeons, in peacetime by gamekeepers; nests robbed by egg-collectors, by falconers; brought near British extinction by DDT. Somehow they’ve recovered, to remain a defining presence of Welsh hill country.

Not today, however – no sign of activity at the nest, so I make my own by the stream, laze in the sun and remember encounters over long decades with our most dramatic raptor. In Cwm Trwsgl the male’s chattering call resounded against the cliff, lured the falcon from her nest. She sported around, flew upside-down to catch a rock-dove he dropped to her.

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Categories: Environment

On The Rebound, Panthers Prowl Expanding Swath Of Land In Florida

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 1:28pm

From a low of about 20, the population of Florida's state animal has grown to about 200 — enough, wildlife officials say, to warrant taking them off the endangered species list. Not everyone agrees.

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Categories: Environment

Vatican's justice leader highlights importance of 'investing in women'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 10:52am

Ahead of conference on pope’s environment encyclical, Cardinal Peter Turkson says to achieve development goals women need more access to education

The Vatican’s top official on justice issues has said giving women greater access to education is imperative to achieving global development goals, as debate heats up ahead of a UN meeting on the topic in September.

“Investing in women can take us a long way towards achieving forms of development,” Cardinal Peter Turkson told the Guardian on Friday. The Ghanaian cleric was reflecting on comments made at the Vatican by Mary Robinson, the UN secretary general’s special envoy for climate change, who said there needed to be more focus on the education of girls and women.

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Categories: Environment

Solar plane breaks record for longest non-stop solo flight in history – video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 10:41am
A plane which is attempting to complete the first ever round-the-world solar powered flight lands in Hawaii. The plane took off from Nagoya in Japan on 29 June, meaning the flight has broken the record for the longest non-stop solo journey in history. The previous record was 72 hours; pilot André Borschberg lands after having been in the air for just under 118 hours.

Click here to visit the Solar Impulse website and find out more about the plane's journey Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Prince Charles installs 'strange machines' (bottle banks) at the palace: Guardian Diary, 1980

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 10:31am

Bottle banks at Buckingham Palace? The Guardian predicts windmills and composting lavatories fit for an eco-king

Prince Charles: rewire the global economy to stop climate change

In a speech to the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership at St Jame’s Palace, reported elsewhere, Prince Charles recalled “the Guardian newspaper thinking it was hilarious when I managed to encourage the installation of one of the country’s first bottle banks – which they described as a ‘strange engine’ – at Buckingham Palace 25 years ago.”

He was out by a decade, but the Guardian Diary did indeed find it amusing.

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Categories: Environment

New coal plants 'most urgent' threat to the planet, warns OECD head

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 9:16am

Governments urged to rethink plans for new coal-fired power plants as study estimates they will release more than 500bn tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050

Governments must rethink plans for new coal-fired power plants around the world, as these are now the “most urgent” threat to the future of the planet, the head of the OECD has warned.

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Categories: Environment

Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii after longest non-stop solo flight in history

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 9:01am

Veteran pilot tested to the limit of endurance on record-breaking solar-powered flight across the Pacific, on the eighth leg of round-the-world journey

A solar plane attempting the world’s first flight around the globe has landed in Hawaii, after breaking the record for the longest non-stop solo flight in history.

Solar Impulse 2, piloted by the Swiss pilot André Borschberg, took off from Nagoya in Japan at 3am on Monday, for the five-day crossing of the Pacific Ocean, the riskiest leg of its journey.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 8:32am

Arctic fox, brown bears of Alaska and an albino porcupine feature in this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Anti-fracking Nanas: 'The government is all out for shale – we're all out to stop it'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 8:12am

How a headscarf-wearing group of women faced up to Cuadrilla and became the frontline against fracking in Lancashire

If the two security guards had been awake, they probably wouldn’t have believed their eyes. Twenty-five women aged between 25 and 60, in yellow tabards and matching Hilda Ogden headscarves, vaulting a gate in order to occupy the Blackpool field that the energy company Cuadrilla had paid the guards to mind.

“Everything went smoothly, except for the logistical bits we left to the fellas,” said hairdresser Anjie Mosher, one of the group known as the Nanas, who have become the frontline against fracking in Lancashire, alongside Friends of the Earth and the Green party. The men had been tasked with arranging a van to transport the women to the field on Preston New Road in Little Plumpton, but they forgot.

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Categories: Environment

People power has shut the doors on fracking in the UK

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 8:11am

Relentless local protests and a damning report have dealt a double blow to a fledgling fracking industry, but the companies aren’t going to go away

Attempts to create a commercially viable fracking industry in the UK were dealt fresh blows this week, with the refusal of planning permission for a key site, and the revelation of an unpublished government report showing fracking could cause falls to people’s house values.

The setbacks, cheered by jubilant anti-fracking campaigners, highlight the struggles that fracking backers still face in the UK, where for several years the pioneering Cuadrilla has been trying to drill gas wells, now joined by several other companies with similar plans.

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Categories: Environment

Green news roundup: BP oil spill fine, fracking report, and poison dart frogs

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 8:04am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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Categories: Environment

Alligator attack kills man swimming at marina in south-east Texas

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 7:14am
  • Tommie Woodward, 28, dies in bayou after late-night swim
  • Owners of marina had recently spotted 11ft alligator

A man was killed early on Friday when an alligator attacked him during a late-night swim at a south-east Texas marina, according to police.

Orange police captain Robert Enmon said Tommie Woodward, 28, suffered severe trauma to a limb when he was attacked early on Friday morning at the private marina, which is along a bayou extending from the Sabine River near the Louisiana line.

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Categories: Environment

India's climate pledge 'critically important', says UN climate chief

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 7:08am

Christiana Figueres says Delhi’s promise of ambitious cuts and plans to help 400m energy poor will be vital to getting a binding deal in Paris

A strong pledge to curb carbon emissions by India, the world’s third largest polluter, will be “critically important” to a meaningful deal at the crucial UN climate summit in Paris in December, the UN’s climate chief has said.

India has so far resisted calls for an ambitious target, citing the millions in the country who do not have access to energy and the need to pull those people out of poverty. Instead, it has suggested that it may make two climate pledges: one that can be achieved with domestic resources, and another that would be possible with financial and technological aid from the developed world.

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Categories: Environment

Sunny weather sees Britain break solar power record, estimate says

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 6:31am

Increase in solar installations and good weather means UK is sourcing 16% of its electricity from sunshine on Friday afternoon, industry claims

Solar power is supplying 16% of the UK’s electricity demand this afternoon as the country basks in sunshine, the industry estimates.

The news comes as solar-powered homes, commercial rooftop schemes and solar farms open to the public on Friday and Saturday as part of “solar independence day”.

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Categories: Environment

The 'jellyfish invasion' story one newspaper didn't want you to read | Steve Backshall

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 6:13am

TV presenter and naturalist Steve Backshall was asked by a British newspaper to write about the ‘invasion’ of jellyfish this summer. But they didn’t like what he had to say, so we’re publishing it here in full instead

While the sunshine may be an unpredictable visitor to UK summer shores, there’s one silly season certainty that you can count on. It’s an invasion striking terror into the hearts of humble Brits, causing widespread panic, forcing terrified tourists to abandon our seas and seek safer foreign waters. Yes, it’s the early summer newspaper headline, designed to get us all terrified of Mother Nature.

Whether it’s false widow spiders that leap from their webs and rot your flesh, vile sunspiders that inject novocaine into our British soldiers, rats the size of cows, man-eating foxes or a lone great white shark travelling across the Atlantic with the sole intent of savaging plucky Cornish surfers, testicle-munching pacu fish set to invade our seas … these genuine news stories have two things in common: they are factual nonsense, and they all contain the message that nature is evil, and she’s out to get you.

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Categories: Environment

US tells China its legal imports of ivory offer loophole for black market

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 5:53am
  • Interior secretary tells China it must understand importance of wildlife NGOs
  • China releases part of 62-tonne stockpile of ivory for carving each year

A senior US official told China on Friday that its legal imports of ivory act as a loophole for illegal traders, and that it needs to understand the importance of wildlife NGOs.

China signed a pact banning global trade in ivory in 1981, but it got an exemption in 2008 to buy 62 tonnes of ivory from several African countries. It releases a portion of that stockpile each year to government-licensed ivory carving factories.

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Categories: Environment

Sharks haunt North Carolina's Fourth of July but experts say attacks are rare

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 5:35am

Just as in the film Jaws the marine predators inspire a mix of fear and fascination as coastal towns prepare for the holiday weekend after a spate of incidents

Every morning, Kenny Gordon, the 55-year-old maintenance manager at the Blue Water Point Motel and Marina, watches guests head off for the beach on this North Carolina vacation island. But if they ask him, he tells them to think twice before getting in the ocean.

“We know what’s in there,” he says, his peeling, sun-roasted cheeks cracking as he grins.

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Categories: Environment

TTIP aim to lift US oil export ban goes against climate targets | Sam Lowe

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 4:46am

EU push to lift restrictions on US crude oil and liquefied natural gas exports as part of controversial trade deal could explode Canada’s tar sands carbon bomb and push up carbon emissions

Early this year US climate campaigners claimed a totemic victory when president Obama used his veto to block the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. This proposed pipeline would carry dirty Canadian tar sand crude oil to refineries along the Gulf coast.

While the battle is far from over - what with Republicans vowing to continue pushing for its approval - Obama’s decision holds strong strategic significance in the fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Change Denier News | satire – video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 4:00am
Are you tired of facts? Do you think all the concern about climate change is just a bunch of hooey? Then this newscast is for you. See bald eagles, coal mining, unpatriotic polar bears, politics and even a frozen pizza on this satirical Fourth of July episode of Climate Change Denier News. Happy birthday, America!

• This video is part of the series Climate change: too hot to handle Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Prince Charles: To limit climate change we will need to see profound changes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/07/03 - 3:46am

Read the heir to throne’s ‘Rewiring the economy’ speech in full, in which he addresses the challenges of climate change, sustainable development and economic reform

As you are all very well aware, even if many others may not be, 2015 is a vital year for the future of humanity. Targets, plans and timetables being agreed this year, in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris, will be absolutely critical in ensuring peoples’ – and Nature’s – long-term health, wealth and security. So we must all hope and pray for the right outcomes.

But what happens then? Achieving the targets and goals arising from these historic global gatherings is going to require integrated action across all sectors. And that is not something we have ever come close to achieving in the past.

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Categories: Environment
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