Federal government must end its ‘climate wars’, NSW energy minister says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 5:16pm

Don Harwin urges Coalition to ‘put science, economics and engineering ahead of ideology’

The New South Wales energy minister, Don Harwin, wants the federal government to end its “climate wars” and start reducing emissions, ahead of a meeting with his colleagues from across Australia.

But the Victorian energy minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the federal coalition was “beyond hope” on the issue and that NSW is calling them out too late.

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Categories: Environment

Blind creature that buries head in sand named after Donald Trump

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 11:16am

Amphibian’s behaviour compared to US president’s approach to global warming

A newly discovered blind and burrowing amphibian is to be officially named Dermophis donaldtrumpi, in recognition of the US president’s climate change denial.

The name was chosen by the boss of EnviroBuild, a sustainable building materials company, who paid $25,000 (£19,800) at an auction for the right. The small legless creature was found in Panama and EnviroBuild’s Aidan Bell said its ability to bury its head in the ground matched Donald Trump’s approach to global warming.

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Categories: Environment

Time to consider hydrogen, the new clean energy carrier on the block | Rose Amal

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 10:00am

The case for hydrogen as a fuel has been well made but there has been little investment to bring it to scale

If Australia wants fair dinkum power, there is a new energy carrier on the block to ensure the supply of reliable renewable electricity.

And if Australia gets its act together, it will lead a new global export industry for this clean energy carrier, be at the forefront of a new economy, and become a trailblazer in new technologies.

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Categories: Environment

Christmas shoppers warned to avoid plastic toys due to toxin levels

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 8:49am

Toys feature in more than half of EU alerts for products containing banned chemicals

Christmas shoppers are being warned to avoid plastic toys after they appeared in more than half of EU intergovernmental alerts for products containing banned chemicals this year.

In all, 290 of the 563 warnings sent out on the EU’s rapid alert system concerned toys with illegally high levels of toxins, most of which were plastic dolls, and all of which could be on sale on British high streets.

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Categories: Environment

Solar households expected to give away power to energy firms

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 6:51am

Government confirms anyone who adds solar from April 2019 will not be paid for excess electricity exported to grid

The government has said households that install solar panels in the future will be expected to give away unused clean power for free to energy firms earning multimillion-pound profits, provoking outrage from green campaigners.

The mayor of London, big energy firms and environmentalists had urged ministers not to end the “export tariff” for solar panels under the feed-in tariff scheme, which is closing next year.

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Categories: Environment

Gulf Oyster Reefs Are Hurting. Now There's Help From Oil Spill Aid Money

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 3:01am

Oyster harvests in the Gulf of Mexico have declined dramatically. Now scientists are working to rebuild oyster reefs, helped by settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

(Image credit: Tyler Jones/UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones)

Categories: Environment

Creator Of Floating Garbage Collector Struggling To Capture Plastic In Pacific

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/12/18 - 2:02am

A young innovator wants to remove all the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But his invention, a long floating boom, is moving too slowly to hold the trash it collects.

(Image credit: Peter Dejong/AP)

Categories: Environment

National Trust drops legal battle against gas surveys in beauty spot

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 5:28pm

But charity vows to ‘fight tooth and nail’ to protect Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire from fracking by Ineos

The National Trust has withdrawn its legal opposition to seismic surveying by Ineos at Clumber Park but has vowed to fight to protect the site from fracking.

The energy firm Ineos won the right this year to pursue a high court action to gain access to the Grade I-registered country park in Nottinghamshire for surveying, as part of efforts to assess the area for shale gas.

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Categories: Environment

Environment, Jaffa Cakes and Kylie Jenner star in statistics of the year

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 5:01pm

Top prize goes to 90.5%, the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled

The environment, Jaffa Cakes and the reality star Kylie Jenner all feature in 2018’s statistics of the year.

Among more serious statistics relating to poverty, gender equality and climate change, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) highlighted the power of social media and McVitie’s slashing the number of Jaffa Cakes in its Christmas tube.

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Categories: Environment

Packaging producers to pay full recycling costs under waste scheme

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 5:01pm

Government strategy to make ‘polluter pay’, with penalties for difficult to recycle items

Retailers and producers of packaging will be forced to pay the full cost of collecting and recycling it under the government’s new waste strategy.

Supermarkets and other retailers could be charged penalties for putting difficult to recycle packaging – such as black plastic trays – on the market as part of the strategy, which aims to make the “polluter pay”. They would be charged lower fees for packaging that was easy to reuse or recycle.

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Categories: Environment

Herders Vs. Farmers: A Deadly Year In Nigeria

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 3:35pm

Deadly clashes in the country's Middle Belt have skyrocketed — and a new Amnesty International report says the government is exacerbating the crisis.

(Image credit: Tim McDonnell for NPR)

Categories: Environment

During His Time As Interior Secretary, Zinke Advanced 'Energy Dominance'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 3:00pm

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ends his tenure having successfully pushed President Trump's agenda of "energy dominance," but leaving conservationists disappointed.

Categories: Environment

We say we love our national parks. The evidence suggests otherwise | Kelly O’Shanassy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 10:00am

Australia leads the world in extinction rates and now our protected habitats are at risk. That’s neglect

Australia has the most extraordinary national parks, home to our unique wildlife, deserts, mountains, forests and sacred icons such as Uluru. We are rightly proud of them.

It’s hard to pick a favourite. But I do love Wilsons Promontory, where the wombats reign supreme, and getting one of these inquisitive fellows out of your tent after a late-night incursion is quite an adventure.

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Categories: Environment

Study finds 'alarming' levels of chemicals in Great Barrier Reef turtles

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 10:00am

Results of research into 2012 mass deaths offer insights into reef health and throw up further questions

Conservationists want major bays and estuaries along the Great Barrier Reef tested for contaminants after a five-year study found “alarming” levels of some chemicals in unhealthy turtles on the reef.

Scientists working on the research have also recommended expanded monitoring of turtle-population health on the Great Barrier Reef “as an indicator of the health of the reef itself”.

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Categories: Environment

Carol Vorderman and Liam Gallagher back campaign against trophy hunting

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 9:00am

Range of public figures from Jeremy Corbyn to Sue Perkins call for ban on imports

A group of public figures including Jeremy Corbyn, Zac Goldsmith, Sue Perkins and Carol Vorderman have joined forces to call for an urgent halt to imports from trophy hunters.

In a letter to the Guardian, the group, which also includes Piers Morgan, Liam Gallagher, Ed Sheeran and Joanna Lumley, condemns trophy hunting as “cruel, immoral, archaic and unjustifiable”.

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Categories: Environment

A Year Reporting In Puerto Rico

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 8:40am

NPR’s Adrian Florido has been in Puerto Rico as people have tried to rebuild.

(Image credit: Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Magical Photos Bring Fables From Mbomo To Life

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 7:53am

The fables were gathered from people in the Congo Basin and illustrated with a touch of magical realism in the new book Congo Tales: Told By The People Of Mbomo.

(Image credit: Pieter Henket)

Categories: Environment

Back to the land: are young farmers the new starving artists?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 4:00am

A small but growing movement of millennials are seeking out a more agrarian life but the reality of life on the land is not always as simple as they hoped

Eight years ago, Liz Whitehurst, then 25, was working in digital communications at a policy organization in Washington DC and dreaming of life outside a cubicle. She started exploring a different kind of existence by volunteering on local farms. When the farmer who provided the locally sourced vegetable box she signed up for invited her to work the fields one day, she was starstruck. “You’re my hero,” she recalls telling the farmer. “I want your life.”

Today, she has it. Whitehurst grows a wide array of produce on Owl’s Nest Farm, set on a few acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland (she bought it from that same farmer). Whitehurst grows sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash – everything is handpicked. She also provides greens to a local pizza kitchen which was recently named one of the best new restaurants in the country.

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Categories: Environment

London's new official plan for cycling is bold but has a major flaw

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/17 - 2:51am

With no new infrastructure or funding, questions remain on how to genuinely democratise cycling in a big city

London has a new official plan for cycling. It’s full of bold statements of intent and has some interesting ideas. That’s the good news. Here’s the drawback: within the 59 glossy pages I could detect no new plans for cycling infrastructure.

This all might seem a bit niche, not to say London-centric. But there is a wider lesson here: if cities are to truly move ahead in making cycling everyday and for everyone, good intentions aren’t enough. It involves political boldness, and taking risks.

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Categories: Environment

Blackcurrant crops hit by milder winters, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/16 - 5:01pm

Researchers warn rising temperatures will cause plants to flower later and die sooner

Milder winters driven by climate change will hit blackcurrant crops, with plants producing fewer and lower quality fruit, according to a new study.

Like many other fruit and woody plants, blackcurrants need a period of chilling before they start to grow in spring. This reduces the risk of frost damage to new buds and makes sure they burst rapidly in the spring and flower together when there are plenty of pollinators such as bees around.

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Categories: Environment
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