Environment

Fracking ban forcing some New York towns to consider redrawing state lines

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2015/02/28 - 9:25am
  • Talk of a secession brews in parts of upstate as some eye Pennsylvania
  • Local officials say ban hurts economically struggling areas
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Categories: Environment

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2015/02/28 - 7:24am

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.

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Categories: Environment

Long-tailed riders of the waves

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 10:30pm
Burghead, Highlands There they were, ignoring the stormy sea around them as they rode the waves with ease Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Waste not, want not: how the rubbish industry learned to look beyond landfill

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 11:23am

With rise of incineration and heavy taxes, refuse management has evolved beyond mere dumps – but sector experts warn of complacency over recycling

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U.S. Biologists Keen To Explore, Help Protect Cuba's Wild Places

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 10:11am

Birders especially know that Cuba harbors hundreds of rarely seen, little-studied species. As the island nation opens to more U.S. visitors, scientists hope "green Cuba" can survive increased tourism.

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Categories: Environment

U.S. Biologists Keen To Explore, Help Protect Cuba's Wild Places

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 10:11am

Birders especially know that Cuba harbors hundreds of rarely seen, little-studied species. As the island nation opens to more U.S. visitors, scientists hope "green Cuba" can survive increased tourism.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 9:24am

A rescued baby orangutan, spectacular breaching whale and foraging wood mouse are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Switzerland becomes first country to submit Paris climate deal pledge

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 9:03am

Swiss government says it will cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 as part of a UN deal on global warming later this year, reports RTCC

Switzerland has become the first country to formally communicate its contribution to a UN climate change deal: 50% greenhouse gas cuts on 1990 levels by 2030.

Released on Friday, the Swiss government says 30% of those cuts will be achieved within the country, with the remaining 20% through carbon markets or other forms of offsets.

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Categories: Environment

Prince William will take plight of Africa's elephants 'behind enemy lines' in China

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 7:04am

Duke of Cambridge’s visit to China next month will be a diplomatic walk on eggshells. The elephant in the room is a domestic ivory ban as soon as possible – but he knows we can’t point fingers, we can only cross them

In Africa a blood drenched war on wildlife is raging and next month Prince William is going behind enemy lines. This is a man with a passionate mastery of a bleak situation. While others understandably genuflect to China’s tumescent economic power, with tongues out for crumbs, his is a higher purpose.

There are at most 500,000 elephants left in Africa and the prince will be taking their desperate plight to the political elite, which by an egregious sin of omission is complicit in the slaughter and foreseeable demise of Loxodonta africana.

Related: David Attenborough calls on Chinese president to end ivory trade

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Categories: Environment

Coo roo-c'too-coo! Enter the captivating world of pigeon fanciers

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 6:30am

Raising and showing selectively bred birds is a world away from pigeons’ unjust image of ‘rats with wings’ – and it’s a hobby that helps forge lifelong friendships

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Categories: Environment

What happened to the lobbyists who tried to reshape the US view of climate change?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 5:50am

In 1998 major fossil fuel companies put $2m behind a plan that would effectively fuel the fires of climate science scepticism among the American public. We reveal where the 12 people behind that plan are now

In early 1998, some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world were hatching a plan to hijack the science of human-caused global warming.

Representatives from major fossil fuel corporations and industry groups had joined forces with operatives from major conservative think tanks and public relations experts to draft what they called their Global Climate Science Communications (GCSC) plan.

Related: Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry

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Categories: Environment

Three cases of leprosy in eastern Florida 'linked to armadillos'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 5:00am
  • Experts stress public has little cause for alarm
  • ‘There’s more interaction with armadillos than you might think’
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Categories: Environment

Madagascar's frogs at risk as killer fungus found on island for first time

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 4:05am

A fungus that devastates amphibian populations – often to extinction – is now widespread on the island and could threaten its 500 frog species, say scientists

Scientists say a fungus that has devastated global frog populations has reached Madagascar, putting the island’s 500 endemic frog species in danger.

The amphibian-rich islands of Madagascar, Borneo and New Guinea have remained conspicuously free of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) fungus, which has caused population crashes on every continent where amphibians occur.

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World should not rush to judge Paris climate deal, says top US negotiator

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 3:15am

Todd Stern says failure to produce a significant deal at UN climate change summit would be damaging but ‘I don’t think that’s going to happen’

The world should not rush to judgment on the outcome of the Paris talks on climate change later this year, president Obama’s chief climate change official has warned, as it would take a few years for the effects to become apparent.

Declaring the talks a success or failure too soon would be a distortion, said Todd Stern, US envoy for climate change and the country’s lead negotiator in the UN talks. “We will not know in 2015,” he said. “The rush to judgment, that this [agreement] does not do enough [for example], is not the way to think about this.”

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Sarah Storey on training, parenthood and her upcoming world hour record attempt

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 2:58am

The cyclist and 11-time Paralymics champion talks to us ahead of her attempt to break the world hour record at the London velodrome on Saturday

For most athletes, being your country’s most decorated sportsperson in their category a new parent and a dame at the age of 37, would be reason enough to maybe take it a bit easy. But Sarah Storey is no ordinary athlete.

On Saturday afternoon, Britain’s most-decorated female Paralympian – 11 golds, eight silvers and three bronzes across two sports (swimming and cycling) and six Games – takes on a new challenge, the women’s world hour record.

Related: Yvonne McGregor interview: on the Hour record, Sarah Storey and Bradley Wiggins

It was quite a daunting invitation and one I couldn’t just say, ‘Oh, no thank you.’ to. I came home from a training camp to Manchester and did some sessions on the track, to see what sort of power cost the necessary pace would be. The figures that were coming out were very favourable, and though I wasn’t perhaps in the exact right shape at that point we knew that with a good winter behind me I could be back in that sort of shape within three months. In the end it was a case that I have to say yes, because if don’t say yes I’ll always wonder.

It’s similar to most events. You’re optimistic because otherwise you wouldn’t have accepted the challenge, but equally if it was a foregone conclusion you probably wouldn’t bother because it wouldn’t be exciting to try. It’s a world record for a reason – it’s a tough challenge.

It’s one of the purest events, it’s ultimately yourself against the clock, or the distance measurement. The psychological aspects are probably just as tough if not tougher. If you pushed yourself for the full hour you’d push yourself off a cliff. You have to hover on this point where you’re in control of what you doing. If you don’t you’ll just spiral downwards, and get slower and slower.

It does feel strange, but in a nice way – it’s a reminder of everything that happened in London, and before, and the support.

It’s not that I ask, but whenever I apply for a new account and you put your title in the drop-down box it’s surprising how few options there are. There’s Mr, Mrs, Ms, Sir, Reverend, Lady, but never Dame.

One of my current account cards calls me ‘Dame’ but only because the lady who arranged it was so excited to change it.

It will be a huge thing but it’s not one you can really rely on. Before the London Games I said, I need to be able to win this in an empty room, and the same applies. The crowd will be a 12th man, there’s no doubt that that will be of benefit, but it’s not a conscious factor in what we’re doing.

The noise and everything else is just part of the event we don’t control. As with any race, we control the control-ables and make sure we focus on the things we can make the best.

It’s not really a consideration. I started out in life not even realising the Paralympic Games existed. As a youngster all my events, until the Games in 1992, were in able-bodied sport. For me it’s just sport.

I’m one of many athletes who joins the two parts of the sport. Most of the girls I race against at the world championships are part of professional road teams. I’m probably one of the few who isn’t.

To a certain extent, yes. There are some areas where we’ve still got huge hurdles, with the way the sport is governed at UCI level – it’s very, very separate. Paracycling is still very much a poor cousin to able-bodied cycling. We have no track World Cups, we really struggle to get World Championships dates on the calendar.

But in other areas, like the way the outside world looks at the sport, and the media coverage, I’m just talked about as a cyclist. But it remains to be seen if that’s just me. It would be interesting to ask other cyclists.

You just to accept that there’s some days where training is a little bit different. I’ve never had to miss a session. You just adjust things like timings, if she’s a bit poorly. The night before the individual pursuit at the World Championships last year, I was up all night because she was sick. But I still won the 3k.

It’s just part of life. The things that go wrong aren’t to be resented. They’re to be dealt with. They’re part of what happens when you’re a mum and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s the absolute best thing ever, and I’m so chuffed to have her at races.

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Categories: Environment

China bans ivory carving imports for a year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 1:44am

Authorities impose temporary ban amid criticism that China is driving slaughter of African elephants, but wildlife groups say domestic ivory trade needs tackling

China has imposed a one-year ban on ivory carving imports that took immediate effect on Thursday amid criticism that its citizens’ huge appetite for ivory has fuelled poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants.

The State Administration of Forestry declared the ban in a public notice posted on its official site, in which it said the administration would not handle any import request.

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Categories: Environment

International Polar Bear Day - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/02/27 - 12:00am

Wildlife guide and presenter Paul Goldstein brings together his favourite polar bear photos from Spitsbergen, Norway, to celebrate Ursus maritimus

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Categories: Environment

This field fought and fed

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/02/26 - 10:30pm

Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire: People would be touched by the changes, but thousands of inhabitants, with their dogs and cats, would recast the place

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Categories: Environment

The truth behind the story on the 'world's oldest tree' being cut down

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/02/26 - 5:00pm

‘Hoax’ article on the Amazon correctly identifies threats to Brazil-Peru border region

In December the World News Daily Report (WNDR) published an article claiming that the “world’s oldest tree” had been cut down along the Brazil-Peru border in the Amazon. It stated that a “giant Samauma tree that is thought to be over 5,800 years old” in the “Matsés Indigenous Reserve” had been “accidentally” felled by illegal loggers, and quoted “local tribesman leader Tahuactep of the Matsés tribe” saying it had “brought darkness upon not only our people, but the whole world.”

Some media responded by reporting it as fact, others by calling it a hoax. The Independent described it as “one of the 11 weirdest hoaxes of 2014”, while the Washington Post asserted that the WNDR is a “hoax-news site whose stories — we repeat! — are always fake” and “the world’s oldest tree is actually “somewhere in eastern California” and “only 5,062 years old.”

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